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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Our message theme through to Christmas is “The Great Words of Christ.”

This is a series that will help everyone relate to Christ during this holiday time.

Today we are talking about Good News of Great Joy.

Text

Luke 2:10 (AMP)

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for [a]all the people.

Scripture Reading

Luke 2:8-14 (AMP)

Prayer

Loving Father, we thank you for the rich fellowship we enjoy as part of your family.

We thank you for the work to do in and through your church.

Bless our efforts to the point that we may be your people in this community, and that we may be the means of brining light to those who live in darkness.

Accept our monetary gifts today that we might share in the work of the church and in the missionary efforts to the ends of the earth.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

On this Lord’s day, immediately before Christmas, many of us are experiencing the joy, peace, and happiness that come from the festive season.

On the other hand , many others are experiencing the agony of what is known as the “Christmas blues.”

Why is it that some people feel saddened at Christmas?

There are a number of contributing factors.

  1. Some experience depression at Christmas time because they have exaggerated expectations of themselves and others.

They hope that Christmas will solve their problems, and when it doesn’t, they become despondent.

2. Christmas brings out our need for dependence on others.

At times others fail us, and this can be very depressing.

3. In Australia, Christmas is a family orientated experience that often causes memories to come to the surface.

Some of those memories cause more trouble than they bless, they hurt rather than help.

It is highly possible that each of us will come into contact with someone in the next couple of weeks who is experiencing depression.

It has been suggested that each of us can give psychological first aid to depressed people if we can engage them in meaningful activity, such as volunteering to help someone else.

In some instances, we will need to help them alter their goals and expectations for life.

They may need to break down their tasks into little pieces so they can gt a firm grip on them.

In these ways, we can help those who feel depressed feel more hopeful and optimistic.

Alcohol consumption increases during the holidays.

Those who use alcohol as a means of coping with stress and depression find that it does receive tension temporarily, but it ultimately worsens depression.

Does the message of Christmas, which is supposed to produce great joy, have anything relevant to say t people who are depressed?

Christianity, which begins with the promise of good news that will bring joy, should be more than just a strategy that enables us to cope with the pressures of life.

Through Christ, God provides us with the ability to cope with life in a manner that will bring joy to us and will reflect His glory.

The gospel, which is not good advice but good news, can produce great joy in living every day.

The angels who announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds were bringing good news that continues to be good news for all who will listen and respond.

  1. There is good news about God in the gospel.
  1. The message of Christmas is that the God behind and above all is a living God.

The Bible does not seek to tell us when and how our universe came into being.

Its major concern is with the who and the why.

The writer of the book of Hebrews declared in Hebrews 11:3 (AMP)

3 By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

The message of Christmas speaks to us of a living God who is above and behind the world.

He is the God who comes into this world.

He wants to make our fears subside and encourage us to live a life of faith. 

B. The message of Christmas proclaims the good news about the living God who loves.

In Jesus Christ, the living God declares to us that He cares and that He wants to help us.

In Jesus Christ, God came into this world bringing great and precious gifts to mankind.

2. The good news of Christmas is for all people.

The good news of Christmas is universal in its application, for it meets the deepest needs of people of all colours, cultures, and countries.

  1. God in Jesus Christ comes with good news regarding the forgiveness of sin.

Forgiveness does not appear in the glossary of a psychiatric dictionary.

The psychiatrist does not have a basis for offering the gift of forgiveness for those who are experiencing depression because they have broken God’s law or violated their own conscience.

Jesus Christ came that He might bear the penalty of our sin and offer us the priceless gift of forgiveness.

B. Jesus Christ brings good news regarding life.

Around the world in every age people have stood in terror before the grimness of death.

Christ came to bring life to those who were in spiritual death because of sin.

The assurance of a life that endures beyond the curtain that people call death can do much to dispel the gloom that threatens the souls of humans.

C. Jesus Christ brings good news about belonging to God and to the family of God.

The church is spoken of as the family of God and the household of faith.

Church can provide tremendous support for someone experiencing stress.

A genuine Christian friend can be of tremendous value in a time of crisis.

In this season, let us extend hands of Christian love and fellowship to those who are experiencing loneliness and discouragement.

D. Jesus Christ brings good news regarding help.

Every one of us will stand in need of the help God and others as time goes by.

Paul said in Philippians 4:13 (AMP)

13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

The psalmists bore testimony, saying in Psalm 121:2(AMP)

2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

And in Psalm 46:1 (AMP)

46 God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],

A very present and well-proved help in trouble.

E. The Christ brings us to the good news concerning a precious home at the end of the road.

John 14:1-3 (AMP)

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me. 

2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.

Many home owners consider their home to be their best investment.

But there are others who never have the joy of owning a house they can call their own.

Through the grace of God and the provisions of Hid Son, Jesus Christ, all believers can look forward to having a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, when this life is over.

Conclusion.

In a world in which so much bad news is delivered to us each day online, in newspapers, on radio, and television, let us listen to the good news that comes from God in and through Jesus Christ.

Let us individually respond to the full implications of the good news the angels sang about when Jesus was born.

Let us trust in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah who came to meet the deepest needs of our lives.

Let us trust in His death for the forgiveness of our sin and in His resurrected and living presence for the gift of eternal life.

Let us all face life with the resources He promises. 

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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