Fence Post of Faith Dec. 2011                                                                                     

I want to thank everyone who attend Cowboy Church at Columbia and if you didn’t we’ll be back there in March. And don’t forget to end 2011 at Carthage Mo. Dec. 30,31,1 on the New year. At Columbia this year we talked about Staying connected to Christ, I want to ask you this Christmas Season to stay connected as well, in the way of helping others, this Christmas find JOY in sharing with other. I leaving you with some thought’s from  Galatians 2:20.

I came across a collection of letters that children wrote to Santa Claus. Some of them were pretty good. One said, “Dear Santa, you did not bring me anything good last year. You did not bring me anything the year before that. This is your last chance. Signed. Jill”
My favorite went like this: “Dear Santa, there are three little boys who live at our house. There is Kyle; he is 2. There is David; he is 4. and there is Jeffery he is 7. Kyle is good some of the time. David is good some of the time. But Jeffery is good all of the time. I am Jeffery.”

If you could use one word to describe Christmas, what word would it be? Some folks would sue words like headache, busyness, expensive, or even bothersome. To many people Christmas is just another day, only a little more expensive, and a lot more trouble. I have heard even Christians use these words to describe the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. How sad that an event that brought so much joy in Heaven should bring so little joy here on earth.

I would like to suggest to you that this Christmas Eve night can be a time of joy, no matter how broke you are or how busy you are. Joy is like love—it is not merely an emotion, but a decision, and I believe you can be as joyful as you want to be. It’s all in where you put your focus. If you really want to have joy this Christmas, let me suggest 3 places to focus your heart and mind tonight.

“On the word JOY”
J- is for Jesus. IN my favorite Christmas TV special, Charlie Brown asks if anyone knows what Christmas is all about, and Linus recites the story of Christ’s birth from Luke 2. Have we forgotten that Christmas is not primarily about us—our family, friends, church, presents—but about HIM?

One year a Christmas afternoon visitor asked five-year-old Kate, “Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?” After a moment’s hesitation, she answered, “No, but it’s not my birthday!”

Isn’t it easy to get so wrapped up in the celebration that we forget what it is we are supposed to be celebrating? The world does that. It has become politically incorrect to say Merry Christmas—they want Happy Holidays or Merry xmas! We have the Jewish day of Hannakuh, or the African celebration of Kwanzza to compete for the place that belongs to the Son on God. But even without buying into the world’s ways, you can forget what Christmas is all about by forgetting Jesus.
If you are a Christian, focusing on Jesus means that you not only remember the Savior in the manger, but remember the Savior in your heart. Remember that this baby grew up and went to he Cross to pay for our sins, that He rose again to give you a new life, and that He lives in your heart this evening to give you Joy!

Galatians 2:20 says : I am Crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liven in m; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who lived me, and gave himself for me.
Not only was Jesus born in Bethlehem, but by faith and by His Spirit He lives in Me. That should fill us with Joy!

II. FOCUS ON O-THERS
Focusing on Jesus should also help us develop the attitude that He told would bring us Joy which we find in Act 20:35 It says I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Paul quotes Jesus here to point out the joy of generosity. Christmas is the time we celebrate the most wonderful gift God has given—Jesus. His focus in giving Christ to the world was His love for others, and He gave us an example that we , to should be willing to follow.
Joy does not come from getting all we can get from others, but in giving all we can give to others.
It is these focus others that will bring us Joy.
If you want to know joy at Christmas, then discover the joy of giving. Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these, you do for Him. If you want joy this Christmas, find someone in need, and in the name of Christ, give to them of your time and your treasures. There are plenty of lonely, needy people, and the Holy Spirit will show then to you, if you are willing to look for them. The Bible says that you will find joy there by focusing on others instead of yourself.

III. FOCUS ON Y—OURSELF
Yet, there is a sense in which we are to focus on yourself. Your attitudes determine whether or not you will experience joy this year. You can let worry, stress, unforgiveness, or discouragement rob you of the joy of Jesus. Everyone struggles sometimes, but please understand—attitude is not automatic. You choose to allow these attitude to rule you. How do I know? Because the Bible commands us not to allow these things to rule our lives, and God would not command us to do what we cannot(in His strength) do.

Do you have Worry and stress? We find comfort in Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.

Do you have trouble with Forgiveness? Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God forgiven you.

Are you struggling with Discouragement?
Thessalonians 2:16,17 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and  stablish you in every good word and work.
The fact is, you can be full of faith, or full of doubt—full of the Spirit’s joy or full of the world woe. Consider your thoughts—listen to your words—watch your actions and ask yourself—do I have the joy of the Lord, or am I wallowing in the mud hole of my own tears?
Christmas is based on an exchanged of gifts, the gift of God to man—His unspeakable gift of His Son, and the gift of man to God—when we present our bodies a living sacrifice. Vance Havner writes: You are the only person who can decide to be joyful this year!
God has a gift for you this Christmas—it is the joy that you unwrap by focusing on Jesus, others, and they yourself. Do wait to unwrap that gift—open it now and enjoy it!

Bread is a good comparison to our Lord because He satisfies, gratifies and strengthens us spiritually just as bread does physically. Many are eating at the wrong table. Isaiah 55:2 says, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, Listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”

It is easy to get caught up in searching for the meaning in life from the wrong things because there a lot of things those bring temporary happiness. But only Christ satisfies the eternal dimension of the human spirit.

Christ is all the soul of man needs for spiritual satisfaction. That fact that Jesus was born in “The fact that Jesus was born in a stable gives us confidence that God does indeed want us to choose us to be his Children, no matter how insignificant we may seem to ourselves or to the world around us.

At our Contemporary service they sing a song:  “One Bread, One Body, and that one bread is Christ. He is the only bread that offers life and the decision to receive Him as an individual one. And He invites each of us to partake of His presence on this Christmas Eve.

And remember that it’s ok to say MERRY CHRISTMAS
Adios Jeff Metcalf