A Way To Begin

Intro: Away in a Manger

A. We decided use a word play on the a song written in the 19 century to help us get ready for Christmas this year

B. We separated the “A” form Away and we get an actual historical reference to Christianity in the early church.

C. Jesus As ‘The Way’

>>> Jesus said I am the way. The truth and the life. The way to the father is through me. I am the restorer, the reconciliation of mankind. I am the way. This year want you to get ready for Christmas. We want you ready to celebrate the coming of the Way. The way to peace with God. The way in a manger.

I. The greatest story ever told.

A. Refer to the gospel as the greatest story ever told

B. Getting ready for Christmas is to realize the story is about you.

>>> Are you ready for Christmas? We want this Christmas to be your greatest ever. Not the greatest presents, although I really like presents. Not the greatest time with your love one, although relationships are important to God. We want a realization in you. In your thinking. In your heart. That this greatest story ever told is about you. Get ready the stories are all true.

II. A way to begin this Christmas season

A. 1st things first. Repentance

Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation… —2 Corinthians 7:10

As Tertullian once said, “I was born for no other end but to repent.”

B. Conviction of sin is best described in the words: My sins, my sins, my Savior, How sad on Thee they fall.

“Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight…” Psalm 51:4.

Isaiah 53:5 NIV - But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

C. Repentance is a key part of the Christian life. It never feels good — and if it does, you’re doing it wrong — but it is necessary. It’s what reminds us of our need for grace.

Lamentations 3:22–23 NLT - The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

>>> Do you feel that. We need New mercies everyday because I need restoration moment by moment.

Matthew 11:28–30 NLT - Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

>>> Repentance is a gift for the follower of the way. For the believer.

Acts 3:19 NIV - Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…

II. What’s the way to begin (repentance) look like? 6 Elements

1. Acknowledge Sin

1 John 1:8–10 NLT - If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Romans 3:10 NLT - As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one.

2. Sorrow over Sin

Psalm 51:17 NLT - The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

3. Confession of Sin

1 John 1:9 NLT - But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

4. Shame of Sin

Ezra 9:6 NLT - I prayed, “O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens.

5. Hatred of Sin

When we get angry at our own sin, we are reflecting something of God’s holiness and purity.

6. Turning from Sin

Repentance means little if it does not result in Transformation.

Hebrews 12:1–2 NLT - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Summary

Acts 3:19 NIV - Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…

As we celebrate the coming of Christ, His human birth this season. Let us not lose the fact that he is coming again. He is coming soon. To restore everything. Are you ready because the stories are true?