These are notes on the sermon, Make Room For Christ, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, December 24, 2023, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Blessed Christmas! Whenever we gather in the house of God, anything and everything becomes possible because of the Lord’s presence with us (Matt. 18:20).
This Christmas, we want to take time to acknowledge the Lord. As we come before Him, we begin to see how everything revolves around Him (Col. 1:15–17).
And even though He’s sovereign, His eyes are always on you. Beloved, He’s the One who’s been watching over you in your times of struggle. The Lord sees you, and He wants to come into your life. He wants to touch the broken areas of your life, to pour in His oil and wine (and picture of His anointing and His resurrection life), to give you healing, and to restore you to wholeness! This is God’s desire for you!
His heart is that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2). In the Gospels, we see that during Jesus’ ministry on earth, He went around healing the sick, restoring, cleansing, and forgiving all. This demonstrates God’s heart for us to be whole. If you’ve been feeling depressed or discouraged, come to Jesus. He can and wants to set you free today!
God never made man to grow old, have sickness and disease, and eventually die. In fact, God considers death an enemy (1 Cor. 15:26).
Why, then, do these things still happen?
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
—Romans 3:23 KJV
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
—Romans 6:23 KJV
Man sinned against God. And the result of sin is disease, destruction, and death.
Some might ask . . . why didn’t God just stop man from sinning?
When God made us, He gave us free choice because He didn’t want us to be like robots programmed to love and worship Him. He wants us to love Him out of our own free choice. His heart is for us to have a relationship with Him.
But with free choice comes consequences from the decisions we make. And these are outcomes we cannot choose. For example, you may exercise your free choice to put your finger on an open fire. But you’re not free from the consequence of that action: your finger getting burned.
Similarly, Adam and Eve were given free choice in the Garden of Eden. When God made them, He gave them access to every good thing in that garden. To give them the freedom to exercise their choice, God placed in the garden the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was a tree they were specifically told not to eat from; sinning against God by doing so would lead to death.
But they still chose to eat from the tree. As a result of their sin, death, sickness, and pain came into this world, and mankind was separated from God.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
—John 3:16 NKJV
It pains God to be separated from man. Yet, as a righteous God, He can’t disregard sin. Sin has to be punished. This is why He needed to send His Son, Jesus, to redeem us. Jesus’ death at the cross is the only way we sinful men can be reconciled into God’s presence.
Beloved, God loves you. His love for you is unchanging. Your wrong behaviors will not change His love towards you, neither will they disqualify you from receiving Him into your life, because the punishment for our sins has all been fully met at the cross through Jesus’ finished work. When you make room for Him in your heart, He will turn your life around.
The Christmas story is an epic and beautiful demonstration of God’s love for us through which we see His sovereignty, mystery, and humility.
The mystery of the nativity story
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.”
—1 Timothy 3:16 NKJV
This mystery of godliness here refers to the redemption of man by our Savior who came through a virgin (Isa. 7:14). Some might wonder how this is possible, but we are not called to understand. Instead, we are called to bow down before the beauty of this mystery.
The sovereignty of God demonstrated
Jesus’ birth was not just an ordinary event; it was God’s redemption plan for man through a series of perfectly orchestrated events.
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
—Luke 2:1–7 NKJV
During this time, the Roman emperor, Caesar, issued a decree that a census be taken of the entire Roman empire. This included Syria, which was under Roman rule. As such, Mary and Joseph went back to their hometown, Bethlehem, because that was where their family registry would have been kept. Only God in His sovereign could have moved Caesar’s heart and orchestrated these events leading to our Lord Jesus being born in Bethlehem, thus fulfilling this prophecy:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
—Micah 5:2 NKJV
“Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” — The baby that was going to be born was no ordinary baby! The baby was of and from God, just like how the Bible tells us in Isaiah 9:6 “for unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given . . .” Being born as a child speaks of Jesus’ humanity. And as the Son of God, as a deity, He was given unto us.
The humility of Christ revealed
The inn that Mary and Joseph stopped at had belonged to King David many generations ago. Since both of them came from the lineage of David, they had every legal right to the inn. Yet the verses above tell us that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).
Notice how it doesn’t say that there was no room in the inn. It says that there was no room for them in the inn. This is probably because they were poor. For the innkeepers, giving the room to Mary and Joseph would have had an opportunity cost as they would have had to give up potential earnings from hosting richer guests/travelers. Sometimes in our own lives, we might choose not to make room for the Lord because we think we will lose or have to “give up” certain things (e.g. time, resources, etc.) . . . But is that necessarily so?
In fact, Jesus’ birth uplifted and enriched Mary and Joseph! When Jesus was born, three wise men came to visit and brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh for them (Matt. 2:11), lifting them out of their poverty.
Beloved, when Jesus is in your life, you’re bound to experience an uplifting! This does not refer only to being blessed with material wealth. The Bible tells us in Psalm 23:1 that because the Lord is our shepherd, we will not lack for anything.
Going back to Luke 2:7, we see that Jesus was born and was laid in a manger.
Isn’t it so like our Lord Jesus to be this humble and gracious? He could have chosen to come to save us in any form of fashion—as a baby born into a rich family, or even as a fully grown man with all His dignity. Yet, He chose to take on the form of a baby born into a poor family, with nowhere else to be placed but a manger (an animal feeding trough). He did this so that He could fully understand and empathize with what we go through at every stage of our lives, not bypassing childhood. For parents of younger children, you can share with your children that Jesus knows what it’s like to be their age because He experienced childhood too!
Jesus being born in a manger where animals would feed from is also symbolic of Jesus being the bread of life, who came so that we might feed on Him and appropriate Him in our lives! This is not merely refer to following His teachings. Doing so will not save us; it is His death and resurrection that saves us!
The Bible records 10 ways our Lord Jesus was referred to as “the Son”:
These three expressions refer to His heavenly origin as God:
These three expressions point to His humanity:
These expressions also refer to His royalty.
Lastly, He’s the Son of the Father’s love, intimately. And everything revolves around Him!
Astronomers and philosophers used to believe that the Earth was at the center of the universe and that other celestial bodies such as the sun, the moon, other planets, and the stars revolved around it. This led to many errors and miscalculations in astronomical readings and observations. It was only centuries later in 1543 that this theory was disproved and we now know that celestial bodies revolve around the Sun.
This analogy shows us how it is human nature to feel like we are at the center of everything. But like the astronomers and ancient philosophers, we can be wrong. It’s not us, but the Son of God who is at the center of all things.
“For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.”
—Colossians 1:16–18 NKJV
When we give Christ the center place in our lives, everything falls into place! We start thriving when we prioritize Jesus in our decisions, our families, and our marriages. We are not meant to live without Christ. And when He is at the center of our lives, we become integrated and whole.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
—Isaiah 26:3 KJV
“Perfect peace” — In Hebrew, this phrase is “shalom, shalom.” Shalom refers to wholeness and completeness.
When our eyes are stayed on the Lord, when our lives revolve around the Lord, we will be kept in this shalom. And we will be complete from the inside and out, experiencing less and less sickness, disease, depression, and dark and negative thoughts.
What does that look like for us today? How can we make room for Christ and put Him at the center of our lives?
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
—Romans 11:36 NKJV
This means that the Lord is the source, the channel, and the object of everything in our lives. This is how God wants us to live. And when we live our lives when the Lord at the center, we will find everything falling into place!
Pastor Prince ends the service with a beautiful reminder of the reason our Lord Jesus went to the cross . . .
“ . . . But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.”
—Hebrews 9:26–28 NLT
Our Lord Jesus came to save us by offering Himself as a sacrifice to take away our sins so that we might be reconciled to our heavenly Father. And He will return for us again, bringing us our bodily salvation! This beautiful reason is why we celebrate Christmas. So beloved, will you make room for Christ in your life today?
What have you been up to lately?
During this season, many of us may be reflecting on the year and making resolutions for the coming one. Perhaps you’ve been thinking . . .
“I want to grow in my career next year.”
“I want to be more active and healthy in 2024.”
“I want to spend more time with my family and friends.”
“I want to work on my relationship.”
Setting goals for the New Year is exciting and inspiring. But sometimes, we can get carried away . . . and suddenly, all our thoughts and plans start to revolve around our dreams and desires.
Isn’t it such a timely reminder by Pastor Prince in this sermon to make room for Jesus? To place Him at the center of our lives. Because when we do . . . He holds every dream, every hope, and every area of our lives together (Col. 1:17).
Beloved, the Lord cares for you deeply and personally. He is able to provide, restore, and bless you with more than you can imagine. He is the One you can depend on, the One from whom you can draw the strength and wisdom you need to win in life. He is the very reason you can dream, be hopeful, and expect divine favor to be on you wherever you go!
So as we step into the new year, let’s not get caught up in the pursuit of our dreams . . . but pursue the One who answers beyond our wildest dreams (Eph. 3:20). In the midst of all our goal-setting and planning, let’s take time to commit 2024 to Jesus. He loves to hear from us, and His heart is for us to thrive and succeed in every area of our lives!
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2023
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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