Sunday, December 27, 2009


Luke 2:21-24, 36-38

Pastor Rick Jackson

It doesn’t matter if you got what you wanted for Christmas or not. It doesn’t matter if your relatives came or didn’t come. It doesn’t matter if you got to eat what you wanted. Really, all of that doesn’t matter because Christmas 2009 is over, gone, finished, ended. The question is -what do you have after Christmas? The Bible answers that by telling us the situation of a woman just 8 days after the first Christmas. And what she had- in the broad sense- we all have.

So, what do we all have after Christmas? WE ALL HAVE A:


This of course is completely out of your control. You cannot choose your heritage. You must live with it. You can take the good and use it for the glory of God, take the bad and learn from it and by God’s grace go beyond it. No-one’s past is perfect and no-one’s past need beat them.

Some complain because their future is set for them [Prince Charles, etc] Some complain because they’re future is so vague. My friend, that’s not the point is it?

1. Her Name Was Anna [same as Hannah=favored] -but we’ve all been favored haven’t we…

2. Her Father was Phanuel [OT “Peniel”] -surrender to God and win

Genesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Genesis 32:31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.

3. Her Tribe was Aser [Happy]

Genesis 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.

Leah’s daddy tricked her husband into marrying her. You can be like Leah and make lemonade out of lemons or you can be miserable!

Something else you can’t control and she couldn’t control is living in a:


The situation you find yourself living in is to a great extent out of your control. Now what little part you have control over you ought use to the best of your ability to the glory of Almighty God. But my friends, some things you just can’t control or stop.

1. Her Health was Not Good [v. 36b, 1:7, 18]

2. She was Widowed after 7 Years of Marriage [v. 36c]

3. She was Now 84 and apparently Childless [v. 37, barren or outlived her kids]

But wait, there’s something we all have, & all have a great deal of control over. We all have a:


Our country was actually founded on this premise. In our Declaration of Independence are these words, "We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." - Thomas Jefferson

Note that Jefferson didn’t say the promise of happiness- but the pursuit of it. Anna found it. With all her negative circumstances, she found her happiness. How did she do it?

1. Through Personal Service [v. 37b]

2. Through Personal Sacrifice [v. 37c]

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Philippians 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

3. Through Personal Salvation [v. 38]

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