Christmas Eve service.
The Gift of Christmas is our salvation through our Savior, Jesus Christ. And how do we receive this salvation? By calling on Jesus for mercy, by declaring Jesus as Lord, by receiving His grace, through faith, for works, and by denying ourselves and living for Him.
Jesus is the glory that dwelt among us, that is full of grace, and that makes God known to us! This leads to us becoming humble witnesses and leads us to praise Him!
What is good? Goodness is not a thing or an experience, but it is a person! The goodness of God is personified in Jesus Christ! Christmas is a reminder of this goodness, but is also something we can celebrate every day.
As sinners, we have no way to ready ourselves for God. But the Good News of Christmas is that Jesus came to pay the price to redeem us from the wages of sin! Jesus brings a righteousness to man so that he may know and serve God in peace with a new heart and status.
The longing and hoping for the first Christmas began in Genesis 3:15 where a revelation of the promise and character of God was given. The promise of Christmas is of deliverance and redemption. The holiness, love, and grace of God are all revealed in the promise of Christmas.
As Jesus’ death approached, He was grieved and sad to the point of despair. But not because of the coming physical anguish, but because He would become the curse of God’s wrath against our sin and would be separated from God. Yet through all of this, He desires to be obedient and humble unto God’s will over choosing His own well being. And in the midst of this, He takes the time to instruct His disciples to continually watch and pray.
As a follow up to last week’s message, the only test to see how much we love Christ is to ask ourselves, “Have we given up everything to Him?” It is important to note, though, that all true love is simply a response to the love God has already given us! His love fuels us, and His perfect love casts out all fear.
Jesus’ worth is illustrated in the contrasting attitudes of Mary and Judas. To Mary, Jesus was of immense worth, and this was shown in her extravagant love for Him. To Judas, however, Jesus was not worth much, and his love for Him was frugal. The more we sit at the feet of Jesus, the more we will love Him, value Him, learn from Him, and submit to Him. And we need to choose to make time sitting at His feet! How important is Jesus to us?
In these parables, Jesus teaches us about the importance of being watchful and being good stewards of the resources God has given us. What does that look like? Rightly living in the reality of His truth. Rather than let fear, guilt, and shame motivate us in our Christian life, we can look to God’s love and have all of the motivation we will ever need!
First, Kevin Menezes from Every Nation Ministries shares about God’s work in Mumbai. Then today’s message addresses how God’s judgment is coming, and how we ought to live in expectation of Jesus’ return as tomorrow is not promised. God is in the present, and we must be about His business now.
The deity of Christ is seen in the Godly wisdom He displays when dialoguing with His critics. His wisdom is different and superior to that of man. Man’s wisdom is ever changing and variable, but God’s wisdom is constant and enduring.
Jesus humbly comes first as a priest, not a king, when establishing His church and kingdom. He teaches about His church through parables of obedience, fruit, and righteousness.
As Christians, we are invited to share in the suffering of Jesus that it may increase our intimacy with Him and lead to genuine praise of Him! We are not promised a life free of suffering. But in midst of experiencing it, we can always remember the Gospel and keep our eyes fixed on our incredible Savior.
Our apologies for the audio quality this week.
As Christians, we are called to minister to others and to simply be a witness. We are called to share with others what we have seen and what we have heard and understand that God is sufficient in His power and love. We only need to be obedient to God’s call for us.
Discipleship is learning to follow Jesus, becoming more like Him, and living for Him. Effective discipleship involves the Word, the Holy Spirit, prayer, fellowship, and our submission. Shepherds help to feed, tend, and protect the sheep with gentleness, and it is important to remember that every shepherd is also a sheep. There is power in a well shepherded church.
We often use legalism in our lives as justification, validation, or entitlement for our salvation. But Jesus informs us that we are not saved by the law, but by grace! Salvation is only possibly through God.
Jesus not only establishes and builds His Kingdom, but He will also protect it. And it is protected by the requirements for entering it. He protects those in His Kingdom from sinful influences and from going astray. He also offers protection for those in His Kingdom from relational issues. Finally, He protects us from unforgiveness, for those of us who have been forgiven by Jesus are compelled to forgive others.
Be encouraged to listen to God as we allow Him to work in His ways. Oftentimes, His ways are not our ways, and He redirects our plans. We are blessed when we listen to Him.
We are spiritually blind due to our hard hearts and our pride. But God can give us spiritual sight when we come to Him in faith. When we surrender to the Lordship of Jesus, we are able to see clearly.