With a text that has been hugely misunderstood and misused we can direct our attention to the great Purpose of God to bring you and I into a life better than paradise. We were made for a better Eden, a better Communion with God – that no enemy can break in and destroy.
Establish Your Hearts (James 5:7-20)
Do not get stuck in the ruts of life forgetting the compassionate and merciful purpose of the Lord. Instead, establish your hearts by focusing on the coming of the Lord and the powerful provision of prayer that we have as we wait patiently for His return.
The Greatest Birth Announcement (Luke 2:1-21)
Elder Bob Buchner brings the Word about the greatest birth announcement of all time! And Challenges us to consider, what does Christ mean to me?
Spirit of Christmas and the Mind of Christ (Philippians 2:1-18)
Christ’s Example of Humility
2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. (ESV)
is a wonderful text for Advent because it tells the story of Christmas from the perspective of Christ Himself! The text has a powerful way of showing not only the Glory and Humility of Christ but also how you will shine like lights when Christ’s mind that is in you captivates your soul!
Affliction of the LORD (2 Samuel 16:1-22)
David on leaving Jerusalem is perhaps more typical of Christ than when he first conquered the city. He is strikingly a picture of the Suffering Servant and draws our minds right to Christ in His passion in many ways, even more so in our text! But his modeling of TRUE servant suffering is NOT perfect, and the narrative subtly draws attention to the problem while also highlighting an unusual ability in David to Suffer righteously. You see, Ziba and Shemei confront David in different ways David suffers well but is deceived by kindness … and this is such a helpful text for us because we are often helped by hurting and hurt by comfort!
Still Small Voice Christmas (1 Kings 19:1-21)
Advent and anticipation go hand in hand! We are used to the idea of the heavens rending and the earth quaking, of pillars of fire etc., but the low whisper of God – His still small voice goes often unheard. In the text there is a double question that is designed to focus on our connection with the coming of the Lord, and to contrast Elijah with the Lord. … But it is a question to be asked to all of us, “What are you doing here?” – What are you expecting here?
Adoption, The Greatest Gift of all Time (Galatians 4:1-7)
Christmas is about the GREATEST gift of all time. It is about the PAST in that every expectation of all CREATION looked forward to this event it was the fullness of TIME. It is about the PRESENT in that it radically changes our status from SLAVES to SONS with a familial relation to God that could not be closer! and it is about the FUTURE in that it connects us to the consummation of all things: THE REDEMPTION of the sons of GOD.
Seeing To Thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 29:6-22)
The real item of praise for David and the People, the item that tied in the view of God with the view of man, was the free-will offering and whole heart toward God! What seems most profound to David was that his heart and the heart of the people was made compatible to God! The gift of heart righteousness is the key to true Thanksgiving!
Power and Purpose (Genesis 1:3-2:3)
God’s powerful Word in creation fiat and the division of days to complement the Gospel helps us prioritize the Age to Come and the New Creation because we can see that is what God is doing. Reminding us that the surety of our relationship with God stands on the steadfastness of God himself!