Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas is a promise kept or Here comes the King!

Christmas is a promise kept or Here comes the King!

I. EXCITED when God keeps His promise [Jeremiah 33:14 – 15]

A. [v 14] God does what He says He will do.

1. God does not “need” …

a. God does not need events to line up just the right way

b. God does not need the right people in place

c. God does whatever He wants, anytime He wants, any way He chooses.

***** God is not dependent on the fragile, fickle, futile ways of humanity. *****

2. God keeping His promise is a matter of His character.

B. [v 15] Salvation comes from David’s line.

1. The events of history are orchestrated by God.

a. An unknown carpenter named Joseph, in and out of the way place called Nazareth, with an unlikely mother (a virgin… and unwed mother).

b. A money and power hungry pagan government forcing Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem (prophecy foretold the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem).

2. Time had passed over David’s family.

a. Those were the glory years, 1,000 years ago… a very distant memory.

b. It had been about 700 years since Israel had been an independent nation.

c. David’s line had become little more than a religious belief.

C. [v 15] God’s actions are just and right.

1. A two step process (Hebrews 9:28)

a. The first trip, take away sin.

b. The second trip, to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

2. “Already/Not Yet” principle.

a. Judah saved – Jerusalem living in safety.

b. Salvation in three senses:

1.) “Have been saved”

2.) “Are being saved”

3.) “Will be saved”

II. EXPECT God to keep His promises [Luke 21:25 – 36]

A. Expect in spite of confusion!

1. The confusion: [vv 25 – 26]

a. Anxiety from uncertainty…

b. “Anguish and perplexity”…

c. “Faint from terror, apprehensive”…

d. “Shaken” …

2. Those who know the King:

a. The unknown is met with trust.

1.) “Stand up” is a posture of readiness, expectation.

2.) “Look up” is a posture of expectation, knowing, and alertness. (“heads up”)

b. BECAUSE your redemption is drawing near.

B. The cautions Jesus issued [vv 34 – 35]

1. “Dissipation”

a. To scatter, expend wastefully (resources and energy)

b. Question: Is this good, better, or best.

2. “Drunkenness”

a. Intoxicated is not just with alcohol.

1.) Success

2.) Power

3.) Popularity

4.) Self

b. In other words, “out of control” or control given to something else.

3. “Anxiety”

a. Uneasiness of mind, stress.

b. Jesus said, “but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. [20] Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop-- thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” [Mark 4:19]

C. “Watch and pray” [v 36]

1. To be able to escape what is about to happen.

2. To be able to stand before Jesus.

III. Educated on God’s keeping His promise [1 Thessalonians 5:1 – 6]

A. So you will not be surprised [vv 1 – 3]

1. We know it will be “unexpected” but we will not be surprised.

a. Image: a thief in the night.

b. The key issue in prophecy is not HOW but WHEN.

2. We know it will be when people are saying “Peace, Peace.”

a. A time of peace or…

b …a cry for peace?

B. So you will walk in the light [vv 4 – 5]

1. Light and darkness is the image of the difference between righteousness and sin, the truth and a lie, God and the devil.

a. What about “gray areas” and “neutral ground?”

b. These things are a lue to pull us back into the darkness.

2. The issue becomes HOW WE BEHAVE.

a. Based on “absolute truth.”

b. Based on the HOLINESS of God.

C. So you will be alert [v 6]

1. We are expected to be different.

a. It is the “different” that attracts people to God.

b. The difference is Jesus changes lives!

2. We are expected to be alert.

a. Spiritually sensitive to the times.

b. Spiritually sensitive to the moving of God.

3. We are expected to be “self-controlled” (sober-minded)

a. “Sober” means more than just alcohol (see previous discussion).

b. Some are out of control because of anger, the desire to control, unrepentant sin.


Summary:

1. EXCITED that Jesus was born, died, and alive!

2. EXPECT that Jesus will return and finish what was started.

3. EDUCATED that Jesus wants something different from us than others… to be holy people in an unholy world.

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