Sunday, 2 December 2012

1st Advent Sunday - Peace

Sunday Sermon Review December 2, 2012  - 1st Advent: Peace
( from my home church that I attend regularly)

We Have Peace
Speaker - Pastor Ben

Luke 2:14 - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The service began with singing the song Hosanna. The song is written by Paul Baloche and is very meaningful to sing. Here are a few lines from the song.

Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You, we turn to You
Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You, we long for You
'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away

Hosanna, hosanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Hosanna, hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
We celebrated the 1st Advent with the lighting of the first Advent candle and the Scripture reading from Luke 1: 26 - 55 which tells the story of the angel's announcement to Mary.
Luke 1:26-31
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

The message today was based on Philippians 4: 4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Pastor Ben came up to bring the message and here is some of what he said:
*Advent is a time of expectations -
Yet Christmas is a time of tension.
Our hopes and expections are not met
We have gatherings and Christmas parties yet many are lonely.

*Christmas is a time of joy -
 Joy is a major part of Christmas yet depression is rampant during the Christmas season.

*Christmas is a time of peace -
The message of the angels to the shepherds was a message of peace - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. yet our lives are not filled with peace but rather with stress preparing for Christmas and with shopping.
Often family gatherings are marred by bitterness and unforgiveness.

**We heard Mary's story. Imagine her hopes and dreams. She was engaged to be married to Joseph. But everything changed for Mary when the angel appeared to her to tell her that she would be the mother of baby Jesus. How would she tell Joseph? How would she tell her family?
Mary's peace was broken by God entering into her world.
What would happen to your hopes if an angel showed up in your life?

The basis of our faith is that God shows up and when He does.... everything changes!
How do you have peace when God breaks into your life? and everything changes in your life?
Change is the opposite of peace.

Mary surrendered to God - Luke 1 : 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.
God is the center of our peace.
Peace comes ( not in the absence of change ) but because we see God working in our lives.

We need a movement from God. We need more of God. We need to encounter Him more and more.

The reason we (Mary) can have peace when God shows up is that we ( Mary ) trust in God.
She ( we ) knows God and knows she ( we ) can trust Him.

Turn to God and trust Him. He loves us radically.
Peace is not passive - peace is active
Peace in the midst of our world being turned upside down.
Philippians 4: 4  Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice
The key is to rejoice in the Lord always - whether we feel like it or not.
Thank God for his love even when you don't feel like it.
We need to give thanks to God.
Draw near to God.
Bring everything to God in prayer.

We find peace when we find God. We can trust Him with our lives.

Song - Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

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