Sunday, 9 December 2012

2nd Advent - We need not fear!

Thought for the week: Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there.

Sunday Sermon Review December 9, 2012
( from my home church I attend regularly )

Topic - 2nd Advent - We need not fear!

The service began with singing  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Bible Reading from Matthew 1:18-26
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Skit - The skit was given from the perspective of Joseph, thoughts he might have had and the struggles he would have had in his heart. Joseph loved Mary, had kept himself for her and now she told him that she is pregnant and going to give birth to God's Son. The angel spoke to Joseph in a dream. It would be a privilege to be chosen by God to be the parents of His Son.

Away in a Manger

Bible Reading from Psalm 27
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27: 3 -5 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Pastor Ben was the preacher today. Here is some of what he said:
Christmas is a time for celebration. We have Christmas parties at our work places, with friends and family.
Society encourages us to spend money.
Many receive Christmas bonus at work.
We decorate our homes with lights and trees.
We love the festive atmosphere that Christmas brings.
As followers of Jesus, we have the greastest reason to celebrate and rejoice.
Everything changed when Jesus came.
The Creator became a helpless child that first Christmas.
It is the celebration of God coming to the world.

We Need Not Be Afraid
The angel said - Do not be afraid to Mary, to Joseph and to the Shepherds
We no longer need to live in fear.
Joseph would have experienced fear. After all Mary could be stoned. There would be social consequences of her pregnancy. People will talk.

Be Not Afraid but Trust in God
Trust God - He knows what He is doing

In order to Trust in God
1) We must believe that God has our best intention in mind - ( this likely is not the American dream  - large house, couple cars in the garage etc)
God did not insulate Joseph and Mary from the pressures around them.
God really desperately cares for us.
God does have a plan
He cares for us deeply within that plan.
We are His children, He loves us!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

2) We must believe that God is Competent - He is Able
He is able to do what He says He will do.
Mary and Joseph had to trust God for His plan. They were only told about the Child coming. They were not given details, how things would unfold.  They were not  given a 5 year plan.
We must trust God to work out the details in our lives.

Do we believe that when we obey Him - He will lead us to life?
Trust is action - obedience in our lives

We can celebrate the fact that we do not need to fear!
Christmas can be a painful time for some but we can celebrate as an act of faith!
Choose to celebrate that God loves us.
Choose to celebrate that God is able!

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