12.18.2016

The gift of HOPE.

I so enjoy the privilege of worshipping the Lord with the body of Christ in different churches. It is refreshing to observe their music style, how the members interact with one another, and with guests, and listen to the Word of God preached by a pastor who protects his pulpit because he loves the Lord and respects the sanctity of Scripture.
This morning I attended church with my brother and CC, and it was a delightful time of worship.

The pastor preached from a familiar Christmas passage, Luke 2. "Hope Revealed in Humility."
Not only was Jesus born in the most humble of circumstances - poverty, a barn filled with animals, a filthy manger in which to lay His head - the first people to hear of the birth of the long-awaited Messiah were lowly shepherds. Everything about Jesus' entry into the world was wrapped in humility. And with that humility came HOPE.

I cannot possibly write out the details of the sermon, so I will insert the main points into the text and let the Holy Spirit do the rest! 
I pray someone will be encouraged as they read the details of this amazing night. 
The night a Savior was born.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 
- The gift of unceasing JOY.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord
- The gift of an unwavering SAVIOR.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
- The gift of unbelievable SIGHT.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”
- The gift of unceasing PEACE.
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 
- The gift of unapologetic PASSION.
And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart
- The gift of unashamed ADORATION.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
- The gift of unceasing WORSHIP.

Thank You, Lord, for the beauty of worshipping with the body of Christ. Though we may shake hands and introduce ourselves for the first time, we are not strangers, but family. Your children, saved by grace because the cradle crashed into the Cross, Jesus claimed victory over death, and we worship together - at the feet of the Savior. All because YOU first loved US.

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