12-24-2016 Christmas Eve Sermon
- Expectation leads to preparation (for what is to come)
- Expectation leads to intense focus (on what is to come)
- Expectation leads to positioning (for what is to come)
For the last 4 weeks, we have been celebrating the coming of Jesus
We had great expectation for this weekend to celebrate the birth of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ
Back then, the people waited for the promised Messiah, but they did not have the whole story – they did not know His true purpose.
We know the story. The whole story…. Jesus Christ was born to die.
1 John 4:9 – “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” [NLT]
During Advent, many of you have prepared to celebrate the birth.
During Advent, many of you have been more focused on Jesus.
Tonight, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we look at the positioning we take when we are in the presence of Jesus… the positioning of REJOICING and REFLECTION.
When people encounter Jesus, they REJOICE and REFLECT
The three wise men bowed down and worshipped him (Matthew 2:11).
When the shepherds encountered Jesus, they glorified & praised God for all they heard & seen (Luke 2:20)
As we celebrate Jesus, we REJOICE
When we think of rejoicing, we think of singing
For 4 weeks, we spoke about 4 different songs, THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST
Mary’s Song of Anticipatory Faith
Zechariah’s Song of Fulfillment
The Angels’ Song of Peace
Simeon’s Song sung while embracing Jesus
Today, we sing a New Song– He puts a new song in our hearts and on our lips
Psalm 149:1 “Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song.”
As we celebrate Jesus, we also REFLECT
Mary treasured things. She kept all these things in her heart. She thought about them often (Luke 2:19).
What do you treasure in your heart about Jesus?
Remember how He moved in your life over the years.
Where are you and Jesus at right now? Consider your relationship.
Are you prepared for Jesus to move?Have you made room for Him in your life? Are you expecting Him to move?
Are you focused on Jesus, the Perfector of our faith?Are you living for Jesus? Are you seeking Him with all you have?
Are you giving your all where God has positioned you, trusting that He is doing something right now through you?
Every day we can celebrate Jesus. Every day we should celebrate Jesus.
Fall at His feet. Rejoice. Reflect. The King is Here!
I was supposed to get a delivery yesterday, but the scheduled delivery never happened. The post office marked the reason as “business is closed.” I never knew that I was running a business at my home. If we are, there are no employees, no services provided, and no profits so we are failing miserably. The non-existent business may need to close its doors soon.
I’m assuming that this reasoning was a simple technical glitch or possibly someone wanting to push through their Sunday deliveries. It is possible that someone would assume a business-like order would actually be delivered to a business. By a quick review of the deliveries that often come to my home, one would assume there was a business here. I can understand the confusion.
Today, consider what people would say about you when they look at you. Could they tell that you are a Christian? Would they see some fruit in your life that would point them to Jesus? Do you look like everyone else? Would your actions give them a false assumption? Or is it possible the assumption isn’t false at all? Reflect inward today. Ask God to open your eyes. Are you shining His light? Are you living life on the narrow path? Has your religious routine neglected to impact your heart for Jesus?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 [NIV]
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you. Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:8-16 [HCSB]
Since my kids went to the Creation Fest, I had some time freed up to allow me to do things I do not so often get the opportunity. I gladly accepted a dinner invitation from my aunt. When we were relaxing and having conversation, she asked me who is Mark Best.” I responded, “I don’t know, who is he?” I thought she was telling me a joke. Then she pointed to my hand.
On my hand was a typical scrawling of some passage I wanted to look back to when I had the time to sit down with my Bible in hand. I had the normal lunch date with God earlier in the day but there was a passage that I wanted to reflect upon more. The passage was from Mark and at a first glance I could see why she thought it said “Mark Best.”
I’m sharing this with you because I want you to grasp the importance of understanding God’s Word and remembering God’s Word. When there is a verse you want to remember, to really remember, write it down. Keep a journal. Take notes in your Bible. Keep it close till it’s written on your heart. When you have a question, write the passage or verse down. Seek guidance to understand better. Approach your pastor. Pull out a commentary. Read the passage in another translation. Today, make it a Mark Best day.
“How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it.”
-Psalm 119:9-16 [MSG]