Sunday, December 27, 2015

Advent - Love

The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group doing an Advent study looking forward to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. These posts are my notes for each session.   Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments below.   We welcome your thoughts, questions, comments, and prayers.


Review


The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.  


The Advent season lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas.   The time before Christmas is Advent, a season of preparation for Christmas. Christians prepare for celebrating the birth of Jesus by remembering the longing of the Jews for a Messiah. In Advent, we’re reminded of how much we ourselves also need a Savior, and we look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas.


The themes most often used for the four weeks of Advent are Hope, Peace, Joy and Love


We have celebrated the themes of Hope, Peace, and Joy, the last two weeks. This week our final one on Advent our theme is Love.


Hope. (a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.).  Advent teaches us to not only to expect hope for eternity, but we can expect hope for today.


Peace (freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.)


Isaiah 9:6-7 (HCSB)6  For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.


The Greek word for peace eirēnē, corresponds to the Hebrew word shalom and expresses the idea of peace, well-being, restoration, reconciliation with God.  Reconciliation with God happens at salvation and that only happens through the right relationship with the Prince of Peace, Jesus.   The peace that comes from being in a right relationship with Jesus is not a peace that depends on everything going well.  


This peace is not just a psychological state of mind; this peace is spiritual peace.   This is the peace of people whose sins are forgiven


Joy


Our joy should rise above circumstances.   This joy is not produced by something external that makes me feel happy. It is supernatural result of a life filled with the Holy Spirit of the living God.


God gives us a joy that is impossible to describe.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (HCSB)3  Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead4  and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.5  You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.6  You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials7  so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.8  You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy,9  because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


Love


In the fourth century, Saint Augustine wrote, “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.”


Advent gives us space to step back and love. By taking the focus off ourselves we are able to see the needs of others.


Deuteronomy 10:17-19 (HCSB)17  For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe.
18  He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing.19  You also must love the foreigner, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.


John 13:34-35 (HCSB)34  “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.35  By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”


It was new in that the love was to be exercised toward others not because they belonged to the same nation, but because they belonged to Christ. And it was new because it was to be the expression of the love of Christ, which the disciples had seen in life and would see also in death. Such love would inevitably be a testimony to the world.


God’s love for us is so great, so powerful; so perfect and unconditional that He sent Jesus to bridge the gap that was caused by sin.


John 3:16 (HCSB)16  “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.


He knew that we were powerless, without hope apart from Him. The Lord knew that there was no way we could ever enter into His presence on our own merit, so He who knew no sin became sin for us. God pursues us with His relentless love. He desires a relationship with us so much that it compelled Him to pay the ultimate price on the cross in order to bring us back to Him.


The only way to have and express this kind of love which is agape love.  Which when translated from modern Greek is  "love: the highest form of love, especially brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God."


Romans 8:38-39 (HCSB)38  For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, ⌊hostile⌋ powers,39  height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!


Paul broadens out the experiences, the personalities, and the things that confront the believer: death or life, angels or angelic rulers, space above the horizon or space below it, or any created thing. Then he emphatically declares that none of these things shall be able to separate us from the love God manifests, this love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. The power of God's love is a theme that can never be exhausted. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.


1 John 3:16-18 (HCSB)16  This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.17  If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his ⌊need⌋—how can God’s love reside in him?
18  Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.  


Jesus Christ laid down His life once, and we ought to lay down our lives repeatedly in self-sacrificing love, as the tenses of the Greek verbs suggest.  We may not have the opportunity to save a brother's life by dying in his place. Nevertheless we can and should do the next best thing, namely, sustaining his life when he has needs. When I give to a brother in need what might keep me alive, I have followed the Lord Jesus' example of self-sacrificing love.


The evidence of genuine love is not verbal professions but vital performances, deeds rather than words (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1; James 2:15-16). - Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable


For most of us, Christmas is a time of excitement and anticipation. We eagerly wait for the moment we can open all those beautifully wrapped gifts. But the greatest, most precious gift we can ever receive is the reason we celebrate Christmas: God’s gift of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. And guess what? We don’t have to wait until Christmas morning to open this gift, because it is available to us freely and brings us new blessings and wonders every single day. This gift has the power to wipe away all sin, comfort every hurt, and give us joy, peace, and purpose. It is a gift that we get to unwrap every day as if it were brand new, and all we have to do to receive this gift is follow Jesus.


“In Christ’s human life, there were always a few who made up for the neglect of the crowd. The shepherds did it; their hurrying to the crib atoned for the people who would flee from Christ. The wise men did it; their journey across the world made up for those who refused to stir one hand’s breadth from the routine of their lives to go to Christ. Even the gifts the wise men brought have in themselves an obscure recompense and atonement for what would follow later in this Child’s life. For they brought gold, the king’s emblem, to make up for the crown of thorns that he would wear; they offered incense, the symbol of praise, to make up for the mockery and the spitting; they gave him myrrh, to heal and soothe, and he was wounded from head to foot and no one bathed his wounds. The women at the foot of the Cross did it too, making up for the crowd who stood by and sneered. “We can do it too, exactly as they did. We are not born too late. We do it by seeing Christ and serving Christ in friends and strangers, in everyone we come in contact with.” —Dorothy Day


That’s the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13


1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (HCSB)1  If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2  If I have ⌊the gift of⌋ prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.3  And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.4  Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited,5  does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.6  ⌊Love⌋ finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.7  ⌊It⌋ bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8  Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.10  But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end.11  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.12  For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.13  Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.


1. The absence of love 13:1-3



Verse 1 The languages (tongues) of people would be foreign languages. But the language of *angels can only mean speech that people cannot understand. The Christians at Corinth were not using this gift in the right way. Without love, their speech would be only a noise. Their speech would also be like a musical instrument that produces a loud crash, but no harmony.


Verse 2 But the person with the deepest knowledge and the greatest *faith is worth nothing without love.


Verse 3 The most generous act to help poor people would be of no use without love.


2. The nature of love 13:4-7



Verse 4a What love is like:
Patience and kindness show God’s attitude to us


2 Peter 3:9 (HCSB)9  The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
The fruit of the Spirit includes patience.  


Galatians 5:22 (HCSB)22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,


Verses 4b-7 What people with love do not do:


1. They are not jealous of others.
2. They do not brag about themselves.


Luke 18:9-12 (HCSB)9  He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else:10  “Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11  The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.12  I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’


3. They are not proud thinking about how important they are.  
4. They are not selfish.
6. They don’t  become angry easily.
7. They do not keep a record of how people have hurt them.
8. They take no pleasure in evil things. A loving Christian does not try to find fault in other people..
9.That kind of love never changes.  That what it says in verses 8-13.   This is because of their trust in God’s love for themselves and for other people.


“No Greater Love”


(based on John 3:16, John 15:12-13)


David L. Allen


John 3:16 (HCSB)16  “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.


John 15:12-13 (HCSB)12  This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you.
13  No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.


Verse:
For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only Son.
The Son gave His life for me,
when He died on Calvary.


There is no greater love,
nowhere, you won't find it
than a man would lay down His life for a friend,
there's no greater love, no greater love
than a man would lay down his life for a friend


Chorus 1:
There is no greater love,
there is no greater love,
(there is no greater love)
(no greater love)


Bridge:
No greater love,
no greater love
no greater love
no greater love
(than a man would)
(He would lay down His life for a friend.)
for a friend
for a friend


No greater love,
no greater love,
no greater love,
no greater love.


Vamp 1:
Jesus went to Calvary
to save a wretch,
like you and me;
that’s love, that’s love.
(repeat as directed)


Vamp 2:
They hung Him high,
they stretched Him wide.
He hung His head, for me He died;
that’s love, that’s love.
(repeat as directed)


Vamp 3:
That’s not how the story ends,
three days later He rose again;

that’s love, that’s love.

Next week we will begin a study of Hosea where God uses his prophet's experience with his prostitute wife to illustrate Israel's relationship to Him.


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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Advent - Joy

The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG) Sunday morning adult bible study group doing an Advent study looking forward to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. These posts are my notes for each session.   Please study with us. You can participate by asking your questions or making comments below.   We welcome your thoughts, questions, comments, and prayers.


Review



The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.  Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus, his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist , and his first miracle at Cana. During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.


By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas.


Advent is a season that is looking forward to Christmas, but instead of focusing on buying gifts and trees, it is a season marked by anticipation of the birth of Jesus, the Christ child. Advent marks a new beginning in the liturgical church calendar, and for many people of faith a time to pause and reflect, often engaging in a time of deeper devotion and prayer. In many churches and homes, candles are lit on a wreath often representing hope, love, joy, and peace. It is a special season that allows people to find hope amidst our broken world.


Christians prepare for celebrating the birth of Jesus by remembering the longing of the Jews for a Messiah. In Advent, we’re reminded of how much we ourselves also need a Savior, and we look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas.


Last week our Advent study focused on the hope of peace from oppression that the coming Messiah would bring to the Jews.  We know that the Messiah did come and we celebrate his coming on Christmas.  


Hope. (a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.)


G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate.” It is not a blissful ignorance or wishful thinking but a cheer that refuses to let circumstance triumph over courage, doubt overcome faith, or adversity conquer compassion. This is not easy; it is not our default setting. When we hit brick walls, the first emotion that naturally arises is generally not hope. Hope requires a strength that comes from focusing on a greater vision than what is wrong. We may not have every problem figured out, but we serve a God who loved this world enough to join us in it. We trust that when Jesus said, “Behold, I am making all things new,” he meant it.


  • Revelation 21:5 (5 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words[a] are faithful and true.”

Isaiah 9:1-2 (HCSB)1  Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future He will bring honor to the Way of the Sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations.2  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness.


Zebulun and Naphtali were two of the 12 tribes of Israel.  The territory of Naphtali was north of Zebulun. These two areas were the first to fall when the Assyrian army attacked. A very big number of the inhabitants became prisoners in Assyria. The region north of Naphtali became Galilee. In the very area where the Assyrians first attacked, God promises to cause a complete change of the situation. The inhabitants will have done nothing to deserve this change. It is God’s free gift.


The change that would take place is that Galilee would be the place where the Messiah would start His ministry.  


Matthew 4:12-17 (HCSB)12  When He heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee.13  He left Nazareth behind and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.14  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
15  Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, along the sea road, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles!16  The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the shadowland of death, light has dawned.17  From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!”

We should note in passing that Isaiah’s verbs are in the past tense—he writes as if it has already happened. That is prophetic language. The prophet was a “seer” or visionary. He received divine revelation and recorded what he saw. As far as he was concerned, if it had been shown to him from God, it was as good as done. It was certain, even though it had not yet worked out in history.

When Jesus began to minister in Galilee with His teachings and His miracles, He demonstrated that He was indeed this Messiah. His proclamation of the kingdom through salvation is what ends the despair, for believers in Him are not lost in gloom and despair, for they know that what He promised will come to pass at His second coming.


Advent teaches us to not only to expect hope for eternity, but we can expect hope for today.


We can have hope for a successful future.


Jeremiah 29:11-13 (HCSB)11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.


While things may seem hopeless we should be reminded that the promised One has come in glory and power to rescue, revive, restore, and save.  


Peace (freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.)


Isaiah 9:6-7 (HCSB)6  For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.


As Prince of Peace he will bestow what shālôm, "peace," implies in its fullest meaning: health to the sin-sick soul; a sound and healthy relation between sinners and God, as well as between sinners and fellow sinners; and a sound condition of universal righteousness and prosperity prevailing over the earth. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.


The Greek word for peace eirēnē, corresponds to the Hebrew word shalom and expresses the idea of peace, well-being, restoration, reconciliation with God.  Reconciliation with God happens at salvation and that only happens through the right relationship with the Prince of Peace, Jesus.   The peace that comes from being in a right relationship with Jesus is not a peace that depends on everything going well.  If that’s the case, when things go bad, that peace quickly goes away.   Jesus made this distinction;


John 14:27 (NKJV)  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


This peace is not just a psychological state of mind; this peace is spiritual peace…the peace of the God of all Creation.   This is the peace of people whose sins are forgiven


Romans 5:1 (NKJV)  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,


This peace is the opposite of anxiety.   It is the tranquillity that comes when you commit all your cares to God in prayer and don’t worry about them anymore.  You are confident that God can and will do what is best for you.  


Philippians 4:6-7 (HCSB) 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.


This  peace guards you from anxiety, fear, and worry.  From the very beginning, or at least after man sinned in the garden of Eden, God promised to do something about all the agitation and distress in our world.  He promised to restore the peace, and He did.  He sent the Prince of Peace to come and do what we can’t do for ourselves.  Jesus brings true, lasting peace, the kind of peace that all of us are desperately seeking.  


This Week’s Theme - Joy


Joy comes upon us unexpectedly. It jumps out at us from behind sunsets, peeks out in the smile of a stranger, and takes hold in a child’s laughter. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit biologist and philosopher, once wrote, “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”


Dictionary.com defines joy as "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation."


With this definition, we could say that "happiness" and "joy" are interchangeable. But that’s not biblical joy.  


When Paul wrote his second  letter to the Corinthians he had been under tremendous trials and tribulations.


2 Corinthians 1:8 (NKJV)8  For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.


2 Corinthians 2:12-13 (NKJV)12  Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,13  I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.


Yet he rejoiced when Titus came and told him about how much they cared for him.


2 Corinthians 7:5-7 (NKJV)5  For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.6  Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,7  and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.


Later on he told them that the church in Macedonia had an abundance of joy even though they were very poor.  


2 Corinthians 8:1-2 (NKJV)1  Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:2  that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.  


Neither of these look like they should be occasions for being joyful or happy.  Here’s the difference between happiness and biblical joy or the joy of the Lord.


Happiness is usually dependent on circumstances. If everything is going well I'm happy. If not, not so much.


Our joy should rise above circumstances.   This joy is not produced by something external that makes me feel happy. It is supernatural result of a life filled with the Holy Spirit of the living God.


Galatians 5:22-26 (HCSB)22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,23  gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.24  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25  Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.26  We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.


James 1:2-3 (NKJV)2  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,3  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
Remember what the angel told the shepherds when he announced Jesus’ birth?


Luke 2:10 (NKJV)10  Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.


Joy is conferred by Christ upon his own followers.


John 15:11 (HCSB)  “I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.


What had He told them that would give them so much joy?


John 15:1-10 (HCSB)1  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper.2  Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.3  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.4  Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.
5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.6  If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.7  If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.8  My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.9  “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love.10  If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love.


Jesus’ birth was then and still is an occasion for joy as expressed in the familiar Christmas carol Joy to the World.


Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.


Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.


No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.


He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.


We can choose to live in an attitude of resentment, anger and fear or we can choose to pursue the joy of Christ.
We have a choice. God gives us a joy that is impossible to describe.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (HCSB)3  Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead4  and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.5  You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.6  You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials7  so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.8  You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy,9  because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Christ personally, realized through faith, is the believer's unspeakable joy - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
Joy  which is better experienced than expressed because there are no words to describe it.   It is a joy on account of the glory of God, which the believer lives in the hope and faith of; and by it saints may know a little what heaven itself will be.  - Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Messiah came to us in the humblest of ways to make a way for us to come to Him!


Luke 2:4-12 (HCSB)4  And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David,5  to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant.
6  While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.7  Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place.8  In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock.9  Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10  But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:11  Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.
12  This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”


Isaiah 53:1-6 (HCSB)1  Who has believed what we have heard? And who has the arm of the LORD been revealed to?2  He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him.3  He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.4  Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.5  But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.6  We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the LORD has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.


Matthew 26:26-28 (HCSB)26  As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.”27  Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you.28  For this is My blood ⌊that establishes⌋ the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.  


John 15:13 (HCSB)  No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.


Romans 10:9 (HCSB)9  If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.


The King has come . . . and He’s coming again.


But this time, He’s coming in “His Father’s glory with his angels . . . with power and great glory.” So, let’s prepare every single moment for that triumphant day!


Matthew 24:27 (HCSB)27  For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.


Matthew 24:30-31 (HCSB)30  “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the peoples of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.31  He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.


1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (HCSB)16  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17  Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord.
18  Therefore encourage one another with these words.


Revelation 1:7 (HCSB)7  Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, including those who pierced Him. And all the families of the earth will mourn over Him. This is certain. Amen.

Next Week Love


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