Scripture: Matthew 1:16-25
“Let’s Go Over to Bethlehem and Find: ‘The Promise of Christmas'”
“Immanuel” — God is with us!
- Moses caught between Pharoah and the sea — God was with him!
- David battling Goliath — God was there!
- Christ on the Cross — God was with His Son!
- Deepest valleys of in our lives — God is with us!
When we trust and believe that God is with us it will absolutely change our lives. Who can stop us? Who will defeat us? No one, because we know where home is, and God is with us!
We can claim the promise of God with us when:
- We are frightened — Jesus talks about being paralyzed by fear. Today we battle it also.
- We are lonely — “I will be there for you. You are not alone”.
- We’re in sorrow — God is always close when we hurt.
“Footprints in the Sand”
Mary Stevenson, 1936
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
The Good News of Christmas is that God is there when we are frightened, lonely, and in sorrow. Let God be with us this Christmas. Accept him into your heart!
The 10 Commandments for Christmas:
- Thou shalt prepare early.
- Thou shalt keep Christ at the center of Christmas.
- Thou shalt make Christmas a family time with God.
- Thou shalt remember those less fortunate.
- Thou shalt give thyself with every gift.
- Thou shalt learn to be a good receiver.
- Thou shalt put music into Christmas.
- Thou shalt slow down, not speed up.
- Thou shalt remember to worship.
- Thou shalt receive Christ into thy life.
Fact: Sometimes we get so caught up in the family & busyness of Christmas that we miss the message and meaning, and our priorities get mixed up.
When we go over to Bethlehem:
1. We see the faith that is happening there.
- We see Christmas Faith; Jesus is born
- We see the “Good News” of God’s salvation plan.
- We see that we are not alone in this life; God is with us.
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16
2. We see the hope that is happening there.
- Christ came to bring hope.
- We see the “Good News” of God’s ultimate victory.
3. We find the love that is happening there.
- Love is the most powerful force in the world.
- Jesus is God’s love in human form for us.
- “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” –I Corinthians 13:13
Advent is the process of preparing for the miracles of Christmas:
- The Miracle of Faith.
- The Miracle of Hope.
- The Miracle of Love.
The Richland Center Free Methodist Church will be hosting this year’s Community Thanksgiving Service on November 24, 2010, at 7:00 pm. We hope to see you there!