Reaching the unseen

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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 148 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

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Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

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Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

YOU ARE GOD'S REASON FOR THE SEASON


You are God’s Reason For The Season
This is the time of the year we begin once again to focus in on the “first advent”, or the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 
 
We are reminded that the Lord Jesus is the “Reason For The Season”.  


This is important as commercials and all types of advertisement try to make buying gifts the “Reason For The Season”.
I would like for you to think of another important “Reason For the Season”.  That reason is God’s love for you.  The Lord Jesus Christ was sent to Earth to be born on a virgin and to grow up and die for your sins.  You were His reason for this season.  “For God so loved the world, that He gae His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). There would have been no other reason for the Lord Jesus to leave His wonderful home in Heaven and come down to earth to suffer and die for you and I. “He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; he was despised and we did not appreciate Him.” (Isaiah 53:3)
The “Reason For The Season” is for God to remind you of how much He loves you and that your reason for being is to have a relationship with Him.  God is not waiting for you to become “good enough” and then to come to Him.  He wants you to understand that His gift of life to you was designed to develop a genuine relationship with Him so He could help you to become the best you can be in this life and the one to come. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we sere still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).  “We love Him, because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).
The “Reason For The Season” is about you finding your reason for living.  The greatest Christian leaders in history understood that their lives had a purpose and that purpose was more about others than about themselves.  One of the basic needs a human being has in life is to have a purpose and know that purpose.  The “Reason For The Season” is more that giving and receiving of gifts.  It is about being reminded of the gifts that God has already given you. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from our Father in Heaven.” (James 1:17).
Another “Reason For The Season” is about you demonstrating God’s love to others. In receiving the gift of salvation you also receive the gift of love.  You both receive God’s love and the ability to love others.  “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love each other.  He that does not love others abides in spiritual death.” (I John 3:14).  “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God and knows God.  He that does not love, knows not God; for God is love.”  (I John 4:7-8). 
You can demonstrate God’s love to others with words of appreciation, acts of kindness, quality time spent with them, and in giving yourself as a gift to them.
We cannot be everywhere and attend every event that is going on this time of the year.   I think the Lord would be please with you and I being with our family and friends, but the purpose should be that you are taking the Lord Jesus with you to be a blessing to everyone you meet. “And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” (Colossians 3:2), We should not make attending activities and parties as the “Reason For The Season”.
Another “Reason For The Season” is that God wants to spend some quality time with you.  Remember He sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to Earth to die for your sins so that you might be able to live with Him forever.  That relationship should start here.  Take some time to reflect on His goodness.  Read the Christmas Story from the book of Luke aloud and think about the wonderful way God revealed Himself to us in a human form.  “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name.  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:11-15).
You are special to God and you are the “Reason For The Season”. “Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift - No language can praise it enough!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).  How you respond to that gift is up to you.  You can accept God’s Son and all the blessings that come with Him. Or you can reject the “Reason For The Season”, and miss all the blessings that come with Him.  Your responsibility is to understand how to live your life in a purposeful way to fulfill your reason for being.  Make this Christmas the best one ever by giving God your best in attending worship services, giving to those in need, and loving one another.  If you do these things you will have a “Merry Christmas”.  Our Lord said:  “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them”  (John 13:16-17)
The angels of God rejoiced at His entrance to Earth.  This time of the year that we are rejoicing about what God has done for us.  “And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2: 10-11).   
Yes, “Jesus Is The Reason For the Season”.  And you are God’s “Reason For The Season”.  He loves you so much that He has given you this wonderful gift of His Son so that you might enjoy this life and have eternal life.  You and I should be thankful for this season, because the Lord Jesus was given to us.  We should also be thinking about His second advent, or His Second Coming, when we will be with Him forever.

THE SEASON OF ADVENT - ANTICIPATION AND HOPE


The Season of Advent - Anticipation and Hope
 “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not the angels of Heaven, but only My Father. But as the days of Noah were, so shall be the coming of the Son of man. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark. And they did not know until the flood came and took them all away. So also will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Therefore watch; for you do not know what hour your Lord comes. But know this, that if the steward of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be dug through. Therefore you also be ready, for in that hour you think not, the Son of man comes.  (Matthew 24:36-44)
The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.
In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power.
Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown.
Advent not only points backward to the first coming, but also forward to the second, thus providing Christians with a vision of the future and toward the future. Advent, then, is a time of expectation: it is the acknowledgment of the fact that , although God has acted decisively on our behalf in Jesus' birth, there is still much outstanding.
Advent is a time for taking stock of our lives and actions in light of the kingdom of God which entered human history with Christ, but still awaits completion. Our expectation of the coming Lord demands that we anticipate in our actions the kingdom with which he has identified himself and will bring to us.
Rather than a time of mourning and fasting, Advent is celebrated as a time of joy and happiness as we await the coming of the King.
So, we celebrate with gladness the great promise in the Advent. This is also faithful to the role of the Coming King who comes to rule, save, and judge the world.
Advent is a time of preparation that is marked by prayer. While Lent (during Easter) is characterized by fasting and a spirit of penitence, Advent’s prayers are prayers of humble devotion and commitment, prayers of submission, prayers for deliverance, prayers
The first candle is traditionally the candle of Expectation or Hope (or in some traditions, Prophecy). This draws attention to the anticipation of the coming of an Anointed One, a Messiah, that weaves its way like a golden thread through Old Testament history.
The remaining three candles of Advent may be associated with different aspects of the Advent story in different churches, or even in different years. Usually they are organized around characters or themes as a way to unfold the story and direct attention to the celebrations and worship in the season. So, the sequence for the remaining three Sundays might be Bethlehem, Shepherds, Angels. Or Love, Joy, Peace.
The third candle, usually for the Third Sunday of Advent, is traditionally Pink or Rose, and symbolizes Joy at the soon Advent of the Christ.  It marks a shift from the more solemn tone of the first two Sundays of Advent that focus on Preparation and Hope, to a more joyous atmosphere of anticipation and expectancy.
The center candle is white and is called the Christ Candle.  It is traditionally lighted on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
The early Church celebrated the Resurrection and the hope it embodied.  It was a proclamation of a truth that rang throughout the Old Testament, that endings are not always endings but are opportunities for God to bring new beginnings. The Resurrection proclaimed that truth even about humanity’s greatest fear, death itself.
It all begins in the hope that God will come and come again into our world to reveal himself as a God of newness, of possibility, a God of new things.  
This time of year we contemplate that hope embodied, enfleshed, incarnated, in a newborn baby, the perfect example of newness, potential, and possibility. During Advent, we groan and long for that newness with the hope, the expectation, indeed the faith, that God will once again be faithful to see our circumstances, to hear our cries, to know our longings for a better world and a whole life (Ex 3:7).  And we hope that as He first came as an infant, so He will come again as King!