Jesus Our Forever Hope is born

Christmas Eve message below:

Part I:

Let’s read Luke 2:1-7:

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

  1. Jesus, our hope is born.
    1. “Mommy, Daddy, tell me a story.” Have you heard that recently? What about, “Grandma, grandpa, tell me a story,” have you heard that recently? Can you think of someone who is a great storyteller, a friend who can make a trip to the shoe store sound like a real adventure? So many of us really enjoy listening to stories about our parents or grandparents growing up; things they did, times they got in trouble.
    2. I love stories. I am drawn to stories. My children love stories. I have some of their books up here. Mercedes will come to me and say, “Can you read Little House on the Prairie to me?” Abbigail will come to me and hand me a book and ask me to read it. They love stories too.
    3. At preschool Mercedes is learning all about books and so she likes to play teacher. I heard her at home telling Abigail all about books, “This is the cover and this is the back. This is the spine; the spine holds the book together. Who draws the pictures? The illustrator.” Later we heard Abigail says the same things. It was great.
    4. The Bible is full of stories and we can read that Jesus told many stories. In fact, the Bible is mostly stories. The Bible is many short stories with one grand story. We have the grand story of God’s love for us and His plan to save us from our sins. That is the grand story. There are short stories. The short stories tell:
      1. How God created us good;
      2. How humans sinned against God;
  • How God sent Jesus to be born of a virgin and die on the cross for our sins.
  1. How some day God will make all things right.
  1. How is Jesus our hope?
    1. What is the difference between faith and hope? John Piper explained that faith is a larger idea than hope. It includes hope, but is more than hope. Hope is that part of faith that focuses on the future or when faith is directed at the future you call it hope.  I like that, but with Christmas I would say, we put our faith and trust in Jesus as He is our only hope.
    2. Let’s go back to the subject of stories. This is a true story; unlike the fantasies we like to read and I love fantasy stories.
    3. This is the story of the birth of the Anointed One, that is what Messiah means, Anointed One.
    4. Jesus, born of the virgin Mary will save us from our sins, the wrong things we do.
    5. Jesus is our hope in that He will save us.
    6. Jesus is our hope in that He will eventually bring peace in the future.
    7. Jesus is our hope in that He will restore all creation and He will be the perfect King.
    8. Jesus is our hope in that He is called Immanuel and that means God with us.
    9. Jesus is our forever

I hope with Christmas we take comfort and great joy in celebrating Jesus, our Lord’s birth. The Hope of the world was born. All through the Old Testament the Bible is filled with stories and all these stories are about people looking for the Messiah and now He has been born. Jesus born in a stable which, was a barn, and laid in a manger, which was a feeding trough, this is the story of how the Hope of the world entered the world. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the story of how shepherds came to worship Him and the angels worshipped Him too. This is God becoming a man.

I am going to have Prayer and then we’ll sing O Little Town of Bethlehem and Away in a Manger. These are two hymns celebrating the story of Jesus’ birth. Let’s celebrate as we worship in song. Jesus, our Forever hope is born!

Prayer and prayer for the offering.

Part II:

 

We just sang a powerful hymn, O Holy Night…

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, the night when Christ was born;

O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,

Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.

The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;

In all our trials born to be our friends.

He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,

Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

 Truly He taught us to love one another,

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.

And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Now, that is worshipping through recounting the significance of Christ’s birth.

Read with me Luke 2:8-15:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

  1. The Hope of the world was born in Bethlehem and we celebrate that at Christmas time.
    1. Our hope has come and He is Jesus. Trusting in Jesus as our hope is not natural. We have to fight and struggle to keep Jesus as our hope.
    2. I don’t know about you but many times I can focus my hope on things, but Jesus is my forever I just need to keep telling myself that.
    3. I don’t know about you but I can easily focus my hope on politicians, but Jesus is our forever hope, again, I need to remind myself of this.
    4. I don’t know about you, but I can put my hope in money. This is only temporary hope and Jesus takes care of my eternal, my forever, needs. He is my forever
    5. I don’t know about you, but I can put my hope in people, but there is only One person, Jesus who will never let me down. Jesus is our forever
    6. These are all good things and there is nothing wrong with money, things, politics, people, but they do not take care of our
    7. Placing our hope in things can overwhelm us. What I mean is thinking of people and things as our hope will fail me because only Jesus is our forever
    8. I was recently talking with a Christian athlete who was always trying to please the coach. It helped her when she realized that she only needs to please God. It helped her when she realized she plays for an audience of One.
    9. Jesus is our Lord, not money, things, people, or even our boss. Jesus is our forever
    10. He came to save us. He came to live with us. He came to set us free. He will come again and bring peace and make things right. He is the Savior. This is the story of His birth.

In a nutshell Christmas is all about Jesus’ birth. God became a human being so that He could die for our salvation.

 

One of the most exciting things that you can do while celebrating Jesus’ birthday is to make it your spiritual birthday as well. You can accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation right now.

 

God’s presence is the gift it here and you just have to unwrap the gift.

 

The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). The Bible says that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by Him. (John 14:6). The Bible teaches that sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). The Bible says that God will not let the guilty go unpunished (2Thess 1:8-9). Yet, the Bible teaches that God loves the people of the world (John 3:16). That is a dilemma. God can’t tell a lie or He wouldn’t be God (Numbers 23:19). God doesn’t change His mind (1Sam 15:29). That is why God sent Jesus. The guilty must go punished. Jesus took our punishment on the cross. The penalty of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life.

 

 

God created us to be with Him

Our sins separate us from God

Sins cannot be removed by good works

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again

Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever

 

pray

 

Silent Night          Hymn 147

Joy to the World

 

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Jesus, our hope will be born

Opening:

Did you notice the words to that song?

Soon He will come to all who believe. Come, Emmanuel, come.

All the world awaits to receive Him.

Come, Emmanuel, come.

Come, Thou long awaited Jesus, born to set us free.

Come, Thou long expected Jesus.

Enter our hearts, O Child, O child of peace.

Soon He will come, this Babe in the manger, Child of hope and love.

Soon He will come, and we will receive Him, sent from Heaven above.

Come to do His Father’s will; sent to set us free:

Free from fear and free from sin.

We believe, yes, we believe!

He will come to all who believe. Emmanuel, He will come to all who believe, come, Emmanuel, come! The world awaits. O come! All the world awaits to receive Him.

They were always waiting for a Savior in the Old Testament. Are you waiting for a Savior? Do you know that you need a Savior?

Watch this clip

Nativity Story: Angel coming to Joseph 

Read with me Matthew 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

My theme today is: Jesus is our hope will be born, He saves us and He is with us.

  1. Jesus will be born.
    1. They were waiting for a Savior and He was to be born.
    2. This is an amazing prophesy to Joseph. Here he has just received the news that his fiancé is pregnant and not by him, but now he finds out this baby is the Messiah. Wow!
    3. Joseph went from gloom to hope.
      1. What Does Hope Do For Mankind?
        1. Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
        2. Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
        3. Hope energizes when the body is tired.
        4. Hope sweetens while bitterness bites.
        5. Hope sings when all melodies are gone.
        6. Hope believes when evidence is eliminated.
        7. Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.
        8. Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.
        9. Hope endures hardship when no on is caring.
        10. Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.
        11. Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.
        12. Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.
        13. Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.
        14. Hope brings the victory when no one is winning. (John Maxwell from Think on These Things)
      2. Joseph had hope and so do we. Jesus is our hope.
  1. Jesus will save us from our sins.
    1. What brings salvation?
    2. What are you trusting in?
    3. Sometimes we think we don’t even need a Savior. Realize that when we mess with salvation we are trifling with the holiness of God. We need salvation because we sinned against a holy, righteous God. We Psalm 51:4: against, you only have I sinned…
    4. We need a Savior because of God’s holiness and when we say things such as “Everyone goes to Heaven with or without Jesus, or we say, “there is no hell.” This means that we are messing with the cross, yes, but we are also messing with the holiness of God. We are changing all of Scripture, we are changing the whole Old Testament. The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). The Bible says that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by Him. (John 14:6). The Bible teaches that sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). The Bible says that God will not let the guilty go unpunished (2Thess 1:8-9). Yet, the Bible teaches that God loves the people of the world (John 3:16). That is a dilemma. God can’t tell a lie or He wouldn’t be God (Numbers 23:19). God doesn’t change His mind (1Sam 15:29). That is why God sent Jesus. The guilty must go punished. Jesus took our punishment on the cross. The penalty of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life.
    5. Jesus saves
  • Jesus will be Immanuel, which means God with us.
    1. Do you ever feel alone? I remember being in 6th grade I played football. I was dropped off at a game and my parents drove away and then I thought I needed something and it was too late, my parents were gone. I felt all alone. I can go back a few years earlier. I must have watched children cry when my mom dropped my older brother off at preschool. I thought I wouldn’t do that. I always saw the children get dropped off at preschool and they cried and cried and cried. I remember that fear when my mom dropped me off and I cried as well. Fast forward some 15 years. My parents dropped me off at college in Georgia and drove away and I think we all cried. What is it like being alone? We are not alone. We have God with us.
    2. Think have how amazing it is that God is with us as Christians.
    3. You and I, we are not alone.

The Night Before Christmas Lyrics

Steven Curtis Chapman
It was the night before Christmas and all through the world
Everything looked like business as usual
Shepherds sat on a hillside looking up at the stars
While the world fell asleep unaware just how deep
Was the darkness the night before Christmas

And the night before Christmas it seemed to be just a night
But the wind blew like something was coming
And like children with secrets that they’re bursting to tell
The cedars danced in the breeze while all of nature it seemed
Held its breath on the night before Christmas

And hope, hope long awaited
The hope of the ages
Would break with the dawn
And the song that all of creation was anticipating
Would start with a baby’s first cry

And on the night before Christmas Mary laid down to rest
While Joseph, he paced the floor praying
And in an everyday stable, in an everyday town
In the hours to come God would wrap Himself up
And come down from heaven and the world would forever be changed
After the night before Christmas

I recently read the following, please think about it with me…

Twas much,
that man was
made like God before,
But that God should
be like man
much more. (John Donne.)

Close:

Charles Swindoll:

Christmas comes each year to draw people in from the cold.

Like tiny frightened sparrows, shivering in the winter cold, many live their lives on the barren branches of heartbreak, disappointment, and loneliness, lost in thoughts of shame, self-pity, guilt, or failure. One blustery day follows another, and the only company they keep is the fellow-strugglers who land on the same branches, confused and unprotected.

We try so hard to attract them into the warmth. Week after week church bells ring. Choirs sing. Preachers preach. Lighted churches send out their beacon. But nothing seems to bring in those who need warmth the most.

Then, as the year draws to a close, Christmas offers its wonderful message. Immanuel. God with us. He who resided in Heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, willingly descended into our world. He breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows, and died for our sins. He didn’t come to frighten us, but to show us the way to warmth and safety. . . .

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

Jesus is Our Hope for the Future

Jesus is our hope…

I suppose in my lifetime, the man who seemed to have it most together, the man who throughout the whole specter of the world’s lifestyle, world’s religion…throughout all of the demonstration of popularity and media and all of those things, the man who stands out as the man, at least in my lifetime, that the world thought had it most together, was Mahatma Gandhi…Seemed to be at peace.  Seemed to have absolute tranquility of soul.  Seemed to know nothing of fear…

Fifteen years before Gandhi’s death, he wrote this.  “I must tell you in all humility that Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul.  It fills my whole being, and I find a solace in the Bhagavad and Upanishads that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount.”  Utterly at peace, utterly comfortable with his Hinduism.  Just before his death, he wrote this.  “My days are numbered.  I am not likely to live very long, perhaps a year or a little more.  For the first time in 50 years, I find myself in the slew of despond.”  Footnote:  It was interesting.  He must have been reading Pilgrim’s Progress.  Then he said this.  “All about me is darkness, and I am desperately praying for light.”  Even Mahatma Gandhi, who seemed to have it all together as he began to face the inevitability of death, saw it all falling apart…[1]

Hope is a much stronger word in the Bible than it is for most of us today. The hope of deliverance and resurrection is based solidly on the promise of an almighty truth-telling, covenant-keeping God who never fails and is never thwarted, who always keeps his promises. Whenever we hope for what God has promised, we don’t wish for a possibility; we anticipate a certainty.

Jesus is our Hope. Jesus is our… what? [pause for them to finish the sentence]

Today, I wish to talk about Jesus as our hope for the future.

My theme is just that. My theme: Jesus is our hope for the future.

  1. First, Jesus told us about this when He instituted communion.
    1. Read with me Matthew 26:29, Jesus is sharing communion with the disciples. Jesus says: I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
    2. In this passage Jesus is referring to what we now call the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”
    3. This was common back in that day. Hebrew weddings consisted of three phases: 1) betrothal (often when the couple were children); 2) presentation (the festivities, often lasting several days, that preceded the ceremony); and 3) the ceremony (the exchanging of vows). The church was betrothed to Christ by his sovereign choice in eternity past (Eph. 1:4; Heb. 13:20) and will be presented to him at the rapture (John 14:1–3; 1 Thess. 4:13–18). The final supper will signify the end of the ceremony. This symbolic meal will take place at the establishment of the millennial kingdom and last throughout that 1,000-year period (cf. Rev. 21:2). While the term “bride” often refers to the church, and does so here (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22–24), it ultimately expands to include all the redeemed of all ages, which becomes clear in the remainder of the book.”[2]
    4. The last supper was a type of covenant ceremony but also a type of engagement ceremony.
    5. A long time ago I was taught that a bride and groom would get engaged and then the groom goes to prepare a place for the bride. We are the bride and Jesus is preparing a place for us right now. (John 14:1-6)
  2. Paul told us about this when he reminded them of the institution of communion.
    1. In 1 Cor. 11:26: For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
    2. We are waiting on Jesus and then we will take communion with Him.
    3. We are waiting on our Hope. Hope is critical:

Researchers conducted a study on stress with Israeli soldiers. They assured one group that the march would end at a certain point but kept the other group in the dark. Although both groups marched an identical distance, those who didn’t know how long they would march registered a much higher level of stress. Why? Because they had no hope, no tangible assurance that the forced march would end. They felt helpless, wondering when, or if, they could ever rest.

  1. Jesus is our hope and He will come and set things right.
  • In Rev. 19:7-9 we see the marriage Supper of the Lamb.
    1. This is right after the Battle of Armageddon and right before the Millennial Reign.
    2. Read this passage with me: Rev. 19:7-9:

Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

  1. So, you see, that is marriage.
  2. In the end we are united with our Savior.
  3. Jesus will make things right and then we dine with Him.
  4. Jesus at the Last Supper said that He was not going to drink of the wine until He drinks it with us.
  5. That is this time, in Rev. 19:7-9, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
  6. As Christians we will be with Him.
  7. This Savior, we celebrate His birth, He is our hope for the future.

Conclusion:

John Piper writes:

And every name for Jesus is full of hope.

  • As Emmanuel (Isaiah 8:8) — “God with us” — he will pay the ransom that only a God-man can pay.
  • As Rod of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1), springing from a dead stump, he will free his people, by death and resurrection, from Satan’s tyranny, and make them free forever.
  • As the Day-spring (Luke 1:78) — the dawn of God’s Kingdom — he will be the light of the world, and banish the hopelessness of darkness.
  • As the Key of David (Isaiah 22:2), he rescues us from hell, locks the door behind us, unlocks the door of heaven, and brings us home.
  • And as the Desire of nations (Haggai 2:7), he will draw the ransomed from every people and make them a kingdom of peace.

This is who Jesus is. This is what he already achieved and will complete. And so with every verse [of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”], the refrain reaches down musically into our weak hearts and pull us up, in faith, to see the certainty of the end.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Artistically, the rhythm of plaintive longing in the verses, punctuated with powerful bursts of joy in the refrain, are, to my mind, just about perfect. The mystery and the wonder of Christian living are captured. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Already. But not yet. Fulfillment of glorious promises — yes! But consummation in the new earth with new bodies and no sin — not yet. We are left confident, but still crying out: “O come, O come, Emmanuel.”

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

[1] http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/2266/jesus-power-over-death-part-2

[2] MacArthur Study Bible