Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Thoughts 2012

Good Morning World!
Here are some thoughts I've put together over the past few weeks to turn our minds back to the reason for the season.

Weeks 1 & 2
During our first two week period we talked about “Trust & Obey”.  During this Christmas season we need to be challenged to look back at the original story of Christmas, and re-enact the story in our own lives.  The gifts and such will be wonderful,  the giving will satisfy our souls, but what will we do for our spirits.

Luke 1:5-20
Let’s look at the negative side of the coin, and see what happens when we do not “trust & obey”.  Zecharias was a righteous man, and his wife was a righteous lady.  God respected them because of their faithfulness during their time as servants of God, and so He rewarded them with the fulfillment of a promise and prophecy.
During the fulfillment of his priestly duties, which was very important, and randomly chosen an Angel appeared to him.
    1. He was preparing and burning incense, which fills the temple so that the High Priest can enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood and die not. This is a symbol of our praise and worship,and as we entertain the presence of God we must do - that we die not, so to speak.
    2. He had never seen nor heard of the Angel of the Lord during all his days.  The Angel of the Lord was a legend rather than a fact at that time.
    3. He was scared to death!
    4. Instead of turning his fear to faith, he was overcome with doubt.
    5. The promise and purpose of God was going to happen anyway, and so instead of finding another promise carrier, the Angel punished Zecharias.

If we decide not to Trust and Obey it may lead to the chastisement of God upon us.

Luke 1:26-38
Let’s look at the positive side, and see what happens when we do “trust & obey”.
Mary the virgin is getting ready to marry Joseph.  One day she has a visit from the same angel - Gabriel - who visited Zecharias.  The angel of the Lord tells her that she is the ONE that God has chosen to carry the Messiah!  She had some fear, but more than fear she wondered what was going on, and so the Angel explained.  She was going to have a baby - the Messiah.  Elizabeth was going to have the forerunner, and she was going to have the Messiah!
    1. Unlike Zecharias - Mary asked only a simple question of explaination
    2. Mary accepted the verdict with faith and obedience
    3. This season let us be like Mary and with open hearts “Trust & Obey” the calling of our Saviour, and do what He would want us to do!
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was Lost, so let us open our hearts to this calling and be His hands and feet during this Christmas season and help those who have need bringing the Gospel to all we meet!
Weeks 3 & 4
As we haven’t been able to meet regularly during this Christmas season, we will put two weeks into one as we did the first two weeks!

“Faith, Love & Giving”
This is a more practical look at our perspective of Christmas.  We don’t really know all the details of the birth of the Messiah, but we do have some notes on it, and in order to apply those things that were written for our examples and spiritual fulfillment we need to have a certain amount of faith. Let us look at some people who were on the outside looking in, and who they reacted to the news of the birth of a Saviour.

Luke 2:8-18
The shepherds were busy doing what shepherds do: keeping the sheep out in the field.  Their job did not allow them the comfort of going home at night and sleeping in a warm dry bed, but rather they were in the field with the sheep day and night.  So, you can imagine the campfire stories that happened after this!
    1. The Angel of the Lord appeared again, this time with back up!  There was going to be no mistake that angels had visited these shepherds.
    2. The were told of the long awaited Messiah - He was born just a short walk down the road!
    3. What do we do with this news?  Do we stay on our jobs and forget this ever happened or do we go and see the Messiah!?
    4. I don’t know if they all just left the sheep in the field or if they took the sheep with them, or maybe they took turns, but they had faith and went to see this thing that had happened!
    5. Then they spread the news to anyone who would hear!

Matthew 2:1-11
The wise men from countries afar came seeking a great king.  Here is an act of faith if I ever saw one!  The seemed to have travelled from countries so far away that it could have taken up to two years for them to reach the place where Jesus was!  The impression that this star in the sky made upon them was so great that they were willing to go to the ends of the earth to find out the exact meaning it.  
    1. They enquired at the palace, but He wasn’t there.
    2. They listened to the scribes description of where the Messiah was to be born, and found the star again with joy!
    3. They followed the star right to the house where Jesus was!
    4. They worshipped Him and gave Him gifts fit for a King!

We have established the need for faith!  We must have faith to go to His birth place, and we must have faith to celebrate this 2,000 years later.  However, it should not stop there.  We cannot forget the attitude of Mary during this time either.  The Bible indicates that she loved Jesus, and pondered all these things in her heart!

Love  will bring us to a place of giving!  The Love of Jesus, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, if we will “Trust & Obey” with faith, will guide us to Give.  I’m not talking about giving to our family and friends.  Everyone does that and it isn’t necessarily following the commandments of Jesus nor the Gospel, but I mean to Give to those in need.

Let us take our Faith in Jesus, which is amplified by this season of worship, celebration, and giving and share some Love, which Jesus has put in our hearts, and Give something to those in need!  

Let us not contain our giving and love to just our family and friends, but let us go outside our door, and Good King Wenceslas did and share our bounty with the “poor” and “needy”.

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  • Newfoundland & Labrador! That a wave of God's Spirit would flood this great province!
  • Your Neighbors, that Jesus would save their souls!
  • Springdale, Newfoundland: Pray that God's Spirit would awaken souls to their need of salvation and continued spiritual growth. Also, pray that Pastor Fred can teach many Home Bible Studies.
  • Pastor Fred and his family: Pray for Health, Strength, Inspiration, Revival and that God will lead him to many hungry souls
  • The Country You Live in: Pray for Salvation, Revival, Missionaries and the Moving of God's Spirit

Weekly Prayer for A Country on my counter:

Please pray with me for the country that is in focus each week. Thank You and may God richly bless your prayer life.


A Prayer for Canada:

This week Lord Jesus we bring the country of Canada. Let the revival of your Word and Name sweep across this vast dominion. Let all ethnic groups that now call this great land home become hungry for something more, and find YOU! Let the Church arise to become the bastion of Truth that it is meant to be. Let you people become the light and power that spreads your Gospel throughout all this land!
We ask this all in the Name of Jesus Christ -- Amen!