Faithlife
Faithlife

Christmas Promises

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Promises… Promises…

Secular:

Ever wish a promise was a promise….

That world would operate under the assumption what was said was going to be done or lived-up to…?

  • The running joke… seems to be political promises… the ones they use to get into office…
  • Or the Used Car Salesman and his promises…
  • Securities and Exchange Commission… Martha Stewart
  • Bottom of our Income Tax forms…
    • I Certify to the best of my knowledge…

The value of a promise seems to have been diminished…

Biblical:  Talk about a promise…

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

  • Disaster / Illness
  • Joy / Big Ego

Personal:

  • Marriage… the promise
  • Intro… We are gathered here in the sight of God and before these witnesses to unite this man and woman in holy matrimony. It is a day of solemn surrender and joyful celebration. As friends and family your presence here reflects your commitment not only to share in this special day but to provide ongoing loving support to the bride and groom.
  • Exchange of vows… and giving of rings… what God has joined together…
  • Yet we suffer through divorce… marriages start with pre-nup agreements… (that might be the equivalent of Abraham’s laugh?)

  • Within Families…
    • With my kids….
    • Swimming, bowling, movie…
    • Something comes up
    • An Illness… something work related…
  • God’s promises, however, are not rooted in my human capacity... or lack there of…

Bridge:

Psa 46… God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

God is always present… and always faithful to his promises…

We needn’t fear our own lack of capacity because

  • Luke 1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God."

Body:

Abraham… led from his home land….

Laying it on the line for God…

Yet no kids…

Genesis 15:4 Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir." 5 And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."

Goods news… a promise of the answer to a problem….

Genesis 17:15 Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 "I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her." 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"

  • I know the promise you made… but you have got to be kidding… from the presence of God to a Yuk Yuks comedy club….

 … 19 But God said, "No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

  • Regardless of the good chuckle Sarah and Abraham had…
    • You could imagine…
      • Ever have someone try an tell you something
      • Can’t speak for the tears
      • Can’t speak for the laughter
  • God’s faithfulness is based in our believing
    • God’s plan doesn’t hang together because we believe it
    • God doesn’t exist because we say so…
  • You have to admit that at some point in your life…
    • Whether illness, unhappiness, tragedy…
      • You laughed at God’s promise…
      • You were angry at Him
      • Or saddened and feeling abandoned
      • Or forgot Him in your Joy…
  • But God is faithful… steadfast and unmoving…
    • God is faithful regardless of our reaction…
  • It is nice to know that once we have gotten it straight
    • Jumped of the excruciating highs and lows of life apart from God… that God is waiting as promised…
  • Is it normal to question, to wonder….
  • Look at Abraham… standing in the very presence of God… and he is wondering… laughing himself right off his feet…
  • Yet… Genesis 21:2 …Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him.
  • Luke 1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God."

We don’t even have to ask for the promises… God has made them…

You think Abraham reaction to the promise of a son was a shocker at 100 years old… imagine being a betrothed Virgin…

Mary had heard from an Angel of God… Guess what…

you have found favor with God."And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David…

But I am engaged… I am virgin… come on what are you talking about…

I think you have the wrong address…

Please hang up and try your call again…

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."

  • Can you imagine…
    • Preserved herself for marriage
    • And now what!
    • I doubt she “fell on her face and laughed” as Abraham did…
    • I think there would be a little more anxiety…
    • I few more tears…
  • Imagine Joseph…
    • Immaculate Conception…
    • The Holy Spirit… God is the Father…
    • Now… completely disappointed you could imagine Joseph… having a less than pleasant chuckle…
    • How many times do you think he said… “You have got to be kidding?”
    • But an Angel comes to Joseph…
    • Hey man… I know this one is a toughy…
    • A real head scratcher….
    • But it is God’s plan than your fiancé will carry the Christ child… and you need to marry her and care for her….
    • You know that little wedding planning book women are in the habit of working with these days… Now where in there… I am sure… did Mary write or Joseph see this plan…
    • But God’s plan isn’t contingent on us assessing it… accepting it or believing it…

"BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."

  • God stands our world on its head sometimes…
  • Makes outrageous promises…

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

  • Christmas is the fulfilment of a promise to the world… that God would provide a Messiah…
  • We celebrate the anticipated Christ child… the fulfilment of the promises of God…
  • And God is not bound by our ability…
  • Nor is God’s love bound by our capacity…

  • The greatest love story ever told…
  • Starts with a promise…
  •  A promise of love…
  • Where God meets us… as a child in the manger
  • Where the Son of God… grows amongst us…
  • Where the King of kings goes to the cross.. our sacrifice

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

  • Christmas is where we realize…
  • That we have a God that is Sovereign over all things … "For nothing will be impossible with God."
  • That we have a God that loves us dearly…
  • For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  • And that the Promises of God… The Promise of his Love, the Promise of Eternal Hope, the Promise of peace are not contingent on us… I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Christmas is about the Greatest Gift… and the Greatest Promise… The Lord Jesus…
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