Posts Tagged with "advent"

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Receive the good news

Christianity offers the hope of good news: a savior has been born, named Christ the Lord. We have a real need and a real savior who ALONE can really save....

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Reject the alternatives

Besides Christianity, there are four predominant worldviews that compete for allegiance:...

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Three big hints

Jesus is the Savior. All religions and worldviews outside of Christianity have one thing in common: God is not the savior. Either you are your own savior, or there’s no savior at all. ...

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Listen again for the first time

Luke 2:8–21 is perhaps the most familiar passage in all Scriptures. Linus reads it every Christmas for the Charlie Brown television special. Almost every church has a nativity scene stashed somewhere. ...

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The glorious announcement for an unlikely audience

Have you ever wondered what people thought of shepherds in Jesus’ day? People thought shepherds were odd. They lived by themselves, outside of town, sleeping in the open, and surrounded by animals all the time. Their reputation was less than stellar...

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Jesus is like us and unlike us

Jesus’ birth is historical: Christianity is based on fact. It is theological: God entered humanity in order to save us. Finally, it is biographical: What does Jesus’ birth mean for you and me? What does this possibly have to do with our life?...

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The theological meaning of Jesus’ birth, part 2

Today, we conclude answering some of the most common questions regarding God entering history as the man Jesus Christ. The truth is Jesus was fully man and fully God. He lived life perfectly as a man, to serve as our example and a flawless substitute sacrifice in our place. ...

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The theological meaning of Jesus’ birth, part 1

In order to describe the theological significance of Jesus’ birth, theologians like to use the word incarnation. It comes from the Latin meaning “in the flesh.” Incarnation refers to the Christian doctrine that God, who is spirit, took upon Himself human flesh and came as the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ....

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The historical facts of Jesus’ birth

Luke introduces us to Augustus Caesar, who was ruling at the time that Jesus was born. Augustus Caesar was a very important political leader who ruled over the Roman Empire, one of the most prominent, longstanding, far-reaching empires in the history of the world. He was the adoptive son of Julius Caesar. ...

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The birth of Jesus Christ

Every Christmas, cards start arriving in the mailbox and songs echo at the mall with the word “Immanuel.” But what does that mean?...

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Replace anxiety with history

Mary has two options in light of all that has happened in her life. She can either give in to anxiety, or she can focus on history: What has God done?...

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Replace worry with worship

One of the lessons we learn from Mary’s example is to replace worry with worship. It’s okay to be concerned about your life, and to make plans for your future. But Jesus says do not worry (Matt. 6:25...

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Sing

Song is a means of enjoying, honoring, recognizing, and proclaiming God. Human beings were made to sing...

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Mary’s song

Mary’s song lists at least 17 attributes of the God she loves....

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Worshipping instead of worrying

Unmarried. Poor. Young. Pregnant with God. Mary has a lot to worry about. Rather than worrying, however, we find her worshipping in Luke 1:46...

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Life lessons from two couples

Every man and woman should aspire to have faith like Mary’s. By the grace of God, we should aspire to love God, trust God, and serve Jesus like she did. We should long to have the same kind of heartfelt devotion and affection for Jesus as she did. ...

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Ten things we learn about Jesus

The Scriptures are all about Jesus, and we learn ten things about Jesus from the angel Gabriel’s announcement of His birth....

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Favored by God

Gabriel appears to this young girl Mary, and she was startled. Gabriel likely appeared as a man, and men would not have customarily approached and engaged in private with a young woman like that. Additionally, he says that she has found “favor with God.” ...

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The first gospel sermon

Based on how Luke tells her story and describes his research, it is likely that he actually sat down with Mary, an older woman by that time, to ask her questions about her miraculous life. She is a relative of Elizabeth, but when Luke picks up the narrative Mary does not yet know that her elderly cousin is pregnant. Mary is simply a young woman, living a quiet life in a ru...

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The girl who raised God

As the mother of God, Mary is the most significant woman in the history of the world. Mary’s story begins with the Mother of us all: Eve, the first woman in the history of the world....

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Give generously

Since Theophilus has a lot at stake, he hired Luke, a fellow Gentile...

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Be comforted by God’s love

It is stunning and wonderful to think that the longest book of the New Testament was written for one person. Does God love the world? Yes. Does God love all the nations? Yes. Does God love all the cities? Yes. Does He love individuals? Yes, He does. What a great comfort that He would go to such great lengths to actually have one book of the Bible given to one person...

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The beloved physician

Luke is mentioned three times in the New Testament, each time by his close friend Paul. Scholars have noted the amount of medical language used in Luke-Acts as an indicator that Dr. Luke was the author.[3] Paul refers to Luke in Philemon 24 as his “fellow worker.” Luke spent lots of time traveling and laboring side-by-side with Paul in the work of the gospel....

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Who was Theophilus?

Luke’s massive investigation that culminated in his gospel was motivated by his concern for a man named Theophilus and others like him. This friend was possibly not yet a Christian, but wanted to know the truth about Jesus....

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The Truth About Jesus

There is a seemingly insatiable appetite for books, movies, and television shows in which someone with a keen mind is on the hunt to find the truth about an important event....

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Giving to God

Merry Christmas! Last night we all gathered to hear God’s word, sing, and fellowship. My son Sam had been saving up his allowance so that he could give. No one asked him to do this, but he wanted to. He has been talking about it for the last two weeks. His gift was the lion’s share of all that he has....

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The Star of Joy

What is there to be joyful about on Christmas if your heart is overwhelmed with business? What is there to be joyful about if there is no family to share it? What is there to be joyful about if finances or health is failing? Steady yourself, Christian. ...

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Come to Worship Him

It might sound crazy to leave your home in search of a king, but the wise men studied the stars and scriptures and then made a decision. They would travel a great distance to come and worship a newborn King. Their honesty is strikingly bold. ...

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Asking Questions

The wise men had very little fear. They ask questions because they are learners and not afraid of looking dumb. We have a saying at North Valley: the leaders are the learners. Learners ask questions. ...

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Step of Faith

The wise men were counselors and advisors to political leaders within the Roman Empire. These men studied astrology, dreams, sacred prophetic scriptures, and the arts of magic. At the time of the writing, Jesus had been born in the town of Bethlehem, during the reign of Herod the King...

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Confidence in God

I have good news, which I think will build your confidence. We have looked at God’s Word over the last twenty days, and we've seen how prophecies made concerning the coming Messiah have been fulfilled. ...

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King Jesus Forever

The Prophet Isaiah said that the Messiah’s kingdom would bring in peace, a peace that would have no end. This prophecy is fulfilled; from the time of Christ’s coming, the peace of God can rest in the hearts of man. Jesus is the peace for even the greatest conflict between good and evil. He is the conquering king. His rule has no end....

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King Herod’s Fury

Do you get furious? Do you have an anger issue? God’s Word tells us that “human anger does not accomplish God's righteousness” (James 1:20 NET). Who are you angry at? Is your anger solving the problem? Why are you angry?...

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Caesar Augustus: the King of Peace?

Augustus made peace where historically it had been impossible. His leadership and ingenuity led to the development and reform of the taxation system, roadways, armies, guards, mail systems, and more....

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What's the right thing to do?

As a dad of three kids, I try my best, like most parents, to teach them to do what's right. My goal is to help them become independent of me and dependent upon God. ...

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The Decree from Caesar

In the time of Christ, a decree was an authoritative legal order. If you have ever been evicted from an apartment, it was worse than that. Failure to comply with a decree would result in imprisonment, death, or at the least heavy fining. Luke’s gospel records that Caesar issued a decree that every resident within the Roman Empire should return to their home town to regis...

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Yes, Lord

Nine months before our Savior’s birth, an angel appeared to a young Jewish girl, Mary, whom Scripture describes as a virgin, engaged to a man named Joseph. Prior to that angelic visit, Mary must have felt great excitement as she anticipated her marriage. ...

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The Last Words of Christ in Heaven

As David’s greater son the Lord Jesus ultimately fulfilled this model. God’s will was fully accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ when He took on human form and completely obeyed the Lord’s good pleasure, finally to die on the cross and to be resurrected....

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Messiah

The babe in Bethlehem, whom we celebrate at Christmas, is “Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and … his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32...

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Looking at the Big Picture and Finding Hope

Scripture: "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Galatians 4:45, NASB) Consider: That first Christmas, all eyes were on Augustus, the cynical Caesar who demanded a census so as to determine a measurement to inc...

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The Way

The Bible as a whole is a set of directives pointing the way to God...

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Fatherly

Unrecognized. Unseen. Undiscovered. Nobody knows. Nobody sees. Nobody cares. As long as there is plenty of food, lots of cheer, a plethora of tinsel, and a cornucopia of gifts, everyone’s happy. Jesus? ...

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A Minor Prophet with a Major Message

Imbedded in the memory of many of us who regularly celebrate Christmas is Matthew’s quotation of Micah 5:2. “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.” (Matthew 2:6)....

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Given by God

The prophet Isaiah once said some 700 years before the birth of Christ, that all of this was for… us! The gift was for you and for me! ...

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Wise Counselor

Here Isaiah describes the Messiah’s character with four specific names, each revealing our Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:3 says “all treasures of wisdom and knowledge rest in Christ.” ...

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Everlasting Father

Jesus Christ is everlasting, he has no end nor beginning. While he was born, he was still eternal....

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Empire of Grace

The birth of Jesus would fulfill God’s redemptive plan for humanity. Jesus as the Messiah would establish a Kingdom like as an empire of God’s grace. A Kingdom where God’s justice and mercy would rule and reign. An empire is…an extensive group of states or countries under a single supreme authority, ...

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Prince of Peace

We all long for peace, from major urban epicenters to rural run down villages peace is what we want. We want freedom from disturbance; we want quiet and tranquility. We want peace from war and violence. Today we shall find this in the person and work of Christ. As we look upon the forth descriptive name of the messiah in Isaiah 9:6. The Prince of Peace. This perhaps most c...

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The Lamb: Slain from before the Creation of the World

Christmas begins within the triune God...

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