We Will Finish Strong! Nehemiah 4:7 – 9
Theme: The plan to over coming adversity
Introduction: Let’s be honest. As much as we want to remain positive, this last year 2020 has stunk! It stunk about as bad as squeezing a skunk! The longer it went, the more it stunk! However, we have all had situations like this. Life is full of those problem times that knock the wind right out of us and leave us feeling defeated and discouraged.
In our text, we find a great leader Nehemiah who took on what seemed like a rather uncomplicated task, but it quickly turned into a stinking situation! He set out to rebuild a wall, but was greeted with sarcasm, mockery, criticism and conspiracies that threatened to halt the work and crush his spirits. But, he didn’t let it! In Nehemiah’s’ story we find a guy who faced a stinky situation but, he finished strong! Let’s take a closer look at what happened to Nehemiah and how he dealt with his situation so we too can deal with ours and finish this stinky year, strong!
Conclusion: 2020 has stunk! But, I encourage each of us today, to join me in following Nehemiah’s plan of action and finish this year and start the new one strong and with a renewed spirit! Will you join me?
The Discoveries of Christmas (Part 4) Finding Christ in Christmas (Phil. 2:5-8)
Theme: Christ is the focus of this season and our lives
Introduction: A lot of people miss the true meaning of Christmas. They get so caught up in the shopping, the food, the decorations, and the gifts that they fail to see the heart and soul of Christmas: The story of the babe in the manger is that God came to be with us and to save us!
It is hard for us to see God in a helpless little infant. Over the centuries the mystery of what we call “the incarnation (when God took on humanity) has given theologians plenty of questions to stroke their beards over. How could God descend into the pool of humanity without contaminating Himself with sin? How is it possible for God to remain truly God (being omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent – and yet limit Himself to a man’s body? How can Jesus – the Christ of Christmas be fully divine and fully human? These are all very valid questions that must be answered if we are to really find Christ in Christmas.
The Apostle Paul helps us sort all this out with his own version of the Christmas story. (Read Phil. 2:5-8) In this passage, Paul breaks down the events and introduces us to the Christ of Christmas in three steps
Conclusion: Finding Christ in Christmas is the greatest discovery we can make this Christmas season. Let’s celebrate Him and his coming this Christmas Eve!
The Discoveries of Christmas (Part 3) Finding Love in Christmas (1 Jn. 4: 6-17)
Theme: Christ offers us a love bigger than our differences
Introduction: We are about to celebrate the birth of Jesus this week. At least that is what we are supposed to be doing on December the 25th. The day we set aside to celebrate when God in a wonderful display of love toward man, sent His Son to earth to be our Savior. (Lk. 2:11) It may not seem like much of a discovery to some, that we would find love in Christmas. But, I wonder, how much time have we been giving to thinking about God’s love toward us or about our love toward our family, friends, neighbors and others this season? How much effort do we put into putting love into Christmas? If we want to grasp the true joy during the Christmas season it is very important that we discover the significance in how God showed us His love by giving Christ. It is in this one act that we discover love in Christmas! God gave His Son and Christ came willingly—demonstrating the truest expression of sacrificial love (Rom. 5:8; Heb. 10:5-10). Just what is the significance in how God and Christ showed their love to us? (Jn. 3:16) The Apostle John is writing to professing believers, in our text. Here John says, if one wishes to know how God has demonstrated His love, he need only look at the fact that God sent His One and only Son into the world that we might obtain eternal and a changed life!
The love of God for us, is the story of Christmas –So, how do we discover love in Christmas? For us to discover love this Christmas, means not just to discover God’s love for us, but, His love in us as well. For the true believer this means…
Conclusion: The love of God for us, is the true story of Christmas – have you discovered this love in Christmas? Have you experienced this love for yourself? Are you sharing it with others?
The Discoveries of Christmas (Part 2) Finding Peace in Christmas (Isa. 9:6)
Introduction: In our current sermon series, we are discussing the discoveries of Christmas. In this series, we are finding the kind of discoveries that can meet us where we are, and minister to us in our present day and time. We have discovered the hope in Christmas comes from finding our hope in Christ. Today, we discover finding peace in Christmas is similar to our hope because – the Christ of Christmas, “He… is our peace.” (Eph. 2:14) He is more than capable of bringing peace to our struggles. Seven hundred years prior to Jesus being born in a stable, to a virgin girl named Mary, the prophet Isaiah in a dark time in Israel’s past announced, this prophecy “There will be no more gloom” (9:1, NIV). The Redeemer will come and bring to the world the dawning of a new day (v. 2; Luke 1:78-79; John 8:12). Here in this prophecy, Isaiah recorded five things about the coming Messiah. These are wonderful promises and discoveries we find at Christmas, that through the Christmas story we can find the peace that calms, the peace that comes and the peace that comes through Christ who is our Prince of Peace at Christmas time and all year long! But, what is this peace and how is it connected with Christmas? We discover today…
Listening Guide: The Discoveries of Christmas – Finding Peace in Christmas (Part 2)
The Discoveries of Christmas (Part 1) Finding Hope in Christmas (Matthew 1:23)
Theme: Christ offers us hope even in uncertain times
Introduction: It seems hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner. This year is almost over, Thank God! We are certainly praying for better things to come in 2021. Mostly, I’m praying “Even so Lord Jesus come!” As Christmas is a celebration of Jesus first coming to earth, we are now looking for His return. As we have had to endure some rough things this last year, it is hard for us to understand Jesus’ delay in his coming. But, this message is about finding hope in Christmas. That’s something we need all year long, but perhaps many of us need that hope in a special way this year. If you need an infusion of hope, then this message is for you. So, where can we find this kind of hope that will be “an anchor for the soul” and how is that hope connected with Christmas? First, Christmas is about God coming in human form to identify with the human situation. And, second, advent is the time to get ready for the return of Christ. Now, because our hope is in Christ, here are three answers to the question, how do we find hope in Christmas?
Conclusion: Christmas is a celebration of Jesus first coming to earth. we are now looking for His return. But, until He does return – I am so glad we can find hope in Christmas because, Christmas represents Christ coming to save us and be with us until we are with Him for all of eternity. Is this your hope today?