Hope is at The Heart of Christmas

November 27, 2022

(The Heart of Christmas Series)

Isaiah 9:2-7



    1. The center of the Christmas story is focused                   squarely on the birth of Jesus.


    2. One of the reasons Christmas resonates in our              hearts is because we, too, live in a world that is              similar to Israel.



Christmas is a reminder that whatever it is we hope for in our lives—healing, restoration, forgiveness, or a fresh start—it is available to us through Immanuel, who is God with us.


Hope is not a result of the absence of conflict, difficulty, struggle, or trial.  Hope is a result of the presence of God.




    1. The hard part about hope is that it often takes                 longer than we would like to be fulfilled.


    2. Paul said everything that had been written in the            past— all of the prophecy and fulfillment—is                  meant to teach us how to hold onto faith in God            to answer our prayers.
C. AT THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS IS HOPE.                                                                    (Matthew 1:22-23)


    1. Though there are many distractions during the            Christmas season, this message is a reminder              that hope is offered to us through Jesus’s arrival            in the manger.


    2. To all of us who walk in darkness a great light is             given.


How is it that he brings light into our lives?
God’s Servant Leader
November 13, 2022

1 Corinthians 9:19

“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself

a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.”

A. The Available Life. (1 Cor. 9:16)

“Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for

I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do

not preach the gospel!”


    1. Paul abandoned his rights.


    2. Paul’s motivating drive was preaching.


    3. Paul’s greatest desire was souls.


B. The Flexible Life. (1 Cor. 9:20-22)

“To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”


    1. Flexible in attitude.


    2. Flexible in relationships.
C. The Disciplined Life. (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”


    1. Paul used athletics to talk about the future.


    2. Paul’s ultimate goal was the Lord’s approval.


Receiving Jesus Christ is as simple as ABC . . .

      A dmit that you have sinned (Rom. 3:23).

      B elieve that Jesus Christ died for you (John 1:12).

      C onfess that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life.

                                                                (Rom. 10:9-10)


How Can I Be an Effective Witness?

November 6, 2022

Acts 1:8


WITNESS (wit’nes) n. 1. a. One who has seen or heard something. b. One who gives evidence. 2. To serve as or furnish evidence of.
A. What Is Evangelism? (Acts 8:4)
     1. Evangelism is the process of communication.                                                                       (Acts 17:3)


     2. Evangelism produces spiritual life. (Acts 2:41-42)


     3. Evangelism is sharing the Good News. (Jn 3:16)


     4. Evangelism is only Effective when a person
         commits to a relationship with Christ.
B. A Working Definition of Evangelism.
    1. Evangelism must be done by the People
        of God.


    2. Methods of Outreach change frequently.


    3. New Converts is the worthy goal of
C. Effective Types of Evangelism.
                                                      (Matt. 28:19-20)
    1. Prayer evangelism


    2. Felt-needs evangelism


    3. Friendship evangelism


    4. Event evangelism


    5. Deeds-that-meet-needs evangelism


    6. Media evangelism


    7. Worship evangelism
C. A Simple Evangelism Plan. (Rom. 5:8)

Salvation Is Like

    1. Receiving a Gift. (Rom. 6:23)


    2. Coming Home. (Luke 15)


    3. Opening a Door. (Rev. 3:20)
D. The ABCs of a Personal Relationship with

     Step One:Pray for the presence of God on

                       your presentation.

     Step Two: Present the plan to Friends and


     Step Three: Lead them in a sinner’s pray.

     Step Four: Give the new converts assurance

                         of their Salvation. (1 John 5:11-12)

      Step Five: Follow up Faithfully.


Receiving Jesus Christ is as simple as ABC . . .

      A dmit that you have sinned (Rom. 3:23).

      B elieve that Jesus Christ died for you (John 1:12).

      C onfess that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life.

                                                                (Rom. 10:9-10)

How Do I Obtain Christian Wisdom?
October 30, 2022

James 1:17


“Wisdom is the understanding of what is true,

right or lasting; common sense; good judgment; learning.”

(American Heritage Dictionary)


A Christian definition of wisdom: 
Wisdom is being skilled in godly living.
A. Where Does Wisdom Come From? (James 1:1-5)


   1. False wisdom comes from below. (James 3:14-16)


   2. True wisdom comes from above. (James 3:17-18)


   3. Wisdom is discovered when we turn our lives
       over to Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:30)


   4. Heavenly wisdom is a guide to earthly living.

                                                (Eccles. 7:19)

        ~ God gives ultimate directions.
        ~ God gives perfect guidance
B. Six Ways to Obtain Wisdom. (James 1:6-12)


     1. Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17)


     2. Prayer (James 5:14-15)


     3. Circumstances (Phil. 4:11)


     4. Friends (Prov. 15:22)


     5. Love (1 John 4:7)


     6. Happiness (James 5:13)


“True wisdom will not allow for hypocrisy: the truth is spoken and backed with a true motive.”

(W. T. Purkiser)

How Can I Control My Speech?
October 23, 2022

Matt. 12:36-37


It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

(Abraham Lincoln)


A. Controlling the Mouth Is One of Life’s

     Greatest Challenges(Prov. 10:19)


    1. The tongue is small and powerful. (James 3:3-4)


    2. The tongue is small and dangerous. (James 3:5)


    3. The tongue is small and revealing. (James 3:9)
B. Choosing the Right Words Is One of Life’s
     Greatest Disciplines. (Prov. 18:21)


    1. Words have the ability to cause pain.
                                                                 (Prov. 12:18)


    2. Words can build up the human spirit. (Prov. 16:24)


    3. Words impact our attitude about others.
                                                                    (Prov. 18:8)


I have never been hurt by thoughts I did not say.

(Calvin Coolidge)

C. Carefully Following God’s Word Will Result in
     Life’s Best Decisions.  (Prov. 15:4)


    1. Refrain from attack words. (Matt. 5:44).


    2. Refrain from gossip. (Prov. 20:19).


    3. Refrain from bad language. (Prov. 10:31).


    4. Use truthful words. (Matt. 5:37).


    5. Use edifying words. (Eph. 4:29).


T       Is it true?

H       Is it helpful?

I        Is it inspiring?

N       Is it necessary?

K       Is it kind?


How Do I Live the Christian Life

on a Daily Basis?
September 25, 2022

(1 Cor. 2:13-16)


“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment. “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.””

A. The Bible Teaches About Three Kinds of People.

                                                                     (vv. 13-15)


1. The Natural person


2. The Carnal person


3. The Spiritual person   
B. So How Do We Live a Spiritual Life? (1 Cor. 2:16)

“‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may

instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”


1. Living a spiritual life is difficult, but not impossible.


2. Living a spiritual life is not natural, it’s supernatural.


3. Living a spiritual life daily is achieved only through
    the power of the Holy Spirit.


  • Power of God’s Word (Heb. 4:12)
  • Power of daily Prayer (James 5:16-18)
  • Power of the Blood of Jesus (Rev. 12:10-11)
  • Power of Resurrection (Phil. 3:10)


“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you”

(Rom. 8:11)

How Can I Improve My Devotional Life?
September 18, 2022

Deut. 8:1-11


Every child of God needs a daily devotional routine. Establishing a regular time with God will bring spiritual health and happiness to every believer.


A. Why Every Believer NEEDS a Daily Devotional
     Time. (Matt. 4:4)

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”


    1. Moses urged Israel to never forget her
        dependence on God. (v. 2)
    2. God desires that we prosper through spiritual
        maturity. (v. 7)
    3. Testing provides the opportunity to demonstrate
        our faithfulness (v. 15).


    4. Daily moments with God will result in:
  •       ~ Spiritual Character. (1 Pet. 2:2)


  •       ~ Spiritual Correction. (John 15:3)


  •       ~ Spiritual Counsel. (Ps. 119:169)


  •       ~ Spiritual Communion. (John 4:23)


B. What Are the Requirements for a Daily Devotional
     Life?  (Ps. 19:14)

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation

of my heart be pleasing in your sight,

O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”


    1. A definite Time. (Mark 1:35)
    2. A good study Bible. (2 Tim. 3:16)
    3. A prayer List. (Matt. 21:22)
    4. An expectant Spirit. (John 16:33)


“No, I beat my body and make it my slave so

that after I have preached to others, I myself

will not be disqualified for the prize”

(1 Cor. 9:27).

How Can I Praise God Better?
August 28, 2022

Psalm 71:8

“My mouth is filled with your praise,

declaring your splendor all day long.”

A. When Should We Praise God? (Ps. 96:3)
1. Morning and Evening. (1 Chron. 23:30)


2. All day and Always. (Ps. 34:1)
B. Where Should We Praise God? (Ps. 107:32)
1. In the Church. (Ps. 22:22)


2. In the Marketplace. (Ps. 96:3)


3. On the Mountaintops. (Isa. 42:11)


4. While we are Resting. (Ps. 149:5)
C. How Should We Praise God? (Ps. 96:8)
1. Praise Him with Singing. (Judg. 5:3)


2. Praise Him with Shouting. (Isa. 42:11)


3. Praise Him with Instruments. (Ps. 33:2-3)


4. Praise Him with Clapping. (Ps. 47:1)


5. Praise Him with uplifted Hands. (Ps. 63:4)


6. Praise Him on our Knees. (Ps. 95:6)


7. Praise Him with an Offering. (Mal. 3:10-11)


8. Praise Him with our Service. (Ps. 100:2)
D. What Should We Praise God for?
1. Our Deliverance. (Gen. 14:20)


2. His mighty Deeds. (Job 36:24)


3. Answers to Prayer. (Ps. 28:6)


4. His Holiness. (Ps. 30:4)


5. His powerful Word. (Ps. 56:10)


6. His loving Kindness. (Ps. 63:3)


7. His Faithfulness. (Ps. 92:2)

“Needy People Please Apply”
June 19, 2022

Acts 4:32-37


A. The Gospel is for Needy People.   

     Fact: Christ came for needy people. “Those who

               are well have no need for a physician,” he

               said on one occasion (Matthew 9:12).

     Fact: The only people for whom there is no hope

               are those who refuse to recognize that

               they are needy.


B. Christ calls us to Minister to the Needy

     Fact: That’s when we are at our best, when we have

               recognized that Christ calls us to minister to

               the needy.

     Fact: Wherever and whatever we can do for the

               needy, that is our mission and our ministry.


C. Everyone is Needy in Some Way.

      Fact:  We need to recognize that people are needy

                 in all kinds of ways.

      Fact: But neediness comes in many forms,

                and we have many other needs that may

                be just as pressing.

      Fact: There’s much we need to do as a

                congregation before we can say that there

                are no needy people among us.


“Love one another, as I have loved you”

(John 13:31)
The Workings of the Holy Spirit
May 22, 2022

Acts 2:1-4


#1. The Holy Spirit  exalts Jesus.

      ~This is the Spirit’s first and primary work, the

         number-one item on His job description.

      ~ It is always the Spirit’s mission to exalt Jesus.


#2. The Holy Spirit convicts  us.

      Fact: It is the Spirit’s mission to convict us in three


      #1. He gives us an awakened sense of sin,

            particularly the sin of unbelief in Jesus.

      #2. The Spirit wants to affirm to us the

             righteousness of Jesus.

      #3. The Spirit brings an acknowledgment that

             judgment has already been passed against

             the evil one.


#3. The Holy Spirit regenerates us.

      ~ Jesus said in John 3:5;

“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit”

      ~ Spiritual regeneration comes through the Spirit’s



#4. The Holy Spirit lives in us.

      ~ I Corinthians 3:16, says:

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”

      ~ The Spirit’s presence helps us to resist the

          power of the evil one.


#5. The Holy Spirit seals believers.

      ~ The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:13-14;

“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.”

      ~ He also wrote in Ephesians 4:30:

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you

were sealed for the day of redemption”

      ~ To use that analogy, Paul said there is coming a

          day when you will be completely God’s—in



#6. The Holy Spirit guides us.

      ~ Living in the Spirit is a personal relationship.


      Fact: When you maintain a life of prayer and

                communion with the Lord, you can lean on

                he impressions you get while praying.

      ~ There are many instances of the Spirit’s

          guidance in Scripture.


#7. The Holy Spirit prompts us to worship.

      ~ The Spirit prompts believers to worship and

          adore the ever-living God.

       ~ As we take the time to worship, our spiritual well

          is always being filled.


#8. The Holy Spirit empowers us for witness.

      ~ Jesus said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for

         the gift my Father  promised. . . . You will receive

         power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and

         you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all

         Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”

                            (Acts 1:4, 8).

      Fact: There is a balance between the worship of

                the Lord and the work of the Lord.

       ~ The Spirit’s task is to instill strength in us in the

          moment of worship, so that we can go out

          empowered to do the work of the Lord.


#9. The Holy Spirit enables us to understand and

       apply what is taught in the Word of God.

      ~ The Spirit not only inspired the Scripture, but He

         also caused it to be inspiring. (2 Timothy 3:16)

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”.

      Fact: Whatever the Spirit does will line up with

                Scripture because the Spirit inspired

                Scripture to begin with.

        – These two will always agree. Amen!!!

        – The Spirit causes us to understand God’s Word.


#10. The Holy Spirit will give life to our mortal bodies.

        ~This is a work of the Holy Spirit that’s yet to


“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you”

(Romans 8:11).


Give the Holy Spirit Room


Love Reigns Over Our Future

Matthew 6:25-34
May 8, 2022


Fact: Worry is an all-consuming use of our time,

          energy and attention on things that we cannot


Fact: The only true way to cure this sickness of worry

          is to trust in the love of God and let is rule in our



A. God Sees You. (Matthew 6:25-27)
     1. Jesus tells us not to worry about our life.


Fact: The reason He gives is because our lives are

          made up of more  than just our physical desires.


      2. Our future is in good hands when our future is
          under God’s control.


Fact: Trusting God for the future instills deep hope that

          He is there before we ever get there.


     3. We have to remind ourself that God sees me.
                                          (Jeremiah 29:11)


Fact: God has a preferred future that He longs for you

          to live into.

Question: The question is how do you know when

                  opportunities in the future are God’s plan?

       #1. Does this opportunity align with scripture?

       #2. Will this opportunity make me more like Jesus?

       #3. Will this opportunity benefit others?


Mark Twain once said:

“The two most important days of your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why.”


B. Seek God First. (Matthew 6:33)
    1. Jesus give us a way to ensure that our future falls
        in line with His will for our lives.


Fact: It is about priority.

Fact: Jesus says if we seek God first that everything

          else will have a way of falling in place.


    2. Don’t worry about your future, it is in God’s


C. Use Your Time Wisely. (Psalm 90:12)
    1. We all only have so many days in our lives – Our
        future must be stewarded well.
    2. As you live your life it is important to ask yourself if
        the places that your time, energy, attention and
        affection are going the most important places they
        could possibly go.



Love Reigns Over Our Present

Romans 12:1-2
May 1, 2022


     1. The things we choose to do or not do, show
         who we listening to.


Fact: Our lives are largely made up of the

          decisions we make, and that can be a

          painful litmus test to whom or what has our


Fact: Our past is a collection of wise or unwise

          choices that we made along the way.


    2. The Apostle Paul has a lot to say about living
        life under the influence of God rather than the
        influence of the world.
    3. In Romans 12:1, it says:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.


Fact: We often are not satisfied with our lot in life

          and so we try and do things on our own.

Fact: When we turn our attention to the mercy of

          God, then we are compelled to live our lives

          as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing

          to God.

Fact: This is why Jesus’ death was considered the

          ultimate sacrifice for all humanity.

                                                  (Psalm 51:16-17)

Fact: It was not about the sacrifice itself; it was

          about the heart behind the sacrifice.

Fact: The true sacrifice of a follower of Jesus is a

          contrite heart and an obedient spirit.


    4. Paul goes on in the passage from Romans to
        give us the ultimate outcome of living the
        sacrificial life. (Romans 12:2)

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”


Fact: The world around us has patterns that lead

          to a broken life.


    1. With a little attention, patterns can be easily
    2. To identify patterns, sometimes we have to
        change our perspective.


Fact: When we understand God’s love and mercy

          for us, we find the reason to transform our

          lives and renew our minds.
    1. The ultimate outcome of a sacrificial life and a
        renewed mind is the ability to distinguish the
        will of God for your present life.


Fact: Paul says that the best way to the will of God

          is by trading our own will in and creating

          better patterns for our lives.


    2. The book of Proverbs speaks to this truth in
                            Proverbs 3:5-7:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”


Fact: When we trust in the Lord and question our

          understanding, we will begin to see the

          straight paths God has laid before us.



Love Reigns Over Our Past

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
April 24, 2022



My past does not define me. I am more

than what I have done.



     1. The love of God removes all of the old sin,
         shame, guilt, mistakes, and failures from our


Fact: When God comes into our lives, He does not

          simply overlook our sinful past. Instead, He

          forgives it and removes it so that it does

          not have power over us anymore.

Fact: To confess means to “agree with God”.

     2. The Bible tells us in Psalm 103:12, that we do
         not have to walk around defeated and full of
         shame anymore.
     3. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, tells us that this is
         God’s gracious gift to all of us.


Fact: When we confess our sin against God and

          receive His forgiveness, we experience a

          restored relationship with Him.

     1. God is interested in the entire world being
         reconciled to Himself.


Fact: He does not want anyone to live a life

          weighed down by a sinful past or shackled by

          shame and guilt.

Fact: A love for God is better caught than taught.

         People want to SEE you live it out.

Fact: A love for God is contagious. People want to

          HEAR that it means something to you.

Fact: Jesus wants to make His appeal to the world

          through the way we live and the things we



     2. 2 Corinthians 5:21, tells us that Jesus took on
         our sin, mistakes, brokenness, and past
         shame and nailed it to the cross.


     1. There is an incredible exchange that takes
         place at the cross of Calvary.
     2. If you are united with Christ, if you are in Him
         by your profession of faith, then God does not
         see your sinful past. He looks through the
         blood of Jesus Christ and sees you as

Love Reigns

Matthew 27:32-42 & Matthew 28:18-20
April 17, 2022


It WAS the love of God that caused Jesus to come to earth and to offer himself as a sacrifice on the cross to forgive the world of its sins.


A. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE KING.                                                                                  (Matthew 27:32-42)
     1. For 33 years, Jesus Christ walked the earth while
         serving the hungry, healing the broken and
         delivering the oppressed.


Fact: This kind of thinking and teaching caused a lot of

          conflict in the area that Jesus served in.

Fact: Both Herod and Jesus could not reign over



     2. Jewish religious leaders and the Roman
         centurions worked together to have Jesus
     3. The crucifixion of Jesus is marked by ridicule and



None of them understood that the true test of Jesus’ power and authority was not in His ability to save Himself from crucifixion, but in His ability to overcome the death that the crucifixion would result in.


Fact: Herod was not the last one to be threatened by

          the Kingship of Jesus.


     1. Three days after Jesus was crucified and laid in
          the tomb, to everyone’s shock and amazement,
          He appeared in bodily form to many of the
          disciples and others.
      2. Jesus’ work confirmed His word as well.
                                                                   (John 3:16)
      3. After Jesus had resurrected, His final words to
          his followers reveal to us the truth behind the
          Easter story. (Matthew 28:18-20)


Fact: Easter is the day that Jesus was given all

          authority on heaven and on earth.

Fact: His final instruction for all of his followers was to

          go into the whole world and make disciples.


     1. You are to be a part of making disciples.

     Fact: To be a disciple is to be in a life-long process

               of becoming more like Jesus.

     2. The final reminder that we are given by Jesus
          before he ascends into heaven, is that he will
          always be with us until the very end.
A Tragedy Entry or A Triumphal Entry
April 10, 2022
Luke 19:28-40
A. Why was Palm Sunday a Tragedy.
     1. Excitement was running high in the city as it 
         always did at the time of such festivals as the


Fact: (There were shouts of;)

“Hosanna to the Son of David!

 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”.


      2. Jesus entered the temple.


Fact: There are two expectations being played out.

          #1. The Hope of the People.

          #2. The Passion of Christ.


    Question: “The Passion”, What does it mean?

    Answer:   It means the Sufferings of the Christ.



To pursue a king’s crown would defeat the purpose of the cross.

To be obedient to the cross would bring about a future crown.

B. Palm Sunday was really a triumph.
    1. Here’s why: it marked the triumph of love over
        hate; because what was expected was war,
        but what mankind received was sacrifice.



Man cannot reach up to God so in grace, God

 comes down to where human beings are.


    2. The turning point for us on this Palm Sunday,
        Jesus decided to ignore our miserable state
        and act on our behalf.



He chose to ignore the crowds

 version of Palm Sunday and go with His.

April 3, 2022

(Psalm 84:1-12)


Question: What is the valley of Baca?

Answer:    It is the valley of hardship or weeping.

Fact: It received its name from the weeping of the

          Jews. (Judges 2:1-5)


#1. We Receive God’s Perspective on Time. (vs. 1-4)

      Question: What is the greatest danger in the

                         valley’s you go through?

       Answer:   The greatest danger is to lose your

                         perspective on time.

       Question: How does the psalmist get through

                         the valley of Baca?

       Answer:   In verse 1, he thinks about the

                        tabernacle he is heading towards or

                        the place of worship.

      Question: How does he know that God will see

                        him through to his destination?

     Answer:   Because in verse 3, he acknowledges

                      that the sparrows made it to God’s



#2. We Receive God’s Strength on our Weakness.

                                                                       (v. 5)

      Question: What is the psalmist saying in

                         verse 5?

      Answer:    Two things that provoke us to


       #1. We will be blessed to the degree that our
             strength is in the Lord.
       #2. Our strength in the Lord will be equal to the
              desire within our heart.

      Question: Who is it that is strong?

      Answer:   Verse 5 tells us, “Who have set their

                        hearts on the pilgrimage.”


#3. We Receive God’s Grace to Overcome.

                                                          (Verses 6-9)

      Question: How do you know that the valley

                        doesn’t swallow you up?

      Answer:   Verse 6 says: “They make it a place

                        of springs: the autumn rains also

                        cover it with pools.”

      Question: How do you go through it?

            #1. When you are passing through the

                   valley, start making wells.

            #2. The rain fills the pools where you are.


Fact: Baca can become a well instead of a grave.


#4. We Receive God’s Reward for Right Choices.

                                                              (Vs. 10, 11)

       Question: What is verse 10 saying to us?

       Answer:   Because in the valley, people are

                        tempted to envy those who seem

                        better off without God.

Even in the Valley:

We know it pays to serve God. We know it pays

to remain faithful. We know it pays to

live eternity minded.


Charles Spurgeon said:

“The most favorable circumstances in earthly pleasures cannot be compared so much as one in a thousand to the delights in serving God.”


Scripture: I Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let

you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”


The Bottom Line

1 Samuel 15:1-35
March 27, 2022

How Obedience is the True Certificate

of Christian Character.


A.) The Command of the Lord. (vs. 1-3)

     Question: Why was Saul rejected by the Lord

                     after being anointed king for the Lord?

     Answer:  In verse 3, he was told to “slay,

                     destroy and spare not the Amelekites.”

     Question: Why did God say to Saul, “Destory

                       Amalek and Agag”?

      Answer:  Because in Deuteronomy 25:17-19,

                      Moses revealed that Amalek didn’t

                      fear God and smote Israel when the

                      Israelites were faint and weary.


B.) The Compromise of the King. (vs. 4-9)

     Question: What did God clearly tell Saul to do?

     Answer:    Verse 3, “Destroy everything and

                       spare nothing”.

     Question:  What did Saul do in verse 9?

     Answer:    He made a costly error:

    #1. He spared Agag the ruler of the Amalekites.

    #2. He kept the best cattle and spoils for himself.

    #3. He had the nerve to cover up and lie about

          his activity. 


     Question: Why did Saul allow the will of the

                       people to override the will of God?

     Answer:    Found in verse 24; “Because he

             feared the people and obeyed their voice”.


C.) The Confrontation of the Prophet. (vs. 10-21)

       Question: How did God expose Saul’s lie in

              verse 13, when Saul said: “I have

              performed the commandment of the Lord”?

       Answer:   Verse 14 says: “And Samuel said,

               what meaneth then this bleating of the



D.) The Calling to your Heart and Mine. (vs. 22-24)

       Question: What does these verses mean?

Obedience is better than sacrifice”. “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”. Stubbornness is an iniquity, like idolatry”.

       Answer:    God wants obedience more than

                         anything else.

       Question: Why was Saul de-throned?

       Answer:    Because God couldn’t trust him to

                         do want He wanted.


“It better to obey than to sacrifice”


“God’s Divine Blueprint of Discipleship”

Ephesians 4:7-16
March 13 & 20, 2022


Fact: The purpose of growing healthy disciples is:

         #1. To enable people to reproduce after Christ’s kind.

          #2. To see people go from consumers to producers.

          #3. To watch people’s mindset grow from

                “What’s in it for me?” (to) “What’s in it for God?”


Fact: Chapter 1-3 deal with doctrine and

          Chapters 4-6 deals with duty.

Fact: Chapters 1-3 reveals our wealth as believers and

          Chapters 4-6 reveals our walk as believers.


Question: What has God given to us to be healthy believers?

          #1. We’ve been given “GRACE”. (v. 7)

          #2. We’ve been given “Gifts”. (v. 11)


Fact: God reveals 5 gifts He has given to His church.

   #1. Apostles – those who go into virgin territory to

                           plant a new body of believers.

   #2. Prophets – those who proclaim God’s Word to

                           warn and awaken the body of Christ.

   #3. Evangelists – those called specifically to bring

                              unbelievers to decisions of Christ.

   #4. Pastors – those called to assume responsibility

                         for the spiritual welfare of a local body

                         of believers.

   #5. Teachers – those gifted by God to clarify and

                            communicate the truth so that others

                            can learn it, apply it and grow.


A. You are “Prepared”. (v. 12)

      Question: Why has God given us grace and gifts?

      Answer:    To prepare God’s people for service.


      Question: Why has God given us His grace (v. 7)

                        and spiritual leaders (v. 11)?

      Answer:    “To prepare us for the work of the

                          ministry”. (v. 12)


B. You are “Perfected. (v. 13)

     Question: Why has God given us grace and gifts

                       (spiritual favor and spiritual leaders)?

      Answer:    3 reasons in verse 13:

              #1. “To be unified in the faith” (which means

                      to come into agreement with the Word of


              #2. “To know Jesus better” (which means to

                      grow and grow and grow into a deeper

                      relationship with Jesus).

               #3. To be perfected” (Attaining the full

                      measure of perfection).


      Question: What is “perfection” in verse 13?

      Answer:    The word “perfection” means:

                         Mature and Whole”.


In Other Words:

God pours out grace and puts spiritual leaders in our lives – to help us become more like Jesus!


C.) You are “Protected”. (v. 14)

      Question: What is it that God wants to protect us from?

      Answer:    4 Dangers in verse 14:

                      #1. “Winds of doctrine

                      #2. “The sleight of men”

                      #3. “Cunning craftiness

                      #4. “Deception”


D.) You are “Progressive”.  (. 15)

  Question: What does it mean to “speak the truth in love”?

   Answer:    The Greek meaning of the word for “speak” is:

                        “To speak and act truthfully &

                              To be truthful at all times.”


      Question: What causes someone to be harsh and


      Answer:   Unresolved injury and issues internally.

                                                             (James 4:1-3)


E.) You are “Productive”. (v. 16)

      Question: What is the result of following the divine

                        blueprint from God?

      Answer:    Verse 16 gives us 3 ways this happens:

            #1. Each individual will become mature, stable,

                  obedient and fruitful.

            #2. The local body will become a coordinated

                   team with every member contributing to the


            #3. The Lord will see to it that the church

                   “grows and increases in maturity”.



The church should grow God’s way through nutrition not by abrasion.


The Journey of Discipleship – The Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:1-11
March 6, 2022


A. The “Character” behind your Encouragement.
                                                                     (verse 3)

     Question: Who is it that promises to comfort every

                       believer in v. 3?

                       #1. God is our Father:

                       #2. God is a Father of Mercy:

                       #3. God is the God of all comfort:


B. The Challenge” of your Encouragement.
                                                                    (verses 4-8)

     Question: Why is there a need of Divine comfort in

                       every believer?

     Answer:    Because of what everyone experiences

                        in vs. 4,5,6 & 8:

  ~ In verse 4, “Who comforts us in all our tribulation”.

  ~ In verse 5, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound

                        in us”.

  ~ In verse 6, “And whether we be afflicted”.

  ~ In verse 8, “For we would not, brethren, have you

                        ignorant of our trouble”.

      Question: Why do we need to know that God is the

                         God of all Comfort?

      Answer:    Because of what every one of us will

                         face at some time in verse 4:

“Who comforts us in all our (WHAT?) Tribulation?”


       Question: What does the word tribulation mean?

       Answer:   It means: “To be weighed down

                        exceedingly” and To be passed under

                        a heavy load”.


C.) The “Comfort” of your Encouragement. (vs. 5 & 7)

       Question: What is God saying to us through Paul?

       Answer:    Something that takes the worry out of


“As you partake of any sufferings,

 you will also partake of God’s comfort”.


      Question: Why does Paul have such a confident

                        expectation to pass on to us?

      Answer:   Because Paul has discovered, that when

                       the pressures of life increase, so does

                       the supply of Divine Grace!


      Question: How do we receive this grace?

      Answer:   Paul looked away from himself and his

                       feelings and focused on the Lord where

                       grace comes from.


D.) The “Cause” of your Encouragement.

      Question: Why does God go to such great lengths

                        to comfort me in every season? Why

                        such great ministry by the Holy Spirit to

                        your heart and mine?

       Answer:  Verse 4 has the answer: “So that we

                       may be able to help others in the



       Question: How does God redeem your hard

                         places for His purpose and glory?

        Answer:  #1. God uses our own weaknesses to

                               pour out His Spirit and makes us


                         #2. God use our weaknesses to make

                               us strong, so that we can comfort

                               and encourage others in need

                               of being made strong!


In Fact:

Your suffering in this life, mixed with God’s supply of abundant grace by His Spirit, Are having a Profound affect on People.


          Question: What happens to a believer who

                            suffers, looks to God and gets grace

                            and doesn’t get bitter, angry, sour and

                            full of self-pity?

          Answer:    #1. You provoke others to be


                             #2. You provoke others to endure

                                   and be faithful!

                             #3. You provoke others to be saved

                                   and trust the One who is helping



The Journey of Discipleship –

The Closeness

(John 13:23)
February 27, 2022


A. We see John “Leaning”. (John 13:23)

     Question: What was John doing?

     Answer:    He was leaning on the breast of Jesus.

     Question: Why was John leaning on the breast of


     Answer:    Because He desired to be close to

                       Jesus as he could.

     Question: Why is John leaning on Jesus?

     Answer:    Because he has a desire to be closer.

     Question: Why is verse 23 in your Bible?

     Answer:   To reveal the affection that the Lord

                       wants to have with us.


B. We see John Standing”. (John 19:26)

     Question: What does John standing by the cross

                       have to do with me?

     Answer:   It reveals the second word that keeps us

                      close to Jesus: “Standing

     Question: What is the big deal about standing at

                       the cross where Jesus is dying?

     Answer:    Any supporters of Jesus ran the risk of

                       ridicule, arrest and execution.

      Question: But what disciple is close to Jesus?

                         Why is John standing there?

      Answer:   One word “Devotion”.


C.) We see John “Running”. (John 20:4)

      Question: Why is John running with Peter to the

                        empty tomb?

      Answer:    Because of what John just heard:

                        He is not there”.

      Question: Why is John running?

      Answer:   One Word – “Determination”.

      Question: What does John’s “running

                        determination” have to do with me?

      Answer:    It leads me closer to Jesus.



Mary’s witness is not good enough! Peter’s witness is not good enough! I must understand and determine that I too am invited to discover a living Jesus.


D.) We see John “Following”. (John 21:20)

      Question: So what does it mean to follow Jesus

                        here in verses 19 and 22?

      Answer:    It means to serve God where God puts

                        you and leave everyone else to serve

                        where God puts them.

      Question: Why is John running?

      Answer:   One Word – “Decision”.



What is the reward of closeness to Jesus?

      #1. You will experience God’s presence in your life.

      #2. You will experience God’s plan for your life.

      #3. You will experience God’s power in your life.

      #4. You will experience God’s purpose for your life.


The Journey of Discipleship – The Cooperation

1 Corinthians 12:1-27

February 13 & 20, 2022

A. I must understand Spiritual “Diversity”. (v. 1-11)

    Question: How does God reveal a Cooperation spirit

                       in the church?

     Answer:    He spells it out in 3 ways.

            #1. In verse 4, there are different gifts, but they

                  all come from the same Holy Spirit.

            #2. In verse 5, there are different ministries but

                  it is the Lord who gives the authority to

                  minister in His name.

            #3. In verse 6, there are different operations

                  but it is the same God who is working in

                  power to enable us to serve.

      Question: What does it mean to “Profit”?

      Answer:    The Greek word for “profit” is

                        (SYMPHONIA) which means:

                       “Edification, Advantage or Benefit


B. I must Understand Spiritual “Unity”. (vs. 12-20)

     Question: What was happening to Corinthians


     Answer:   Some believers, were entertaining

                      unhealthy thoughts (as many do today):


~ Less gifted, Less able, Less worthy, Less   

   significant, Less important or Less valuable.

     Question: What does God have to say to every


     Answer:    In verses 18, gives us the answer:

But God has set the members every one of

them in the body,as it has pleased Him.”


Fact: A Cooperating Disciple understand that it is the

         Lord who presides over His church and orders a

         Divine arrangement.


C.) I must Understand Spiritual “Cooperation”.

                                                                       (v. 21-27)

      Question: What do Cooperating Disciples never

                        say to each other?

      Answer:    In verse 21, “I have no need of you”.

      Question: Why this instruction?

      Answer:   Because some Christians felt more

                       significant than other Corinthians.

      Question: What does God say?

      Answer:   That the least gifted member is as

                        important as the most gifted member.

      Question: Why this theology in church life?

      Answer:    Because it is the foundation of all



Fact: It allows you to cooperate and appreciate those

          different from yourself.


The Journey of Discipleship – The Commitment

Acts 2:41-47

January 30 & February 6, 2022

Vision for the church:

(The Two Greatest needs in the church)

#1. Maintenance                 #2. Ministry
A. A Commitment to the “Precepts” of Scripture. (v. 42)

    Question: What were they all committed to?

    Answer:    (v. 42) “They devoted themselves to the

                                   apostles’ teaching”

    Question: How does a committed disciple receive                          the Word so that it benefits them?

     Answer:   (v. 41) says “They gladly received His                             Word”.


In other Words

A Committed Disciple is committed to allow the

Word of God to renew their minds.

B. A Commitment to “People” around Them.
                                                               (vs. 42, 44, 46)

    Question: What does it mean to continue

                      “steadfastly in fellowship”?

    Answer:   The word fellowship (KOINONIA) means:

          – “To have in common, To be attached to other

              believers, To join in and worship with others,

              To share with one Another, To sometimes give

               – and sometimes receive”


Fact: The words “One accord” means “Co-spirited” or



C.) A Commitment to “Prayer” from the Heart. (v. 42)

     Question: What does this word “Prayers” mean?

     Answer:    The word for prayers here means:

            #1. All forms of communication with God.

            #2. To unite in prayer with the body of believers.

            #3. To persevere with one accord in taking hold

                   of God.


Fact: It is no secret that the earlier disciple prayed

          together in their households, in private and in the

          temple at the hours of worship.

      Question: What happens when God shows up in

                        response to prayer?

      Answer:   “Many signs and wonders were there.”


D.) A Commitment to “Praise” and “Worship”. (v. 47)

      Question: What does it mean to worship God with

                        “Singleness of Heart”?

       Answer:    The word “Singleness” means:

                         Without hardness”


       Question: What is the result of this kind of

                         heartfelt sincere worship?

        Answer:    “Gladness of heart” is the result of

                            pure worship!!!


        Question: What is my part in the process?

        Answer:   “Singleness of heart”


E.) A Commitment to “Penetrate” Society. (v.45-47)

      Fact: Outreach and it goes in two directions:

            #1. Within the church body. (v. 45)

            #2.Without the church body. (v. 47)


The Journey of Discipleship – The Character

2 Peter 1:1-15

 January 23, 2022

A. The “Resource” of Our Character. (vs. 1-4)

Fact: In verse 1, Peter calls himself a “servant” of


      Question: What is a servant?

      Answer:    The word servant (Doulos) means:

          ~ A slave that is totally possessed by the master.

          ~ A slave that exists for his masters interests.

          ~ A slave that is at his masters’ disposal.

          ~ A slave that is totally subservient to the master.


The Five Resources that are available to us:

       #1. We have the resource of Righteousness.

       #2. We have the resource of Grace.

       #3. We have the resource of Peace.

       #4. We have the resource of the Holy Spirit.

       #5. We have the resource of the Word of God.


B. The “Responsibility” of Our Character. (vs. 5-8)

     Question: What are we to “make every effort to add

                        to our faith” (to be a healthy disciple)?

      Answer:   We are responsible to respond to God’s

                        grace by make every effort to add more

                        of these characters in our life’s:

     #1. We are responsible for our “goodness”. (v. 5)

     #2. We are responsible for our “knowledge”. (v. 5)

     #3. We are responsible for our “self-control”. (v. 6)

     #4. We are responsible for our “perseverance”. (v. 6

     #5. We are responsible for our “godliness”. (v. 6)

     #6. We are responsible for our “love”. (v. 7)

Question: What is Peter saying here?

Answer:    That disciples with character, accept

                   responsibility for their goodness,

                   knowledge, self-control, perseverance,

                   godliness and love.


C.) The “Reward” of Our Character. (vs. 9-11)

      ~ 3 Guaranteed Rewards that we will receive.

                        #1. We will be Fruitful: (v. 8)

                        #2. We will be Protected: (v. 10)

                       #3. We will be Welcomed: (v. 11)

The Journey of Discipleship – The Cost

Luke 14:25-33
January 16, 2022


A. The Brethren Test (v. 26)

     Question: What does Jesus means when He says

                       we can’t be His disciples unless we hate

                        relatives, brethren and our own life?

     Answer:    #1. That no earthly affection must ever

                              come between our love for Christ.

            #2. That no earthly affection must ever be

                   allowed to compete with Jesus.

            #3. That no genuine disciple will allow someone

                   else to detour them in Christian living.


Why Not?

Because one of the qualifications of discipleship is to detach yourself from anyone or anything that causes you to compromise your spiritual growth.


B. The Bearing Test. (v. 27)

     Question: What does it mean to “bear your cross”?

     Answer: #1. The Greek word for “cross” is

                            (STAUROS), meaning: “Any

                             hardship you encounter in doing the

                             will of God.”

                     #2. The Greek word for “bear”

                            (BASTAZO) means: To endure,

                             receive, carry, take up and bear with

                             joy and without complaint.”



Put these two words together: Bear and Cross a means:

“To encounter any hardship in doing the will of God with joy and without complaining considering a joy to follow in the steps of Jesus”.


Statements of Truth:

#1. Real disciples endure hardship for the cause of Jesus.

#2. Real disciples live with power and grace to be sustained at

      all times.

#3. Real disciples allow the crosses of life to chisel away at the

      flesh and transform the spiritual man or woman.


C. The Building Test. (v. 28-30)

     Question: What is Jesus saying to every would be


     Answer:    That everyone of us are building a

                        house to live in:

    Question: What is Jesus getting at?

    Answer: #1. The builder didn’t count the cost and

                             left it undone.

                      #2. All that saw it, began to mock him.



Disciples are people who ponder, consider, contemplate, deliberate, weigh it out – this thing of following Jesus.


D. The Battle Test. (v. 31-32)

     Question: What is Jesus saying here?

     Answer: The king had to make a decision:

            #1. He was being invaded by the enemy.

            #2. He must decide to fight or surrender.

            #3. He has to consider the consequences of

                  surrendering and the consequences of




Verse 31, has four words. “one coming against him”.


A Scripture Truth to Live By – Luke 14:33:

    “In the same way, any of you who does not give up

 everything he has, cannot be my disciple.”


The Journey of Discipleship – The Call

(Matthew 28:19-20)

January 9, 2022

A Truth that Matters!

We as Christians should reproduce

and share Jesus Christ with others.


A. What is a Disciple?
     1. Lets look to the scriptures for direction:

(Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 14:27, 33; John 8:31;

John 13:35; John 15:8; Luke 6:40)


A “Disciple” defined from Scripture is:

#1. A person of concrete action, commitment and

      obedience to Jesus.

#2. A person who puts Jesus before themselves and

      their possessions.

#3. A person who is 100% committed to the teachings

      of Jesus.

#4. A person who is growing, fellowshipping, serving

      and reproducing after Christ’s kind.

#5. A person who takes up their cross without

      complaint or feeling cheated.

#6. A person who genuinely expresses love and joy

      towards people.

#7. A person who is totally dedicated to world

      evangelism and bears fruit which glorifies God.


Simply this, “A Disciple Is:”

    ~ Upward       – You live to please God in all you do.

    ~ Inward        – You are spiritually growing and

                              healthy on the inside.

    ~ Outward     – You are passionate when it comes to

                              reaching lost people.



     2. What makes up a Disciple?
         a. A disciple is a Believer. (John 11:25-26 &
                                                                Acts 16:30-31)
         b. A disciple is a Learner. (John 8:31-32 &
                                                              2 Timothy 2:15)
         c. A disciple is a Follower. (Matthew 16:24 &
                                                                    John 13:15)
         d. A disciple is a Witness. (Mark 5:18-19 &
                                                                  1 Peter 3:15)
         e. A disciple is a Reproducer. (Matthew 28:19 &
                                                                   John 15:8)


B. Why make Disciples?

     #1. Because Jesus declared that this is the one

           priority (agenda) of the local church.

                                                           (Matt. 28:19-20)

     #2. Because discipleship will overcome temptation

           of superficial people to always scramble after

           the spectacular.

     #3. Because discipleship produces “Healthy

           Christians” who will reproduce themselves in the

           lives of others.

     #4. Because discipleship will ultimately result in the

           population of heaven when time is no more.


A Truth to Remember:

“Crowds and events will come and go,

But Disciples will remain!


Fact: Evangelism will not produce disciples, but

          discipleship will result in evangelism!

                                                       (Matthew 28:19-20)


A Truth to Remember:

“If people do not belong,

before too long they will say so long.”

Looking Forward to a New Year

January 2, 2022
Nehemiah 6:15

So the wall was completed . . . in fifty-two days.”


Nehemiah and his people were working together to rebuild the walls. Despite much opposition, the walls were completed on schedule due to the commitment of God’s people.


A. The Challenge to Rebuild the Walls.

                                             (Nehemiah 2:17-18)

“Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.’ “I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they began this good work.”


    1. Satan always opposes the work of God.
                                                             (Neh. 6:2)


    2. Stability is needed when dealing with
        Problems. (Neh. 6:3)


    3. Success comes from doing things with
        Integrity. (Neh. 6:4)


B. The Commitment to Follow God’s Guidance.

                                                       (Neh. 6:16)

“When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.”


    1. Scriptures were read and Explained.
                                                         (Neh. 8:2-3)


    2. The people Understood the scriptures.
                                                          (Neh. 8:8)


    3. The leaders relied Totally on God.
                                                          (Neh. 2:17-18)


C. The Covenant That Would Not Be Broken.

                                                            (Neh. 9:38)

“In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”


    1. A commitment to the Home. (Neh. 10:30)


    2. A commitment to the Church. (Neh. 10:39)


“We also assume responsibility for bringing to the house of the Lord each year the firstfruits of our crops and of every fruit tree”

(Nehemiah 10:35).


(Matthew 2:1-12)
December 26, 2021


A.) Life is a Journey.

      1. Life isn’t systemic or a rut.


Fact: It’s a journey, moment by moment, going

          from one place to another.

      2. You see the most important quality to have

           here is openness.


Fact: This is what we all need to realize today, that

          there is a journey ahead for all of us, when

          we get saved.


B.) Faith is what we exercise in times

      of darkness.

      1. Faith is practice in our journey when we

          can’t see the star.

      2. We spend a lot of our journey in the dark.

      3. So we must all learn to wait when the

          star is not shining.


C.) At the end of the Journey is Christ.

                                                     (vs. 10-11)

Fact: The reaction of the wise men upon seeing

          the star, shows their expectation to see the

          new born King.


Question: Why?

Answer:   Because His birth was confirmed and

                 they knew they were being led by a

                 divine hand.

D.) For the Christian, this should show us:

      #1. He’s there from the start to the finish.

      #2. When you have lost the star, hold on.


The Promise of Love

Matthew 1:18–23

December 19, 2021




     1. There would be a sign given to God’s people
         that they had not been forgotten in their sinful
         and broken states, but instead, when they see
         a virgin gives birth to a child, they would see
         the tangible    love of God coming into the
         world to rescue us all. (Isaiah 7:14)
     2. We have two different accounts of the nativity,
          His birth, in Matthew and Luke gospel.


Fact: You see, when God is ready to do something

          new, it almost always is a disruption.

     1. Mary’s life is taking a turn here that she could
         have never expected.

Fact: This disruption comes because of the

          promise that God loves His people so much

          that He would come to dwell with them

          through this humble young girl.


Fact: I believe there are two choices that any

          person has when it comes to disruption within

          their life:

                #1. To avoid it or  #2. To embrace it.


Fact: Some of us this morning have spent years

          avoiding a disruption that God has been

          trying to use within our lives to birth

          something new.

Fact: Like Mary and Joseph in this story, God is

          wanting to do something through our lives

          that will change the world.


      2. Look how Mary responds to God’s disruption
          in Luke 1:34-37.
     1. We all have reasons why God cannot do a
         new work with us.
     2. There are many excuses for why we can’t
         experience new birth.


Fact: Look how the angel responded to her excuse

          by saying; “The Holy Spirit will come on you

          and the power of the Most High

          will overshadow you.”

      3. We need to pay attention to Mary’s response
          to the fulfilled promise. Mary’s response is
          surrender. (Luke 1:38)




     1. Our submission to God has everything to do
         with what we perceive to be our greatest


Fact: The world’s greatest need was the love and

          grace of God.


     2. The message of this birth is not intended to 
         change Mary and Joseph’s life, but ours.


May we be people who, like Mary, who are eager to say, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”


The Promise of Joy
December 12, 2021

Luke 1:8–20, 57–66


     1. The book of Isaiah speaks to this coming gift.
                                      (Isa. 40:3–5)


Fact: God promises that there will be a time of

          preparation before Christ’s birth.


     2. The promise in the Old Testament is that the
          people of God will see this preparation take
          a. God didn’t want them to miss it because it is
              the signpost for what is to come.
          b. We come across a character in the New
               Testament named Zechariah.


Fact: Like any interactions with angels in the Christmas

          stories, the first word given to him is not to be


Fact: A Nazarite Vow was that they would not drink

         alcohol, cutting their hair, or coming in contact

         with dead bodies.

    1. One of the greatest joys of the Christmas season
        is the opportunity we are given to prepare the way
        for others to see Jesus for who He really is.


Fact: The most joyful people during this time of year

          are the ones who have experienced the hope

          and peace of God in their lives because of their

          trust in Jesus.


     2. Zechariah is skeptical of the good news given
         by the angel. (Luke 1:18-20)
         a. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are old, and the
             prospect of having a child was slim.


Fact: Because of his unbelief and distrust, he is

          silenced and unable to speak until the time

          comes for John to be born.


        b. When the baby is born, there is a familiar
            discussion that takes place. (Luke 1:57-66)


Fact: John’s name in the Greek means “graced by

          God” or “Jehovah has been gracious.”