Summary: WAITING IS ABOUT BELIEVING AND BELIEVING IS KNOWING HE WILL COME AGAIN!
ADVENT #3: HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT??
JAMES 5: 7-11
DECEMBER 12, 2004 PM SERVICE
INTRODUCTION: Christmas Survey
What do people believe about the birth of Christ? A few days ago Newsweek Magazine conducted a poll asking some questions about Christ and His birth.* Here are some of the results:
67% - believe that the entire story of Christmas is historically accurate
24% - believe the story of Christmas is a theological invention
If Jesus had never born, people believed there would be:
63% - less charity
61% - less kindness
59% - less personal happiness
58% - less tolerance
47% - more war (16% say less, 26% say the same)
38% - less religious divisions (21% say more, 26% say the same)
For this NEWSWEEK Poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed by telephone 1,009 adults, aged 18 and older on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Source: Sermon Central: Brian Mavis Newsletter
TRANSITION THOUGHT: What do we think of Christmas? What do we think of Advent and the promise of the coming of the Lord? Do you think it makes any difference what we think? Does what we think control how God works? The real issue of Advent for us, I believe, is the hanging on. What I mean, is that we have heard the story, but when will it happen and how long do I have to wait. For some of us, waiting is not such a bad idea, because all truth be told, we are not ready. For others, waiting is like the child who knows they are about to get some really great stuff and just can’t wait, so ever day she asks: “how much longer until Christmas?”
THESIS SENTENCE: WAITING IS ABOUT BELIEVING AND BELIEVING IS KNOWING HE WILL COME AGAIN!
I. WAITING IS PATIENCE V. 7
A. PATIENCE IS A FAITH MATTER: BROTHERS
B. PATIENCE IS A FOCUS: THE LORD’S COMING
C. PATIENCE IS PRACTICLE: FARMERS
TRUTH: ADVENT IS A MATTER OF PATIENCE!
QUESTION: DO WE HAVE ENOUGH FAITH TO BE PATIENT?
II. WAITING IS CONFIDENCE V. 8
A. CONFIDENCE IS SEEING: YOU TOO
B. CONFIDENCE IS A PLACE TO STAND: STAND FIRM
C. CONFIDENCE IS BELIEVING: THE LORD’S COMING IS NEAR
ILLUSTRATION: WITHOUT CHRISTMAS…
With all the hustle and bustle, I thought we needed to be reminded why Christmas is a good idea. Without Christmas…
• The candied fruit market would completely collapse!
• Our boring, uneventful lives would have no stress at all!
• Eggnog would just be a slimy, high cholesterol beverage.
• Santa would be a strange fat man with poor fashion sense!
• Three words— “No Christmas bonus!”
• We wouldn’t mindlessly sing “Hope Is Just Around the Corner” (Our Christmas play)
• You’d have to spend your own money buying stuff that doesn’t fit.
• We would never wonder if reindeer really know how to fly.
• Your cat would never know the joy of coughing up tinsel!
• Number one reason—without Christmas, there could be no Easter!
Contributed by: Charles Tucker
TRUTH: ADVENT IS ABOUT CONFIDENCE!
QUESTION: ARE WE TRULY CONFIDENT IN OUR LORD AND HIS WORD?
III. WAITING IS ACCOUNTABILITY V. 9
A. ACCOUNTABILITY IS HOW WE LIVE: DON’T GRUMBLE
B. ACCOUNTABILITY IS ABOUT OTHERS: AGAINST EACH OTHER
C. ACCOUNTABILITY IS A COURT DATE: JUDGED
D. ACCOUNTABLITY IS ABOUT JUSTICE COMING: THE JUDGE IS STANDING AT THE DOOR!
ILLUSTRATION: THE REAL REINDEER
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.
Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen- had to be a girl.
We should’ve known. Only women, while pregnant, would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.
Contributed by: SermonCentralPRo
TRUTH: ADVENT IS ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY TO ONE ANOTHER BECAUSE OF HIM!
QUESTION: TO WHOM ARE WE ACCOUNTABLE?
IV. WAITING IS PERSEVERANCE VV. 10-11
A. PERSEVERANCE IS THE FACE OF SUFFERING
B. PERSEVERANCE IS IN THE NAME OF THE LORD
C. PERSEVERANCE IS JOB: WHAT THE LORD “FINALLY BROUGHT ABOUT”
D. PERSEVERANCE IS ABOUT THE LORD: FULL OF COMPASSION AND MERCY
TRUTH: ADVENT IS ABOUT NOT GIVING UP!
QUESTION: HAVE WE GIVEN UP ON GOD?
CONCLUSION: THE GREEK WORD FOR COMING IS PAROUSIA WHICH LITERALY MEANS PRESENCE: DURING THE SEASON OF ADVENT WE CELEBRATE NOT ONLY THE COMING OF THE CHRIST CHILD, BUT THE TRUTH OF IMMANUEL, GOD IS WITH US: PRESENCE. GOD IS WITH US THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT, BUT JESUS IS COMING! HE WILL SHOW UP AND WHEN HE DOES, HE WILL BE LOOKING FOR THOSE WHO HAVE PERSEVERED AND NOT GIVEN UP. HE WILL BE LOOKING FOR THE FAITHFUL WHO BELIEVED (LUKE 18:8). WILL YOU BE FOUND FAITHFUL? ARE YOU ACCOUNTABLE? JESUS HAS COME AND IS COMING: AMEN!
BENEDICTION: HEBREWS 13: 20-21