Summary: WE MUST BE PREPARED FOR OUR LORD WILL RETURN TO THIS EARTH SOME SWEET DAY!
ADVENT THROUGH THE EYES OF A PROPHET PT. II: PREPARE THE WAY
2ND SUNDAY IN ADVENT DECEMBER 7, 2003
INTRODUCTION: Twas’ the night Jesus came
Twas’ the night Jesus came and all through the house, not a person was praying, not one in the house. The Bible was left on the shelf without care, for no one thought Jesus would come there. The children were dressing to crawl into bed, not once ever kneeling or bowing their head. And Mom in the rocking chair with babe on her lap, was watching the Late Show as I took a nap.
When out of the east there arose such a clatter, I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter. Away to the window, I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and lifted the sash. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Angels proclaiming that Jesus was here. The light of His face made me cover my head, was Jesus returning just like He’d said. And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life, which he held in his hand, was written the name of every saved man. He spoke not a word as he searched for my name, when He said "it’s not here" My head hung in shame. The people whose names had been written with love, He gathered to take to his Father above. With those who were ready, He rose without sound, while all of the others were left standing around. I fell to my knees but it was too late, I’d waited too long and thus sealed my fate. I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight, Oh, if only I’d known that this was the night. In the words of this poem the meaning is clear the coming of Jesus is now drawing near. There’s only one life and when comes the last call, We’ll find out that the Bible was true after all.
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Advent is the time of year to prepare for the coming of Jesus. Yes, Advent is always focused on the coming of Jesus as a babe in a manger, but this has all past. When Jesus returns this time it will be to take HIS children home. Our text again this week speaks of the coming of our Lord. This coming focuses on the reality that we must prepare.
THESIS SENTENCE: WE MUST BE PREPARED FOR OUR LORD WILL RETURN TO THIS EARTH SOME SWEET DAY!
SO HOW DO WE PREPARE FOR THE COMING OF OUR LORD?
I. PREPARING THE WAY IS THE COMFORT WE OFFER VV. 1-2
A. OFFERING COMFORT IS OUR WORK VV. 1
1. Our text starts with a command, but to whom is it written?
2. Is Isaiah the prophet to comfort those in exile?
3. The language is the answer and the imperative is in the plural.
4. YOU ALL in exile comfort God’s people.
5. God comforts HIS people through HIS people! IT is our Work!
6. Are you at WORK??
B. OFFERING COMFORT IS OUR WORDS VV. 2
1. BUT how are we to comfort one another? How do we pick one another up when we are all in the dumps? HOW do we encourage others when we ourselves are discouraged? How do we overcome the exile into which we have been placed? 2. We must have a change of mindset!
3. We must see our reality, not through our own eyes, but through the eyes of our God!
4. We must learn to speak HIS language for it is truth.
5. We must speak Tenderly!
6. We must say that the Battle is over! The time of war is complete.
7. We must speak words of forgiveness, for our God forgives sin!
8. We must speak the truth of the Atonement; the RANSOM has been paid!
ILLUSTRATION: A little girl was pushing the limits of her mother’s very last nerve. Mom was nearing the end of a hectic season of cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping and church stuff. She was also nearing the breaking point with her little pre-schooler. Finally, the little girl was bathed and ready for bed. As she knelt to say her prayers, Mom listened as her sweet three year old theologian "customized" her evening prayer, ...And forgive us our Christmases, as we forgive those who Christmas against us! Contributed by: Russell Brownworth
TRUTH: OUR GOD EXPECTS HIS PEOPLE TO SPEAK COMFORT TO ONE ANOTHER!
QUESTION: HOW DO WE USE OUR WORDS?
II. PREPARING THE WAY IS THE PREPARATIONS WE MAKE VV. 3-5
A. PREPARATION IS NOT FOR OUR JOURNEY V. 3
1. The children of Israel are in exile and longing for their home. We might think that THE EXODUS is about to take place again. Could it be that once more that God would lead HIS people to the Promised Land?