Summary: 4th week of Advent sermon that centers in on God's love for each one of us.
Discovering God’s love
This morning we gather for the last Sunday before Christmas.
I want us to try to comprehend God’s love.
The funny thing about love is unless you have something to compare it to, you cannot understand it.
If you have never loved anyone, you cannot understand love.
Unless you have loved and had your heart broken, you will not know the worth of love and whether you would take the chance for it.
Unless you can wrap your small brain around the fact that the God of the universe cared enough about you and me to come to this earth and redeem us or rescue us from sin and death, you can never understand God’s love.
God’s love is not learned- God’s love is discovered. ( Repeat )
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
If the shepherds had not heard the message of God and responded, they would have never discovered what happen and how it affected their lives and ours.
Today we are guilty of letting other people manipulate our minds and make little or no discoveries for ourselves.
It is sad we are raising a generation of kids that will not hear the Christmas story, will not know about Jesus coming to this earth to redeem fallen mankind.
We are raising kids that know more about Frosty the Snowman than they do about Jesus Christ.
At the heart of Christianity is the invitation to come and see what the Bible says is really true. God is inviting each and everyone of us to pursue Him.
Discovery means a thing found out through exploration, or for the first time ascertained or
We have people today trying to enjoy Christmas that have no idea what Christmas is all about.
Our culture sends out something like 2 billion Christmas cards every year with over 2700 card designs. Religious cards with Luke 2 scripture-if I had a nickel for every card that had that verse I would be rich. So many people don’t read the card, they open the card to see if there is money in it or gift card. If it is empty, they lay it down.
I like a non-religious Christmas card that said- “Christmas is just plain weird.” What other time of the year do you sit around staring at a dead tree in your living room and eat candy out of your socks?”
If that is all Christmas is to you- that is weird!
The birth of Jesus is foretold-
Scripture records that the conception of Jesus was the work of the Holy Spirit of God. While remaining God, Jesus came in the flesh to redeem mankind. He was fully divine and fully human. He came in the flesh, “made His dwelling among us”
The Greek word for made His dwelling is the same Hebrew word for tent/tabernacle.
They understood that! God filling the temple with His glory. They experienced it!
Christ revealed His glory to his disciples by the miracles he performed and by his death and resurrection. (Truth and Grace)
We have to experience that by faith!
We need the power of the Holy Spirit to reveal those truths to us.
It is our responsibility to discover it for ourselves.
We cannot live by the faith of others
We cannot experience the love of God without discovering what He has done for us.
Until you have your own personal experience with God, you will never understand God’s love
“Let’s go see this thing that has happened.” Until you go, you will never experience Jesus and His love. Our responsibility is to check it out. See what happened for ourselves.
“Come to me, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”
Jesus makes another invitation in Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
We worry about whether Jesus will receive us when we come-
“Whoever comes to me, I will never drive away.”
You have to come, you have to discover this thing that has happened, and you have to grasp it for yourself.
If the shepherds had delayed or not gone, they would have missed the Christ child.
Don’t hold back
Don’t stay distant
His name was Bill, a college student. He had unruly hair, wore a t-shirt with holes in it, old jeans, and shoes with no socks and he had just become a Christian. Located next to the campus was a well to do church that wanted to develop a ministry to students but didn’t know how to go about it. One day Bill decided to go to church there. He walked in late, wearing his everyday wardrobe, and couldn’t find a seat because the church was full. People noticed him walking down the center aisle and became uncomfortable. Seeing no seats anywhere, when Bill got to the front, he just sat down right on the floor. While this was acceptable at a college fellowship, this wasn’t done in church. The congregation became uptight, tension filled the air. Then people noticed an elderly deacon in his eighties making his way to Bill. As he made his way, the congregation was relieved and most thought to themselves, “I’m glad somebody is going to tell that kid he can’t sit there! All eyes were focused on the man with the cane and the three piece suit. When he finally reached the kid, he dropped his cane and with great difficulty he lowered himself to the floor and asked, “May I sit with you”