Summary: We get ready by believing promises of God, sharing His priorities, personalizing His peace
Are u ready for Christmas? It’s already the first Sunday of Advent. 3 more Sundays and woo hoo celebration time! But are you ready?
Just couple of Saturdays ago the NHL staged an outdoor NHL hockey game out in Edmonton – first the old guys played and then the real NHL players played? Those guys have to really get ready to play – they gotta way toques, special underwear they don’t normally wear, just to be ready… The fans who came and saw the game live on the stands, I don’t know how they can take it, -20 Celsius, yikes! But they need to be ready for the elements, that cold Albertan wintry weather! If not, they will be left out in the cold!
Past week, famous soccer star David Beckham received the Order of British Empire (OBE). Boy did his wife and himself get ready…
If anything is important enough, we get ready, don’t we? Is Christmas important enough? It sure is for Christians, because it reminds us that there is a God who thinks we’re important enough to rescue. It is a call to us who believe, that God is doing something important to get us ready for His coming.
1. THE PROMISES: We get ready by believing God’s promises. (v.2)
a. Establishment of Christianity on a solid rock “the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains” (v.2)
The planting of Christ’s church in the world “upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Matthew 16:18 (NLT)
b. Exaltation of Christianity “it will be raised above the hills” (v.2)
“There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them.” Acts 4:12 (NLT)
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NLT)
By saying this Jesus excludes all other truth claims. It is illogical to say all religions are the same, namely because all religions claim to exclude such as Islam… I have message why Christian believe Jesus is the only way to heaven.
c. Easy Access for Everybody “all nations will steam to it” (v.2)
The angel said, "Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide. Luke 2:10 (MSG)
Are you ready to trust God’s promises?
2. THE PRIORITIES: We get ready by sharing God’s priorities (v.3)
a. Cooperation of the peoples: Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD , to the house of the God of Jacob.” It is uphill task and feels like going against the tide. Such cooperative labor will not be in vain because it has power to draw others to God!
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. 21 My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me. John 17 (NLT)
A.W. Tozer says this about worship: "We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God!" But I ask what really preoccupies us? Christmas shopping, decorations,
Do they hear us with enthusiasm say “come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob” or is it a drag?
. 23 Even so, if unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting and hear everyone talking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. 24 But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin, and they will be condemned by what you say. 25 As they listen, their secret thoughts will be laid bare, and they will fall down on their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is really here among you.” 1 Corinthians 14 (NLT)
b. Conversion of the peoples: “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
Entire book of Acts tells the story of how the word of God broke out into the entire world from Jerusalem. How? Worship of Christ, see the prayers, see the actions, see the forms of worship…
"God is looking for worshippers. And if the religious elite are too proud or too busy to learn to worship him, he seeks the worship of those whose lives are trapped in moral ruin."
Erwin W. Lutzer