"Double Blessing challenges us to reframe our perception of blessing, seeing God's gifts as opportunities for increased generosity." —Pastor Louie Giglio

Sermons

Summary: The Letter to Hebrew Christians emphasizes the deity of Christ Jesus. Even long ago, some wanted to reduce His divinity to the status of a mere demigod, by identifying Him as an angel. The Word is quite aggressive in presenting Jesus as the Son of God, Himself very God.

“Of the angels [God] says,

‘He makes his angels winds,

and his ministers a flame of fire.’

“But of the Son he says,

‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,

the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’” [1]

Christmas is part of God’s divine plan to redeem His fallen creation. Behind the mad schemes of this fallen world stands the unseen God, always overseeing His creation, providing for His own people, guiding them with His unseen hand. Years ago, the American poet, James Russell Lowell, penned a great truth when he wrote,

“Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—

Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,

Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.” [2]

You who attend New Beginnings with any measure of regularity will recognise these words as those we sing from time-to-time in the hymn, “Once to Every Man and Nation.”

The events that unfolded in an out-of-the-way province of the Roman Empire some two millennia past, were not incidental to God’s divine plan for His creation. Even before He created the universe and placed man on the earth, God planned for the events that we remember during this advent season.

The LORD God created all things by the power of His Word. The Psalmist observed,

“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,

and by the breath of his mouth all their host.”

[PSALM 33:6]

Shortly, the writer of this Letter to Hebrew Christians will pen words that encourage us in our faith, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” [HEBREWS 11:3].

The opening words of the Bible reveal the power residing in the voice of the Lord. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” [GENESIS 1:1-5].

Throughout the Creation account that Moses penned is the repetition that the LORD God spoke, and what He commanded was what happened.

God spoke, and there was day and night.

God spoke, and the earth was surrounded by atmosphere.

God spoke, and the seas and the earth was segregated. From the ground, plants sprung up.

God spoke, and the universe came into existence.

God spoke, and birds and insects and fish populated the earth.

God spoke, and the animals that live in every clime were present.

The Living God needed only to speak, and what He commanded was! God does not require forethought or planning; His will is what is. We struggle with that because we imagine God is like us. However, we must never forget that we are created in the image of God; God is not created in the image of man. We cannot imagine the power of God, though as those who are redeemed and born from above into the Family of God, we can experience His power. The Psalmist wrote a paean of praise to the voice of the Lord. It reads like this:

“The voice of the LORD is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the LORD, over many waters.

The voice of the LORD is powerful;

the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

“The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;

the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,

and Sirion like a young wild ox.

“The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

“The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth

and strips the forests bare,

and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’”

[PSALM 29:3-9]

Peter informs those who read his first missive among the New Testament letters, “Preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” [1 PETER 1:13-21].

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