Summary: This message is about what God desires to give us for Christmas and that is life.
The Gift of Life Psalm 85
1. God restore us so we might have Life
A. The People in today’s reading remember a better past and so they remind God we want our old life back.
B. Look at verses 1-3
1You showed favor to your land, O LORD; you restored . 2You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. 3You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger
2. They remember that their God had done great things for them, as a result their question becomes will God do it again, will he give back life?
A. 4Restore us again, O God our Savior5Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? 6Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you? 7Show us you’re unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
3. God speaks through His Priests and the Priest say God does desire to restore your life.
A. The Priests say, “He promises peace to his people, his saints-- but let them not return to folly.
B. The Priest say, "9Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
C. The Priest say, "12The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.
D. The Priest say,"13Righteousness goes before him (this is the way of our God)
4. God will restore Life if the People Shuv (Repent) God will revive them again really means "give life again".
A. Shuv : Aramaic meaning to turn right or to return to the right our English word is" restore" in verse 1,you restored the fortunes of Jacob 4Restore us again
B. Shuv : Also refers to not just turn right but turn around completely from your ways verse8 let them not return to folly
C. Shuv or Repent literally means the following Return to God or return to God's intent for our life "What God wants us to be" John the Baptizer says, "`Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' " straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life and few there be that find it, but broad is the gate that leadeth to destruction and there be many that go in there at.
D. Repent means to walk towards God's way. God's way is righteousness.
E. Repent means to walk towards a new direction the old man is gone and behold a new man has a new direction
F. Repent means to move towards Life. Ezekiel says,” Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone. Repent and live!
G. Repent means to return to what was meant to be. The text today says, “14Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine,
5. All God really wants to do this Christmas is give us the gift of life
A. God wants to give us the gift of a heart at Rest so we may have life Saint Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest on you." When we rest in our God we have life.
B. God wants to give us the Gift of embracing : in order to have a intimate Life How beautiful this verse is 10Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other vivid portrayal of their meeting and embracing offers one of the most beautiful images in all Scripture of God's gracious dealings with his covenant people. (Is this life or not).
C. God desires to give us this Christmas the gift of Righteousness which ignites life forever. When our faithfulness is viewed by the all seeing God, then God's righteousness towards us will be experienced this is the gift of Life. Notice carefully the scripture today 11Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Seem, as though when faithfulness springs forth or up then the righteousness of God looks down with plenty –full - ness of God’s blessings.
D. God desires to give us the gift of light during darkness to make our life light and not darkness. The Scriptures say, “4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness,
E. God desires for us to receive the Gift of Belief so we may have life. John’s gospel says,” I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24).
F. God desires to give us the gift that raises us to eternal Life. Once again the gospel of John proclaims, “For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."- John 6:40