Summary: In this message we will unwrap the gift of seeing Him and as we do we will see the power of a relationship with God (part 3 of 4)
“The Gift Of Relationship”
The Gifts Of Christmas – part three
Today is our 3rd week in a sermon series we are calling the gifts of Christmas. It is a four part series designed to make sure that Christmas 2001 is the most Christ-center Christmas any of us has ever had…
In week one we talked about the gift of joy… When the angels came on that night 2,000 years ago – they came with good news of great joy for everyone… In fact, the Greek literally says they came with good news ‘mega’ joy.
HOWEVER – we all know that joy can be a very elusive thing – and often during this time of year, many people loose their joy. AND that was where the Grinch came in…
GIVE your worries to God
Refuse to focus on what you don’t have
Include time for rest
Never forget the reason for this season
Consider your future
Hold your thoughts captive
Last week we unwrapped the gift of significance… LISTEN – a lot of people don’t feel very significant (maybe you are one of them), they don’t feel like they measure up…that they count, that who they are and what they do - matter…
AND last Sunday Mary, Joseph, The Shepherds & Bethlehem taught us in a very powerful way that is NOT – our career, where we live, how much money we have, what our family background or social pedigree is; It’s NOT our talents OR what we look like – that make us significant… Rather it is - our heart faith, it is - having a servant’s heart, it is - Christ living in us and us having a heart passionate for the kingdom, THESE are the things that give you true, eternal, lasting significance.
“You matter to God – and that is all that should matter to you (in regards to true significance)
Today I want to talk about another gift – the gift of seeing God.
I want to start this message off with four pictures… Four quick snapshots that I want you to try to visualize in your mind.
They had never felt like this before. Things were different, things had changed and it wasn’t for the better. Their perfect garden paradise no longer seemed like home. They were no longer the same people – they didn’t even looked the same. They were wearing sown together fig leaves because they were for the first time ashamed of their nakedness. They were afraid, they were confused, they were; downcast - dejected – depressed – downhearted – AND they were hiding. Adam & Eve were trembling together, huddled in the bushes – terrified of seeing God or being seen by Him.
They had been out of Egypt for about 3 months – they had crossed through the Red Sea, ate bread that rain down from heaven and they had marched to the valley below Mount Sinai, where they set up camp.. On the 3rd day, the silence of the morning was broken by thunder, lightening and a loud trumpet blast!
Everyone in the camp trembled in fear. Then Moses had them break camp and he took them to the base of the mountain – over a million people. Moses set up barriers that they were not allowed to cross.. When the people looked up at the mountain it was covered in fire and smoke – the whole mountain was trembling violently and the sound of the trumpet keep getting louder and louder…
You see, the Lord has descended on to the mountain. And told Moses, ‘warn the people not to cross the boundaries. They must not come up here to see the Lord, for those who do will die…”
He had been on the mountain with the Lord for many days. It was a powerful encounter with the author of life – hearing the voice of God, sitting within the smoke… BUT Moses wanted more – finally he got up the courage and he asked the Lord, to show him his glory.
And the Lord granted his request, well kind of… Moses stood behind a rock and as the Lord’s glory passed by God covered Moses with his hand until he had completely passed – only then did the Lord removed his hand and Moses was able to see the Lord’s back…
UNDERSTAND - God could not let Moses see his face – for God himself had said, no could see His face and live….
It was a magnificent structure…The Temple itself was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and 30 feet high… More than 150,000 people were involved in it’s construction… It stood on top of Mt Moriah (the same Mt were Abraham took Isaac). As you approached the Temple you first encountered the Court of Gentiles – no Gentiles could go past this point, Then you came to the court of women – no women could go past that point, Then came the court of Israel’s men – no Israelite male could go past that point, then you came to the court of priests and no priest could go past there (except one priest who would come and over the daily incense in the holy place –