Summary: Advent message looking at the hope that we have in Christ. it is part 1 of an Advent series called God of...
The God of Hope
This morning we begin the Advent season.
Hard to believe that another Christmas is upon us.
We are faced with preparing ourselves for the Christmas season.
We have two options, (1) We can let it seek up and overtake us or (2) We can get in front of it and enjoy every minute of it.
I am not talking about just dinners and presents, we seem to always get those things done, as hectic as it gets, we get what is important done and the rest we hope just falls into place.
Advent is a season observed by Western Churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus at Christmas.
The term Advent is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming.” For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for His second coming. It is why we have Advent candles, readings, Christmas decorations, the giving of presents, and the celebration of feasting together.
You can understand that if you take Christ out of Christmas that you would be missing the whole purpose of the celebration.
You would be left with eating and opening presents.
Christ coming to mankind for mankind allows us to put our hope in the God of the universe, in the creator of all things, instead of hoping in ourselves and being lost in our own sins with no way of getting out of them.
Our text this morning is not a typical Christmas scripture but ties us back to the hope we need to have in Christ Jesus.
Our main text is Romans 15:1-13 as we look the next few weeks at hope, peace, joy and finish Christmas Eve and Christmas day reading the greatest love story of Christ coming in love for mankind.
Romans 15:1-13 Read from Bible
It was always God’s plan for us to have a redeemer.
Nothing ever catches God unprepared.
He has never and will never say “now what am I going to do”?
It was prophesied and then completed first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles.
God said that He would come as a child, there would be suffering and death, and we would have a redeemer for the sins of mankind.
Advent is the celebration of His first coming and the anticipation of His second coming.
As a mature believer you cannot separate the two.
Listen how Paul records how we as believers should be acting toward other brothers and sisters of the Lord.
How we can show what Christ has done in our hearts and our lives.
We who are strong, he is identifying with the mature believer, those that have personal convictions, personal relationship with Christ, those that are strong into God’s word that we are not only to tolerate new believers, but guide them,
To not use all the freedoms available to us because we are the stronger believer.
Just as Christ came to not please himself, we are to be sensitive to the lives of the ones around us.
He tells us that the words written for us from the Lord should teach us, so as we patiently wait and endure we would hold fast to the hope we have in Christ.
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed father looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. But the day came when war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram that his beloved son had been killed while carrying a fellow soldier to a medic.
On Christmas morning a knock came at the door of the old man’s home, and as he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you.” “I’m an artist,” said the soldier, “and I want to give you this.” As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of his son. Though the art critics would never consider the work a piece of genius, the painting did feature the young man’s face in striking detail, and seemed to capture his personality.