Summary: Three things to focus our faith on over the Christmas season.
24, December 2003
Dakota Community Church
This Christmas - Believe
For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
We are believers. Our faith is what makes what we are. Everyone experiences doubts, frustrations, and failures that bend us toward skepticism. Stress is not the issue. The problem is rather distress.
Distress is the product of frustration and repeated disappointment. That can lead to a spiraling decent into doubt and unbelief.
This Christmas eve Sunday morning I want to stir the believer in you to renewed passion.
1. Believe in love.
John 3: 16-17
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
The enemy of our souls would like to discourage us until we begin to doubt the loving heart of our Father. Has this ever happened to you?
- God so loved that He gave.
- God loves this world.
- Love did not come to condemn.
If this is true then why do things happen that indicate God is at best indifferent or at worst callous?
Why do the miracles not always happen?
I don’t know if there is a fully satisfying answer to that question; however I do know one thing:
The problem is not that God does not care.
2. Believe in hope.
We are winding down toward the end of another year. I want to challenge you this morning to believe in the hope and future that is yours personally and ours corporately in Christ.
John 10: 7-11
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
- Jesus did not come to show us the door, He came to be the door.
- There is a thief out to steal life from you.
- Jesus died so we could have an abundant life!
For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Romans 5: 1-2
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3. Believe in victory.
As a congregation we have been in a good long time of growth and victory. After a really long and discouraging beginning the fact is that coming to this church is an encouraging experience if you believe in growth as a mandate for believers.
That being said, there are also many of us that are in the midst of long term battles that are dragging on and threatening our resolve.