Summary: Joy is found in believing the Promises of God especially the big 4: 1. God is with Us! 2. God is in Us! 3. God is for Us! 4. God loves Us! 5. God Light guides Us!

Movie Illustration: The Nativity and Bethel God is with us!

Series: Find Joy in the Journey in 2019

Thesis of series: Joy needs to be experienced in the journey of life! But Joy, like any other attitude, can come and go. It is not guaranteed simply because we are born again believers. We must put ourselves in the places where experiencing joy is a possibility.

Scripture: Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Sermon 15: Find Joy in the Journey through God’s Promises (Christmas Eve)

Thesis: Joy is found in believing the Promises of God especially the epic 5: 1. God is with Us! 2. God is in Us! 3. God is for Us! 4. God loves Us! 5. God’s light guides Us!

Scripture Text:

2 Peter 1:3-4 (The CEV - The Promise)

3 We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness. 4 God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.

Question: What do we need to know this Christmas Eve about finding joy in the journey through the promises of God? Especially the promises connected with Christmas and the baby in the manger!

Christmas brought 5 incredible promises to us from God the Father, Jesus the Son and The Holy Spirit!

The 5 Promises:

1. God is with Us – Jesus came as a testimony to God’s love and to the fact that God keeps His promises! When you look at Jesus as a baby, child, teen or adult you see the face of God. He God was willing to come be with us in this world filled with evil to bring us great joy and peace!

a. Isaiah 7:14: …Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel.”

b. Isaiah 9:2-7: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

i. The promise of God being with us is fulfilled in the birth of Jesus. Tonight we listened to the Nativity story from Scripture and sang songs reflecting back on this marvelous majestic event in history.

1. Matthew 1:23 tells us Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise of God coming to us and literally being with us “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us.”

c. Max Lucado states this about our celebration of this event about 2,019 years ago:

i. “This is the Christmas moment that shaped all the others to follow. On a starlit night in the company of sheep, cattle, and a bewildered Joseph, Mary’s eyes fell upon the face of her just-born son. She was bone weary, surely. In pain, likely. Ready to place her head on the straw and sleep the rest of the night away, probably. But first Mary had to see this face. His face. To wipe the moisture from his mouth and feel the shape of his chin. To be the first to whisper, “So this is what God looks like.”

1. Lucado, Max (2016-09-12T23:58:59). Because of Bethlehem (with Bonus Content) . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

2. Could you imagine that moment for Mary? Looking into the face of God – He was with us in the world now – God in the flesh! Who would have thought that The God would come to this world as a baby?

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