Christmas Eve at LakeView Church. We finished up the Advent series by looking at John 1:1-14 to see what the Bible says about who Jesus is, and how we need to decide what we’re going to do with that claim.
Hope, love, joy, and peace. In this fourth Advent message, we turn to the Book of Philippians to find out how we can have the peace of God and the God of peace this Christmas.
When we receive God’s love and complete it by sharing it with others, God shines in us. This Christmas, let’s love like no one else!
One of my goals this Advent is to spend more time praying through God’s Word. And, I thought perhaps you’d like to join me in that this Christmas season! Below are a Scripture and prayer. Read the passage, pray the prayer, and then write or speak your own prayer from this Scripture. Send me your prayer this week (email@example.com) and I’ll pray it, too! We can pray through Scripture together. 🙂
Psalm 63:1-5 (NIV)
1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Oh, God, may it be true of me that You are my God. You are the source and the foundation of my life. My hope and trust are in You alone. Without You I am nothing; I have nothing apart from You. There is no satisfaction in life unless You are there. You are my joy and my strength. You are my light and my salvation. You are the One who really matters. I have seen Your glory and experienced the supernatural presence and power of Your Holy Spirit. Your majesty commands my praise and Your love has captivated my heart. I will praise You as long as I live and will exalt Your holy name. To worship in Your presence is the highest purpose and the greatest experience in life. Fill me with Your Spirit, I ask in Your name. Amen.
This Advent, I’m using my Monday devotional emails to encourage us all to pray God’s Word back to Him. Below is a passage of Scripture and a prayer I’ve written from that text. I invite you to read the Scripture, pray the prayer, and then say your own prayer from the passage. Also, I’d love to pray your prayer, too. Send me your personal prayer at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can pray through Scripture together!
“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–6, NIV)
Lord, I am waiting for Your return with anticipation. I don’t know when it will be, but unknown is not the same as unexpected. I pray for those who do not know You as their Lord and Savior because the Day of the Lord will not be a good day for them. Those who do not expect You to come again will be caught unawares, and it will be too late at that point for them to put their trust in You for salvation. Holy Spirit, I specifically name ******, ******, and ****** (names removed for confidentiality) and pray for their salvation. Speak to them today and draw them to Christ so that He can bring them out of darkness into His marvelous light!
Thank You, God, for saving me. Grant to me the power of Your Holy Spirit to live as a child of the light, awake to the spiritual realities of our world. Help me to not be distracted this Christmas season by parties, presents, visits, vacations, food, or fun. Rather, let me live in light of Your return, fully expecting You to come again at any moment, and shining Your light in the dark places of this world.
This is the first sermon in a series called Christmas Songs, where we study the original music of Christmas. The first Christmas songs were composed a couple thousand years ago and written in Scripture. These songs from the Bible will help us make this Christmas season a time of worship, with family, friends, food, and shopping filling their appropriate roles under the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sermon delivered at LakeView Church on Dec 3, 2017.
Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, and I’m inviting all of you to join me in praying through Scripture during the Advent season. To do that, I will be sending out a passage of Scripture each Monday, along with a prayer I write based on the Scripture. Read the passage, think about what it means, and then pray from the Scripture. Feel free to use my prayer if it’s helpful. If you write your own prayer from the text, I’d love for you to send it to me (email@example.com) so you can pray my prayers, and I can pray yours as we both pray through God’s Word!
Below is the first passage, Mark 13:33-37, along with my prayer.
Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!” (Mark 13:33–37, NIV)
Lord, I believe You will return, just as you promised in Your Word. Yet, even while You are gone, You are present through Your Holy Spirit. You have called me and others to be Your servants and Your stewards while we await Your return. Thank You for the great honor and privilege of serving You! Thank You for having a plan and a purpose for me, for calling me, and for pursuing me even when I ran from You.
I ask now for Your grace and for the Holy Spirit’s power to live a life worthy of the calling I have received while I await Your second coming– the second Advent. May I never grow complacent in my mind or sleepy in my devotion. Stir up a fire in my heart to pursue Your glory and Your will. I long for Your return and for Your Kingdom! Knowing that it could happen at any time, help me to be prepared to meet You, God my Savior.
“Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”