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Circumstances and Sovereignty

We’re all facing pressures and stresses unique to this crisis. It’s interfered with our ability to grieve the lost of a loved one the way we would expect. It’s interrupted our ability to visit a loved one in the hospital or nursing home. It’s disrupted our ability to work and brought financial stress. And for H.S. Seniors, it’s hijacked your graduation.

We all want this to end. We want people to be well and safe. We want life to get back to normal. But the truest test of your character isn’t how you live when it’s all good. It’s how you respond when circumstances turn your world upside down.

In this text we see the matchless resources we have from God in Jesus Christ to live in and live through the storms.

Scripture: Acts 27:1-28:16

Don’t Give Up!

Rejection and failure affect all of us at some level. Who likes to share something of importance and deep personal value only to have it rejected, questioned, or mocked? When you’re being authentic and open, you’ve made yourself vulnerable. The least you hope for is a reasonable response.

Maybe you’ve faced rejection in the past when sharing your story of faith in Christ? Or perhaps you’ve been met with an antagonistic response to the gospel as you presented it and felt like you failed?

Those encounters can create a fear that keeps us quiet. The Apostle Paul wrestled with that fear as well. In this text we see how Jesus encouraged him, no matter what, to never give up!

Scripture: Acts 18:1-23

The Promised Sign

Christmas is proof that God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. This is the first message in a series of four for Christmas as we study some of the promises God made and kept about the coming and work of Jesus from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 7-12 is one unit of thought, but we will study it over three sermons. In Isaiah 7:1-8:10 the big idea is that in the midst of our greatest crisis we can experience the saving presence of God through faith in Jesus. But unbelief leads to lonely ruin.

In the midst of a terrible crisis, the King is anxious and working to save himself. God graciously promises to secure him and encourages the King to ask for a sign, an assurance that God will be faithful. But the King refuses and makes a faithless decision. God gives him a sign anyway. The promised sign is a son. “Behold a virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Immanuel…” This Son, proving to Ahaz that “God is with us” would be born in the King’s day. In the end, the Son would be a sign that God is with His people, not only in salvation, but also in judgement. 700 years later, Matthew, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, sees the ultimate fulfillment of that sign in the birth of Jesus, the Son of God with us, saving us from our ultimate crisis.

Scripture: Isaiah 7:1-8:10; 2 Kings 16:1-9; Matthew 1:20-23; Romams 8

The Sovereign God

Who is God? There are many ways to describe Him. The entire Bible tries in one way or the other to explain at least part of who He is.

God is sovereign, but there is something that drives His rule over the universe. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere but there is an attribute that governs each of these abilities.

What is this primary characteristic of God? He is holy, absolute holiness. This purity of character and intense sinlessness is the crux of His being.

Because God is holy, it means that we can trust Him, He will never do wrong. Because God is holy, our relationship with Him rests on the most secure of foundations. In this sermon, we will be challenged to seek His holiness and to seek to live as He is.

Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8

A Glorious Announcement and a Response

Do you ever feel as if you’ve become too familiar with the Christmas narrative that it doesn’t amaze you? Let’s walk through Luke 1:26-38 together and read the glorious announcement God makes to Mary and her response. What was part of this announcement? God was coming to dwell with man, through the womb of Mary! Wow!

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38

Sin Doesn’t Hinder God’s Faithfulness to His Promises

God’s plans and promises will ultimately come to fruition, despite the sinfulness of man. We see this truth in the person of Abraham who routinely demonstrated a commitment to self-preservation over a trust in God’s goodness and promises.

Scripture: Genesis 20:1-21:7

The God of the Impossible!

We live in a world of broken promises. At times we’re the ones who haven’t come through on what we committed to and other times we’re on the receiving end. When we read Genesis 18:1-15, we see that “God will confirm His promises despite difficulties.” God always comes through on His promises

Scripture: Genesis 18:1-15; Galatians 4:4-5; John 6:53-56; Matthew 26:26-30

God’s Covenant with Abram

How do I live when there’s a gap between the promise of God and its fulfillment? How do we respond when our experience doesn’t sync up with God’s promises? The big idea in Genesis 15-16 is this: When you’re living in the gap between the promise of God and it’s fulfillment, don’t take a short-cut that creates long-term problems, just keep trusting your Father and His promises. In these two chapters Abram and Sarai live in that gap. Through them we see how God reassures our faith in the gap, gives us a sign (a covenant) to confirm He will keep His promises, and a warning about taking matters into our own hands.

Scripture: Genesis 15-16

God Blesses So That His Kingdom Can Be Made Known

Despite the unfolding of God’s promises as seen in Noah and now in Abraham, there’s a nagging question… what’s the deal with human nature?!? Sin is still present. Mankind has as Thomas Schreiner said “a depth of corruption that still inhabits the heart.” The world is spiraling and then what happens? God intervenes. The account of Abraham is where we see God begin moving humanity towards blessing.

Scripture: Genesis 11:27-12:20; Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16

The Faithfulness of God!

In Genesis 3, we see the first man/woman rebel against God; the temptation to be like God, knowing good and evil, was too much to resist. They wrongly believe God was withholding something from them. Genesis 4 describes what happens in the immediate generations.

Scripture: Genesis 4