God with Us Brings Love

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17–19

 

Name a Love Song:

 

Name a Love Story:

 

LOVE: Advent and Beyond is possible because…

 

 

  1. God is Love

 

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16

 

  1. God gives Love

 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

 

  1. God’s Love Flows through us

 

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

 John 13:34-35 (The Message)

Do I Care Enough?

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it… Luke 19:37-38, 41

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)

If we want to care more we have to remember:

 

  1. Compassion requires proximity

 

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. John 1:14 (The Message)

 

  1. Compassion requires passion

 

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9: 23 (NLT)

Miracle Of Healing

Key Thought: God heals, but he doesn’t heal everyone all the time.

 

I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-8

 

Three reasons Jesus didn’t perform a miracle…

 

Reason #1:  Jesus refused to perform miracles to prove himself.

 

The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.  He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” Mark 8:11-12

 

Reason#2: Jesus never performed a miracle that interfered with God’s ultimate plan.

 

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:53-54

 

Reason #3:  Jesus didn’t do miracles where there was no faith.

 

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58

 

Example #1: “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” Mark 5:34

Example #2: “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:19

Example #3: “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Mark 10:52

We need to understand this truth…

Our faith isn’t based on what God does; our faith is based on who God is.

Who is Jesus?

If you want to discover a person’s identity, there are four questions you can ask that will tell you pretty much all you need to know about that person.

 

Question 1: Where are you from?

 

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Colossians 1:15

 

Answer: Jesus is the physical revelation of the invisible God

Therefore: We can _know God_ personally.

 

Question 2: What do you do?

 

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17

 

Answer: Jesus is the _creator and sustainer_ of everything.

Therefore: We can _trust him_ completely

 

Question 3: What is your _role_?

 

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Colossians 1:18

 

Answer: Jesus is Lord over the church.

Therefore: We must _obey_ Him fully.

 

Question 4: What are your _goals_?

 

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19-20

 

Answer: Jesus will establish _His Kingdom_ on earth

Therefore: We will _reign_ with him forever

Catch the Vision: HOW?

Review:

 

Why do we need to catch the vision?

Because we are to fulfill Christ’s mission.

  • We are to explain God to others
  • We are to bring God’s Kingdom to others
  • We are to make disciples
  • We are to surrender our lives

 

How did Jesus fulfill his mission?

 

  1. He taught _crowds_

 

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable… Luke 8:4

 

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd… Acts 2:14

 

  1. He equipped _a small group__

 

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1

 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

 

  1. He sent _them out_

 

And he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:2

 

Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. Acts 2:43

Resurrection Reality

We all struggle to believe but that struggle can produce something wonderful in each of us.

Small Fry Gets Super-Sized

Here’s what we learn about Jesus at this meal…

 

Fact #1: Jesus believes that no one is insignificant

 

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” Luke 19:5-7

 

 

Fact #2: Jesus always had time to talk

 

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. Luke 19:1

 

Fact #3: For Jesus mission is the priority.

 

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10

 

Here’s what Jesus wants us to learn from this meal…

  1. We are to see everyone as important to God
  2. We should take the time to listen to others
  3. We must be concerned with our God given mission