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Christmas 2018 4. Dealing with the Post-Christmas Blues

Matthew 2: 13 - 23 Some time ago, Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests came to blows in a dispute over how to clean the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem following the Christmas celebrations. Priests were actually seen swinging brooms and throwing stones at each other! 7 people were injured in this 15-minute fight on the site where many believe Jesus was born. Christmas can lead to conflict and chaos. Now that Christmas has crescendoed, some of us are back to our complicated and chaotic lives. Others of us have moved from “ho, ho, ho” to humdrum. I read a powerful post called, “Holidays and Empty Chairs” and was reminded of the deep sorrow that many feel during this season - “Though you

Christmas 2018 4. Joseph: Shattered Dreams

Matthew 1: 18 - 25 [Give everyone a nail when they come in] It’s a bit awkward for me to be speaking to you today because I’m known as a man of very few words. I may look like one of your long-winded pastors but my name is Joseph. I’m the only character in the Christmas story that doesn’t say a word. A lot of things took place that turned my life upside down. Most of my relatives lived in Bethlehem but my home was in Nazareth, a small village in Galilee. A disciple named Nathanael made this remark “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” I was good with hammers and nails. [Hold up hammer and nail] I actually made a lot of wooden handles for the various tools that people used. I espe

Christmas 2018. 04The Word became flesh

John 1:1-14 English Standard Version (ESV) The Word Became Flesh 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10

Christmas 2018 2. A Strange Sense of Timing

Galatians 4: 1 – 7 Are you aware that God has a perfect sense of timing? Ecclesiastes 3 contains the most profound statement about time ever written: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…God has made everything beautiful in its time…” God is never late, and He is never early because He’s always on time. Jesus lived with an acute awareness of divine timing. Speaking to his mother, Jesus said, “My time has not yet come.” Responding to His brothers’ sense of timing, Jesus said: “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.” On another occasion, Jesus gets the green light from God the Father: “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent

Christmas 2018 A Surprising Family Tree

Matthew 1: 1 - 17 The names in this passage make up Jesus’ family tree. Actually, we could say that this is the very first “Christmas Tree.” As we jump into Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew that contains close to 50 names, we’re going see a surprisingly dysfunctional family tree. You would think Matthew would begin the exciting news of Immanuel’s birth with more of a bang. There is great benefit in studying every part of the Bible. 2 Timothy 3: 16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The Genius of Genealogies 1. Greek word “genesis,” which means beginning or origin. 2. Genealogies substa

The Matthew Series 24. The Unforgivable Sin

Matthew 12:22-32 English Standard Version (ESV) Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit 22 Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul

It’s Time! 8. Time to Remember that God Wins

Haggai 2: 20 - 23 Instead of putting you all in a time capsule to send you back 2500 years to the time of Haggai, I decided to travel into your time. My name is Zerubbabel. I’ve got to tell you that I felt very alone, discouraged and disappointed. I was in a dead-end job with no future. I had been promised promotions but they never came. When I tried to motivate my co-workers they ignored me and did what they wanted...for 16 years! They were fickle, not faithful. I was born in another country and never felt like I belonged anywhere. I was embarrassed about my family and was trying to do all I could to break the cycle of spiritual unfaithfulness. Whenever someone would bring up what my great

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