Advent Sermon Notes

 FireLight Fellowship Logo

Advent – Week 4 – Peace

Date: 12/24/17

Intro: Like the other three subjects we’ve looked at this season, “peace” is a word with various meanings and applications. Over the centuries, mankind has struggled to find it (and keep it). Politically speaking, someone said “Peace is the brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.” – Lloyd Cory

On an individual level, our culture often promotes an eastern, mystical concept of peace, but biblically speaking; true peace is more than an absence of conflict, it’s the abiding presence of God.

Today, I want to look at four points about the peace of God:

I. The Promise of Peace

Read: Isaiah 9:6

A. God is aware of our need for peace (Luke 2:14, Peace on Earth…)

B. God delivered on His promises (every single letter of prophecy fulfilled)

II. The Presence of Peace

Read Romans 5:1

A. There is positional peace before God (justified)

B. There is inner peace (Ephesians 2:14, Jesus IS our peace)

III. The Protection of Peace

Read Philippians 4:6-7

A. It creates healthy/proper boundaries (guards)

B. It guides our decision-making (Col. 3:15, let the peace of God “rule” like an umpire)

IV. The Power of Peace

Read John 14:27 & 16:33

A. Power against fear

B. Power to overcome with “good cheer” (not just dragging across the finish line)

V. Conclusion

Question: Do you have real, deep, lasting peace today?

  • A heart filled with its promise
  • A heart filled with its presence
  • A heart filled with its power
  • A heart filled with its power
  • If not, you can…today

__________________

Advent – Week 3 – Joy

Date: 12/17/17

Intro: In the same way as “love” last week, the word “joy” has many uses and meanings in our culture. Often times, it’s used synonymously with happiness, but the biblical meaning of joy is different. It’s something internal (instead of circumstantial) and more connected to “gladness” than happiness. The principle of being glad is associated with joy, which I think creates a picture of a “settled gladness”. It’s a place of fulfilment which brings a deeply settled state of being glad before the Lord.

The phrase “The Joy of the Lord” is used in several passages, and today we’re looking at what that means for us.

I. The Joy of the Lord Brings Celebration

Read: Luke 2:10-20

A. For His glorious presence (glory in the highest)

  • Old Testament Prophets’ vision of the throne
  • New Testament presence at announcement of Jesus’ birth

B. For His glorious works (Job 38:1-7 as an example, “sang for joy”)

But also…

C. For His glorious love toward us

  • v.14b and on earth peace, goodwill toward men
  • John 3:16
  • John 8:56 – Abraham saw my day, rejoiced, and was glad (anticipation)

II. The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength

Read Nehemiah 8:10

A. The firm and sure Cornerstone (like the wall)

B. He is truth (complete truth, not half-truth I Cor. 4:5)

C. His joy is lasting – Luke 24:32, there is strength in that fire!

III. The Joy of the Lord is Based on His Grace

Read Matthew 22:36-40 (There are expectations)

A. His joy to redeem us (Hebrews 12:1-2 – “for the joy set before Him”)

B. His joy within us (Gal. 5:22 – “love, joy…”)

C. His joy to sustain us (Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy…that you may abound…”)

IV. Conclusion

Question: Is there joy in your heart today?

  • The enemy will try to steal it
  • The enemy would love to steal it
  • Let’s pray and ask the Lord for the “settled gladness” that is Christian joy!

_____________________

Advent – Week 2 – Love

Date: 12/10/17

Intro: We live in a “search engine” world. Now-a-days, when a question comes up…someone pulls out a phone and searches for the answer on the spot.

With most searches, thousands of “answers” pop-up, maybe even millions. Unfortunately, you must often sift through the random ads, etc. to find the truth (if it’s even there). Love is the same way. If you were to type in a search on the word, thousands of answers would pop-up, so what does “love” mean?

Today, three Bible-based points about love:

I. Love Defined

A. Described in the Old Testament

  • Read Jeremiah 31:3
  • God’s love is faithful and durable (v.3a)
  • God’s love is filled with kindness

B. Further described in the New Testament

  • Read I Corinthians 13:4-8a
  • Read I John 4:16
  • He embodies and defines love

But also…

C. Proper Boundaries are set throughout Old and New Testament

  • Read I John 2:15-17
  • Biblical love…Godly love, is more than a feeling, emotion, or desire, it’s an act of the will

II. Love Demonstrated

A. God’s patience toward us – Exodus 34:6

B. God’s provision for us

  • Read Romans 5:8
  • The key point is the unmerited love (while we were yet sinners…)

C. Jesus’ model in everyday life

  • Philippians 2:5-7
  • It’s important to note that it’s not thinking low about one’s self, but highly of others

III. Love as a Directive

Read Matthew 22:36-40 (There are expectations)

A. We are to Love the Lord with our whole person

  • Thoughts – what we ponder, dwell on, contemplate, believe to be true
  • Core person (the throne room of our heart)
  • Pursuits (as to the Lord – Col. 3:23)

B. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves

C. We are to actively teach and remind ourselves and our children of both

Read Deuteronomy 6:7-9

  • Diligence (v.7)
  • Specifically, according to what God defines
  • Set your home as an example (v.9)

IV. Conclusion

We started with the subject of search engines…

Question: In doing a search of your heart for the word “love”, what would the returns be? What would the top 5 things be that you love? Do some need to be added or need go away? Perhaps some need to be attended to get a “higher ranking”?

____________________

Advent – Week 1 – Hope

Text: Psalm 33:20-22, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 131:1-3

Date: 12/3/17

Intro: Hope is a basic human need. Without it, our souls descend into “hopelessness” (and many lives have suffered over the centuries because of a lack of hope).

However, Biblical hope isn’t a wish, it’s a trust based on the eternal character of God Almighty.

Today, as we begin our four-week season of Advent (leading up to Christmas), I want to look at the Biblical truth concerning “hope”.

Throughout the Old Testament, there are examples of people in need of hope (often in desperate need). From Noah looking out over a civilization that was anything but “civil”, to the various eras of the Hebrews, there are three parts to consider:

I. The Waiting

Read Psalm 33:20-22

A. Waiting can bring anxiety

  • It’s like sitting on a plane ready for take-off and you wait, and wait, and wait on the tarmac to leave
  • As time rocks on, our spirit can become unsettled, looking for answers

B. Waiting can allow our minds to wander – (and the places it goes are often unhealthy)

C. Waiting can test our commitment – He is our help (v.20), not our own solutions

II. The Expectation

Read Jeremiah 29:11

(The context of the passage is important. God was telling the Hebrews that they would be there awhile, but weren’t forgotten)

A. We can expect Godly good from the Lord – He isn’t looking to “zap” us or pull the rug out from under us)

B. We can expect that His priority is our inner peace – (not necessarily the outer things)

III. The Trust

Read Psalm 131:1-3

A. Trusting means remembering who is God and who is not – (there’s a vulnerability to admitting it and limitedness)

B. Trusting is knowing I can always “go home” – (like the prodigal son)

III. Conclusion

So, when our hope is properly placed:

  • There is often the waiting
  • There is often a need to remember the expectations
  • There is always confidence when our trust is in Him

Archives:

David Series – click here

I Timothy Series – click here

II Timothy Series – click here

The Names of God Series – click here

Ephesians Series – click here

Nehemiah Series – click here

Psalm Series – click here