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We don’t get tired of visiting the story of Christ’s birth. I noticed some things this year that I had not really thought about. There are several similar things that happened to Christ that has happened for us as well. Notice, Jesus was born from above and we need to be born again from above as well. The angels rejoiced at His coming and they rejoice when we repent and come to Christ. Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit and we are blessed with His indwelling as believers. He grew up and did not stay a baby nor immature and we are to grow up as well. He was tempted by the devil and tested by God and so are we. He obeyed the Father in all things and we are called to obey Him as well. He lived a sacrificial life and we are called to sacrifice as well. He fulfilled the Law so that it can be fulfilled in us. He died for us and since we died with Him we get to receive His resurrected life. As the Father glorified Christ, Christ allows us to share in His glory. As He was rewarded so also will we. And as He will reign we will be privileged to reign with Him as well. He was not “Just born” at Christmas but He began to live, grow, obey and ultimately die as a perfect sacrifice so that He could take away all the damage sin cause in us and include us in His glory. Let us purse embracing all that has been and will be done for us as He seeks in the New Year to make us more and more like Himself.
1. The Chief Shepherd & His Flock ● Peter’s Exhortation to the Elders: shepherd the flock of God among you (vs1-4) ● Clothe ourselves with humility: and follow godly leadership (v5) 2. Faith & the Fiery Trials of Life ● Humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand: that He may exalt us (vs6-7) ● Be sober-minded & watchful: the devil seeks to devour us (v8) ● Resist the devil: standing firm in our faith (v9) ● the God of all grace will bless us: so we entrust our souls to God who reigns sovereign (vs10-11) 3. Stand Firm in the Grace of God (vs12-14) ● What is the true grace of God? - we are His chosen people - we are His protected witnesses - we will share in His eternal glory ● as chosen exiles: rejoicing now as we await the Second Coming ● witnessing for Christ thru suffering: with humble submission and gospel proclamation
Beelzebul: Enticing Your Thoughts with Pride
The Devil: Attacking Your Heart with Guilt
Christians must depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we walk through this ungodly world. He uses the tools of our senses and what we have learned and memorized. Discernment,the ability to “sense” underlying character choices and prepare for unknown events, is and important and key tool of the maturing Christian. Discernment is both a gift from the Lord and a muscle to be exercised. Through discernment, the Lord protects us and leads us through dark times to His light.
Introduction: What is Prayer? Prayer is an expression of . . . ● our faith-based relationship with God ● our obedient-dependence on God ● our spiritual battle against the demonic-enemies of God 1. Pray by Faith in Jesus’ Name ● Believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior: and do the works of Christ (v12) ● Pray in conformity to Christ-likeness: for the glory of God the Father (v13) ● Pray with confidence: in the power and authority of the reigning Christ (v14) 2. Some Biblical Principles of How to Pray and Why ● Pray in the Spirit to God our Father: with joyful worship and thanksgiving ● Pray according to Scripture: and in the words of Scripture ● Pray with a broken-humble heart: repenting of sin and standing against the evil one ● Pray privately and corporately: for God’s kingdom to come and for our daily needs ● Pray reverently and whole-heartedly: with fasting and lament ● Pray by asking God: expecting our heavenly Father to answer and provide