Bringing Gifts, Dec 26, 2010

Matt. 2:1-12
– wise men arrive in Jerusalem, they ask “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” so the whole world, not just the Jews, were looking for the Messiah
– God meets and speaks to us in a way we understand. Wise men were astronomers and God used a star to speak to them.
– Herod’s scribes knew where the Messiah was to be born, but they didn’t care to go see the Messiah themselves.
– more important than our gifts, the wisemen worshipped Jesus and obeyed God when He told them not to return to Herod

3 different responses to Jesus:
1. Herod – open hatred and hostility to Jesus
2. Chief priests and scribes were indifferent toward Jesus, all the while retaining their religious responsibility.
3. Wisemen – sought out Jesus and worshipped Him, even at great cost

What gifts do we bring?
1. gold – represents royalty/kingship (Matt 6:19-21)
– represents our treasure and God wants our heart
2. frankincense – priesthood (Heb. 13:13-16)
– what is our frankincense today? our priase, thanksgiving, doing good to others, it’s not just our words, but it’s our actions as well (Ps. 141:2; 1 Peter 2:1-9)
3. myrrh – death – take up your cross, submit ourselves to God (Rom. 6:1-14; Gal. 2:20, 5:2; 1 Cor. 9:24-27)

Guest Speaker, Jimmie Bratcher, Dec 19, 2010

– Jesus takes our lives and strips off all the layers and restores us to His original design

2 Cor. 8:12 – God asks, “Are you willing?”
– willing to alloow Godly peple to teach me?
– willing to allow God, Himself to teach me?
– if I’m teachable, God will show me how to live the right way
– we don’t have to wait for a moment to be appointed for God, we can just live for God right now.

No Greater Joy, Part 2, Dec 12, 2010

3 John 1-14
– to walk in the truth is different than professing the truth
– give faithfully. Is our giving worthy of God?
– does He get the first fruits or the leftovers?
– is your loving worthy of God? is your kindness worthy of God? what about faithfully doing what you do?

– Diotrephes – like a belch that smells, drove people out of the church and kept others from showing hospitality. he put others down to bring himself up

Mark 10:45
– do not imitate waht is evil, but what is good
– are you like Gais and Diotrephes
– another good example is Demetrius (v.12)
– keep being a face-to-face person. God is a face-to-face God
– 3 John is a letter of conflict and confrontation, but ends in encouraging peace

No Greater Joy, Dec 5, 2010

3 John 1-14
– we’re to be the hearbeat of redemption
– our greatest gift to God is to walk in the truth
– prosper: to have a good journey; to succeed or prosper; latin=”if you are well, it is good; I am well”
– it’s awesome when people who know us well speak highly of us
– that my children walk in truth (no only have head knowledge, but digest the truth and take it to heart)

– a good example: -Gaius (v. 5-8) – showed hostpiality
– walking in truth:
  – show hospitality
  – generous to give what God gives us
  – do what God has gifted us to do
  – we’re to see that we’re helping to spread the Gospel (Matt. 10:40-41) either through going ourselves, or the sending of others. We share in the reward of those we partner with and send out

– a bad example: – Deiotrephes (v. 9-11) – focused on himself and had pride

– so which one are you like? Gaius, or Diotrephes, or some of both?