THE ANGELS OF CHRISTMAS--PART I
SERMON TITLE: MAKING READY GOD'S PEOPLE
SERMON THEME: MORE HOPE
INTRODUCTION: ADVENT MEANS A SEASON OF __________________, BUT IT CANNOT BE A TIME OF _________________________________________________.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
· THE ANGELS OF CHRISTMAS BRING ______________________, BUT THEY ALSO INVITE YOU TO ___________________________________ IN WHAT GOD IS DOING.
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
WHAT ________________CAN YOU OFFER, LIKE THE ANGELS OF CHRISTMAS,
THAT WILL _______________ INTO A CULTURE OF ________________
I) NEVER GIVE UP _____________.
5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
I CHRONICLES 24:1a; 3b
These were the divisions of the descendants of Aaron: 3bDavid separated them into divisions for their appointed order of ministering.
· LUKE WANTS YOU TO KNOW THE __________________________________________ OF ZECHARIAH AND ELIZABETH BECUASE IT CONFIRMS THEIR ___________________________ IN UP HOLDING THE LAW OF ___________________.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
· ADVENT IS A REMINDER THAT GOD MAKES YOU ____________________ FOR WHATEVER ________________ MAY COME YOUR WAY AND THEN _____________ YOU TO BE A _________________________________________ FOR HIM.
II) NEVER STOP _____________________________________
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
· ____________________________________ ARE WORDS NOT JUST FOR ZECHARIAH AND ELIZABETH, LONGING FOR A CHILD, BUT FOR THE ____________________ THAT HAS BEEN __________________________________________ OUTSIDE.
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
· _________________ GIVES GOD THE _______________ AND ______________________ TO __________________ IN YOUR LIFE.
III) FAILURE IS NEVER _______________________.
18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” 21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
· ZECHARIAH SEEMS TO ____________________ THE GOOD NEWS FROM THE _______________ AND CLINGS TO THE _________________THAT ______________ US ALL.
· DOES GOD REALLY _____________________ WHAT IS ________________________ IN MY LIFE?
DANIEL 8:16; 9:21-22
16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”
21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.
· BECAUSE GABRIEL STANDS IN THE _______________ OF GOD ZECHARIAH SHOULD HAVE _______________ THE ANGEL'S ___________ CAME FROM GOD.
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
IV) NEVER STOP ___________________________.
57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
· BY ________________ AND THEN _______________________ THE MESSAGE OF THE ANGELS, WE BECOME THE _________________________________________________, MULTIPLYING THE MESSAGE IN OUR CIRCLES OF _________________________.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
CONCLUSION: GOD IS ____________________ YOU TO BECOME A ____________________ READY TO BE THE ________________________ OF HOPE THROUGH YOUR _____________ AND YOUR _____________________.