12/6/20 “God’s Most Gracious Gift: A Conquering Son” Isaiah 9:1-7

Isaiah 9:1–7

9:1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

  The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
  those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.
  You have multiplied the nation;
    you have increased its joy;
  they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
  For the yoke of his burden,
    and the staff for his shoulder,
    the rod of his oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
  For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned as fuel for the fire.
  For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
  and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
  on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
  with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

(ESV)

11/29/20 “God’s Most Gracious Gift: A Costly Sacrifice” Genesis 22:1-19

Genesis 22:1–19

22:1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.

(ESV)

12/22/19 “Gospel Joy at Christmas #4: Remember Christ Our Savior!” Luke 2:1-21

Luke 2:1–21

2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14   “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

(ESV)

12/8/19 “Gospel Joy at Christmas #2: The Sun of Righteousness” Malachi 4:1-6

Malachi 4

4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

(ESV)

12/1/19 “Gospel Joy at Christmas #1: For All Nations” Haggai 2:1-9

Haggai 2:1–9

2:1 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet: “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.’”

(ESV)

12/23/18 “Our Glorious Savior: Real Christmas Joy” Hebrews 1:3

Hebrews 1:3

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

(ESV)

12/9/18 “Our Glorious Savior: Living With Gospel Hope” Habakkuk 2:2-20

Habakkuk 2:2–20

And the LORD answered me:

  “Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so he may run who reads it.
  For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
    it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
  If it seems slow, wait for it;
    it will surely come; it will not delay.
  “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but the righteous shall live by his faith.
  “Moreover, wine is a traitor,
    an arrogant man who is never at rest.
  His greed is as wide as Sheol;
    like death he has never enough.
  He gathers for himself all nations
    and collects as his own all peoples.”

Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,

  “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own—
    for how long?—
    and loads himself with pledges!”
  Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
    and those awake who will make you tremble?
    Then you will be spoil for them.
  Because you have plundered many nations,
    all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
  for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
    to cities and all who dwell in them.
  “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
    to set his nest on high,
    to be safe from the reach of harm!
10   You have devised shame for your house
    by cutting off many peoples;
    you have forfeited your life.
11   For the stone will cry out from the wall,
    and the beam from the woodwork respond.
12   “Woe to him who builds a town with blood
    and founds a city on iniquity!
13   Behold, is it not from the LORD of hosts
    that peoples labor merely for fire,
    and nations weary themselves for nothing?
14   For the earth will be filled
    with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
    as the waters cover the sea.
15   “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink—
    you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
    in order to gaze at their nakedness!
16   You will have your fill of shame instead of glory.
    Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!
  The cup in the LORD’s right hand
    will come around to you,
    and utter shame will come upon your glory!
17   The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
    as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,
  for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
    to cities and all who dwell in them.
18   “What profit is an idol
    when its maker has shaped it,
    a metal image, a teacher of lies?
  For its maker trusts in his own creation
    when he makes speechless idols!
19   Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake;
    to a silent stone, Arise!
  Can this teach?
  Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
    and there is no breath at all in it.
20   But the LORD is in his holy temple;
    let all the earth keep silence before him.”

(ESV)

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