SERMON SEEDS
December 20, 2018, 5:46 PM

SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF 12/17/18


SERMON SEEDS

Q37 – THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 17, 2018

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THE PRONOUNCEMENTS ABOUT CHRISTMAS

UNDERSTANDING CHRISTMAS #3

Here are some pronouncements allegedly made down through the years:

1825 - What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches? The Quarterly Review

1865 - Well-informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value. Boston Post

1872 - Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.
Pierre Pachet, professor of physiology at Toulouse

1873 - The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.
Sir John Eric Ericksen, Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria

1899 - The ordinary "horseless carriage" is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle. Literary Digest

1902 - Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible. Simon Newcomb, Canadian-born American astronomer

1943 - I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of IBM

1958 - We will bury you. Nikita Kruschev   ( These pronouncements were copied from: https://www.av8n.com/physics/ex-cathedra.htm)

Although these pronouncements, and some we’ve made ourselves were inaccurate, there were pronouncements made about the birth Christ were “right on”! Some of the most significate pronouncements were made to Mary and Joseph.

THE SON IS COMING – Luke 1:26-32a, 34-35

Vs. 28 - Luke 1:46-50

Vs. 35 – “The word ‘overshadow’ gives us the proper understanding because it is used in the Greek Old Testament to describe God's presence in the sanctuary and in the New Testament for his overshadowing presence at the Transfiguration where the cloud of glory overshadowed our Lord and his apostles.” R. Kent Hughes - Preaching the Word – Luke, Volume I: That You May Know the Truth.

THE SOVEREIGN IS COMING – Luke 1:32b-33

Revelation 20:4-5, Revelation 21:1-7, Revelation 22:1-5

Luke 1:36-38 – Please note Mary’s response.

THE SAVIOR IS COMING – Matthew 1:20-22

Vs. 21 – 1 Peter 2:21-25

THE SCRIPTURES WILL BE FULFILLED – Matthew 1:22-23

Vs. 22 - Psalm 138:2, Psalm 119:89

Vs. 23 – Isaiah 7:14

Luke 1:24-25 – Please note Joseph’s response

 

To listen to this message, go to:

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THE PEOPLE OF CHRISTMAS – LUKE 2:1-20

UNDERSTANDING CHRISTMAS #4

A SOVEREIGN - Vss. 1-3 - Micah 5:2

 

SAINTS - Vss. 4-5

  • Mary, the Submissive and Reflective One - Luke 1:38, Luke 2:19
  • Joseph, the Obedient One - Matthew 2:24-25

 

THE SON - Vs. 7 - John 1:14, Romans 3:20-28

 

SUPERNATURAL MESSENGERS - Vss. 8-14

  • A PEACEFUL MESSAGE - "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy..."
  • A PERSONAL MESSAGE - "...for unto you..."
  • A PRACTICAL MESSAGE - "...is born...a savior, which is Christ the Lord."
  • A PRAISE WORTHY MESSAGE - Vss. 13-14

 

SHEPHERDS - Vss. 15-20

  • Hearing, they believed. - Vs. 15
  • Believing, they came. - Vs. 16
  • Coming, they saw. - Vs. 16 
  • Seeing, they shared. - Vss.17-19
  • Sharing, they praised – Vs. 20

 

To listen to this message, go to:

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MARK 11 – ACTIONS UPON ARRIVAL

MARK FOR MEN – A COMPLETE SET OF STUDY NOTES - LESSON #13

 

THINK ABOUT IT!

  •  Why is Palm Sunday a significant day to remember?
  •  What was the atmosphere of Palm Sunday?  Why is that atmosphere ironic?
  •  What practical lessons can we learn from Palm Sunday?

 

In Mark 11 we see Jesus' "triumphant" entry into Jerusalem and some of the activities that followed.

I.  THE TRIP - Vss. 1-11

A.  INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING TRANSPORTATION - Vss. 1-3

  1. SECURING THE COLT - Vss. 4-7
  2. WORSHIP OF THE KING - Vss. 8-10
  1. With clothing - Vs. 8
  2. With labor - Vs. 9
  3. With Voice - Vss. 10-11
  1. ENTRANCE INTO JERUSALEM - Vs. 11
  • The Lord  "had need of the colt".  Does He have need of us?  How?  Why?
  • Jesus was given a Messianic welcome into Jerusalem.  What was the crowd probably expecting of Jesus?  Why was the crowd quick to turn on Him in a few short days?
  • What was Jesus looking for in verse 11?
  • Does Jesus examine his church today?  How should this challenge us?

II. THE TREE - Vss. 12-14, 20-26

A.  DISCOVERY AND PROCLAMATION - Vss. 12-14

B.  THE DEAD TREE - Vss. 20-21

  1. SPIRITUAL LESSONS - Vss. 22-26
  1. Faith - Vss. 22-23
  2. Prayer - Vs. 24
  3. Forgiveness - Vss. 25-26

 

  • Was Jesus wrong to curse the fig tree?
  • Although it was early for figs, leaves and figs arrive around the same time.  If it was full of leaves, there should have been figs.
  • How was the nation Israel like the fig tree?  Has Israel in any sense been cursed for her actions?
  • The disciples were amazed at the speedy withering of the fig tree.  How does Jesus' statement of verse 22 incriminate the disciples and us?  Hebrews 11:6
  • It is easy to make great statements of faith. Why is it hard to maintain faith after making great statements? Verse 23, Hebrews 11:6
  • What does verse 24 tell us about our prayers lives?
  • What does verse 24 tells us about the prayer life of our church?
  • Because of where these verses appear in the text, what can we can conclude about unforgiveness and prayer?

III. THE TRADERS - Vss. 15-19

A.  ACTION BY JESUS - Vss. 15-16

  1. TEACHING BY JESUS - Vs. 17
  2. RESPONSE OF JESUS - Vss. 18-19

 

  • This event took place in the "Court of the Gentiles".  This is where purchases could be made for temple worship.  The family of the high priest ran the concessions.
  • How was dealing in the temple similar to going to a Pirates or Steelers game?
  • Carrying things through the temple could very well pollute it.  How does this apply to us today?
  • Is the church to be a "house of prayer" like the temple?
  • Why is such little emphasis placed on corporate prayer today?
  • We know how a liberal church can be a "den of thieves" with its sales and games.  How can a fundamental church become a "den of thieves"?
  • Why did the leadership want to destroy Jesus? What stopped them?

IV. THE TEST - Vss. 27-33

 

  1. QUESTION OF AUTHORITY - Vss. 27-28
  2. QUESTION CONCERNING JOHN - Vss. 29-30
  3. QUANDARY OF THE LEADERS - Vs. 31-32
  4. TRIUMPH OF JESUS - Vs. 33
  • What right did the leaders have to question Jesus?
  • What right did Jesus have to do what He did?  His right was superior.
  • The questioning of Jesus revealed the key problem that the leaders had. What was it?
  • What did the authority of John have to do with Jesus' authority?
  • Why did Jesus' question about John silence the leaders?

 

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MATTHEW 1-2 – THE MEN OF CHRISTMAS

 

There are several men who are very much a part of the Christmas story in the Gospel of Matthew.  From some of them we learn negative lessons, and from some we learn positive lessons.

 

JOSEPH - A TRUSTED MAN

Not just any man could be trusted to be the guardian of the Son of God!  Notice 3 qualities that make Joseph a trusted man.

1. He was just. Vss. 18-19

2. He was compassionate. Vs. 19 - Not willing to publicly expose what he thought was Mary's sin, he would privately divorce her.

3. He was obedient. Matthew 1:20-25, 2:13-15, 2:19-23

 

HEROD - A TREACHEROUS MAN

Herod wanted the wise men to find the Christ Child, and report back to him. He said he wanted to worship Him, but he wanted to kill Him.

Notice his act towards the children of Bethlehem. 2:1-8, 16-18

 

THE PEOPLE OF JERUSALEM - TROUBLED MEN

When Herod was troubled, the whole city of Jerusalem was troubled too.  Probably this was because when Herod was troubled, he troubled others.  But being troubled would also be an indication of unbelief.

Where was the joy that Israel's Messiah was born? Matthew 2:1-3

When there is unbelief, there is trouble! Hebrews 11:6

 

THE WISE MEN - THOUGHTFUL MEN

1. Thoughtful to visit. Matthew 2:1-2

2. Thoughtful to worship.  Matthew 2:11

3. Thoughtful to share. Matthew 2:11

4. Thoughtful to obey. Matthew 2:12

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MATTHEW 2:1-18 – THE RESULTS OF CHRISTMAS

 

Christmas effects people in different ways. We see this in the story of the Wise Men.

 

THE WISE MEN HAD A PURPOSE - Vss. 1-2

They came to worship the newborn King of the Jews. We should have the same attitude at Christmas. We are to worship Him. Now we worship Him as our Redeemer, Lord, and friend.

 

HEROD HAD A PROBLEM - Vs. 3, 7-8

Herod was troubled, and wicked king that he was, he troubled everyone else when he was troubled!

After inquiring of the priests and scribes, Herod sent the Wise Men to Bethlehem to see the King and report back. He claimed to want to worship Jesus. He wanted to kill Him. There are people today who still have a problem with Jesus. They want to destroy Him and His followers.

 

THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS HAD A PROPHECY - Vss. 4-6

This is interesting. The religious leaders knew their Bibles. They know what the Scripture said about the birth of their King, and yet they did nothing to respond. Evidently they either didn't believe it, or were afraid of King Herod.  Today there are many ministers who claim to be Christ's servants, who don't believe God's Word concerning the Virgin Birth of Christ and many other key doctrines.

 

THE WISE MEN HAD A POTENTATE (KING) - Vss. 9-11

They worshiped Him.

They gave Him gifts.

Let us worship Him.

Let us give Him gifts of money for His work (gold) sweet smelling prayers of adoration and requests (frankincense), sacrificial service (myrrh).

 

JESUS HAD PROTECTION - Vss. 12-15

God warned both the Wise Men and Joseph.

 

HEROD HAD PERVERSION - Vss. 16-18

What a terrible crime!

 

 

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LUKE 2:1-20 – BETHLEHEM BLESSING

A CHRISTMAS SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON

 

 

 

Carl Sandburg’s definition of a baby – ‘God’s opinion that the world should continue’ – admirably sets the stage for the Christmas story of Luke 2:1-20. The birth of Jesus Christ our Lord accentuates the doctrine of the incarnation, that God has entered the world by becoming human. The humble circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth convey the message that God has identified Himself with the human condition. C. Marvin Pate, Moody Gospel Commentary, Luke (Chicago, Moody Press, 1995), p. 77

 

THE STAGE IS SET – Vss. 1-5

· How and why does God influence history? Romans 11:33-36, Romans 13:1-2, Proverbs 16:24,

· Vss. 1-2 – Caesar Augustus, originally Gaius Octavian, was the grandnephew of Julius Caesar.  When Julius Caesar was murdered it was learned that his will declared Octavian his son and heir.

· Augustus made a decree calling for a census.  There is much debate concerning the time of this census. Luke’s dates do not seem to match what we know from history.  However there are some plausible explanations. 

· We need to remember that Luke was an accurate historian and has never been proven wrong after all the facts were gathered.  Also remember that we are dealing with God’s Word which is infallible.

· Vss. 3-5 - This census required that people return to their own city.  In this case Joseph had to go to the “City of David”.  Often Jerusalem is thought of as the City of David, but Bethlehem is Jesus’ hometown.

· This passage also tells us that Joseph is of the “house and lineage of David”.  Why is this important?

· It does not seem that Mary’s presence was necessary. What are, humanly speaking, possible reasons that she came?  What is the Scriptural reason for Mary to make the trip (Micah 5:2)?

· We need to remember that when God makes a promise, that promise will be kept (Numbers 23:19). He will even influence the ruler of the whole civilized world to do His bidding.  How does this encourage you?

 

THE BABY IS BORN - Vss. 6-7

· Mary gave birth. Of course, it was a boy! She wrapped him in “swaddling clothes”. These were long strips of cloth wrapped around the limbs to give strength to the child and perhaps a sense of security.

· Our understanding of an “inn” is nothing close to what the inn was like where Joseph and Mary sought lodging.  It very well could have been a crude place where caravans stopped. All that was available was a stall to sleep in and a place for the animals.  Every spot for human beings was filled.  It was in a stable, perhaps even a cave, where Jesus was born. The manger, most likely, was a feeding trough for animals.

· How was it a demotion for God the Son? 2 Corinthians 8:9, Philippians 2:5-8

· How was it a show of love from God the Father?

 

THE ANGELS ANNOUNCE – Vss. 8-14

· Vs. 8 – Shepherds were on the low end of the social ladder. They were usually ceremonially unclean because of their work. They did not have a good reputation for integrity and their testimony was not admissible in the law courts.

· Why do you think the announcement of Jesus’ birth came to shepherds? Psalm 138:6, John 1:29, 10:11

· Vs. 9 – An angel, reflecting the glory of God, appeared to the shepherds. They were scared!

· Vs. 10 – The angel is quick to comfort the shepherds. The angel was not there to cause grief but to bring good news! If this was good news for all people, why are we hesitant to share it?

· Vs. 11 – Who do you think the “you” is in this verse?  Does it apply to us?

· There are three titles given to Jesus here. First, He is Savior.  At Jesus’ birth most Jews were looking for a political Savior, giving salvation from Roman domination. But this was not God’s plan for Jesus during his first appearance on earth.

· Jesus, of course, came to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21).  Why was this salvation necessary?               Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:10-18

· Jesus was also called “Christ”, or “the anointed one”. This was the Jewish Messiah for which the Jews were waiting. Isaiah 9:6

· Jesus was also Lord. The word conveys the idea of supremacy. It was often used as a term for deity. Peter affirmed that Jesus was both Christ and Lord in Acts 2:36.  What implications does Jesus’ Lordship have for our lives? Romans 10:9-10.

· Vs. 12 – While there might have been other babies born in Bethlehem and wrapped in swaddling clothes that evening, there was only one lying in a manger. 

· Vs. 13 – The news was of such great import for both Heaven and Earth that a multitude of angels had to proclaim His praise!

· Vs. 14 – “Glory to God in the highest!” – Why?

  • Luke 2:14 (ESV) - “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
  • Who are the ones with whom God is pleased? Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12
  • What is the peace that God gives to those with whom He is pleased? Isaiah 48:22, Romans 5:1

THE SHEPHERDS SEE, SHARE AND SING – Vss. 15-18, 20

· Vs. 15 – How is the response of the shepherds natural and admirable?

· Vs. 16 – When the shepherds arrived, was there a halo around Jesus head?  How could they tell that Jesus was different from any other baby they had ever seen?

· What do you think the shepherds said to the Wise Men? (Careful! Trick Question! Matthew 2:1, 11)

· Vs. 17 – Why could the shepherds not keep their mouths shut?  I think that by the time the shepherds arrived and saw the child, it might have been dawn. Hence there would have been great opportunity for the shepherds to spread the good news. What obvious lesson do the shepherds teach us?

· Vs. 18 – Why were people amazed at the shepherds’ message? Why are people amazed today at the Gospel message?

· Vs. 20 – If you were one of those shepherds, what would you specifically praise God for?

· How do you think that this event affected the shepherds over their lifetime?

 

MARY MEDITATES – Vs. 19

· The word “kept” has been translated “treasured up”. 

· How were the things that Mary had experienced and been told treasures worth pondering?

· We should follow Mary’s example by treasuring the Christmas story and meditating on its implications for us.

· In a broader sense, all of God’s Word is to be treasured and pondered.

  • Psalm 119:97 - O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
  • Psalm 119:111 - Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

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VARIOUS SCRIPTURES – THE FIRST CHRISTMAS GIFTS

 

Christmas is a time of giving! It's no wonder! Think of how many gifts were given the first Christmas!

 

1. GOD GAVE HIS SON - Isaiah 9:6, John 3:16

2. JESUS GAVE HIMSELF - Philippians 2:5-11

3. MARY AND JOSEPH GAVE SERVICE

It was Mary and Joseph who took care of the Lord Jesus and endured false accusations about Mary's morality.

4. THE ANGELS AND SHEPHERDS GAVE TESTIMONIES - Luke 2:8-20

5. THE WISE MEN GAVE THEIR WORSHIP, TIME AND POSSESSIONS -                               Matthew 2:1-11

 

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