Faithlife Sermons

Advent 4 - Peace Enough to Share - Christmas Eve

Advent 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Peace only works when we share it.

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Sermon
Thesis: Peace enough to share
Peace enough to share
For Kids: Taking home a witness of Jesus to remind us of his peace when we forget.
Taking home a witness of Jesus to remind us of his peace when we forget.
Me

December is normally a very busy time for pastors... and everyone else.

There have been lots of projects to keep me busy
Presents to buy and wrap
Music to learn
Ministry to plan for our church and our community for next year, because most of us are going to be busy and not ready to jump right back in on January 2... other than our Teachers and students.
They will probably wish they had another few days to recoup as well.

But there have been more silent nights this December as well, because others have had their lives turned upside down and sometimes there is not much I can do

So I've experienced a measure of peace, personally, but I see the conflict going on all around.

We

That is the nature of peace for us.

It is limited to small moments in time
It is limited to particular places
It is limited to certain people
Peace seems to be something that we have to be specially chosen to receive.
Otherwise, we are left to face the brokenness of the world around us.
This is the lament of
A yearning for a peace that lasts
God
Psalm 89:1–4 NIV
I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’ ”
God’s Covenant with David
A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
4 ‘I will establish your descendants forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’ ”

Chosen person to Chosen people

Abraham and Sarah
Moses
David
I will be your God and you will be my people
Once someone is chosen by God...
Does life grow easier?
More full of blessing?
Do they finally find peace and time to relax?
No.

Making mistakes (while not under pressure?)

Abraham and Sarah
Passing his wife off as his sister (twice)
Moses
Hitting the rock to get water instead of speaking to it as God asked
After the Red Sea, Ten plagues, etc.
David
Giving into Lust for Bathsheba after fighting his own desire for Revenge and waiting 20 years to become king.

God's Chosen persons mess up, and that leaves God's chosen people messed up.

So God goes looking for anther chosen person...
Psalm 89:19–37 NIV
Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: “I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have raised up a young man from among the people. I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him. My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him. The enemy will not get the better of him; the wicked will not oppress him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries. My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted. I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers. He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’ And I will appoint him to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure. “If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered. Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness— and I will not lie to David— that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.”
Psalm 89:19-
19 Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said:
“I have set the crown on one who is mighty,
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found my servant David;
with my holy oil I have anointed him;
21 my hand shall always remain with him;
my arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him,
the wicked shall not humble him.
23 I will crush his foes before him
and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him;
and in my name his horn shall be exalted.
25 I will set his hand on the sea
and his right hand on the rivers.
26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’
27 I will make him the firstborn,
the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him,
and my covenant with him will stand firm.
29 I will establish his line forever,
and his throne as long as the heavens endure.
30 If his children forsake my law
and do not walk according to my ordinances,
31 if they violate my statutes
and do not keep my commandments,
32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod
and their iniquity with scourges;
33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love,
or be false to my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenant,
or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
35 Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.
36 His line shall continue forever,
and his throne endure before me like the sun.
37 It shall be established forever like the moon,
an enduring witness in the skies.”

Chosen people to chosen person

We need leaders, teachers, examples to show us what faithfulness to God looks like.
Proverbs 29:18 NIV
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
“Without vision, the people perish.” -

God looked high and low among the people looking for such leaders

Literally choosing the tallest among them and then the youngest child of Jessie - David.
But every one of those leaders failed him
And the failures grew worse and worse over time,
Every failure removed God's peace from that king
And when the king had no peace, neither did the people

Then, after 500 years of silence, allowing His people to reap the consequences of their own actions... God stopped looking for a king and started looking for a family, of whom He could make a king.

He found a young woman, pledged to be married to a man from the family of King David.
Through Mary, God came to be King Himself.
He came to make sure that faithful leadership was shown forever
Psalm 89:35–52 NIV
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness— and I will not lie to David— that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.” But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one. You have renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust. You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins. All who pass by have plundered him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors. You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice. Indeed, you have turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle. You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground. You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame. How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity! Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave? Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David? Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations, the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one. Praise be to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.
Psalm 89:35-
35 Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.
36 His line shall continue forever,
and his throne endure before me like the sun.
37 It shall be established forever like the moon,
an enduring witness in the skies.”
This is how God defeated the problem of sin.
He sent Jesus to be our king
A perpetual leader and example across the generations
46 How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is—
for what vanity you have created all mortals!
48 Who can live and never see death?
Who can escape the power of Sheol? Selah
49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,
which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted;
how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples,
51 with which your enemies taunt, O Lord,
with which they taunted the footsteps of your anointed.
52 Blessed be the Lord forever.
Amen and Amen.
But this psalm does not end on a happy note.
It ends with a question and plea for help.

One of the biggest questions we face is why sin and suffering persist today?

Why do we still wait for God's true, everlasting peace, if Jesus was the answer?

Jesus persecuted on every page of the Bible.
He did not often experience peace around him.
Instead he created peace for those around him.

For many, they could not see him for who he was until they experienced that peace themselves.

You

Have you experienced the peace that Jesus gives?

One gift you really need this Christmas
To be chosen to receive Jesus
You did not choose me, I chose you… (John 15:16)
Hear the whole passage there:
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Peace comes from Jesus and the reason the world doesn't know true peace is because the world doesn't know Jesus...
And the reason the world doesn't know Jesus is because those of us who have been chosen by Him have not shared him with the world
It's just easier to try to keep Him to ourselves.
Do you truly want peace on earth?
What are you willing to do about it?
We
It's Christmas Eve
Jesus is coming
But not as a baby this time.
He is already our King
Will you receive Him into your life?
Will the world hear the song of your witness?
Will we be the people that share the peace of God over all the earth?
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