A Willing Helper
Next one is Angels, We Have Heard on High.
Number 161 in your hymnals.
A reading this morning is taken from Acts chapter 8, verses 31 32 and 34 and five. You might remember the episode here. It's
Philip and he's been with away from Samaria and has traveled by flights to the southern portion portions of Israel. And so, he lands here and certainly wondering what's going on. I'm sure Andy sees this unique from from Ethiopia and he goes up to speak to him and ask him. What he's doing is reading God's word. She says, Eddie asked him. Does he understand? So, that's where it begins. He says, how can I explain it to me? And so, he invited Phillip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of scripture. The eunuch was reading. He was led like a sheep to the slaughter and it's a Lambic. For the sheer is silent and so he did not open his mouth. The eunuch ask Philip. Tell me, please who is the prophet talking about himself or someone else. Then fill it began with that. Very passage of scripture and told him the good news about Jesus and the Ethiopian believe that and he took that back with him to Ethiopia and from his ministry there, the Coptic Church began. Most of you don't hear much about the Coptic Church bud in Africa, and that part of the world. It is very strong religion followers of Christ. And if you ever go to the Church of the Nativity in Jerusalem and go to a worship service, there is divided three ways. One with the Catholic Church, one with the Coptic church and one with the Orthodox church, and they all hold the one-third of the services. They are. So God works in very unique ways and it just depends upon how we look at where God places us, dog, plays Philip in this area and he responded by Ministry. And there we need to remember that as we go through life. Okay, some prayer requests that we have on the docket here. As many of, you know, Kaylee cruising. Is that how I spell it Callie. Cali Cruisin was in a incredibly severe accident. She's in Eugene. I believe in death in is being ministered to there in an induced coma. So we need to be in prayer for her and for the other gal that was with her passed away. And so the family is truly are grieving. Kimmy asked to pray for her great-nephew Evan who has the flu and strep and her great-grand niece Anna who has covid. And also we have some Travelers heading out today to go over to the other side of the mountain and we need to be in prayer for her Teddy and family as they head over that way. Plus anybody else who is traveling today. So let's go to prayer.
Our precious father, how good it is to come before you for you hold. All these circumstances in your hand and we do want to trust you and know that as we present our request before you that you do here and you are responding in your way. So, father, we praise your name for that and I pray that your blessing would be laid upon every request made father. Our desire is that the people of our community, our friends are family, our neighbors, who don't know, you would come to know you father for that is the great changing of life in our eternity. And so we pray for the lives of people here. And father, not only do we pray for their laws with pray for our lives. That we would be Answer to that need and when we have opportunity to present the word of God and encourage people, to follow you, that we would take up that the challenge in our lives. We do want to remember, Kelly, krusen, and the struggle she is going through. We pray for wisdom, for the doctor's. But most of all for your Mighty hand, to touch her life and pray for healing for her body. We pray for the families. So her family and the family of the other lady with, it was with her that father, that you would bring peace and comfort to their lives in circumstances, like this father. It's the pain in their hurt is incredible. And the loss is Is sometimes unbearable and yet, Lord, and even in these circumstances, you can use them to bring about a touch of you, an attorney to you and the lives of the people that surround these circumstances. And so we pray that you would touch these parts. Lord. We also want to remember to pray for Evan and his battle against this flu and strep throat, and the struggles that come along with that. And we think of Anna and her battle with covid-19. Come through it. Well, Lord. We also want to Remember The Travelers that are heading out now and really going over the passes. Now, we pray for your protection on them and the wisdom in the steps that they take. And we pray for their safe arrival in their at their destinations. Or we also want to remember the unspoken request. We know that each of us has those things that run through our minds and that are there, and we know that you're involved in those because, you know, our thoughts, you know, our desires. And so father, we pray that you would Minister to each of us as we take a look at each of these struggles that we lay at your feet. May you bless him. Then we pray for your continued blessing as we worship you and music and through the power of your word. Father, the mighty in us to lift our hearts. Bring joy to your heart. Praise You. In Jesus name? Amen.
There are some very, very good songs that are so associated with this time of year that it's hard to see him anywhere that time other. So, in that Spirit, we're going to
In Ransom, gay is right.
The Emmanuel Emmanuel.
she'll come to the
I am on Sam.
Amen, yes, will supercharged. I'm
Well, let's pray before we get started. Our Mighty. God, how are you? Turn? 11 lasting father who created us and brought us into existence and then has given life to so many in the world who have really called upon your name and trusted in. You is truly the Lord and savior of all and we celebrate the coming of that savior two thousand years ago today or yesterday and today. And so father, may you be with us. We ask that the power of your spirit. We be present mightily in our hearts for father. It is the spirit who really teaches. I have words to say, but they mean nothing apart from your guidance and wisdom. And so father, may your spirit speak mightily through me that you would be honored and lift it up and that we would leave here blessed and Desiring of Greater change in our lives. Bless us. Oh Lord. In Jesus name. Amen. Well, this is an interesting one. I originally planned the service. You know, I plan out. The service is well, in advance, normally 8 to 12 weeks ahead. I know what I'm going to be preaching on, on that particular Sunday. And so, I did for this service, the name of the the message is supposedly, the great arrival, you know, and sometimes you have these set in your mind and I made the outline several weeks ago, and then I began praying, more fervently about it and going through it. And I came to the idea that that was probably not the best title for the message. So, I kind of rearrange things. I didn't rearrange the outline. The LI it was pretty good for what I have planned, but I'm changing the The message to expectation. Rather than a great arrival. It was a great arrival, of course, but we're going to take a look at from perhaps a few different perspectives and think about expectations in our lives. And what we see, you know, there's some times we have things said in our lives and then other things come along like brain tumors and Cancer. And a few other things like that, that are huge changes to our lives that we didn't expect. And yet they're there and we take a look at them and how we perceive them and move forward in our lives, really is a depended upon our walk with the Living God. I am and we can see them as God's hand working through situations and we go through it and wait and see where God is taking us in this struggle or we Get upset and angry and really cry against God. And what he going to happen to our lives and those are struggle. So just kind of the way it was with this message. This is a minor one compared to some of those other things. But I have to be willing to take a look where God wants to take you in something. And then say, Okay Lord go your way rather than my own way. And we're going to take a look at some people to today that had things in their lives and what they were going to go through and the Lord brought tremendous change, but in the end that change became a blessing, but sometimes it takes awhile for that blessing to be revealed, but we simply have to learn to trust that truly. God has our lives in his hand. You know, I'm that's one of the struggles of human life. Is there really trust him in it. So we're going to be going to Luke Chapter 2 and we're going to read first about the struggle that Mary and Joseph had remember here is Mary and Joseph. There are people that want to serve the Living God and all of a sudden they are alive or changed. There's upheaval in their lives and it's brought about by the Living God and truly. You think well, you know, God's God's going to do everything, great for them. But that's read what happens in the verses 2 through 4 through 7. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea to Bethlehem the town of David because he belonged to the house in the line of David. He went there to register with Mary who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. And while they would have time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn a son, she wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a Manger because there was no guest room available for them. And if you think about Joseph and Mary, I remember God came to them and said, hey, you're going to have the Son of God in your life. And the Joseph they said, okay, she's pregnant and she's going to have a baby from the Lord. And go ahead and continue to live out your lives. Well, some unexpected things come up in this year's Mary 9 months pregnant and she's having to travel by donkey or whatever for 70 miles before she gives birth. And she doesn't give birth in a room. She has to do it probably on a floor of a stable. These are not the things that you kind of expect. When you step out to serve the Living, God. It doesn't always go. So the way we imagined it. And yet she was blessed by the Lord. Do we trust God's Guiding Light and that's something that you have to ask your heart. Am I trusting God?
Weather have I am and whatever is happening to my life. Am I trusting him to lead me through through those struggles? You know, God, it said, I'm going to bless the Nations righteousness, is going to come to them. Salvation is on its way. Be ready for it. And sometimes we think, oh, well that's going to be wonderful and joyful and that's going to be exciting. And everybody's going to know and that's where thing. And sometimes it doesn't, what at you. But God desire is the best. Isaiah 51:5 says, my righteousness draws near speedily. Think about speedily. He wrote that 700 years before. Jesus Christ. Came on the earth. Okay, so My salvation is on the way and my arm will bring Justice to the Nations. The islands will look to me and wait and hope for my arm. Okay, think about that declaration. That hasn't been completely filled yet. And yet, God is still at work. In all things. Do you trust that? Do you trust? It will happen? And certainly we ought to notice that it says that Jesus Christ will rule on the throne of David and it will be a continual a blessing and we know he is ruling today, but we look at the Earth and say how in the world can this be? And yet it was proclaimed to David by the prophet, Nathan who proclaim the words of the Lord way back in 2nd, Samuel 6, verse 7, 16 your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me, your throne will be established forever. The savior's coming. He's going to come out of your line. Your throne will be established. And if you look at the world and what's happening in our world, you say wait a minute. It sure doesn't look right and yet it is right. Why? Because it's not the world that is in control. It's God. Who is in control? Do you trust that? What's your expectations here?
We have to think through that another thing that happened along the way, is that God said that the Virgin would be there. Now, think about Joseph and Mary, and I'm sure that when the angel came to them and told them that they were going to have a baby that was born of the holy spirit that they were truly searching the scriptures to know what's going on. You know, how in the world is all this work and they finally probably read through Isaiah and they saw that purse and said, well, that's me here. Here's the verse. Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. The Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel. Which remember that's the name that the the angel. Said that this child would be, he also gave him the name Jesus. But remember this is a gannet 700 year difference from when Mary came along and the answer to that prayer, that that prophecy, remember this prophecy was given to a King that really didn't trust God. And yet it came about him about true. They also probably knew that as they were traveling on their way to Bethlehem. And I don't know what the weather conditions were. You know, we have, we celebrate in the winter time. Maybe it was Winter and rainy and miserable or maybe it was summer time and it was hot and miserable. We don't know. But everybody was going to Bethlehem. And if they had been reading the scriptures of looking at it, they would say, okay. Yeah, we're on our way and that's where we're going to have it. So I don't have to worry that I'm going to give birth. You're on the road. So it'll be in Bethlehem Micah 5:2. But you Bethlehem ephrathah though. You are small among the clans of Judah out of you will come for me. One who will be the ruler over Israel, whose Origins are from of old, from ancient times. So, you know, as they're looking through it and they're struggling through it, if their eyes are on the Lord, and I believe that Mary and Joseph size were on the Lord, and they were not doubting, but believing that God was going to carry them through on this because he'd come to them, and he said he would And their trust was there. Now you and I are believers in Jesus Christ. At least. Most of you are. I don't know if you all are, but if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God's hand is on your life, and he is operating in your life and helping you. To grow in him as you trust him. But you know, he gives you circumstances in your life and how you face those circumstances will probably need to determine how you grow in understanding and knowledge of him. You know, you have to make choices to serve God and honor him. No matter the circumstances that you are in. Let's continue on. There's another group that is going to be influenced here. There's a bunch of Shepherds that are out in the field. Remember their job. I'm watching over these sheep. I'm making sure the Wolves and the lions that come along, or a chased off. I'm making sure that they are finding safe pasture or even in the nighttime. I'm alert. I'm waiting. I'm not expecting. What comes, you know, here's a change in the lives of people as they come along, Luke 2:8 through 14, and there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night, an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord Shone around them and they were terrified. The angel said to them, do not be afraid. I bring you good news. That will cause great. Joy for all the people today in the town of David. A savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord, this will be a sign to you. You will. I don't know how many angels appeared before them. A revelation says, 10000 * 10000 or about 100 million. Angels. I don't know how many of them showed up for this one, but certainly there was a lot of praising going on. In them, you know, sometimes we are surprised at life and how things operate. I don't know if you believe in angels or not, but certainly the Bible does. And so there are angels out there. They're watching over you and guiding circumstances in your life. Sometimes, we don't know it, but it's there and the gospels and acts we see you be Angels operating rather boldly in openly. In the end, their work, the expectations that we have, in those things are big. We have a group of the apples. And they're out proclaiming God's word in their hold in prison for preaching the word, you know, and then in Acts chapter five verse 19, it says these words, goodnight and the angel of the Lord, open the doors of the jail and brought them out, you know, and how do you respond when all of a sudden you see God operating and there's a big change in your life. You know, they were in prison. The expectation was that they would stay there. They were left out. You know. Now should we go into hiding? Because we don't want to be taken again to prison what they do. They did, would God ask them to do? I went out and they started preaching the word again. And then when they were when the Sanhedrin said bring them before us out of jail guards, if they're not there anymore. They're out preaching, God's word. So what are you do when people stand by the Living God? And there was nothing that they could do but allow this to happen. And so the boldness when God is operating and we understand and know that he's operating. How do we respond to it? You responded belief. Are you responding negativity and just allow yourself to live in? A weakened state.
But God wants us to be both people for the Lord. Don't fear, you know and these angels they show up and that's often the response is fear and I'm certain if an angel all of a sudden appeared to us right here revealed himself, there might be a little fear Among Us. Okay. What's he going to do? And that's often the response. It was a response of Zakaria men to worship God in the sanctuary and the angel appeared to him. It says, in Luke 112, when's akaraya saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear is expectation. Was that an angel wouldn't be there when the angel does show up and you have been walking with God.
We need to realize that God is working. Power plate in that situation. Even though fear might Griffis a little bit, we have to realize God is at work and making a huge difference in our lives and he is at work in our lives, making a huge difference. But again, it comes back to what I believe in that situation. What I truly believe in what he's doing.
You know why it's interesting that the the Shepherds were told to go and Proclaim, you know, to look see this baby and and responded that very often God works in different ways. You know, sometimes he wants his is a name revealed and I think it's often he wants it revealed by people who truly love and trust him and are willing to do that. And here it is interesting Lee. It's a bunch of Shepherds that he goes to it's not the elite of the community that he goes to. He doesn't go to the Sanhedrin and tell them the child is here. It's Shepherds out in the field and that's how God works. But he wants them to know and Proclaim. And there's times when he wants his name proclaimed, and there were other times when he said no. Matthew 16:23 says, no. He says, then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. Okay, they recognized, he was the Messiah. Shouldn't we tell people? Shouldn't they know? Well, there's a plan about and that plan was that the Messiah would be crucified and it couldn't be, if people, all of a sudden, recognize that Jesus was the Messiah and followed him and supported him, through all these things. There was a plan God had and it was afterwards and the apostles had been in filled with the holy spirit that they began to Proclaim boldly and even unto death, the name of Jesus.
Jesus is here to bring peace, and that's what the angels are told in. Jesus does bring peace. And he does it, he brings peace to those who accept him as their lord and savior. We have peace. When we do that peace in our lives. Now part of that piece right now is that you really are accepting him through all those circumstance of your life. Those expectations you have, you know, our peace is Reliant Upon Our willingness to accept that God is in control and he's got this whatever the circumstance. Maybe he's got it and he can handle it and we can trust it that.
Isaiah 53:5 says, but he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities with the punishment that brought us. The punishment that brought us peace was on him. And by his wounds, we are healed.
here it is a proclamation that Suffering, had to take place. For life to exist, think about that. When you go through life and your face struggles and trials, and difficulties. Remember that, God is working through those circumstances. He really is there and do I trust him for that? Who I follow and pursue my Lord and Savior? As I should take a look and see how the shepherd's responded to their call and how they faced this Revelation. It was given to them. Luca to 15 to 20 when the Angels had left them and gone into heaven. The Shepherds said to one another. Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about and so they hurried off noticed. They said the Lord has told us about a recognized where these angels came from. You need to think about that sometimes so they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby was lying in a manger and when they had seen him, they spread the word concerning. What they had that what had been told them about the child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherd said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen which were just as they have been told. You know, if the word is there, the recognition that Jesus existed is absolutely there. The recognition that he died to save our sins and even the resurrection is there for us to see and understand.
The question is, do you believe that do you trust in all of that? And if so, have you saw him and do you seek him? And that's what the prince had. They had a revelation, the Angels reveal. It is said he's come, he's there. Are you going to take advantage of what we've told you? And of course they did. They did. Jesus says in Matthew 7:8 for everyone who asks, receives the one who seeks finds and to the one who knocks the door will be open. You know what? That's for each and every one of us just as the Shepherds were called in the wilderness to leave the sheep and go find the shepherd. They chose to find the shepherd. And they found the joy that could only be there as we ask and seek and find as we knock on that door and allow God to work. God works. There. He has this. Incredible pearl of great price that Jesus talks about that Pearl. That is worth anything that we have. And that's what these Shepherds went to see. If they went to see that Pearl and they found it and they rejoiced in it. And that's the same thing. We ought to Matthew 1345 and six. Again. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for pearls. When he found one of Great Value, we went away and sold everything. He hadn't brought bought it. The price is worth everything. We have knowing Jesus Christ, you know, it's not all those great things. We live on. You know, we have a great existence here in our lives right now. God has provided for each and everyone of us so much. And yet The Greatest Prize is the one that we need to take the greatest joy in. The prize of Salvation through Jesus Christ. And that tremendous piece that we have when he gives us this life. It's great news. Innisbrook Lane and you can Proclaim it in our community to others. Remember the Samaritan at the Well, the lady who had five wives was living with a man that wasn't five husbands and she was living, Sorry. Living with the man who wasn't her husband, you know, when Jesus talked to her and told her about this and told her, who he was. And she believed and she went running back into town. And she says, in John 429 come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah joy? And that's the way we need to respond. Doesn't matter what the past is like. Certainly, most of us can't point to our past and say, yeah, I was worse than that.
But her life was changed, why? Because she believed and trusted and followed and that's the call to each and everyone of us. And it finally, they came and they praise God. And glorified God, and all of, they had Matthew 98, says, when the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe. And they praise The God. Who had given such a story to a man. Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. Do we praise him, praise Him throughout your week? Not just here on Sunday morning. But each and every day. Is he a praise on your lips for all that? He has done for you and continues to do in your life. Do you praise him when circumstances don't appear the way they ought to You know, and the hope is that. Our expectations are that each and every moment would be a moment. Did God is active and working in our lives, even when it seems horrible?
We face those problems, as many we know, do I am? Saw this actually Mary saw this writing on Facebook and I thought it was really interesting about Mary and her, look at life and all of these things. It says lips highly favored. Mary was highly favored but was almost put away by the man. She loved the most.
Highly favored, but she was rejected by every person in Bethlehem. Highly favored, but she laid on a dirt floor of a barn and gave birth to a baby. She carried 9 months. Highly favored, but in the middle of the night had to leave all she knew and move to a strange town land. Because God said, so. They were never looks like favorite first favor. Sometimes takes you through frustration failure in fear. You want to be favored of God. It may be in the darkest night or the deepest valley, but they're in that place, where no one sees you. And you feel like no one understands whisper to yourself. This is only the beginning, not the end. This will turn out for my glory, my good and His glory. This is because I'm favorite. Your favored, if you know, Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. The circumstances of your life are blessed because you know, Jesus Christ as your lord and savior and sometimes the circumstances of Our Lives, don't look like we're favored. But they are you our favorite highly favored. Do you trust God to lead you in the right path? No matter the circumstances. That's what God called married to. And if that's what he calls each and every one of us to to trust.
They have the expectation that God is going to bless that situation. Even through all the struggles, almost every one of us can point to those moments.
Do we trust? Let's print. Grace's Father in Heaven, how we thank you that you are the mighty one. Holy and true and that you loved us so much that you walk through life with us. Never leaving us, never forsaking us, but are there through every circumstance, good or evil? And so father is we leave this building? May we leave with a greater understanding of your work? To bring us. Closer and closer to you and that we are. Your people. Bless us. O Lord as we go forth. In Jesus name, amen. Baby, Jesus born.
What do you do?
Our precious father, we are thankful for your presence and I've been asked to pray for a man named bills, father-in-law and Brazil, father, sometimes our prayers, reach long-distance and yet it is not long distance to you. For you were there with this father-in-law. And now, I pray for your healing touch on this life. Lord, we do pray that your Mighty power would be recognized as we go forth, or you go with us. It's our belief that you're there then makes the difference. So strengthen our faith. Help us rise up and follow you in all the way do in Jesus precious name. Amen.