Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the month “December, 2016”

Daily Prayer Guide

Read and pray in preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.

Matthew 1:18-25  New International Version (NIV)

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Daily Prayer Guide

Read and pray in preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.

Matthew 1:18-25  New International Version (NIV)

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Daily Prayer Guide

Read and pray in preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.

Isaiah 9:2-7  New International Version (NIV)

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

Sermon Outline, December 25, 2016, “The Gift”

                                                                          The Gift

Romans 3:24

Share the Gift of Forgiveness.

Consider the Meaning of Forgiveness.

~ Romans 5:9               Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

 

Apply Forgiveness Personally.

~ Romans 14:12           So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

~ I John 1:9                  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

 

Share the Means of Forgiveness.

Share the Essence of Forgiveness.

~ II Corinthians 5:21     He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

~ Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

 

Share the Expense of Forgiveness.

~ Ephesians 2:8            For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

 

 

Share the Source of Forgiveness.

The Source of Forgiveness is Jesus’ blood.

~ Ephesians 1:7            In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

~ Romans 5:9                Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

~ I John 1:7                  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

The Heart of Forgiveness is God’s Love.

~ John 3:16                  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

~ Romans 5:8                But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Daily Prayer Guide

Read and pray in preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.

Luke 1:26-35  New International Version (NIV)

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Classic Christmas

When I think about our sermon series title for the month of December called “Classic Christmas”, it reminds me of years gone by and long standing Christmas traditions. Maybe for you these traditions include a meal, Christmas caroling, certain family members, a Christmas Eve Candlelight service, or some other special person or event. For some when we think about our “Classic Christmas” or ideal Christmas, it brings about warm fuzzy feelings. For some though, when we think about Christmas, it can bring feelings of sadness and dread.

Maybe at one time in your life you had those warm fuzzy thoughts of time spent with family, your spouse, your children, and your friends. But maybe now you’ve lost a child or a parent. Maybe you lost a close friend this year, or maybe you lost your spouse. There is nothing quite as haunting as the thought of that empty space that will be like a huge elephant in the room when the holidays roll around. Maybe you dread the holidays now because of the loss of someone. Maybe this will be your first Christmas without them.

As many of you know, I have gone through a divorce this past year. I can’t even begin to describe how horribly painful it has been. Where I once had wonderful memories of years gone by, and excited expectation for the Christmas season, it has now been replaced with dread. That empty space left behind seems to scream so loudly and bring so much pain to the surface that I can hardly focus on anything else.

If you are in this boat I am praying for you. I am thinking about you this Christmas. And while I won’t be able to expect Christmas to look the same as it always has for my family, I can focus on the story that was written 2000 years ago, the story of that miraculous baby boy who came to save all of mankind. That story will never change, and it will never cease to give me that warm and fuzzy feeling. I will do my best to focus on that story this Christmas.

Mike Allen

Daily Prayer Guide

Read and pray in preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.

Isaiah 7:10-13  New International Version (NIV)

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also?

Christmas – The Gift

I have said it before, and will probably say it again each year… I love Christmas!! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Along with the carol singing, the reminder to slow down in life and enjoy the people with which God has surrounded you, and the traditions and decorations, there comes a reminder that Jesus is always the reason for every season! I don’t think I am selfish to say that I enjoy receiving gifts each year. I still remember my favorite Christmas gift. I was eight years old and was given my first guitar (which I still have in one piece). I remember the odd shape it had standing next to the tree, and knew exactly what it was. Even though I still have the guitar and have purchased several other cheap ones, I still struggle to play a song! I remember the Christmas that my family couldn’t afford to give gifts that were purchased, so we gave gifts that were customized for the receiver. I remember the Reds hat my grandmother bought for me at a yard sale and gave to me for Christmas. It still had the last owners name, number, and address in the bill of the hat. Years later, this story won me 30 new Christian CD’s from a Christian radio station. There were also Christmases that hold very special memories like when a loved one was no longer present for the family get together or the first Christmas Terah and I shared together as we tried to navigate between 2 strong, traditional, ‘everyone should be together on the day’, families. I also remember the best gift I ever gave Terah – a new set of wrenches and some oil for her car. (Don’t judge me.) Then there was each Christmas we had with our children for their “firsts” and how different it was for Onah and Marie as compared to Colten and Izzy. I remember the first time our team raised funds for the kids in Liberia to receive gifts for Christmas, and the JME school doing an “Ornaments for Orphans” drive to help raise money. Finally, I remember going into a home in Indiana that was piled high with gifts for nearly every child in the family, but one child had been dropped at the doorstep on Christmas Eve and would soon have nothing. This was special because other families had gone together to surprise the little guy with his best Christmas.
Why do I remember these so well? I remember them because they were chosen in love. I remember them because when I think about them and the love they included I can’t help but think of a gift much more important. A gift that the world had waited for many years to arrive. A gift that when grown, would turn the world upside down and change the future for you and me! A gift that we celebrate today, tomorrow, and for all eternity! From my family to yours this season enjoy THE GIFT OF JESUS!

Matt Lee

Daily Prayer Guide

Read and pray in preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.

Luke 1:67-80  New International Version (NIV)

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Daily Prayer Guide

Read and pray in preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas.

Luke 1:57-66  New International Version (NIV)

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.

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