Headline news: Christmas is all about receiving a wonderful gift from God.
Did you ever wonder why we give gifts at Christmas? We give gifts because God gave us the most precious gift possible: the gift of his Son. Every gift under the tree is a reminder of the greater gift that God has given to you and me. And each expression of delight, surprise and happiness you hear on Christmas Day is just a glimpse of the joy and fulfilment that is promised to us if we experience that renewed relationship with God that Jesus came to bring.
A verse most Christians have memorized is John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
It’s a gift that we don’t deserve. Most of us enjoy helping other when we can – but at the same time we also enjoy a thank-you – some acknowledgement of gratefulness – but we disdain a no response from them…Have you wondered how God feels when we offer a no response to Him – whether it be a healing – an answered prayer – or our response to Calvary and the Empty Tomb?
He went to the most extraordinary lengths to reach out to us when we miles from His heart. He paid the greatest price imaginable to bridge the gap between us–when we were his enemies. It is a gift we do not deserve, and yet he freely offers his Son to us, because he loves us.
It’s a gift we can’t earn. This may sound like a stupid thing to say, but gifts, by their very nature, are free! It would be crazy to imagine a child tearing the paper off a box under the Christmas tree to reveal a bike or an Xbox or a puppy, and then turning to their parents and asking, “How much do I owe you?” And yet this is just how many people think our relationship with God works. Some believe God only accepts us if we pay him with money – good works – church attendance….
God will accept us, not because we deserve it, but because Jesus earned it–by his perfect life, and his death for us. God will freely forgive us because of JESUS.
It’s a gift we receive by trusting & obeying the Gospel of Jesus.
God is offering you the gift of new life in his Son. You can have a better Christmas if you relax and relate. But you will only have a truly joyful Christmas if you receive that precious gift from Jesus. He offers to be your Lord and Savior as you enjoy real rest in the ups and downs of life, as you relate to him each day of your life.
You may not understand everything. You may even have doubts about whether God is really there. Share your gratefulness to God for friends/family/food/job/church and most of all for give you JESUS – let Him know you want to be a more dedicated – and loyal disciple in 2017 than you were in 2016.
Very proud of Kiki Marshall – who traveled with the Hickman Band (Nov 21-17) to Orlando last week…proud parents – Leslie and Lavelle – showed me some pictures at Church Saturday night of which Kiki had sent…………Jackie and the children are working had on this year’s Christmas presentation. When dates and times are announced – please keep this in your calendar as a top priority and come, supporting the children in their effort to praise God on Jesus coming to be our Savior………….. Annie and I were out of town Tuesday/Wednesday – while gone, Bro Solomon led the men’s D-Group…..thanks brother for stepping up……………It has been good to see Kristen Yoder with us in worship for a couple weeks —- she is on furlough from San Diego Naval Base…..our prayer for her and as she returns for safety and spiritual growth…………..Grateful for your prayers for the ladies who had cancer surgery last week….both received a good report that the surgeon felt all cancer cells have been removed…both Anita and Mary Ann want to express gratitude for your prayers and thoughtfulness during this time………….Received a call from Jane Williams Monday morning – Jane leads LoveINC – and she said – today we are praying for Discovery – what do you want us to pray……I asked Jane if she would pray that God would soften the hearts of those who live north of the Interstate and ask that they would have a spiritual hunger and thirst for JESUS….she agreed that they would pray this way.
LADIES – remember tomorrow evening (Friday – December 2 @ 6:00 PM) will be the ornament exchange at the Church — Sure appreciate Jackie for taking the lead in this fellowship…
Don’t forget! Discovery’s 3rd Annual Ornament Exchange will be held this Friday Dec 2nd at 6pm at Discovery church. Bring a side dish and a wrapped ornament. See you there!
Last evening (Wednesday) at the Blue Ridge Church – several gathered to celebrate new life in Christ – and we know the angels in heaven were just waiting to explode with a glorious hallelujah as Deli and Victoria were immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of sin and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Every baptism is S P E C I A L – but these two ladies were attired in their native culture – white robes – and white head-piece…..WOW!!!! Though the water was freezing – the Spirit was present – warm – and we all rejoiced with exceeding great joy as we witnessed two births into the eternal family
This weekend, Discovery will celebrate the 2nd Sunday of Advent….Advent is a season observed by many Churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “Coming.”
After last Saturday’s service – the 1st candle of Advent burned completely down – do you think, I could find a tapered purple candle that night? NO – – we used a blue candle on Sunday….thanks to Karen Tompkins – she was able to find 2 purple candles at Holly Lobby – and we’ll be OK as we continue throughout December celebrating ADVENT.
You might not be able to sing on key – you may not be able to lead a group – but we know one thing every Christian can do —- that is I WILL PRAY…..
Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you…
· Mrs Jerry – struggling with fibromyalgia
· Jerry and Mary – health issues
· Positive response as you have passed out the PROMO cards regarding our Advent Series – WAITING ROOM
· Our effort to spread the Gospel to whomever God brings in our path
· Marcy Henderson – COPD
· Those who are spiritually COLD so they could warm up to the church and the gospel of JESUS
· Continued success of all our 7 D-Groups
Waiting without Worry — Making Room for Peace
Phil 4:4-9 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
ADVENT DAY 5
December 1, 2016
“Hope is being able to see That there is light despite All of the darkness”– Desmond Tutu
Write down 5 things you look forward to at Christmas