TEXT: Matthew 1:16-17; Luke 2:25-32
MESSAGE: “Shaped by a Promise”
“The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“…while the Bible is not uniform, it is unified…the books of the Bible (like the organs of a body) look different, yet are interconnected…underneath and undergirding all of these…is the motif of God’s grace, his favor and love to the undeserving. Don’t we see the grace of God in every book of the Bible?” — Dane Ortlund
Q: How are God’s people shaped by His promise?
By…(1. Passing it down 2. Waiting for it 3. Joyfully receiving it)
1. Passing it down (Matthew 1:16-17)
“…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.”
“God writes with a pen that never blots, speaks with a tongue that never slips, acts with a hand that never fails.” – Charles Spurgeon
“Matthew’s genealogy includes the outcast, scandalous, and foreigner. The family Jesus comes from anticipates the family he has come for.” — Sam Allberry
2. Waiting for it (Luke 2:25-26)
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”
3. Joyfully receiving it (Luke 2:27-32)
“And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
“Jesus is not just the beginning of the New Testament but also the fitting climax of the Old…Jesus came into our world as a man to embody grace.” —Preston Sprinkle
TAKEAWAYS: How can we apply God’s promise? Let’s ask…
* Am I passing down God’s promises or my brokenness?
* Am I more focused on what I’m asking of God or what God is asking of me?
“…if our spiritual blessings were premised only on our asking of God, some of us would not be very blessed at all. The grace of God, precisely because it is not about our merits, seems to give and give and give again, sustaining and providing, blessing and protecting, providing and supporting so far beyond the projection of our asking, and absolutely beyond our deserving. This is first a story about what God asks of people: of a young Mary, an unknown Joseph, a rustic Zechariah, and a disappointed Elizabeth. Faith was asked of the wise men, trust was asked of the shepherds. Patience was asked of Simeon and Anna. We should be undone and humbled by the asking of God of us, by the divine invitation that would come to us and ask us, unfitted as we are…to participate in His plans, to be partners in His ventures, to be co-workers in His mission.” — Stuart McAlpine
* Am I trusting God for something that will outlive me?
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil.” — Isaiah 9:2-3