Sunday, December 31, 2023

A Visit of Two Miracle Mothers - Nathan Rages

Luke 1:39-45 tells about Mary's visit to the home of Elizabeth.  Both of these women were pregnant as a result of miraculous conceptions, and their two unborn baby boys were the Messiah and His Forerunner.  

This story highlights three frequently despised things that God highly values:
1. Christian fellowship.
2. Unborn babies.
3. People who believe God’s Word. 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

The Wonder of Christ's Conception - Nathan Rages

Luke 1:26-38 describes Mary's surprise encounter with the angel Gabriel in which she is told that she will supernaturally conceive baby Jesus.  

Three things stand out in the story:
1. Mary’s godly character.
    Composure, thoughtfulness, purity, faith, submission, and courage. 
2. Jesus’ humble greatness.
    Humble in: place, family, wealth, conception circumstances.
    “He will be great … Son of the Most High … His kingdom will have no end”
3. Incarnation’s mysterious glory.
    “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”

The Virgin Birth is essential for our salvation:
1. To fulfill prophecy. 
2. To avoid Original Sin. 
3. To provide a Mediator.

Monday, December 18, 2023

God's Absolute Sovereignty Over Human Affairs - Clark Lasse

Zacharias' experience in the Temple in Luke 1:5-25 provides valuable illustrations of God's sovereign involvement in human affairs:
1. He works in the macro movements of human history.
2. He works even through those who do not honor Him.
3. He works on behalf of His covenant people.
4. He works to fulfill His prophesied promises.
5. He works in the details of individuals' lives.

Take away applications:
1. Be alert to ways God is getting your attention.
2. Be active in seeking God's wisdom and provision (by prayer).
3. Be ready to embrace God's correction.
4. Celebrate when God fulfills His purposes.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Lift Up Your Eyes to the Lord - Mack Tomlinson

Psalm 123:1-4 1 To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens! 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us. 3 Be gracious to us, O LORD, be gracious to us, For we are greatly filled with contempt. 4 Our soul is greatly filled With the scoffing of those who are at ease, And with the contempt of the proud.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

How We Got the Gospels - Nathan Rages

This message introduces a new preaching series on “The Gospel According to Luke”.  

First we briefly review four facts about Luke himself:
1. He was a ministry partner with Paul (2Tim. 4:11). 
2. He was a Gentile (Col. 4:10-11). 
3. He was a medical doctor (Col. 4:14).
4. He was a skillful writer. 

Then we explore Luke's own introduction to his book in Luke 1:1-4, using this outline: 
1. Luke’s predecessors (v1,3). 
2. Luke’s sources (v1,2, 2Pet. 1:16, 1John 1:1, 1Cor. 15:6). 
3. Luke’s process (v1,3, 2Pet. 1:21).
4. Luke’s audience (v3,4, Acts 1:1).
5. Luke’s purpose (v4, John 19:35,20:30-31, 1Cor. 15:17-19).

Monday, December 4, 2023

Christ Our Example in Suffering (Part 3) - Nathan Rages

In this final installment of a 3-part series, we continue to examine the subject of suffering by looking to the Lord Jesus Christ as great primary example in how to handle our suffering.  We make the following connections between Christ's sufferings and our own:   
9. His friends mostly failed Him.
    (Mark 14:37-41, Matt. 26:56, John 16:32, Ps. 69:20, 2Tim 4:6,10-11,16-17)
10. He forgave those who wronged Him.
    (1Pet. 2:23, Luke 23:34)
11. He kept on ministering to others.
    (John 13-16, Luke 22:51, 23:27-38,43 John 19:26-27)
12. He looked past the suffering to glorious joy.
    (Heb. 12:2, John 12:23-25, Luke 16:25, Rom. 8:18, 2Cor. 4:17-18, 1Pet. 5:10)