Arrival #4 – Love

> Love

> More than anything, Christmas is a celebration of the love of God.

John 3:16
16 For God loved the world this much: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

>> God didn’t wait for the world to love Him before He sent Jesus.

>> The gift is received by those who believe.

 “The love of God is limitless; it embraces all mankind. No sacrifice was too great to bring its unmeasured intensity home to men and women: the best that God had to give, He gave – His only Son, His well-beloved.” -FF Bruce

1 John 3:16
16 This is how we have come to know love: [Jesus] laid down his life for us. 

>> God didn’t just say He loved the world, He proved it.

John 15:9-10
9 [Jesus said,] “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.”

Matthew 9:35-36
35 Jesus continued going around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.

Romans 5:8
 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

1 John 3:1
1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

>> Jesus’ birth was an extravagant expression of the love of God for all humanity.

1 John 3:16
16 This is how we have come to know love: [Jesus] laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

John 13:34-35
34 [Jesus said,] “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 Peter 1:22 (MSG)
22 Now that your obedience to the truth has purified your souls, you can have true love for your Christian brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply with all your heart. 

Arrival #3 – Joy

> Joy

Psalm 65:9-10, 12-13
You visit the earth and water it abundantly, enriching it greatly. God’s stream is filled with water, for you prepare the earth in this way, providing people with grain. 10 You soften it with showers and bless its growth, soaking its furrows and leveling its ridges. 12 The wilderness pastures overflow, and the hills are robed with joy. 13 The pastures are clothed with flocks and the valleys covered with grain. They shout in triumph; indeed, they sing.

Proverbs 23:24-25
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. 25 May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!

Proverbs 27:9
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.

> Joy is an attitude that God’s people adopt, not because of happy circumstances, but because of their hope in God’s love and promises, and the peace that this hope brings.

Exodus 15:19-21
19 When Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the water of the sea back over them. But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20 Then the prophetess Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women came out following her with tambourines and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.”

> The joy of God’s people is not determined by their past or present struggles, but by their future destiny.

Isaiah 51:9-11
Wake up, wake up! Arm of the Lord, clothe yourself with strength. Wake up as in days past, as in generations long ago… 10 Wasn’t it you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the sea-bed into a road for the redeemed to pass over? 11 And the redeemed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.

Luke 2:8-14
In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!”

“good news” – Gr. Euaggelizō: To preach the gospel

Acts 13:48-52
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and honored the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the prominent God-fearing women and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district. 51 But Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Acts 5:41
41 …rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name.

> Christian joy is a profound decision of faith and hope in the power of Jesus’ own life and love.

1 Peter 1:6-9
6 You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith…may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Arrival #2 – Peace

> Advent means arrival or beginning

> Peace

Shalom – peace; complete or whole

Joshua 8:30-31
30 Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, 31 as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings. 

Job 5:24
24 You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.

1 Samuel 17:22
22 David left his supplies in the care of the quartermaster and ran to the battle line. When he arrived, he asked his brothers how they were.

> To bring shalom means “to make complete or restore.”

1 Kings 9:25
25…Solomon completed the temple.

Exodus 22:5
“When a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed in, and then allows his animals to go and graze in someone else’s field, he must repay with the best of his own field or vineyard.

Proverbs 16:7
When a person’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NASB)
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

Eirene – peace, harmony, tranquility

Luke 2:8-14 (NIV)
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. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

> The birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, will bring peace between man and God.

John 14:25-27
25 Jesus said, “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.  27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.”

Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 

Jesus not only brought peace, He became our peace!

Ephesians 2:13-17
13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In his flesh, 15 he made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that he might create in himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. 16 He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross by which he put the hostility to death. 17 He came and proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.

We should not just be peace-receivers, but peace-makers.

Ephesians 4:1-3
1 Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 

Psalm 133:1-3
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

Romans 12:18
18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 

> Honor the Prince of Peace with the way you live in peace.

Arrival #1 – Hope

> Advent means arrival or beginning

> Hope

Yakhal – to wait for

Qavah – to wait, to hope

Isaiah 8:17

17 I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will wait for him.

Psalm 130:5-7

I wait for the Lord; I wait and put my hope in his word. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning— more than watchmen for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord. For there is faithful love with the Lord, and with him is redemption in abundance.

Hosea 2:14-15

14 [The Lord says,] “Therefore, I am going to persuade her, lead her to the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her heart. 15 There I will give her vineyards back to her and make the Valley of Achor into a gateway of hope. There she will respond as she did in the days of her youth, as in the day she came out of the land of Egypt.”

It’s God’s past faithfulness that motivates hope for the future.

Psalm 39:7

7 Now O Lord, what else can I hope for? You are my hope.

> Jesus, our Living Hope

Elpis – to anticipate with confidence

>> 2 key passages of hope

Colossians 1:27

27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Jesus is our “hope of glory

1 Peter 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

Jesus is our “living hope”

“Other hopes fade like withering flowers. The hopes of the rich, the boasts of the proud, all these will die out as a candle when it flickers in the socket.  The only imperishable hope is that which climbs above the stars, and fixes itself upon the throne of God and the person of Jesus Christ.” (C.H. Spurgeon)