Raise your expectations - Subtitles in many languages: click on [cc]

Uploaded by JRDViralVideos on 07.12.2011

Christmas is about
we all have
at Christmastime
expectations about what we'll do
expectations about gifts we might receive or buy
expectations about who
we'll see what we'll eat
our life and our faith often
raises or falls based on our expectation
some of us have a very high expectations of faith and life and
good for you
you're the optimist among us
and I think being an optimistic person is really the way to go you know the
definition of an optimist on thanksgiving day, don't you?
An optimist is the person who sat down on thanksgiving day
to a thirty-five pound turkey and ask the next afternoon
what's for lunch
some of us have low expectations for a life we're kind of pessimist, we
often come by our pessimism honestly as I like to say in what I mean by that
we've lowered the expectations of life as life hasn't been very
good or kind to us
we've had expectations and they've gone unfulfilled and instead of being
frustrated with unfulfilled expectations what we've done is a lower or settled
for a little less in our life and again the definition of a
pessimist on thanksgiving day
is the man with a thirty-five pound turkey who says it will never get done
On time
then there's a third group
those with no expectation
those are usually people who are dead
or they're people who are very dull
dull people don't have expectations either because there what? they are
about life
and we become apathetic about life when we feel as if life has
passes by
and the best of life is
over and so we really don't have any expectations although I don't think
there are honestly many people who don't have expectations for a life they've just
apathetic about life
and about faith
for Christians Christmas
is about God's plan and purpose God's expectation for the world and for us
Christmas is about the coming out of the messiah Mark says
the word messiah it really means anointed
Jesus is the anointed one
as the anointed one he is to
Usher in
the rule of God in the world now God has been about that for centuries
he has anointed kings
he has anointed priests
He has anointed prophets all to bring about his will in the world
to establish his kingdom his way in this world
doesn't want us to miss God's expectation for the world and for us
Mark says that Jesus is the fulfillment of God's expectations
God's plan
for this planet and for us
Listen to Mark
one one
this is the good news about Jesus the messiah the son of God
It began just as the prophet Isaiah Had written
God had a plan
the coming of Jesus was not an accident it wasn't a spur of the moment response by
God didn't say gee I'm a little bored today
I've been stuck in this
all day because of the snow
don't want to go for a walk and slip and break a hip
so you know what I'll do, just a little joke
You were not laughing maybe it's too true
No, God had plan it wasn't because he didn't have any better to do
God had a plan
and he's had a plan
for this world and for us for centuries
and Mark says don't miss it don't miss that fact
John put it this way
God so
loved the world and us that he sent his one and only son that whoever believes
in him
will not perish but have everlasting life
see that's God's plan
that's really the Christian message the Christmas message in a nutshell, isn't
God does have a plan and a purpose for our life
he doesn't want us to miss that
Mark says that Jesus is the messiah the son of God
the writer of Hebrews
says that Jesus is the fulfillment
of all that God wanted to do
all that God is doing
that Jesus is the anointed one
and that makes Him unique
that makes Him the focus of all that God is and all that God wanted to do
and all that God is doing and all that God will do that the prophets talked about
now how do we know that Jesus is the messiah well
we know that he is because we know that
he's the inaugurator of a new
order of things. now noticed I didn't say a whole new order of things
it's a new order of things because it was predicted
it was prophesied about for centuries
and Jesus is the one who comes now everything changes
everything changed in Jesus Christ every single thing
It's a whole new order of things
he's the inaugurator of that
we know that Jesus
was God
that he was co-equal with the father
that he reflected the glory of God in all that he said and did
and that
in his essence he is very much that
very much God very much the identity and the expression of God
he's the one that
forgive sins and
only God can forgive sins
and that the writer of Hebrews said that he also has the seat of honor that He
sits at the right hand of God
the position at the right is always the position of honor
Bible wants to make it very clear Jesus is both unique
Jesus is very special
and his arrival changes everything that's what Mark wanted to communicate
not only to
those that came out to see him but those that
didn't come out to see Him
those present in that moment and those that would be
presents to come for
after the birth of Jesus
Mark wants us to
understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of God's
expectations for
the world
and for us
he doesn't want us to miss that in
and John the Baptist was the herald of that he was the forerunner he was the
of that good news
Mark one
two through four
look I'm sending my messenger ahead of you and
he will prepare your way he is a voice shouting out in the wilderness, prepare
the way for the Lord is coming
Clear the road for him
this messenger was John he Baptist
John the Baptist was that Nasserite prophet
The Nasserites were set aside
they were special
and we know that John the Baptist with special that goes all the way back to his birth
Doesn't it
when he was born what did they say
you know
he's the one the angels say that he's the one that's going to tell everybody
about the coming of the messiah
And so as he was raised he was
separated from his family any he went to school and a very desolate area called
in fact the Qumran community is
the same geographical region where the dead sea scrolls were found
just down the road so to speak from the
dead sea
the very arid area, very
awful place really to live
there's nothing around
It's a dangerous place to live because when it
rains it's so dry that flash floods happened very instantaneously
the water collects in the hill area and runs down
through these valleys called wad dies
to the dead sea
and if you get caught going across one of those wad dies at the wrong time
you'll get
swept down the hill
Spartan community in terms of the way
They lived is illustrated by clothes that He wore
they were the first hippies notice they ate honey and locust
all natural fiber and all that they wore
They had a special diet a special way that they lived
a special dress because they were about a special mission
the message and the
Roll of John the Baptist again point to his
he was chosen to be the herald
of becoming messiah of Jesus
And he affirmed that Jesus was the messiah and even more than that he
affirmed that
Jesus was his messiah
noticed that that's what the message and the messenger are all about
and it's interesting to see how people respond to
All the messages at Christmas time you know if there's a lot of messages
all the decorating all the celebration and all of the
I was pleasantly surprised I was with
fifteen thousand of my closest friends down at the Seattle center
for the lighting of
the Seattle Christmas tree and
they actually had a gospel choir commencing the halleluiah chorus
I was pleasantly surprise there wasn't A nativity scene but we at least had
that going on
and I thought for a moment here we are fifteen thousand people
how can it be that they miss the message
and thereby miss the meaning
of Christmas
there are lots of opportunities for us
some just try to avoid it
It's just tradition
it's just the way Americans do what Americans do
and so you know there are some that when it comes to affirming that
is their messiah they'd just as soon
Kind of
you know avoided it all, duck their heads
Matthew put it this way but they paid no attention to Jesus and they went their
own way and I think that's the issue
people try to avoid Jesus because they really want to go their own way
instead of wanting to go God's way
and if we were the one making the rules that would make some sense
if we were in control of eternity then that would make some sense
but you know we don't make the rules
as I pointed out weeks ago
but we're not in control
of eternity
God is
the second group that
I know exists during the Christmas season are those that have kind of initially
responded to the message to listen to it but then they've drifted away
and the writer of Hebrews cautions us that way says so we must listen very
carefully to the truth we have heard or we make drift away
Now if you have drifted away and you're coming back this Christmas season good for you
good for you
in fact I think Christmas is one of those times of the year that when we've
drifted away it gives us the opportunity to kind of get close to God again
to realize that
we haven't stayed engaged enough
perhaps even on a weekly basis
we have not stayed engaged and not being engaged
Has caused us to drift away there are currents in life
some of which are very strong they would like to sweep the so way from
God's purpose in our life
God's plan
God's power
God's love
and if we're not careful
We'll get dragged away by the undertow of the culture
of the world
the third group for those that paid very close attention
the message of John the Baptist
Mark tells us all of Judea
which is the surrounding area including people from Jerusalem
went out to see and to hear
they came out to see and hear what it is that John the Baptist had to say
Christmas gets us
seeing things hearing things all for our good
jJohn's message was very easy for everyone to understand
he said that what you really need to do is you need to repent from your
you need it to God
you need to receive forgiveness from God
and that is that simple message of Jesus
the simple message Christmas
You see Christmas has a purpose to it
and we see that the foreshadowing of that purpose as we look towards Easter
Yeah, that little baby born in a manger is a man who's going to die on the cross
For our sins
and it was God's purpose from the very beginning that we would all respond
To Him that we all get close to him
and what we realize is that for us to get close to God means that we have to
which really means to turn around
to do a one eighty
And simply we're focused on ourselves We're very selfish
we come by that honestly, right?
little babies
in a crib
you cry and everybody runs
on the good side they're there to find out what you need and on the other side
they're there to get you to shut up
and we learn that we're the center of the universe when we're little children
and the hard part of growing up is to finally realize that
no we're not the center of the universe some of us are eighty or ninety years
old before we discover that
we have to repent
we have to repent from our selfishness and we have to turn to God how do we
know that we're basically selfish people this is the way the Paul
Penned it
he said for everyone has sinned and we all fall short of God's glorious standard
why do we fall short of God's glorious standard because it's our will be done
not God's will be done
now the fact is that we are all sinners and I know people don't like
to be told that
you know I get accused all the time I'm
I'm so
I'm so narrow-minded
we are imperfect people, aren't we ? anybody here perfect
no were not perfect people
now we can argue about how imperfect we are I'm not that imperfect they are a
lot more imperfect then than I am why you think I brought them here today
Because they need to hear how imperfect they are
but it's a little bit like trying to purchase something, I went to black
actually had a good experience
we were one place
there were items for two hundred and fifty
dollars three hundred fifty dollars
I kept looking to see if they were marked down and they were
they were marked down from a thousand dollars from five hundred dollars
there on sale right
I picked up this item it was on sale for two hundred and fifty
dollars now
if I looked in my pocket and I had
only two hundred and forty nine dollars
and I wanted to purchase that item
can I just take it up to the counter and then
tell the person I only have two hundred and forty nine dollars
but I want to buy this two hundred and fifty dollar item what I want to do
I want you to grace me that other dollar
I want you to just give me that other dollar
and you know what would happen if you
Wanted that, right?
they would look at you with great bewildering eyes then they'd get mad
who you think you are
then you'd say give me the manager
then the manager come down and say who do you think you are
Does it matter if the item cost two hundred fifty dollars does it matter
whether you have only two hundred and forty nine dollars or nine dollars
because you don't have two hundred and fifty dollars to buy that item when we
argue about our imperfections in our own mind and heart that's what we say
we say yeah but I'm not that bad look at those guys they need Jesus they need
we all need repentance
We all need to hear the message of John the Baptist
and why not repent anyway
what is it that God is asking you
that's bad for you
and truly what is God asking you to leave and He is asking you to leave certain
what is he asking you leave that's really good for you
that's truly
good for you at the core
the answer simply is that everything that God has in store for you, everything
that God ask you to leave he does that for a very good reason for you
and in our selfishness we don't want to do what he wants us to do
in our self-centeredness we'd rather
keep that attitude, that behavior, that way of thinking
close at hand
because every once in awhile it gives us a tiny bit of short
we need repentance
we need a turnaround and if you're like me I sin above the speed limit
and I repent
below the speed limit very slowly
Christmas reminds us there's a benefit to
sinning slowly and repenting quickly
John the Baptist said you need to repent
and confess your sins
and you need to receive forgiveness and we need to get the forgiveness
first John one nine
if we confess our sins
he is faithful and just and will forgive us of our sins
and that reason we need that it is because we in our selfishness always
drag this guilt and shame around
when it comes to our sin, don't we?
I talk about that somewhat regularly I'll make a deal with you
when people stopped coming into my office
filled with guilt and shame because of their sinfulness
of stop reminding you about it
because that
thank the Lord is a daily, weekly experience
we are human beings that are really messengers to ourselves
That we're imperfect we need forgiveness from God
we need God to
lift that guilt and that shame and that's the best Christmas gift
could give
and I could tell us it's the very best Christmas present to receive
but the love God has for us goes way beyond our imperfection
that his desire is that
he would lift that guilt and that shame from us
so that we might enjoy the full life and eternal life that he came to give us
John the Baptist says don't
the message
don't miss the reality
of the anointed one Jesus Christ
God does have an expectation for you
he has a plan and a purpose for you it's a gift that he wants to give you but you
have to receive it
how do you know you've received it you've repented of your sins
and you've received the forgiveness that God
has extended to you
in your decision is that you're going to live your life letting him lead,His
will be
not our will be done
Let us pray
Lord what is fantastic is
Christian history is really like a relay race
different kings and
priests and prophets ran their leg that John the Baptist
has run his leg and now Lord you've given us your word
all that spectacular celebration and decoration and worship at the Christmas
season all so that we won't miss you
and we won't miss truth that you want to be in relationship with us that you do
Love us
do you want to give us the opportunity to believe that you that we might have
Life full in heaven for all eternity
Lord help us today to pay very close Attention to you
Lord I pray for those that have drifted
bring them once again close to you Lord those that have been on the duck and
cover they've been hiding now
but they're here today
and Lord you don't really care why we come
you do care why we stay
Lord I pray that we can not only hear the message
but celebrate the message
and share the message this Christmas season
in Your honor. Amen
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