Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Advent '18 Series Week 3 | Magnify Jesus, Our Lord even at Our Lowest and Champion even in Chaos + Saturday, December 15

Let the just rejoice, for their Justifier is born. Let the sick and infirm rejoice, for their Savior is born. Let the captives rejoice, for their Redeemer is born. Let servants and slaves rejoice, for their Master is born. Let free people rejoice, for their Liberator is born. Let all Christians rejoice, for the Lord Jesus Christ is born. + North African Saint Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-440)

" … If I am imprisoned for a long or short period of time, if I can help reduce the authorities’ fear of my faith and of my Savior, I am very joyfully willing to help them in this way. But I know that only when I renounce all the wickedness of this persecution against the Church and use peaceful means to disobey, will I truly be able to help the souls of the authorities and law enforcement. I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. … Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that He would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the Gospel to them. Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead. ... Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my King and the King of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am His servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws."

+ Pastor Wang Yi

When it seems like all hell is breaking loose around us, if it appears we are nearing our end, God wants us to know He will appear. Not even our worst imaginable nightmares can separate us from His loving presence (Romans 8:38-39). Because God is with us, we are safe in His presence no matter what happens, whether we live or die. We can be sure our God will come and is always coming for us, even in utter chaos. This is Advent. 

+ "Advent Amid Chaos" by Puerto Rican author and speaker Marlena Graves

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery
M. Papa, M. Boswell, & M. Bleecker, 2013 A.D.

Come behold the wondrous mystery
In the dawning of the King.
He the theme of heaven’s praises,
Robed in frail humanity.
In our longing, in our darkness,
Now the light of life has come!
Look to Christ, who condescended,
Took on flesh to ransom us.

Come behold the wondrous mystery
He the perfect Son of Man.
In His living, in His suffering,
Never trace nor stain of sin.
See the true and better Adam
Come to save the hell-bound man!
Christ the great and sure fulfillment

Of the law; in Him we stand.

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Christ the Lord upon the tree,
In the stead of ruined sinners
Hangs the Lamb in victory.
See the price of our redemption!
See the Father’s plan unfold!
Bringing many sons to glory,
Grace unmeasured, love untold!

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Slain by death the God of life.
But no grave could e’er restrain Him.
Praise the Lord; He is alive!
What a foretaste of deliverance!
How unwavering our hope!
Christ in power resurrected

As we will be when He comes!

A Day of Glory
Austin Stone Worship, 2012 A.D.

A day, a day of promise,
A hope to end our woe,
A day that tells of triumph
Against our vanquished foe!

In flesh His entrance humble,
The swaddling clothes His robe,
The meek displayed in power,
The Prince of Peace now known!

Let angels shout the triumph
As mortals raise their voice,
"Behold the Son of heav'n and earth,
The King of kings is born!"

A day, a day of glory,
When Jesus calls us home.
Our glorious King eternal
Returning for His own!

Gloria, gloria, gloria,
Our King has come!

Break Every Chain | Fill Me Up
Tasha Cobbs & Will Reagan, 2013 & 2015 A.D.

There is power
In the name of Jesus (x3) ...
To break every chain,
Break every chain,
Break every chain!

All sufficient sacrifice,
So freely given, such a price
Bought My redemption,
Heaven's gates swing wide.

There's an army rising up (x3) ...
To break every chain,
Break every chain,
Break every chain!

You provide the fire,
I'll provide the sacrifice.
You provide the Spirit,
I will open up inside.

Fill me up, God (x3) ...
Fill me up.

Love of God, overflow.
Permeate all my soul.

Fill me up until I overflow!
I want to run over,
I want to run over!

Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me
City Alight, 2018 A.D.

What gift of grace is Jesus my Redeemer!
There is no more for heaven now to give.
He is my joy, my righteousness, and freedom,
My steadfast love, my deep and boundless peace.
To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus,
For my life is wholly bound to His.
Oh how strange and divine, I can sing: all is mine!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

The night is dark but I am not forsaken
For by my side, the Savior He will stay.
I labor on in weakness and rejoicing
For in my need, His power is displayed.
To this I hold, my Shepherd will defend me,
Through the deepest valley He will lead.
Oh the night has been won, and I shall overcome!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

No fate I dread, I know I am forgiven.
The future sure, the price it has been paid.
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon
And He was raised to overthrow the grave.
To this I hold, my sin has been defeated,
Jesus now and ever is my plea!
Oh the chains are released, I can sing: I am free!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

With every breath I long to follow Jesus
For He has said that He will bring me home;
And day by day I know He will renew me
Until I stand with joy before the throne.
To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus,
All the glory evermore to Him!
When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat:
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

O Come, O Come Immanuel
Monk hymn translated by J.M. Neale, 800s A.D., 1800s A.D.

O come, O come, Immanuel
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny,
From depths of Hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave. (Chorus)

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight. (Chorus)

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery. (Chorus)

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In One the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace. (Chorus)

Corporate Prayer of Confession and Assurance
Is. 6:5-8Dan. 9:4-19Neh. 1:5-10Lk. 23:34

Call: God, comfort us when the longing is too
great for us to bear, and when it seems like the
darkness is winning.

Response: Forgive us when we do look
for another to be our lord and champion, Jesus.
Resurrect us to believe in more than what
we can see or feel. Shine Your light on us.

Silent Personal Reflection and Confession

Call: Thank You, Jesus, for being our
Lord and Champion. May we endure the
sorrows that last for the night, and may Your
joy come in the morning as we pray:

Response: Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil for Thine is the
Kingdom and the power and the glory
now and forever. Amen.

Prayers of Preparation for Eucharist
Matthew 26:26-291 Corinthians 11:23-26

Prayer seeking more from Jesus
Jesus, You claim to be the Way,
the Truth and the Life.
If what You claim is true,
please reveal to me who You are.
Give me an understanding of You
that is clear and convincing. Amen.

Prayer for Communion with Jesus
Jesus, grant that we may be filled
by You, the true Bread and Vine.
Be present with us, strengthen us,
and empower us to be Your witnesses
together as we seek first Your Kingdom
until You return and make all things new. Amen.

Eucharist | Thanking God for Communion with Christ and His Church

Benediction Based on 
John 14:27 & Matthew 28:20

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
And remember, I am with you always, to the end."

Next sermon audio and liturgy post: Advent '18 Week 4 | Magnify Jesus, Our Savior w/ Pastor Tra'Vorus Weaver

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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