Welcome to Real Hope In Christ. We’re Glad You’re Here
This is our worship service for today, Sunday December 22, 2019.
Countdown to Worship: "Go Tell It On The Mountain," David Crowder.
First Music Offering: "Joy Unto the World," The Afters.
Announcements, Prayer Requests, and Offering: Wes Smith.
Second Music Offering: " His Name Shall Be," Matt Redman.
Third Music Offering: " Mary Did You Know," Cee Lo Green.
Fourth Music Offering: "A Christmas to Believe In," Matthew West.
Communion Service: Wes Smith.
Communion Video Offering: "Glory," Matt Maher.
Today’s Sermon: Merry Christmas, Pastor Justin Miller Real Life Church.
Today’s Closing Prayer: Ken Smith.
SERMON NOTES: 12-22-2019, Pastor Justin Miller
We’ve grown up with Santa Claus and the belief that to receive a gift we have to earn it.
God’s gift at Christmas is not connected to our conduct or the way we behave. It’s connected to God’s unconditional love for us.
Matthew 1:18-25 New International Version (NIV)
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Pastor Justin talked about the many Christmas stories and characters he knew as a child. What were some of the Christmas stories and characters you grew up with?
- How does the Christmas story in the Bible differ from those you learned as a child?
- The story of Jesus is true instead of fiction.
- The stories we learned as a child provide entertainment but can’t change our life.
- The story of Jesus can save us.
- Pastor Justin shared that at one time Santa was shaping his theology. How can the story of Santa shape our theology?
- Gifts for Santa are conditional so we believe God’s gifts are conditional.
- We believe we receive what we deserve according to our behavior and morality.
- We believe we have to earn gifts from God.
- We believe if we are bad, God gives us bad gifts or punishes us.
John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- From John 3:16. What truth about God’s gifts do we learn from this passage?
- God gives THE BEST gift.
- God gives us gifts because He loves us.
- We simply believe to receive His gift, we don’t have to earn it.
Ephesians 2:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
- Pastor Justin told us, “God says my gift isn’t because of you—it’s because of my love for you.” From Ephesians 2:9. What does this passage tell us about God’s gift?
- We are saved by grace, through faith.
- We don’t do this ourselves.
- I can’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, it’s a gift.
- We can’t boast about it because it comes from God, not us.
Romans 6:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Luke 2:10-11 New International Version (NIV)
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.
- What do we learn about God’s gift of Jesus? Why is this important to us?
- He brings great joy!
- He’s for ALL people.
- He’s saves us.
- Changes how we approach life.
At Real Hope In Christ our purpose is to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts and with all of our souls and with all of our minds.
Our focus begins with all the people of Citrus County and by the Grace of God we will:
Gather together to worship and celebrate God,
Grow in our knowledge and faith,
Give in love and,
Go out into the world to shine brightly with the light of salvation from our Savior Jesus Christ and tell the world what we know is true; God Loves You No Matter What!
We boldly ask God to help us shake the Earth and touch the Heavens!
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
We look forward to seeing you again. Thank you and may God bless you!
PRAYER: Is Prayer Important?
The way of prayer is truly the way of life. Let us give ourselves to prayer! Jesus prayed much even though He was God’s only begotten Son from eternity past.
Through His words and His actions Jesus tells us how import prayer is.
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” Mark 1:35.
“You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2.
“Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24
Prayer Partners are available at the front of the worship area after today’s service.
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS 12-22-2019
Real Hope Event T-shirts are now available. Please contact Glen or David for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does Your Child Need Help With Homework? Weekly homework assistance to school-aged children is available each and every Wednesday beginning at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m.
When time and homework loads permit, we will offer short Bible Study sessions with the children as well.
Children are welcome to have dinner at the church at 6 p.m., and if they are 10 or older or in the company of a parent or guardian may stay for our adult “Not Your Mama’s Bible Study” from 6:30 – 8:00pm. See Glen Carpenter or Ken Smith to sign up or for more information.
Name tags. Do you have an RHC name tag? If not fill out a Contact Card and write on it I need a name tag! Be sure to include your name exactly as you would like it to read on your nametag.
Not Your Mama’s Bible Study
Wednesday, 6pm: Not Your Mama’s Bible Study will resume January 8, 2020.
Prayer Guide: The Prayer Guide is also new addition to the Real Hope In Christ website and can be found at RealHopeInChrist.com.
Text to Tithe: Due to a number of requests for a more "modern" way to tithe, Text to Tithe has been created. It’s safe, fast, and secure. Just text the word, "give" to (786) 288-0839 and follow the link. Thanks!