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The sermon series "Mission from the Manger" explores the Beatitudes from Matthew chapter five in the context of Jesus' last words through the lens of his birth. The speaker emphasizes the incarnation of God at Christmas, when God became flesh and sent his son as the second person of the triune Godhead, an unimaginable event of God becoming human and lying in a feeding trough.
The speaker reflects on the potential of individuals, which is greater than physical strength, and the mission from the manger to see others become followers of Jesus. The importance of preparing oneself before communion is discussed, with a focus on the themes of Jesus' death showing God's heart, granting forgiveness of sins, and the Holy Spirit helping others receive forgiveness. The congregation is asked to reflect on these themes before participating in communion, highlighting Jesus' commitment to the mission and the real power and authority behind it.
God makes his appeal through believers to reconcile people to himself, and through a meaningful relationship with Jesus, individuals can find forgiveness and peace with God. The sermon explores discipleship, emphasizing followership and intentionally learning to become like someone else. Discipleship with Jesus involves a transformation from within, as individuals behold the glory of the Lord and are gradually transformed into his image.
The speaker acknowledges church activities such as Operation Christmas Child and a drive-by raking activity as ways to show care for the community. The upcoming Christmas Eve services are announced, with an encouragement to invite others to attend. The manger represents a transformative mission, suggesting that humans can be transformed into God likeness through faith in Jesus. The sermon introduces Jesus' last words after his resurrection to understand his first coming and guide believers until his second coming.
Disciples are responsible for making disciples themselves, and the speaker shares that transformation of people from other nations is a reflection of the glory of God. The power and authority of Jesus can be seen through the lives of believers as they lead others to establish a love relationship with Jesus and make disciples of their own.
The speaker introduces Chris and Shana McCurian, who participated in Financial Peace University (FPU), emphasizing the importance of being cheerful givers and good stewards. The McCurians discuss an exercise where they were given money to give away, reflecting God's blessings.
The significance of the Last Supper and the symbolism of the bread and cup are reflected upon, with the congregation encouraged to partake in communion and be reminded of the taste of forgiveness in Jesus Christ. The speaker emphasizes viewing everything as belonging to God, which would change how we approach our possessions and resources. A story about a couple who doubled the amount given to them to give away is shared, and plans for the church to go through a financial program together are announced.
The speaker discusses stewardship and handling material blessings from God, sharing the story of the widow in the Gospel of Mark who gave out of her poverty. The authority of Jesus is emphasized, with the upcoming sermons focusing on different aspects of the Great Commission. The importance of beholding Jesus and becoming like him from the inside out is highlighted, with an invitation to accept Jesus as the one who offers forgiveness and peace with God.
The speaker reflects on the effort and work required in wooing someone and entering into a meaningful relationship, drawing a parallel to Jesus' commitment to pursuing and wooing humanity. Jesus embraced the limitations of humanity and restrained his divine authority, entrusting his disciples with continuing his mission. The speaker shares a personal anecdote about wooing his now wife, emphasizing the relational and intimate nature of wooing.
The speaker invites the audience to witness the unimaginable feat of the incarnation of God during Christmas, comparing it to being invited to see something incredible. The speaker reflects on the unimaginable nature of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, emphasizing the momentous event and the unusual circumstances surrounding his birth.
- The incarnation of Jesus at Christmas is a profound mystery that demonstrates God's willingness to enter into humanity's condition, revealing the depth of divine love and the extent of God's plan for redemption. This event challenges believers to grasp the significance of God in human form and the humility of the manger scene. [55:06]
- True discipleship is characterized by an internal transformation that occurs as individuals behold the glory of the Lord. This process involves a deep change in one's aspirations, dreams, and understanding of righteousness, leading to a life that reflects the character of Jesus. [01:14:49]
- The mission of making disciples extends beyond personal transformation to the responsibility of leading others to a love relationship with Jesus. This mission reflects the glory of God and demonstrates the power and authority of Jesus working through believers, regardless of their perceived inadequacies. [01:22:01]
- Stewardship is a reflection of one's relationship with God, where all possessions and resources are viewed as belonging to God. This perspective fosters a heart of generosity and a desire to use material blessings to reflect God's love, as exemplified by the widow's offering in the Gospel of Mark. [42:31]
- Jesus' approach to authority is one of restraint and service, choosing to woo humanity through relational and intimate means rather than coercion. This method of wooing is exemplified in Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection, and serves as a model for how believers are to represent God and extend the invitation of reconciliation to others. [01:09:08]