25
Dec
2012

Marvelous Things

Sermon on Psalm 98 for Christmas Eve, celebrating the joy of Christ's birth! A reflection on Christmas through the Psalm which is also the basis for the hymn, "Joy to the World."

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24
Dec
2012

Shepherd King

Sermon on Micah 5:2-5a, for the 4th Sunday in Advent, about Micah's prophecy of the Christ, the Shepherd King who would come to deliver His people.

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. The prophet Micah wrote while the nation of Israel was in turmoil. The Northern Kingdom had been exiled to Assyria, and he was warning the Southern Kingdom of Judah that they were headed in the same direction. Read Micah 4 &5. How did Micah bring hope that the exiles would be restored? How did he describe the Deliverer who would come? (5:2-5a).

  1. Promises of the Savior began very broadly (Genesis 3:15), and through the centuries narrowed in focus through the family of Shem (Gen. 9:26) and Abraham (Gen. 12:3), Judah (Gen. 49:10), and so on down through the family of David (2 Samuel 7:12-13). Prophecies of the Messiah became more and more precise till Isaiah 7:14 & Micah 5:2 gave exact details of His birth. Dozens of other prophecies cover various aspects of the Savior’s life and are fulfilled completely only in Jesus.

  1. What details in Micah 5:2, 4, show that Jesus was no ordinary man? Cf. John 8:58; Revelation 1:8; John 1:1-3.

  1. How was Jesus a “Shepherd King?” John 10; Matthew 21. How was He strong and yet gentle? What enemies did He come to defend and deliver us from?

  1. Why is Jesus’ humble birth, life, and lowly death important to us in terms of our approach to God? Hebrews 4:16; Philippians 2:5-11. How will He be exalted one day, and how will His second coming differ from His first? How shall we receive Him and “prepare Him room” for His coming?
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20
Dec
2012

Praise the Lord!

Sermon on Psalm 146, for Advent Midweek 3, on the series of Psalms for Advent. This sermon continues from Psalm 72 to describe the character of Christ, our Righteous King, and why He is worthy of our praises forever.

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17
Dec
2012

Rejoice in the Lord

Note: This sermon on joy was written with the tragic and senseless events of the recent school shooting in mind. Our prayers and hearts go out to the victims and survivors, that God would sent His peace and the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness of this time. As the Psalmist in Psalm 42 reflects, sometimes joy may seem distant and we may feel only bitterness and grief. Yet he puts his hope in God that there will again be a day of praise and gladness. The Bible's teaching on joy is a reminder to us that Christian joy does not concede or retreat from evil, or times of grief or loss, but rather that God sends His good news of redeeming love and comfort to us precisely when we are hurting, lonely, and lost. It is the message of Jesus' victory of good over evil at the cross, that is the only hope for joy in a time of darkness. It is this joy in the Lord that is brighter than the darkness, and that gives us hope even in midst of our worst troubles.

This sermon is on Philippians 4:4-7, for the 3rd Sunday in Advent.

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. Read Philippians 1:7, 12-14 & 4:4. In what circumstances did Paul find occasion to tell us to “rejoice in the Lord always”? What circumstances do we find ourselves struggling to rejoice? How does the peace and joy of the Lord penetrate our prisons of hopelessness and fear? Why does this joy truly come in the Lord?

  1. Why is joy “seated” in a deeper place than emotions like happiness and sadness? How does this make it possible to have joy, even when outward circumstances are bad? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 1 Peter 1:6-7; 4:13; John 16:22. How does joy relate/compare to the blessedness of the beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)?

  1. What is the “reasonableness” that Paul speaks of in verse 5? Titus 3:2. In other passages, this word is sometimes translated gentleness. Why ought patient listening and gentleness be characteristics of all Christians and evidenced in our interactions with others? How do the opposite behaviors harm our witness?

  1. How is prayer the prescription for anxiety (worry)? See again 1 Thess. 5:16-18; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Matthew 6:25-34. Why does giving thanks to God in all circumstances help change our perspective on anxiety?

  1. God’s peace passes both human understanding, and also angelic understanding. How does this peace have the power to change our hearts and minds, and guard them against every attack of the devil to rob us of peace? How did Jesus give us this peace? Ephesians 2:13-18; when did Jesus announce this peace to His disciples? John 20:19; 14:27; 16:33
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13
Dec
2012

The Righteous King

Sermon on Psalm 72 for Advent 2 Midweek service, following the sermon series on Psalms for Advent. This Psalm is about the coming reign of the Righteous Messianic King, Jesus.

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10
Dec
2012

Messenger of the Covenant

Sermon on Malachi 3:1-7b, for the 2nd Sunday in Advent, about Jesus as the Messenger of the Covenant, and God's response to the Israelites that He was leaving the wicked unpunished.

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. Malachi 3:1-7 (and following) is God’s response to the question posed by the people in 2:17, accusing God of favoring the evil, or allowing them to escape punishment, and asking “Where is the God of justice (judgment)”? How does the “messenger of the covenant” whom God sends, deal with this apparent injustice?

2. Verse 1 speaks of “my messenger who will prepare the way before me”, then also of the “messenger of the covenant.” Who is this first messenger? Luke 3:2-6; Isaiah 40:3-5. Who is the “messenger of the covenant”? John 1:23-27. When did “the Lord whom you seek…suddenly come to his temple?” Luke 2:22-38; John 2:13-22; cf. Haggai 2:6-9 (compare Bible translations on verse 7).

3. What would make His arrival (and also His messenger’s) hard to bear? Luke 3:7-9; Matthew 23. How are we “refined and purified” by fire? Why does God purge away our “dross”? What is His goal? Psalm 119:118-120; Isaiah 1:21-26; Titus 2:11-14. How does God Himself make us the very “precious metal” that is of worth to him? Revelation 3:17-19; contrast to Jeremiah 6:27-30. Why is it worth it to us to stand the test of the fire, trials, and afflictions? Revelation 3:18-22

4. Why does a proper knowledge and fear of God’s judgment help to turn us away from sinning? Read Malachi 3:5; Prov. 1:15-16; Isaiah 59:7-8.

5. Why does God’s unchanging nature (immutability) provide us the grace that spares us from being consumed because of our sins? Malachi 3:6; Lamentations 3:22-27; Psalm 102:27-28; Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 54:10. How is it also a warning to the wicked? John 3:34.

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6
Dec
2012

Teach Me Your Paths

Sermon on Psalm 25 for the first Midweek Advent service, about following God's path.

This year for Advent Midweek services, I am preaching on "Psalms for Advent", using selected Psalms that I've chosen, reflecting the Advent themes of repentance, waiting, and expectation of the Messiah, the King of Israel. The order will be Psalm 25, 72, 146, and then 98 for Christmas Eve, while also making references to other Psalms throughout.

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3
Dec
2012

Secure with Jesus

Sermon on Jeremiah 33:14-16 for the First Sunday in Advent, about the prophecy that "Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely."  How does one find peace and security with God? What is the real danger to our body and soul? How does Jesus fulfill these prophecies?

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. Compare Jeremiah 23:5-6 with 33:14-16. What similarities and differences appear between the two passages? What is the identity of this king known as the “Righteous Branch” both in prophecy (Isaiah 11:1-10; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12) and fulfillment (Acts 13:22-23; Romans 15:12)? See also Luke 19:38.

  1. The Jews were facing the destruction of Jerusalem, their capital city, and the nation of Judah, as well as exile in Babylon. What is the “good word” or promise that God made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah (v. 14)? See Jeremiah 29:10; also 2 Samuel 7:12-16 and Jer. 33:17-18.

  1. What kinds of  insecurity do we face in our times? What efforts do we make to try to secure our safety, possessions, health, future, etc? Why are all these efforts futile if our soul is not secure? Mark 8:35-38; cf. Luke 12:13-21.

  1. Who alone can secure the soul, and give us the peace that enables us to dwell securely? Jude 24-25; Psalm 40:1-3; Isaiah 32:15-18. From what assaults must it be guarded? What kind of false security should we watch out for? Isaiah 47:8-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5.

  1. Why does having Jesus Christ, the Lord our Righteousness, with us, give us the ultimate confidence and security to face all the uncertainties and insecurity of life? What does it mean to have the One who has conquered death on our side? 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.  What does it mean to have His righteousness stand in our defense? Revelation 12:10-12.  How does the believer possess Jesus’ righteousness? Romans 3:26; 4:3.
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