Kittredge Community Bible Church
10 AM - Nov 29
- Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
- We Gather Together
- Text: Galatians 4:1-7Dominant Thought: God always keeps His promises.IntroductionFrom the Fall in Genesis 3 until the birth of Christ Israel has been waiting on God.In Genesis 3:15 God promised that the offspring of a woman would strike the head of Satan and subdue him once and for all. Israel waited.During the days of King David the people were promised his reign would last forever, but David died and so God’s people kept waiting.After the last prophet Malachi there was a silence from God for 400 years until the events in Mathew took place.In fact, the whole Old Testament tells a story about God’s people waiting. In Psalm 27:13-14 David sums up the idea pretty well.I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.So, God’s people are a people who wait. But it seemed the longer they waited the more distrusting they became.Even though they believed God, and even though they put their hope in His promise of deliverance, when God’s people wait for Him, they begin to ask the question of faithfulness: Will God keep His promise?Will God keep His promise? That is the question, the hinge, on which Christianity turns. Because if God doesn’t keep His promises, then what are we waiting for? Just go do whatever seems right in your own eyes because none of it matters anyway.But if God does keep His promises, that changes everything.So, as God’s people waited for that first Christmas, they were undoubtedly asking the question of faithfulness. And as we wait for God to keep His promises to us, we often ask the same question.What are some of the promises? As we already mentioned, there is the promise to defeat Satan once and for all.But there are also promises to give us a future.For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.There’s also promises to strengthen us.Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.And promises of healing.The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn,And of course, the one we all look forward to most…the promise of Christ’s return.For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.Since most of our lives are spent waiting on God to keep many different promises, what can we learn from the Christmas story about waiting on God?Waiting on God is Never EasyWhile Israel waited for God to keep His promise, they faced slavery in Egypt. They faced seemingly endless battles to enter the Promised Land. They were conquered by Assyria and by Babylon and taken into Exile, and, at the time Jesus was born, they were under Roman oppression.Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. Instead, he is under guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.Children sometimes feel like they are treated like slaves at home. They have privileges, but not the same privileges as an adult. They have to wait to do everything. They can’t drive, they can’t work for much money, they can’t vote. They are told what to do all the time.Children often think adults have it so much better but we too have to wait, and it’s not easy, especially if we are Christians.In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elements of the world.But, as Christians we are no longer slaves to the things of this world, yet the world we live in still isn’t perfect and neither are we. So, we keep waiting, in fact, as Christians, I think it’s even harder to wait because now we have a glimpse of what the future will be like.But, it’s really no different while we wait on God for us than it was for the Israelites. We’re waiting for God to deliver us, and it seems like any time now would be a good time. But God never promised that it would be easy. Just like people waited on God for the first Christmas, we wait on God through every difficulty.And just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean God isn’t keeping His promise. God is continuing to work within us, even now.I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.Waiting on God is never easy. It’s not just sitting on the couch passing the time, it’s filled with trials and difficulty. That’s why James says...Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.So, waiting of God is not easy for the one who has chronic health problems. It’s not easy for the person who feels that their life has no meaning. It’s not easy for the person who misses their friends and can’t wait for corona virus to end and things get back to normal.But...Waiting on God is Always Worth ItA baby in a manger didn’t seem like a great start to the life of the savior of the world, but God’s plan was better than the world’s ideas of greatness.Even the birth of a baby didn’t seem like the solution they were looking for, Jesus was far better than anything God’s people could have imagined.When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,When God doesn’t meet our expectations of timing, it’s easy to get discouraged or frustrated—thinking He won’t keep His promises at all. But, in reality, God’s timing, His plans, and His methods are always better than ours.Jesus was born “when the time came to completion.” Since the beginning of time God had been orchestrating events so Jesus would be born at the best possible moment.What was so great about God’s timing? As we have been learning in Sunday School when Jesus was born there was...A unifying language. Everyone spoke a little Greek and so they could hear for themselves the Hebrew Old Testament that had been translated into Greek.A unifying law and government. Roman law was one of the vehicles used by God to take the gospel to the rest of the world.A unifying system of transportation. The Roman army had greatly reduced piracy making it fairly safe to travel by sea. They also built thousands of miles of roads.The “Pax Romana”. A period of peace that lasted hundreds of years under Roman rule allowing Christians to expand across the empire and take the gospel with them.Greek education. The Greeks system of education encouraged people to ask questions. So people started to ask question only the Bible could answer.So for all of these reasons, and more, Jesus was born at exactly the right time, and the wait was worth it.Jesus came...to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.Being adopted into God’s family is worth the wait. No matter what you are struggling through right now, it will be worth it when your adoption papers are fully processed. From God’s point of view it’s already a done deal...And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir.Waiting on God is always worth it.There’s a Middle Eastern legend that tells us a certain king needed a faithful servant and had to choose between two candidates for the office.So he took both at fixed wages and told them to fill a basket with water from a nearby well, saying that he would come in the evening to inspect their work.After dumping one or two buckets of water into the basket, one of the men said, “What is the good of doing this useless work? As soon as we pour the water in, it runs out the sides.”The other answered, “But we have our wages, haven’t we? The use is the master’s business, not ours.”“I’m not going to do such fool’s work,” replied the complainer. Throwing down his bucket, he went away.The other man continued until he had drained the well. Looking down into it, he saw something shining at the bottom that proved to be a diamond ring.“Now I see the use of pouring water into the basket!” he exclaimed. “Our work was not useless.”When God’s blessing does not fully coincide with your expectations, remember to wait until the well is dry.Maybe you don’t see the point it doing what God says to do. Why am I still sick? I keep trying to do the right thing but nobody notices. I keep praying but God doesn’t seem to hear. Don’t quit, God’s timing is perfect.ConclusionGalatians 4:4 says, “When the time had fully come, (or when the time came to completion) God sent His son.” It wasn’t easy to wait, and it seemed like way too long, but God kept His promise—at just the right time.Waiting for God to keep His promises is never easy. It always takes longer than we’d hoped. But one thing we experience in the Christmas story is that God keeps His promises.The timing isn’t always what we want, and God’s answer sometimes doesn’t seem like a perfect fit—like the birth of a baby in a manger. But waiting on God is always worth it.Will God keep His promise? That’s the question of faithfulness, the question of Christianity. And the Christmas story answers with a resounding, Yes!
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17KJV1900
- O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
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