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December 1 (1st Sunday in Advent)
The first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays. Advent…the celebration of birth of Christ or coming of THE SAVIOR...
WHY WOULD GOD, CREATOR OF ALL, ALLOW HIMSELF TO BE BORN OF A WOMAN…
Jesus had to be born because of “me and you” = ‘OUR’ sins.
Jesus had to be born because God wanted to reveal His own character to humanity.
Jesus had to be born to remove the sins of humankind through; “the only suitable, acceptable and perfect sacrifice.”
Jesus had to be born for mankind to have a Mediator.
Jesus had to be born to provide the promised Seed of Abraham.
Jesus had to be born for God to make His Spirit available to all humankind.
Jesus had to be born for God to redeem mankind.
WHY WOULD GOD, CREATOR OF ALL THINGS, ALLOW HIMSELF TO BE BORN OF A WOMAN…
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. JOHN 3:16
THIS IS WHAT ADVENT IS ALL ABOUT - RECONCILATION & CELEBRATION…
BUT WE MUST ACCEPT HIS LOVE TO US…HOW TO ACCEPT???
IN ORDER TO LOVE HIM BACK, WE MUST LOVE GOD AND OUR NEIGHBORS AS OURSELVES….BY PUTTING ON JESUS…
Romans 13:8-14 - Love Your Neighbor
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another,
for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 For the commandments,
“You shall not commit adultery,”
“You shall not murder,”
“You shall not steal,”
“You shall not bear false witness,”
“You shall not covet,”
and if there is any other commandment,
are all summed up in this saying, namely,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
10 Love does no harm to a neighbor;
Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.
Put on Christ
11 And do this, knowing the time,
that now it is high time to awake out of sleep;
for now, our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
12 The night is far spent; the day is at hand.
Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness,
and let us put on the armor of light.
13 Let us walk properly, as in the day,
not in revelry and drunkenness,
not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Apostle Paul is telling us the urgency about how we Christians should live our lives in this time.
He describes the moments when the sky turns gray and the birds begin to stir before the sun breaks the horizon. Spiritually, this symbolic moment began when death was defeated at the resurrection of Jesus.
Conversion of St. Augustine-WEARING THE WORLD OR PUT ON CHRIST?
Augustine's life as a young man was characterized by loose living and a search for answers to life's basic questions. He would follow various philosophers, only to become disillusioned with their teachings. For nine years he was associated with the Manichean sect. But he gradually became aware that Manicheism was unable to provide satisfactory answers to his probing questions.
At this time, Augustine was teaching rhetoric in Milan. He went to hear the preaching of Saint Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan. At first, he went only to hear Ambrose's eloquent style of speaking. But the Bishop's preaching led Augustine to a new understanding of the Bible and the Christian Faith.
Sometime in the year 386, Augustine and his friend Alypius were spending time in Milan. While outdoors, Augustine heard the voice of a child singing a song, the words of which were, "Pick it up and read it. Pick it up and read it." He thought at first that the song was related to some kind of children's game but could not remember ever having heard such a song before.
Then, realizing that this song might be a command from God to open and read the Scriptures, he located a Bible, picked it up, opened it and read the first passage he saw.
It was from the Letter of Paul to the Romans. Augustine read:
Not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual excess and lust, not in quarreling and jealousy. Rather, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. --Romans 13: 13-14
Reading this scripture, Augustine felt as if his heart were flooded with light. He turned totally from his life of sin. He was Baptized by Ambrose during the Easter Vigil April 24, 387. His friend Alypius and his son Adeodatus were Baptized at the same time.
Later, reflecting on this experience, Augustine wrote his famous prayer: You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. He went on to become a powerful influence on the spirituality and theology of the Christian Church.
The world remains broken by sin, but the clock is ticking. Creation groans along with us as we wait for our adoption to be finalized and the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:22–23).
Because of the nearing daybreak, Paul writes, Christians must throw away any works of darkness, any of the worthless things we have done that belong to the night and not to the day. He will list some of those in the following verse.
Instead, Paul insists, Christians must prepare for the day by putting on the armaments of light.
James 1:17, KJV: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
Those in Christ no longer belong to the night.
We are people of light, and that must change how we live in this critical moment.
How do we put on Jesus…? spiritual and physical …
BIBLE STUDY, PRAYER MEETING, FELLOWSHIP, FASTING….LOVE
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