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January 14, 2022 9:00 am
JD Greer see if you're willing to come to God. There's got to be room in your heart for him to surprise you to do the unexpected. Sometimes the greatest love that God might show to you or to me is not in fictional problems when he uses that problem to open your eyes to see the treasure you have in him, and sometimes that comes your pastor of the Summit church in Raleigh, Durham, North Carolina. As always, I'm your host Molly, but abets Jenny takes us back to the most wonderful time of the year one last time. So if you needed a little more Christmas you came to the right place but did you know that the Bible tells us that when Jesus came he drew a dividing line when with separate people for all of eternity. So the question for you is which side are you on victory stick around the end to hear more about our latest resource that will help you know more of the Bible in 2022. But let's not waste any more time and kept right into the message Pastor JD titled the Christmas we weren't expecting time she when I talk about the Christian life as if it is instant fulfillment immediate answers to prayer request.
If you say hello. Yes, God will give me, but if you do a your marriage in your marriage and return them to me and if you do a with your kids and your kids will turn out like big friend that is not always true. When you find yourself in a posture avoiding this Christmas time. It feels dark time of confusion. Maybe we feel abandoned baby is a season for you of your name and longing a longing for something to be set right. Injustice seems to rain everywhere around you. Maybe you yourself have been the victim of that injustice.
Maybe you like and our yearning for some need to be fulfilled life just has not turned out the way that you would always expected. Maybe it's a longing for it to have your family put back together or maybe to have a family of your own, you were hoping to be married by this Christmas and here we are again entering another Christmas season you're still single. Maybe you're grieving the death of a child this Christmas maybe you're grieving a miscarriage this year.
Maybe you're still waiting on a prodigal who is yet to return home. I don't know. I don't know when here's the thing you tried everything that you know how to try. You try to do it God's way of you when got advice you talk to the pastor and you you believe in God and you trusted him and you work hard and and still things have just not gotten better for you.
Why is the marriage had better why is it the situation changing Simeon and Anna story show you that God sees you. God has not forgotten you and waiting does not mean that you've done something wrong. Waiting is in fact an essential.
I would even say an appointed part of the Christian life. If you want God to deliver you if you want his powerful working in your life it will come on the heels of a season of waiting. God will not disappoint those of you who wait for him he will not let you be put to shame. Nobody was ever waiting for God ever in history has been let down no one not even what you will not be the first waiting is an essential even an appointed part of the Christian life and that's what we're reminded of Christmas all about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor who ended up being a martyr of the Nazi regime.
LOL he said it. The Advent season.
The Advent season is a season of waiting for whole life or whole life Feels like it had been season.
He says that is a season of waiting for the last admin admin. This means coming the last coming for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth Christmas reminds us that while we've got a lot to be thankful for. Here a lot of us are still waiting that role waiting for the second coming of Christ were all waiting for the new heavens and the new earth were all waiting for Jesus to come and make things right and for all the sad things in our lives to become untrue job.
Just say to you this weekend whether you got a specific need. Mr. waiting on God to do something in whether cystic yearning for heaven.
Simeon and Anna show you that God has not forgotten you.
The joy in the comfort of Christmas is for you.
Even if your situation is not a change this weekend. Which leads me to number two, number two God's answer did not match their expectations.
God's answer did not match their expectations. I think it's safe to say that neither Simeon nor Anna was thinking that a helpless baby born to a dirt poor family was God's answer to their longing, but he was see what Israel thought they needed most.
What they thought they needed from God was different from what they actually needed most.
What they thought they needed most was political deliverance. What they thought they needed most was a new husband or restored fortune, but what they actually most needed was restoration with God. This Jesus says is eternal life not streets of gold are not perfect help you little eternal life is to know God in Jesus, whom he has sent you can have that knowledge and pain as well as you can have it in health and that sometimes you have a better and they may begin an elf Jesus in the abundant life that I'm talking about is not a Mercedes-Benz and it's not a 5000 square-foot house and it's not second-home it at Hilton Head and it's not it's not a perfect family. It's not all people around the table you want to know if you don't abundant life is Jesus is knowing me walking in the fullness and joy of your heavenly father we may think that what we most need his physical health. This this Christmas or financial assistance for family reunions, but we mostly deepen our souls is reunion with our heavenly father to see you and I were created from God, whether you ever realize that are not maybe start filling the gaps for for you in ways that that are making connections when you've never made maybe never understood never thought of yourself as a religious person. The Senate was secret about you is your creative God Blaise Pascal that the French philosopher and mathematician. He famously said of the human heart has a gigantic hole in it.
Avoid a vacuum. He called his wish with all of our lives trying to figure out what goes in that whole reason we try to romance and return the romance thing about me Mr. writer Miss Reitman with MS can take care of. He said without holes not filled by money is not about romantic love is not about family is not filled by job success is not filled by prosperity or political peace that holes in the shape of the love of Jesus Christ. And that's why no matter what you find in life you always you feel like something is not quite there, something still missing because you're created not for health and prosperity for your creative for fellowship with God, not even created for family you created for fellowship with God.
That's why St. Augustine said 1500 years ago, our hearts are restless until they learn to find their rest in you.
You were created for God. You need to be restored to him and only this Messiah. Only this Christ born as a baby to live the life you were supposed to live and die the death you were condemned to die in your place, only that baby could fill that hole.
The arms that you've been searching for in romance have actually been his arms. The security that you look for in money is actually found in the presence of Jesus and his promises. The significance that you craved from your pin from your dad from your spouse from the approval of others from likes on a Facebook post that significance is found in hearing God the father say to you, you are my beloved son or daughter, in whom I am well pleased now to be very clear. Okay God is good, were supposed to ask for that goodness to break into our lives and our families at this church. We believe that we can and should pray for physical healing.
We should pray. You can praying you should pray for an end to loneliness. You can even pray for political help, but first and foremost, Jesus came to leave you and me in the fellowship with the father because again that's eternal life. That's the fullness of joy that is life abundantly, and apart from that and the other fixes only to be superficial. Anyway, what God did here was unexpected, but it was exactly what they needed to ask you this weekend. Are you ready for God to do the unexpected in your life this Christmas. Are you ready for God to do the unexpected in your life this Christmas. I do not care how spiritually mature you are or how much you know or how certain you feel that you know exactly what you need most from God is going tell you is a God is been a pastor for almost 2 decades now with a PhD in theology you got always be ready for God to do the unexpected in your life and if there is no room in your heart for God to surprise you. I mean legitimately surprise you. I mean, I didn't see that coming surprise you with the maybe it's not God, you're actually worshiping that is not God you really seeking to see if you're willing to come to God.
There's got to be room in your heart for him to surprise you to do the unexpected. Sometimes the greatest love that God might show to you or to me is not in fictional problems, but when he uses that problem to open your eyes to see the treasure you have in him, and sometimes that comes to pain by me think about it. How does a surgeon bring peace to your body by not telling everything to be okay. If you have a tumor in you.
He's got cut you got cut you to take the tumor out so that you can have peace. How does a therapist bring peace to a downcast or depressed person. A lot of times it's by dredging up the past and that get you to remember and confront those painful memories often. This is the irony got a feel worse. Before you feel better. The same thing. Spiritual healing sometimes the paths toward peace.
Lead us through valleys of pain like we often say here the summits are sometimes sometimes God answers our prayers by giving us what we would've asked for for annuity new. Sometimes God shows his love by giving us what we would've asked for if we knew what he knew what he knows is that your deepest longings the deepest longings in your heart and the peace that you're really looking for. Those are found in the knowledge of him. Those are found in the knowledge of him cements into things that right. The end that I want to I want to close with two things would happen for 29 after this encounter cements that I can depart in peace.
I want to change his simians life. Having had the spirit of God opened his eyes to see who Jesus really was. You get a pardon please. Nothing had changed about his circumstances. Israel was still in Rome's rule. When Simeon left, he would still be a victim of injustice walking out of that great simple he might be confronted by a Roman soldier who is say something rude to him or push him or maybe even take his money it Simeon says in the temple. I am at peace and I believe that these nothing to change with Anna circumstances that she still over 100 years old and she still widow yet.
She's at peace. Here's my question. Can you be at peace today when you leave, whether former campuses are the home you're sitting and can you be at peace today.
What do you require in order for you to be able to say I can depart in peace.
You require a change in circumstances do require resolution of some injustice you require. Somehow to personal vindication.
You need a new husband's husband. You need your kids to come to faith. Imagine the sum imagine this ring of keys right here is representing the keys to your heart, member of the old days able to collect seasonably poor people have them on those like the person must be important to get you everywhere. So imagine this description was middle key rings, and here's what most of us have done this, is that this represents the keys to peace in my heart and see if they can one give it to your spouse. My wife gets key in a memo to JT and my my my stockbroker get the key and my boss gets key in my girlfriend got a key in your boyfriends got a key and and and the school and try to get into what I got a T also in many step back until all those groups that always people that they better treat you the way that you want to be treated because they got the keys to your peace. Well, it's not a good plan for a couple reasons right. Wonder going to let you down guaranteed you.
You have to have much life experience and to know that and when they let you down. It's hard for you to even be mad at them medial while I can say that because the person is let you down. Most staring at you every morning when you look in the mirror, right every morning when I look in the mirror I am looking at the person who has lied to JD Greer, more than any other human in history.
Every morning when I look in the mirror I'm looking at the person who is disappointed and let down. JD Greer more than anybody else. So here's what I know if I've let me down. I can't be surprised other people let me down, either because probably have let them down about them sure of it. So it is silly for me to give them the keys to my peace. Listen, if hope for you is found in somebody taken the key in using it the right way that all hope is listen is delayed disappointment for you at all this units all menu might be a will to delay your disappointment for little bit but it's coming. Only Jesus should have the key to your peace is all you want to on that ring you should be able to hand it to Jesus you should be able to say you got the key to peace in my heart because only your to be faithful with it in your what I created for and your promises are sufficient. Only you can guarantee it. That's what Simeon and Anna do here.
They saw that Jesus held the key to their peace and once they saw Jesus once they'd entrusted themselves to him. Then they could depart in peace, as he and he alone, the keeper of your peace today. Here's the second thing that that Simeon said that is so important. Verse 34. This child is destined to cause the rise in the fall of many seniors and as babies can bring a dividing line for 35 to Mrs. Hill cause offense because of him. Simeon said the thoughts of a lot of hard to get exposed what they really think about God best baby boy is going to grow up and can reveal that because of his claims the truth about their heart will actually be revealed, and we can pull back the veil on their fake religiosity because that baby is going to grow up and preach that none of us are good enough to get to heaven and he's going to have to give us that as a gift to his work, not ours, and would have to receive that humbly like daggers. Jesus did not come to make you a better person detained because you could not be a better person and you have to depend on him and him alone to save you a lot of people aren't like that because it can attack their pride because they want somebody to improve them. They want a new and better version of them. Jesus said you were dead in your sin, I gotta put my life into you got admit that your worth your worth nothing spiritually to God for your is worthy of nothing spiritually. You gotta receive the gift humbly to demand absolute Lordship from us.
A lot of people are like that either because while they got no problem with religion.
They want to retain control of their lives. They will control their pocketbook. They will control their destiny, they will control the relationships and so this this baby boys who grow up and say if I'm not Lord of all, I'm not Lord at all and are not alike that is religious as they are. They want to keep their hands on the reins in this baby boys grow up and insist that more than we need fixes to our problems.
We need him. A lot of people want to like that either. Then I can be satisfied with that. And that's can reveal that a lot of them aren't interested in God whether actually interested in is what they think God can do for them. This baby boys you bring a dividing line in all of us are to be challenged to get this Simeon talk about a guy with some backbone. Simeon looks at Mary Mary and looks at her and says in a sword will pierce your soul also. We just acknowledge there are few people in the Bible that are presented as admirably and attractively as Mary right yet even here he didn't get it completely right. Mary was seriously mistaken at first as to what her son was all about and more than once more than what you try to stop Mark 331 look it up. Especially group a church that taught you that Mary was sinless. Mark 331 says that Jesus is mother and brothers found his claims so absurd that they thought he was literally verse 31 Insein verse 21 says that they tried to bring him home out of his ministry could try to bring all my force because they thought verse 21 he was out of his mind. Simeon looks at Mary as his Jesus's claims can challenge even you Mary. What about point that out because that means you should expect that he will challenge you also like I would say that one of the signs that you really encounter Jesus is that you wrestled with him to see really giving yourself the Jesus to get a feel in some ways like a sword has come into your soul really wrestle really encountering Jesus means your pride is going to get challenged and I control you one of your life.
That's going to get challenged to an easy to challenge you with the core of your idols.
And if you've never wrestled with that deep challenged.
You probably have never grappled with the real him you just got religious this baby boys go draw dividing line and a dividing line to go separate people for eternity. John three believes and obeys the son has everlasting life. Those that don't believe and obey the son will perish without him. The most important question whoever considers what side of that dividing line are you on had you surrendered to him. If you given yourself to him or are you still without him. He's a dividing line the kids and I were on a trip recently and I will come out or are you airport and we walked muscle cord or the TSA quarter were you pass like that is like slime of whites, and it represents the security line my kids every time we go on a trip every time I think that don't you member the time you made the security alarm go off every time we go. Now they base a dad. This is a play on what I remember the boys because it was walk on the line I was trying to be in a dead joke so I was I was like oh look, there's a line here I thought it was like as so what sort of a general kind of like just you know don't go past this area and come back so that this a lot of the floor I was like you know he kids look I'm in, I'm out I'm in, I'm out there all you and all the sudden.the light start flaring and alarm goes off in the hole where am I going to security cards from another thing. And I'm like knots. I did them on the gotta get on my knees but it just it was a moment because it's like number that like I've never that he was arrested at our member that so but it's a lie right in your is on one side or the other you know you're out, it's a dividing line will settle on you on the Jesus condo place for you acknowledge that you can never be good enough to earn heaven you come to a place for you surrendered your self to him, knowing that only his mercy could save you misreporting him in charge of your life.
You can be a better person came because you could be a better person and have you received him acknowledging that only he can save you right. Having received that.
Can you now say I'm ready to depart from here and I ready to be at peace. Once you bow your heads. If you would all the campuses in our homes. Print. It's very simple.
Okay you received is not you could do it right now through we caught surrender and faith.
That's the biblical words surrender of faith. Jesus I'd turn over control of my life to you. I can't save myself. You gotta say, I receive you right now is my Savior said to him wherever you sent however old you are. Jesus, I can't save myself only you can save the piece you are looking Jesus, you discovered that you're listening to Senate life Bible teaching ministry of pastor, author and theologian Jeannie Greer if you put your trust in Jesus today or have questions about what it means to follow him. Please give us a call at 866-335-5220.
We'd love the opportunity to pray with you and if you miss any of this message, you can always find it free of firstname.lastname@example.org Senate life exist to bring you resources, and Bible teaching that will help you dive deeper into your walk with God every day and that's why we're offering a resource this month that will help you remember Scripture this year and hopefully for years to come. The Bible is our foundation. The most important way that we hear from God so minor become a better student of the Bible by committing more of it to memory.
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He quoted from 24 bugs roughly hundred and 80 times it's clear that he thought of the Scriptures as the ultimate authority in life in a way to understand the heart and desires of God. Why would we not follow Jesus by knowing and trusting Scripture the way to he did the rejoice always memory verse cards come with our thanks for your generous financial get $35 or more. Call right now to make your donation and request the set of cards. The number and 866-335-5220. Again, eight 633-5224. Go online and request that when you visit email@example.com or drop us a line. The old-fashioned way by writing to ask Jeannie Greer ministries PO Box 12293, Durham, NC 277 09 waiting on our website for our e-news letter place to get ministry update peaks of our new resources latest blog post delivered straight to your inbox or subscribe to the centerline on your favorite. It's a great way to stay connected with Jeannie Greer.com I'm only inviting you to join us again next week about a man and his friend all but as we'll see in the story more to extend forgiveness.
So enjoy your weekend and worship with your church family sure to do anything in my name here on Senate life Jeannie