IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE HIS FAITHFULNESS
Luke 1:54-55 'He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful, as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.'
- We are approaching the most wonderful time of the year.
- It's a time when we begin to shift our focus away from ourselves and our situations and begin to think about Christmas and all that it means.
- If we will allow it, Christmas and its wonderful message can change our lives.
- In the time before that very first Christmas, Mary, the mother of Jesus, also began to realise the significance of what was about to happen.
- In the run-up to the birth of Christ, Mary, His mother, was pregnant and carrying the Christ child.
- As the reality of the magnitude of what was taking place began to be realised in this young girl's soul, she burst out with some of the most amazing words regarding the coming Saviour.
- It is called THE MAGNIFICAT, and it is a collection of Mary's thoughts and prayers (perhaps even her song) in the weeks before His birth.
- You can go and read it in Luke 1:46-55.
- My prayer is that as you approach this sacred and wonderful time of the year, that you will begin to realise how great and how wonderful Christmas really is.
- At the end of Mary's prayer, she celebrates God's great faithfulness to His people.
- As we come to the end of this year and as Christmas lies before us, I want to encourage you to remind yourself of God's great faithfulness.
- Let us remember and celebrate His faithfulness, while at the same time looking forward to His faithfulness in the future.
1. THE COMING OF CHRIST DEMONSTRATES GOD'S CHARACTER
- The very character of God is that He is faithful.
- He is faithful to all that He has promised to the human race, and He is faithful to all that He has promised to you.
- The fact that He came on that first Christmas was His faithfulness in action.
- So, when we celebrate His birth, we are celebrating His faithfulness.
- It is for this reason that each time we remember and celebrate His birth it is significant for us as individuals because, once again, we are reminded of His faithfulness on which we can depend and to which we can look to with hope.
- He came on that first Christmas to fulfill all the promises and to demonstrate His faithfulness in a way that all humanity still considers at this time of the year.
- Up until this time in history, the possibility of the coming of the Saviour was just a promise, but now the promise was becoming a reality.
- Sometimes a promise is all we have.
- But if that promise comes from God, then there comes a day when things change and that promise becomes a reality.
- This process is the demonstration of God's faithfulness in front of our very eyes.
2. HE IS FAITHFUL TO BE MERCIFUL
- In a very real sense, we all need His mercy in our lives.
- Luke 1:54 'He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful!'
- None of us are perfect and we have done things that we know have not been pleasing to God, but now His mercy has arrived.
- His mercy towards us is another amazing aspect of His faithfulness to us.
- In His mercy we can be forgiven.
- In His mercy the burden of sin can be lifted off our lives.
- In His mercy we can know God as our Heavenly Father.
- In His mercy we can walk in His favour and His blessing.
- In His mercy we don't have to be bound but we can be free.
- In His mercy we can be free from condemnation and guilt.
- In His mercy we can know the power of the life-giving Spirit that has freed us from the power of sin that leads to death.
- In His mercy we can know the gift of God which is eternal life.
3. HOW DOES GOD WANT TO BE FAITHFUL TO US?
- By sending His Son at that very moment in history, God was taking a very deliberate action to help all of humanity.
- Luke 1:54 'He has helped His servant Israel...'
- In the very words that Mary used she identified the fundamental reason why God was sending His Son and that was to bring help and to be a help to each person alive and to each person that would still be born.
- Have you ever been in a situation where you just needed some help?
- I remember years ago, my younger brother was travelling down to the Eastern Cape in South Africa to be with us for Christmas. On one of the longest and most isolated stretches between two towns, he had a puncture, and his spare was also flat. It was before the time of cell phones and here he sat next to the road. He needed help. A passing farmer stopped and asked if he could help my brother. My brother told him about his sad situation. The farmer told him to load up the wheel and took him to his home. At his home, the family treated him to Christmas while the farmer went into town and had the tyre fixed. One of the children of the family even gave my brother a Christmas gift. The farmer returned and took my brother back to his car. Helped him to fit the wheel and sent him on his way.
- Sometimes we just need some help and God sent His Son at just the right time to bring help and be a help to us.
- He wants to help us, and He wants to come and help you.
- He wants to lift you up.
- He wants to come and save you.
- He wants to come and rescue you.
- He wants to come and put His arms around you.
- He wants to put you back where you belong - on your feet.
4. HE WILL REMEMBER TO BE MERCIFUL TO YOU
- Luke 1:54 'He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful.'
- The birth of Jesus was a fulfilment of all that was promised and the moment in which God remembered to be merciful to His people and to all of humanity.
- In essence what Mary was saying is that God has remembered us, His people, and He has remembered His promises and in His mercy, He has done what He said He would do.
- It had been a long time between the promise and the fulfillment, but God had not forgotten even if it had taken a long time, because God does not forget.
- Today, God is still Emmanuel - God with us.
- He is still with you and in His mercies will remember all that He has promised, even if it seems unlikely to happen.
- He is the eternal God Who never forgets, and Who always remembers to be faithful to us and to His Word.
- We may go through difficult times or seasons, when it seems as if nothing is happening, BUT He will remain faithful.
- Today you can be encouraged because the Lord wants to remind you that He will be faithful to you.
- You may even have felt like giving up, but you don't need to consider that because you can rely on His faithfulness right now and every day that lies ahead.
- God's time is not always our time but that does not change the fact that He is and will be faithful to you.
- Mary understood that with the birth of Jesus the promises of God were being fulfilled.
- This fulfilment was also the assurance that all other promises would also be remembered and fulfilled.
- In the end, because of the fact that God remembered His promise and sent Jesus, so too can we expect the fulfilment of the promise that one day Jesus will return again, and we can look forward, with expectation, to His return.
- The birth of Jesus at Christmas was the proof that God is faithful, and we can take hold of His faithfulness and rely on Him - the One Who always remembers and fulfills what He has promised.
- It's time to celebrate His faithfulness as we remember His birth and remind ourselves that His faithfulness continues into the future.
By Andrew W Roebert
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