Malachi #6 – Learn to Change Your Heart (Malachi 4:1-6)

Malachi #6 – Learn to Change Your Heart (Malachi 4:1-6)

– Well happy birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas. The first ever Christmas Eve service here at the Trinity Church. If you are new you are surrounded with some wonderful people and I just wanna thank our church family you guys are amazing, it’s been an extraordinary year, things are going great, and isn’t it fun to be together tonight, amen?

– [Woman] Woo.

– Well, my gift for you is a short sermon. If you’re a first time visitor and you come back, this is a one-time only gift. You’ll get a little short sermon from me. I hope you guys are ready for Christmas tomorrow. You start to think about it, all the preparation and planning that goes into Christmas and actually God is the one who started planning for the first Christmas. And so what I want to do briefly, perhaps tonight, is for you, I don’t wanna lie, but perhaps for you start in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we’re gonna go all the way to the last book of the Old Testament and we’re gonna see all the ways that God promised, planned, and prepared people for the first Christmas. And so I’ll give you a brief overview, but we’re gonna be talking from the Bible. If you’re new, this is the Word of God, this is the book that God wrote, this is the only perfect thing on the earth. It’s not speculation about God it’s revelation from God. And when this book was written, unlike any other book that’s been written in the history of the world, this book tells us the future in great detail. In fact, 25% of the Bible at the time of its writing was prophetic in nature preparing God’s people for the future. Because God wrote the Bible, God knows the future, God controls the future, and God reveals it. And the centerpiece, the masterpiece of all of human history is one person. We’re here tonight to celebrate him, what’s his name?

– Jesus.

– Jesus, his name is Jesus. So we’re gonna start with the first promise and prophecy way back in Genesis chapter three. This is the first book of the Bible we’ll put the notes for you up on the screen. The context is this, God is awesome, God is good, God is glorious, God is grand. God made the world and gave it to us as a gift. As you give and receive gifts this year, remember that all of life on the earth is a gift from God. God made us in his image and likeness. God made us for loving relationship. God revealed himself to us. God extended a hand of friendship toward us and tragically our first parents rejected God, they rebelled against God, they broke God’s laws, and in so doing, they broke God’s heart. The Bible calls this sin. And at that moment everything that God made was infected and affected by sin, death and destruction, sin and suffering, pain and problems, came into the human world. It doesn’t matter how many wars we fight, it doesn’t matter how many dollars we spend, it doesn’t matter how many politicians we elect, it doesn’t matter how many protests we hold, the world does not change because it has a problem at the core of who we are and that is sinners by nature and choice. Only the Bible makes sense of human history. Only the Bible makes sense of your history. We are the problem and we needed a solution. And at this moment that our first parents rebelled and brought death into history God showed up. God could have abandoned us, God could have neglected us, God could have left us unto ourselves, instead God pursued us. And some of you who are here tonight you do not know but God has been pursuing you. God is pursuing you. God has been speaking to you and I pray tonight that he would speak to you. And to our first parents he made the first promise and he promised that Jesus was coming. And he tells his enemy, his adversary, our enemy and adversary, this in Genesis 3:15, “I’ll put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers.” “He,” that is Jesus, “will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” This was written 1,400 years before Jesus was even born on the earth. We’re now 3 1/2, nearly a thousand years from this utterance. And the problem was humanity, and the promise was that through a woman a man was coming. Most of the time in the Bible, it speaks of children coming through their father because it was in that culture, a patriarchal culture. Here there is no mention of an earthly father because it is the first intimation of the virgin birth and the coming of Jesus that he would have an earthly mother, but he would not have an earthly father and that he would come to undo all that has been done through sin. That where our first parents had failed that he would come to be faithful. So from that moment forward, God’s people were anticipating, leaning, yearning, expecting the coming of the Savior, this Messiah, this deliverer. And God continues to give revelation, God continues to give prophecy, God continues to prepare God’s people and to point them into the future because the hope is coming. The problem is down here and the solution needs to come from up there. So then there is a prophet that is raised up 700 years before Jesus Christ even walked the earth. And some of you may think that Christianity is one among many religions it is not. Our Bible is exclusively unique. Other books do not include prophecy because they are not written by God and they are not revelations of God. And here we hear through this great Prophet Isaiah, the scripture that most of you, if not all of you, have received at some point on a Christmas card. I want you to see where it comes from and what it means. “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign.” Who will be with child, the virgin, so we’re narrowing down our options, amen? Right, a woman is gonna give birth to a son and she’ll be a virgin. This really limits the number of candidates for this fulfillment. “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, a son, and we’ll call him Emmanuel.” What does that mean? God with us. Here’s what you need to know. We don’t go up to God, God comes down to us. Every other religion teaches in some form, fashion, or falsity, that we go up to God, we die and reincarnate, pay off our karmic debt. That our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds, that in some form or fashion, we go up to God. The truth is none of us, none of us can go up to God, but God has come down to us. This is the miracle of Christmas, this is the mystery of Christmas, this is the majesty of Christmas and his name is Jesus. He is Emmanuel, God with us. What that means is Jesus is God. And just as you wrap up presents and give them as gifts so Jesus wrapped himself in human flesh and God came down to give himself as a gift. And this was of course, referring to his mother, Mary, being that virgin. And then 700 years before Jesus was born we were told where he would be born. We read this from the prophet, Micah, Micah 5:2. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,” that is the region, “Though you are small among the clans of Judah,” small town and tribe, “Out of you will come for me one who will be ruler or King of Israel. The people of God whose origins are from old, from ancient times.” That’s originally written in the Hebrew language and that word literally means from eternity, from eternity. And so the promise was given that a woman would give birth to a son that that son would be born of a virgin and that son would be born in the small town of Bethlehem. If you know the Christmas story, you know that Jesus’ family did not live in Bethlehem. In fact, they lived far away from Bethlehem, but in the providence, in the sovereignty, in the dominion of God, God allowed there to be the decree of a governmental census. And what happens is everyone has to go to their hometown of their family of origins to register for tax purposes. I have good news for you. God can even work through governments, God can even work through taxes, that is a miracle, amen? And so that’s what God does here. He works through the government seeking to increase their tax base. Everyone has to go to their family of origin’s hometown because his adoptive father, Joseph, is a descendant of the great King David, his family home traditionally was in Bethlehem. So Mary very much pregnant, I don’t know if she walked or rode a donkey, but this teenage girl made the long journey to the town of Bethlehem at the exact time that she was, as the Bible says, great with child. As she gave birth to the Lord Jesus, where? In Bethlehem, she was only there for a short period of time. That was not her home or residence, but the God who rules over history, the God who knows history, the God who reveals history, and the God who enters into history, brings everything that he promises to pass. So he is born of a woman, he is born of a virgin, he is born in Bethlehem and then we would know that he would come when as a man he would perform extraordinary miracles. He would do things that no one else can do and make claims that no one else would claim as Jesus was an adult male walking the earth. You need to know that he said something that is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world there has never been the founder of any major world religion who declared himself to be God, who declared himself to be God. Jesus openly, Jesus repeatedly, Jesus emphatically, Jesus unapologetically declared himself to be God. He was hated, he was despised, he was opposed, his reputation was slandered, his life was taken not because he was just a loving and kind and generous person though he was, but because he continually said that he was God. And when they came to him and they declared that he was lying, he said, “If I am lying, then also examine my works.” “Listen to my words and watch my works,” and he was referring to his miracles. And what he was saying is if you don’t believe the words that I say, watch the works that I do. And Jesus, it was promised, would be a miracle worker. Isaiah 35:5-6, “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped. The lame will leap like a deer and the mute tongue sound for joy.” We know that Jesus performed at least three dozen different miracles while he was alive and walking on the earth. The Bible says that he also had so many additional miracles, that many volumes of books could be written if we recorded them all. He, he fed thousands of people with a little boys, Lunchable, that’s amazing. He raised a dead guy. The Bible says that the dead guy stinketh so he was very dead. Jesus went water skiing without a boat, that’s different. He did things that no one else does, amen? He did things that no one else does and he is the miracle worker. Then comes the promise of Isaiah and this is one of the most rich deep sections of the entire Old Testament. And the promise was given about Jesus 700 years before he was born. Just pause for a moment and consider this. How many of you would like to know the future? Every one of us would like to know the future so that we could prepare for it. Imagine if someone knew the future 700 years in advance. Here’s what I’m telling you, friend, if God did not write this book, then who did? If God did not reveal these things, then who did? If this is not in fact from God, then for what cause could we possibly explain all of this tremendous prophecy, promises, and preparations? This is the book that God wrote and it’s all about who? Jesus. And so it is said regarding him 700 years before his birth, Isaiah 53: 8-11, he was cut off from the land of the living. That Jesus was healthy, he was young, he was in his early 30s, he was sick, he was very much strong, he worked as a carpenter. He was a single man. He traveled great distances on foot, but that ultimately he would be cut off from the land of the living, what does that mean? That he would be killed prematurely as a young man stricken for the transgression of my people. What that intimates and refers to is that Jesus would substitute himself, that he would die for us, for our sins. The Bible continually uses this little word to explain this big result of the suffering of Jesus. The word, for. Christ died for our sins, that he died for your sins, that he died for my sins. The concept here is one of substitution. The wage for sin, the penalty for sin, the consequence of sin is death. It is separation from God and when our first parents sinned against God and separated themselves from God, they unplugged from the source of life and the death cycle ensued. And when Jesus comes, he pays our price, he steps in our place, he endures our penalty and he dies for our sins. That’s exactly the cause of his mission. And it goes on to say, “Stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and with the rich man in his death.” The point of Jesus’ death is it was promised and prophesied, it was foreshadowed, and foretold that when he died he would be buried in the tomb of a rich man. Question, was Jesus rich or poor? He was poor. How could a poor man be placed in the grave of a rich man? The Bible tells us the story that when Jesus died, there was a gift given to him post-mortem by one of his more quiet followers, a very affluent man named Joseph of Arimathea. That man was probably a political leader that’s what his title seems to infer and indicate, and so he was an affluent, wealthy, prominent man who had purchased for himself, a very expensive, a nice burial chamber and when Jesus died, he gave it to Jesus. They had nowhere to lay his body and then his body was placed in a rich man’s tomb. Jesus did not manufacture this historical fact. This was something that God ordained and prepared. Now the good news for Joseph is he got it back. It was like a hotel stay for just a few nights it was not a big deal, alrighty, it was basically just a couple of nights at the Motel 6 and then he got the keys to his tomb back. But the promise was made that he in fact would be laid with the rich in his death. And let me say this at the time of Jesus’ death, the tombs of dozens of holy men, I use those that word in quotations, when they died their graves were memorialized. Much like in our own day, if someone is loved and they die, we build a monument, a memorial to them. If there’s someone famous like a political leader, we just had the passing of a former President and everyone knew that that person had died and they memorialized their death and they commemorated their life, and they, they leave legacy for that person’s body to be remembered we know where the bodies of famous people are. Well, let me just say this Jesus is the most famous person in the history of the world. More books have been written regarding him, more songs have been sung to him, more paintings painted of him, than anyone who has lived in the history of the world. The Christian church is the biggest movement of any sort or kind in the history of our planet. There is no one bigger than Jesus. We measure time by Jesus into BC, before Christ, AD, anno Domino, the year of our Lord, and the biggest holiday on planet earth is what? It’s Christmas. And so if we know where dead people who are significant are buried, the question is, do we know where Jesus is buried? Answer, we do not. I’ve been to Israel where he lived and taught, died and rose, a few times. Every time I hire an archeologist, or a professor, and I ask them to take me out to see the sights and I always ask them the same question, “Where was Jesus buried?” And the answer is, “We don’t know, we’ve gotta couple of spots we could take you, we’d be happy to take your money, and that’s what a tomb looks like, we don’t know where he was buried, no one can find him.” You know why, he’s not there. Not only did Jesus die, Jesus rose, that’s where Isaiah continues. “Made his grave with the wicked and the rich in his death, although he had done no violence and there was no deceit in his mouth.” What he is saying is, is that Jesus had no sin of any sort or kind, with his words or his works. Jesus never said anything that was not true, including declaring himself to be God. Jesus never did anything that was unholy. Jesus’ life is perfect. Jesus life is without sin. Jesus in fact makes this claim, “Who of you can cause me to be found guilty of sin?” And not, even if you’re here and you’re not a Christian, we don’t say this, amen? In fact we have a very different statement which is nobody’s what? Perfect. Jesus raises his hand and says with one exception, that’s either true or false. He’s either a truth teller or a tremendous liar. And the Bible declares that he would come and that he would be put to death for our sin, though he himself would commit no sin, and it goes on to say, “When his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offering, he shall prolong his days and the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” What does that mean? He’s coming back after he dies he will rise. Jesus said this openly, emphatically, repeatedly, if I die, when I die, I will return three days later, all of that came true, all of that came to pass, all of that is actual, historical, and factual. And this is why Christians we worship on Sunday. Jesus, as a devout Jew worshiped on Saturday. To this day devout Jewish people, they meet on Saturday. God’s people started meeting on Sunday, which was for them a great expense and inconvenience because for them that would have been a workday, that would’ve been their Monday. And the reason that they started meeting on Sunday was that was the day of Jesus’ resurrection. That was the day that sin was forgiven. That was the day that death was conquered. That was the day that relationship with God was reconciled. That was the day that heaven and the Kingdom of God and the great grand glorious gift of eternal life was given, amen? And that’s, that’s why God’s people gather on Sunday. It was promised that he would rise and he did. “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied by the knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, he shall bear their iniquities.” Again, that is referring here to Jesus taking your place. And what it is referring to here is that Jesus would die on a cross and when it says that he would be pierced, when it says that he would be punished, this is hundreds of years before crucifixion was even invented. Here God is not only foreshadowing the forthcoming of the crucifixion of Jesus, he is promising and prophesying, the coming of crucifixion. It was created by the Persians hundreds of years later. God knows the future, God sees the future, God rules the future, God controls the future including yours and mine. That friends our day on this earth will come to an end and God knows what awaits on the other side and his name is Jesus. He has gone through death to the other side, he has come back to testify, and he has promised us, “I am the way I am the truth, I am the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.” And it was Jesus’ great way of saying, if you follow me I know and control the future and I have a great destiny and a purpose and a plan for you. Let me tell you I have good news for you. You come from God, you’re not here for no reason. You’re here to meet with God, you’re here to belong to God, you’re here to experience newness of life with God. You’re here to experience the destiny, and the power, and the greatness, and the grandness, and the glory of what God has for you, and your family, and your children, and your children’s children. You’re not an accident of evolution. You’re the child of a living God made in his image and likeness. You’re not from no one, here for no reason, die and going nowhere. You come from God, you find your meaning in relationship with God and when you die you will stand before the same God and his name is-

– Jesus.

– That’s exactly what he is promising. In addition, it goes on to say that he would arrive by 70 AD. Thus far God has established that he would be born of a woman, born of a virgin, born in Bethlehem, perform miracles, including his resurrection, that he would die for our sin and rise as our Savior and that all of this would happen on a historical continuum before the year 70 AD. I’ll prove it to you. We’re now at the last book of the old Testament, we made good time, amen? We just went from the first book, to the last book of the old Testament, Merry Christmas, that’s my gift for you, there you go. All right, Malachi 3:1 “See, I will send my messenger.” Who’s that? It’s a guy named John the Baptizer, he is a prophet and he goes before telling people about Jesus. If you were brought here tonight by someone who was telling you about Jesus, they are following in the ministry of John the Baptizer. They’re saying, you know what, I want you to meet Jesus, I’m a friend of his, let me introduce you to him. When we love someone we wanna introduce them to other people we love, amen? That’s how it works. Well, John loved Jesus and he’s the last of the Old Testament prophets and so he goes before because he loves Jesus and he introduces Jesus to other people. Some of you are here today and you’re wondering why am I here? Because God has a destiny for you, because God has affection for you, because God wants a relationship with you. And what God did is he took someone who knew him and loved him and someone who knew you and loved you and he had that person be the one to introduce you to this place so that you could meet this person, his name is?

– Jesus.

– That’s why we’re here. Well, Malachi says, “I’ll send my messenger Who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord,” that’s the Lord Jesus, “you are seeking will come to his temple.” The temple was the holiest place on earth. The temple was the place where the presence of God was available to the people of God. God is in heaven, we are on earth, and the temple was the connecting point, the most sacred point between the two. True or false, the temple still stands today? It no longer exists. Again, I’ve been there multiple times and I was disappointed, I saw a pile of rocks. It looked like the boulders, but it was not a temple, I’ll just tell you that. I asked, “Where’s the temple?” They said, “It’s gone.” When did it disappear? It was attacked and destroyed in the year 70 AD, a long time ago. Well the Messiah we are told would come to where? The temple, the temple no longer exists, it has not existed since 70 AD ergo, this person that we have been waiting for, he has already come. If you’re here and you’re one of our Jewish friends, and we love you, you are a physical descendant of Abraham. You need to know that apart from Jesus, you are not a spiritual descendant of Abraham. That Jesus is the physical descendant of Abraham and he is the spiritual fulfillment of the promise given to and through Abraham. And if you’re among the Jewish people, whom we love, and we are honored to have, and you were saying, I believe in Messiah and I’m awaiting his coming he has already come. He had to come before 70 AD, the priesthood no longer exists, the temple no longer exists. He’s already come, his name is? His name is Jesus. The story goes on, “The messenger of the covenant, whom you will desire, will come, says the Lord Almighty.” And that language of covenant is language of love, It’s language of friendship, it’s language of, of relationship. My wife, Grace, and I we’ve been married for 26 years, we’re in a covenant, it’s a unique and special loving relationship. God wants a unique and special relationship with you. He doesn’t want you to just know about him he wants you to know him. He doesn’t want you to just walk into church once in awhile, he wants you to walk with him every moment of every day. And that’s the language of covenant. I have good news for you, there’s a God who knows you, there’s a God who loves you, there’s a God who forgives you, there’s a God who seeks you, there’s a God who pursues you, there’s a God who will never fail you, there is a God who will never leave you nor forsake you. And he has done an extraordinary thing and we celebrated here in this place tonight. He has come down to be with us so that we could be with him. And then it says the last lines of the Old Testament, Malachi chapter four. This is spoken regarding John the Baptizer and the result of the ministry of Jesus. “He will turn the hearts of fathers to the children and the hearts of children to their fathers.” Let me speak to the men. Men are the problem and God’s men are the solution for most of the social ails, for most of the crime, for most of the problems. God is a father. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the revelation and the reflection of the Father, heart of God. One of the reasons why I am in Scottsdale, Arizona, I am on divine assignment from the Father to seek fathers, to encourage men, to aspire, not just to enjoy women, but to build legacies, loving women and serving children. And I am so honored and glad to have all of you, but let me just say this men, all these children running around, they’re glorious, we love them, make all the noise you want kids, drink hot chocolate and go home with your parents, We love you. But the wellbeing, and the joy, and the health, and the safety, and the future, and the legacy of children is largely determined by the quality of their father. This is a place that is established by authority from God the father, to raise up men. To raise up men to love and honor women, and to bless and enjoy children. We live in a cursed world and things that are done particularly to children are despicable, deplorable, and damnable, but we want to meet the Father. We want Jesus to be our big brother and the Son of God. We want God to do heart surgery on men so that we have the Father’s heart. We want to love our children the way that our Father loves us. We want to forgive our children the way that our Father forgives us. We want to bless our children the way that our Father blesses us. And so for you men my encouragement for you is starting in this moment, covenant to walk with God as your Father, have him welcomed into your life to do heart surgery on you, pray with your wife, read the scriptures, talk about the Word of God with your children, lead them in the purposes and plan of God. Too often it is women who are begging their husbands to walk with God, rather than celebrating that their husbands are walking with God. I want you to know that this includes some of you men doing as Jesus’ own father, Joseph, did. Joseph was a tremendous man who adopted Jesus and was not his biological father. Jesus not only had a perfect Father in heaven, he had a fantastic father on earth and Jesus Christ wants you men to love children as his father on earth loved him, and as his Father in heaven loved him. What I’m saying men is tonight when you go home, thank God, if you get to be a dad, and thank him twice if you get to be a granddad, amen? For those of you men who are single think about a good legacy and not just a good time. Think about loving for decades and making the last day of your marriage, the best day of your marriage. And tomorrow, for those of you who are fathers, for those of you who are grandfathers, love your kids, bless your kids, unburden your kids, invest in your kids, thank God for your kids, pour life into your kids, because what he is saying is there are two kinds of people, those who are cursed, and those who are blessed. We live in a world where men curse their wives and they curse their children. God wants to bless men to bless their wives and bless their children. How many of you men, this resonates in your heart and soul. You know that this is why God made you, you know that this is why God is saving you, you know that this is God’s intent and purpose for you. This is the last line of the Old Testament. This is God’s way of preparing everyone for the coming of Jesus and the celebration of the first Christmas. And he wants to start with the men, of course he involves and includes the women and the children, but if men would have a heart for their children and if children would have a heart for their father, then there could be generations of blessing, where there has been generations of cursing. Some of you come from long lines where your parents knew and loved and serve the Lord and they blessed you, praise God for that, continue that legacy. Some of you come from families where it is not the case that it was cursing and not blessing, it was burdened giving and not burden lifting, it was life taking, and not life-giving. Well, this is the day that God has appointed for you. This is the day that God has appointed for you to break a spiritual curse against the history of your family, to forgive, to be unburdened, to forget what lies behind it, and to move forward with the future that God has for you. We’re not just talking about dying and going to heaven, my friend, we’re talking about living in the presence of God so that heaven begins not the day we die, but the day we meet Jesus, amen?

– [Congregation] Amen.

– That’s why we’re here. My job, my honor, my joy is to tell you about Jesus. Your job is to make the most important decision of your entire life. The most important thing about you is what you think about Jesus, what you decide about Jesus, whether or not you would receive him or reject him. And I have a great, great, great, great invitation for you. We’ve all made great preparations for this Christmas season, amen? I just showed you God made preparations for more than 1400 years, getting us ready for the birth of Jesus, the coming of our Savior, the great Son of God. Some of you have traveled over great distances to be here with us, we’re honored to have you. Jesus Christ made the greatest journey of all time. He came from heaven to the earth. He went from a throne to a manger. He humbled himself to be with you. He humbled himself to be like you. He humbled himself to give himself as a gift for you. You need to know that when Jesus was born, gifts were given to him, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but ultimately Jesus came as the greatest gift that’s ever been given. The reason that you’re gonna give gifts tomorrow, and receive gifts tomorrow, is all of that follows in the wake of Jesus. Here’s what the Bible says, this is such good news for you. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever” any of you, you or you or you, God’ll save the balcony, God’ll save the people that are standing up, God’ll save the people in the back, God’ll save the guy on his phone, whoever. “Whoever believes in him need not perish, but have eternal life.” Friends, eternal life does not begin the day you die, it begins the day you meet Jesus, this should be that day. Now what you need to do, you can clap if you want. Tomorrow, when you receive a gift, you need to open it. A small child testified in the front row, said, “yeah.” All right, out of the mouth of babes, right? Have you ever seen a kid give ’em a gift and they didn’t open it? If so you have a weird kid I’ll just tell you that right now. I mean, we still love ’em, but they’re a weird kid. Every gift I’ve ever given to a kid one thing happens they open the gift and they enjoy it. Jesus comes to give himself as a gift to you. You need to receive him. You need to open that gift. You need to invite him into your life. I’m gonna give you an opportunity to do that right now. If you have never received Jesus, somebody say, I grew up in church, you can grow up in church and not grow up in Christ. Some of you say, I believe in God. The Bible says, so did demons and it’s not a real bonus round for them. It’s not enough to go to church. It’s not enough to believe in God. Some of you say, well, my family believes in God, great, but it’s a single-file line into the kingdom. You need to also make your own decision. Have you ever received, Jesus? Have you ever made a conscious decision of the mind and heart to say, Jesus, I receive you? Starting right now, forgiveness of sins, eternal life, new relationship, I receive that from you. And if you’ve never done that, let me just tell you the whole point of Christmas is not that you would just give gifts, but that you would receive the greatest gift that’s ever been given, his name is Jesus. I’m gonna pray for you in just a moment and I’m gonna invite the band up right now because we should sing, amen? I mean we gotta sing some Christmas songs and we gotta have a little Jesus party. Jesus is alive, Jesus is seated in heaven, Jesus has conquered sin, Jesus has conquered death, Jesus has a destiny and a future for you, God, through Jesus Christ knows every hair on your head, knows every longing of your heart, knows every day of your life and right now wants to meet with you. And as you sing out to him he hears you and he responds and this is one of the ways that we enjoy our relationship with Jesus. And you know, what’s amazing I’ll tell you what’s going on right now. Jesus is alive, did you know that? Jesus is alive? Furthermore, Jesus is seated on a throne and he’s being worshiped by angels. When Jesus was born on the earth, the angels came down to sing. Do you remember the Christmas story? They came down to sing at the birth of Jesus. Well, Jesus is in heaven now and so the angels are in the presence of Jesus and they’re singing, and worshiping, and celebrating because every party needs a band, amen? So here’s the good news, you get to take the place of the angels, you get to do what the angels are doing in the presence of Jesus, and one day together we will all do in the presence of Jesus, and that is to sing and celebrate. And as you sing you need to know that our voices go into the presence of the living Jesus, that our voices combine with that angelic choir and that it is a great day in heaven, it’s a great day on earth. And so we pray, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, amen? All right, I think we should sing, are you ready, Pastor Dustin? What do you got for first song, buddy? First song?

– We’re gonna stand together and we’re gonna sing, “O Holy Night.”

– “Oh Holy Night,” please stand and join us.

– Come on family.

– Here, let me just pray for you. Father God, thank you for these people, thank you for this great night, thank you for this extraordinary church family, thank you for providing this building, thank you for filling it with wonderful people, thank you for all the little kids that are running around and having fun. Lord Jesus, we remember that you were a kid. You came for kids too. You came to live and die and rise and you are good, you are God, you are glorious, you are victorious, you are ruling, you are reigning, you are healing, you are forgiving, you are altering lives, you are changing destinies. We are so glad to be with you. We’re so glad to belong to you and as we lift our voices, we say, thank you, Jesus, happy birthday to you and Merry Christmas to us, amen.

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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