IN REFLECTION

Why did Jesus have to come? On Sunday we surveyed the scriptures and saw that the coming of Jesus is essential, because only Jesus could pass the test, perfectly fulfilling the law. Only Jesus could atone for sin, a perfect and sinless sacrifice. Only Jesus could defeat death, rising again from the grave to bring us eternal life. And only Jesus could reign in righteousness, the righteous king who establishes God's kingdom. Since Jesus is essential to our salvation and God's kingdom purposes, let's treat him as essential!

PREPARING TO HEAR

Matthew 1:23 says " "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us)." This week's sermon will consider the amazing reality of the incarnation - that God has come to dwell with man. As you prepare to listen to God's word this week, meditate on this verse from Matthew's gospel and consider:

  • Why is the presence of God a blessing to human beings? How does sin hinder the enjoyment of this blessing?
  • What part does the presence of God play in the history of Israel?
  • How is God's presence experienced today, since Jesus is no longer physically present on earth?
  • How can meditating on these truths increase our longing for heaven?

Please pray that on Sunday truth would be proclaimed, received, believed, and obeyed. Let's pray that any who do not know Christ would be awakened to their need, and drawn to repent and believe in Jesus.

PREPARING TO SING

Here are the songs we plan to sing this Sunday. Though many of these songs may be familiar, let's "tune our hearts to sing his praise" by giving our full attention to the glorious Christ they proclaim.