The Bible-Based preaching ministry of Matt Haywood, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, located in East Dublin, Georgia. Thanks for listening in and God bless you!
Christmas is a time where we love to sing the carols. They remind us of happy memories and moments of Christmas’s past. My wife and I recently started a devotion leading up to Christmas that examines the message in the Christmas carols.
Did you know that most of our most beloved carols were written to teach theology. That’s true of the hymns, both modern and traditional, as well. That’s actually the purpose of the Book of Psalms; so you could say that singing’s purpose in worship has always been to remind us of the truth of God’s Word.
I encourage you this Christmas as you sing the songs of Christmas to think about the words in those songs and not just sing them for their pretty melodies.
This morning, we are going to begin a series through the songs of Christmas, but we are not going to look at the carols, we are going to look at some songs actually recorded in the Christmas passages that we have in the Bible. We begin by looking at a song called the Magnificat.
Turn with me to Luke 1:39-56
RUTH 3-4 OUR KINSMAN REDEEMER
Most of us in here this morning have been to a wedding before. I’ve always though that weddings at this time of year were pretty smart. The church is already decorated and you can save yourself a little bit of money by doing it when the halls are decked.
Weddings are a beautiful picture of commitment and devotion. The Bible celebrates weddings between believers and often uses them as an example of our union with Christ. In fact, one of the reasons that God ordained marriage was to be a picture of Christ and the Church.
In a way, there is a redemption of the bride as the groom takes her to be a part of his family.
Today, we are going to look at a couple of practices that reflect this element of redemption as we look at a wedding proposal and a kinsman redeemer.
RUTH 2 THE KINDNESS OF GOD
We are in the middle of our study through the Book of Ruth and we are also approaching Thanksgiving coming up this week. Some of you may have decorated for Thanksgiving and not caved in to the pressure to decorate for Christmas in October. I can’t say much because I listen to Christmas music pretty much any time I want to.
When I think of Thanksgiving decorations, I think of straw and wheat stuffed scarecrows and turkeys and pumpkins everywhere. Maybe you have a little black-hat Pilgrim standing around somewhere with his black buckle shoes. All of these decorations bring up a vibe of celebrating a harvest.
When I think of harvest in the Bible, the Book of Ruth comes to mind because a large portion of the Book takes place in a harvest field.
We began the story last week looking at Naomi and Elimelech who were from Bethlehem and they had taken off to the land of Moab to escape a plague that was sent on the land. This all took place during the period of spiritual apostasy in the time of the judges. God was judging the people of Israel for their unfaithfulness.
Elimelech and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, had died during their 10 year stay in the land of Moab, leaving Naomi behind with Ruth and Orpah, her daughters-in-law. She tried to send them both back and Orpah left, but Ruth stayed with her.
Our story picks up today after they had returned and Naomi and Ruth are in need of some food and care. Let’s see what happens next.
JUDE 12-13 ANALOGIES OF DESTRUCTION
Analogies are helpful to let us compare things or explain things. We have all kinds of comparisons and idioms.
It’s getting colder outside and some of you may have pulled out your hoodie and said something like, “I’m as snug as a bug in a rug,” to indicate you were warm and cozy.
You may have seen someone that looked nervous and you said something like, “He’s as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers.”
Another one some of you may have used before to describe someone that is not very helpful is that they are “as useful as a screen door on a submarine.”
One last one for you might be fitting if you’ve done something wrong - “He’s sweating like a sinner in church.”
All of these expressions help paint a mental picture of what we are trying to communicate. Jude did the same when he was referring to these false teachers that the church needed to be warned about. He gives a series of analogies of the destruction these false teachers can cause.
RUTH 1: THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD
SERIES: THE BOOK OF RUTH
THE LUKEWARM CHURCH
I’m an avid coffee drinker. I have a cup in the morning, a cup when I get home in the afternoon, and a cup in the evening. I may even squeeze in a few extra cups throughout the day.
However, one thing I cannot stand is cold coffee. I understand that some of you like this, but I can’t get behind that. At least with cold coffee there is usually some flavoring in there, but I still prefer mine hot.
However, the coffee that is the most disgusting of all is a cup that has started out hot and has sat around too long and gotten lukewarm and starting to go cold. That’s a cup of lost potential.
Well, this morning we are going to take a look at perhaps the most famous church of the seven churches of Revelation - the Laodicean Church. You may not know much about these other churches, but this is one that if you have been in church for any length of time, you have probably heard reference to and you know it is not good.
Let’s take a look at why this morning.