A sermon podcast of Hope Alliance Church
Perseverance in Trials
The reality of trials and struggle in life is a "when" not "if" reality. And James tells us that only way to sustain ourselves in them is to fight for a stabilizing joy that comes from our hope in the gospel. Single-minded maturity is the product of seeking and acting on God's wisdom. And in this race of life, single-minded means to fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.
James is a prominent leader in the church at Jerusalem writing to a scattered group of believers on the heels of great persecution. In this difficult season, he is calling them away from arrogant self-dependence and to single-minded maturity that comes from a dependence on God and his wisdom.
Jesus Brings God
At Christmas we celebrate that Jesus Brings God; Emmanuel, God with us...in our flesh and in our struggles. Jesus is full life and brings light into our lives. When we make room in our hearts, he and the Father come and make their home in us, giving us light and life now and forever.
Jesus Brings Victory
Sometimes the idyllic nature of the Christmas story, distracts us from seeing what is actually happening. A king is arriving to inaugurate his kingdom and that is a threat to many. When we see Jesus for who he really is, we are left with two choices: either we kill him or we crown him. Herod shows us what those gripping to power are inclined to do, but the magi show us the right way to receive our victorious king - in worship.
Jesus Brings Peace
To a people who were looking for a shepherd of peace to rescue them from a scattered identity, Jesus arrived ending God's silence. And in him, God graciously gave peace to the world. Reversing the results of sin and death, Jesus brings peace with God, peace with each other and peace with ourselves.
Jesus Brings Justice
Scripture tells us over 200 times that God cares for the poor and marginalized. Because his throne is founded upon justice and righteousness, he does justice and calls his people to do the same through living out Christ's kingdom on earth.