Duration:38 mins 13 secs

December 23, 2018

• God created the heavens and the earth.  1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2 )

• God created fire and light.  “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3 )

• God created the air, sky, dry ground, and water. 6And God said, ‘Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.’ 7So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it.  And it was so.  8God called the vault ‘sky.’  And there was evening and there was morning — the second day.  9And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let the dry ground appear.’ And it was so.” (Genesis 1:6-9 )

• Some religions worship earth, air, water, and fire.

• Paving stones in heaven are made of pure gold.  “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl.  The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.”  (Revelation 21:21 )

• God created plants.  11Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation:  seed-bearing plants  and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’  And it was so. 12The land produced vegetation:  plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.  And God saw that it was good.” 
(Genesis 1:11-12 )

• God created the stars and set our moon in place.  14And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light upon the earth.’  And it was so. 16God made the two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.  He also made the stars.  (Genesis 1:14-16 )

• God created life first in the water, then birds, then animals.  “20And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.’ 21So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing in which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.  And God saw that it was good.  22God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.’ 23And there was evening, and there was morning —the fifth day.  24And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds:  the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each  according to its kind.’ And it was so.”  (Genesis 1:20 - 24)

• God created man.

What Does it Mean to Worship?

• Worship is not what we feel, it is what we do.

• The most important acts of worship are:  Love God and love your neighborThe most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this:  “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” 31The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’”  (Mark 12 : 29-31)

• There are only two kinds of stuff:  Creator or Creation15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.  (Colossians 1:15 - 20)

• Acts of worship:  “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, I have deeds.’  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”  (James 2:18 )

The Birth of Christ

Chapter 1

18This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about:  His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.  19Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’  22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  23‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means “God with us”).  24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son.  And he gave him the name Jesus.”

Chapter 2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’  3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.  5’In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written:  6‘ “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”’  7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child.  As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’  9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”  (Matthew 1:18 – 2:12)

From the very beginning, God is Triune, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

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