Category Archives: Promise

Responding to Perfect Love

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Last week we began a new series on the theme of love.

The need for love is a powerful thing isn’t it? I mean everyone needs love. Even the toughest of men who act as if they don’t need anything or anyone still crave to be loved by someone. That is why every action film ever made always has a subplot of romantic love woven between all the scenes of martial arts, bullets, and bombs. We can’t turn on the television, computer, or radio without being bombarded with the world’s messages of love. Therapists even include it as one of man’s basic needs. But you know, we don’t need to site all the movies, music, and academic studies to prove man’s need of love. We all know it, because it is inside of us. We feel it. There is no doubt that we all need and crave love. That is why this series is so important. There is an old song entitled, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” I think that is how most people feel. So where do we find love – perfect love? It will be found in the Bible – God’s love letter to us – his most precious creation.

Last Sunday’s message was entitled “finding perfect love.” Phil took us to I John 4 where we saw three important truths. (1) the Person of love – God is love. (2) the purpose of love – so we can know & abide in Christ and so we can have confidence on the day of judgment (3) the power of love – it frees us from phobias, frees us from torment, and frees us from doubt..

Today’s message is entitled “Responding to Perfect Love.

Last week Phil started us off with a question. He asked, “Do you love God?” This morning, I want to start us off with another question: “Does God love you?”

You say, of course he does. Phil said so last week. Okay, but we need this head knowledge to transfer to our hearts as well. This is a truly fundamental question. It is one thing to say, “God so loved the world.” That is a theological truth of John 3:16 and yes we are part of the world. But we need to make it very personal. Do you feel, do you sense, do you believe with absolute certainty that God loves you?

This week I asked my son Warrick, “Do you know that I love you?” He said, “Yeah, but not all the time. Sometime you are angry when I disobey and I think you hate me.” I responded, “Yes, it makes me sad and angry when you disobey, but I will always love you no matter what. I will never, ever hate you.” He smiled and went to bed with peace in his little heart.

Maybe when it comes to your relationship with God you feel a lot like Warrick. “Yeah, I know you say you love me God, but there are a lot of things in the Bible I don’t obey and sometimes when bad things happen to me I feel like you hate me.” Have you ever felt that way? I think we all have. So the question today is, “Does God love you?” This question is of the highest importance because if we don’t believe that God loves us then we will never allow ourselves to receive his perfect love.

If you have been to this Bible study for any length of time, you have heard us speak about this perfect love of God. When we are presented with a message we then have to respond to it. Our goal and prayer is that each person who attends this Bible study will research the claim that God loves you and that each person will eventually come to the point where you choose to accept this love – to receive it – to make it your own. But people do not receive things that they think are fake. They may tolerate it. They may refuse it, but they don’t receive it. So, today’s question is very important for you.

Last week Phil closed our time by looking at 1 John 4: 19 “We love him because he first loved us. “ There is a cause and an effect. God’s love for us causes us to love him. That takes us back to last week’s question: Do you love God? I mean do you adore him. Does your heart crave him? Do you invest time in building a relationship with him? If not, it is likely that you do not fully grasp how much he loves you.

So many people have a misconception about Christianity. They think of it primarily as a religion – a list of do’s and don’ts to gain the favor of a harsh, but all-powerful God. That is not what Christianity is all about! Christianity is primarily a relationship – a relationship between God and man. It is a relationship of love.

By the end of today I hope that you will be totally convinced that God LOVES you! I mean, that he is totally crazy about you! And I hope that by the end of the message today your heart will cry out – I want to love Him too! I hope you will come running to him saying, “This love that you offer me is the love I have looked for all of my life and nothing, absolutely NOTHING will keep me from this love.”

First, let’s be reminded of God’s Perfect Love for us, but let’s make this personal. God love’s you! How do I know this? More importantly, how can you believe this? Because God demonstrated his perfect love for you (VIDEO: “Sacrifice” from

God demonstrated his perfect love for you!

Romans 5:6-8 “6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

From this passage we see some amazing truths about God’s love for you.

God pursued you when you were unlovely! Vs. 6-8a

None of us are naturally godly. None of us are naturally lovely. We are sinners who are difficult to love because of our own selfishness, and yet God loves us anyway.

God sacrificed for you! Vs. 8b

Jesus left the comforts and joy of heaven to come to the harshness of life on earth.  Jesus left the praise of angels to endure the accusations and mockery of those he came to save. Jesus did the messy work that no one else could do.

What do I mean by that? Perfect love is not clean & sterile. That is romance. That is a pleasant emotion. It is a kind of love. It is pleasant and it is fun. But it is not perfect love. Perfect love is “Agape love,” which Phil spoke of last week. Agape is one of 4 Greek words for our 1 English word “love.” The essence of agape love is self- sacrifice. Agape love is not a feeling; it’s a motivation for action that we are free to choose or reject. Agape is a sacrificial love that voluntarily suffers inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return. This is perfect love!

When Mandy and I were teenagers there was a man named Joshua Harris who wrote several excellent books on love. Here is what he said about perfect love: “The world takes us to a silver screen on which flickering images of passion and romance play, and as we watch, the world says, ‘This is love.’ God takes us to the foot of a tree on which a naked and bloodied man hangs and says, ‘This is love.’”

Have any of you seen the movie, “The Passion of the Christ?” Well, that movie has put the price of God’s love on display. Perfect love is messy! I am going to show you 2 photos on the next slide, but be warned. It is not pretty. If you can’t handle the sight of blood you might want to close your eyes for just a second. You see, perfect love is bloody. Perfect love is spoken of in beautiful words but demonstrated by painful sacrifice. This is the price of loving me. This is the price of loving you. It is the price that Jesus willingly paid to demonstrate the love of God – WHILE we were still sinners. This is perfect love.

Well, now that we’ve clearly seen the demonstration of God’s love – I hope you are becoming more convinced that God loves you. But now…

You must recognize the barriers preventing perfect love.

As Nathan said last week during our worship time. Each of us was created with a void – a hole that only God could fill. He created us to crave a relationship with Him that no human being could ever satisfy. We have just seen the great lengths to which he went to prove his love. So the question we must ask is, “Why wouldn’t a person respond by accepting it? Love is being offered! Why would you refuse it?

Well, back in August 1996, a new family with 2 teenage girls came to visit the church I attended. I new how intimidating it could be to visit for the first time so I always went and greeted all visitors to try to help them feel welcome & fit in. One of those girls was Mandy, who is obviously now my wife. Now I have already asked her permission to share this information with you today, so don’t worry. We won’t have marital problems after this message. On that day when we first met I tried to be loving by welcoming her, but it was very obvious she didn’t want anything to do with me…or anyone else at this church. The next day was the first day of our school year. As it turned out, she attended my school. Again, I wanted to help her feel welcome in a very large school. I tried being loving, but she made it very clear that she didn’t want anything to do with me at church or at school. Well the weeks turned into months and the more we saw each other the more she could see that I was sincere and we became friends. Love had triumphed! It was during that time that I discovered she wanted to be a missionary to Africa, just as I did. Suddenly a new kind of love started working in my heart – I developed a romantic interest in her, but again it was obvious she wanted nothing to do with me in that way. I figured that our “friendship love” was as far as things would ever go. Still, I would occasionally test the waters to see if she might be interested. Time after time I was rejected and my suggestions of dating were shot down. It took about 18 months before she became open to that idea. Then we ended up going off to separate colleges. Our potential “romantic love” would have to wait another 12 months. Well, since we are married now, I think you know how the story goes from there. The point of that story is that there were many barriers that I had to overcome as I pursued a loving relationship with Mandy.

So too, there are many obstacles that Christ faces in each of our hearts as he pursues a loving relationship with us.

Fear in our hearts.

Disbelief that such love exists/fear of disappointment. Perhaps others have let us down. Perhaps we’ve seen bad examples in our families of people who professed love, but didn’t live it out. Now this has caused us to be skeptical of God’s love as well.

Disbelief because of painful experiences in life. You want to believe that God is loving, but you wonder how can it be when there is suffering in your life. You ask, “If God loves me then why did he allow my husband to get cancer?” “If he loves me then why did he allow the thieves to come through and attack us before taking our things?”

Fear of rejection – Perhaps you believe such love exists, but you do not view yourself as worthy to receive it. You think you are too bad, that you have sinned too much for him to love you. These fears are a major hindrance to receiving God’s love. But, there is another type of barrier.

Pride in our hearts

Don’t want to be seen as “needing this love.” Someone who feels this way might say things like…

Christianity is a crutch. I am self-sufficient. To receive God’s love by putting faith in Jesus will be admitting I need someone other than myself.

I don’t want someone to save me. I want to save myself. I am a good person. I don’t need to be “forgiven.” I’m insulted that he thinks I need forgiveness. If I become a Christian it first means I must admit I am not the good person I have always thought of myself as being. It means I admit I am a sinner who has offended a holy God and I need to apologize. I need to ask forgiveness and I need to repent of (turn away from) the sins I enjoy.

Don’t want love from this person -“Jesus”. I admit I need love.  I admit I am a sinner. But I don’t want Jesus. I don’t want “this God.” I want one that is more fashionable. I want one that serves me. I want one that let’s love be a one-way street. He loves me. He serves me. He exists for my happiness and therefore will not require any love in return. Here’s the problem with that. You are describing a slave, a servant, a genie in a bottle – but you are not describing God. By very definition, God is the all-powerful creator worthy of worship. He has every right to demand love and service from us. We don’t have the right to demand it of him. He could make it a one-way street flowing from us to him, but in his love and mercy and grace he has made it a two way street.

To really drive this point home, let’s read Romans 5:6-8 again, but this time make it personal by replacing the word “we” with our own names.

“6 For while “Jamie” was still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly “Jamie”. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for “Jamie” in that while “Jamie” was still a sinner, Christ died for “Jamie”.”

Did you insert your name there? It is true. His expression of love is that personal and that real.

We have now, seen these are the barriers that hinder us from experiencing the love we crave. Each of us face barriers to God’s love. Before we move on, I want you to identify which one is the one that is a hindrance to your relationship with God. Now, let’s quickly address the solutions:

  • Fear

1 John 4:18 “Perfect love casts out fear.”

  • Pride

James 4:8-9 “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God and he will draw near to you.”

Now, with our barriers being identified let’s be reminded that God has demonstrated his love for us. He continues to demonstrate it in a millions ways from the moment of our birth. Everyday he shows kindness. Every day he gives us blessings we don’t deserve. Everyday he patiently, kindly waits for us to look past all the negative experiences of life to see just how much he loves us. He started his pursuit of you the very day Adam & Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden for committing the first sin. He intensified that pursuit the day he was born as the baby in Bethlehem. He then demonstrated it in the clearest way possible as he hung on the cross. He now keeps exposing you to his daily love and kindness waiting for you to respond to his love. He is offering you a relationship of love with Him – the creator of the world – but he will not force it upon you. It has to be your choice. He knows all the love he wants to pour out on you. He has paid your debt. He has made his proposal. Now he awaits your response.

You Must Respond to God’s Perfect Love for you.

Acts 17:30-34 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

In that passage we see the three possible responses we can give God today.

  • Refuse him – vs. 32a
  • Research him more vs. 32b
  • Receive him – vs. 34

Earlier we said that God has been pursuing you because he wants a relationship with you. Some of you may have chosen to refuse Christ earlier in your life, but God has continued to gently lovingly pursue you. He knew that moving too far too fast ends up pushing you away, but he has been pursuing you and maybe you are reconsidering his offer. Some of you have been coming here to the Bible study for a long time. You had bad experiences before maybe at another church that reduced Christianity to a list of do’s and don’ts. But you have been researching Jesus more and you are convinced he is all he claims to be. You have heard of his offer of salvation from Phil, from Nathan, and from Dave. Now you are ready, but you wonder if the offer of entering a relationship with him still stands of if you have waited too long. The answer is no. It is available to you today. Perhaps you are ready to receive him.

Earlier I told you about how I pursued Mandy because I desired a relationship with her. Well, when I was absolutely convinced she was the right one and I believed she felt the same way I took the biggest risk of my life. I asked her if she would marry me. It was in June of 2000 and it happened right here in Zambia at Victoria Falls. That day I confessed again my love for her and then asked her to make a decision. Would she spend the rest of her life with me letting me love her, care for her, provide for and protect her. Thankfully she said yes. Today, Jesus is asking you that same question. Will you spend the rest of your life in a relationship with him – letting him love you, care for you, provide for you, and protect you. Well, here is how you respond if you want to receive him as your Savior.

Romans 10:9-10, 13 9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

As we come to a close today, I would like to do something just a bit different. I want to give you some time before leaving here to think through what you have just heard. I want to give you an opportunity before leaving here to respond to God’s perfect love. I am going to play a song as background music while you take this opportunity to reflect on what you have heard today and spend some time talking to God in prayer. Perhaps this is your opportunity to respond to God and accept his perfect love. Perhaps you need to keep researching him and his claims. Perhaps you are already a Christian but you want to thank him for his great love that we have been reminded of today. Whatever your response, let’s spend some time talking to him before we dismiss.

Jamie Smith

Download the .pdf version of Responding to Perfect Love

The Promise of a Savior

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After having the privilege of being with you for the last two weeks of your study in John 10 where we saw Jesus presenting himself as the good shepherd, it is my honor to speak to you today as we use the month of December to focus on Christmas – the birth of Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd.

Last week Phil shared with us that:

1. The Good Shepherd Lives for the Sheep
2. The Good Shepherd Knows His Sheep
3. The Good Shepherd Laid His life down for His Sheep
4. The Good Shepherd is actively bringing other sheep under his care.

This morning we are going to look at the back-story of Jesus. We want to understand the events that led up to His ministry as the Good Shepherd. However, to do that means going back before his teenage years, his childhood, or even his birth. Today we are going to see that for more than 4000 years the Jewish people in particular, and the world in general were waiting for the Messiah. They expected God’s anointed ruler to establish his kingdom of peace. But why did they expect this? Because throughout the entire Old Testament we see a very clear promise of a Savior. We know Him as Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate on December 25.

Today as we look at “The Promise of a Savior” we need to first understand our key term – Savior. Over the centuries since Christ’s life, ministry, death, and resurrection this term “savior” has come to be primarily a religious term which is synonymous with the very person Jesus Christ. Because of what Christ has done for us, this is appropriate, but sadly it means the term has become so common that we don’t actually consider its meaning. What is a Savior? (Allow Answers) A Savior is someone who rescues others from danger and oppression. For someone to be saved they must first be in danger – they must need saving from a very real and painful danger.

We must also consider our secondary term – promise. What is a promise? (Allow answers) A promise is a declaration assuring that one will or will not do something. It is an express assurance on which expectation should be based.

Back in April 2012 we were still in America and I found myself in a very real and painful danger. The day started off great. We were nearing the end of raising the support we needed to come to Zambia as missionaries. This particular weekend we were presenting our ministry plan to the church where my Uncle attends and were staying with him on his beautiful farm with a great fishing stream running right through it. I went out early to do some fishing and had only been out long enough for 5-6 casts of my fishing rod when I heard the a crack, kind of life a gunshot. Looking around me from down in the depression of the riverbank, I saw nothing, but new I was in danger. My head was only slightly above the surrounding dirt of the field so I could see all around me, but I doubted anyone could see me. I moved a few meters downstream when I heard a second crack that confirmed this was indeed a gunshot. The bullet had hit me in the leg. As it turns out, the neighbor took aim in the fog of the morning from over 200 meters away with a .22 rifle at what he thought was a nuisance bird – a black crow. What he thought was the body a crow was actually my black hat. The movement he thought was the outstretched wing of the bird was actually my arm in a black jacket as I cast out the fishing line. Thankfully, when he shot, he didn’t consider just how far the bullet would drop over such a distance. Rather than hitting the location he aimed for the bullet had dropped about 1 meter hitting me in the leg causing it to have a slight break. It was enough that I couldn’t run, I couldn’t walk. I also couldn’t reach anyone by phone so I called out for help. “Help me! I’ve been shot!” Well the neighbor came running down to where I was and discovered the situation. After apologizing, he looked me right in the eyes and made a short, but powerful promise, “Wait right here! I’m going to get help. I’m going to get you out of here and to the hospital.” Then he ran off to my Uncle’s house. I had not been saved yet, but I had been reassured by the promise of a Savior. Within 3 minutes I hear Mandy calling out my name as she ran to stop the bleeding and check vital signs as I was going in to shock. Then the neighbor came back saying an ambulance was on its way. Then my aunt came down with utility vehicle. The neighbor lifted me out of the wet soil covered in blood and put me in the utility vehicle. Within 10 minutes I was in an ambulance. Within 20 minutes I was at the hospital. I had been saved!!! But it all started when someone recognized my danger and my pain and made a promise to rescue me.

Well, the Bible offers a much greater story of salvation and it is just as real as the story I told you. Every book of the Bible offers details that contribute to the story. The main character of the story is Jesus Christ, the hero. The villain of the story is a traitor named Lucifer (aka Satan) who uses deception to place all of mankind in danger. Our problem is not a gunshot, which can only bring about physical death. No, it is much worse than that, it is sin which causes both physical and spiritual death. The storyline is the conflict between good and evil that must be resolved if we are to be spared from the power of sin and consequence of sin that we willfully choose to participate in when we believe Satan’s lies rather than God’s truth. With the damage done by sin, the only resolution to the conflict, the only cure for the injury, the only way we can be saved is for the Savior to take our place as our substitute. He laid down his life and experienced death (physical and spiritual) on our behalf so we can experience an abundant life now and for all eternity (both spiritual and physical). It is at that point that Satan was defeated, but like all defeated villains he now strikes out to inflict as much pain as possible on those who have taken the side of the hero and continues to deceive as many unbelievers as possible so that they unintentionally and unknowingly work for him against the hero – Jesus Christ and his followers, the church. That is what we experience today as Christians. That is the storyline of this Book – The Bible! It is a true story and an interactive one, because what Christ did in the past has ongoing effects for those of us today who trust in Him as our Savior! We then enter into the story in support roles as we look forward to the conclusion of this great story – the resolution of the conflict when Satan is finally removed from the conflict altogether. Which is what we see in the last book of the Bible – Revelation.

With that storyline in mind, and as we approach the celebration of Jesus’ birth, this morning we will scratch the surface of the Old Testament teaching about Jesus by looking at just a few of the passages where we see the promise of the Savior. We are going to start in Genesis and move along from there. Please open your Bibles to Genesis 3. As you turn there, let me point out that these passages are OT prophecies about the Savior who would come. There are at least 353 OT prophecies about the Promised Savior that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Despite being so ancient, these Old Testament prophecies have in no way lost their clarity or effect. They help the believing person to understand their faith more deeply and fully. To the unbelieving person, they serve as proof of the existence of God and His participation in human life. Just the fact that the prophets could prophesy the occurrences of the future, with such accuracy and with such detail, hundreds and thousands of years in advance, gives witness that God spoke through them.

So, let’s begin with.

The Promise Introduced – Genesis 3:14-15

This is the first announcement of the Gospel.

It is general. There are a lot of details yet to be shared, but here is the first promise that God would send a Savior

What details can we get from this passage:

• He would come in the form of a human. (Seed of the woman) vs. 14
• He would be the one to fatally defeat Satan, but not without causing injury to himself. v.14

By Christ’s suffering and physical death salvation would come to us and by his resurrection Satan’s head would be crushed in defeat.  From this point forward the promise will be repeated, clarified, and details specified all throughout the Old Testament.

The Promise Expounded – Genesis 12:1-3

God is about to add more details to this already existing promise

  • The Savior would come through the family line of Abraham (v. 2)
  • The Savior would be a blessing all the families of the earth – salvation was meant for all mankind. (v. 3)

The Promise Specified – Isaiah 7, 9, Isaiah 52-53

Before we read any of these passages, let me just tell you that Isaiah presents two very different but equally true portrayals of Jesus. He would be both the King of Kings and the Suffering Servant.

He would have a miraculous birth from a virgin – Isaiah 7:14

He would be the King of the Jews who would one day rule the world. Isaiah 9:6-7

  1. He would be born as a baby boy v. 6
  2. He would be born to fulfill the responsibility of ruling God’s kingdom. Truly, weight & responsibility of the government would on his shoulders. One day he will rule all the nations of this world. V.6
  3. His Kingdom characterized by peace would never stop increasing v.6&7
  4. He would come from the Royal Family of David v. 7
  5. His name reflects his character. In verse 6 we are given 4 titles that are appropriate for Jesus.

Wonderful counselor – One who is able to make wise plans (supernatural power)

Almighty God – A title for the Lord alone, indicating his ability to conquer enemies.

Everlasting Father – A kind protector, which is the task of the ideal King. As the King from David’s throne he will compassionately care for and discipline his people.

Prince of Peace – He will bring peace as the nations rely on his just decisions in their disputes.

He would rule with justice and righteousness for all of eternity v.7 (As Individuals and as a society, don’t our hearts cry out for a leader who can do all these things?) The day is coming when Jesus will return to do just that.

He would be a suffering servant – Isaiah 52:13-53:10

(You will see this passage quoted when you study John 12)

  • High and lifted up – on the cross 52:13
  • His appearance would be marred beyond human recognition 52:14
  • He was despised and rejected by men 53:3
  • Bore our griefs and carried our sorrows 53:4
  • Pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, was chastised to bring us peace 53:5-6
  • Buried the wicked 53:9

The Promise’s Effects Explained – Jeremiah 31:31-34 (cf Luke 22:20, 2 Cor. 3:6, Heb 8:8-12)

  • There will be a new covenant v 31 (first with Israel and then all gentile believers in the world)
  • The law will not be written on stone, but placed in the heart v 33
  • Personal relationship – I will be their God, they will be my people v 33
  • I will forgive their sin and not remember it (This is where the phrase forgive and forget comes from and he is the only one that can truly pull this off.) v 33

The Promise Reminded – Micah 5:2-4

  • The Messiah that had been expected since ancient days would be born in Bethlehem v. 2
  • The nation of Israel would be ruled by others for a period of time, but the Messiah would unite Israel again v. 3
  • The Messiah would be the “Good Shepherd” with the authority and power of God, just as we saw in John 10. He will provide security because he will rule over all the nations v. 4

The Promise Arrived – Matthew 1:18-23, 1 Peter 1:20-21, Galatians 4:4-5

  • Jesus was born as a Jewish boy, from David’s royal lineage, in Bethlehem, of a virgin just as the prophecies said he would – Matthew 1:18-23
  • Jesus was foreknown as the Messiah before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest at a specific time in history so that our faith and hope would be in God – 1 Peter 1:20-21
  • God was not late in keeping his promise. He sent Jesus in the fullness of time to redeem mankind from being under the law so they could experience something so much greater – adoption into God’s family. Galatians 4:4-5

This morning we have looked at just a few of the many passages in the Old Testament that clearly give us sinners the promise of a Savior. As I said before, Jesus is the main character in the story of the Bible. We don’t have time to look at them all, but as I close, let me share how each book of the Old Testament points to Jesus.

  • In Genesis Christ is the Seed of woman who would one day crush Satan.
  • In Exodus Christ is the sacrificial Passover Lamb given for us.
  • In Leviticus Christ has become our High Priest, making the perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins.
  • In Numbers Jesus is the Cloud and the Fire leading God’s people.
  • In Deuteronomy Moses foretold of a prophet who would come that would be greater than Himself. Jesus is that Great Prophet.
  • In the book of Joshua, Joshua met the Captain of the Lord’s host. That man is Jesus Christ.
  • In Judges, the leaders were rescuers, Saviors for God’s people, each of them reflecting and pointing people to the Lord Jesus.
  • In Ruth, Boaz, the kinsman redeemer of Ruth’s inheritance, is a picture of Christ.
  • In 1 & 2 Samuel Jesus is the Prophet of the Lord.
  • In 1 &2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles Jesus is the Reigning King of Kings.
  • In Ezra, Jesus is the Faithful scribe
  • In Nehemiah Jesus is the rebuilder of the walls
  • Esther offers a picture of Christ interceding for His people.
  • Job says clearly that the Redeemer is coming!
  • Christ appears time after time in the Psalms, including when David describes Him as “the Shepherd.”
  • In Proverbs & Ecclesiastes , Jesus is the wisdom of God.
  • Song of Solomon presents Jesus as the Lover and Bridegroom
  • Isaiah details His glorious birth and presents Jesus as the suffering servant.
  • Jeremiah and Lamentations reveal that He will be acquainted with sorrows.
  • In Ezekiel Jesus is entitled the Son of Man
  • Daniel presents Jesus as the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven.
  • Hosea presents Jesus as the patient and faithful groom of an unfaithful bride.
  • Joel describes Him as the Hope of His people and baptizer with the Holy Spirit
  • Amos tells us that Jesus is the judge of all nations and would be the burden bearer.
  • Obadiah warns of the coming eternal kingdom and presents Jesus as the Mighty Savior.
  • Jonah offers a picture of Jesus being dead for three days, then coming back to life to preach repentance. He is the forgiving God.
  • Micah presents Jesus as the messenger bringing the Gospel
  • Nahum presents Jesus as the avenger of God’s elect people.
  • Habakkuk presents Jesus as the Great Evangelist crying for revival
  • Zephaniah says that He will be the king over Israel who restores the remnant of the faithful
  • In Haggai Jesus is the cleansing fountain
  • Zachariah is the prophet who speaks of Jesus riding on a colt and being the pierced Son.
  • Malachi is the one who calls Him the Son of Righteousness.

Can you see it? The entire Old Testament points toward Jesus as Savior, and if you miss that, you’ve missed the entire point of the Scriptures. Jesus is the Messiah and the fulfillment of prophecy.
Taken from “A Portrait Of Christ” by Love Worth Finding Ministries (used by permission).


In 18 days we will celebrate the birth of Christ, an event that happened more than 2000 years ago. For a long time people anticipated this fulfillment of the promise that a Savior would come. Today we look back to the day the promise was fulfilled, not only his birth, but his life, death, and resurrection. The payment for our sin has been made. The effects of the promises we read today were not only for the Jewish people of the past for all people in all places at all times who will put their faith in the Savior.

I think we can agree that God has written the most amazing story. And the best part is that it is a true story. Now God wants to write you into the story. Will you trust Jesus, the promised Savior to rescue you from your past sins, from the power of the sin in your everyday life in the present, and from the consequences of sin in the future?

That is what Christmas is all about. This story of God reconciling man to Himself was started long ago, but is not over yet. He desires that each person come to him in repentance and faith. That is his desire, but he won’t force it on you. The offer is there, but the choice is yours. Some of you have made your choice and have experienced the joy of being saved from a very real danger. Some of you have not. If you are part of that second group, will you allow Him to rescue you from your sin so you can celebrate the full meaning of Christmas this year? I hope so. And you can do that today!

The Promise Arrived!

This is where we will begin next Sunday.  In preparation for the study please read the following passages this week:

• Luke 2:1-20
• Matthew 1:18-23
• 1 Peter 1:20-21
• Galatians 4:4-5

Join us for our Christmas series the next two Sunday mornings! Together we will continue to discover what Christmas is all about, and why it has been celebrated worldwide for nearly 2000 years!

You can download here The Promise of a Savior!

Here is another encouraging resource you might be interested in:  Jesus in every book of the Bible