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Carols - Week 2

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Well, I want to welcome everyone out to All of you at our campuses, all of you at our Network Churches, and those of you around the globe at Church Online, welcome out it is great to have you. My name is Sam Roberts, I'm one of the directional leadership team members here at It is an honor and a privilege to be able to fill in for our Senior Pastor, Craig Groeschel, who is on a well-deserved break with his family. It is such an honor to do that. I've been with Craig for 14 years, and I'll tell you, the greatest compliment that I could give Craig and to let you guys know about him, is that when I used to sit in those seats some 14-years ago and listen to him speak, I always wondered, is he the same guy off stage as he is on? And he is, he is a wonderful husband and a father, and he's an amazing leader. It is an honor for us to have him as our senior pastor, so great stuff! Now, I will tell you, he will be back next week, he'll be doing week number three for us of Carols. He will be doing Away in a Manger. Let me tell you right now, I saw this message and you're going to want to be here. It is like, bring your kids, bring your wife, bring everybody because it is going to be legit! You're going to want to be here, so make sure you're marking that on your calendars. A little something about me: I actually have six children, which probably begs the question, so is that a prerequisite to get up here and speak on this stage, to have six kids? I don't know! And I can either confirm or deny that allegation, but I will say, Craig says that I got there the quick way. I have four biological children who are ten, eight, six and four. I have two foster kids that are in our home right now who are three and three months, so you can imagine our house is somewhat busy! It is a fun place! I will tell you something about us, we love Christmas time! Christmas is awesome! Every neighborhood has the Clark Griswold guy who puts up Christmas lights everywhere, right? Well, I'm that guy in my neighborhood! I'm the guy everybody in my neighborhood loves to hate at Christmas time because all of the other kids are wondering, Daddy, why don't our lights look like that? And he's like, Well, because he did them and you can just see his! And so, I love Christmas time; I love Christmas music, the whole deal. In fact, it takes me back about 16-years ago, when I was in Dallas, Texas at this Christmas event where this famous author, Max Lucado, was doing this Christmas event where he would do these orations out of Luke, Chapter Two, which is where the Christmas story is found in Scripture. And this band would get up and play a carol, a Christmas carol. And after one of his talks, he let the band go. The band was up there playing this Christmas carol and doing an amazing job with it, and this lady in about four or five rows up in front of us stands up and just begins to worship. And I looked up and I'm like, What is she doing? It's a Christmas song! I was like, That's interesting, I've never seen anybody worship to a Christmas song before! And what it made me do was to pause for just a second and look up at the screen and begin to read the lyrics that I've listened to since I was a little boy, but had never heard the truth and the power in the lyrics, because it just kind of became the song you sing, right? It's Christmas time. And I began to hear it new, and that is our prayer for you. During this series, Carols, and as we look at these different beloved carols throughout time, that you will begin to hear something new; a truth that God has placed in the very lyrics of these songs. Today, in week two, we are going to be looking at the carol, O Come All Ye Faithful. Now, it was originally written in Latin and it was given the title, Adeste Fideles. It was written by John Francis Wade, who was an 18th century hymnast. It was translated in English in 1841 by a guy named, Frederick Oakeley. And that's where we get O Come All Ye Faithful. It is a carol that has stood the test of time and has just been sung throughout the ages. So, I really, really hope that you enjoy now, as I perform for you, O Come All Ye Faithful! Man, none of you all bit on any of that! You're like, That guy ain't gonna sing, it's crazy! Absolutely I'm not, because we want you to enjoy your experience here at today, and so, we are going to now let our worship team perform for you, O Come all Ye Faithful. O come all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant O come ye, o come ye To Bethlehem Come and behold him, Born the king of angels O come let us adore him, o come let us adore him O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord Gloria In Excelcis Deo Sing chroirs of angels, Sing in exultation Sing all ye citizens of heaven above! Glory to God, all glory in the highest O come let us adore him, o come let us adore him O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord Gloria In Excelcis Deo Gloria In Excelcis Deo O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord Absolutely! I'll tell you, I'm glad and I know that you are that we have people that can sing, and they can sing! And that's awesome and thanks to our worship team for that. Now, that is how you do O Come all Ye Faithful. Now, maybe you're a little bit like me and you hear this song and it's a little bit daunting actually. That first line kind of gets me sometimes: O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant! And the reason is because many times, especially during this Christmas season, we can feel anything but faithful and joyful and triumphant. In fact, many times we feel defeated and depressed or doubtful. And we can kind of feel like, Man, I don't know that I'm the one who is supposed to come and I don't always feel that. Wait, maybe it's in the faithful side of things. Maybe it's, you know what, you knew God called you to do something, but once you got here it's much more difficult than you first thought. And it's like, Man, God, did you really call me to do this? Just kind of struggling through that faith issue, or maybe it's just some other faith trial that's just causing you know, a lot of just trial and just this questioning. And we can find ourselves becoming a little bit doubtful. Maybe it's in being triumphant, a word we don't actually use a whole lot today because many times we feel more defeated, don't we? We look on at our finances and we're like, I thought I'd be in a better position than I am today and I just don't feel triumphant in that! Or maybe it's in your marriage and you're like, I figured that after 20 years that I would be at a different place in marriage than we are. How did we get here? And you can feel much more defeated. Maybe it's in the joyful side of things. I don't know if you're like me, but joy can get sucked out of a room really quick. I don't enjoy shopping all that much to begin with, but anybody who goes shopping this time of year, it can be a trial and a tribulation for you! In fact, my deal is I get to the end and I'm ready to check out and I can look on at two different lines, and they have the exact same number of people in them and I'm like, Mmmm? And every time, I pick the wrong one! I don't know if you can relate, but I end up in the line with the person who is writing a check! And you're like, Who writes checks anymore? And they start writing a check, and then the coupon lady's in my line! And then, I've got the person that picked up an item that doesn't have a bar code on it and they're calling for a price check, and we all know there ain't nobody back in that department bringing no price check up there! And we're sitting there forever! And I'm like, my joy is gone! And maybe you can feel that way sometimes. And you know, that's a silly example but man, many of times there's things that are much more wearisome that can steal and rob us of our joy. And we just find ourselves not feeling joyful. For me, as I begin to look at this song, I begin to ask this question, I wonder who it is that Jesus calls? And the good news is, it's not exactly, the faithful joyful term, it isn't exactly who he calls at the onset. In fact, I want to take a look today, if you're taking notes, at who it is that Jesus calls. The first thing if you're taking notes is that: Jesus calls the weary and the burdened. We see this in Matthew, Chapter 11, where Jesus says: Come to me, all you who are... What? Help me out, all you who are: ...weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. So, Jesus calls the weary and the burdened. The second thing, if you're taking notes, is that: Jesus calls the sinners. In Matthew, Chapter Nine, the Bible says: On hearing this, Jesus said, It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick...For I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners. You see, it's almost like you could rewrite this song a little bit and have it say, O come all ye weary and burdened, come to Bethlehem. But here's the thing, the good news is that Jesus doesn't leave you there. He may call you in a state of being weary and burdened or realizing that man, I've tried everything else that I know to try and it's just not working for me. And you realize, I need Jesus. And when you call on him, the Bible, something beautiful happens. Scripture tells us in Second Corinthians, Chapter 5:17 that, right there in your notes, you can see that: If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone... And help me out, what does it say? ...The new is here! And today, for many of you across all of our campuses, and for those of you at Church Online, you've been invited by somebody, you've got a little CD that somebody handed you or sent you a link to iTunes to take a look at it. And you know what? You have come here today to realize that God is wanting you to know that you can become a new creation, the old is gone and the new is here. Okay? So, Jesus helps us to become this new creation, right? Which begs the question, if he doesn't leave us there, what does he then help us become? If we become this new creation, where does he take us? And that is a great question, and I want to talk about that a little bit. Let's talk about what it is that Jesus helps us to become. The first thing, if you're taking notes, is this: That Jesus helps us to become more faithful. In fact, in Hebrews 12:2, the Bible says: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, who is the author and the perfecter of our faith. So, our faith comes from the one who authors it, it's Jesus. He gives it to us and then he goes about the work of perfecting it. How? Glad you asked! Romans 10:17, it says: So faith comes from hearing... But hearing what? ...hearing the word about Christ. Hearing God's word, it builds our faith. When we hear God's word it builds our faith. Don't believe me? Let me give you an example: December 30, 2005, that is the day my Father passed away from cancer. Bad timing, it's bad for anybody. You know it's never a good time to pass away. The holidays, it just really blows when that happens. Okay? Because you're going through a holiday season where you don't feel faithful, you don't feel joyful. You know, we spent much more time in an ICU unit than we did at a Christmas tree or anything like that. I do want to acknowledge that there are those of you that are logged on at the Wi-Fi in a hospital, and you're sitting right next to a loved one and you're watching Church Online, and I just want you to know that man, God will build your faith. I want to share with you this story. I can remember being there in that ICU unit. And just late one night having a lot of questions entering into my head about, I wonder why this is happening? What God are you wanting to do in me and my family in this time and this process? Because man, it's just not fun. I got an e-mail late one night. And for those of you who maybe, you know what? You're experiencing that right now, you drove to a location from a hospital where there's a loved one and your faith is challenged. Or maybe you lost someone earlier this year and you're going through the first Christmas without that person. Or, maybe it's not a loss, maybe it's the death of a dream or whatever, but your faith is finding yourself being very tried. Let me read this Scripture for you that comes from Isaiah 43, and feel this. As this has being read, feel your faith be built. Those of you who are having a faith trial, listen to God's Word. Isaiah, Chapter 43, the Bible says: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames, they will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Those of us who have believed in Jesus and have that new creation inside of us, when you hear those words you can feel it, they build your faith. And I remember that night as I read those words that my friend Scott had sent me in an e-mail during the time of questioning, this was the Scripture that he sent me that night. And I can remember it building my faith. And I remember the next morning being awakened by a nurse who was bringing in a meal tray that morning, and I really don't know why, because my Dad had long past since eaten in that time, but they brought it none the less. And at this specific hospital, they always had a little Scripture that was folded up and sat on the tray. So, I walked up over to it and I picked up the Scripture and what was it? Isaiah, Chapter 43. God was trying to say, 'Listen, in the midst of all of this pain and hurt, the pain will not set you ablaze, the waters will not sweep over you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel.' And in that process as I heard God's Word, my faith was built. And Jesus helps us to become more faithful as we are in His Word and as it gets inside of us and God's Word just permeates our being. Jesus helps us to become more faithful. The second thing if you're taking notes is that: Jesus helps us to become more joyful. We actually see joy talked about in the Scripture as a fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians Five, the Bible says that the fruit of the spirit is love and that it is joy. Now, what are we talking about here? Well, Pastor Craig many times will talk about the fact that we, it's like an apple tree producing an apple right? An apple tree produces an apple because it's an apple tree. It's not having to try any harder to produce an apple! It can't just squeeze out an apple, it doesn't work. And it's that same way with us, our joy comes from a right relation with God, it's not something that we can produce on our own. In fact, that new creation we talked about, the Bible says that when we receive Christ, God puts His Spirit inside of us, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. And a fruit of that Spirit living in us is love and joy. But please understand that joy and happiness are worlds apart. And I like to say it this way, is that, if you're taking notes write this down: Happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Jesus. Happiness depends on happenings; what's going on with me right now, do I really like what's going on with me right now? Do I not like what's going on with me right now? And that determines my state of happiness. But joy, that comes from Jesus. That comes from way down deep. That comes from something that's not a part of this world, that comes from something that is placed in you by the living God and put inside of your spirit. And out of that overflow, a fruit of the Spirit of love and joy comes out, because happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Jesus. We see this in the Christmas story. In Luke Chapter Two, the Scripture where the angels have come and are proclaiming to the shepherds who are out watching over their flocks by night. The Christmas story picks up here in Luke, Chapter Two, and the Bible says: But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause... Help me out, it's going to cause: ...great joy for all of the people. Why? Because: ...Today today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you... And to you and to you. A Savior has been born, and that causes great joy. And Jesus can help us to become more faithful. Jesus helps us to become more joyful. And point number three if you're taking notes, and you see where this is going: Jesus helps us to become more triumphant. Now, to feel more triumphant, sometimes we have to have another person in our life, someone else who can kind of help us to feel that way, don't we? Because many times we can feel like we talked about earlier, a lot more defeated. In fact, I can remember a time that this was true for me. I went to a movie with my older brother, Brian. This has been a while back, I was in high school and he was in college. He was a college football player I was not, I was a college basketball player. But back then, man, I was really thin. You think I'm thin now, man it was really bad. He used to run around and he used to call me, all of his friends, they all called me a pirate. And I never understood, and so I asked him one day, Why are you calling me a pirate all of the time? Because you're always running around looking for your sunken chest! And that's just wrong! All you little brothers in the house, everybody on Church Online, you're little brothers are feeling my pain right now, you know what I'm talking about! And so, but he was a big guy. He was about 6'x7, weighed in at about 260, and he was ripped, he was thick. So, we go to this movie theater to go see this actor who doesn't do a lot of movies now, but back in the day he used to do all of these martial arts films. It was Steven Segeal. And we went in there because it was just like, you know, guys just love that kind of stuff! So, we go together and we get there a little bit late. We found some seats in the center and we had to do the scoochy slide, I like to call it; you know kind of like this, you know to kind of get where...well that all works good for a thin little frame like mine, but you start getting my brother trying to come through there and that creates all sorts of problems because he's got legs that look like tree trunks and he's trying to scoot behind, Excuse me ma'am, you know, and he's moving through. And this is back that have those seats that rocked a bit in theaters, you all remember that? And his thighs bumped the seat of the guy in front of us, and it made the chair kind of rock a little bit. Well, this ole' boy, he's sitting like this and this is what he does to us, he goes like this, he sitting there and he was just awkward, it just kept going this long and I'm sitting there like, Whoa! This guy, he must have just watched a fight scene or something because he wants some and I don't want to give him any! And I've got a coke and if he turns around I'm going to throw my coke in my hand and I'm going to look for the exits and I'm out of here! I'm busting out, because if I get into a fight, I'm going to get snapped like a twig! So, I'm trying to figure out where the closest exits are and all of that. Well, my brother goes to sit down and he looks up and he sees the guy and he's kind of like, Whatever, I ain't going to pay no attention..! Hands me my popcorn, he looks back and I mean, it's going on for an inordinate amount of time, this guy's just sitting there starring at us. And I'm like, Oh no! Well, my brother looks at him and finally, my brother get's up about this far from his face and he just says, You got a problem? And the whole theater was like whoa! Because it was loud! And that guy about made a puddle on the floor in front of him, because he didn't know what he had bitten off! And I'm like, Yea, you got a problem? What, you want some? You want a little of this? What on earth happened? I went from cowering in my chair, looking for exits, throwing cokes on people, to You want a little of this? What happened? I realized that there was a 260 pound, six foot seven football player that got my back, that's what happened! But here's the thing, many times we don't realize who it is that has our back, because it is the living God who has our back. We read a prophecy written about Jesus hundreds of years before His birth, it came out of the text in Isaiah, Chapter Nine, where the Scripture reads: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Might god, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. That's pretty triumphant right there. And that Scripture is prophesying about a young baby, who as we see today born in this manger scene. And we look on and we see these porcelain figures in this pristine little environment. And we see Mary and Joseph and this little angelic being, and this precious little baby there right? But please understand this, that little baby, as he lays there in that manger, He is the King of kings and He is the LORD of lords, He is the Alpha, He is the Omega, He's the Beginning and the End, He's the Author of life, He's the Prince of Peace, He's the Author of our faith, the perfecter of it. He is the One who spoke everything into existence. He is the bread of life, He is our salvation, He is the lifter of our head. And as the song says, He is born the King of angels and we come to adore Him, for He is Christ the Lord. That's pretty triumphant. We have to understand who it is that fights with us. And my prayer is that as you hear this truth that has been ringing throughout the ages in the lyrics of this song, it's O Come all ye faithful. Why? Not because we are but because He is. So, O come all ye faithful, be joyful and triumphant! Come to Bethlehem, and come and see born the King of Angels: O come, let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, for He is Christ the Lord. At all of our locations, let's all pray together. Father, we just thank you that you sent your Son as Emanuel, God with us. God, we just celebrate that during this Christmas season, that you are so good that you sent Him here for us. Today as you're praying, maybe as you've listened you've thought, You know what? I could definitely use help in the joy department, or in helping my faith be built up a little bit, or maybe in coming to understand who it is that's with me and feel a little bit more triumphant about my circumstance. Maybe you're here today and you say, You know what? That's me! At all of our locations, those of you at Church Online, just lift up your hand. Church Online, just click right below me. Yes, all of you across the room who are saying, Yes, that's me! Let me just pray for you. Father, I just want to pray for those of us who are feeling a little bit of a faith struggle right now. I pray that you would send the right Scripture at the right time to build our faith, to help us to become more faithful. I pray for those of us who are lacking a little bit of joy right now. And I pray that you would help us to know that our joy is found in you and that you would remind us that it's in your presence that true joy is found. And Father, I pray for those of us who are not feeling as triumphant as we need to and we don't know and remember who it is that is with us. I pray that you would impress upon us this Christmas season the majestic nature of who you are, the power of your presence, and that we would understand who it is that is with us. Continuing today in an attitude of prayer, there are those of you who would say, You know what? Man, I don't know if I feel much faith or joy, or much triumph at all! Let me tell you why. The reason is because you're not in a relationship with Jesus Christ. We talked about it earlier, Jesus calls the weary and the burdened. And maybe you feel that a little bit today. Maybe you've been on a journey and you've tried a few things and it just ain't working for you. Let me tell you what does work. What does work is Jesus. When Jesus comes in, God sent Him as a Babe in a manger, as Emanuel God with us, to die on a cross one day. Why? Because the Bible says that we've all sinned and fallen short of God's standard. That separates us from God, that's what that means. But we are reconciled, or brought back to God by the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. Not because we've done anything good because we haven't. It's because of His goodness and His love for us that He sent His Son to die in our place on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our sins. And that is what works. And when you say, Yes, Jesus come in and take over! What happens? You become a new creation, where the old is gone. All of that stuff that didn't work, all of that stuff that you've been trying, it doesn't work. But what does work is Jesus, and He brings a new creation, which, that Spirit lives inside of you and helps to bring love and joy and peace and patience. Things that we can't obtain on our own, but we can obtain through a right relationship with God. And today, there are those of you whom God has brought you here to hear that truth. And you will respond today and receive the greatest Christmas present that you could ever receive right here today, and that is new life in Jesus Christ. At all of our locations, those of you who would say, You know what? That is me, that is why I'm here! Lift up your hands boldly right now! Say, Yes Jesus! Meet me eye-to-eye, those of you who say, Man that's me! Jesus come in, take over, be my Lord, be my Savior! Lift your hands right now and say, Yes Jesus, take over, help me to be a new creation, to find joy in you! Yes, back over here to my right, welcome into God's family. Others of you who would say, You know what? That is me! Say, Yes Jesus, come in, take over! Those of you at Church Online, just click right below me right now and say, Yes Jesus, a new creation is what I look to be! Those of you who would say, That's me! Lift your hands boldly right now. Let's join with those who are making that decision today, let's all join our voices together. Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus as Emanuel, God with us. Jesus, come into my life, forgive me for my sin. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Help me to live for you, help me to become a new creation and to be more faithful and to be more joyful and to be triumphant. It's in Jesus' name we pray. And everyone said, Amen!

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Duration: 31 minutes and 43 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
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Views: 40
Posted by: lifechurchopen on Jan 4, 2012

Carols - Week 2 - Craig Groeschel -

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