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THE RESCUE (Captioned)

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The Second Sunday of Christmas Sunday, January 3, 2010 Let us rise for the reading of this morning's Sermon Text recorded for us in Luke's Gospel where we read from Chapter 1, beginning with Verse 68: "PRAISE BE TO THE LORD, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, BECAUSE HE HAS COME AND HAS REDEEMED HIS PEOPLE. HE HAS RAISED UP A HORN OF SALVATION FOR US IN THE HOUSE OF HIS SERVANT DAVID. (AS HE SAID THROUGH HIS HOLY PROPHETS OF LONG AGO), SALVATION FROM OUR ENEMIES AND FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US -- TO SHOW MERCY TO OUR FATHERS AND TO REMEMBER HIS HOLY COVENANT, THE OATH HE SWORE TO OUR FATHER ABRAHAM: TO RESCUE US FROM THE HAND OF OUR ENEMIES, AND TO ENABLE US TO SERVE HIM WITHOUT FEAR IN HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE HIM ALL OUR DAYS." This is the Word of our Lord; Let us pray: This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Amen. The congregation is seated as Pastor Dave motions for them to do so. Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I find the person of Zechariah, to be one of the most interesting people who prepared the way for God's Son to come into the world. I can't wait to have that opportunity in heaven to meet him and to discuss with him, because I think he had a most interesting challenge in his life. When the angel came to him and said: Your wife is going to have a son ... It just astounded him! It shocked him. And in his disbelief, God said to him: You're not going to speak. You're not going to speak until I ... allow you to. And Zechariah when he left that most Holy of Holy places, was left without the instruments to share the news of what had happened to him. Imagine witnessing an angel of God appearing to you and giving you such tremendous news, and the thing that you have always used to communicate with your family and friends and co-workers ... doesn't work. I wonder what people thought of Zechariah as he tried to convey to them what had happened. But when he went home to his wife, who was also going to be a part of the angel's message ... to share that message with Elizabeth. To convey to her ... what was of utmost importance. And then when that child is born and everyone is standing there wondering what they're going to name the child; what they're going to call the child ... Zechariah scribbles on a tablet ... John! And his conveyance is returned to him. That instrument that God had taken from him is restored. And he gets out the news. The words that he had been wanting to express for months come pouring out: Praise be to the God of Israel. He has accomplished His salvation. He has remembered what He promised to the forefathers of Israel. He has been mindful of that Covenant that He made with Abraham. When He came to Abraham as well and said: You and Sarah are going to have a child. Remember Sarah laughed. She giggled. But yet God kept His Word. And kept His promise and she held in her son Isaac ... she held in her arms, her son, Isaac ... knowing that God KEEPS His promises, and DOES what He says He WILL. As He PROMISED to Abraham that he would become a great nation. And that One of his descendents would bless all of the peoples of the world. And now Zechariah's son was going to be the forerunner of that Messiah. The One who was going to come and Zechariah could not help but praise God's Name! Because the Messiah was going to deliver His people from all of their enemies and was going to allow His people to serve Him in blessedness and holiness. And we remind ourselves of that fact today. That that same Savior has come to us. That that same Savior has fought the battles that we COULD NOT fight against the greatest enemies that we have ever had. The enemies of sin, death and Satan himself. Adam and Eve were no match for Satan and his guile, when he said: Look to the tree and they did. And they ate. We're no match for Satan either ... because he comes to us with the same lies. And you and I fall for them each and every day. Look! That will be good for you. And we run after it ... thinking this is what we need when it's the exact opposite of what God has said to us. He's (Satan's) always there, putting doubts in our heads, putting fear into our lives. And we can't fight him on our own. We know that because we fall into his temptations. And we willingly disobey God, but God's Son did not do that. He came into this world and stood with Satan face-to-face each and every moment of every day and withstood his temptations. Would not believe his lies. Did not give in to Satan, even when Satan tried to convince Him to throw Himself off of the top of the temple ... because God would protect Him. Or that he would give Him the entire world if Jesus would just bow down and worship him. But Jesus withstood those temptations, firmly planted in the Word and denied Satan the thrill of Him having succumb to sin. He was tempted in every way that we were tempted, yet HE DID NOT SIN. He faced the enemy DEATH for us. He willingly sacrificed Himself ... placed Himself into that tomb, so that that tomb would not be the end of our life. And that we would not be condemned to hell forever. He fought that battle and He was the Victor. He is the One who has saved us from our enemies. Zechariah proclaimed that loudly and clearly to all those people who were gathered there that day reminding them that God sent a Savior. And He is the One who has saved us and rescued us from everything that was out to destroy us eternally and condemn us forever. Zechariah praised His Name and we do that as well. That's our joy. That is our gladness. That's why we as God's people are placed on this earth as His children to return to Him in thanks for all that He has done for us. To praise His Holy Name. It is what gives us great comfort in this world and what a blessing it is, to be able to have voices to do that. To be able to have homes in which we are able to gather with our families without fear, that somebody's going to come beating down the door and stop us. That we can gather here in worship, bonded together on God's Word and sing the praises that lift up God's Holy Name. That remind us that He keeps His promises to us as well. That we encourage each other with that Word. We look at the example of Zechariah, as the head of his household, praising God. And fathers and men: What a blessing for us to be able to lead the worship in our own homes. To take out our Bibles and sit down with our family and read that Word and pray together for the needs that we have as couples. The needs that we have as families. To be able to share that Word and praise God for all that He has done for us. What a tremendous opportunity we have all of the time. We have everything at our fingertips ... to praise God because He has rescued us and He keeps us secure. He has taken us, as the Apostle Paul reminds the Galatians in our Epistle Lesson, as going from slaves ... to sons! To going from people who were encased in the shackles of sin, living in fear and total darkness. Slaves to everything that was ungodly and prone to decay. And He BURST forth from that grave and shattered those shackles that confined us. We are no longer slaves but we are the children of God. That wonderful blessing that Paul reminds us that we can run to God and cry: "Daddy"! Not: "Oh, I'm afraid." And we cower in fear and fall on the ground petrified. But we have access to God the Father. That we can go to Him. We can hear Him ... and listen to Him, and He comforts us with His Word. And He reassures us of our salvation. And He reminds us that our sins are forgiven. And He reminds us that there is an inheritance waiting for us that is out of this world. That goes beyond what we can imagine. Our heavenly home. His home. That He gives to us, His children. Out of nothing that we have done, but just because He is the One who loves us, and says: Here! I share eternal life with you. What joy that is! What blessing that is! What a reason for us to be shouting from the rooftops, the news that we have. The joy that is in our hearts. It covers over our lives. The blessings that God has given to us will be evident and will be seen in each and everything we say and everything we do. And we have to admit that that's not always easy for us. Our human nature gets tired. Our human nature doesn't think we're seeing results. Our human nature just wants to have time for us. It's like: The 12 Days of Christmas! Do you realize we're on Day 10 today? That we have still two days to go in that wonderful celebration that the ancient church expressed for 12 days the joy of God sending His Son. Yet only in our lives, we think: Oh, we gotta get that tree down. We gotta get these decorations put away. We gotta STOP all this Christmas stuff. The after sales-sales, after Christmas sales have come and gone. And so is most of our joy. So is most of the wonder of the season. So is most of the excitement that we had. We can't let that happen to our faith and what God has done for us. That blessing of Christ's forgiveness comes to us new each morning. It takes away the sins that we commit each and every day. It is there that we find joy. There that we find hope and there is our reason for thanking God for what He has done and praising His Name. When we're tired of praising God's Name, we need to go back and find out why. For the blessings that God has given us we need to dig deeper into His Word. Because there we will be reassured of our own salvation. We will see once again the beauty of God's plan. All that God did and worked for our salvation. As Paul told the Galatians: When the time had fully come, when God had set everything up, He sent His Son. And for that, we rejoice! And for that, forever, we serve Him, and praise His glorious Name. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God that goes beyond all of our understanding keep your hearts and your minds, and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 41 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 93
Posted by: hischild on Jan 5, 2010

God's KEPT promise, made in the Garden, of sending a Savior has transformed us from slaves -- to heirs, of eternal life in heaven. We are now free to serve Him in this earthlife. PRAISE THE LORD!!! To contact Pastor Dave:

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