The Fourth Sunday of Advent
The Importance of Receiving God’s Gift of Love 12/18/22
“He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
John 1:11-12 (NASB)
Key x-References – The essential need for a personal response to the “good news”
Psalm 70:4 (NASB) *Salvation is a gift—but it must be received!
“Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified.’”
Genesis 15:6 (NASB) *Abraham responded
“Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
Matthew 2:1-2 (NASB) *The wise men responded
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’”
Luke 1:41-45 (NASB) *Even Elizabeth’s unborn baby (John) responded!
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said… 43 ‘And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?
44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfill- ment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.’”
Acts 16:27-34 (excerpts NASB) *The Philippian jailer responded
“When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!’…and after he brought them out, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house…And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.”
Acts 16:13 (NASB) *Lydia “listened” and “responded”
“A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.”
Luke 23:41-43 (NASB) *Even one of the criminals crucified with Him responded!
“‘And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ 42 And he was saying, ‘Jesus, remem- ber me when You come in Your kingdom!’ 43 And He said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.’”
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