Hope for the Holidays 2 – Hope Speaks Up

Hope speaks calmly. Don’t miss Hope’s message.

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The world is LOUD!

Evil is loud. Hatred is loud.

You don’t really need someone to tell you this, becuase loud things don’t need to be pointed out.

You don’t need me to tell you the world is a dangerous place.

  • Terrorism is plenty loud enough. Murder and violence does not need to be pointed out.

You don’t need me to tell you that relationships are difficult and marriages are at risk of failure.

  • This world’s back stabbing ways amongst friends is deafeningly loud.  I don’t need to read you statistics on divorce.

You don’t need me to tell you that you have a problem within you.

  • Your fears are plenty loud. Your lack of peace is screaming. You have tried to do better only to fail, and maybe no one else sees it, but you definitely hear the gigantic THUD of your failed life change.

Loud things don’t need to be pointed out.

But there is something about Hope.  Hope is not loud. Hope speaks with a calm peaceful voice. Hope can easily be overlooked in the growing crescendo of a loud world. Hope needs to be pointed to us.

2000 years ago Hope spoke up when Christ was born. This hope still speaks today. This Christmas let’s point it out to this loud world.

Hope 4 the Holidays – Hope Speaks Up

Hope Bumper

Welcome to Redemption Church! We are young nondenominational church in Plano Texas. We believe Jesus is alive and well! We know God is willing able to change your life.  Before today is over we are going to spend time talking with God.

We are in the 2nd week of the HOPE FOR THE HOLIDAYS series.

Last week we told you hope shows up. H1 1this world needs HOPE.

Mary carried a hope within her that transformed the hopelessness around her.

I want to remind you…

H1 9There is hope

You need this hope in you

You need to be a source of hope

We are to carry Hope within us. We should be a source of hope to the world around us.

 

Today I want to tell you that H2 1Hope Speaks Up

 

This world is loud. Evil is loud. Hatred is loud. Devastation, death, and destruction are loud.

What I mean by this is, when something is loud it doesn’t need to be pointed out.

For example, when my wife Sarah and I have the foolish idea of going to a nice family dinner at a restaurant, and our children become loud, no one has to yell “hey your kids are being loud and they have also set a curtain on fire.” No one has to tell us they are loud, because loud things are obvious. Instead people give you those sideways glances, that say “hey buddy you might want to do something about the wrestling match between your 3 boys.”

H2 2Loud things don’t need to be pointed out.

You don’t need me to tell you the world is a dangerous place.

Terrorism is plenty loud enough. Murder and violence does not need to be pointed out.

You don’t need me to tell you that relationships are difficult and marriages are at risk of failure.

This world’s back stabbing ways amongst friends is deafeningly loud.  I don’t need to read you statistics on divorce.

You don’t need me to tell you that you have a problem within you.

Your fears are plenty loud. Your lack of peace is screaming. You have tried to do better only to fail, and maybe no one else sees it, but you definitely hear the gigantic THUD of your failed life change.

Loud things don’t need to be pointed out.

Car Crashes announce themselves not with a letter in the mail, but with a bang.  Bombs do not knock on the door, they explode and shake the earth.

This world, with all of its many problems, is very loud.

 

In the beginning God created a quite garden.

H2 3A Quiet Garden

It wasn’t loud in the Garden of Eden. It was a place of peace.  There were no reasons to scream. There were no bangs, crashes, and explosions.

The subtle speech of a serpent changed all of this.

From hurried whispers of Adam & Eve saying “we have to hide, we have to cover ourselves, I think I hear God coming”, to the sickening sound of Cain killing his brother Abel, the breath leaving his lungs, and the silence erupting with heartbroken cries from Eve and Adam.

From this moment on there has been a crescendo, a continued increase of volume in this world.  The volume only grows… but you don’t need me to point this out.

 

With a growing amount of loudness in the world there was only one source of hope. God would send a message of hope.

A message of Hope – Messiah

Messiah means anointed one. Messiah would be the ONE who would save people from the hopeless situation of sin.

In the middle of loud evil, a calm voice of truth would speak.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”(NIV)

Messiah would be the seed, the descendant, of Eve.

Messiah would also be the son of God!

Psalm 2:7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.(NIV)

The messiah would be born of a virgin. The messiah would be GOD WITH US.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.(NIV)

The Messiah would be light that shines on those in darkness

Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.(NIV)

The Messiah would bring a new covenant.. a new way to come into relationship with God.

Jeremiah 31:31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.(NIV)

Messiah would be born in Bethlehem

Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”(NIV)

Messiah would be called out of Egypt

Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.(NIV)

Throughout the Old Testament, prophet after prophet declared the message of hope – That Christ, the Messiah would come. The message was clear that He would come, how he would come, and what miraculous and hopeful things he would do.

 

But then for 400 years God was silent.

H2 4Silent God. Loud world. 400 years

God was silent, but the world was still loud. Mother’s still wept loudly for their sons. Souls still entered the grave with no hope of redemption.

This is the part of the Christmas story that never is told. It’s not told because… well… NOTHING HAPPENS.

Can you imagine if in this sermon I spent 10 minutes being silent. Some of you would be tempted to leave if I did that.  How about 5 minutes?  I imagine our podcast or youtube watchers online would turn this sermon off after 20 or 10 seconds of silence.

400 years. No visitation. 400 years. No prophesy or promise. 400 years. No miracles. 400 years.

If a generation is 35 years that means there are over 11 generations within 400 years.

There is a man whose name is Zechariah.  Over a 400 year span of silence, Zechariah, Zechariah’s dad, his grandad, and his great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great granddad had not heard from God.

A message of hope, after 400 years of silence, can start to feel like a fairytale that will never come true.

In the middle of a loud world, when so many had stopped believing, the silence was broken when Hope Spoke Up

H2 5Hope Speaks Up

Luke 1:8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,(NIV)

Luke 1:9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.(NIV)

Luke 1:10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.(NIV)

Luke 1:11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.(NIV)

Luke 1:12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.(NIV)

Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.(NIV)

Luke 1:14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,(NIV)

Luke 1:15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.(NIV)

Luke 1:16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.(NIV)

Luke 1:17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(NIV)

Luke 1:18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”(NIV)

Luke 1:19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.(NIV)

Luke 1:20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”(NIV)

The Angel Gabriel brought the message that messiah was coming. John would prepare the way of the Lord Jesus. Zechariah did not believe so the lord took away his voice until his child was born.

Gabriel appeared to Mary next with this message.

Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,(NIV)

Luke 1:27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.(NIV)

We read this passage last week. We talked about the burden Mary faced. We asked how she could ever convince her fiancé Joseph to believe that she was a pregnant virgin.

Mary would need Hope to speak up on her behalf. When you need hope, God will speak up on your behalf.

Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.(NIV)

Matthew 1:19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.(NIV)

Matthew 1:20 But 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.(NIV)

Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”(NIV)

Matthew 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:(NIV)

Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”(NIV)

Matthew 1:24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.(NIV)

When Jesus was born, hope kept speaking.

Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.(NIV)

Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.(NIV)

Luke 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.(NIV)

Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.(NIV)

Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.(NIV)

Luke 2:12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”(NIV)

Luke 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,(NIV)

Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”(NIV)

Luke 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”(NIV)

The shepherds heard and were drawn to worship.

 

 

Jesus was brought to the Temple and a priest named Simeon saw the child. Hope spoke to Simeon.

Luke 2:27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,(NIV)

Luke 2:28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:(NIV)

Luke 2:29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.(NIV)

Luke 2:30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,(NIV)

Luke 2:31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people,(NIV)

Luke 2:32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”(NIV)

An old prophetess named Anna heard hope speak up.

Luke 2:38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.(NIV)

Hope spoke to Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary & Joseph, Shepherds, Simeon & Anna… God also spoke to those who were far away in the East.

Matthew 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem(NIV)

Matthew 2:2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”(NIV)

Matthew 2:3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.(NIV)

Matthew 2:4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.(NIV)

Matthew 2:5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:(NIV)

Matthew 2:6 “`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 be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”(NIV)

Matthew 2:7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.(NIV)

Matthew 2:8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”(NIV)

Matthew 2:9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.(NIV)

Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.(NIV)

Matthew 2:11 On 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 and of incense and of myrrh.(NIV)

Matthew 2:12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.(NIV)

These kings from the east were not of the Hebrew faith. They studied stars. Those that studied stars were drawn to worship constellations and pagan gods. In the midst of their worship of false deities, hope called out to them.

God called to them in a deliberate way, to get their attention, and to draw them to the messiah.  God chose a star. This star lead them from a far way off. This star lead them to study the Word of God. They knew the words of the prophet. They knew the Messiah would be in Bethlehem.

King Herod did not know this information, but pagan men from the East did!

  • Hope will speak to people you never expected.

These Kings entered the house of Jesus and worshipped.

  • Hope will draw people to worship that you never expected.

These Kings as the worshipped opened up their treasures and gave gifts.

  • Hope will bring gifts and treasures no one could have imagined.

 

Hope still speaks today. The message of Jesus is that same hope being spoken.

 

Remember that LOUD THINGS don’t need to be pointed out.

H2 2Loud things don’t need to be pointed out.

 

The world is loud, but hope is not. Hope speaks calmly, while evil shouts.  Hope is easy to miss. Hope needs to be pointed out.

H2 6Hope needs to be pointed out.

An angel, a messenger of God, needed to point out what was going on.  We need Hope pointed out to us. We need it explained.

Let me point out hope to you today.

There is hope for all your sins to be forgiven and washed away.

There is hope for all your fear, weakness, and failure.

There is hope when you lift your hands in worship and singing.

There is hope in this altar today. When you pray there is hope.

There is hope for your problems.

There is hope for your family.

There is hope for the world.

 

The World is loud… But when Hope speaks up things change. God’s hope brings peace.  Peace on earth and good will toward men.

 

Author: Pastor Chris Fluitt

Chris Fluitt serves as Lead Pastor at Redemption Church. He is husband to Sarah, and Daddy to Will, Hudson & Joshua. Worshipper, Husband, Father, Musician, Songwriter, Blogger, Nerd, Social Media Buff, Sportaholic Connect on Google+