Giving Thanks – Part 1: Developing a Thankful Spirit
Website Link: www.AWordFromTheLord.org.
Today’s Message: Jesus, in Matthew 24:38-44 tells us: “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”. This Sermon begins the series: “Advent Sermons from Isaiah”.
Most of what we know about Jesus in the New Testament is from prophecies in the Old Testament; and these prophecies were fulfilled by the Advent of Jesus in the New Testament. However, some of these Old Testament prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. So, from Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, when are “the last days”? In one sense, since we are in the age of the Messiah, we are now in the “last days”; but in another sense, we are waiting for the return of Jesus, and we don’t know when He will return to begin the “last days”. In Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah records his second prophecy regarding “the last days”. Isaiah posits the “mountain of the house of the Lord”, which is the place in Jerusalem where the Jewish temples have been. On this “mountain” now is the Muslim’s “Dome of the Rock”. From this passage, we learn that the Messiah would not only teach the law of God when He returns; but, also, He would come to judge. This scripture from Isaiah is the theme for the season of Advent – the Messiah will come back again to judge “the living and the dead”.
The Bible speaks about five judgments: 1) judgment of the believers’ sins; 2) the judgment of the believers’ self-life; 3) the judgment of the believers’ deeds; 4) the judgment of the nations; and 5) the judgment of the wicked (i.e. unbelievers). In Isaiah 2, Isaiah is speaking about “the judgment of the nations”. Isaiah 2:5 provides an exhortation that is appropriate for our Christmas: “O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.”. Even though Jesus is coming again, on a date unknown to us to judge, for now let us “walk in the light of the Lord”!
Today’s Affirmation: I affirm that because of what God has done for me in His Son, Jesus, FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13).
Scripture Reference (ESV): Matthew 24:38-44; Isaiah 2:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18