Christmas Eve Service

    Advent 4 / Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017


    Lighting of the Advent Candles: (light only the advent wreath at beginning then light the rest after I am done talking.)


    Introduction: As we see this lit candles we think of hope or expectation, love, joy and weace with the Christ candle always burning. During this advent we have been talking about the already but not yet. Jesus is king and will return to take us home for eternity and in the meantime we are supposed to be clothed with power. Like the shepherds we are to glorify and praise God for all the things we have heard and seen. And like the wise men that came from afar with their gifts, we too must offer ourselves as a gift. To be a disciple of Christ we must carry our cross and put aside all things and follow him. Now because we have followed other gospels the light of the world remains dimly lit. So instead “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” God has turned his face from us and we lie in desolation. 1 Samuel 3:3 “The lamp of God had not yet gone out. 11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 1 Samuel 3:35 “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.  We too are in the same position as Samuel was born into. Therefore we must return and plead from our desolation that our great King will hear our cry and free us so that we can carry on what we are called to do. Our gift to our King is believing that he will redeem us just as he said he would. Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

                So we celebrate this evening with expectation and joy and we praise our God for His great mercy believing that he will hear our cries as he said he would and that his peace would be present. Tonight our service has three parts. The first is praise. We sing praise to our God whose word stands forever. Luke 1:37 “For no word from God will ever fail.” Then the second part is petition. Isaiah 59:20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord. 21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.” And then the third is we exalt our King who presently reigns on the David’s throne.  Jeremiah 33:25 “This is what the Lord says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, 26 then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.”



    1. PRAISE

    Scripture:    2 Samuel 22:1 “David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. 4 “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.47 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior! 48 He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, 49 who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. 50 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. 51 “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” 1 Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” Revelation 19:6 “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!” Psalm 33:1 “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.”


    Songs:          Born Is the King (It's Christmas)                          Hillsong                    

                            He Reigns with Awesome God      (fade)              Travis Cottrell                                   Joy To The World (Unspeakable Joy)                  Chris Tomlin            

                            My Soul Magnifies The Lord (fade clap)              Chris Tomlin            



    2. PETITION: Jesus came and offered us life but like the Jews we have rejected all that he gave us. He said you will do greater things but we decided to do things in our own way and in our strength and go out in our own strength and not seek to be clothed with power from the Holy Spirit. We followed the empty ways of our fathers and we have left the path of holiness, which has left us desolate. Wisdom tells us to walk in the way of righteousness and Proverbs 12:28 “In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.” But we chose other ways. God has told us Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.” We have the choice to return wholeheartedly or do as they did in Malachi and ask how are we to return. The right choice is like Malachi 3:16 “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. 17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” So in this desolate land we will follow God’s word and seek him and expectantly wait on him. God tells us Deuteronomy 4:29 “if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath. Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

    Scripture:     2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 4:17 “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”


    Songs:          Revival                                                                       Robin Mark

                            Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)               Chris Tomlin            

                            Save Us Oh God                                                      Kevin Prosch

                            Come Alive (Dry Bones)                                         Lauren Daigle                                   Send the Fire                                                                        Nashville Singers                


    3. EXALT: 2 Chronicles 16:9 “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”  We stand firm and hold fast to God’s promises believing that God will free us from captivity and once again Isaiah 37:31 “a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.” We must believe that Jesus is our king and reigns on high. Jeremiah 23:3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord. 5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.” So today we exalt our king and believe.

    Scripture:    Exodus 15:2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 12:10 “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.”


    Songs:          Shout Unto God                                          Michael W. Smith                                        Yours Is the Kingdom                                 Hillsong Live            

                            He Shall Reign Forevermore                      Chris Tomlin


    Benediction: 1 Kings 8:56 “Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. 57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. 58 May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors. 59 And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, 60 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. 61 And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” 2 Samuel 7:25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.”