Third Sunday in Advent
This message reminds us of the miracle and wonder of Jesus: for present joy and for the anticipation of future joy.
Advent: Prepare the Way of the Lord
Part 3 Joyful Anticipation
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Dec. 11th, 2016
- Advent – prepare the way of the Lord – the last two weeks we have focused on holding on to hope, what love does and this third Sunday of Advent we are talking about joyful anticipation.
- Now there are two types of joy, and both are a gift of God. The first is participation of present joy, and the second is anticipation of future joy.
Participation of present joy is a gift of God
Eccl 5:19-20 ESV
Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
- Wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them along with accepting your lot and rejoicing in your work – all these things are a gift of God
- This person will not much remember the days of their life, because God keeps him occupied with Joy in his heart
- And if this is you . . . enjoy them!! And if you know people like this – rejoice with them! (Rom. 12:15)
- And also, we must be reminded the instructions the apostle Paul gave to Timothy to give to us:
1 Tim 6:17-19 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
- So if you have a lot – don’t think that you are better than others, and anchor your hope on riches, make sure you are anchored to God- who is the source of everything for you to enjoy.
- Don’t make your focus money, be rich in good works, be generous and be ready to share (have some money readily available). If you do this, you will have treasure in heaven provide a good foundation for the future (giving evidence that you are a child of God) so that you can take hold of that which is truly life (that is giving and eternal life).
- Now, if you are not experiencing much or little joy in the present, then God gives us the gift of anticipation of future joy.
Anticipation of future joy is a gift of God
It provides endurance
Heb 12:1a-2a ESV
let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
- Anticipated Joy Provides Power to Endure
- Jesus on the cross, getting the grade, winning the game, earning the bonus, saving for a gift, losing the weight, stopping the habit, Jesus gave the example of having a child (John 16:20-22).
It provides perspective
Luke 6:22-23a ESV
Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven
- Anticipated Joy Provides Perspective In Persecution
- We rejoice and leap for joy that we are counted as worthy to suffer because of Jesus and the reward we will receive from him.
It provides strength
Isa 12:2-3a ESV
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
- Anticipated Joy Provides Strength To Go On
- Draw water from the well of salvation to give you the strength to go on
Hab 3:17-19a ESV
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.19 God, the Lord, is my strength
- Make your declaration, if it all goes wrong, take joy in the God of your salvation and receive strength from that
Ps 51:12 ESV
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
- This is a great prayer for all of us to pray.
- God gives us His gifts, participation in present joy and anticipation for future joy.