[Did you miss last Sunday’s services? They can still be found at Worship Archive – December 13th 2020.]
Sunday Services from Hillside Circuit for December 20th 2020:
Theme: Promises fulfilled
Occasion: 4th Sunday in Advent
Old Testament: 2 Samuel 7: 1-11, 16
New Testament: Romans 16: 25-27
Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38
[Click or tap on a Bible reference above to jump down the page to the Bible reading to listen and/or read it for yourself and then click or tap on Back to top to come back here.]
Here are the songs for Sunday morning service. Click or tap on a song to open it in YouTube or go to the Songs for worship webpage to find them embedded.
Good Christians all rejoice.
What child is this?
From the squalor of a borrowed stable.
Christmas is a time to love.
Unto us a boy is born.
Cradled in a manger meanly.
On Christmas night.
Angels from the realms of glory.
O come let us adore Him.
You can listen and join in with prayers from the Methodist Service Book, they can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.
[Click or tap here to jump down the page to find a text version of the above message so that you can read it for yourself.]
1 Our LORD, I will sing of your love forever.
Everyone yet to be born
will hear me praise your faithfulness.
2 I will tell them,
“God’s love can always be trusted,
and his faithfulness lasts as long as the heavens.”
3 You said, “David, my servant, is my chosen one,
and this is the agreement I made with him:
4 David, one of your descendants will always be king.”
19 In a vision, you once said to your faithful followers:
“I have helped a mighty hero.
I chose him from my people and made him famous.
20 David, my servant, is the one I chose to be king,
21 and I will always be there to help and strengthen him.
22 “No enemy will outsmart David,
and he won’t be defeated by any hateful people.
23 I will strike down and crush his troublesome enemies.
24 He will always be able to depend on my love,
and I will make him strong with my own power.
25 I will let him rule the lands across the rivers and seas.
26 He will say to me, ‘You are my Father and my God,
as well as the mighty rock where I am safe.’
2 Samuel 7
1 King David moved into his new palace, and the LORD let his kingdom be at peace. 2 Then one day, as David was talking with Nathan the prophet, David said, “Look around! I live in a palace made of cedar, but the sacred chest has to stay in a tent.”
3 Nathan replied, “The LORD is with you, so do what you want!”
4 That night, the LORD told Nathan 5 to go to David and give him this message:
David, you are my servant, so listen to what I say. Why should you build a temple for me? 6 I didn’t live in a temple when I brought my people out of Egypt, and I don’t live in one now. A tent has always been my home wherever I have gone with them. 7 I chose leaders and told them to be like shepherds for my people Israel. But did I ever say anything to even one of them about building a cedar temple for me?
8 David, this is what I, the LORD All-Powerful, say to you. I brought you in from the fields where you took care of sheep, and I made you the leader of my people. 9 Wherever you went, I helped you and destroyed your enemies right in front of your eyes. I have made you one of the most famous people in the world.
10 I have given my people Israel a land of their own where they can live in peace, and they won’t have to tremble with fear any more. Evil nations won’t bother them, as they did 11 when I let judges rule my people. And I have kept your enemies from attacking you.
Now I promise that you and your descendants will be kings.
16 I will make sure that one of your descendants will always be king.
25 Praise God! He can make you strong by means of my good news, which is the message about Jesus Christ. For ages and ages this message was kept secret, 26 but now at last it has been told. The eternal God commanded his prophets to write about the good news, so that all nations would obey and have faith. 27 And now, because of Jesus Christ, we can praise the only wise God forever! Amen.
26 One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee 27 with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. 28 The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. 30 Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, 31 and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. 33 He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36 Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37 Nothing is impossible for God!”
38 Mary said, “I am the LORD’S servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.
Text version of message for Hillside Circuit on December 20th 2020 in English, with Mrs Tracey Chigwada:
Individuals and societies normally have confidence in the future by virtue of promises made to them by those they interact with, and at times those above them. A farmer buys seed based on the promises and assurance made to him by the seed seller and on that he plants and gets the stated yield. If only every promise made to us by those around us could be fulfilled, life would not be a problem. We have all been let down by friends and foe, and yet we lived to see the next day. Some promises are not worth the paper they are written on! There however is one whose promises never fail and that is why today we are preaching on the theme ‘Promises fulfilled.’ The LORD God whom we worship is faithful in ALL His promises and that characteristic of God strengthens our faith in Him. While God is faithful in His promises, it does not necessarily follow that fulfilment will be instant and immediate. Scripture tells us at 2 Peter 3:8 that ‘With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The LORD is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.’ In our Scriptures we see God making promises to David, Elizabeth, and Mary. In the few verses in the Epistle to the Church at Rome, Paul reveals God’s promise to offer salvation to the Gentiles in fulfilment of Old Testament Scriptures. In the case of David some promises got fulfilled there and then and some would be fulfilled a thousand years later. The promises to Elizabeth and Mary were immediate but would take nine months to be held in their hands! -This is how God works! The period of waiting builds our faith in Him as we trust Him to deliver on His promise!
History tells us that King David reigned over Israel, sometime between 1000 and 900 BC. At some point during his reign David felt that the appropriate thing to do would be to build a Temple for the LORD God. He shared his idea with the Prophet Nathan who without giving much thought to it agreed with him. But because this was not in God’s plan, God told Nathan what was in store for David making it clear that David would not build a temple for the Lord. For offering that great service to God here is what David got from God. ‘Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore as they did at the beginning, and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me, your throne will be established forever.’ How often have you offered to do things for God and were disappointed? I know He does not disappoint. We can learn a lesson from the conduct of David – a man after God’s own heart, 1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22 and from the words of the Prophet Malachi 3:10, where God says ‘Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessings that you will not have enough room for it.’ Amen.
During the time when Paul was preaching he never stopped talking of what he called the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed! The Jews of Paul’s time were convinced that salvation from sin was theirs and theirs alone and not for the Gentiles. Paul stressed that with the coming of Jesus Christ all people, Jews and Gentiles alike could be served and this is in line with the founder of The Methodist Church John Wesley that: ‘All need to be saved, All may be saved, All may know themselves saved, All may be saved to the uttermost’ The promise of God to all nations is that those who will believe and obey His Son shall be saved. We see the salvation of the Christ among us and that is a promise fulfilled – Alleluiah!
In the Gospel of Luke I want to just touch on two promises of God that were fulfilled. When told by the angel Gabriel that ‘You will be with child and give birth to a son!’ Mary responded ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ God fulfils ALL His promises particularly those that are humanly not possible! Some of us here have got problems they think cannot be solved. Take your problem to God right now and you shall see the floodgates of His blessings overwhelming you. The second promise I will touch on is the promise made to King David a thousand years before the Angel Gabriel went to the small village of Nazareth. When Gabriel got there he said, ‘You will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The LORD God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, his kingdom will never end.’ Compare this to the promise made to David ‘Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me, your throne will be established forever.’ The son of Joseph and Mary is the person promised to King David through the Prophet Nathan. What a mighty and wonderful God we serve! He is faithful, He fulfils His promises.
When God has been faithful, gracious and good to us, do we ever look back to thank Him or even acknowledge Him? When The Lord has fought all our battles, set us free from all our problems, redeemed us, what do we do for Him? Do we show Him any gratitude? Do we boast thinking that we have overcome on our own? This was not the situation with David, he was grateful for what The Lord had done for him. Learn to thank God for what He has done for you today, for what He did for you yesterday and for what he will do for you tomorrow.
He is a loving and faithful God who fulfils promises. In The Name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit Amen