We begin 2012 as a church family with a focus on prayer. We look to Paul's prayer for the church in Ephesus as an example to follow and also strive to be strengthened by Christ's indwelling presence through the Spirit. Indeed as Paul states, God is able to do more than we can ever ask or imagine.
Jesus was the greatest king to walk the earth. He is able to give us a gift that no other king can give us. This Christmas we invite you to receive the gift of a king.
When we think of Christmas, we should not only think of what God has done in the past. Instead, we should also think of the continual blessings that come from Jesus specifically, 'grace upon grace'. The blessing of Christmas manifests itself in our lives everyday. We ought to worship and celebrate because of the grace we continually receive.
In Exodus 14, Israel crosses over from death to life through the Red Sea. God delivers his people by his chosen mediator, Moses. So to, we, God's people, have been saved by God when we crossed over from death to life by God's perfect mediator-Jesus.
God mercifully leads Israel out of Egypt and toward the Red Sea by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. God's presence with his people was constant and faithful, never departing from them. As we think about Israel's deliverance and our own, there are many similarities, perhaps none greater than God's presence. As we near Christmas, we celebrate our savior, Immanuel, God with us.
As Israel prepares to begin their exodus from Egypt, God instructs them to remember their deliverance by God's powerful hand through a feast and the consecration of the firstborn. Israel's rescue from slavery came through a substitutionary death, a sacrifice made on their behalf. They, like us, have been redeemed, bought with a price. We belong to Him.
God came to the rescue of the people of Israel and delivered them from bondage under the Egyptians. He called them to remember what he had done for them through the Passover meal and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Hundreds of years after the exodus God came to rescue his people and deliver them from a greater enemy. Now we are called to remember what he has done for us in a special way.
God prepared the people of Israel for the 10th and final plague by instituting the Passover meal. The Israelites would escape death as the passover lamb was sacrificed on their behalf serving as a substitute. The Passover teaches us about God's deliverance of the people of Israel and points to Christ who is the perfect Passover lamb sacrificed on our behalf for our sins. Now we, like the people of Israel, are covered by the blood of the lamb.
This week we venture back into chapter 7 of Exodus. God is going to liberate his people from slavery after He defeats the gods of Egypt. Through the plagues God is revealing himself to both Israel and Egypt that they may know He is the LORD. God is redeeming his people by mighty works of judgment.