Rest in His Presence

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christmas-teaMatthew 11:28-29 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

I’d like to wish everyone a blessed Christmas. If you are in driving distance, I hope you will join us for Christmas Eve worship at 5 or 7:00. We have worked to provide a refreshing moment of rest in the presence of Christ to highlight your celebrations. Then join us Christmas morning at 10:00 as we celebrate the Presence of Christ as a spiritual family.

There is something deeply peaceful about staring into a warm fire on a chilly night. The Bible says, The Lord is my light & my salvation. Later in Isaiah it describes a time when we who live with great conflict will experience great peace. There is nothing that can match the kind of peace Jesus brings. As a grown man, Jesus invites all to Come to Him and find rest for our souls.

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Revealing Christ’s Love

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opening-christmas-presentJohn 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

I hope the Christmas Season is full of Jesus’ presence for you. The presence of loved ones is a greater blessing than any material things. The greatest blessing still is the presence of Jesus, Emmanuel who came through incarnation to be with us.

The birth of Jesus God-man, the core of Christmas, was a real moment at a real time in history that carries eternal impact. How incredible it must have been for the generation that got to see Jesus in the flesh. What if He could be seen like that today? What if His voice could be heard, his character observed and His grace felt by those in our time?

THE CORE TRUTH OF CHRISTMAS: Jesus Came in Flesh to Reveal God’s Love for Humanity.

1John 4:9-10 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 

Jesus’ life demonstrates the fullness of God’s love. God’s love motivated his coming. As God in flesh Jesus uniquely understands and helps our struggle with darkness. He faced the full measure of temptation & struggle in this fallen world. He did that out of deep love for us AND in order to set us free.

Jesus’ love must be received through faith to be fully experienced. Like all love, it must be embraced to be fully experienced. He has offered himself to us. All who trust in Him & His love gain the deep peace of eternal life. Then we get the privilege of sharing it with others!

THE ONGOING PRIVILEGE OF CHRISTMAS: Let Jesus Reveal God’s Love through You by Releasing it Others.

Eph. 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Just how can we do this? We aren’t Jesus are we? True but, Jesus very presence is within every true follower. His desire is to reveal Himself through us. Here are soem ways we can let that happen.

First, Continually rest in God’s love for you.

1John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Second, Show love through meeting practical needs.

1John 3:17-19 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 

Third, Show love through understanding & compassion on those trapped in sin.

Matthew 18:33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’

Finally, Show love through intentionally gracious speech towards those lost in darkness.

Colossians 4:5-6 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

How will people ever experience the reality & love of God for themselves? It is possible through you! Jesus came to express the love of God to all humanity. Who is on your path that He can love through you?

Join us this final Sunday before Christmas as we continue or reflection on experiencing and expressing the presence of Christ. You can catch the full lesson at www.parkviewfamily.com.

Christmas Presence

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presence-promo-blankJohn 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

While Christmas is likely the most universally celebrated holiday on the planet, most people deeply long for it’s fruit without embracing its core. We could wonder if it even matters. Can’t most people celebrate it anyway and even enjoy the unique atmosphere of the season without really embracing its origin anyway? The answer is of course they can. But the celebration will leave them wishing it were deeper and lasted longer. That is impossible without the core. It is impossible without experiencing the true presence of Jesus.

At it’s core Christmas celebrates the reality that Jesus came to earth as God-in-flesh in order to make a way for us to be restored to good relationship with our Creator-Father. He truly is the light in our darkness, the prince of peace, the almighty God and everlasting Father. The problem is that there are so many stories that seek to explain the heart of Christmas that the truth of Jesus gets treated like ancient myth.

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