Christmas: God's Grace Shining in the Darkness of Sinful Humanity!


Let's go before the Lord in prayer.

Precious Lord, we are gathered before you with hearts full of gratefulness for the far that you have brought us. Indeed, confessing that you have been our helper in the ages past and you are our hope even for years to come. 

As we gather in your presence today, we ask, dear Lord, that you would be central to everything we do; that we would decrease and that you would increase the more; that when this service is said and done, we would all walk away saying, "Yes, we met the Lord and it has changed our lives." 

How we thank you so much, O Lord, for your provision in our day to day lives! That Lord, you do not only save us for heaven, but you also keep us, preserve us and provide for us.

We thank you for the gifts (the tithe and offerings) that have been brought before you today -- a token of our gratefulness, our way of saying, "Thank you for your love and for your provision." How we pray that you would use this giving for the continued expansion of the work of the kingdom, that the gospel and the witness of the good news through New City Church will continue to advance within the whole of this community: that the needy will be well supplied and provided for to your glory. 

We remember those who do not have and pray that you, O God, who is the provider, would provide exceedingly abundantly and far beyond their expectations; that from the abundancy of your provision, they would bring to the house of the Lord. 

We pray that you add your blessing upon these resources -- that they would be used in such a way that more will know about you and above all, that your name will be glorified.  

We commit the Sunday School children and their teachers even as they go out to study and to learn from your word. Precious Lord we pray that you would open their hearts to receive the truth of the gospel. We ask that you guide the teachers even as they seek to explain the wonderful Biblical truth to these young ones, that Lord, you will give them wisdom, they will communicate with excellence, faithfully and truthfully and that the lives of our children would change for your glory. We pray these things through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Praise the name of the Lord! I welcome you all to New City Community Church.  I hope and pray that your hearts are open and expectant, especially as we open God's word.

Today we wish to go into the word of the Lord in the gospel of Matthew. Since we are getting into the Christmas period, we would like to work through Christmas teachings as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and then we shall be picking up with the book of Romans early next year.

And so today, we want to begin looking at Christmas messages and by way of introduction, I would like to draw your attention to the gospel of Matthew and we will be reading Matthew 1.

If you have your Bible, please turn with me to Matthew 1:1-17.

This is the word of the Lord:

NIV  Matthew 1:1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
 3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,
 4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,
 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,
 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,
 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,
 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
 9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
 10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah,
 11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
 12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,
 14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud,
 15 Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,
 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. (Mat 1:1-17 NIV)

This is the word of God. And this is the introduction to the Christmas story.

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