Pastor Shane Ham : God Always Delivers

Light Breaks Through · 41:23 · Recorded December 18, 2016

God Always Delivers

Luke 1:1-4, 26-35, 38, 45, 49-50; 2:27-32 (ESV, ASV) Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us. Just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught… In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God…to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God…” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her… And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord… for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation… When the parents brought the child Jesus into the Temple to do for him what the Law required, Simeon took the child in his arms and gave thanks to God: “Now, Lord, you have kept your promise, and you may let your servant go in peace. With my own eyes I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: A light to reveal your will to the Gentiles and bring glory to your people Israel.”

What to know about God’s promises

They’re motivated by His love!

Ephesians 2:4 (ESV) But God…because of the great love with which he loved us.

They’re secured by His character!

Numbers 23:19 (CEV) God is no mere human! He doesn’t tell lies or change his mind. God always keeps his promises.

They’re proven by His coming!

2 Peter 1:4 (CEV) God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.

Promises of the Christmas Story

1. Light for my understanding.

Luke 2:32 (ESV) A light to reveal your will to the Gentiles and bring glory to your people Israel.

Ephesians 1:18 (CEV) My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you.

He wants to make me more than I am!

He always calls me for more than I plan!

He gives me power for more than I can!

Joshua 1:2-4, 7-9 (ESV) “Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you… Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you… This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

2. Security for my future.

Luke 1:32-33 (ESV) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

Psalm 27:1-3 (ESV) The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes… Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

3. Mercy for my sins.

Luke 2:50 (ESV) And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV) The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Luke 13:6-9 (KJV) He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Study & Discussion Questions
  • Review the passage from Luke on the front of the notes. What’s the value of understanding verses 1-4? Does it help you understand and explain to others the historical accuracy of Christ’s birth, ministry, death, and resurrection to know that a scholar and historian carefully investigated to ensure a reliable historical account?

  • If you had been Mary, what would have been most difficult to comprehend? Being favored by God? Getting pregnant as a virgin? Who her child was going to be? How to explain her pregnancy to others, especially Joseph and her family?

  • What feeling or emotion does Numbers 23:19 evoke in you? How does this verse provide you comfort, confidence, or courage in your daily life?

  • Of the three points Shane made in the second part of the message, which is most impactful in your life? Why? What scripture speaks to that promise for you?

  • What do you think about the idea that we must “take possession” of the promises of God? Had you considered it this way before? What might be your “Promised Land” where God had much more for you than what you laid claim to? Share this with your group as you talk about how the sub-points speak to God’s great vision and purpose for each of us.

  • God is constant. He doesn’t change. He is “I AM.” Talk with your kids this week about the confidence we can have in him because of this. People aren’t perfect and sometimes we say one thing but do another. We can trust that that won’t happen with God. When he makes a promise, he keeps a promise! We can depend on him no matter what! Memorize Numbers 23:19 together this week.

  • Angels We Have Heard On High

  • Born Is The King

  • Do You Hear What I Hear

  • Glory In The Highest

  • Born Of God

  • Angels We Have Heard On High

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