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Showing items filed under “December 2016”

Celebrating Christmas!

This year, we won't be having regular Sunday services because of Christmas and New Year's Eve, but here's what we do have in store:

Christmas Eve Services!

This year, we're having two services on Christmas Eve.  The first, at 4:00, will be family-oriented, and will not have any fire.

The second service will be our traditional candlelight service, including a Moravian Love Feast with hot chocolate and sweet rolls.

New Year's Prayer

2017 is a big year for Gateway!  We're building a building!

With this in mind, we're asking folks to sign up to pray for an hour on New Year's Eve.  We hope to have people praying around the clock. 

New Year's Brunch

On New Year's Day, we'll have our traditional New Year's Brunch at 10:00 instead of a service.  This is a great time to meet new people and talk about what the New Year will hold.

Audacious Faith

On Sunday, Pastor Ed Allen preached another sermon in his Advent series, "Audacious," this one about Audacious Faith, looking at Mary's response to the announcement from the angel in Luke 1:26-38.

We looked at the character of God-honoring faith.

Sometimes faith is about Risk.

Sometimes faith involves Tenacity.

Sometimes faith is doubting our doubts.

But Always faith involves Surrender.

Moving deeper with God starts with Surrender.

Surrender is yielding to something higher and better, deliberately, not reluctantly.

"I am the Lord's servant; may it be to me as you have said."

If the virgin birth was a myth, where'd it come from?  It wasn't expected by the Jews.  God demonstrated that what was happening in Jesus was unique.

Mary was "highly favored" - "graced" by God.

God's work in us is always grace.  Grace doesn't always come with a welcome face.

What we learn here:

1)  Mary will give him the name Jesus -- Savior.

2)  He will be great!

3)  He will be called the Son of the Most High!  God squeezed Himself into human skin.

4)  He will be the Messiah promised to the descendants of Abraham!

5)  His kingdom will never end!  He is actively ruling right now.

6)  All of this happened through the agency of the Holy Spirit!

ALWAYS, God-honoring faith is about Surrender.

Moving deeper with God always involves another act of surrender.

Speaking of the favorite Christmas song, "Mary, Did You Know?" the answer is that Mary didn't know.  What she knew is that God spoke to her.

Mary knew what to do when God presses on your heart, speaks a word to you.  Do the same thing the Old Testament saints did -- Surrender.

Today we also don't know what's going to happen.  But we know who does know.

We need to surrender.

We don't need to figure it out.

We need to surrender.

Spiritual growth always looks like taking the next step.  The next step is always surrender.

There's something you need to give to God....