12-13-20 Kevin Goins Advent 3 Fearless Joy

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Christmas by facatl on December 14th, 2020

Advent 2021:  Fearless Joy
Luke 2:1-14
Nothing threatens our joy like fear.  Sadly, we live in a time when fears not only multiply like rabbits, but these rabbits are bigger than elephants.  Fortunately for us, Advent tell us that we can have a joy which is stronger than all of our fears.  How can we keep fear from spoiling our joy?      

I First, fear cannot keep us from practicing joy if we truly believe that m______________ and t______________ are not necessary for joy (Luke 2:1-5).

A. If we seek desirable things as the way to bring joy to our life, that can only mean that joy d_________________ on material things.

B. Is the joy God gave to us at Christmas dependent on our ability to buy nice things for ourselves and our family?  If that is true, then our joy can never be s_______________.

II Second, fear cannot keep us from practicing joy if our heart is open to s_________________ (Luke 2:6-7)

A. The Israelites knew how hard the life of an alien or stranger could be, and since God met their needs in Egypt, out of g___________________ to God, they must meet the needs of others.

B. If we are offended by Jesus as a homeless man sleeping on a park bench, how offended are we by Jesus being born in a b________ where the smell of m______________ fills the air?

III Every Advent we talk about how d_________________ the shepherds were in the society of their day (Luke 2:8-12).  

A. They were despised for several reasons:

1. Their close confinement with animals made them literally and religiously u____________________.

2. Their itinerant lifestyle, moving with the sheep from one pasture to another, made people s__________________ of them.

3. Their uncleanness and itinerant lifestyle meant they were never at the Temple or the Synagogue, and so people saw them as i______________________.

B. The angel said this “good news of great joy” is for “all people,” which means that if we e______________ anyone, then it is no longer good news.

C. This brings us to the third truth Luke teaches us:  fear cannot keep us from experiencing joy if our hearts are o________________ to the people of the world.

IV Finally, fear cannot keep us from experiencing joy if we rely on grace rather than our p_________________________ (Luke 2:13-14).

A. The Kingdom of evil promotes the lie that a relationship with God is only for those who can m_______________ u________ to God’s perfect standards.

B. Relying on God’s favor r____________ o__________ our performance.

C. When God’s one and only Son was born in Bethlehem, the whole purpose was to provide p_________________ for condemned people.  

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