“UNFAILING LOVE” (Ex. 15:13; Ps. 13:5)
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT Dec. 17, 2017 10:30 AM
FBC Earlville, NY J B Stopford, Pastor
TODAY’S SPECIAL: “Some Christmas Thots”
A snowman was seen at the carrot bin in the produce section of the local grocery. He was picking his nose.
Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
Research has determined that the shelf life of fruitcake is longer than the shelf.
Tradition tells us that there are 4 main words in Scripture which describe Christmas. We have looked at the first two – HOPE and PEACE. Today we look at “love”, in particular, God’s “unfailing love.”
You may remember that in our study last week on “peace”, the word “peace” appeared in Scripture some 250 times. Not surprisingly, our word for today – “love” – appears in the Bible almost 700 times.
The first usage of “unfailing love” is found in Exodus 15:13. Moses had just been an instrument of getting God’s people out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. Exodus 15 is his prayer of thanksgiving. Psalm 13 is a prayer of King David which ultimately centers around David’s first hand appreciation for God’s unfailing love.
Do we have that same tenderness toward our great God this Christmas time? PRAYER
#1: Unfailing love – an introduction (read Exodus 15:13)
A great day (Ex. 14:29ff) A great day is a cause for a song – do we sing, do we praise?
“The Lord is…” (vs. 2,3) – unfailing love has an Object; when we see love on display, we see God in fresh light – He is still the same, but He is revealing Himself in a fresh way to us! David & Isaiah used these same words in praise often (Ps. 28:7; 118:14; Isa. 12:2)!
Count the number of “You”’s in vs. 6-8 – do we praise like this?
God LOVES to have a day rehearsed before Him at its end!
How many “I will”’s in v. 9? FIVE (same as in Isa. 14:13,14 referring to the enemy of our faith)
How often do we recognize God’s “who is like You” in our lives? (v. 11-12)
Finally, Moses has a call to hope (v. 13). Based upon God’s “unfailing love”, Moses as a leader of His people will trust the Lord! Did he always? NO! Was God’s love always unfailing? YES! So who moves? We do!
Note one last thought (v. 13b) “You will guide them to Your dwelling”. Initially, Moses prayer was for God to guide the people of Israel to…Israel, the promised land! But is that what the verse says? God sees the BIG picture!
Look at Ps. 73:23-26. Even Asaph the psalmist recognized that the end result of the one who trusts in God’s unfailing love is NOT an earthly destination, but God’s presence Himself!
Paul says the same thing: Phil. 3:10-14, “I want to know Christ..I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me…I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me HEAVENWARD in Christ Jesus.”
So…trusting God’s unfailing love, in the days God has given me to live, I will live with a focus to God and His Home!
Is that your focus, too, this Christmas time?
#2: Unfailing love – an application (Ps. 13:5)
Note David’s “how long”’s! (vs. 1-2) How many? FOUR – he can’t stop moaning before God over the details of his life!
Note David’s seeing life through “life and death”, not simply obstacles and enemies to overcome (v. 4)
David’s situation is…HOPELESS, absolutely HOPELESS, until…
V. 5-6 “I trust”. Isn’t that what Moses said back in Exodus 15? All hopeless situations should ultimately bring us to our knees to a position of…TRUST!
But note that the trust is not simply a “hope so”. This trust has SUBSTANCE! “I trust… IN YOUR UNFAILING LOVE”.
When a trust has substance, even in the midst of the “how long”’s, the end result is…REJOICING and SINGING (vs. 5-6)
In many of our versions, the phrase “unfailing love” has another translation. KJV & NKJV in particular translate that phrase as one word: “mercy”.
Look at the Babe in our manger. That is highly unoffensive. Everybody loves angels and babies. No offense there.
But look ahead 30 or so years. Mercy is in action. When you think “mercy” or “unfailing love” in Scripture, it points to only one thing: THE CROSS!
Both Moses and David could rejoice in God’s unfailing love, His mercy, because by faith both of them were looking heavenward. But in order to look heavenward, there is a major interruption in time: the Babe born in a manger – having a body with which He could go to Calvary’s tree and die for “poor ornery sinners” like you and like me.
Where is your trust for eternity – in God’s unfailing love at the cross?
Where is your trust for today – in God’s unfailing love directing you heavenward?
What a great time – even in the midst of both praise time and hopeless time – to trust in God’s unfailing love!
God invites us to His unfailing love today! Will you accept His invitation?
Close in prayer