Watch the most recent sermon on 9.15.2021 Go Now!
September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
How Can an Unexpected Gift Affect Your Life?
Every Christmas, millions of people exchange gifts. Sometimes those gifts are exactly what we want, and we’re so happy to receive them. Other times; however, we get gifts we neither understand nor appreciate. And yet, many times these are the gifts that turn out to be the most influential and life-changing gifts we ever receive!
Continuing our “Wonder of Christmas” series, this weekend Pastor Doug shared the story of a young virgin girl who received a gift that came in the form of unexpected news. In Luke chapter one, an angel appears to Mary and makes a remarkable announcement: She will become pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit and have a Son who would bring salvation to the world.
Watch this short video to see how this weekend’s teaching affected some of our fellow church members. To watch this teaching or other messages, click here.
For the Note Takers
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug’s teaching this weekend:
God’s Wonder Usually Includes a Change in Your Plans (Matthew 1:29–48): Getting pregnant, especially before getting married, was definitely not in Mary’s plans. But she had faith in God’s plans over hers, and this nobody girl from a nobody place accepted God’s plan, even with all the shame and heartache it must have brought her—and she became the most famous/honored woman in all of human history.
When You Surrender Control, You Will Experience Wonder (Matthew 1:18–25, 2:13–14, 19–23): Joseph understood the social and cultural ramifications of marrying Mary, but he decided to take on the shame, exclusion, and rejection from others in order to obey God and surrender to His plan. Have you ever had to taken a stand/risk that would cost you something? If you live for Christ, you will be faced with similar decisions as Joseph throughout your life. How will you respond?
Giving Up Something for Jesus Is Always Worth It: Mary and Joseph responded with wonder, but as we examine the entire story, we see that some people around the situation missed it—Herod, the “innkeeper.” What gets in the way of wonder in your life? How different would the Christmas story be if Mary and Joseph hadn’t been willing to give up their lives and reputations for Jesus? How different would the world be if they hadn’t been open to God’s plan? What about you? Are you open to His plan for your life? You never know the impact God can have on the world through you!
Unless You’re Open to God’s Plan, You’ll Be Left With Yours and You’ll Miss the Wonder: Our plans fail. They’re often poorly conceived, poorly executed, rarely seen to completion, and even when completed, they tend to fall short of expectations. Even worse, we can never see the full scope of the effects and consequences—intended and unintended—our plans may have. Don’t miss out on all the wondrous and wonderful things God has in store for you in His perfect plan! Open yourself to it, and let Him work in and through you.
Quote to Remember: “All the promises of God find their YES in Jesus!”—Pastor Doug Sauder
Track the Greatest Gift Ever Given!
From December 18–25, you and your family can track the amazing and unlikely journey of Jesus! Next weekend, Calvary Kids will be giving out The Wonder of Christmas packet which will include fun activities, coloring pages, and projects you and your kids can do together while tracking Jesus’ journey. Don’t forget to pick one up!
New Year’s Eve Celebration with Phil Wickham
This New Year’s Eve, join us for an amazing time of worship led by Phil Wickham, a short Bible teaching, and fun with friends. Invite your friends and family for a great celebration of the previous year and ringing in the New Year! There will be food for sale prepared by The Grill before the event and during intermission.
A Look Ahead
This Wednesday, Pastor Doug will explore the wonder of the gift of a child that Zechariah and Elizabeth received at an old age. We’ll see how this child was all part of God’s redemptive plan, and how like Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth received an unexpected gift from God, through which they were immeasurably blessed!
This weekend is our Christmas celebration! Enjoy an amazing time of worship, a powerful message, and some other great surprises. Invite your friends and loved ones to join us as Pastor Doug examines the unlikely and unexpected things that happened on the night Christ was born while also sharing why the shepherds being the first visitors to see Jesus was so significant.
Click here to find out why inviting people to church is so important!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.