Dover Assembly of God
12.17.2017 | The First Christmas
Locations & Times
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  • Dover Assembly of God
    4790 Carlisle Rd, Dover, PA 17315, USA
    Sunday 10:30 AM

Welcome!

Welcome to Dover Assembly of God! We're glad that you've joined us this morning. If you're on Facebook, we encourage you to take a moment to check in at Dover Assembly.

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Weekly Bulletin
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December 17, 2017

WELCOME TO DOVER ASSEMBLY!
We are so glad you have chosen to attend Dover Assembly this morning. It is not by accident that you are here. We believe that God has allowed you to be here so that you might receive all that He has for you. We pray you are blessed as you allow the Lord to work in your life.

THIS WEEK
TODAY
9:00 am ~ Coffee & Donut Fellowship
9:30 am ~ Sunday School
10:30 am ~ Worship Service
10:30 am ~ R.O.C.K. Children’s Ministries
1:00 pm ~ Spanish Service

WEDNESDAY
6:30 pm ~ FAMILY NIGHT MINISTRIES
~ DEPARTMENT CHRISTMAS PARTIES
~ DAY OF FASTING (Wednesdays through Dec. 20)

UPCOMING EVENTS

WEEK OF PRAYER
We are going to start the new year off with prayer. The Assemblies of God week of prayer begins on Sun., Jan 7 thru Sat. Jan 13. Mark your calendars. There will be evening prayer services Sun. thru Tues., 6:30 to 7:00; Wed. services as usual and the church will be open for prayer Thurs.-Sat. (8:00 am – 4:00 pm).

CONGRATULATIONS!
To Pastor Jeff and Anna as they celebrate 10 years as Pastors of Dover Assembly this weekend, December 16, 2017.

WOMEN OF PURPOSE
Mark your calendars now for the Spring Tour. It will be held at Christian Life A/G on April 21.

BODY NEWS

MAILBOXES
Please remember to check your mailboxes as you leave today. Many boxes have cards and gifts that are just waiting to be claimed!

CHRISTMAS CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Dec 24 ~ NO Sunday School ~ Morning Worship Service as usual
Dec 24 ~ Christmas Eve Candlelight Service-6:00pm
Dec 25 ~ MERRY CHRISTMAS ~ Happy BD Jesus ~ OFFICES CLOSED
Dec 27 ~ NO Family Night Services
Dec 31 ~ NO Sunday School ~ Morning Worship Service as usual
Jan 1 ~ HAPPY NEW YEAR ~ OFFICES CLOSED

YEAR-END GIVING
Please remember to faithful in the giving of your tithes and offerings during this time of year. As the economy continues to shift and change, our God does not. He is our provider and will always be faithful in providing our needs if we are faithful in our obedience to Him. Also, to be sure that your giving is recorded in 2017, it needs to be received by Dec 31. Thank you for your faithfulness!!

SNOW CANCELLATIONS
Should we have the need to cancel any of our services due to inclement weather, we will put that information on our FaceBook page, our website, and the local TV stations [WGAL-CH 8, CBS 21, ABC 27, FOX 43, CW 15]

If you would like to sign up for a TEXT on your cell phone that will indicate the status of our services, please fill out the blue & white card with your name and cell phone number. Please be sure to hand them into our Information Center and we will add you to our list.

NEW SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS
Beginning Sun. Jan. 14, Anna will be teaching a “First Steps” class. This class is designed to teach the basics of the faith and also serves as an introduction to our church. If you would like to learn the simple basics of what you believe or to meet others who are also new to our church, please sign up in the lower foyer. This class will repeat approximately every 13 weeks. Please sign up in the lower foyer if you are interested so we know how much material to order.

PRAYER NEEDS
Please take time to review and pray for those on this list. Drop them a card or call to set up a time to visit. They will be blessed! Please contact the church for their contact information.
Shut-In
~ Helen Stough
Prayer Needs
~ Robin Housseal
~ Les Kauffman
~ Marian Tunney

NEW YEAR 2018

WEEK OF PRAYER
6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 7 ~ Worship and Prayer
Mon., Jan. 8 ~ Worship and Prayer
Tues., Jan. 9 ~ Worship and Prayer
Wed., Jan. 10 ~ Departmental Meetings as usual
Thurs., Jan. 11 ~ Church Open for Prayer (8:00am – 4:00pm)
Fri., Jan. 12 ~ Church Open for Prayer (8:00am – 4:00pm)
Sat., Jan. 13 ~Church Open for Prayer (8:00am – 4:00pm)

Last week...

Last week, Pastor Jeff talked about how God confronted David about his sin using Nathan.

https://doverassembly.com/sermons/december-10th-2017
Christmas is a week away, and we're likely all rushing around to prepare, even though we've known all year that the time was coming again.

We know what is going to happen and when, but we really don’t respond to it like we should.
This is no different than the first Christmas.
There were countless prophecies given throughout the Old Testament indicating what God was going to do, when he would do it, how he would do it and where he would do it and to whom he would do it (who it was for).
Everyone knew it, but everyone missed it. Well almost everyone.
We're going to look at a verse in Isaiah in this context, but first a bit of background...

Israel had long been split in 2. We had the Northern Kingdom, Israel and the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Both had left God and Isaiah is now predicting what was going to happen to them as a result.

Many chapters are devoted to the punishment and hardship that they were going to experience.

But in Chapter 43, Isaiah is telling them that after their exile and punishment, they would be freed from their captors-the Babylonians
He is saying that he is going to overthrow the Babylonians.

To prove it, God then tells them about all the things he has done for them in the past. To remind them of His goodness.
They knew He was the God of the Exodus. He was the God they were familiar with. They knew the stories. They knew he had rescued them before.

Once they were reminded of what God had done for them in the past, they were encouraged in the hard times for the future.

How often does God do that for us? He brings to our mind things and blessings from our past to encourage us for the future.
In the Old Testament, many prophecies had a dual purpose--one for the immediate need and one for the distant future.

One verse had 2 applications-especially seen in End times prophecies
He’s telling them that his deliverance or redemption isn’t going to be thru water. Or anything that they were familiar with.

He was foreshadowing what was to come in the future.

What is this new thing? What is he telling those people and us?

That somewhere in the future, God is going to change everything up. He is going to do something that we never expected...and that we need to be prepared for it.
What is this new thing?
It was going to be the birth of their redeemer.

Dual application
1) God was their redeemer from Babylon
2) Now God is their redeemer from the world.
The first Christmas...what was happening?
God was fulfilling His prophecy and beginning their redemption.

God was in essence changing the rules. Or completing the rules. Jesus said I come to fulfill the law.

Jesus was the fulfillment of that prophecy.
How many people do we know that think they have a relationship with God that they are satisfied with but are missing out on the relationship that Jesus wants?

The first Christmas was the introduction of Jesus to the world--God’s first step in redeeming each person.

Just as God had delivered Israel from Babylon, God began the deliverance of each person from the world we struggle with.
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” ~ Jim Carrey

If the Christmas we celebrate is the one we see in the movies, if it’s the ones we see on all the ads on TV, if it’s our desire to have that perfect Norman Rockwell moment, then what will we do when January rolls around and none of that actually happened?

Do we get our joy out of what we do, how our Christmas went, did we get everything done in time, were we prepared, did all the mail order gifts arrive in time? Or do we enjoy Christmas for what it is even if nothing goes right?

Christmas was designed to be a time when we look back at the beginning of God’s promise to us.
It isn’t an end to itself. We don’t celebrate Christmas simply for it being Christmas.

The world does that. It’s a party day and when it’s over, nothing changes. But for us, Christmas is the beginning of what God had planned.

And Christmas day for us should be the beginning of what God wants to do in us and through us.

The reason for the first Christmas was to introduce Jesus to the world. If Christmas was to introduce Jesus to the world, and that was only the beginning, how effective have we been at introducing Jesus to our world?

By introducing him, God was telling the world things were going to change (God was doing something new) and that they were going to be a part of that change now, or new thing.
The first Christmas is the first New Testament occurrence, showing us that our involvement and obedience is vital to the success of God’s mission.
It was no longer going to be a select few, but everyone would be used to bring about this redemption.

~ He used Mary & Joseph to raise Jesus. Neither of them were anyone important.
~ He used Zechariah and Elizabeth to give birth to John the Baptist.
~ He used John to call the people to repentance and to point them to Jesus.
~ Jesus called his 12 disciples to spread the word.

He could have done all that without using people. God used the people involved in the first Christmas and continues to use people involved in every Christmas since then to carry out his plan of redemption.
What happens when January comes? Do we leave Christmas behind or do we realize that Christmas is God beginning a new thing and that he requires that each of us be a part of it.
If we truly want to celebrate Christmas to honor God, then we need to be sure that we carry the message into the New Year.
We need to be sure that Christmas isn’t a one and done for us, but only the beginning of what God wants to accomplish using us as his methods.
The first Christmas wasn’t just for that generation.

We don’t celebrate a historical event that has no relevance to us today.

It is a constant reminder that God is still at work and desires that everyone know Jesus.
This was for all who would receive this redemption that God planned from before the beginning of the world, but started with the first Christmas.

It is up to us now to complete this mission.

Every Christmas should signal a new beginning for each of us. It should remind us that God still wants to bring this new thing in to this world.
Just like Israel thought that their good lifestyle gave them a relationship, how many today believe the same?

The new thing is one word ~ GRACE

This new things was radical then and it is radical now--that God forgives us and wants a relationship with each of us through NO EFFORT on our part.

We don’t work towards reaching God. God already worked at the cross to reach down to us.
We say we give gifts because God gave Jesus as a gift to us.

If you haven’t opened God’s gift to you, then have you really experienced Christmas?

And if we have opened it and are enjoying this Christian life, have you told anyone else about it?

Have you realized that Christmas is the beginning of God’s plan for you?

Thank you for joining us!

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our website and follow us on social media @doverassembly! Have a great week!

https://doverassembly.com