Jesus and the Birthday Party…

Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus and the Birthday Party….

Amid all the amusement and theme parks clustered in Orlando, Florida, there’s one that is pretty distinctive. It’s a Holy Land theme park that attempts to bring some of the scenes and the stories of the Bible to life. Our daughter and son-in-law were there not long ago with our two grandsons. And the kids, who are pretty up on their Bible stories, really enjoyed walking through those stories and meeting some of the characters (actually, people portraying some of those characters). The one that impressed our then two-year-old grandson the most was Jesus. A man portraying Jesus stood in the middle of the small crowd and He spoke some of the very stories that Jesus told in the Bible. But then came the moment our little guy will not soon forget. Jesus came over and picked Him up, just like Jesus did with the children when He was here. The next day Mom and our little guy were talking about his upcoming third birthday party, and suddenly out of the blue, he said, “I want Jesus at my birthday party.”

That’s a great idea: Jesus at your birthday party. Talk about a guest of honor! Actually, when it comes to the most important birthday of all, there’s no physical or spiritual birthday without Jesus. And if there’s no spiritual birthday, there’s no life. Eternal life, that is. The most important birthday of all is the day you get born into God’s family. You say, “Isn’t everyone God’s child?” Not unless they’ve been born spiritually into the family of the Heavenly Father. They’re His creation, but they’re only His child by birth.

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Obviously, Birth One was the day you were born into your parents’ family. No birthday, no life. Jesus is talking here about Birth Two – the day you actually begin to belong to God. No spiritual birthday, no eternal life. Without being “born again” Jesus said you cannot enter God’s heaven. Because heaven is only for family – God’s family. Anyone can be in God’s family, no matter what their religion or their background, but not everyone is, because they’ve never been born again. In fact according to Mat 7:13, 14 most will never enter God’s family.

Mat 7:13,14 “Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in that way: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”

So how does one have that spiritual birthday?

Recognize you are a sinner and what the consequences to sin are and your need for a Savior.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

It’s all about what you do with Jesus. Why? Because the only way to be in God’s family is to take care of what keeps you from being one of His kids, and that’s called sin. He’s an all-holy, totally perfect God. You and I have turned our back on Him by sinning. Even with a lot of religion in our lives to give us a sense of being okay we are destined to eternal death. You see, only those who are ‘born again’ have eternal life. Being religious is called false security. We’ve used the mouth He gave us to hurt people, to lie and to swear. We’ve used the hands and eyes and ears He gave us to touch and explore what we never should have touched. We’ve hurt most the people we love most, we’ve lusted, we’ve boasted and we’ve been selfish. All that sin has to be paid for, but Jesus died as our substitute paying for it.

Jesus is the only One who can forgive your sin, because He’s the only One who died for it and then rose again to prove He can. He’s the only One who can get you into heaven. Sin requires a pure sacrifice to wash it away and Jesus is the only One who could be that sacrifice.

But you need a birthday – a definite beginning with Him. If you don’t have that, you have no chance of being God’s child. There is only One who can be that Mediator between God the Father and sinners.

I Tim 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Have you missed your spiritual birthday? Which only comes the day you “believe in” Jesus; which means welcoming Him into your life with total trust in Him for forgiveness of your sins? If you’ve done that, you know you have been ‘born again’. If you don’t know, you probably haven’t. But you can this very day. Just ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and believe on Him.

Today’s date could become the most important day of your life if you make it your Jesus-day – your birthday. The day you receive the most awesome, most expensive birthday present of all – eternal life paid for with the life of God’s Son.

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

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My Source of Wisdom…Which will I choose…

Look carefully and listen carefully on how God views the wisdom of our world.

Isaiah 55:8, 9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you
this day whom ye will serve
;”

 My Source of WISDOM  – Which  will I choose….

World says = I have my rights!
God says= 1 Cor. 6:20 “For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in
your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

World = Trust your instincts!
God = Philip. 3:3b “…rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

World = Pride in yourself in mandatory to feel good about yourself!
God = Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit
before a fall.”

World = Speak boldly of your accomplishments!
God = 1 Peter 5:5-7 “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for
God resisted the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves
therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”

World = You are good!
God = Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: ”
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s
are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind,
have taken us away.”

Is it ok to feel good about yourself? Yes, as a ‘born again’ believer I am special because of Jesus in me!  Not because of myself.
2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold all things are become new.

World = Strength in self brings security and strength!
God = 2 Cor. 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my
strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory
in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

World = Find yourself and be true to yourself!
God = Luke 9:23 “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves,
take up their cross daily and follow Me.”
Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness…”
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”

World = Believe in yourself!
God = Philip 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

World = Hard times should not happen to me, I deserve better!
God = Romans 8:28″And we know that all things work together for good
to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

World = Live for today for who knows what tomorrow may bring!
God = 1 Thes. 5:1-6 “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no
need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the
Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety;
then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child;
and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that day
should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children
of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep,
as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

If you are interested in what tomorrow really will bring read the remaining portion
of  I Thes 5 and Rev 19, 20, 21, 22.

World = Fear comes from within, you can control it!
God = 2 Tim. 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,
and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Don’t you find it amazing that what our world believes and teaches and what our inner self thinks and teaches is so contrary to God’s ways and thoughts? There is a logical explanation. Why is it that the world’s ways are so much different than Gods ways?

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

 2 Corinthians 4:3,4 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

Therefore….

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you
this day whom ye will serve…”

Hell and your E-mail Address…Caution…

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. “

Hell and your E-mail Address …Caution…

A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida for a long weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. Because both had jobs, they had difficulty coordinating their travel schedules. It was decided that the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday, and his wife would follow him the next day.

Upon arriving as planned, the husband checked into the hotel. There he decided to open his laptop and send his wife an e-mail back in Minneapolis. However, he accidentally left off one letter in her address, and sent the e-mail without realizing his error.

In Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister of many years who had been “called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow checked her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted and fell to the floor.

The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

From: Your Departed Husband

Subject: I’ve Arrived!

I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then. Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

That’s the humor for the day.

Now back to reality. Hell is real. Never forget that. And of course, there is someone who would wish that we did.

Prov  27:21a “Hell and destruction are never full…”

 Rev 20:14,15 “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

The Most Beautiful Flower…

I Samuel 16:7b “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance,

but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 The Most Beautiful Flower

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren’t enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, “Look what I found!”

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn – not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose
And declared with overacted surprise,
It sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful, too.

That’s why I picked it; here, it’s for you.”
The weed before me was dying or dead.

Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.

So, I reached for the flower, and replied, “Just what I need.”
but instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.

It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was almost blind.
I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.

“You’re welcome,” he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he’d had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.

How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.

And for all those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that’s mine.
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose.

And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.
Fear God and keep His commandments, For this
is the whole duty of mankind. ”

Where is God…

Romans 1:20a “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen…”

Where is God…

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved. The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman. The husband said, “We might as well as we need to do something before I really lose my temper!”

The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly, “Where is God?” The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, “Where is God?” Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, “WHERE IS GOD?”

At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and said, “What happened?” The younger brother replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it”

What a great day to bow down to the King of King and Lord of Lords!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is God missing in your life? Look around you, the whole of creation screams of His handiwork and majesty.

Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

Listening to God…

Listening to God…

Can I sit and be taught by God today?

II Tim 3:16, 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

But aren’t those the books and teachings of men?

II Peter 1:20, 21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

“Let us seek to know Him in the Word. It is in the Word we will find the Holy Spirit. Don’t read too many other things. Some of you will say, “Look who’s talking!” Well, go ahead and say it, I don’t mind; but I am reading fewer and fewer things as I get older, not because I’m losing interest in this great, big, old suffering world, but because I’m gaining interest in that other world above. So I say, don’t try to know everything. You can’t. Find Him in the Word, for the Holy Ghost wrote this book. He inspired it, and He will be revealed in its pages.”

–A.W. Tozer

That being the case…
II Tim 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

 

So, who’s feet did you sit at this morning to start your day?
Sitting before the Lord

“Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His Book; for this end, to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of lights: ‘Lord, is it not thy Word, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God”? Thou ‘give’s liberally and upbraids not’. Thou hast said, ‘If any be willing to do thy will, he shall know.’ I am willing to do, let me know thy will. I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, ‘comparing spiritual things with spiritual’. I meditate thereon, with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains, I consult those who are experienced in the things of God, and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach.”

–John Wesley, Preface to Standard Sermons

It does take commitment.

Romans 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and perfect will of God.”

Serving the Master…

Luke 9:27 “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves,
take up their cross daily, and follow Me.”

Serving the Master…

The Master was searching for a vessel to use.
On the shelf there were many,
which one would He choose?

Take me cried the gold one,
I am shiny and bright and of great value
And I do things just right,
my beauty and luster will outshine the rest
and for someone like You Master, I would be best.

The Master passed it with no word at all.
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall.

I’ll serve you Dear Master;
I’ll pour out your wine and be at your table whenever you dine.
My lines are so graceful and my carving so true,
and silver will always compliment you.

Unheeding, the Master passed on the brass,
it was wide mouthed and shallow and polished like glass.

Here! Here! Cried the vessel,
I know I will do.
Place me on your table for all [men] to view.

Look at me, cried the goblet of crystal so clear,
my transparency shows my contents so dear.
Though fragile am I, don’t cross me,
I will serve you with pride,
And I am sure that I will be happy in your house to abide.

The Master came next to a vessel of wood.
Polished and carved and it solidly stood.

You may use me Dear Master,
The wooden bowl said,
but I’d rather you’d use me for fruit; please no bread.

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay,
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.
No hope had that vessel that the Master might choose,
to cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

“Ah, this is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find;
I will mend it and use it, and make it all mine.
I need not the vessel with pride in itself,
nor the one so narrow to sit on the shelf.
Not the one who is big mouthed, and shallow and loud,

Nor the one who displays its contents so proud.
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right,
But this plain earthen vessel filled with My power and might.”

Then gently, He lifted the vessel of clay,
mended it and cleansed it and filled it that day.

He spoke to it kindly, “There’s work you must do.
Just pour out to others, and I’ll pour into you.

Most of the first 12 disciples were simple fishermen, not theologians or Bible College professors. That provides me with the confidence that I can be used just as they were for I am as they were, a jar of broken clay requiring my Lord’s shaping. Our Lord never asks us to walk in our own natural strengths and abilities but to walk dependent upon His strength and abilities.  That dependency forces us to our knees which is a wonderful place to be. God then can become our source of wisdom, knowledge and strength. The following verse really helps explain it better than I ever can;

2 Cor. 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
((   ))
O   O
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Till Jesus returns!