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…”

Which Source of Wisdom will you choose…I am not responsible for that…

The ________ made me do it? Is that really true?

Which Source of Wisdom will you choose…I am not responsible for that…

The world’s wisdom = Dysfunctional people are the result of circumstances and/or past
generations that have passed down defective genetics.  Therefore most people cannot and should not be held accountable.  They are simply a product of their circumstances.

God’s wisdom= The sin nature that we all have is inherited resulting in spiritual and physical    death. Each person is accountable for his or her actions. God accepts no excuses. Check out Genesis chapter 3 to see when mankind first started trying to pass the buck for his and her sin.

Rom 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

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

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

The bad news is that I am a sinner and accountable for all of my actions.

Romans 5:18,19 “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

The good news is, there is a solution in restoring my broken relationship with God.

John 3:16, 17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved

Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”

1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,”

Our lives and future generations will be affected by our sins.

Gal 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Ex 34:7b “…visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

While the sin nature is inherited, each of us is accountable for our actions and as noted in scripture there is a cure for our sin penalty.

Is Hell real or just a story…

Is Hell real or just a story

In the humanistic or self seeking world we live in Hell is not a popular topic. Outside of a joking context you do not hear about it much. If you go to a Bible teaching church that is faithful in proclaiming God’s word in total you will hear about it. If you go to a lukewarm church looking to increase attendance numbers and build its finances you may never here about the consequences of sin. And worst of all if you do not believe eternal damnation is real you will have no burden to have your sins forgiven or to reach spiritually lost family, friends and neighbors.

What do you believe this morning about the consequences of sin? If scripture is relevant for today, and it is, then those without Christ as Savior who die…

II Thes 1:8,9 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of our Lord and from the glory of His power.”

Remember God and His truths do not change down through the ages like our ever changing technology advancements. His truths are absolute and can be counted on regardless of the age you live in.

Malachi 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I change not…”

There are many who will end up in hell and thought they were ‘Christian’ and even thought their lives and intentions were Godly.

Mat 7:22, 23 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”

The good news is that there is an escape from the consequences of sin …

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life and that life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life and he that has not the Son of God has 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.”

How about you? Will you hear, ‘Depart from Me’ or ‘Well done’!!?? Will you take the escape route that God offers?

How about the person sitting or living next to you? Where would they go and do they know that there is only one Way to heaven??????

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

How will they hear if we keep silent?

Integrity and Truth at All Cost…

Integrity and Truth at All Cost!

It may be just me, but I do not think so. It seems like one of our biggest enemies we battle on a daily basis is truth, honesty and integrity. Daily especially in our politics this vital quality is missing from most of our politicians. Closer to home can those around us really trust that we go out of our way to be honest? I hope and pray so. As I think of why the battle is so intense the Holy Spirit reminds me of what happened in the Garden. Adam and Eve were lied to by the master deceiver and ever since he has been actively trying to convince us that honesty is not all that important. You know, especially if no one gets hurt. But of course, that ignores the fact that a loving God is watching and is hurt when we sin. And that little white lie is as big of a sin as any of the other sins.

James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

 Proverbs 8:7 “For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Can people take you at your word?

Mat 5:37 ” But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”

Evil or lies are started and continue today with the father of lies
(satan) whispering, “it’s ok, you’re not hurting anyone”. It’s not hurting anyone.

Listen to who we are associated with when we take that course;

John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the
desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does
not stand in the truth because – there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

When I meet God…

Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

When I meet God…..

What will it be like? The question is, what will it be like when I pass from this life and meet God? Did you know that each of us will someday stand at one of the Judgment Seats of God? Yes, it’s true.

For believers or those who are ‘born again’ our sins are covered by Jesus blood so we will not stand at the Judgment seat with salvation as the topic. All unbelievers will stand at that Judgment seat which in scripture is called the “Great White Throne Judgment” with its verdict based on what or who was being trusted in for salvation.

Believers will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ where we will be judged and receive crowns for our service for our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What did we do for Jesus after we were ‘born again’. There are no works I can do to be saved. But after I am saved my works for my Savior are very important. That is why He left us on this earth after He saved us.

So, how is your service this morning? Did you give it any thought before heading off to work or planned your day at home? How will you serve Jesus today? We live in a blasphemous world with little to no intent on serving Jesus during the day. Our God and His name are much abused but some day every knee will bow to Jesus and confess that He is Lord.

Phil 2:9,10 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”

So, once again, how do you think you will act at that meeting with Jesus on your Judgment Day? And maybe more importantly which one of those Judgment Seats will you be at? The scriptures offer some great examples of believers and their reactions when they experienced God interacting directly with them;

The martyred believers during the Great Tribulation period awaiting Jesus return to earth…

Rev 19:1,2a ” And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments:…”

One example of worship that occurs in heaven while awaiting Jesus 2nd coming…

Rev 19:4,5 “And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.”

Abraham’s reaction when he meets God…

Gen 17:1-3 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face:”

When God gave Isaac direction, he in turn gave all the credit to God and worshipped Him only…

Gen 26:24,25 “And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. And he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.”

Jacob and his encounter with God…

Gen 46:1-3 “And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:”

Moses meets God…

Exodus 3:5,6 “And he said, draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover, he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”

John meets God…

Rev 22:8 “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.”

We have the awesome privilege of access to God the Father through God the Son in the power of God the Holy Spirit at any time through the day. The question is, how do I react to that……………..?

John 4:23, 24″ But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Some reminders to our world!

Romans 14:11 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

Before it is Too Late…

James 4:14 “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life?

It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

Before it is too Late…

I looked upon a farm one day. That once I used to own;
The barn had fallen to the ground. The fields were overgrown.
The house in which my children grew, where we had lived for years’,
I turned to see it broken down. And brushed aside the tears.

I looked upon my soul one day, to find it to had grown
with thorns and nettles everywhere. The seeds of neglect had sown.
The years had passed while I had care for things of lesser worth;
The things of heaven I let go when minding things of earth.

To Christ I turned with bitter tears. And cried, “O Lord, forgive!
I haven’t much time left for thee, not many years to live.”
The wasted years forever gone, the days I can’t recall;
If I could live those days again. I’d make Him Lord of all.

Ecc 12:1, 13, 14″ Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the
evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no delight in them’.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is; fear God and keep His commandments
because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”