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.”

Advertisements

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?

Godly Discipline…

Hebrews 12:11-13a “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet…”

Godly Discipline

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

THINK ABOUT THIS
For two years, scientists sequestered themselves in an artificial environment called Biosphere 2. Inside their self-sustaining community, the Biospherians created a number of mini-environments, including a desert, rain forest, even an ocean. Nearly every weather condition could be simulated except one, wind.

Over time, the effects of their windless environment became apparent. A number of acacia trees bent over and even snapped. Without the stress of wind to strengthen the wood, the trunks grew weak and could not hold up their own weight. Though our culture shuns hardship, we would do well to remember that God uses it for our good that we may share in his holiness”.

Jay Akkerman

James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers’ temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. “

Proverbs 13:24 “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”

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.”

God’s Mercies are New Every Day – Give Thanks…

Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; because His mercy endures forever.”

God’s Mercies are New Every Day – Give Thanks…..

Thanksgiving week is here and for the believer, this time of the year has special meaning. Our Lord said.

Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; because His mercy endures forever.”

This is one of the hallelujah Psalms that was a part of the Passover celebration. For Israel, this was thanksgiving for deliverance from Egypt and death at the first Passover. All believers are to be marked by a spirit of thankfulness, all the time, not just on Thanksgiving Day.

May I suggest that this Thanksgiving you ought to be thankful that we already have Thanksgiving!  Think of the difficulty we would most certainly face today in trying to start a day of national thanksgiving to God for His bountiful blessings like the Pilgrims did in 1621. It might be impossible! And surely would be a political war when you express Who you are giving thanks to.

The first thanksgiving feast was held in a public place and the A.C.L.U. and People for the American way, who consider themselves the self-proclaimed protectors from all things religious, would certainly object. The menu would even present greater conflicts, with so many turkeys, deer and other animals prepared for eating.

The original Thanksgiving holiday lasted three days. Given all these factors and most importantly given Who is our God and what He means to our lives, we ought to first be thankful for all the blessings from God and then be thankful that we have a day set aside in our nation for giving thanks. Based on current state of affairs if we tried to do it over again, we might not succeed.

I trust that your Thanksgiving Day will be a blessed time of reflecting again on the gracious goodness of God and for His mercies that are new every day.

Remember to stop before you dig into that meal and GIVE THANKS!!!!!

I Thes 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore, Pray without ceasing, In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

The Pursuit of Peace and Happiness…

The Pursuit of Peace and Happiness…

Seeking peace and happiness is a goal for each of us throughout our lives. The issue is, just where does peace and contentment come from and do I even recognize what lasting and real peace and happiness are. Our world around us pictures being at peace as sitting in our easy chair sipping on a cool beverage with no cares, worries, or aches and pains. But is that really what it is? Not surprisingly scripture records that real peace and happiness are very different than what our worlds’ offers. That is not surprising considering the god of this world today is not the One true God and Savior. That makes it vital that we look to our God for lasting and real peace. The god of this world for this moment in time is all about deception. And it starts with deceiving mankind about what it takes to be saved and then into setting priorities that do not line up with God’s priorities.

II Cor 4:3, 4 “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to those who are lost, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who believe not. lest the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

That verse explains a bunch. Listen to the following quote on finding peace.

If you seek happiness, you will never find it; it will always elude you, it will always escape you. You will think you have captured it, but suddenly it is gone. Chasing it is like trying to catch a bubble-the moment you catch it, it has vanished, broken in your hands, and there is nothing left. That’s the whole mistake, says the Bible. Never make happiness an end in itself. It is always an indirect result. It is always a by-product of something infinitely greater. To put it positively: Happiness, says the Bible, depends upon two things only. First: It depends on our relationship to God and His righteousness. Second: It depends upon what I am, not upon what is happening to me. That is the secret.

-Martyn Lloyd-Jones,

Wow, happiness first depends on my relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and then in what I am rather than what is happening to me. Think on that for awhile. If that is the case, and I agree it is, then what I have allowed my Savior to do with my life has made me who I am………….! What are you allowing Him to do in your life this morning? And just who are you in His eyes………..!

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.”

Mat 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.”

I Thes 5:23, 24 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”