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

Seeking God…

The Word of God holds the answers to all of our questions. But we must first be saved or ‘born again’ as scripture says so the Holy Spirit can show us His truths and then we must study it so we can apply it to our lives. That requires seeking God… How are you doing in seeking God this morning? Listen to why our world thinks the word of God is not relevant for today.

I Cor 2:14 “The natural (unsaved) person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Seeking 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.”

Troubles and trails will push you from God or troubles and trials will push you to God!

So, where do you go when trouble and trials enter your life? As with all areas of our lives the Word of God has the wisdom and exhortation needed to keep us on the path that our Lord would have us to take during those times.

– Where do you turn when the doctor says; “I have bad news!”?
– Where do you turn when your spouse says; “This just isn’t working!”?
– Where do you turn when your company says; “We must downsize!”?
– Where do you turn when your children make bad choices?
– Where do you turn when a loved one is taken home to heaven?
– Where do you turn when your phobia kicks in?
– Where do you turn when………?
– Do you turn to God?

Mat 6:33A “But seek you first the Kingdom of God…”

Many times we allow troubles to actually push us away from God when in reality He is our only source of truth and peace. We turn to the solutions this world provides. Do you accept the fact that your plans and solutions are very likely flawed? A counselor is good if they are presenting God’s solutions vs the world’s.

Psalms 1:1,2 “Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the [a]ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he [b]meditates day and night.”

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

– Do you stop praying? Seeking God is our only real and lasting solution to troubles.  1 Thes. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

– Do you stop fellowshipping?

Heb 10:25a “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…”

– Do you turn inward, shutdown and stop ministering???

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own
understanding.”

Troubles and trails will push you from God or troubles and trials will push you to God! But only if you look at them with God’s eyes. And that can only be found in one book.

2 Timothy 3:16,17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [c]instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The choice is always mine to make. There are many examples in scripture of where and how to turn during those times of troubles and trials. A couple of responses found in scripture during times of trouble

Note the response was acceptable enough to God that the Holy Spirit chose to record it as His direction to us in His Scriptures.

Paul by way of the Holy Spirit said…

Phil. 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”

Phil. 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Live for Jesus today…………….

Management Exam…

Mat 20:27,28 “and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Management Exam (Humor and Truth)…

The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a professional manager. Scroll down for each answer. The questions are NOT difficult.

But don’t scroll down UNTIL you have answered the question!

1. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator? Wrong Answer!

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

2. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference.
All the animals attend…except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory.

Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

3. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes and how well you listen.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four-year-old.

On the bright side Jesus says that to know Him we should;

Luke 18:17 “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the
kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

How to get wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;”

Proverbs 4:7 “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.”

Proverbs 1:5,6 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

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.

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.”

Choose you this Day…

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

Choose you this Day!

This morning think of all the people and organizations asking for your
priorities. They request and some even demand your attention, time and monies. Some are worthwhile while many are not.

They include the company you work for, your family, the bank, the local and national charities, your friends, your 401K, your immediate job, your health, your????

Here is the telling question. Did serving Jesus enter into your thought process? And if it did was it first or someplace down the list? If it was there or what place it was on the list says a lot about where our focus in life really is….! God’s desire for us is;

Mat 6:33a “But SEEK you FIRST the kingdom of God and its righteousness…”

Joshua 22:5 “Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which
Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to LOVE the Lord your God,
and to WALK in all His ways, and to KEEP His commandments, and to CLEAVE unto Him, and to SERVE Him with all your heart and with all your soul
.”

In a world demanding your priorities remember only one will last for eternity. I challenge myself and encourage you this morning to…..

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites (your location in this world), in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me!

The choice on who and what we will serve is all up to us. So…………….

Romans 12:1,2 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

First you must start by;

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me”

If you are not sure if you are born again try reading the Gospel of John for the answer! Time is short and it is never to 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.”