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

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?

Humanism or Absolute Truth from the Bible…you choose…

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

Humanism or Absolute Truth from the Bible…you choose…

Looking unto self, the author and finisher of my destiny, who for the pleasure set before me, I empowered myself, despising all those who disagree with me and I sit on my throne with confidence and pride.

“God created man in His image and man returned the favor.”

But as scripture says, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Especially as God sees it because that is the only truth that counts. Man left to himself is…

Rom 3:10 “For there are none good, no, not one.”

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as unclean things, and all our
rightlessness’s are like filthy rags, we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities,
like the wind have taken us away.”

You may want to delete this challenge because of the tone so far but be careful. God never tells us an untruth, so we must view all of God’s truths as just that and ask, how does this apply to me. It is tough thing to see yourself as God sees you but vital.

The good thing is that all is not lost. The fellowship with God that sin (iniquities) destroys can be restored.

II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him.”

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

John 5:11, 12 “And this is the record; that God has given us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

So, what should be my Manifesto? The Biblical Christian Manifesto as given by our God is;

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

It cannot be said strong enough. Either my joy and reason for living is centered on self and the philosophies of men (religion), or on Jesus. Why else would Jesus say; “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me” and, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come unto the Father, but by Me”. In our world would view that is being ‘narrow minded’ and bigoted. And as long as it is from God, I am ok with being viewed that way. How about you? Let’s be salt and light today and not just one of the crowd.

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, 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 I will serve is all up to us. So…………….

Have a great day following the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!!!!!!!!!!

Who is Jesus…

Who Is Jesus?

This one question will determine my Eternal Life depending on what I believe about Jesus and what was His mission while on this earth. While it is hard to believe there are many who do not recognize that Jesus is God and was God and man while on this earth. As with any question of this importance I believe there is only one place to find the answer. The answer does not reside with the teachings of men, but it resides with God’s truths as presented to us. Those truths are found in the Bible (2 Tim 3:16,17, 2 Peter 1:20,21) and are protected by God so that anyone seeking God’s truths will have them (Mat 5:18, Mal 3:36). So, let’s look at just a few of God’s truths about His Son, Jesus;

  • Did Jesus claim to be God and equal to God the Father?
  • John 10:30, John 17:11,21, John 14:7,9
  • What does God say; John 8:21-59, Isa 43:10,11
  • 1 Tim 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”
  • Was Jesus just another great man or was and is He God Eternal.
  • Gen 1:26 says God created man “in Our image” so we see there is more than one Person making up One God.
  • Jesus said He was there as a Person of God during the first creation. (John 17:5, Col 1:15-17, John 1:10, 11, John 8:58, Phil 1:6)
  • The Bible proclaims that all are sinners and a Perfect Sacrifice with no blemishes is needed for forgiveness. Sin is that blemish and causes our broken relationship with God. No sinner and his or her deeds or church can be that Sacrifice. Was Jesus a sinner? Only God existing in man could avoid the temptations of this world to sin.
  • 2 Cor 5:21 Jesus, as God incarnate, was tempted as we are but did not sin. If He sinned, then He could not die for my sins as the Perfect Sacrifice needed for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Scripture alone gives us the answers to Eternal Life.
  • Romans 3:10-23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:13
  • Acts 4:12, 16:31
  • Titus 3:5
  • John 11:25, 14:6

With this topic being vital to not only your Eternal destiny but to those around you that you love, be sure to be cautious of the teachings of men (Col2:8). You do not need to be a theologian for God to give you His truths (Luke 18:17). Scripture alone offers us an answer. Look at all of scripture not just one disputed verse. I pray you will come to know the same Jesus as I know. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One!

1 John 5:9-13” If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.  He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

 

One other important item is ONLY GOD IS TO BE WORSHIPPED. When men would fall to worship an angel, the angel (Rev 19:10) told them not to do so because ONLY GOD IS TO BE WORSHIPPED. Notice in scripture Jesus readily accepts worship (Matt 4:10, 14:33, Heb 1:6 and others) because He is a part of God Who is 3 persons in one. A concept our minds cannot understand but if God says it then it must be correct and taken by faith (Heb11:6).

 

The most important question of all is; are you trusting in Jesus and Jesus alone for your eternal destiny?

  • John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
  • John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Finishing the Spiritual Race…

II Tim 4:6-8 ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith…”

Finishing the Spiritual Race…

The year is 1968 and the Mexico City Olympics – a few thousand
spectators were in the stadium as the last of the marathon runners were
carried off in exhaustion to the first-aid stations. More than an hour
earlier an Ethiopian runner had been the first to cross the finish line
in this grueling 26-mile event. As the remaining spectators prepared to
leave, they were stopped by the sound of sirens going off and policemen
blowing whistles. There, entering the stadium came a lone figure
wearing the colors of Tanzania – his name was John Akhwari. He was the
last man to finish the marathon.

His leg was bloodied and bandaged, and he grimaced with each
step. He had severely injured his knee in a fall, but painfully, he
hobbled around the 400-meter track. The spectators who were still there
were moved to get to their feet and applauded as if he were the winner.
After he crossed the finish line in excruciating pain, he was asked why
he hadn’t quit when he had no chance of winning a medal. His answer:
“My country did not send me 7,000 miles away to start the race. They
sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”

How do you feel about your purpose in life?

Is it to perform God’s will and finish the race He designed for you?

Will you be able to say, “I finished the race”?

Run with everything you’ve got, not halfheartedly. Remember, He gave
everything He had in His race to rescue you – and even though He was
beaten and bloody, Jesus didn’t quit.

Run the whole race… – He’ll be waiting to embrace you as you cross
that finish line for Him.

II Tim 4:6-8 ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on
that day, and not to me only but also to all those who loved His
appearing.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth…

Phil 4:8 “Finally brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be anything praiseworthy think on these things.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth!

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.
  • Jesus must be number one in your life.
  • Character matters.
  • Family is vital.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, most stuff is small.
  • The most boring word in any language is “I”.
  • Nobody is indispensable, especially you.
  • Life is full of surprises. Just say “never” and you’ll see.
  • People are more important than things.
  • Listen 90% of the time & speak the other 10%. Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.
  • Only Jesus can make you eternally happy. Make Him Lord of your life.
  • There’s so much bad in the best of us.
  • Gossip is sin.
  • Live by what you trust, not by what you fear. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (If He is our Savior)
  • If you wait to have kids until you can afford them, you probably never will.
  • Baby kittens don’t begin to open their eyes for six weeks after birth. Men generally take about 26 years. Maybe longer for some of us. I was ‘born again’ at 28…..!
  • The world would run a lot smoother if more men knew how to dance. That one I have still not mastered!
  • Television ruins more minds than drugs. Do you suppose satan or many of his army reside in Hollywood?
  • Sometimes there is more to gain in being wrong than in being right. If you are willing to admit to it!
  • Life is so much simpler when you tell the truth. Even the little white lie is sin.
  • People who do the world’s real work don’t usually wear neckties.
  • A good joke beats a pill for a lot of ailments.
  • There are no substitutes for fresh air, sunshine and exercise both spiritually and physically.
  • A smile is the cheapest way to improve your looks, even if your teeth are crooked.
  • May you live life so there is standing room only at your funeral. And may those at your funeral be confident of your new home.
  • Mothers always know best, but sometimes fathers know, too.
  • Forgive yourself, your friends and your enemies.
  • If you don’t do anything else in life, love God first.

Deut. 6:5 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Understanding God’d Will for your life…

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

Understanding God’s Will for your life

Do you know the difference between God’s perfect will and His permissive will. If you are like me the answer is, well kind of. The big question is, which one do you desire to have fulfilled in your life. Inside of us is that daily struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh thinks it knows what is best for my life and my emotions typically agree with my flesh. That is a huge caution to me when it comes to identifying just what is God’s will for my life. God reminds me that His ways and thoughts are much higher than mine are and can be very different. That tells me that my logic and feelings are very inadequate for making decisions.

What God knows is best and what He desires for each of His children lines up with His perfect will. When I ask for my will to be done based on how I feel or what I perceive is best for me that drives me to pray for that result and that result only. And to feel that God has not answered my prayer if the answer is not yes. God loves us so much He may allow an answer to prayer that is not in His perfect will. That is called God’s permissive will. The big problem is that when we are out of line with God’s will the end result is always without exception bad for us. Even if it lines up with my desires.

The story of Balaam and Balak is a great example. Balak the King had a problem. He saw how God was blessing His people that He had just taken out of Egypt. That meant doom for many groups of people who were populating the promised land. Balak was scared. He was the King of one of those groups. He heard that Balaam was a man of God and God answered his prayers. So he sent a group to Balaam the Prophet to ask him to come with them and to curse the nation of Israel. Balaam went to God and God told him to not go with them and to not curse Israel. Pretty straight forward. But like us Balaam allowed some things to blind him of God’s will.

When Balak heard the news he sent a 2nd group now including many persons of higher positions to influence Balaam. Balaam went back to God with the same request. In Chapter 22 and 23 of Numbers we read the account. Take special note that God told Balaam he could go along with them which reflects His permissive will. He gave Balaam what he desired but it did not line up with His perfect will which was to not go. That one shakes me because it challenges me on how many times I have multiple requests for the same prayer request. Am I also trying to change God’s will from His perfect will to His permissive will? Listen to the danger is doing so.

It notes in Numbers 22 that God was angry. And we have the same God today that answered Balaam. Balak offered Balaam a great sum of money to do so. That’s where the flesh took off running. Balaam saw a great material blessing at his waiting. The Spirit nudged Balaam with the realization that to do so was out of line with God’s will. And so the struggle was on. Just what would he pray for. God’s perfect will and loose the material rewards and maybe even his life or would he ask God for His will to be done? Balaam by not accepting God’s perfect will almost lost his life. If you read about the next events it was only by God’s grace that Balaam lived. That story of his life shakes me. How many times do I not listen to God and only want to accept what I feel is best for me. And those requests may be leading to disaster!

We do have the perfect example of this struggle given to us by Jesus. The human side of Jesus did not want to go through the torture of the cross. Jesus being the only person to ever walk the earth and never sin also was the only person to walk this earth who never requested anything other than…..

Mat 26:42 “Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” ‘