Jesus at your 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 at your 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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The CHRISTian and Fishing…

The CHRISTian and Fishing….

My wife and I were just getting ready to go on a vacation fishing trip. What type of fishing do you enjoy the most? There is fishing for fish and fishing for men. One of them having eternal consequences depending upon which response you gave. In the book of Matthew chapter four verse 19 I am reminded that our Savior Jesus wants us to share about our faith so that others will come to know Him as we have. And hopefully you have. If not, this challenge sounds very foolish.If is does check this out (John 3:16, John 3:3, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8 and 10:13) and you may see why it seems foolish.

Some including me at times in my life avoid fishing for men by thinking that my life is my testimony and I do not need to speak about the most important Person in my life.  Living a life that reflects Jesus is important but that alone cannot be used as a substitute for sharing our faith. Yes, I know most of us are scared to do so but listen to what our Lord says about fear and about trials and troubles that will occur in this life.

2 Tim 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 Mat 4:19 “And Jesus said unto them, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

By the way, fishing for men is not reserved for the professional fisherman (evangelist or church leaders) only!!!!!  We all can enjoy the ministry of sharing our faith and the blessings that go with it!!!! It is like the spiritual gift of giving and some of the other spiritual gifts. With the spiritual gift of giving some you desire to and will give more than most believers but all believers are to give so that our Lord’s work is properly funded. Witnessing is the same. The person with the spiritual gift of Evangelist or Pastor will have the greatest desire to lead lost folks to a knowledge of Jesus and His sacrifice of our sins but all believers are to share their faith with a lost and dying world. That is why you live, work and play where you do. God knew you before you were born and place you where you live, work and play for a reason. The reason is to be light and salt for His names sake. Those locations and acquaintances are not of your design if you are following God’s will for your life.

Eph 4:1 “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:”

Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation, for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.”

Ice Cream for the Soul…

Luke 6:27-29 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who
curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use
you. To him who strikes you on one cheek, offer the
other also. And from him who takes away your cloak,
do not withhold your tunic either.”

Ice Cream for the Soul
Author unknown

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My
six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed
our heads he said, God is good. God is great. Thank you
for the food, and I would even thank you more if mom gets
us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all!
Amen!”

Along with the laughter from the other customers
nearby I heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with
this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray.
Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!” Hearing this, my
son burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it wrong? Is
God mad at me?”

As I held him and assured him that he had done a
terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an
elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my
son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a
great prayer.” “Really?” my son asked “Cross my heart.” Then
in theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose
remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never
asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the
soul sometimes.”

Naturally, I bought my kid’s ice cream at the end of
the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did
something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up
his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in
front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here,
this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes
and my soul is good already.”

The End

Mat 6:6, 7 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

A Still Small Voice… are you Listening…

Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…”

Still Small Voice…. are you listening….

Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of
long-distance communication, a young man applied for a
job as a Morse Code operator.

Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the
office address that was listed. When he arrived, he
entered a large, busy office filled with noise and
clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the
background.

A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job
applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were
summoned to enter the inner office. The young man filled
out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants
in the waiting area.

After a few minutes, the young man stood up,
crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and
walked right in.

Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering
what was going on. They muttered among themselves that
they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They assumed that the
young man who went into the office made a mistake and
would be disqualified.

Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted
the young man out of the office and said to the other
applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming,
but the job has just been filled.”

The other applicants began grumbling to each other,
and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand.
He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance
to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!”

The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time
you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out
the following message in Morse Code: “If you understand this
message, then come right in. The job is yours.” None of
you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.”

We live in a world that is full of activity and
clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable
to hear the still, small voice of God as He speaks via His
creation, from His Scriptures, or in your life via trials, discipline and                                                                                              of course via the life example of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Are you tuned in to God’s message? Can you be still and know that

He is God. Do you believe God when He says, “This is my Son,

whom I love . . . Listen to Him!”

Author Unknown

Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears
My voice AND OPENS the door, I will come in to him and dine
with him, and he with Me.”

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

The devil and the Nuts…

I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

The devil and the Nuts!

On the outskirts of town, there was a big old pecan tree by the cemetery
fence. One day two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by
the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.

“One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me,” said one boy.
Several were dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he
thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to
investigate. Sure enough, he heard, “One for you, one for me. One for
you, one for me.” He just knew what it was.

“Oh my,” he shuddered, “its Satan and the Lord dividing the souls at
the cemetery.”

He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an
old man with a cane, hobbling along.

“Come here quick,” said the boy, “you won’t believe what I heard. Satan
and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls.”

The man said, “Beat it, kid, can’t you see it’s hard for me to walk.”
When the boy insisted, though, the man hobbled to the cemetery.

Standing by the fence they heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you,
one for me.”

The old man whispered, “Boy, you’ve been tellin’ the truth. Let’s see if
we can see the devil himself.”

Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable
to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars
of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of
Satan.

At last they heard, “One for you, one for me, and one last one for you.
That’s all. Now let’s go get those nuts by the fence, and we’ll be
done.”

They say the old guy made it back to town 5 minutes before the boy.

I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

 James 4:7 “Therefore submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Heaven’s surprise…Guess who…

Rev 20:15 “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Heaven’s Surprise…Guess who…

I was shocked, bewildered and confused when I entered heaven’s door

Not by the beauty, nor the Lights, nor the décor

It was the people in Heaven that made me sputter and gasp.

The sinners, the cheaters, the liars and the trash.

There stood the kid from 2nd grade

That stole my lunch money twice.

Next to him was my neighbor who never said anything nice.

Herb who I thought would be rotting in hell was sitting on cloud 9 doing quite well.

I asked Jesus, “What’s the deal, I’d love to hear your take”

How’d all these sinners get up here must have been a mistake!

And why is everyone so quiet, so somber, please give me a clue. Jesus said,

“It’s because they’re all in shock, they never thought they’d be seeing you!

The poem offers some humor and much truth. The truth is that we are all sinners, yes even believers. Fortunately for the believers our sins have been covered by Jesus blood so we are not accountable for them. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

If you feel this morning that you are so much better than those around you then you are headed for trouble.

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Jump into the Water…You must be ‘Born Again’

John 3”3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Jump into the water…You must be ‘Born Again’

A young man who had been raised as an atheist was training to be
an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from
his outspoken Christian friend. The young diver never really paid much
attention to his friend’s sermons, but he heard them often.

One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he
attended. The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and
the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by.

The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he
turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his
arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall. The shadow of his body, was in
the shape of a cross. Instead of diving, he knelt down and finally
asked God to save him from his sins and come into his life.

As the young man stood, a maintenance man walked in and turned
the lights on. The pool had been drained for repairs.

How faithful are you in telling your friends about the most
important Person in your life? Remember your witness will take place
through His strength and not yours. But it must start on our end with a
submissive heart.

Mat 4:19 “And He said to them, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

 Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”