God Timed It Perfectly!

December 22, 2019

Galatians 4:4, But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.

God’s timing is perfect.  Everything had to be just right.   The world was united as never before under Roman rule. The Romans had constructed a fine transportation system, with main roads leading from Rome to various destinations in the known world. The Greek language, culture, and philosophy was at its peak.  These things would enable the gospel to reach a universal audience. The right time for Jesus to be born had come.

THE HEAVENLY ANNOUNCEMENT

Think of yourself as being outside of Bethlehem on the very night that Jesus was born. In a distance, you would see shepherds watching their sheep at night.  They would simply be doing what shepherds do.  And out of nowhere the angel of the Lord appears and announces the Good News.  The redeemer that Israel and the world needed so desperately had been born. Just imagine being there and hearing an angel say; Luke 2:9,13-14 (ESV), For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will to men.  The angelic announcement was the proclamation that the fullness of time had come! At exactly the right moment, the right place and circumstances, God’s purpose and plan was revealed.  While the town slept and people worried about their day to day business, God sent His Son.

THE FULLNESS OF TIME.  God kept His Promise.

God is still in control, and God still has some appointed times!  Because God is a promise keeper, we can trust what He says.  The old folks used to say that God may not come when you want him, but He is always right on time.  In the fullness of time God sent his Son; he showed up. God is an On-Time God.  He may not come when you want him, but He will be there right on time. I tell you, He’s an on-time God.

THE FULLNESS OF TIMESalvation came.

Let us not just think of Jesus being laid in a manger on Christmas, but also think of Jesus being nailed to a cross.  The truth is that the cross is just as important as the manger. As we celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas, let us remember that He was born to die.  The same Jesus that we see in the manger is the same Jesus we see in the garden of Gethsemane.  The same Jesus we see, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger, is the same Jesus that was wrapped in grave clothes, and lying in a borrowed tomb!  He’s the same Jesus that we know got up from the grave on the third day.  In the fullness of time, salvation came and was realized on earth.  The plans were conceived in heaven.  Your sins and my sins can now be forgiven.

HAS THE LIGHT SHINED IN YOUR HEART?

Is there room for Jesus in your heart? God loved us with such a great love that He gave us the greatest gift, the greatest gift mankind could ever receive.  Yes, you may be saying of yourself, “My heart is cold and stony; it’s full of dirt and sin, and there is no way the Lord would save me”.  I say to you the Lord is able to give you a new heart…THE FULLNESS OF TIMES HAS COME.  Maybe you are a saved person and just continue to experience defeat, failure, low self-esteem and tendencies to sin.  I say for you too….THE FULLNESS OF TIMES HAS COME.

Receive God’s GIFT, Jesus, as Lord and Savior into your heart.  If you are without Christ, know that He came and died for you.

No Room In The Inn

December 22, 2019

A God-ordained registration:  Caesar Augustus was moved by God. Luke 2:3-5, And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David 🙂 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

 God’s chosen couple:  Mary and Joseph were chosen by God.  They were to make the journey to Bethlehem where the baby Jesus would be born. Mary never enquired with and if; but only with a how. She had confidence in God.

God’s purposes for us always exceed our abilities to accomplish them.

Luke 2:6-7, And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

NO VACANCY 

Ultimately there would be no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn.  Ultimately, there would be no room for Jesus in the hearts of His own people, the Jews; they would agree to have Him crucified.   John 1:11-12.  A couple of key things to remember:

  1. Following God does not always mean our road will always be easy. Though Mary and Joseph were in the midst of the greatest moment in eternal history, their way was not easy. You can trust the fact that God never leads us down the road to leave us alone.
  2. Everybody is somebody. Jesus’ coming in such a meek and lowly way teaches us that everybody is somebody. From the lowliest man to the most influential ruler, all men have value and worth and a right to come to Jesus,

Jesus’ first home was a place where animals were kept; His bed a place where animals were fed. Jesus’ birthplace is God’s object lesson to let us know that Jesus would have a special heart for the outcast; He would be a Savior that all people could turn to for salvation.

It seems today that even in the world in which we live, there is no room for Jesus in society.  It is almost as if we live in a world that has stopped caring for each other.  Religious intolerance is growing in the United States as well.  The world at large seems to have no room for Jesus.

Rev. 22:17, And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let the one who hears say, Come.  And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.  John 3:16; John 6:37, All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Do you have room for Jesus in your heart?

I say to you today that the greater question is not the condition of your heart, but rather do you have room for Jesus in your heart.  You see, when He comes in, everything begins to leave and is overcome.

Will you welcome Him into your heart? Or will you post a “no vacancy” sign again this year? Will you be too busy to go to see the babe in the midst of the season? Will you open your heart and your home to Jesus? Will you take him in?

DO YOU HAVE ROOM FOR JESUS IN YOUR HEART?

The Coming Messiah

December 15, 2019

The word Messiah comes from a Hebrew word Moshi-ach.  That means the anointed one, the chosen one, the deliverer. The word Christos (Christ) in the Greek is equivalent to the Hebrew word for Messiah.   God inspired biblical writers throughout the Old Testament to write concerning the Messiah’s coming.  The writings were called messianic prophecies.  They not only told of Jesus’ coming but also spoke of His suffering, His death, His burial and His resurrection. Many of these prophecies were fulfilled at Jesus’ coming.  Others will be fulfilled at His second coming as He establishes the Messianic Kingdom. Strict Judaism is still expecting the Messiah to come.  In Christianity, Jesus the Messiah has already come, suffered, died, rose again, ascended into heaven to return and set up His Kingdom on earth.

He would be virgin born and would be heir to the throne of David. Isaiah 7:14 (KJV), Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 9:7 (KJV), Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

He would be born in Bethlehem and bear our sinsMicah 5:2 (KJV), But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Jesus Christ is the Messiah.  He is the only way to experience true forgiveness of sin.  He is the only way to experience eternal peace with God.  He took our place on the cross that we might be made right with God.

Isaiah 53:5-6 (KJV), But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

  • Sin was and is a universal problem. Romans 3::23 (KJV), For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
  • A Substitute was needed; a Substitute was provided, Hebrews 2:9 (KJV), But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

In the Old Testament, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would offer a sacrifice for himself and his family. He would then take two selected unblemished male goats for the ceremony.  One was chosen as a burnt offering and the other (scapegoat) to have the peoples’ sins transferred on to it to bear their sins away into the wilderness.  Jesus more than fulfilled the Day of Atonement.  He is the Passover lamb, the sacrificed goat, the scapegoat, the mediator between God and man.  He is the one sacrifice that is sufficient.    Here is the good news: We have a great High Priest that has passed on into the heavens, Jesus Christ, Himself.  Hebrews 4:15 (NLT), This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.  For us, He is the eternal fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, the fulfillment of Yom Kippur. He is the final atonement for sin.

  • He’s the sinner’s savior. Do you know Him?
  • His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Do You Know Him?

What must our response be?  John 1:12: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

  • Repent of your sins.
  • Surrender your life to the Lordship of Jesus as Savior.
  • Receive His forgiveness.

HAVE YOU COMMITTED YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST?

Christian Service - A Decisive Question

December 08, 2019

AN IMPERFECT PLACE AND IMPERFECT PEOPLE:

The Church is a body that is made up of imperfect people.  Because of that there will always be a need to care for, pray for and assist people along the Christian Way.  There will always be a need for each of us to serve God’s people in some way.  Jesus speaking of Himself said, The Son of Man is not come to be served, but to serve and give Himself as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28 (KJV), Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

As a believer in Christ, Jesus wants us to know that when we are serving others, we are serving Him.  Following His last meal with the disciples, Jesus, the Son of Man, and the King of Glory washed the disciples’ feet before His arrest and crucifixion.  He dramatically illustrated his servant lifestyle for His disciples to see.  John 13:12-15 (KJV), So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?  Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Jesus wanted them to learn the unmistakable lesson of servanthood.  I would like to use His example to speak to the office and service of deacon this morning.

THE NEED FOR DEACONS:

Act 6:1 (KJV), And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Because of squabbles over food and general daily care for widows was not being done properly, deacons were chosen to serve in the local church body.  By choosing deacons, the Apostles would be able to perform their mistrial duties.  Acts 6:4 (KJV), But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

 THE REQUIREMENTS FOR DEACONS:  Acts 6:3 (KJV), Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. A more specific list of qualifications is given in I Timothy 3:8-13 (KJV), Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.  Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.   Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

DEACON APPOINTMENT SERVICE:  Our love sums up the Great Commission. Jesus said, “all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”: to love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:37-40) Where this type of love is, the motivation of our labor and our efforts will never be in vain. Our service to others is a picture of our love for Christ on display. As Jesus asked Simon Peter, He is asking us “How much do you love me?”

Jesus Christ is the revelation of God in human personality. He bore in His body our sorrows and griefs. He accepted the judgment for our sins on the cross. He suffered as the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God. He was raised again by the Holy Spirit, and He lives to make intercession for us before His Father.

What is God leading you to do in His Church?  How is He calling you to serve His people?  Whose feet are you washing?  I invite you to come and share with us as a leadership team, what God is leading you to do.

THERE IS A PLACE IN THE CHURCH FOR YOU TO SERVE

Christian Service – A Decisive Question

01:48

Blessed To Be A Blessing

December 01, 2019

A man in the crowd tells Jesus to make his brother divide the inheritance with him.  Luke 12:13 (NKJV), Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

 READ Luke 12:16-21 (NKJV).  In the conversation with the man, Jesus refuses to mediate in the brothers’ dispute.  What He does choose to do is to get right at the heart of the matter:  Covetousness! He warns this brother and all within hearing distance of Him that our lives are so much more than the “abundance of the things that we possess”.  In this story a man comes in as a rich man, but he leaves as a rich fool. Note that Jesus does not condemn the man for having full barns; he’s condemned for building bigger barns to store his excess. Let’s look at a couple of points that Jesus makes in this parable:

Point 1, The man’s ground yielded plentifully.  God has blessed him abundantly.  We can be blessed abundantly by God and at the same time choose not to use the gifts that He has given us for His Kingdom and purpose and for the good of others.  Psalm 62:10 (ESV), Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. 

THE KEY TO BEING BLESSED IS TO BE A BLESSING:

Proverbs 3:9–10 (ESV), Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. If we honor God with what He has given us, He will bless us with more so that we can honor Him with more.  Does this make sense to you?  Then act on it!

Point 2, God wants us to be right with Him.  If money is our master, then God is not.  Jesus closes the story by saying, “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God”. At some point we will all die and all that we have accumulated will be left to someone else.  God does not allow us to take anything with us when we leave this world.

Ecclesiastes 2:18 (ESV), I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me,  The Bible does not condemn wealth.  Wealth can be a great tool for the kingdom of God. Instead, it condemns those who serve their wealth, those who make it their god and do not thank the Lord for their possessions. Consider the following three things:

God does not want us to trust in our increase“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). Our lives are more than the things we possess.  If a man had all that this world had to offer in this life, he would be unable to purchase eternal life.

Our earthly possessions will eventually go to someone else.   Paul wrote, “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either” (1 Timothy 6:7).

 One Day our souls shall be required of us.  Death will come to all mankind.  Since the fall of Adam and Eve, sin entered the world and because of sin, all will die.  And the fact is none of us know the time when the clock of life will stop for us.

How can I best honor God with the blessings in life that He has given me?  I encourage you to do these things:

  1. Identify what you are seeking to build.
  2. Continue to work hard for the right reasons.
  3. Be thankful unto God for his hand of blessings.
  4. Seek to give to God as He has requested, give God His tithe.
  5. Help those in need as often as God brings them your way.

GIVE PROPORTIONATELY AS GOD HAS GIVEN TO YOU.