Monday, December 5, 2016

December 6, 2016

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,"  Philippians 2:5-9

Christmas could also have been called "Christ-yes."

What do I mean by that?

I mean that Christmas could not have happened without several willing "yeses". Over the next few posts I am going to show you what I mean.

The first "yes" was out of this world! It had to come from Heaven because the first one Who had to say "yes" was Jesus, the Son of God.
Our Scripture text assures us that He did.

When Jesus said, "Yes" to Christmas, He was saying "no" to all the safety, security, and splendor of Heaven.

When Jesus said, "Yes" to Christmas it meant saying "no" to eternity and stepping into the restrictions and limits of time.

When Jesus said, "Yes" to Christmas he also said "no" to the power, the privilege and the paradise of Heaven.

When Jesus said, "Yes" to Christmas in order to come as God's gift to the world, it meant He had to give up everything that was special or advantageous about being equal to God.

When Jesus said, "Yes" to Christmas He was saying "no" to the peace of Heaven and facing the pain of an evil planet filled with wicked people.

Christmas was not an easy "yes" for Jesus. It required saying "no" to some pretty precious privileges. Christmas would be no holiday for Jesus. He would leave all that was holy, and familiar and deserved, to live among sin and strangers and sacrifice.

Christmas was actually Christ-yes. It could not have happened unless several people were willing to "yes" to God and "no" to all that was comfortable or convenient to them. The first among that group was none other than Jesus Christ Himself!

In view of all the hard things that Christ said, "Yes" to for you,  where do you need to say "yes" to Him?

December 5, 2016

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

How would it impact your job if you were never at your best? How far would your worst get you on a regular basis?

What would it do for your relationships if you always showed your worst side?

How would you feel about your worst moments? What if you judged yourself only by your really bad moments? How would that affect your self-esteem?

What would you get for Christmas if Santa made your list based on only your worst days?

Give those some thought and I doubt if your answers will be positive.

As you think about what results from your worst efforts and poorest attitudes in life, let me brighten your day a bit!

There is good news of great joy from the reality of Christmas! As this verse from Romans reminds us, God's response to man's worse was giving His best!

Who does that? Who would give his very best for people who are doing their very worst? Who would send the best they have to redeem those who have already seemingly wrecked their his dream? Who would do that?

Other than God - no one! But God did!

From the moment that Adam exercised his will against God and activated the sinful nature in the human race, God announced His plan to redeem the race. The only way that God could restore a fallen race and rescue it from its worst self was to send His very best!

That is exactly what He did!

Did we request it? No, we were clueless.

Did we deserve it? Not even close.

Did we need it? Absolutely! It was our only hope.

Why would He do it? Ah, that's the good news of Christmas!

It is called unconditional love! It is called grace! It is free - but it is not cheap. It cost God His best for a people at their worst!

Joy, to the world, the Lord has come!

December 4, 2016

Really Bad Baby Gifts:

1) A Cactus

2) English Leather Cologne And After Shave Combo

3) A Reversible Electric Power Drill

4) A 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

5) A Pit Bull

6) A Craftsman Tool Kit

7) Velcro Sheets

8) A Sonic Toothbrush

9) A Bowling Ball

10) Soap On A Rope

Now, let me tell you about the best baby gift ever! The most perfect baby gift ever was A PERFECT BABY!

This perfect Gift was motivated by a perfect love!

God, the Perfect Father sent the Perfect Baby Gift – HIS SON, JESUS!

God GAVE His Baby In Order to SAVE Your Baby!

That is the exciting news of Christmas! That is the “good news of great joy” announced by the Angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas!

It is why Christmas is such a favorite Holiday – because it celebrates that glorious truth that never grows old – God sent His Baby so that your baby can someday go to see Him!

This is especially significant in light of what we have done this morning – dedicating your babies back to the God Who gave His Baby!

Here is how it is announced in the Bible:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:30-35

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1-4, 14

The reason I still excited about Christmas after all these years is because of the PERFECT BABY GIFT that God gave you and me – the gift of a Savior!


Who Gave the Gift?

The more significant the giver of the gift then the more significant the gift will be. When the giver is precious to you the gift they give will be as well!

The Perfect Baby gift was given by God - the Giver of all good gifts.

How Much Did It Cost?

While you never know exactly how much a person pays for a gift because they take the prince tag off and it would be very tacky to ask, but most people know a costly gift from a less expensive one. When someone who could afford to purchase an expensive gift gives a cheap gift, it can bother you.

God's Perfect Baby gift caused Him everything! He is the most expensive gift every given!

The Thought Behind The Gift

When a gift is so special or unique it shows a good deal of thoughtfulness, that makes it extra special as opposed to someone who knew you were expecting a boy and gives you a pink dress.

God thought of us before we were ever created - that's why we were created. And, while we were still sinners the Bible says that God sent His Son to die for you and me.

How Long Will The Gift Last!

A good gift will not be too small to wear or so poorly constructed that it falls apart, but will be the right size and the best quality.

This Perfect Baby gift not only lasts forever but will allow you and I to last forever.

How Appropriate To The Need?

A good baby gift will meet a need that will make life easier for the mother and the newborn.

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:23

"If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior."


Can you imagine how much God loves YOU to send His Son?! HE LOVES YOU AS MUCH AS HE LOVES HIS SON!

Here is what it looks like – watch!

Christmas means God sent the PERFECT BABY GIFT – He Gave His Child To Save Your Child!

A Gift Like That Should Be Received Gladly! How Could You Refuse It?

What other plan do you have for your salvation?