WARNING - Work in Progress

WARNING - Work in Progress
WARNING - Work in Progress

Sunday, December 10, 2017

But for Just One – 12/10/2017


What I love about babies is their potential.  Every single baby that is born has the potential to change the world.

       *Jesus was a baby
       *Gandhi was a baby
       *Abraham Lincoln was a baby
       *Martin Luther King Jr. was a baby
       *Mother Theresa was a baby
       * Elvis was a baby

Each of these people made a huge impact on our world and will be forever remembered in history.

What about you?  What about me? 

There is a story that tells about a little girl who walked along the sea shore just after the tide went out, and the beach was strewn with hundreds of starfish just lying and baking to death in the sun.  As the little girl walked along she stopped and gently picked up a single starfish and set it back into the sea.

An old man saw her do this and apologized there were too many starfish for her to save.  She just shrugged and told the man, “That’s OK, I know that there’s at least one starfish that I could save.”

The birth of Jesus reminds us of how God changed the world through one little baby, but a most important thing about that baby is not how He changed the world, but how He has changed me.

The world might be better because of the birth of Christ, but I am especially glad that he stopped and gently saved me.

Matthew 1:20b-21

“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. 21 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.”

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jesus Birthed in You – 12/05/2017


Luke 1:34
 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

When the angel announced to Mary that God was going to bring the salvation of men into the world by the baby she was going to have, she asked the most natural of questions, “Huh?”  She understood the birds and the bees and couldn’t understand how this was going to be.  But the angel assured her that all would be taken care of because the Holy Spirit of God was going to come upon her and take care of it. This was the first announcement of the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Though it didn’t make sense to her, a very real miracle of God caused Christ to be in Mary.

John 3:1-9
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

Most of us are like Nicodemus, when we hear the concept of being “Born Again”, it makes no sense to us.  Try as we might, when asked about it, we have a really difficult time explaining it in terms that doesn’t sound absolutely crazy; because when the Holy Spirit comes, and Jesus is birthed in us, it’s an absolute miraculous event.

This too is part of the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ, for Jesus has come to save the people from their sins, and this is Christ birthed in you.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jesus Doesn’t Look Like His Picture - 11/26/2017


How many things don't we do because we’re fearful of what might happen?

In Exodus 33, the Israelites were told to go possess a land flowing with milk and honey but they feared the people who inhabited it, so they missed out.  God had told them that He would be with them, but still, they listened to their fear.

Many do this today, Jesus says "come, follow me" but we fear doing this.  We're afraid of ridicule from friends and family, we fear having our lifestyle changed, we fear the unknown, and we fear every imagination the devil can put in our thoughts; but Jesus doesn't look like His picture.

Jesus doesn't look like the picture on the wall of the church you know.  None of us knows what he looks like but whatever he looked like, it isn't that.  It's the same with our fears about following Jesus and going into the land flowing with milk and honey, our fears are just a picture on the wall that really doesn't look like the reality.  When we listen to the leading of Jesus we will bend a knee and follow him and learn it really isn't like what we thought.

The True Picture...

When a child says that she won't sleep in her bed because of the monster under it, she’s not calmed by her mother's words that there is no monster there.  It generally takes mom going into the child's room, turning on the light, and physically showing her that there is no monster there.  Once the child understands the truth, she will be content to go to sleep.

Each of us is like that child, we fear following Jesus because we believe the devil's lie that there are monsters there, but Jesus has come to earth, walked among us, and showed us the monster; and then He went to the cross and destroyed it so now we can rest and follow Him into the land.

Take inventory of yourself this morning, whether Jesus has called you to follow him in initial faith or into a life situation within your faith, I want to assure you that your fears are unfounded and direct lies from the evil one.  I've been there and I can attest there is no monster under the bed. 

See?  This is me pulling the bed skirting up.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

5 Women - 10/19/2017

Warning Preachy (And again unedited)

In Matthew 1, the genealogy of Jesus Christ, five women are mentioned, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, & Mary.  The men listed in this genealogy show the proper lineage of Jesus but the inclusion of the women show just one thing; the shame of Jesus Christ.

Tamar was rejected and she so wanted a child that she dressed like a hooker in order to  entice her father-in-law to do the dirty with her and get her pregnant.  (She bore a child with Judah whom we spoke of last week -Genesis 34)

Rahab made a living as a hooker in Jericho and she manipulated the Israelite into sparing of her life (Joshua 6).  She went on to marry a Jewish man and had a son who is one of Jesus' great-great-grand-daddies.

Ruth was a Moabite woman who was Married to a Jewish man then remarried to a kinsman redeemer.  Although she is shown to be a woman of faith and devotion, she too was not a natural born Jew and she was one of Jesus' great-great-grand-moms (Ruth 1).

Bathsheba was such a hottie that King David saw her nakked one day and decided he had to have sex with her.  Oops, she got knocked up (didn't know that could happen) and tried to push it off as her husband's kid. The plan failed so King David simply had the man killed and took Bathsheba as his wife.  It was one of their son's that sired the line of Jesus (2 Samuel 11 & 12).

And then there was Mary, the engaged girl who got knocked up but claimed that no wrong doing had taken place because God just made her that way, so all was ok (Luke 1).

Matthew's Gospel was written to a Jewish audience to prove Jesus was the Messiah, and pointing out these five women was not a great way to state his case.

("Ahem, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, yes, the accused did stab her husband to death, and yes she did stab him 27 times in the eyeball, and yes she did dedicate on him when she was finished stabbing him, and yes she did yell "glad he's dead" seven times.  But I plan to prove that she really did love him.")

Yeah, Matthew's case was starting out shaky by pointing out the five women in Jesus' lineage.

But isn't this exactly the point?  This Jesus who was executed upon the Roman Cross as a common criminal took the sin and shame of humanity upon himself.  He took our shame and died the death that was rightly our own, in our place, and then rose back from the dead on the third day proving that He was truly innocent and victorious over sins and death; wiping out our shame.

Yes, Matthew's case for Christ starts a little shaky but by the end of his testimony we can clearly see Christ; the Messiah of God.