Posts Tagged ‘Christmas

27
Dec
16

Jesus: A Long-Awaited Gift

The latest message from Christmas weekend at Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.

23
Dec
16

Merry Christmas!

Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing by Charles Wesley

Hark the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”

Hark! The herald angels sing

“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity

Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel

Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth

Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

 
PRAYER: Thank You, Father God, for sending Jesus to Earth so many years ago. Thank You for forgiving my sins by Your grace through faith in Him. Thank You for Your unconditional love. I thank You in Jesus’ name, amen.
22
Dec
16

Seeking The King

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
” `But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ” — Matthew 2:1-6 (NIV)

I find it interesting that the Magi were seeking the King and the religious leaders of Israel were not.  How could those who were so close have been so far?  How could those who were supposed to be looking for the Messiah miss Him when He was right under their noses?  They knew the right answers.  They knew the Scriptures.  They had been to Sunday (Saturday?) school and had heard these things from the prophets for many years.  How did they miss Jesus?  It’s because they weren’t looking for Him.  The Magi came from far away and found Him because they were seeking the King.

I wonder if we are sometimes too close to see what is so obvious.  When it comes to the answers to the big questions of life, perhaps we miss them because we’re not seeking the right things.  What were the chief priests and teachers of Israel looking for that caused them to miss the Messiah?  I’m not really sure.  Maybe they were trying so hard to protect their positions and their power that they couldn’t focus on what really mattered most.  Maybe we miss the real meaning of Christmas because we’re too focused on other things.  The real message of Christmas is to seek the King who came to seek and save us.  We get too caught up in the season and all its trappings that we forget to take time to seek the Savior.  Maybe we’re too familiar with the story that we’ve lost its wonder.  Perhaps we’re more worried about following rules than about having a relationship with the God who desires that above everything else.  This year, don’t miss the Christ because you’re “celebrating” Christmas.  Seek the King!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to seek YOU this year.  I don’t want to miss You because I’m more focused on things that don’t really matter.  Help me to make You the King of my heart and I ask this in Your holy name, amen.

21
Dec
16

He Came To Preach Peace

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. — Ephesians 2:17 (NIV)

He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. — Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

Jesus was all about peace, but not the kind of peace about which we typically think.  Jesus was about the ultimate peace that He brings between God and humanity.  While we look for peace in the Middle East or Afghanistan (not that that would be a bad thing — it would be wonderful!), Jesus seeks to reconcile God and sinners.  That’s why He came.

Our sin separates us from God and makes us His enemies (Colossians 1:21).  Jesus can bring peace between God and us and if we will accept God’s gracious offer of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, we will be counted as God’s friends!  God desires that no one should perish apart from knowing Him, but that all should repent from sin and turn to Him (2 Peter 3:9).  How can we become God’s friends?  Simple!

  • Believe in Jesus as the only way to be saved (Ephesians 2:8)
  • Repent and turn to God for forgiveness (2 Peter 3:9; Acts 2:38)
  • Confess your faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10)
  • Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21)
  • Live a life of faithful obedience (Philippians 1:27; Colossians 3:17)

It’s so simple and it’s free!  It’s the most wonderful gift ever given — peace with God!  It can be yours this Christmas.  May God bless you and keep you and may Christ give you peace…

PRAYER: Father, thank You for sending Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Thank You for making peace possible between You and me. I have sinned against You time and again. I confess my sins to You and ask for Your forgiveness. Give me the courage to obey You and to live a life of faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

20
Dec
16

Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:1; 14 (NIV)

As the Living Word of God, Jesus was God in the flesh.  The one true God put on skin and bones and came to dwell among humans.  The Creator became like His creation.  He breathed real air and shed real tears.  He felt real pain — emotional and physical.  Imagine, the God of the universe contained in a human body.  The God who spoke the world into being humbled Himself and came to earth as a tiny baby.  That’s what Christmas is truly all about.  God becoming like us.

He could sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15, NIV).  He could feel what we feel.  He was “tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NIV).  Why would He do such a thing?  For what reason would God choose to humble Himself and become like us?  His great love for each of us compelled Him to do it!  It was only through the one Man, the second Adam, that God could reconcile us to Himself.  It was only by sacrificing Himself that forgiveness was possible.  He had to become like us to save us.  Bulls and goats were insufficient to take away the sins of the world.  An unblemished human sacrifice could do it.  Jesus was the One who sacrificed so much for our benefit.  All because of God’s great love for His creation.  Praise be to God for His willingness to become flesh!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son to become like me.  Help me today to become more like Him.  I love You and I thank You for loving me and calling me Your friend.  Amen.

19
Dec
16

The Angels And Shepherds: A Joyful Worship

The latest talk from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Luke 2:8-20.

19
Dec
16

Be Like The Shepherds

Luke 2:8-20

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

The Shepherds and the Angels

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

In Luke 2, we read of how the angels appeared to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem.  It’s fascinating to me how the angels did not appear to the governor or even Caesar.  The angels did not show up to tell the Pharisees or the teachers of the Law.  They did not appear to the priests.  They appeared to shepherds.  These shepherds weren’t very special.  They were on the lowest rungs of society’s ladder.  They were just hanging out with the sheep one night when the greatest news ever uttered from an angel’s lips was shared with them.  The shepherds accepted the angel’s news with wide-eyed wonder and faith.  Others may have not been as receptive to the news.  Skepticism or doubt might have ruled the day.  Not these shepherds!  Once the angels returned from whence they came, the shepherds headed straight to Bethlehem to find a baby in a manger.  Sure enough, they looked for Him and they found Him.  Maybe you know someone who is looking for meaning and hope this Christmas.  They need to hear some Good News of great joy.  The message of the angel to the shepherds still rings true today.  If you will seek Him, you will find Him.  The shepherds found Him and then they told everyone about Him.  We should do likewise.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to not only hear the message of Christmas.  Help me to not only believe the message of Christmas.  Help me to share the message of Christmas. Thank You for sending Jesus to be my Savior and Friend.  Amen.




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