Let me ask all of you... If you had the same experience I had when you came to know Christ?!
I had many people talking to me about…"Accepting Christ as my Savior"... For a long time! But once I DID actually believe and trust Jesus as my Savior...
I DIDN'T have...Many of those same people...To lead, disciple, or teach me about what I was to do next! Or stress to me…Just how utterly life-altering this decision was to be...By drastically changing everything about...How I viewed life, thought about myself and others!
It was kind of like, "Whew! He's safe!... Now let's focus on the next one!"
The "lucky ones" sometimes get the training of..."Now go read your Bible... Start in the Book of John!"
It's not that people don't care at all!! Some just feel that once you are saved, God will show you the way...And others don't feel they have the knowledge or maturity...And still others... Just aren't able to commit to the time and effort!
We have a toilet bowl at the house that started to show a little leak around the bottom of the bowl. The donut ring seal had gone bad. I pulled the bowl from the floor and changed the seal. Just a few days later, it was leaking again and now notably rocking. I pulled it out again and found it had been leaking under the toilet for many weeks before it became noticeable outwardly. Now the foundation (floor) was warped and no matter how many times the seal was changed, it was no good. Why? No seal can work if it's on a broken foundation. It had been looking nice on the outside the whole time, but the mess that was seeping through had destroyed the inside. Jesus had a similar Parable in His days—actually even more harsh and dirty than this one: Matthew 23:27-28, 33. Jesus preached to people of all social and moral classes, from filthy rich to filthy beggars on the street; from extremely religious to the scum of the city. But by far with which group do we see that He was the most forceful and angry? The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes—those with the most truth in their heads and lives. Those who outwardly lived much more righteous and productive lives. Those who morally felt just a little better than the sinners around them. Since we happen to look most like this group today, shouldn't we look very closely at exactly "why?" Jesus was so frustrated and urgent with them? The comparison just might take us as much by surprise as it did that contented and upstanding group in Jesus' day.
How many here have ever watched an older person unwrapping a Christmas gift…Being slow and deliberate...Making everyone go nuts waiting!
We’ve studied… Through this Christmas Season…How the Gift Jesus Brought at His Birth…Was slowly and meticulously unwrapped throughout His Life!! With every Trait of the Father He Taught and Showed…With every Human Experience He Lived… For us!
Now… How many have ever wrapped a Christmas Gift for a toddler...And after watching them struggle...With trying to opening the package for a while...You had to practically unwrap their gift for them?
Well on this Christmas Morn...We will soon see how God the Father...Helped us tear open the biggest Gift He could Give us as well!
Let's go back six months before the sweet young Virgin Mary was even visited by Gabriel... And read about an Awesome Event…That began the whole Christmas Story... With an old priest named Zacharias!
The first thing we need to examine...As we learn about Jesus' Temptations...Is whether Jesus COULD actually even BE Tempted in Reality...With the actual Potential of choosing against God's Will! (Peccable) Or was He Tempted in symbolism only?! Incapable of Sinning! (Impeccable)
Many scholars are split on this subject...And the answer greatly affects how we view...Christ's Sufferings IN these Temptations! SO... It is well worth taking a moment to explore! I personally feel the answer is overwhelming…Based upon Scriptural Evidence we read!
This may seem like a strange Message at Christmas time, but I assure you it is right on target. Have you ever forgotten a gift? As we remind our audience every year in the Nativity that little baby in the manger—that precious innocent child—came for one single reason to this earth, and the greatest gift ever given, was hidden away and forgotten for 33 years before it was finally unwrapped. That tiny, sweet child of Mary had to become the very essence and embodiment of our sins which God had to punish and destroy with His own wrath. So like we have never done before (even if you have heard me talk on this subject), we are going to completely focus on the physical suffering that sweet baby in the manger came to experience in order to live and die for our Salvation. As we look at these difficult facts more intently than we ever have in the past. Today, there will be no prophecies of how exact the account was lived or how it was proven 1000yrs before unmistakably.—just a look at what He experienced alone.
Now let's look deeper into Jesus' Early Years...Because... When you put the pieces together...There is actually a bit more Written in Scriptures than we realize! The average Christian sees Baby Jesus…Born into a sweet and caring family...And growing up in the best of atmospheres...Cuddled in love... In a stable and well-functioning family...After all... He is the Son of God...And God would have made sure He was in the best of situations!
Until He leaves His home... And His family business...To begin His Calling... At 30yrs old! Well. Let's start with THIS Verse...When Jesus was returning to Minister in His home town during His Ministry!
We have been in an unplanned series, which is probably the best kind of series, growing in what it means to really turn from this world and our sins and want Christ and His Ways more than our own life rather than say a prayer for deliverance and go on with life as usual. What it means to truly die to self and stop living for the, goals, pleasures and meaning of this world as our motivation and purpose. And what it means to truly Rise again new with Christ, seeing everyone and everything differently; rejecting our old ways of sin because we know His ways of love are better; embracing a new life in Him with a new purpose, truly trusting and walking in life differently. All of this, through Him and His Power in us—not legalistically or begrudgingly.
A few Wednesday's ago... With a strong notion from God...We changed from the Wednesday Night Bible Study...To bring the first part of what was to be...One of the most powerful mini-series I've ever studied personally...Bringing us back to the very roots...Of what it means to Accept... And Live for... Jesus Christ!
A Study that kind of made me "Wipe the board clean"...From all that we usually think about Living for Christ...And with a fresh... Biblical... Tradition-challenging Foundation!
We cannot retrace all of the incredible Truths...We have covered thus far... So PLEASE... Go back to Wednesday before last... October 26, 2022...And to last Sunday... October 30, 2022...And get this Study in it's entirety!
This past Wednesday we took a break from our "Walk Thru The Bible" series to cover one of the most powerful and divisive teachings of Jesus Christ as He walked the earth 2000 years ago. One that seems to be all but lost in today's Christian culture. What was this disruptive and disliked teaching of Jesus? The understanding that accepting Jesus Christ as Lord is not simply believing He exists; not simply asking Him to save your soul and then going about your life business as usual with a new addition to your life. But it is truly seeing why your heart, your life, your ways are so destructive to God, others and yourself—so in need of a Savior. It is seeing just how radically His ways of Love differ in beauty and passion from all we have known and wanting His ways more than our own. It is trusting His Character and His Plan to make more of your life than you ever could, and changing the way you live to reflect that trust. It is realizing He Made everything He saved your soul. He is the only reason you live—the only thing worthy of your life's devotion—and then truly giving everything to Him. It is a total change of mind and heart which changes your life forever. Not a sweet little incantation you said one day and now you have a ticket to stick in your back pocket. it is repentance; it is a change of mind and life because He is worth it and He changed everything for you.
Last week we began a two part series about..."The Blood of Jesus!"
Thus far we have seen how the Blood of Christ...Did so much more than bring Salvation! It Also brought...Boldness instead of shame...Protection from Satan...
Oneness with the Father... Became Blood-Kin to GOD! Power to fight sin and work in the Spirit! We saw that "The Blood" of Jesus... Was not just for a One Time Moment of Salvation...But It is to be...Covered Under, Lived In, Empowered By, and Accepted Thru...Every moment of our lives!
Now... For the Second Study...We will look at a lesser known Story from the OT...Which at first...Will seem to be unrelated to our Topic! But as the Story progresses...We will see that it is one of the ...Most powerful stories in Scripture...About Grace, Salvation... And "The Blood!"
Let's jump in!
Looking for something specific? Use our search bar below