Month: December 2017

The Glory of God in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ

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We have looked at the glory of God in different aspects of His salvation. In this message Pastor Steve looks at God becoming man, fully God and fully man. This fullness was necessary for Christ to obtain our redemption.

 

 

All of God and all of man in one Man

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Luke 1:80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Luke 2:51–52  Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

On Christmas Eve I brought a message on the glory of God in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  According to the Scriptures, Jesus was God in the flesh from the moment of His conception for He was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  No other time was a birth foretold 700 years earlier.  No other time has a woman conceived without a human father.  The incarnation of Christ was to the glory of God alone.  The angels in the heavens proclaimed the glory of God to the shepherds crying “Glory to God in the highest!”

The uniqueness of the virgin birth leads us into the uniqueness of the Christ.  Jesus claimed equality with God.  He claimed that He and the Father are one.  Jesus claimed to be the human temple of the Spirit of God when He told the disciples to destroy “this temple” and in three days he would raise it up.  Therefore, Jesus Christ was 100% man with the full DNA of Mary and He was 100% God with full essence of God.  At twelve years of age Jesus told his parents that he must “be about my Father’s business.”

The importance of the incarnation of God into human flesh cannot be understated.  This teaching has been attacked for two thousand years!  The liberal mind that is against God cannot wrap itself around God in flesh.  Yet in order for the sinless sacrifice to die the only begotten Son of God had to have a body capable of being crucified.  Spend some time today glorifying God for the incarnation of the Son, God in human flesh to become our Redeemer, our Savior.

Christmas is past but our tree is still up.  We are still rejoicing in the birth of our Savior.  The Massey family came in last night for two nights.  We are always thankful for their friendship and the time we get together with them.

Our Christmas day was filled with family and friends.  It started Christmas Eve with a wonderful service in the morning, a God-exalting singing and worship time in the evening at my house, then rounded into a fabulous Christmas day filled with contacts from all of our children (we love video calls) and grandchildren.  If a full house is a happy house then we had lots of happiness, and we did.  We ended the day with “A Muppet Christmas Carol” laughing and singing along with the Muppets. 

What special things did your family do this Christmas?  I would love to hear from you.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Oh, What A Name, Jesus

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Matthew 1:20–25

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

 

Every dad gets to name his first-born son. He usually has a choice to name the first son after himself or someone else he greatly respects.   But Joseph did not have that choice for the angel told him the name he was to use. Furthermore, the name “Jesus” had a specific reason for it to be used, the angel said, “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” And while those who knew the child and the young man Jesus, they did not know him as their Savior; every one of us since the resurrection have equated the name of Jesus with the action of Savior.

How many songs have been written exalting and loving the name of Jesus? How many books have been written about the person of Jesus? How many movies have been watched about Jesus? We call him, the Lord Jesus Christ, and it all flows out in one beautiful name. We study the Lord Jesus to know how we are to live. We surrender to the Lord Jesus as He has promised to live His life through us. We praise the Lord Jesus and worship Him for the gift of salvation that He purchased for us.

Aren’t you glad Joseph obeyed the messenger of God and named his son, Jesus! No other name would have fit and God knew the right name for baby born to Mary. He was to be called Jesus. As we continue our trek toward Christmas day, spend time rejoicing in the Lord Jesus. Look for places and times to talk about the Lord Jesus. People are so hurried and so self-absorbed and in such great need of Jesus. Life is the question and Jesus is the answer. Don’t give out the name of any other potential person who can improve their lives, no, give them the name above all names, tell them about Jesus.

Today is Jared’s 20th birthday! Wow, it has been 20 years of life with Jared and we are thankful to God for Jared’s life.

 

We were out doing some shopping last night and ran into a friend from the community whom we have not seen for three years. We hugged and chatted as we were checking out. My dad and mom were with us also buying some Christmas gifts. This friend knew them as well. As we left the store my mom told me that this friend came over and paid for their purchase! We rejoiced to see how God still takes time to care for His children.

Sunday morning we will have our regularly scheduled church service at 10:30 but we will not be having any Sunday school classes. If anyone would like to sing a bit more on Christmas Eve, come over to my home around 6:00 and join us for a time of family worship.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Born a human to understand us

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Matthew 1

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 4

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We can put these two passages together today to remind us and to encourage us that Jesus Christ understands our lives. If Christ had not come in the form of a human, through the womb of a human mother, we would hold him at arm’s length when the trials of this life came upon us. We would know that Jesus really did not understand our situations. But we have to take notice here. Mary was found with a child.

We just had a baby born in our family. Amera Grace Schroeder was born last Friday evening. While just a baby, and a beautiful one at that, she was indeed a human baby. We have every reason to expect that when Mary birthed Jesus she had a human baby. In every way the Lord Jesus came in a human body on that first Christmas morning. The importance of this fact is that as Jesus lived a fully human life from birth to death he came to understand us.

The writer of Hebrews says that our High Priest, who ever intercedes for us before the Father, intimately understands every part of our lives for He lived our lives in His own life. We cannot face any trouble in this life that He did not face. We cannot face any pain that Jesus did not face. We cannot face any emotion that Jesus did not face. He was in every way tempted and tried as we are yet He faced them all without sin. What a glorious example our Lord is to us and what a wonderful High Priest He is. Rejoice this season that your Lord Jesus understands everything about you for He lived your life in His own.

 

I challenged the teens last night to ask God for one unique opportunity to talk to someone about Christ this Christmas. Join us. People’s hearts are far more open at Christmas to talk about Jesus. He is on signs, in movies, and on cards. His name is plastered everywhere the greeting, “Merry Christmas” is displayed. Ask God for at least one unique opportunity to speak to someone of the Savior this season.

 Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

The Glory of God in the Birth of Jesus Christ

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What is the difference between thanking God for something and glorifying God for something? In this message Pastor Steve builds on the fifth sola, that God alone deserves the glory for our salvation, and takes it to the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. It is not unusual for a husband and a wife to have a child. We have children and we thank God for them. But it is unusual for a virgin to have a child. This unusual event, a miracle of God for our redemption, is worthy of far more than thanks, we need to give God glory for the events of life that are unique to His working.

 

 

God’s gracious confirmation

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Luke 2

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,

28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;

30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation

31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

How often has someone gone out of their way to confirm their love to you? When it happens is sure does feel nice. It wasn’t something that they needed to do nor something they had to do but when they did it any doubts you had were removed and the confirmation of their love was well received.

As I read about the old man Simeon, and the Christ child, I think about God going out of His way to confirm something to Mary and Joseph. Through the life of Christ, His miracles, His healings, and His resurrection, we were going to accept Him as the Savior. In fact, many Christians do not even remember Simeon’s name when asked who he was. But for Mary and Joseph Simeon was a confirmation that they had done the right thing, a confirmation of the hand of God upon them.

Here is an old man to whom God had uniquely communicated that he would see the promised One spoken of by the prophets 500-700 years earlier. Every day that he went to the Temple, Simeon was anticipating parents bringing in a child for dedication. Finally, when he held the Christ child, Simeon knew from God that this was the One. As Simeon proclaimed God’s message to the world, Mary and Joseph would know in their hearts that Simeon’s message was for them from God to confirm His will in their lives. Yes, both Mary and Joseph trusted the Lord and found themselves someplace they could not have gotten alone. In that place God confirmed that He was guiding their lives and that they had done the right thing.

 

When we follow the Lord we will know that following Him was the right thing to do. His guidance will be clear and His confirmation will be our assurance.

 

The Csire baby I mentioned yesterday is now breathing on her own. Continue to pray for her healing and that their will not be permanent damage to her little brain.

 We do have our regularly scheduled prayer and Bible study tonight. If you are not working tomorrow consider joining us for prayer at 7:45.

 As Christmas approaches, remember those who have lost loved ones this year as the holidays are particularly difficult times for them. Call the families of those you know just to check in and to confirm your love.

 Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Christ’s Second Advent

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2 Thessalonians 2

1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

For many Protestant churches, December is recognized as Advent.  Advent simply means “coming.”  Here Paul reminds the church that the Lord Jesus Christ is still coming.  There were false teachers even in Paul’s day who were teaching that Christ’s second coming had already happened.  Since the Christians, those who were the followers of Christ, were not aware of this, the false teachers told them that they missed it thus causing great trouble to their thinking.  So Paul tells them that no, Christ has not come yet and don’t be shaken by their false teaching.

One of the greatest teachings of hope we have is that Jesus is still coming.  We look forward the second Advent of Christ knowing that when He comes we will be taken from this mess and transported into His glorious presence.  As we read the Bible we see that the second coming of Christ is imminent, that is, He could come at any time.  For when Jesus ascended into heaven the angels told those watching that He was going to come back the same way they saw Him go.  As this has not happened yet we are still waiting.

Jesus could return today.  Wouldn’t that be awesome if He did!  I am ready for His return and so is everyone who is secure in Him.   Jesus is coming and we will be gathered to Him.  At that moment all of the struggles of this life will come to a glorious end.  We will meet Him in the clouds and will forever be with the Lord.  Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.  As you focus on Christmas, make the second coming of Christ a part of that focus.

We had a great time Sunday morning at our church.  The illustration box was a fun way to bring our attention to the Christ of Christmas.  Thanks to all who worked to make that a fun and important reminder this Christmas. 

Our Christmas caroling at Sunrise was a huge success.  The people there were so thankful for our time and effort to bring the music of Christmas to them.  I think we had twelve singers, including our four grandchildren and Lebo playing her violin, to lift up the name of the Savior.  As I go back this morning they will be so very thankful for that gift to them.

Many of you remember Hannah Alexander who married Josh Csire.  Josh’s brother and his wife had a second child who at one month old has contracted Hepatitis B which turned into meningitis.  This little one has now faced all of the trials of this sickness and we are praying for her body to be healed.  Join us in prayer for Brynlee Csire that God would raise her up.  Pray for her parents as we know all too well the difficulties of a sick child. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS