CHRISTMAS IS NOTHING WITHOUT CHRIST

If there is no Christ – there is no Christmas! Why are Christians are so convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Why you might ask, it’s an excellent question.
Our belief is laid on a very solid foundation. First of all we believe in divine revelation not just human discovery. In fact to learn about something outside of our sphere of experience we all accept we need information from a trustworthy source. If you are serious about discovering the truth – check the Bible out. It is a trustworthy source. Read it, check it’s sources, speak to those who believe it, look at it’s accuracy in every sphere it touches. There can only be one answer to the question of the origin of a book that was written over one thousand five hundred years by forty different authors, many of whom did not even know each other. The Bible is God’s message to mankind.
Secondly check the facts concerning Jesus Christ. There are over three hundred signposts (biblical predictions/prophecies) which point to him. The chances of them all being fulfilled precisely in the life of one person, at the right time, in the right place are mindblowing odds apart from this fact – God planned it and implemented His plan in a person – His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible predicts the mode of his conception, the place of his birth, his exile into Egypt, the slaughtering of the innocents, the gifts from the magi and lots more.
Finally look at the prediction about the way that Jesus would die. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 52 describe the horrific death of God’s Son on a cross. Death by crucifixion was unknown when Psalm 22 was written about 1000 years before the death of Jesus but God knew that was the way that His Son would die.
In closing please listen again to the words of the angels who announced the birth of the Lord Jesus ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord’. Is he your Saviour? He died ‘for our sins’. He suffered ‘the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God’. Will you rest by faith on what the Lord Jesus did to save your soul?

LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION!

Life’s most important questions – Is Jesus alive?

The Lord Jesus Christ is no ordinary person. I make this statement in the present tense because the Lord Jesus is not just a figure of history but he is, today, still alive in heaven. I don’t mean alive in the way we might think about a relative who has died and hope is now in heaven. As a Christian I believe people who have turned from their sin and accepted Jesus as their Saviour will be in heaven when they die but this is not my point at the moment. I mean that Jesus is alive, physically in heaven.

Your response might be – impossible and unbelievable!

The record of the life of Christ is all highly improbable if you ignore the key ingredient, God. I agree that the following seems way off the mark – believing that Jesus was more than a man, lived an absolutely faultless life, could do miracles, somehow became accountable for sin and evil and died to pay the price to deal with it on a cross outside Jerusalem and finally three days after his death came back to life. Add to that he lived on earth for forty days after his suffering, death and resurrection and physically rose from the earth and passed through the sky and space into the presence of His Father, God in heaven itself. On a purely rationale level this sounds like I am stretching facts and calling it truth!
BUT WHAT IF……
A careful analysis of the facts points to Jesus being the Son of God!

The evidence points to it being statistically impossible for the historical predictions (the bible calls them prophecies) being fulfilled accurately being mere coincidence!

It was impossible to deceive so many historians and eye witnesses on a such a grand scale!

The probability of it being the truth is higher than the probability of it being a lie?
I believe that this is the truth of the matter. I believe that the evidence of the authenticity of the bible is there if you care to look for it. I believe there is no other honest conclusion that you can come to about who Jesus is if you are prepared to genuinely look at the facts.

In support of this the bible clearly states: ‘these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life in his name’, John 20:31.

What do you think?

(source : http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)

HERE TODAY – WHERE TOMORROW?

HERE TODAY – WHERE TOMORROW?

With the speed and facility of modern travel it is possible to have breakfast in the UK and tea in the USA. In travel terms the world has shrunk and this has opened up a whole new vista on holiday destinations with many companies specialising in long haul flights to exotic and distant locations. Travellers are less restricted in their choice and even the most remote places have become accessible, so you can be here today and almost anywhere on earth tomorrow. Maybe, even now as you read this article, you have read the brochures and planned your summer holiday.
However the apostle James in his epistle warns against presuming that we can do this or that tomorrow. In Chapter 4.14,15 we read; ” Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Solomon in his wisdom, wrote in Proverbs 27.1;”Boast not thyself of tomorrow; For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
Life is uncertain, I can call only the present moment mine and I cannot state definitely what I shall do or where I will be tomorrow. You may expect to be in the office, or work on the farm as usual, or attend school as you have so often done but can you be sure? Perhaps life has become rather monotonous and drab and every day seems to be the same but tomorrow could be different. You may feel that you are in a secure routine and there appears to be nothing on the horizon to threaten that but things can change suddenly and unexpectedly. You may on the other hand have planned something out of the ordinary for tomorrow, but will your ambitions ever be realised?
So, where will you be tomorrow? At home, at work, in hospital, in heaven, in hell? What will you be doing tomorrow? Working, travelling, weeping, rejoicing, resting? How will you be tomorrow? Healthy, happy, excited, disappointed, tired, sick, dead? You say, “I have no idea, no one can be sure.”
But there are those of us who know that if things don’t work out as planned, if calamities should suddenly overtake us, if life should unexpectedly be brought to an end, that all is well for eternity.
There is not the slightest doubt in our minds because the Word of God has assured us. Note the confidence of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8.38,39; “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” John writes in his first epistle, chapter 5.13; “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” Paul’s last letter was 2 Timothy and in chapter 1.12 he wrote;”…for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
Dear reader, do you have such confidence or do you have nagging doubts and apprehension regarding the future? Are you persuaded or perplexed? Before the end of today you could be able to sing, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”
The facts regarding Christ’s death on your behalf are absolutely beyond dispute. In 1Corinthians 15.3 we read; “…Christ died for our sins…” In 1Peter 2.24 it is stated; ” Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” In Romans 5.8 we read; ” Christ died for us.”
All has been done that you might be in heaven – are you prepared to trust Christ and depend exclusively on Him and what He has done at Calvary to save you from hell and take you to heaven? If so, then tomorrow will hold no dread for you and peace will be yours amid all the uncertainties of life.
(source : http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)

HARRY & MEGAN’S WEDDING SERMON

HARRY & MEGAN’S WEDDING SERMON – PREACHER MICHAEL CURRY

I so enjoyed the preaching of this man today that I wanted to present it to you. It is not for me to critique his preaching but I want to highlight some of things he said that we would do well to consider.
May you come to know Christ as Lord and Saviour through the word of God. If you understand the grace of God and love of God as displayed in Christ Jesus then you need to repent of your sins, and Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16. 31.
The Wedding Sermon
The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, and I quote: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.
There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love. If you don’t believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to center around you and your beloved. There’s power, power in love. Not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love. There’s a certain sense, in which when you are loved and you know it, when someone cares for you and you know it, when you love and you show it, it actually feels right. There’s something right about it. And there’s a reason for it. The reason has to do with the source. We were made by a power of love. Our lives are meant to be lived in that love—that’s why we are here. Ultimately, the source of love is God himself—the source of all of our lives.
There’s an old medieval poem that says it: “Where true love is found, God himself is there.” The New Testament says it this way:Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; and those who love are born of God and know God; those who do not love, do not know God. Why? For God is love.
There’s power in love. There is power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live. Set me as a seal on your heart, a seal on your arm. For love, it is strong as death. But love is not only about a young couple. Now the power of love is demonstrated by the fact that we are all here. Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up. But it’s not just for and about a young couple who we rejoice with. It’s more than that.
Jesus of Nazareth, on one occasion, was asked to sum up the essence of the teachings of Moses. And he reached back to the Hebrew scriptures of Deuteronomy and Leviticus. And Jesus said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.
And then in Matthew’s version, he added, he said, on these two, love of God and love of neighbor, hang all the law, all the prophets, everything that Moses wrote, everything in the holy prophets, everything in the scriptures, everything that God has been trying to tell the world. Love God. Love your neighbors. And while you’re at it, love yourself.
Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in all of human history: a movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world. A movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing, to change not only their lives, but the very life of the world itself. I am talking about some power. Real power. Power to change the world. If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s Antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love, and why it has the power to transform. They explained it this way. They sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity. It’s the one that says there is a balm in Gilead—a healing balm.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul. One of the stanzas actually explains why: if you cannot preach like Peter, and you cannot pray like Paul, you just tell the love of Jesus, how he died to save us all. That’s the balm of Gilead.
This way of love, it is the way of life. They got it; he died to save us all. He didn’t die for anything he could get out of it. Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying. He wasn’t getting anything out of it. He sacrificed his life for the good of others, for the well-being of the world, for us. That’s what love is.
Love is not selfish and self-centered. Love can be sacrificial and, in so doing, become redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives. And it can change this world. If you don’t believe me, just stop, think, and imagine.
Think and imagine a world when love is the way. Imagine our homes and families when love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities when love is the way. Imagine governments and nations when love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when love is the way. Imagine this tired, old world when love is the way. When love is the way—unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive—then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the Earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more. When love is the way, there is plenty of good room for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all. And we are brothers and sisters, children of God. My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new Earth, a new world, a new human family.
And let me tell you something: Solomon was right in the Old Testament. That’s fire.
With this, we’ll sit down. We gotta get y’all married.
French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was arguably one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century—a Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, a scientist, a scholar, a mystic. In some of his writings, he said from his scientific background as well as his theological one, that the discovery and harnessing of fire was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries in all of human history. Fire, to a great extent, made human civilization possible. Fire made it possible to cook food and to provide sanitary ways of eating, which reduced the spread of disease in its time. Fire made it possible to heat environments, and thereby made human migration around the world a possibility, even into older climates. There was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire. The advances of science and technology are greatly dependent on the human ability and capacity to take fire and use it for human good.
Anybody get here in a car today, an automobile? Nod your heads if you did; I know there were some carriages. For those of us who came in cars, fire made that possible. I know that the Bible says—and I believe that Jesus walked on water. But I have to tell you I didn’t walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here. Controlled fire in that plane got me here. Fire makes it possible for us to text and tweet and e-mail and Instagram and Facebook, and otherwise socially be dysfunctional with each other.
Fire makes all that possible. And de Chardin said that fire was one of the greatest discoveries of all of human history. He then went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love, it would be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.
Dr. King was right: we must discover love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world.
My brother, my sister—God love you, God bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.
Amen.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life
The Gospel of John, chapter three, verse sixteen
(source : http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk/)

Discuss The Son of God

The following excerpt from John chapter 5 is crystal clear that Jesus, in defining Himself as the Son of God, is declaring that He and His Father are the One True and Living God.

Let me take you through it, and then I’d be glad to hear your thoughts.

The chapter begins with Jesus healing a man at the pool of Bethesda, who had been ill for 38 years.  Note, first of all, the authority with which Jesus speaks:

Jesus said unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

He doesn’t invoke the name of the LORD, or attribute the miracle to God, but seems to act by His own will and in His own authority. The problem was … Jesus had healed the man on the Sabbath day, an act that the religious leaders classed as work, and therefore illegal.

And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for you to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up your bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto you, Take up your bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed did not know who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you. 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

In His defense, Jesus makes an astonishing statement!

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father works hitherto, and I work.

What does He mean by this? Well, we don’t need to guess, for the Jewish, religious leaders, experts in the Law of Moses, had no doubt what Jesus meant, immediately identifying it as blasphemous.  They claimed that Jesus was essentially saying, ‘I am God’.

IF YOU THINK DIFFERENTLY, I’D LIKE TO HEAR YOUR EXPLANATION BELOW.

18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Some make the point that these are Jesus’ enemies speaking, so why should we believe them? A fair question, but Jesus Himself goes on to clarify His meaning, drawing the union between Himself and His Father ever clearer. Instead of denying their claim, He confirms it by pointing out the unity of action: ‘as the Father … even so the Son’. It is this unity of mind, purpose and action that is the point of the phrase in v19, ‘The Son can do nothing of Himself’.

(ADAM TO BEGIN WITH, THEN ALL THE REST OF US, MAKE FREE CHOICES TO ACT OUTSIDE THE WILL OF GOD AND/OR DISOBEY HIS WORD,  FOR JESUS CHRIST, THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! HE CANNOT ACT ‘OF HIMSELF’; OF HIS OWN ACCORD, OUTSIDE OF THE FATHER’S WILL AND PURPOSE, FOR HE AND THE FATHER ARE ONE GOD.)

19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shews him all things that himself does: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens (makes alive) them; even so the Son quickens whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son:

Not only does Jesus confirm their understanding, but in this last verse enhances it, by pointing out the consequences of it for the Jewish leaders themselves: they cannot say they are honouring God, if they do not honour the Son.

23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honours not the Son, honours not the Father which has sent him.

How do you honour God, the Father?

Well, because the Father loves His eternal Son, He desires that you honour Jesus Christ, the Son, in the same way, for they are One God, and there is only one response: to bow down and worship!

(courtesy of forwardinhope.com)

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