Archive for December, 2016

Born Ultimatum # 2

Posted: December 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

WEDNESDAY – Read John 3:16-17. THE PURPOSE OF HIS BIRTH. The purpose of Jesus’ birth was to save you. This offer of salvation is made to whoever believes. To “believe” is more than intellectual agreement that Jesus is God. It means putting our trust and confidence in him that he alone can save us. It is to put Christ in charge of our present plans and eternal destiny. Believing is both trusting his words as reliable and relying on him for the power to change. Jesus accepted our punishment and paid the price for our sins so that we would not perish. Perish does not mean physical death, for we all will eventually die. Here it refers to eternity apart from God. Those who believe will receive the alternative, the new life that Jesus bought for us—everlasting life with God. Ask the Lord to help you trust in Jesus Christ to save you from your sins and lead you each and every day.
THURSDAY – Read John 3:16-17. THE PROOF OF GOD’S LOVE. The proof of God’s love was that He sent His Son into our world to be a man. Christ was sent to save us. His purpose was to save us from perishing and to save us to eternal life. Christ was not sent to condemn or to judge the world. We, the world, deserve to be judged and condemned. And one day, at God’s chosen time, those without Christ will be judged by Christ. We all come to a point where we are guilty both of breaking God’s law and falling short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). The good news is that judgment and condemnation were not His purpose for being born at Christmas. Meditate on these verses and thank God for His love… “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Thank the Lord for showing us how much He loves us by sending His Son to become one of us.
FRIDAY – Read John 3:16-17. THE MEANS OF GOD’S LOVE. We have no other place to turn for reconciliation with God other than Jesus Christ. No other religion, religious figure, way of life, philosophy, or material possession can bridge the gap between us and a holy God. 1 Timothy 1:15 tells us that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 2:5 tells us there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. In John 14:6, Jesus Himself claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life and that no man could come into relationship with the Father except by Him. Acts 4:12 tells us there is no salvation in any other name other than Jesus. Christ alone is the means of salvation. We can’t earn or work our way into God’s good graces. Only faith in Christ restores our relationship with the Father. Thank the Lord that Jesus made a way to the Father when we couldn’t make our own way.

Born Ultimatum # 1

Posted: December 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

MONDAY – Read John 3:16-17. THE FACT THAT GOD LOVES YOU. The idea that God loves the whole world was a new idea. The Jews believed God loved the religious (the true Jew) and hated the non-religious (the Gentiles). The same thoughts are held by many in every generation, especially by religionists. The fact that God truly loves is shocking to many. Some wonder and others question how God could possibly love the vile person, murderer, immoral person, or a thief. God loves every person, not just the religious and the good. He does not love only the people who love Him. He loves everyone, even the unlovely and the unloving, the unbelieving and the obstinate, the selfish and the greedy, the spiteful and the vengeful. The basis of God’s love is His nature. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16); therefore, He loves. He acts, demonstrates, and shows His love (Rom. 5:8). Love acts; it expresses itself. Love does not sit still, doing nothing. It is not dormant, complacent, or inactive. If love actually exists, it has to act and express itself; it has to do something good. Love is loving; that is, love is always demonstrating love to others. Therefore, God’s love acts and reveals Him to be love. Ask God to help you freely accept His love for you in spite of the reasons you may doubt His love.
TUESDAY – Read John 3:16-17. THE EVIDENCE THAT DEMONSTRATES GOD IS LOVE. God demonstrated His love in the most perfect way possible: He gave His only begotten Son to the world at Christmas. As God, He is perfect, which means His love is perfect. Therefore, God not only loves, but He so loves. He loves to perfection, loves to the ultimate degree. Whatever the ultimate degree and the perfect act and expression of love is, God shows it. Without question, the greatest act of love is the sacrifice of a man’s own life (John 15:13); therefore, God sacrificed the life of His own Son to save man. The Father gave His best, His unique and beloved Son. Thank the Lord for His great expression of love toward you – the sacrifice of His Son. Then, accept that love personally. Let it sink into

Bron Supremacy Part 2

Posted: December 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

Wednesday – Read Philippians 2:8. HE OBEYED TO THE POINT OF DEATH. The Greek word for appearance here is schema, meaning an outer appearance, rather than “nature” or “essence.” Jesus was still God but He took on manhood. When Jesus took on a human body (that is, after he grew to manhood), he then humbled himself to accomplish that task for which he had come—to die for sinful humanity in order that they might have eternal life. All humans must die, but Jesus, as the divine Son, accepted death in obedience to the Father’s will. This does not mean that he was obedient “to death” as if death had any power over him; instead, Jesus obeyed the will of God to the point of death. Ask the Lord to give you the desire and courage to obey Him even if it means you have to give up everything this world holds dear.
Thursday – Read Philippians 2:8. HE FREELY CHOSE TO DIE FOR US. Jesus died the worst possible torture—death by crucifixion. Death on a cross was the form of capital punishment that Romans used for notorious criminals. It was excruciatingly painful and humiliating. Prisoners were nailed or tied to a cross and left to die. Death might not come for several days, and it usually came by suffocation when the weight of the weakened body made breathing more and more difficult. The writer to the Hebrews explained, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:7-8 niv). Jesus’ human life was not a script that he passively followed. It was a life that he chose freely (John 10:17-18); it was a continuous process of making the will of God the Father his own. Jesus chose to obey, even though his obedience led to suffering and death. Ask the Lord to help you see the amount of suffering Jesus was willing to endure out of love for you.
Friday – Read Philippians 2:8. HE TOOK MY PUNISHMENT. But why did Jesus have to become human in the first place? Why did he have to die? A holy God cannot overlook sin. The sinfulness of humanity had to be punished. In the Old Testament, God required his people to sacrifice animals (“perfect” animals, healthy and whole) to atone for their sins. The costly sacrifice of an animal’s life impressed upon the sinner the seriousness of his or her sin before God. When animals’ blood was shed, God regarded the people’s faith and obedience, cleansed them, and made them ceremonially clean. Why blood? There is no greater symbol of life than blood; blood keeps us alive. “For the life of a creature is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11 niv). At the right time, God dealt once and for all with sin and its ultimate consequence, death and eternal separation from God. Instead of sending all humanity to eternal punishment, God took the punishment himself through the life and body of Jesus. Thank the Lord for His holiness and for His grace. Thank Jesus for His sacrifice on your behalf to reconcile you to the Father.

The Born Supremacy

Posted: December 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

5016 December 11, 2016

THE BORN SUPREMACY

 (Hebrews 1:1-4) “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”

The Unexpected Supremacy of this Newborn Baby

The baby in the manger is greater than all of CREATION! v2 “… His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

(Rom. 1:25) “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.”

The baby in the manger is greater than all of my Searching! v3 “ The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.”

The baby in the manger is greater than all of my SINS! v3 “ After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

The baby’s name is greater than all other NAMES! 4 “So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”

(Acts 4:12) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Spend a few minutes each day this week digging a little deeper into the truths that you have heard today by reading scripture and the devotional thought. Then, ask God to help you put His truth into practice.
Monday – Read Philippians 2:5. OUR EXAMPLE. Philippians 2:5-11 is one of the greatest passages ever written about Jesus Christ. Very simply, the passage says that Jesus Christ is God, yet He humbled Himself and became Man. Jesus Christ is the Person who dwelt in all the glory of perfection, but He humbled Himself and came to this corruptible world that knows little else other than selfishness, greed and death. Just imagine the enormous step down that Jesus Christ had to take to become a Man. It is utterly impossible to grasp the humility it took. Yet, this is exactly what He did and it is what we are to do. The very same mind that existed in Jesus Christ—that led Christ to give up everything He was and had—that very mind is to be in us. Are you willing to humble yourself and serve your family, your workplace, your neighbors, and your community in the name of Christ? Are you willing to give up what is comfortable in order to serve others for their good? Ask the Lord to help you cast aside pride and ego and walk in humble dependence on God with the mindset of a selfless servant… just like Jesus did.
Tuesday – Read Philippians 2:5-7. THE DEITY OF CHRIST. Christ is of the “very nature” of God. This means that Jesus Christ is not merely like God; He is God. It means that Jesus Christ did not just achieve a high level of righteousness when on earth; He was the very embodiment of righteousness. It means that Jesus Christ did not just walk more perfectly than other men walk; He was the very picture (essence) of perfection. It means that Jesus Christ did not become God when on earth; He has been God throughout all eternity. These verses clearly show that Jesus Christ is God. John wrote this about Jesus in his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). When Jesus Christ was on earth, He was constantly claiming…to be God, to be the Son of God, to have the nature of God, to be one with God, to be on an equal basis with God.
Was He a thief? Was He robbing and snatching the title of God or was He truly God? He did not have to rob and grasp after the deity of God; He was already on an equal basis with God. Jesus may have been born as a baby in a stable but that was not His beginning. He has always been and always will be God. This Christmas, worship Jesus as the eternal Creator of the universe who came into this world to rescue you.

Read Luke 2:8-20. THE HINGE OF HISTORY. Some of the Jews were waiting for a savior to deliver them from Roman rule. They were expecting a military leader. Others hoped that the Christ (Messiah) would deliver them from physical ailments. While Jesus did heal some, His focus was on delivering them from sin. Jesus’ work was more far-reaching than anyone could have imagined. Christ paid the price for sin and opened the way to peace with God. He offers us more than temporary political or physical changes—he offers us new hearts that will last for eternity. Without Christ, the plight of mankind would have continued on the road of hopelessness because of the plague of sin. When Christ was born in Bethlehem, the entire course of humanity was altered. A light broke through the darkness and hope stepped onto the stage of history. As the late Ralph Stockman (pastor) once wrote, “The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable.” Have you opened that door and allowed the Savior to step into your heart by faith? If not, today would be a great day to do it! Ask the Lord to shine the light of faith in your heart and then trust Jesus for salvation.

Read Luke 2:8-20. SPREAD THE WORD. What a birth announcement by the angels! The shepherds were terrified, but their fear turned to joy as the angels announced the Messiah’s birth. First the shepherds ran to see the baby; then they spread the word. Praise for God and gratitude for what he has done should motivate you to tell others about what Christ has done in your life. Have you discovered a relationship with Christ so wonderful that you can’t help sharing your joy with your friends? Ask the Lord to give you the opportunities and courage to invite others to Riverwoods so they can hear the good news about Jesus.

Read Luke 2:8-20. TELLING ALL YOU KNOW. These shepherds told everyone who would listen all that they had heard and seen. Often people who try to tell all that they know are politely avoided. It can be boring to listen to someone who never stops to take a breath. But in the shepherds’ case, people listened, because: Shepherds were not supposed to know much, and these shepherds had startling information… The message was revolutionary, breathtaking, and transformative. It changed listeners’ lives… The shepherds spoke from the heart, and their words connected to the deepest needs of others… When you tell about Jesus, start with what you know best: your life experience. Tell the story of God in your life. You don’t need to embellish, but don’t hold back either. Your words will change many, and God will use you to change the world. Ask the Lord to give you boldness as you tell others the story of how Jesus has changed you.