Are you ready for Christmas?
We are having our Christmas Eve services this year on Dec. 23, 10am & 6pm; Dec. 24, 12pm, 2pm, & 4pm
I love history and fun facts, so here's a list of top Christmas Gifts from 1980 to today:
1980 Rubiks Cube
1983 Cabbage Patch Kids
1984 Transformer Action Figures
1985 Care Bears
1989 Game Boy
1992 WWF Action Figures
1996 Tickle Me Elmo
2005 Xbox 360
2007 Ipod Touch
2009 Nintendo Wii
2010 Apple Ipad
We’ve gone from Rubiks cubes to Ipads. But…
The greatest gift that you can receive this Christmas is Jesus!
One of my favorite Christmas Movies is The Polar Express. In this movie, a doubting boy boards a magical train on Christmas Eve, which is headed for the North Pole. He and a little girl who become friends as they are guided along by the conductor.
A magical train shows up and takes them on a magical ride to the north pole.
The boy learns how to overcome his doubts and believe.
Conductor: “Sometimes seeing is believing. And sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see.”
And at the end of the movie he decides he is going to believe.
Now this movie is obviously a fiction movie about Santa Claus, but it has a powerful message of believing.
Many people have questions about faith and God, and it’s ok to have questions and doubt. God can handle them. He loves it when we are honest.
Luke 2:8-14, “That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”(NLT)
The most awesome thing about Christmas isn’t all of the food, presents and festivities. The most awesome part of Christmas is that….WE HAD NO HOPE BUT JESUS CAME TO EARTH
An angel of the Lord appears before the shepherds…
10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
DON’T BE AFRAID
When we understand who Jesus is and what He came to do, we no longer have to live in fear! Perfect love cast out all fear! Jesus coming to earth demonstrated perfect love.
1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”(NIV)
I used to be afraid. I used to think that if I had any sin in my life and I was to be in an accident and die then I wouldn’t go to heaven. I thought all you had to do was sin and you could lose your salvation. Then I realized that when you receive Jesus as your Savior, repenting of your sins and allowing Him to be your Lord and Savior you are guaranteed eternal life! Wow, that was a huge revelation and it set me free to live for Jesus without condemnation.
Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”(NIV)
The good news is when you BELIEVE in Jesus the Holy Spirit is given to you as a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance.
So, we don’t have to be AFRAID!
IT’S THE GOOD NEWS!
10, …“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
Good news = Gospel
I love good news.
I think a lot of people when they think about Christians their first thought isn’t good news.
We need to remember that we have GOOD NEWS to share!
Let’s share and serve with a smile on our face!
Jesus came to give us Good News!
It’s GOOD news!
Why is it good?
He came to rescue us from our sins.
He came to give us hope
He came to give us power to overcome the devil
He came to give us life
He came to give us eternal life
He came to help us live the Blessed Life
What is the gospel? Jesus is the Messiah and He came to this earth to be our Savior and Lord! Yeshua means SALVATION. Yeshua – Yahweh Saves! He came to SAVE US!
11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(NIV)
Paul is a great example of life transformation– He hated and persecuted Christians. He was there when Stephen was stoned. On his way to Damascus to bring more believers back to be persecuted He is blinded by a bright light and falls to the ground.
God gets his attention.
Acts 9:3-6, “As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”(NLT)
God speaks to a believer in Damascus named Ananias to go and pray with Paul.
Acts 9:10-18, “Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied. 11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.” 13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.” 15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.”(NLT)
Paul was healed, received Jesus as his Savior and was baptized all in one day!
I heard a story recently at a Next Steps One Day - One woman came to church received Christ as her Savior and decided to get baptized the same day! That’s actually how we see it in the Bible. They wouldn’t think about waiting until a later time. The example in the days of Christ. They would get saved and then baptized immediately.
In the movie Polar Express they took a trip on a train to the North Pole.
But in God’s word we see a different journey. I want to share with you the Romans Road to Salvation.
THE HEAVEN EXPRESS!
4 Markers on the Express that we need to understand:
Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Sin – is an archery term that means to miss the mark. Anything other than perfection is a sin.
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
2 options wages or gift. Wages of sin is death, the FREE GIFT of God is eternal life.
Top Christmas Gifts from 1980 to today.
1980 Rubiks Cube - 2010 Apple Ipad
We’ve gone from Rubiks cubes to Ipads.
The greatest gift that you can receive this Christmas is Jesus!
Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
When Jesus stretched out his arms on the cross He built a bridge for you and me to have salvation.
Romans 10:9-10, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Confess means to agree with God that you have sinned.
If you would like to make a FRESH START with God today and know for sure that Jesus is your Savior and Lord you can do that right now. And what better time than the weekend before Christmas!
Prayer – For those who say I know I’m a Christian but I’ve been luke warm. I’ve been complacent. I haven’t been living my life like I BELIEVE.
Matthew 16:24-26, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (NLT)
We will be baptizing at all of our services this Sunday, and you may sign up here, if you are ready to make that next step!