Noel

 Christmas  Comments Off on Noel
Dec 252017
 

This story comes from a Christian school teacher.
Having rehearsed, she felt brave enough to take the students for caroling.

They went to a number of places where the people were homebound.
After each place, the children talked about how the older folks had smiled as they sang.

The children had never seen such smiles.

The wandering concert ended up in the community’s only nursing home.
There, the teacher, with her charges in tow, wandered the hallways giving a song at the doorway of each resident.

Only then did she notice that one of her more enthusiastic singers had rewritten the words to one of the songs.

Where he was supposed to be singing-
“Noel, Noel” (Noel, meaning Christmas or Christmastide),
– he was belting out, for all to hear:

“No hell, no hell, born is the King of Israel.”

I like the boy’s interpretation.
“No hell” certainly explains the purpose of Christ’s coming, doesn’t it?

Because God’s Son came into this world-
– all who believe on Him no longer have to fear sin, death, the devil, or hell.

Because of Jesus-
– all who believe in Him as Saviour know they need not fear hell.

The job is done; our redemption is complete.
Believers have God’s Good News of great joy that the angels first announced to the Bethlehem shepherds.

Christians have a Saviour-
Christ the Lord!

It is regretful that so many people seem to question-
– the reality, the completeness, and the truth of Jesus atonement.

If you are among those who are looking-
– let me assure you that Jesus’ work is real, total, and effective.

Like the little boy-
– you can believe that because of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection, there is, for you, no hell.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned…” (John 3:16-18).

(PA)

Advent anticipates

 Christmas  Comments Off on Advent anticipates
Dec 202017
 

manger-scene

“The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your Saviour comes! See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him'” (Isaiah 62:11).

What’s the big deal with Advent?

The Bible passage above shows that the prophet Isaiah knew the answer long before Jesus came:
“See, your Saviour comes!”

The coming of the Saviour is a big deal.

Imagine if you were imprisoned on death row.
In that situation, the most important thing to you would be the arrival of a messenger bringing news of your pardon or not.

The arrival of such a pardon would mean life.
The absence would mean death.

Because of the sin we live with every day-
– we face a death sentence unless we receive a pardon.

Advent anticipates our pardon.
Christmas Day celebrates that our pardon has arrived.

Good Friday accomplished our pardon-
-at the cost of Christ’s suffering and death in our place.

Easter announced our pardon.
It is the celebration that we have been set free and the threat of death no longer hangs over us.

But Isaiah’s message is about more than just a pardon.

The Lord promises that we will receive a reward when our Savior comes-
– the riches of His heavenly kingdom.

It is no wonder that Christmas is such a joyous celebration preceded by a season of such expectation.

Thank the Lord Jesus, for the righteous salvation that He brings through the gift of His forgiveness that takes away the burdens of our sin.

(PA)

Oct 302017
 

Jesus_on_cross

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering” (Romans 8:1–3).

Today is Good Friday-

– the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ who died on an excruciatingly painful Roman cross two thousand years ago.

Because God is a God of infinite justice-

– he cannot forgive sin without justice being served.

Otherwise he wouldn’t be God.

This means that all sin must be judged according to the moral law of God and the universe.

We can no more defy this law and live than we can defy the law of gravity by jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.

The end result will be death unless—unless we apply another law, the law of aerodynamics.

This law makes it possible for an airplane to fly and a parachute to lower us to the earth gradually and thereby save us.

There is another universal law that we cannot defy and live.

It is “the law of sin and death,” which means that the judgment and penalty of all sin is death and eternal separation from God.

That is, unless we apply a higher law which is “the law of the Spirit of Life,” which is a God-given “spiritual parachute” to save us from eternal death.

God provided this law through the death of Jesus who died in our place to pay the penalty for our sin.

Furthermore, because God is also a God of absolute holiness, no sin or unforgiven sinners can survive in his presence.

As some bacteria are not able to survive in the light and die if they are exposed to it, so it is with us.

In our sinful state if we were exposed to God and his incredible light, we would be destroyed instantaneously.

And herein lies our dilemma.

However, God’s answer to our dilemma lies in the fact that God is not only a God of infinite justice and absolute holiness, but also a God of eternal love.

Because of his love, God gave his very own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins to meet the automatic demands of his (God’s) justice and holiness.

Christ’s death made possible God’s “law of the Spirit of Life”—our God-given “spiritual parachute”—to save us from eternal death.

Not to accept and use God’s “parachute” means certain death from which there is no other escape.

In other words, anyone who doesn’t accept God’s pardon will automatically die for him/herself—which means eternal separation from God, the author of all love and life, in the place or condition the Bible calls hell.

All we need to do is-

– confess our sinfulness,

– believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died in our place for our sins, and

– ask God for, and accept, his forgiveness and pardon.

If you have never done this, you can do so right now by praying the following prayer.

“Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs that I have done. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me. I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as Lord and Saviour. I commit and trust my life to you. Please give me the desire to be what you want me to be and to do what you want me to do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your free pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

(PA)

Oct 252017
 

Man prays to God

Nicodemus would probably be welcome at any church today.

He seems an ideal member-
– principled, knowledgeable, morally upstanding, courteous, and humble.

However, Nicodemus had two big problems despite all of that outward religious appeal.

He was-
– blind to the truth and
– spiritually dead.

The man was lost!
That is, he did not have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

As a Pharisee-
Nicodemus adhered to strict Jewish codes and laws, so he was certainly religious.

But the problem of the lost person is not attitudes, conduct, or even character.

We can change and control those through sheer determination, and many folks do.
What people really need is a change of condition!

We come into this world-
– with a sinful nature that is bent away from God.

Jesus explained to the observant rabbi that-
– all his outward goodness couldn’t erase, replace, or change his nature.

Instead, every person who desires to serve God-
– must be born again!

The Lord promised that if Nicodemus received Him as Saviour-
– then he would enter into a brand-new life!

His old sinful nature would be transformed-
– so that he could have a real relationship with God.

Instead of appearing to be a religious man-
Nicodemus would be a true believer.

No one gets into heaven on the strength of good works and kind behaviour.
When we stand before God, only our condition will matter.

In place of our old, dead “flesh” nature-
– we should show Him the living spirit we have received when Jesus Christ came into our life.

(PA)

May 232017
 
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
This verse says you’re a brand new creature if you are in Christ Jesus!
The word ‘new’ is from the Greek word kainos!
It describes something that is brand new or recently made.
It also carries the idea of something that is superior.
This means when Jesus Christ came into your life-
– you were made brand, spanking new!
The new you is superior to the old you!
In fact-
You are so new that this verse calls you a new creature!
The moment we receive Christ as Saviour-
We should start displaying new attitudes in life,
– along with new behaviours and habits.
It may take time for these to become established in daily practice.
But there should be no doubt that the process is working.
New goals.
New priorities.
New relationships.
New emotions.
New perspectives.
New words.
New responses.
New and improved!
Does that describe you?

What a wonderful change-

– in my life has been wrought
– since Jesus came into my heart!
(PA)