APO-20 951220WE Christmas – Its Origin & Tradition Luke chapter 1 and we’re going to cover a lot of ground tonight. As I was working on this and studying and praying and talking with my dear Bonnie she said, you know the Christmas that we’re surrounded by is so opposite of what we read in […]
ZNA-396 891203AM GOD WITH US Matthew 1:18-23 Christmas is coming! And lest we miss the full impact of what happened, we start four weeks of contemplation! Our target this Sunday is to see the marvels of God with us. Read Mt. 1:18-23 – what does God with us mean? C. H. Spurgeon preached one Advent […]
ZNA-392 891217AM FULLNESS OF TIME Galatians 4:4-5 We now come to the third week of preparations celebrating Christ’s coming. From Matt. 1: We have seen Him as God with us – Emmanuel From Isa. 9: We have marveled at His fourfold plentitude of the Son who was a Child, yet with this character: Wonderful Counselor […]
ZNA-391 891217AM FULLNESS OF TIME Galatians 4:4-5 We now come to the third week of preparations celebrating Christ’s coming. From Matt. 1: We have seen Him as God with us – Emmanuel From Isa. 9: We have marveled at His fourfold plentitude of the Son who was a Child, yet with this character: Wonderful Counselor […]
ZNA-73 971203WE Christmas Traditions Christmas is so full of wonder, meaning and tradition. But, where did all these things that we now call Christmas — come from? Lets just briefly sketch the origin and development of what we now celebrate as Christ’s Birth. The Biblical Celebration _______________________________________ Luke 1:78-79 Through the tender mercy of […]
FTF-13 141228AM GOS-20 Opening & Enjoying the Greatest Gift .docx Opening & Enjoying the Greatest Christmas Gift of All: The One God Gave John 3:16 Every year as we read the Christmas story’s four chapters, we can see again how God tied Christmas & Easter together, right from the start. So as we turn to […]
141224ls GCM-52 The Hands Of God, Face Of God, And Feet Of God, In A Manger.Docx The Hands of God, The Face of God, & The Feet of God: In a Manger Matthew 2:1-11 John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, And the Word was with God, And the Word was […]
121224LS Shepherds .docx Christmas Eve Communion Lessons in Seeking Christ From the Humble Shepherds Luke 2:1-20 GCM-51 The Shepherds are so much like us. They heard and responded to God, and came to Christ. From their lives tonight, join me is seeing the way those who greeted Christ at His arrival, have shown […]
111211PM WTB-5 Perfect Time.doc World of the Bible Series: Jesus Arrived at The perfect TIME Galatians 4:4-5 GCM-49 The Kid’s praise reminds us that in the days of “Caesar Augustus”, Jesus Christ was born. Luke 2:1 (NKJV) And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that […]
GCM-48 111224LS God in a Manger.DOC The Hands of God, Face of God, and Feet of God: In a Manger Matthew 2:1-11 John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, And the Word was with God, And the Word was God; John 1:14 And the Word Became flesh and dwelt […]
101212AM GCM-47 Mary: A Beautiful Woman Luke 1:26-55 God loves beauty, surrounds Himself with beauty, and wants us to allow His beauty to be upon us. In the prayer of Moses the man who knew God face-to-face we find these words, listen to Moses’ prayer at the very end of Psalm 90: Psalm 90:17 […]
101205AM GCM-46 Joseph: The Quiet Man Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2 As we open to Matthew 1, whenever I look at the cast of Christmas: one member stands out because he is so quiet. Joseph is one of the main characters: he opens the Christmas story in Matthew 1 and closes the story in […]
101128AM GCM-45 Theology.doc The Glory of Christmas Series: The Theology of Christmas Luke 1:5-80 Isn’t it amazing how excited the witnesses of Christmas became, as they saw Him? Surrounding Christ’s birth are groups of believers who overflow with geysers of praise. Sometimes we need to get close to them and see what they […]
081214PM GCM-44 Lessons in Worshiping Christ From the Wisemen Matthew 2:1-12 Christmas was when the greatest event since Creation, took place in a sleepy little village just five miles south of Jerusalem. But the lives of most people surrounding Christ’s birth were like the rooms of Bethlehem’s Inn—too full to let Jesus in. […]
GCM-42 081130AM GCM-1 Christmas: God Gave the Only Gift Everyone Really Needs Luke 1:78-79 At the first Christmas, God gave the only gift everyone really needs. Each Christmas, as we open God’s Word and remember the greatest event since Creation, we have an opportunity to reset our minds on the real message […]
GCM-41 071223AM ANNA—LIVING A LIFE OF PRAISE GCM-41 .DOC ANNA: LIVING A GRACE-ENERGIZED LIFE OF PRAISE Luke 2:36-40 As we open to Luke 2:36, and are introduced to the life of Anna, I’d ask you to underline two words in your mind. First, in v. 36 “she was of great age”—underline in your mind OLD. […]
GCM-34 061217AM The saddest story of Christmas is how those closest to Christ’s birth completely missed that first Christmas; and that tragedy has continued to this day. You can be so close and yet so far away! The real purpose of Christmas was shown by God at Christ’s birth, God confronted the world with the only […]
GCM-32 061203AM Christmas: Call His Name Jesus—At the Name of Jesus “For He will save His people from their sins” Our New Testament opens with the glorious advent of Christ the Promised One; God the Son came to Earth to save sinners. Christmas is really has one theme and one central message—Jesus came to […]
GCM-31 061119PM Just before John “Amazing Grace” Newton (1725-1807) was unable to preach any longer because of failing mind and strength, that gloriously converted slave ship captain was preaching one of his final sermons. His eyesight was nearly gone and his memory was fast declining so an assistant would stand in the pulpit to […]
GCM-30 061119AM All of us have a real problem—we are an endangered species in this Universe, we are very fragile with a very short life span, only God can help us–and God is unapproachable. On top of all that, we can’t even see God and if we did, we would die. Moses once had a […]
GCM-29 051225AM In every story of the birth of Jesus there is mention of individuals we know just enough about to be amazed—Zacharias & Elisabeth, Simeon & Anna, Wisemen & Shepherds, and now Joseph & Mary. God has captured with His Holy Word a picture that inspires and challenges us. This season of remembering […]
GCM-28 051224LS Christmas, the greatest event since Creation, took place in a sleepy little village just five miles from Jerusalem. God came from Heaven wrapped in baby clothes, and was laid in a stone feeding trough called a manger. At His birth Christ was only welcomed and worshipped by two groups of people—outside of […]
GCM-27 051218AM Dedication acknowledges that children are a gift from God. Today we turn again to the story of Christ’s birth which is the record that God gave to us of Christmas. Each element of Christ’s birth is rich in truth that God wanted us to know. This is one of the richest paragraphs in […]
GCM-26 051211PM When God gets to tell the story of salvation, the Coming of the King, the birth of the Lamb of God—what details does He carefully include for us? Here’s one that has shaped my whole outlook on life, on worship, on Bible study, and most of all—on prayer. God really loves and responds to […]
GCM-25 051204PM There were a group of people who loved and talked just like Zacharias and Elisabeth. They lived in the same towns, they worked the same hours—and even attended the same synagogue. They knew the Bible backwards and forward. They were close to God in every way—but the heart! The differences between Zacharias […]
GCM-24 051204AM The characters that God chose to put into the Christmas story are what we would call ordinary. We first meet an ordinary couple, and as we open to Luke 1:5. They were ordinary people, lived with ordinary problems, faced with all the ordinary troubles, stresses and pains of life. When we meet them they […]
GCM-23 041224LS Christmas has passed, but its message remains. To get one last lesson from this incredible season open with me to Matthew 1. This morning, meet two teenagers – Joseph and Mary, that God had all of their lives! How does one who God has a complete hold upon all their life respond to […]
GCM-22 041226AM Christmas has passed, but its message remains. To get one last lesson from this incredible season open with me to Matthew 1. This morning, meet two teenagers – Joseph and Mary, that God had all of their lives! How does one who God has a complete hold upon all their life respond to […]
GCM-21 041219AM This summer as we glided along the interstate highways, crossing the Appalachian Mountains I noticed a sign that said: “Continental Divide: A raindrop falling on this side will flow to the Gulf of Mexico, one falling on the other side will flow to the Atlantic.” As I drove on, a very sobering […]
GCM-20 041212PM How about it? Are you looking for Jesus this Christmas? Or is this Christmas flying by so fast you will miss what God is offering you? Everyone who was looking for Jesus to come enjoyed His arrival. As we examine their lives we can often see ourselves. Who are you like? First we […]
GCM-19 041212AM This fall as we drove back from taking our children to college we went by the Great Smokey Mountain National Park on Interstate-40. As we sped along we saw a sign that said “ Scenic Parkway” and looking at Bonnie I said, “Let’s try that”. Suddenly we were off of the 70 […]
GCM-18 041205PM The wonder of Christ’s love Is demonstrated in the cost of Christmas. Open with me to hymn number 125. 1 Joy to the world! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King. Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And heav’n and nature sing, And heav’n and nature sing, And heav’n and heav’n […]
GCM-17 041205AM I am amazed every time I walk over the old ground of the Word—there are fresh new truths. This week as I poured over the story of Christmas, that was the result. The Christmas Story comes to us from the God of Heaven. He wrote it down in the Scriptures through His Apostles. […]
GCM-16 041214AM This evening I would like to take you on a Faith Journey. That is a journey that strengthens and encourages faith in God’s Word and in God’s Plan for each of us. Tonight”s journey starts at THE CRADLE. Near the Shepherd’s Fields of Bethlehem is where we find that God speaks as no one […]
GCM-14 031224AM Luke 2:8-11 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not […]
GCM-13 031207AM The greatest truth of Christianity is that the instant of our salvation – we got all of God! But the greatest need of Christianity is – does God have all of me? This morning, meet two teenagers – Joseph and Mary, that God had all of their lives! How does one who God […]
GCM-11 031130AM Zacharias and Elisabeth The Glory of Christmas Nov 30, 2003 | tags: gcm, 031130am Three events shape all that we believe this morning: Christmas, the Cross, and Resurrection Sunday. Three places frame all that we believe this morning: Bethlehem, Golgotha, and the Empty Garden Tomb. At Christmas the Infinite One became and […]
021222PM CHRISTMAS-9 RELIGIOUS LEADERS-3.DOC CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE The Characters of Christmas The Priests & Scribes: So close and yet so far Matthew 2.4-6 GCM-10 This evening we need to meet a final member of the cast of Christmas. We have seen Joseph always in touch and responsive to God. Then we saw the Magi who […]
021222AM Christmas-Herod CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE The Characters of Christmas The Two Kings: Herod and Jesus Matthew 2.1-5, 16 GCM-09 The Two Kings Christ’s birth was the day in history when the two most absolutely opposite kings confronted one another for the first time. One was the ultimate earthly king. He sat that day at the […]
GCM-08 981224LS There are 1189 chapters in the Bible, 250 in the New Testament and 89 in the Four Gospels. Of all those chapters in God’s Word there are four that detail the Birth of Jesus. There are four chapters of The New Testament that describe this night. They are Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. […]
GCM-07 021215AM The greatest invasion of all time was not Normandy at D-Day, nor the Gulf War or the coming Iraqi Invasion – it was the night God came to live on His Planet Earth. There are 1189 chapters in the Bible, 250 in the New Testament and 89 in the Four Gospels. Of […]
GCM-06 951220PM Christmas is so full of wonder, meaning and tradition. But, where did all these things that we now call Christmas — come from? Let’s just briefly sketch the origin and development of what we now celebrate as Christ’s Birth. The Biblical Celebration The Dawning of Light (Luke 1:78-79) The Fullness of Time […]
GCM-05 981220PM Who was looking for Jesus at His first coming? It’s interesting to note briefly tonight the state of readiness that was present when the miracle came 2,000 years ago! I like to call this Characters of Christmas. You see, God had a cast of characters, 17 different ones in 4 chapters out of […]
GCM-04 981220AM Christmas is the time of the year we most hear the sound incredible river flowing down from Heaven of the mighty names of God come down to man. God revealed Himself to man as a man. He did not come and reveal Himself as a bird or a dog or cat, He […]
GCM-03 981206AM Christmas is coming! And lest we miss the full impact of what happened, we have started four weeks of contemplation! Our target this Sunday is to see the third glorious wonder of Christmas which is: God with us! C. H. Spurgeon preached one Advent Sunday: “It must ever remain to us the mystery […]
GCM-02 981129PM The second glory of Christmas is the glorious response of those who witnessed Christ’s birth. They offered Him pure and glorious worship! Let us pause for a moment tonight. Away from the blur that we call the holidays. Secluded in this quiet haven, join me in an hour of worship. Ascribing glory […]
GCM-01 981129AM The Day Jesus Was Born Someone has said, “This coming December 25th most parents will be lying to their children about old St. Nick. Some of us will be celebrating the birth of our Savior. But was he really born on this day? Was Jesus really born (1) on December 25th? Virtually every month […]
FJC-05 091227PM Simeon: Ready to Go Luke 2:29 Simeon is introduced to us by God in Luke 2:25-35, and if it wasn’t for that introduction, he would be like untold billions of others throughout human history that were only know by those closest to them during their lives; and who died without leaving a trace. […]
FJC-04 091224PM Seeing & Worshipping Our God in a Manger Luke 2:4-7 Tonight, Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion is when we as believers get to relive that scene in the Stable, at the Manger, with the Shepherds and Wisemen. In this quiet service, we come in the darkness to see the Light of the World who […]
FJC-03 091213PM The Two Kings of Christmas: Which is Your King? Matthew 2:1-23 The story of Christmas came to us from the God of Heaven. He wrote it down in the Scriptures through His Apostles in just 150 verses (30 in Matthew and 120 in Luke; Mark and John have no birth of Christ passages). […]
FJC-02 091206AM Christmas: Religious BUT Lost How Close Can You Get And Still Miss Him? Salvation is Knowing Him Matthew 2:1-6 Here is a sobering thought from the Christmas story—there were a group of very good, and very religious people in Christ’s day—who missed Heaven by only 18 inches. Can you imagine how horrible it […]
FJC-01 091129AM Finding Christ this Christmas— Ordinary People: Zacharias & Elisabeth Luke 1:5-80 Christmas is the record of God using a team of ordinary people to do extraordinary works for His Glory, and that is what we see first in the lives of the first couple we meet named Zachariah & Elisabeth as we open […]
061210AM EBG-01 GOS-01 GCM-33 Christmas–The Only Gift Everyone Really Needs Luke 1.78-79 .doc Christmas: God Came In the Darkest Night The Only Gift Everyone Really Needs Luke 1:78-79 Christmas is all about gifts; gift giving, give buying, and gift receiving make up so much of these weeks of the year. Many are looking for the […]
Is Christmas a pagan holiday? Should Christians have Christmas trees? Should parents encourage Santa? Did the New Testament church celebrate Christian holidays?
It is hard to say which element of the Gift of salvation that God gave us in Christ, is the BEST.
I think we will just have to each decide which element means most to us as we continue unwrapping our gifts this week.
Last week as we unwrapped Matthew 1:21’s promise of forgiveness we saw Christ’s amazing, complete and final forgiveness. That is our first gift we are unwrapping this Christmas.
“The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You.” Those are the words of a simple chorus from the 1980’s. But they reflect the third and greatest of all the gifts that God has offered to mankind.
The birth of Jesus Christ as God in human flesh, as the incarnation of the invisible God, has become the doorway to knowing God. We have been looking at and un-wrapping the gifts God gave at Christmas, and have already seen:
The First Two Gifts
First, in Matthew 1:21, we un-wrapped the truth attached to “the One who will save His people from their sins”. At the moment of our salvation, all our sins were forgiven, instantly, by the gracious work of Christ on the cross.
As we come to the element of salvation that we are un-wrapping in this Christmas series, we see again that Jesus is the gift of salvation.
In Mathew 1 we saw Jesus as the One who forgives our sins; and Jesus is God with us.
Now in Luke 1 we see that Jesus is the key to unlocking all the wonders of salvation. The essence of what we will see in Luke 1 that what salvation is all about is:
Inviting Jesus to Do What ONLY Jesus Can Do
Only Jesus can save. Only Jesus can transform us. Only Jesus can keep us.
Christmas and gift giving are forever tied.
Since God so loved the world, that He GAVE (Jn. 3:16).
Every human is a sinner earned the wages of death, but the free gift of God is eternal life (Rom. 6:23).
By grace, we sinners God loved are saved, not by works, because it is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9).
The Gift of Salvation is Jesus
That is the Gift of Salvation; and the Gift of Salvation is most associated with Christmas, because that is where it all began.
Forgiveness: One moment before your last breath, one thing will matter more than anything else—whether you are dying forgiven or unforgiven.
Forgiven: Nothing matters more to any who have sinned—and God says all have sinned.
The peace you can have one moment before you die, is available on a daily basis, if you understand what God has done in Christ and if you choose to respond by faith to Him.