Tag Archives: Salvation

The World Is Your Oyster

pearlYou’ve no doubt heard how pearls are formed. They are formed when an irritant like a grain of sand enters its shell. It’s natural response is to create a barrier around that irritant to protect itself. The result, of course, is a polished pearly white stone with little to no blemish.

Likewise, God sent Christ into this world as an irritant, with a message so offensive that the world would put Him to death. Out of that, you were washed clean of your sin and made into a precious gem in the eyes of God. You are a pearl for which He paid the highest price, the life of His only begotten son.

You are valuable to God!

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. ~Matthew 13:45-46

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Wash That Gray

Some of you may remember the 80’s jingle for Clairol Hair Care: ۰♫ I’m gonna wash that gray right outta’ my hair ♪۰ Heck, I remember it even though I’m quickly approaching the 36 year mark (real quick–it’s tomorrow). That may not seem all that old to some of you but the gray hairs that appear in my facial and chest hair is a continual foreshadow of things to come (and my wife takes every opportunity to remind me).

Not to sound cheesy but that could have been a commercial for Christ. While the signs of aging are eminent in my body, my soul is as new as eternity is long. Christ came to make me new; to wash out the gray hair, unwrinkle the skin, give me eagle-like vision, and renew the heart of a worn and tattered soul.

Starting to feel old? Take comfort in knowing that your heart is brand spankin’ new if you are in Christ. Go out today and conquer the world––while physically you may be inching toward the grave, spiritually you have just been delivered!

Interstate J: The Salvation Superhighway

If interstates are the highways for people to go from one state to another, then what do you call the way you use to get from an earthly state to a heavenly state, from unrighteousness to righteousness, from death to life? Jesus Christ, of course––He’s the only way!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ John 14:6

One Way

I went to my folks’ last night to hook up a DVD Home Theater System that I bought them for Christmas. They already had a DVD but a new one came as part of the package. I got it more for the sound than anything else. It just seemed out of place to watch a 42” flat panel High Def TV with the audio capability of a 13” black and white TV––at least that’s the way it seemed.

I hooked the system up using some of the options described in the instructions, including the A/V RCA plugs, the S-Video cable, and the YPbPr components (hang on––I don’t necessarily know what these are either but you don’t need to know to “get” this post). Each way seemed to sacrifice some of the features. I’d get sound from the theater system with one but no sound from the TV speakers, or vice versa, or only stereo sound when playing a DVD. I finally realized what it was that was missing: the gold standard in digital cables, the HDMI. It afforded me the desired audio, but also a digital picture which was impossible to achieve with the analog alternatives mentioned above.

Here’s the point: There was only one way to hook up that TV to harness all of its qualities––that’s with a HDMI cable. Without that cable, the system would be inadequate. No HDMI, no digital picture. It’s the same with Jesus Christ. He is your HDMI cable. Without Him, you are just inadequate. Yeah, there are other doctrines just like there are other cables. And they may even offer some of the same benefits. However, there is only one way to redemption and that’s through Jesus Christ. If you’re going to get hooked up, get hooked up the right way––no Christ, no Heaven.

Jesus answered,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

~John 14:6

It’s A Boy!

The angel of the Lord said to Joseph, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

crosscig

What would God say the equivalent of His “giving out cigars” would have been at the birth of Christ? In other words, what would He consider to be the mark of the birth of His Son? I mean, He’s dropped manna from the sky but there is nothing scriptural that says He rained stogies on His people (somebody please correct me if I’m wrong). Initially, of course, the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds. Would that be His “cigar?”  The star of Bethlehem? Or maybe His Word–is that it? Or was it the cross; was God’s “sign” of Christ’s birth simultaneous to that of Christ’s death? What did the Lord give us so that we, His sons and daughters, would know of the birth of Jesus Christ?

Here’s my thought: He gave us far more than some dead tobacco plant. He gave us the true vine, a plant that has conquered death, so that as branches, we too might live forever in fellowship with God the Father. The resurrected Christ is our “cigar,” God’s birth announcement to us. For without it, there is no Gospel, no Christianity, no salvation–there is no hope!

It’s a boy! Praise the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

It Takes One To Know One

Luke 2:8-20 The Birth of Jesus Part 3

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

My pastor actually preached on this very passage of scripture Christmas Eve night. The general idea of his message was that God came to the most ordinary, humble of people (the shepherds) and that if God would come to them, why then would He not meet you right where you are in your lowliest of circumstances? It was a stunning service where over 400 people indicated receiving Christ. I’d say it was effective.

Well, I certainly can’t discredit that (nor would I want to) but I do have a little twist. The Lord not only came to the shepherds because of their modest societal stature, but for their eyewitness accounts. These shepherds knew their trade. They knew what was required in “keeping watch over their flocks,” especially when it was dark. They recognized that sheep weren’t capable of looking after themselves. They were familiar with the dangers that await to befall their flock. They fully comprehended the potential sacrifice of their own lives to save their sheep. Dedicated shepherds they must have been––they were tending sheep on the midnight shift for crying out loud! That’s dedication.

Who better, then, could God send to testify of another shepherd, the Chief Shepherd? Jesus said in John 10:11-16:

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told (Luke 2:20).” It takes one to know one!

Part 1

Part 2

Stand Up and Be Counted

Luke 2:1-7a: The Birth of Jesus Part 1

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

The Roman census lead Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where the King of kings would be born into this world. Jesus would later proclaim, “. . . no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) If a census of His kingdom was taken today, would you be counted? Have you been born into His world? Is the King of kings your king? If so, we celebrate together the birth of our Savior. If not, it’s not too late for your spiritual birthday and citizenship into the kingdom–stand up and be counted!