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Posted by lnger
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
The Christmas Story about the man who missed Christmas starts here in the Bible. It doesn’t tell us the name of this man, but we can read his story in the Gospel According to Luke 2:7. That verse tells us enough, and more than enough, about the innkeeper, the man who missed Christmas: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 KJV Why was there no room for Mary and Joseph and their expected Baby, except in a stable? Bethlehem was a small town, and in those days most small towns perhaps had only one inn. The inn in Bethlehem was already filled. No other accommodation was available. He was too busy to notice a woman about to give birth to a Baby, to a Child who would grow up to become the most famous Man in all of history, and more than a Man, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace.
While they were there it was time for the baby to be born, she gave birth to the first-born, a son. She wrapped him in clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the Inn. God had this messy plan, a plan to save the world, and to do that He was going to send His Son. Where does the God of the universe send His Son? Where does the king of kings and the Lord of lords come? To a barn, a stable, a manger. Of all places, certainly not a place fit for a King. Then again this was no ordinary King. When I say it was messy, I mean messy! It was a barn, a stable, so you got animals, animal stuff, manure, mud, a pitiful place for people. Much less a place for the King of Kings to be born. Why would God do that? Isaiah explains that here, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 53:6, 55:8 KJV You see, Jesus came to this messy Place, a barn, a manger, it’s just a mess! So why did he come into this messy world? The Shepard was coming to take care of his sheep to prepare away for them to go home. That’s what a Shepard does. The Bible says, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11 KJV He lives where the sheep are, He sleeps where they sleep, He eats where they eat. That got Jesus in trouble. Why did Jesus eat with sinners? Because that is what the Shepard does. And then an Angel appeared to the shepherds in the field and said, this will be a sign to you. You will find a babe wrapped in clothes laying in a manger. The Bible says, “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 KJV Do you ever wonder why this was a sign? Being a servant is messy. Jesus set this incredible example for us. He got down on His knees and washed feet. God of the universe, deserved the best of everything, got down on His knees, He laid in a feeding trough. Why of all such places? Why such a messy place? He was following a messy plan. He came to this world not as royalty, but as a baby born in a stable full of muck and animals, to humble Himself to become one of us. Paul says it best here, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:7-8 KJV
Christmas represents a hope, a unique joy, felt only at Christmastime, because Christ the Savior is born. Are you lost today? What better time for you to be found than at this Christmas season? Don’t be like the man who missed Christmas. Do you have room for Jesus Christ? Or are you so busy and so occupied with the trimmings of Christmas that you miss its triumph, as the innkeeper did long ago? Have you crowded Jesus out so that there is no room for Him in the inn of your heart? Let the Christ of Christmas come in to your heart today.
That first Christmas was dirty, grimy, filthy, but thank God it was because without it, what a mess we would be in!
God Bless, Jeff Ellinger
- What the Bible Says About How Many Ways Are There to Get Into the Kingdom of Heaven (lnger.wordpress.com)
- What Does the Bible Say About “Take Up the Cross and Follow Me” – He Must Increase, I Must Decrease (lnger.wordpress.com)
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Posted by lnger
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Posted by lnger
These are collected snippets from Mark Driscoll‘s Easter sermon in Qwest Field 2011. The church service was the biggest church service in the history of the Northwest, when only 16 years prior Mars Hill did not even exist yet. The urgency in his voice and message was apparent. Jesus stands alone and is in a category unto himself. He claimed things no other religious leaders claimed, and He did things no other religious leaders did, namely rising from the dead. All other religions celebrate and have enshrined their leaders tombs. Christians do not, because we do not even know where Jesus was buried since He rose from the dead.
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Posted by lnger
“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The idea that there are many ways to get to Heaven is partly based on the assumption that there are various ways to gain its entrance. Some of the more common ways being baptism, good deeds, honest living, giving to charity, church attendance, and, if nothing else, by making a sincere effort. To most, the way to Heaven is broad, with many paths leading there. However, one has to wonder: if Heaven is so relatively accessible, then why did Jesus Christ die on the cross? Why did the only begotten Son of God come to earth, take on flesh, and allow Himself to get spat upon, punched, mocked, kicked, humiliated, whipped, and then literally nailed to a cross in the hot Judean sun to die a bloody death The Apostle Paul states it best when he says, “And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.” Galatians 2:2 KJV You see, Jesus died for a very important reason. He claimed, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 KJV His sacrificial death provides the only way to Heaven. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9 KJV That means Heaven!Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1 KJV Further more, when His disciples asked, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:” Luke 13:24-25 KJV Now, obviously, many of you reading all this will still find it hard to believe that there could only be ONE WAY to get to Heaven.
Beginning with the Fall of Man:
Man was created in God’s image for the express purpose of follow shipping with his Creator. But man rebelled; not willing to accept his subordinate role in the relationship. His rebellion plunged mankind into sin The Bible teaches that, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12 KJV When man fell, his immediate reaction to his new-found sin nature was to “coverup” his sin before God. The Bible says, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” Genesis 3:7 KJV God, however, seeing their unsatisfactory efforts showed them what would actually be required to “cover up sin”. It says in the Bible, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21 KJV God was setting a precedence. These “COATS OF SKINS” came off the backs of living animals. Removing them cost those animals their lives and in killing them, God established this fact, “For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23 KJV Death and shed blood is the only “coverage” for sin that God will approve; it’s the only payment He will accept. The Bible clearly teaches that, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20 KJV Perhaps you’ve wondered why there has to be death in the world. Don’t blame God. Death was not part of His original plan. Death came as a result of man’s rebellious sin. It says in the Bible that, “and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. The sting of death is sin;” Romans 5:12, James 1:15, 1 Corinthians 15:56 KJV God’s holiness DEMANDS payment for sin. However, God not desiring the absolute death of mankind is willing to accept a substitute on his behalf. That’s why He told His chosen people, the Jews, that He was willing to accept, “And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.” Leviticus 5:6 KJV So throughout Jewish history, the Jews sacrificed lambs and bullocks as instructed by God. He wanted to continuously remind them, as a people, that,“and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22 KJV However, these sacrifices could only “roll back” sin, postponing God’s wrath and eternal judgment. Mankind needed a permanent solution, one that would forever reconcile him back to his Creator. And one day HE ARRIVED! When John the Baptist saw Christ approaching him, he said something that should have made something click within the mind of every Jew present that day. John announced, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 KJV Jesus is God’s sacrificial lamb, the permanent solution to man’s sin problem. The Bible says of Christ, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” Hebrews 10:12 KJV And also it says , “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9 KJV
How many Ways Into The Kingdom of Heaven:
IT’S SIMPLE! The only payment for sin that God will accept is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. However, what most people are trusting in to pay for their sin and get them to Heaven DOES NOT INVOLVE DEATH! For example, during baptism no one dies.During confirmation or communion no one dies. During any good deed you and I perform NO ONE DIES; NO BLOOD IS EVER SHED! Do you see now why Christ is the only way to Heaven? It says it here in the Bible , “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Romans 6:23, Revelation 1:5-6 KJV If we fully place our TRUST IN HIS DEATH, AND SHED BLOOD, our sins will be payed for and we’ll be allowed in Heaven. The Bible says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV So we need to see first that, if we are ever to enter the kingdom either in its present or future manifestation, then we must change. We must be converted. There must be a transformation. Have you been converted? Has God changed you?
You Must Become a Child of God Before You Enter the Kingdom:
“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew !8:1-4 KJV Unless you change from what you are into what this child is, you cannot even enter, so how can you claim to be the greatest?” Pride is a great stumbling block. Proud people cannot enter the Kingdom of God. They cannot give up their own preeminence for His. Jesus did not have to call a child over to make His point. He could have just said, “Humble yourself as a child.” But He did not. So there is a significance to calling the child over and having him stand in the midst of them. Only after this was done did Jesus say, “Become like this child, or you cannot enter the Kingdom.” So what is the significance? Jesus called the child, and the child responded to Jesus. There is no questioning from the child, such as, “What do You want?” or “Who are you?” Jesus had him stand in the midst of them, and again, the child complies. We do not hear him say, “Why?” or “What are you going to do now?” or “I don’t have time to stand here, I want to go play.” The greatest people in the Kingdom are the ones who do what I tell them to do, nothing doubting. It is only when we get older that we begin to question everything. To enter this Kingdom we must know there is only room for one Head, for one Preeminence, for one King, for one Lord. We are disciples, not masters. We may struggle and question His dealings with us, but if we progress in the Way then one day we will learn the best course is to bow our heads and say, “Yes, Lord.” We are waiting for Jesus to give us grand instructions and commandments: “Go around the world and proclaim the Gospel full-time” or “Rise up and fulfill the ministry of an apostle” or “I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” But if we cannot hear and obey in the small things, how can we expect Him to lead us into greater things? IT’S SIMPLE! The only payment for sin that God will accept is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. However, what most people are trusting in to pay for their sin and get them to Heaven DOES NOT INVOLVE DEATH! For example, during baptism no one dies. During confirmation or communion no one dies. During any good deed you and I perform NO ONE DIES; NO BLOOD IS EVER SHED! Do you see now why Christ is the only way to Heaven? It says in the Bible, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus Christ, washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Romans 6:23, Revelation 1:5 KJV If we fully place our TRUST IN HIS DEATH, AND SHED BLOOD, our sins will be payed for and we’ll be allowed in Heaven. The Bible says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you from going to Heaven are your sins, because, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,” Isaiah 59:2 KJV In fact, in God’s eyes YOU ARE A SINNER, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23 KJV SECONDLY, you must realize that there is NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn Heaven, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV Baptism, good deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are all examples of good works that cannot save you, because, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,” Titus 3:5 KJV THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” John 14:6, Romans 5:8 KJV THEREFORE: You must REPENT, change your mind, admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner and can’t save yourself. And call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you. It says it here in the Bible, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10 KJV The Scriptures tell us that the Lord Jesus is “full of grace and truth.” With Truth comes Grace, and we will now conclude with how God accomplishes this impossible work by Grace. The Lord is waiting for us to know and to confess, “I cannot”. For He can do what we cannot do; and He will do what we will not do! And once we allow Him, He brings us to where He wants us to be in a most remarkable manner. The Bible says, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, (Path)” John 10:9,14:5-6 KJV Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You that You are my Way, my Truth, and my Life! I praise You that I cannot save myself. You are my Narrow Gate, and You are my Narrow Path. As I am decreased, You are increased, and my life is exchanged for Your Life. I thank you, Lord, that through You we may enter the Kingdom. Amen.
God Bless, Jeff Ellinger
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- What Does the Bible Say About Death – Eternal Life – Losing a Father – Loneliness (lnger.wordpress.com)
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Posted by lnger
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT STAYING “FOCUS” – KEEPING YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE – KEEP YOUR EYE ON JESUS !!September 21, 2011
“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
In this passage in Matthew, we see something that is very significant. Jesus had preached and, as usual, had attracted a large crowd. Five thousand men, besides women and children, had gathered to hear Him, and He not only taught them, but He also fed them all, possibly as many as ten thousand people through a miracle of provision. After He had fed them, He sent them away, and instructed His disciples to get into a boat and go out onto the Sea of Galilee while He Himself went to be alone to pray. While Christ was in prayer, the wind became boisterous, and the waters of the sea became severely troubled. But in the fourth watch of the night, He went out to the boat, walking on the water! When the disciples, who were, I’m sure, already very concerned about the weather, saw Him, they were frightened, and thought they were looking at an apparition! Knowing this, Jesus said “Be of good cheer,. it is I; be not afraid!” Peter, always the first to speak up, good or bad, said “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water!”. So Jesus instructed Peter to come on out to Him. Peter, following Christ’s instruction, proceeded to go out to Jesus, and he too was walking on the water! But when Peter realized what was going on, and saw that the wind and the waves were tempestuous, he was afraid, and began to sink down into the water. Peter immediately cried out to the Master, and Jesus stretched out His hand to catch him. And as Jesus caught him, He said “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? ” Jesus then took him, and they got into the boat, and when they did, the storm immediately ceased, they were immediately to the other side of the sea. And they all worshipped Jesus, saying “Of a truth thou art the Son of God “ It is to our loss as believers, that so oftentimes we forget the simplest teachings of the Scriptures. Peter was able to walk on the water by faith, until he took his eyes off Jesus, looking at the storm’s tempest instead. What a truth! So often we take our eyes off the Lord, because of troublesome co-workers, marital difficulties, rude people, unfair situations, life’s problems, et cetera. The lesson is simple—keep your eyes on the Lord and you won’t go under! When we find our self in these situations-frustrated, discouraged, and angry because of people—we need to focus our eyes once again upon the Word of God, i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ. It is quite easy to lose sight of one’s Christian beliefs, when overshadowed with adversity and grief. It can be overwhelming at times. People can be so cruel. In 2nd Timothy 3:1 KJV ” This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” This verse warned us that “perilous times” would come, when people would be… lovers of their own selves. The majority of Americans today have become selfish, self-conscious, and self-centered. Sadly, America’s Christians aren’t much better. The Biblical account of Peter walking on the water to Jesus, is one of the first lessons which Sunday School children should learn, and a lesson which every adult Christian should never lose sight of. When we focus our thoughts upon the divine Truths of God’s Word, we are able to withstand the attacks of Satan. The Bible says, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 KJV You see, our Lord has gone up. And we are left here below to face the storm. Yet, we do not have to face the storms of life alone; He is ever with us. It says in the Bible, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25 KJV As long as we hear His Voice, and obey His Word, we will be on top of the troubled water, or, on top of the storm – the situation that troubles us – we will be on top of LIFE. But when we take our eyes off Him, and begin to go our own way, and focus on other things, we will begin to sink down into that which we are focused on. When Peter followed the Master’s instruction, He was on top of the water, as troubled as it was. But when Peter took His eyes off Jesus, and began to look at the troubled water all around him, he began to sink down into that water. What He was FOCUSED on began to CONSUME him! And it’s the same with you and me. You see, just as Peter sank into the troubled waters, we too will sink if we focus on the trouble that is all around us! Now, I know, there are many things out there to trouble the waters. There will be storms in life. But do not focus on the storm! Because what you are focused on will consume you! That is why we must keep our eyes on Jesus! Because as we are focused on Him, we will not be consumed by the storm, but will be consumed with our Lord and Master Jesus Christ and His precious Holy Spirit as He becomes more and more the centre of our lives! And when we are focused on and consumed with the central figure of all the ages, we will NEVER be shaken! The Bible says, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Psalms 118:8 KJV We are indeed in a very troublesome time in the history of our people. Wickedness abounds, and the righteous are pressed down. The turbulent wind and the tempestuous waves are all around us on every side, and the trouble and hopelessness of our situation would seem to be almost insurmountable. Life is full of storms. What are you going to focus on? We must be as determined as Job was when he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15 KJV No matter what happens, we must remember that God is absolutely SOVEREIGN, and that the rulers of all nations and kingdoms of this world are but pawns in His Hand, to accomplish that which He desires. Don’t focus on the troubled water, and be consumed by it! Live your life according to God’s Word, keep your eyes on Jesus and put your trust in Him, and you’ll be on top of the troubled waters! Because right out there in the middle of all that trouble is the ROCK OF AGES, and He’s a FIRM FOUNDATION! This makes me think of a spiritual principle in the Bible. Instead of concentrating on the sins we want to avoid, we are told to focus on the positive actions Christ desires for us. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” We are to discard old ways of thinking and acting and “put on” new ways of living. When Christ and His interests are the focus of our lives, the lure of the old life remains in the corner of our eye, while we aim to land squarely in the center of God’s will.
God Bless, Jeff Ellinger
4 Comments | By Jeff Ellinger, Devotional, Inspirational, King James Version Bible, Religion, Religious, Salvation, Today's Bible Reading | Tagged: Authorized King James Version, Bible, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Faith, Focus, God, Gospel of Matthew, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Keep Your Eye on Jesus, Keeping Your Eye on The Prize, Lord, Lord Jesus Christ, Peter, Religion, Religion & Spirituality, Salvation, Trust | Permalink
Posted by lnger
ABOUT THIS VIDEO
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Leave a Comment » | Christian Feature, Inspirational, King James Version Bible, Prayer, Religion, Religious, You Tube | Tagged: 9/11, Arts, Authorized King James Version, Bible, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Faith, Family, God, God the Father, Heaven, holiday, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Religion, Religion & Spirituality, September 11 2001, Tribute, Trust, United States, You Tube | Permalink
Posted by lnger