Read Through the Story of Jesus’ Birth by Christmas

Read Through the Story of Jesus' Birth by Christmas Title CC

The Christmas season is filled with lots of fun and celebration! Do you know what we’re celebrating? The birth of God’s Son! He came to save us, and make a way for us to have a relationship with God. That’s definitely a reason to celebrate! This December, read through the story of Jesus’ birth, and be reminded of what Christmas is really all about. Read a few verses every day, and finish it by Christmas!

Read Through the Story of Jesus' Birth by Christmas

Serve Out of Your Position with God As His Child

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When it comes to serving, what is your mindset? How do you approach it? Where does your motivation come from?

When you think about what the Bible has to say on serving, what story pops into your mind first? Could it be where Jesus washes His disciples’ feet in John 13? We often use this chapter to say that Jesus set us an example of serving others, and because He did that, it is important for us to follow that example and serve those around us as well.

One of the verses we often overlook or dismiss as inconsequential in John 13 verse 3, which says that Jesus knew three things – that God had given Him authority and power, that He had come from God, and that He was returning to God. It was with that knowledge that He got up from the meal and washed the feet of His disciples. In other words, He wasn’t serving to earn a position with God. He knew that He already belonged to God, who was pleased with Him, and He served out of the position that He had with God.

Sometimes, we have the mindset towards serving that it’s one of the things God demands that we do if we want Him to be pleased with us. We do it in an attempt to earn His approval. If this is our reason for serving – to try to gain a position with God – we will get frustrated and burned out very quickly. On the other hand, if we realize that God already approves of and is pleased with us because of what Jesus did at the cross, we will be motivated to serve and minister to others out of a desire to share the amazing love and grace He has shown to us. This kind of motivation will be far more lasting, because His love and grace are without limit, and He desires to be constantly giving us a greater revelation of just how great they really are!

Why do you serve? To gain a position with God and His approval, out of the position you know you already have with Him as His child? Realize that God already accepts and cares about you, and begin to serve out of a desire to share the One who has shown you amazing goodness, mercy, grace, and love!

Walk In Freedom

Walk In Freedom

Yesterday was Memorial Day – when were remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Just like there are many who fought and died to protect our freedom, we have a Savior who gave His life for us at the cross, to set us free! We were once claves to sin, but He won our freedom, and made a way for us to become children of God!

God wants you to walk in freedom from worry, fear, anxiety, sickness, disease, addiction, or anything else you may be dealing with. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and He is both willing and able to do the impossible for you, if you will put your trust in Him. It is His desire for you to experience the freedom Christ purchased for you in every area of your life. You have been set free because of what your Savior has done for you. Receive your freedom today!

Remember and give thanks for those who have given their lives so that you could be free, including Christ, who gave His life for your freedom at the cross! Have faith that because of His finished work, you have been made free, and begin to walk in the freedom that is yours in Him!

The Old Covenant of the Law, and the New Covenant of Grace

Covenants

Under the old covenant of the law . . .

  • Everything’s based on you and what you do.
  • You get what your actions deserve.
  • Your standing with God is determined by your own merit.
  • Mistakes and failures are met with condemnation and punishment.
  • God’s blessing on your life is contingent upon your obedience.

Under the new covenant of grace . . .

  • Everything’s based on Christ, and what He’s done for you.
  • You are freely given what you could never deserve.
  • Your standing with God is determined by Christ’s merit accredited to you.
  • Mistakes and failures are met with God’s abounding forgiveness and mercy.
  • God’s blessing on your life is permanent, apart from any good or bad that you do.

Which covenant are you living under – the new covenant of grace that Christ came to establish, or are you still trying to live under the law? Receive God’s amazing grace today, and place your focus on your Savior’s finished work at the cross!

How the Holy Spirit Convicts

How the Holy Spirit Convicts
One of the things that the Holy Spirit does is to convict. What do you think He convicts us of? All the things we are doing that are wrong? All the mistakes that we make?

John 16:8 tells us what the Holy Spirit convicts of. It says that He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. John 16:9-11 explains further just what this means. These verses paint a very different picture of the Holy Spirit’s role of convicting than we sometimes imagine!

John 16:9 says that He convicts the world of sin because they don’t believe in Jesus. The Holy Spirit convicting of sin doesn’t mean that He points out to us every sin we ever commit. Rather, it means that He convicts those who haven’t accepted Christ of the one sin that will keep them from spending eternity with Him – the sin of not believing in Him.

John 16:10 says that Holy Spirit convicts of righteousness, because Jesus was going to the Father, and therefore we would no longer see Him. Under the new covenant of God’s grace that Christ came to establish, how do we become righteous? Not by always doing the right thing and never messing up, but rather through faith in Jesus (Rom 3:22)! When Jesus returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to be our Helper (Jn 14:16). Today, Christ is at the Father’s right hand, representing us, and our Helper, the Holy Spirit, convicts of the fact that in Him, we have been made righteous (2 Cor 5:21)!

John 16:11 says that the Holy Spirit convicts of judgment, because the ruler of the world has been judged. Our Savior has disarmed principalities and powers. He triumphed over them at the cross (Col 2:15). In other words, the devil is a defeated foe, and the Holy Spirit reminds us of that!

This is how the Holy Spirit convicts! He points people towards faith in Christ, He helps us to understand that we have been made righteous, and He reminds us that the enemy has been defeated! How wonderful God is to have sent us such a Helper!

NBC Aires A.D. The Bible Continues, Follow Up to The Bible Series

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NBC is airing a mini series called A.D. The Bible Continues. Picking up where The Bible left off, this new 12 episode series focuses on the events that took place following Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The first episode, which premiered on April 5 (Easter day!), covers Jesus’ crucifixion, and the confusion felt by many over the events surrounding His death. Episode 1 also covers the time between when He died and when He rose again, winding things up with an angel rolling away the stone from the tomb. It hits the main highlights, as well as a number of the details, of what Scripture says took place.  In addition, it gives us a glimpse as to what might have been going through the heads of some of those who played a part in the story.

There is some use of poetic license to add drama and build suspense (for example, some of the scenes and dialogue didn’t come directly from the Bible, though they were centered around the story line set forth in God’s Word). However, the first episode of A.D. The Bible Continues presents the story of the cross quite accurately, in a way that engages without detracting from the main message – what our Savior did for us.

It’s exciting to see Bible stories coming to life on public tv! This world DESPERATELY NEEDS the message of the gospel, and television can and should be able to provide another avenue for them to receive it. In the midst of all of the tv shows and movies to be found that are filled with bad language and negative content that send the wrong message, it’s really cool to see a series that draws attention to God’s Word!

Have you seen the first episode of A.D. The Bible Continues? Do you plan to tune in and watch the rest of the series?

Relentless Love

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Even though Easter’s over, the message of what Christ has done for us applies to and affects our daily lives! Check out this poem about our Savior’s work at the cross.

Relentless Love

The Son of God stood in man’s place,
Silently suffering human disgrace.
Falsely accused and condemned by self righteousness’ spite,
He was the One who would save us from sin’s merited plight.
The crown they presented the King consisted of thorns.
Wholly undeserved were the stripes which for our sake He bore.
Abused and tortured, nails pierced through
His hands and feet to make all things new,
For He esteemed nothing too great of a price
To rescue the perishing, to give them life.

The Son of God nailed to the tree –
God’s grace displayed for all to see.
Man’s sin weighed upon Him, yet they stood and scoffed
As He gave up His life for them there on that cross.
Criminals hung both left and right,
People taunting at the sight.
Despised and scorned, rejected, betrayed –
All part of the price He paid.
He bought back man at a high cost.
He gave His life to ransom the lost.

The Son of God knew the time had come
To lay down His life as a gift of love.
Darkness clouded over the sky.
“It is finished!” came the Savior’s cry.
He breathed His last, head bowed low.
The veil was torn so all would know
That there was nothing to stand between them and God any longer.
At the cross, His relentless love for us proved itself stronger
Than any sin we commit, than any wrong that we’ve done.
To save and redeem us, God sent His own Son.

Prophecies of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

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In the Old Testament, there are many prophecies that have to do with Jesus, and what He would accomplish while here on this earth. Prophets foretold specifics about His death and resurrection hundreds of years before He was even born, offering proof that He is indeed God’s Son, who came to save us. Check out these prophecies about the events of the Easter story, and see where they were fulfilled in the New Testament!

another prophecy sheet

Do You Believe?, and the Most Important Question

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(Note – Do You Believe? is rated PG-13. It contains some violence, and addresses a number of more grown up topics. For a thorough review and breakdown of the movie and its content, visit http://www.pluggedin.)

Featuring Newsboys’ hit song “We Believe,” the movie Do You Believe? brings us face to face with a very important question – “Do you believe in the cross of Christ,” and if so, “what are you going to do about it?”

Do You Believe? tells the story of 12 different people from various walks of life, each dealing with their own set of circumstances, who share one thing in common – they must each answer in their own way the question given above. For the pastor and his wife, as well as a couple that has lost their daughter, it means taking in struggling people the Lord places in their paths. For others, it means taking the step to either commit or more fully commit their lives to Him. Some must take a risk to stand up for and live out their faith. At the end of the day, however, they all discover that God is ready and willing to meet them right where they’re at.

The question the movie asks – do you believe in the cross – is the most important question we’ll ever answer. This one choice – to place our trust in Jesus, and accept Him as our Savior – both settles where we will spend eternity, and also has a life-changing impact on us here and now. If you believe in Him, then you are a child of God, with the right to have a close, intimate relationship with Him that will extend on into eternity. Refusal to receive Christ is THE ONE AND ONLY thing we do that prevents us from someday living with Him forever.

Once we have accepted Christ, God wants to use us to impact others for Him. As the movie shows, He can do so in a variety of ways in each of our lives. What’s important is that we are willing to listen to His voice, and allow Him to lead and guide us.

How will you answer the question the movie presents – the most important one you’ll ever be asked? “Do YOU believe in the cross of Christ,” and if so “what are YOU going to do about it?”