Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Unfinished Story of Christmas by Adrian Rogers


The Unfinished Story of Christmas
2 Thessalonians 1:7-11; 2:1-12 (Program: 2266, Air dates: 12.7.2014 & 12.14.2014)
         I.    INTRODUCTION
                          A.  The Jesus who came the first time as a baby in a manger is coming again.
                           B.  Christmas is not complete without the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. 
                          C.  2 Thessalonians 1:7-11
                          D.  Luke 1:31-33
                           E.  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

       II.    WE NEED NOT BE DISTURBED.  (2 Thessalonians 1:7)
                          A.  Think of the “who” of His coming.
                                                 i.        2 Thessalonians 1:7
                                               ii.        2 Thessalonians 1:10
                                              iii.        Acts 1:11
                           B.  Think of the “when” of His coming.  
                                                 i.        2 Thessalonians 1:10
                                               ii.        Matthew 24:36
                                              iii.        Malachi 4:2
                          C.  Think of the “wonder” of His coming.  (2 Thessalonians 1:10)
                                                 i.        We will wonder at His transforming love.
                                               ii.        We will wonder at His amazing grace.
                                                                    1.        Acts 16:31
                                                                   2.        Isaiah 64:6
                                              iii.        We will wonder at His keeping power.

     III.    WE SHOULD NOT BE DECEIVED.  (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
                          A.  All through Jesus’ earthly ministry, Satan tried to destroy Him.
                           B.  Now we come to the last days when Satan’s final blasphemy will be carried out in the form of the antichrist.
                          C.  In this passage, the antichrist is referred to as “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition.”
                                                 i.        Revelation 13:1
                          D.  Satan has always desired to be worshiped.
                                                 i.        Isaiah 14:13-14
                           E.  At the end of the age, Satan will gain the worship on the earth that he wants.
                                                 i.        2 Thessalonians 2:4
                           F.  2 Thessalonians 2:7 refers to the unbelievable wickedness in the world today as “the mystery of iniquity.”
                                                 i.        This passage also mentions a restraining force.
                                               ii.        What is restraining Satan today?
                                                                    1.        The church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
                                                                   2.        The Holy Spirit of God, who lives in the church.
                                              iii.        When the church and the Holy Spirit are removed through the rapture, the Great Tribulation will begin.

    IV.    WE WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.  (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)
                          A.  There are two aspects of Jesus’ coming:
                                                 i.        He will first come secretly for His bride, the church.
                                               ii.        He will then come sovereignly as the King.
                           B.  Jesus came the first Christmas to die in the sinner’s place.  He’s coming the second Christmas to receive the sinner to Himself.
                          C.  Our faith looks backward to a crucified Savior, our love looks upward to a crowned Savior, and our hope looks forward to a coming Savior.




Monday, December 8, 2014

Christ...who He is to us

Email devo for Dec. 8:


The Names of Christ


Have this attitude in yourselves
which was also in Christ Jesus, who,
although He existed in the form of God,
did not regard equality with a God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant,
and being made in the likeness of men.

Being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him,
and bestowed on Him the name
which is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
EVERY KNEE WILL BOW,
of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth,
and that 
EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.




The Bible ascribes many different names to Jesus, all of which provide great insight into His character and person. Here are some from John’s gospel that I find particularly revealing:

The Good Shepherd (10:11) protects his sheep at all cost from predators. They know His voice and follow Him.

The Door (vv. 7-9) is the only way to enter heaven. Whoever enters through the “gate” of Christ will be saved.

The Vine (15:1-10) is the source of our spiritual life. When we stay intimately connected to Jesus, we bear fruit. If we do not remain in Him, we wither.

The Bread of Life (6:25-35) the only one who can truly satisfy our hearts. Jesus feeds our souls with sustenance that never leaves us wanting for more.

The Light of the World (9:5) shines His light through our countenance as a ministry and testimony to a dark world.

The Way (14:6) to happiness, peace, joy, and eternal life is Jesus Christ.

The Truth (14:6) of His revelation, as recorded in the New Testament, is the reason we can know as much as we do about God.

The Life (14:6) Jesus imparts to believers is powerful, effective, and fruitful, not only in eternity but here on earth as well.


In biblical times, Israelites would choose a baby’s name based on the child’s characteristics or a hope or prayer of the parent. The names given to Jesus tell a great deal about His ministry on earth 2,000 years ago. The scriptural names describing Him reveal who He was and is and will be for eternity.


For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.





Friday, December 5, 2014

He which hath begun a good work in you...

email devotional from LWF 

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
God has not promised you smooth sailing, but He has promised you a safe landing. He has a purpose in allowing every circumstance into your life. You can bank on this: He’ll see you to the shore in every storm of life.

Andrew Murray said, “God is willing to assume the full responsibility for the life totally yielded to Him.” One of these days your destiny will be fulfilled. And soon and very soon, He is going to step down from the mountain of His glory, and the trumpet will sound. Our little ship will leave the sea of time, and immediately we’ll be on the shores of eternity.


When He comes, He’s coming for you! He’s coming for me!

First Thessalonians 4:16-18 tells us to comfort one another with these words of Christ’s return: 
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

ACTION POINT:

Do you have a Christian friend who is troubled today? 
Comfort him or her with this hope.






Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christian Values to Live By

Cheerfulness—being full of good feelings
“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart” ~ Proverbs 15:30
“A cheerful heart is good medicine” ~ Proverbs 17:22
“God love a cheerful giver” ~ 2 Cor. 9:7
Application: Job’s cheerful looks brought joy. See Job 29:24


Compassion—desire to relieve another’s suffering
“Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another” ~ Zech. 7:9
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” ~ Col. 3:12
Application: In the parable of the Good Samaritan, a stranger showed compassion for another. See Luke 10:30-37


Consideration—mindful of the needs and feelings of others
“Be peaceable and considerate” ~ Titus 3:2
Application: 1) The Israelites were instructed to be considerate of others’ property. See Deut. 22:1-4 2) Joseph showed consideration for Mary by deciding to divorce her quietly. See Matt. 1:19


Contentment—uncomplaining acceptance of one’s life
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” ~ 1 Tim. 6:6-8
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ “~ Heb. 13:5
Application: Paul was content, no matter the circumstances. See Phil. 4:11


Courage—bold; fearless in the face of threat
“Be strong and courageous” ~ Joshua 1:6
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” ~ 1 Cor. 16:13 See also Eph. 6:10-18
Application: Peter and John showed great courage when they spoke about Jesus before the Sanhedrin. See Acts 4:1-21, esp. v 13.


Faithfulness—living by faith, or belief
“Fight the good fight of the faith” ~ 1 Tim. 6:12a
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith” ~ 1 Cor. 16:13a
Application: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went” ~ Heb. 11:8. See Hebrews 11 for a list of faithful people.


Forgiveness—the act of pardoning
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” ~ Matt. 6:14
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” ~ Eph. 4:32  See also Matt. 18:21-22.
Application: 1) Joseph forgave his brothers. See Gen. 45:8-15. 2) Stephen forgave, and asked God to forgive, the men who stoned him. See Acts 7:59-60.


Gentleness—showing kindness and tenderness
“Let your gentleness be evident to all” ~ Phil. 4:5
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” ~ Col. 3:12b
Application: Paul was gentle with the Thessalonians. See 1 Thess. 2:6-7.


Godliness—holy living
“Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” ~ 1 Tim. 4:8b
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and world passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” ~ Titus 2:11-12
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” ~ 1 Peter 1:15
Application: Peter and Paul evidenced godly lives through their writings.


Goodness—state of being good, not evil
“Turn from evil and do good” ~ Psalm 34:14
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” ~ Gal. 5:22-23a
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us” ~ 1 Peter 2:12. See also 2 Peter 1:3-11.
Application: Peter and Paul dealt with goodness in their writings.


Honesty—truthfulness
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” ~ Eph. 4:15
“Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully” ~ Eph. 4:25a
Application: The men supervising the rebuilding of the temple acted in complete honesty. See 2 Kings 12:15


Hope—reliance on God’s blessing; expectation of future good
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” ~ Isa. 40:31
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” ~ Heb. 11:1
See also Romans 8:18-27; 1 Peter 3:15-16
Application: Peter encouraged the early Christians to hope in God despite their suffering (1 Peter).


Humility—modesty; meekness
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” ~ Micah 6:8
“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” ~ Matt. 23:12
“Clothe yourselves with humility” ~ 1 Peter 5:5
Application: 1) Daniel was very humble, giving honor where it belonged—to God. See Daniel 2:30 2) Elizabeth was humble before Mary. See Luke 1:43.


Joy—gladness of heart
“The joy of the LORD is your strength” ~ Neh. 8:10b
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” ~ Gal. 5:22-23a
Application: Mary’s joy at the coming birth of Jesus is expressed in song in Luke 1:46-55.


Kindnessstate of being kind, considerate
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” ~ Col. 3:12b
“Be kind and compassionate to one another” ~ Eph. 4:32a
Application: David showed kindness to Mephibosheth for Jonathan’s sake in 2 Sam. 9:1-7


Love for othersunselfish, benevolent concern
“Love your neighbor as yourself” ~ Matt. 22:39
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” ~ 1 John 4:7-8 See also John 13:34; 1 Cor. 13.
Application: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” ~ John 15:13. Jesus did this for us.


Love for Godgratitude, worship, devotion
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” ~ Deut. 6:5 See also Matt. 22:37-38.
Application: Love for God is manifested in the lives of men and women throughout the Bible.


Mercy—compassion, showing charity
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” ~ Matt. 5:7
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” ~ Luke 6:36 See also Micah 6:8.
Application: David showed mercy by sparing Saul’s life. See 1 Sam. 24:10-17,


Obedience—submitting to authority
“It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him” ~ Deut. 13:4
“If you love me, you will obey what I command” ~ John 14:15
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” ~ Eph. 6:1
Application: 1) Noah obeyed God and built the ark ~ Gen. 6. 2) Paul commended the Philippians for their obedience ~ Phil. 2:12-13.


Patience—ability to bear trials without grumbling
“Be patient, bearing with one another in love” ~ Eph. 4:2b
“Love is patient, love is kind” ~ 1 Cor. 13:4a
Application: David wrote, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry” ~ Ps. 40:1


Peace—experience of right relationship; inner contentment
“Great peace have they who love your law” ~ Ps. 119:165
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” ~ Romans 5:1
“Seek peace and pursue it” ~ 1 Peter 3:11b  See also Gal. 5:22
Application: Christ breaks down the barrier between believing Jews and Gentiles ~ Eph. 2:14


Prayerfulness—praying frequently
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” ~ Phil. 4:6
“Pray continually” ~ 1 Thess. 5:17  See also Mark 11:22-25; James 5:13-16.
Application: Elijah prayed and God answered ~ James 5:17-18.


Purity—lack of contamination or evil
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word” ~ Ps. 119:9
“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” ~ 1 Thess. 4:7 See also Phil. 4:8
Application: In 1 Tim. 5:1-2, Paul gives advice on treating others with purity.


Self-control—restrain or discipline one’s behavior
“But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet” ~ 1 Thess. 5:8
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” ~ Titus 2:11-12
Application: Self-control is one of the requirements for an elder ~ Titus 1:8.


Trust in God—putting one’s confidence in God; believing
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” ~ John 14:1
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” ~ Prov. 3:5-6
Application: Abraham trusted in God ~ James 2:23.


Wisdom—knowledge guided by understanding
“The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom” ~ Prov. 15:33a
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” ~ James 3:17.
Application: Solomon asked God for wisdom ~ 1 Kings 3:4-15.


What would Jesus do? Imitating Christ…
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” ~ Heb. 12:2-3
“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” ~ 1 Peter 1:14-15 See also Romans 8:29
Application: Paul was an imitator of Christ and encouraged others to follow his example.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” ~ Phil.4:8-9