Advent and Hope

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent. Our church had a wonderful service to kick off this season. (The service should be posted on here tomorrow.)

They’re four weeks of Advent and each has a candle with a theme.

The four themes are hope, peace, love and joy.

I also am starting a series today on the important aspects of Christmas leading up to the day that we celebrate the arrival of the “True Meaning Of Christmas”.

Let’s kickoff the series of by keeping with the theme of the first Sunday of Advent, hope.

Hope is so important to faith in God and it predates Christianity. The Jewish people long hoped for their Messiah. Jesus is that long awaited Messiah. 

We as Christians have hope in Jesus, we have hope in the promises He has made to us, we have Hope in eternal life, we have hope in God’s Kingdom.

We have hope in it’s truest form because of our hope in God.

At Christmas we are reminded of this hope as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. 

It’s a time when we can look back and reflect knowing how difficult the circumstances were, are and will be that we can have hope in the One who was, is and yet to come.

If you’re reading this and haven’t put your Hope in God, do so today. I am not telling you that your life will become easier, in fact it probably will become harder but in the end it’s all worth it because we have hope in the imperishable, the eternal, the true and living God.

Have a Blessed and Hopeful Week,

Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – Malachi 3:1-4

Tuesday – Luke 1:68-79

Wednesday – Philippians 1:3-11

Thursday – Luke 3:1-16

Christmas 2020

Let’s begin today with the story of Christmas from the ESV translation…

The Birth of Jesus Christ

“2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.[c]

The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”

In this tough time we can read this and remember we have hope in Jesus.

He came just like the Bible foretold.

He will come again just like the Bible foretells.

Our hope is in the Lord. Who will make all things new, stop suffering and be with us forever and ever. In the meantime let’s pray for one another and focus on the miracle of Jesus’ life and ministry.

Let’s rejoice at His birth and let’s try our best to have a wonderful day remembering Him.

Merry Christmas and may God bless you all,
Chris

Heritage Baptist Church Online Service

Something Satan Loves

You know something Satan loves? Distractions.

While we debate Holidays and are heretic hunting in the church arguing over petty things like Halloween in October and in December it will be Christmas trees the sick are not being healed, the hungry are not being feed, the cold won’t be clothed, the needy wait for their needs, the widowed are not being comforted, justice is not being fought for and the unsaved wait to hear the Gospel.

How often do we see discussions on politics, theology and other things turn toxic and become an obsession by the Body of Christ?

People end up behaving the opposite of the manner God has taught them.

I am not saying certain topics aren’t important, what I am saying is prioritize what you’re doing and use discernment to see if what you’re doing bares fruit.

I’ll give an example.

If you come home and notice the house is dirty but then see your children are hungry and without food, your brother is cold and without coat, your sister is sick and without medicine, you look outside and your neighbor is drowning in a nearby lake screaming for someone to save them what do you do?

Do you clean the house to make everything appear well while everyone suffers?

What is your priority?

Save your neighbor, give medicine to your sister, warm your brother, feed your children and then you can focus on cleaning the mess which truly when you think about it was a much smaller mess than you realized at first.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Merry Christmas 2019!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Nothing better to post than the story of Christmas…

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Luke 2:1-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a [b]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And [c]behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a [d]manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill[e] toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made [f]widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

In Defense of Christmas-A Re-post

I wrote this a couple years ago. Since I already re-blogged this last year it won’t let me re-blog it again this year. Unfortunately the topic still seems to be an issue still so I am re-posting this entry for the third year in a row, hopefully it will reach a few different readers.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris…

It seems the new trend for many Christians is abandoning Holidays like Christmas and Easter. They shout that it is Pagan and we shouldn’t celebrate these things. Some even condemn those who do to Hell. Seems pretty harsh too me.

I often wonder if these people who go on commenting about these things or pointing out every “False Prophet” on the internet, really have God in their minds and heart or are they just using this time to make themselves feel better than other people? They claim they are doing this out of love, and that we need to “correct” our Christian brothers and sisters.

Doesn’t sound a lot like Jesus’ message of love, compassion and forgiveness does it?

I love all my Christian brothers and sisters. Views may be different but the most important thing we must do is show love. You know who loves believers arguing and dividing themselves over small things like holidays? Satan. God wants us to love each other not fight.

I also love Christmas, so many stories of miracles, people reuniting with Family, putting their differences aside and coming together. People become more charitable and volunteer more around this time. Church attendance increases. Many become saved this time of the year. I think God would approve of this Christianized Holiday. God accepted Gentiles, their countries, why not make some of their traditions Godly too?

I look forward to this time of the year, which is my favorite and I hope you all enjoy it too.

Be Blessed

I Wrote a Book!

Hey everyone. I wrote a Children’s Christmas book called “The Twelve Heroes of Christmas”.
It has a Christian message behind it.
 
If anyone would like to check it out you can view it at the link I am leaving.
 
Here’s the plot…
“Did you know Santa Claus is not the only Christmas Gift Bringer in the World?
 
As a matter of fact they’re Twelve Christmas Heroes that give Children gifts each Christmas.
 
Every year Santa and other Christmas figures from around the world gather at a glorious castle for a meeting to discuss how things are going and how their annual trips went.
 
Wouldn’t you like to sit in on that secret meeting? One individual got that chance.
 
Santa arrived early in town. He was feeling tired and desperate for help. You see Christmas spirit was at an all-time low for the Heroes. While standing next his reindeer, he encounters a man who agrees to accompany him on his journey. Who is this mysterious man and who sent him? How can he help our Heroes regain their faith, passion and their own Christmas spirit?
 
You will meet all sorts of characters from around the world, listen to them tell their stories and learn about their cultures. From the seemingly stern Grandfather Frost of Russian to the Christ-Child from Germany to the Old Christmas Witch of Italy and more! And of course there are those whose spirits might take a little extra to lift, such as an angry Christmas gnome and the mischievous Yule Lad. What will the Heroes decided to do in the end? Can they regain their Christmas spirit or will it be lost in history?”

The Story of Christmas

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a [b]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And [c]behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a [d]manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill[e] toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made [f]widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
-Luke 2:1-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Thank you God for sending Your Son for all of us. He was and is the best gift the World as ever received.

Merry Christmas to everyone on out there! May God bless you today, into the new year that is coming and always.

Have a Blessed Christmas
-Chris

Toxic Environments in Christian Culture

I really wanted to write a Christmas blog this week but this has been on my heart.

Why are so many Christian discussions like comment sections so toxic? It makes me sad. Where is the love? Just because you can quote scripture doesn’t mean you know scripture.

So many Christians take a few scriptures and use that as a license to judge.

Didn’t Jesus tell you not to judge?

Stop taking a few verses out of context in order to behave like you are God, you are not.

All you’re doing is pushing people away from the Lord, your job as a Christian on Earth is to bring others to Jesus and take care of the needy. Not tear down your brothers and sisters in Christ.

It’s okay to go to other Christians and attempt to reconcile them with God. But it seems that many only wish to “expose” false preachers or pastors. They’re obsessed with certain scriptures and want to comment on every video that doesn’t go along with their beliefs. I notice many people like this also mock, laugh and insult others. I see people like this say, “LOL” at someone’s response to them or call them a bad name. I have even seen people curse as they argue.

This leads to the other side becoming heated as well.

Watching Christians argue over the Lord in such hateful ways is really heartbreaking.

Others see it to, imagine if you weren’t a believer and go to check out a video sermon and see Christians behaving this way?  How does that make the church look?

Unfortunately many are leaving the faith not because of God but because of a toxic environment they’re experiencing. It’s up to us to show the Light of God to those who need it, not cover that Light up and let darkness take over.

Read Paul’s letters, when speaking of correcting the peoples ways he did so in a loving manner, not an angry, judgmental way.

Speaking of Paul, after reading some of his letters recently, it hit me. We are still dealing with the same problems in the church 2,000 years later. In Paul’s day people argued over scripture, some were abusing their grace and letting the outside world influence them, while others were still holding on to the law so harshly that there appeared to be no grace at all. People were arguing over who they followed, saying they were followers of Paul or Titus or Peter or James or another, the predecessor to all the denominational differences of today. Some were complaining about giving any money to their church and didn’t want to tithe. Believers didn’t know what do believe so it was chaos and bickering.

Does this sound familiar?

Paul addressed all these issues. Now in this day and age people take a bit of Paul’s letters and other scriptures out of the Bible in order to win arguments but they don’t realize they are behaving in a way that he spoke out against.

What it all comes down to is you have to pray to God, you have to LISTEN to God, if you can’t hear the voice of God that is a problem. But fear not, you still have the Bible.

WWJD is not just a bumper sticker or a bracelet. Know how Jesus would have handled a situation, don’t just look at one situation, but follow His entire story. Jesus was the most loving and forgiving person to ever walk this Earth. Try to show the same love and forgiveness God does, He knows best.

I am not going to be a hypocrite and judge those who lash out in comments sections or any other platform. I have run theories in my head to why they people behave that way but I am not going to entertain those thoughts and tear those people down. I don’t know what is truly in their hearts, only God knows.

I just pray that we all do God’s will.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

In defense of Christmas

It seems the new trend for many Christians is abandoning Holidays like Christmas and Easter. They shout that it is Pagan and we shouldn’t celebrate these things. Some even condemn those who do to Hell. Seems pretty harsh too me.

I often wonder if these people who go on commenting about these things or pointing out every “False Prophet” on the internet, really have God in their minds and heart or are they just using this time to make themselves feel better than other people? They claim they are doing this out of love, and that we need to “correct” our Christian brothers and sisters.

Doesn’t sound a lot like Jesus’ message of love, compassion and forgiveness does it?

I love all my Christian brothers and sisters. Views may be different but the most important thing we must do is show love. You know who loves believers arguing and dividing themselves over small things like holidays? Satan. God wants us to love each other not fight.

I also love Christmas, so many stories of miracles, people reuniting with Family, putting their differences aside and coming together. People become more charitable and volunteer more around this time. Church attendance increases. Many become saved this time of the year. I think God would approve of this Christianized Holiday. God accepted Gentiles, their countries, why not make some of their traditions Godly too?

I look forward to this time of the year, which is my favorite and I hope you all enjoy it too.

Be Blessed