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

Take Jesus As He Is

Jesus was a first century Jewish Rabbi who was a son of a carpenter. He is also God.

You who are reading this are neither of those things.

Stop trying to fit Jesus into your world view, instead make Jesus and the Bible your world view.

If you try hard enough you can make the Bible say anything you want, instead of doing something so foolish, how about you take the Bible as it is written?

Take Jesus as He is.

It is not your job to manipulate scripture to prove why you feel a certain way or do a certain thing.

It is your job to submit to God and His Word.

This is not directed at one particular group or thought process. I don’t care what your theological, political or moral preferences are.

If you truly claim to follow Christ, than follow Christ. Don’t use the Bible and Jesus’ words to fit your lifestyle or world view.

Let God and the Bible form your world view and mold your lifestyle around it.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Happy Easter 2020

He is Risen!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. This week I am posting the Luke 24 Chapter and two videos, one from the Bible Project on Luke 24 and the service from Heritage Baptist Church. Note if you would like to see the entire Easter story I will post a link below from a great article I found that shows all of the story from the Bible in order.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Luke 24 New King James Version (NKJV)
He Is Risen
24 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, [a]and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were [b]greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”

8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like [c]idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths [d]lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

The Road to Emmaus
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was [e]seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you [f]walk and are sad?”

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He [g]expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

The Disciples’ Eyes Opened
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He [h]indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was [i]known to them in the breaking of bread.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples
36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

40 [j]When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish [k]and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

The Scriptures Opened
44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, [l]and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city [m]of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

The Ascension
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple [n]praising and blessing God. [o]Amen.

Bible Project

 

Heritage Baptist Church 

Sources:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+24&version=NIV

https://bibleproject.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVfwlh9XpX2Y_tQfjeln9QA

https://www.heritageloves.com/

ENTIRE EASTER STORY…
https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-stories/the-easter-bible-story.html

 

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.

The Lack of Trust in the Church

I once got into a debate with a person in the comment section of a video. They were arguing against giving a church or pastor money when they asked. They argued if a church needed Bibles or anything like that he would send them the items but he won’t send them money. I countered him with different arguments but couldn’t change his view.
In the end we decided to end the debate as neither one of us was getting through to the other.
I’ve thought about that conversation many times since. I get hung up on that debate due to a trend recently I’ve seen of people holding a similar view or even more harshly where they refuse to give anything to a church or pastor.
When the subject comes to my mind I try to think of more points I could have made.
But recently it hit me, I had been focusing so much on the debate that I didn’t think about the core issue.
Those people don’t trust their brothers and sisters in Christ.
They believe that the church and pastor will misuse the money given to them. They don’t trust that the Holy Spirit will guide them on how to use it.
And you know what? Even if they do misuse the money. God will see it. God will handle it in His way.
He also sees what’s in your heart. He knows why you may not be giving. But if the reason is you don’t trust your brothers and sisters in Christ than that’s a shame.
Let God guide you on how you give. Sometimes He may guide you to give more than you want, sometimes less than you think you should, maybe He will guide you not give it all.
But ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, not your own will but His.
This topic is bigger than just giving money.
We as a church lack trust in general.
We use “discernment” as a license to judge. Often leading to us hiding the Light of God from the World.
Look at the reaction many are having about Kanye West. They immediately threw him under the bus and refused to believe his story.
There has been much written about Mr. West and his conversion, I am not focusing on just one man.
I want the church to look at themselves. If your friend was a person who immersed himself in evil and then gave his life to Christ would you want him to be judged in the same way we do to celebrity converts or others you don’t know?
Jesus pointed out to us how easy it is to love our friends* but we are told by Him we must also love our enemies.
So when an enemy becomes a brother or sister in Christ shouldn’t you love them just the same as a friend of yours who becomes a brother or sister in Christ?
This isn’t a new problem. Read the Bible. The people around Job believed he must have sinned and that caused him to lose everything, people didn’t trust Paul’s conversion to Christianity either.
I am not going to lie, I’m very guilty of this myself. I judge people, Lord help me I do.
I know it’s easy when confronted about judging others to say, “The Bible tells me I must use discernment.”
However we must remember the difference between discernment and judgment.
Yes the Bible tells us to discern. We must look at a situation and use wisdom to understand if it goes with the Word of God.
But that doesn’t mean you go and point out the flaws of a person and tell them they’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing or that they’re lying or that they’re going to Hell. That is judgment.
Discern whether or not your using discernment.
I saw this quote on Facebook, “The only One who had the authority to cast a stone, didn’t”.
That is something we truly must remember.
Trust your brothers and sisters. Help them, be with them, love them. Because God loves them.
And He loves you.
Have a Blessed Week,
Chris.
Here is some scripture that relates to this week’s blog…

James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was[e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+2%3A14-26&version=NKJV

Luke 21:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Widow’s Two Mites

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.[a]So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings[b]for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21%3A1-4&version=NKJV

*Luke 6:32-36 New King James Version (NKJV)

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [a]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A32-36&version=NKJV

Stay the Course

We hear that God has a plan for us. I of course agree with that. I do feel however it is up to us to follow Him and know His will in order for the plan to come to fruition. We have free will so it is up to us to follow God’s will.

We have seen many times in the Bible men of God ask God to relent and He does or gives a way to turn back to Him so He will change the outcome.

This is not in every scenario obviously. If God is firm on something He will make it happen.

Jesus knew this about the Father that is why when He was scared about His upcoming crucifixion He asked the Father if it was possible to remove the task ahead of Him. God sent an angel to comfort Him and He accepted the Will of the Father. Let’s follow that example.

Asking God is always okay, listen to Him and always follow His guidance.

If you hear silence then know sometimes His silence is the answer.

So in the silence we stay the course.

Always stay the course.

Even if the route changes we still must stay the course because the course is God’s will.

Listen and follow the Way.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Biblical Source:
Luke 22:39-44 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Prayer in the Garden

39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 [a]Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+22%3A39-44&version=NKJV

Bridge the Gap

It is very important to reconcile people to the Word of God. There are many types of reasoning’s and situations that have shaped people’s opinion of God. It is up to us Christians to not just spread the Word of God but to explain it as well.

Today I am going to discuss three types of thought when it comes to God.

First is a lack of understanding. Many will take scripture out of context, not knowing the “who, what, where and why” of the scripture. If you are ignorant to what the Word means it’s easy to have an opinion based on emotion rather than understanding. That is why we Christians need to be ready to help those come to understand the Word or refer them to someone or a teaching that can help them.

Emotional opinions fall on both sides however.

It’s a shame when a person doesn’t understand scripture but has a strong opinion about the Word but it is dangerous to the faith when a Christian has the same issue.

Which leads to the next section.

Some may have an angry opinion of God and Christianity because of how they were treated by a church or someone of the Christian faith.

It’s up to us to listen to them, hear their pain and help them. We can explain to them the love of God and how all are welcomed in the church, the message of the Bible is about God’s love for us and His desire for us to love Him back. He gave us rules to follow to benefit our lives and honor Him but knowing we are flawed individuals we became justified through our faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

God loves us all no matter what and He wants to take our pain away. Help send His child back to Him.

The last type of thought I want to address is sinners relationship to God. Many think God hates sinners and He expects perfection, this leads to people thinking church is filled with self-righteous people and they don’t belong. This is obviously not the case we are all flawed. Any church that behaves in that way or gets wrapped up in the image of their church has lost its way.

If someone ever tells another to leave a church because they’re a sinner, God will walk right out of that church with them.

He surrounded Himself with sinners. Jesus wined, dined, talked and walked with sinners. Most importantly He healed those sinners.

If you, yourself while attending church feel certain types of sinners shouldn’t be there then you are in the right place.

Why?

Because you need Jesus to come back into your heart. Go find Him, He’s sitting right next those you’re judging. Come take a seat next to Him.

Remember the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector from Luke 18: 9-14

“9Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be [d]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Now for us Christians it is very important to study scripture and to know it. Listen to Biblical experts and know the context of the Word. Don’t speak based on emotions or an opinion based on your own views but do so by the Word and Spirit of God.

It’s extremely important to let the Holy Spirit guide you. If you do scripture will flow from you like never before. You will also know how to address someone, everyone is different in how they will receive information positively. Let the Spirit set the tone.

Bridge the Gap between those who are away from the Lord. Don’t just stand and look over to the other side. Figure out how to bring all those standing over there to God’s side.

The Lord is waiting.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+18&version=NKJV

God in three relationships: The Family of God

First and foremost I want to say we have to remember God is the Father of all not just us Christians. Everyone who isn’t saved should be treated as if they were the Prodigal Son. God is patiently waiting for them to come to Him.

If someone comes to Christ than there should be a joyous celebration, Jesus said in Luke 15:10, “10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Many still bring up past sins to new Christians but the Lord says He will cast our sins in to the depths of the sea. We are not bigger than God so if He chooses to forgive someone’s sins, than we need to move on from them as well.

Jesus is the King of Kings but He is also the Son of God and according to the Bible we are joint heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus didn’t just call us brothers and sisters to be nice to us, we are one big family of God and the Father gave us the best big Brother possible.

Because we are brothers and sisters in Christ we must treat each other as family not just other people who believe the same as us.

I was listening to a Christian radio station and a caller was discussing a generous thing he had done for someone in his family, the host made a joke to the caller about borrowing money, the man replied, “No, you’re not blood.”

I know that the conversation was just in the joking sense but it still stuck with me. We have to remember your Christian family is just as important as your personal family, in some cases more important. This is God’s Family, God is more important than us as individuals.

Also I would like to point out we are all “blood”; remember in the Bible we are all descendants from the same two people.

Truly though, the most important blood that connects us is the blood of Jesus Christ and that means much more than the blood that pumps through our veins.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Sources:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15%3A10&version=NKJV

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