The Sunday before Christmas 2013, let’s remember who it is we are celebrating the arrival of on Christmas day.
The Sunday before Christmas 2013, let’s remember who it is we are celebrating the arrival of on Christmas day.
Easter Sunday Sermon at Ryedale Evangelical Church
The number of older residents means there’s a higher than average number of disabled drivers for whom double yellow lines are a parking space. Add to them delivery vehicles and those who think the highway code is for other people, and scenes like this become a daily event.
The sheep was lost because it was silly, the coin through someone’s negligence, but the boy is lost because he chooses to get far away from all who love and care for him.
Luke 15:14–16 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
He’s fallen out of the good life, into a world where pigs eat better than he does! He’s in a jam!!
Matthew 4:17 (NKJV) From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 5:32 (NKJV) I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Luke 13:3 (NKJV) I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.To repent is to change your mind. However, this only defines the word, not the concept, for you need to ask, Change your mind about what? … If repentance is understood to mean changing your mind about your sin—being sorry for your sin—this will not necessarily save. There are plenty of criminals in and out of jails who are repentant in this sense. They are sorry for making certain mistakes, but this does not mean they give up a life of crime. People can be sorry for their sins without wanting to accept the forgiveness of a Saviour. But if repentance means changing your mind about the particular sin of rejecting Christ, then that kind of repentance saves, and of course it is the same as faith in Christ. C. C. Ryrie Repentance isn’t feeling. It is turning from sin to God. One of the best definitions was given by a soldier. Some one asked him how he was converted. He said:
Believing his father would receive him, he’s ready to consign himself to the most menial tasks necessary – To his great delight and benefit – When he reaches home there’s a welcome and he’s embraced as a long lost son.
Luke 15:21–24 (NKJV) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Romans 1:20–21 (NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Here they learned that all are equally sinners, that God holds each individual responsible for their sin, and that unresolved sin would mean eternal separation from God in hell.
Then they heard the great Good News of God’s resolving the sin of believers through the work of Jesus Christ, whereby He paid our penalty and now sets free from sin and judgment all those who will take Him at His word, repent and believe on Him as Saviour. So Simple, yet So Hard to Accept.
Romans 6:23 (NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A Free Gift
Remember, salvation is a free gift, and it is a free gift for us. Can you buy it? It is a free gift, presented to “whosoever” will accept it.
Suppose I were to say, I will give this Bible to “whosoever” will take it; what have you got to do? Why, nothing but take it. But a man comes forward, and says:
“I’d like that Bible very much.”
“Well, didn’t I say ‘whosoever’ will can have it?”
“Yes; but I’d like to have you mention my name.”
“Well, here it is.”
Still he keeps eyeing the Bible, and saying, “I’d like to have that Bible; but I’d like to give you something for it. I don’t like to take it for nothing.”
“But I am not here to sell Bibles; take it, if you want it.”
“Well, I want it; but I’d like to give you something for it. Let me give you a cent for it; though, to be sure, it’s worth about five dollars.”
Suppose I accept the cent; the man takes up the Bible and marches away home with it.
His wife asks, “Where did you get that Bible?”
“Oh, I bought it.”
Mark the point; when he gave the penny, it ceased to be a gift. So with salvation. If you were to pay ever so little, it would not be a gift.
D. L. Moody
Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
1 Corinthians 15:51–52 (NKJV) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Acts 4:12 (NKJV) Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 16:31 (NKJV) So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
If a tramp comes to us in dire need, down and out, in rags and tatters, and sick, even starving, it will be good to give him a bath and a change of clothing, but not enough. For he is ill and undernourished. So, in addition, he needs food and hospital treatment. Similarly, we come to Christ down and out, in the rags and tatters of our sin, spiritually sick and starving. In Christ, we are at once made welcome and accepted, and given a bath and a change of clothes. God sees us as righteous in Christ. This is our new status. But it is only the beginning. The Good Physician knows we are sick. So he puts His Spirit within us to give us new life and health, and He feeds us with His Word until we grow strong and vigorous. There are no half-measures with Him.
Romans 2:4-6 do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
I was weeping in the most bitter contritition of my heart, when I heard the voice of children from a neighbouring house chanting, “take up and read; take up and read.” I could not remember ever having heard the like, so checking the torrent of my tears, I arose, interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book and read the first chapter I should find. Eagerly then I returned to the place where I had laid the volume of the apostle. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: “Not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not is strife and envy; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” No further would I read, nor did I need to. For instantly at the end of this sentence, it seemed as if a light of serenity infused into my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away. – Augustine
Romans 13:14 (NKJV) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. God.
Romans 5:10 (NKJV) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 3:26 (NKJV) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Mary had a little pig and it was white as snow,
That is when it had had a bath, as you of course might know.
But Mary had an awful time to keep the piggy clean,
For it was just the dirtiest pig that one has ever seen.
She’d wash him and she’d scrub him, till he would squirm and squeal,
As if he wanted her to know it was an unfair deal.
And then inside his green backyard he’d plan from morn to night,
Unless he happened to sneak out and lose himself from sight.
And then when Mary found him he’d be blacker than ere before,
So Mary’d get the soap again and scrub the pig some more.
Poor Mary thought and wondered much what she could ever do
Until she figured out a plan, and this she carried through.
She took him to a doctor who put the pig to sleep, and then he
Took his heart right out, but not of course to keep.
And then he took a little lamb and took his heart out too
And put it in the little pig before the piggy knew.
When little piggy did awake he had no more desire
To wallow in the mud again or ever in the mire.
And try as hard as ere he could he never understood,
How such a pig as once he was could ever be so good.
And so you see, dear friends of mine, you need a new heart too,
Just like the little piggy did, the old will never do.
If you’ll receive a brand new heart, well, here is how you may.
Accept God’s son as Saviour now and let him in today.
The car owning public usually ignore them, unless stuck behind one on our winding country roads!
Other people may need to use them, but not me, I’m independent, going where and when I choose! Perhaps I’ll even use a tractor!!
All is well until you find you can no longer drive, and if, for whatever reason, there is no suitable transport to hand, you are stuck!
Job 7:6 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
To which we could add:
Job 9:25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good.
Job 16:22 For when a few years are finished, I shall go the way of no return.
Psalm 103:15,16 As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
Life, Happiness in: Charlie Brown, pondering his plight in life, thought, “Yesterday, for one brief moment I was happy. But just when I thought I was winning in the game of life, there was a flag thrown on the play and life dealt me a blow.”
Life’s Journey has one direction, every step bring us closer to meeting our Maker!
Genesis 50:12–14 So his sons did for him just as he had commanded them. For his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as property for a burial place. And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who went up with him to bury his father.
If this were all, then life is about enjoying what you have while you wait for extinction.
Luke 7:12–15 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
Acts 13:28–31 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
One recent summer, a bee was drawn into the open window of a car traveling down the road. The bee was upset, and so was a boy in the car, who had previously suffered a severe reaction from a bee sting. But before things got out of hand, the boy’s father caught the bee in his hand and tossed it back out the window. Then he pulled the car over to comfort his son. The boy, however, was now desperately worried that his father would die from the bee sting. “Oh, no,” said the father, showing him that his hand was only slightly swollen. “The sting won’t hurt me like it would you, so I took the sting for you.” And that is just what Jesus did for us: He took the sting of death for us, and now that sting is gone.
A man paused and looked at the table, so I asked: ‘Have you heard the Gospel?’
‘Oh, yes’, was his reply, ‘My sister is really into it’.
‘How about you’? ‘I used to be, but not any more.’ ‘Perhaps it’s time you reconsidered’?
‘No thanks’, was his reply and off he went round the corner and out of sight!
A young woman stopped, the testimony of Debbie Flood caught her attention
Our few minutes of conversation ended abruptly when she suddenly said: ‘I don’t like to be preached at’, deposited the leaflets she’d taken back on the table and left!
Mark 4:40 (NKJV) But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
“Sinners never have true joy or feel inward peace, because; ‘there is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord (Isaiah 57:21).
We worry too much. We follow the example of our earthly father Adam when he confessed to God, “I was afraid … and hid” (Gen. 3:10). We have become a fearful people, even though most of our fears are often unfounded or just plain silly, because we do not have our eyes on the sparrow.
THEN THE RAIN CAME:
Matthew 7:24–27 (NKJV) “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Every Shower Reminds Us of The Need to Be Safe on the Solid Rock of Salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ. High and Dry – Are You?
A Peanuts cartoon pictured Lucy and Linus looking out the window at a steady downpour of rain. “Boy,” said Lucy, “look at it rain. What if it floods the whole world?”
“It will never do that.” Linus replied confidently. “In the ninth chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow.”
“You’ve taken a great load off my mind,” said Lucy with a relieved smile. “Sound theology,” pontificated Linus, “has a way of doing that!”