What’s In Your Future

March 6, 2015


 

 

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SCRIPTURE

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.  But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.

~Psalm 37:37-38, NLT

QUOTE

God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.

~William Franklin Graham

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Humans have a fascination with the future. They say at least one out of five Americans read the horoscope daily and one of three check it occasionally. False prophets have made millions of dollars with their books on prophecy. Actually, we do not need the horoscope, false prophet or physics: the bible will reveal our future.

God speaks in Isaiah 46:9-10Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. Although none of us can predict the future, God has given us the gift to determine some aspects of our future. Moses told Israel: you have two choices–You can obey the LORD and enter the land where you will live or you can disobey, stay here in the wilderness and die. Your choice is life or death, a blessing or a curse.

Rebellion is a curse. Samuel said, “Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft.” Those who rebel against God have no future, period. Proverbs 24:20, For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. And you can throw in Proverbs 13:15 for boot, “The way of transgressors is hard.”

Do you bristle with resentment and anger every time someone gives you instructions? Do you feel above taking instructions from anyone but especially spiritual leaders? Just remember, you attitude determines your future.

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  • Today we pray for FAMILY. Folks we have a lot of hurting families. I was on the phone last night with a broken hearted mom. I am telling you folks, the pain and devastation that sin produces is everywhere. Pick out a family and pray for them. I am leaning very strongly toward connect groups so that we can pray for each other.
  • Have not heard from B’ham since yesterday morning. We will probably go down today. Seth came in from Atlanta last night and said all was clear until he got to Hartselle.
  • Our front yard is a sheet of ice about an inch thick and nothing melted yesterday.
  • Remember, no DEACON’S meeting Sunday. We begin at 9:15 with LCBS. Gregg and I will have coffee and donuts at 9:00. Remember, you have to run your clocks up one hour Saturday night. It is time to Spring Up!

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LCBS LESSON PREVIEW for March 8th

“A Birth Like No Other”

Jesus is fully human and fully God.

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.

Unique Birth

Jesus could have been born in a palace. Actually, there was a palace with indoor restroom facilities and hot and cold water just a few miles [6] from where Jesus was born. Herod’s palace was one of the most modern buildings of the time but Jesus was born near by in a stable. The KING of kings born in a stable with no nurse maid, no servants to attend to his needs. His birth was celebrated by angels and shepherds. The shepherds were the lowest of the lowly. Most people despised them and no one wanted to be life them.

Just think, Mary had the heartbeat of God within her for 9 months. As the song says, “When she kissed the face of Jesus, she kissed the face of God.” Jesus was a real baby, He cried when hungry, He pooped in his diapers, He had blood in his veins just like you and I.

The Paradox

Reason would have Jesus either be fully God or fully man or perhaps half-God and half-man but Jesus was fully God and fully man. It is a statement of truth that does not make sense and it seems to be a contradiction. Many truths in the scripture are of a paradoxical nature and they require faith. Most of the major decision you make in life require faith.

I believe Jesus is fully God and fully man but I cannot explain it. His unique birth helps me understand but that does not dispel all the mystery. Jesus entered this world and the world of flesh and blood through the portal of Mary’s womb. He existed before He was incarnated. He was the same age of His father but older than His mother. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit not Joseph’s sperm. Therefore, Jesus did not inherit our sinful nature. He took our human nature from Mary but He took God’s sinless nature from the Holy Spirit. Jesus was fully human but He was not twisted, perverted in his thinking. He could sin I suppose but He had no desire to sin. It was as natural for Jesus to be perfect as it is for me to be imperfect. He was tempted but not in the same way that you and I are tempted: we are tempted to rely on the flesh, He was tempted to rely on His divine powers. You and I have never been tempted to turn rock in to bread or jump from high building without a parachute and it is because we don’t have supernatural capability; He did.

REASONS FOR A VIRGIN BIRTH

  1. One reason for Jesus’ virgin birth is that it identified Him as the Messiah. Isaiah 7:14 prophesied that a virgin would be with child. Ever since that prophecy, the Jews had looked for that particular sign. God uses miracles to validate His messengers. A virgin birth is a powerful validation.
  2. Another reason for the virgin birth is that having a biological father would have annulled Jesus’ deity. He could not have been the son of Joseph and the Son of God at the same time. Every person born of man has inherited Adam’s sin nature (Romans 5:12, 17, 19).
  3. The virgin birth is also a picture of GRACE. Joseph had no part whatsoever in the conception of Jesus. Mary’s role was passive; she merely accepted God’s gift. As Ephesians 2:8-9 says, the work of salvation is done by God alone. Neither holiness nor salvation can be brought about by the effort of man.
  4. Since man sinned, technically for God to remain holy, a man had to die for those sins. Jesus became human so that He could qualify as our sacrifice for sin. Jesus is our atonement. He is the lamb without spot or blemish. Thus He had to God-Man to fulfill this role. The Just {Jesus} became the Justifier.
  5. Jesus is Unique. He is not merely a man as some would have us believe. Napoleon said, “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man.”
  6. To deny the virgin birth is antithetical to the Christian faith. It is a denial that a virgin with conceive and give birth to the Messiah. It is a denial that Jesus is God. It is a denial that the word of God is infallible.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

  1. We live in a Republic: what is the difference between a Republic and the Reign of Christ?
  2. Which heresy is more destructive: to deny the deity of Christ or to deny His humanity?
  3. What encourages you about Jesus humanity?
  4. What excites you about Jesus deity?
  5. Can you name something in fiction that comes close to the story of Jesus birth?
  6. In your personal opinion, who is the most popular woman in history?
  7. Why are we having a lesson on Jesus birth in March?

 

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