"One of my favorite writers, Chuck Colson, and one of my favorite books, 'Loving God', talks about an Asian monk named Telemachus back in the days of the Roman empire. The cruel and perilous Roman empire. Telemachus one day heard the voice of God in his heart. And God said, Telemachus, go to Rome."

Family Discussions:

  1. How does Telemachus and his act of incredible life sacrificial bravery remind you of what Jesus did on the cross?
  2. How does Barabas' good fortune remind you of what Christ did for you? And then the third question is this.
  3. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends?

Transcription:

00:14          The scripture today is the pinnacle of human history. It's a moment in the life of Christ that would literally shake the foundations of the world. We're in Mark chapter 15, and we're in verse 11, and it says this, "But the chief priest stirred up the crowd to ask Pilate to release Barabas for them instead. Answering again, Pilate said to them, 'then what shall I do with him whom you call the King of the Jews?' They shouted back, 'Crucify him! Crucify him!' But Pilate said to them, 'Why? What evil has he done?' But they shouted all the more. 'Crucify him! Crucify him!' So wishing to satisfy the crowd. Pilate released Barabas to them. And after having Jesus scorched, he handed him over to be crucified."
 
01:07          One of my favorite writers, Chuck Colson, and one of my favorite books, 'Loving God', talks about an Asian monk named Telemachus back in the days of the Roman empire. The cruel and perilous Roman empire. Telemachus one day heard the voice of God in his heart. And God said, Telemachus, go to Rome. I can only imagine the feeling that this dear old godly man had as he walked up the Appian way, that so many hundreds of Christians had marched into Rome knowing that they would soon be slaughtered for their faith in Christ. He walked straight into the Colosseum. And as the gladiators were out in the Colosseum killing people, In fact, Fox's book of martyrs says that some days in the Colosseum of Rome in the first and second centuries under Domitian and under Marcus Aurelius and under Nero, some days, 5,000 Christians would be slaughtered in the Colosseum of Rome for their faith in Christ.
 
02:02          So Telemachus walks into the Colosseum. The gladiators are slaughtering people and he screams with a voice that silences the crowd. He screams in the name of Christ. Forebear. The crowds begin to call him names and jir at him. So he jumped over the wall onto the dirt floor of the Colosseum where the gladiators were out in battle. And he looked up at the proconsul of Rome and he said the name of Christ forebear. Well, the second time he said it, one of the gladiators took his sword and he slashed him across the chest and as Telemachus fell to his face in the dirt of that Colosseum joining the other martyrs for the faith. With one last burst of energy, he raised his head from the dirt and he said in the name of Christ forebear. And he put his head down and he died. One by one, the people in the crowds began to walk out of the Colosseum until the Colosseum was empty. And history testifies to the truth that that was the last day of the gladiator killings in the Colosseum of Rome. That man, it ended that tradition.
 
03:13          So the questions today are these, how does Telemachus and his act of incredible life sacrificial bravery remind you of what Jesus did on the cross? And then secondly, what does or how does Barabas' good fortune remind you of what Christ did for you? And then the third question is this. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends? And here's the thought for the day. Love is love when it's strong enough to die for.

"It was no ordinary Christmas day in the cold damp foxhole on the American German battlefield of world war one. You know the details of this story that I read a long time ago are a little foggy, but it seems like on this unusual Christmas day in the honor of the Christ child's birth, both sides of the bloody skirmish acknowledge our ultimate savior for a few historical moments and the cannon fire and mortar fire in the rival fire ceased."

Family Discussions:

  1. How does this story remind you of Jesus and his historic death on the cross?
  2. Why were we his enemy before we surrendered our entire life to his leadership?
  3. If he would die for us as his enemy, how much more will love us as his friends?

Transcription:

00:14          Hey, today I've got an awesome story to tell you. But I want to read the scripture first and it's in Romans chapter five verses six through 10. And it says this, "For while we were still helpless at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly." Isn't that great? "For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Though perhaps for the good man, someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates his own love toward us. And that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more than this is awesome. "Having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if while 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."
 
01:05          It was no ordinary Christmas day in the cold damp foxhole on the American German battlefield of world war one. You know the details of this story that I read a long time ago are a little foggy, but it seems like on this unusual Christmas day in the honor of the Christ child's birth, both sides of the bloody skirmish acknowledge our ultimate savior for a few historical moments and the cannon fire and mortar fire in the rival fire ceased. The battlefield was quiet. The killing ground turned into a sanctuary of brief worship. Then as if Christmas never happened, the deadly rain of bullets and cannon fire resumed without concern for life or limb. A platoon of Germans feudally made a run across the tangled barbwire barrier to ambush the American enemy. But their raid was foiled when heavy gun fire stopped and it stopped them in their tracks. You see, several Germans died immediately, but one soldier took a hit in the shoulder and he lay screaming, tangled unmercifully in the barbwire jungle.
 
02:16          The screaming persisted until one young brave American soldier actually risked his life and ran to the Germans rescue as they removed him from the entanglement, again the gunfire ceased. The comrades held their fire in grateful astonishment. The heroic American freed the wounded Nazi and carried him to his friends without fear. He walked gallantly back to his foxhole. Man, although the details of this historic account are a little unclear, the certain truth remains. Only a true to the core, absolute hero would give his life for one who is innovate. The questions for today is this. Isn't this awesome, you guys? How does this story remind you of Jesus and his historic death on the cross? And then this one. Why were we his enemy before we surrendered our entire life to his leadership? And then this one wraps it up. If he would die for us as his enemy, how much more will love us as his friends? And the lifeline for today is this and it's a quote from Jesus. No greater love is this. That a man would lay down his life for his friends.

God without a name. What a travesty. I mean, here's the ruler of the universe, lying around in what would be diapers in the manger. I'm sure they weren't the diapers we wear today. They probably weren't pampers, but all the relatives were referring to him as the baby.

Family Discussions:

  1. Considering all the names given to our Lord, what is your favorite and why is that?
  2. What did God accomplish by becoming a man?
  3. What does your name mean? 
  4. What is one way you can live up to your name?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 Hey, in today's Bible study, it's kind of got a quirky thought. But it's the truth of scripture, and it is this: in Luke 2, verse 21 scripture says this, "And when eight days were completed before his circumcision, his name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb." Joseph knew his name because God appeared to Joseph in a dream when Mary was engaged to him. Mary knew his name because I'm sure Joseph told Mary what the angel had said to him, but you may not realize this, but God once went a whole week without a name. Here's a little birth certificate where my friend Fabian received her name. But, apparently for a week Jesus went without a name. Look for yourself in Luke 2:21.

01:13 God without a name. What a travesty. I mean, here's the ruler of the universe, lying around in what would be diapers in the manger. I'm sure they weren't the diapers we wear today. They probably weren't pampers, but all the relatives were referring to him as the baby, and nobody had the decency to name the child. And when they finally get around to it, they choose, really, the blandest name in Israel: Jesus. It was every mother's choice in zero B.C. They'd have called him Justin or Jeremy, if he was born today. There were probably 50 others with his name in the neighborhood. Really. I'm sure the rabbi's in roll call in the synagogue: "Abraham." "Here." "Benjamin." "Here." "Eli." "Here." "Jesus." "Do you mean the one from over on the side of the mountain? Do you mean the weaver's son? Or do you mean the one whose mother claimed to be a virgin?" You know, "Now class," the rabbi would say, attempting to stop the laughter. How embarrassing it must have been for our Lord growing up. How common, how ordinary he must've felt. Somehow though, I think that's how he planned it. And I think that's what Luke intends for us to catch in chapter two.

02:29 Jesus came into this world just like you and me. He cried, he sucked his thumb, he wet his bed, and slowly he learned to obey his parents. That's why I love him so much. He spent time on earth. He spent time on my level, and then he died for me. You know what? I suppose it's all right that Jesus began his life on earth without a name. In the end, he had a slew of names: Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Lamb of God, Holy One, the Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the Almighty, the King of kings, the Lord of lords.

03:06 Not Bad for a no name kid from Nazareth, huh? Here's the questions for today. Considering all the names given to our Lord, what is your favorite and why is that? And then secondly, what did God accomplish by becoming a man? And then thirdly, although it was a common name then, the name Jesus actually means Savior. You know, what does your name mean? And you know what, if you're sitting there with your family, mother, dad, husband, wife, child, talk about your name and how your name was given to you. And, and then what is one way you can live up to your name? My friend Fabian, well she was named after her mother, and I'm sure her mother would be proud.

January 10, 2019

Miracle Child - Luke 2:4-5

You know, just as God created Eve from Adam's rib, God created a tiny baby in Mary's womb.

Family Discussions:

  1. How does Joseph's obedience speak to your concerns today?
  2. What void can a creative God help fill in your life right now if you'll have the faith that Mary and Joseph had?

Episode Transcriptions:

00:14 Man, I love Christmas. I start getting ready for Christmas probably before fall begins, and, honestly, when I drive down the road sometimes by myself, I'll play Christmas songs in October. I love manger scenes and I love to read about Christmas. In Luke 2, verse four and five, we read about the first Christmas, and it says this, "And Joseph also when up from Galilee to the city of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem because he was from the house and the family of David in order to register along with Mary who was engaged to him and was with child." Engaged with child. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? You know, understandably, he wanted to send her away for nine months so she wouldn't be embarrassed publicly. But God said to Joseph, "Hey, that baby's mine." Marry her and raise that child as if he were your own.

01:11 So Joseph swallowed his pride and did exactly what God commanded him to do. And you know what the lesson from this is so obvious, you know, in this great account. Jesus' conception was an exception to the rule that had never happened before and has never happened since. You know, just as God created Eve from Adam's rib, God created a tiny baby in Mary's womb. And then secondly, you know Joseph, though kind of put it in an embarrassing position, came out a winner because he shut his ears to the world's gossip and the rumors and accusations and did just what God told him to do it.

01:52 And then, and then, the last thing is this: man, the miracle child of Bethlehem is still the miracle child of today. And y'all, if God can do that in Mary's womb, what can he do with the void that you feel in your life today? And, and here's the questions, isn't this a great devotional? How does Joseph's obedience speak to your concerns today? And then what void can a creative God help fill in your life right now if you'll have the faith that Mary and Joseph had? And then this one, a miraculous God can build a miraculous family if everybody in the family will have faith like that.

We can bring gifts to Christ in many ways. Save money to give to a helpless family. A smile and a kind word to the most unloving person in your school or work. A monetary gift to your favorite charity. A missions trip. The roads to Bethlehem are endless!

Family Discussions:

  1. Where is your "Manger" today?
  2. What gifts are you bringing?

Episode Transcription:

00:14 Can you imagine what it would be like to give a gift to Jesus? Well today that's what we're going to talk about. The scripture is Matthew chapter two, and it begins with verse nine and it says this, wow, what a day this must have been. In having heard the king. They went their way and low the star which was sent, which was from the east, went before them and it came and stood over where the child was and when they saw the store, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy, and they came to the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they sat down and worshiped him and opened their treasures and presented to him gifts of gold and Frankincense and myrrh.

01:00 It's a lot like Romans 12, verse one and two where Paul urges us to give our bodies to Jesus as a living and holy sacrifice and not to be squeezed into the mold of this world, but to allow Christ to make us more and more like Christ every single day. Keeping your body and mind pure. That's the gift that pleases Jesus Today. In Matthew 25 verse 40, Jesus profoundly promises that when we give money or gifts of time to the poor, the lonely, the hurt, the downtrodden, we're really giving gifts to him. Imagine how you'd feel when you, when you get to heaven and you see the mentally disadvantaged child from the old neighborhood you grew up in, or the starving child from Cambodia or the financially disadvantaged child, the inner city child from somewhere like east St Louis, there to greet you in heaven and to give you a huge smile and the eternal thank you because you gave them love or you gave them food.

02:04 You gave them time or attention and through that gift they solved the unmistakable witness of Christ in you. Your trip to the story of Bethlehem, believe it or not, begins every single morning when you wake up and consider the needy people around you. Getting to the manger is a whole lot easier than you think. A piggy bank on your breakfast table for savings to give to a helpless family. A smile and a kind word every day to the unlovely person at work or at school, a monetary gift to your favorite charity, a missionary trip to Guatemala. Just a few precious ways to get to the manger. Can you imagine you get to go to the manger everyday? Man the roads to Bethlehem are endless. The rewards for getting there are indescribable. I wonder where your manger is today? I wonder what your gift is going to be?

If God can create enough apples for a thousand apple pies out of one tiny apple seed, if He can turn a pitiful caterpillar into a graceful, beautiful butterfly and create the universe with a word, He can easily create a life inside the security of a mother's womb, and so from a Virgin Jesus was conceived. That was the night that turned the BC calendar into an AD calendar. That was the night that the law became grace. That was the night that our biggest failures became God's biggest mercies. That was the night that a distant God became closer to us than the nose on our face. For that was the night that God became a baby.

Family Discussion:

  1. Why is the night of the birth of Jesus special to you?
  2. Why does God desire and command righteousness today?
  3. How does God turn any willing sinner into a good and righteous man? 

Episode Transcript:

00:14     The miracle of metamorphosis is a miracle of science and so a miracle will happen today. In Matthew Chapter One, it reads now, the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When Mary, his mother was engaged to Joseph before they had come together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. Now Joseph being a righteous man and deciding not to disgrace her, decided to put her away secretly, but when he had considered this behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying Joseph, son of David. Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife because that which is in her is of the Holy Spirit and she will bear a son and you will call his name Jesus because it is he who will save his people from their sins. Now, all of this took place in order that the word of the Lord, which was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled saying, behold the virgin will be with child and she will bear a son and his name will be Emanuel, which translated means God is with us.

01:15     You know, this passage is neglected 11 months out of the year. It is rich with application during the non Christmas months as well. There has never been another night like it. Nor will there ever be. Mary had been chosen for her purity and dedication to the Lord. Purity mattered to God then, and you know what? Purity matters to God today. Joseph had been chosen because he was a good and righteous man, righteous living mattered to God then, righteous living matters to God today. As a bonus, Mary and Joseph were both of the family of the House of David. Thus the prophets' words were fulfilled in them. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. You know, liberal theology today says, that's just another story. No way was she a Virgin. Mormon founder and other cult theology says that her virginity was denied. You know both of those are unbiblical. They couldn't be further from the truth.

02:11     If God can create enough apples for a thousand apple pies out of one tiny apple seed, if He can turn a pitiful caterpillar into a graceful, beautiful butterfly and create the universe with a word, He can easily create. A life inside the security of a mother's womb, and so from a Virgin Jesus was conceived. That was the night that turned the BC calendar into an AD calendar. That was the night that the law became grace. That was the night that our biggest failures became God's biggest mercies. That was the night that a distant God became closer to us than the nose on our face. For that was the night that God became a baby. There's some questions that you might discuss if you're with your family or friend. The first one is, why is that night so special to you? Why does God desire and command righteousness and purity today? How does God turn any willing sinner into a good and righteous man? Great questions, and then there's a little lifeline, kind of a thought for the day, and that is this. Just as love became a man in Bethlehem, so love can become a man or a woman in you, in your home anytime you're willing. God bless you and have an awesome day.

 

 

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