Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Joel Spencer – Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


Matthew 1:18-25  This week Joel Spencer brings our Christmas message.  Do you know what it really means to believe in Jesus?  There are some false views about this in today’s society.  Listen to find out what is the evidence of true faith.

Please click on the link below to listen to this message.                            matthew1_20-21

Evidence of True Faith – Joel Spencer

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Pastor Ron Lewis:  Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


1 Corinthians 11:17-26  This week Pastor Ron starts a new two-part series on the subject of the Lord’s Supper.  We see from scripture how the Corinthians were abusing the Lord’s table in that day, and how we can abuse it today.

Notes:

A.  The Corinthian Abuse of the Lord’s Table (V17-22)                1corinthians11_23-24

1.  The Essence of the Problem…

2.  The Picture of the Environment…

3.  Some Rebuke Oriented Questions…

B.  The Special Significance of the Lord’s Table (V23-26)

1.  Through the Bread we remember…

2.  Through the Cup we remember…

3.  Through the Whole Supper we proclaim…

Please click on the link below to listen to this sermon.

Abuse of the Lord’s Table

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christmas3

Look at Luke 2:10-11 “But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”   Have you ever wondered why you need a Savior anyway?  You think you are a good person; you try to life a decent life and get along with everyone.  You figure when you die surely you will go to heaven and be with God.  God says we need a Savior, and he is Jesus Christ.  Joel Spencer delivers a message of hope as he explains what Jesus actually saves us from and why everyone needs a Savior.

Click on the link below to listen to this most important message.

Why Do I Need A Savior?

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Matthew 1:18-25  There are some who say the virgin birth of Jesus Christ doesn’t really matter, and actually deny it.  But is that true?  Does it matter? This is a very important issue and Pastor Ron will show you the answer as you listen to this sermon.

Notes:                                                                   matthew1_20-21

A.  A Supernatural Conception (V18)

B.  Joesph’s Dilemma (V19)

C.  Joseph’s Dream (V20)

D.  The Virgin Birth fulfilled Old Testament Prophecy (V22-23)

E.  The Virgin Birth Consummated (V24-25)

Please click on the link below to listen to this wonderful Christmas message.

Why the Virgin Birth Matters

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CookieMan

THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE MAN
by Bonnie Lord

Just before Christmas, Mom baked a cookie man
She left him to cool on the new cookie pan.
Then, she went out to buy Billy a toy,
Because he had been a very good boy.

Jake, the dog, woke from his nap.
Then his nose twitched with a snap.
“Something smells good,
Like cookies should.”

Jake sniffed, and found the cookie man.
He laid right there on the cookie pan.
Jake nudged the pan, and it crashed to the floor.
Up jumped cookie man and slipped out the door.
Then a little voice said in his head.
“Run! Run! Cookie man!”

Cookie man ran all around.
His feet barely touched the ground.
Finally, after a slip and a fall,
He found himself right next to the mall.

Tired he slumped down on the curb.
A boy picked him up and he heard.
“Which shall I eat?
His head or his feet?”
Then a little voice said in his head.
“Run! Run! Cookie man.”

Cookie man breathed in a lot of air.
He let it all out with more to spare.
It let him slip from the little boy’s hand,
And he again heard, “Run! Run! Cookie man!”

In the mall kids were trimming a tree.
Cookie man walked on over to see.
A girl reached down and picked him up.
“I’ll put this cookie man near the top!”

She lifted him up, oh so high,
And cookie man let out a deep sigh.
Then, the little voice said.
“Safe at last Cookie man!”

Cookie man rests in the tree in the mall,
Where he can be seen by one and by all.
Kids walk by with their faces so pink,
And cookie man grins and gives them a wink.

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matthew1_22-23

Matthew 1:22-23

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”

Isn’t it awesome to  think about what this means?  God with us?  How can that be?
That beautiful little baby that was born of a virgin, and laid in a manger so many years ago in Bethlehem was actually God.  That just boggles my mind!   Yes, Jesus was fully man and fully God at the same time.  I can’t understand all that, and I’m sure you can’t either, but we can take it by faith and believe it.

Now, think back to that day in Bethlehem so many years ago, and picture Mary and Joseph.  She was pregnant and about to give birth and they couldn’t even find a room to stay in. Oh, how uncomfortable and stressed Mary must have been.  But, God provided a place in a stall with the farm animals.  Then, that little one was born.  He was “God with us.”  Wow!  That tiny baby was God!  How amazing!  How wonderful!

Do you think Mary knew the significance of it all?  I wonder what Mary and Joseph thought when shepherds came and worshipped their little baby?  Then, kings showed up and brought gifts.  How puzzling it must have been and how wonderful at the same time.

Jesus was sinless and therefore He could stand in our place of judgement for our sins.  Only a sinless one could do that.  He took our punishment for sin which is death.  The Bible says in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Oh, God must really love us more than we can ever appreciate.  He sent His Son to die for me!  And for you! Wow!  That’s truly amazing!  What love!  What mercy!  I truly deserved to die, but He stood up and went to the cross and took on the punishment for all humanity who would believe in Him.

That’s not all.  After Jesus suffered and died that horrible death on the cross, He was buried in a tomb, and after three days He miraculously came back to life.  That is almost unbelievable too.  But, it is true as the scriptures testify of it.

But, there is even more.  When we turn to Jesus Christ, confess our sins, repent,  and give our hearts and lives to Him then guess what?  He (God) actually comes and lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit.  We are reborn.  We are “in Christ.”  We have been cleansed of our sins and can live to glorify God with the power of the Holy Spirit in us.  I’m so thankful that God sent Jesus so that God could be with us.

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I guess  it wasn’t until I was about 30 years old that I experienced my first real Christmas.  It was after I became a child of God.  That made all the difference in the world in how I perceived Christmas.

Growing up Christmas was all about the local fire department’s annual Christmas party.  It was a swell time, and all of us kids looked forward to it.  They put on a super banquet with tons of home cooked food, and we all ate our fill.  Then the country music band would begin to play and many people would get up and dance.  I watched as my folks skimmed over the dance floor to the music, and hoped some day I could dance like them.  Some of us kids would get out there and try.

Sometimes they had a talent show with local talent from the community.  I was always in awe of this one girl who could do a wicked tap dance.  Oh, if I could only do that.  After we were full of food and tired of dancing, we would sing some Christmas carols. They  gave us a little song book to take home and I remember my little sister and I would have singing contests with them.

Then, we would hear sleigh bells jingling, and old man Inar Anderson would come in the side door dressed in his Santa suit and shouting, “Ho, ho, ho!”  Oh, that was exciting!  Us kids would all gather around by the Christmas tree, and wait as Santa gave  each of us a little box of hard candy that had a little srting cord to hang onto. I loved getting that box of candy!  There was always one big chocolate drop in that box and I couldn’t wait to open it and see if it was there.  Yum! My favorite!

Christmas at our house growing up was okay.  We didn’t have much money but we always got something.  We would get a stocking which had nuts, an orange, a tangerine, and an apple.  Sometimes there would be a little gift tucked in there too.  So, to me Christmas was about the Christmas party at the fire hall and our Christmas morning at home with gifts.  I didn’t think too much about Jesus or the Christmas story.

After I grew up and got out into the world Christmas meant something else to me. It was party time!  It was a time to get together with friends and have a drink or two to celebrate.  Yes, we did a lot of celebrating.  We celebrated at work too, as we had office parties.  When we’d go and visit anyone they would offer us drinks. So, at that time of my life Christmas meant partying.  And I certainly did my share!

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

Things Changed

In those days Christmas also meant getting gifts for everyone I could, and buying a tree and decorations.  As I look back I realize that my focus on Christmas was all wrong.  I have to confess that I think I worshipped my tree.  I had to get it all set up and decorated just right. I’d put on some Christmas music, actually worldly music, and with a drink in hand I’d sit and look at my tree for a long, long time and just marvel at how beautiful it was.  I loved people stopping by to celebrate with me and I loved going to their homes and celebrating with them.  Yes, Christmas was a time of drinking and having a grand ole time.

But, then, after I found Jesus Christ as my Savior and went to church I discovered my first real Christmas.  Oh, what a difference!  It was wonderful!  I remember so well that first real Christmas.  It just happened that year that Christmas fell on Sunday.  We  had a short morning service that day. Then we had an evening service at church, and the pastor read the Christmas story from the Bible.  It meant so much to me as I really listened to it for the first time, and let the words sink into my heart.  It was beautiful!

After  that we sang some Christian Christmas carols which were really beautiful, and the words meant something special to me.  Then, members of the congregation shared some of the things they were thankful for.  It was a blessing and I sat there with tears in my eyes. That Christmas I was sober and my heart was blessed with the beauty of Christmas.  I loved hearing how others felt about Jesus and what He did for us.  I wanted everyone I knew to feel like I did.  Yes, there was more to Christmas than what I’d thought all those years.

Since that first real Christmas the holidays have meant so much more to me.  It doesn’t mean partying and drinking any more.  Those things were empty.  But Christ is real and His Word is alive and can change our hearts.

The Bible describes me before I found Jesus Christ as my Savior and discovered the real meaning of Christmas.   I believed in God, but did not realize that I was His enemy.

Rom 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (6) For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, (7) because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (8) and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When I was saved I obtained PEACE with God.  How wonderful is that?

Rom 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

This is the real Christmas story.  Christ came to earth a harmless little baby, but He was born to die.  What love is that?  He died for me a hopeless, helpless sinner. I thought about that on that first real Christmas, and my heart was full of joy that God saved me from myself.  Isn’t that amazing?  He loved me that much!

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