SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF 11/30/20
December 3, 2020, 7:05 PM

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SERMON SEEDS

S48 – WEEK OF NOVEMBER 30, 2020

 

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CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR JESUS

REVELATION 5:12

Isn’t it strange to celebrate somebody’s birthday and give him no gifts, but give gifts to about everyone else? Yet, most of us do it every year! We celebrate the birth of Christ and bring Him no gifts.

With Christmas about a month away, perhaps we should consider what we could give Him this Christmas and make it an early Christmas present. I feel the best gift we can give Jesus is to acknowledge who He is and act accordingly. Revelation 5:12

Revelation 5:12 (NKJV) - …"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

This Christmas the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy to receive from you:

  1. Power (and Authority) – Hebrews 1:1-3
  • Over my future – 1 John 5:11-12
  • Over me now – Romans 6:11-14
  1. Riches – Psalm 24:1
  • Tithes (Money)
  • Time
  • Talents
  1. Wisdom – 1 Corinthians 1:18-30
  1. Strength – John 15:4-5, Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 12:2
  1. Honor – Matthew 15:8, Ezekiel 36:26-2

Colossians 3:17

  1. Glory – John 7:18, 2 Corinthians 10:17, Galatians 6:14, Revelation 4:11
  1. Blessing – Psalm 34:1-3, Psalm 103:1-2

Hebrews 13:15-15

 

TO HEAR HOW PASTOR JACK PREACHED THIS MESSAGE, CLICK HERE:

https://www.fbcnhremembers.com/christmas_gifts_for_jesus

 

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LUKE 1:13 Etc. – “FEAR NOT!”

One of the great messages of the Bible is that those who fear and trust God completely have nothing to fear. Many times God says to his followers, "Fear Not". Consider that this message is stated four different times in the Christmas Account. God says "Fear not" to:

 

1. A DESPERATE OLD MAN - Luke 1:13 (Luke 1:5-25)

Zecharias so desperately wanted a son that he was probably praying for one, when he was supposed to be praying for the people. When we are desperate, God says to us "Fear not".

 

2. A DISTINCT YOUNG WOMAN - Luke 1:30 (Luke 1:26-38)

Mary was distinct because she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. We are distinct as Christians because we the children of God, and have nothing to fear except God (Luke 12:4-5). Because we are distinct, God says to us, "Fear not".

 

3. A DISAPPOINTED YOUNG MAN - Matthew. 1:20 (Matthew. 1:18-25) - Joseph was disappointed because he thought his bride to be was unfaithful. God's message to "fear not", assured Joseph that all was well. Often through our disappointments we will hear God say,

"Fear not."

 

4. DEDICATED SERVANTS - Luke 2:10 (Luke 2:8-14)

The shepherds were just doing their jobs, watching their flocks by night. Something special happened to them on the job. The angel appeared, and they were told to "fear not". As we faithfully serve the

Lord, and a surprise occurs, we will hear the Lord saying "Fear not."

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MATTHEW 1-2 – JOSEPH’S DREAMS

 

Like the Old Testament Joseph, the guardian of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament was also a dreamer.  God spoke to Joseph often through dreams.

 

THE DREAM THAT BROUGHT PEACE – Matthew 1:18-25

It was a dream that allayed any of Joseph’s fears about marrying Mary, who was pregnant.

 

THE DREAM THAT SUPPLIED PROTECTION – Matthew 2:13-18

Herod, in jealousy, would kill babies in the Bethlehem area. The dream protected Jesus.

 

THE DREAM THAT GAVE PROMISE – Matthew 2:19-21

It was then safe to move back to Israel.

 

THE DREAM THAT PROVIDED PLACEMENT – Matthew 2:22-23

Joseph was guided back to Nazareth due to the dream. This was in fulfillment of prophecy.

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MATTHEW 2 – LESSONS FOR CHRISTMAS

 

The Christmas story is full of truths which we can apply to our own lives. Consider these four truths from Matthew 2:

 

1. GOD'S TIMING IS PERFECT Vss. 1-2

Jesus was born at just the right time and in just the right place (Micah 5:2)

The wise men came at just the right time to just the right place.

 

2. GOD'S ENEMIES ARE TREACHEROUS Vss. 3-8

Satan, through Herod, would do all that he could to destroy the Lord Jesus, including trying to deceive the wise men.

 

3. GOD'S SERVANTS ARE FAITHFUL Vss. 9-14

a. To go. Vss. 9-10

b. To share. Vs. 11

c. To obey. Vss. 12-14 (The wise men and Joseph obeyed God's directions.)

 

4. GOD'S PROTECTION IS POWERFUL Vss. 15-23

Satan through Herod tried to destroy Jesus, but God protected His Son.

 

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MARK 11:11-26 – PRAYER POWER

LIFE OF CHRIST #47

 

This week we see our Lord teaching us something about the power of prayer as he curses a fig tree and teaches lessons on faith and prayer. The purpose of this message is to encourage us to all be better prayer warriors.

 

THE PROBLEM OF HYPOCRISY Vss. 11-19

 

I want us to begin our thoughts with Vs. 11, which happened the day our Lord entered Jerusalem. READ VERSE.

 

Please note that our Lord, the Son of God, looked all around at all things in the temple. This was a searching gaze. This was an evaluating gaze. As the Son of God, He had every right to look and evaluate. Why? It was His temple. A temple built for and dedicated to Him, as God.

 

Where is the temple of God today? It is our bodies. We are the temple of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

Does the Lord Jesus evaluate us, His temple today?

Yes.

Does the Lord Jesus have a right to evaluate what we do in our bodies, and direct us to do better?

Yes.

What should be our attitude as Christians towards our Lord when he wants to evaluate us?

Psalm 139:23-24

 

Our desire should be that our Lord would search us, know us, and correct us.

 

Vs. 12 – After spending the night in Bethany our Lord returns to Jerusalem and he’s hungry.

 

Vs. 13 – Jesus saw a fig tree having leaves.

 

The early figs did not usually appear this early, but when a tree has leaves it usually has figs as well.

 

Mark says that there was nothing but leaves, because it was not time for fruit.

 

Why did Jesus expect fruit?

 

Because the leaves advertised that there was fruit. The leaves and fruit were normally together. This tree was guilty of false advertisement. This tree, so to speak, was a hypocrite.

 

The tree can be, first of all, thought of as a picture of the nation Israel at this time. Israel went through the motions of religion at the temple. The Pharisees insisted on strict interpretation of the law. And yet, Israel was not being productive for the Lord. On more than one occasion, Jesus referred to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the Jewish leaders. Matthew 15:8-9

 

We would commit an injustice if we just applied this barren fig tree to Israel and not to people today. It is always easier to talk faith than to live it.

 

It is always easier to have the green leaves of verbal testimony without the fruit of righteousness, fruit of soul winning, and fruit of the Spirit. We must beware of being like the fig tree, advertising a Spirituality that just doesn't exist.

 

Vs. 14 - Our Lord pronounces judgment on the fig tree.

This is, of course, an object lesson. Our Lord was pronouncing judgment on Israel. Our Lord was also pronouncing judgment on all hypocrisy. Matthew 7:21

 

How should we Christians deal with our own hypocrisy?

 

Compare our lives to the Scriptures, when reading or hearing it preached.

Be honest in self-examination.

Confess the sin to God.

Rely on God for the power to change.

 

Follow the pattern of Ezra. Ezra 7:10

 

THE PRIORITY OF FAITH Vss. 20-23

 

Vs. 20 - It is the next day, and they see the same fig tree.

It had already dried up from the roots.

 

Vs. 21 - You can imagine the shock of all the disciples, who heard the pronouncement on one day, and saw the withered fig tree the next day! Peter, of course, was the one who pointed it out to the Lord Jesus.

 

Vs. 22 - Jesus is very specific.

To accomplish what seems impossible, faith in God is required.

Faith is essential.

Not faith in man.

Not faith in my own ability.

Not faith in faith.

BUT, FAITH THAT RESTS IN GOD!

 

Vs. 23 - Our Lord was probably talking more figuratively than literally. Of course, if there was good reason, our Lord could have cast the Mount of Olives into the sea.

 

The rabbis of that day, referred to a mountain as an impossible situation.

A Christian can deal with an absolutely impossible situation, and see God work.

 

But how can we possibly muster enough faith to handle impossible situations?

What I believe that God will do must be based on God's Word.

As I study God's word and believe it, that's when mountains will be removed! Romans 10:17

 

THE PROMISE OF ANSWERED PRAYER Vs. 24

 

Vs. 24 - Here is a great promise!

Faith and Prayer go together.

Our pronouncements of faith are based on our prayers of faith.

 

Notice how broad the scope of our prayers - What things soever. Or, "Whatsoever"

Notice it is based on our desires.

The condition here is that our desires need to be right in order for us to receive answers to our prayers.

We must pray with the right motives. James 4:2-3

 

Not only must we pray with the right motives but according to the will of God.

 

1 John 5:14-15 - And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

 

When we pray, we must believe that we will receive what we are asking for.

How many times have we prayed for things and not really believed that God would answer?

How many times have we prayed and have not thought about whether God would answer or not. I think that most times we do not think about whether God will answer or not!

 

Let's face it, to have faith in God, we must believe He's going to answer when we ask!

 

THE PREREQUISITE OF FORGIVENESS Vss. 25-26

 

As Christians, no sin will keep us out of Heaven.

However, sin will hinder us from having our prayers answered.

One of the great sins is unforgiveness.

Christians hold grudges, refusing to forgive others.

As a result there sin of unforgiveness keeps God from forgiving them, and having their prayers answered. Psalm 66:18

 

Don’t let unforgiveness rob you of joy or of answers to prayer.

 

THE PROMISE OF ANSWERED PRAYER

THE PRIORITY OF FAITH

THE PROBLEM OF HYPOCRISY

THE PREREQUISITE OF FORGIVENESS Vss. 25-26

 

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CHRISTMAS QUOTES

 

ISAIAH SPEAKS OF THE PERSON OF CHRIST

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

MICAH SPEAKS OF THE PLACE OF CHRIST

Micah 5:2 - But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

JOHN SPEAKS OF THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST

John 1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

PAUL SPEAKS OF THE PRESENT OF CHRIST

2 Corinthians 9:15 - Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

THE ANGELS SPEAK OF THE PROCLAMATION OF CHRIST

Luke 2:10-14 - And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

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ALL HE (JESUS) WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS

 

When I was a boy there was a song that went, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.”  More recently I have become familiar with the song, “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”.

 

Without answering out loud, what do you want for Christmas?  Is it a toy, a game, some new clothes, something for the computer? Or is it something more altruistic, like a change in somebody’s attitude, more love in your family, or peace in Iraq?

 

Christmas is Jesus’ Birthday.  And now you may answer out loud, what do you think Jesus wants for Christmas?

 

Of course Jesus is God and doesn’t need any of the traditional presents like toys, games, food, or clothes.

Jesus is God and is very comfortable and authoritative.

 

Hebrews 1:1-4 - God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [3] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; [4] Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

 

So what does Jesus wants for Christmas?

I would like to suggest to you that all Jesus wants for Christmas is your acceptance. He has everything else. He wants you to accept Him for who He is and what He has done.

 

For Christmas Jesus wants you to:

ACCEPT HIM AS THE LAMB FOR YOU LIFE

 

Luke 2:11 - For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

John 1:29 - The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

1 Peter 1:18-19 - Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

 

Revelation 5:12 - Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

 

John 3:16-18 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [18] He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

   

For Christmas Jesus wants you to:

ACCEPT HIM AS THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE

 

1 John 4:19 - We love him, because he first loved us.

 

Matthew 22:37-40 - Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

John 14:21 - He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

 

Revelation 2:4 - Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

 

Luke 14:26-27 - If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. [27] And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

 

For Christmas Jesus wants you to:

ACCEPT HIM AS LORD IN YOUR LIFE

 

John 13:13 - Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

 

Luke 9:23-24 - And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. [24] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

 

Romans 12:1-2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

For Christmas Jesus wants you to:

ACCEPT HIM AS THE LAMB FOR YOU LIFE

ACCEPT HIM AS THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE

ACCEPT HIM AS LORD IN YOUR LIFE

 

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JAMES 5:1-6WARNINGS FOR THE WEALTHY AND THE WOULD-BE RICH

                                                       LET’S GET PRACTICAL (JAMES) #12

Most of us don’t want to be filthy rich, but most of us wouldn’t mind having more money than we do right now.

· What are the advantages to being wealthy?

  • What are the disadvantages to being wealthy?
  • What are the disadvantages to wanting to be wealthy?

· In James 5:1-6 we find James attacking the rich with the zeal of an Old Testament prophet.  In fact, he seems to use a technique that some of the Old Testament prophets used.  He was probably talking to people who couldn’t hear him.

· The people James addressed in James 5:1-6 were probably unsaved wealthy Jewish landowners, most of whom were not involved at all with the church.  The chances of them hearing this pronouncement against them were unlikely.

· So why did God have James include these verses in his letter?  1 Timothy 6:10

FUTURE MISERIES - Vs. 1

  • This seems to be a call to repentance.
  • Were the rich going to be punished for being rich? Luke 12:16-21, Job 42:10-17
  • The unsaved rich man will be miserable.  Although the rich often suffer misery in this life, it is nothing compared to the life that is to come. Luke 16:19-31, Revelation 20:15  

FALSE SECURITY - Vss. 2-3

  • There are three kinds of wealth alluded to in these two verses. These were ways of measuring wealth in the ancient world.
  • Vs. 2 – It is possible that food stuffs were alluded to here. A standard of wealth would be how much grain one would have laid up in store.  But James says that their riches were corrupted or “rotted”.  Food eventually rots.
  • Vs. 3 – Another standard for wealth was clothing. Fancy and ornate clothing was a sign of wealth.  But when these garments were in storage they were susceptible to moths. When the garments were moth-eaten they became worthless.  
  • Gold and silver are mentioned next.  They literally don’t rust.  But they do in a figurative way.  If they are not used for the right reasons in this life, they, in a sense rust.                                            Matthew 6:19-21
  • The rust of hoarded or misspent wealth will be a witness against them and eat at them as if it were fire. Fire often represents judgment.  

FAULTY BUSINESS PRACTICES - Vs. 4

  • Not only were the rich hoarding, but they were abusing the poor.  They were keeping back wages that belonged to the poor.
  • There were day laborers who worked by the day and got paid by the day.  They were probably already poor.
  • In the time of harvest when there would have been plenty of food and wine available, the poor were being cheated of their rightfully earned income. This was clearly a violation of the Old Testament Law. Leviticus 19:13, Deuteronomy 24:14-15, Malachi 3:5
  • James says that the cries of those who have been oppressed are heard by the Lord of Hosts, God will be their judge. How is this a good reminder to us? Proverbs 3:27

FOOLISH PLEASURES - Vs. 5

  • The rich lived in the lap of luxury, and made this their lifestyle, what they lived for.  There was no concern for the wellbeing of others.
  • “Luxury is more deadly than any foe.”  How so? 1 John 3:17
  • Is it wrong to have nice things or is it just wrong to live for them?
  • And notice what the person who lives for luxury accomplishes.  He fattens his heart, just as you might fatten a pig or an ox before slaughtering it. The slaughter that the heart is being fattened for is the slaughter of judgment.
  • Solomon called the self-indulgent life “vanity” or empty. Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

FRAMING THE INNOCENT - Vs. 6

  • As it is today, the rich often have the advantage in the courts.  Only it was worse in those days.
  • The rich could condemn and kill the righteous or just and the righteous or just would not oppose them. That might be because the righteous had no way of fighting back. The odds were stacked against them.
  • James might also have the Christian poor in view here. When they were abused by the wicked, they were instructed not to fight back. Matthew 5:39
  • Before we abuse anyone, it is good that we remember that the Lord sees everything and doesn’t miss any abuse that we dish out in any way. Proverbs 5:21, Proverbs 15:3

Summary: The ways of unsaved rich people can certainly be wrong. We should not want to imitate them, nor should we set our heart on being rich.  If wealth comes, invest as much as possible in the Lord’s work. 

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