AN UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS | Label Makers

AN UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS | Label Makers
Matthew 1:1-5 - This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab.

I. Rahab the …

A.  This is the second time he pauses to point out who someone’s mother was.

B. She has a title.

  • Rahab has a very unflattering title: Rahab the Harlot.

AN UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS | An Unlikely Candidate

AN UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS | An Unlikely Candidate

I. Judah

Matthew 1:1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers...

A. What do you know about Judah?

  • They didn’t make up Broadway musicals for Judah, but they did for his brother. Joseph and the technicolor dream coat.
  • Judah was one of the 12 sons of Jacob whose name changed to Israel.

B. Judah Was not the famous son and he was not the oldest son

  • God decided that Jesus the Messiah would come from the line of Judah.

Judah’s story begins in Genesis 37. He just plays a supporting role in the story of his younger brother Joseph which sets the stage for Judah’s problems.

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017
“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — WILLIAM ARTHUR WARD

In our consumer-driven culture, it is so easy to become fixated on all that we feel we lack.

  • Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day. 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day.
  • 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty.
  • 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.
  • More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day.
  • 1/4 of all humans live without electricity
  • Oxfam estimates that it would take $60 billion annually to end extreme global poverty. Americans spent $655.8 billion on Black Friday last year. This Friday, estimated sales are expected to reach $682.0 billion.

It’s only in America that we can have a day set aside to celebrate all that we have and then run out after dinner to stand in line to buy things we don’t.

Today, I want to help remind us how rich we really are and how much we have to be thankful for.

I WANT TO BELIEVE, BUT... | Heartless God

I WANT TO BELIEVE, BUT... | Heartless God

I. The question is deeper than does God exist. It’s the question behind the question.

A. If God exists and doesn’t care… Who cares?  If God is indifferent, what difference does it make?

  • Truthfully, whether God exists is really irrelevant. The true question, the deeper question, what really matters is Does he care? Why does he seem so heartless?
  • We have all asked the question. How can God allow this to happen? It’s a fair question. On a personal level if you ever have a crisis and call out to God and he seems to be absent sometimes when we don’t know who God is we project motives on him that really come from the human heart and God isn’t human.
  • Is it possible that suffering is our fault and God does exist? And he is broken hearted for our choices?

I WANT TO BELIEVE, BUT... | Killjoy God

I WANT TO BELIEVE, BUT... | Killjoy God

I. Looking at religion you see so many do's and don'ts, thees and thous

  • I want to believe in God, too many rules and regulations.
  • What is the benefit anyway? Why should I follow a God when it really gets in the way of what I want to do.

There is a difference between being a Jesus follower, and religion.     

II. Bad news about religion. 

A. Religion focuses on the external, rather than the internal. 

Matthew 23:25-26 - “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
  • I make a list in my heart even though I don’t realize I am doing it. If I do these things and don’t do too many bad things, then maybe I will be right with God. Trying to close the gap with human effort.

I WANT TO BELIEVE, BUT... | On-Demand God

I WANT TO BELIEVE, BUT... | On-Demand God

On-Demand God Doesn't Exist. Rejecting false view of who God is: Distorted view of God

GOD DOESN’T EXIST TO SERVE US. WE EXIST TO SERVE HIM.

IF GOD IS NOT AN ON-DEMAND GOD, WHO IS HE?

GOD’S HEART IS ALWAYS LOVING.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39

God doesn’t prove His love when He answers our prayers.
God proved His love when He sent His Son—While we were still sinners!

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:6

THE AFTERLIFE | The Truth About Heaven

THE AFTERLIFE | The Truth About Heaven
John 14:1-3 - Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

If you’re a follower of God, you should be excited about that!

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the churches in Philippi proclaimed,

Philippians 3:14 - “I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.”

Heaven is the prize for all those who believe!

Heaven is better.

THE AFTERLIFE | The Truth About Hell

THE AFTERLIFE | The Truth About Hell

I. Heaven and Hell

Matthew 25:46 - “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

A. I never hear much doubt about heaven.

  • When faced with tragedy most people talk about going to a better place.
  • When if heaven exist. 81% yes 13% no

B. Talking about heaven is easy 

  • Talking about hell not so much. Did you know there is more verses where Jesus teaches about Hell than Heaven?

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE | Embracing Your Response-Ability

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE | Embracing Your Response-Ability

Scriptures: Matthew 25:14-30

Idea: To whom something is given, something is required.

Are you taking responsibility for your opportunities, or are you taking them for granted? If every good thing comes from God, then there’s a reason you have it and some accountability for it.

  • One thing we all said as kids: “That’s not fair!” To which our parents responded, “Life’s not fair.”
  • Unfair really means “uneven.”
  • Unfair/uneven can quickly become an excuse for irresponsibility.
  • The real issue is not, Is it fair or how do you make it fair? The question is, How will you respond? 

You are responsible for your responses.