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Joel rosenberg Radio program. Joel C. He is also the founder of The Joshua Fund, a nonprofit educational and charitable organization to mobilize Christians to "bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus" with food, clothing, medical supplies, and other humanitarian relief. The son of a Jewish father and a Gentile mother, Joel is an evangelical Christian with a passion to make disciples of all nations and teach Bible prophecy. Turning Point Ministries was founded in as the broadcast ministry of Dr.

David Jeremiah to deliver the unchanging Word of God to an ever-changing world. In His grace, Jesus loves me, seeks me, calls me, redeems me, walks with me through the hours of the day, and stands guard over my slumbers at night. Jesus has the perfect ability to tell us the awful truth about ourselves while holding us up by His grace. Because He is full of grace, you can come to Him just as you are, without having to clean up your act first.

And because He is full of truth, you can come in complete confidence knowing that He will keep His promise to forgive you and grant you eternal life. Without both working together, we would have neither. You can only learn by looking. John became a witness because he allowed himself to be wowed by the incarnation. No one ever met the Savior and stayed the same. What do you see when you look at the Christmas cradle? Do you see His glory? Do you see tenderness and truth?

Do you see the deity in diapers? The real conflict is one that is deeply personal. Jesus is here. The events of September 11, have taught us that we better not presume that we will even see tomorrow. As such, we should live differently. Yesterday is gone, and we have no guarantee of a tomorrow…but today is the day of salvation. Last Christmas we thought it was enough to celebrate the holidays; this Christmas we know that we must also find ways to consecrate them.

When the pressures of life, health, family, or your job come crashing in on you, where will you turn? My collision in slowed me down a bit. In , one of my friends drowned in front of my eyes. That sobered me up a bit. The next year I collided with the Cross of Christ and became a Christian. What are you running into today? Jesus is deity and humanity wrapped into one; in Him grace and truth are fully synthesized so that you and I can respond and submit to Him this Christmas.

Luke A God Who Gives Summary: The Christmas narrative is in danger of being relegated to a sweet story that is just read once a year. As columnist Cal Thomas points out, this is not really even a Christian story, though it does contain elements of charity, kindness and good will.

If you have your Bible, please turn to Luke 1, beginning in verse During this three-part series that will conclude on Christmas Eve, I want us to rediscover the reverence of the Incarnation because the whole superstructure of Christianity rests on the reality of Christmas. Let me say at the beginning that the Christmas narrative is in danger of being relegated to a sweet story that is just read once a year. We must never forget that this is holy history that should be approached with awe and astonishment.

The astronaut James Erwin, who traveled to the moon, experienced things that you and I never will. The region of Galilee was not a politically correct choice. Judea was in the heart of Israel, while Galilee was up in the hills, and a bit backward. Nazareth was a surprising choice because it was filled with corruption and immorality.

Can anything good come from there? Verse 27 mentions that fact twice. The answer to that question would define history for me. And this was not just something thought of at the last minute. Joseph became the husband of Mary, though not without some agonizing doubt when he found out she was pregnant, because it is clear throughout Scripture that he is not the father.

Matthew is careful to specify that Jesus was born of Mary, and was not the son of Joseph. Jesus was fully human. He lived in an ordinary family. Jesus was fully divine. Mary was a virgin when she was pregnant with Jesus but she had other children after Jesus was born. See Matthew ; Mark ; and John , among other passages.

By the way, an interesting event happened last month when this box was shipped from Tel Aviv to Toronto. Apparently, while in transit, this archaeological treasure was damaged. Because it got cracked, officials at the Royal Ontario Museum discovered fossils of plant roots and bacterial staining within the limestone that allowed them to verify the date of the ossuary.

In addition, they found a carved funeral rosette with flecks of red paint, common on bone boxes in the First Century! This salutation does not mean that Mary is so full of grace that she can forever bestow grace on others. The context here is that because the Lord is with her, she is favored. She, more than anyone, knew all about her shortcomings. Others propose that it goes back to the Magi, who gave gifts to Jesus after He was born. The first instance of gift giving took place between Mary and God.

One came ready to give and was loaded down with presents. The other was caught off guard and had to make do with what she had. As we come to verses , God gives 7 gifts to Mary. She will become pregnant. The first present God will give to Mary is a miracle. I wonder if she stopped breathing at this point. This was a promise that had never been seen before. She was going to become pregnant outside the normal process of conception.

She will give birth to a son. While the conception was miraculous, Mary was going to have a normal pregnancy and give birth to a baby boy. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

His name will be Jesus. The birth announcement is being dictated to Mary even before she is pregnant! Some parents even picked this name in hopeful expectation that their son would be the Messiah, or Deliverer. From the very beginning, her son was set apart as the Savior, with his name chosen by God Himself. Sometimes, couples struggle to pick the name for their baby. In this case it was the Father who selected the name.

The reason for Christmas is irrevocably linked to the redemption of our sins. After I welcomed everyone, I read Scripture and then lead in prayer. Kent then sang a song that summarized what we were feeling. When things are tough, whisper His name. When you need forgiveness, call on Jesus. If you want salvation, only Jesus can give it to you.

He will be great. The one who will be held by His mother is the same one who holds everything together by the word of His power. The star that eventually led the wise men to Jesus was hurled into the heavens by His holy hands. Is there anything great in the world that really gets you excited? What is it that you will go out of your way to see or hear?

Remember this. Jesus is superlatively greater than anything we think is great. All the generals would listen to His strategy. All the greatest musicians would listen to his music theory and His performance on every instrument. Jesus would be great in His love, great in His compassion, and great in His sacrifice.

He would live a great life, teach great parables and give great sermons. He would heal with great power and be a great example. He would die a great death and would be resurrected in great power. He would give the great commission and ascend to a great height.

He will come again in great glory. And He longs to make great changes in your life and in mine, if we will but let Him. He will be the Son of the Most High God. There is no one higher than He is. He is sovereign in every dimension possible. To say that Jesus is the Son of the Highest is to say that He bears the character and nature of the highest. His kingdom will never end.

Mary is probably still trying to gulp down the fact that she is going to be pregnant, have a great boy named Jesus, who will Himself be the Son of the Most High God. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. This rule of grace and truth is established in the hearts and lives of those who have the God of Jacob as their refuge.

He is King and is enthroned as Lord and Leader in many lives today. Are you in His kingdom? If so, are you bowing before His supremacy and obeying His rightful rule? If you think about it, her response is really pretty amazing. She could have just run away, told Gabriel that he had the wrong address, or that he was just mistaken.

Zechariah wanted proof; Mary wanted to know the process. He will be the Holy One. This was a cloud of light by which God manifested His presence from a position above the Ark of the Covenant. Listen to him! This verse declares three things about the Savior, all of which are absolutely necessary for salvation to happen. He had to be free from sin in order to make sacrifice for our sins. And, He had to be God in order for the sacrifice to be accepted.

His deity asserts that God Himself has come to save us. This is the conundrum of Christmas, the intrigue of the Incarnation — the sinless man who is God has come to reveal who He is and reconcile lost sinners to Himself. Are you afraid? Nothing is impossible with God. Do you feel lost and lonely? Is your marriage melting down? Are you too tired to go on? Do you wonder if you can ever get over your anger? Ever wish you could just be happy? Do you feel unloved? If God can reach all the way down from the throne of Heaven to the body of a teenage virgin, if He can enter time from eternity, if the infinite can become an infant…what can He not do for you?

What will He do in your life? Can you imagine what He wants to do with you? The only thing she had was her life. A servant knows no rights of ownership. Mary is saying that she is the property of God. This is radical commitment. Whatever God wants her to do, she is willing to do.

Actually there are two other gifts this Christmas—the gift of Jesus packaged for you that you must receive and the gift of yourself that God is waiting for you to give. One gift has your name on it but it must be accepted in order to make it your own. The other is a bit harder to give because it involves surrender. He gave to you and now He waits for you to give yourself to Him.

Jesus exchanged His life for yours but this transaction is only activated if you accept what He has done. Have you ever given yourself to Him? Share the gift of yourself with the One who created you, who was born for you, and who died for you. Use your omnipotent power to put me where you want me, when you want me there, doing what you want me to do? If you are, then live under His loving leadership. Will you make it your Christmas? Conclusion In this age of political correctness I read a story about a kindergarten pageant that took place recently.

A mother positioned herself so she could watch her son in the holiday play. Those in the front held up large letters one by one, to spell out the title of the song. Everyone saw it at the same time. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen as parents and kids alike understood the reason they were there. He loves you more than you can imagine, whether you have a broken shoe or a broken heart. Will you allow yourself to have a birthday party this Christmas by giving yourself to Him and experiencing the new birth?

Jesus still enters ordinary lives today. Will you let Him in yours? Luke What are you waiting for? Summary: The Christmas narrative is in danger of being relegated to a sweet story that is just read once a year. We must never forget that this is holy hi As we prepare for Christmas, sometimes I wonder if we have allowed the Savior to be stolen from our celebrations.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety, Released to the wilds by the humane society. The runners had been removed from his sleigh; the ruts were termed dangerous by the E. Before we look at the misunderstanding surrounding Mary, I want to clear up some misconceptions that may be circulating in this community about Pontiac Bible Church. As you may know, several months ago, we had the honor of hosting the groundbreaking ceremony for OSF St.

James hospital right here in this room. People may be wondering if our new annex plans include space for a convent… But, something else happened more recently, which needs to be cleared up. The Overestimated Mary The often misunderstood Mary was a major character in the divine drama that first Christmas.

Mary plays two widely differing roles among Catholics and Protestants. From my perspective, it seems to me that many Catholics overestimate the role of Mary. While we were living in Mexico for three years, we were amazed and grieved by all the attention given to the Virgin. In fact, today is the Day of the Virgin in Mexico, and millions of people will pay homage to her.

Hundreds of thousands will make a pilgrimage to the Basilica in Mexico City from all over the country; many of them will walk on their knees. Beth and I have been to this shrine on several occasions and have observed people climbing the rough cement stairs on their knees, leaving bloodstains behind them.

As part of our attempt to understand the culture, we made it a practice to visit different churches. If we were out walking, and came across a church, we would try to at least look inside. One day, we found an open church and walked in. It was a fairly large building, but pretty plain on the inside. This image was probably 30 or feet high! As we got closer, we then saw a small statue of Jesus, only about two feet high, placed at the feet of Mary.

We just stared with our mouths open in disbelief, while our eyes flooded with tears. Before I say what I want to say next, please understand that I am not a Catholic-basher. I care deeply for those who are Catholic. It is only by the shed blood of Jesus that you and I can have forgiveness of sin and open access to God the Father. Mary is not a co-redemptorist or a mediator. She needed to have her sins forgiven, just like we do. Many of us allow her a cameo appearance in Christmas cards, carols, and nativity scenes during this time of the year, but then we tuck her away like a Christmas ornament, out of sight, out of mind, until her reappearance next December.

Mary is often the victim of simple neglect, having been abandoned to a kind of evangelical limbo. Some of us have consigned her to virtual oblivion. My goal this morning is not to bash Catholics or Protestants.

Put your pistols back in their holsters. So much so that people around the world divide history into two parts -- B. A Teenager in Love Let me give you some background. We know at least four things about Mary. She is a teenager, she is poor, she is a devout believer in God, and she is very much in love. When the story opens Mary is pledged or engaged to Joseph. Between the pledge and the wedding feast was a period usually lasting six months to a year.

During that period the couple was considered to be married and were called husband and wife but they did not live together or have marital relations. Like brides-to-be everywhere, she can hardly think of anything but their wedding -- the guest list, the decorations, the food, the music, and her dress. Mary had never been happier. This was the most exciting time of her life.

What God asks Mary to do will change her life -- and the course of history forever. Gone are the happy dreams of a beautiful wedding; gone are the days of sweet anticipation; gone are the carefully thought out plans for the wedding feast. She will be married, but not before rumors spread through the countryside.

There will be a wedding feast, but not the way she planned. It will all happen, but not the way she expected. These verses stress two facts about Mary. First, she is a virgin. The Greek word means that she had never had sexual relations with anyone. Second, she has no idea what is about to happen. Mary is completely in the dark, without a clue that her life is about to be changed forever. She looks up and sees a tall man. This greeting does not mean that Mary is so full of grace that she can forever bestow grace on others.

Without a pause, Gabriel proceeds to tell her something that blows her mind. And not just any baby. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. The preposition with, literally means that she has found grace by the side of God, in the fellowship of God.

Did you catch the emphasis here? Gabriel uses beautiful poetic language to recount the Messianic prophecy from the Old Testament, which is fulfilled in Jesus. This is the one. With these bold declarations, Mary could have responded in a variety of ways and asked numerous questions. Mary is engaged but not formally married. She has saved herself for her husband. How then can she become pregnant and have a son?

It was necessary for the Savior of the World to be born of a woman, so that he would be of the same nature as those whom he came to save c. Galatians 2. It was just as imperative that he should be holy, sinless, and blameless. In this one verse Gabriel is making clear the glorious fact that both of these requirements are fulfilled in the life of Jesus.

He is fully man, yet fully God. Here the mystery of the incarnation and the virgin birth are held in tension. God is not restricted to the natural order. I think there should be a long pause between verses 37 and He told her what the child was to be named, and who he was to be, and something about the mystery that was to come upon her.

She believed what the angel said. Her only question had to do with how it would happen. In the history of the church Mary has often been portrayed as a kind of misty, otherworldly figure. If you look at some of the great paintings of Mary, they make her look so peaceful that you almost forget she was a real person. Her answer establishes two things: She is accepting voluntary slavery. She recognizes she is the property of God.

Her answer shows obedience to revealed truth. Without exaggeration, we may call this one of the greatest statements of faith in the entire Bible. Mary said that she was Available. Did her heart skip a beat when she said YES? You bet it did -- but she said it.

It is not the experience of seeing an angel that gripped Mary. There was no spiritual rush, no emotional ecstasy because she was in the presence of an angel. Mary believed God, with a single-minded, unwavering commitment. She was Available. With her head tilted high, her hands trembling just a bit, wide-eyed, nervous, open-mouthed, questioning but not afraid, wondering but not terrified, unsure but not uncertain Friend, are you available to God this Christmas? Or, are you holding back?

Mary knew--or would soon realize--that saying YES to God meant misunderstanding and public shame. Gone was her pure reputation and with it her dreams of a quiet, happy life in Nazareth. In the future, her life would at times be happy but it would never again be quiet.

And Mary had no way of knowing how Joseph would respond to her pregnancy. Would he blow his top and walk out on her? Would he humiliate her publicly? Would he dump her? And all these things were just the beginning. Mary could not know what the future would hold. Before it was all over, she would experience heartache, opposition, slander, confusion, anguish, despair and loneliness. In the end she would face the greatest pain a mother can endure when she would watch her son die on a cross.

There are many answers that have nothing to do with Mary, but there is one answer that has everything to do with her. God chose her because he trusted her. He knew she was willing to believe the impossible. He also knew she was willing to pay the price for that belief. Not only was Mary Available, she was also a Disciple. The word disciple literally means that she was a follower of Jesus.

Mary, then, stands as a model for all of us. She was available to God. She modeled what being a disciple of Christ is all about. You have to make yourself available and follow Him or else the impossible will never happen in your life. Some of you are carrying heavy burdens today. For some of you Christmas will be lonely this year. Some of you are facing a financial crisis that looks hopeless to you right now. Some of you are looking at a marriage that seems worse than hopeless. Some of you are estranged from members of your own family.

Some of you have children who are far away from God. Some of you feel empty and far away from God yourselves. The list goes on and on. But all these things have this in common: They seem impossible to solve by any human means. And for the most part they are. After all, if human means could have solved your problems, they would have been solved long ago.

Remember this: Christmas is all about miracles. They happened 2, years ago; they can still happen today. What is it that God wants from us? Total comprehension about the future before we will trust him? Do we have to be spiritually advanced to the point of sainthood? Thank God the answer is No. Very few of us would ever meet that qualification.

What does God want from you? The same thing he wanted from Mary. He wants you to be an available disciple. You see, even though Mary was favored by God, she also needed to be forgiven by God. The final appearance of Mary in the 4 Gospels occurs in a violent scene that she did not want to witness -- on a hill outside Jerusalem, watching helplessly as her first-born son who was once treated like a king, now hung on a cross like a criminal.

If our greatest need had been information, He would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

And not just any Savior. Because Jesus was born of Mary, he was fully human, and therefore could identify with our condition. This child that you delivered will soon deliver you. At some point in her life, Mary made a decision to become available and to become a disciple. After giving birth to Jesus, she then needed to be born again herself. Even though she had close contact with her Son for many years, she ends up at the Cross -- just like we need to.

Sometimes people are surprised when they find out what I was like before I became a Christian. Days -- before I surrendered my life to Christ. Just as the history of the world is divided into B. You can become an A. Man or an A. You Snooze, You Lose I wonder how many of you this morning are just kind of going through the motions. One of the robins turned to his buddy and announced that he was hungry. The other robin said that he was hungry too so they flew down to find some lunch. As they came down, they saw an entire field full of worms.

They ate and ate until they could eat no more. The second one agreed so they just plopped down and basked in the sun. No sooner had they fallen asleep than a big fat tomcat snuck up and gobbled them both up. Friends, life is too important to miss out on what Mary discovered. She made herself available and she became a disciple. What about you? As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. It happened, oddly enough, in church.

I was probably seven or eight years old. The minister was preaching…and I was bored. Or is He just something we made up? I tried to ignore the question and listen to the rest of the boring sermon. In that sense then, doubt is not the opposite of faith; unbelief is. Unbelief refers to a willful refusal to believe, while doubt describes inner uncertainty.

A month ago, Pastor Jeff and his team took the high schoolers on a retreat. One of the sessions dealt with doubt. What you do with those doubts makes all the difference. We also have new signage inside the church to help people find the various rooms. I think we missed one though. In fact, doubt can even lead one to deeper faith.

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Is it a label we can give ourselves? Learn about the essential elements of living as a genuine follower of Jesus and what it means to have an authentic Christian faith. Hear five teaching messages that explain the basics of Christianity. Why Bother with the Bible? Start Series You may hear people say that they can find God in nature or through personal spiritual practices.

Why bother with the Bible, then? But what exactly do all His names and titles mean? What Is the Church? Start Series Who or what is the church? Is it a building? A small group of people? Contact Devotionals Cancel Devotionals by Alistair Begg So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech.

Ruth She happened to come. Yes, it seemed nothing but an accident, but it was divinely ruled over! Ruth had gone out with her mother-in-law's blessing, under the care of her mother-in-law's God, to humble but honorable work, and the providence of God was guiding her every step. Little did she know that among the sheaves she would find a husband, that he would make her the joint owner of all those broad acres, and that she, a poor foreigner, would become one of the ancestors of the great Messiah.

God is very good to those who trust in Him and often surprises them with unexpected blessings. Little do we know what may happen to us tomorrow, but this sweet fact may cheer us—that no good thing will be withheld. Chance is banished from the faith of Christians, for they see the hand of God in everything. The trivial events of today or tomorrow may involve consequences of the highest importance.

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To support this ministry financially, visit: Enjoy relevant and clear Bible teaching daily. Truth For Life on Truth For Life distributes the unique, expositional Bible teaching of Alistair Begg. Studying God’s Word each day, verse by verse, is the hallmark of . Sep 28 The apostle Paul fostered unity within the church by exhorting Christians to remember. Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg explores Paul’s letter to the Ephesians to .