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December 8, 2021 8:00 am
Merry Christmas I were just on December 12 at all. We are so excited to celebrate the Christ of Christmas through God's Encouraging Word is The Encouraging Word featuring the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton well-known author advance in a seminary professor and pastor. As a matter fact possibly most known by the fact that he was the pastor of Dr. Billy Graham for the last 25 years. These and has a wonderful book that was written right after the death of Billy Graham in the time that he spent at the funeral ministering to the family call Saturdays with Billy. It's available on our website TW online.org that you're listening to what your listing to Dr. Don is quick to say it's not him. It's God's word personified as we study the more we dig, the more we will receive God's blessing as we open God's Encouraging Word together today. Let's do that now don't everyone of us and it's a wonderful thing to know Jesus. Where would we be my mother sang her way across this world. She told me and my brothers to live life to the fullest because that's who Jesus is.
I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. The Christian life is an abundant life. I stand here today because Jesus is alive because my mother is with Jesus because I shall be to one day and you will be we will be all of those of us that's what Christmas is all about Christmas in my family was a fun time.
My mother told us that she turned everything into a stage everything she ever saw. Everything is all about Jesus, she had little sayings and she brought such joy. That's one of the reasons I so look forward to the Christmas Eve service.
I want to invite you to come if you're in town if you're able to eight little people grandchildren are going to be with us.
Karen and I plan to bring them to the glow stick Christmas in the hangar at 4 o'clock on Tuesday evening it is going to be incredible. That's why we going to do that. Not just because on the posture of the church is I want to teach my grandchildren what my mother and father have tossed on to me.
It is about joy and that's the reason I can stand here today and sing and celebrate the Christ of Christmas until you how much I love you and and thank God for you today and I tell you that with all of my heart. You are a precious people in this Jesus business is very serious business. It's life and death. You cannot afford to die without Jesus, you will be left only with the building in your name or an accolade or the things that you've done all of which all wonderful. Thank the greatest thing you can leave is a legacy of knowing Jesus leave your sons and daughters with absolute hope and joy and confidence in a priority when it comes to the things of God. My father told me years ago. He said son as a pasta, you will come across people who will be affected worshiping Jesus by one drop of rain. They were worshiping Jesus one drop of rain. They'll stay home. Don't you ever let that become your life you preach, teach, tell people about Jesus and worship him in the season and out of season.
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then all these other things will be added unto you. So I want to begin today by showing you a video that many of you seen I think this is the way my mother would want me to see Christmas today and it's through children's eyes. Let's see how children view Christmas.
Watch this with me. You can learn new no longer nice seeing that darn explaining fine, you need that I needed that this morning.
That's the way my mother would encourage us to celebrate and if you want to celebrate Christmas. Just think through the eyes about little ones. That sweet little Jesus boy born in Bethlehem want to read to you just seven verses from Luke chapter 2 Luke chapter 2. The Bible says in Luke chapter 2. In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was first registration when inquiring yes was governor of Syria and all went to be registered each to his own town and Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, the city of David, which is called Bethlehem Huff.
Ha ha. Ham because he was of the house and the lineage of David to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth and she gave birth to her firstborn son and she wrapped him in swaddling cloths and she laid him in a manger, because there was found no place for them in the just a week or so ago, together with many of you, we stood in Bethlehem Bethlehem is an amazing place because of Jesus want to show you just a few clips of Bethlehem since take a look at the first. This is just a a slide picture just in case you haven't been there lately of what Bethlehem looks like today of the main Street sits up near that tower that you can see if the top of the picture. In fact, that tower would be a general area where the tall of the flock would've been that Micah talks about, which was designed by King David and by the Levitical priesthood to put it, the lambs and the sheep and would've been in all likelihood, the location where Jesus would have been born. We know that because the angel said let's go go up to Bethlehem. They were in the fields. Take a look at this next picture here Bethlehem today is is a city of town that is surrounded by a wall, notwithstanding all the politics of today, the Israeli situation today in the Palestinian situation. Most of us understand this is part of the West Bank and and and Bethlehem is a Palestinian town. There are no Jews. None.
And it is mostly the Palestinians, mostly all Christian people. Now when you speak to people over there. One needs to always remember the difference between being a Christian by culture, by heritage and being a Christian by virtue of the fact that you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into heart and into your life and there are many born-again Christian Palestinians who live in Bethlehem and I'm privileged to call many of them my personal friends and so you will see the wall that is boot that separates out these two states.
These two nations and with good reason.
Because of the activities that have gone on in this was designed to minimize acts of terrorism and violence, and it has succeeded to a large portion go to the next slide date and incredible part of that rule that that if you drive in that area. It's always interesting to me that this gentleman is holding in his hand. I a bouquet of flowers and the message you are is not unlike the which is a message of peace and this word piece is very prominent evening Bethlehem give you all how we would love to be an instrument of God's peace need to talk with someone or play with someone anytime day or night. Dr. Don says we need to a.m. friends and would be happy to be one of yours at the other end of 866899 word chapter number down. Put yourself 866-899-9673 for prayer or to connect with wonderful resources will help you grow in your faith. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton, you'll hear that spoken of on the city streets and sidewalks and and with the people there is a deep heart longing for peace and end as we know, the angels came and joined together the multitude of the heavenly host and they brought this good news of great joy, peace to all men.
It's go to the next slide.
This is right there near the church that is boot right where Jesus was born, and you can go in there today which we do which we did Lost Creek and go down to the actual place where Jesus was born, and this is where it took place right therein in Manger Sq. in Bethlehem. The next slide. So in the shepherds fields.
This is some of our group a week ago in the shepherds fields. There are many caves.
This is the literal K and we make a man sang carols and you must remember that the Levitical priests would take the newborn lambs and they would place them in these caves and bring them up unblemished so that they could satisfy the full requirement of the law to be sacrificed in the temple in relation to the law of God, and these caves are all over the shepherds field the next few picture Ms. Kathy and my wife standing there in over their heads. You looking down into the ship very rocky hilly. You can only imagine during the time of Jesus treacherous it was out there and if you were to look right over their heads and just to the left you are looking at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem about 2 miles from that point as the crow flies. So if you would look right over their heads that would be how far the Levitical priests would have to carry these unblemished lambs to the temple mount which is right over that building on the left-hand side.
They offer them as an unblemished sacrifice making sacrifice for the atonement of the people of God. I just make this fella over there and his name is also a big part David Dennis. He happens to be on church administrator and I just wanted to bring this is a little bit of evidence they let's go to the and this one is in Manger square, and it's amazing how you can get photo bombed evening major square Kaz McCaslin by the way, my good friend Robin and if you look right over the top of my head right over to you. Looking at the church in which that spark was where Jesus was born every year in Bethlehem. They liked the Christmas tree in Manger square. This is cold and on your television set when you see the celebration of Christmas prominent religious people. The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and others. They all come in the crowds of the Christmas and Easter are phenomenal.
That's the spot where it all takes place. Let's go to the next one and I love this one. I just have always loved this because there's a wall separation hatred and violence. All conflict and all everything and written on that whole Merry Christmas from Bethlehem on the side of the ghetto because they consider themselves locked in many of them on all unable to go anywhere. What about Bethlehem right there in the heart of Bethlehem.
The Bible says Jesus was born and when Jesus was born he was born in the middle of humanity. I want you to think about that in the middle of humanity. People like you and me.
He was born to take down every barrier, every single barrier. Everything that gets in front of us.
The insurmountable obstacles of our life, the greatest of which is the barrier of Allison we cannot get over the wool of Allison only Jesus can do that because he is the unblemished one. He's the Lamb of God slain from before the foundation of the world. He was born to provide the greatest message everywhere.
Anyway, I just love that story of the angel appearing.
Can you imagine that being in that field out in the dark with wild animals. They didn't have lights and sounds in motor cars and vehicles. There they were right out in the middle of nowhere and all the sudden this amazing blazing glorious light. The light of God, the angel of God appeared to him said fear not, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be full all people.
Why was Jesus born when Jesus was born, he was born to bring the only way to peace.
The only way you and I cannot find peace. America cannot find peace were embroiled in our humanity will embroiled in conflict.
We deal with our emotions. I've been dealing with emotions this morning.
As one can imagine our emotions these things inside of us we deal with grief and pain and separation and sickness Jodine Hoyle servant of the Lord in this church was in this church law Sunday he was here. We talk to him serving loving on people and on Friday morning at 7 o'clock. He went to be with Jesus and yesterday at his funeral service people gave their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. What a testimony. What a testimony. He was born to bring the only way to peace. He was born to establish his church, it's Jesus.
This one who said upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. He was born to demonstrate what it means to follow him. He gave us that follow me. He said come to me lean on me give it all to me. Trust me just abdicate surrender, turn it over. You cannot do this on your own. He was born to be seen and to be witnessed. These shepherds went up and they found him and the Bible says that when they found him they went out, glorifying and praising God because all they had seen and witnessed I'm standing here today with a son's broken heart because my mom is not here anymore and I loved her with such a deep, deep passion.
As I spoke to my brothers this morning but I'm here today because I have seen Jesus I witness to him.
I know what he did for my mother and father. I know what he's done for me what he's done for my sons and my daughter my grandchildren for each and every one of us. Jesus was born to bring hope to all people, all of us. Do you know the Lord Jesus, you given your heart to Jesus, would you bow your heads with me this morning. Every head bowed every closed. You know, yesterday is together with brother cell. I was privileged to stand before people. Thank God for the life of Jodine this morning when my brother called me and said Don Mama's going to be with Jesus. I thought how amazing it is that Jesus loves us so much would you give your heart to Jesus today.
Please do that. I invite you to give your life to Christ. Please because Jesus left his throne and his kingly crown came to earth, born in Bethlehem. That's why I love that right Carol Joy to the world, folks.
That's why we lost in this church.
That's why we have fun together. That's why we fellowship even in the midst of out hardships suffering separation struggles. That's why because Jesus left his throne 90s kingly crown.
He came down to this earth would you give your heart today. That's the question you'll hear from Dr. Wilson every time he opens God's powerful and Encouraging Word got the Bible itself. Perhaps you've heard more than Dr. today but you been hearing the voice of God calling you to himself, letting you know that he loves you is a plan to save you a place for you in heaven, and a purpose for living this life would love to speak with you at 866-899-WORD anytime that's 866-899-WORD 9673 and before you go closing thoughts from Dr.are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now. Dear God, I know that on the center and I know that Jesus died for me the crops today, I repent of my sins and by faith I receive you into my heart in Jesus night, my friend. I welcome you today into the family of God. This is exciting news. If you just gave your life to Christ for a long with Dr. Wilton and you rededicate your life. Perhaps you need some questions answered here for you 866-899-WORD call that number. If you make decisions for Christ. Dr. Wilton has resources free resources he wants you to have if you'll just call number again is 866-899-9673 were available 24 hours a day 866-899-WORD 9673 and also email@example.com that's TE W online.org discover great resources like this are you looking for a great Christmas gifts that don't want to brave the crowds, we have the perfect idea for you give the gift of Saturdays with Billy. This book explores the beautiful friendship between Dr. Billy Graham and his friend and pastor Dr. Don Wilton this beautiful hardback book will make great gifts. Please visit Saturdays with Billy.com or call 866-899-WORD that's 866-899-WORD 9673 to order that's is one of many great resources on our website TE W online.org. I hope you visit our website TE W online.org notice that we are in the middle of the remarkable challenge and every gift you give right now in the month of December will be magnified. The Lord's during your heart to give, consider giving you can call us at 866-899-WORD 9673 email us at firstname.lastname@example.org oh RG again. Your gift will be met for January will be well appreciated, but if you do it in the month of December. It could be transformed. The amount of people will be able to share the love of Jesus with so consider visiting our website TE W online.org or calling 866-8673 of letting us know