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December 23, 2020 1:00 am
Mike sits down with Stu Epperson, Jr., Founder & CEO of the Truth Network, to discuss his book First Words of Jesus and what Christmas really means.
This is Darren Kuhn with the masculine journey podcast research the ancient paths to find ways that God brings light into a dark world and help set men free from the struggles that we all face on a day-to-day basis. Your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing The Truth Podcast Network. This is good Truth Network looking for a deal on life insurance.
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The hymns that you sing the music to be in a completely pagan retail outlet to hear. Hark the Herald Angels Sing glory to the new working so it's all around us, and the evidence of his love, and the wonders of his love, are all around us, so you can you can go back into the Old Testament and there are over 300 prophecies of the coming king, the one that we celebrate his birth at Christmastime, Jesus the Messiah that he would come where he would be born, the circumstances where he would be where you grow up all the circumstances related to his life, his youth diversion birth just a supernatural miracle without which we would be doomed right so there's always prophecies Josh McDowell is a lot better than this.
To me the likelihood of one of these prophecies being fulfilled.
Class is taking 3 feet of silver dollars and stacking them across the state of Texas. That landmass and taking one silver dollar dropping it from 5000 feet randomly with a blindfolded person, dropping it on the state of Texas amid 3 feet of those those silver dollars, and then having someone blindfolded, walking through and picking that exact silver dollar out of that mass about this like to see the Santa seat. That's the statistical mathematical likelihood of one of those prophecies of Jesus the exact how he be born in a specific bath and there were two bathrooms. The exact specifics of his birth, the prophecy that there would be death there be in all this bloodshed is harbor bloodshed unit surrounding his birth will be after his birth, just remarkable Mike that we have the facts before us, but facts aren't enough to produce faith okay because even Herod had the facts in front of him. What he try to do. He tried to murder the baby Jesus right and that's true of so many people, Americans that was true of 1 million+ Jews in the wilderness Psalm 95 says they did not enter into the promised land because of their unbelief. Haley Sigler shows facts fluency. Something to a guy do manna from heaven here going hungry.
There's a food drop right down unit subcritical door – right from heaven manna for you know in any many hits the water talks to the rock water comes right out of rock the entire demand they want some dog you want some quail.
Another wants and some meat will God provides that for them then there their enemies are tacking and God conquers their enemies and what is it say it says a did not enter the present because they did not believe there's a power of unbelief even amid the evidence, but there is so much overwhelming evidence for Christmas yet one of the verses that I was looking at this week and was Matthew 2122 and it says and whatever things that you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. And so faith is huge eyes.
Matter fact when you're talking about that. Still, I was thinking about a story of Ted Williams the great baseball player he had over 400 one year and and maybe for his life, but he was phenomenal but he was an atheist and so one time he was actually up in his airplane. He had a personal jet or personal plane he was flying the plane was going down and he said, Lord, if your real save me from this and let me live so he went down and he actually lifted anything after that he continue to be an atheist, so it's not maybe there's more to it than people just will. There is a lot more to it. There's God is God with us. There's Emmanuelle.
There's Jesus, there's people that saw Jesus raised from the debtor. She was just raised Lazarus from the dead. If they still persisted in their unbelief. So God said to change the heart and that's why we have Christmas.
That's why Jesus came and he didn't come to a hallowed halls in coming to some palatial setting into the mansion he didn't come to you would think you know if God had some sense in modern day America became today while he would come to a major town New York LA right that the White House well. He came to her dispatch status. Today he came to rural Hall you think of the smallest tiniest town.
You know that has a tiny citizenry with that's where he came to Bethlehem. There, there may have been may have been hundred families are based on the number of wells. There they can they can deduce that there weren't a lot of people in Bellingham.
It was a hick town. It was nowhere was a small little tiny sheep down in your cattle town very coherent, of all places. He came there and he came into the squalor of a stinky dank cattle stall. Imagine the smells, the company giving birth to the King of Kings.
A love that little image I put that in my book for sure.
Jesus the picture of a major you'll see these names all over the Internet and Facebook that the picture of a baby on a big bed of straw and it says a king-sized bed and the wolf that is cool that is cool see you. What prompted you to write this book is crazy – I wrote this book last words of Jesus. And that was the first book and everyone still wonders about that I never was good on my my order my sequential order. I probably need some more help their but as I'm finishing up the manuscript for this book about the cross. Jesus final words right from across the we we I was on. If not for God for that book was great things happen after that father forgive them all the things it is financially stinky set for the cross as I'm wrapping that up. It's Chris's time.
I'm finishing up and a very cross centered Easter type book and is in the middle of Christmas and all my kiddos are on stage dancing in the church Christmas pageant. My four daughters hope Grace join faith and I can tell you before God that my kids are angels because they were hidden Calvary Baptist Christmas present after she went to is a kid did and so they were in the pageant and I'm watching them dance night. If you're the parent of a kid and Rob you been there you go to everything if there's five programs you got all five programs are why bona fide programs on a writing deadline so I'm got my little phone here and I'm going over edits about the cross about O sacred head now wounded about Christ being beaten wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities by his stripes real. I'm studying all that intensity right and going over the sacred hymns of the cross. When I survey the wondrous Cross up and upon which my Savior died and so on so forth. I'm in the middle of a Christmas program and would like is on up on stage. I'm writing right but only up the phone down right you know elbow from the wife focus on my daughter's dancing, the angels and shepherds all that as I'm writing this I'm sure to listen to these Christian missions born to raise the size of Earth born to give them second birth, and I'm hearing about in these Christmasy sacred songs of Christmas that this baby was born to die. We want baby is born to die. You go to a birth.
Use your celebrate your kids were born you showered with gifts and it's a huge timing and Christmas is a huge time because were celebrating the birth of the King of the trumpets and that is on the best music. By the way you'll ever hear is a Christmas time. But but this baby was marked for death before he was even born yet and I'm hearing the songs are literally I'm hearing you songs and I'm literally crying like tears or know. I liked wowing the Lord in that moment said you gotta write a Christmas book and so I'm stuck. So I literally started writing first words of Jesus before I've even done the last words and the whole point of that is to connect the cradle to the cross so that we can see the crown and so there is a Internet song crown with many crowns in this book because the wind of the stanza crown with many crowns which we seeing the landmarks wrote what the stanza just crown him the virgin born son yet, so there's all this, there's all the birth of Christ in the cradle of Christ connected to the cross of Christ.
Ultimately it be in the crown of Christ.
When you look at those Christmas carols. They got they connected to and so God said write a book.
Very simple. Very much like last words Jesus seven chapters refers to Jesus that gets into this like this is why lies he will challenge this while I see in such mean estate your auction after feeding Christians fear for sinners hear the silent word is pleading listen to song from which houses the stanza is and what child is this, and it's this is the one stanza the people even sing anymore, but it's in their nails spear shall pierce him through the cross be born for me for you, hail, hail the word made flesh. The babe boson of Mary Internet song we sing and that's it, but that the nails the spears. This is Morgan during the celebration of a birth, but he had to be born of a virgin, he had to die so we could be reborn. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and Mary felt the Holy Spirit conceived the son of God in us we are born from above when he comes into our life.
Christ in me. We are in Christ.
Christ is in us, so there's so many rich comparisons to the incarnation of Jesus at Christmas that connects to the cross to connect to the Christian that the Lord said, put it in, put in the book basis is a compilation of of kind of all these things and I've got probably over 20 of these visa hymns.
We talk about the wisemen, the shepherds, it's all in your you know connecting the cradle cross yet in and that's good student. One of the things that I actually heard this past week was JD Greer and he was preaching one of the things that he said was, he says, would you rather be hit by a big semi truck.
Would you rather be hit by the shadow of the semitruck and he said what happened was, was that Jesus was hit by the trunk so we just had to be hit by the shadow. Amen. That's exactly right. And he took the wrath of God. And this right here is probably one of my favorite Christmas hymns.
O holy night, which by the way, I told the story and here I will go into here, but I tell the story of the it was actually written the music to this was written by a Jewish man who wasn't a believer and the words were written by a old-line, a seller of wine, a guy who is who is a of French absolute party animal guy and somehow God brought those two together and this song was the one of the first ever songs in it was the first ever song played on the radio leave and not Christmas Eve 1906 and hears the words Longley the world in sin and error pining till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices.
O night divine, O night Christ was born. And this is the greatest tragedy of Christmas is it through all the singing.
All the messages all the sermons all the traditions will your soul feel it's true worth and the worth of your soul can only come from its creator. And that's why Jesus came guy didn't sin a plan. He didn't sin a program he didn't sin a bunch of principles he sent a person John chapter 1 the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth. Jesus Christ, the embodiment at any took the wrath of God, he took the semitruck of God Almighty so that we could live with him forever so that our soul could find its worth. But there had to be a price paid for sin and he was born his people to deliver.
He came, God rest you Merry gentlemen anything about that song right. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day Avonex word to save us all from Satan's power while we were gone astray, there you have the whole gospel. So you have this gospel message in all of these things and you have Mary imagine that he was the only who is the who is a very first person to have Jesus living in them). We talk about don't you accepting Jesus in your heart. Mary had Jesus Christ in her stomach.
You imagine carrying Christ was in her physically. Yeah, right.
And then he dwelt in her spiritually.
So Christ was born of Mary, but Mary was born again of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary right here but Christ would be conceived by the Holy Spirit in her heart and soul and savor it, and she was that she was the only one present at both his physical birth giving birth to him, and at his physical death.
Watching him die to give her new birth so she could be born again right so you and I could be born again what child is this and see that cute cooing cuddly baby imaginary plane of the fingers little tiny little fingers. Those hands that would bear the nails. Those little cute precious little feet that would be scarred. There would be nails will be driven to those feet so that we could be saved and healed and forgiven. What child is this was laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping, that's that that's the end you know when you're when you're talking about all this and it makes me think we ought we ought to give the Lord praise we ought to praise the Lord and and in we don't do that enough for me, not a matter fact it will looking at Psalm 107 verse 31 to 43. Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men, let them exalt him.
Also in the congregation of the people and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
He turned rivers into a wilderness and the water springs into dry ground, a fruitful land in the barrenness for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
He turned at the wilderness into a standing water in dry ground and water springs and there he maketh the hungry to dwell that they may prepare a city for habitation and so the fields and plant vineyards which may yield fruits of increased. He blessed them also said that they are multiplied greatly in software if not for their cattle to decrease in one of the things that I'm thinking about is that so many times we complain about everything that's going on around us and all of problems that we have in this and that you actually told the story of Joni Erickson taught all man, what a story she she has had a huge impact on my life and if you don't know John, the story Johnny jail and I found your cantata. You gotta look it up. Go to Google it. You watch the movie you gotta read her books. She's amazing. She has chapter 3 chapter 4 I talk about the dark side Christmas by Christmas a hard time for a lot of folks you think.
Happy we lost you not like after my first Christmas productive different ideal date is first Christmas without his death struggle and stuff volunteer to Christmas. Well, you think about Christmas. We tell the story of the wise men writing all the place and everything in it wasn't right at his birth was little bit after Christ would've been a little bit older than that.
But when Herod came he it was bloodied. He murdered all the little baby boys to try to kill the Messiah see the sea. The serpent was trying to knock out the seed of the woman right from Genesis 315. All we up and Herod was part of that you will destroy the Messiah. And so in that chapter 4 I talk about how God used this woman who's had so much pain Johnny Erickson title taught at one of her favorite hymns is what child is this, and she I was reading a book where she talked about how the fellow that wrote that song what child is this wrote it after coming out of an almost life-threatening illness, combined with the battle of deep depression. This guy grew up in the home of an accomplished surgeon and everyone had him like disguising the next Dr. Willie was. He became an insurance salesman who an insurance salesman about that about a also a poet. He was also a gifted writer and think about the gifts you have, you know, and do all you do and he he went on to write in the deepest darkest moment of his depression.
He wrote one of the most famous Christmas carols ever penned what child is this I read earlier in know that verse in their and so he knew the suffering and so John your cantata talks about that and I so I wonder include her in the book, and she graciously I didn't know this at the time, but she great in the original is neighborly was William Dix DI X and then another famous book he wrote in 19 1859 other famous him, not just which houses but as with gladness men of old.
Another very famous one, so Johnny Erickson taught a really talk about it. I talk in the book about how she's been confined to Wiltshire from a from a diving accident in her youth for over 50 years and she's led millions occur to people to Christ.
From that Wiltshire and so she's a family friend of ours and we carried programs we've known her for years and so she graciously gave me permission to include in the book 1st words of Jesus.
The artwork about a decade or so ago, Billy Graham gave her commission he commissioned her. She draws what she had a beautiful angelic voice.
She seems and she draws with her mouth so he commissioned her to draw this print of painting for his Christmas card they didn't give her a lot of like to register to draw something while she couldn't get over the fact that the shadow of the cross was over the entire life of Christ, right, and from the prophecies to when he was born. Everything he did growing up in a carpenters working with wood. He would die in a wooden cross that had been a carbon prepared and all these things and so she drew this beautiful print of Mary holding baby Jesus with the three crosses in the background so she allowed me to include that in my book in a little bit about her story which is such an encouragement that yes things are dark. Things are rough, but we have Jesus Christ we have the light of the world. He is the hope. He went through hell so we could have heaven.
He is the gift is the gift that keeps on giving. As the gift and inspire the shepherds to go tell it on the mountain. They did have theological degrees. They had been a Bible college bidding to have Christian radio Truth Network to listen to, but they encounter Jesus Christ and they want to tell every living, moving, crawling, being about Jesus and that inspired slaves 300 years ago in a rough area to write the song. Go tell a mountain that we know the names of guys know that is an chapters of my book. I go to more detail will know the names of the authors of the song a very famous songwriter took it and put it in codified it and took their work and made into an amazing song African-American very accomplished gifted musician, but the slaves wrote go tell amount even in the pain and the brutality of slavery. They celebrated that Jesus Christ is born. We get to tell somebody the matter how hard it is.
Michael you may be having a hard day but guess what buddy you're on your way to heaven.
The gift of Jesus has has come to you you received it.
You are a son of God. And guess what, the world out there limited what's bad about their day they're on their way to hell to an crisis eternity to live under the wrath of God for eternity to suffer for their sins, and you and I have the message we have the message of peace.
The message of joy to the world, the Lord is come, let Earth receive her King, let every heart prepare him room heaven and nature sing in my singing that my inviting hearts to prepare him room or my so clouded and crowded is my life so full that there is no room of the Emperor Jesus.
Just like in that first appearance in Bethlehem right when the head of ended up in this barn and this is all the so the messages do you know him.
Have you received this amazing gift of Jesus and are you if you have who are you telling you better be a super spreader that message yeah Chip Ingram, the wonderful pastor who is on the Truth Network I was listening to him in one of the things that he said was that preaching a sermon right now on telling people about Jesus and opening up your mouth is and that he said but I was on a frozen plane flight. There was a young lady next to me he said started talking or whatever and I said started thinking about is will she would want to hear it or whatever. He said I almost chickened out and she went over there and did that.
He said what hot what compelled me to tell her about Jesus and ended up working out was not that I felt like I had to. But was that a love for her life.
How can I not tell somebody about the love of Jesus in the and that about eternal life and then what can happen if she doesn't accept Christ if that is just it was a love that compelled him to tell John 316 is written know all over this whole Christmas story for God so loved the world that he gave the gift of God is a person the gift of God is God himself. God who became like us so we could be with him and that's the story of Christmas. We gotta make sure to tell you about when you notice the words Merry Christmas when you write it out and this is really cool. The Lord gave us the action and write letters all the people about my book and I wrote Merry Christmas over and over again right in the middle that word is across from here knows that just just write out Merry Christmas and noticed that tea right there in the middle of Christmas right in the middle of Christmas is cross and so now whenever I write Merry Christmas. I make that tea real big and I make a living crossing okay and I put underneath that, but because of his cross.
We have hope. We have life everlasting.
Because God made him who had no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him. And that's why he came. And that's why we have joy you have joy of all these on hundreds Christmas carols have joined in fact I think is chapter 6, I have learned joy every Christmas on the alloy and the wise men were filled with exceedingly great joy in Matthew two that literally is a triple joy in the Greek language is remarkable, but that joy can be that joy something inside the Johnny Erickson Todd has you know she's confined to Wiltshire. She has more joy than most human being because she has the joy of Jesus Christ living in her absolutely. And if you haven't picked up a book 1st words of Jesus by Stu Epperson, Junior, thank you so much to confidant. This is the Truth Network