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A Christmas Miracle

If Not For God / Mike Zwick
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2022 8:30 am

A Christmas Miracle

If Not For God / Mike Zwick

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December 28, 2022 8:30 am

Mike Zwick puts the bow on the gift of Christmas with this episode leading right up to Christmas day.

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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. Alright, for my YouTube channel, if not for God with Mike Zwick, just like, subscribe, and hit that notification bell so you'll be alerted when we have our next video. Welcome to If Not For God. Stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Here is your host, Mike Zwick.

So If Not For God with Mike Zwick. It is Christmas Eve. I sure hope you've done your Christmas shopping. But I've got a, today we're going to be looking at Luke chapter two. In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Corinnaeus was governor of Syria. It all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betroth, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy, that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David. And the angel said to them, this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord, and this will be a sign for you.

You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased. And when I look at that, when I look at the story of Christmas, I'm reminded of what it really means. When Jesus came into this world, he was born to die. He was born to come into the world and save sinners from their lostness of their sin. And Jesus Christ is coming back.

You know, one of the things that I think about with Christmas is the prodigal son. I was just talking to a lady on Facebook, and I've been praying for this lady for years and years. And I said, you know, I saw maybe she had kind of gone astray or something like that. And I knew she used to be involved with the work of the Lord.

And I got a message from her the other day, and she said, thank you, you're the family that I've got. And she said, when I come back to North Carolina, I want to find my place with the Lord again because I've lost my way. And so no matter how far you've gone, no matter what you've done, there is room at the foot of the cross for you.

There is room at the foot of the cross. When I think about this, one of the things that I think about is that when I was just a young man in college, I didn't want anything to do with the Lord. And a lady just kept coming to me and talking to me and telling me, you need to give your life to Jesus. You need to give your life to Jesus.

And one day I said, fine, I will. And I ended up giving my life to Jesus. And so I'm so grateful and glad that I did, because He is good. He is faithful.

His love endures forever. What has God done for you this past year? You know, we're looking at the end of the year. Yeah, we've got one more show on New Year's Eve, and I get that.

But we're looking at, this is the end of the year. What are you going to do for the Lord next year? How closely are you going to follow Jesus? You know, you saw the bumper sticker years ago, and I'm sure you remember it. And when you were tailgating somebody and you'd see their bumper sticker and it was real small, and they said, are you following Jesus this closely? It's a good question. It's a good question.

Are you following Jesus this closely? When you think about it, when you wake up in the morning, what is your heart's desire? Is it to make a lot of money? Is it to have a good family? Is it to do well at your job?

Is it to have a lot of people like you? Jesus said it like this. He said the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.

When someone finds the mustard seed, they throw away everything else that they have in order to get that mustard seed or in order to get that pearl. Are you following the world or are you following Jesus? You know, it's the end of the year, but you don't have to wait until the new year to start following Jesus really closely. You know, if you know Jesus is your Savior, he says that he will never leave you nor forsake you.

You know, I'm reminded of a story of a woman that I talked to years ago and she said, Mike, she said, I was running my own way. I was doing everything that I could do to run from God, but his presence and his spirit never left me. Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

This Christmas season, I know there's a lot of stuff going on, but let me ask you this. Where is your heart with Jesus? How is your relationship with Jesus? Are you spending time in the word of God each day? Are you spending time in prayer? Are you spending time sharing the good news of Jesus with a loss in a dying world?

I was picked up these tracks probably about a week or two ago. I was in the hospital. I was in the hospital probably about a week or two ago, and when I picked up the tracks, I actually gave one of them to a woman who was over in, I think she was in Burlington, and you know, I sold the lady a policy and I was sharing the gospel with her, and so I got a phone call from her and I was expecting it to be okay. You know, she's going to want to cancel the policy or whatever it is, but when I said, hey, I just want to thank you for helping me, for helping me with my insurance, but I really want to thank you for sharing the gospel with me.

She says, after you got off the phone, my daughter and my daughter-in-law, they're going to take me to church and I'm going to start following God more closely, and I said, praise the Lord. You see, some people, and this lady was one of them, she said, I just have a tough time forgiving myself because I was such an alcoholic, you know, and we know in the Christian life that if you forgive other people of their sins, that God will forgive you of your sins, that if you don't forgive others of their sins, then God won't forgive you of your sins, but I want to ask you, did you know something? Did you know that sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself? Yeah, we can forgive the other people who did us wrong, but, and I've got three fingers pointing back at myself. I look at the many of the things that I've done over the years and I feel bad for them and I constantly beat myself up for some of the things that I've done in the past, but the word of God says that as far as the east is from the west, so far will I remove your sins from you. The word of God says that I will remember your sins no more, so if God is willing to let go and to forgive you of your sins, maybe it's time right now that you forgave yourself. Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

How far are you running? What is your number one desire? You know, I can tell a lot of people what their number one desire is by looking at their Facebook or their Instagram page or whatever else that they've got, the social media, Twitter, you know, if they're constantly, if all they're talking about is political, the political climate, if all they're talking about is making money or doing well in business or whatever and there's no talk about Jesus, about Jesus Christ coming again soon, which I believe he is, maybe your priorities are in the wrong place. If you're listening right now, let me ask you this, is Jesus your number one priority? Jesus demands first place in your life above everything else, above friends, above family, even above, it's funny, even above your quote-unquote ministry.

A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is number one. You know, sometimes we can get so caught up in our ministry that we forget or neglect to spend time with Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, how I love you.

How I want you more and more. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus. Is Jesus precious to you? Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. How do you treat Jesus? Is it somebody that, do you treat Jesus like a mechanic? You know, when you need something fixed, Jesus is there to fix your problems and he does that.

He does that. Jesus heals. You can pray to Jesus and he can change your circumstances around, but let me ask you this, maybe you've prayed to ask Jesus to change something and he hasn't changed it. Where is your heart with Jesus where is your heart with Jesus right now? Are you mad at him?

Are you mad because he didn't heal a loved one who passed away? Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus, Jesus, I just want more of you right now. Yes, if you're listening right now just say Jesus, Jesus, I want more of you Jesus. Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord.

This is how I fight my battles, on my knees, in prayer. You know, it's funny, it's the Christmas season and they say every every Christmas season people want to give good gifts. Every Christmas season people want to give give gifts to other people to help them out and I think that's great.

I think it's important that we help other people with their with, you know, with what they need. You help the poor. Jesus said what you have done to the least of these you have done it unto me, but let me ask you another question. Is the only time the poor get hungry around Christmas time or Thanksgiving?

I mean it it kind of seems like it sometimes. You know what you have done for the least of these my brethren you have done it unto me and Lord I just want to thank you right now for your Holy Spirit that is moving in the minds and in the hearts of those listening today. Lord I just want to pray right now in Jesus name that somebody's heart is touched and that they'll be able to touch other people. Maybe you haven't been to church in a while. Maybe it's time to go back to church. Maybe it's time to be around your fellow believers. It says in Hebrews 10 25 do not forsake the gathering of yourselves as some of them have done, but Jesus loves you and he wants to be your friend forever. He cares about you. He died on the cross for your sins and he's coming back again.

He's coming back again. Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. I've got my friend Bob who came in here just now for we got we got some tickets and to to a basketball game and it's exciting. It's you know it's funny that we all we are always so used to doing things in a certain way and saying okay somebody has to come to church in order for me to share the gospel with them or in order for me to talk to them about how Jesus loves them and wants to be wants a relationship with them in their lives, but do you realize that you can do the same thing if you go to a basketball game? And so you know many times we have divine appointments right Bob?

There you go. Many times we have divine appointments and God he does it in his own infinite wisdom and so many times we're asking God God why didn't you answer my prayer in the way that I thought you would answer my prayer? You realize maybe some maybe Jesus has something better for you? He does. He loves you. He loves you.

He's coming back again soon. You ever read the book of Job? It said that Job was an upright man. There was a part in the book of Job where Elihu rebukes Job. He says but now hear my speech oh Job and listen to all my words behold I open my mouth the tongue in my mouth speaks my words declare the uprightness of my heart and what my lips know they speak sincerely the spirit of God has made me and the breath of the Almighty gives me life answer me if you can set your words in order before me take your stand behold I am toward God as you are I too was pinched off from a piece of clay behold no fear of me need terrify you my pressure will not be heavy upon you surely you have spoken in my ears and I have heard the sound of your words you say I am pure without transgression I am clean and there is no iniquity in me behold he finds occasions against me he counts me as his enemy he puts my feet in the stocks and watches all my path behold in this you are not right I will answer you for God is greater than man maybe the situation that you're dealing with seems tough and you don't understand why God allowed you to be in this situation but I'm here to tell you that God is greater than man why do you contend against him saying he will answer none of man's words for God speaks in one way and in two though man does not perceive it in a dream in a vision of the night when deep sleep falls upon men while they slumber on their beds then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings that he may he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man he keeps back his soul from the pit his life from perishing by the sword man is also rebuked with pain on his bed and with continual strife in his bones so that his life loathes bread and his appetite the choice is food his flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen and his bones that were not seen stick out his soul draws near the pit and his life to those who bring death if there be for him an angel a mediator one of the thousand to declare the man to declare to man what is right for him and he is merciful to him and says deliver him from going down into the pit i found a ransom let his flesh become fresh with youth let his let him let him return to the days of his youthful vigor then man prays to god and he accepts him he sees his face with a shout of joy and he restores to man his righteousness he sings before men and says i sinned and perverted what was right and it was not repaid to me he has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit and my life shall look upon the light behold god does all these things twice three times with a man to bring back his soul from the pit that he might be that he may be lighted with the light of life pay attention oh job listen to me be silent and i will speak if you have any words answer me speak for i desire to justify you if not listen to me be silent and i will teach you wisdom maybe you weren't following god closely maybe life started to fall apart for you and maybe jesus is telling you today there is room at the foot of the cross for you young man there is room at the foot of the cross for you young woman jesus saves jesus saves and he's coming again and he's coming soon how much longer how much longer how much longer he only has to wait a little while but jesus christ is coming back soon i believe the reason that jesus hasn't come back already is because of second peter three eight through ten where it says the lord is not slack concerning his promise not as some men count slackness but his long suffering not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance jesus wants you to repent he wants you to ask him to forgive you of your sins he wants you to turn to the foot of the cross and completely give your life to him there's a passage in the bible and it's talking about the prodigal son i've got a feeling there's somebody who's listening to me right now you may be a prodigal son you may have turned away you may have left the country you may have squandered all of your money just like the prodigal son with with hookers and wild living and gambling or whatever it is and you say god you have no use for me there's nothing else that i can do and all he's saying is that his hand is outstretched to you and he wants to invite you to the foot of the cross to worship him and that when you die i don't care how bad your life has been if you surrender your life to jesus that when you die you'll be in heaven with him here it is right here luke 15 11 through 32 and he said there was that there was a man who had two sons and the younger of them said to his father father give me the share of the property that is coming to me and he divided his property between them uh not many days later the the younger son gathered all that he had and took a journey into a far country and there he squandered his property in reckless living and when he had spent everything a severe famine arose in that country and he began to be in need so he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country who sent him into his fields to feed pigs and he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate and no one gave him anything but when he came to himself he said how many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread but i perish here with hunger i will rise and go to my father and i will say to him father i have sinned against heaven and before you i no longer i am no longer worthy to be called your son treat me as one of your hired servants and he arose and came to his father but while he was still a long way off his father said to him saw him and felt compassion and ran and embraced and kissed him and the son said to him father i have sinned against heaven and before you i no longer were i am no longer worthy to be called your son but the father said to his servants bring quickly the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet and bring the fattened calf and kill it and let us eat and celebrate for this is my son who was dead and is alive again he was lost in his found and they began to celebrate now his older son was in the field and as he came and drew near to the the house his he heard music and dancing and he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant and he said to him your brother has come and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound but he was angry and refused to go in his father came out and entreated him but he answered his father look these many years i have served you and i never disobeyed your command yet you never gave me a young goat that i might celebrate with my friends but when this son of yours came who has devoured your property with prostitutes you killed the fattened calf for him and he said to him son you were always with me and all that i have is yours and all that is mine is yours it was fitting to celebrate and be glad for this your brother was dead and is alive he was lost and is found when i read that i see that i don't care how far you've gone if you're a christian and maybe you feel like you've turned your back on god or you're living a life of sin it's never too late to do a u-turn god will meet you right where you are the word of god says in the book of james it says let no one say that i am being tempted by god for god cannot be tempted with evil but each one each man or woman is tempted when they are drawn away by their own lust so the truth is you can blame a lot of people but you can't blame god god knows your past he knows your present he knows your future if you know jesus your name is written in the lamb's book of life and i don't care how bad things are this christmas season you've got a hope you've got an eternal hope that you that you that can never let you down jesus said in john 10 10 he says that the thief comes to steal kill and destroy he said but i have come so that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly just like that prodigal son he came back and the father forgave him and he had a party for him and he was excited to see him but there was also that older brother many times you could have made a lot of mistakes in your life maybe you did a lot of drinking maybe you fornicated maybe you committed adultery maybe you killed someone i know we have people in the prison listening maybe you killed someone maybe you committed a horrific crime and you can't forgive yourself but jesus his arms are outstretched towards you right now right now and he came to this world he came to die he came to die for you he came to die for the whole world and you know what guess what if you were the only person who is in this world if you were the only person who was left jesus would have died just for you because that's how much he loves you that's how much he loves you if you look at it and take your bibles to isaiah chapter 53 i'm looking at the new king james version verse one who has believed our report and to whom has the arm of the lord been revealed for he shall grow up before him as a tender plant and as a root out of dry ground he has no form or comeliness and when we see him there is no beauty that we should desire him he is despised and rejected by men a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and we hid as it were our faces from him he was despised and we did not esteem him surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows yet we esteem him stricken smitten by god and afflicted but he was wounded for our transgressions he was bruised for our iniquities the chastisement for our peace was upon him and by his stripes we are healed all we like sheep have gone astray we have turned everyone to his own way and the lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all he was oppressed and he was afflicted yet he opened not his mouth he was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before it shearers of silence so he opened not his mouth he was taken from prison and from judgment and who will declare his generation for he was cut off from the land of the living for the transgressions of my people he was stricken and they made his grave with the wicked but with the rich at his death because he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth yet it pleased the lord to bruise him he has put him to grief when you make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his seed he shall prolong his days and the pleasure of the lord shall prosper in his hand he shall see the labor of his soul and be satisfied by his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify many for he shall bear their iniquities therefore i will divide him a portion with the great and he shall divide the spoil with the strong because he poured out his soul unto death and he was numbered with the transgressors and he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors the transgressors as sinners and that's you and that's me romans 323 says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of god but romans 6 23 says that the wages of sin is death with the gift of god is eternal life through jesus christ our lord romans 8 1 says that there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in christ jesus who walk according to the spirit and not according to the flesh romans 8 28 and we know that all things work together for good to those who love god and for them who are called according to his purpose but you know what it also says philippians 1 21 paul the apostle paul said for me to live is christ and to die is gain no matter what they take from us as christians no matter how they persecute us no matter how much they bother us how much they try to silence us on social media how much they try to make fun of us put us down that we have a hope in the savior jesus christ and i don't care how far you've gone i don't care what you've done see the hope of jesus being born into this world on christmas day 2000 years ago is the hope that you can be saved from your sin and that you can live eternal life jesus died for your sins and he's coming back again soon do you believe that because if you do then the things of this world will go will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace so turn your eyes upon jesus look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace if you've never given your life to jesus i want you to pray with me right now lord jesus i know that i'm a sinner it says in romans 3 23 that all have sinned and come short of the glory of god but as mike just said in romans 6 23 it says that the wages of sin is death but the gift of god is eternal life through jesus christ lord just pray friend just pray with me right now lord i'm sorry i've i've sinned against you i've sinned against many people lord but i thank you that you died on the cross for my sins and that there is room at the foot of the cross for me lord thank you for forgiving me of my sins let me surrender my whole life to you in jesus name amen have a merry christmas if not for god all right for my youtube channel if not for god with mike zwick just like subscribe and hit that notification bell so you'll be alerted when we have our next video so so so this is the truth network
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 13:01:24 / 2022-12-28 13:12:14 / 11

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