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December 12, 2016 3:29 pm
Much of life is very routine about events happened on the life which are easily and quickly forgotten, but from time to time something happens in life which makes a fundamental difference.
It may be a great experience of joy when we go to the very mountaintop of life, or it may at the other end of the spectrum be something which plunges us into the despair of the deep, deep valley experiences.
I remember getting the offer to join the criminal prosecution team in Edinburgh, Scotland, in Scotland's capital of Edinburgh and I was on the crest of the wave, but also remember about the same time. One Saturday morning when I was still in bed, getting a phone call phone call from my brother to say that her father had died unexpectedly and suddenly I knew that life was good to be changed and you that life was going to be very very different. I remember one day after praying for a wife meeting certain young lady that was going to change dramatically my life. She still does.
She was from Scandinavia.
Her name was Goodner Ingalls. The other goodness in their thought with a name like that too must be different. Her English was very very broken and I spoke no fisheries are Danish, so communication was quite a problem. It still is.
Sometimes as well, but that's another story, but I quickly and that many of you have had the experience. I quickly fell in love.
It was an exhilarating experience in a sense I'd never experienced anything like it and I knew in a very very short time that I was going to marry this young woman. She took a little longer. Not being as wise as I am to understand that and you put experiences like that happens, you the ticket to the mountaintop and also can take you to the Valley experiences in life which are out of the ordinary, which don't happen very very often, but which puts change, perhaps in an instant. Perhaps one phone call in a split second on life, which we thought was going in one direction is not going to go in another direction.
We've called this concert Christmas changes everything. We believe that this message of this message of Christmas is not just an ordinary message that Christmas is is much, much more than singing a few sentimental corals are giving presence or having parties or even coming to a concert like this that the message of Christmas the gospel message.
The good news does change everything. I wonder if that is how you look on Christmas that it is when we understand that something so profound, something which if true means that we can't go on living as we once lived. If there is a God and I believe that is and if that God is the great Creator who in the beginning, created the heavens and the earth.
And if there's God created you and me as I believe he did and if it is also true that one day you and I individually will stand before this God that is that we are accountable to our creator. If that is true, it surely is important that we have a true and a cracked relationship with his God and the message of Christmas is God who is perfect God who is light, God, who is holy comes into our world.
The Bible says that the word that is referring to Jesus Christ, the eternal son of the eternal God, that the word becomes flesh and dwelt among us, lives among us that this God yes, who is eternal yes who created the heavens and the earth. Yes, you created us. This God comes to us because we are in the darkness and by ourselves left ourselves we can reach God.
And so God is done a wonderful thing has done a tremendously gracious thing that he has come to us and this is what we celebrate at this time. This is why we believe that the gospel is Chelsea has sung that the gospel changes everything that Christmas changes everything that God has come into our world that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, and that, therefore, that means that life cannot go on as it once did that this is the most important event in the whole of human history that this events in fact is something which were going to celebrate for all of eternity. If we know there's God, then the only way to know this God is through receiving his son Jesus Christ. Because the message of Christmas is that God and love has come to us in our mass and our failure in the darkness in their rebellion and our self-centeredness and pettiness that God has come to us. He's intervened and he comes not to tell us we've done wrong of the we've done that that he does tell us that, but he comes he comes to save us so that this one Jesus is given this beautiful name Jesus Savior. The angel tells Joseph you'll give this little boy this name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins, so that God in his son Jesus Christ comes on a rescue mission.
He comes to save us.
He comes to redeem us. He comes to help us. He comes to changes fundamentally, not just by telling us a few things that we should do but he comes so that we can know him in a personal way. In a personal relationship. So Jesus says on the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me. Yes, Christmas changes everything. Here is how one writer of the New Testament. The apostle Paul puts it in second Corinthians 5 verse 17 he says therefore if anyone is in Christ, lesser unusual expressions and that if you're not familiar with the Bible to be in Christ. That means to know Christ, not just of item not just to say what I believe that 2000 years ago Jesus was born as a little baby is a cute little story wonderful to see the children singing about how wonderful know this is much more than that.
This is not just her acknowledge his existence is not just to acknowledge certain facts about item it is to know him in an intimate way in a personal relationship so you it can be accurately described as Paul does of hearing in Christ of knowing Christ as your Savior as your Lord Paul says therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
All things have passed away behold all things have become new. Paul is saying that the gospel changes everything. And if it doesn't change because it means we really haven't understated it means that we don't really know Christ. We may know about them, but would never personally experienced him. The old is gone and the new has come.
I know that for my own experience, like some of you. I was raised in a very godly Christian home a few days ago I visited my mother and prayed with her and thanked her. Even in her bit of dementia. After praying for me every day and so she and my dad taught me about Jesus Christ. They taught me and my brothers the gospel. We were targeted by Sunday school teachers are by preachers who who preach status and I can remember as a body of eight, nine, 10, 11 not appreciating some of the directors of the Scottish preachers pretty tough preaching preaching, which I needed to hear because as a boy I knew I needed Christ Newmont that my life needed changing and so I find myself and I was 12 years old in the Christian youth camp and I heard of the story. The message that I had many many times but I heard it in a fresh way and I headed in a way where the Holy Spirit's have you ever experienced this. I hope you have with the Holy Spirit's was convicting me was opening my eyes doing two things saying John you need Christ you have sin in your life. Is it what sin could a boy of 12 of this region. Self-centeredness self absorption rebellion planning my own life even as a 12-year-old. My own ambition big number one so the Holy Spirit did that but the Holy Spirit also did something else.
It's open my eyes to see the beauty of Jesus Christ in a way I had never seen him before.
And then I did that I would urge you to do.
If you've never done it is simply placed my faith in Jesus Christ.
I received them into my heart into my life, not just because my mom and dad did are some of my brothers had but because I knew I needed Jesus Christ's and the theme verse the theme chorus of the crime was and will be relieved to hear about witnessing it to you but it went like this things are different, something happened to me when I gave my heart to Jesus things I love far more have passed away things I love far more have come to stay. Things are different now. Something happened to me when I gave my heart to Jesus and I sang that after opening my heart to Christ in a way I'd never signed it before I knew then yes is a boy of 12 that life would never be the same again that my life and I was handed over to Jesus Christ. He was my Savior. He was my Lord. Things were different now. This is what Paul is saying that Jesus Christ changes us and is changing us. He changed me and that he forgave all of my sins, and he continues to change me to make me more and more like Jesus Christ.
That's the gospel that's Christmas changing everything is Jesus Christ.
Change your really changed. You is Jesus Christ changing that you realize that there's a supernatural power alive in you Christ himself living in me. I am in Christ and Christ is in me, and of course there must be a change of problem is that some of us, yes, possibly here have them have embraced a churchy entity or cultural Christianity of knowing about Christ and never knowing him will you open your heart to Christ.
When you do that, we take that program that you were given as a tear off sheet asked her to write down your name and address of your visitors, but to hear and I'm going to pray and ask that God will do for you what he did for me that he will shine into your heart and if the Holy Spirit is speaking to you process that is possible to resist the Spirit onto that were wonderful opportunity Christmas time 2016 to say into my heart into my heart come into my heart Lord Jesus come in today come in to stay come into my heart Lord Jesus, we buy. If you would like to receive Christ when you pray with me, not a form of words, but from the very depths of your soul. Lord Jesus, and he changed messed up my life sentence but I thank you that you love me and that you are the son of God you died on the cross for me, it would, but it and you raise from the dead alive forevermore, you are the ultimate change maker and 90 changed, so no trust and I receive you as my Savior heart change me know and continue to change me.
I pray the Savior's name