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THU & FRI HR 2 DEC 23/24

What's Right What's Left / Pastor Ernie Sanders
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December 24, 2021 12:04 am

THU & FRI HR 2 DEC 23/24

What's Right What's Left / Pastor Ernie Sanders

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December 24, 2021 12:04 am

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Donate and listen to the podcast at WRWL.org. We're back, and we're going to continue with a reading of The Stranger, and the reading is by Pastor Joe Larson. But it's written by a good old friend of mine, and I'll let Pastor Joe tell you.

His name is Judge Roy Moore, and you and I were there many times during his trials and tribulations, and a good friend and a wonderful Christian man. This is the story he told. The old man was alone by the fire that night. His wife and kids were in bed. Christmas was near, but he was out of a job and could barely keep his family fed. It was snowing outside and cold in the room, cold because he had little wood left to burn. This would be a sad Christmas with cupboards so bare, for he had run out of places to turn. In the firelight dim he folded his hands and knelt by an old chair to pray. Dear Lord, he said, is a tear he shed.

I don't know just what I should say. Then came a knock at the door, and he could pray no more. It was a young man in the shivering night.

His coat was old, his shoes were worn, and he was really quite a pitiful sight. I've been walking all night, the young man said, and my home is still far away. If I may warm by your fire for a while, only a minute, I will stay. The old man threw a log in the fire and made him a bite to eat. You're very kind, sir, said the young lad, as the old man gave him his own seat. Where are you bound on this cold winter night, dressed so ragged and bare?

I'm headed home, replied the young man. My father waits for me there. Oh, I couldn't care about this ragged old coat.

If only his face I could see. When I get home, I'll have all I need for there with my father I'll be. Well, then he went to leave, so the old man got up and brought out the only coat he had.

Here, he said, take my coat, for the weather is exceptionally bad. The lad took the coat and said goodbye, but before the old man could ask, for he wanted to know his name. But when he looked out the door, the stranger was gone, and not a trace could be found in the snow. But there at the yard was a new stack of wood, higher than a man could build. And when he came back inside, he looked in the kitchen and couldn't believe that all the cupboards were filled. The chair in which the stranger had sat was now one made of pure gold.

But on the back of the chair a note was pinned, and this is the message it told. My father and yours are one and the same. You've been a good brother to me. What a man sows, so shall he reap, and thus it shall always be. When I knocked on the door, you opened it to me and gave me what you needed too. Now as you have done for a stranger in need, so which shall be done unto you.

It's quite a story, but it is the essence of really, truly giving, right? Again, I want to wish all of those folks when I think about this, you know, we have been blessed this year. We took on so many new radio stations because of what's happening in our country. As we saw, we had elections stolen. We were literally, we are at war with communism right now.

We are at war with communism, which is the anti-Christ system. We're still here. We're still on the air.

Not only are we still here and on the air, but we're on more stations than ever. The letters we're getting from our listeners out there are so encouraging to tell us. It's so much easier to run to the battle when you know that you've got people behind praying for you. And we can feel their prayers. And I want to, again, for all of you listening, all of you people I talked to today on the telephones, they rang off the hook.

God bless you, and I hope that this is the best, very best Christmas ever. And fellas, tell the people out there that all of those letters, when they send us and they send us donations, that we gather and we pray for them. Well, they're read at least twice because the opener reads them, and then we go through these.

And I'm glad you brought that up because I wanted to, and I'm glad you did. And so we read them. We have the deacons and the pastors at our church, the people in the radio program, and we read every request. We mark it down, and then it is individually, so I guess that's three times, individually again, it's then prayed for. And that's whether or not you give, you need to know that too. We don't.

I mean, if there's money in the envelope, great. If there's not, we pray the same. It's our privilege to pray. We feel it's our duty to pray. And we feel that you all are our family, whatever you want to call us. We're tied to you with a short rope too, like relatives. So thank you for sending them.

Please keep them sending. It does encourage us. And every now and then somebody will mention like somebody by then, like, I know you got one. Yeah, I just had a call this afternoon from Lisa from Northeast Texas who asked us for prayer after we already had our prayer Thursday morning prayer meeting. But I just wanted to lift Lisa up and we were praying for her, her health, that the Lord bless her and give her a healing in every way that she needs. Yeah, but it's it's three times.

And let's face it, Pastor Sanders, he's the center fielder. He runs the meeting and we all pray. We all have a time. And thank you very much. Please, please keep it coming. But, you know, please keep your prayer requests and and also your your gift request to like that. Those are in there.

We make sure that those are filled and somebody looks in after that. So thank you for being a blessing. And you all need to know that. And then you'll never know who hears this broadcast. So those of you that help us and pray for us and which is pretty much all all of you, I'm sure, then you don't know whose life you're changing just because they heard it that day.

And we have talked to people who've been all types of situations and predicaments and whatever else you can imagine that life would bring. But God has been faithful and we are very grateful for you and for the Lord and for each other. Thank you very much, because you are our our Christmas gift, our blessing. All right.

We are going to now have a reading. And this is one of the favorites. One of my favorite stories is Papa Panov's special Christmas by Leo Tolstoy. He was born. Leo Tolstoy was born in Russia to a very wealthy family. Tolstoy sometimes felt bad that he was so rich while other people were so hungry and poor.

He often worked on behalf of the less fortunate, even took time off for projects such as writing stories for children and starting schools for peasant children. It was Christmas Eve. And although it was still afternoon, lights had begun to appear in the shops and houses of the little Russian village for the short winter day was nearly over.

Excited children scurried indoors and now only muffled sounds of chatter and laughter escaped from closed shutters. Old Papa Panov, the village shoemaker, stepped outside the shop to take one last look around. The sounds of happiness, the bright lights in the faint but delicious smells of Christmas cooking reminded him of past Christmas times when his wife had still been alive and his own children little.

Now they had gone and his usual cheerful face with the little laughter wrinkles behind the round steel spectacles looked sad now. But he went back indoors with a firm step, put up the shutters and set a pot of coffee on the heat on the charcoal stove. Then with a sigh he settled in his big armchair. Papa Panov did not often read, but tonight, tonight, he pulled down the big old family Bible and slowly tracing the lines with one forefinger. He read again the Christmas story. He read how Mary and Joseph, tired by their journey to Bethlehem, found no room for them in the inn so that Mary's little baby was born in the cowshed. Oh dear, oh dear, exclaimed Papa Panov, if only they had come here, I would have given them my bed and I could have covered the baby with my patchwork quilt to keep him warm. He read on about the wise men who had come to see the baby Jesus bringing him splendid gifts. Papa Panov's face fell.

I have no gift that I could give him, he thought sadly. Then his face brightened. He put down the Bible, he got up and stretched his long arms to the shelf high up on the little room. He took down a small dusty box and opened it. Inside was a perfect pair of tiny leather shoes.

Papa Panov smiled with satisfaction. Yes, yes, they were as good as they, as he had remembered. The best shoes he had ever made.

I should give him these. He decided as he gently put them away and sat down again. He was feeling tired now and the further he read, the sleepier he became. Well, the prince began to dance before his eyes so that he closed them just for a minute.

In no time of all, Papa Panov was fast asleep. And as he slept, he dreamed. He dreamed that someone was in the room and he knew at once as one dozen dreams who that person was.

It was Jesus. You have been wishing that you could see me, Papa Panov, he said kindly, then took, then look, look for me tomorrow. It will be Christmas Day and I will visit you, but look carefully, for I shall not tell you who I am. When at last Papa Panov awoke, the bells were ringing out and a thin light was filtering through the shutters.

Bless my soul, said Papa Panov. It's Christmas Day. He stood up and stretched himself for he was rather stiff.

Then his face filled with happiness as he remembered his dream. This would be a very special Christmas after all, for Jesus was coming to visit him. How would he look? Would he be a little baby as at the first Christmas? Would he be a grown man, a carpenter, or the great king that he is, God's son? He must watch carefully the whole day through so that he recognized him however he came.

Papa Panov put on a special pot of coffee for his Christmas breakfast. He took down the shutters. He looked out the window. The street was deserted. No one, no one was stirring yet. No one except the road sweeper.

He looked as miserable and as dirty as ever. As well he might, whoever wanted to work on Christmas Day and in the raw cold and bitter freezing midst of such a morning. Papa Panov opened the shop door, letting in a thin stream of cold air. Come in, come in, he shouted across the street cheerfully.

Come in and have some hot coffee to keep out the cold. The sweeper looked up scarcely able to believe his ears. He was only too glad to put down his broom and come into the warm room.

His old clothes steamed gently as the heat of the stove and he clasped both red hands around the comforting warm mug as he drank. Papa Panov washed him with satisfaction, but every now and then his eyes strayed to the window. It would never do to miss his special visitor. Expecting someone, the sweeper asked at last. So Papa Panov told him about his dream. Well, I hope he comes, the sweeper said. You've given me a bit of Christmas cheer I never expected to have.

I'd say you deserve to have your dream come true. And he actually smiled. When he had gone, Papa Panov put on cabbage soup for his dinner. Then he went to the door again scanning the street. He saw no one, but he was mistaken. Someone was coming. The girl walked so slowly and quietly, hugging the walls of the shops and the houses that it was a while before he noticed her. She looked very tired and she was carrying something. And as she drew near, he could see that it was a baby wrapped in a thin shawl. There was such a sadness in her face and in the pinched little face of the baby that Papa Panov's heart went out to them.

Won't you come in? He called, stepping outside to meet them. You both need a warm place by the fire and a rest. The young mother let him shepherd her indoors to the comfort of the armchair. She gave a big sigh of relief. I'll warm some milk for the baby, Papa Panov said.

I've had children of my own. I can feed her for you. He took the milk from the stove and carefully fed the baby from a spoon, warming her tiny little feet by the stove at the same time. She needs shoes. She needs shoes, the cobbler said. But the girl replied, I can't afford shoes.

I've got no husband to bring home money. I'm on my way to the next village to find work. A sudden thought flashed through Papa Panov's mind. He remembered the little shoes that he had looked at last night.

But he had been keeping those for Jesus. He looked again at the cold little feet and made up his mind. Try these on her, he said, handing the baby and the shoes to the mother. The beautiful little shoes were a perfect fit. The girl smiled happily and the baby gurgled with pleasure. You have been so kind to us, the girl said, when she got up with her baby to go.

May all your Christmas wishes come true. But Papa Panov was beginning to wonder if his very special Christmas wish would come true. Perhaps he had missed his visitor. He looked anxiously up and down the street. There were plenty of people about. But they were all faces that he recognized. There were neighbors going to call on their families. They nodded and smiled and they wished him for him a very happy Christmas.

Or beggars. And Papa Panov hurried indoors to fetch them some hot soup and some generous hunks of bread, hurrying out again in case he missed the important stranger. When Papa Panov next went to the door and strained his eyes, he could no longer make out the passers-by.

Most were home and indoors by now anyway. He walked slowly back to his room at last and, well, he put up the shutters and sat down wearily in his armchair. So it had been just a dream.

Yes, that's all. After all, it was just a dream. Jesus had not come. Then all at once he knew that he was no longer alone in the room. This was not a dream, for he was wide awake. At first he seemed to see before his eyes the long stream of people who had come to him that day. He saw again the old road sweeper, the young mother and her baby, and the beggars he had fed. As they passed, each whispered, Did you see me? Did you see me, Papa Panov?

Who are you? He called out, bewildered. Then another voice answered him.

It was the voice from his dream, the voice of Jesus. I was hungry and you fed me, he said. I was naked and you clothed me. I was cold and you warmed me. I came to you today and every one of those you helped and welcomed. Then all was quiet and still, only the sound of the big clock ticking. A great peace and happiness seemed to fill the room, overflowing Papa Panov's heart until he wanted to burst out singing and laughing and dancing with joy. So he did come. He did come after all.

It was all that he said. Amen. Amen.

Amen. That was pretty. Was it a good one? I think it was a good one, yeah. All right. A beautiful story. Yeah, this is one of my favorites. And now Whit has a story. And we'll go ahead, Whit.

All right, thank you. This is titled On Santa's Team by an author unknown. My grandma taught me everything about Christmas. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb. There is no Santa Claus jeered my sister.

Even dummies know that. My grandma was not a gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew grandma always told the truth. And I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world famous cinnamon buns. Grandma was at home and the buns were still warm. Between the bites, I told her everything.

She was ready for me. No Santa Claus, she snorted. Ridiculous. Don't believe it.

That rumor has been going around for years and it makes me mad. Plain mad. Now put on your coat and let's go. Go? Go where, grandma?

I asked. I haven't even finished my second cinnamon bun. Where turned out to be Kirby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its stores, grandma handed me $10. That was a bundle in those days. Take this money, she said, and buy something for someone who needs it.

I'll wait for you in the car. Then she turned and walked out of Kirby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but I had never shopped for anything all by myself.

The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments, I just stood there, confused, clutching at that $10 bill, wondering what to buy and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew.

My family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about out of thought when suddenly I thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair. He sat right behind me in Miss Pollock's grade two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during winter.

His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher he had a cough, but all the kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough. He didn't have a coat. I fingered the $10 bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood on it.

It looked real warm and he would like that. I didn't see a price tag, but $10 ought to buy anything. I put the coat and my $10 bill on the counter and pushed them toward the lady behind it. She looked at the coat, the money and me. Is this a Christmas present for someone? She asked kindly. Yes, I replied shyly. It's for Bobby.

He's in my class. He doesn't have a coat. The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in the Christmas paper and ribbons and write to Bobby from Santa Claus on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by this front walk. Suddenly, Grandma gave me a nudge. All right, Santa Claus, she whispered.

Get going. I took a deep breath dash for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell twice and flew back to the safety of the bushes. Grandma, together, we waited breathlessly in the darkness for that front door to open. Finally, it did. And there stood Bobby. He looked down, looked around, picked up his present, took it inside and closed the door. Forty years having dimmed the thrill of those moments, spent shivering beside my grandma in Bobby Decker's bushes.

That night I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus, excuse me, were just what Grandma said they were. Ridiculous. All right. Fantastic. Fantastic. Very good. I'm going to read the Christmas angels and then Pastor Joe, you have some stories there, too. So be prepared because this will only take me a few minutes.

I'm always prepared. It was December 23rd, 1993, for a single mom who was going to college and supporting my children completely alone. Christmas was looking pretty bleak. I looked around my little home, realizing dawning like a slow, twisting pain.

We are poor. Our tiny house had two bedrooms, both off the living room. They were so small that my baby daughter's crib barely fit into one room and my son's twin bed and dresser were squeezed into the other.

There was no way they could share a room. So I made my bed every night on the living room floor. The three of us shared the only closet in the house and we were snug, always only a few feet from each other day and night.

With no doors on the children's room, I could see and hear them at all times. It made them feel secure. It made me feel close to them.

A blessing I would have had in no other circumstances. It was early evening, about eight o'clock. The snow was falling softly, silently, and my children were both asleep. I was wrapped in a blanket, sitting at the window, watching the pottery flakes flutter in the dimming light when my front door vibrated with a pounding fist.

Alarmed, I wondered who would stop by at an house in such a snowy winter night. I opened the door to find a group of strangers grinning from ear to ear, their arms laden with boxes and bags. Confused, but finding their joyous spirit contagious, I grinned right back at them. Are you Susan? The man stepped forward as he held out a box for me, nodding stupidly, unable to find my voice.

I was sure they thought I was mentally deficient. These are for you, the woman thrust another box at me with a huge beaming smile. The porch lightened and the snow falling behind her cast a glow over her dark hair, lending her an angelic appearance. I looked down into her box.

It was filled to the top with delicious treats of fat turkey and all the makings of a traditional Christmas dinner. My eyes filled with tears as the realization of why they were there, washed over me. Finally coming to my senses, I found my voice and invited them in.

Following the husband were two children, staggering with the weight of their packages. The family introduced themselves and told me their packages were all gifts from my little family. This wonderful, beautiful family, who were total strangers to me, somehow knew exactly what we needed. They brought wrapped gifts for each of us and a full buffet for me to make on Christmas Day and many extras.

I could never afford. Visions of a beautiful, normal Christmas literally danced in my head. Somehow, somehow, my secret wish for Christmas was materializing right here in front of me. The desperate prayers of a single mom had been heard and I knew right then that God has sent his angels my way. My mysterious angels then handed me a white envelope and gave me another round of grins and took turns hugging me.

They wished me a Merry Christmas and disappeared into the night as suddenly as they had appeared. Amazed and deeply touched, I looked around. I looked around me at the boxes and gifts strewn at my feet and I felt the ache of depression suddenly being transformed into a childlike joy.

I began to cry. I cried hard, sobbing tears of the deepest gratitude. A great sense of peace filled me. The knowledge of God's love reaching into my tiny little corner of this world enveloped me like a warm quilt. My heart was full. I fell to my knees amid all of the boxes and offered a heartfelt prayer of thanks.

Getting to my feet, I wrapped myself in my blankets and set once again to gaze out the window at the gently falling snow. Suddenly I remembered the envelope like a child. I ripped it open and gasped at what I saw. A shower of bills flitting to the floor.

Gathered them up. I began to count the $5, the $10, the $20 bills. As my vision blurred with tears, I counted the money, then recounted it to make sure I had it right, sobbing again.

I said it out loud, $100. I looked at my children sleeping soundly and through my tears I smiled, my first happy, free of worry smile in a long, long time. My smile turned into a grin as I thought about tomorrow, Christmas Eve, one visit from complete strangers had magically turned a painful day into a special one that we would always remember with happiness. It is now several years since our Christmas angels visited, I remarried, and our household is happy and richly blessed. Every year since that Christmas in 1993, we have chosen a family less blessed than we. We bring them carefully selected gifts and food and treats and as much money as we can spare. It's our way of passing on what was given to us.

It's the ripple effect in motion. We hope that the cycle continues and that someday the families we share with will be able to pass it on to. The story was by Susan Fannock.

Amen. And now, Pastor Joe. I'm going to tell folks a story worthy of Paul Harvey, those of you that remember Paul Harvey would always tell the rest of the story. Well, I'm sure everyone listening has heard the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

But how many of you know the story behind Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? A man named Bob May was depressed, broken hearted, was staring out of his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His four-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob's wife Evelyn was in the hospital dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why mommy could never come home again. She looked up in her dad's eyes and asked, why isn't mommy like everybody else's mommy? Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.

Her question brought waves of grief but also anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports and he was often called names he'd rather not remember.

From childhood he was different and he just never seemed to fit in. Finally he did complete college and got lucky and married a loving wife and was grateful to find a job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. And then he was blessed with this wonderful little girl. But it was all short lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them all of their savings. And now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two room apartment in the Chicago slums.

Evelyn died just days before Christmas 1938. Bob struggled to give hope to his daughter but he couldn't afford to buy a gift for Christmas. But if he couldn't buy a gift he was determined he would make one. A story. A story book. Bob created a character in his mind and told the animal story to little Barbara to give her some comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story embellishing it a little more with each telling. The character. Well what was the story about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in the fabled form.

The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. A little reindeer named Rudolph with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day.

But the story doesn't end there. The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little story book and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase rights to print the little book. Ward's went on to print Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Clauses in their stores. By 1946 Ward's had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year a major publishing company wanted to purchase the rights from Ward's to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness the CEO of Ward's returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a bestseller. Many toys and marketing deals followed and Bob May now remarried with a growing family became wealthy. And the story from the story he created to comfort a grieving daughter.

But the story doesn't end there either. His brother-in-law Johnny Marks made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by popular vocalists like Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, it was finally recorded by a singing cowboy, Gene Autry. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was released in 1949.

It became a phenomenal success selling more records than any other Christmas song with the exception of By Christmas. The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned to give from that and he also learned that just like his little friend Rudolph being different isn't so bad. In fact being different can be a blessing. And I think if you read your scripture God has some special names for his people.

He calls us a couple unusual names doesn't he Pastor Ernie? We're a peculiar people. We are, right?

That's right. Yep, we certainly are a peculiar people. People, amen.

So we are peculiar and that can be the greatest blessing of all. Job, would you bless all of us tonight by singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? No, I don't believe that would be a blessing.

At least it would be entertaining. Do you want to do it as a chorus, Pastor? We struggle a little bit on Thursday nights.

Well, you never know unless you ask, right? Brothers and sisters out there, you born again believers listening tonight. You better get used to us because you're going to be spending eternity with us.

So you might as well get used to the bad jokes and all the rest. And believe me, we are a peculiar people. I mean, just look at me.

My name's Whit. And there you go. I've got a short thing I want to read. Ben Franklin had a lot of axioms and he wrote one about Christmas. Let no pleasure tempt thee, no profit allure thee, no ambition corrupt thee, no example sway thee, no persuasion move thee to do anything which thou knowest to be evil. So thou shalt live generally, for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.

I thought that was a fabulous thought. You know, good conscience is a continual Christmas. It's a continual blessing. And a good conscience only comes from what?

Being obedient and having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. And you know, he always sets out, he's very generous, and he puts out a lot of cookies and milk for Santa Claus, but then he always ends up eating it himself, and that's Pastor Hal Larson.

Bring Pastor Hal up. All right, we're doing all right. And of course the greatest gift that God ever gave anyone, I mean there is no gift, nothing that anyone could receive greater than eternal life. And so we know that you've come here tonight to close us off, but do you have any special Christmas wishes for all the folks out there listening to us? Oh, that everybody would get right with God and get saved and be able to live for Jesus until the rapture of the church.

Yeah, well that's probably about as good as it gets, huh? Amen to that. All right, well let's just take it, so go ahead. Pastor Joe, give yourself, give us, and we'll all give a special Christmas wish.

That includes you too in there. Okay, Craig, no? Okay. I actually said my wish kind of earlier that everyone out there would find that joy and peace that I found when I became a born-again believer, that a raging soul was comforted and I found a love and happiness I never knew could exist. And I just wish that everyone in the sound of my voice could feel that same love and wonder that I feel. Amen.

Go ahead, Randy. Well, no, I'd like to bless everybody and say, Dear Lord, thank you for the blessing of the fellowship of the people in Christ and thank you for no matter where I am, no matter where I go, I find somebody where my spirit witnesses were theirs and I know that that's the spirit of life. Thank you, Lord, for eternal life and thank you for the opportunity of witnessing publicly and with such a bunch of patient men and God-fearing men that encourage me and that bless me. Thank you, Lord, for that. And I thank you, Lord, also for the listening audience, for people who encourage us, who seem to call in at the right time, who write in at the right time, and who also give for us at the right time because we've had some near pins this year, but you've always brought us out and I thank you for inspiring people because the people that listen to us, they're your people too. Amen.

Whit? Well, I don't know what more I can add to what's been said, but I've been so blessed this last year in that my wish is that everybody can obediently follow the Lord and He'll give us surprises. It's not what we wish for. It's the surprises that He gives us. I didn't, in my wildest dreams five years ago, think I would be here tonight, although I've been with Pastor Ernie about 10, 15 years ago for a time, but just follow what the Lord bestows upon you and where He guides you and that's the wish is just keep that coming.

Amen. Well, you know, Whit, with our ministry and activity and the pro-life movement all these years, I never thought I'd still be alive, you know, because of, well, you know, we got the enemy angry saving babies and I think about the days of Herod when he ordered all the children killed and when I'm thinking about here this Christmas that we'll be sharing, we've had two great Christmas dinners already this week at the church and we were invited by Peter and Laura, and what a wonderful dinner they put for the church, but the fellowship. And then I think about all that we have and how there's so many people in this world that have never and never had one meal, not one like we have every day, that have never been blessed in all of the ways that we're blessed. When I think about how there are so many people that have never had clean food or clean water, how many never had a roof over their head. We have, you know, children sleeping wherever they can find a place and I think of how blessed we have been, just how blessed we have been, and I think about how God has enabled us, He has given us the opportunity to share all of these blessings with those people that are less fortunate, to be able to give. You know, we sat down and when we ride out to feed the hungry, to feed the children, to help, you know, it makes you feel good, but it's not by our, well, it's not because we're so good or such, it's by God's grace that He has given us the opportunity to be a blessing to others. And so that is what means so much to me. And also when I think about it, you know, I'm almost as old as Joe and Hal.

And when I go down and I'm out there and I see people my age having to work out outside in the cold, you know, directing traffic, or I see these people at the shopping center, at the grocery stores, pushing carts, because they have to, they're not doing it. And how blessed I've been over the years, we've had some tough times, but those tough times just made us tougher, okay. And so that's, when I look at Christmas and I think of that Christ child and the blessings he's brought in and how we have been so blessed, it just, well, that's Christmas to me, thinking of the love that's shared between the people. And someday we're going to be with people through all of eternity. And my prayer is that no one would come short, that all the people out there, when we give that invitation, that people would listen.

You know, like our enemies, our enemies hate us, we don't hate them. We would ask, we would pray that they would repent and not end up, you know, where so many of them are going. And with that, Pastor Hal, tell them how they can get to glory and how they can forsake that lake of fire. Okay, first of all, the Bible, the King James Bible has the answer. It says in 2 Corinthians 5.19, to wit that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. The only way you can be reconciled to God is through the Lord Jesus Christ. All the other religious leaders of the world and other religions just come up bankrupt, because God was in Jesus and nobody else. And only the pure, sinless blood of Jesus can wash away our sins. And see, God said sin had to be paid for.

He's a righteous God as well as a loving God. But his love entered into it in that he allowed Jesus to transfer your guilt and mine for all our sins onto his Son. So when Jesus was crucified on that cross of Calvary, God was allowing him to pay the payment in full for every sin you and I have ever done, no matter how bad your sins have been, no matter how many sins you've done. And so when the Bible says in Ephesians 1.7, in whom we have redemption through his blood, it's not through joining the church, it's not through your good works out balancing your bad works, because one sin will keep you out of heaven. And so if you could quit sinning right now and never sin again to the day you died, that one sin will keep you out of heaven. God cannot let sin into heaven. You could be the worst sinner in town, and when you come to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith, he's going to forgive you and come into your heart and give you the payment he paid for you on that cross. Repentance is simply admitting something to God he knows already anyway.

Without Jesus in our hearts, we're a bunch of low-down, good-for-nothing sinners, filled with sin and everything else on our road to hell, and as guilty as you can get. But when you come to Jesus, he pardons your sin and he gives you eternal life. And Ephesians 2.8 and 9 says it's a free gift. If you do what you save through faith and not of yourself, it's the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.

Jesus did all the work, now he's offering you the free gift. And if you turn around and say, Well, I'll get there my own way, then you're a fool, and you're going to die lost and go to hell, and God doesn't want you to do that. Right now, Jesus Christ is knocking at the door of your heart, and he's asking you if you open that door up and let him come in. He could force his way in because he's God, but then salvation wouldn't be a gift. And when you come to him out of your own free will, realizing you sinned against him, realizing what he did for you, then you want to be reconciled to him by receiving the payment he paid for you on that cross.

If you want to do that, you can do it right now in a simple prayer of faith. Romans 10 13 says, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. That means if you believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross, and shed his blood to save your soul, now even the devil knows he did that. But what God wants you to do is something the devil don't want you to do.

The devil says, But as many as received him, to them gave you the power to become the sons of God. You do that by praying and asking Jesus to come into your heart. That's how you receive him. So right now he's knocking at the door of your heart. If you open that door up and let him come in, you can do it right now in a simple prayer of faith. We could pray together, but even though we're praying together, it's directly between you and God, because only you can open up the door of your heart.

So what do you say we pray? God's looking at you right now, and he's knocking at your heart. Oh dear God, I'm a sinner, I admit I'm a sinner, and I need your forgiveness. Lord Jesus, I believe you died on the cross and shed your blood to save my soul. And Lord, right now, I here and now ask you to come into my heart as my Lord and Savior, and forgive me of all my sins and save my soul from hell. And God, just thank you for saving me and dying on the cross for me and paying the payment for all my life. All right, thank you, Pastor Mary Christian. Until tomorrow, good night, God bless, always, always keep fighting the fight! The preceding program is sponsored by What's Right, What's Left Ministries, and is responsible for its content.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-24 23:32:03 / 2023-06-24 23:49:41 / 18

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