This Christmas, Receive the Best Gift Ever Given (Rick Warren)

This Christmas, Receive the Best Gift Ever Given

“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us — set us right with him, make us fit for him — we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus” (Romans 5:1

 

God knew before you were born that you would be reading this in this moment. He planned to get your attention for just a few seconds so he could say this to you: “I’ve seen every hurt in your life, and I’ve never stopped loving you. You matter to me. I love you more than you will ever know. I made you to love you, and I’ve been waiting for you to love me back.” 

If you gave me a Christmas gift and I never opened it, you would be disappointed. And it would be a worthless gift, because I don’t receive the benefit of a gift I never opened. 

Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas gift to you. Yet some of us have gone Christmas after Christmas and never opened the best gift of all: God’s gift of salvation. Why even celebrate Christmas if you’re not going to open the biggest gift? It doesn’t make sense to leave unwrapped the gift of your past forgiven, a purpose for living, and a home in Heaven.

God has made a way for you this Christmas to be right with him, and all you have to do is receive his gift of salvation. The Bible says, “By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us — set us right with him, make us fit for him — we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus” (Romans 5:1 The Message).

Below is a prayer I prayed years ago when I stepped across the line and accepted Jesus. It’s a simple prayer. If these words express the desire in your heart, then prayer them. 

“Dear God, I’m scared, but I want to get to know you. I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you were with me even when I didn’t recognize it. I thank you that you are for me, that you didn’t send Jesus to condemn me but to save me. 

“Today I want to receive the Christmas gift of your Son. I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups. Save me from myself. 

“I ask you to save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet. And I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you and have a relationship with you. 

“I need peace with you, God, and I need you to put your peace in my heart. I need you to take away the stress and fill me with your love. Help me be a peacemaker and help others find peace with you and each other. In your name I pray. Amen.”

If you prayed the prayer above, please write and tell me at Rick@PastorRick.com. I’d love to send you some materials as you begin your journey with Jesus.

If you still have questions or want to learn more about becoming a follower of Christ, watch this video: What does it mean to be saved?

PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick >>

The Message).

You Grow as You Help Others Mature

As He Is, So We Are ( C.H. Spurgeon)

AS HE IS SO WE ARE  

“The last Adam.”
1 Corinthians 15:45

Jesus is the federal head of his elect. As in Adam, every heir of flesh and blood has a personal interest, because he is the covenant head and representative of the race as considered under the law of works; so under the law of grace, every redeemed soul is one with the Lord from heaven, since he is the Second Adam, the Sponsor and Substitute of the elect in the new covenant of love. The apostle Paul declares that Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Melchizedek met him: it is a certain truth that the believer was in the loins of Jesus Christ, the Mediator, when in old eternity the covenant settlements of grace were decreed, ratified, and made sure forever. Thus, whatever Christ hath done, he hath wrought for the whole body of his Church. We were crucified in him and buried with him (read Col. 2:10-13), and to make it still more wonderful, we are risen with him and even ascended with him to the seats on high (Eph. 2:6). It is thus that the Church has fulfilled the law, and is “accepted in the beloved.” It is thus that she is regarded with complacency by the just Jehovah, for he views her in Jesus, and does not look upon her as separate from her covenant head. As the Anointed Redeemer of Israel, Christ Jesus has nothing distinct from his Church, but all that he has he holds for her. Adam’s righteousness was ours so long as he maintained it, and his sin was ours the moment that he committed it; and in the same manner, all that the Second Adam is or does, is ours as well as his, seeing that he is our representative. Here is the foundation of the covenant of grace. This gracious system of representation and substitution, which moved Justin Martyr to cry out, “O blessed change, O sweet permutation!” this is the very groundwork of the gospel of our salvation, and is to be received with strong faith and rapturous joy.

Immanuel Is (by Fenny West)

Immanuel Is:

Immanuel is  God with Us
Christ indwelling us
Christ with us
Christ before us
Christ behind us
Christ surounding us
Christ at the centre of all we do and represent;
all that we are and will be.
Christ being all and in all.
Christ in us, our hope of glory.

In Him we live, move and have our being.
He gives our lives a meaning.

He is our redemption, our Saviour,  our Sacrifice, wisdom, our sanctification.
He is our Bread of Life, our Chief Corner Stone.
Bone of our bones
And flesh of our flesh.

He is our Day Star
The Bright Morning Star
In Him all things hold together.
He is the Author and Finisher-the Alpha and Omega.
Jehovah Shammah
The Lion of Judah
The Sweet Rose of Sharon
The Rose in our Thorn.
He is the Lilly of the Valley
The Fairest of the Ten Thousand.

In Him is light and life and might.
In Him is spiritual sight.
He is the Prince of Peace.
He is our peace-
Jehovah Shalom.
He is the Intercessor, Wonderful Counselor, Comforter, the Advocate, the First and the Last, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
He is the Captain of Salvation-the Lamb of God, Our Sanctification, Jehovah N’kadesh, Our Righteousness- Jehovah Tsidkenue;
He is the Ever-present Lord-Jehovah Shammah.
He is the Good Shepherd-Jehovah Rohi, Our Healer-Jehovah Rophe, the Great Physician,  Our Victorious Banner-Jehovah Nissi.
He is the Strong and Breasted One; God’s Son, the Holy One, God of gods.
He can move any mountain, heal any disease and walk on water.

Unto Us a Child is Born(3) ( by Fenny West)

Unto Us a Child Is Born(3)
Over 700 years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah foretold His coming.
6 For unto us a Child is born , Unto us a Son is given;  And the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called  Wonderful , Counselor , Mighty God , Everlasting Father , Prince of Peace. 
7 Of the increase of His government and peace  There will be no end , Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom , To order it and establish it with judgment and justice  From that time forward , even forever.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. 
Isa9:6-7
Later on, He also foretold His substitutionary and redemption and healing ministry in Isa53.
Other prophets also confirmed his birth and redemption work.
(Moses, Micah, David Ps16,22,24 )
If we look back at the prophecy of Isaiah, we would agree that although the first part regarding His birth and His redemption work have been fulfilled, there is an aspect of the prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled: His second coming and sitting on the throne of David.
We know that God’s word will not return to Him empty but it shall prosper in the thing it has been sent to do.
” And the government will be upon His shoulder.    
  7 Of the increase of His government and peace  There will be no end , Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom , To order it and establish it with judgment and justice  From that time forward , even forever.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. ” shall surely come to pass.

He is Coming Soon
This is why we need to be ready and expectant.
He is coming for those who are waiting for His appearing.
8 Finally , there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness , which the Lord , the righteous Judge , will give to me on that Day , and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2Tim 4:8
Those who have this hope will keep themselves pure even as He is pure.
Those who have this hope will be ready at all times like five wise virgins who kept their lamp’s wick trimmed and had oil in them.
Those who are expectant and ready will keep their garments clean and not only have the right garment for the marriage feast.

(Matt25:1-10, Matt22:12, Eph5:26-27)
8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen , clean and bright , for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.Rev19:8
Jesus said: “..I will come again..”John14:3
“Behold I come quickly.”
I Am Coming Quickly  20 He who testifies to these things says ,  “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so , come , Lord Jesus!Rev22:20
(Rev.3:11,-22:7,12)
Let your focus at this time be on Jesus who came as it was foretold and who is coming again as it was foretold. If you celebrate Christmas, let it be a time to reflect on who He is to you, what He gave to you and what He has called you to do- your purpose for living. 
The way you give thanks to Him is to redouble your resolve to live for Him and fulfill His purpose for your life. Let Christmas go beyond having a holiday, meeting with friends eating and drinking, shopping spree, giving and exchanging gifts. Christmas should not be for commercialism. Let it be Christ-centered.

If you do not know Christ in a personal way, the greatest gift you can receive or give to yourself is making Him Lord of your life.
The greatest gifts in life are free. Salvation is the greatest of these.
16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten   Son , that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  
John3:16
12 But as many as received Him , to them He gave the right to become children of God , to those who believe in His name: 
John1:12

37  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me , and   the one who comes to Me I will   by no means cast out.  
Jn6:37
Salvation is free and as easy as ABC
A- accept that you cannot save yourself. Admit you are a sinner by your nature and need salvation.
B-believe that only Jesus can save you and that He died to save you
C-confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord. Call upon Him to come and take His rightful place in your heart.

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Rom10:9-10,13
Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. Open your heart and let Him in.
2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you ,   And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
2Cor6:2

Bible prophetic scholars believe that the resurrection of the old Roman empire in the form of the European Union which unites strong and weak nations and its current upheavals in Brexit, are pointers to Daniel’s prophecy of a Kingdom with the feet of iron and clay, in the end times.

43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Dan2:43-44

Some also see even the recent declaration of Us President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a pointer that we are in the ‘final hour of the last day.’

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a glorious, joyous and spectacular new year.

 

Unto Us a Child is Born ( by Fenny West)

Christ in Me ( by Fenny West)

Christ In Me

Christ in me, my victory,

 my hope of glory,

my sufficiency
my generosity; 
Christ in me, my security, my prosperity,

my purity, my royalty, my tenacity, 

Christ in me, my importunity, my ability,
my persistent productivity;
my creativity, mental acuity and safety.

Christ in me, my defence, my confidence,

my excellence, my dominance.
Christ in me, my resilience,
my super- abundance.

Christ in me, my Helper,

my Strengthener, my Shelter.
Christ in me, ever-present-Jehovah Shammah.
Christ in me, my Victorious Banner,

my Healer, my Deliverer, Jehovah Jireh-my Provider,

my power, High Tower.

Christ in me, my Good Success,

my unstoppable progress, my address and redress.

Christ in me, my blessedness,

 righteousness, prowess, fearlessness,

 faithfulness, uniqueness, my greatness,

my uprightness, oneness
and brightness.

Christ in me, my Advocate and my advantage

Christ in me, my wisdom,

His Kingdom come, my Shelter from every storm

and formidable and unstoppable form.

Christ in me, my sanctification, my glorification.
Christ in me, my salvation, my firm foundation,

 my promotion and unending provision.

Christ in me, my distinction, innovation, 

restoration, justification, redemption, 
restoration, rejuvenation, my revival,

my resurrection, my red and compensation.

Christ in me, my significant attainment;

my mind-blowing and outstanding accomplishments.

Christ in me, my triumph,

 my peace, priesthood and kingship

-spreading to the east, west, north and south.

 

Christ in me
Hope of Glory
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you , the hope of glory. 
Col.1:27

Wisdom, righteous, Sanctified, redeemed
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God;

and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; 
1Cor.1:30

New Creation
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ , he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold , all things have become new. 
2Cor.5:17

God’s righteousness
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us , that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2Cor.5:21

Offspring: Live, Move, Have my being
28 for in Him we live and move and have our being , as also some of your own poets have said , ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 
Acts17:28

Oneness
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 
1Cor.12:13

Victory
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ , and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 
2Cor.2:14

Love
The Consummation of Love 

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is , so are we in this world. 
1Jn4:17

Priest & king
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father , to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Rev1:6

Jeff Kubina on 

Christ Our Peace  
14 For He Himself is our peace , who has made both one , and has broken down the middle wall of separation Eph2:14

Reconciliation
18 Now all things are of God , who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ , and has given us the ministry of reconciliation , 
2Cor.5:18

Victory
57 But thanks be to God , who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Cor.15:57

Col2:6

Justified & peace
Faith Triumphs in Trouble 
1 Therefore , having been justified by faith , we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ , 
Rom.5:1

Righteousness

7              But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
Phil.3:7-9

Every Good Thing
6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 
Phile1:6

Blessed with Every Blessing
Redemption in Christ  
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ , who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ , 
Eph1:3

Free from Indwelling Sin 

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh , but according to the Spirit. 
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 
Rom.8:1-2

Heir of God
17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ , if indeed we suffer with Him ,  that we may also be glorified together.
-8:17

More than conquerors
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 
Rom8:3

Jeff Kubina on 

God’s sufficiency
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves , but our sufficiency is from God , 
2Cor.3:5

Supernatural ability
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Phil4:13

Greater One indwells
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them , because He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world. 
1John4:4

Overcomer
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith. 
1John5:4

Child of God
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God , 
Ro8:16

All things Mine
21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:

1Cor.3:21

Have a Wonderful December ( by Fenny West)

♡♥Fenny’sSayings♥♡

HAVE A wonderful DECEMBER
Do the right thing at the right time, with the right people.

Employ discretion and widsom in all you do.

Complete every good work you begin.

Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.

Measure your success- not by comparing yourself with others but by the progress you have made in your calling, assignment and vision and by exceeding your past achievements-going from glory to glory; being better even with age like a vintage wine.

Be the best for your Maker; surf the crest; beat the beast. Be anxious on no account but pray about everything and you will see the glory of God.

Every trouble, adversity, encumbrance and barrier and has an expiry date, so enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.

Remember not the failures or achievements of the past except if they will spur you to greater achievements, greater heights and greater glory.