Let Earth Receive Her King of Kings.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE. Reading  through the Bible at snail-pace.

Summary from Chris Platt’s sermon, Spicer Street – Matthew 1:1

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SON OF DAVID: CHRISTMAS IS PART OF GOD’S ROYAL PLAN 

Matthew 1:1

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KING JESUS SON OF KING DAVID.

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GOD PROMISES DAVID A ROYAL DESCENDANT – A KING LIKE NO OTHER. 

 

  • God Himself will establish a kingdom and a throne that will last forever – (2 Samuel 7)
  • There will come a King for all eternity whose kingdom will never end.

None of David’s descendants fit the bill – everyone failed, everyone died – until the gospels.

MATTHEW WANTS US TO SEE THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF DAVID – THE PROMISED ETERNAL KING.

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  • Matthew lists for us Jesus’ family tree so we can check the facts and trace where those historical names lead.
  • Yes, Jesus is the rightful, legal heir to the throne of David!

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  • Jesus isn’t a pretender to the throne: he clearly has the family credentials.

If we were to read on to the end of the Bible, we find that Jesus does fulfill everything needed to be a king on an eternal throne.

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Matthew 1 announces the arrival of the king: Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s eternal royal plan.

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We see in these names in jesus’ family tree (terrific and terrible) that God’s plan is a plan of grace.

WHERE DO WE FIT IN ALL OF THIS?

  • Is the world really just random, with no purpose, no plan, no point  – just isolation and feeling the immensity of the universe?
  • Maybe we wish there is something more, something that gave life and Christmas meaning.

CHRISTMAS IS THE SEASON OF SALVATION.

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HAPPY SOULS IN THE CHRISTMAS 2017 SEASON

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The Christmas Story Was Always the Plan

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE.

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Reading  through the Bible at snail-pace. 

Summary from Chris Platt’s sermon, Spicer Street. Matthew 1:1-2 NIV and Matthew 1:1 CEV

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Why would Matthew open his gospel with a genealogy of all things?!

To reveal to us the unfolding of God’s plan and to show us there is nothing random or accidental about the Christmas story at all.

That first Christmas was part of a promised, royal plan and a plan of grace.

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Matthew’s readers would have known each of those 3 names very well.

ABRAHAM MEANT “PROMISES!” – God made lots of promises to Abraham thousands of years before the first Christmas.

  • Through Abraham’s promised son great blessing and numerous people would come – more numerous than the stars and with a great place to call home.
  • Promises of blessings for all the people of every nation and ultimately the promise of – hold breath – perfect friendship with God.
  • MATTHEW SAYS JESUS IS THE SON OF ABRAHAM –  and the Baby in  the manger is the answer to everyone of all the promises.

Jesus is the One who would fulfil God’s promise of the gathering of numerous people from every nation to a perfect place in perfect relationship with Him.

AS WE READ DOWN THE LIST OF NAMES IN JESUS’ GENEALOGY…

  • Each one of those names represents God’s commitment to keeping those promises.
  • Each name adds up to years, decades and centuries of God faithfully working out His promised plan.

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WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT YOU EVER HAD?

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  •  Say…..someone promises you a top of the range sports car.
  • You are a bit cynical, “how is that going to be possible?”

But, lo and behold, on Christmas morning, there it is sitting smartly on the drive way, all shiny!

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  • You’ll be thrilled and amazed that the promise had been kept.
  • Could you say, roll of the eyes, “what a co-incidence” when you were promised and the car was always the plan.

The birth of Jesus represents the extraordinary answer to the pledge of astronomical blessings which God gave to Abraham all those years beforehand.

JESUS’ COMING TO EARTH ISN’T RANDOM, BUT ALL PART OF A PROMISED PLAN. 

Christmas Nativity Scene

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Christmas Invasion!

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE.

Reading  through the Bible at snail-pace. Matthew 1:17-25 NIV  Matthew 1:17-25 CEV

Apologies for not being able to recall from which sermon this summary was made.

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It takes being realistic about ourselves. It takes humility to see we ourselves are in need of  rescue. Many instinctively shun the idea of salvation and prefer autonomy.

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JESUS’ ARRIVAL FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH –  deeply disruptive to Joseph.

  •  Mary’s pregnancy brings Joseph to the greatest crisis of his life – beginning with the shock reveal by the angel of God.

(To be engaged in those days was a commitment as strong as marriage, without living as husband and wife.)

  • And now Joseph’s fiancee is pregnant!

JOSEPH WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN, A DECENT GUY.  

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  • He had this general kind of knowledge that some day God would send a king that will reign forever.
  • Up till now, knowing this hasn’t made a major difference in Joseph’s world.
  • Yes okay, Jesus would be the Saviour, but…..now Christ is invading his life! 

THE GOSPEL IS FOR EVERYONE – ALSO FOR DECENT FOLKS  LIKE JOSEPH

002 Ponder Ponder  Integrity and decency isn’t the same as embracing the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. 

THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL CAN TURN OUR LIVES UPSIDE DOWN!

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  • What if embracing Jesus as my Saviour changes my plans and dreams for my life?
  • How will it affect our family life, my social life when Christ is everything to us?

MAYBE WE ARE OLD AND HAVE GENERALLY BEEN FULL OF INTEGRITY ALL OUR LIVES.

  • But…….as for the harmless Son of God, He is fine at a distance, we prefer Him not too near.

Yes our lives will change, but Jesus doesn’t come to destroy our lives but to rescue us from our sins –  on a grand scale. 

THE DRAMATIC NEWS FROM THE ANGEL OF GOD IS THE BEST NEWS EVER! 

  • This baby is from God and he will save His people from their sins –  the fulfilment of the ancient Scripture.
  • From now Christ would change everything in Joseph’s life.
  • Disruptive? Yes. Blessing? Immense! 600 015 Chrisitan 10March 2017-047

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  • That we, our children, our friends will welcome by faith the invasion of Jesus in our and their lives!
  • Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us how Jesus’ mission to take away our sins, changes our lives and our standing before the righteous Judge of all the world.

1 John 1 The Word of Life First Hand.

A summary from Colin Kruse’s commentary.
THE LETTER WAS WRITTEN:
  • urging the readers not to be led astray by false teachers
  • and reassure them they are in the truth,
  • to strengthen the readers’ commitment to what they already know, i.e., the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ which they heard from the beginning.
JOHN STARTS THE LETTER BY REMINDING THEM OF THE ORIGINS OF THE GOSPEL.
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  1. This gospel is the message concerning “The Word of Life” – of which John is a first-hand witness.  
  2. The “Word of Life” constitutes the basis of the fellowship in which John wants His readers to continue.
FIRST The Word of Life is described as “that which was from the beginning”. In this letter it means the Word of Life incarnate in Christ.  This has extra meaning around Christmas Time.
SECOND. The Word of Life is described in “that which is heard.” This is an actual hearing of the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Wow to have actually heard the words from Jesus’ mouth with our own ears. First-hand – first-ear!
THIRD “The Word of Life” is described as “that which we have seen with our eyes”. This reinforces the claim that the one who wrote the letter is an eyewitness – that which has been seen.
FOURTH “The Word of Life” is described as that which “which we have looked at”. This is an unambiguously stating of a physical seeing with the human eye. John is claiming he is one of those who has seen The Word of Life/the Son; an actual physical seeing with the human eye.
FIFTH “The Word of Life” is described as something which the hands of the witnesses have touched. Actual touching of hands. John is claiming that his proclamation of the Word of Life/Jesus Christ rests on his experience of not only seeing and hearing but also having touched with his own hands, the Word of Life.
John proclaims the Word of Life which He has heard, seen and touched. We’ll see that John proclaims a message that has been embodied in a person- the person of Jesus Christ.
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The Look of Putting On the New Self.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE AT SNAIL-PACE. Ephesians 4:25-32 NIV and Ephesians 4:25-42  CEV

A summary from Richard Coekin’s commentary.

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We are saved for a new life of learning holiness, looking more and more like Jesus.  

What does a lifestyle not conformed to the world and culture, but conformed to the real Jesus (who opened our cell doors) look like in real life?

NO MORE FALSEHOOD

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  1. Get rid of the old self/old nature with its lies, gossip and exaggerations.
  2. Put on the new self of honesty remembering Christians all belong to Jesus body, His church.

 

NO MORE ANGER 

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  1. Put off the old self that indulges in self-important indignation.
  2. Put on the new self of a) discerning when it’s right to be angry, b) setting a time- limit for grievances – and so not to give Satan a foothold.

NO MORE STEALING

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  1. Get rid of the godless life-style,the old self that loves stealing, overcharging clients falsely claiming expenses, etc
  2. Put on the new self of hard honest work, avoid excessive spending on self, able to give to the vulnerable.

NO MORE UNWHOLESOME TALK

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  1. Put off the old self : unwholesome talk, vulgar jokes, damaging gossip, spiteful criticism.
  2. Put on the new self : – helpful and encouraging communication that build up.

“Unwholesome” literally means “rotten”.

NO MORE GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT.

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  1. Let’s put on the new self who finds out what pleases God and pursues it.
  2. And have Him give us the attitudes of Jesus.

NO MORE MALICE

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  1. Put off the old self by getting rid of raging tempers, yelling, seething anger, drunken brawling – every form of slander.
  2. Put on the new self/ new nature of  speaking kindly of one another without flattery, genuine compassion and mercifully forgiving as Christ forgave us.
  3. Go straight to God with our revenge – vindication, judgment and justice belong to Him.

WILL WE – IN OUR CHURCH, IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS, IN OUR FAMILIES –  CONVENIENTLY, CONSISTENTLY AND ULTIMATELY FATALLY,  BLEND WITH THE WORLD AND OUR CULTURE?

Or will we put off the old self, put on the new self, be conformed to Jesus Christ and imitate God by walking in love.

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The Old Self and the New Self

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE AT SNAIL-PACE.  Ephesians 4:20-24 NIV and Ephesians 4:20-24 CEV

A summary from Richard Coekin’s commentary.

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  1. Those who have been born again have an old self and a new self.
  2. Those without Christ have only the old self and a dysfunctional conscience.

Ephesians 4-19 impurityCHRISTIANS KNOW THEY  ARE STILL VERY MUCH A WORK IN PROGRESS.

  • Even though Christians are being transformed by the Holy Spirit, the old nature/old self (corrupted by deceitful desires)  remains in us till we see Jesus
  • Oh does that old nature/old self put up a fight!

 

THE REALITIES – immorality is not harmless fun.

  • Enlightened liberty is not an exciting tonic to spice up our marriages or our single lives – it’s tragically destructive.
  • Greed corrodes the soul until it’s utterly selfish.

BEFORE WE CAME TO CHRIST WE WERE ENSLAVED TO SIN.

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  • Christ paid the awful ransom price with his own precious blood to open the door of our cells, set us free and keep us free.

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  • One day when Christ returns, the cell door will be permanently closed.
  • In the meantime……… when we’re tempted to please the old self with it’s deceitful desires….let’s be super quick to come out of the dark cell into the light.

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WHAT WERE WE TAUGHT AND NOT TAUGHT WHEN WE CAME TO KNOW JESUS?...Ephesians 4:20-24

Put off the old self and  put on the new self.

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Off with the old grubby character – on with the beautiful and holy character of Christ.

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RIGHT NOW, LET’S PONDER, MARVEL, REVEL, WORSHIP, TAKE OFF AND PUT ON.

 

  • On that cross Jesus swapped places with us to suffer our hell – so we can be clothed with  Jesus’ righteousness and have access to God our Father.
  • Now we are to become in practice what we already are in status in Jesus.

Now that we are clothed in Jesus’ holiness, let’s take off our old sinful nature and wear the holy character of Christ – rejoicing to please our God!

 

 

Contemporary or Compromised?

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE AT SNAIL-PACE.  Ephesians 4:17-18 NIV and Ephesians 4:17-18 CEV
A summary from Richard Coekin’s commentary.
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Some Christians imitate the world around them to remain camouflaged and safe from criticism or hurt,
COULD IT BE THAT WE ARE CULTURALLY CONTEMPORARY? Or could it be that we’ve compromised?
  • Are we perhaps nervous of appearing “judgmental” in our times of undiscerning tolerance?

MAYBE WE ARE UNHAPPILY SINGLE OR UNHAPPILY MARRIED.

  • We may give in to bitter self-pity and indulge in sexual immorality because we’ve accepted the lies we’re all entitled to sexual pleasure, stunted without it, free to seek it without censure.

Paul challenges us, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to no longer live live like spiritual chameleons.

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NO MORE WORLDLY THINKING!

  • We are to stop thinking like the world around us.
  • As believers united in the risen Christ we must no longer live in the futility and emptiness of godless thinking.

A FEW EXAMPLES OF EMPTY THINKING

  • “The deceased atheist uncle is happily smiling down upon us and lives ever in our hearts.”
  • “Whichever God exists, He will weigh up my good points, find they outweigh my bad points and welcome me into heaven.”

WHY DO PEOPLE CHERISH SUCH PLATITUDES WITH CONFIDENCE?

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  • Futile and empty ideas come from darkened understanding.
  • They are spiritually blind and just can’t see and won’t see the truth of Jesus in history and in the Bible.

The scientifically brilliant man is a spiritually blind man. 

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WHY ARE PEOPLE WITHOUT CHRIST BLIND, IGNORANT OF GOD AND ALIENATED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD?

  • They have no relational knowledge of God, because of the hardness and stubbornness  of their hearts.
  • They obstinately refuse to change their minds about God.

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  • Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show and convict us where we as Christ-followers compromise and play the chameleon with the culture.

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  • Let’s be very intentional in praying for our unbelieving family and friends who are ignorant and cut off from the life of God because they refuse to come to God.  So shocking.

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