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Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Master Plan

December 31

(1 Timothy 1:15 NIV)  "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst."

(Matthew 11:28 NIV) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

(Matthew 19:11 NIV)  "Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given."

(Acts 2:21 NIV)  "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

(Acts 4:12 NIV)  "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

On this last day of the year we will look at the “Master Plan”, also known as, “The Gospel for Dummies”. Step one: God calls us. Step two: We respond with yes or no. That’s it! God calls. We make a decision. Two simple steps -- it’s hard to mess that up. God didn’t come to earth and die on a cross for our sins so we could choose from “door 1, 2, or 3”. There is no “Plan B”. Jesus is the Plan. But if you insist on making it more complicated, here’s a three step plan that’s as simple as ABC. Admit you are a sinner who needs God. Believe in Christ as your Savior and Lord. Come to Him and Confess Him before others. Two simple steps!  As simple as ABC! All that is required is a yes or no answer. How complicated is that? And if you haven’t made a decision, then you’ve made a decision. Choose life! Choose Jesus! Have a Happy New Year! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Let’s Get Theological

December 30

(John 1:1-5 NIV)  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} He was with God in the beginning. {3} Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. {4} In him was life, and that life was the light of men. {5} The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

Now that the gifts have all been opened and the fridge is full of leftovers, maybe it’s time to sit down and ask, “What just happened anyway? What was this whirlwind holiday all about?” Many people never get around to doing this. We scramble through the run up to Christmas with all its hustle and bustle. We warm ourselves in the nostalgia, and in family and friends. But we seldom take time to meditate on the significance of the event itself. John takes the Nativity out of the realm of romantic narrative, and puts it into the world of theology. He opens his gospel with his own version of the Nativity, wrapped in poetic language. He says, “God and Jesus are eternal, and equal. Christ is the Creator and Sustainer. Jesus is the light of the world. And for the most part, man has chosen to walk in darkness.” These are the core truths of John’s Christmas story. Embrace them. Embrace the Light. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Reason for the Season

December 29

(Hebrews 1:3 NIV)  "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

(Hebrews 2:17-18 NIV)  "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. {18} Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."

(John 1:18 NIV)  "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known."

(John 14:9 NIV)  "Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"

(Philippians 2:5-7 NIV)  "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, {7} but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness."

(1 John 3:8 NIV)  "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work."

(John 10:10 NIV)  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Jesus Christ, whose birthday we celebrated this week, had a destiny. He came for a purpose. Jesus came to reveal God, who wants us to know Him. If you know Jesus, you know God. He came to model what humanity should look like. If you want to know God’s original intent for man, look to Jesus. He came to defeat the devil, and to give us hope for eternal life. He came to seek lost people, and to save sinners. What a great God we have -- a God who has been one of us. We too, were born with a purpose. Christ’s destiny is our destiny. We were born to be a people who reveal God, a people who model humanity, a people who overcome Satan in this world, a people who offer eternal life in a dying culture, and a people who seek and save the lost. This is our destiny Christians. Will you rise to the occasion and fulfill your destiny? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Saddest Verse in Scripture

December 28

(John 1:10-11 NIV)  "He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. {11} He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him."

(Isaiah 53:3 NIV)  "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

The saddest verse in scripture tells the story of how God came to us, but we did not recognize Him. The Lord and Creator of the universe lowered Himself to come to Earth in person, but we refused to receive Him. In our folly and sin, we turned Him away. Life and Light came to earth, but we chose darkness and death. Freedom was offered to us, but we chose bondage. We despised Him. We rejected Him. We crucified Him. We found Him unworthy. We did not regard Him as King. Jesus stood before us, His life in our hands, and the majority voted for Barabbas. One cannot reject Christ indefinitely without experiencing some sort of negative consequence. There is a price to pay for turning away from the great gift of God’s Son. We shrug at the manger and spit on the cross at great peril to our soul. The antidote for this insanity is found in a single word: Repent! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Welcome to the Real World, Baby

December 27

(Luke 2:7 NIV) "and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

(Matthew 2:16 NIV) "When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi."

(Matthew 8:20 NIV) ""Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.""

Put aside the traditional warm and fuzzy stereotypes of the Nativity that have been handed down to us through the generations. The world Christ was born into was a dangerous and evil place -- a place of death, violence, poverty, and indifference. When Jesus was born, He had no clothes, no bed, and no home. His parents were living out of a suitcase. Welcome to the real world baby! Herod felt threatened by the news of Christ’s birth, and to fix the problem, in a day that lives in infamy, he killed all the boys in Bethlehem under the age of two. Welcome to the real world baby! Things haven't changed all that much. In spite of our so called “evolutionary progress”, we still live in a world where people kill children with reckless abandon every day. We live in a world of terrorist bombings, school massacres, and abortion on demand. Lord, have mercy! Jesus, come quickly! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day