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WORD OF GRACE FELLOWSHIP
Long days and busy schedules can make life stressful at times. This message is to help you slow things down and reflect on what is truly important. Join us in discovering [THE POWER OF FAITH/THE WORD OF THE LORD] so that we may all reap the benefits of a spiritual life.
We are in the Christmas season when we focus on giving gifts and opening presents and how the cost goes up and what we can afford to give to others or why we cannot give to others. The focus we must have is not on what we cannot do but on what we can do. The first person we must give to is the Lord and we do that with Tithes, offerings and our praise. We must first give from our finances out of the top of paycheck. Giving to God is not on the leftovers but straight from the top. God wants our best! This is the season to remind us that God gave to us his best so we in turn should honor him with our best. To give gifts give gifts from the heart by making them this year. When we give from the top it sanctifies the rest, so give off the top and not find reasons you cannot give but find reasons to give!
For our regular NJ members our church has special gifts that we want to give them and encourage them to come to our church on Christmas Sunday on Dec 23, 2018 ( that was my Moms birthday she would have been 98!) We will not mail these gifts so we hope these special NJ members will come especially this Sunday!
There are a few changes we have made. 1) at the end of the year we are giving gifts to our members ( NJ- only)- We want to do this to honor our members for what they do for us and how they give to us. 2) The church is giving $10 monthly to Billy Graham ministry. We do not give to get but we give because of what we need. We need to become better in our evangelism so we give to trust that God will increase our evangelistic ministry. We want to evangelize and to do that we pray that by our giving to them God will bless us as we bless BGEA. 3) Maricel and I are deciding what Gifts we can give to the church at the beginning of the year so we can bless the church and in so doing bless God.
It is important that we find ways to bless others consistently. We bless GOD when we give and ask GOD to bless our church and life. The size of the church should not impact our giving but the giving should be impacted by our need. Give not because of what you have but because of what you need!
WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS!
The birth of Jesus is in the Bible in both Matthew and Luke and it is prophesied in the OT. However, we do not have a place in the NT where they celebrated the birth of Jesus. We do know that even then the family and friends of Jesus would celebrate his birthday just like we do today. However, there is no way we know the exact day. The exact day is not important but it is important we celebrate Jesus and that he came. HE may not have been born in December but we still celebrate the mass for Christ to honor his birth. IT is a special day for Him. On this day we cannot go to Heaven to give Jesus a gift so we give gifts to honor Him on this day! We do not do this to honor Santa but Jesus.
JESUS NOT SANTA
Jesus is the one we honor who came and said I am the way. Santa comes and says if you do good you will get but if you do bad you will get coal. Jesus says you are blessed because of what I have done so receive my work and I will bless you. SO which do you choose? Blessed because of the grace of Jesus and His work or do you listen to the world and their way of giving which says you get because of your doing?
PASTOR JOHN HOGAN- THE ANNOUNCEMENT TO MARY 12/20/99
This is the time that we focus on the birth of Jesus Christ. The focus on many is not the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem but on Mary. However, there is an understanding that goes along with Jesus being born to Mary that has great importance. In Lk1:21 Gabriel was sent to Mary who was engaged to Joseph v28-20. The saying of Gabriel made her wonder. v30 Remember that for it is an important phrase. This is said to all of us - Fear not for we have found favor with God v31-32. Understand when you fear not that means you have found favor with God.
He was called the Son of the Highest. The Highest means God! Why do we say the Highest since Highest would infer that he would have to be higher over other gods. He is called the Lord of Lords, King of Kings and God of Gods. You are the Lords Kings and Gods he is Lord king and God of! When it dawns on you the position that God has given you it will blow you away. You are a Lord and King of the Most High forever! You possess God and God possesses you! We possess God in us! God could not do it any other way! Traditional Christianity teaches that we belong to God but not that it is a 2 way street!
WORD OF GRACE FELLOWSHIP
PASTOR DON CARSON
193 HARDENBURG LN
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ 08816
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