Do you remember the excitement and hub-bub that was called Y2K as we moved from the 20th century into the 21st? So much build up, but so much let down and people were thinking, 'Is that all there is?'
It was to be a 'once in a life-time' happening, but it turned out to be 'no big deal'.
Every December 31, there is a big to-do about 'Out goes the old and in comes the new'.
Lots of excitement, but after it's over, there may be a feeling of.........
'Is that all there is to a New Year's celebration?
Likewise when Easter comes, there are lots of eggs, bunnies and new spring clothes,
but if Jesus is left out, it can end up being rather empty and the thinking may be......
'Is that all there is to Easter?'
Thanksgiving has turkeys and family get-togethers which are both good.
But if your Thanksgiving has no vertical dimension to it, then it too has missed the point.
Now we come to Christmas and a lot of good goes on...Salvation Army kettles and many other good ministries by churches and civic organizations and others, emphasizing the TRUE meaning which is:
GOD GAVE...AND WE NEED TO GIVE!
However as you know, many times, Santa gets more press and recognition than the Christ of Christmas.
La Moyne and I happened to tune in on DayStar TV for the funeral/memorial service for Adrian Rogers, long time pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn.
His was a beautiful life, as he lived to make Jesus known to others.
While in the hospital, seriously ill from cancer-induced pneumonia, he stated....
"This is a win-win for me!"
He was indicating his confidence that whether God chose to heal him or not,
he was in God's Hands!
Among his last words were, "I am at perfect peace."
His favorite Scripture was Romans 8:38-39: "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord."
When a person dies, we are prone to ask, 'Is that all there is?' Yet we have Jesus' own words in John 14:1-3: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid, you believe in God, believe also in me...for in my Father's house, there are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
Jesus lived, died and rose again to underline this promise to us. There is truly so much more after this life, but so many are missing 'Life at it's best' right now and are not prepared for the 'Life to come'....and Jesus is the answer to both!
I was at the bank before Thanksgiving and the cashier said, "Have a good turkey day" and I replied, "No, it's Thanksgiving!" as I pointed upward. He smiled and said, "Yes..."
In it all, we can get God 'out of focus' or at least make Him 'too small'.
Anne Graham Lotz (daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham) has written a new book, "Just Give Me Jesus". It takes us through the Gospel of John, written by the beloved apostle and is perhaps the most intimate account of our Lord. It would be worth it to read the Gospel of John before Christmas. All of us should determine that THIS Christmas and every day of 2006, our motto will be 'Just give me Jesus'!.
I have preached a number of times on 'what my last sermon would be'.
The title is "There is no disappointment in Jesus".
The Scripture is Romans 9:33-10:11.
We all have disappointments, but we must not CAMP there......
but look to Jesus and go forward.
Jesus is for EVERYone and EVERYthing, if we trust Him.
Some good thoughts as we celebrate CHRISTmas:
1) A little boy who was in the adjoining room from his Dad, was scared and asked,
"Is your face toward me?"
Our Father's (God) face has ALWAYS been toward us, working out His best for us.
That's what the cradle, the cross and crown are all about and Praise the Lord, Jesus is coming again!
2) This is similar to another child who was scared and his father said,
"Go to sleep, God is with you."
The little boy said, "I know...but what I need is someone with a face on him!"
This reminds me of Anne Lotz's first chapter in her book which is entitled,
"Jesus Made God Visible To Me".
3) A missionary's son who was away from his parents, looked longingly at their picture and said, "I wish my parents could step out of that picture."
This God did when in Christ, He stepped out of the framework of this universe and became 'man in Christ'.
John 1:14, 17 underlines this:
"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
"The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
Many years ago, there was a song by Peggy Lee, "Is That All There Is?'
Sadly, there may be many who feel this way.
'I remember when I was a little girl, our house caught on fire.
My father carried me out and I watched my whole world go up in flames.
and I said, "Is that all there is to a fire?"
Then when I was 12 yrs. old, my father took me to a circus, 'The Greatest Show on Earth'.
I saw the clowns, the elephants, the dancing bears and even the beautiful lady in pink tights, high in the air on the high wires. As I watched I had a feeling that something was still missing. I didn't know 'what', but when it was over I said, 'Is that all there is to a circus?'
Then I fell in love with the most wonderful boy in the world. We would take long walks down by the river...or just sit for hours, gazing into each other's eyes and then one day, he went away and I tho't I would died...but I didn't.
I said to myself, 'Is that all there is to love?'
I know what you're saying to yourself, 'If that's how she feels, why doesn't she just end it all?' Oh no....not me!
I'm not ready for that final disappointment, for I know when that final moment comes and I'm breathing my last
breath, I'll be saying, 'Is that all there is?' If that's all there is my friend, then let's keep dancing. Let's bring out the booze and have a ball."
For further study on the 'Much Mores of God', read Romans 6.
For further study on the 'No Mores of God', read Rev. 21 & 22.
As I've said before, 'There is NO disappointment in Jesus'!
Whatever (in life or in death)...your appointment is with Jesus,
Who is the same yesterday....today....and forever!
He will never leave you.....nor forsake you! (Heb.13:5 and 8).
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