Sermon December 30th
After Christmas Sale.
Tom’s Scripture reading.
Psalm 147:1, 13-18
It is good to sing psalms to our God.
It is pleasant to sing his praise beautifully.
13 He makes the bars across your gates strong.
He blesses the children within you.
14 He is the one who brings peace to your borders
and satisfies your hunger with the finest wheat.
15 He is the one who sends his promise throughout the earth.
His word travels with great speed.
16 He is the one who sends snow like wool
and scatters frost like ashes.
17 He is the one who throws his hailstones like breadcrumbs.
Who can withstand his chilling blast?
18 He sends out his word and melts his hailstones.
He makes wind blow and water flow.
If you’re glad that the Christmas rush is,over, say Amen!
Let’s go to the Lord in Prayer.
We gather here today to worship and praise you. Give us a restful calming peace because this past month has been hectic. Center our hearts and minds on you. Open our minds, our hearts and our ears as your word is given. As we take a somewhat light hearted look at your word, let us not forget that your word is given for all scripture which from the Spirit is written, is profitable for doctrine, and for rebuke, and for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect unto every good work, and completed. Let your message be heard today … no matter what words I say.
Wow! Whew! Christmas is over. All that last minute gift buying, the cooking, the cleaning, the guests, and the holiday traveling. The pushing and shoving in long lines. Crowded parking lots and short tempers behind the wheel.
I’m glad it’s over.
Now things will slow down again!
No more rampant consumerism.
No more pushing and shoving in the department stores.
(Switch to announcer voice)
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
After Christmas Sales!
Come on down.
You know that thing that you REALLY WANTED for Christmas …. But didn’t get? Now is your chance! Come buy it for yourself at 70% off or maybe more.
Rampant gift giving has given way to rampant greed.
The advertisements are everywhere.
Welcome; Today is my After Christmas Sale!
First is Our Doorbuster Special,. Free Salvation! That’s right absolutely free. No need to fill out long registration forms or register for our no-annual-fee Visa card. It is pre paid a gift absolutely free. Load up today.
(God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. )
So take all the gifts of salvation you can carry and pass them around. That’s right take lots of salvation and share it with friends, family, co-workers, even strangers that you meet..
(So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of
You remember The Famous Ten Commandments, the very ones inscribed in stone and given to Moses are undoubtedly the greatest guides for living a godly life that have ever been given?
I’m sure you know them by heart already but here they are spelled out for you from
“1. Never have any other god.
2. Never make your own carved idols or statues that represent any creature in the sky, on the earth, or in the water. Never worship them or serve them, because I, the LORD your God, am a God who does not tolerate rivals. I punish children for their parents’ sins to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me. But I show mercy to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my commandments.
3. “Never use the name of the LORD your God carelessly. The LORD will make sure that anyone who carelessly uses his name will be punished. 4.”Remember the day of worship by observing it as a holy day. You have six days to do all your work. The seventh day is the day of worship dedicated to the LORD your God. You, your sons, your daughters, your male and female slaves, your cattle, and the foreigners living in your city must never do any work on that day. In six days the LORD made heaven, earth, and the sea, along with everything in them. He didn’t work on the seventh day. That’s why the LORD blessed the day he stopped his work and set this day apart as holy.
5. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live for a long time in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
6. “Never murder.
7. “Never commit adultery.
8. “Never steal.
9. “Never lie when you testify about your neighbor.
10. “Never desire to take your neighbor’s household away from him. “Never desire to take your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that belongs to him.”
11. Behave yourselves and don’t make my give you a time out.
Okay, I just slipped the last one in to see if you were still paying attention.
Honestly, it is such a bother trying to remember all ten if them. Am I right? Well today is your lucky day because with today’s After Christmas sale, I’m offering to take 80% off the Ten Commandments.
You don’t have to remember all ten of the Commandments not even 8 of them. 50% off would be a great deal! Right? But today and today only this sale is so good that you don’t even have to recall even half of them. That’s right thanks to this limited time offer I give you only two – that’s right, you heard it right here, two commandant’s to follow.
Here they are from
Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.
So, do you now understand, don’t you, that these two do not replace the ten? They summarize them.
And because I’m still in the giving Spirit, all the messages of the prophets are thrown in free of charge. Aren’t you glad you came today?
And for following these two simple commands you will receive a reward fit for a child of the King. It is to become the child if the King
(Before Christ came, Moses’ laws served as our guardian. Christ came so that we could receive God’s approval by faith. But now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the control of a guardian. You are all God’s children by believing in Christ Jesus.)
(If we are his children, we are also God’s heirs. If we share in Christ’s suffering in order to share his glory, we are heirs together with him.)
As children of the King, you’ll need to dress the part. (Ecclesiastes 9:8)
Let your garments be always white; and let your head lack no ointment.
And upon that freshly conditioners hair, you’ll need a crown. As a matter of fact, because you are such a good looking group already, how about not just one crown, not two crowns or even three! That’s right, we have five crowns for you.
1. the permanent crown. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (Don’t you realize that everyone who runs in a race runs to win, but only one runner gets the prize? Run like them, so that you can win. Everyone who enters an athletic contest goes into strict training. They do it to win a temporary crown, but we do it to win one that will be permanent.)
2. the crown of rejoicing 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?)
3. the crown of righteousness 2 Timothy 4:8 (From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing.)
4. the crown of glory 1 Peter 5:2-4
(Be shepherds over the flock God has entrusted to you. Watch over it as God does: Don’t do this because you have to, but because you want to. Don’t do it out of greed, but out of a desire to serve. Don’t be rulers over the people entrusted to you, but be examples for the flock to follow. Then, when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.)
5. the crown of life James 1:12
(Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.)
To go with those crowns we also have a whole new wardrobe for you also.
11 Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. 12 This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. 13 For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days.[a] Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground.
14 So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. 15 Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. 16 In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Also take salvation as your helmet and God’s word as the sword that the Spirit supplies.
But wait a minute, that’s not all. How are you going to protect those priceless crowns? You need a protection plan.
What would you be willing to pay for the Greatest Protection Plan Ever?
For protection from theft you could pay in excess of $2800 dollars a year … and that is only for the second best protection.
$2800 would be s fair price But with our plan you won’t pay half of that per year.
And while theft protection like that with it’s 100% protection guaranteed would be an incredible deal in itself, but we also protect against insect infestation without the annoying monthly visits and toxic chemicals.
And just when you think this deal couldn’t get any better, we do something that no one else can offer, protection for your treasure against oxidation. That’s thought free rust proofing!
And here is the best part, place your order now and we will throw in the Greatest Product Protection Plan Ever … wait for it …absolutely free!
(“Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust don’t destroy and thieves don’t break in and steal.)
If we are going to wear those crowns and be joint heirs with Christ, we are to have the same mind with him. Philippians 2:5-8 (Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross.)
And be imitators of him.
1 Peter 2:211 Peter 2:21
(God called you to endure suffering because Christ suffered for you. He left you an example so that you could follow in his footsteps. )
(“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you.)
Colossians 3:13 Colossians 3:13
(Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.)
You have asked What Would Jesus Do? If you are looking for a place to start Doing What Jesus Would Do, here is what he did every time: See the need. Meet the needed. How simple is that?
(“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’)
In its simplest form: Matthew 7:12 states, (“Always do for other people everything you want them to do for you. That is the meaning of Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets.)
And special today I’m going to through in 39 books of history, wisdom, poetry and song, plus the greatest prophecies ever given. That’s right the entire Hebrew Scripture collection is yours at no cost to you.
And because you’ve been such a great group today and I’m feeling generous I’m going to include 26 books that chronicle the earthly ministry of the King of Kings, plus the words of life written be some of the greatest theologians of any age. You’ll read marvelous words of warning and encouragement to the earliest christians as well as learning about the price and prize of being Christ’s followers.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, I have one more book. This is one of the most studied and argued about books in the collection, The Revelation of John. It is a book filled with mind-blowing imagery of future events that you’ll have to read to believe.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Tom, I don’t have room on my bookshelf for an additional 66 books!” I hear you. That’s why we’ve bound all 66 books into one handy portable volume with the simple title of “Bible”. How convenient is that? And for those techno savvy amony you, the Bible is easily downloadable from many online sites … many of them free of cost. Imagine having this collection … thousands of years in the making … at your very own fingertips.I guarantee that whether you are reading these words for the very first time or your hundredth time, you will, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, find them fresh, and new insights will be found.
And don’t forget our Layaway plan.
2 Timothy 4:8
(The prize that shows I have God’s approval is now waiting for me. The Lord, who is a fair judge, will give me that prize on that day. He will give it not only to me but also to everyone who is eagerly waiting for him to come again.)
The Advent season has come and gone. Christmas-tide (the twelve days if Christmas) will end of January 5th. Then we will celebrate the arrival of the Magi on Epiphany, January 6. And before you know it Easter will arrive April 21st.
Perhaps you feel unable to take advantage of this after Christmas Sale because you have not made Jesus the Christ both savior of your soul and Lord of your life. I and the members of this church would like to visit with you about becoming a child of God and member of His kingdom.
Also, if you are interested in becoming a member of Cross Tracks Church we have good folks who can make that happen. Just come forward as we sing our hymn of invitation.
Now, What say we keep this After Christmas Sale going all year? Amen?
And, once again, let me remind you to take a big bag full of salvation and share it with everyone you meet!
“I’m sending you out into the darkness of the world to be the light of Christ.
With that, brothers and sisters, I will say make sure that you continue to improve your understand of the scriptures. Please accept my encouragement. Share that same encouragement and live in peace with the family of God.
The God of love and peace will be with you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen