Sharing Jesus Part Three

God's Message on the Web - My earliest podcasts.

Let’s begin with a reading this morning. Please take a Bible and read with me.

John 6:31-40 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

To give a gift because the person is moved to give the gift with no sense of obligation is a precious, meaningful act. The more significant the gift is to the giver, the more the giver honors the receiver. May I call a truth to your attention: It is as important to know how to receive with appreciation as it is to give with honor. Those who have the hardest time learning this lesson are those who spend their lives giving.

Let me share an illustration.

Often there is a distinct contrast between a Christmas gift and an impromptu gift. In the Christmas gift there is an unspoken rule: You must have a gift to give the person who gives you a gift. So when the giver receives a gift, the immediate thought is, “What do I have to give him or her in return?”

In the Christmas gift, too often we give with the expectation of receiving. We try to anticipate how much the person who gives to us will spend. We commonly measure what we will spend on our anticipation of what the other person will spend. Often we have as much concern with what we spend as with the gift we give.

Then there is the use of the gift received. We will wear it, or hang it, or display it more out of concern that the giver knows we appreciate the gift than we actually take pride in the gift. In Christmas gifts, there are rules.

In contrast, the impromptu gift is unexpected. It is given strictly because the giver wishes to give. The receiver may feel a sense of embarrassment because he or she was surprised and had nothing to give in return. Yet, the receiver knows without question he or she was given the gift because the giver wished him or her to have it.

Thus, the receiver feels a sense of honor. The gift is cherished because of what it represents.

What God did for us in giving us Jesus literally is beyond human comprehension. God did not act out of obligation, but out of desire. In His gift is life that not even death can rob.

In this lesson, I will attempt to increase our understanding of the incredible thing God did for us in giving us Jesus.

  1. I think Genesis, the Bible’s first book, quickly introduces us to the problem.
    1. In chapter one, God creates and is pleased with all He creates, including people, both male and female.
      1. Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”
      2. I think most of us understand that if God is pleased and says something is good, it is truly good.
      3. We understand from Genesis 2 that for people there was no sense of shame, nothing to generate a sense of guilt, consequently no bad conscience, no enemies, consequently no fear, and no human need.
      4. Genesis 3:8 strongly suggests there was daily, personal communication between God and people–there was no need for people to be afraid of God.
    2. In Genesis 3, the sin of rebellion is injected into the relationship between God and people.
      1. There are two primary results.
      2. The first is that God’s creation is perverted and can no longer serve its intended purpose.
      3. The second is that God’s relationship with people is destroyed.
      4. By the time we reach Genesis 6, the God who was pleased with the goodness of creation is now grieved.
    3. Genesis 6:5-7, Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
      1. God, upon completion, looked at His creation and said it was good. Now he looks upon His creation with sadness, wishing he never made it.
      2. Why? He did so because of the actions of people.
        1. He made people good; now they are thoroughly evil.
        2. Because of their evil, they perverted all He made.
        3. Nothing served its original purpose.
        4. God’s creation became something He never intended it to be.
    4. God faced a dilemma.
      1. Would he destroy everything as a bad idea?
      2. Would he seek to redeem people and seek restoration of His purpose?
      3. Thankfully for us, God choose the route of redemption.
      4. In God’s choice there is the decision to restore humanity to a state of relationship with God.
        1. The ultimate goal is to have people return to being “good” as people were when God made them.
        2. That basically is what heaven will be–people again will be free from sin and in full, immediate relationship with God.
  2. The Bible is the winding road God travels in which God seeks to establish a means to call people back to Himself through a redemption that works by reaching out to all people.
    1. God sought to begin again with Noah and his family.
      1. It did not work!
      2. In less than one generation the problem of sin was pronounced.
      3. People just could not handle the problems of sin and temptation (and still cannot).
    2. The patient God waited until He revealed Himself to a man like Abraham.
      1. From the childless Abraham, God produced a family.
      2. From that imperfect family, God produced a nation.
      3. From the imperfect nation, God produced a Messiah (Christ).
      4. From that perfect Messiah (Christ), God produced a means for all people to be redeemed.
      5. To me, the incredible significance of Abraham is declared by God as He prepared to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah:
        Genesis 18:17-19, The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
    3. God’s intent to produce a blessing (the blessing of redemption) for all people is evident from the time of Abraham.
      1. To Abraham, God said:
        Genesis 12:3, “And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
        Genesis 22:18, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
        Genesis 26:4, “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
        Genesis 28:14, “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
        To Abraham’s descendants, God said:
        Isaiah 51:4, “Pay attention to Me, O My people, And give ear to Me, O My nation; For a law will go forth from Me, And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.”
        Isaiah 42:6, “I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations,”
        Isaiah 49:6  “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
      2. When Jesus was presented at the temple as an infant, Simeon read:
        Luke 2:27-32 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”
      3. When some of the Jews rejected Paul’s message about Jesus at Antioch of Pisidia, listen to what he said:
        Acts 13:46-48 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, That You may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’ ” When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
      4. When Paul offered his defense before King Agrippa, Paul said:
        Acts 26:22,23–“So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
      5. Paul wrote this to Galatian Christians:
        Galatians 3:16, “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘and to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘and to your seed,’ that is, Christ.
      6. God’s intention from at least the time of Abraham was to redeem people through the Messiah (Hebrew language) or the Christ (Greek language).

There are two things I would like for you to see and remember: (1) Our salvation began from God’s decision and God’s patience. Humanity, including you and I, were helpless. There is nothing we could or can do of ourselves to force God to save us. The origin of salvation rests in the fact the God is good, not that we are good. (2) God made an enormous investment in our salvation, and God’s investment began long before He sent His son to die for us.

The opportunity for salvation is God’s gift to us. We cannot earn it. All we can do is accept it with appreciation. Our obedience is never an attempt to earn our salvation. Obedience is our way to accept God’s gift with sincere appreciation.

The issue for us is not what God has done for us. The issue for us is this: Have we accepted the gift? Do we continue accepting it by showing our appreciation for God’s gift?

David Chadwell

Author: Greg

Welcome to Gods Message on the web. My name is Greg and I want to welcome you. I started doing these Podcasts, MP3, and Audio Books back in 2007. Stay awhile and make yourself at home. The Christian Podcasts here are free and for everyone to enjoy. I’m doing a complete series on David Chadwell who is a retired minister from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I’ve also done an Audio Book for Wayne Jacobsen’s the Naked Church. Plus a series of MP3s for Pastor Billy Crone and his The Final Countdown series.

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