Son Down To Son Up | TBN

Son Down To Son Up

Watch Son Down To Son Up
December 20, 2020
27:29

Touching Lives is the international broadcast ministry of Dr. James Merritt.

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Son Down To Son Up

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  • male announcer: This program ispaid for by the friends and
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  • partners of "Touching Lives."
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  • Welcome to the internationalbroadcast ministry of "Touching
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  • Lives with Dr. James Merritt."
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  • Here at "Touching Lives," ourmission is to touch the lives of
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  • the lost and enrich the faith ofthe found.
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  • And now, here is pastor, author,and speaker Dr. James Merritt.
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • James Merritt: I love Christmas,as many people do, and-- but I,
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  • probably love it for differentreasons than many other people.
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  • And it's not because I likegiving gifts, which I do, and I
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  • like being with my family, whichI will be, but-- and it's not
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  • even because I'm a Christian.
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  • One of the reasons, frankly, Iguess, that-- why I love
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  • Christmas maybe more than mostpeople do is because of
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  • my vocation.
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  • I am a pastor.
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  • And see, there's one time of theyear you don't really have to
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  • make much of an effort to talkabout Jesus or point people to
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  • Jesus, because, frankly, theworld does it for us.
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  • I get amused because they don'twant to do it, they try not to
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  • do it, so they don't say "merryChristmas," they say "happy
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  • holidays" or something likethat, and most of the music that
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  • you hear and-- you know, it'skinda secular music.
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  • But whether the world wants toadmit it or not, Christmas is
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  • the celebration of the birth ofJesus.
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  • And as you think about this babythat was laid in a manger 2.000
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  • years ago, there's one thingthat we can all say about Jesus,
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  • and that is: of all the peoplewho've ever lived, no person has
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  • ever drawn more attention, moredevotion, more adoration, more
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  • criticism, more opposition thanthis man.
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  • Theologians have talked abouthim, philosophers have thought
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  • about him, historians havestudied him perhaps more than
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  • any other human being that'sever lived.
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  • But here's what blows my mind.
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  • It never ceases to amaze me thathere in America, we almost now--
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  • we take an entire month and wededicate it to celebrate the
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  • birthday of a son of a carpenterwho was born in a one-horse town
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  • that didn't even have astoplight, whose mother was a
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  • teenage girl, whose father wasnot even his biological dad, and
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  • today the birth of Jesus fallslike an axe, divides all of
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  • history into BC and AD.
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  • And yet, with all of that said,how many people in a couple of
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  • days will unwrap their Christmasgifts but will never unwrap the
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  • gift of Christmas?
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  • Hey, think about that-- it'skind of boggling to the mind.
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  • So that's why, if you're a guestof ours today, we've been in a
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  • little series that we've beencalling "A Way in a Manger."
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  • Not "away," one word-- twowords, "A Way in a Manger."
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  • And so, for those of you whohave not been here, let me just
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  • kind of catch you up.
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  • A couple of weeks ago, we talkedabout how that baby in that
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  • manger is God's direct lifelineinto our world.
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  • And then last week, we talkedabout how that baby in that
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  • manger is God's escape hatch outof the only three problems we
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  • all have, which is sin, sorrow,and death.
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  • Well, today, we're gonna talkabout how that baby in that
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  • manger is actually the onlyelevator that will take us all
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  • the way up to eternity with God.
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  • Now, reason I say that is I wantto put Christmas in a
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  • different perspective.
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  • I got to thinking about it.
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  • Have you ever thought about thefact that-- not
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  • just Christianity.
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  • But you look at every otherreligion and every other
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  • spiritual belief system in theworld that believes in heaven or
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  • hell-- has it ever occurred toyou that all of us always talk
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  • about heaven being up and hellbeing down?
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  • You find it all over the Bible.
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  • For example, the psalmist saidin Psalm 14:2: "The Lord looks
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  • down from heaven on allmankind."
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  • Jesus even said himself, "No onehas ascended into heaven except
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  • the one who descended fromheaven, the Son of Man."
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  • When Jesus left planet Earth,we're told he was "Taken up
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  • into heaven."
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  • In the book of Revelation, whenGod invites John to come and
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  • look at the future and seewhat's all-- you know, what is
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  • going to happen, what's gonnatake place.
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  • He says, "Come up here, and Iwill show you what must take
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  • place after this."
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  • And the reason I bring that upis this.
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  • It hit me-- now, what Christmasis really all about, it's all
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  • about a round trip, a round tripthat Jesus took down from heaven
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  • to earth and back up to heavenagain.
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  • And in the second chapter of aletter that Paul wrote called
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  • Philippians, Paul describes thatround trip, and he tells us how
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  • we can make, not the first halfof the round trip, but we could
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  • make the second half of theround trip, and how we can make
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  • our way up to God and spendeternity with him.
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  • So, if you brought a copyof God's Word, we're in
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  • Philippians chapter 2.
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  • If you have your littlediscipleship booklet,
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  • it's on page 44.
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  • What you're going to see todayis "The Way Up"-- and I love
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  • doing these cute little things,okay-- "The Way Up is Son Down
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  • to Son Up."
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  • If you wanna know the story ofChristmas, that's what it is.
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  • It is Son down, S-O-N, to Sonup.
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  • And there are three things thatPaul tells us we should do and
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  • we must do and we will do if andas we're making our way up to
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  • eternity, all right?
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  • Number one: we should conform tothe spirit of Jesus.
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  • We should conform to the spiritof Jesus.
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  • Now, let me tell you what Paulis doing-- going to get you
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  • prepared for this, okay?
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  • Paul is taking us back, waybefore Bethlehem, way before the
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  • wise men, way before the angels,way before the shepherd, way
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  • before the manger, way beforethat baby was even conceived.
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  • Paul takes us backstage behindthe curtains of eternity and he
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  • says, "Let me tell you aboutthis baby before he even
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  • came here.
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  • Let me tell you what he didbefore he ever came to
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  • planet Earth."
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  • So he starts out by saying this:he says, "In your relationships
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  • with one another, have the samemindset as Christ Jesus: Who,
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  • being in very nature God, didnot consider--" and just keep
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  • that word in your mind rightnow, "equality," I'll come back
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  • to that in a moment.
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  • "Did not consider equality withGod something to be used to his
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  • own advantage."
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  • Now here's what Paul is saying.
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  • You think about the fact whenyou were born-- you know, now
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  • the dirty secret's out, today'smy birthday, all right.
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  • So we all have one, right?
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  • Everybody's got a birthday.
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  • Here's what's true about all ofus: our birthday was also
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  • our beginning.
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  • I began to live as afull-fledged,
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  • finally-out-of-the-womb humanbeing on this day.
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  • This is my birthday, but it'salso my beginning.
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  • Every human being who has everbeen born, their birth was their
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  • beginning-- except one.
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  • That baby that was laid in thatmanger had no beginning.
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  • It was not his beginning, it washis birth.
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  • It was not his beginning,because before he was a baby in
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  • a manger, Paul says, he was aKing on a throne.
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  • He said he had equality withGod, and Paul says, instead, "He
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  • made himself nothing by takingthe very nature of a servant,
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  • being made in human likeness."
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  • That's why when you read theGospels-- you read it, and when
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  • you read it, you realize-- whenthose disciples spent three
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  • years with this man, that threeyears, they were just-- they
  • 00:07:53.488 --> 00:07:57.926
  • couldn't, they couldn't quiteget their hands around it.
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  • They couldn't quite get theirmind around it.
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  • Peter said to him, "I knowyou're the Messiah.
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  • I know you're the one we've beenlooking for."
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  • That's what he said on one sideof his mouth.
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  • But what he was thinking withthe other side, and what he was
  • 00:08:15.677 --> 00:08:17.979
  • really thinking about, was this:But you know what?
  • 00:08:18.013 --> 00:08:20.882
  • You're not what we thought youwere going to be.
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  • We've been looking for thisconquering, reigning king, but
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  • you've come as a dude just likeus.
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  • And they were expecting him, youknow, not to be born into a
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  • stable, laid in a manger, but tobe born into royalty.
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  • They said, you know, we didn'texpect you to be a servant, we
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  • thought you'd be surrounded byservants.
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  • We never thought you would be aservant.
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  • And yet what they finallyunderstood-- he came as a human
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  • being, entered earth as aninfant.
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  • The eternal became the earthly,the heavenly became human.
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  • God's Son came the Son of man,and Paul says, you need to
  • 00:08:53.715 --> 00:08:58.053
  • understand, before all of thathappened, he was co-equal
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  • with God.
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  • He was coexistent with God.
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  • He was co-eternal with God.
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  • But when he became one of us, hegave all of that up and he lived
  • 00:09:10.599 --> 00:09:14.803
  • just like you and me.
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  • He looked to his Father forguidance.
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  • He said, "I can't do what youwant me to do."
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  • He lived for his Father inobedience.
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  • He said, "Whatever you do-- askme to do, I'm going to do it."
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  • He loved his Father out ofreverence, and here's why I tell
  • 00:09:24.479 --> 00:09:27.248
  • you that story.
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  • The reason why Paul said this isthe way you need to treat each
  • 00:09:28.650 --> 00:09:31.353
  • other, this is the way you needto conduct your relationships,
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  • is this: when you read the storyof Jesus, you finally realize
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  • the entire life of Jesus is nota story about somebody climbing
  • 00:09:37.993 --> 00:09:42.263
  • up a ladder.
  • 00:09:42.297 --> 00:09:44.833
  • It's actually a story aboutsomebody climbing down a ladder.
  • 00:09:44.866 --> 00:09:50.005
  • Because before he came to planetEarth, he was at the top of the
  • 00:09:50.038 --> 00:09:54.542
  • organizational chart of theuniverse.
  • 00:09:54.576 --> 00:09:57.512
  • But on his own, he says, youknow what?
  • 00:09:57.545 --> 00:09:59.014
  • I'm going to leave the top andI'm gonna go to the bottom--as a
  • 00:09:59.047 --> 00:10:02.083
  • matter of fact, we're told heeven went lower than an angel.
  • 00:10:02.117 --> 00:10:05.353
  • He comes, the Son of God, notborn in a palace to a king or
  • 00:10:05.387 --> 00:10:08.923
  • queen, laid in a manger as thepeasant son of a
  • 00:10:08.957 --> 00:10:12.694
  • poverty-stricken couple, andfrom the time he was born until
  • 00:10:12.727 --> 00:10:16.097
  • the time that he died, he spenthis entire life doing two simple
  • 00:10:16.131 --> 00:10:19.868
  • things: obeying God, servingothers.
  • 00:10:19.901 --> 00:10:22.804
  • Obeying God, serving others.
  • 00:10:22.837 --> 00:10:24.506
  • Let me tell you something:that's why you're here.
  • 00:10:24.539 --> 00:10:26.941
  • That's the only two reasonsyou've been put on this earth.
  • 00:10:26.975 --> 00:10:29.110
  • Obey God, serve others, obeyGod, serve others.
  • 00:10:29.144 --> 00:10:33.014
  • See, we think-- a lot of usthink, no, no, I'm not-- that's
  • 00:10:33.048 --> 00:10:36.084
  • not why I'm here.
  • 00:10:36.117 --> 00:10:38.520
  • Man, I'm climbing a ladder.
  • 00:10:38.553 --> 00:10:40.822
  • I'm climbing a financial ladder,I'm climbing a social ladder,
  • 00:10:40.855 --> 00:10:44.993
  • I'm climbing a vocationalladder, I'm climbing a material
  • 00:10:45.026 --> 00:10:48.296
  • ladder, I'm climbing apsychological ladder.
  • 00:10:48.329 --> 00:10:50.832
  • I'm trying to get up-- I'mtrying to get as high as I can.
  • 00:10:50.865 --> 00:10:54.402
  • And Paul says wait a minute,time out.
  • 00:10:54.436 --> 00:10:55.870
  • You need to have the samemindset.
  • 00:10:55.904 --> 00:10:58.373
  • Your life should not be aboutclimbing up, it ought to be
  • 00:10:58.406 --> 00:11:00.875
  • about climbing down.
  • 00:11:00.909 --> 00:11:03.211
  • No, we're not God, but we can begracious.
  • 00:11:03.244 --> 00:11:07.282
  • We're not heavenly, but we canbe humble.
  • 00:11:07.315 --> 00:11:10.552
  • We're not servants, but--sovereigns, but we can
  • 00:11:10.585 --> 00:11:12.954
  • be servants.
  • 00:11:12.987 --> 00:11:14.989
  • And Paul said, so by the way, ifyou're spending all this energy,
  • 00:11:15.023 --> 00:11:17.525
  • all this time trying to get tothe top, trying to climb that
  • 00:11:17.559 --> 00:11:20.328
  • ladder, would you just keep onething in mind?
  • 00:11:20.361 --> 00:11:22.864
  • Think the way Jesus thought andthen live the way that
  • 00:11:22.897 --> 00:11:26.334
  • Jesus lived.
  • 00:11:26.367 --> 00:11:27.669
  • So see, all of this begs aquestion, okay: Who-- why did
  • 00:11:27.702 --> 00:11:31.406
  • Jesus, who is God, come downfrom heaven and become one
  • 00:11:31.439 --> 00:11:36.144
  • of us?
  • 00:11:36.177 --> 00:11:37.579
  • Why would the Son of God leavethe glory of heaven to come to
  • 00:11:37.612 --> 00:11:40.915
  • earth as the Son of man?
  • 00:11:40.949 --> 00:11:43.118
  • Why would he leave the throne asa king and come to earth as
  • 00:11:43.151 --> 00:11:48.223
  • a slave?
  • 00:11:48.256 --> 00:11:49.591
  • Why in the world would he leavea place where he was exalted and
  • 00:11:49.624 --> 00:11:56.064
  • come to a place where he wouldbe executed?
  • 00:11:56.097 --> 00:11:59.067
  • Why would he do that?
  • 00:11:59.100 --> 00:12:01.102
  • Well, here's what Paul says.
  • 00:12:01.136 --> 00:12:04.939
  • He says because of what he did,we must confirm the sacrifice
  • 00:12:04.973 --> 00:12:09.711
  • of Jesus.
  • 00:12:09.744 --> 00:12:11.079
  • Not just conform to the Spiritof Jesus, we must confirm the
  • 00:12:11.112 --> 00:12:14.015
  • sacrifice of Jesus.
  • 00:12:14.048 --> 00:12:15.350
  • Now, this is what Paul does--and I thank God that he did it.
  • 00:12:15.383 --> 00:12:17.919
  • He says, okay, why did the Sonof God become the Son of man?
  • 00:12:17.952 --> 00:12:21.189
  • Why did a heavenly being becomea human being?
  • 00:12:21.222 --> 00:12:23.424
  • Because think about this.
  • 00:12:23.458 --> 00:12:25.994
  • Every one of us in this room--not only are we going to die, we
  • 00:12:26.027 --> 00:12:31.199
  • don't have a choice.
  • 00:12:31.232 --> 00:12:34.035
  • You can hit the gym, you canlift the weights, you can jog
  • 00:12:34.068 --> 00:12:38.973
  • the miles, you can eat cardboardand drink air.
  • 00:12:39.007 --> 00:12:43.878
  • You're going to die.
  • 00:12:43.912 --> 00:12:45.680
  • You don't have a choice.
  • 00:12:45.713 --> 00:12:47.048
  • We all have to die.
  • 00:12:47.081 --> 00:12:49.284
  • Jesus Christ is the only humanbeing that was born who didn't
  • 00:12:49.317 --> 00:12:54.656
  • have to die.
  • 00:12:54.689 --> 00:12:56.191
  • As a matter of fact, he's theonly person who was ever born
  • 00:12:56.224 --> 00:13:00.562
  • who became a human so he coulddie.
  • 00:13:00.595 --> 00:13:03.731
  • So Paul says this: "And beingfound in appearance as a man, He
  • 00:13:03.765 --> 00:13:07.669
  • humbled himself by becomingobedient to death-- even the
  • 00:13:07.702 --> 00:13:11.372
  • death on the cross!"
  • 00:13:11.406 --> 00:13:12.707
  • Now, you know about thesacrifice Jesus made on the
  • 00:13:12.740 --> 00:13:15.076
  • cross, you've heard me say manytimes, you've heard other
  • 00:13:15.109 --> 00:13:17.345
  • pastors say it many times, okay,you get it.
  • 00:13:17.378 --> 00:13:18.880
  • I understand it, yep, I've heardit.
  • 00:13:18.913 --> 00:13:20.415
  • Jesus Christ, he sacrificed hislife, he died for my sins.
  • 00:13:20.448 --> 00:13:24.452
  • Have you ever thought about thefact, though, about all the
  • 00:13:24.485 --> 00:13:26.621
  • sacrifice he made long before hemade that sacrifice on
  • 00:13:26.654 --> 00:13:30.592
  • the cross?
  • 00:13:30.625 --> 00:13:31.926
  • You say, what do you mean?
  • 00:13:31.960 --> 00:13:33.294
  • Well, let me ask you a question,and let's just all be honest.
  • 00:13:33.328 --> 00:13:37.632
  • So you're the God of theuniverse.
  • 00:13:37.665 --> 00:13:40.668
  • You're the God that created allof this.
  • 00:13:40.702 --> 00:13:43.671
  • You're the God that angels bowdown to.
  • 00:13:43.705 --> 00:13:47.342
  • You're the God that can justspeak and a universe comes into
  • 00:13:47.375 --> 00:13:50.645
  • existence, you're that God.
  • 00:13:50.678 --> 00:13:54.983
  • Would you leave your throne inheaven, come to earth so you can
  • 00:13:55.016 --> 00:14:01.222
  • sleep on straw surrounded bystinky animals, feed from a
  • 00:14:01.256 --> 00:14:06.561
  • mother's breast just so youcould live, and even have the
  • 00:14:06.594 --> 00:14:10.999
  • indignity of having your diaperchanged?
  • 00:14:11.032 --> 00:14:14.802
  • Would you leave heaven and cometo earth, knowing that the vast
  • 00:14:14.836 --> 00:14:18.473
  • majority of people that you arecoming for will reject you, will
  • 00:14:18.506 --> 00:14:23.811
  • say no to you, would say, "Nothanks, I'm not interested,"
  • 00:14:23.845 --> 00:14:27.348
  • would say, "No, I think I'll goanother route," "I think I'll
  • 00:14:27.382 --> 00:14:29.918
  • choose another way"-- I mean, ifyou knew that the tongues that
  • 00:14:29.951 --> 00:14:33.855
  • you created would curse you andthe mouths that you created
  • 00:14:33.888 --> 00:14:37.358
  • would spit on you and the handsthat you created would crucify
  • 00:14:37.392 --> 00:14:40.895
  • you, would you still come?
  • 00:14:40.929 --> 00:14:44.565
  • But you look at what Jesus did.
  • 00:14:44.599 --> 00:14:47.235
  • He gives up a crown for a cross.
  • 00:14:47.268 --> 00:14:51.940
  • He gives up adoration forhumiliation.
  • 00:14:51.973 --> 00:14:55.677
  • He gives up sovereignty fromsuffering.
  • 00:14:55.710 --> 00:14:59.213
  • He goes from sitting on a throneto lying in a manger to hanging
  • 00:14:59.247 --> 00:15:04.852
  • on a tree.
  • 00:15:04.886 --> 00:15:06.454
  • He goes from being a King with acrown to a baby with diapers to
  • 00:15:06.487 --> 00:15:10.558
  • an accused criminal on a cross.
  • 00:15:10.591 --> 00:15:12.827
  • And you've got to ask thequestion: Why would he do that?
  • 00:15:12.860 --> 00:15:17.732
  • Why would he do that?
  • 00:15:17.765 --> 00:15:20.134
  • Oh, if you don't hear anythingelse, listen to the
  • 00:15:20.168 --> 00:15:22.537
  • next paragraph.
  • 00:15:22.570 --> 00:15:25.006
  • Here's why he did it: because tohim, your soul was more
  • 00:15:25.039 --> 00:15:34.315
  • important that his blood.
  • 00:15:34.349 --> 00:15:38.252
  • Your eternal life was moreimportant than his eternal life.
  • 00:15:38.286 --> 00:15:44.325
  • Your place in heaven was moreimportant than his place
  • 00:15:44.359 --> 00:15:47.996
  • in heaven.
  • 00:15:48.029 --> 00:15:49.497
  • He gave up his place so youcould have a place.
  • 00:15:49.530 --> 00:15:54.602
  • See, this was no ordinary manthat died on Calvary's cross
  • 00:15:54.635 --> 00:15:57.205
  • 2.000 years ago.
  • 00:15:57.238 --> 00:15:58.539
  • He wasn't just one of 30.000Jews that happened to get hung
  • 00:15:58.573 --> 00:16:01.909
  • on a piece of wood.
  • 00:16:01.943 --> 00:16:03.244
  • His crucifixion was unlike anyother crucifixion because he was
  • 00:16:03.277 --> 00:16:07.382
  • the Lamb of God who wassacrificed for our sins so we
  • 00:16:07.415 --> 00:16:11.152
  • could become a part of thefamily of God.
  • 00:16:11.185 --> 00:16:13.321
  • See, here's the point.
  • 00:16:13.354 --> 00:16:15.423
  • Christmas-- even though, youknow, even though it revolves
  • 00:16:15.456 --> 00:16:18.192
  • around the cradle, it's alsoabout the cross.
  • 00:16:18.226 --> 00:16:21.863
  • And the point I want you tounderstand-- this is what Paul
  • 00:16:21.896 --> 00:16:23.664
  • is saying.
  • 00:16:23.698 --> 00:16:24.999
  • You cannot separate the life--the birth of Jesus from the
  • 00:16:25.033 --> 00:16:28.236
  • death of Jesus.
  • 00:16:28.269 --> 00:16:29.604
  • Without the incarnation, thecrucifixion is meaningless and
  • 00:16:29.637 --> 00:16:32.273
  • the resurrection would havenever happened.
  • 00:16:32.306 --> 00:16:33.875
  • On the other hand, without theCrucifixion and the
  • 00:16:33.908 --> 00:16:36.010
  • Resurrection, the Incarnationwould have been meaningless and
  • 00:16:36.044 --> 00:16:38.813
  • there would still be no way up.
  • 00:16:38.846 --> 00:16:40.715
  • So God becomes a human being,not just to live with us, but to
  • 00:16:40.748 --> 00:16:44.786
  • die for us.
  • 00:16:44.819 --> 00:16:46.120
  • So the cradle without the crossis incomplete, and the cross
  • 00:16:46.154 --> 00:16:49.624
  • without the cradle isn'teffective.
  • 00:16:49.657 --> 00:16:51.692
  • Let me go back and show you howPaul began all this to begin
  • 00:16:51.726 --> 00:16:54.128
  • with, okay?
  • 00:16:54.162 --> 00:16:55.496
  • This is what Paul said, he said,"Do nothing out of selfish
  • 00:16:55.530 --> 00:16:57.932
  • ambition or vain conceit.
  • 00:16:57.965 --> 00:16:59.600
  • Rather, in humility value othersabove yourselves, not looking to
  • 00:16:59.634 --> 00:17:03.704
  • your own interests but each ofyou to the interests of others."
  • 00:17:03.738 --> 00:17:07.742
  • Here's what Paul was saying atthe cross, in the greatest
  • 00:17:07.775 --> 00:17:12.246
  • display of humility this worldwill ever see.
  • 00:17:12.280 --> 00:17:15.783
  • At the cross, Jesus was puttingyou and me above himself.
  • 00:17:15.817 --> 00:17:22.523
  • He was looking out not for hisown interest-- he was looking
  • 00:17:22.557 --> 00:17:25.326
  • out for us.
  • 00:17:25.359 --> 00:17:27.261
  • You know, the Son of Godcould've easily said to his
  • 00:17:27.295 --> 00:17:29.063
  • Father, "They don't deserve forme to go."
  • 00:17:29.097 --> 00:17:35.069
  • And the Father would have said,"You're right."
  • 00:17:35.103 --> 00:17:39.440
  • The Son of God could have said,"There's no law that says I have
  • 00:17:39.474 --> 00:17:42.443
  • to go."
  • 00:17:42.477 --> 00:17:43.978
  • And the Father would have said,"You're right."
  • 00:17:44.011 --> 00:17:47.415
  • And the Son of God could'vesaid, "And the vast majority of
  • 00:17:47.448 --> 00:17:50.084
  • the people I'm going for aregonna reject me anyway."
  • 00:17:50.118 --> 00:17:52.854
  • And the Father could've said,"You're right."
  • 00:17:52.887 --> 00:17:58.159
  • But the Son of God said, "Evenin spite of the fact they don't
  • 00:17:58.192 --> 00:18:03.030
  • deserve it, they're going toreject me, and even those who
  • 00:18:03.064 --> 00:18:10.004
  • accept me won't alwaysappreciate totally what I've
  • 00:18:10.037 --> 00:18:12.707
  • done for them, I'll go."
  • 00:18:12.740 --> 00:18:15.776
  • So no wonder Paul says we oughtto conform to the Spirit
  • 00:18:15.810 --> 00:18:18.913
  • of Jesus.
  • 00:18:18.946 --> 00:18:20.515
  • No wonder Paul says we ought toconfirm the sacrifice of Jesus.
  • 00:18:20.548 --> 00:18:26.821
  • Oh, by the way, how do you knowif you've really done that?
  • 00:18:26.854 --> 00:18:32.593
  • This is what-- I'm going to getreal practical right now, 'cause
  • 00:18:32.627 --> 00:18:35.263
  • talk's cheap.
  • 00:18:35.296 --> 00:18:36.898
  • How do you know that you'vereally conformed to the spirit
  • 00:18:36.931 --> 00:18:39.333
  • of Jesus?
  • 00:18:39.367 --> 00:18:41.102
  • How do you know that you'vereally confirmed the sacrifice
  • 00:18:41.135 --> 00:18:43.804
  • of Jesus?
  • 00:18:43.838 --> 00:18:45.173
  • Okay, you ready?
  • 00:18:45.206 --> 00:18:46.507
  • This is my favorite part of thewhole message.
  • 00:18:46.541 --> 00:18:47.875
  • If those things are true, thenwe will confess the sovereignty
  • 00:18:47.909 --> 00:18:52.079
  • of Jesus.
  • 00:18:52.113 --> 00:18:53.414
  • We will confess the sovereigntyof Jesus.
  • 00:18:53.447 --> 00:18:56.017
  • Now, remember, Christmas is around trip, right?
  • 00:18:56.050 --> 00:18:58.286
  • Jesus leaves the throne inheaven, comes to earth in a
  • 00:18:58.319 --> 00:19:01.489
  • cradle, gets crucified on across, comes back from the
  • 00:19:01.522 --> 00:19:04.525
  • grave, and goes back to heavento the throne-- Son down to
  • 00:19:04.559 --> 00:19:08.796
  • Son up.
  • 00:19:08.829 --> 00:19:10.665
  • Now what?
  • 00:19:10.698 --> 00:19:12.266
  • So Paul continues: "ThereforeGod exalted Him to the highest
  • 00:19:12.300 --> 00:19:17.738
  • place and gave Him the name thatis above every name."
  • 00:19:17.772 --> 00:19:25.246
  • And it's not just Jesus.
  • 00:19:25.279 --> 00:19:27.348
  • No, that's his earthly name.
  • 00:19:27.381 --> 00:19:28.716
  • Lord is his eternal name.
  • 00:19:28.749 --> 00:19:30.685
  • Jesus is a human name, Lord ishis heavenly name.
  • 00:19:30.718 --> 00:19:34.222
  • And the name that is above everyname is Lord.
  • 00:19:34.255 --> 00:19:37.024
  • And here's what Paul says:because he was who he was,
  • 00:19:37.058 --> 00:19:42.496
  • because he did what he did, Paulsays, here is how one day the
  • 00:19:42.530 --> 00:19:48.236
  • entire world is going to respondto him-- watch this: "That at
  • 00:19:48.269 --> 00:19:52.840
  • the name of Jesus every kneeshould bow, in heaven, on earth,
  • 00:19:52.873 --> 00:19:58.479
  • under the earth, every tongueacknowledge that Jesus Christ is
  • 00:19:58.512 --> 00:20:01.949
  • Lord, to the glory of God theFather."
  • 00:20:01.983 --> 00:20:04.819
  • I want you drawn up real close--listen to me, listen to me,
  • 00:20:04.852 --> 00:20:07.054
  • listen to me.
  • 00:20:07.088 --> 00:20:12.193
  • If you really want to get meirritated and frustrated and
  • 00:20:12.226 --> 00:20:18.633
  • aggravated, call Jesus "the manupstairs."
  • 00:20:18.666 --> 00:20:25.039
  • Read my lips: God is not just"the man upstairs."
  • 00:20:25.072 --> 00:20:31.545
  • And this is what really gets meabout this world.
  • 00:20:35.216 --> 00:20:39.854
  • You don't just tip your hat toJesus.
  • 00:20:39.887 --> 00:20:42.790
  • You just don't nod your head toJesus.
  • 00:20:42.823 --> 00:20:48.162
  • You don't just give Jesus athumbs-up.
  • 00:20:48.195 --> 00:20:51.565
  • You don't just give Jesus a fistbump.
  • 00:20:51.599 --> 00:20:55.903
  • You bow your knee to Jesus.
  • 00:20:55.936 --> 00:20:59.840
  • Listen--hold on just a minute.
  • 00:20:59.874 --> 00:21:03.644
  • I got a better one coming.
  • 00:21:03.678 --> 00:21:06.914
  • We all have a date with deity.
  • 00:21:06.947 --> 00:21:10.151
  • And it's not gonna be a blinddate.
  • 00:21:10.184 --> 00:21:13.688
  • And when you keep that date--trust me on this, when you keep
  • 00:21:13.721 --> 00:21:16.457
  • that date, you're gonna knowexactly who you're
  • 00:21:16.490 --> 00:21:19.994
  • standing before.
  • 00:21:20.027 --> 00:21:21.329
  • And oh, by the way, you won'tstand him up, you won't refuse
  • 00:21:21.362 --> 00:21:25.199
  • the invitation.
  • 00:21:25.232 --> 00:21:26.567
  • Every person who has ever drawna breath is going to meet the
  • 00:21:26.600 --> 00:21:29.937
  • Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 00:21:29.970 --> 00:21:31.305
  • He is inescapable, he isunavoidable, he is inevitable.
  • 00:21:31.339 --> 00:21:34.942
  • And Paul says when that meetingtakes place, every knee is going
  • 00:21:34.975 --> 00:21:40.314
  • to bow, so let me get realspecific.
  • 00:21:40.348 --> 00:21:44.485
  • Dalai Lama, the Buddhist, isgoing to bow.
  • 00:21:44.518 --> 00:21:50.157
  • The evolutionist Charles Darwinis going to bow.
  • 00:21:50.191 --> 00:21:54.161
  • And every tongue is going toconfess four words.
  • 00:21:54.195 --> 00:21:59.867
  • It will be said in unison.
  • 00:21:59.900 --> 00:22:01.569
  • It will be heard and echoing allover the universe, and for many
  • 00:22:01.602 --> 00:22:05.306
  • people it will be the last fourwords they will ever say: "Jesus
  • 00:22:05.339 --> 00:22:10.711
  • Christ is Lord."
  • 00:22:10.745 --> 00:22:13.214
  • And at that moment, the roundtrip of Christmas will have been
  • 00:22:13.247 --> 00:22:15.983
  • completed, and that baby who wascrying in that cradle, that man
  • 00:22:16.016 --> 00:22:20.354
  • that was dying on that cross,will be back where he was always
  • 00:22:20.388 --> 00:22:23.724
  • been in eternity and will--always will be the King of
  • 00:22:23.758 --> 00:22:26.694
  • kings, the Lord of lords,reigning on a throne.
  • 00:22:26.727 --> 00:22:31.932
  • Here's how I want to close themessage.
  • 00:22:31.966 --> 00:22:34.235
  • Draw up real close and listen tome.
  • 00:22:34.268 --> 00:22:38.372
  • Your life is only about onething.
  • 00:22:38.406 --> 00:22:40.508
  • It's not about 2, 3, 4, 5, or6-- your life is only about
  • 00:22:40.541 --> 00:22:43.277
  • one thing.
  • 00:22:43.310 --> 00:22:46.113
  • You have one mission in life,one, not two, not three,
  • 00:22:46.147 --> 00:22:50.384
  • or four.
  • 00:22:50.418 --> 00:22:51.719
  • You've got one mission in life.
  • 00:22:51.752 --> 00:22:55.022
  • And here's the mission, and bythe way, you have to choose to
  • 00:22:55.055 --> 00:22:58.726
  • accept it, whether you're TomCruise or not.
  • 00:22:58.759 --> 00:23:01.462
  • You have to accept it.
  • 00:23:01.495 --> 00:23:04.231
  • Your one mission, and the onething you better figure out, is
  • 00:23:04.265 --> 00:23:07.935
  • this: Who's in charge?
  • 00:23:07.968 --> 00:23:13.908
  • Who is in charge, who really isin charge?
  • 00:23:13.941 --> 00:23:17.077
  • Who is running the show?
  • 00:23:17.111 --> 00:23:23.117
  • So after I say this, if you wantto clap, then you can clap.
  • 00:23:23.150 --> 00:23:30.124
  • Washington is not in charge,Hollywood is not in charge, Wall
  • 00:23:30.157 --> 00:23:39.467
  • Street is not in charge, everyarmy, Air Force, Navy, Marine,
  • 00:23:39.500 --> 00:23:44.905
  • every nuclear bomb, every weaponin the world, and every military
  • 00:23:44.939 --> 00:23:47.942
  • put together is not in charge.
  • 00:23:47.975 --> 00:23:50.544
  • And let me just make sure youunderstand this: you're not in
  • 00:23:50.578 --> 00:23:53.280
  • charge, and I'm not in charge.
  • 00:23:53.314 --> 00:23:57.251
  • Jesus Christ, the Lord, he is incharge.
  • 00:23:57.284 --> 00:24:01.922
  • Now you can clap.
  • 00:24:01.956 --> 00:24:09.129
  • That's why we've titled thisseries "A Way in a Manger,"
  • 00:24:09.163 --> 00:24:12.967
  • because it's the only way.
  • 00:24:13.000 --> 00:24:16.270
  • And one day, the baby that waslaid in that manger will bless
  • 00:24:16.303 --> 00:24:21.308
  • all the dear children in histender care and take them to
  • 00:24:21.342 --> 00:24:26.881
  • heaven to live with him there.
  • 00:24:26.914 --> 00:24:30.584
  • male announcer: To watch anextended version of today's
  • 00:24:31.819 --> 00:24:33.687
  • message from Dr. James Merritt,go to touchinglives.org.
  • 00:24:33.721 --> 00:24:37.491
  • James Merritt: I don't thinkI've ever looked forward to
  • 00:24:41.595 --> 00:24:43.297
  • Christmas season or a new yearquite like I have this year.
  • 00:24:43.330 --> 00:24:47.401
  • To be very honest, I'm usuallyan upbeat guy, but I'm ready for
  • 00:24:47.434 --> 00:24:50.204
  • 2020 to move on.
  • 00:24:50.237 --> 00:24:51.539
  • It has been full of challenges,but it has also brought triumphs
  • 00:24:51.572 --> 00:24:54.508
  • in the form of so many newviewers to this broadcast from
  • 00:24:54.542 --> 00:24:57.177
  • literally around the world.
  • 00:24:57.211 --> 00:24:58.712
  • I've been overwhelmed by theencouraging emails, letters, and
  • 00:24:58.746 --> 00:25:01.448
  • calls that are coming to theministry in the midst of perhaps
  • 00:25:01.482 --> 00:25:04.084
  • the most difficult year for ourworld in my lifetime.
  • 00:25:04.118 --> 00:25:07.488
  • My prayer for you is for Christto be made real in your life
  • 00:25:07.521 --> 00:25:10.457
  • this Christmas like neverbefore.
  • 00:25:10.491 --> 00:25:12.693
  • Our world needs Jesus righthere, right now.
  • 00:25:12.726 --> 00:25:16.830
  • As we approach Christmas and thenew year, I'd like to ask you to
  • 00:25:16.864 --> 00:25:19.400
  • make a special year-end gift tothis ministry so we can meet the
  • 00:25:19.433 --> 00:25:23.170
  • needs of our growing audienceand continue producing
  • 00:25:23.203 --> 00:25:25.573
  • the broadcast.
  • 00:25:25.606 --> 00:25:26.907
  • Your financial support iscritical for this ministry.
  • 00:25:26.941 --> 00:25:29.443
  • I want to thank you in advancefor your prayers and your
  • 00:25:29.476 --> 00:25:32.179
  • financial generosity, andbelieve me, your partnership
  • 00:25:32.212 --> 00:25:35.349
  • means the world to me.
  • 00:25:35.382 --> 00:25:37.051
  • To support "Touching Lives" withyour gift, call our help center
  • 00:25:37.084 --> 00:25:40.120
  • at 1-800-413-1131
  • 00:25:40.154 --> 00:25:43.958
  • or go totouchinglives.org, that's
  • 00:25:43.991 --> 00:25:47.027
  • touchinglives.org, where you candonate safely and
  • 00:25:47.061 --> 00:25:50.631
  • securely online.
  • 00:25:50.664 --> 00:25:51.966
  • Thank you for watching "TouchingLives," and on behalf of the
  • 00:25:51.999 --> 00:25:55.002
  • entire staff at "TouchingLives," as always,
  • 00:25:55.035 --> 00:25:58.305
  • merry Christmas.
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  • James Merritt: Big question:Have you and your spouse been
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  • spending more time together thanyou thought possible these last
  • 00:26:07.381 --> 00:26:10.050
  • few months?
  • 00:26:10.084 --> 00:26:11.418
  • You have no doubt learned morethings about each other, both
  • 00:26:11.452 --> 00:26:13.621
  • good and bad.
  • 00:26:13.654 --> 00:26:15.155
  • Let's celebrate marriage, getaway for a time of renewal in
  • 00:26:15.189 --> 00:26:18.258
  • our relationships.
  • 00:26:18.292 --> 00:26:19.593
  • I want you to join me and mybeautiful wife, Teresa, as we
  • 00:26:19.627 --> 00:26:22.730
  • head to Gatlinburg, Tennesseenext spring to host the Reignite
  • 00:26:22.763 --> 00:26:26.200
  • Marriage Retreat.
  • 00:26:26.233 --> 00:26:27.568
  • We'll start on Thursday night,March the 25, and finish by noon
  • 00:26:27.601 --> 00:26:30.671
  • on Saturday, March the 27.
  • 00:26:30.704 --> 00:26:32.906
  • The entire weekend will takeplace at the Mills Auditorium in
  • 00:26:32.940 --> 00:26:36.410
  • the Gatlinburg ConventionCenter.
  • 00:26:36.443 --> 00:26:38.712
  • We'll spend time in the Word ofGod learning about marriage,
  • 00:26:38.746 --> 00:26:42.349
  • we'll laugh a lot as comedianTim Lovelace entertains us, and
  • 00:26:42.383 --> 00:26:46.020
  • we will leave refreshed andrenewed in our marriages.
  • 00:26:46.053 --> 00:26:49.456
  • The Reignite Marriage Retreatwill have very
  • 00:26:49.490 --> 00:26:51.592
  • limited availability.
  • 00:26:51.625 --> 00:26:53.260
  • You can visit touchinglives.orgfor all the details and to
  • 00:26:53.293 --> 00:26:57.064
  • purchase tickets.
  • 00:26:57.097 --> 00:26:58.499
  • Thanks for watching thebroadcast today.
  • 00:26:58.532 --> 00:27:00.534
  • I hope to see you in March inGatlinburg for the Reignite
  • 00:27:00.567 --> 00:27:04.271
  • Marriage Retreat.
  • 00:27:04.304 --> 00:27:05.639
  • ♪♪♪
  • 00:27:05.673 --> 00:27:14.948
  • male announcer: Touching thelives of the lost and enriching
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  • the faith of the found.
  • 00:27:18.852 --> 00:27:20.554
  • This is "Touching Lives with Dr.James Merritt."
  • 00:27:20.587 --> 00:27:23.757
  • This broadcast is made possibleby the grace of God and your
  • 00:27:23.791 --> 00:27:27.394
  • faithful prayers and gifts.
  • 00:27:27.428 --> 00:27:28.896