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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Merritt » James Merritt - The Way In: The Right Time

James Merritt - The Way In: The Right Time

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    James Merritt - The Way In, The Right Time
TOPICS: A Way In a Manger, Christmas

Years ago, when all of our sons were at home, we established a Christmas time tradition. We'd go down to Atlanta, we'd have a very nice candlelight dinner at the Varsity. And then we would go to the Alliance Theatre and we would see Charles Dickens famous play, "A Christmas Carol". Now very few plays are worth seeing year after year after year, but frankly, we loved it. "Christmas Carol", never got tiresome to us, we look forward to it every year. Charles Dickens wrote this play in 1843. It was published on the 19th of December. And by the Christmas eve that same week, the edition totally sold out.

By the end of 1844, 13 editions had been released. It became so popular that at 1849, Dickens began a public reading of the story that sold out and became so popular that he actually gave 127 performances until 1870, which was the year that he died. It is so popular. It's one of those few books, believe it or not, has never gone out of print since 1843. As you know it's been the subject of films, movies, cartoons and operas. It's been translated into numerous languages. And you have to ask the question, what is it about this story that's so magnetic? Well, what is it about the story that we just never get tired of seeing and watching? What is it that resonates not just with Christmas, but with life? What is it about this play that just seems to speak so much to life, to the human spirit, no matter where you are, no matter how old you are or how young you are?

A lot of people believe is because, if you know the story, and I'm sure you do, it was built around three spirits, the spirit of Christmas past, the spirit of Christmas present, and the spirit of Christmas future. And if you think about it, that's what life is all about. It's all about our past. It's all about our present. It's all about our future. For those of you who are watching us right now, online, by television, you're at our Mill Creek Campus, you're here in this room. Our life is all about past, present, future. We're shaped by the past. We live in the present. We face the future. And I don't believe it's coincidental that when Dickens wrote the story he wanted to do with those three aspects of life.

Number one, I don't know if you know or not, Dickens was a believer, he was a very strong Christian, he loved the Lord. And I believe when he wrote this, he realized that Christmas is not just an event that happened in the past. It's an experience that we live in the present, we're doing it right now. And it's also an expectation that we have for the future. So today, we're beginning a series that I thought kind of was a cute title. We're calling it A Way In A Manger. Not away in a manger, a way in a manger. Because what you're gonna learn over the next three weeks, is Jesus really is not a way but the way. The way in, the way out, the way up. He's the way into grace. He's the way out of guilt. And he's the way up to God. It's amazing what way there is in a manger.

And look, let's be honest, we all deal with our past and our present and our future. None of us have a perfect past. And there are times if we're honest, we all hear sometimes maybe late at night, those skeletons in the closet rattle around the regrets, the failures, the things we all wish we could do over, the things we wish we could forget. We wish we could do that marriage over that didn't make it. We wish we were a better father, a better mother, a better son, a better daughter. There are the things we didn't do we wish we had done, the things we did we wish we had not done. We all deal with the past. We will have troubles in the present.

One thing I know is true of everybody in this room. Everybody in this room has a problem. And if you don't think you have a problem, that is your biggest problem. We all have problems. And we get up every morning, and we deal with distress and disabilities and depression and discouragement. And then the older you get, the more the future looms large. The more you think about the future, we got trips to the chiropractor, the doctor, the hospital. We struggled to recall memories, familiar names. And then there's that realization that we all come to some time in life that we're all mortal. That one day, the present is going to come to an end, and we all are going to cross over into the future.

So you begin to wonder, when will it happen? How will it happen? What happens after it happens? And maybe that's why we love Christmas so much. Because if the Christmas story is true, if it's not just a story, but it's history, that means that Christmas is about a God who is a healer of our past. It's about a God who is our help in the present. It's about a God who is our hope for the future. And if you wanna know how God does that, you have to look at a manger. And when you really understand what happened at that first Christmas. When that little baby was born in that manger, in that stable, who was born, why he came, what he did, then all of a sudden, it hit you like a ton of bricks, you know what? I don't have to fight the past anymore. I can face anything in the present. I don't have to fear the future.

So here's what I wanna talk to you today especially. I wanna talk to those of you here today. And I don't know what your situation is, but you need God to show up. And you need to God to show up now. You need God to show up today. You may even need God to show up here. But the problem is, you need Him to show up yesterday, and the day before and the day before, and in your mind, He didn't do it. And we all come to that point in life we all do when we start wondering, is God asleep? Has He taken a leave of absence? I mean, I need God to do something, I need God to do something now. And here's the good news.

There's a book in the Bible called Galatians. It's a letter that Paul wrote to a church in Galatia. And in the fourth chapter of the book of Galatians, Paul takes us all the way back not just to the Christmas story, but actually what happened before the Christmas story. And he tells us three things we should always know that is true about God that oughta give you two things today, number one, peace in whatever situation you're facing right now. And patience and knowing God will show up. What are those three things? You'll be encouraged.

Number one, God is waiting for the best time. If you're getting impatient with God, if you're about to quit on God, if you're about to close the book on God, if you're sitting there saying, you know what? I hear all these great things, God loves me, God cares about me. I've been praying, I've been begging, I've been pleading, I get silence, I get no action, I get nothing. I get none, I get zero. I need God to show up. I want you to remember, God is waiting for the best time.

Let me show you how this works out. Normally, when you celebrate someone's birthday, you do it on the date of their birth. How do you know that? You know the month, you know the date, you know the year that someone was born. That's how we celebrate birthdays. The interesting thing, the thing that's always fascinated me about Jesus is the birthday that the world celebrates more than any other birthday, we don't know what month he was born in. We don't know what day he was born in. We don't know the exact year he was born in. And even though we don't know the exact date of that day, here's what we do know. It was the exact perfect day.

Jesus was not born prematurely. I've never told you this now, you're looking at a preemie, I was a preemie. I was born two months early. I weighed four pounds when I was born. I lost almost down to two pounds. They took me from my mother's womb, put in an incubator for 22 days. My mom didn't get to hold me for three weeks. And the doctor kept telling my mom and dad, "He may not make it". My two aunts when they saw me they burst out into tears. They told my dad, "You will never take that boy home". Well, surprise, surprise, okay, I'm here. But I was premature. Jesus was not premature. He wasn't born too late. He wasn't born too early. He wasn't born past his due date.

I have had people ask me this almost every Christmas, "Hey pastor, when was Jesus born"? And what they're looking for, can you give me the day? Can you give me the week? Can you give me the month? Can you give me the year? Now, here's what I always tell them. I know exactly when Jesus was born, you ready? He was born at the right time. And he was born right on time. And here's why. I told you this before and will tell you this again. Do you know why wear watches? 'Cause we're concerned about time. I want you to listen to me. You know why God doesn't wear a watch? He don't care about time. Time means nothing to God. Timing means everything to God. With God, it's not about time, it is about timing.

See, at Christmas, we tend to focus on who was born, why was he born, what he did after he was born. But there's another question we all ask, and I think it's a great question. Why was Jesus born when He was born? Why was He born on that day, that month, that year? Why did He come centuries earlier before the Roman Empire arrived and complicated everything? Why didn't God wait around? Let's just think about this, why didn't God wait around till this year for Jesus? Can you think just imagine social media, the internet, television, radio. I mean, God, did you forget Instagram? But can you imagine the publicity that Jesus would have had today? Why did He wait?

Well, Paul answers that question with a little statement that you might miss if you're not paying attention. It's like, I call it a speed bump. In the Bible, when you read the Bible, there are speed bumps. And there are certain verses where it's almost like God is saying, "I want you to slow down. Don't blow through this. Don't speed read this. Think about what I just said". This is one of those speed bumps, it makes us slow down. And it makes us think. Paul doesn't talk much about the birth of Jesus, all the details, he leaves that to Matthew and Luke. But when he does talk about the birth of Jesus, what he says is incredible. And here's what he says about the birth of Jesus. "But when the set time had fully come, God sent his son".

What that Greek phrase literally says is with the fullness of time had come. Now in Greek, that phrase is rich with meaning. Here's what it describes. It describes something that is completely and fully developed like an apple that is totally ripe. It describes of a pregnant woman who's ready to deliver her baby. It is an appointed time because I read through the Bible, maybe I just started last week, I finished up early. So I started all over again last week, and I'm reading through the Bible. And I find myself at times I'll read the Old Testament, I'll say to myself, "Why wasn't Jesus born during the time of Moses? Why wasn't He born during the time of David? Why wasn't He born during the time of Isaiah or Jeremiah or Ezekiel"?

As a matter of fact, after the last book in the Old Testament was written, God never spoke another word for 400 years. And He breaks the silence by sending His son, but why then? Just like you might be asking right now in your own life. Yeah, why is God waiting? I keep praying, I keep begging, I keep pleading, I'm on my knees, I'm walking the floor. I'm worrying myself to death, and God's not showing up. Why is God waiting? Listen to this. Paul is describing for us the exact moment in history when everything was in place. All the pieces were on the board. Everything was perfectly lined up. The stage was perfectly set for God to send His son. And He makes something very plain. He wasn't born a year early, He wasn't born a day late. He was born right on time, because according to Paul, this is amazing. There was a set time before God even created the universe.

God had the birth of Jesus planned down to the exact second on his clock and the exact day on his calendar. God had made a divine appointment and God's never late for his appointments, ever. Right on time. So think about this. For 1000s of years, the Jews had been waiting for a Messiah. They were looking for a Messiah, they were longing for a Messiah. The Gentiles had been waiting on a savior. And now a little over 2,000 years ago, on an exact day, in an exact month, in an exact year, in an exact place, God's alarm went off. Yep, the time is now, the wait is over. And you say, but Pastor, why does God do that? Why does God wait? It drives me nuts.

Listen to this. God never shows up at a good time. He doesn't show up on our time. He shows up at the best time, always. He shows up at the best time. Now, some of you know me fairly well, so you won't be surprised, those that know me know that what I'm about to tell you, you say that, don't surprise me. There are certain things in life I don't like to do. I don't like to wait on anything. I don't like to wait on anything for any reason. I don't like to wait in line at the grocery store. I don't like to wait in traffic. I don't like to wait to get into Sanford stadium to watch Georgia play. And I am sick and tired of waiting to win another national championship. I am sick of that. I am tired of that.

And as Dr. Seuss famously put it, "Waiting for the fish to bite, waiting for the wind to fly a kite, waiting around for Friday night, everybody's just waiting". This blew my mind. Did you know that collectively, we will spend 30 billion hours on this earth waiting in line somewhere? Did you know you're gonna spend six months of your life waiting in line for something. So much of our life is all about waiting. And here's the incredible thing. The only creature, the only creator I should say in the universe that doesn't have to wait is a God that chooses to wait. We have to wait. He doesn't have to wait, He chooses to wait. He's never in a hurry.

So if you're tired of waiting on the God who waits, keep in mind what God is doing while He's waiting. So what do you mean? Well, while God is waiting for the best time, God is watching for the right time. He's waiting for the best time because He's watching for the right time. Now listen to what he says in this verse. "But when the set time had fully come, the alarm goes off. It's time to move, it's time to act. God sent His Son". No, we don't know the exact day when Jesus was born. We do know this, it was God's day. It was the day that God had marked on his calendar. It was a set time, Jesus was not plan B, His pregnancy was no accident. There was no unplanned pregnancy.

Paul says, from the time that God hung the first planet in space, from the time that God lit up the sun and put the first breath in a human being, God had this day highlighted in his iPad. And there was a time that said birth of Jesus. And when you see the time and the world that Jesus was born into, then all of a sudden you say, now I get it. Now I know why Jesus was born, then because first of all, it was culturally right. It was culturally right. Jesus was born, let's think about this. He wasn't born into a country, you understand that, right? He wasn't born into a country. He was born into an empire. It was called the Roman Empire, which at that time was the most powerful empire in the world.

As a matter of fact, the Roman Empire had been built upon the foundation of another great empire, the Greek Empire. You may remember there was a man by the name of Alexander the Great, set out to conquer the entire world. And in 12 years, he pulled it off, he conquered the entire world. Well, at his side was a Greek philosopher named Aristotle. Aristotle became so influential that the entire world would become Greek in every way you could imagine. Culture, philosophy, buildings, architecture, literature, thought, and the most important thing, language. Greek became the universal language of the entire Roman Empire.

So you say, why is that such a big deal? Because when Jesus was born, you could go anywhere, anytime, anyplace, anywhere in the entire Roman Empire. You could talk to anybody about anything, and they could understand you. Because everybody spoke one language. It was called Greek. You could write anything you wanted to write, and anybody could read it. So when Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, when they wrote their gospels, they wrote it in Greek, why? Every other book of the New Testament was written in Greek, why? It was a common, ordinary, everyday language that everybody could speak. And everybody could understand.

That's why when you go to the book of Acts, and you read about this man named Paul, and he gets saved, he gives his life to Jesus. God calls him to the mission field. He goes all over what is now called modern day Europe. He traveled all over that part of the world planting churches, didn't ever have to take a translator with him. He could just go and speak. Because everybody spoke the same language. And any Christian could go anywhere in any direction as far as they wanted to. And they could preach the gospel in a language that everybody could understand. See, with God, timing is everything. It was culturally right.

Wait a minute, better than that. It was politically ideal. Let me tell you what was going on. The reason why the Roman Empire was so strong for so long is because the Empire was able to do something no other Empire was able to do on a long term basis. They had fostered an economic and political stability that was almost unprecedented for almost 200 years. From 27 B.C to one 180 A.D. There was a period that Roman historians called the Pax Romana. It means Roman peace. Here's what was going on. The Roman Empire was a peaceful Empire. The Romans worshiped a God called Janus. We get the month January from that name, Janus. Janus was the God of war. When the doors of the temple of Janus were open it meant there was war going on, they were fighting a war somewhere. When the doors of the temple of Janus were closed, it meant there was total peace.

Now this is what will blow your mind. 20 something years before Jesus was born, and about 150 years after Jesus died, for 200 years, those doors were closed. There was no war. Only happened twice in history when Jesus was born. So for 200 years, before Jesus was born, and after Jesus died, guess what? You cannot only go anywhere in the Roman Empire you wanted to and preach the gospel, people would understand you, write the gospel, people could read it. You could go in perfect safety. No war going on. Didn't have to worry about facing an enemy combatant. Didn't have to worry about swords and spears and all those kinds of things. It was totally, perfectly peaceful. But it's even better than that. Because the Empire didn't have to spend all their money on armies and on weapons and on fighting, guess what they did?

They took their money and they took their manpower, and they built an infrastructure of roads and highways that the world had never before seen. They developed a postal system, the finest postal system the earth had ever known. So back in that day after Jesus died, was resurrected. And God said to the church, go preach the gospel everywhere. Guess what you could do? You could go anywhere you wanted to go on roads that were paved, on roads that were safe. You could speak in the Greek language, and everybody could hear you and everybody could understand you. And it would all be in a politically perfect time. Beloved, God knows what He's doing. Culturally ideal, culturally right. Politically, I do have a list of this. He was spiritually ready. Think about the world Jesus was born into. The Jewish nation that Jesus was born into was not the Jewish nation of the Old Testament.

So what do you mean? Well, I'll give you a little history lesson. There was a king named Solomon, David's son. He died. When he died, civil war broke out. The northern kingdom fought the southern kingdom, and they split. The northern kingdom rebelled against God, they were taken off into captivity. The southern kingdom rebelled against God, they were taken off into captivity. They denied their faith, they denied their God. And they were dispersed throughout all these different countries, which guess what? Became known as the Roman Empire. So here's what God did. He not only broke the nation, he broke their hearts. They repented, they got right with God. They returned to the true God. They went back to the monotheistic roots. They began to preach and teach the God of the Old Testament.

And when they got into the Old Testament, and began to study the Bible again, guess what? They began to read about this Messiah. And they began to get hungry that we need a Messiah, we want a Messiah, we're hungry for a Messiah. So when Jesus came along, He came along to a people who were looking for one person, the Messiah. They were looking for one thing, a ruling King. The King that would set everything right and set everything straight. Because remember, when the church first got started, this is important for you understand. It was not a Gentile Christian movement, it was a Jewish Christian movement. All the early Christians were Jews.

So why was that such a big deal? Because when Paul got saved, Paul knew he could go to any city in the Roman Empire, and he knew he would find one thing. He found a synagogue. That synagogue could be full of Jews. Where did those Jews all come from? They had been dispersed, they had been scattered because they rebelled against God. So God scattered the Jews all over the Roman Empire. So Paul could walk into Athens or Rome or Jerusalem, or anywhere else in the Roman Empire. He could walk into a Jewish synagogue, and all he had to say was one word. And when he said one word, ears popped up and eyes got wide, and then people were hungry. And that word was in Hebrew... In English, Messiah. Paul could say, I have come to tell you Messiah has come. But he's not the Messiah that you think he is.

And he'd tell about this baby that was laid in a manger, that grew up to be a man who lived a perfect life, who was the Son of God, who died on a cross and came back from the grave, and the gospel literally exploded. So Jesus was born at an appointed time, at an appointed place. Let me tell you how good this was, within a generation after His death, He was worshiped in every foreign country in the Roman Empire for three centuries. After three centuries, listen to this, three centuries after Jesus was born, the Christian faith was adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire. Coincidence? Nope, providence. Because God is waiting for the best time. God is watching for the right time. And God's timing is always perfect.

Now, I could stop there, but I got another 15 minutes. So hang in there. Because it gets better. This is the best, I haven't got to the best part yet. What I want you to understand is this. So you're a little bit ticked off at God 'cause He's not showing up for you right now. He's waiting. He's doing this right now and you don't like it. Hang in there. He's waiting for the best time. He's watching for the right time. But why is He doing that? Because He's doing more than just waiting. He's doing more than just watching. Don't you get this idea that God's up there sitting down, taking it easy, watching ESPN, while you're down here sucking air, walking the floor, sweating bullets, can't sleep, and you're wondering where in the world are you? And God is saying, "I'm waiting for the best time".

And I'm watching for the right time because I'm working in my time. God never takes a break. Never goes to sleep. God never goes on furlough. God is always working. And listen, this is so important. Whenever God shows up, and He always does, don't forget this, He always shows up in His time, why His time, pastor? To do what's best for you. And to do what is right for you. So now we come to the big question. Why did Jesus come? Why was Jesus born? How is Christmas past so important and so necessary for your past and my past? You ready for this? You say pastor, I don't care what you say, I've got a need. And that need needs to be met now. God hasn't met that need, what do you have to say about that? Here's what I'll tell you. Your need, if it's a need, your need will be met. I promise you. And when He meets it, you're gonna say, now I get it, I understand.

You say, how can you be so sure? Here's how I know. Because that baby in a manger made it possible for God to meet the two greatest needs you and I have, and we didn't even know we had them. Can I share them with you? Here's need number one. But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, now watch this, to redeem those under the law. Who's He talking about, pastor? Who are those people under the law? He's talking about us. Whether you realize this or not, from the moment you came out of your mother's womb, you were born under two sets of laws.

You were born under physical laws. There are certain physical laws we're all born under. We're all constrained by. Space and time. You can only be in one place at one time. You can't be in two places at two times, we're all there. The law of gravity. Nobody breaks the law of gravity. You demonstrate it, if don't believe me, go jump off the Empire State Building, you won't break it, you'll demonstrate it. We're all under physical laws, but guess what? We're also born under spiritual laws. And God expects us to keep those walls but there's a problem. Nobody's ever stayed under the law. Nobody's ever perfectly obeyed the law. We've all broken God's law at one time or another, and what we call breaking the law, God called sin.

And what Paul is trying to tell us is this. Nobody ever has, nobody ever will, and nobody can ever have relationship with God by trying to keep the law, because no one has ever kept the law. And by the way, if you really think you're good enough to keep God's law and keep it good enough, so He will take you into heaven on your own, can I just give you one thought? We can't even keep our own laws. Let us just get honest, how many of you spent on the way to church today? Don't look at me like you're, how many of you spent on the way to church today? I did. I've told you, I get in my car, I don't care where I'm going, I check the speed limit, I set it for 10 miles over.

After, I get my car, I confess, get forgiveness, move on down the road. And if you've ever run a stop sign. I love these holy looks, like what are you talking about? You know what I'm talking about you bunch of criminals. How many of you ever run a red light? How many of you have ever made an illegal U-turn? You can't even keep traffic laws. How in the world do you think we're gonna keep God's law? I mean, it's one thing to break the government's law, it's another thing to break God's law. There's an old saying, if you do the crime, you pay the time.

Well, when you break the law, you commit a crime, what happens? You pay for it. It may be a fine, it may be a community service, it may be prison, but you have to pay for it. That's why we said about someone that gets out of prison, they paid their debt to society. Well guess what? Sin is debt to God. And from the time that we were born, we start piling up that sin debt every day, and we cannot pay that sin debt off. We can't bail ourselves out. The best lawyer in the world can't help us. We got a need. And there's only one thing that will meet that need.

And you know what that one is? Redemption. We need redemption. I need somebody to pay my fine. I need somebody to bail me out. That's why this baby was born. That word redeem, do you know what it means? To completely pay off a debt. That they became to redeem us. Listen, this is, if you're... you might even get excited. He didn't come just to bail us out. He came to pay off our sin debt. He didn't come to give you probation. He didn't come to put you on parole. God is always working to get us out of the bondage of sin. The one thing that God loves to do, He delights to do, he wants to do in every human being on this planet is to redeem them from there sin. Here's the great news of Christmas. We did the crime, He paid the fine. We did the crime, He paid the fine. And because of that, we can live in spiritual freedom.

Now I can stop right there and say amen, but it gets better than that. God's not finished, he's just getting started. Because the number one need that we all had first of all, we needed to be redeemed. Jesus, but here's the good news. He didn't just come pay off the fine, get us out of jail, set us free, put us out on our own and say, okay, good luck, hope life works out for you, see you later. Nope, at the right time, at the right place, God sent His Son to those of us who needed to be redeemed, but we needed one more thing to make it complete. Watch this, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Now, I got so pumped up at the first service, I'll try to control myself. If you'd been living 2,000 years ago, and you'd heard the Apostle Paul preach, and you heard Paul say something like this. That baby that was laid in that manger came 2,000 years ago. So you might be adopted to be a son of God, I wanna tell you, 2000 years ago, people would have gotten on the edge of their seat, their ears would have just gone. I mean, their ears would have perked up, their radar screen, the alarm bells would be going on. Excuse me. You tell me that God wants to adopt me to sonship? Do you know why it would have been of such a huge thing 2000 years ago? Because when we think about adopting someone, what do we think about adopting babies? People will only adopt babies. They adopt little children.

Matter of fact, in Jewish terminology, there was no term for adoption. And it was very right. Do you know what happened to little babies that weren't wanted in the Roman Empire? They weren't adopted ladies and gentlemen, they were abandoned. Children weren't adopted, they were left to die. Adoption was a Roman custom. So wait a minute, if they didn't adopt kids, who did they adopt you? Do you know who they adopted? Full grown adults. So why would you adopt a full grown adult? Here's what would happen. Adoption was mainly done by wealthy people. And the reason why they would adopt people is very simple. They'd have children, mom and dad would have children. This man would be very wealthy. But like a lot of kids, they get spoiled. They become brands. They think they're entitled to everything.

So a wealthy father would say I can't trust my son and my daughter. They will squander my estate. If I leave it to them, it'll be gone in 15 years, they'll be done. If they ever discover Amazon Prime, poof, it disappears. So do you know what a wealthy man would do? He would go out and he'd start hunting for an adult. That was an honor student. That was a graduate of an Ivy League school. That had a sterling reputation. He would go to that person and he would say, "I want to adopt you into my family. And if you prove yourself worthy, and it seems like you are, that's why I'm adopting you to begin with. I'm gonna put you above my own children".

And there would be a time he'd get all the family together and he would say to his own blood, flesh, kids, you are getting nothing. He is getting everything, do you know why? Because he is worthy. But this is what really got people's attention. And this is what will get you excited. It gets me excited. There's a difference between Roman adoption and God's adoption. Because when a wealthy man went to find somebody to adopt, he was looking for the best. He was looking for the cream of the crop. He was looking for that person that was a 10 out of 10. He was looking for that person that was all vanilla, all chocolate, all strawberries, all sweet, all sugar. He was looking for the creme de la creme. He said I want you. But when God adopted us, He didn't come looking for the good because there's nobody good.

And as a nine year old boy, when God adopted me, He didn't say, James, I'm adopting you because you're worthy. He said James, I'm adopting you because you're not. I'm not adopting you because you're a good boy. I'm adopting you as a matter fact, you're a bad boy. And God said, I am adopting you not because you're righteous, but because you're unrighteous. And God has adopted us. So here's the beautiful thing Paul says. Jesus didn't just come to forgive us, but to make us His brothers and His sisters. He didn't come just to get us out of jail.

He said, as we walked out of that jail called sin, He said, "Hey, I got some news for you". "Yes, sir, Lord, what is it"? "You're coming to my house"? "Really"? "Yeah, but it's better than that". "What is it"? "It's your house". "Excuse me"! "Yeah, see, you're my brother. My father owns it all. And what I own, you own and I own everything". I can't wait to get to heaven to hear that well read. Yeah, that's right. You mean me? Yeah, because of you, drum roll, here's what Paul said. "Because you are His Son, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the spirit who calls out, Abba, Father. You're no longer a slave, you're God's child. And since you're His child, God has made you also an heir".

Paul said, Hey, here's what happened. Because that little baby born in a manger, you get to call this Creator God, Daddy. Daddy, because that's what the word Abba means. And guess what? He says, you're no longer a slave to the law. You're a son of God and sons inherit everything. So that little baby in that manger came to say, "Hey, I didn't just come to set you free. I came to take you home. And I came to give you the keys to everything I have". Because when you give your life to Jesus, you get everything He owns. He owns it all.

So yeah, one day the moon that glows that will be my moon. And one day those stars that twinkle at night, one day those will be my stars. And one day that sun that shines, one day that sun will be my sun. And one day the world that we live in, this new world, this new heaven, this new earth, it's all going to be ours. And guess what? For you golfers, everybody will be a member of Augusta National, everybody. It's unbelievable. So here's my point. You need God to show up. I get it, I've been there. Be encouraged. He will show up. He always shows up. He's never failed to show up.

You say, but pastor He's waiting. I understand. But while He's waiting, He's watching. And while He's watching, He's working. He's waiting for the best time, watching for the right time, working at His time. So here's how it works and we're done. At the set time, God sent His Son. There was an exact time for Jesus to be born. There was an exact time that Jesus should die. There was an exact time He would be raised from the dead. There was an exact time when He ascended into heaven. There's an exact time when He is coming again and He is coming again. And there's an exact time for you to put your faith in that Jesus. And that time is now. Because it's always for you, and it's always for God, the best time, the right time, His time. And that time is now.
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