Who is the Christ Child to you? sermon by Pastor Don Moore

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Who is the Christ Child to You? by Pastor Don Moore

I pray you enjoy this sermon and answer the question, Who is the Christ Child to you?   What is in [brackets] is what the congregation says.  Have a blessed Saturday!

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Who is the Christ Child To You?

It’s all good. Let me see your Bibles. Anybody got a Bible here today?  Did you come to church and bring a Bible?  Lift it up, make the devil mad.  Come on, say it with me –  This is [this is] the Word of God [the Word of God] it’s in my hand [it’s in my hand] in my heart [in my heart] in my mouth [in my mouth],  I love [I love] the Word of God [the Word of God]…  Come on say, I love [I love] the Word of God [the Word of God] Now say it like Barry White – I love [I love] the Word of God [the Word of God]. Now say it like Twiggy –  I love [I love] the Word [the Word].  Some of you all don’t remember her, huh.  That was a long time ago.  Long time ago.

I want to open our study in the book of, the book of Mark.  And I want to ask you a question today, just a very simple question.  Who is the Christ Child to you?  Who is He to you?  Have you figured it out?  Let’s go to the book of Mark, I’m going to go to the fifth or sixth chapter, somewhere in there.  Well who is He to you?  It was interesting that earlier today someone was speaking and they were trying to figure out who someone was to them.  It started out you know, trying to figure it out.  Who are you to me and are you my sister?  My brother?  Are you a friend?  What are you and who are you?  Go to Mark, Chapter 6.  The sixth chapter of the book of Mark…

I want you to see that you have to answer the question who the Lord is to you.  You have to answer it definitively and with assurety that you know who He is to you.  It’s like going to a family reunion and you walk into the room and you see all of these people – some have your hair tone, your eye color, some are your height and look like you.  But as you go to a family reunion, you do walk up to people and you say, “Now who are you to me?”  [laughter]  Come on now, anybody ever been there?  Who are you to me?  What is our relationship?  Are you my third uncle’s cousin’s kid?  Are you the illegitimate one from Georgia  [laughter]  that everybody talks about but nobody confesses that we know you?  Who are you?  Are you my brother’s uncle’s cousin’s kids or my daddy was a rolling stone, are you one of the pebbles he dropped along the way?  [laughter]  What is it?  Who are you to me?  What is your relationship?

And you go up to one of the old guys or one of the old gals and say, “Excuse me Ma’am, but who are you to me?”  And she looks at you and she says, “Hold on sonny, what’s your name?”  And then she asks you the question, “Who’s your daddy?”  [yeah]  “Who’s your daddy?”  Do you know who your daddy is?

Have you figured out who the Christ Child is to you?  What is His status in your life?  Does He have a name for you?  Is He important?  What is the relationship?  Because it’s the answer to that question that will determine whether or not miracles will work in your life.  It’s the answer to that question that will determine whether or not healing is available for you.  The answer to that question will determine what your life will amount to.  The Bible says that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  [amen, alright now]  And to those who believe that He is, He will manifest to those who diligently seek Him and believe He is a rewarder of those who have that.

You’ve got to be going after God to get God to manifest.  [amen]  But if He’s a tree, [laughter]  He ain’t showin’ up.  If He’s a car, He ain’t showin’ up.  If He’s a baseball score, He ain’t showin’ up.  And guess what, Colby Bryant can’t help you. [laughter]  Colby can’t help you.  Nice jump shot but he can’t help you.  Let me call, the Bronx, James, what’s his new nickname?  The King?  The King?  The King.  His decree will not save you… Won’t happen.

And so we have to be careful about promising that God’s going to do miracles for people who have no faith and don’t believe in Him.  Can you prove it preacher?  You all know I can, don’t you?  [laughter]  God is good, Chapter 6, Chapter 6 in the Book of Mark… “Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him.  And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue.  And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things?  And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!””

In other words, they heard about the things that Jesus could do… but they hadn’t figured out that this thing is based on relationship.  They hadn’t figured out who He is to them.  And so, they began to be offended and ask offending questions.  “”Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?  And are not His sisters here with us?”  So they were offended at Him.””

Have you ever noticed how, with unbelievers, you can say anything.  You can say, “God.”  You can say, “The Higher Power.”  You can say, “The Supernatural One.”  You can say, “The tree.”  You can say any of that stuff, but the minute you say, “Jesus,”  the whole atmosphere changes. [yes sir]  I mean, have you noticed?  Just wave your hand if you’ve noticed that that is the name that people will get offended at quickly.  You can go to an ecumenical thingamajigabobba and shake hands with all the great people.  But the minute you say Jesus, the room divides.  It’s like the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, you know what I mean?  [laughter]  You start talking about Jesus at the Mall, they all start doing the Moon Walk.  [laughter]  Away from you.

You know.  I was playing basketball the other day, and this young man used the name of Jesus improperly.  And I just very quietly, I try not to be too obnoxious about it, but I said, “Yeah, He died for your soul.”  [laughter]  You know, in a polite way, but I noticed that the atmosphere changed.  We are talking about a name that is so impactful in our culture that we have to realize that that Name is a Name of power.  And we must speak it with respect and honor because it is the Name that above that, no other name, no other name, no other  name in Heaven or earth, can do what that Name can do.   [amen]  And at that Name, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that that Name, Jesus…  I don’t care how you say it, Yehashua, Youshua, Meshua, Heshua…[laughter]  But people figure out right away you’re talking about Him.

Isn’t it great to think that one of the convincing things to let you know as a believer that you are right….  is the response of the people that are wrong.  [amen]  You need to think about what I just said.  That’s one of the ways that you know you’re right.

So, let’s go a little bit further here.  Are you with me or again’ me?  [with]  Well, alright, then.  Verse 4.  “But Jesus said to them,…”  Look at this. “…A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.“….

Now, let’s break that down and make it simple.  You ain’t about to get no honor, no respect, in your own country among your own relatives, and in your own house.  [hallelujah]  Forget about it.  Oh believing wife who is waiting for your husband, forget about it.  That’s a Jesus thing.  Only Jesus can change that man.  [that’s right]… Jesus said, leave him alone.  Let Him work with him.  I was trying to beat my wife to the Lord, [laughter], I mean, I wasn’t laying a hand on her, but I was, you know.  I was playing tapes, [laughter]  leaving books around, [laughter]  I was putting pamphlets and fliers.  I was even so bold that you know, in those days, how many ever heard of cassettes?  You all know about cassettes?  I would put the cassette in her tape recorder, in her car, on the right verse she needed to hear. [laughter]  She’d get in the car in the morning, vroom…, “And the Lord said…” [laughter]  just screaming right at her, you know.  I’m telling you, you know.  And you just, Lord have mercy, aren’t we obnoxious sometimes?  [laughter]

There’s nothing worse than a Christian on a crusade trying to, trying to beat the people in his house down.  [amen]  You know why?  We totally forget, what do we forget?  We forget that we were just like them, we were just on the other side of the fence not too long before that.  [amen]  And so, you know what the Lord told me?  “Leave her alone.”…   And I was, “But Jesus, You need my help.”  [laughter]  Leave her alone!  umnh umnh umnh.  Leave her alone.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go to the, do you know, do you realize that if you have family reunions, they already are waiting for you?  They know you are coming.  [oh yeah]  Here come Mr. Holy.  [laughter]  Here comes Sister Righteous.  [laughter]  And you know, they practice all their lines for you.  I believe, you know what I think?  I think that before the reunion they email each other to say, when she gets here [laughter]  you know, we’re going to say… They figure out what they’re going to say.  How they’re going to treat you.  What they’re going to do.

You know, now we have the opposite problem in my family.  We had a praying Grandma.  Both my Grandmothers were praying saints.  And both my grandfathers were praying people.  So we are now in the third or fourth generation of free black people in America.  And everybody, this is very strange to say this, but everybody in our generations are saved in our family.  [Praise God!]   So don’t tell me this prayer thing doesn’t work.  Everybody, all of my cousins, all of my nephews, all of them, we, the heathens have a hard time being in our family.  Cause we don’t have to talk about Jesus.  They just walk in the room and they go,… [laughter]  Oh, Lord.

So you need to realize that prayer is, that prayer is the key that will do it, but expecting to be honored, forget about it.  Expecting that they’re going to go, “You know, you got to the Lord before me, that means that, you know, you’re what?”  No it doesn’t.  It just means that Jesus moved that way first.  You lucked out.  I said, “You lucked out.”  [amen]  I said, “You lucked out.”  [amen, glory]  It was just the grace of God that brought you in, but guess what?  Bringing you in first doesn’t mean you’re going to run the race the longest.  Bringing you in first doesn’t mean you’re going to stand the greatest.  Bringing you in first doesn’t mean that you’re going to do anything that He tells you to do, because obedience does not come by the opportunity of time.  Obedience comes by wisdom, what you learn.  And then you obey.  Somebody say, “Amen.”  [amen]

So Jesus realizes that He’s not going to be honored in the town, but that’s not what bothers Him.  Listen to me.  That’s not what bothers the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.  Let’s read the next part and we’ll figure it out here.  Verse 5, let’s read it together.  Come on.  “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.”  Let’s read it again.  “Now He…”  Who’s the He here?  [Jesus] Jesus – “Now Jesus could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.” …

Well, what are they saying?  He could do no mighty work there.  In other words, He laid His hand on somebody that had the common cold, and they were healed.  He laid His hands on somebody that had a headache.  It couldn’t have been a severe migraine, or thing running through, you know, series and series of years in their lives, but they might have just had a little, you know, a headache, a little minor headache.  And He laid His hands on them.  A few minor things.  You know, somebody might have had a little, a little soreness in their elbow, and He laid hands on that and they were good to go.  But He could do no mighty works there.  In other words, He couldn’t open blind eyes there.  He couldn’t unstop deaf ears.  He couldn’t get the crippled up.  He couldn’t get someone who had a death sentence on them, and do anything about it.  He couldn’t help anybody that had leprosy.  He couldn’t help anybody that was demon possessed.  He couldn’t help anybody that was what?  Off in the corner, by themselves, lost in the darkness of mental illness.  He couldn’t bring them out.  All He could do was help somebody that had some minor kind of thing going on…

And we have to ask ourselves, whose fault was that?  Well, who is the Christ Child to you?  [alright now]  Who is He to you?  Because that’s going to determine what He can do in your world.  Let’s look at the next verse.  Look what it says in verse 6.  “And He marveled…”  Let’s read it together so you get it now.  “And He marveled because of their unbelief….” He what?  [marveled]  “…marveled because of their unbelief.”  And then it says, “…Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”  Well, what does it mean, in a circuit teaching?

Here’s what, Jesus realized something.  He said, “Wait a minute.”  He might have done like I do sometimes.  Sometimes, you know, when I pray for people and they don’t get better, sometimes I question the anointing on my life.  Can I just be honest?  I say, “Lord, was it something I said?  Or something I did this week?  Or, you know, it’s what?  What’s wrong here, Lord?  Was it something that I didn’t teach them properly?  Was it something that I didn’t get down from in their brain down into their heart for them to understand so that they could receive their healing?  What, Lord, was it me?”  And I throw myself on the altar of self examination.  And I begin to peel back the thoughts in my mind.  Where did I let my mind go?  Maybe I strayed too much in my thinking and didn’t have command.  Lord, what was it?  Maybe, maybe I just didn’t have enough compassion for them.  Maybe I just didn’t just love them enough this week and maybe they should show up next week, or the week before.  Maybe, maybe it’s me.  Maybe there’s something wrong with me…   And then I marvel.  Maybe it was them…

And I thought to myself, here’s Jesus, who’s He to you?  I know who He is to me.  As the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, He marvels.  Well what does it mean when somebody marvels?  It means that he does the same thing I did.  He stepped back and said, “What in the world just happened here?”  Jesus said, “What in the world just happened?”  But, unlike me, the minute He asks the question, He’s got the answer.  Aren’t you glad Jesus already has the answer?  [yes]  I’d be looking for it for a week, but He’s got it instantly.

But Jesus knows the answer, because the Divine Spirit of God rests and resides upon Him because His anointing has no limit on it, and so, therefore, Jesus knows what the problem is.  And He goes immediately to do something about the problem.  What did He say was His problem? … [unbelief] …say it like you’re not ashamed to be wrong.  [unbelief]  He says what?  He says, “The problem here is unbelief.” … Unbelief…. Unbelief in what?  You’d have to say, the question isn’t in what.  The question is, in Whom.  I’m going somewhere today.  I want you to come with me.

Our problem isn’t in believing in what.  Our problem is believing in whom.  Can you say, “whom.”  [whom]  Now say it like I’m saying it.  “Whooooom”  [Whooooom]  The question is, Whom.  He said He marveled at their unbelief.  Not their unbelief at what He could do because a few scriptures before it says they wondered about the marvelous, wonderful things He had done.  What Jesus had done was not in question.  They knew that He had done what the people said He had done.  Their question was, they were offended at who He is. [right]  And the question was, Whom…   Whom.

Let’s go through it again because I can see, I can see you know, confusion trying to get in here. And we’re not going to permit that.  Look at verse 5 again…  Oh hold it, let’s go to verse 2 1/2.  2 1/2 “..And what wisdom is this which is given to Him…”  They didn’t question that He had wisdom did they? [no]  There’s no question that He had the wisdom, and they say this is given to Him, “…that such mighty works are performed by His hands!”  They didn’t question that He’s done these mighty works, but what are they offended at?  They’re offended at the fact that they know His momma. They’re offended at the fact that they know His brothers and sisters.  In other words, watch this now.  They treat Him as a common thing…  They treat Him as a common thing.

All the religions of the world have one thing in common concerning Jesus Christ.  Do you know what they have in common?  They all say He’s a great teacher.  [yeah]  But they don’t believe what He taught.  [right]  They say He was a great prophet, but they don’t believe what He prophesied.  They say He was a great man.  But they don’t believe in His ultimate character.  That what He said was true.  That it had some veracity, that it had some meaning that when He says, “I am the light of the World,”  Lord have mercy. “I am the light of the world.”  When He said, “I am the Son of God.”  When He says, “When you look at me you’ll see, you’ll see me coming in power and might.”  Coming from where?  “From where I am from.”  He says, “I came from above and I’m going back to above.”

Well at some point, Jesus realized the problem was not that they couldn’t believe that He could do what He could do.  The problem was they did not believe that He was who He says He was.  Who’s the Christmas Child to you today?  Maybe we can step up in your mindset who He is, so that the Whom can be answered at a more true level that would line up, not with what you know He can do, but would line up with whom He is.  Whom He is.

I used to like it when my kids were little and Mom would come to visit.  My mother and father would load up the car and they’d drive from New York City up here.  And my kids would get excited.  And if you’d ask them, “Well why are you getting excited?”  They’d say, “Grandma and Grandpa are coming.  Yeah, Grandma and Grandpa are coming.  Yeah, Grandma’s comin’.  I’m excited about that, Grandma’s comin’.”  Well, why?  Because Grandma to them significantly meant the best fried chicken in the world was coming to our house. [laughter]  They realized that there was no, no separation between who Grandma was, and what Grandma did.  If Grandma showed up, everything that she is, everything that she could do, was going to be busting loose at our house.  Because why?  That’s who she was.  And when she showed up, all of her capability, all of her grace and power, all of her wonderful fried chicken was going to be in the house.  [laughter, yeah]  …

When you show up, who’s showing up?…  When you go to visit, who are they expecting?  When you stride through the door, do they go, “Uh, oh, trouble’s here?”  [thank you Lord]  Or, “Old stingy showed up.”  [laughter]  Or somebody in the kitchen bows their head and goes, “Oh, what’s she want?”  [laughter]  Hallelujah.  Hallelujah.

Jesus is disappointed because He is showing up, and the people are offended at who He is.  Huh.  Verse 5.  “…He could do no mighty work there….”  Verse 6 “…He marveled because of their unbelief.”  … I thank God that our God tells us what the solution to the problem is.  Anybody wanna see it?  [yes]  Do you want to see the solution to the problem?  [yes]

One beautiful thing about Jesus is when He comes, He will not leave you the same.  Even if you reject Him, He will not leave you the same.  [amen, Thank you Jesus]  Even if you don’t know who He is, He will not leave you the same.  But He will do something about the problem.  And so, in order that He will not have to run into this problem again, the end of verse 6 tells us, what the solution to the problem is.  “…He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”

In a circuit, teaching.  What’s it mean, in a circuit?  It means that He’s going around in a circle, doesn’t it?  Doesn’t it mean that He’s going to go to a place, and then go past that place, and then to another place, and another place, and then come back to the place that He just left?  Come on somebody.  Can we see that?  Does anybody see that?  He’s going around in a circuit.  So He’s not just going to go to Kingston, and if they reject Him, and there’s no signs, wonders, and miracles, He never comes back to Kingston.  It says that He’s going in a circuit, teaching.  In other words, He is going to permeate, listen to me, He’s going to permeate the area with His Word.  [amen, whooo]  Lord have mercy! [amen]  That He’s just going to go around and permeate His Word, His Word is going to be expressed in the area around the Galilee, and He’s coming back again… He’s coming back again.

In other words, my brother and my sister, Happy Holidays and all of that good stuff.  But the holiday is meaningless unless you answer the question:  Who is He to you?  Who is He to you?  And if we be honest, He’ll come back in a circuit and teach us.  [amen]  He won’t leave us in our ignorance and our pride.  How many of you know that?  I’m so glad He came back to me, and taught me the next time around.  [amen]  I’m so glad that when I missed Him, when I misunderstood Him, when I rejected His love and I didn’t know how deep His love ran, I’m so glad, He came back around again in a circuit teaching.  That the things that I didn’t understand back then, He was so kind to me.  So merciful to me that He says, “Oh I remember you.  You didn’t get this last time.  But let me tell it to you another way.  Let me demonstrate it to you another way.”  And He didn’t give up on me.

When I wasn’t the best husband in the world, He gave me another chance.  He says, “No, that’s not how you speak to the queen of your life.  That’s not how you, that’s not how you minister to her.  You’ve got to cover her in the Word.”  He says, “Wash her in the Word of God.”  And then I began to realize that there is no way that the washer who is washing something, or someone, there is no way that he stays dirty.  [yes, amen, hallelujah]… That if you will get into the water to wash someone else, there is no way that you stay unclean, even the dirt under your fingernails will come out.  [yeah]  … Lord have mercy!  And the suds of Jesus, the suds of Jesus, will just roll over you, if you will get in the Water of the Word.  The Word of God is the Water.  Have you visited lately?

Who is Christ to you?  He says, “I am the Living Water.”  It won’t help you if you’re not drinking it.  It won’t help you if you’re not washing somebody in it.  What does He mean to you?  Who is He to you?  Is Jesus Christ just a nice suggestion, or is He Santa Claus, who is He to you?

But to me He’s the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  His Word is to be obeyed the instant that it is spoken.  He’s Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  All of that and more!  And He’s coming around in a circuit to teach us again, and again, and again until we figure it out.  If He’s just a teacher, He’s not enough.  If He’s just a prophet, it’s not enough.  We have to receive Him as who He is:  The Son of God.  The Word of God.  The Ever Clean, Ever Worshipful, Ever Sanctified, All Powerful, Undefeated, Mighty in Battle, Gracious in Love and Kindness, His name is Yeshua, because He comes to save the people.  That’s who He is!  And He’s worthy to be praised.  That’s who He is.  [applause]

About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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