The Journey with Ron Moore

Merry Christmas! Christ in you, the hope of glory.  That’s how Paul describes believers.  But sometimes you wonder about that.  Sometimes it seems your old nature has pushed God out of your life.

Ron Moore has some good news.  It comes in the form of four truths that evidence the presence of Christ in your spirit.

The invitation was so important that it had to be hand-delivered.  God was not content with a mass-mailing…this was personal.  So personal that even if one were lost, the Savior would find you and bring you home.

Today Ron Moore tells the story of that invitation, delivered by the pierced hands of the Christ of Christmas.

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The One who created the world with just a word entered that world through a humble birth, to humble parents, as a humble baby.  Was it a weakness in the face of his rebellious creatures that determined this meek arrival?  Or was it a power greater than creation?

That’s Ron Moore’s focus in this half-hour.  Listen and discover what it means for your life.

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You have a message to share, handed down by your sovereign.  But it isn’t popular, just as it wasn’t in the days of the King.  So, what do you do with it?

As Ron Moore is about to explain, you take your cues from the author of the message.

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Imagine you’re a king promising to share the table of your subjects.  But when you finally arrive their houses are dilapidated, dirty and desperately messy.

Ron Moore is coming to look at such a situation and the King of Heaven’s gracious response.

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It was a still, silent night when the light began to shine in one man’s darkened heart.  It was the night that gave him, and us, some of the most treasured words found in scripture.

In this broadcast, Ron Moore takes you to a secret place, there to ponder those words and in them, to discover a new dawn of true hope and change. Prepare to witness a brilliant light.

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The road from Heaven’s glory to Christ’s birth to Calvary’s Cross and on to victorious resurrection was paved in shame and heartache.

On today’s broadcast, Ron Moore leads us down the broken path Jesus walked when he came to make us whole.  It’s a story prophesied long before the first Christmas.

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The first Christmas was planned well before Mary was with child.  The reason for that birth was decided long before Calvary’s Cross.

In this half-hour, Ron Moore examines the first whisper of those events and the tragic Good News it foreshadowed.

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The world does not wander from event to happenstance event.  There are purpose and direction in its history.  Language, culture, and political power must all bend the knee to a sovereign God.

Today Ron Moore looks at that glad reality as he recounts the timing, place, and people God arranged to welcome His Son to Earth.

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At the first Advent, John the Baptist was chosen by God to be the “voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord.” So, who is God calling to prepare the way for Christ’s second coming?

Ron Moore shares the answer to that question in this half-hour.

Who are you?  In a broken and desperate world, where do you fit?  What purpose do you serve?

Today Ron Moore shares three principles that will give you purpose, direction, and meaning.  Learn them well and they’ll change your life for good.

How do you respond when God asks you to do something difficult?  Something that could alienate your closest friends.  Something that could alter your life forever.

For biblical insight, today Ron Moore shares the story of one remarkable woman who was asked by God to bear the unimaginable.  In her faith response, you’ll discover a way to live your life.

What does it mean to know Jesus?  What is it to accept Him on His terms?  What must our attitude be as we welcome Him into our lives?

Ron Moore is here to answer those questions.  He’ll do that with a look at one person’s response to the announcement of the first Christmas.

Christmas is all in the heart. It’s not about expensive gifts or long wish lists. It’s not about shopping malls that stay open until midnight or paying for express mail service to make certain that packages arrive in time for relatives who live far away. Christmas may be cluttered with busy schedules and mile-long to-do lists, but that does not change this simple fact: Christmas is all in the heart.

Christmas did not begin in a smelly Bethlehem stable. It did not make the calendar only after a little baby named Jesus took his first gulps of air. Christmas began in eternity past — conceived in the heart of a Father desperately in love with his children. A Father whose heart was broken in a garden when those children disobeyed his only request and turned their backs on the one who had stooped low to breathe into them their first breath of life.

Christmas began in the longing heart of a Father whose children were estranged and would forever remain so unless he stooped low again. The Father’s hatred for sin had caused him to place on it the stiffest sentence. Knowing the eternal separation sin would cause between him and his children, and knowing the hellish pain it would cause in life, the loving Father decreed that the penalty of sin would be death. And so the sentence stood and still stands.

Christmas is all in the heart. The heart of a loving Father with an extreme plan. His penalty on sin would stand, but he would bend down to pay the penalty himself. As one has so eloquently written:

The God of power, as he did ride his majestic robe of glory resolved to save; and so one He did descend, undressing all the way.

The Creator…The God of time and eternity…The God of strength and power and majesty descended from heaven, undressing all the way to a virgin’s womb, and there he began the process of humanity to pay the penalty of sin himself. Christmas is all in the heart.

God demonstrated his love in this way: while we were still sinners with the sentence of death hanging over our heads, Jesus—God in the flesh—died in our place on the cross.

Christmas is all in the heart of the eternal God desperately in love with his estranged children and willing to provide the way for them to return home.

Christmas is all in the heart—is your heart ready and willing to return home?

The Bible is clear.

All have sinned and fall short of the holy standard of God.

The penalty of sin is death, but Jesus came. He died on the cross for you. You can trust in him as the only way to forgiveness and restoration with the eternal God.

Two women were having lunch in an elegant hotel. A mutual friend saw them and asked for the occasion for the meal. One lady replied, “We are celebrating the first birthday of my baby boy.” “But where is he?” inquired the friend. “Oh,” said the mother—“you didn’t think I’d bring him, did you?”

Christmas without Jesus is like celebrating a birthday without the birthday person. Jesus is the heart of Christmas and the only way to the heart of God.

Today many people are living in fear. For some, the fear was brought on by post-election disappointment or disillusionment. Some are filled with anxiety as cable news commentators proclaim that our country is near economic collapse. Some are terrified at the news coming from the Middle East. But we are not the only generation living in uncertain and challenging times. Since the Fall of Man in Genesis 3, this world has been broken and messy. It was an especially bleak time when God entered the pool of humanity.

When Jesus was born Rome ruled the world. After Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, his two sons, Octavian and Anthony shared the throne. But co-rulers never work out well. Anthony soon fell in love with the Egyptian Queen named Cleopatra. They married and decided that Octavian was an unnecessary third wheel. So they went against him for sole power of the throne.

In the Battle of Actium in 33 BC, Octavian’s armies defeated Anthony and Cleopatra. Remember what they did? The hightailed it back to Egypt and in fear and desperation committed suicide. That left Octavian as the sole ruler of the Empire—The Caesar.

Four years later Octavian named himself the chief citizen of the Roman Empire and took the name Augustus. Caesar Augustus ruled the world.

The poet, Virgil, called Caesar Augustus the “present deity,” the “restorer of the world.” Augustus built roads throughout the Empire. Great buildings were constructed. Magnificent coliseums were built to entertain the people with sport. Circuses traveled throughout the country. Under Caesar Augustus, the world experienced Pax Romana—The Peace of Rome.

Things were going well in the Roman Empire except for this little piece of land called Palestine. In this little strip of land lived the Jews. They served one God named YHWH and their daily practices came from His instruction. They would not bow before Caesar. They would not follow the Roman customs.

The Jew’s hatred for the outside world started years earlier when a Greek ruler named Antiochus tried to force the Greek culture on them. They refused and things got messy. Antiochus flogged a 90-year-old priest to death for refusing to eat pig’s flesh. A mother and her seven sons refused to bow before an idol, so the soldiers killed each son…one by one. They killed the mother last so she would have to endure the unimaginable. She died seven deaths before they took her life. And in an act known as the “Abomination of Desolation,” Antiochus took a pig into the holiest part of the temple and sacrificed it on the altar in honor of Zeus and smeared the pig’s blood on the sanctuary.

That was the last straw. The Jews revolted. In 164 BC Judas Maccabee led a successful revolt to take back the temple and rededicated it to the Lord. The Jewish celebration of Hannukkah comes from that victory. Hannukkah—which means “dedication” or “consecration”—will be celebrated by Jews this coming week.

Amazingly the Jews held their independence for almost 100 years. Then the Roman army marches into town. It took around 30 years for the Romans to crush all signs of rebellion. But crush it they did. One commentator (Barclay) said that between 67 BC and 37 BC, no fewer than 150,000 Jews died at the hands of the Romans.

During this time, the Romans installed Herod as their puppet king. It is said that as he watches the Romans crush the rebellion—killing men, women, and children in their homes, in the marketplace, and those who took refuge in the temple, he asked a Roman general,

Would the Romans deprive the city of all its inhabitants and possessions and leave me a king of the wilderness?

Around this time, a Jewish rebel broke into an arsenal in the city of Sapphirus to arm his followers. Sapphirus was about 3 miles from Nazareth. The rebel was caught, the city of Sapphirus burned, and 2000 Jewish rebels crucified. And if the killings from the rebellion were not bad enough, in 31 BC an earthquake hit the area killing an estimated 30,000 people.

It was during this time—with people living in oppression, political unrest, poverty, their country in ruins—that God sent His angel Gabriel to a broken and messy world to make an announcement to a young woman named Mary.

Jesus did not come to overthrow Rome. His kingdom is not of this earth. He came to fix the problem of man’s sin, fear, and brokenness one person at a time.

When you hear the word “hospitality” it is often in terms of a person having people over for dinner capped off with coffee and dessert. That’s a great thing to do, but biblical hospitality goes much deeper. Someone has well said:

Hospitality is not having someone into your perfect home; it is allowing someone into your imperfect heart.

The word translated “hospitable” is made up of two Greek words, philo and xenos. Philo means “love” and xenos means “strangers.” Biblical hospitality refers to a person who demonstrates acts of love to those who can’t pay them back. It is one-way giving.

In the Old Testament, God’s law instructed the Israelites to not harvest the corners of their fields so foreigners in need of food would have something to eat. God’s law instructed the Israelite to provide food to the hungry and clothing for the naked (Ezekiel 18:7).

In the New Testament, this characteristic of hospitality continues to be driven by one’s love for God and it takes on a very practical purpose.

The first practical purpose of hospitality was persecution. Christians were being captured and killed. Some were forced from their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Others were forced to run for their lives. Those fleeing had no money so they couldn’t stay at the inns. Even if they had money the inns and taverns were immoral places populated by hardened, drunken men. Not a place you wanted to take your wife and children.

Therefore, it was critical for Christians to take in the persecuted and provide a room, food, clothing and needed staples to help them continue their journey to safety. Hospitality was a sacrificial and costly endeavor, and it was dangerous.

In 209 A.D. there was persecution under the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus. A Christian priest was being pursued and was running for his life. For some reason, the priest was given shelter by a soldier in the Roman Army named Alban. In the next few days, the two talked at length and Alban became a Christian. When the officers were tipped off as to the location of the priest, Alban came to the door dressed in the priest’s clothes while the priest escaped. Alban became the first Martyr in Britain when he refused to renounce his newfound faith and was beheaded.

Another reason that hospitality was so important in the New Testament church was mission work. As Paul and others traveled around starting churches and sharing the Gospel they needed a place to stay. Again the inns of the day were out of the question, so Christ-followers housed traveling evangelists.

When the Apostle John was sending out missionaries to either start or support churches in Asia he learned of a certain man in one church who was wreaking havoc. He addressed this issue in 3 John and then praised Gaius for his kindness and support of the traveling preacher. Now certainly the kindness of hospitality can be abused. One early Christian writing—the Didache—says that the traveling preacher should stay one day, two days at most; and if he asked for money you knew he was a fraud.

Certainly, biblical hospitality can be costly and inconvenient. That’s why Peter reminds us to be hospitable without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9). The writer to the Hebrews says that the strangers to whom we show hospitality may even be angels in disguise (Hebrews 13:2).

Here are a few ways to demonstrate biblical hospitality.

  1. Work with a local church or pregnancy resource center to house a pregnant girl who has no place to go.
  2. Give clothes to a local mission. I bet your closet is full of clothes you seldom wear.
  3. Prayerfully consider foster care or adoption.
  4. Get involved in prison ministry.
  5. Get involved in mentoring children from single-parent families.
  6. Volunteer at a local homeless shelter.
  7. Get involved with international ministries committed to helping the needy.

God’s Word is a mirror to your soul and a light to your life.

Join King David as he turns on a light and encourages you to take a closer look at your own reflection.

Believers are a divine poem and painting…created for a world desperate to hear beautiful words and longing to see God’s handiwork.

Ron Moore describes a masterpiece and urges you to live in its light.

Christ in you, the hope of glory.  That’s how Paul describes believers.  But sometimes you wonder about that.  Sometimes it seems your old nature has pushed God out of your life.

We’ll discover good news in the form of four truths that evidence the presence of Christ in your spirit.

The One who created the world with just a word entered that world through a humble birth, to humble parents, as a humble baby.  Was it weakness in the face of his rebellious creatures that determined this meek arrival?  Or was it a power greater than the Big Bang?

Listen and discover what the humility of the King means for your life.

Prayer

Do you need prayer?

Email prayer@ronmoore.org.

RON’S SERMONS

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