Like Charlie Brown, when we make Christmas about something other than the coming of Christ, we’ll always be disappointed. If we make it about spending money and giving and receiving gifts, sure we might be happy for a day. But the bill for the gifts we put on our credit cards in December, come due in January. After the gifts, the food and the fun, there’s the cleanup and the packing away of Christmas decorations and lights. Our holiday festivities that we looked so forward to, always quickly come to end. Where’s the meaning? Where’s the joy that lasts for more than a day?
The answer is only found in understanding the true meaning of Christmas, by seeing the Genuine Light of Christmas found in the coming of Jesus Christ.
Below is an automated transcript of this messageGood morning! It is good to see all of you on this beautiful day and listening to all of this beautiful Christmas music. Isn’t this one of your favorite times of the year? I know it’s mine. We want to welcome you that are watching online as well.
We are concluding our series entitled, “Christmas Lights.” When you think of Christmas lights, perhaps you’re thinking of the ones on your tree or on the beautiful houses that we see around town. But the light we’re talking about during Christmas is what we’re calling the genuine light, the true light. We’re talking about the true, genuine meaning of Christmas this morning. A lot of authors and a lot of musicians have come up with the answer to that question, “What’s the genuine meaning of Christmas?”
Charles Dickens wrote a novel entitled, “A Christmas Carol,” attempting to answer his idea of what Christmas was all about. He illustrated this through the experiences of Ebenezer Scrooge and Ebenezer finally learned , according to Dickens story, that Christmas should be about generosity, about joy and about family.
Stevie Wonder came up with his idea of what Christmas should be all about. He gave his answer in a song, appropriately titled, “What Christmas Means to Me:” “Candles burning low, lots of mistletoe, lots of snow and ice, everywhere we go. Choirs singing carols right outside my door; all these things and more. That’s what Christmas means to me.”
Surprisingly, it was a children’s cartoon that first aired on December 9th, 1965, that really comes the closest to answering this question better. Did you know that the now classic Christmas animation, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” almost didn’t air? It’s true. It almost didn’t happen. During its making, Peanuts creator, Charles Schultz, was called to a meeting with the show’s producer. The discussion concerns Shultz’s insistence that the cartoon include a reading from the Bible. The scripture reading was to be spoken by the Peanuts character named Linus. The producer of the show, Bill Melendez, told Schultz, “Don’t you think it’s very dangerous for us to be talking about religion right now?” Shultz answered him by saying, “Bill, if we don’t, who will? In the end, the scripture reading was retained and the CBS special, “ACharlie Brown Christmas,” was the number two highest rated show of that week and it’s become a classic viewed every year.
Charlie Brown had such trouble finding the perfect Christmas tree. He waited too long, and he ended up getting one of those little pitiful trees. He just felt like such a loser and he says to himself, “You’re hopeless, Charlie Brown. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don’t even know what Christmas is all about. Does anybody here know what Christmas is all about?” And so, Linus walks up and he says his answer by reading Luke 2, the passage that Schultz had insisted on being read. After he finishes , Linus turns to Charlie Brown and he says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
And so, it is. That is what Christmas is all about. It’s about the coming of Jesus. It’s about the very first birth announcement as we look at Luke, chapter two. By the way, parents and grandparents, as you get ready for your Christmas festivities, I would encourage you to look up Luke, chapter two, the reading I’m about to read, and make that your family tradition to read that every Christmas Eve with your children. One of the things we did with our children was, as each child became able to read, we would pass the reading responsibility around from child to child. I know some of you’ve tried it already; you have little kids. You’ve told me that this is the most chaotic idea I have ever had. Pastor, trying to keep all the kids quiet… Trust me, insist upon it, and you’ll be raising up a family of champions for Jesus someday. There’s no reason not to keep on doing that.
As we look at the text today, we’ll see that Dr. Luke, that great historian who recorded this gospel, talks about the very first “birth announcement,” the very first “Christmas card,” if you will. It was actually sent by the Father via His angels to some shepherds watching their flocks at night.
As we look at the story, I think we’ll see three titles, three names if you will, that the Lord gave in this very first “birth announcement.” As we consider these three titles, I believe that we can experience the true meaning of Christmas. Let’s look at the text. We’ll begin at chapter two, verse one:
Luke 2:1-20 (ESV) 1 “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you, you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” This is God’s word. Amen.
We’re looking at this very first “birth announcement.” You know , one of the things that happens to us at Christmas is we have so much expectation, don’t we? We build it up and build it up; we decorate and get ready for Christmas. And then it comes and it’s gone in a flash. And then the bills come rolling in in January. Do you ever wish that there could be something that had a deeper meaning for Christmas; something that would last?
Let me give you three titles now. The first is this; verse 11 is our key verse this morning because verse 11 gives the three names, the three titles that God wanted us to know about Jesus. Here’s the first one:
Three titles of Jesus that reveal the true meaning of Christmas: 1. Savior.
This baby was born to be a Savior. Let’s look at that in verse 11 again. It says, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Can we consider that first title for just a moment? How strange, how unusual to say that a baby was born to save to come as a rescuer and a Savior. But it is so. It is the name, Jesus.
Do you know what the name, Jesus, means? In the original Hebrew, it would have been pronounced, “Yeshua.” The “Ye” is a prefix that reminds us of Jehovah and God; the “shua” in Hebrew means “salvation.” Do you know what his name means? It means “God’s salvation.” Do you know who Jesus is? He was the one born to be a Savior. Who was He born to? “Unto you.”
Can you imagine the shepherds that night as they were watching their fields by night? You know, there’s something about just being out at night, anyway, that kind of makes you think, “What was that, what was that, right?” You are already a little bit on edge. If you’re watching over your fields at night, maybe you’re watching for a wolf or something that’s wanting to come and steal your sheep. What would it be like when, all of a sudden, the light of heaven started shining on you and this heavenly chorus started to sing. An angel appears and starts telling you, “Unto you…” I mean, that would freak you out.
Why did God choose the shepherds? After all, they were one of the lower class citizens of Bethlehem. They were expected to move out of town at night because they were like blue collar guys working third shift and they didn’t smell that good because they slept with sheep. Yet, God sent His angels to tell them. Why them? Why the shepherds? Perhaps, because the One who was born Savior was born like a lamb. Kings are born in palaces but lambs are born in stables. Jesus was the baby, born to be a lamb of God, who would die for our sins .
This is the first title; Savior. “Unto you…” He was born in the city of David, which, if we look earlier, we don’t have to guess at the meaning of this. If we look at verse four, it says, 4 “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David.” So we’re talking about Bethlehem, the city of David. That’s where David was born and that’s where Jesus was born. Jesus was born in the city of David, the place called Bethlehem. Bethlehem, in Hebrew, means “house of bread.” If your name is Beth, your name means “house.” And then, it’s followed by “hem,” which means “bread” in Hebrew. How appropriate that the “bread of life” would be born in the “house of bread?” He was there because it was arranged by Caesar Augustus and Quirinius the governor of Syria. Well, no , not really. It was actually arranged by God, the Father; He just passed along those instructions through those two fellows.
Dates back in those days aren’t the way they are now. We date today, December 20th, 2020, which means it’s been 2000 and 20 years since the birth of Christ. We changed the calendar based on His birth, and we still honor it today. But, during those days, people didn’t have calendars. They would make the date based on who was the king, who was the governor and what year it was when they put out the census. It’s kind of ironic that 2020 was the year of the United States census. This was the year of the Roman census when Jesus was born. In those days, they didn’t come around from door to door or send you out literature by mail. You had to go back to the place of your tribal birth and be registered in that place. God had arranged this because it was a prophecy that Jesus would be born, the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the “house of bread.” He would come as a Savior.
Why did He come? Why did God send His one and only Son? 1 Timothy 1:15 (ESV) says this, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Do you know any sinners ? Are there any sinners in the house? I’m one. If it weren’t for Jesus, I would be lost. I would be destined for eternity apart from God. All I am, really, is a beggar. That’s what sinners are; we are beggars who can’t earn our own way. But the difference between someone who follows Jesus is that I’m a beggar who knows where the bread is. I know the bread of life. His name is Jesus. He came to save sinners.
That name, Jesus, is special, isn’t it? There’s a lot of special words you have to remember these days. How many of us are having trouble remembering all of our passwords? Can I get a witness in the house about passwords? I’m telling you, every app, every website, everybody wants a password. Some of those sites make you change it because it was already in use or whatever. Some of them make you change it every year, like you’re gonna think of a new one and try to remember it. I have heard some people say, You know, I can’t remember them, so I just say ‘I forgot my password’ every time I go in and make up a new one. Do you know what the #1 password is in the U.S.? The number one password is “123456.” That’s the number one password. I heard someone guessed #2 in here; it’s “password.” The #2 password is “password.”
There’s only one password for salvation. He’s the one Who came as a Savior. His name is Jesus. Jesus is the only name under heaven by which men might be saved.
Peter was asked by the Jewish leaders by what name he had healed the cripple. His answer: Acts 4:12 (CEV) “Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.” Do you believe this? Do you believe He came to be savior? This baby came as a lamb of God to die in your place. “Unto you” . He was born. Kings were born in palaces but lambs are born in stables. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who came as Savior of the world. His very name means God’s salvation. Do you believe this? That’s the first title.
Three titles of Jesus that reveal the true meaning of Christmas: 2. Christ.
Let’s look at verse 11 again . “ a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” Let’s work on that word, that title for a minute. God has given us a “birth announcement” and the second name that He reveals to us is Christ. It’s the Greek word (Χριστός) which means “Anointed One” in the Greek. In the Hebrew, it is “Messiah;” they are one in the same. They are the same word; one is Hebrew and one is Greek. It means the long awaited, anointed one that God had promised from long, long ago to the people of Israel and even to the people of all the world. He’s the long expected One.
To pregnant women, we say, Are you expecting? When we say that we don’t mean they are expecting dinner, or expecting to go to work or expecting to go to Walmart and purchase something. When we say, Are you expecting? to a woman (We have to be careful about this, don’t we, men? It’s just best, men, that you never ask that question. Take my advice on that. Ladies, though, seem to know when they can ask that) it means they are expecting a child.
Israel had long expected the Christ, the Messiah. They were looking for Him. There are over 300 Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament and Christ has fulfilled them all. “Unto you” it says in verse eleven; “Unto you is born…” This harkens us back to one of those Old Testament prophecies that we studied a couple of weeks ago. It’s in Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV) “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” If those shepherds would have known anything about this famous passage, they would have known that this is the messiah he was talking about. They would have recognized it. “Born in the city of David.”
How many of you chose the city you were born in? Can I get a show of hands here? I can never get people to raise their hands and then I get a guy who has raised his hand. He chose the city he was born in.
How many of you chose your parents? Nobody can lift their hand. Nobody chose the city they were born in. Nobody chose their parents. Some might say, I wish I could have chosen my parents. I’m glad God gave me my parents. He gave me a blessed father and mother. But, you can’t choose your parents.
You can’t choose the city you were born in, but it was prophesied in the Old Testament that Jesus would be born to a certain place and to a certain people, he would be born to David. This is why the angel said he was born to the city of David because David was born in Bethlehem. In 2 Samuel 7:8 (ESV) 8 “Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts… 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” This is not Solomon he’s speaking of, because Solomon died and he did not establish a permanent kingdom. He’s speaking of the one that would be Messiah, who would be born to the line of David. He would come out of that line.
This begins all the way back in the book of Genesis. God starts talking to us about the Messiah that was to come. The first prophecy is the one he gave to the serpent, believe it or not, when he said to the serpent that “he will crush your head but you will bruise his heel.” He referred to the Ine that would come as the seed of the woman. Well, as we know, if we take biology, the woman has no seed. Only the man has a seed, referring, I believe, to the virgin birth of Christ. The One that would come would crush his heel and crush his head, meaning He would destroy and defeat Satan. But Satan would bruise His heel. In other words, Jesus would be crucified and die and be raised again. That’s the first prophecy in the Old Testament concerning the coming Messiah.
Jacob, at the end of the book of Genesis, laid his hands on each of his twelve sons that became the twelve tribes of Israel. When he came to his son, Judah, he laid his hand on him and said, “You’re like a lion and the scepter will never depart from you.” What he was saying was that the One born king will be the Lion of Judah and He will be born into the tribe of Judah.
If we keep reading, we will see what we just read, that David was born to the tribe of Judah and that the Messiah would be born to the tribe, to the house of David and that God will reveal, through the prophets, what city that Jesus would be born in.
Micah 5:2 (NKJV) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” He’s talking about the Messiah who would be born in Bethlehem.
Do you remember when the wise men came searching? They came to Jerusalem and they asked King Herod, “Where’s the one born king?” because it’s not you, Herod. You weren’t born king. You’re a counterfeit. King Herod didn’t know, so he turned to his wise men and his scribes and asked them where the Messiah was supposed to be born. They said”Bethlehem;” they knew where He would be born. He was born in Bethlehem.
I wish I could go through all 300 prophecies. Let me give you a couple more; here’s two categories of Messianic prophecies. They fall into two categories. One is the category of “Conquering King.” The other is the category of “Suffering Servant.” When Jesus came the first time, He came and fulfilled all of the “Suffering Servant” category prophecies. But the “Conquering King” prophecies have yet to be fulfilled. Now, this was confusing to even His own disciples because they were looking for a King, not one who would come and be a Savior, not one who would come and be the kind of Messiah like Jesus. But, look what we see in the Old Testament. Look how the “Suffering Servant” prophecies are given:
Psalm 22:1, 14-18 (ESV) 1 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?… 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— 17 I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” What Jesus said from the cross was prophesied word for word what he would say from the cross. It says, “I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax. It is melted within my breast.” This prophesies the crucifixion, the stretching and having the hands carrying the weight of the body. The nails would pull the joints out of joint. The Romans hadn’t even come to existence yet when this prophecy was written. The idea of crucifixion had yet to be invented by them. Yet, here we see the psalmist, through the power of the Holy Spirit, sees this event. He says, “My strength has dried up like a potsherd. My tongue sticks to my jaws. You lay me in the dust of death for dogs to encompass me. A company of evildoers encircles me. They have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count on my bones. They stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them. And for my clothing they cast lots.” The whole story was prophesied and all of the details fulfilled.
Isaiah 53:3-5, 9 (ESV) 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed… 9 And they made his grave …with a rich man in his death…” Even the detail of the tomb where His body would be laid was prophesied. The rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a Pharisee that came to believe in Jesus, had paid, at great expense, the carving out of a new tomb that no one had ever been laid in. He placed Jesus there, along with his friend, Nicodemus. They took the body and placed it in the tomb just as it was prophesied. Of course, Jesus only needed to borrow it for a few days. He was the “Long Expected One, the Long Expected Child.”
If we had time to keep reading in Luke 2, we would see an old man who had been coming to the temple every day praying that he would see the Messiah. And when he saw them bring Jesus to be circumcised on the eighth day, he said, “There he is.” There was an old woman there named Anna. She prayed in the temple every day she went there. “He is the one we’ve been waiting for.”
Maybe some of you are Facebook friends with my daughter. She’s “expecting.” Have you heard? This past Thursday, she found out the gender. When Robin and I were having children, we had to wait and see. But now there is “the big reveal.” So Thursday, she had “the big reveal.” It was pink covered doughnuts. So two grandsons that we have with our daughter. Now we have a granddaughter on the way. We’re expecting a granddaughter. I’ve told my children this will put us out of “feng shui; ” we will have five granddaughters and four grandsons. One of my kids needs to stand up and take care of this. But we are expecting a granddaughter. There’s something about it as the day approaches that everyone just can’t wait.
Israel missed it; most of them missed it. They weren’t looking for the kind of Messiah who would come and die, but if only they would have listened. If only they would have read. If only they would have understood. It was always meant to be. He came as a Savior. He came as Christ as Messiah. Do you believe this?
Here is the third title:
Three titles of Jesus that reveal the true meaning of Christmas: 3. Lord.
Verse 11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” The Greek word here is κύριος. He is the Lord. He is the King. To say He is Lord is to say He is God. God’s Son has been born. Of course, God the Father, would send angels to make the announcement. Strange though it was, that He sent the “Christmas card,” the “birth announcement,” to a bunch of shepherds at night. But this was God’s plan. The God of the universe was born in a humble stable, laid on a bed of hay, where sheep and cattle would eat. The god of the universe, the Lord God, Who had always been and always will be. The One who made the wood from the tree that would be made the cross. God made the animals. He made all the details. He came and humbled Himself; He took on human flesh and lay at His mother’s breast. He is Lord over all.
Do you know the simplest confession of the believer? The simplest confession of those who follow Jesus? It’s found in Romans 10:9 (ESV)”If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” I pray that each of you, in my hearing, have prayed this confession, have said this confession. The word, “confess,” in the Greek means “to agree with.” It doesn’t say ‘you will be.’ It doesn’t say, ‘maybe.’ It doesn’t say, ‘later you will be.’
Have you ever done that? Have you ever said, Jesus is Lord? What does that mean? It means to say that He’s the boss. He’s the master. It means He’s driving. If I catch any of you with that bumper sticker on your bumper that says “God is my co- pilot,” I’m going to read you this first. He’s not your co-pilot. If you’re a Christ follower, He’s the pilot. You need to climb in the back seat and let Him drive.
Here’s the thing, If Christ is not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all. If you say He’s Lord, you’re saying He’s Lord of your whole life. I’ve seen so many Christians with ship-wrecked lives because they confess this and they believe it but they hold back. A single person may hold back their dating life, I trust God with everything except my future mate. They are afraid He might mess that up so they keep that to themselves. How many singles have made that mistake? Single person, give Him your dating life. Make Him Lord of your dating life. Make Him Lord of how you manage your finances. Make Him Lord of how you treat one another. Make Him Lord of that place that you don’t want to stop; maybe it’s an addiction . You know the place where the addiction is. Is it alcohol, drugs, pornography, gluttony or overspending? You know yours. You know that place that you’ve yet to surrender the throne. Would you say, Jesus is Lord over that. But, instead, you say, I can’t stop doing this. I can’t give this up. Maybe you can’t, but in the power of Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. You can do it. Make Him, Lord and then believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.
He is Lord. Eternal life is found in Christ, Jesus, our Lord, It says in Romans 6:23 (ESV) “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There, Paul is using the three titles, “Christ, Jesus, our Lord.” Wait a minute, he missed “Savior . “ No, he didn’t. Remember what the name, Jesus, means. It means “God’s salvation.” There’s the three names. There is Christ Jesus, our Lord. These three titles were revealed at His birth; He fulfilled them with His death and his resurrection. This is the truth. This is the true meaning. This is the genuine light of Christmas, that Christ Jesus is Lord.
I would ask this, Where is His kingdom? You know, He prayed, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Where is the kingdom? His kingdom is wherever Christ is King. Is Christ the king of your life? If He is, the kingdom has come to you. Is the King over your house? If so, the kingdom has come to your house. Is the King over this church? I pray so! Then the kingdom has come to this place. Is the King over this city? Not yet, but it could happen. We’re concerned about politics. We are concerned about pandemics. We are concerned about many things. But the most important thing is this deep meaning of that He is Lord and He never stops being Lord. He never takes a break. He never has to sleep or rest. He is sovereign and He sits on the throne. Even now, we do not have to fear. We do not have to be afraid. We need not be dismayed or discouraged. He is Lord and so we declare it.
When I was born, they took my photo at the hospital. I regret that I’ve seen it; I looked like I had been in a fight. I was told, when I was young, about when I was born. You know, little kids love to hear their mom and dad talk about when they were born. My mom tells me, When your daddy first saw you, he said, ‘Is he going to stay like that?’ Apparently, I had a hard time being born, but that’s the picture they sent out. That was the birth announcement with my name. Then when my son, Stephen, was born, he didn’t fare much better. We sent that same picture out that they took at the hospital. I don’t know if they still do pictures at the hospital, but they used to. Babies are now born and the mothers leave the hospital so quickly. Now, you can’t even go visit. We used to stay in the hospital a little longer back in those days. And so, we sent out a birth announcement, Stephen Andrew Combs, with his baby picture, to all of our friends and family to announce his birth because we were proud of him.
God did the same. He sent out His three names. We sent out Steven Andrew Combs. Combs is like the “tribal name,” I guess. I don’t know. Maybe we came from a people who like to comb their hair. I’m not sure, but we have these three names. Stephen and Andrew are from the New Testament . We carefully chose all of our kid’s names except for that last name which was just passed on to us. But when God sent His “birth announcement,” He said, If you’ll go look, he’s laying in a stable. His name is Christ Jesus, Savior, Lord, That’s His name. That’s what Christmas is about. The very first Christmas card. The very first birth announcement tells us all we need to know about the true meaning of Christmas.
Have you made the confession yet? Let’s pray, Lord, we pray, first of all for that one that’s in our hearing right now, whether in person or online, who has never confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. Would you do it with me right now? I’m going to pray a prayer of confession. If this describes your heart, say it along with me. Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I need a Savior. I believe that You came and died for my sins and that You were raised on the third day and that You live today. Come and live in me. Make me the person You want me to be. I want to be a child of God. I declare that You are Lord and Savior over my life. If you’re praying that prayer right now believing, the Bible says He will save you. That’s why He came. Others are here and you’ve prayed and you believe and you’ve received Him. But there’s some places in your life you’ve yet to turn over to Him. Would you do that right now and say, Lord, I want to give You lordship over this area. Name it to Him. It’s a particular thing that you’ve been hanging on to in a particular area. Give it to Him now. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.