Finish Strong With Fearless Faith

The Wonder of Christmas #77

December 24, 2022 Fearless Faith Season 2 Episode 77
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
The Wonder of Christmas #77
Show Notes Transcript

The Biblical account of the birth of Jesus is filled with wonder.  The Good News is that God sent His very best gift to earth so that we can be forgiven of our sins and have a relationship with the King of Kings. 

God  actually put His Son in the hands of humans,  Mary delivered Him. He raised by Mary and Joseph and ultimately was put to death by the very people He came to save. 

The Christmas story is a calling to all of us.  It demands a response.  What will our response be?  We need to heed his calling and follow Him.   The way we live our life determines our response.

The wise men gave us an example of how we are to respond to the Christ child.  We need to seek Him.  When we find Him we should be filled with exceeding great joy.  We need to worship Him and give Him our best gifts.  Finally, we must follow Him all the days of our lives and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!


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Dan Wheeler:

Welcome to our Christmas edition of finished strong Christmas 2023. I'm Dan Wheeler joined by Terry Steen and Brian Rowland and our producer John Matarazzo. And guys, we just had our first well it was it our first fearless faith, truly Christmas party.

Terry Steen:

I think it was okay. All right. It was like an all day party.

Dan Wheeler:

It was almost a manatee and I think we have to do this tomorrow throughout the rest of the Christmas season. Good plan. I'm surprised he said that Brian says we're at his house.

Unknown:

Exactly. House. I'm sure

Brian Roland:

Karen wants us to stay all weekend. Yeah, sure.

Dan Wheeler:

Hey, Merry Christmas, guys. First of all,

Brian Roland:

Merry Christmas to you.

Terry Steen:

You know, as the year flown or what, Willie, we were just saying seven Christmases with fearless Faith Ministries,

Dan Wheeler:

and boy, it is unbelievable. And as you look back, you see all the things that the Lord has done and all the people that fearless Faith Ministries has touched, and many of you listening you've you've touched us as well and encouraged us to keep going. We called this podcast finish strong, because that is our model. We're not spring chickens, like our producer, John here, the three of us are up in our years. But hey, it's not time to sit on the sidelines, retire to the golf course. Right? None of us are great golfers so that would be you know, rather futile.

Terry Steen:

I took a lesson this week. I'm still no better. Better.

Dan Wheeler:

But you know, Christmas is such a special time. As Christians. It's what our faith is all about that the Lord came to the earth. Yeah. To as a babe. And Terry, you were talking about? He used humans. Why don't you explain that? why that's so important. Yeah, just

Terry Steen:

kind of hit me. Last night, as I was just reflecting on Christmas at the awesomeness, here's God, who put his son in the hands of humans, he let a human birth his son, he led humans raise his son. And God uses humans. And it was just such a great correlation to our lives that God wants to use us as well, through every circumstance, whatever's going on. That's how God works. And he set up the situation or the scene for the birth of his son. And it was go to Bethlehem. They didn't want to go to Bethlehem, but that was needed to fulfill God's prophecy. So that was a purpose. And God does the same to us. There's things that he sets in place that we may not like, but they're all for his perfect plan. And then I was thinking that, then he needed people to say, yes, you could lay out the plan. But if nobody goes along with it, and he's not going to force you Well, fortunately, Mary did. Mary said, Hey, I'm your maid servant. I'll do whatever you want. And she did it out of love. And so that was another thing. And then, along the way, if we'll be obedient, if we'll say we're going to do it, and then we do it. He strengthens us. He encourages us, he builds our faith, and just like he did to marry, we're in the Luke the first chapter 28 Verse, rejoice highly favored one. The Lord is with you, in the Lord's with us. And so just that made me realize that that Christmas story can kind of just parallel our lives. He expects us to walk in the situation he set up, say, Yes, be obedient and do it. He'll encourage us along the way. And we'll finish strong.

Dan Wheeler:

Well, you know, a lot of people believe that God created the world, but then he kind of walked away and was hands off, right. But the Christmas story shows that God intervenes in the affairs of men, and the three of us believe he still does today. I mean, we've all seen miracles. We've all felt that leading of the Holy Spirit. And we know that there is a whole nother dimension outside of the physical but God does lead us he does in her Veen. When we pray to God, it makes a difference. Prayer changes things. And I just love that, that when you think about God putting his son in the hands of humans, I'm not sure I would trust venture humans. Yeah, really. It's a good thing. None of us are God. But Brian, you had some great insight to at Christmas time about the call and then responding to the call. Could you tell us about that?

Brian Roland:

Because I was reading about the shepherds in the field over in Luke two starts at Verse eight, and talks about how the angel came to the shepherds. And you know, something that you said there cheering about God using humans. Why did the angels or God decide to to reveal have us to the angels first. Yeah. But he didn't go for the righteous. He went for the shepherds who were obedient and humble, and He can be trusted.

Dan Wheeler:

Isn't that amazing? He didn't go to the kings and the royalty went to the shepherds, the common people. So

Brian Roland:

what happens, the angels tell him not to be fearful because they saw these angels were scared. But then they said, it's all about the Messiah being born in Bethlehem. And that where he can be seen it, that was a call to them. And it turns out that they said to each other, let's go see the baby. So that was the response. And that's what God has done, he has sent His Son, that's the call, the response now is for us to accept him. And so it just, it just amazed me how he started with the shepherds of all things, and then moved on to the cost of the three kings, which we're going to talk about too. It just amazed me how he took these humble people, and use them just reveal that Christ was being born the Messiah. And then they responded to that by going to the manger,

Dan Wheeler:

but the birth of that baby requires a response from every human. Yeah. And we're all going to have to answer with how we respond to Jesus. Exactly.

Brian Roland:

You know, it goes further. When Christ died on the cross, He gave the call the call for salvation, you know, he said, I didn't come the judge of the world. And he came for us to be saved. And now it's up to us to answer that response, and rise up to him or reject them, but we accept them is what he's looking for you do?

Dan Wheeler:

Well, John 316 is kind of gift ultimately, the gift that God gave us, you talked about that too. And then 317 says, you know, God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, right, the world through Him might be saved. Right. Interesting thoughts on Christmas. And what God has spoken to me about in the last week, and I've done a series of mourning cups of inspiration is the Wiseman, and how they responded and they kind of gave us an example of four things we should all do at Christmas. It says in Matthew, chapter two, verse one Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came Wiseman from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born king of the Jews, for we have seen the star in the east and are come to worship him. So the first thing they did was they sought Jesus, they were seeking Him. And we all know that saying Wiseman still seek him yet wise women, of course. I believe it's so true. But then the second thing is it says down further that when they saw the star in verse 10, of that chapter, when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And, and the whole Christmas story should fill us with joy of knowing what Christ did. And then he did it for us. And that we can know that we're going to heaven people. You know, Brian, you remember a few years ago, we did some man on the street interviews at the villages. And a lot of people were like, Well, I hope there's a heaven and I hope I go there. And you don't have to hope you can. No

Brian Roland:

one guy said, I'll know when I get there. If it's there or not. Yeah,

Dan Wheeler:

that's not a good time aside.

Terry Steen:

Joy is joy, but exceedingly great joy should be no end to how much joy?

Dan Wheeler:

Absolutely. And so that's the second thing we need to be joyful Christmas. The third thing, it says in verse 11. And they when they were coming to the house, they saw the young child with Mary's mother and fell down and worshipped him. She imagined worshiping a baby realizing they realized who this was. So God really spoke to them and when so they worshipped Him. And then they opened their treasures that gave him gifts. And they were the finest gifts that you know, gold and frankincense and myrrh, very costly. And so I asked people at this time of year, what gifts can you give to the king? Yeah, the best you can give is your heart in your life and your time, and your talents, and your of your finances. And that's what we're trying to do with fearless faith. We all are retired now. But we didn't want to just join a country club and retire to the golf course we wanted to make a difference. And so that's what we're trying to do. So we need to give him our gifts we need to worship Him. And then finally, verse 12, says in been warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country in other ways. So they followed God's leading. And that's the final thing. We need to really think about a Christmas time as we need to follow him. Yeah, not just at Christmas. So I think Christmas gets more meaningful to me. The older I get realizing that God did put his son in the hands of humans that it does require a response to us from us, and that we do need to seek him constantly and we need to rejoice and be joyful and this is one thing I've struggled with lately. With the news and getting angry, and yet, the joy of the Lord is our strength through all of these hard times. And we need to worship him and give him our gifts. And then we need to follow him

Brian Roland:

in what you said to Dan, we need to seek Him, especially during these times, because the only way you're going to hear from him and hear him at business and to see God doing your take, take the blinders off, and you see him with spiritual eyes, and you hear him with spiritual ears. That's by seeking Him and praying and searching, searching for him. And he will be there. And he's gonna open all this up to you once once you have accepted Him. And once you start seeking him out.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, it's funny, Dan, you mentioned that about the Well, I was thinking about now I just lost my turning

Dan Wheeler:

of the arteries.

Terry Steen:

As we get older, because you're

Dan Wheeler:

just trying to prove the point that we are older, right? How read so convincing? I really thought he was just talking about I don't know,

Terry Steen:

you were talking about how when you get older Christmas means more to you. And so I was reflecting on that. And it does change your outlook. You know, when you're younger, you're thinking about the presents, you're thinking about what you want, what you can get. And as I get older, that's that's a non issue. Yeah. You know, it becomes about what we're reflecting on right now. And the incredible story and the humility of the whole birth, and what can we do for others? What how can we give and it's interesting how that over the course of time that seems to kind of change our mindset and our thinking on that.

Dan Wheeler:

Boy, when you realize how lost people are and what's going on with the world, they're discussing things that we never thought we'd see in our lifetime. And it

Brian Roland:

affects people this time of the year, especially, this is a time of the year one. Depression hits most people. And then when you get the news, what's coming at you from one side, and then you got workmen coming at you from your job. On the other side. One might be coming at you from something in the past. I was coming, Carlton, you know, creeping up on Yeah, this is all addicts just overbearing. So what do you do? You have no place to go, but they do they have one place they can go, which would be great to Jesus right to Christ, and laying it right there on the altar just to him. And he was here that and he would set you free from that. Yeah, we just have to take that step. And no, that's why he was born in the first place to come and die for our sins, so that he would be available to us to give us a direct conduit back to God. Yeah, it isn't broken off. We can get to God right through Jesus Christ.

Dan Wheeler:

The world needs this message more than ever. I'm sure you guys have noticed the news. So many young people are dying. And they're not even sure what they're dying from and COVID with all the lockdowns has been depression and suicides and drugs flowing into our country. like never before. Satan is really. He knows his days are numbered. And he hates Christmas. Yeah. And you know, he wants it to be about Santa and presents. And, boy, it's so much more than that. So much more than that. I you know, one of my favorite Christmas taught let's talk about each other's favorite Christmas songs as we wrap up. One of mine is married. Did you know Oh, wow. That's so powerful. So powerful that when you kissed your baby's face, you kiss the face of God. That's an amazing statement, isn't it?

Brian Roland:

You know, and I remember when I first heard the song I loved it and then I realized that Mark Lowry was one of the writers of it with with glory.

Unknown:

Oh, was he? I didn't know that. Yeah, a little more. Yeah, beautiful song then how far it's gone over the

Terry Steen:

Yeah, what's another song? Beat one I love Joy to the world. It's just it's a feel good song and hard up the herald angels sing. Those are kind of upbeat and sure level journal.

Dan Wheeler:

Rudolph, Chuck Berry.

Brian Roland:

My favorite is still silent night. Yeah, that one gets me every time we used

Dan Wheeler:

to light the candles, you know, someone would start at the front of the church. Guys, we're so fortunate the heritage that we had. Our parents love the Lord. My mom just raised me to love them and named me Daniel after Daniel in the Bible. And I think what a heritage we all have because some people have never heard about the Lord. And hopefully, they're listening to this podcast, finish strong. We want to just spread his message we want to be like the the angels and announce the good news and tell them Christ came for you. He came if you would have been the only person board he would have died on the cross for you. Whoever you are listening right now and you're saying, my life is a mess. There's just no hope. God is speaking to you right now and just saying I love you. And I gave you my son at Christmas. And I want to be real in your life. I want to come into your heart. I want to take over We're live. So just pray Jesus, I want to know you in a personal way. I want this to be just more than a story. I want it to be real in my life. So please change me, forgive me of my sins, I want to repent, I want to turn from my wicked ways, and I want to follow you. And I want to know that I'll be with you forever. And I want my life to have the meeting. And I want to meaning and I want to be filled with exceeding joy, like the Weizmann when they saw that star, and they came to where the Christ child was. Yeah. Thank you, Jesus. We ask all these things in your name.

Terry Steen:

Amen. Amen. As powerful Dan, and, you know, reflecting this, this could very well be our last probably our last scheduled podcast of the year. Yeah, but what an incredible year we've had, and it's our second year of doing podcasts. What better way to finish than on this note of the Christmas season,

Dan Wheeler:

big thanks to our producer, John Matarazzo. He helped us get on the charisma Podcast Network, but he does all the editing and, and helps us post these podcasts. And next year, we're going to try and do some video hon. John. Oh, yeah,

John Matarazzo:

we're doing we're doing video. And it's going to be on YouTube and on the Facebook page. So everybody, make sure you're subscribed to those places so that whenever these podcasts are done video, you're going to be able to see that we're not going to stop doing the audio version, but we're just going to, we're going to start doing the video. So it's going to be sounding the same, but you'll be able to see the video on YouTube and Facebook.

Terry Steen:

I've always been told I have a face for radio. So cerned a little bit but I'm hoping it works

Brian Roland:

out and it's gonna beg for

Dan Wheeler:

Well, John is a newlywed. Congratulations. And we met his lovely wife Val for the first time tonight. Thank you. We're all gathered this is kind of our been a long day of celebrating Christmas celebrating what God has done through fearless faith. So we're so glad to have you, John. And I recently got engaged so I'm celebrating that Pam never happened. Pam now we didn't after seven years of being single thought you know, it's kind of time. I'm not kidding.

Terry Steen:

I owe you on that bed. I'll get that to you later.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, they've been placed in but it wouldn't have Yeah, suddenly took me three years to Yes, sir. Well

Terry Steen:

done. Oh, thank

Dan Wheeler:

you. But boy, it's been a great year of podcasting. And what a great one to end the year on. So thank you for listening and remember, don't retire to the golf course. Let's finish strong. And let's look to that baby. That was born in a manger of humble means and who came to Earth for every one of you listening and for all of us. Merry Christmas, everybody.

Terry Steen:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, finish strong God bless.

John Matarazzo:

Thank you for listening to finish strong. For more information about finish strong and fearless faith. Check out their website, F faith.org. Make sure that you rate and review this podcast to help more people accomplish their God given purpose so that together we can finish