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(WALK A MILE) SCRIPTURE - MATT. 1:23                                              JANUARY, 1996



As we leave the Christmas season, stop and think for a moment, just what it is about this season, that we were celebrating. Many people, have varying reasons, for the celebration, and I will not touch on them, because, they are unimportant. The reason we celebrate Christmas, primarily, is to recognize the birth of Jesus Christ. As some billboards state it, 'JESUS, IS THE REASON, FOR THE SEASON.' How true it is. But, just what is it, about the birth of Christ, that is so important? We will explore the answer to that question, this month.

The scripture says, 'BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD,' meaning that this birth, was a miracle, in itself. A woman, that had never known (had sex with) a man, was impregnated, by God, through the Holy Spirit, to bring forth a Son. That Son, the scripture says, was to be called Emmanuel, meaning 'God with us.' So, to put it in plain English, God Himself, became a man, from the womb of a woman, so that He, could deliver (save) His people from their sins (MATT. 1:21). Many will ask, 'so why did He start out as a baby, instead of a full grown man?' The answer to that, is in the subject title.

Have you ever heard a person, responding to criticism, to the way they act, or the things that they do, by saying, 'DON'T CRITICIZE ME, UNTIL YOU HAVE WALKED IN MY SHOES'?

The inference is, if you haven't been in the situation that I am in, then you don't know what it is, that is causing me to be like this. Well, if we look at how man views God, we would probably see them saying to God, something like this, 'GOD, YOU SAY THIS IS WRONG AND THAT IS WRONG, AND UNLESS I CHANGE MY WAYS, I WILL GO TO HELL. WELL, THAT IS UNFAIR, BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW HOW IT IS TO LIVE DOWN HERE WITH ALL OF THE PROBLEMS THAT WE FACE. I BET, IF YOU WERE DOWN HERE, INSTEAD OF UP THERE, YOU WOULD BE WHISTLING A DIFFERENT TUNE.'

Well, He does know, because, that is just what He did. He came here, to put Himself in our place, from the womb, to the tomb, so that He could experience all of the tests and trials that man faces, to show us, that if He could make it, then we could too. (HEB. 4:15) says, FOR WE HAVE NOT A HIGH PRIEST, WHICH CANNOT BE TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN.

You see, God, in all His wisdom, prepared this plan, before the foundation of the world (1 PET. 1:18-20). He knew, that somewhere down the road, there would be those that would try to use that lame excuse, that they did what they had to do. That if you were in their shoes, no matter how holy you think you are, you would do the same thing. Well, Jesus made that argument, null and void. He made it moot.

The bible tells us, 'there is no temptation, that we will ever face, that God has not already made a way of escape (1 COR. 10:13 PARAPHRASING). Jesus, suffered it all, and yet, He did not sin. That means, if He could do it, then you could do it, with His help. You see, if you are walking around in a strange room, in which there is a lot of furniture, and no light, you are very liable to stumble over something. Why? Because you are unfamiliar with the layout of the room, and the arrangement of the furniture. However, if there is someone that knows the entire layout, and the furniture arrangement, they could lead you through that room, without a mishap.

(over) Well, in life, Jesus negotiated all the obstacles and pitfalls that the devil has tucked away, ready to spring on you, and He stands ready to help you through them. All you have to do, is follow His lead.

But, that is where the problem comes in. Many people, tend to think, that their situation is unique. They tend to think, that they know what is best for them. Yet, none of them can tell from one moment to the next, what will happen in their lives. As you are reading this message, somebody has died, and is in hell, because they didn't know that their time had run out. They went to bed last night, thinking that they would wake up this morning, and didn't. Or, they got up, and started to work, and didn't make it. Any one of a number of scenario's. And the point is, they went about their lives, thinking, that they were alright with God. He is just like me, they thought. If He was in this situation, He would be doing the same thing. But, the problem is, He was in the same situation they were in, and He didn't do what they did. In every area, where man is tempted to sin, He did not.

Let me ask you this. Do you have to be a junkie, before you tell an addict, that they are killing themselves?? Do you have to risk getting AIDS, just so you can tell those that are committing fornication, or adultery, that they are endangering their lives?? The bible says, 'FOOL'S DESPISE INSTRUCTION AND WISDOM' (PROV. 1:7b). That means that they will find any excuse, or make any argument, to support what they are doing. Why? Because of the pleasure they are getting. Oh yes, there is pleasure in sin (HEB.11:25). But, there is also death and damnation (ROM. 6:23). Anyone, that seeks to justify their sin, is a fool. I didn't say it, the Bible says it.

Just like refusing help, when going into that dark room, with all the furniture in it. You get in there, and break your neck or something, then you come out talking about, 'why did this happen to me?' Someone tells them, 'it's because you went in there alone.' Then you say, 'well, let's see you go in there.' They say, 'o.k.', and go and get someone to guide them through the room. Then you say, 'well if I had someone helping me, then I wouldn't have gotten hurt.' Do you see what I am saying?? Do you see how silly the argument is? Since there is only one person, that knows how to negotiate this life, in such a manner, as to guide you through, to eternal life, why don't you take Him up on it?

Verse 21, says that Jesus, came, to save His people, from their sins. And that includes the punishment that goes along with them, eternal damnation.

Jesus, came here as a baby, born of a woman, and lived His life, from that stage, to manhood. In all that time, He never sinned, even though He was subjected to far more than you or I will ever face. His reward, was seeing His people, Jews, Gentiles, black, white, and all other races, having a path to eternal life. All they have to do, is what they have been telling others to do. WALK A MILE IN JESUS' SHOES. For if you do that, you will achieve all that God has for you. All you have to do, is get saved. Saved from what, you say. Saved from the condemnation that is on every man, woman, boy and girl. Unless you get saved, you will go to hell. That is what we inherited from Adam. We had no hope, until Jesus came, to make the way for us to get back to the place God intended for us to be. As far as where you have to go, to get saved, you can do it right now, right where you are. All you have to do is say, "JESUS, I AM A SINNER, AND I AM SORRY FOR MY SINFUL WAYS. WILL YOU COME INTO MY HEART, AND CLEANSE ME FROM ALL MY SIN, AND BE LORD OF MY LIFE. I ACCEPT YOU AS LORD AND SAVIOR, AND WITH YOUR HELP, I WILL LIVE MY LIFE FOR YOU. I BELIEVE THAT YOU DIED ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS, AND WERE RAISED FROM THE DEAD, FOR MY JUSTIFICATION." If you prayed that prayer, from the heart, meaning every word, congratulations, you are now saved. The next thing you need to do, is start learning about what God wants you to begin doing. Among these things, is get water baptized, in the name of Jesus as a symbolic act of the remission of your sins. Also, seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which will be the evidence of God's power, being given to you, as recorded in the book of Acts, chapter 2. You may not feel any different, but believe me, no, believe God, YOU ARE A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST. OLD THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY, AND BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE NEW (2 COR. 5:17)