Summary: Late one night while traveling in an unfamiliar city, Tony Campolo wandered into a diner where the only other customers were a group of prostitutes. He overheard one of them say that tomorrow was her birthday. So the next night he came back with a cake an
Happy Birthday, Agnes! Text: Daniel 12:2-3
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament,
and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
True Story: Late one night while traveling in an unfamiliar city, Tony Campolo wandered into a diner where the only other customers were a group of prostitutes. He overheard one of them say that tomorrow was her birthday. So the next night he came back with a cake and a sign that read, “Happy Birthday, Agnes.” Campolo says, “The door swung open and in came Agnes… never have I seen a person so flabbergasted. Her eyes moistened… and she started to cry. Not knowing what else to do I said, ‘What do you say we pray?’ I prayed with Agnes: for her salvation, that her life would be changed. That God would be good to her. When I finished, the guy behind the counter said, ‘What kinda church do you belong to anyway?’ I replied, ‘The kind that throws birthday parties for prostitutes.’ He waited a moment, and then answered, ‘No you don’t. There’s no church like that. If there was, I’d join!”
Introduction: In Genesis 22:17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. Here are two promises about seed given unto Abraham: 1. God say’s His seed will be as the sands of the earth. (This promise represents the natural, physical nation of Israel.) 2. God also promised that Abraham’s seed would be as the stars of heaven. (These are the people of the New Covenant, the exalted people. That’s the church. We too are the seed of Abraham. We are the stars of Heaven!)
I. God’s plan for our lives started as a seed, but it ends as a bright star! Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
A. John Ashcroft had just moved from the governor’s mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri, to Washington, D.C. to become a United States senator. In 1995, John’s father and friends gathered together to pray for him. John’s father made this statement “The Spirit of Washington is arrogance, he said, “and the Spirit of Christ is humility. Someday I hope that someone will come up to you as you’re fulfilling your duties as a senator, tug on your sleeve, and say, “Senator, your spirit is showing.”
B. The Message Bible say’s in Daniel 12:3"’Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever.
C. As people in the United States open their gifts I wonder how many of them will remember Jesus?
D. Matthew 5: 13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
E. In closing there are five things I know: 1. The god of this world does not want your light to shine! 2. The devil doesn’t want you to have complete knowledge (personal knowledge) that Jesus Christ is with you always. 3. I know Jesus loves you and died for you! 4. Jesus has your name written in the book of life. (But the devil doesn’t want you to know or understand your identity.) 5. The Bible was given to you to grow, and become strong!
F. Don’t think that star magazine, people, GQ or any other book beside the Bible will give you strength, light and life!
G. In closing, I want you to say with me, “Happy Birthday Jesus!” I want us to come together and sing, “Come Let Us Adore Him”