Sermons

Summary: We must make room for Jesus at Christmas. God wants to fill us with His presence. We have to create space for Him, not the other way around.

Moving in the Neighborhood!

John 1:14

Dr. Jim Bohrer

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor.

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?...

It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,

A neighborly day for a beauty.

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?...

I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.

I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.

Since we're together we might as well say:

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?

Won't you be my neighbor?

Won't you please,

Perhaps you know Fred Rogers and his theme song. A song he wrote. He wants to live in your neighborhood. That is a good feeling. The God of this Universe, the one who in the first verses of John, the first verses of Genesis made everything that is seen and that which is unseen wants to be your neighbor. In fact, He could sing the very song above about you! From the beginning of time, Jesus wanted to be your neighborhood. He wanted to live in a place where you are! Notice, Mr. Rogers did not say, “I wanted to live in Carmel, Brownsburg, Fishers, or Avon.” I wanted to live in your neighborhood because YOU are there.

NIV John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Dwelling: ἐπισκηνόω; σκηνόω; to dwell as in tents, to tabernacle.

GOD MADE HIMSELF KNOWN TO MOSES.

Ever since the cool bowers of Eden, God has longed to restore the relationship with everyone!

NIV Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

See God was taking a stroll around the neighborhood. Adam and Eve ran off like hoodlums. They hid from God.

It reminds me of pastoral visitation:

It was a Saturday and pastor went out members. At one house, it was obvious that the couple was home, cars parked in the driveway, lights on, music playing, but nobody came to the door even though the preacher knocked several times. Finally, the preacher took out his card, wrote out "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it, and stuck it in the door.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me. - Revelation 3:20

The next day, the card turned up in the collection plate. Below the preacher's message was written the following notation:

I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. - Genesis 3:10

God is not cliquish. He wants to move into your neighborhood. He wants to dine with you and spend time with you. Christmas reveals once again God’s desire to be with you.

I had a friend, Mark, tell me recently when I asked him about God, “Oh, God doesn’t want me.” I don’t know what Mark has done or what he thinks he could have done that would make the Lord avoid him. I am confident that it is nothing along the lines of what Cain did.

Have you ever thought how different God really is than what people think of Him? I thought how odd. Back in Genesis, Jesus came to the porch of Cain:

Genesis 4:6-7 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

The Lord sat down with a cold hearted killer and tried to reason with him. Cain, you are going to destroy the neighborhood if you go this direction. Lets stay together. Lets work this out. But the Bible says Cain went away from the neighborhood into the field. He moved away from the Lord’s presence and killed his own brother. And yet God had mercy on him. God tried to keep a brother in the neighborhood but Cain fled the Lord’s presence to the land of Nod. I truly believe the Lord would have forgiven Cain, but Cain had let his heart lead him astray. He didn’t want to be a good neighbor.

I would say to anyone who wants to be in God’s presence, no matter what you have done, where you are at now, the Lord wants to be your neighbor. He wants you to belong to His family. If He could reach out to Cain, I can guarantee you He will reach out to you.

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