Christmas Eve Reflections…

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas!

  This has been a wonderful year for Uncle Jeff. Why? Many reasons…but the most obvious one is Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Second? I am now a married man! On August 15th, I married the love of my life, Rachel.  God has blessed me richly with this lovely woman. Hallelujah!

  Okay…now to some reflections:

  I have been thinking about salvation, the Gospel, assurance of salvation, perseverance of the those who are saved, and all kinds of other things these days. Here are some Scripture meditations and links to Gospel-related content that I think might be helpful.

  1. A few years ago I wrote a blog about my belief in Jesus. These statements are simply written to be clear for those who might speak English as a second-language. I did not back them with Scripture, but I can if anyone needs clarification. Click here for that blog post.

  2. Lately, for my morning devotionals I have been pondering the “faith chapter” in Hebrews – Hebrews 11. In that chapter, the writer of Hebrews (I think the Apostle Paul wrote Hebrews) Works through an amazing list of men and women who had faith in God and were counted righteous because of their faith. Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

   The amazing thing about this chapter is the people Paul references are deeply flawed, sinful humans. If you take some time and read the life histories of these people in the Old Testament, you would see that they have serious issues. Adultery, murder, deceit, pride, anger, etc. Now, does God just overlook those issues in these people? No…not at all.

  Rather, God forgives them of their sins just like He will forgive us….through belief in Jesus Christ. This is the Gospel. In Romans 10:17, Paul writes, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Jesus said, “I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

  You must be born again through belief in Jesus Christ. You believe that Jesus is God. You know that you are a sinner. You repent (turn from) of your sin and ask God to forgive you through the blood of Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross paid your penalty. This turning from your own righteousness to trusting in Jesus for salvation is hard on your pride. Turn. Trust. Repent. Believe. Live!

  Here are some links to resources for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These men can explain it in ways that I cannot. Take some time and watch and listen. Really try to hear the Gospel. Do you believe?

   – John Piper: John is a pastor in Minnesota. He loves Jesus. He explains the Gospel in 6 minutes. Click here.

  – Propaganda: Prop is a spoken-word artist who loves the Lord and proclaims the Gospel in a unique and powerful way. The message is true, but the delivery is anointed. Click here.

  – Tim Keller: Tim is a pastor in NYC. New York City?!?!?! Yep, New York. He is a clear speaker. This clip is from a Q&A session at a university. He clarifies the difference between religion and true faith in Jesus. Click here.

  I hope and pray these resources give you something to think about and to place your hope and trust – Jesus!

  Merry Christmas,

  Uncle Jeff

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Christmas Program…er, Party

Hey y’all-

Last night, I went to a Christmas program at the Change Life Church in Banciao, Taiwan. We had a fine time. It was a unlike any Christmas program I’ve ever been to in the U.S. Here are some thoughts:

1. The program was called a “party.” I think I like this.

2. They treated the program like a party. I liked that even better.

3. There were about 600-700 people there. It was packed! And, on a Saturday night.

4. I didn’t understand the testimonies but the drama was done well enough that I got the gist without knowing much Mandarin. (Take note church people. I got it without words….)

5. The dance teams were good. Enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

6. It was loud, energetic, exciting, and fun…..Christmasy.

7. Glad I went and we got to re-connect with some old friends from this church. We played an event there when we first came to Taiwan and they were happy to re-connect before we leave for America.

8. They gave an invitation and people responded. Imagine that…a Gospel presentation and invitation at a Christmas program.

Merry Christmas,

Uncle Jeff

Telling Taiwan about Jesus

Hey y’all-

We are here in Taiwan to tell the people about Jesus and His love for them. This is a foreign concept for them. Most people I have met have never heard about Jesus. Pray for them and for us. Pray that we will be faithful to tell. Pray that they will listen.

Here is what we are telling our friends in Taiwan:

  1. There is a God. He created all we see and all we do not see. He loves us. He wants to have a relationship with us.
  2. All people disobey God through our attitudes, actions, and our nature.
  3. Our relationship with God is broken.
  4. He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth as a man to get to know us.
  5. Jesus lived a perfect life.
  6. He proved He was God through signs and miracles.
  7. He died on the cross for our sin. He paid the price for us that we cannot pay.
  8. His greatest miracle was raising from the dead three days after his public execution.
  9. If we trust and believe in Jesus, our relationship is restored with God.
  10. We are adopted into the family of God through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
  11. We are to live in the grace and mercy of Jesus as we tell others about Him and grow in our faith.

This is the basic Gospel. Hard part: telling it to Mandarin speakers in bad Mandarin or broken English. Not easy.

I will post a simplified version very soon that we can use with our friends here.

Livin’ the dream.

Uncle Jeff

PS – Here are the Scripture references for people who like that kind of stuff.

  1. Genesis 1:1; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16
  2. Romans 3:23; Genesis 3
  3. Romans 5:10
  4. Philippians 2:5-8
  5. 2 Corinthians 5:21
  6. John 20:30-31
  7. Acts 3:12-15
  8. 1 Peter 1:3-5
  9. Romans 10:9-10
  10. Romans 8:15-17
  11. Romans 12:9-12