What’s it all about?

There is nothing more important than settling the eternity question.

But once you get it settled that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except by Jesus, you aren't finished. In fact, you have just started to live by faith.

The bible says over and over:

The just shall live by faith.

Everything we do, think or say is a reflection of what we believe. What you believe and don't believe has direct bearing on your pleasing God or not. It really matters to God whether or not you believe Him and the things He has said.

My goal here is to get you to think about not only what you believe, but why you believe it. I also make it my aim to introduce you to (or remind you of) some amazing promises He has given us. It will be up to you whether or not you believe Him, but I will do my best to assist you.

Along the way, I want to help remove doubts from you. Doubts about God, about the bible and about yourself.

In these pages, I hope to give you plenty of reasons to trust our most awesome God in every area of your life. Nothing is too big; nothing is too small. Nothing is impossible with Him! All things are possible to him who believes.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
[Ephesians 3:20-21]


Kevin McCabe
Rowlett, TX

Bible Software

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The Spirit of Christmas

[Note: I was invited to speak at the Torres Unit, part of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison system, as part of an annual Christmas program put on by many of the inmates. Following is a transcript of that message given on December 15, 2011]

How can we talk about Christmas and not talk about giving? It’s impossible. Even the world that doesn’t know God or love Jesus understands that Christmas is about giving. Tonight I want to remind you of how Christmas began, what was given to us and why.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  [17]  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  [18]  “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

That name is Jesus.

Jesus did not come to condemn the world—let’s face it—it was already in a condemned state. By condemned I mean this: marked for destruction. When a building is condemned it is not immediately destroyed, but it is marked for destruction. No, Jesus did not condemn the world. Just like a Navy Seal covert operation dropping men in behind enemy lines to save hostages, Jesus slipped into this world into enemy occupied territory on a rescue mission.

…our Lord Jesus Christ…gave Himself for our sins, that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, [Galatians 1:3-4]

God gave Jesus to the world. Jesus gave Himself. But like any gift, it is not yours unless it is received.

But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: [John 1:12]

By and large, the world has ignored the gift of God called Jesus. Some of you present have done the same thing. You hear a message like this one, and you CHOOSE to ignore the call of God to rescue you—to redeem your life from destruction. You can’t save yourself. Stop running from God. Stop resisting Jesus. Sometime, before this night, December 15, 2011 is through, respond to God. Tell Him, Lord I yield my life to you, save me, rescue me, redeem me. I need you, Lord Jesus.

Salvation starts with believing and receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior. But it does not end there. It continues with receiving His Spirit—the Holy Spirit—and being led by His Spirt.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  [12]  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  [13]  For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  [14]  For AS MANY AS ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THESE ARE SONS OF GOD. [Romans 8:11-14]

I want to remind you that the Holy Spirit is as much a gift from God as Jesus is.

And just as the world has ignored the gift of Jesus, many in the church have ignored the gift of God called the Holy Spirit.

If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?  [12]  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? [Luke 11:11-12]

OF COURSE NOT! Even though we pale in comparison to God’s goodness, we still know how to give good and appropriate gifts to our children. How much more, then, does God?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit TO THOSE WHO ASK HIM!” [Luke 11:13]

A gift. Not a prize to be earned, but a gift, simply for the asking. I want to remind you—to encourage you—to ask for this gift of His Spirit.

Jesus said to His disciples

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.  [16]  And I will pray the Father, and HE WILL GIVE YOU ANOTHER HELPER, that He may abide with you forever–  [17]  THE SPIRIT of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  [18]  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. [John 14:15-23]

After Jesus ascended to Heaven, He fulfilled His promise. On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit was given in full measure.

Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. [Acts 2:33]

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”  [37]  Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  [38]  Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and YOU SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. [Acts 2:36-38]

Now, listen to this: The very first gospel presentation ever preached after the resurrection of Jesus, and Peter did NOT say, “and you shall receive the gift of eternal life.” He said you would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!

Jesus met a woman at a well and asked her for a drink.

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew THE GIFT OF GOD, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you LIVING WATER.”  [11]  The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that LIVING WATER?  [12]  Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”  [13]  Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,  [14]  but whoever drinks of THE WATER THAT I SHALL GIVE him will never thirst. But THE WATER THAT I SHALL GIVE him will become in him a fountain of WATER SPRINGING UP INTO EVERLASTING LIFE. [John 4:10-14]

The gift of God is the water—the living water. Another way of saying it is “the life-giving water”. So, what is this water Jesus is speaking of? Later we read…

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  [38]  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of LIVING WATER.”  [39]  But this He spoke concerning THE SPIRIT, whom those believing in Him would receive; for THE HOLY SPIRIT was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:37-40]

Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as living water. His promise is “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst”. The Holy Spirit is the gift. But Jesus made it clear that we should drink of that water. And when we do, that living water springs up into everlasting life—eternal life.

We have been living as though the primary gift is that of eternal life and the Holy Spirit is some kind of secondary gift.  But the reality is, the primary gift IS THE SPIRIT—whose presence yields a BYPRODUCT that is eternal life. Jesus said the water He gives—the Holy Spirt—will spring up into everlasting life. The gift of the Spirit produces everlasting life.

We need the Spirit of God for our salvation every bit as much as we need air, water and food for our bodies! And not just for our own salvation, but the salvation of the world around us.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”  [22]  And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT.” [John 20:21-22]

Not “receive eternal life.” Receive the Holy Spirit. We must drink the water. We should thirst for it. As the Father sent Jesus into this world—anointed by the Holy Spirit, so does Jesus send us into this world: empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are sent for the same purpose as well: draw men and women to the Father.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8]

We struggle to witness for Jesus in the flesh, but empowered by the Holy Spirit, it comes naturally, it becomes second nature—actually, primary nature.

Long before Jesus ever told anyone to receive the Holy Spirit, His own mother was told essentially the same thing: receive the Holy Spirit and His power will work in you. Before there ever was a Christmas, there was the Spirit of Christmas.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,  [27]  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  [28]  And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”  [29]  But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.  [30]  Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  [31]  And behold, YOU WILL CONCEIVE IN YOUR WOMB AND BRING FORTH A SON, AND SHALL CALL HIS NAME JESUS.  [32]  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  [33]  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  [34]  Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  [35]  And the angel answered and said to her, “THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL COME UPON YOU, AND THE POWER OF THE HIGHEST WILL OVERSHADOW YOU; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. [Luke 1:26-37]

What was Mary’s assignment? Conceive in your womb and bring forth a son called Jesus. Mary asked how in the world could that happen? The answer? The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the highest will overshadow you. The Lord Himself would put His seed in her—not the fallen, corrupted seed of man, but the perfect, incorruptible seed of God.

Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin, eight hundred years prior to the birth of Messiah. And He was.

The Bible tells us that Mary was a virgin. She was pure, blessed, and highly favored.

When you repent of your sins and cry out to God for forgiveness, you’re sins are remitted in the name of Jesus Christ. You are washed white as snow, and you are more pure than any virgin that ever lived.

Mary was pure, blessed and highly favored. The angel said so. But even so, THAT WASN’T ENOUGH for God’s will to be done! There still remained one more ingredient. The angel, Gabriel did not depart until something else happened.

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! LET IT BE TO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD.” And the angel departed from her. [Luke 1:38]

What if Mary had said “no?” Do you think for a minute God would have overtaken her and forced His will on her? God is no rapist. That is not how He operates. He does not force his way on us against our will. If He did, all men would be saved. The Holy Spirit operates in the same way.

In Genesis 1, we see the Holy Spirit hovering over the darkness. What is He waiting for? He’s waiting for God to speak:

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. [Genesis 1:3]

In Luke 1, we see the Holy Spirit waiting to overshadow Mary. What is He waiting for? He’s waiting for her to speak:

Let it be to me according to your word. [Luke 1:38]

Today, I believe the Holy Spirit wants to overshadow you. What is He waiting for? He’s waiting for you to speak the word.

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  [18]  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT [Ephesians 5:17-18]

So speak the word! “Lord, Your will be done. Fill me with Your Spirit! Let it be to me according to Your word. According to Your will.”

Mary’s assignment was this: conceive in your womb—and bring forth a son, and His name will be Jesus.

Your assignment? Absolutely no different! Allow the Holy Spirit to overshadow you and form Christ in you.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1:1]

We know that Jesus existed ages before His birth in the manger. However, He still had to be formed in Mary. And He still has to be formed in us.

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again UNTIL CHRIST IS FORMED IN YOU, [Galatians 4:19]

That is the goal. So allow Him to do that.

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; [Philippians 1:6]

As you know, there are indeed women who marry men for their money or assets with no intent on ever having their children. They marry only for what they can get. More than a few Christians have been guilty of marrying God in the same way! We want everything that God has to give us. But we are unwilling to give Him the one thing He asks of us: allow my Son to be formed in you.

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. [Acts 7:51]

Well, it’s time for that to change! So here is what I am calling you to do. Yield to God and say, have Your way with me. Your will be done. I want You to form Christ in me.

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. [Matthew 1:18]

That is the same way it will happen for you—if you will allow Him. Now, as you become more pregnant with God’s child, there are some things you should know:

  • As Christ begins to grow in you, you will no longer be a secret Christian.
    • Pregnant people stick out.
    • Pregnant people get noticed.
    • Pregnant people draw attention.
  • Be careful. The pregnant woman needs to make healthy choices. If she smokes or drinks, she will have to stop bringing that poison in, because she knows that her diet will affect the one that is growing within her. When you live with the understanding that “greater is He who is in you”, you will want to stop poisoning your temple with the things of this world.

    Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  [17]  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. [1 Corinthians 3:16]

  • When someone is pregnant we say that they are expecting.
    • When you ask God to fill you with His Spirit for the purpose of forming Christ in you, expect great things to happen to you, around you and through you! Expect it!

      Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS IN US [Ephesians 3:20]

      So, let His power work mightily in you!

    • Pregnant people talk about what they expect. Don’t be surprised that you are talking about Jesus more.
  • Pregnant people are radiant; they glow. If you are pregnant with Jesus, you are going to glow and be radiant. If Moses shone because he was in God’s presence, how much more should we shine because CHRIST IS IN US!

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. [Colossians 1:27]

So, when did Christmas begin? At the manger? When angels spoke to Shepherd’s? No, I believe it began when Mary said YES, LORD, LET IT BE TO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD. Now she could have said No. God would have been grieved, but He would have found another willing vessel to use.

Are you a willing vessel? God’s desire is to form Christ in you.

And like Mary, you have the option to say No, but I pray that tonight, like Mary, you will say Yes.

You see, as powerful as the Holy Spirit is, there is something more powerful than the Holy Spirit: your ability to quench Him!

You can say no, and grieve the Holy Spirit. Jesus, speaking to His very own church said in

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]

To His own church, Jesus stood on the OUTSIDE waiting and wanting to come in. He will not kick the door down. He could, but the fact is He won’t. He is not an intruder. He longs to be in fellowship with those who call themselves His.

I pray that you open that door tonight if you have not, and if you have, to keep it open. You can do both of those things right now by repeating this prayer after me:

Father, God, I thank you for the gift of Jesus. I thank you for rescuing me from this evil age. Thank you for redeeming my soul.

Father, I thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I desire to do Your will. You said Your will was for me to be filled with Your Spirit, so in obedience I ask You, Father, to fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

Father, I ask you to form Christ in me. I open the door to you. Have your way with me!

[NOTE: if you are reading this, SPEAK THIS PRAYER ALOUD! Like Romans 10:10, which says “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”]

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