August 28, 2015: 2:44 am: Return of Christ

 

1 Corinthians 3:10-15
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

The Judgment Seat (or Bema Seat) of Christ is for believers giving an account of their lives to Christ. The Judgment Seat of Christ does not determine salvation; that was determined by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:2), and our faith in Him (John 3:16). All of our sins are forgiven and we will never be condemned for them (Romans 8:1). We should not look at the Judgment Seat of Christ as God judging our sins, but rather as God rewarding us for our lives. Everything we have done outside of Him will be burned away. Only those things done for Him, by His direction and through His power will stand. When we build on the power of God within us, we build on His foundation. Romans 14:10 states, “…Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God.” The time will come when all of those in Christ will stand before Him and give an account of what we did with the gifts He gave us to do His work. It is not a time to fear, but a time to receive rewards for work done on the earth for Him. As believers we need to be prepared and know His Word. If we are working on knowing Him and knowing His Word, we will hear His voice guiding us into the work He has set before us. It is not about “doing” things for Him; it is about hearing His voice and moving in the direction He guides. Move forward in the direction He has set and when you stand before Him you will hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

Have a God Day!

 

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August 27, 2015: 2:42 am: God in us

Romans 8:35-39
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? 36 (Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. 39 Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Sometimes when we are facing overwhelming trouble the first thing we think is God has deserted us. But just the opposite is true. Sometimes the trouble is meant to be used by God to make us more into His image. God does not cause our pain, but He will use it to help us change and grow. Bad things happen to us for 3 reasons; 1.) We live in a world of sin, so every person alive today is dying, all of us will suffer from our bodies dying one way or another. And because of sin there is evil in the world and bad things will happen. 2.) Sometimes our own behaviors or choices will cause bad things to happen to us. Not all the time, but sometimes we make the wrong choice and suffer the consequences of our choice. 3.) Sometimes we suffer because we serve a Lord the world does not recognize and are persecuted because we serve Him and not the world. Most of the time our troubles are because of the first two reasons, but whatever the reason, it is more important to know that nothing ever happens to you that is not God filtered. In other words, God knew about it and it happened. But more important is the fact that God will never leave you or leave you without hope. Just because He does not remove everything that comes against you, does not mean He does not love you. He gives you the strength and the direction to go through the trial and to become stronger because of it. God has a vision of the sanctified you and He is working out His plan to bring you to the perfection of Christ. You need to be re-trained by God to become like Christ and sometimes that means overcoming your sinful self. That is not always easy, but is always for your good. So never forget how much God loves you and that He will never leave you alone. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

Have a God Day!

 

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August 26, 2015: 7:43 pm: Love

 

John 16: 29-33
31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming-in fact, it is already here-when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The instructions that Jesus gave us reflect how He lived His life while He was here on the earth. He told us not to be alarmed when we have trials and problems. He had them, and so would we. We have all suffered from struggles, problems and trials. Some have suffered more than others, but all of those in Christ will experience them. How we deal with them is another question. How we handle our grief is dependent on how we have built our life. If you are about to set sail to cross the ocean do you want to get on a ship that was just built for smooth sailing or do you want to get on the ship that can handle the storm? Of course we expect smooth sailing, but in the event that something should change, don’t you want to be on the ship that can take the unstable sea? The same goes for our lives. We need to build our life on the principles of the Word of God and live as Jesus lived. If we know Him and know His Word, we will be prepared for anything this world can throw at us. We expect smooth sailing, but we also know that problems will come. Those who build their lives on Christ are prepared for the most difficult illness, financial problem or even death of a loved one. They are prepared before the trail comes because they have built their life on the Rock. When you know Him, you know peace no matter what your circumstance. Because your peace is based on His promise and not on the outcome of your situation, you will weather the storm. Even in your sorrow, you have a sense of well being because you know He is with you and will never leave. So don’t set sail in life without preparing. Be grounded in His Word, know Him and you will know peace.

Have a God Day!

 

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August 25, 2015: 7:38 pm: Return of Christ

Luke 21:20-24
20 “And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. 21 Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Let those in Jerusalem escape, and those outside the city should not enter it for shelter. 22 For those will be days of God’s vengeance, and the prophetic words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled. 23 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for mothers nursing their babies. For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 They will be brutally killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be conquered and trampled down by the Gentiles until the age of the Gentiles comes to an end.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jesus gave us information about the end times and spoke of the Age of the Gentiles. This began with Babylon’s destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and the first exile of the Jewish people. This was the last time the Jewish people were under their own rule until 1948 when Israel became a nation once again. But the Age of the Gentiles will continue until Jesus Christ is ruling the earth from Jerusalem. Jesus was telling the Jews that they would be dominated by the Gentiles until this time. And we have seen this come to pass, as the Jews have been conquered and trampled down by Gentiles for thousands of years. Jerusalem is surrounded by enemies today and they will continue to try and destroy her until Christ returns. As a believer in Christ we should not fear these times we live in, but have great peace because we know that Christ’s return is near. We rejoice not over all of the trouble in the world, but that God has everything under control. These terrible times of war, hurricanes and strange tides were all predicted by Christ and only show us that His Word is true and that He is in control. Rather than being terrified by what is happening in our world we should confidently wait Christ’s return to bring justice and restoration to the entire world.

Have a God Day!

 

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August 24, 2015: 3:18 am: Christian Love

John 15:5-8
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! 8 My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There are some who claim to be a part of Christ, but feel that they do not need to belong to His body. This would be a group of people who believe that Christ is Lord and gather together to worship and serve Him by serving each other. But Christ has told us that to be a part of Him; we need to be a part of His body. 1 Corinthians 12:12 tells us, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ.” So to claim to belong to Christ, but not be a part of a group of believers will eventually lead you away from Christ. In order to remain in Christ, we must know Him by knowing His Word and we must belong to His body by worshipping with those who also serve Him. If you are apart from His body, you are apart from Him. 1 Corinthians 12:27 goes on to say, “Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” Being a part of a group of believers that come together regularly and worship Christ is not an option. Those who think they can serve Christ outside of His body are only being deceived. We must encompass all parts of Him. And that includes His people, His Word, and His truth. Outside of this you cannot be attached to Christ. Where are you going today to worship Him? Are you a part of His body? If not, then you cannot be a part of Him. And outside of Him, you will wither and die. Know the truth of His Word by reading and studying it, and be a part of His body. All of us together are stronger than each of us individually. Look only to His Word for truth and you will not be separated from Him.

Have a God Day

 

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August 21, 2015: 1:14 am: Return of Christ

Zechariah 9:9-10
9 Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey-even on a donkey’s colt. 10 I will remove the battle chariots from Israel and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and I will destroy all the weapons used in battle. Your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When we view two distant mountains, they appear to be close together, even touch each other.  But as we approach them, we can see that they far apart, even separated by a huge valley. This is the situation with many Old Testament prophecies.  Verse 9 was fulfilled when Christ rode into Jerusalem before His crucifixion. It was prophesied 500 years before it happen by Zechariah, but the rest is history for us today. Verse 10 refers to His Second Coming. And it is in the future for those of us today.  Just as this prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus came to the earth the first time, so the prophecies of His second coming are just as certain to come true.  We have the privilege of living in a time when we can see some prophecies have already come to pass.  So we should have faith that God will do what He said He would do.  Just as He came once to save us, He is coming again.  Acts 1:11 states, “They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!'” The Bible gives us a clear picture of what the future will hold.  Read and study His Word, know what God has promised.  Then trust Him that His Word is true and His peace will cover you.  Perfect peace will keep your strong as you live for Him.

Have a God Day!

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August 20, 2015: 1:09 am: Grace

Good Morning!

Zachariah 7:8-13
8 Then this message came to Zachariah from the Lord: 9 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: Judge fairly and honestly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. 10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and poor people. And do not make evil plans to harm each other. 11 “Your ancestors would not listen to this message. They turned stubbornly away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing. 12 They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the law or the messages that the Lord Almighty had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the Lord Almighty was so angry with them. 13 “Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Every time we sin, it gets easier to do it again.  Any sin seems more natural the second time, as we become hardened each repetition is easier.  Ignoring or refusing to listen to God hardens you each time you go against His will.  Just as it gets easier to sin, it gets easier to follow God when we walk according to His Word.  We decide which direction we will go and when we chose to walk in obedience to Him, His Spirit steps in and gives us strenght.But casual or occasional obedience, the results of a half-hearted or divided commitment, does not lead to the blessings God has promised. If we are looking to God for strength to serve Him or strength not to sin, His hands are tied if we only want the blessing and not do the obedience.  God will help us if we are committed to Him.  God’s Word tells us that an attitude of worship without a sincere desire to know and love Him will lead to ruin. What is your commitment to Him today? How long has it been since you spent time with Him in prayer or studied His Word?  Examine your life and see if it is easy to sin or if it easy to say no because God’s Word is in your heart.  Your actions will show where your commitment is.

Have a God Day!

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August 19, 2015: 1:07 am: God in us

Jonah 3:1-5
Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message of judgment I have given you.”
3 This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they decided to go without food and wear sackcloth to show their sorrow.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jonah had run away from God but was given a second chance to participate in God’s work.  God sent him to Nineveh to do His work, not Jonah’s. After being in the belly of a fish for 3 days Jonah finally repented of disobeying God and did what God had instructed.  You may feel disqualified from serving God because of past mistakes.  Or you may feel unworthy to do God’s work because you are not perfect.  But serving God is not an earned position. No one qualifies for God’s service, but God still asks us to carry out His work and do His will. The Word of God is for everyone and those who call Him Lord are all called to obey Him.  Obedience means doing His will and doing His will means doing His work. His work is telling others about the salvation of Christ and building each other up to maturity in Christ.  God wants your obedience out of a heart that loves Him.  He does not want to condemn you. Romans 8:1 states, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” So move forward in obedience to Him and get to know Him more and you will hear His voice directing you to action. If we obey God, He will lead us. No one is exempt from His work, no matter how unqualified you feel.  Your feelings have nothing to do with it.  It is your act of obedience that God will use to do His work.

Have a God Day!

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August 18, 2015: 1:04 am: Love

John 14:21-29
21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. 29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Jesus said that His followers show their love for Him by obeying Him.  Love is more than words; it is commitment and conduct.  If you love Christ, then prove it by walking in obedience to His Word.  When we know Him, we love Him. And when we love Him, we walk in obedience to Him.  When we walk in obedience to Him, we know His peace.  The Holy Spirit gives us perfect peace when we love Him. Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance. The peace given to us from God is not dependent on the circumstances of our life, but is present in any circumstance we may face.  And this peace cannot be taken away from us, no matter what may happen.  Our peace is in Christ not in what is happening in our lives, or to our bodies, or to our loved ones.  It is a peace that covers our very souls with assurance that God is in control and that He will work all things out for our good because we love Him.  And when we love Him, we obey Him.  It all comes back to how we show Him we love Him.  Show Christ that you love Him by knowing His Word and doing His Word.  Take the time to love Christ to someone you know today by being His hand extended with acts of kindness and love that can only come from our Savior.

Have a God Day!

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August 17, 2015: 1:03 am: Love

Ecclesiastes 3:10-14
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil-this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

What is this burden God has laid on the entire human race?  For those in Christ Jesus, we have God living in us.  This makes us righteous before Him.  We are not righteous because of what we have done, but because we believe what He has done for us.  But we also still have our sinful nature in us while we live in this world.  This is part of the burden we have.  All humans have the burden of our sinful nature.  But for those in Christ, we also have the Spirit of God in us.  So we have the privileges of royalty while having the duties of slaves.  While we live in this world, we know we have right standing with God the Father, yet we continue to sin.  This burden weighs heavily on the heart that does not understand the amazing grace of Christ.  God will make everything beautiful in its time, but until then we need to continue to know Him more and work out the sanctification of our souls. Our mind, will and emotions are subject to our sinful nature. And even though we continue to sin, our position in Jesus Christ does not change.  Nothing can ever separate us from His love and grace. Our mind may tell us different, but we can feed it the Word of God.  His Word cuts through any lie we may tell ourselves or that others may tell us.  So understand the burden God has placed on us all while understanding that nothing can ever remove you from the grace and love that God gave when Jesus Christ went to the Cross and you believed Him. Believe Him now in knowing that we may stumble, but we are never removed from His love!

Have a God Day!

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