November 25, 2014: 7:27 pm: Christian Love

1 Peter 1:13-16

13 So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. 14 Obey God because you are his children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God-who chose you to be his children-is holy. 16 For he himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

To be holy is the will of God for your life. Being holy means being totally devoted to God, set aside for His special use and set apart from sin and its influence. God’s qualities in our life make us different. No other religion the world has ever invented makes this claim. Only Christianity states that we are holy because of God in us. Others tell you to be good under your own power. Those who obey the rules of their religion think they are better than those who do not. The power in holiness is theirs. But Christ asks to do something different, we are to submit our will to His. Christ imparts His righteousness into us when we accept His gift of salvation. God then lives in us. We move forward under the direction of the Father through the power of His Spirit in us. As we know Him, we love Him and as we know Him, we live for Him. Only with Christ in us are we holy. Not through our own power but through the power of God in us. We are then free to move forward in righteousness, because He gave us righteousness. Does your life reflect what God has done for you? He paid the ultimate price to give you this freedom. Do you know Him, does it show? If not go back to the beginning, go back to the cross and start over again. God is patient, He will show you, He will lead you. You trusted Him for grace, now trust Him for holiness.

Have a God Day!

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November 24, 2014: 7:04 pm: Christian Love

Colossians 3:12-17

l2 Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony: 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful. 16 Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Love is not a feeling, it is a decision to meet the needs of another. Paul is saying we are to “put on” love. We are to act love to the people we come into contact with. It starts with our thinking and then leads to actions of love and then we “feel” love. This is true with any relationship you have and even with casual contact with strangers. The rule is to give love and you will then live in peace with all those around you. This does not mean that suddenly all differences of opinion disappear, but it does require that you work together despite your differences. To love does not mean you agree with everything someone else does. But you continue to offer loving acceptance and giving in spite of their weakness. Isn’t this what Christ offered to you? How can we give any less than what He gave to us? Living in love is truly letting the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and makes you wise.

Have a God Day!

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November 21, 2014: 8:12 pm: Christian Love

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There is a two sided reality of the Christian life. On the one hand, we are complete in Christ (our acceptance with Him is secure). On the other hand, we are growing in Christ (we are becoming more like Him). At one and the same time we have the status of kings and the duties of slaves. We feel both the presence of Christ and the pressure to sin. We enjoy the peace that comes from being made right with God, but we still face daily problems that often help us grow. If we remember the two sides of the Christian life, we will not grow discouraged when we face temptations and problems. Instead learn to depend on the power of Christ within you. The more of Him in you, the less of you in your life decisions and you will be living in the safety of His will.

Have a God Day!

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November 19, 2014: 8:02 pm: Christian Love

Psalm 85:10-12

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
For the Lord God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory.
No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right.
O Lord Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God’s loving presence is our greatest joy. Outside of God there is no joy. What the world has to offer is only fleeting. The world can only offer what it has and the joy that comes is only for a moment. But the joy of the Lord is forever! Outside of Him there can be no peace, there can be no happiness. And those who dwell in the house of the Lord will be contented for eternity. As Nehemiah 8:10 states, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Whatever has you down today do not let it rob you of the joy of knowing the love of your God. He can sustain you as you walk through the valley of weeping. Growing strong in God’s presence is often preceded by a journey through barren places in our lives. And those who know of God’s love will experience it as they walk through a valley of pain. Trust in Him to give you what you need in your time of trail. Remember it is better to be a gatekeeper in the house of the Lord than to live the good life in the house of the wicked. God’s love can sustain through anything this world can bring. Remember, God’s loving presence is your greatest joy.

Have a God Day!

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November 18, 2014: 7:46 pm: Christian Love

James 2:18-24

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” I say, “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” 19 Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! 20 Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did-by his actions. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.” He was even called “the friend of God.” 24 So you see, we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There are three principles of faith. 1. Commitment. It is an essential part of faith. You cannot be a Christian simply by affirming right doctrine or agreeing with Bible truths. You must commit your mind and heart to Christ. Just knowing the Word will not save you. You must believe it. 2. Right actions. They are the natural by-product of a heart that is changed by faith. 3. Faith without good deeds is useless. It doesn’t do anyone any good. Paul taught us that the purpose of faith is to bring salvation, but James taught us the results of faith are a changed life. We cannot earn our salvation by works, but such actions show that our commitment to God is real. Faith always results in a changed life and moving forward in the work of Christ. Active obedience demonstrates that our faith is genuine. Where do you fit in? Does your faith show through your works. What are you doing for Christ that would show your faith in Him? Take time to ask yourself these questions and then go before Him and seek His direction to move into action.

Have a God Day!

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November 17, 2014: 8:29 pm: Love

Romans 1:18-

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. 19 For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20 From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

A common excuse people use to not believe in God is asking, “How can a loving God send someone to hell?” Or another one is, “How can God cause such destruction and death?” They are referring to earthquakes, hurricanes, murder, abuse and any other evil that happens. But God does not cause anyone to die or go to hell. We are all going to die one way or another because we were all born into sin. No one can argue this point it is a fact of life. And people send themselves to hell by not believing in Christ. But what about the person who has never heard about Him? The truth is that God has revealed Himself plainly in creation to all people. And yet some reject even the basic knowledge of God. All people have an inner sense of what God requires, but they choose not to live up to it, Put another way, people’s moral standards are always better than their behavior. If people suppress God’s truth in order to live their own way, they have no excuse. They know the truth because the Word tells us that God has put this knowledge in their hearts. And they will have to endure the consequences of ignoring it. This doesn’t however, negate our responsibility to tell others about Him, but only takes away their own excuses to not believe in Christ.

Have a God Day!

 

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November 14, 2014: 8:44 pm: Christian Love

James 1:19-21

My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. James is wisely advising us to do the reverse. Put a mental stopwatch on your conversation, and keep track of how much you talk and how much you listen. When you talk with others, if you listen more than you talk, you will learn much more about the person you are speaking with. This is very important with our spouses and our children. Listen to what they are saying and you will be surprised at how much you learn about them. Then when you do have something to say, they will be more likely to listen to you. By listening to them, you have communicated how much you care about them. It will show that they are important to you and they will feel more comfortable with you. Your love for God will show in how well you listen to others.

Have a God Day!

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November 13, 2014: 8:42 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:5-8

5 If you need wisdom-if you want to know what God wants you to do-ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 They can’t make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

A doubtful mind is not completely convinced that God’s way is best. It treats God’s Word like any human advice and retains the option to disobey. It vacillates between allegiance to subjective feelings, the world’s ideas, and Gods commands. In order to overcome a doubtful mind, we have to put aside what we think we know and our feelings and put God’s Word into action. People who react to life from their feelings are children. Being mature in any situations means doing the hard thing. It means doing what we know we should do even if we do not feel like it. This is true faith in God. Doing what He has asked us to do because we know His way is best and will lead to accomplishing His will. If you find yourself doubting His Word, take a step of faith and put His Word into action. Proverbs 3:5 states it best, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding.” The purpose of faith is salvation, but the results of faith are a changed life. Let God move you into the person He knows you are and do not doubt Him.

Have a God Day!

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November 12, 2014: 7:50 pm: Christian Love

James 1:3-5

2 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. 3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We can’t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not keep us from all pain. He is more interested in what is in our hearts than our comfort. God is interested in what is lasting or eternal like our souls, not in what is temporary like our money or our possessions. Are you ready for anything today or are you struggling to get more from this world? God never promised that we would not have trouble, but trouble comes from desiring the things that have no value in the sight of God. Put your faith in Him and trust that He will make you stronger in your faith toward Him in all of your trails. God is making you into His image by your faith in Him when things go wrong. Don’t give up and when you do fail, go back to Him and start again. God will keep you safe in His love as you go through the tough times.

Have a God Day!

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November 10, 2014: 9:29 pm: Christian Love

Hebrews 13:20-21

20-21 And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to him. Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting covenant, signed with his blood. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Hebrews is a call for Christian maturity. It addresses Christians of any age or background. Christian maturity means making Christ the beginning and the end of our faith. God works in us to make us the kind of people that would please Him, and He equips us to do the kind of work that would please Him. To grow in maturity, we must center our life on Him. It means not falling back into sin, not trusting in ourselves and not letting anything come between our relationship with Him. Are you the kind of person who pleases God and are you doing the kind of work that pleases Him? Examine your life and then go to God for direction and power to be the kind of person who pleases God and then do the kind of work He would have you do.

Have a God Day!

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