September 19, 2014: 4:38 am: Sanctification

Ephesians 4:17-24

17 With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed. 20 But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As Christians, we all have the desire to surrender to the will of God, sometimes a very strong desire. But what does it really mean to throw off the “old nature” and put on the new nature of Christ that is now within you? How do we do this? It starts with a heart that has been restored. We come to Christ with many past events that have happened to us. We all have “baggage.” Most of it is not good and from these events we have learned how to deal with life. And most of what we have learned is contrary to the Word of God. We do this to protect ourselves from further pain. We have learned how to think and have learned different attitudes and patterns of behavior from these events. All of this is not done consciously and most starts in childhood. Someone said something to us and now we think this is who we are. Everyone has set patterns of thinking and behaving when they come to Christ from past experiences. He has to come in and restore your unresolved pain and unmet needs that come from your way of dealing with life. Your way of thinking, behaving and reacting has to be stripped away and Christ be allowed to come in and place within you His way of thinking, His way of behaving and His way of reacting. Most Christians are not willing to be stripped naked of their “old nature” in order for Christ to do this. There is no room for Him to work because we hold onto what we know. If you can relate to this scripture, God is talking to you about letting Him come in to renew your mind to the mind of Christ. Start by going before Him and telling Him you do not know how to do this, but are willing to let Him show you. Then bind your mind to the mind of Jesus Christ daily and loose your old way of thinking, behaving and reacting. Ask God to come in and make Himself at home in your heart and your mind, as you submit to taking on His nature.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 18, 2014: 4:51 am: God in us

Isaiah 26:3, 30:15 &18

3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! 4 Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. 5 The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says, “Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved.” In quietness and confidence is your strength. 18 But the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help them.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What is your level of contentment? If you had to put it on a level of 1-10, what would you say? If you are not as content as you would like to be, you need to look at what you are trying to find contentment in. Is it a relationship, or circumstances or a job? This world we live in is so sinful and fallen, that there will never be peace only chaos in anything this world has to offer. No matter how hard we try, there will never be peace in this world as we know it. So anything of this world that you are trying to find contentment in will only fail you and bring you more frustration. We only find real contentment when we look to God our Father for unchanging love and guidance. Our trust in Him will bring the inner stability we need to live in this ever changing world. We can deal with anything this world may throw our way, if we fix our thoughts on Him. Return to Him and He will give you peace. He is waiting for you and wants to give you perfect peace. Perfect love casts out fear and Jesus Christ is the only source of this love and peace.

Have a God Day!

 

 

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September 17, 2014: 8:22 pm: Sanctification

1 Thessalonians 5:14-25

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always. 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, {Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Prayer is one the greatest gifts the Father has given us and one of the most under used. James 5:16 tells us, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” Are you spending time every day talking with the Creator of the universe? When you pray, do you get results? If not, you have a weak prayer muscle. Prayer takes time and practice just like the muscles of your body. Taking a healthy adult and immobilizing him in bed, his muscles will eventually not function and become useless. The same is true of your prayer muscle. Commit to pray to God who sent His Son to save you from your sins. When you pray, pray in the name of Jesus Christ and pray according to the Word of God. Remind God of His promises. Use simple words and begin by thanking God for all that He has done for you. Just spend time worshipping Him and consciously be aware that you are now in the presence of God. Take the attitude of putting everything in God’s hands. Agree with another believer for the answers you need. And finally pray in faith, believing. It doesn’t take great faith to believe in a God who never fails. If Jesus needed to spend time in pray, how much more do we? He never made a move without direction from the Father. He lived in perfection and yet needed to pray. While you are here in this world make it a habit to pray.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 16, 2014: 8:50 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 8:15-17

15 So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family calling him “Father, dear Father.” 16 For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we will share his treasures for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Since we are children of God, we are to share the suffering that Jesus Christ suffered. But if we share His suffering, we will also share His glory. When Christ hung on the cross people passing by hurled insults at Him and mocked Him, even the criminal hanging next to Him cursed Him. This added to the suffering Christ was already going through. But He did not lash out at them; He did not come back with a response to their insults. Instead He prayed for God the Father to forgive them. Today we suffer as Christ did when others hurt us, when others sin against us. There is not one Christian alive who has not had someone hurt them. It doesn’t matter if the hurt was malicious or not, the pain we feel is real. God uses these experiences to teach us to forgive. Just as He forgave us of our sins, we are to forgive others who sin against us. It doesn’t matter if they meant to hurt you or not, you are to forgive them, just as God has forgiven you. This is hard to do and it is suffering, just as Christ suffered. But you are to do no less than then He did. And if Christ can pray for forgiveness for those who purposely hurt Him, how can you do less. Pray for those who hurt you and forgive them and then move beyond the deed. Even though we will never forget, we can choose not to think or dwell on it. God will give you the strength to do it and He will allow you to share the glory of Christ.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 15, 2014: 8:28 pm: Love

Galatians 2:17-21

17 But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! 18 Rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul knew from studying the scriptures that he could not be saved by keeping God’s law. Because we have all been infected by sin, we cannot keep God’s law perfectly. The law given by God to the nation of Israel was a pointer directing them to the perfect sacrifice that was to come. Jesus Christ was that perfect sacrifice because He was fully human and fully God and was without sin. Because He was human, he could die. And He went freely to the cross to take the penalty for our sins, so that we could be free from the power of sin and death. But we have to accept His death for us. Even though Jesus died for every sin ever committed and every sin ever to be committed, we do not receive that forgiveness unless we accept His act of love. And when we do accept, we are crucified with Christ. Now Christ lives in us. We continue to live in our earthly bodies, but we are trusting in the Son of God who now lives in us. God has provided a way of salvation that depends completely on Jesus Christ and not our own efforts. And it is by His power that we are able to live for Him and we are able to keep His Word. Do not treat the grace of God meaningless, God provide a Way for us to be reconciled to Him. Accept His Way and then live for Him, as He lives in you.

Have a God Day!

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September 11, 2014: 5:10 am: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 17:5-10

5 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord. 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives. 7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. 9 “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I know! I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In times of trouble, those who trust in humans will be disappointed and are spiritually weak, so they will have no strength to draw on. But those who trust in the Lord will have more strength than they need. Providing not only for their own needs but for the needs of others. Are you satisfied being unfruitful or would you like to be like a well watered tree and have strength in times of crisis and even having more to share? God makes it very clear why we sin; it is a matter of the heart. Our heart is inclined toward sin from the time we are born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But we can still choose whether or not to continue in sin. We can yield to temptation or we can ask God for the way out. Those who forget God are like the tree living in the barren wilderness. They are stunted and will wither. But those who turn to God in times of temptation will be full and produce much fruit. You decide which tree you would like to be.

Have a God Day!

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September 10, 2014: 8:38 pm: Christian Love

2 Corinthians 13:3-6

3 I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak in his dealings with you; he is a mighty power among you. 4 Although he died on the cross in weakness, he now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in him and have God’s power-the power we use in dealing with you. 5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test. 6 I hope you recognize that we have passed the test and are approved by God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Can others tell that Jesus Christ lives in you? This is the true test of Christianity. Being a Christian isn’t belonging to a church or a religion, it is having the Lord Jesus Christ live in you. It is living in this sinful world as a forgiven sinner working to become more like Christ. Many call themselves Christian but fail the test because Christ is not in them. There is a difference in knowing about Christ and accepting His gift of grace in your life. Once you accept Christ, you turn from your sin and turn toward Him, God becomes the Lord of your life and you now live for Him. The old person is gone and a new person is born. Ephesians 4:24 states, “You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true.” How do we become a new person? Only through Him can we have the righteousness of God. Because He became weak and lived as a human by the power of God, so we who are weak can live by the power of God in us. Take the test and see if others can see Christ in you. Maybe you are living with one foot in Christ and one foot in the world. This will not pass the test. Christ wants your whole heart and your whole life. Don’t wait another moment to make Christ your focus and your Lord.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 9, 2014: 12:31 am: Grace

Philippians 4:11-13

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God is able to give us everything we need, even though He does not give us everything we want. God has given us so much; there has never been a generation of people who have had so much. Yes, there are still many poor in this country and this world, but most of the people reading this message are extremely blessed. But even though we have so much, many are not satisfied. The more we have the more we want. This attitude is contrary to the Word of God, and is not what Jesus did when He was here. He had nothing, no home, no job, no family with Him, and yet He had everything. To become like Christ, we need to practice an attitude of gratitude, we need to practice being content with what we have. Look at the needs of others around you and find someone you can help. Do it in the name of Christ with no expectation of anything in return. Practice doing this and always give your tithe (10%) and offerings (beyond the tithe) first. Walking in obedience to God in this way will change your heart to one of thankfulness and praise for your God who provides for you. Instead of thinking about what you do not have, thank God for what you do have. After all, our most important possession is free and available to everyone, eternal life through Christ Jesus.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 8, 2014: 10:24 pm: Grace

1 Timothy 6:6-12

6 Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. 7 After all, we didn’t bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can’t carry away a single penny when we die. 8 So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing. 9 But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. 10 For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows. 11 O Timothy, you are God’s man. Run from all these evil things, and work instead at what is right and good, learning to trust him and love others and to be patient and gentle. 12 Fight on for God. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you and that you have confessed with such a ringing confession before many witnesses.
The Living Bible, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1997.

Is it a sin to have money? Many will try and tell you that it is, but it is your attitude toward money that can become the sin. Paul tells us it is our love of money that is the sin. This is so true of many of the things God has given us. God intended us to use and enjoy all of the good things of this world, as long as we understand that every good thing comes from Him. 1 Corinthians 10:26 tells us, “For the earth and every good thing in it belongs to the Lord and is yours to enjoy.” Taking a vow to poverty is taking a vow to not be in a place to have anything above God in your life. As long as we understand that everything belongs to God and that every good thing comes from Him, we will not let the love of money become first in our life. This takes all the pressure off of us. It is by God’s provision that our needs will be met. This does not mean we sit back and do nothing, it means we understand that God is provider of all and we are to use the skills He has given us to provide for ourselves and our families. It is understanding that God is owner and we are care takers. It is following His commands and tithing and giving gifts beyond the tithe for the work of God. Someone has to give to supply others to go out and preach the Good News. Rejoice in the good things God has given and remember to praise the One who has given it to you to enjoy!

Have a God Day!

 

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September 5, 2014: 10:20 pm: Love

Galatians 3:26-29

26 So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians-you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Some Jewish males started each day by praying, “Lord, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave or a woman.” Faith in Christ transcends these differences and makes all believers one in Christ. Because all believers are His heirs, no one is more privileged than or superior to anyone else. For Paul to say there “is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female,” was a revolutionary statement. He was going against the belief of the day. Christianity removed all the social barriers. He could have added rich or poor, young or old and healthy or sick. God removes all of these barriers that man has made. All are equal in Christ Jesus. Do not allow your preferences to separate you from people who may be different than you. God has removed the barriers, why should you put them up again? Remember that Christ died for all people and it is not up to us to judge who would be more worthy of His love. All are worthy and all people are loved by God. All do not love Him, but that does not remove His love for them. If God loves them, how can we do any less? Show the love that God so freely gives to you to those you come in contact with each day.

Have a God Day!

 

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