Archive for January, 2009

January 30, 2009: 5:44 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 5:14
14 Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them. 16 So we have stopped evaluating others by what the world thinks about them. Once I mistakenly thought of Christ that way, as though he were merely a human being. How differently I think about him now! 17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! 18 All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. 20 We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The day we accept that God came to earth as a Man to offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, is the day of our righteousness.  The righteousness of God is imparted to those who accept His gift of grace.  It is very important for us to recognize that God is the One who provides this righteousness. It’s not something that you and I can work out, but rather it is something that God provides for us when we sacrifice our “old self” and give our lives to Christ. We function as His ambassador because of and under the power of His love. We are new people, no longer control by our “old nature.”  The newness felt at the beginning of your life in Christ is to be retained throughout your walk with Him. Always remember how it felt to know your sins were forgiven and that you were made right with God.  The joy of that moment is to be  kept fresh in your mind forever. Throughout eternity, we will praise and thank Jesus Christ for our righteousness that He died to give us. This is our joy, this is our peace.  The greatest love of all time is ours.

Have a God Day!

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January 29, 2009: 5:42 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 4:4
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

When we have a request of God, the Bible instructs us to come before Him with thanksgiving before we make our request known.  When God instruct us, it is always to our benefit, even though we may not fully understand why.  When we come before God and thank Him for past answers to our prayers, we are reminded that He does answer our prayers.  We are reminded that when we put our trust in Him, He is faithful to meet our needs.  And as we remember all of the things that God has already supplied, it is easier for us to know that He will also meet this need. Our trust muscle grows as we exercise it. But God doesn’t stop there, He promises us peace of mind and heart if we follow His instructions. He promises peace that our minds can not comprehend.  So the next time you have a need, before you bring it to God, remember the past prayers answered and thank Him for all that He has given you.  Then bring your need to Him and trust that He will supply. Do not doubt or worry, but fully trust Him, maybe for the first time in your walk with Him.  As you trust, you will experience peace. Because you will know that whatever happens, God has all things worked out for your good. 

Have a God Day!

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January 28, 2009: 6:49 pm: Daily Scripture

Colossians 3:1-11
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. 3 For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.  5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. 6 God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. 7 You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Letting heaven fill our thoughts means concentrating on the eternal rather than the temporal.  Because Christ was raised after death, so will those who believe in Him. When Christ rules in our hearts and minds, we can look forward to being with Him in the eternal and that helps us deal with life on earth. Our real home is where Christ is. This truth gives us a different perspective on our life here on earth. When we look at life from God’s perspective and seek His desires, it gives us a proper view of all that happens to us.  When we know that He is working all things for our good because we love Him, we can endure any pain this life will have for us. Because we have “died” to our former self, God can work through us to love the hurting around us. Being God’s conduit of love to a hurting world will help us to remember His great love for all people. When this life is less than perfect, reach out to someone else who is also hurting with the love given to you by your Father and let His love flow through you.  It will help them and it will help you.

Have a God Day!

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January 27, 2009: 5:43 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 How thankful I am to Christ Jesus our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve him, 13 even though I used to scoff at the name of Christ. I hunted down his people, harming them in every way I could. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. 14 Oh, how kind and gracious the Lord was! He filled me completely with faith and the love of Christ Jesus.  15 This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-and I was the worst of them all. 16 But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Good News is that Jesus Christ came to earth to save sinners and no sinner is beyond His saving grace!  God did not become a Man to merely show us how to live a good life or to become better people; He came to offer to anyone who would believe salvation.  If you have not accepted God’s gift of love, it is not too late. Paul tells Timothy that he was the worst of sinners, even hunting down God’s people and putting them to death. Paul held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen in Acts and agreed with what they did. So if God could reach him, there is no one whose sin is too great to be covered by the Blood of Christ. Nothing you can do or have ever done is too great for God to forgive, if you come to Him and ask Him to. Paul never forgot where he came from, so he never lost his humility.  And because Paul never forgot where he came from, he could reach out to the worst of sinners with the love God so freely gave to him. This is the example for us; never forget the grace given to you for your sin when others sin against you.

Have a God Day!

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January 26, 2009: 6:04 pm: Daily Scripture

1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why do we need to confess our sins if all sin was forgiven on the cross?  All people are sinners by nature and by practice.  At conversion all our sins are forgiven–past, present, and future.  Yet even after we become Christians, we still sin and need to confess.  This kind of confession is not to gain God’s acceptance but to remove the barrier that our sin has put between us and Him. The truth is that sin breaks our fellowship with God.  So even though we are redeemed and on our way to be with Him forever, we are still in a sinful world giving in to sin.  When we come before Him in prayer, we need to confess our sin, so we can have complete fellowship with Him.  Bringing our sin before Him, makes us think about it and therefore gives us wisdom to remove it from our lives.  God can not be in darkness and sin is darkness, so we must remove all darkness from our lives before He can have fellowship with us.  This does not mean that we must confess every sin before we die so we can be with Him.  We are covered by the Blood of Christ and will be with Him if we believe Him.  But to have fellowship with Him in this world we need to remove the darkness because God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all.  So if we want to be with Him, we need to remove the darkness.  And we know that growth only happens in the light.  A plant will not grow without light and neither will we grow in Christ while in darkness.  If His Word has a place in your heart, you will grow by being in His presence because He is Light.  Darkness can not exist in the Light, so confess and remove all darkness so you can have fellowship with Him.

Have a God Day!

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January 23, 2009: 6:08 pm: Daily Scripture

1 John 1:1-4
The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life. 2 This one who is life from God was shown to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and announce to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was shown to us. 3 We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy will be complete.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

John was one of Christ’s original disciples.  He was the “the disciple Jesus loved.”(John 21:20) This letter was written at about 85 A.D. from Ephesus, before John’s exile to the island of Patmos, before he wrote the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. and Christians had been scattered around the world.  John knew his life was coming to an end and wrote this letter to put believers back on track.  He knew that when all of those who knew Christ as a person would soon be gone, that Christians would have to continue on without this first hand witness.  He clarifies that they had a person to person relationship with Christ. That they had lived with Him, had touched Him, and they had heard Him.  But most of all that they had fellowship with Him and now all believers who knew John could have fellowship with Him.  All believers could have fellowship with Christ because they had fellowship with John.  We too can have fellowship with Christ because of John’s testimony, because of his written word.  Because God worked through those who knew Christ personally and they wrote about that experience, those who read and believe can have fellowship with Christ.  And having fellowship with God will bring joy and make us complete.  The Word was given to us through those who personally knew Him, and because of their relationship with Christ, we can have a relationship with Christ.  True fellowship is a personal and spiritual interaction through a living relationship with Christ.  And is for all who believe Him and we can believe Him because of the witness of those who knew Him first.

Have a God Day!

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January 22, 2009: 6:28 pm: Daily Scripture

Acts 2:1-4
On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. 
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

First evidence of the Church is at Pentecost.  The Church, born at Pentecost, is called the Body of Christ (Colossians 1:18). Jews and Gentiles are united.  Events in the ministry of Jesus were essential to the establishment of the Church.  Certain things had to take place.  They are the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to become head of the Church (Ephesians 1:20-23 and 4:7-11).  The Church, with the believers as the body and Christ as the head, did not exist until after Christ ascended to become its head.  And it could not become a functioning entity until the Holy Spirit provided the necessary spiritual gifts and power. The Church is distinct from Israel in that it is a unique relationship between Jews and Gentiles called one new man in Ephesians 2:15.   During this current age, God is saving a remnant of the two previous entities (Israel and Gentiles) and combining them into a third new entity-the Church.  This unity of Jews and Gentiles covers only the Church age, from Pentecost to the Rapture.  There has never been an easier time to come to know God than during the current time we live.  If you not part of the Body of Christ, there is still time, but this Age is coming to end very rapidly. Accept the resurrected Christ as your Lord and Savior and become a part of His body.

Have a God Day!

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January 21, 2009: 5:56 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 6:1-11
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was. 6 Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life. 9 We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.
 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As a child of God, what is your relationship with sin?  Now that you have accepted Christ as Lord and have received forgiveness for your sins, what power does sin have over you?  According to Paul, sin has lost its power to control you.  It does not mean that you will not sin again; it just means that sin has no power over you.  Without the blood of Christ over you, sin has complete control.  It is like swimming into a whirlpool, once in it, you have no control except to go through the whole thing and be spit out at the end.  Sin is like that for those without Christ.  Taking that first step into sin, will pull you deeper into it and it will lead to complete destruction.  As a Christian, we will sin but the power of the Holy Spirit will bring it to our mind and we will seek forgiveness and have the power to step out of it. The Holy Spirit will also work to bring it to mind before you step into sin. God will provide a way out so you do not sin. 1 Corinthians 10:13 applies to sin in our life, “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.”  Once you confess your sin, he is faithful to forgive you and will provide you power to step out of it.  We are not bound by the sin we have stepped into.  Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin would lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.  We are free to do the will of God the Father through the direction of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Consider yourself dead to sin and go out and live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.

Have a God Day!

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January 20, 2009: 6:47 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 5:17-20
17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. 18 I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s law will remain until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 “But I warn you-unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jesus is saying that those who would listen needed a different kind of obedience altogether (out of love for God), not just a copy of what the Pharisees’ did out of obligation. Their obedience was out of the glory they received for being “holy.”  It was not from a heart that was grateful for love received, but out of what they could personally receive.  Our obedience must come from what God does in us, not what we can do by ourselves.  It must be Christ centered, not self-centered.  It should be based on reverence for God and not approval from people and it should go beyond just keeping the law to living by the principles behind the law.  Which is the love received makes a redeemed heart grateful and wanting to do His will.  A changed heart is a vessel that God can work through because of His love and His grace given.  It is not out of what can be gained, but what can be given.  Obedience to God is given because of what He gave.  What does your walk for Him show to the world?  Does it show the work He has done in you or does it show the work you have done?  Remember only the work He has done in you will go into eternity with you and everything else will be burned away. Let your appreciation for grace received show in all that you do.

Have a God Day!

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January 19, 2009: 5:39 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Peter 1:2-11
2 May God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better.3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! 4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. 5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. 6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 7 Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away. 11 And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many believers want an abundance of God’s special favor and peace, but they are unwilling to put forth the effort to get to know Him better through Bible study and prayer. To enjoy the privileges God offers us freely, we must “come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better.” The power to lead a godly life comes God.  Because we don’t have the resources to be godly, God allows us to “share in His divine nature” in order to keep us from sin and help us to live for Him. But faith must be more than belief in certain facts; it must result in action, growth in Christ’s character, and the practice of moral discipline, or it will die away.  A life of faith leads to learning to know God better, self-control, patient endurance and loving others. These actions do not come automatically: they require hard work.  But it is not an option if you belong to Christ.  This must be your goal to become more like Him and have the way you life your live reflect Him. God does empower and enable us, but He also gives us the responsibility to learn and grow.  How much does your life reflect Christ?  Are you in the process of becoming more like Him?  Those who love Him, will be like Him.  Start today, get to know Him through His Word and let His Spirit guide you into living Christ to the world.

Have a God Day!

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