Archive for July, 2010

July 8, 2010: 1:39 am: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 12:1-4
Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. 2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. 3 If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him. 4 After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood.
The Living Bible, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1997.

Why do cleansed Christians return to sin after receiving the grace of God? God’s ability to love, forgive, and cleanse sinners is incredible.  If we confess, He purifies and forgives…every time…and in every way. But even cleansed people can sin again.  It is difficult to understand why God left us to deal with our old nature and the new nature of Christ within us.  It is a question of faith, will we trust that God knows what He is doing with every detail of our lives?  When we sin, we chose our own wisdom over God’s. Most Christians know what to do, we just need to do it. The incredible benefit of this life in Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit within us.  Romans 8:9 tells us, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Suddenly, we can do something we could never do before. We can, with the power of the Spirit of God within us, dispose of sin like old clothing.  To say we have Jesus in our life, and the Holy Spirit’s power, yet claim we can do nothing about habitual sin is absurd.  Taking on the righteousness of Christ needs to become a habit. We need to strip off every sin that holds us back from becoming all that God intends for us.  And we can do that because we have His Word that we can and the proof is His Spirit in us. God never asks us to do anything that He does not gives us the power to do so. Confess your sin before God and remove it from your life and become Christ in the flesh to your world.

Have a God Day!

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July 7, 2010: 1:30 am: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 9:11-15
11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that great, perfect sanctuary in heaven, not made by human hands and not part of this created world. 12 Once for all time he took blood into that Most Holy Place, but not the blood of goats and calves. He took his own blood, and with it he secured our salvation forever. 13 Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ritual defilement. 14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our hearts from deeds that lead to death so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. 15 That is why he is the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, so that all who are invited can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Animal sacrifices were God’s Old Testament way for people to ask for forgiveness for their sins. Since Creation God has made it clear that sin separates people from Him, and that those who sin deserve to die. Death was the penalty for sin. Because “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23), God designed sacrifice as a way to come to Him for forgiveness. Man needed to restore his relationship with God because sin has separated us from Him. Because He is a God of mercy and love, He decided from the very first that He would come into the world and die to pay the penalty for all humans. The Old Testament people had to come regularly and offer perfect animals as a stand in for their sin. Those before Christ looked forward to the work Christ would accomplish on the cross.  The Son of God, who is God, became a human and gave His life as a stand in for our sin. Now all people can be freed from the penalty of sin by simply believing in Jesus and accepting the forgiveness He offers. There is no longer a need for continual sacrifices because Christ has died for our sin once and for all. When we come before God and admit we are sinners and accept the sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave for our sin, God will reconcile us to Himself and we are immediately made right before God the Father. We now have God’s assurance that we are His forever. Peace is a result of this and we give our lives back to Him in service because of His incredible love for us. At salvation, we are given the righteousness of Christ and the process of sanctification begins. Our mind, will and our emotions are being made into His image and will be complete when we are with Him. Sanctification is a continual process that will never be complete here on earth, but we rest in His arms knowing He is doing the work in us.

Have a God Day! 

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July 6, 2010: 1:27 am: Daily Scripture

Colossians 1:25-29
25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his message in all its fullness to you Gentiles. 26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to his own holy people. 27 For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.  28 So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. 29 I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

How much of your life is under control of your “old nature” and how much is under control of “Christ in you”?  How much room have you made for Christ in your life? If you are still struggling with sin or cannot find time for God, then too much of your “old nature” is in control.  Recognizing unacceptable behavior is the first step to surrendering them to the control of “Christ in you”. All of us have things in our life we are not proud of and realize we need to make some changes. The only time in our life when we do not need to improve or change is when we are dead. But until that time, there will always be a part of our “old nature” that will want to bring us down and away from what God has intended for us. His life in us is truly our only hope of permanently changing the “old nature” in us. We must decrease and He must increase. This is a circumcision of the heart not just self-denial. When we change unacceptable behavior out of our own will power there will always be inner drives continually trying to sabotage our efforts. But when Christ lives in you and you have made room for Him by surrendering anything in your life that is not of Him, then you will have victory and joy because it is Christ in you that gives you the power. We do this by daily coming before God and opening ourselves up to His examination.  We ask and allow God to reveal to us what direction we should take. We surrender completely to His control. It is a step by step process that will take the rest of your life, but it is worked at daily.  As you move closer and closer to Him, His life will be lived in you and you will share His glory.

Have a God Day!

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July 1, 2010: 6:07 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 1:12-19
12 And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ. 15 Some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and as the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will all turn out for my deliverance.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul knew what his priority for life was and that is what he focused on while he was in prison.  He was looking at the purpose for his life and not on the circumstances.  Because he understood that the priority was to reach the lost for Christ, he could be joyful. Paul put God first in every situation and God gave him peace.  He was focused on what really mattered, he was looking at the eternal and not just the external. He was sharing Christ with those who did not know Him and he was encouraging other Christians to live boldly for Christ.  When we are faced with problems and trials, put God first and see what a difference it will make.  Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your effort with success.”  Is there a need that wakes you up at night and keeps you up because you cannot see an answer?  Try putting God first, read His Word and believe it.  Then apply it to your need and keep on trusting that God will work all things out for your good according to His purpose.  Keep your focus on His promises and not on what you see and He will fill you with peace and show you the answer.

Have a God Day!

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