Archive for June, 2012

June 29, 2012: 9:04 pm: Salvation

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 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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June 27, 2012: 9:34 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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June 26, 2012: 7:51 pm: Christian Love

1 John 3:7-10
7 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to the Devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not sin, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the Devil. Anyone who does not obey God’s commands and does not love other Christians does not belong to God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There is a difference between committing a sin and continuing to sin.  Even the most faithful believers sometimes commit sins, but they do not cling to a particular sin or choose to continue in that sin. A believer who sins repents, confesses and finds forgiveness. A person who continues to sin, by contrast, is not sorry for what they have done and continue to do it.  They never confess or feel the need to do so.  They are not connected to Christ.  John is not talking about Christians who are still incomplete in Christ, he is talking about those who make a practice of sinning and look for ways to justify it. For those in Christ who struggle with a particular sin, the Spirit of God continues to work with us to help us to be like Him and gives us victory over any sin.  We are not powerless to overcome areas of sin in our lives because of the power Christ gave us when He defeated sin.  Romans 8:2 states, “For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.”  Those who love Him seek the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to remove sin from their lives.  They stay away from tempting situations and seek help from the body of Christ.  Christians are open to each other to hold us accountable and to pray for each other.  “They can’t keep on sinning” means that believers do not make a practice of sinning. Because the Spirit of God is within them directly and guiding them away from sin.  What sin are you struggling with today?  Know that Christ has already defeated the power that would keep you in that sin.  Confess before Him and move forward in peace of mind that Christ has already given you victory.

Have a God Day!

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: 12:53 am: Sanctification

Matthew 25:1-13
“The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish took no oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all lay down and slept. 6 At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!’ 7 “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Sir, open the door for us!’ 12 But he called back, ‘I don’t know you!’ 13 “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Knowing about Jesus and knowing Him are two different things.  One is having some understanding of what He did and who He is, but the other is having a personal relationship with Him.  On the Day that Christ returns for His church, many will think He is coming for them, but will be disappointed when they are left behind.  Only those who have accepted His free gift of grace and are living out that faith will be prepared for His return.  James 2:14 states: “Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone.” And in James 2:17-19, ” So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all-it is dead and useless. 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?”  Only those prepared for Christ will meet Him.  God is the only One who can judge a heart to know if you are working to become more like Him.  We cannot be saved by our works, but our works prove we are saved.  Accepting His grace is just the start.  Many know about Him, but few love and serve Him.  To serve Him, we must know His Word plant it in our minds and obey it.  Obedience is the key to being prepared to meet Him when He returns. It is the oil for our lamps. Are you ready to meet Him today?  Are you prepared?  Is there enough oil in your lamp?  These are questions you must ask yourself and then go before God and ask Him.  If your heart is open to obeying His Word you will hear from Him and He will direct you.  So examine yourself today and put some oil in you lamp!

Have a God Day!

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June 22, 2012: 8:07 pm: Sanctification

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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June 21, 2012: 8:40 pm: 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 it 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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June 19, 2012: 7:48 pm: Sanctification

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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June 18, 2012: 10:11 pm: Sanctification

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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June 15, 2012: 9:48 pm: God in us

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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June 14, 2012: 9:12 pm: Sanctification

Psalm 93
1 The Lord is king! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength.The world is firmly established ;it cannot be shaken. 2  Your throne, O Lord, has been established from time immemorial. You yourself are from the everlasting past. 3  The mighty oceans have roared, O Lord. The mighty oceans roar like thunder; the mighty oceans roar as they pound the shore. 4  But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore–the Lord above is mightier than these! 5  Your royal decrees cannot be changed. The nature of your reign, O Lord, is holiness forever.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

These Psalms are written by David, who is testifying that God’s laws or Word are irrevocable.  They are completely reliable and will not fail. Hebrews also states the same thing in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” God rules over all of His creation according to His Word. And His Word is His constitution, and contains all of His legal degrees, by which He rules righteously.  Everything in existence is judged by His unchanging Word.  So if we know His Word, we know Him and how He operates in this world He created.  If we know His Word, we know He hears and answers prayer. So we can come bodily before Him and make our requests known to Him by reminding Him of past answers He has already given according to His Word.  So when your need seems impossible or when you are discouraged with sickness, financial problems or family fears–go boldly before the throne of God. Remind God of His Word and His past answers to prayer. Read and study His Word and know that according to His Word He will hear and answer your need. If God has declared it to be true, you can believe and stand on it.  You can rely on Him to hear you and meet your need according to His Word.

Have a God Day!

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