Archive for May, 2013

May 20, 2013: 6:54 pm: God in us

Ezekiel 11:18-21
18 When the people return to their homeland, they will remove every trace of their detestable idol worship. 19 And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, 20 so they will obey my laws and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those who long for idols, I will repay them fully for their sins, says the Sovereign Lord.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

“Singleness of heart” indicates a unanimous single purpose. No longer will God’s people seek many gods; they will be content with God. Their hard, immovable hearts of stone will be radically transplanted with a tender, receptive heart of flesh. This is what happens to the heart of a person when they finally accept Christ as Lord and Savior. When we recognize and turn from our sin, new life is given to us.  Our hearts and minds are renewed by a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is God’s work in us but it happens because we believe and turn from self to Him. When we do, God gives us new motives, new guidelines and a new purpose. If you have not received a new heart, do so by believing that God sent Jesus Christ to take the place of judgment for your sins. No matter how impure your life is right now, Jesus Christ can offer you a fresh start. You can have your sins washed away, receive a new heart from the lord, and have His Spirit within you, if you accept God’s promise. He will remember your sin no more and you can begin a new life in Christ by His power.

Have A God Day!

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May 15, 2013: 7:03 pm: Sanctification

Colossians 2:6-15
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done. 8 Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ. 9 For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, 10 and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.  11 When you came to Christ, you were circumcised, but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. 13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. 15 In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Receiving Christ as Lord of your life is the beginning of truth in your life. But you must continue to follow His leadership by being rooted, built up and strengthened in your faith. You live for Christ by committing your life and submitting your will to His, seek to know Him, and allow the power of His Holy Spirit to work through you. When we have Christ, we have everything we need for salvation and for right living. Understanding how much God loves you and that He has made you righteous through believing in what His son did for you on the cross is your reason to give thanks. God looks at you as if you have never sinned. There is nothing you can be more thankful for than your relationship with Christ Jesus. Nothing else in your life matters outside of Christ. Because your commitment to God is written in your heart, not your body, Christ has set you free from your evil desires. Remember that the next time you are tempted to sin. Your old sinful nature was crucified on the cross with Christ and God gives you a new nature, His nature. In this world, we will continue to sin, but we are not sinners, we are saints who sometimes sin.  Wear your new nature like you would a coat that covers you and keep the cold from coming in.  Your new nature will keep sin from coming in if you use it. And never stop thanking and praising Him for His love that gives you the power to overcome.

Have a God Day!

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May 14, 2013: 6:43 pm: God in us

1 John 5:6-13
6 This is He who came by water and blood,Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Understanding God as three persons can be difficult to explain.  But John gives us a clear picture of who God really is. The Jewish people knew that God was going to send a “man” to save them from the curse that was placed on man after the fall. But they did not fully understand that the Man would also be God. So after Jesus Christ came, they had to change the way they thought about God.  They were familiar with the Holy Spirit working in and through people. But they only knew Him to work in the lives of a few people at a time and not in everyone who would welcome the Son. So John explained the Father as the God head and the Word was the Son as John 1:1 tells us. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are best explained as being one, as water can be explained in its different forms of liquid, ice or steam. All have a different function and purpose, but all are the same and are really one. So God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all have different functions but are really one. God the Father gives us our direction.  We can communicate with the Father because of what the Son has done for us.  Because Jesus came to the earth as a Man and died as a sinless Man for our sin, we can have communication with the Father.  We move in the direction of the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit that now lives in us because we have accepted the Son.  Our direction comes from the Father, we know Him because of what the Son has done for us and then we do His will by the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

Have a God Day!

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May 9, 2013: 8:12 pm: God in us

Philippians 1:20-25
20 For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die. 21 For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ. I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far better for me, 24 but it is better for you that I live.  25 I am convinced of this, so I will continue with you so that you will grow and experience the joy of your faith.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The verdict is in!  The mortality rate is 100%, with no exceptions. The truth is we are all going to die. For the Christian to die is to gain.  We go to be with our Lord who died for us. Is this the attitude that you have about living and dying? Are you comforted that no matter what happens, you are in God’s hands?  For me, it is not the dying that worries me, it is the living.  What we do and how we do it from the time we are born until the day we die is the thing we need to understand.  How would you complete the statement, “For me to live is_________?” Could you be like Paul and state, “For me to live is Christ.’  Or are you living just to get and accumulate things?  What is your ultimate purpose for living? Once we know how to live and what we are living for, we can be prepared to die.  Not that we want death or look forward to it, but we are not afraid of it.  It is a place of peace, knowing that whatever our state we are with God.  If we are living, we are moving toward Him and if we die, we are with Him.  This is the place of true joy, knowing that we are held by our Father and He is our purpose.  What is your reason for living today? Take time to look at what the purpose of your life is.  If you are a child of Jesus Christ, then live for that purpose with an attitude of joy because of God within you.

Have a God Day!

 

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May 8, 2013: 11:12 pm: Daily Scripture, Return of Christ, Sanctification

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 you 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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May 7, 2013: 8:48 pm: God in us

1 Peter 1:17-21
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as foreigners here on earth. 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you.  21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory, your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Because God is judge of all the earth, we dare not ignore Him or treat Him casually.  We should not assume our privileged status as children of God gives us freedom to do whatever we want.  Our fear is a healthy respect for the all-powerful God who could have just as well destroyed us all. But because of His love for us, He ransomed us with His Blood, and we are to be ever grateful to Him.  Christ’s sacrifice for our sins was not an after thought.  The plan was set in motion by the all-knowing God long before the world began.  What a comfort for those who love Him to know that He has always had and will always have everything under control.  We can confidently place our trust in Him, as we respect Him for who He is.

Have a God Day!

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May 6, 2013: 9:30 pm: God in us

Psalms 91:1-7
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

When we see ourselves as created beings and we see God as our creator, we can understand how He can protect us.  But before we know He can protect us, we have to know that He wants to and that He loves us enough to do so.  We must have faith in our mighty God to know that He has the ability and the concern to keep us from danger.  God is our refuse and He is our strength in times of trouble.  It is because of His love for us that God will protect us.  He keeps us safe from the evil that is around us. But God is not as interested in our comfort as much as He is interested in our growing relationship to Him.  His goal is to make us more like Christ, so the protection He gives is in keeping us close to Him.  Sometimes we want protection from the pain of life, but God’s main protection is in keeping us safe in Him. We put our trust in Him to protect our relationship with Him from all of the evil that would separate us from Him.  It is our trust in Him that keeps our relationship with Him safe regardless of our circumstances.  We believe that He cares for us and will keep His promises.  What fear are you facing today that you need to trust that God will keep you safe from?  Make Him your refuge and your shelter and He will keep you from the harm that Satan would have for you.

Have a God Day!

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May 3, 2013: 8:33 pm: Salvation

Genesis 22:6-17
6 Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the knife and the fire. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac said, Father?  Yes, my son, Abraham replied. We have the wood and the fire, said the boy, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice? 8 God will provide a lamb, my son, Abraham answered. And they both went on together. 9 When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood on it. Then he tied Isaac up and laid him on the altar over the wood. 10 And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to kill his son as a sacrifice to the Lord. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord shouted to him from heaven, Abraham! Abraham! Yes, he answered. I’m listening. 12 Lay down the knife, the angel said. Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me. 13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place The Lord Will Provide. This name has now become a proverb: On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided. 15 Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven, 16 This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by my own self that 17 I will bless you richly. I will multiply your descendants into countless millions, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. They will conquer their enemies, 18 and through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed all because you have obeyed me.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God knew the plan for redemption even before it was needed. In this scripture, God is laying out the plan for Abraham. He is asked to sacrifice his son, his only son. This is the long awaited child of promise. God had promised Abraham to multiple his seed like the stars in the sky, but God wanted his complete obedience and asked Abraham to show his faith. In doing so, God showed all of us how He would redeem the world through the seed of this man. God gave His Son, His only Son for our sins. The plan is clear, God will provide the sacrifice needed to make us right with Him. Jehovah-jireh, means God will provide. Because of our sin, we could not do it ourselves but God provided. This promise was not just for the children of Abraham but for the entire world. All of the nations would be blessed through the obedience of Abraham. Jesus Christ came through the Jews but He came to redeem all of mankind, no matter what nationality or race. All can receive grace by being believing God, just as Abraham did over 6000 years ago.

Have a God Day!

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May 2, 2013: 9:04 pm: Sanctification

Psalm 103:11-18
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west. 13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. 14 For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust. 15 Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. 16 The wind blows, and we are gone as though we had never been here. 17 But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children 18 of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

East and west can never meet. This is a symbolic portrait of God’s forgiveness. When He forgives our sin, He separates it from us and doesn’t even remember it. We need never wallow in the past for God forgives and forgets. Do not let Satan dredge up your past by bringing old sin to your mind because it will prevent you from moving forward in your relationship with God. He doesn’t remember sin that has been forgiven and is under the blood of Jesus. And all sin, past present and future are forgiven, if you have accepted the grace Jesus died to give you. You will never forget, but your mind is not the mind of God. And God has wiped the record clean. We are as clean as the driven snow and as righteous as Jesus Christ is righteous. Even though we cannot understand this, it is true. Don’t allow old sin to parade through your mind; it will only make you feel bad.  Satan would have you stay in the memory of your past failures to keep you ineffective for God. So live and act like the forgiven child of God that you are! Then move forward to do the work God have given you with the mind of Christ.

Have a God Day!

 

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May 1, 2013: 9:29 pm: Sanctification

Colossians 2:6-10
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done. 8 Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ. 9 For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, 10 and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many Christians are slowed in their spiritual growth because of lack of wisdom. We should not let anyone lead us astray with false doctrine. But if we do not know God’s Word, we may be lead easily away from Christ. Be aware that there are many erroneous religious traditions that are contrary to Christ. Just because they have been done for thousands of years, does not make them right in the eyes of God. We need to know the source, and test it to see if it contradicts scripture. Everything should be tested against the Word of God and if it does not line up with the Word, proceed with caution. We should be diligent in Bible study and practice scripture memorization and then meditate on the Word. Understanding how much God loves us and what the grace so freely given to us by God draws to want to know Him more and that is why we study His Word. This will let the Spirit of God penetrate your mind and fill you with His wisdom. Become a person of prayer. Reject and refuse any unrighteousness in your life. Once the Word is imbedded in your mind, you will have a better understanding of What Would Jesus Do. WWJD.

Have a God Day!

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