Archive for August, 2013

August 30, 2013: 9:00 pm: God in us

Isaiah 49:24-26 24

Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go? 25 But the Lord says, “The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children. 26 I will feed your enemies with their own flesh. They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood. All the world will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is important to remember that we are not at war with flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  As a child of God, we are in a spiritual battle, sometimes for our own understanding and sometimes for the understanding of those in darkness. For our loved ones living in darkness, the words of Isaiah apply, they will be set free. God tells us that He will fight for those that we fight for and God will save our children! To penetrate the minds of those who live in darkness, we need to expose them to the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to reach beyond the level of their flesh and blood and go into the battle where it is. And the battle is in the their minds and while they are in darkness the best way to reach them is on this battlefield. We pick up our sword and fight the enemy with his own weapons and bind those in darkness to Light of Christ. We continue to fight until they are no longer in darkness but living in the Light of the love of God. All our prayers have a cumulative impact, for our prayers which are according to the will of God are NEVER without effect. So claim the promises of God and continue to fight for those you love who are in darkness and NEVER give up, for God will save your children!

Have a God Day!

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August 29, 2013: 8:59 pm: Sanctification

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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August 28, 2013: 8:55 pm: Christian Love

Romans 12:6-13 6

God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. 7 If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. 9 Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. 13 When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul is giving final instructions to the Christians of Rome. They were living in a city where it was illegal to be Christian and Paul is telling them to live above the sin that is all around them. One of the questions they asked was, “How long should we keep praying?” Paul tells them to be patient when in trouble and to always be prayerful. In other words, never stop praying. This still applies to Christians today. We are always to pray or be communicating with our Lord. But in regards to a specific prayer, we stop asking when we receive an answer from God. But then we always move onto the next need. And since we will always have needs, we never stop praying. But prayer is more than just asking God for what we need; it is spending time with our Lord. He wants our worship and love. Matthew 6:33 tells us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” When we put God first in our lives, all of the other things will be given to us. The other things we need. So, do the work given to you by God with the gifts He has given you and never stop praying. Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and all of your mind and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Demonstrate your love through the actions you do and the love of God in you will show in your life to all people around you.

Have a God Day!

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August 27, 2013: 8:55 pm: God in us

Psalm 19:12-14 12

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. 14 May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Sins committed without awareness are a problem for many people today. We just move forward without thinking about what we are doing or we have done it for so long it does not seem like a sin to us. God wants us to be aware of all of our actions and to model them after Him.  If we to be like Christ, we must be aware of all our thoughts, actions and motives.  It is hard enough to be aware of the deliberate sin, let alone the sins we are not aware of.  Many then ask, why should we care, aren’t all of our sins covered by the Blood of Christ?  Yes, this is true, but to have God within us means we turn away from our sin and deliberately purpose in our hearts not to continue to sin. This is what it means to have the mind of Christ. We know that as long as we live in this sinful world, that we will never be able to live without sin, but we continue to grow more and more into His image. Becoming more like Christ means we sin less and less. No, we are not perfect, but we continue to grow. It is what is in our hearts and minds that is lived in our behavior on a daily basis. And those with Christ within them lean on the Rock and their Redeemer for direction and power to become more like Him. To be more like Him, we must know Who He is by reading His Word and spending time with Him.  Keep your thoughts pure and your words and actions will follow!

Have A God Day!

 

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August 26, 2013: 10:05 pm: Christian Love

Matthew 14:13-21 13

As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed by land from many villages. 14 A vast crowd was there as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus replied, “That isn’t necessary you feed them.” 17 “Impossible!” they exclaimed. “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” 18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children! Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We often feel that our contribution to Jesus is meager. We feel that we have nothing to offer or what we do have is not big enough. We compare what we have to give with what others are giving and feel we do not measure up. So, what we feel what we have is not good enough to give. But Christ sees things differently. The talents and skills we have are exactly what He has given to us and when we say they are not good enough, we are saying that God did not do it right. We are not to judge what God will do with what we offer in service to Him. He will take whatever it is and use it for His good. He will multiple it to His purpose. Just because we cannot see the end result is no excuse for not offering what we have for His purpose. He will multiple our talents and gifts when we bring them to Him for use. So do not hold back from serving the body of Christ just because what you have is small or does not seem important to you. Let Christ decide what to do with your offering and you believe Him and step out in faith. Believe that He gave you the offering in the first place and give it back to Him.

Have a God Day!

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August 23, 2013: 10:27 pm: God in us

Isaiah 40:27-31
27 O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? 28 Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. 30 Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. 31 But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Even the strongest person gets tired at times. We all experience periods of time when we are weary. Whether our fatigue is physical or emotional, we all go through times when we feel exhausted. Sometimes life does not treat us fairly and we feel zapped of all our strength. But God’s power and strength never diminish. He is never too tired or too busy to help and listen. His strength can be our source of strength, if we trust His Word. When you feel all of life crushing in on you and you cannot understand or go another step, remember that God is waiting and willingly to renew your strength. He has promised to always be with us and He will get us through any trial or problem that comes our way. Waiting on the Lord is the patient expectation that God will fulfill His promises in His Word and strengthen us to rise above all our difficulties. Completely trust in His Word and God will see you through any problem, trial or difficulty that comes your way. Look outside of your problem for the answer. As long as you are looking at the problem, you will not see the answer.

Have A God Day!

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