Archive for October, 2013

October 31, 2013: 8:39 pm: Salvation

Ephesians 1:3-14

3 How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. 4 Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. 9 God’s secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to his good pleasure. 10 And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago. 12 God’s purpose was that we who were the first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God. 13 And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Understanding the grace of God is the beginning of salvation. Grace is God’s loving favor given to those who believe Him.We can’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, but God gives it freely to those who believe Him. No religious, intellectual, or moral effort can gain it, because it comes only from God’s mercy and love. Without God’s grace, no one would be saved from the results of sin. Death would be final and complete separation from God for eternity. And for many death will be just that. But for those who believe God, grace will be given and we have been redeemed from the slavery of sin and we are forever forgiven of our sin. To receive the grace God so freely gives, we must acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves, that only God can save us, and that our only way to receive this loving favor is through faith in Christ. The price was paid for our sin by the blood of Christ. Only the blood can cover our sin and only Christ could give it. Grace will save you from the destruction of complete separation from God, but only if you accept it. Be covered by the blood of Christ today and freely receive what you do not deserve, the forgiveness of your sins.

Have a God Day!

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October 30, 2013: 8:34 pm: Sanctification

Mark 4:14-20

14 The farmer I talked about is the one who brings God’s message to others. 15 The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but then Satan comes at once and takes it away from them. 16 The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. 17 But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word. 18 The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, 19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things, so no crop is produced. 20 But the good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s message and produce a huge harvest-thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We have heard many times that this parable represents the heart. Many who hear the Word of God have hard hearts and some are very rocky, only a few are prepared to receive the Word. But this parable can also represent four different times or phases in a Christians life. Our heart can be like good soil and receive the Word of God and grow and produce a good crop. But at different times in our life, our heart can be like the hard rocky soil and close the door to the Word we hear. Hopefully we do not stay here, but go on to become good soil. Or we can be like good soil to certain parts of God’s Word. We may respond like good soil when God speaks to us about worship but respond like rocky soil when it comes to tithing. We hear the Word of God, but respond differently to the different messages. We should pray to be like good soil in all areas of the Word of God. Our goal should be to be open to receive whatever direction God would take us through His Word. Examine your heart when you read the Word and find out what kind of soil is receiving it. If it is hard, let God do a little plowing to make it soft and ready to apply what you have received.

Have a God Day!

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October 29, 2013: 8:29 pm: Your mind

Judges 16:28-30

28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me one more time so that I may pay back the Philistines for the loss of my eyes.” 29 Then Samson put his hands on the center pillars of the temple and pushed against them with all his might. 30 “Let me die with the Philistines,” he prayed. And the temple crashed down on the Philistine leaders and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In spite of Samson’s past, God still answered his prayer and destroyed the pagan temple and the worshipers. God still loved him. And when Samson turned from his sin and turned to God, his relationship with God was restored. Samson prayed to God and God answered his prayer. God did not turn away from Samson because he had sinned in the past, He heard him and He gave Samson victory over his enemies. One of the side effects of sin in our lives is to keep us from feeling like praying. But perfect moral behavior is not a condition for prayer. Don’t let guilty feelings over sin keep you from your only means of restoration. No mater how long you have been away from Christ, He is ready to hear from you and restore you to a right relationship. You never lost your position with God because you sin. Every situation can be turned around if you are willing to turn to Him again. Do not let your circumstances keep you from the One true source of love and forgiveness. God will not turn from you because you have turned from Him. He is always waiting for you. That is the beauty of the love of God, it is always waiting for you. Remember Ephesians 3:18, “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.”

Have a God Day!

 

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October 28, 2013: 8:24 pm: Salvation

Ephesians 5:15-20

15 So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. 19 Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

One of the keys to success in our lives is to live what we know. Many of us know a lot of things but only live a small portion of our knowledge. Wisdom is applied knowledge. It is very easy to take the path of least resistance and let our emotions and feelings dictate how and what we will do. Our behavior shows what is controlling us. It is too easy to just do what “feels” good and only those things that give us pleasure. This is the aspect of a child. It is adult to do the things that are not fun or easy but need to be done anyway. So it is with our walk with God. Christianity is not the easy road. We must die to self and let Christ live through us. We must be Christ to the world. This means living the things we know. The Holy Spirit controlled Christian is the Christian at peace. This doesn’t mean we never fail it only means we keep learning and living what we have learned. Take a small step today and apply one thing you know is true. Focus on that one small thing every day and see what a difference it will make in your life.

Have a God Day!

 

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October 25, 2013: 8:16 pm: Return of Christ

Mark 13:14-27

14 “The time will come when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where it should not be–reader, pay attention! “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 15 A person outside the house must not go back into the house to pack. 16 A person in the field must not return even to get a coat. 17 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for mothers nursing their babies in those days. 18 And pray that your flight will not be in winter. 19 For those will be days of greater horror than at any time since God created the world. And it will never happen again. 20 In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, the entire human race will be destroyed. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days. 21 “And then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or, ‘There he is,’ don’t pay any attention. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 23 Watch out! I have warned you! 24 “At that time, after those horrible days end, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 26 Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send forth his angels to gather together his chosen ones from all over the world–from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The “sacrilegious object that causes desecration” refers to the statue of the Antichrist in the Temple of God that the Antichrist will set up during the Tribulation. Antichrist will betray the Jews who he has signed a 7 year treat. Halfway through the treaty he will set himself up to be the god of this world. Christ is giving instructions to us about His Second Coming in this scripture to prepare us for His return. As He tells us in verse 26 that everyone will see the Son of Man as He arrives in the clouds. There has been a similar sacrilegious object that caused desecration in history and because of those events; people believe that Christ has already come again. In 168 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanes came into the Temple of God and sacrificed a pig to Zeus on the Temple altar. And in A.D. 70 the Romans completely destroyed the Temple and then placed an idol on the site. But do not be deceived because Christ is very clear that this event would take place right before His Second Coming. When He comes again, no one will need to tell you because everyone living in the world at that time will know He has returned. No one will need to be told. We know that there is still a lot of evil in this world, so Christ is not sitting on the throne of this world. And the Jews are not worshipping in the Temple in Jerusalem, so Christ has not returned yet. These events are still in our future. But we must be prepared for His return at any minute. This means living Christ to the world around you and becoming His image in our life. Waiting and watching for His Second Coming will keep you living for Him and will continue the process of sanctification in you.

Have a God Day!

 

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October 24, 2013: 8:15 pm: God in us

Zechariah 6:9

9 Then I received another message from the Lord: 10 “Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah will bring gifts of silver and gold from the Jews exiled in Babylon. As soon as they arrive, meet them at the home of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Accept their gifts and make a crown from the silver and gold. Then put the crown on the head of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Tell him that the Lord Almighty says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. 13 He will build the Lord’s Temple, and he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between the two.14 “The crown will be a memorial in the Temple of the Lord to honor those who gave it–Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah son of Zephaniah.’ 15 Many will come from distant lands to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. And when this happens, you will know my messages have been from the Lord Almighty. All this will happen if you carefully obey the commands of the Lord your God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many read this scripture and wonder what God was doing with the people of Israel. Throughout all of scripture God gives us clear directions on how to live in this world. In the Old Testament, it was sometimes very specific to the event at hand and in the New Testament, it is very specific to living and applies to all individuals who will hear the voice of God and obey it. Zachariah is writing about the fact that the Messiah, the Branch, would come as both King and as High Priest. The anointing of the two will be in one Person. Jesus Christ will fight to win our battles for us and the will of God the Father will be worked through us by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. This is the function of Christ now as He sits on at the right hand of God the Father. When He comes back to earth again, He will visibly be our King and also our High Priest. God is saying to all those who believe and obey that He will fight our battles. He has all authority in this world and He can bring a miracle from resources you do not know about. But we have a role to play in the filling of God’s promises and that is obedience. “All this will happen if you carefully obey the commands of the Lord your God.” Whatever your need today, trust that God has provided an answer and a way to meet your need. Read and study His Word and then believe and obey. God is Jehovah-jireh, He will provide.

Have a God Day!

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October 23, 2013: 9:43 pm: Salvation

Romans 10:9-13
9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed. 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives his riches to all who ask for them. 13 For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When the Word of God and the words of our lips link up, we have a special connection to the power of God. When we speak the promises from the Word of God, we are speaking His truth with every sentence and the power of God is released to work in our behalf. It is with our words that the our beliefs are planted deep in our hearts. There is power in our spoken word as there is power in the Word of God. When we are pressed on all sides, all we need to do is speak the name of Jesus and we are in His presence. Speak His promises for they belong to us. It is the confession of our mouths that saves us. If we believe and do not speak, do we really believe? Not according to the Word of God. Speak your faith in Christ and see what a difference it will make in your life and in the lives of the people you speak to.

Have a God Day!

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October 22, 2013: 9:20 pm: Sanctification

Philippians 3:12-21

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. 15 I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already. 17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their future is eternal destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and all they think about is this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything, everywhere.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Are you everything that God knows you can be? If you are then you are dead! Not one of us will achieve perfection in this life. But that does not mean we do not keep on working toward that goal. Jesus Christ started this work in you when you were saved by faith. He will complete the work one day but until that day, we are to keep allowing His Spirit to live Christ through us. God will keep revealing to us areas of needed growth. We are to keep moving toward the goal of becoming more like Christ and this means removing more and more of ourselves until there is nothing left. God will not come to us and demand perfection. All He wants is for us to be obedient to His work in us. God is telling you to bring your soul (mind, will, and emotions) under His control, His will and His direction. While we “work” on our soul, remember that your spirit is rightly connected to God and cannot be removed. Listen to what the Spirit of God is telling you today. What layer of self needs to be peeled off and discarded? When you complete that layer, there will always be another to be removed. When we are with Him in Heaven, the work will be complete but until then keep peeling.

Have a God Day!

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October 21, 2013: 8:45 pm: Prayer

Matthew 21:21, 22

21 Then Jesus told them, “I assure you, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, “May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,” and it will happen. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Matthew 18:19,20
19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them.”

Matthew 6:33, 34
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville,Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Jesus taught us a lot about communication with God. He received all of His power while on earth through prayer with His Father and from the power of the Spirit working through Him. He did not act alone, always under the direction of His Father and through the power of the Spirit. When we pray and agree with another Christian, God will hear and answer our prayers. There is more power praying together. He was the perfect example of how we are to live for Him today. There is nothing that Jesus did that we cannot do now. But, we have to come to the Father and ask. We have not because we ask not. Next we have to believe and not waver in our belief. Does this mean God will give us whatever we ask? Yes, if it is His will, and we are seeking God first. If we are doing His will, our desires will be in line with the Word of God and His will. We will not want what is contrary to His Word. This is where Jesus lived and where He wants us to live. All these “things” will be added to us. Look at what you are seeking from Him today and if they are in line with His Word, believe and do not waver in your faith. Ask another Christian to pray and agree with you. God will answer your prayer.

Have a God Day!

 

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October 18, 2013: 9:25 pm: Sanctification

James 1: 19-27

19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. 22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law-the law that sets you free-and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL:Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

No matter how much we testify to the gospel of Christ, it is all just air passing through our lips unless we demonstrate that it has changed our lives with our behavior. But remember, your behavior has nothing to do with your position in Christ or His love, it shows the world that Christ is working on you. Unless your thoughts and actions are in harmony with your words, your speech will be meaningless to those who hear it. Anyone can talk about truth, but only those redeemed can walk in the truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Good works do not save us, but when we are saved, the fruit of our new life in Christ will be seen through our good works. We must not only hear the truth but speak it, live it and let it shine through us. Live what you have learned, practice what you believe and the light of Christ will draw others to Him through you.

Have a God Day!

 

 

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