Archive for April, 2014

April 30, 2014: 6:17 pm: Sanctification

1 Corinthians 10:6-12
6 These events happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did 7 or worship idols as some of them did. For the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged themselves in pagan revelry.” 8 And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day. 9 Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. 10 And don’t grumble as some of them did, for that is why God sent his angel of death to destroy them. 11 All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close. 12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. 13 But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Our life on earth is a test.  What are we going to do with what God has given us?  Adam and Eve failed their test in the Garden of Eden and now we all must be tested.  Our character is revealed and developed in the response we have to the events that take place in our lives.  God is always watching our response to people, conflicts, illness, problems and events that happen to us.  It is not what happens to us but how we respond to it that matters.  Do we use the situation to make us better or bitter?  God has promised us that He will always show us a way out.  He will never bring something before us that He will not give us the strength to endure or the power to overcome.  Everything that happens to us has eternal value and God will use our life situations to bring us closer to Him.  We can become more like Christ if we realize that life is a test and if you belong to Him, you have passed the most important one.  When you leave this short life, you will be with God forever.  And the only things you will be able to bring with you are your test scores from the events that took place in your life.  Bring a passing score.  Let the love of God penetrate every event in your life.

Have a God Day!

 

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April 29, 2014: 6:16 pm: Sanctification, Your mind

Genesis 16:1-6
But Sarai, Abram’s wife, had no children. So Sarai took her servant, an Egyptian woman named Hagar, 2 and gave her to Abram so she could bear his children. “The Lord has kept me from having any children,” Sarai said to Abram. “Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed. 3 So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram first arrived in the land of Canaan.) 4 So Abram slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress Sarai with contempt. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “It’s all your fault! Now this servant of mine is pregnant, and she despises me, though I myself gave her the privilege of sleeping with you. The Lord will make you pay for doing this to me!” 6 Abram replied, “Since she is your servant, you may deal with her as you see fit.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and Hagar ran away. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Word teaches us to pray in line with the will of God.  We are told by the Word that if we pray in line with God’s will, our prayers will be answered.  But have you ever received a promise from the Lord, as Abram did in Genesis, and not seen the results of that promise?  We pray for the promise to come to happen, but don’t see it. It can be very frustrating to know that what you want is God’s will and yet you do not have it.  It is during these times that it is tempting to take matters into our own hands, to force the issue.  Most of the time when we do this it leads to sin.  When we know God has promised us an answer to our prayers and we know our request is in His will and do not see it happening as quickly as we would like, making it happen in our power and time will bring us to sin.  Abram and Sarai found out the hard way that they could not make God move to their time table.  And Sarai ended up in an even more difficult situation than she had been.  Sometimes trusting God means waiting for His timing to work out the situation. He always knows exactly what we need and when it is the best time to give it.  It is the waiting that can cause us to sin and try to make it happen.  Seek to know not only His will, but His timing.  Both are as important and the timing of an answer is just as important as the will of God.  What are you waiting for God to do for you today?  If you have heard from God and know that the answer is His will don’t try to make it happen.  Trust that God will do what He said He would do and do it at the time He has appointed.  Don’t take matters into your hands or you may find yourself in a worse situation and it may cause you to sin.  Wait for God to work His plan in your life and the lives of those you love according to His time and God will answer you prayer.  He will save the one you are praying for, He will heal your disease, He will meet your need, and He will do it at just the right time.

Have a God Day!

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April 28, 2014: 6:12 pm: God in us

Habakkuk 2:9-14
9 “How terrible it will be for you who get rich by unjust means! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your families beyond the reach of danger. 10 But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives. 11 The very stones in the walls of your houses cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint. 12 “How terrible it will be for you who build cities with money gained by murder and corruption! 13 Has not the Lord Almighty promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain! 14 For the time will come when all the earth will be filled, as the waters fill the sea, with an awareness of the glory of the Lord. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Today many live in fear of war, financial disaster and disease. Terrorist attacks are on everyone’s mind. This world has nothing to offer but pain and destruction. And yet many continue to trust in the things that their hands have made. Idolatry may seem like a sin that modern people do not commit. But it is not just bowing down to idols, it is trusting in what one has made. If we trust in what we have made, we are trusting in our own power as creator and sustainer.  If we say we worship God but put our trust in bank accounts, homes, businesses and governments, than we are idolaters. We must live above the circumstances of this world and everything it has to offer.  It is all corruptible and will someday be gone.  The only thing that will last is the love that flows through us from God the Father. Habakkuk 2:4 states, “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked; but the righteous will live by their faith.”  Do not put your trust in the gifts God has given you.  Recognize the Giver and put your trust in Him and Him alone.  Do not let your feelings be controlled by the events happening in the world today but by faith in God’s ability to direct all things according to His purpose and His ability to give you strength.

Have a God Day!

 

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April 18, 2014: 8:37 pm: Your mind

Ephesians 6: 10-18
10 A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13 Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Is this scripture very familiar to you? Does your mind automatically go to Ephesians 6 when you think of the armor of God? If not then you need to put on more of the armor of God. The Word of God will come alive to you as you become more familiar with it. Then when you are faced with a problem or concern, the Word automatically comes to your mind. When you need healing you think of Isaiah 53:5, “And by His stripes we are healed.” Or when you are stressed and need a touch from God you think of Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead; pray about everything. Tell God what you need; and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Or when you are telling someone how to be saved and you think of Ephesians 2:8, “God saved you by his special favor when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”  This is how we fight against our defeated enemy, Satan. Christ has won the battle and Satan is completely defeated. But even though we are assured victory, we must engage in this struggle until Christ returns. Satan will not stop trying to turn us away from God or make us ineffective Christians. And because he is a supernatural being, we must fight him with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in us. God has provided this for us but God will not pick up the sword of truth and fight for us, we must pick it up ourselves. Study and know God’s Word and be prepared to fight off discouragement, despair and any other fiery dart Satan may throw at you.

Have a God Day!

 

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April 17, 2014: 8:33 pm: God in us

Luke 24:35-49
35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 37 But the whole group was terribly frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! 38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why do you doubt who I am? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do!” 40 As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his feet. 41 Still they stood there doubting, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day. 47 With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things. 49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The resurrected Christ appeared to His disciples and showed them His hands and His feet.  They walked, talked and ate with Him.  Before Christ gave them their final instructions, He told them that it was written long ago that He would suffer and die and then be raised from the dead on the third day.  It was not what the disciples expected to happen, even though He had told them what would happen before it did.  As the disciples were given the power that comes from the Holy Spirit, so we are filled with His power.  For all of those in Christ Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit is given to them by the resurrected Christ.  He gives us the power to live for Him.  When we die and leave this world, we will be with Him and we will have a body just like His.  All of us will have perfect bodies in heaven.  Not like these earthly bodies that are made of dust and get sick and die.   All of those in Christ will be perfect in heaven. But there will be one exception; Christ will be the only one in heaven with an imperfection.  He will have the scars on His hands and His feet.  All will see for eternity what He did for us.  We will always see Him as the resurrected Christ and know what He did for us.  We will be eternally grateful as we live in perfection with Him.  Praise Him for the grace that is so freely given but was so very expensive to give.  The Son of God suffered a painful death and separation for God the Father so we could have forgiveness for our sins.  Praise His name forever!

Have a God Day!

 

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April 16, 2014: 8:28 pm: Sanctification

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! 18 All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. 20 We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Christians are brand-new people on the inside.  The Holy Spirit gives us new life, and we are not the same anymore.  Christians are not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated; we are re-created and now live in union with Christ.  The God of all creation came to die for our sin so we could be with Him always.  When we trust in Christ, we make an exchange: He takes our sin and then makes us right with God.  Our sin was laid on Christ at His crucifixion and His righteousness was given to us at our conversion when we believed Him. Salvation comes from faith, believing what we cannot see or understand, but knowing it is true. When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, our life is not our own, but now belongs to Him.  Colossians 2:6,7 states, “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.”  Because Christians have the righteousness of Christ, those who truly believe live for Him.  We are connected to Him through His Word.  Allowing Jesus to direct our lives through the Word of God is living in obedience to Him. We become His ambassadors to the world as we live according to His Word. Trust in what God has done in your life when you received Him.  Live what you have learned abut Him through His Word and the peace of God which passes all understanding will direct your heart and mind.

Have a God Day!

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April 15, 2014: 8:20 pm: Sanctification

Ephesians 4:21-31
21 Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness righteous, holy, and true.25 So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.28 If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, His Spirit came to live in you.  He put His Spirit of Truth in you to transform your desires, your character, your nature and to give you the power to change your behavior.  Paul was very clear about this point when he wrote Ephesians.  He instructed that we are to “throw off” the old nature and take on the new nature of Christ in us. God gives us the desire and the power, but we must use it to change our behavior. God gives us new thoughts and a new attitude, but we must put them into practice.  Do any of the list of things Paul stated do not apply to your behavior, and I am sure there are others?  Go before God and ask Him to help you to understand what part of your behavior is not pleasing to Him.  Listen to the what the Spirit speaks to you and then change what you know.  God will honor your moving forward in the process of sanctification, in your effort to become more like Christ.  Do not get discouraged if you cannot complete your goal at first.  It is a slow steady movement in the right direction that will complete the process.  First understand what behavior God is making you aware of and then change it.  Remember God gives you the knowledge and the power but you must move it into action to grow to become more like Christ.

Have a God Day!

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April 14, 2014: 7:40 pm: Christian Love

Deuteronomy 10:17-21
17 “The LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and takes no bribes. 18 He gives justice to orphans and widows. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 You, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. 21 He is your God, the one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done mighty miracles that you yourselves have seen. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Once Christ resides in our hearts, we are to imitate Him in all that we do.  It is submission in our hearts as well as our bodies.  It is very difficult to claim to love the Lord with all your heart while being in conflict with the body of Christ.  A measure of our relationship with God is how we get along with others.  How we treat others will show the depth of relationship with God.  If our hearts have been cleansed and made right with God, then our relationships with other people can be made right.  The body of Christ is the Church and how we treat each other should reflect the love He gives so freely to us.  We are to show that love to each other, as Christ shows it to us.  This is not always easy, but if we have received the love the God, then it will show in our relationships with others.  We don’t always like what we see others do, but we are to love them as Christ loves us. That doesn’t mean we agree or accept what they do, but we accept them as Jesus Christ does. Only through His power can this be accomplished, only a heart in the process of sanctification can be gracious and show the love received to those in the Church.  Working with and for the body of Christ will show Christ to those outside the Church.  When your heart has been cleansed and you have been reconciled to God you will begin to see a difference in how you treat others.

Have a God Day!

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April 11, 2014: 7:40 pm: Sanctification

Good Morning!

2 Corinthians 3:7-18 7 That old system of law etched in stone led to death, yet it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8 Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory when the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9 If the old covenant, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new covenant, which makes us right with God! 10 In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new covenant. 11 So if the old covenant, which has been set aside, was full of glory, then the new covenant, which remains forever, has far greater glory. 12 Since this new covenant gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory fading away. 14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and even to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, a veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. 17 Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. 18 And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul contrasts the glory of the Old Testament with the glory of the new covenant. The law was given to man by God to show his sin.  And the law could not save us because no person could live without breaking the law.  None of us is perfect.  So God gave man the system of animal sacrifice, blood atonement for sin, to cleanse their sin.  But this was only a temporary system, as it pointed to the One sacrifice that would be complete and permanently unite us to God.  Because no one person could keep the law, but God sent a perfect person, He sent His Son.  Jesus Christ was fully human, born to a woman and conceived by the Holy Spirit, and He was fully God, as He came to earth from heaven.  Under the old system, no one could live without sin and animal sacrifices only provided a temporary fix.  When Jesus Christ came He sacrificed Himself for our sin. Whenever anyone turns to Christ, forgiveness is received.  The veil is lifted and understanding comes.  When we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sin, the Holy Spirit of God then lives in us, even though He was working in our lives to draw us to Christ.  And when the Spirit of God lives in us, we have freedom.  We have freedom from sin and freedom to become more like Christ.  We are fully justified when we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sin and the process of sanctification begins.  This is the journey of becoming like Jesus Christ.  The veil is removed and the more we know Him, the more we become like Him Who died for us.  Allow the Spirit of God that lives in you, who believe in Christ, to make you into His image here on earth.

Have a God Day!

Daily Scripture commentary is written by Christine Zimmerman

Chris@DrZimmerman.com

Visit the Daily Scripture Blog at http://daily-scriptures.org/

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April 10, 2014: 7:19 pm: Sanctification, Your mind

Matthew 5:27-30
27 “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye even if it is your good eye causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand even if it is your stronger hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Is the thought of sin that comes into your mind sin?  The first initial thought is not necessarily sin.  We are all faced with temptations every day of our lives.  And every sin that is committed started with a thought.  Sometimes these thoughts come from our own sinful nature, but sometimes the thought is planted by the enemy.  It does not matter where the thought came from.  Any evil thought can become a sin if it is allowed to grow.  Sin rarely happens spontaneously, it always comes to us as a thought. First it is a thought, and then we justify our right to the thought and continue to think about it.  We have just stepped into sin.  Once we dwell on the thought and our right to the deed, follow through is not far ahead.  So, the initial thought is not the sin, it is dwelling on it and then to follow through with it.  That is why Christ stated that to even think about another person in this manner is a sin.  We make up our minds to sin before the deed happens.  So your first thought is not the sin, but if you continue to dwell on it and justify it in your mind, now you have sinned.  Rebuke the thought and pray for understanding to keep your thoughts pure.  We are all going to think evil thoughts and as a child of God, we need to remember that and keep our thoughts pure.

Have a God Day!

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