Archive for September, 2014

September 15, 2014: 8:28 pm: Love

Galatians 2:17-21

17 But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! 18 Rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul knew from studying the scriptures that he could not be saved by keeping God’s law. Because we have all been infected by sin, we cannot keep God’s law perfectly. The law given by God to the nation of Israel was a pointer directing them to the perfect sacrifice that was to come. Jesus Christ was that perfect sacrifice because He was fully human and fully God and was without sin. Because He was human, he could die. And He went freely to the cross to take the penalty for our sins, so that we could be free from the power of sin and death. But we have to accept His death for us. Even though Jesus died for every sin ever committed and every sin ever to be committed, we do not receive that forgiveness unless we accept His act of love. And when we do accept, we are crucified with Christ. Now Christ lives in us. We continue to live in our earthly bodies, but we are trusting in the Son of God who now lives in us. God has provided a way of salvation that depends completely on Jesus Christ and not our own efforts. And it is by His power that we are able to live for Him and we are able to keep His Word. Do not treat the grace of God meaningless, God provide a Way for us to be reconciled to Him. Accept His Way and then live for Him, as He lives in you.

Have a God Day!

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September 11, 2014: 5:10 am: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 17:5-10

5 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord. 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives. 7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. 9 “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I know! I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In times of trouble, those who trust in humans will be disappointed and are spiritually weak, so they will have no strength to draw on. But those who trust in the Lord will have more strength than they need. Providing not only for their own needs but for the needs of others. Are you satisfied being unfruitful or would you like to be like a well watered tree and have strength in times of crisis and even having more to share? God makes it very clear why we sin; it is a matter of the heart. Our heart is inclined toward sin from the time we are born. It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God. But we can still choose whether or not to continue in sin. We can yield to temptation or we can ask God for the way out. Those who forget God are like the tree living in the barren wilderness. They are stunted and will wither. But those who turn to God in times of temptation will be full and produce much fruit. You decide which tree you would like to be.

Have a God Day!

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September 10, 2014: 8:38 pm: Christian Love

2 Corinthians 13:3-6

3 I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak in his dealings with you; he is a mighty power among you. 4 Although he died on the cross in weakness, he now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in him and have God’s power-the power we use in dealing with you. 5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test. 6 I hope you recognize that we have passed the test and are approved by God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Can others tell that Jesus Christ lives in you? This is the true test of Christianity. Being a Christian isn’t belonging to a church or a religion, it is having the Lord Jesus Christ live in you. It is living in this sinful world as a forgiven sinner working to become more like Christ. Many call themselves Christian but fail the test because Christ is not in them. There is a difference in knowing about Christ and accepting His gift of grace in your life. Once you accept Christ, you turn from your sin and turn toward Him, God becomes the Lord of your life and you now live for Him. The old person is gone and a new person is born. Ephesians 4:24 states, “You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true.” How do we become a new person? Only through Him can we have the righteousness of God. Because He became weak and lived as a human by the power of God, so we who are weak can live by the power of God in us. Take the test and see if others can see Christ in you. Maybe you are living with one foot in Christ and one foot in the world. This will not pass the test. Christ wants your whole heart and your whole life. Don’t wait another moment to make Christ your focus and your Lord.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 9, 2014: 12:31 am: Grace

Philippians 4:11-13

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God is able to give us everything we need, even though He does not give us everything we want. God has given us so much; there has never been a generation of people who have had so much. Yes, there are still many poor in this country and this world, but most of the people reading this message are extremely blessed. But even though we have so much, many are not satisfied. The more we have the more we want. This attitude is contrary to the Word of God, and is not what Jesus did when He was here. He had nothing, no home, no job, no family with Him, and yet He had everything. To become like Christ, we need to practice an attitude of gratitude, we need to practice being content with what we have. Look at the needs of others around you and find someone you can help. Do it in the name of Christ with no expectation of anything in return. Practice doing this and always give your tithe (10%) and offerings (beyond the tithe) first. Walking in obedience to God in this way will change your heart to one of thankfulness and praise for your God who provides for you. Instead of thinking about what you do not have, thank God for what you do have. After all, our most important possession is free and available to everyone, eternal life through Christ Jesus.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 8, 2014: 10:24 pm: Grace

1 Timothy 6:6-12

6 Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. 7 After all, we didn’t bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can’t carry away a single penny when we die. 8 So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing. 9 But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. 10 For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows. 11 O Timothy, you are God’s man. Run from all these evil things, and work instead at what is right and good, learning to trust him and love others and to be patient and gentle. 12 Fight on for God. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you and that you have confessed with such a ringing confession before many witnesses.
The Living Bible, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1997.

Is it a sin to have money? Many will try and tell you that it is, but it is your attitude toward money that can become the sin. Paul tells us it is our love of money that is the sin. This is so true of many of the things God has given us. God intended us to use and enjoy all of the good things of this world, as long as we understand that every good thing comes from Him. 1 Corinthians 10:26 tells us, “For the earth and every good thing in it belongs to the Lord and is yours to enjoy.” Taking a vow to poverty is taking a vow to not be in a place to have anything above God in your life. As long as we understand that everything belongs to God and that every good thing comes from Him, we will not let the love of money become first in our life. This takes all the pressure off of us. It is by God’s provision that our needs will be met. This does not mean we sit back and do nothing, it means we understand that God is provider of all and we are to use the skills He has given us to provide for ourselves and our families. It is understanding that God is owner and we are care takers. It is following His commands and tithing and giving gifts beyond the tithe for the work of God. Someone has to give to supply others to go out and preach the Good News. Rejoice in the good things God has given and remember to praise the One who has given it to you to enjoy!

Have a God Day!

 

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September 5, 2014: 10:20 pm: Love

Galatians 3:26-29

26 So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians-you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Some Jewish males started each day by praying, “Lord, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave or a woman.” Faith in Christ transcends these differences and makes all believers one in Christ. Because all believers are His heirs, no one is more privileged than or superior to anyone else. For Paul to say there “is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female,” was a revolutionary statement. He was going against the belief of the day. Christianity removed all the social barriers. He could have added rich or poor, young or old and healthy or sick. God removes all of these barriers that man has made. All are equal in Christ Jesus. Do not allow your preferences to separate you from people who may be different than you. God has removed the barriers, why should you put them up again? Remember that Christ died for all people and it is not up to us to judge who would be more worthy of His love. All are worthy and all people are loved by God. All do not love Him, but that does not remove His love for them. If God loves them, how can we do any less? Show the love that God so freely gives to you to those you come in contact with each day.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 4, 2014: 10:18 pm: Sanctification

Galatians 5:16-25

16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul describes the two forces fighting within those who belong to Christ Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit living in us, directing us to be like Christ and we have our sinful nature pulling us into sin. These forces are not equal; the Holy Spirit is God and has all power. But He will not override our own desire, so if we desire to sin, we can and many times do. We all have evil desires, we can’t ignore them. In order for us to be directed by the Holy Spirit, we must deal with them. They must be crucified with Christ. The Holy Spirit will transform us into His image as we trust Him more and more. We take our desires before Him and nail them to the cross and ask Christ for help and guidance. The Spirit produces His fruit in us and we depend on Him. When we join our life to Christ, the fruit of the Spirit becomes a byproduct of Christ in us. As a result, we fulfill His intentions for us and that is to love God and our neighbor as we love ourselves. If you want more fruit of God in your life, then nail your evil desires to the cross of Christ and seek to become more like Him.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 3, 2014: 7:55 pm: Sanctification

Psalm 119:4-13

4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles!
6 Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands.
7 When I learn your righteous laws, I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your principles. Please don’t give up on me!
9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.
10 I have tried my best to find you- don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your principles.
13 I have recited aloud all the laws you have given us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Hiding God’s Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. Memorize the Word of God to keep Him in your mind. And as we allow the Word to work in our lives, it is planted deeper into our hearts. It is our plea for God not to give up on us. God has given us a map and directions to follow. He has told us if you do this, then this will happen. We are not saved from the consequences of our sins but we are saved from the judgment. God has forgiven all of our sin past, present and future. We can be secure in this, but it does not give a license to sin. It gives us the freedom not to as we know Him more. At the moment of salvation, 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Even though we are not saved by works, we are saved for works. Which means once we understand salvation, God expects us to keep His commands. We are to work at understanding His map and live the way that Christ Jesus did when He was here on earth. Because we will never live without sin is not an excuse to not even try. God expects us to know Him and to become more like Him. This is our mission, this is our goal. If you are not working at becoming more like God, you are becoming less like Him. Hide the Word of God in your heart and make the effort to be more like Him every day of your life.

Have a God Day!

 

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