Mon, Dec 31st - 9:08PM
BY FAITH ALONE
ROMANS 1:16-17 -- For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, THE JUST SHALL, LIVE BY FAITH. Kjv
If anyone is so proud they won’t bend their spirit before God, they will never get to heaven. You may be a kind, gentle person; you may even be naturally benevolent and charitable. But if your pride keeps you from admitting your need for Christ, then you will not accept His gift of salvation. Many people are in hell because their heart was too hard and they believed their mind was too smart for the God who created them.
There is only one way to reach heaven. Holy God cannot tolerate sin in His presence, and He decreed that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23 -- For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (We all were born a sinner) So, to provide a bridge between mankind and Himself, merciful God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die in man’s place. His sacrifice is all that is necessary for a person to enter into a relationship with God.
The believer does not work or reason his way into heaven. The bridge spanning the gap between each individual and God is crossed on through an act of faith: acknowledging the need for a Savior and accepting Christ’s death on the cross as payment for one’s sins.
Perhaps you’re thinking, I want only what I deserve. But no one deserves grace. Maybe you tell yourself, I want only what I have worked for. But nobody can earn salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9 -- For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast). And yet, the heavenly Father wants to give grace and salvation to you and to me, undeserving though we are. The truly wise people of this world are those who have accepted the truth and bent their spirits--and their knees-- before the Lord.
Sun, Dec 30th - 11:30PM
DO YOU WANT IT?
1 JOHN 5:3-12 -- For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God has the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. V12...He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. Kjv
We know that good health is on everyone’s mind these days. The latest and greatest fad diets rise to the top of the bestseller list. Health clubs and nutrition stores pop up all over town--sometimes next door to fast food restaurants! All designed to get you into “the best shape of your life” (and always with the promise of minimal effort and commitment).
Why is the health industry such a booming business? It is because most people have an innate desire to live as long as they can. Longevity is a major concern! People want the highest quality life possible, for as long as possible. And yet, this emotional need for a long, robust life is most frequently centered around the physical world. WHAT ABOUT LIFE AFTER DEATH?
Scripture makes it absolutely clear that eternal life is available to every person on earth (Romans 10:13 -- For WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED----Sickness, disease, and death are all bound to the world; however, everyone in Christ has already overcome the worst this world has to offer--even death. (1 John 5:4-5 -- For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? -- All the emotional appeal, the television infomercials cannot offer anything to compare with the promise of eternal life.
As believers, we should be shouting the message from the rooftops! The people around us are yearning for a word of life, but too many Christians have remained silent. Why? How can we keep secret what God went to such a great length to reveal? We can live forever! Who in our life needs to hear this amazing truth today?
Sat, Dec 29th - 11:43PM
GOD’S SPECIAL PEOPLE
1 PETER 2:9-10
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Sometimes, even believers have difficulty remembering their purpose in life. In the busyness of our day-to-day lives, it is rather easy to forget how wonderfully and purposely designed we are in the eyes our Creator. Yet, 1 Peter 2:9-10 brings our focus back to God, showing us that He designed us to be:
A CHOSEN RACE… You did not have to fight for a place in the house of the Lord. Instead, He chose you. The God of the universe actively sought you out because He wanted an unending relationship with you. You were selected by God Himself!
A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD… In Old Testament days a king could not be a priest, and a priest could not be a king. The two offices were separate and distinct. However, in Christ, God has called every believer into a new category. We are now sons and daughters of the King, and we have unfettered, intimate access to almighty God. We are royal priests.
A HOLY NATION…. “Holy” simply means “set apart.” In other words we have been marked as God’s children by His Holy Spirit, who is a seal upon our souls that can never be removed.
GOD’S OWN POSESSION….. How valuable are you to the heavenly Father? You are worth so much to Him that He purchase your eternal salvation at great cost: the life of His only Son. (1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Nothing about you takes our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God by surprise. He knows us completely because He made us to be His representative in the world. Our life should reflect our God-given position.
Fri, Dec 28th - 11:52PM
DEVELOPING A SERVANT SPIRIT
MATTHEW 20:26-28 --- But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his live a ransom for many.
We have all seen a cement sidewalk with a footprint or name pressed into it. Unlike footprints on a beach, which are washed away by the tide, cement impressions last indefinitely. We should ask ourselves, When we leave this world, will our life resemble the imprints in sand or cement?
It is easy to become like an island and protect our own “shores”--income, goals, and plans. Or, we can emulate King David and leave a lasting impression because of our service. Long after God commanded the Israelites to conquer their enemies, it was David who finally obeyed, undertaking the tough and dirty task of building an empire. He did so at the expense of his desire to personally erect God’s temple.
In order to serve our generation, we must first refuse to be a slave to it. Fads and unscriptural philosophies are to be avoided, but we can’t run from our culture itself. Instead, we should be alert to needs and to ways of meeting them through the Spirit. The greatest service is often a commonplace act, like visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction or visiting a sick friend. However we serve, we are preparing a better way for those who will follow us.
God equips each of us for service to Him. Amazingly, He works through us to serve others. So, if God asks us to do something, we do not want to foolishly reject His request because we consider it uncomfortable or inconvenient. Instead, let’s look around at our lost generation and see where God would have us use our servant spirit.
Thu, Dec 27th - 9:22PM
HAVE FREEDOM FROM THE PAST
Although we physically function in the present, we aren’t restricted to the “now” when it comes to our thoughts. We can live in the future, always thinking about what’s coming next, or in the present, constantly processing today’s events. And some regularly live in the past, which can create problems.
It is easy to get stuck in days gone by, dwelling on old hurts and feelings of guilt. True, it can sometimes seem almost impossible to let go of past mistakes and errors in judgment. When that’s the case, pangs of remorse wrap around our minds like chains, preventing us from moving forward and anchoring us to feelings of condemnation.
Is this how Jesus wants you to live? No! God has not trapped you in your past. He came to deliver a life of freedom, and He wants to set you free to embrace a glorious future He has already prepared (Galatians 5:1). So, how can you get there?
First, you must face your sin. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t deny it. Admit your guilt to the Father; He already knows about it, anyway.
Second, you must be willing to accept His forgiveness. Otherwise, you will never really surrender your burden. He wants to carry your load, but you have to agree to let Him.
Third, you must believe you have a future in Jesus Christ. John 10:10 says He came to bring you an abundant, eternal life. You will never experience that rich life ahead if you continue to drag around your old mistakes.
Are you haunted by your past? Lay down the chains of regret, and experience the freedom of complete forgiveness.
Wed, Dec 26th - 10:00PM
HOW GOD REVEALS HIMSELF
Look at the delicate veins of an oak leaf, and you see God’s beauty. Observe the storm-whipped surf beating against a beach, and you witness His power. The Lord’s sense of order is revealed in the march of the seasons and the precise tilt and turning of the earth. People need to look no farther than nature to understand that God is real.
Romans tells us that the revelation of the Lord in nature is sufficient to render inexcusable those who would deny His existence. There is no reasonable explanation for the creation of the material universe other than an omnipotent God putting it all together. The matter and fuel for a “big bang” had to come from Someone.
But nature can’t give us a full revelation---creation does not show the Lord’s holiness or eternity. That is why He gave us His Word. The Bible reveals God’s character, records His laws, and explains His expectations for the faithful. In its pages, we can learn about our Father and the kind of life He wants us to lead. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2Timothy 3:16).
Scripture teaches about the living Word, who is the full revelation of God. The heavenly Father wanted to ensure that humanity could know Him intimately, so He sent His Son clothed in flesh to make Himself known, Jesus said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” (John 14:7). Spend time in Bible Study and prayer to know your Father better.
Tue, Dec 25th - 7:41AM
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS”
As we awake on this beautiful morn
Thinking Happy Birthday Jesus
This is the day that you were born
The greatest gift that could ever be given
When God gave you, His Son
So we could be forgiven,
For a purpose you were sent
To this little town called Bethlehem…
God knowing all what was instore
No room at the Inn, He knew for you to be born
But in a stable, was Joseph and Mary
In a manger of hay, Jesus so sweetly lay
Remind us all never forget the real meaning
Of what Christmas is…
But there are times we may forget
As we get caught up with the swift
As everyone is running from store to store
Trying to find the right gift once more
If we’d only pause for a while
And think beyond with a smile
It’s not what we all buy, but that precious gift
Who is so nigh…
Thank you Jesus for that day,
You stopped for me while on your way
One day soon I shall see, the one who was born
In a manger of hay
Who came and died and bled for me
Was buried and arose again on the third day…
There was no room for Him in the Inn,
But lets make room, in our hearts for Him
Before the end.
So Happy Birthday Jesus,
From all of us, once again…
Mon, Dec 24th - 7:05PM
A SPECIAL DAY
Christmas comes but once a year
to fill our hearts with joy and cheer
to bring glad tidings throughout the year
to each one of us far and near...
Tis the birth of our Lord
who came from glory and was born
let our hearts be filled wtih love
just like the one who came from above...
Let's not forget this Special Day
the real meaning Christ's Birthday
May this Christmas be of bless
because He's the one
who gave us this peace and rest...
Have a Merry and Joyful Christmas in your heart,
Happy Holidays, with Love and Joy.
In His Love,
Sun, Dec 23rd - 2:02AM
CHRISTMAS, THE WISDOM OF GOD
What a comfort to know God is all-wise, choosing the absolute best in every single decision. This attribute is particularly evident in His careful execution of the details surrounding Jesus’ birth. Even during Creation, the Father was already preparing to send His Son into the world at exactly the right moment and under the perfect circumstances.
An Angelic Announcement--The declaration of the Messiah’s arrival came from the lips of an angel rather than a common man. Therefore, the shepherds who heard had no reason to disbelieve the truth or to keep it to themselves. They did not stand around, philosophizing about the news; they spread the word among friends and family, as God knew they would.
The Virgin Birth--In order to be perfectly sinless so that He could die for our wrongdoing, the Savior could not be the product of a human union. Instead, the Father used a miracle to wrap the Son in flesh but still preserve His divinity.
His Manger Bed--A palace is a fitting birthplace for a king, but a stable is the perfect spot for the arrival of the sacrificial Lamb of God. Jesus’ humble beginnings make Him more accessible to every man, rich or poor.
A Perfect Name--The name Jesus was frequently used in those days, which fit the Lord’s desire to be associated with the common man. Even more fitting is the name’s meaning: Jehovah’s deliverer. Jesus’ name stated the reason for His coming--His purpose was to deliver mankind from the penalty of sin.
Sat, Dec 22nd - 1:10PM
MERRY CHRISTMAS - EVERYONE
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
THE GREATEST GIFT THAT WAS EVER GIVEN
HE IS WORTHY OF ALL PRAISE HONOR AND GLORY
"GLORY TO HIS NAME"
LOVING JESUS AND LOVING ONE ANOTHER
We all like to give gifts at Christmas, so here is mine to you.
My gift to you, is filled with love
Wrapped with prayers, and tied with joy
Peace in the bow I folded on top
Trusting in Jesus, that everything
Will be all right.
God bless you and yours,
Love, Lois J.
Thu, Dec 20th - 10:22PM
MESSAGE OF A LIFETIME
JOB 23:10-14 -- ( verse 10 -- But He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold)
Just imagine going to a nice restaurant for dinner. The table is set with linens, fine china, and crystal glasses. The waiter delivers your plate with a flourish. In the middle of that exquisite china plate is a single marshmallow. What a letdown! Instead of receiving a nutritious, meaty meal, we are left with a puff of sugar and no satisfaction.
If we become lax, our lives can resemble that disappointing meal. Instead of being believers with a weighty message full of hope, we can find ourselves with nothing to offer but a bit of fluffy sweetness. God’s message is meant to nourish and sustain; our family, our friends, and even we ourselves cannot be satisfied by meager provisions. Our Father wants us to have such impact that people will never be the same after we arrive.
If the Lord is building a valuable message into our life, we must receive everything that comes our way as from Him. When a bad event passes through God’s permissive will to affect us. He will bring good from it. (Romans 8:28 -- And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to is purpose) Truthfully, no person can share a message of hope unless he or she has first suffered. When we are hurting, we seek comfort from people who have faced similar hurt. Likewise, others will trust our comfort if we have known pain.
Whatever the circumstances, we should be evaluating what God is doing in us. Like a gem polisher, He will work off our rough edges by running us up against tough experiences and people. When we look for His purposes and lessons, we hasten the time when our life message reflects the hope that is available in Christ Jesus.
Wed, Dec 19th - 9:20PM
HOW GOD WORKS
2 PETER 3:9-18 -- (9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance)
God is at work everywhere. In the very first verse of the Bible, He is creating the heavens and earth. In the last verses of Revelation, He is calling people to be saved. Throughout Scripture and in the world today, the Lord is active in the lives of believers and unbelievers, although in very different ways.
We will be able to see God move in our life if we understand how He works--and He operates in both dramatic and seemingly insignificant ways. When Moses came down from Sinai with the Ten Commandments, everyone could see by his face that he’d had a dramatic encounter with God. In contrast, Joseph entered Potiphar’s household as a slave. That may seem like an inconsequential situation in an incredible life, but it was important to God’s plan for Joseph.
In similar way, God’s work in us always has purpose. Our life may seem routine, but God is busy every day conforming us to Christ’s likeness. He may allow circumstance we dislike, but those situations accomplish His goal. And we can see from examples like Gideon and Samson that He works differently with each person.
However God chooses to work in our life, we must trust Him. For instance, the Lord promised Abram a son but silently waited years to honor His vow. What appears slow to us is not slow to God. He is working out the perfect timing of events. Our patience to wait on Him demonstrates our trust, which is rewarded when we come ever closer to God’s goal: to become more like Jesus.
Tue, Dec 18th - 11:25PM
CONSIDER OUR THOUGHTS
PHILLIPIANS 4:8-9 -- Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Have you heard the saying “You are what you eat” is an encouragement to give our physical bodies good food. The idea also applies to our mental wellbeing. The mind’s appetite is much like the stomach’s, which becomes accustomed to the diet we provide and craves more of the same. Dwelling on whatever is pure, lovely, and right develops a hunger to receive more of God’s goodness. But if we take in the garbage our culture calls excellent, we develop a taste for that instead.
The world presents some delicious-looking offerings--TV is one example. But mixed in with some fine educational programming is a lot of junk. Certain believers consider it okay to watch a show that violates scriptural values, since its “only entertainment.” However, everything our mind ingests shapes our views and values. Allowing incorrect teaching and sinful ideas into our thinking can eat away at our understanding of right and wrong.
If any idea, action, or activity is not true or honorable--that is, if it violates Scripture in some way--then God is not in it. And if God is absent, then Satan is present. The Enemy’s mission is to draw our focus away from the Lord. Once Satan has someone’s attention, he’ll keep presenting more tasty-looking “junk food” to keep that individual occupied while leading him further into depravity.
Everything the mind can focus upon--including entertainment, teaching, and philosophies--is either Satan’s garbage or the Lord’s goodness. Believers are wise to notice the difference and feast only on the things of God.
Mon, Dec 17th - 11:14PM
COURAGE IN THE LONELY HOUR
2 TIMOTHY 4:6-18
Paul wrote to his spiritual son Timothy from a prison cell. The apostle had been arrested for preaching the gospel. Now, he was alone as he prepared to stand before the Roman tribunal that would decide which charges should be brought. He was a spiritual father to so many, yet even very close friends had deserted him. He must have felt alone and disappointed.
When someone is feeling lonely, what he’s experiencing is isolation from the people he loves. The sense of disconnection is especially troubling when the person is going through a trying situation. But Paul’s discouragement was short-lived: “The Lord stood with me and strengthened me,” he said (Timothy 4:17). As believers, we understand that the Lord is always with us, but when we face an isolating situation, we experience His nearness. God made His presence in the room known to Paul so that he no longer felt alone.
A sudden awareness of God wouldn’t have surprised Paul, and in fact, he was probably anticipating Him. In some of the most trying and lonely times of the apostle’s life, God had been there--as when Paul feared for his life in Corinth or faced drowning at sea (Acts 18:6-10; 27:22-25. Now, recalling God’s faithfulness to him in those trials, Paul could feel confident that the Lord would surely be with him again.
We can depend upon the same promise as Paul: “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). The Lord, who is always with us, will make His presence known in our lonely hours so we can have courage for whatever lies ahead.
Sun, Dec 16th - 10:55PM
THE GRACE OF GOD
ROMANS 5:1-2 -- THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Grace is far more than a popular name for girls or a mealtime prayer. The word communicates the idea of blessing. As children of God, we are the recipients of grace, which is poured out on us by our heavenly Father. Let’s look at how we experience this amazing benefit of His love.
God’s favor is seen in our salvation, as Ephesians 2:8-9 -- tell us: For by grace are (you have been) ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast) The blessing is underserved and unearned--nothing about us prompted God to save us. He acted purely out of His goodness. So we could be reconciled to Him and adopted into His family, He sacrificed His precious Son Jesus Christ.
Grace is also the sphere in which we live the Christian life. At salvation, we were transferred from the Kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:12-13 -- Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made (qualified) us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (the light). Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (transferred) us into the kingdom of his (the Son of his love) dear Son). Here, we live out our new identity as God’s child and carry out His purpose of glorifying Him, both of which result in manifold blessings.
The beauty of grace becomes especially clear when we consider who we once were--a people hostile to the Lord and alienated from Him. We were spiritually dead, living according to our own selfish interests (Ephesians 2:1 -- And you hath he quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins) But now, through faith in Jesus as our Savior, God has justified us and given us new life. He has declared that we have right standing before Him ( Romans 8:1 -- There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit). All of our sins were placed upon Jesus, and His righteousness has been credited to our account permanently. Picture yourself living in the favor of God. Internalize this truth, and then give Him thanks.
Sat, Dec 15th - 8:58PM
ENDURANCE IN THE RACE
JAMES 1:1-4 -- James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brother, count it all joy when ye fall into divers (various trials) temptations. Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, (complete) (lacking) wanting nothing.
The Christian life is an awesome journey that is meant to bring fulfillment and contentment, along with great rewards. Of course, if someone asked me about the Christian life, I would also have to say that it is full of hardship, difficulty, misunderstanding, rejection, doubt, and failure. It is not all pain, suffering, and heartache, but neither is it all happiness. More than likely, someone is going to ask, “Why would I want to be a Christian if it’s going to hurt?”
The simple answer is that we will never be what God intends until we trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. No amount of riches, power, or success will satisfy us like an intimate relationship with God. Becoming a Christian does not suddenly dry up all the present or future suffering in our life. The difference is that we now know the loving Father, who has absolute control over everything we endure. He promises to love us through it all and care for us. And He promises to limit every trial so that we can bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 --- There has no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but, God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.
With each trial, we mature in our walk. While none of us likes pain, difficulty produces the character qualities that enable us to stay on the path God chooses. We will not become discouraged to the point of quitting if we respond with endurance. The result of endurance is that we learn to look above the things that distract us--like criticism, rejection, and setbacks--and we increasingly find ourselves able to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
Fri, Dec 14th - 9:32PM
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
1 PETER 1:13 - 2:3 -- WHEREFORE GIRD (Prepare your mind for action) UP THE LOINS OF YOUR MIND, BE SOBER, AND HOPE (Rest your hope fully upon the grace)TO THE END FOR THE GRACE THAT IS TO BE BOUGHT UNTO YOU AT THE REVELATION OF CHRIST……2:3 -- IF SO BY YE HAVE TASTED THAT THE LORD IS GRACIOUS……….
Believers are called to be “sanctified”-- to live a holy life. Holiness means that a person is set apart by God for His purposes. This process of sanctification begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, and it continues for the rest of our lives.
The Holy Spirit draws our will and longings to align with His. As we submit to Him, we will begin to desire what He desires. ( Psalm 37:4) Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart….
With His leading, we will choose to consecrate our conduct, conversation, and ultimately our character to God alone. He teaches us how to make holiness a way of life rather then seeing it as some lofty place of enlightenment we can never reach. God has placed us where we live and work, not to be “pious” or to live in incubators, but to reflect who Christ is as we walk among other people. If we are in the process of being conformed to Jesus’ likeness, then the longer we live and mature spiritually, the more others should be able to recognize the Savior in us. Our hearts should grow softer, our willingness to love and serve should increase.
If we are Christ’s ambassadors then our lives must be holy; otherwise, we are misrepresenting Him. If we are the body of Christ, then our hands are His hands, our eyes His eyes, and our feet His feet. When we allow Jesus to speak , love, and serve through us, others will be compelled to ask why we live such vibrant lives. Holiness is the believer’s calling. To answer this call daily is to embrace the Great Commission.
Thu, Dec 13th - 10:15PM
A STEP OF FAITH
HEBREWS 11:8 -- By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither (where he was going) he went.
I know you have heard the expression “a step of faith:? Whether or not you’re familiar with the term, you no doubt understand the principle it conveys. Should I take this new job? Should I move across the country? Should I marry this person? Yes, our lives are made up of many steps of faith.
You see, oftentimes when God is calling us into something, His purpose involves our stepping into the unknown. He sets a goal before us that is beyond our knowledge, experience, and control. That ‘s why we call it a step of faith. If we were something we could know, it wouldn’t be a matter of faith, would it?
However, many people simply can’t get themselves to take that firth step, and they therefore miss out on the entire journey. After all, the first step is the most important. If you don’t make the initial decision that says, “Yes, I’m going to do this,” then you’ll never move beyond where you are standing right now.
Abraham heeded the call. Acting only on God’s command to leave the country, Abram (as he was originally known) packed up his family and belongings and left the fertile land that had been home for his entire life (Genesis 12:1-5). Though he didn’t know the destination, Abraham was convinced God had a better plan for his life. And getting there required a step of faith (Hebrews 11:8). Are we willing to follow the Lord’s leadership, even when we don’t know where He’s leading us? Only God sees where that first step can take us. Is today the day for us to take our next great step of faith?
Wed, Dec 12th - 8:40PM
HIS EMPOWERING PRESENCE
Do you remember the last time you felt the presence of God in your life? I do not simply mean an intellectual recognition of the fact that God is with you because He is everywhere, but rather a heart-felt realization that God is personally, intimately abiding with with you?
If you are like many believers, it may be a while since you have really felt His presence. Too many people go about their daily lives without a genuine sense of God's closeness. Over and over again in Scripture, when ever God calls somone into service, the first thing He does is to remind the person of His enduring presence. Examples of this are seen in the stories of Moses (Exodus 3:11-12), Joshua(Joshua 1:1-9), Gideon (Judges 6:12)), and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6-8, to name just a few.
God repeatedly assures His followers of His pesence because people need to be reminded of the reason for their confidence. Each time God called a servant into action, He essentially said, "You can be strong and courageous because I am with you. Victory isn't about your abilities, your strength, you skill, your armor, your gifts, or your dedication; it has to do with My presence. you can be strong because I will be strong in you."
God knows how difficult life can be, and He knows every detail of each struggle you will ever face. As believers in Christ Jesus, we can trust that our heavenly Father will keep His word; He is with us right now, and He always will be. (Hebrew 13:5-6 -- Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE. So that we may boldly say, THE LORD IS MY HELPER, AND I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT MAN SHALL (CAN) DO UNTO ME.
Tue, Dec 11th - 6:50PM
TRAGEDY IN THE CHURCH HOUSE
Every Sunday, many people all over the world sit in the church buildings listen to the Gospel, and then go their own way with a false sense of security. They are quite convinced that if they were to die, they’d go to heaven. To them, it’s quite simple. They think, Heaven is where good people go, and since I’m good, I’m going there.
Oftentimes, these really are good people by most community standards. In fact their conduct is often superior to some who have been saved and are committed to Christ. Like the rich young ruler who came to Jesus (Luke 18:18-23), they have kept the commandments as best they know how but fail to recognize how needy they actually are. Their confidence is based on the notion that since God loves everybody, He certainly wouldn’t let any good person go to hell.
The problem really boils down to a misunderstanding of what salvation is all about. Salvation is not some behavior modification program built on self-effort, but rather a transformation of the inner person. When you are saved, you receive a new disposition that the Bible refers to as “born again.” This new birth means Jesus comes into your life to express Himself through you. Yes, it does result in good conduct, but this new behavior comes from the Holy Spirit living within you, not from your determination to improve yourself. Your life will thereafter be based on a moment-by moment submission to Gods will, from which you will derive purpose, direction, and meaning--as well as the genuine security only He can give.
Mon, Dec 10th - 6:09PM
SAYING YES (WHEN WE WANT TO SAY NO)
In a fish’s belly, Jonah recommitted himself to the Lord’s purpose. But the popular Bible story about the consequences of disobedience doesn’t end with Jonah obeying God. The book actually concludes with him acknowledging why he didn’t want the job--and with the Lord chastising him for his selfish reasons. You see, Jonah was afraid that the Ninevties, who were a threat to the Jewish people, might actually repent, and then his merciful God would not destroy them. The reluctant prophet admitted he wanted to see them wiped out: “Therefore in order to forestall [ their salvation ] I fled to Tarshish” (Jonah 4:2). When the Lord relented, Jonah’s trip became a success to everyone but him.
Believers resist doing God’s will for many reason--fear, feeling of inadequacy, etc. Sometimes, although we don’t like to confess this, we say no because we dislike the probable outcome obedience. As Jonah did, we also can lose sight of spiritually important things and focus on our on desires and comfort.
Our unhappiness with what we think might happen is not a reason to resist God’s plan. If the Lord call us to act, he will take care of the end results. Our job is to obey.
What form of selfishness is keeping you from obeying the Lord? Maybe you are anger with your spouse to work on your marriage or too hurt to welcome back a repentant child. But we are not to be ruled by our feelings, not matter how strong they are. Obedience is required of you. The final results may surprise you, particularly how blessed you will be for having followed God.
Sun, Dec 9th - 1:54PM
A GIFT FROM THE FATHER
If you think about all the gifts you have ever received in your life, did any of them come directly from heaven? Some may seem to be heavenly, but the Lord Jesus Christ is the only gift you and I ever received that came straight down from heave--without a maker, without a beginning, with no end, He is unlike any other present. When He arrived as a baby, He was a tiny gift but also a most needed one.
When you received Jesus, you could not have been given a gift that was more practical or more necessary. Sin had so wrecked and ruined us that we were all under the wrath of God and in desperate need of a Savior. We needed forgiveness and deliverance from our sense of guilt. We had emotional needs, material needs, and all kinds of other deprivation. God the Father sent His only begotten Son into our lives to meet all the needs that we could ever have.
He came gift-wrapped in human flesh. That’s what the incarnation is all about. God came into this world in a body of flesh so that we could see Him, touch Him, and understand Him. And yet, the tragedy is that most people never unwrap the gift. They keep Him a baby in the manger scene or categorize Him as just a teacher or preacher. But this will never do. If you do not unwrap the gift, you will never know what is inside. To open the present, open the Bible. The more you get to know Jesus, the better you will understand how perfect the gift is for you.
Sat, Dec 8th - 8:31PM
GOD’S WILL: THE BIG PICTURE
God has a plan for the world and for His children. Some of what He has ordained is broad in scope and affects many, while others purposes are specific to individuals.
Understanding God’s will begins with recognizing its two major aspects. One is God’s “determined intentions.” For these, He does not seek our input or require our agreement. Creation, Christ’s resurrection and ascension, the timing of His return, and Judgment Day fall into this category. God in His sovereignty decides, and it is done. Through Jesus, God operates the universe and holds all things together. (Colossians 1:15-20)
God’s “desired intentions,” which do require our cooperation, make up the other expression of His will. For example, He desires that all come to the knowledge of truth and be saved. (1Timothy 2:4), but that means people must trust Christ as Savior. God wants His children to be conformed to the image of His Son, and yet our choices determine the speed of that transformation. He also wants us to abide by His moral laws (Matthew 5), carry out the work He has planned for us (Ephesians 2:10), be in right relationship with Him (1 John 1:9), and welcome His input in our daily lives. (John 16:13) But He does not force us to comply.
To have the “Big Picture” concerning God’s will, we need to grasp which things are preordained and which are impacted by what we do. As we understand more clearly how God works, it will be easier to discover His plans. May the cry of our hearts be to do God’s will. (Psalm 40:8)
Fri, Dec 7th - 11:22PM
BUILDING BRIDGES TO THE KINGDOM
Sometimes Christians limit the scope of their spiritual responsibility to the Lord and their local church. But the Word of God says that every single believer around the world is related to us as an arm is connected to a body. We are all part of the body of Christ. If our vision for service stops at the local church our effectiveness for the kingdom will be diminished.
God’s kingdom is the realm where he rules in the hearts of men and exercises His authority. We who have been saved by the grace of God are a part of the kingdom, which is set up in the hearts and lives of all believers. One of these days, that realm will also be a physical reality with a new heaven and new earth. Until then, we should all be at work to build the kingdom by sharing the message of Jesus Christ with the world. That is the task of the church--it is the same mission that was given to the 11 disciples just before Jesus ascended to heaven. (Matthew 28:19-29)
Our responsibility is to construct the bridge of understanding about God’s grace. The Holy Spirit ultimately walks a lost person across the bridge, but we are charged with building it in the first place. Certainly God could have chosen to write a message in flaming letters across the midnight sky. Then people from every culture could see the Gospel, recognize the presence of God, and be saved. But instead, He placed His plan of salvation in the hands of each of us so we can take part in His work. Now is the time to build bridges for Jesus.
Thu, Dec 6th - 10:33PM
CHRISTMAS….A PERSONAL PROMISE
Christmas is more than an event. It is a promise that has been offered to all mankind--a personal promise that is applicable 365 days a year. And when we understand its significance, Christmas takes on a whole new meaning.
In this passage, there are two names that help us recognize the true importance of the Lord’s birth. The first is Jesus, which means “ God is salvation.” In giving that name, the angel was indicating the work that Christ was coming to do. The second name--mentioned only three times in the Bible--is Immanuel, which means” God with us.” In the name of Jesus, we find forgiveness for our sins, and Immanuel delivers the wonderful promise that God will be with us forever.
On the night Jesus Christ was born, the eternal God was motivated by love to enter the human family. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and supernaturally born to a virgin in order to be one of us. But He never ceased to be God. Apart from the incarnation (the birth of God in human flesh), there is no hope and no future for anyone who has ever lived. Without Jesus, we would have to stand before Almighty God with all of our sin resting upon us.
At Christmastime, I encourage you to pray before you plunge into the packages. As you look at the Christmas tree, remember THE TREE. (Galatians 3:13) When you see the lights, remember THE LIGHT. (John 8:12) And when you look at all the gifts, remember THE GIFT. (John 3:16)
May God bless each one with Love, Joy and Peace in Him.
Wed, Dec 5th - 10:46PM
While prayer is a wonderful opportunity to communicate with you heavenly Father, many believers fail to establish a consistent and meaningful time of sharing with God. Scriptures encourages our persistence, yet we often give up after just a few attempts. Faith, focus, and a listening heart are required in order for us to know the Almighty. Without discernment, our flesh places a high premium on what we want to hear and neglects what God is saying. Make it a priority to listen for the Lord's message to you.
As a maturing Christian, you should be seeking to deepen your prayer life. Don't allow your petitions to center around strictly temporal needs. It's okay to ask the Lord to make you productive and bless your career. But are you also asking the Lord to help you grow in forgiveness, develop patience, and increase in generosity? What's more, maturity means taking the time to thank God when He answers your requests.
Engaging in prayer reaffirms your trust that the Father is perfectly capable of providing for you today, tomorrow and throughout eternity.
Tue, Dec 4th - 7:29PM
ETERNAL SECURITY MATTERS
1 JOHN 5:10-13
From Christ’s atonement on the cross springs our assurance of salvation and eternal life. Many people who claim Jesus as Savior know that they are saved but are uncertain about eternal security, the Lord’s guarantee that our deliverance from sin is permanent. Such believers worry that their salvation can be lost through wrong actions. Eternity is God’s promise, and He wants His children to be confident about spending their future in heaven.
When a person places trust in the Savior, he receives not only forgiveness of sin but also the life of Christ abiding within him: Jesus’ eternal nature becomes his. If we base our security on anything other than Christ’s finished work on the cross--such as our good works--then we will be prone to doubts about eternity and the wrong assumption that God’s favor and heaven must be earned. In truth, eternal security is an extension of the Lord’s grace.
When we were unbelievers, the promise of heaven impacted our understanding of divine pardon. In repenting of our sins, we changed our thinking about wrong behavior and acknowledge helplessness before God. In turn, we received forgiveness, and our intimate relationship with Him began at that moment. For believers, repentance makes right our fellowship with the Lord; forgiveness is already ours.
After receiving Jesus Christ into our life, we may still have some doubts or may even rebel and sin against Him. But our salvation is not lost. Scripture is clear on this point: “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish” (John 10:28).
Mon, Dec 3rd - 10:58AM
WORKING TO FULL POTENTIAL
Jesus’ life illustrates the way we are to work--through servant hood and submission ( Matthew 20:25-28) Though He Himself was fully God, Jesus was willing to be under His Father’s authority on earth. God the Father was the center of the Son’s attention, and all of Jesus’ work was done to please Him and do what He asked. (John 5:19)
To labor effectively for the kingdom we must consider ourselves and our work as being under the Lord’s authority. One mistake Christians sometimes make is to separate life into two parts: secular and religious. This is not God’s perspective. As our “boss,” He has commanded us to have a servant like attitude in the secular world as well as in ministry. He also tells us to obey those who are over us, and He makes no exceptions for harsh, critical, or unfair leaders. For the entire duration of our employment, we must demonstrate a humble spirit and do our best. Hard, yes, Impossible, no (Matthew 19:26)
Not only is our work under the Lord’s direction, but we are also to act as if it were all being done for Him. Ultimately, it is. Doing our best work means loving and valuing people just as Jesus did, overlooking irritating character traits or displeasing habits, and working as if He were present. The Savior wants us to see beyond the paycheck to the intangible rewards God gives, both now and in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-20)
A submissive attitude toward the Lord and servant like spirit toward others will help us make the most out of our work.
Sun, Dec 2nd - 12:14AM
BECOMING GOD’S MASTERPIECE
Are you wrestling against forces that seem beyond your control? Does it seem that no matter how hard you try, you get farther behind? If so, like many people today, you are running your own life, moving from crisis to crisis without slowing down to seek God’s help. I have sometimes run myself weary trying to do things in my own strength. But we have to understand one thing clearly, only God can help us to live a spiritually victorious life.
Thankfully, there is a bedrock of truth upon which we can stand…a truth so strong no tide can move it. As followers of Christ, our confidence during unstable times lies in an unchanging God who provides steady anchors of hope and assurance.
When you place you hope in temporal things…money, social status, achievements, acceptance, or even the love of your family and friends-your foundation will inevitably crumble. Worldly comforts are no defense against the tumultuous storms life often delivers.. If you are to stand strong, your identity must come from something greater than what the world offers.
The Word of God, is full of principles for living the extraordinary life. In the midst of spiraling instability, it is easy to forget our true source of strength. Yet, even as we stumble along, Christ walks with us….through disillusionment, discouragement, and doubt. He is never turned away by our wayward acts. He knows that on our own, we can do nothing, but through Him, all things are possible. (John 15:5; Matthew 19:26)
What is the extraordinary life? It is the life we can live, sustained by inner peace and joy in good times as well as bad. Our goal should be to live in undisturbed union with Christ, and, by His strength.
Becoming the masterpiece God created us to be is a lifelong process in which He is continually shaping us into a unique reflection of His Son. When we embrace the principles He has outlined in Scripture, we allow Him to work more effectively in our lives and to reveal the extraordinary life He has in store for us.
Sat, Dec 1st - 12:14AM
OBSTACLES AS OPPORTUNITIES
Learning to see obstacles as opportunities takes time and practice. We can speed up the process by recalling certain truths. God is at work…As barriers remain in place and our situation seems unchanged, God is orchestrating people and events to move His plan ahead. He works silently, invisibly, and effectively on our behalf.
God prepares the way…He has already decided in His mind which hindrances to remove and which to leave unaltered. For the obstacles that remain, the Lord will arrange a way around them or fit them into His plan. What He has determined will be accomplished.
God requires our cooperation. He wants us to be ready to face difficult situations. Through His Word, He communicates what we need to know and also equips us (Hebrews 13:20-21)
God is personally involved….He wants to develop in us a greater sensitivity to His presence. Through Scripture, prayer, and other believers, we can receive the assurance that the Lord is near.
God gives clear instruction. He does not bring confusion. Whether we receive His direction in stages or all at once, He asks us to trust in Him rather than our own thinking. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Facing challenges involves courage, patience, and faith. It takes courage to accept the presence of barriers, to move in pace with God, and to do what He asks. Patience is required as we wait for Him to equip us and reveal His plan. Faith is necessary for us to trust God with the outcome and to focus on obeying Him.
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