THE ANSWER TO SIN..

2 Corinthians 5:21

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
NKJV

Sin… little word, big problem. Think of all the problems in your own life caused by your sin. Think of all the problems in the world caused by the sin of others – wars, violence, stealing, laziness, and envy. On and on and on the list goes and grows. There is a saying, “Sin is the seed, and death is the harvest.” The Bible has a lot to say about sin. It tells us that sin is not only the bad things we do, but also the good things we don’t do. When we fail to love, give or help, we are engaging in sin. As long as we never do wrong and always do right, we don’t and won’t have a problem with sin. Thanks… that helped a lot. ūüôā The Bible tells us how to deal with past sins and how to deal with sin in the present and future. It is easier than you think. “Past sins,” you may ask? Ask for forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” NKJV

What about our present sins? Hebrews 12:1b-2a says that we should strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up and that we should run with endurance the race God has set before us.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith… Friend don’t tell God you have a big sin problem, tell the sin problem that you have a big God. Think about life, think about Jesus, and keep your eyes on Him.

Life Lesson: God has the only cure for sin.

Dear God,
Thank You for taking my sin upon You. I am sorry for the wrong things I have done and for the right I have failed to do. I confess my sins to You and ask for forgiveness. (Confess your sins, by act and by name to Him). Lord, thank You for helping me with my past and present sins. Help me to keep my eyes not on my sin, but on my Savior, Jesus. Help me to soar by casting off the weights of sin. Help me to live the life You have called me to live. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DO WE NEED CHANGE..

1 Corinthians 1:11

“For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.”
NKJV

Paul, in writing this letter to the Corinthians, dealt with division inside the church. Any idea you may have that church is a perfect place is shattered the moment you walk through the door. It was the same in the early church. We all bring something valuable to the church, but because we are sinful people, we also add to the problems.

In this letter, Paul takes on people’s attitudes; their way of thinking. Do we need to be challenged today? Absolutely we do. Being saved does not mean we’re done being changed. We continue to be changed, and as we are, our ideas and concepts of what it means to be a Christian are challenged. God wants to adjust our attitude and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we are desperate for that change.

Life Lesson: God wants to adjust your attitude.

Dear Father,
Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your Son Jesus who died for me so I could have life more abundantly. Lord, I confess to You that I am struggling. I have been looking to the world for answers rather than depending on You. I surrender my heart to You, Lord. Help me to make the changes You want for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

THE MISSION…

 Hebrews 12  

“I have glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You have given Me to do” Jesus told His heavenly Father.

If you died tomorrow, could you say the same? Could you say, “I have glorified You on earth with the work You sent me here to do”? ¬†

 

You might say, “But that’s Jesus talking.”¬† Remember, Paul said the same thing as Christ.¬† Paul wrote that he had fought a good fight.¬† He kept the faith and finished his course.¬† Until this becomes your passion, you are wasting your life from an eternal perspective.

 

As the old saying goes, “Teach me, Lord, to number my days.¬† Only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”¬† It is now time for you to accomplish the work that God sent you here to do.

MY FEAR IS GONE…

In Romans 13:1-3, the apostle Paul gives us some clear instruction on how we are to relate to our civil authorities,

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.  Do you want to be unafraid of the authority?  Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

I remember the days before I was saved.  If I saw a police car when looking in my rearview mirror, I was struck with instant paranoia.  There was a good reason for my fear. 

At that time in my life, I would have gotten in a lot of trouble if I had been pulled over.  I was constantly high on drugs and alcohol, and there were rarely times I was completely sober. 

Thank God I have been saved!  Today if I look in my rearview mirror and I see a police car, I may slow down a little bit; but I am not gripped with this feeling of paranoia because I live within the parameters of the laws of the land.  And if I do break a law, it is going to be out of ignorance and not out of willful rebellion.

If you live your life in fear of civil authority, it is time to check out why.  If you search your heart and find that you are not subject to the laws of the land as you should be, I encourage you to make that change today. 

You will be able to live your life without fear, and honor God in the process

WORSHIP THE FATHER…

2 Chronicles 8:14

“And, according to the order of David his father, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, the Levites for their duties (to praise and serve before the priests) as the duty of each day required, and the gatekeepers by their divisions at each gate; for so David the man of God had commanded.”
NKJV

Worship. That one word involves every part of our lives as a Christian. We can worship the Lord by the way we work at our job. We can enter into worship while caring for the kids or cleaning the house. No matter what we are doing we can do it unto the Lord as a sacrifice of praise.

Romans 12:1 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” NLT

While it is true all aspects of our lives can be worship, there is a sweet blessing that comes as we lift our hands and voices to the Lord. Those times of praise and worship, whether surrounded by our church family or in a car alone, are refreshing to the soul as we focus on our King. When we take those moments to reflect on Jesus and sing praises to Him, it helps us refocus our attention on what is truly important. So on those days where life is hard and you find yourself struggling, crank up the stereo, iPod or radio and sing unto the Lord a new song. I guarantee you will be blessed in the process.

Life Lesson: We should make worship a part of every day God gives us.

Dear God,
Thank You for Your love and for the opportunity to sing Your praises. Father, You are worthy of all my worship, and I pray that every aspect of my life is a beautiful sound to Your ears. Whether I’m singing to You or serving a neighbor, I pray that it will glorify Your name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

IS IT TO LATE?????

I want to focus our attention on Psalm 72:6   This verse contains a very powerful truth that I want to leave with you.  It says,

He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass. (KJV)

I remember when I was first saved and read this passage, I would picture somebody out there with a lawnmower.¬† But of course, they didn’t have lawnmowers back then!

This verse refers to a field that has been eaten over by locusts, a plague of locusts that has come through and just devoured a field.  And God gives a wonderful promise:  He will come down like the rain on the mown grass, to revive and to restore that which the locusts have eaten.

Today, as you read this devotional, you may feel like a swarm of locusts has come over your life and eaten your blessing.  I think if you seek God and earnestly pray and ask Him to send the rain, you will have an encounter with God beyond anything you could have imagined.

He can restore what the enemy has stolen in your life.¬† You can indeed experience the freshness and revival and fruitfulness in your life again.¬† It is never too late to pray for God’s blessing.

No matter the situation, seek God today.  Ask, and He will send the rain down on whatever part of your life has been mowed over by the locusts.  And you will experience the blessing God desires for you.

Remember, it is never too late.

WHY ARE YOU DEPRESSED..

Isaiah 58:10-11 gives you and me a powerful prescription for depression.  It says,

If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.  The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Take a moment to think about what God is saying.  Think about the promise:  If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, God will satisfy your soul in drought.

If you are a person who is given to depression and you feel like you have this big empty void in your life, I have a prescription for you based on this passage.  Are you ready?

Go help somebody else.  In fact, find a place in your church, local rescue mission, or The Salvation Army where you can minister to folks who are going through a rough patch.  Donate a couple of days a week, and help other folks who are going through a rough time.

God promises that if you will draw out your soul to the hungry and if you will minister to the afflicted soul, He will satisfy your soul in drought.

Rather than being so inwardly focused‚Ķ”my problems, and I’m so depressed, and why aren’t things going right for me?”, go help somebody else.¬† Get things in perspective.¬† There are a lot of people who are a lot worse off than you are, and you will find that God will bring the rain into your life when you change your focus.¬†

If your soul is dry, the way to get it watered is to go help someone else.  The sooner the better.

WHAT DOES GRACE COST

 Romans 10:9-13

Imagine it’s your birthday.¬† Your friend comes by and gives you a beautifully wrapped gift.¬† When you open it, it’s something you’ve always wanted!¬† After the party, you walk your friend to the door and just before he leaves, he says, “Oh, by the way, here’s the receipt.¬† Your gift costs $500.¬† I’ll take cash or a check”¬† Could you really call what you received a gift?

The same principle applies to salvation.¬† You don’t have to buy it.¬† Salvation is a gift.¬† It depends wholly on God’s grace.¬†

Ephesians 2:8-9 reads, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Jesus paid the costs in full for our salvation.¬† Acts 4:12 says, “. . . there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven . . . by which we must be saved.”

SHIELD AND REWARD..

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward. (Genesis 15:1)
When God appeared to Abraham, He told him not to fear. God was both his shield and his reward! Abraham had just taken spoil from his recent victory, yet God declared that the real reward is found in the greatness of God, Himself. As He was to Abraham, so God will also be our unfailing protection and our great reward.

SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY..

1 Corinthians 2:1

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.”
KJV

The power of your testimony is not in how well you speak or how you couch the details. It’s not in the clothes you wear or in worldly prosperity. The power of your testimony is in God and the lengths He went to make you right with Him. Your testimony is your walk with Jesus now. That’s why it’s so precious. People don’t see who you were, but they do see who you are.

There is power in your story. It is the “I used to be but now I’m…” God story. People need to hear it. There is no issue you need to work through first. You will always be working through issues and if you are waiting to be perfect, have the Bible memorized or have a refined Christianese vocabulary filled with ten syllable words, you will be with Jesus before you ever share your story. That would be a shame. How many can be reached through the hearing of your testimony? I don’t know and neither will you unless you step out, uncomfortable or not, and share. Do you want to find out?

Life Lesson: Tell people your God story often.

Dear Father,
Thank You for the simple story of Your Son, Jesus, who died for me so I could be forgiven. Lord, thank You, that in Your love, You offer me Your grace and mercy. Give me the strength not to drift in sharing the simple message of Your story. In boldness to glorify You, allow me the opportunities to tell others my story. In Jesus’ name, Amen.