Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Colossians 2:6-10 AMP As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ ( the Messiah). For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the God-head—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].
I love this portion of Scripture. It speaks of who we are in Christ Jesus and the importance of dwelling on His word so that we can walk by faith and not be impressed and swayed by the traditions of men.
As you have therefore received Christ.....how did you receive Christ? I received Him into my life by God's grace, His unmerited, free gift of salvation, appropriated by my faith! I received Christ Jesus by faith and so I am instructed to regulate and conduct my life in the same manner....by faith! So many are out there trying to work to make themselves acceptable to God. But it's all in vain! There is no salvation apart from receiving the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross for the sin of mankind.
Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Christ Jesus paid the price, once and for all, for the sins of mankind. It is now up to us to receive that free gift through faith. And not just to initially receive it, but to walk by it as well. We are instructed to walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. (verse 7)
Have you ever watched a little sapling when it is first planted and how it handles the wind in a storm? While it is a newly planted tree, in the midst of the storm, it bends clear over to where it touches the ground and it seems as if it might not make it through the heat of the storm. But as it's roots grow down deep into the soil it soon becomes rooted and grounded and much stronger to withstand the effects of the winds and rain of a heavy storm. It is more established in it's source of strength, which is the soil of the ground around it. So it is with us when we are firmly rooted and deeply planted in Christ Jesus. We become increasingly strengthened as we are established in the faith!
Colossians 2:8 NKJV Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Friends, it is our responsibility to monitor our spiritual diet! There are all sorts of teachings out there that are contrary to the truth of Christ Jesus! Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4: 3, 4 that there would come a time when people would not endure sound doctrine, but they would jump from one teacher to another, turning away from the truth to embrace fables.
2 Timothy 4:3,4 NKJV For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
As the Day of the Lord's return draws closer we will see more and more the fulfillment of this scripture. It is our responsibility to guard our hearts from false doctrine and teachers that draw people away from the truth. The only way to identify a counterfeit is to know the real. A bank teller identifies a counterfeit bill by handling the real bill over and over every day. It is then that she is able to see and feel the difference in the counterfeit. The more time you spend in the Word of God and communing with the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit, the more you will be able to identify false doctrine when it appears to you. When something doesn't appear to be just right you will have an uneasiness within that is the lack of peace that comes from the discernment of the Lord telling you to watch out for that teaching.
For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the God-head—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. (verse 9, 10)
In Christ Jesus is the fullness of Deity; He is the exact representation of the Father. You can look at Jesus and His walk through humanity and see the will of God for mankind.
Hebrews 1:1-3 NKJV GOD, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Jesus, as He walked upon this earth as a human being, was a living illustration of God the Father. God spoke to us through His life, crucifixion and resurrection. When you see Jesus doing something as He walked on earth you can know that you are seeing the WILL of the Father in action. Jesus did nothing under His own power. He did what He did as an instrument in the Hand of God.
John 14:7-11 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
Now we see in Colossians 2:10 that we are in Christ Jesus, “made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the God-head—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].”
We, who are in Christ Jesus are filled with God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Wow! Let's stop and take that in.....Selah! The NKJV says it this way:
Colossians 2:9,10 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
In Christ Jesus dwells the fullness of God!
Fullness – Greek word pleroma means: full number, full complement, full measure, copiousness, plenitude, that which has been completed.
And you are complete in Him!
Complete – Greek word pleroo – means: to be made full.
Jesus, in His humanity, was made full of God and we are made full of God in Him. It is His will for us that we come to full spiritual stature in Him, with Him being the Head and us being His body.
Ephesians 4:13-16 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ--from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
The fullness of God in Christ Jesus is within us, but it is through our yielding to His working within us and our interaction with others in the body of Christ that we grow up into the fullness of His stature. We are shaped by what He is doing within us and what we are doing as a part of the body of Christ, interacting with each other. Each of us, according to our giftings, has a share to give to the body of Christ. That causes us to grow up into maturity to the full stature of Christ Jesus. The truth is that we are made full in Christ Jesus, but the manifestation of it happens as we grow through sharing with one another. Each person is a vital part of the body of Christ! We all have a part to play.
Are you doing your part in the body of Christ?
Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Just as we will see people straying from the truth in the last days, so we are instructed to stir each other up and encourage one another to good works even more as we see the Day approaching. Our part is to gather together to encourage one another and exhort each other to continue living in love and good works. We are filled with the fullness of God in Christ Jesus to pour it out on each other so we will all grow up to the fullness of His stature. We are to be made mature in Christ Jesus; conformed to the image of Jesus as we yield to Him and interact with each other.
My brother and sister in Christ, you are important to me! You are a valuable gift in the body of Christ. Don't ever say that you are of no value or have no real impact on someone else. We need each other!
Father, I thank You for who we are in Christ Jesus. I thank You for making us the fullness of God in Him. We are Your body, Lord Jesus and You are our Head. Thank You for leading us and guiding us in the way that we should go. May we ever wait to move until we hear our directions from You. Father, I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus today, that You would show them how important they are to each other. I pray that they will come to the full understanding that they are complete in Christ Jesus and have the potential for all the fullness of the God-head within them. Father, help us to believe Your word and step out in faith to act on what You tell us to do, that we might have an impact on people for Your kingdom and their eternity. Thank You, Father, for equipping us just as You anointed Jesus, with the Holy Spirit and with power to go about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil. Thank You for making us Your representatives in the earth today! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.”
Jesus addresses His disciples in this verse in terms that they could understand. The vine and the branch was illustrated through the vineyards of Israel. No plant bears fruit in and of itself. The branch must get the nourishment that it needs to be fruitful from the vine. For the branch to continue to bear fruit it must abide in the vine; it must stay connected to the vine so that the nutrients flow from the vine to the branch. The same is true of the fruitfulness of a believer in Christ Jesus.
Jesus is said in verse one to be the “true vine” and the Father is the vinedresser. The believer is the branch. For every believer to bear fruit he must be vitally connected to the “true vine”, Jesus Christ. A believer cannot give away something that he doesn't own himself; meaning that unless a person stays in vital union with Jesus Christ, through prayer and communion in the Word of God, he can't be filled with the nutrients of Christ's power and anointing to be able to share it with someone else. Apart from Jesus Christ, a believer cannot accomplish anything of lasting value. It must come from the Vine and flow through the branch to be effective in changing something in another person's life.
When Jesus sent His disciples out to minister to the people He sent them out by two's and he said to them: “And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7,8) Jesus instructed them to give away what they had received from Him. He had given them the anointing to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out the demons. They had spent time with Him and now they were told to go give it away; to go out and apply what He had taught them.
The same is true of every disciple of Christ Jesus; we are all told to go and do the same things that He did. Jesus instructed us to go and make disciples of all nations. He said that there would be some tell-tale signs that people would be able to see in His disciples.
Mark 16:15-18 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will be no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Now, it is only our responsibility to do as He commanded; preach the gospel, cast out demons, speak with new tongues, confront demonic powers, and lay hands on the sick so they can recover. How can we do these things? We do them as He works with us confirming His word spoken through us with the accompanying signs.
Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.. Amen.
As we do our part, God will do His. He is the One that does the work; we are only the utensil that He uses to accomplish His work. Jesus said of Himself that He didn't do anything He didn't see the Father doing or say anything that He didn't hear from the Father.
John 5:19 AMP So Jesus answered them by saying, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the Son is able to do nothing of Himself (of His own accord); but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, for whatever the father does is what the Son does in the same way [in His turn].
John 5:30 AMP I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.
So, what is the secret to accomplishing the works of God in our lives today? Well, I think the key is found in the same way that Jesus accomplished His work. We see in so many scriptures that Jesus often withdrew to pray. He spent quality time with His Father. He was empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the works of God through His prayer time. At one point He withdrew to pray and stayed there all night. It was after that special time of prayer that He learned from the Father who He was to choose to be His twelve disciples.
Luke 6:12 NKVJ Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:
It was a little later in that day that He exhibited the power that came from His time in prayer:
Luke 6:17-19 NKJV And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
The power of God went out from Him and healed them all. The power of God was received from His Father during those times of prayer. Just as a vehicle cannot run on empty, so the believer in Christ Jesus cannot effectively minister without the re-fueling that comes through prayer and Bible Study.
It is recorded in Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
God was with Him; He anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power during those times that He spent in prayer. Jesus, in His humanity, was empowered through His relationship with the Father. He was anointed, set apart and consecrated with the oil or power of the Holy Spirit, to do the work of ministry. The same is true of us as we spend time with the Lord through prayer and the Word that He will anoint us to do the work of ministry.
John 14:12-14 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Jesus spoke that of His disciples and those who would follow after Him; believers in Christ Jesus!
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Do you have trouble sharing your faith with others? Are you bold in your witness of what God has done in your life? Can you freely give away what God has done in you? Are the signs of a believer evident in your life?
If you answered “yes” to the first question, "no" or “not enough” to any of the others, then I would encourage you to spend more time with the Lord getting filled to overflowing so He can do His works through you. God longs to have His children spend time in His presence so He can empower them to do the works of ministry. He wants a body that will follow His directions as the Head to do what He tells them to effectively minister to the world.
Will you set aside time to spend with the Lord so you can be an effective witness of His? The key is in receiving from Him so you can pass it on to someone else. You can't give away something that is not yours!
Father, I thank You for equipping me for the work of ministry. I know that it is in knowing You that I am empowered to release what You have placed within me to those around me. Father, I lift up to You those who may be longing to be an effective witness for You. I ask You to draw them by Your Spirit into a deeper, more satisfying communion with You where Your anointing can flow freely to them and through them to impact people's lives for eternity for Your Kingdom! Father, I thank You for the anointing of Your Spirit that is upon their lives. I ask You to give them the boldness to step out in faith and be Your hands and feet and Your mouthpiece. Thank You, Father, for the fruit that will be evident through their lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Psalm 95:1-7 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God; And the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture. And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will heart His voice;
I am so thankful this morning that I belong to the Lord Jesus! I am His and He is mine. God has so blessed me with such a great salvation. I have a covenant with God that is secured by the blood of Jesus. Usually with a covenant both parties must keep their part of the covenant or it is null and void. But in this case our covenant with God is between Him and His Son so I don't have to worry about keeping a part of it. I have a right to the covenant benefits because I am in Christ Jesus. When I invited Him into my heart to be my personal Lord and Savior I became a beneficiary of His covenant benefits. That means I have forgiveness of sin, protection from my enemies, healing for my body, provision for my needs, peace when I am in the midst of a storm and whatever else that I need to live a prosperous and successful life. Jesus paid for it all!
Ephesians 1:4 says that He “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly paces in Christ.”
Deuteronomy 28:1-13 says that when I live my life in obedience to the Lord that all these blessings will come upon me and overtake me:
You will be blessed in your towns and in the country.
You will be blessed with many children and productive fields.
You will be blessed with fertile herds and flocks.
You will be blessed with baskets overflowing with fruit, and with kneading bowls filled with bread.
You will be blessed wherever you go, both in coming and in going.
“The LORD will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!
“The LORD will bless everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The LORD your God will bless you in the land He is giving you.
“If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in His ways, the LORD will establish you as His holy people as He solemnly promised to do. Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you.
“The LORD will give you an abundance of good things in the land He swore to give your ancestors—many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. The LORD will send rain at the proper time from His rich treasury in the heavens to bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God and carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always have the upper hand.”
The reason that I am so blessed is so that I can be a blessing to those around me!
Genesis 12:2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
God spoke that promise to Abram speaking of him being the Father of faith and, by so, making His people children of faith. I am a Son of Abraham by faith in Christ Jesus and so I fall under the blessing of Abraham and the children of God.
Galatians 3:7-9 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
With all that said, I can say this morning that I am thankful that I am so blessed!
Father, I thank You for making me Your child. I thank You for giving Jesus Christ that I might be redeemed and reconciled to You. You are my God and I am the sheep of Your pasture. Thank You for providing for my every need. And thank You for blessing me with all the blessings of life. You have been so good to me! And I praise You this morning and thank You from the bottom of my heart. I am blessed to be a blessing. May all who come in contact with me know that You are the reason that I am blessed. May Your blessing flow through me to touch others for Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. May I bless others with the blessings that You have bestowed on me. May my hands be open to release the goodness that You have given me so that others may receive blessings from my God through me. With a grateful heart I offer up thanksgiving unto You this morning for You have been so good to me! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Isaiah 43:10-13 NLT “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the LORD, “And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God; there never has been and never will be. I am the LORD, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your deliverance; I declared what I would do, and then I did it—I saved you. No foreign god has ever done this before. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the LORD. “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse my actions.”
God alone is God. There is no god besides Him. He is the LORD! When we see the word LORD spelled out in capital letters in the Bible it means that He is Jehovah, the Being who is absolutely self-existent, the One who in Himself possesses essential life, permanent existence. He is the self-existent One, the “I AM WHO I AM”, always the same, yesterday, today and forever. All life is contained in Him.
Exodus 3:13-15: NLT But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' they won't believe me. They will ask, 'Which god are you talking about? What is his name?' Then what should I tell them?” God replied, “I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS. Just tell them, 'I AM has sent me to you.'” God also said, “Tell them, 'The LORD, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This will be my name forever; it has always been my name, and it will be used throughout all generations.”
This is God's name forever! He is the One who always is; always in the eternal now. The same yesterday, today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8, 9 NLT Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas....
The good news is that He, God the LORD, the self-existent One who is always the same has chosen you to know Him, to believe in Him and to understand that He alone is God. There is and always has been other gods around that people try to convince others that they are god. But the One True God is Jehovah, the self-existent One! He is the only One that can save, heal, deliver and set people free. He has done it from the beginning of time and will continue to do it throughout all eternity! There is none above Him or beside Him. And He is calling you into a living and vital relationship with Him. He is alive, He is a person and He wants you to know Him!
Isaiah 43:25 “I—yes, I alone—am the one who blots out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.”
Only the LORD, Jehovah, has the power to blot out your sins! Jesus paid the price for them, that you might be forgiven.
I had a dream last night. It was so vivid and real that I was awakened by it. I dreamed that my husband and I were driving down the highway and we both were transported to heaven. When we got there we began to take stock of friends and family that were there. We quickly realized that not all of our loved ones were in heaven. How sad it was when we began to name them off and some were not there. They had not believed in Jesus and so were not included in the catching away of the church. It was very disturbing to me because I do not want anyone to cross over into eternity without Him. I don't want them to spend eternity separated from the LORD. Heaven is a glorious place where we will forever spend time worshiping our Creator, ruling and reigning with Christ Jesus and eternally safe at home with Him.
I awakened this morning with this song running through my head. How glorious it will be when I see Jesus!
But for those who do not choose Jesus as Lord and Savior it will not be a glorious eternity. It will be an eternity spent separated from God, who is Light and Love; spent in outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus called the place Hades, Gehenna or Hell. He tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-23 and says that the rich man was in torments in Hades.
Heaven is real, but so is Hell. God didn't create hell for people; He created it for the devil and his demons. But each one of us, through our own choices, will spend eternity in one place or the other. God has given each of us a free will to choose either to know Him and live for eternity with Him, or reject Him, live for ourselves and spend eternity apart from Him. He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin so we could know Him and live throughout eternity with Him. You must be born again!
John 3:3 Jesus replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.”
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” “There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.
God doesn't want anyone to perish and spend eternity apart from Him. In fact, He is delaying His return so that as many as possible can come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.
2 Peter 3:9 NLT The Lord isn't really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent.
You might say that I have been spending a lot of my blogging on this subject lately. And that is true. But the reason is that I see the shortness of the time and am more aware of the need to make sure that I do everything that I can to warn people of their need to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. So, for those of you who have received Christ Jesus please be patient with those who haven't. This blog is intended to reach both the lost and the saved. For some it's a glorious time of celebration as we look forward to Heaven and being able to see our Savior and Lord. For others, it's a time where eternity is held in the balance. The scales could tip either way for them. And I want to be sure that I give them ample opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Father, I bring those before You who do not know You this morning. I pray that today will be their day of salvation; that they will put off no longer their decision to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. I ask You, Holy Spirit, to convict their hearts of their need for Jesus. Father, I pray that Jesus will be lifted up and all eyes will see that He is the One that You sent to pay the price for their sins. You said, Lord Jesus, that if You were lifted up that You would draw all men unto Yourself. I lift You up this morning and proclaim that You are Lord; You are the Savior of the world; the One and only way to heaven. Father, I pray that Your Spirit would bring the lost to salvation today. In Jesus' name I pray.
Now, if you have never asked Jesus into your heart to be your personal Savior and Lord and you would like to, please pray this prayer with me and mean it sincerely in your heart.
Father, I come before you confessing that I am a sinner, lost and in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I have sinned against You both by birth and through the choices I've made to live my life for myself. I realize that I am lost and can do nothing to save myself. I ask You to forgive me for my sin, to cleanse me and to come and live in my heart. I believe that Jesus died for me and that You raised Him from the dead to new life and that if I confess Him as Lord and Savior that I will be saved. So I do that today; I confess Jesus as my Savior and Lord and I thank You for saving me. I will live from this day forward for You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Now Father, I bring those before You who are lonely and in despair, struggling through life. You said in Your word that You have chosen them to know You, to believe in You and to understand that You alone are God. You are all powerful, all knowing and all present. There is nothing that escapes You and You are the God who rules over all. No one can stop You or reverse what You do. Father, I ask that You would work a miracle in their lives today. That they would truly know that the God of all creation is changing their situations and bringing an end to the storm that has been raging in their lives. We give You glory for what You are doing in each of our lives. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
It's not often that I wake up with a secular song running through my mind, but this morning I kept hearing the song, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” speaking to my spirit. As I listened to this song I realized that Jesus is the bridge over troubled waters for us. He is the one who gives us safe crossing over the troubles that arise in our lives. God provided a safe haven for us that protects us from the storms of life when we enter into a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.
John 15:14, 15 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
We are no longer servants of God, but through Jesus we have become His friends. He comforts and shelters us from the troubling times that rage around us. He is our bridge over troubled waters. It's through communion with His Spirit who lives within us that we find comfort in times of trouble, a friend who's always there, leadership and guidance when we have lost our way and one who sticks close to us through all kinds of life's challenges.
The song speaks of someone being there to lay down his life to be that bridge over troubled waters for his friend. Jesus laid down His life that He might be that bridge to God for His friends.
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
John 10:17, 18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have receive from My Father.”
Jesus willingly went to the cross for us that He might bridge the gap that was between us and the Heavenly Father because of our sin. He is the way that leads to reconciliation with God that no man could make. It took the sinless blood of Jesus to make the bridge that would lead us over the gulf of sin into the presence of God. He has reconciled sinful man with a holy God!
Ephesians 2:14-18 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them, bot to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Have you traveled the cross that bridges the gap between you and the Father? Jesus is the only way to get there.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
There is no other way to get to the Father except the way of the cross. You must come through the blood of Jesus, accepting what He did for you, personally, through Him laying down His life for your sins. Sin kept us from being able to come into the presence of a holy God, but the blood of the sinless Son of God restored us to right relationship with Him.
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.
Jesus took our sin upon Himself and nailed it to the cross, making us dead to sin and alive to Him when we we receive His payment for our sin. Salvation comes to us as we realize that we are born as sinners and we can't do anything for ourselves to save us from our sins. Then we come to an understanding that Christ died for us that we might not have to spend eternity separated from God because of our sin. He laid down His life and became that bridge over troubled waters for us. We receive salvation through faith in Him as a personal relationship, not a legalistic, ritualistic approach to God, but as one who knows Jesus and accepts His personal payment for our sin.
Romans 10:6-10; 13 NLT But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don't need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). And it says, “You don't need to go to the place of the dead” ( to bring Christ back to life again). Salvation that comes from trusting Christ—which is the message we preach—is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Have you believed in your heart that Jesus died for you and God raised Him to new life again? Have you confessed Him as your Lord and Savior? That's how you cross over the bridge into God's presence. Those who haven't crossed the bridge will spend eternity separated from the Father. But those who by faith receive what Jesus did for them on the cross and confess Him as their personal Savior and Lord have free access to the bridge that leads them across the troubled waters of life. They are free to cross over into God's presence.
If you have never received that salvation that we have talked about this morning. It's really very simple; people often feel that they have to perform to a certain standard to receive salvation. But as the above scripture says all you have to do is believe and receive! If you have never done that and you want to, please pray with me and mean it sincerely in your heart.
Father, I come before you now confessing that I am a sinner, both by birth and by choice. I have chosen to walk through life in my own way, that is apart from You. But I now realize that Jesus paid the price for my sin; that He died on that cross for me and that You raised Him from the dead; and that if I confess Him as my Lord I can receive access to that bridge that brings me into Your presence. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the only way to be reconciled to You, Father God. I believe that He died for me, that You raised Him back to new life and I confess Him now as my Savior and Lord. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying down Your life for me and for saving me. Thank You, Father, for making me Your child. From this day forward I will live for you! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer and received Jesus into your heart you now have access to the Father, through the Son. He is your Savior and Lord and your name is recorded in heaven as being in the family of God. Congratulations! That is the most important decision a person can make and has to be made this side of death. We only have the freedom to choose while we are still alive. It is important that everyone understands that there is no choosing once you die. The choice has to be made now!
Father, I thank You for those who have chosen Jesus this morning. I pray for those who may be wavering in their decision to follow You. I pray that they will choose now, before it is too late, to be born into the family of God. Father, I also lift up those who are experiencing troubled waters in their lives. I pray that You will make Yourself real to them and show them that You are the bridge over the difficulties that we experience in life. We can walk above the raging storms of life, safe in You. Thank You for giving us free access to Your salvation! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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