Monday, December 03, 2012
Psalm 55:1-8 AMP LISTEN TO my prayer, O God, and hide not Yourself from my supplication! Attend to me and answer me; I am restless and distraught in my complaint and must moan [And I am distracted] at the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression and threats of the wicked; for they would cast trouble upon me, and in wrath they persecute me. My heart is grievously pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come upon me; horror and fright have over-whelmed me. And I say, Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Yes, I could wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
I love to read the Psalms because they show the humanity of the Psalmists as they experience life. This is a psalm of David, written as he was experiencing a storm in his life. It is written to show the humanity that we all experience as we go through trials and tribulations. It is not wrong to feel like David felt, that you want to run away from the current situation at hand. There's so many emotions that we see in these verses; so many things that we can identify with as common feelings when trouble comes.
The Psalmist writes “I am restless and distraught in my complaint and must moan”. How many times have we felt this way? Restless, not knowing what to do in the midst of the storm; moaning about what we are going through? I think our first response when we enter into difficulties is to moan and bewail the unfairness of our situation. Oh no, why me, Lord? Why has this trouble come upon me?
The next thing we see the Psalmist saying is that he is distracted at the noise of the enemy, because of their threats and oppression. One of the most difficult things to deal with in any trial are the thoughts that the enemy sends into our minds. It is always a thought of the worst case scenario. This is going to be the trial that gets the best of you, that overcomes you and that you will not be able to recover from. The noise of the enemy.....is the voice of discouragement and defeat that we hear while going through any difficult situation. But this one thing we can be assured of.....if God be for us who could be against us? (Romans 8:31) The voice of the enemy must be silenced by the voice of the Lord! God's word will silence the voice of the enemy when we focus on it and speak it out!
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.
God promises us that we can silence the voice of the enemy. We condemn those voices that rise in judgment against us. This is said to be the heritage of the servants of the LORD. If it is the heritage of His servants how much more so is it our heritage as His children, as His friends?
John 15:15, 16 “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. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
We are friends of Jesus, no longer His servants. He has given us the privilege of praying to the Father in His name that we might receive of Him what we need for fruitfulness. If we are constantly under the oppression of the enemy how can we be fruitful? We need to take our rightful place in the time of trouble and silence the voice of the enemy through speaking out the truth of God's word in the midst of the storm.
The psalmist goes on to share the feelings of fear and pain that he is experiencing and his desire to fly away and be free of the trouble that is tormenting him. How many times have we felt the same way? When the first sign of trouble comes, my first inclination is to run away; to get away from it and avoid going through the heartache of it. The Psalmist wants to fly away into the wilderness where no one could find him.
Psalm 55:7, 8 Yes, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! I would hasten to escape and to find a shelter from the stormy wind and tempest.
I have thought so many times during trials that if I could just run away where no one could find me I could be at rest; away from the problems that try to overwhelm me. But that is not the answer. Running away from a problem or difficult situation does not make it go away. The answer is in running to the Lord.
Psalm 55:16-19 AMP As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon will I utter my complaint and moan and sigh, and He will hear my voice. He has redeemed my life in peace from the battle that was against me [so that none came near me], for they were many who strove with me. God will hear and humble them, even He Who abides of old—Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!--because in them there has been no change [of heart], and they do not fear, revere, and worship God.
David knows that the answer is in calling upon the Lord. It is God alone who can save us and rescue us from danger. Running away takes us away from the One who wants to help us; the One in whom we find refuge and safety from our enemies. Evening and morning and noon David cried out to God to deliver him from his enemies. He found refuge under the shadow of God's wing.
Psalm 57:1 AMP BE MERCIFUL and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed.
We have a refuge, a place of safety, in our relationship with the Lord. It is in His presence that we find confidence and strength to meet the winds of adversity. God is gracious and loving, not allowing anything to come into our lives that He is not able to deliver us from.
Psalm 34:17-19 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
We do not have to fear trouble. God is watching over us to deliver us from the afflictions that come upon us. Yes, we may have to go through them, but we have the assurance that we will be delivered. Sometimes it is a miraculous deliverance and sometimes it is through strengthening us for the battle and showing us how to overcome until we win. But God has assured us that we will come out of them victoriously when we run to Him for refuge!
What difficulty are you experiencing today that is trying to overwhelm you? Are you running to the Lord or away from Him? The refuge is in the shadow of His wings.
Father, I thank You for Your delivering power. I thank You for promising us deliverance from our enemies and victory in our battles. You have already prepared the safe place for us to run to in Your presence to gain strength for the battle. Thank You for keeping us safe from the enemy and for granting us deliverance. Father, I pray for my friends who may be in the midst of a storm right now. I pray that You will show them how much You love them. I ask You to reveal Your provision for them and enable them to rise above the fear and discouragement that the enemy is bringing against them. I pray that they will take the offensive and begin to speak to the enemy, to the problem to move the mountain so they can be victorious over it. Thank You, Father, for showing us the way out; for giving us the victory for You have said in Your word that You always lead us to triumph in Christ Jesus! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
Father, I thank You for Who You are to me. I thank You for making a way where there seems to be no way and for doing the impossible! You are Elohim, the Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth and all that is within it. You are Jehovah, the Great I AM, the self-existent One, Who is ever-present with us! You are the God Who is more than enough, El-Shadai, the all-sufficient One! You are Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides for my every need! You are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals! You are El Elyon, the Most High God! You are El-Roi, the God who sees everything that we go through! You never sleep and You never slumber, but You are always aware of what we are experiencing. You are Adonai, my Lord and Master! I praise You this morning because You are worthy to receive my praise!
As I think back through the years and ponder on my relationship with God I can't help but think about the impact that the Bible Study “Lord, I Want To Know You”, by Kay Arthur, had upon my life. It was through that Bible Study that I came to know the Lord through learning about His names and what they mean. I learned to depend on Elohim, the Lord our God, the Mighty God! Elohim, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. One in essence and character, but three persons united as One.
It was through this study that I learned about how God revealed Himself to the Hebrews in their time of need. God came to them and revealed Himself to them as the solution to their problem by the name that He was known as. When they needed healing He revealed Himself as Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who heals. It was at each of these times that they needed Him that He came as the the One who held that answer within His character and nature. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the God Who provides!
It is this God that I know, that I love and that I serve! He is worthy today of all praise, glory and honor! And I choose to worship Him in spirit and in truth!
As I got up this morning this song was running through my mind. Regardless of the sadness of heart that I feel today in Gerald and I having lost a friend, I am reminded that nothing is too difficult for my God! He is worthy of my praise and worship and I choose to do that!
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Philippians 3:12-14 NLT I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is call us up to heaven.
Some years ago, as many of you know, I went through a terribly difficult period after losing my husband. One Sunday I was sitting in church listening to my Pastor's message and God, the Holy Spirit, spoke to my heart and said, “you can't fully embrace the good things that I have for you in your future if you don't turn loose of your past”. It was at that moment that I realized that in order to move forward in my life I would have to leave the past behind and walk into my future expecting God to do what He had promised. Paul speaks of that very idea in this portion of scripture in Philippians. Sometimes we get caught up in what has happened in the past to the point that we lose sight of the possibilities of anything good happening in the future.
Your past does not have to determine your future. The only power your past has over you is what you give it. You may have some things in your past that you really don't want to see show up again in your future. It won't if you don't empower it through fear. Fear is described as false evidence appearing real. God had a great plan for my future which He has so graciously provided in my current husband, Gerald. But I have had to battle the spirit of fear that has repeatedly come to try to steal my peace after having lost my former husband. The spirit of fear is always around trying to tell us that what has happened in the past will repeat itself. It is our responsibility to fight the good fight of faith where fear is concerned.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
The progression in fighting the fear that all of us encounter at one point or another is to first submit yourself to God. God's will is the most important part of my life. I want to be in the center of His will. When I submit myself to Him I am saying, “Father, not my will but Yours be done”. Regardless of what His will is, I know that I will be content if I am in that place where He is in the center of my life. After we have committed ourselves to Him then we must resist the temptation from the devil to allow fear to step into that place of authority that is only reserved for God. When we resist the temptation presented by the devil, he must turn and run from us. We am then the victors in that situation.
1 Peter 5:8, 9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
The devil is pretty dumb, really. He uses the same tactics over and over again. His main weapon is deception. If he can deceive us through fear and convince us that what he is saying is true then we will come into agreement with him, empowering him to fulfill the fear that he has given us. The scripture says to be sober and vigilant, watching and listening for him so you can identify his strategy. Then we are to resist him being steadfast in the faith.
The Greek word for sober in this verse means “self-controlled”. God speaks to us about being self-controlled in 2 Timothy 1:7 when He says:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
The fear that this scripture is talking about does not come from God. The only fear that God wants us to have is a reverence for Him; a holy awe that is known as the “fear of God”. The fear that is referred to in this scripture comes from the devil; it is a spirit of fear.
The word for “sound mind” is sophronismos and it means “safe-thinking”. The word denotes good judgment, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions. It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.
A part of resisting the devil is using self-control in watching for his strategies. You can't lay down on the job and think that he won't try it again. When he finished his temptation with Jesus in the wilderness the Word says that he left Him for a more opportune time.
Luke 4:13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
We have an enemy who watches to see how we react to his attacks. He cannot read our minds, but he can hear what we say and he watches to see whether we will react or respond to the thoughts that he sends to attack our minds. It is with that in mind that I must remind you that the Word says we are to take captive every thought that comes to us that doesn't line up with the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
We are to filter our thoughts! If they are in opposition to what the Word of God says, then we are to cast them down, or arrest them! We do not have to receive every thought that lights upon our minds. We are to judge them and bring those wrong thoughts into captivity. Replace the wrong ones with the Word of God that counteracts the thought. That means that we need to have a working knowledge of God's Word. How can you stop a wrong thought if you don't know it's not right?
Psalm 119:97-100 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts.
We come to understand what is a right or wrong thought by meditating on the Word of God. His Word makes us wise so we can recognize the error in a thought and then counter it with a correct scripture. God speaks wisdom to us through His Word as we meditate on it. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness He countered the attack by speaking the correct scripture to the devil with “it is written”. He is our example!
If we want to fully embrace what God has for us in the future we must forget the past, turn aside from fear and wrong thoughts and, as Paul said in Philippians 3:13, reach forward to those things which are ahead. We must “press” toward the goal that God has for us!
As I stated earlier in this post, when I was sitting in that service listening to my Pastor's message and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart about turning loose of the past, my Pastor made the statement that “the best is yet to come”. At that time I couldn't see anything good out there in my future. I had to grasp that statement with every ounce of faith that I could muster. I went home with the assurance that God indeed had a good plan for my life even though my past did not reflect a promise of good for my future. We all have choices to make every day of our lives. We can either listen and obey God's voice and directions for our lives or resign ourselves to living a repeat of the past.
Reaching toward the prize and pressing into it requires faith! Faith is trusting God to do what He has promised before we see even a glimpse of the reality of it.
It's not easy to resist the temptation to fear, but it is possible. It's not easy to step out on a limb believing that God is there to grow it out for you, but it is possible. Faith makes it possible; but not easy!
What is it in your past that seems to haunt you and stop you from stepping out in faith to receive the impossible? Praise God, I am living proof that God is faithful to fulfill His promises when you believe Him and obey His directions. He has so blessed me with my Gerald! He is everything that I could have ever wanted in a husband! He is my gift from God!
Father, I thank You for the good future that you have planned for each of Your children. I pray today that those who read this blog who may be experiencing difficulties in life will be able to see that You are good and that You want to bless them with a good future as well. Father, I pray that they will get a glimpse of the good that You have planned for them. I pray that they will turn loose of their past and look forward to the future. Father, I ask You to show them the attacks of the enemy before they happen. Help them to recognize the false thoughts that he sends to attack them with fear and deception. Bring back to their remembrance the scriptures that You want them to use in countering those thoughts. I pray, Father, that they will speak out loud Your promises and use them as the Sword of the Spirit at Your direction. Thank You, Father, for the victory that You promise each of Your children as we fight the good fight of faith and stand firm and steadfast on Your Word. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, November 30, 2012
2 Corinthians 4:18 Amplified Bible: Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.
Both of these two translations talk about “fixing our eyes” and “considering” things that we see going on around us. They caution us about paying too much attention to the things that we see in the natural because they are temporary or “subject to change”. I heard someone say today that certain problems they were experiencing were just visiting and would be leaving soon. I'm sure you've heard the old saying, “this, too, shall pass”.
Instead, what we are to do is focus on what God says in His word about tribulations and trials. We over come by countering what we see in the natural with what God says in His word. Many times I've had to stop myself while going through a difficulty and remind myself of what God's word says regarding that particular trial. There is a promise of God in His word for every difficulty that we encounter in life. For sickness there are healing promises; for financial difficulties we have scriptures that tell of God's provision; for fear there are verses proclaiming that God's love casts out all fear and all of them are available to us because of God's grace and are appropriated into our lives through our faith. Whatever we are experiencing in the natural is subject to change through applying the truth of God's word.
Whatever we focus our attention on will become magnified in our hearts. The bigger the picture is within us the more faith we put into its existence. We may not want it to come into being, but faith is the vehicle that brings into manifestation what we are believing in our hearts. Fear is to the devil what faith is to God. Fear opens the door for the enemy to bring into your life what you don't want to happen.
Job 3:25, 26 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.
The more we look at problems, difficulties, negative world events, etc., the more those things take precedence in our hearts over what God promises in His word. Now, I'm not saying to stick your head in the sand and not keep up with what's going on around us. But, what I am saying, is that we need to put them in proper perspective according to the Word of God. God, as a wonderful Father, has our best interest at heart. He cares about His children and promises to care and provide for them. He instructs us to not worry because worry chokes the life out of a person.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Worry – Greek word merimnao; “to divide into parts.” The word suggests a distraction, a preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress, and pressure.
Worry divides your mind into anxious thoughts and when those those take root and grow they crowd out the faith that you need to bring the promises of God into manifestation. When you worry you feel pressure from outside sources that over-rides the peace that comes from trusting God. Jesus tells us not to worry and be anxious about necessities of life because we are under the care of a watchful heavenly Father who is ever mindful of our daily needs. He will take care of His children.
There is an antidote to worry. It is being Kingdom-minded; seeking first the kingdom of God and simply trusting Him to take care of the rest.
Matthew 6:31-33 “Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
When you become Kingdom-minded you are mindful of the Father's business and seek to do His will in every situation. Then you trust Him to take care of what you can't. Worry doesn't offer a productive end to anything. It just causes stress, anxiety and unnecessary pressure in your life. He will provide for the things that you need.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Anxious – same Greek word as “worry” in Matthew 6:25. Again, God is saying that worry and anxiety can be eradicated from your life through an antidote! In this verse, the antidote is praying with thanksgiving for what God has already done in your life and committing your fears to Him.
God doesn't want you to ignore those things that are trying to cause you to worry and be afraid. He simply wants you to tell Him about them and commit them into His care. Notice what happens when you do that:
Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Acrostic written by Edith Rary on January 2, 2004/2/04
Peace comes as we pray, telling God about our needs and problems, and then leaving them with Him to take care of. Notice that the scripture says that the peace of God will “guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. The picture here is of a Sentinel setting up a guard post at your heart and mind to stop the enemy from bringing harmful thoughts into your heart and mind that would negate the peace that you have placed there through praying and committing your cares to God. That Sentinel keeps out the negative so peace can be magnified in your life.
So, what do we think about if we aren't going to worry? Well, the scripture goes on to say in Philippians 4:8, 9 that we are to think on good things and practice what we have seen in Paul's life that worked for him.
Philippians 4:8 NKJV Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is an virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:9 NIV Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
The way that we cooperate with the Sentinel that has been placed around our hearts and minds through praying and committing our cares to God is by then replacing negative thoughts with God's truth and living our lives patterned after the ones that we see in the Word who have already gained the victory over fear and worry in their own lives. Paul had already learned to pray, commit his problems to the Lord and then to arrest the negative thoughts and replace them with God's truth.
Truth always supersedes facts. It may be a fact that you have an illness. I'm not asking you to deny it, but to subject it to the truth of God's word that healing is yours through the covenant that you have with God through Christ Jesus. (Matthew 8:17) It may be true that your financial status is lacking, but the truth of God's word is that He provides all your needs through His riches in glory. (Philippians 4:19) We may be bombarded with negative world events that show us that our world is spiraling out of control but the truth of God's word is that we are His children and He takes care of His own. (Psalm 55:22) Many times we can't see that the truth is overcoming the negative but our response must be to continue to stand firmly on God's word expecting Him to do what He has promised.
Trust God's heart today! Stand on His word; pray and commit your cares to the Lord and trust Him to take care of you.
Psalm 56:3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
Father, I thank You for Your faithful care of Your children. I know that You love us and care for us and these things that keep coming against us to try to sway us off of our trust in You must be put to an end. Help us to see that You have provided the way of escape for us from the cares that try to attack our minds and hearts. Father, help us to say “no” to negative thoughts of evil and “yes” to Your truth that overcomes and guards our hearts and minds with peace. You are faithful to keep Your promises and I thank You for always providing for Your own. Give us the courage to face our fears with the truth of Your Word. Thank You, Father, for granting us peace in the midst of the storms of life and for giving us the weapons that we need to use to stop the enemy from stealing our peace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Acts 17:24-31 NAS “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as through He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope or Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His offspring.' “Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Acts 17:28 in the NKJV says: “for in Him we live and move and have our being,”. For me as a born again Christian that means that I am “in Christ Jesus”, my life is not my own and all things that I encounter in this life revolve around my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not my own, but I have been bought with a price; the blood of Jesus Christ. I am His and He is mine! Hallelujah!
I often think about life before being “in Him”. It was one of uncertainty, wondering if I would be “good enough” to enter heaven when I died. I was raised in a denominational church that believed that your works would be what would give you entrance into heaven, but you didn't know if you had been “good enough” until you got there and then it would be too late to do anything about it if you hadn't. It was a “maybe you are” and “maybe you aren't” “good enough” type of situation. I didn't know from one day to the next whether I would “make it” or not.
Acts 17:31 tells me that there is coming a day when God will judge the world to see which ones are “in Christ Jesus” and which aren't. The key is in repenting and giving your heart to Him today so you will be ready for that Day of Judgment.
To “repent” is the Greek word “metanoeo” and it means “to change one's mind or purpose”; to “turn around” from the direction you are going to go another direction. This portion of Scripture says that all men have been made by God for the purpose of seeking Him. As we look into the world today we see a people who are self-centered, focused on one thing only, and that is themselves and what will satisfy their heart's desires. This people, who the Word says have all been made in the likeness and image of God, are seeking satisfaction and fulfillment in everything but Him. The word says that they have been in “times of ignorance” and He declares that they all should repent before the “fixed” day of judgment comes.
I don't often teach on repentance or that there is coming a day of judgment because I don't believe in portraying my God as a “turn or burn” type of God. He is a loving heavenly Father that has created man in His own image so He can fill or “inhabit” His creation to lead, guide and bless them with His presence. My God leads men to repentance through His goodness.
Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, no knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
My mother always said that more flies are drawn to honey than to vinegar. I believe people are drawn to God through seeing His goodness and understanding that He loves them and wants a living and vital relationship with them more than in seeing Him as a God of judgment. But, as the Word says, there is coming a day when He will look at the record books in heaven and determine which ones, by their own choice, have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, thus deserving an eternity with Him in heaven. That is the Day of Judgment. It is simply to determine who spends eternity with Him or separated from Him.
Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,”
Repentance brings “times of refreshing”. Many believe that when we instruct people to “turn around” from the way they are going to following Christ Jesus that they will have to give up the good life for a life of dutiful, mundane living. But the Word says that “times of refreshing” will come from the Lord when we repent. The “good life” awaits you when you turn to the Lord. It's not a life of no problems, but you have the Lord of Life living within you to direct you through the storms of life and give you peace in the midst of them. A life of victory awaits you when you to turn to the Lord. You don't life beneath your circumstances, but He equips you to live “above”; to be victorious and more than a conqueror because of His presence within you.
Romans 8:31, 32 NKJV What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
God gave Jesus for us....His life for ours! God is not holding that against us, but He did that so that He could freely give us salvation and all things! He is a loving heavenly Father, ready to provide for our every need that we might understand His goodness.
Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
God wants you to be His so that He can pour out His love upon you and fill you with His fullness. He wants to strengthen you through His Spirit in your inner man, to equip you and give you an understanding of His love. God doesn't love you because He loves; He loves you because He is love. His very nature is love. He can't do anything but love His people.
1 John 4:7-10 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God loved us so much that He gave His son to be the propitiation, or payment for our sin. This payment satisfied the wrath of God that was there because of sin. It paid the price to establish man “in Him”, to place man “in Christ Jesus”.
Ephesians 1:7, 8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
“In Christ Jesus” we have forgiveness of sins. We have been “adopted” as sons by Christ Jesus to Himself. (Ephesians 1:5) It is “in Him that we live and move and have our being”. (Acts 17:28)
I woke up this morning with this song on my heart. It says about God: “You are the love of my life; You are the hope that I cling to; You mean more than this world to me. I'd rather have You than silver or gold. I'd rather have You than riches untold. You are; You are my everything”. I can sing that because it's “in Him” that I live and move and have my being.
I want to invite you today to make Him yours and to give your heart to Him that you may also live “in Him”. Won't you accept Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Lord and Savior today? Make this your day of salvation! Pray and ask Him to come into your heart; to save you and live each day with you. Pray this prayer and mean it sincerely in your heart.
Father, I come before You confessing that I am a sinner, both by birth and by choice. I have lived my life for myself but I now realize that I need to repent, to change my mind and turn around and live for You. I ask You to forgive me of my sin, to save me and come and live in my heart to be my own personal Lord and Savior. I receive the gift of salvation that You have so freely given for me in the crucifixion and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I believe that if I were the only person on the face of the earth You would have still given Jesus to pay the price for my sin. I receive Him into my heart and I thank You for saving me. I vow to live every day for You from this moment on. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer for the first time and really meant it, you are now “in Christ Jesus”. You are “in Him” and are a part of the family of God. Congratulations! That is the most important decision you will ever make in your whole life. Your eternity is now sealed with God and will be spent in heaven with Him.
Father, I pray for those who have prayed to receive Jesus into their hearts this morning. I ask that You would make Your presence real to them that they might grow in their relationship with You. Thank You for saving them, for paying the price that they might be set free from sin, death and Hell. Thank You for bringing them into Your family this morning.
Father, I pray for my friends who may be going through difficulties today. I ask that You would make Your presence known to them as well. That You would strengthen them in their inner man by Your Spirit who lives within them that they might be assured of Your love for them. I pray that they will look to You for the answers to life's problems for it is in You that they live and move and have their being. You are the answer, Lord Jesus! May they find comfort in knowing that You have made them more than a conqueror through Your love for them. Thank You for granting them the victory in You! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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