Monday, April 09, 2012
Galatians 2:20, 21 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."
Grace and faith work together. All that we receive from the Lord comes by His grace, but is made ours through our faith. When we try to live the life of a Christian by our own works, we nullify the grace of God in our lives and try to attain our relationship with the Lord through our own efforts. Grace, God's unmerited favor and His ability to do in us and through us what we can't do on our own is a free gift. It is made ours when we receive it by faith, knowing that we can do nothing in and of ourselves to earn it! He paid the price that we might receive the gift of eternal life. What I couldn't do He did for me! Praise the Lord for His great gift of salvation!
I am happy this morning to be able to say that through our Easter outreach at Church and yesterday's service we had 64 people receive Jesus as Savior and Lord! Praise the Lord!
Thank You, Lord, for those that made a commitment to You this past Easter weekend. Thank You for revealing Your love to them in a way that they could understand and receive. To You be all the glory! Amen!
Colossians 2:6,7 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Have you received Christ Jesus? If so, how did you receive Him? I received Him by grace through faith. His gift to me was so great a salvation! I received it when I realized that I couldn't work for it, because it was free and all I had to do was accept it! Then it became a reality in my life! Now I continue to live each day by faith in Him who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Luke 24:3-8 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, “saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'” And they remembered His words.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead” was the questioned asked by the angels on that resurrection morning. “Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'”
Sometimes the circumstances of life cloud our remembrance of what Jesus has spoken to us. We get caught up in “dead things” in our lives and forget to look for His resurrection power to change what we feel is impossible, dead, no longer able to be changed. But we forget that Jesus has all power in every situation. He can bring to life that which we see as completely dead! The angels had to remind the women who came to the tomb that day that Jesus keeps His word. What He says He will do. The grave could not hold back the resurrection power of God! He had done what He told them He would do.
Many times we go through trials in our lives that keep us tied to the tomb. We can't see past the deadness of our situation to see the resurrection power of God in it. So we hang out at the tomb. We keep going over and over the details of how dead this situation is, when we could be saying the darkness of night is over and it is morning; the “Son” is shining, new life is here; it's time for this situation to change because Jesus is risen! In Him is all power! My future is not determined by my past. It's Resurrection Day!
What is it in your life today that needs the resurrection power of God? Several years ago when I lost my husband I felt that life was over; I hung out at his grave. I would go and cry about what I had but was now gone. It was good that I mourned his loss; after all, He was my husband. But I couldn't seem to get past the grieving; I was having trouble seeing God's resurrection power in my life. While at the grave I would always say to him, “I wish you were here”. One day as I left after telling Larry that I wished he was here, I got into my car to leave and on the radio was playing a song that said “Don't cry for me, I'm running with the angels on streets of gold, worshiping my Savior, that's where you'll find me”. I suddenly realized that even if Larry could come back, he wouldn't want to. He was pain free, leaping and jumping and running with the angels on streets of gold. But most importantly, he was worshiping Jesus! At the end of the song it said “wish you were here”. God used that song to jolt me back into reality, to remind me that there is life after death and Larry was experiencing that life in heaven with Jesus and those who had already gone on before me. He wouldn't want to come back to this earth with it's pain and problems. It was then that I saw the resurrection power of God in my life. I was able to move on; to embrace what God had for me in the future without looking back regretting what had happened in the past. Larry was safe with Jesus, worshiping Him, enjoying his new life. Now it was time for me to move on and look forward to what God had for me here on earth until I would someday see Jesus in heaven myself.
Father, I'm thankful this morning that You raised Jesus from the dead, that He is alive and we live because of Him. Thank You, Lord, for defeating death, hell and the grave so we might experience eternal life with You in heaven. Thank You for Your resurrection power in my life, for bringing to life the dead things, for bringing newness of life to those situations that I see as impossible. With You, Lord, nothing is impossible for You are the RESURRECTION and the LIFE! I praise You today and thank you for being my Savior and Lord!
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Today is our church's annual Easter outreach to our community. It is a fun day filled with activities for the kids; coloring contests, face painting, free hot dogs and drinks, egg hunt, bicycle give away, drawings for the parents and ending with the gospel message. We have 10,000 eggs to hide, 6 bicycles to be given away, gift cards for the drawing for the parents and we pray that many will receive Jesus as Savior at the end when the gospel message is presented. This is our largest outreach where an all out effort is made to bless our community. We expect a minimum of 600 people will visit our church campus today. As I go this morning to help with the outreach I pray that many will come and receive the blessing of new life that Christ Jesus offers at this Easter season.
I am reminded of Jesus' command as He went back to Heaven after the resurrection. He gave us the same authority that He had in ministering to individuals, the authority to make disciples of all nations. Then in Acts 1:8 He gave us the secret for the power needed to fulfill the commandment He had given us.
“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.” He said that we would receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon us. The Holy Spirit anoints people to do His work in this world of ours. When Jesus ministered on the earth it is recorded in Acts 10:38 that “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”. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is the power cord, the one connected to the Father who is the Source of all power, that flows through us to touch people for God's kingdom. Jesus said in John 5:30: “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me”. In everything that Jesus did we see the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father gave the command, Jesus obeyed and the Holy Spirit empowered Him to do the work. He has equipped us to operate in the same manner, with the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. In John 16:8-10 Jesus said about the Holy Spirit: “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged,”. The Holy Spirit is the convicting power of God in our world today, causing people to see their need for Jesus as their Savior.
Today I pray that the Holy Spirit goes before me convicting people of their need for Jesus so that as we present the Gospel message to them their hearts will be ready to receive the Savior.
Father, please anoint me with Your Holy Spirit and power to do the work of ministry today. I pray that many will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus as they hear the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Be glorified, Father, in Your people today as we bless our community. May this be a fruitful day for the Kingdom of God!
Friday, April 06, 2012
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
There are times in my life when I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to me and through me in a poetic fashion. Here is one of those that I received from the Lord last summer.
Seasons come and seasons go
But this one thing I'm sure I know
That God is just in all He does
His word is true and He says.....”just trust”!
So trust I will with all my heart
'Cause God knows best and He'll do His part!
He'll make a way where there seems to be none
And fight for me til the battle is won.
So I will trust in His perfect plan
The one He's designed for this one wo-”man”
I may not understand all along the way
But all He asks is that I trust and obey!
What about you, my precious friend?
Will you, on your Lord, lean and depend?
Will you trust in His plan for your life today?
Will you cling to Him like there's no other way?
We wonder if we'll make it; will we stand through the fight?
Will we come through the battle at the new morning's light?
These questions we ponder as we walk through each day
And yet all that He asks is that we trust and obey!
Psalm 20:7, 8 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.
My daughter has for about the last 10 years suffered from fibromyalgia and adrenal fatigue. She has been on so many different medications that she now has an enlarged, fatty liver. She had blood work yesterday to determine just what it is that is causing her liver to be so enlarged. I constantly have to trust the Lord for her health. So, God often speaks to me about casting my cares on Him and trusting Him to care for my children.
Maybe you have similar cares regarding your life and family members. Are you trusting and obeying God's directions or are you trying to live according to your own knowledge and understanding? Worry doesn't solve any problems, it only opens the door to fear and doubt. He is the only One that we can trust in that ultimately knows all and has all the answers to life's problems. I want to be able to stand when tomorrow comes knowing that I have trusted not in the world's way of doing things, not dependent upon a man or the government to decide my fate, but only in the Lord for He alone holds my future and that of my children in the palm of His hand. He never fails!
Thank You, Lord, for this day! You alone are the One that I trust in; cling to and rely on. I seek You for the answers to life's problems. Thank You for caring for my daughter and providing the healing that she needs in her body. To You be the glory, honor, and praise in Jesus' name! Amen.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. Psalm 32:8,9
What a fantastic promise this is that the Lord has made to us. We can trust God to direct us, to guide us ever so gently as if only using His eye to move us in the direction that He would have us take. The key here is that in order for Him to be able to direct us with His eye we must be close enough to Him to see His eyes. You can't see someone's eye until you are up close and personal. As a Mother my children knew when they had crossed over the line into something they shouldn't have been doing when I gave them a certain look. They saw it in my eyes! Matthew 6:22 says, “The lamp of the body is the eye...” Your eyes can show people that you are happy or sad, questioning or understanding, loving or cold. When we look into the eyes of Jesus we see love, compassion, caring and encouragement. His eyes reveal to us His character and nature.
Have you looked into the eyes of Jesus lately? Jesus said to Philip in John 14:9 “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father;...” Even though Philip had been closely associated with Jesus there was something that he had missed in his relationship with the Lord. He failed to see past the physical appearance of Jesus. He was looking only at the natural and not the supernatural. Our vision will be limited if we only look at Jesus through the eyes of the natural pictures that we see of Him in the Word. Jesus said in John 5:39,40 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” The Word leads us to Him and then we must seek Him through prayer in order to step over into the spiritual realm to see His eyes, to be able to follow His guidance. In John 17:3 Jesus said that eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He had sent. That word for “know” in the Greek is ginosko and it means to know not by mere intellect but through experience. We must have both the Word and the experience of being in His presence through prayer in order to fully “know” the Lord. The balance of both will bring the closeness that we need to spiritually “see” His eyes!
Today you may feel that He is distant and far removed from where you are. Maybe you haven't taken the time to get to know Him, to really see with spiritual eyes what He has for you. He longs for you to know Him, really understand His ways and live according to the plan that He has for your life. So many times we try to do things on our own when the Father longs for us to seek His ways so we don't encounter so many obstacles in our path. With His guidance we can avoid a lot of pot holes in the road of life that we are traveling.
I pray today that you will seek the Lord with all your heart; that you will not depend on your own understanding in how to live your life, but that you will trust the Lord to show you the paths of success that He has waiting for you.
Father, I thank You for leading us in the way that we should go today. Thank You for giving us wisdom and knowledge regarding the circumstances of our lives. Thank You for showing us the way to take in every situation. Thank You for being Lord in my life! In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
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