Archive for July, 2012

Have You Sinned And Fallen Short? Here Is Hope!

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Romans 3:23  says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Worry is falling short on faith.  Impatience is falling short on kindness.  The critical spirit falls short on love.

So, how often do you sin, hmm… in an hour?  For the sake of discussion, let’s say ten times an hour.  Ten sins an hour, times sixteen waking hours, times 365 days a year, times the average life span of 74 years.  I’m rounding the total off to 4,300,000 sins per person!  How do you plan to pay God for your 4.3 million sin increments?  You’re swimming in an ocean of debt.

But God pardons the zillion sins of selfish humanity.  He forgives sixty million sin-filled days.  He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be.  And He did it by the grace of Jesus Christ.

What Is The Gospel Mentioned In Revelation 14:6?—The Simple Truth! A Brief Bible Study

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We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

 

  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16 NIV

 

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.       Revelation 14:6

The Gospel Is A Living Demonstration Of God’s Steadfast Love— An Everlasting Love That Holds Me Together And Saves Me!!

 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15

 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;  Isaiah 61:1

 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

It is very interesting to note that in both Isaiah 61:1 (From The LXX which is the official translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek) and in Luke 2:10-11 the Greek word for Good News is Gospel! (euaggelizo).

The Power Of God’s Love!

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son… John 3:16

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17 NIV

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;  2Corinthians 5:14

When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. Psalm 94:18

The Gospel Is The Creative Power of God To Save Us!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Romans 1:16, 20, John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 1:24, 18, 2 Timothy 1:8-12

Jesus Is The Gospel!

Christ is the power of God 1Corinthians 1:23-24. Therefore Jesus is the Gospel! And Christ’s Salvation comes through the cross. Mark 1:15, 1Corinthains 1:18

The Gospel is a Mystery Now Revealed!

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Jesus is “The Only Way” John 14:6 Colossians 1:27, Ephesians 3:3-7, Romans 8:3-4, 11

The Gospel is Christ dwelling inside us and the preaching of the Gospel is making known to others of the possibility of Christ dwelling inside of them! It’s by Faith alone In Jesus that accomplishes this awesome reality!   Ephesians 2:8-9

How does Christ dwell inside us?

Jesus lives inside us through the Holy Spirit. John 16:13, John 14:17 Romans 8:8-11, John 14:16-18, John 16:7, John 17:20-26, Galatians 5:22,23, Revelation 3:20

When I invite Jesus to dwell inside me, He then transforms me into His likeness 1John 3:1-3. He literally lives out His life of victory inside us. Romans 8.:3-4, 8-11,Romans 5:10. All of this is accomplished in me because God is love. 1John 4:8, Jeremiah 31:3, 1Thessalonians 5:23-24, 1Corinthians 1:29,30, Galatians 5:22-23

It is all Christ and nothing that we “do” in the area of putting forth effort.  We simply believe what God says. Praise God we don’t have to save ourselves. Matthew 1:21, John 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:3-8

And what is my part? Simply to choose Jesus and trust Him with my life! This requires 100 percent surrender to Jesus 100 percent of the time!                       And that’s it!!  John 3:16, Galatians 2:20

For Future Study: What Is Sanctification?

 

 

 

 

Jesus Is About To Come!! Revelation 22:20

    We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

Are You On A Weed Hunt?

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God’s love sprouts around us like lilacs, but we go on weed hunts!  How many flowers do we miss in the process? If you look long enough, you’ll find something to bellyache about.  So quit looking!

Lift your eyes off the weeds.  Collect your blessings.  Catalog His kindnesses.  Assemble your reasons for gratitude.  “Always be joyful” is what Paul tells us in

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Pray continually and give thanks, whatever happens.  This is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.”

Gratitude is always an option.  Make it your default emotion and you’ll find yourself giving thanks for the problems of life.  Who knows what you might record in your journal:

Mondays.  Oh boy–my favorite!

Final exams.  I can hardly wait!

“Impossible,” you say?  How do you know?

How do you know until you give the day a chance?  Thank God!

 

I Messed Up–God’s Steadlast Love Never Ends

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 The very foundation of Salvation is grounded in the realization that God’s unmerited love toward us is greater than any other power– Including death!!    Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 3:14-21

 

 

 

 

We’ve all messed up.  Said the wrong words, loved the wrong person, reacted the wrong way…walked when we should have waited, indulged when we should have resisted.

You’ll mess up more if you let yesterday’s mistakes sabotage today’s attitude!

The Bible says, God’s mercies are new every morning.  Receive them.  Learn a lesson from them.

Thunderbolts of regret can ignite and consume you.  What makes the difference? Counteract them with downpours of God’s grace, daily washings of forgiveness.

Once a year won’t do.  Once a month is insufficient.  Sporadic mistings leave you combustible.  Weekly showers leave you dry.  You need a solid soaking every day!

Lamentations 3:22-23 says “The Lord’s love never ends; His mercies never stop.  They are new every morning.”

What a gift He has given to you.  What more do you need?

 

Why Did God Set A Limit To His Creative Activity?

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A Potomac Sunset

 

 

What would lead God to set a limit to His creative activity and mark the occasion by hallowing the seventh day?

Clearly by ceasing His creation, the Creator stoops to the level of His creatures because God’s heart desire is to be with His creation. The relation marker becomes clear! This is true because God is love! And God’s love “does not seek its own” 1Corinthians 13:5 “is not self-seeking” 1Corinthians 13:5, or “never seeks its own advantage” 1Corinthians 13:5.

Indeed, the reason why He refrains from further activity on the seventh day is that He has found the object of His love and has no need for any further works!

This is a staggering thought. On the one hand, God’s love thus magnifies human value, showing forth in bold print the worth of human beings to God! On the other hand, the seventh day thus understood brings God’s love into focus at Creation, placing love at the front and center of God’s character and activity from the very beginning.

In the New Testament John makes love the centerpiece of his description of God. “Whoever does not love, does not know God, for God is love. 1John 4:8. Love is God’s defining attribute from the beginning. From first to last love is the wellspring from which all other actions radiate and around all else unites.

What is most important about God at Creation is that God is love. God ceases from working on the seventh to enjoy the company of the person God has created. It is as if we hear God speaking, “I am ceasing on the seventh day not only that you may acknowledge and love me, but in order to make it known that I recognize and love you.

I pray that the lost meaning of The Sabbath will come alive in your life right now and cause you to have an intimate relationship with God.

Please Visit Often!!

Wayne

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future.

1 John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3,

It is just that simple!

“Courtesy Come And Reason Ministries”

Thanks to Sigev K. Tonstad.

You Are Beyond Value To Jesus!

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An American tourist in Paris, who purchased an inexpensive amber necklace in a trinket ship, was shocked when he had to pay a huge duty on it to clear customs in New York.

This aroused his curiosity, so he had it appraised. After looking at the object under a magnifying glass, the jeweler said, “I’ll give you $125,000 for it.”

Greatly surprised, the man decided to have another expert examine it. When he did, he was offered $30,000 more.

“What do you see that’s so valuable about this old necklace?” asked the astonished man. “Look through this glass,” replied the jeweler. There before his eyes was an inscription: “From Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine.”

The value of the necklace came from its identification with a famous person. And your value can only ever be measured in your identification with Jesus – you are beyond value.  Pastor Lloyd Grolimund

The very foundation of salvation is grounded in the realization that God’s unmerited love toward us is greater than any other power—including death                                                        Rom. 8:37–39; 1 Cor. 15:55–57.

 

For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.   Isaiah 54:10 ESV

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13, 1John 3:2, John 17:3

Judas—The Man Who Never Knew

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No longer do I call you servants,for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:15

 

 

I’ve wondered at times what kind of man this Judas was. What he looked like, how he acted, who his friends were.

I guess I’ve stereotyped him. I’ve always pictured him as a wiry, beady-eyed, sly, wormy fellow, pointed beard and all. I’ve pictured him as estranged from the other apostles.

Friendless. Distant. Undoubtedly he was a traitor and a quisling. Probably the result of a broken home. A juvenile delinquent in his youth.

Yet I wonder if that is so true. We have no evidence (save Judas’s silence) that would suggest that he was isolated. At the Last Supper, when Jesus said that his betrayer sat at the table, we don’t find the apostles immediately turning to Judas as the logical traitor.

No, I think we’ve got Judas pegged wrong. Perhaps he was just the opposite. Instead of sly and wiry, maybe he was robust and jovial. Rather than quiet and introverted, he could have been outgoing and well-meaning. I don’t know.

But for all the things we don’t know about Judas, there is one thing we know for sure: He had no relationship with the Master. He had seen Jesus, but he did not know him. He had heard Jesus, but he did not understand him. He had a religion but no relationship.

As Satan worked his way around the table in the upper room, he needed a special kind of man to betray our Lord. He needed a man who had seen Jesus but who did not know him. He needed a man who knew the actions of Jesus but had missed out on the mission of Jesus. Judas was this man. He knew the empire but had never known the Man.

Judas bore the cloak of religion, but he never knew the heart of Christ.

We learn this timeless lesson from the betrayer. Satan’s best tools of destruction are not from outside the church; they are within the church. A church will never die from the immorality in Hollywood or the corruption in Washington. But it will die from corrosion within—from those who bear the name of Jesus but have never met him and from those who have religion but no relationship.

Judas bore the cloak of religion, but he never knew the heart of Christ. Let’s make it our goal to know … deeply.

The Viewpoint—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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By Oswald Chambers 

Author of: “My Utmost for His Highest”


 

 

 

Now thanks be to God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.

The viewpoint of a worker for God must not be as near the highest as he can get, it must be the highest. Be careful to maintain strenuously God’s point of view, it has to be done every day, bit by bit; don’t think on the finite. No outside power can touch the viewpoint.

The viewpoint to maintain is that we are here for one purpose only, viz., to be captives in the train of Christ’s triumphs. We are not in God’s showroom, we are here to exhibit one thing – the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ. How small the other points of view are – I am standing alone battling for Jesus; I have to maintain the cause of Christ and hold this fort for Him. Paul says – I am in the train of a conqueror, and it does not matter what the difficulties are, I am always led in triumph. Is this idea being worked out practically in us? Paul’s secret joy was that God took him, a red-handed rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive, and now that is all he is here for. Paul’s joy was to be a captive of the Lord, he had no other interest in heaven or in earth. It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory. The Victor ought to have got us so completely that it is His victory all the time, and we are more than conquerors through Him.

“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ.” We are enwheeled with the odour of Jesus, and wherever we go we are a wonderful refreshment to God.

    2 Corinthians 2:14

What Is The Only Mission Of Jesus?

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Clearly The very foundation of Salvation is grounded in the realization that God’s unmerited love toward us is greater than any other power— including death.                                                                                                                                                   Romans 8:35-39, Ephesians 3:14-21

 

For Background Information Please Read Luke 13:10-17


So what is the only mission of Jesus and The Gospel?  Clearly it is His only mission “to heal all Creation of its damage”!! This is Reconciliation at its best! And not only does Paul admonish us to “Be Reconciled to God ourselves but he plainly states that Jesus Christ has given each of us the ministry of Reconciliation!!   2 Corinthians 5:14-17,18-19,20-21

Reconciliation is the very last message of Revelation 14:6-12 as well!!

It’s all about a personal intimate relationship with Jesus!! John 17:3, 1 John 3:2,        1 John 5:11-13   

“Think of it”:  “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound – think of it – for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” Luke 13:16.  The eighteen years have been registered by Jesus who knows that they have been long years and who makes the length of the years and not just the number of years His reason to intervene.

We do not hear Him say, “Stuff happens,” treating her fate dismissively and the price some people have to pay for living in a disordered and messy world.  To the extent that she is proof of a disordered state, she is the victim of Satan.  This is an additional incentive for Jesus to drive back the forces of darkness and restore her to health.

On this point at least some interpreters see Jesus within the frame of reference of Creation, and the pieces fall into place when it is recognized that the Sabbath is “the designated day for the liberation of Creation.”  Jesus’s ministry cannot be explained apart from the assumption that “it is His mission to heal all Creation of its damage”.

Jesus is in the business of “restoring everything to perfection,” taking it back to the starting point, indeed, changing it “to an earlier good state or condition.”

Jesus’s answer portrays love to God and love for one’s fellow human beings as inseparable.  It one side is emphasized over the other, even as we hear it from Jesus, it is the second commandment because it is on this point that the religious priorities contemporary to Jesus fall short.  Matthew 22:39.  The same thrust is found in Paul, who, in Romans, makes all the commandments come together in the one commandment to love one’s neighbor, Roman 13:9, but who also, in Galatians, sees the full range of this commandment brought to completion in Jesus Galatians 5:14.  Seeing the commandment embodied in Jesus, Paul transforms law into narrative so as to make the living embodiment lead the way instead of law.

But what becomes of the Sabbath in this scenario?  It rises to the highest level in its course because it highlights the meaning of the greatest commandment.  Whereas Jesus’s critics make the Sabbath the inspiration and alibi for their indifference to human need, for Jesus the Sabbath and awareness of human need are indissolubly linked.

The Sabbath is the pledge of God’s healing, restoring presence.  “The Sabbath was made for mankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath,” says Jesus Mark 2:27.  The greatest commandment and the Sabbath, united in living narrative, converge in concern for others and awareness of human need.

When we read Jesus’s justification for His course of action in this light, the points of emphasis stand out distinctly.  His statement to people in the synagogue in Galilee should be read in two stages, like this, my own literal translation merely reinforcing the good work of the New King James Version:  “This woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound – think of it – for eighteen years, must she not be loosed from this chain?”  This is the first stage, and the emphasis on the many years of suffering and the necessity of healing her should not be toned down.  The second stage is this, grasping that Jesus is exposing not only a moral intuition in disrepair but also a defective view of the Sabbath; “This woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound – think of it – for eighteen years, must she not be loosed from this chain on the Sabbath? Luke 13:16.

 We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

Thanks to Sigev K. Tonstad.

“Courtesy Come And Reason Ministries”

Today I Will Make a Difference

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Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

From Shaped by God (original title: On the Anvil)
Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado

God Bless America!!

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May God Continue To Bless The United States of America!!!!

The Truth Will Set You Free

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave  to sin.   The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!! John 8:31-36

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.   I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:7-11

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.   All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  John 16:13-15

The very foundation of Salvation is grounded in the realization that God’s unmerited love toward us is greater than any other power— Including death!!

 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

 It is all Jesus and nothing that we “do” in the area of putting forth effort.  We simply believe what God says. Praise God we don’t have to save ourselves.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17