Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jesus Saves

Jesus Saves
JJust as I was, my Lord died for me; (1)
EEven though I was shackled, now I am free. (2)
SSin was my nature, I had no love for God; (3)
UUnrepentant I ran down a path very broad. (4)
SSevere is God’s judgment poured out against sin; (5)
SStill shame and regret showed my conscience within. (6)
AAnd just when it seemed that my life was a waste; (7)
VVictory came when my sin He erased. (8)
EEverything’s different 'cause He rose from the grave; (9)
SSo before God I now bow, no longer sin’s dirty slave. (10)
  • (1) Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (1 John 4:10)
  • (2) John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Romans 8:2)
  • (3) Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (James 4:4)
  • (4) Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
  • (5) Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (Ephesians 5:6)
  • (6) Romans 2:15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
  • (7) Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
  • (8) 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. (1 Peter 2:24-25)
  • (9) Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
  • (10) Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (John 8:34)

Father in Heaven, I pray that the truth of Your Word will touch and convert many who are lost. I was blind to Your love. I turned my back on Your truth. I closed my ears to Your call. I lived a life worthy of damnation. Yet in Your grace and mercy, You saw fit to snatch me from the very gates of hell. Please father, use this devotion to draw others to Yourself. It is Your Word that brings freedom and eternal life. I love You and praise You in the name of Christ my savior, Amen.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

All Will Praise Him

All Will Praise Him
The very last verse in the book of Psalms presents an opportunity; an opportunity for every living thing to praise Yahweh, the God of the universe.
  • Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!
I encourage anyone reading this devotion to take this opportunity to praise God now and forever more; not just in word or song, but in awe, reverence, love, relationship, submission and obedience. Give yourself to Him and praise Him with every breath, thought, desire, attitude, word and action.
Now let’s look at the last five verses of Psalm 145 (but please take a moment and read this entire Psalm; it is a beautiful song of praise written by David). What does David tell us about God in these few verses?
Psalm 145: 17-21
  • 17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works.
    • His Character
      • God is the standard for right. All He does is right. And not by choice, it is His very nature. Every good thing He does is not deserved by those who receive His blessings. But He continues to bless.
  • 18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
    • His Presence
      • God is close to those who honestly and diligently seek after Him. He indwells us. He inhabits the praise of His people.
  • 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
    • His Faithfulness
      • God knows that when we truly reverence Him, our desires will align with His will. As a loving Father, He responds to the genuine cry of brokenness and repentance.
  • 20 The Lord preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
    • His Judgment
      • God’s perfect love does not overrule His perfect justice.
  • 21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever.
    • His Creation’s Response to Him
      • David chose to praise the LORD. But there is coming a day where every living soul will praise Him: either as a loving servant; or as a regretful, defeated enemy.
So, if you have not chosen to praise God up to this point in your life, respond to His call and start praising Him now. This can only be accomplished by accepting the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and surrendering your life to Him.
Christ, as God, will be praised by every tongue!
  • Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus died for your sins. He was buried and rose the third day. He ascended to Heaven and is at the right hand of the Father. He did all this so you can have eternal life.
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Dear Lord, if anyone reads this who does not know You as Lord and Savior, I beg You to draw them by Your Holy Spirit to salvation in Jesus Christ. Guide them in prayer. Send a Christian to minister to them. Provide a Church for them learn and serve in. And if a child of Yours has turned away from You, work in their heart now such that they cannot take another restful breath until they turn back to You and give You the praise You deserve. I love You Father and thank You for Your Word, the everlasting Truth! In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Harvest of Blessings

A Harvest of Blessings
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 
As always with God’s Word, a seemingly simple verse contains deep and compelling truth. This verse contains:
  • A Challenge‘let us not grow weary’
    • Where do we get the desire and strength to keep going despite our fatigue?
      • Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
  • A Call‘while doing good’
    • What is the basis for our mandate to do ‘good’?
      • Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
  • A Covenant‘in due season we shall reap’
    • Who is the guarantor of this promise?
      • Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
  • A Condition ‘if we do not lose heart’
    • Why would God include a stipulation with this promise?
      • Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
      • Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
God gives us the promptings and the power to demonstrate true love for Him and toward others; and He promises that, when we persevere in faith, the good we have planted in love, will be harvested in the form of blessings.
I encourage each of you to prayerfully mine the truth of God’s Word for the treasure He has prepared for you in it.
Father, thank You for the depth, beauty, truth and applicability of Your Word. Thank You for the indwelling presence of Your Holy Spirit that guides me to an understanding of Your Word. I pray that I am faithful, diligent and relentless to complete with an attitude of love and humility good works as instructed in the Bible. I know that faith without works is dead. And I know that it is only by Your grace and the power of Your Spirit that I am equipped to serve You. I pray that the faith You have given me will lead to a bountiful harvest of blessings for those I encounter throughout my Christian walk. May Your will be done in all things. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

His Pleasure, His Glory

His Pleasure, His Glory
Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Question: How hard are you working to try to please God?
Read the verses above again and pray that God will release you from the delusion that in your own strength you can work to please Him.
It is through the blood of the everlasting covenant that God works in us, through Christ, to sanctify and empower us. It is by His finished work on the cross and His perfect love for us, that when we surrender to Him, He gives us the desire and the ability to shine as lights in this dark world to bring Him glory. 
  • If you are humble, He gives you the desire and ability to be humble!
  • If you are obedient, it is because of Him!
  • If you are submissive, thank Him!
  • If you trust Him, praise His holy name!
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
Is God tugging at your heart and saying, ‘I have a plan. I have done the work. Trust and obey. Find rest in Me!’
  • Please God by trusting in His power, not yours!
  • Get over yourself and give it all over to Him!
  • If you think you have done something amazing for God in your own strength, or wisdom, or endurance, or commitment, how is God glorified in that?
1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
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.
I wrote this for me. I pray it blesses you!
When will I really live all that I believe? When will I trust completely in You instead of myself? When Father, when will I realize and admit that I can do nothing for Your glory without You? Forgive me for thinking I deserve some kind of praise, or perhaps a Godly pat on the back. Forgive me when I anticipate and desire the praise of others for something You have accomplished through me. Help me to find peace and to stop struggling to please You. I give myself over to You to use as You see fit. May Your perfect will be fulfilled in my life. Help me to pray without fear, ‘I Surrender All’. So be it, by the blood of the Lamb, in whose name I pray.