Saturday, August 30, 2014

Believers are a Letter from Christ

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.  You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 

2 Corinthians 3:2-3

You are a letter.  Your words and your actions are a testimony to others.  If you are a child of Almighty God, you are blessed with the indwelling Holy Spirit who empowers you to live a life that honors and glorifies God.  Are you living a life that honors and glorifies your Savior and LORD?  Today can be the day that you recommit your life to your LORD and pledge to live your life as a reflection of Him. 

When you and I allow the indwelling Holy Spirit complete control of all areas of our life, we will live a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit produces this fruit which will be evident to those around us.  Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  When your family, friends, and co-workers read the letter of your heart are they able to see evidence of the fruit produced by the indwelling Holy Spirit?  This fruit is the very character traits found in Christ Jesus.  They are the by-products of Christ’s control of our lives. 

We become Christians through God’s grace.  This unmerited favor is given to us by God.  We are unable to earn salvation.  No effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service can save our souls.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast – Ephesians 2:8-10.  Out of gratitude for this free gift of salvation, we as Christians will seek to help and serve others with kindness and love.  Does the letter of your heart reveal that you love others and that you demonstrate kindness to others through meeting their needs in the name of Jesus Christ?  God has ministry works for His children to carry out.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do – Ephesians 2:10.  Let’s demonstrate our thankfulness to our Savior and LORD as we carry out the wonderful works He has prepared for us. 

We are Christ’s representatives on this earth.  In Ephesians 4:1-2, we are challenged to live a life worthy of the calling we have received.  We are children of Almighty God, called to be humble, gentle, patient, understanding, and peaceful.  As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  When others read the letter of your heart - the letter of your life, can they see Jesus Christ in you? 

We need to remember that others are always watching and reading the letter of our lives.  We are making an impact on the people around us whether we realize it or not.  What type of impact or you making?  Are you representing Christ well to those around you?  Be mindful of living a life worthy of your calling.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  I pray that we will allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct us.  Help us to always be aware that we are Your representatives to this lost and dying world.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all.  Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

 Galatians 1:6-7

There is no other Gospel other than the one presented to us in God’s Holy Word.  Many in our world today are preaching a “different gospel.”  Please know salvation is only obtained through believing in Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD.  No other person, method, or ritual can give us eternal life. 

Galatians is the letter Paul wrote to the churches in southern Galatia.  He was writing to refute the Judaizers’ teaching that the Gentile believers must obey the Jewish law in order to be saved.  These Judaizers were adding to the perfect plan of salvation given as a free gift through Jesus Christ, God’s son.  Basically, these Judaizers were stating that faith in Jesus Christ was not enough.  Their message undermined the truth that salvation is a gift, not a reward for certain deeds.  Ephesians 2:8-9 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  Jesus Christ has made this gift of salvation available to all people.  There are people today who attempt to add to God’s salvation plan.  Beware of people who say that we need more than faith in Christ to be saved.  When they attempt to add additional requirements for salvation, they deny the power of Christ’s death on the cross. 

In our society, people have the right to their religious opinions but this doesn’t guarantee that their ideas are correct.  Almighty God does not accept man-made religion as a substitute for faith in Jesus Christ.  God has provided just one way for us to receive eternal life and that is through the belief in Jesus Christ.  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” – John 14:6. 

God paid dearly with the life of His only son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ willingly accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and offered us the new life that he had bought for us.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life – John 3:16.  Believing in Jesus Christ is more than intellectual agreement that Jesus is God.  It means to put our trust and confidence in Christ knowing that He alone is the one who saves. 

Jesus tells us in Word, “I am the resurrections and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” - John 11:25.   Whoever believes in Christ has a spiritual life that death cannot conquer or diminish in any way. 

So that we are not deceived, we must know God’s Word.  Immerse yourself in God’s Word and hear God’s message.  Jesus’ work on the cross was sufficient for salvation.  Don’t believe any other teaching. 

Is Christ your Savior and LORD?  Today can be the day you accept Christ as your Savior and LORD. 

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 10:13 – For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

My prayer today is that you accept God’s free gift of salvation. 

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to not be deceived.  Help us to never pollute the truth of Your Word when we share Your Gospel Plan with others.  I pray for the lost that they will come to know You as their Savior and LORD.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen. 



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Patient in the Waiting

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.  Psalm 40:1

What are you currently waiting for?  Are you waiting for a new job, a promotion at work, a new ministry opportunity?  Are you waiting for a word from God about a new direction in your life?  Are you waiting for God to speak over a difficult situation or circumstance in your life?  My question for you today is – are you patient in the waiting?   God desires for us to be patient and to totally trust Him.  When we listen carefully to God’s Word and hold His promises deep in our heart, we can be patient in the waiting.  God is always with us.  He has blessed us with the indwelling Holy Spirit who will lead, guide, and help us to be patient in the waiting.  1 Corinthians 3:16 – Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  When we are completely surrendered to Christ, the Holy Spirit produces patience in us.  Surrender to Christ today and know that He is in complete control with a perfect plan. 

We can be patient in the waiting because God tells us in His Holy Word He has a plan that will give us hope and a future.  While in the waiting, God desires for us to continue to seek Him.  God hears our prayers and in His time will reveal His answer and His direction for our lives.   e hH    Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Even when we cannot see the hand of God, we can trust that God is working for the benefit of His children.  Almighty God is faithful.  We must continue to grow in our faith walk even while we are in a season of waiting.  Many lessons are learned during a season of waiting. 

When you are waiting for God to reveal a direction or a path you are to take, delight yourself in the LORD.  When we delight ourselves in the LORD, He aligns our heart with His.  His desires become our desires.  Be patient in the waiting by taking delight in the LORD and the truth found in His Holy Word.  Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.   Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him – Psalm 37:4-7.  When we are truly able to trust our lives, families, jobs, possessions, life circumstances, and our desires to Almighty God, we will be able to be patient in the waiting.  God is in complete control whether we acknowledge His control or not.  Rest in the assurance that He is in control and He is faithful. 

We can be patient in the waiting because our Savior and LORD has promised in His Holy Word to meet our needs.  God knows our every need and He is faithful to provide.  Philippians 4:19 – And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.  Prayerfully ask God to reveal the difference between your needs and your wants, and then trust God to work according to His will. 

Trusting in God’s faithfulness gives us the ability to be patient during seasons of waiting.  God is our portion.  He is the one who provides.  Our security is found in Him.  Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him”  - Lamentations 3:22-24. 

Prayerfully ask God today to help you be patient in the waiting.  Trust in Almighty God.  Know that He is orchestrating a beautiful plan for your life.  He loves you and desires to bless you.  Be patient in the waiting.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to be patient during our season of waiting.  Father, I prayer our faith in You will grow stronger and stronger as each day passes.  Align our hearts with Your heart.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I Will Rejoice in the Lord

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

Are your feelings controlled by the events around you or are your feelings controlled by your faith in God and His ability to provide you with the strength you need to face any situation or circumstance?  Even though our world is in the midst of turmoil, God is still in control.  The prophet Habakkuk received a prophecy from God to deliver to Judah – the southern kingdom.  God wanted Judah to know that He was still in control of the world despite the apparent triumph of evil.  We too need to know that Almighty God is still in control of this world despite the apparent triumph of evil. 

Notice a portion of the prayer Habakkuk prays to God in Habakkuk 3:17-19 – Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crops fail and the fields produce not food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on heights.  Habakkuk understood that crop failure and the death of animals would devastate the land of Judah.  Habakkuk was declaring to God, even in the face of devastation, he would choose to rejoice in the LORD.  He knew His strength and that his only hope was found in the creator and sustainer of the universe – Almighty God.  God will provide the strength we need to face whatever devastation may occur.  When nothing makes sense and our circumstances seem more than we can bear, cry out to God for strength.  Prayerfully ask God to help you take your eyes off the difficulties of life and to help you focus on Him.  He is the answer, our hope, and our strength.  Habakkuk knew God was faithful.  Do you recognize that God is faithful? 

Rejoicing in the LORD does not mean we rejoice over difficult circumstances or situations.  It does mean we continue to praise our Savior and LORD during difficulties and recognize that God is always faithful to His children.  There is coming a day when this world will pass away and we will be ushered into eternity and the perfection that God has in store for His children.  We are living in volatile times but we can be assured that God is in control and will do what is right.  Our God is a righteous judge.  Knowing that our LORD is in complete control, gives us confidence and hope in this confusing world we are living in. 

We can say as Isaiah 25:9 says – In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.  This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”  We can rejoice because our Savior and LORD saved our souls.  We can rejoice because our God provides refuge, security, and peace to His children.  We can rejoice because Almighty God’s power is complete and His ultimate victory is certain. 

In the midst of the chaos in this world, we need not fear.  We can rejoice because God is our refuge and our strength.  Place your faith in Almighty God.  Prayerfully ask Him to take away your fear.  Psalm 46:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Rejoice knowing that we can go to our God for our refuge and for our strength. 

We notice Paul’s final exhortation to the Philippians in Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Paul was in prison and was telling this church to rejoice.  Paul’s attitude teaches us that our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances.  Paul was able to rejoice because he knew Jesus Christ was His Savior and LORD and that Jesus was his refuge and strength. 

Choose today to rejoice in the LORD.  He is our refuge and our strength and ultimate victory is His.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing us with strength and peace in the midst of turmoil.  Help us to place our faith in You and rejoice no matter the circumstances in our lives and the chaos in our world.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Then I hear a voice from heaven say, “Write this:  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”  “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”  Revelation 14:13

The earthly passing away of a loved one literally knocks the very breath out of our souls.  Grief settles in and stays for a while.  The grieving process must take place and there is no timetable for this process.  But if our loved one is a child of Almighty God, and if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we can have hope in the midst of our grief.  This hope the world is unable to give, but our Heavenly Father desires to bless us with this hope.  Our Father wants to comfort us and wants us to know – a better day is coming.  When our Savior and LORD ushers us into our eternal home, we will again be reunited with our loved ones. 

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 that he was not afraid to die because he believed that when his earthly body passed away, he would be stepping into the presence of Jesus Christ.  He was confident that he would be spending eternity with his Savior and LORD.  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  For we live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  If Jesus is your Savior and LORD, you too can share in Paul’s hope and confidence of eternal life with Jesus Christ.  We will continue to live eternally in our Heavenly Home with our LORD.

God’s Word reveals to us in 1 Corinthians 15:49 – And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.  We all have a body that looks different.  Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses.  But as physical, earthly bodies, they are all alike.  Our physical bodies are perishable, sown in dishonor, and weakness.  Our physical bodies are natural and from the dust.  But God clearly reveals to us in His Word that all believers are promised life after death and a body like Jesus Christ, a resurrection body.  Our resurrection body will be imperishable, raised in glory, raised in power, spiritual, and from Heaven.  Our bodies will be transformed.  Philippians 3:20-21 – But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.  God’s promises in His Word will give us hope and confidence in the mist of our grief.

Death has been defeated and children of Almighty God have hope beyond the grave.  Christ overcame death and we will too.  1 Corinthians 15:54-57 – When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:  “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  When our confidence and hope is placed in the promises of Almighty God, death will no longer be a source of dread or fear. 

Children of God have a wonderful inheritance awaiting them.  We are truly incapable of comprehending the grandeur of our Heavenly inheritance.  Knowing we have this Heavenly inheritance provides us with an eternal hope.  1 Peter 1:3-5 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 

We are precious to our LORD.  God chooses the time when He ushers His children into His Heavenly presence.  Allow His Holy Word to provide truth, hope, and comfort when death is near.  Psalm 116:15 – Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants. 

Dear Heavenly Father, provide us with the hope and confidence that only You can give.  Thank You for our inheritance awaiting us in Heaven.  In Jesus Name I pray…..Amen.