Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Dead to Sin, Alive with Christ... The Good News!

Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ ~ Galatians 3:22.

That is why, you will not find His Peace by engaging in excessive planning, attempting to control what will happen to you in the future [Sadly, we start off our children in this direction, "what do you want to be/do, or...you better think about what you will do"]. This attempt to plan our future is a form of unbelief; we doubt God's plan for us.

When your mind spins with multiple plans, His Peace eludes you. Why/How? Because even though you thought you had it all worked out, unexpected things pop up throwing your plans out the window. God did not design the human mind to figure out the future.That is beyond our capability. He created us to be in continual communication with Him. Bring Him all your needs, your hopes and fears. Commit everything to His care. Turn from the path of planning to the path of Peace. ~ Jesus is Calling.

His plan for us is that we were made alive with Christ... Yes, this is the Good News! His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses/sin. It is by grace you have been saved! And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6). Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God – far above all wicked spiritual rulers (Ephesians 1:20-21).

The church is also seated “with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6). What is the church doing up there in the heavenlies? Positionally, we are seated in heavenly places because Christ is there, we are in Christ, and wherever He is, we are.

However, despite the fact that we live natural lives down here, we must view our battles from up there. In other words, we must have a heavenly perspective. We must have God’s perspective – an eternal perspective. This is the Good News, this is how we are alive in Christ, free indeed!

God’s goal for you is that you will not sin....

The Apostle John does not say “when you sin,” but if. Yes, we all fall short, and yes, while we were still sinners God saved us, but that does not mean the realm of sin is where we stay. 

In this fallen world, we live with a sin consciousness but that is not the same as ‘living in sin’. As we live according to the revelation of grace, our hearts are focused on a right standing with God consciousness. As a believer, you may still sin in the flesh, but as a child of God made alive in Christ by the Holy Spirit you are not a sinner in the sense of being a condemned man/woman without hope.

Reading from 1 John 3: 6-8…No one who remains in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has seen Him or known Him.
Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Christ is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the very start. This is why the Son of God was revealed, to destroy the works of the devil.…

1 John 3:6 this way: “No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him….” The new covenant of grace empowers us to be free of both the penalty and power of sin so that we no longer habitually ‘consciously’ practice ungodliness. Having a sin consciousness will not steer us right back into sin unless we allow Satan to condemn us with shame and guilt to hinder us from ruling in life. God wants you to succeed; it’s the enemy who wants you to fail. Condemnation and correction both hurt – are painful! But there is a significant difference.
Condemnation comes from the enemy and leaves us feeling like there is no way out. We feel that we are forever judged. Correction, on the other hand, offers a way out: repentance. God corrects us to restore our fellowship with Him and to make us more like Him. He always wants to pull us closer, not push us away. Having sin consciousness [conscious of sinful world and what we were in it] allows for correction from presence of the Holy Spirit.

Being in Christ leads to freedom from the power of sin, We should always ask, “How close can I get to my Father?” By getting close to God we get close to His grace, which empowers us to live righteously.

If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. (1 John 1:9)

Faithful means God will forgive you every time you repent. Just means He will do it no matter who you are or what you’ve done. He will cleanse you from any wrong and make it as if you’ve never sinned.

Having a sin consciousness does not mean we have the right to sin because Christ is on our side now… having a sin consciousness is rather than the empowerment to be holy, it’s the gift of the Holy Spirit, when we do sin, we feel the pain of that sin and its that pain that corrects and cleanses. 

So, Repent before God and ask Him to give you a passion for righteousness. For He alone is mighty to save!

Never forget… reading 1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

And never forget that we, as those who are called to be saints, should have a fear of the Lord, “Fear the Lord, you His saints – Psalm 34:9… lest we forget His mighty power to save! For once we were sinners without a savior – Ephesians 2:3. Thank God we have an advocate before the Father… Jesus Christ! 1 John 2:1.

*some material above was shared directly from writings by John Bevere

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Call to Fear God...

Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. Psalm 34:9

Reading from Isaiah 8: 11-17 ~
For this is what the LORD spoke to me with a strong hand, instructing me not to walk in the way of this people: “Do not call conspiracy everything these people regard as conspiracy. Do not fear what they fear; do not live in dread. The LORD of Hosts is the One you shall regard as holy.
Only He should be feared; only He should be dreaded. And He will be a sanctuary— but to both houses of Israel a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, to the dwellers of Jerusalem a trap and a snare. Many will stumble over these; they will fall and be broken; they will be ensnared and captured.” Bind up the testimony and seal the law among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in Him.

Job 28:28
And He said to man, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'"

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have a rich understanding. His praise endures forever!

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 30:3
I have not learned wisdom, and I have no knowledge of the Holy One.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Why Say The Act of Contrition...

Have you ever said the act of contrition? O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

Why say the Act of Contrition? Its for our own good and better that we weep in professing the act of contrition. It cleanses us and puts us back on track... in right relation to Jesus Christ. 

You know, the word penance derives from Old French and Latin paenitentia, both of which derive from the same root meaning repentance, the desire to be forgiven... and in this desire of repenting we turn from sin and turn to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This is easy to say but not always easy to do... alone. So, we confess to one another and bear each other's burden so that we can be renewed, restored in our right relation with Jesus Christ. Why is it not easy to do... repent? 

Because, in a fallen world, its easier to do what everyone else is doing.... sinning. Its easy to laugh at vulgar jokes, drink too much at a party, spend too much money at material things, indulge in overeating, looking at filthy content in films, including violence and indulge in violence, indulge in mocking, indulge in yourself thinking you deserve a better husband, wife, house, car, vacation, etc...  If you continue down that road never repenting, never speak an act of contrition, never having a contrite heart... oh what woes lie ahead!

"My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word". ~ Isaiah 66:2

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Rob's Daily Devotional ~ The American Family Association...

Dear Readers, I don't often share other posts directly... word for word; but, Rob's Daily Devotional provided by the American Family Association is one of my go to supports and this week's was exceptional.

Sharing with you Rob's post ~ Your past can pull you back if you let it. Your friends can pull you back. If you let them. Your family can pull you back. If you listen to them. The world pulls at our lives from every angle. The world will hold you back. If you let it.
Nothing can snatch our life's calling from the will of God. Nothing, unless we let it!
Father God, give us the strength to fight back and not let our past, friends, family or this dark world, pull us back. Lord God, You gave us a new life when we came to You. Help us, Lord, to not make a 180 degree turn away from You. Help us to see the greatness ahead and forget about the sin we left behind. We pray in the mighty name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too (Philippians 2:3-4 NLT).

Do you want to do something without any selfish possibilities? By asking this, I'm thinking of the times that we do things for others with the thought in our minds that they will do something for us.
If we want to truly exhibit a selfless act, do something for someone that could never repay our action. Also, do it without others knowing that we did anything.
Lord God, help us to be more like You today. Help us to see the total selflessness that You exhibited on the cross. We must drop to our knees in praise and worship, for You Lord are our King, our Savior, and our God. We pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin" (Luke 17:1-2 NLT).

What are we doing that might cause someone to stumble back into an old sinful dependency? We all sin, that is fact. We all sin differently, that is fact. A sin in my life might be different from one in your life. We need to be conscious of our actions around others as they might cause someone to stumble back into that old addictive sin.
Thank You Lord God for loving us so much that You gave us forgiveness through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Let us relive Your mercy today. Amen.

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:12-13 NLT).

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our eternal freedom. Our soldiers sign their life away for the freedom of our nation, thus our individual freedom. Our first responders place their lives on the line in our communities, towns, and cities on a daily basis. They do their best to protect us from criminals, fires, and natural disasters. They transport us to emergency facilities when we can't get there under our own power. They are angels who live among us.
Thank you, God, for securing our eternal freedom through Jesus and for each man and woman who signs on the dotted line, to lay down their lives for our nation. I pray today for the safety of those who serve the citizens of our nation. May You Father, keep them in the mighty palm of Your amazing Hand. I ask and pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin (Luke 17:1-2 NLT).

What are we doing that might cause someone to stumble back into an old sinful dependency? We all sin, that is fact. We all sin differently, that is fact. A sin in my life might be different from one in your life. We need to be conscience to our actions around others. Our actions might cause someone to stumble back into that old addictive sin.
Thank You, Lord God, for loving us so much that You gave us forgiveness through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Let us relive Your mercy today. Amen.

As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!” (Luke 8:23-25 NLT).

What is the current storm that you are going through? Are you thanking God in the midst of the storm? Are you trusting Him to bring you through this storm? Are you praising God in spite of the storm? Are you realizing that God is working in your life through this storm? Do you understand that God loves you no matter how bad the storm is raging?
It's not about the intensity of the storm but how you proceed through it.
It's not about the rain, it's how you dance in it.
It's not how big the storm is, it's how big our God is!
God will not leave you in the storm. He will deliver you by the storm, through the storm, or in the storm. When we have Jesus in our hearts, nothing can change His love, mercy, and grace for us.
Thank You, Lord! Your love endures forever! We praise and worship You, Lord God. It is by our faith and Your grace, we are saved. Praise God! No matter how big the storm is, You are with us. Amen.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time (1 Timothy 2:1-6 NLT).

Pray, pray, and pray some more. This is the foundation of worship. Jesus demonstrated the need for prayer, on many occasions. We should pray for ourselves, our nation, our friends, our family and for our enemies. Don't leave anyone out. Our Lord desires an intimate relationship with each of us and that all people be saved through the grace of Christ by our faith in Him.
Pray for the sick, needy, and injured. Consider yourself an intercessor.

We have an open prayer line of communication with God. He wants to hear our pleas and our needs...but don't forget to take time to listen for His response. He can speak to you in many ways, but mostly God will speak directly to your heart. Listen and obey and you will be blessed.
Lord God, thank You for the direct line of communication to Your throne. You are a mighty God of all creation and you want to hear from each of Your children. Praise be to You, our heavenly Father. Amen.

*Source ~  https://www.afa.net/the-stand/faith/2019/06/robs-daily-devotions-for-june-17-23/?fbclid=IwAR0YfrHqoE7_UAsbRIsgoFhr4ZyQBpCaX0ustitmQeQ7YjkfZfGTydiXvLM#