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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

God Will Use My Problems for Good

In review of 1 Peter 1:6-7 it says,“Even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials …. This is no accident — it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold.”
 
Bottom Line:
You will be temporarily harassed by trials and troubles, this isn’t an accident, it helps to prove and show your genuine faith, which is more valuable than gold.

What this means to me:
The trials and troubles I face won’t last forever and they don’t just happen by accident. They exist so that I can build and exhibit a genuine faith, a faith that is more valuable than gold or money.

What I’m learning is that life is not a series of random, freak accidents. Life is not totally unplanned. Life is not without meaning. God knows what’s going on. I don’t know how he does it, but he weaves the tapestry of my life, and it has light and dark threads, happy and sad times, to give richness and texture and color to my life. Nothing can come into the life of a child of God without God’s permission. Everything is Father‑filtered.

This doesn’t mean that everything that happens to me is God’s perfect will. There are a lot of things that are not God’s will. If I go out and sin, that’s not God’s will. If somebody sins against me, that’s not God’s perfect will.

But God does have a permissive will. For instance If I go out and I overeat, I pay the consequences. If I go out and wreck my body, I’ll pay the consequences. God does not cause evil and God does not cause suffering. But he does allow them because they have a purpose. God permits them, and then he uses them.

God is an expert at bringing good out of bad. He could have kept Paul out of prison in Philippi, but instead he let Paul go to prison, and the jailer became a believer as a result. God could have kept Jesus from the cross, but he let him go. He let his own Son suffer and die. He brought a lot of good out of that!

God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. The things I wish were most removed from my life are often the very things that God is using to shape me and make me into the believer he wants me to be. He wants to use a problem for good in my life. There’s something more important than my pain. It’s what I’m learning from that pain. God is in control.

My response should be to look past the pain. That is why I should never give up. “Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NLT).

In summary, the trials and troubles I face won’t last forever and they don’t just happen by accident. They exist so that I can build and exhibit a genuine faith and trust in Him. It is a faith that is more valuable than gold or money. I know from my own experience that God will take the troubles and problems I face and use them to build my faith. This verse reminds me that my faith is more valuable than any high valued object, such as gold. Thank you God for using the things I face for a purpose. The big medical problem I faced last year allowed me to feel your protection and build my faith that you would take care of me and see me through it, and you did. Still I find it interesting that you take a life threatening illness and heal it quickly, but still leave me with psoriatic arthritis to work through probably the rest of my life. I’ve come to accept, like Paul had said that you will use this situation in my life to keep my faith exercised and to do things in your strength and not my own. I need to continue to look at whatever trial or difficulty I face as an opportunity to shape me and make me into the believer and representative he wants me to be. He will use whatever problem I have to teach me and allow me to remember the He is in control.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Having The Right Attitudes for Life

In review of 1 Samuel 16:7 it says,“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
 
Bottom Line:
The Lord does not look at things the we do. People judge by appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

What this means to me:
The Lord doesn’t look at things the way I do. I tend to judge more by appearance, but the Lord looks more intently at a man’s thoughts and intentions - his heart.

In God’s eyes, why I do something is far more important than what I do.  Today I look at right attitudes for my quiet times, however, it is also a reminder for having the right attitudes for anything that I do.

I have learned and come to value a routine quiet time with the Lord. It helps me grow spiritually and provides a frequent relationship with my Lord where I can meet and talk with him. I’m reminded this morning that this special time must start with the proper attitudes.

On one occasion God told Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV). It is quite possible to do the right thing but with the wrong attitude.

As I meet with God in my quiet time, I should think through and have the following attitudes:

Expectancy: I should come before God with anticipation and eagerness. I should expect to have a good time of fellowship with him and receive a blessing from our time together. That was what David expected: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you” (Psalm 63:1).

Reverence: Not rushing into God’s presence, but rather preparing my heart by being still before him and letting the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world. The prophet Habakkuk said: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (Habakkuk 2:20). Coming into the presence of the Lord is not like going to a football game or some other form of entertainment.

Alertness: Be wide-awake. I’m meeting with the Creator, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the Redeemer of men. I need to be thoroughly rested and alert. The best preparation for a quiet time in the morning begins the night before. I need to get to bed early enough so that I will be in good shape to meet God in the morning; God deserves my full attention.

Willingness to obey: I shouldn’t come into my quiet time to choose what I will do or not do but with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants me to do. Jesus said, “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17). I come to meet the Lord having already chosen to do his will, no matter what.

In summary, the Lord doesn’t look at things the way I do. I tend to judge more by appearance, but the Lord looks more intently at a man’s thoughts and intentions - his heart. I’m glad God that you're not one that can be fooled. You know exactly what’s on my heart, you see through any outward appearances. You are looking for what’s really on my heart.  Though your word this morning and prompting by the Holy Spirit, I’m being reminded of my intentions and why I am doing something. Given that God looks at things differently, looking at my thought and intentions, my quiet times with him should have meaning and not just going through a check list. In everyday life, while my outward appearance may reflect a humbleness and willingness to serve, my inward reasons may still be for selfish reasons. I really need to consider my true motivations for wanting to do something. It should be in service to him, not for my own glory or benefit or to make myself look good (raise myself up.) Today, I need to really examine my intentions. My heart should be that I do things not to raise myself up, but rather to earnestly serve him and others.  My inner attitude should be to serve and to learn, instead of trying to make myself look more important or valuable or highly esteemed by others.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Realizing That I Need an Outside Power Source

In review of Romans 7:24 it says, “I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?” (Romans 7:24 MSG)

Bottom Line:
I’ve tried so much and nothing helps, I’m in terrible shape, the end of my rope. Who can free me from a life dominated by sin.

What this means to me:
There is not much I can do on my own effort. On my own, I’m in terrible shape. There is only one person who can do something to rescue me from this nature that is subject to death.

I can be my own worst enemy.  My reactions, fears, and inadequacies cause me to act in foolish ways. I need to be saved from myself. There are things I don’t like about myself, wish I had done differently, or would like to change. It’s hard for me to change these on my own, at least not on my own power. I need help.

As much as I’d like to, it's hard to change on my own strength. Often my life feels like it’s out of control. What I need is God’s power. I need a Savior, someone who can make the changes I can’t make myself.

From what I can see in scriptures, Paul felt that way also. He says: “I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does” (Romans 7:24-25 MSG). And that’s the answer!

You may be looking for that one thing that’s going to give you fulfillment and meaning and peace in life. But if you’re not looking to Jesus for salvation, then you’re looking in all the wrong places, and that’s why you’re frustrated.

I find that sometimes I think that if I could just accomplish the next thing, everything would be great or fall into place. I think I’ve even looked for relief and salvation in a self-help book, therapy, a fad, a diet, or a vacation. What I’m learning is that if I look to these things, I’m looking in the wrong place.

The answer will not in my circumstances. It will not be in a place, a program or a pill. The answer is a person: Jesus Christ. I was made by God and for God, and until I let this sink in, life is never going to make sense.

In summary, there is not much I can do on my own effort. On my own, I’m in terrible shape. There is only one person who can do something to rescue me from this nature that is subject to death. I have tried many things on my own, but nothing can really help. While there are times when I feel helpless to be able to change, I just need to remember that the answer is not in myself but in Christ. Thank you God for caring about me deeply enough to bring me into your family, a chosen and adopted work of art. It's a real habit for me to do things on my own. However I need to remember that I no longer need to try to change myself on my own power. I can look to Jesus Christ my Lord to help me with anything that I struggle with. Jesus came and offered his life as the atoning sacrifice for my sins and wrongdoings. Jesus has freed me from this life that is dominated by sin and death. Instead of trying not to sin, I can live out the new nature God gives me through Christ as part of his family. Today I am going to consider what other steps I need to take in order to give control of my life to God. With the way that I am, I believe I’m going to need to turn over control of my life on a daily basis.

Friday, September 25, 2015

God Chose Me for His Family

In review of 1 Peter 1:3 it has in it “For it is his boundless mercy that has given us the privilege of being born again so that we are now members of God’s own family.”

Bottom Line:
It is by God’s mercy that we are given the privilege of a new life, a member of his own family.

What this means to me:
Because God’s mercy is great and boundless, he has given me the privilege of being born again and becoming a member of his own family.

This verse indicates that my salvation is not an accident. God chose me long before I chose him. God took the initiative. 1 Peter 1:2 tells me, “You were chosen according to the purpose of God” (TEV).

God choose me to be part of his family because he is a God of love and grace. The more I understand grace, the more I’m amazed by it. God chose me. Did I deserve it? Not a chance. Do I really deserve to go to Heaven? Nope! Am I good enough to be in God’s family? No really. However He chose me. And I can consider that great news!

Today’s verse reminds me, “For it is his boundless mercy that has given us the privilege of being born again so that we are now members of God’s own family” (1 Peter 1:3 TLB).

God chose me based on his mercy, not my performance. I can never earn it, nor could I ever deserve it. I couldn’t work hard enough for it or be perfect enough. It is only because of God’s grace and mercy that the Creator of the universe says, “He wants me in his family.”

In summary, It is God and his great and boundless mercy that gives me the privilege of being born again and becoming part of his own family. This morning I thank you God for your great mercy toward me. You chose me well before I had chosen you. Because of your great mercy and kindness, you chose me to be part of your own family. When I get down on myself or feel like I’m not worth much, I only need to think about how valuable I am to God. Grace is essentially unmerited favor and God pours this on me. God chose me and did so much to bring me back.  After all he created me in his image. This fits in well with our church's current message / small group series, in which I am learning that “I am a carrier of the unmistakable image of God.”

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Why To Pray, “Your Will Be Done”

In review of Matthew 6:10 it says, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Bottom Line:
May your kingdom come soon and you will be done here just as it is in heaven.

What this means to me:
I eagerly wait in anticipation for your will to be done, it is what is best for me and what I truly desire.

Each time I pray is a form of worship to God. Jesus taught that when I pray, I should commit myself to God’s will. Scriptures tell me in Romans 12:2 that his will is good and perfect and it fits me. Part of my connecting with God each day is my saying, “God, what is your will for me today? And that I want to do it.”

In Heaven, God’s will is done perfectly. However on Earth God’s will is not always done. I believe that is why I am to pray, “Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” It’s me saying, “God, I want to submit to you. I want to do what you want me to do.”

I suppose I can pray “Your will be done” in three different ways. I could say it in resentment: “Your will be done, but I don’t like it.” I could say it in resignation: “Your will be done, because I can’t help it.” Or I can say it in anticipation: “Your will be done, because I know it is the best, and that’s what I want for my life today!”

Besides who knows best but my heavenly Father. I can fully trust him. I believe that is what it means to say, “Your will be done.”

In summary, I will eagerly wait in anticipation for your will to be done, it is what is best for me and what I truly desire going forward. This morning I pray, “God, I know your will for my life is better than anything I can ever dream up. I want to give you my life and I want your will done in and around my life.” I would also like to keep in mind going forward that the statement, “your will be done” is all about trusting you with anticipation, to do what is best for my life and those around me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Where God Can Use Me

In review of 1 Corinthians 12:27 it says, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

Bottom Line:
All of us make up Christ's body, each one is a part of it.

What this means to me:
Together with others we become Christ’s body. I am part of it, separate but a necessary part of it.

This verse reminds me that I need to be connected to a church family so that I can fulfill my calling to serve other believers in a practical way. The Bible says, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT).

My service is needed in the Body of Christ. I have a role to play, and every role is important. There is no small service to God; it all matters.

Likewise, there are no insignificant ministries in the church. Some are visible and some are behind the scenes, but all are valuable.

At home, the most important light the little night-light that keeps me from stubbing around in the darkness when I get up and it’s still dark outside. There is no correlation between size and significance when it comes to service in the Body of Christ. Every ministry matters because we are all dependent on each other to function.

When one part of my body fails to function, I get sick. I know this all too well, given the illness I had last year which really took a toll on my body. It’s not like one part of my body can take time off. In my case the illness I had could have killed me.

Rick Warren has pointed out that thousands of local churches are dying because of Christians who are unwilling to serve. They sit on the sidelines as spectators, and the body suffers.

What I have learned is that God calls me to a service far beyond anything I could ever imagine. He created me for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for me to do (Ephesians 2:10). Whenever I serve others in any way, I am actually serving God.

In summary, it is with others that we become Christ’s body. I am to be a necessary part of it and not menial in any sense. God this morning I thank you for making me part of what you are up to in this world. When I link together with others we become your true body here on earth to serve others and fulfill your will. Fortunately I have learned by past experience that it is important to serve as part of a family of believers.  Now that we have moved, I am grateful that God has lead my wife and myself into a family of believers we feel we can link up with. I’m looking forward to helping to serve this community with the gifts and talents God has given me. I have already taken some actions to step up and volunteer. I look forward to coming weeks to see how God will use me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

In the End, God Wins

In review of Matthew 24:14 it says, “The Good News about God’s kingdom will be preached in all the world, to every nation. Then the end will come.”

Bottom Line:
The Good News about the kingdom will be preached to the whole world, so that all will hear it. Then the end will come.

What this means to me:
The end will not come until the Good News about the kingdom has been preached and heard by the whole world.

God’s Word tells me how it’s going to end. One day God’s going to wrap it all up here on Earth, and he’s going to take his children home to Heaven to be with him forever. The Bible says, “The Good News about God’s kingdom will be preached in all the world, to every nation. Then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NCV).

The goal is not to set up a kingdom here on Earth. Rather I should help populate the Kingdom of Heaven. My desire should be to take all of my friends and everybody else with me. The goal should be to get people in the Kingdom of Heaven so they can be with God for eternity.

It’s all about the glory of God. God gets glory when I love him with all my heart. God gets glory when I love other people in the family of God. God gets glory when I love the people who are unlovable. God gets glory when I share the Good News with everybody. God gets glory when I trust him with problems in my life that cannot be solved except through a miracle. And God gets glory when I know and trust that the end is inevitable and that God wins.

So today I pray, “Jesus, I want to be a part of what you’re doing in the world. I believe you want to use me. I want to return to my first love, you. I want to be your hands and feet in the this world. Help me to believe and live by my convictions.”

Monday, September 21, 2015

My Own Belief Will Unleash the Power of God

In review of Matthew 19:26 it says, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

Bottom Line:
In our own power we can do nothing, but with God everything is possible.

What this means to me:
On my own power I can do nothing, but with God all things are possible.

This verse reminds me that everything is possible with God. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26 NIV). Jesus also said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29).

Lots of scriptures tell me that God wants to use me. That He wants to bless me and do amazing things in my life. He wants me to be a world changer. But he’s waiting for me to trust him first. I need to stop saying, “I can’t” because all things are possible with God.

Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (TLB). Ultimately God knows I have enormous potential, far beyond what I could ever imagine. God wants to use me, and according to my faith it will be done.

The opposition to my faith is my own unbelief. I’m the biggest problem in my life to being used. While there are a lot of things I don’t have any control over, I can choose to believe God. It’s ultimately my choice. In order to have God to do big things in life, I need to start believing.

In summary, on my own power I can do nothing, but with God all things are possible. God I thank you for this reminder this morning that through you everything in possible. Through you I can do amazing things, but I need to put my trust in your first and not give in to my own unbelief.  One area in my life that I have struggled with is getting to know new people and openly share my faith. I need to get over my own unbelief and uncomfortableness and honestly believe that God can use me. I can use what I learned last week in that part of my faith is thanking God in advance for making it true and happening in my life.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Learning That The Great Commission Is Not Just A Suggestion

In review of Matthew 28:18-20 it says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Bottom Line:
Jesus has the authority and commanded us to make disciples, baptize them, teach them all he has commanded us. He said will be with as we do this.

What this means to me:
Jesus has the authority and has commissioned me to make disciples of all nations / people groups, to baptize them, and to teach them everything he has commanded me. He promises to be there with me as I do this.

What I know so far is that the world (everyone) needs Jesus.

Jesus said this very clearly over and over, but in Matthew 28:18-20 he gives me the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (NIV).

What is my assignment? As I “go”, (living out my daily life), I am to do this. “Go” is this expression is an action word and not just a suggestion, meaning that it’s not optional. I am a child of God, and he expects me to go and share who he is all about with others.

What’s the task? Go and make disciples. A disciple is someone who does the five things we were put on Earth to do: 1). to know and love God, 2). to grow into spiritual maturity, 3). to serve God with my shape through ministry, 4). to share the Good News, and 5). to worship God with all my heart.

What’s my authority? It’s not some government or the CIA. It’s Jesus.

What is my responsibility? Make disciples all nations. There is no nation or people-group that is off-limits.

What does it mean for me? If the whole world needs Jesus, then I must share the Good News. To keep it a secret would be criminal. If I knew the cure for Alzheimer’s or AIDS or cancer and I didn’t share it, that would be criminal. But I have something even better than a cure for disease. I know the cure for the human heart and the deepest needs of mankind. They need a Savior. They need forgiveness. They need their past forgiven, a purpose for living, and a home in Heaven. I should not hold it back. I need to share it.

John 3:17 says, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

For me to be like Jesus, I need to stop judging the world and being so critical. I just need to get busy sharing the Good News.

In summary, Jesus has the authority and has commissioned me to make disciples of all nations / people groups, baptize them, and to teach them everything he has commanded us. He promises to be there with me as I do this. So today, I see God that you have chosen to accomplish your will through me, making me part of what you are doing. I thank you for giving me such a privilege. In my own life, For some reason sharing my faith with non-believers is not something I do on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I don’t usually reach out and initiate relationships of any kind. I think I combat a feeling that someone will think I’m strange or not care for me.  But my reality is that I have been personally saved by Jesus for my waywardness and sin. God has done so much to save myself and others. He does not want anyone to perish. While God could do some spectacular things to draw people's attention to him, he chooses not to. Instead he want so use me and my life as an example to others. I should probably remind myself that my neighbors, co-workers and casual acquaintances may feel perturbed if they knew I had the secret to eternal life, but chose not to share it with them. I should also remember and keep in mind that Jesus has promised to be with me as I share. Given this, I should learn to never be scared to share the Good News with others. I can also use the money he provides me to help fund those who are on mission around the country to share the Gospel.  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Place Where I Can Learn To Love

In review of Matthew 16:18b it says, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

Bottom Line:
Jesus builds the church and the powers of death or hell will not be able to overcome it.

What this means to me:
What Jesus has built, the church, will stand forever. Neither death nor hell will be able to conquer it or kill it.

This means that only the Church will last forever. Nothing else is going to last. No business, government or nation will last forever.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:18b, “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (NLT). The Church is the most magnificent idea God or any human being ever thought up.

The entire universe was created for God’s family and God’s family is called the Church.

Rick Warren reminds us that “The Church is not a building. The Church is the family of God. God wanted a family, so he decided to create the entire universe just so he could create Earth just so he could create human beings just so we could have the free choice to choose or reject him. He knew that some of us would choose to love him back, and he’s going to take us to Heaven to be part of his family forever.”

What does this mean since I'm already in God’s family? It means that since we’re all going to live together forever, I better learn to get along. While I'm here on Earth, you must love the family of God.

In addition to loving God, I must also love his Church. God loves the church so much, He died for it. Someone who says, “I love Jesus, but I don’t need the Church” doesn’t get it. That person is an immature believer. A lot of people use the Church but don’t love it.

The key for me is will I love the Church or just use it? Christ died for it. Therefor I must learn to love every believer in the Body of Christ.

In summary, Jesus builds the church. Because of this, neither the powers of death nor hell itself will not be able to overcome it. His Church will not be conquered. God I thank you for providing a safe place for me to learn how to love. What I’m learning is that the church, his family on earth, is the institution that he created that will last forever, it can not be defeated or dissolved. God loves it and I too need to learn to love those who are part of it. It's the safest place for me to learn to love others. What I need to consider is if I use it or be part of it and learn along with it. So far I have decided to invest into the local church in my community, offering to serve in different capacities. However, today I will consider if there are those that I tend to stay away from. I should consider how I can open my heart towards them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Learning That It’s All About God

In review of Romans 11:36 it says, “For everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory. To him be glory evermore.”

Bottom Line:
Everything comes from the Lord. All things live because of him and exist for his glory.

What this means to me:
God is the source of everything around me (seen and unseen). Everything lives by his power and exists to bring him glory.

So given this I can see that it’s not about me.

Life is not about profit or politics or anything else. It’s all about God. The first sentence in Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life” says “It’s not about you.” And the title of the first chapter is “It’s All About God.” These two go together. It’s not about me, rather it is all about God.

Until I understand that, life will never really make sense. The goal of life should not be about myself; my pleasures, my possessions, my prestige, my power, or my popularity. In fact, it’s not anything that the world values. The goal of my life should be to bring glory to God.

Romans 11:36 says, “For everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory” (TLB). This means that everything on the world and in the universe was created for God’s glory.

The implication of this is that loving and following God should be my first priority. Jesus said it like this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

So the most important thing in life is to get to know and love the God who created me.

In summary, I need to remember that God is the source of everything. Everything lives by his power and exists to bring him glory, it's all about and for him. This morning God, I take a few moments and reflect on the fact that it’s all about you. Thank you for creating me to be part of your world and your glory. You have created me for a relationship with you and to partner with you in doing your will. This morning, I am especially reminded that it's all about your will and what you want done here on earth. It's all about establishing your kingdom and using my life to help make you known, so that everyone on earth can come to know and have a personal relationship with you. Furthermore I am to be and example for them and teach them what you have taught me. To do this I need to look for how I can relate to and impact the lives of those around me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How I Should Respond To Hope

In review of Ephesians 4:1 it says, “Live and act in a way worthy of those who have been chosen for such wonderful blessings as these.”

Bottom Line:
Live in a way worthy of someone who was chosen for wonderful blessings.

What this means to me:
I am to live my and act out my life in a way that is worthy as one who had been chosen by God for wonderful blessings.

What I know from scriptures is that God will never stop loving me and nothing can destroy my relationship with him.  Romans 8:38-39 says, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are — high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean — nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us” (TLB).

This means that I’m eternally secure. Once I was born into a family, I can’t be unborn out of it. Once I’m born again, I can’t be unborn out of the family of God. Once my name is written in the eternal book of life, it can’t be erased. It’s indelible ink. It doesn’t matter how many doubts or fears I might have or how many sins I commit. If I put my trust in Christ, he says that nothing will separate me from his love. No matter what I face in life, I will never face it alone.

This is the Good News: I’m forgiven, and free. God is for me, and he’s never going to stop loving me.

Given this, what should my response be? “Live and act in a way worthy of those who have been chosen for such wonderful blessings as these” (Ephesians 4:1).

In summary, because I belong to God, I am to live out my life in way that is worthy of the special privilege of being part of his family brings. God I thank you this morning for calling me to be part of your family and your blessings. To order for me live in a way that’s worthy, I need to always be hopeful and be able to share that hope with others. Our new church has been talking more about us “finding the pain” in those around us (those 8-15 people that surround us) and to “be the and offer the hope of Christ” to them.  I need to live each day with the gratefulness of the blessings he gives me; now and in eternity.  I should be willing to get to know others more personally and I they reveal pain in their own lives, help them by showing the hope that I have.

I am to live in a way that’s worthy. Live with hope, and share that hope with others.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Faith Is Thanking God in Advance

In review of Mark 11:24 it says "When you pray and you ask for something, believe that you have received it and you will be given what you asked for.”
 
Bottom Line:
What you ask for in prayer, God will provide if you have faith.

What this means to me:
When I pray and ask God for something, I should believe and have faith that God will respond and provide to me what I need.

Today I’m learning that having faith also requires thanking God in advance. Jesus said, “When you pray and you ask for something, believe that you have received it and you will be given what you asked for” (Mark 11:24 TEV).

Thanking God after you get something, that’s gratitude. However, when I thank him in advance, it's  part of my faith.

If someone handed me a check for a thousand dollars, I wouldn’t wait until I cashed it to thank them. I’d thank them right now. But the thousand dollars wouldn’t really be mine until I actually cashed it, because that check is really a promise. When I received the check, I thanked that person who gave it to me, believing that the person was credible and had enough money in the bank to cover that check. So part of my faith is thanking God in advance for what he is about to provide m.

Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29b NIV).

In summary, when I pray and ask God for something, I should believe and have faith that God will respond and provide to me what I need. This morning I thank you God, for I can’t believe how much you want to provide when I ask. I don’t think this verse is suggesting that I have a simple ordering system; pray, believe and receive. God knows what is best for me, and will willingly provide to me, but he want’s my heart and desires in the right place. I cannot simply ask for my own selfishness. I should be asking in line with his will for me and to benefit those he brings into my life.  I do need to remember that part of my faith is thanking God in advance for what he will do and provide to me. I need to truly believe that God will provide what I ask for in line with his will.

God Tests My Faith through Difficulties

In review of 1 Peter 1:6-7 this morning it says, “ You are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations . This is no acciden...