Our Hope Is Eternal!

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38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. — Romans 8:38 NLT

Each of us goes through a myriad of situations in our lifetime. Hardly a day goes by, (probably none) that we don’t have some sort of frustration in our lives. Does this mean that we have lost our salvation or that God no longer loves us? No, God hates sins, but He does not hate the sinner, His heart is set on forgiveness and restoration. Our fellowship with Him can be broken and interrupted, but the very second we repent, He is waiting with open arms to receive us back into fellowship with Himself. If we don’t have this assurance of salvation and forgiveness, then as Paul said, “we, of all people, are most to be  pitied”. But we do have it because it is dependent on the faithfulness of God, not on our faithfulness. So, in the darkest of times, when we don’t “feel saved”, God is still God and Jesus is still interceding for us.  Nothing can separate us from His love and His care. Our hope is eternal.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 01-31-2017

Living in the Light

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But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.– 1 John 1:9
Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Spirit comes to abide within us. He will lead us in the path God has chosen for each of us,if we are willing to follow. But, we are not going to become sinless over night and we shall never become perfect in this world. There will always be a struggle between our flesh and our Spirit. Nevertheless, our salvation is secure. Does this mean we won’t fail? No, of course not. If we could do this on our own then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. God knew even before He redeemed us that we would fail, He is not surprised by anything we do, because He is omniscient. But, because He loves us so much, He is waiting with open arms for us to repent and return to Him. He is always faithful and just to forgive us when we ask. He cleanses us and restores us over and over and over again. We are His children and He cares deeply for each of us.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-30-2017

Live It and Encourage Others

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11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. — Titus 2:11 NLT

Jesus gave His life so that we might live lives free of sin. He cleansed us and made us His very own. when we need more wisdom to accomplish His purpose, He freely gives it to us. We are covered and bathed in His righteousness. There are certainly days when we almost lose sight of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. But because of all He has done and is doing for us, we should live lives that are devoted to Him holding on to the hope that we will see Him one day and we will spend an eternity with Him. We must not only hold on to this hope, but we must teach and encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to do the same.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 01-29-2017

Safe In God’s Love

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20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

— Jude 20-21 NLT


We can see the things that are spoken of here in these verses happening in our churches of today. We have church leaders who are leading their congregations astray by teaching them that they have the liberty to live their lives as they please. Their messages “tickle the ears” of the people. Instead of preaching purity and obedience, they are saying “live like you want to live”, fulfill the desires of the flesh, its okay. But God says we are to be holy because He is holy and we are to pattern our lives after Jesus. Do not be deceived by false teachers, we will reap what we sow. If we sow fleshly desires, we will reap the consequences of those acts. If we sow righteousness, peace, joy, patience, forgiveness and the fruits of the Spirit, we will reap the rewards of those actions. Love God and follow His commands daily. Then we will be safe in God’s love.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-27-2017

It’s Not Difficult!

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11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach. — Deut. 30:11 NLT

This was the message that God gave to Moses to give to the children of Israel. Time and again, God would give them this message. Time and again, God changed the hearts of His people. They would disobey and go astray. Being a just God, He was required to discipline them. They would repent and turn back to Him and He would soften their hearts and accept their offerings again. That was the Old Testament. Then Jesus died on the cross for our sins and established a new and better covenant.  Now, Jesus says the whole law hinged on two commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.  Two commandments that are certainly not hard to understand, but God knew we would fail, so He sent us a Helper, His Holy Spirit.  Now, He is closer to us than He has ever been.  We don’t need to look for Him anywhere because He abides in us and is all around us. Or as St. Patrick said: “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left.”.
There is no need for us to go anywhere or search anywhere because He abides in us and leads us into all truth.  Two commandments, easy to understand, but not so easy to follow on a daily basis.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-27-2017

2 x 2 = 5?

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29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin?  But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it

. — Matt.10:29 NLT
 
 

In social jargon, the “fifth wheel” is the person without a date or a mate. If that person happens to be you, you just might experience some uncomfortable moments. You might even feel like a “misfit” and wish you were home by yourself. These times could cause a person to feel worthless. If you read today’s scripture passages again, you might notice there is a little problem with the math. In Matthew, 1 coin buys 2 sparrows, but in Luke, 2 coins buys 5 sparrows. Shouldn’t 2 coins buy 4 sparrows? Yet, there it is, written in God’s Word, 5 sparrows. It is as if the 5th sparrow is worthless. As if because it cost nothing, it therefore has no value. But then, notice what the rest of verse 6 says: “Yet God does not forget a single one of them.” Always remember, everyone of us is important to God. Perhaps, we can’t preach like Billy Graham, sing like George Beverly Shea and maybe we haven’t been used of God to do miracles, but of this one thing, we can be sure. We are just as important to God’s eternal plan as any of those people. Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, and Elijah all had their moments. But Jesus said: “None is greater than John the Baptist”.

**The idea for today’s devotional and the “math” problem was from a sermon entitled “Does God Know That I Exist?” by Rev. Eddie Herring, Prospect United Methodist Church,
Lawrenceville , GA

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 01-26-2017

He Forgives Us When We Fail

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15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. — Hebrews 4:15 NLT
If it had been possible for us to live a perfect, sinless life, then Jesus would not have had to die on the Cross for our redemption. But God knew that we would fail and come short of perfection. It is no surprise to Him, so He made a way, before the foundations of the earth were laid, for us to be reconciled with Him. A simple, yet very expensive plan. One that we could not purchase for ourselves, so Jesus purchased it for us. Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live (abide) in us. He is our teacher and guide, but He will not force us to be obedient, it is still our choice, Our flesh wars against doing God’s will and when we give in, we must confess our sins and ask God for His forgiveness. We can do this boldly and without fear of punishment. Because of His great love and mercy, we will find the grace that we need when we need it most. We should fear (respect) God, but we are not to fear (be afraid) of God. Our love for Him should cause us to respect and obey Him. We will fail but God is waiting with open arms to forgive and restore us to Himself.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-25-2017

What Voice Are We Hearing?

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Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. — Romans 8:5 NLT

How can we know if we are being led by God’s Spirit or by our flesh? If we are giving in to the flesh, we will be prideful, we will harbor hate, anger, resentment and bitterness. The acts that our flesh produces are illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. If we are Spirit led, we will show others love and respect. God’s Spirit produces (in us) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We should all take a few moments alone with God and examine our actions for the last few days. What voice are listening to? Who are we following? Flesh? or Spirit?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 01-24-2017

He’s Been There!

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 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. — Hebrews 4:13 NLT

God knows our hearts and our innermost thoughts. His Spirit searches our heart and minds to reveal any sinfulness or sinful thoughts that we might have. He reveals that anger we have been harboring and we have to deal with it. God wants us to be totally committed to Him. He will not accept being the #1 God in the race, He wants us to understand that He is the only God  He can ask this of us because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. He understands that we will fail. If we could accomplish this on our own, then Jesus died in vain. But He has made a way for us by allowing us to come into the throne room and ask His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us and help us when we repent and return to Him. He is ALWAYS there to help when we need Him and especially when we need Him the most.

10 For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. You alone are God.
— Psalm 86:10 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-23-2017

Healing Stream

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39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:39 NLT
 
 
The love of God is perfect and is far too great for the human mind to grasp in its entirety.   How could the Creator of the universe and everything in it stoop to loving us?  Why does He bother Himself to listen to and answer every prayer that we pray?  At our worst, we are wretched sinners and even at our best, we fall so short of being what God created us to be.  We can only bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “what are human beings that you should care for them”?  Yet, you gave up all of your glory in heaven, put on a human body and lived among us.  You revealed your love to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Such matchless mercy, such generous grace and such limitless love is more than we can even imagine.  With our sins, we crucify you afresh every day, yet, you continue to forgive us and love us back to you.  Help us, Lord, to love you enough to be channels of your love to those around us.  Even though it may be painful at times, Lord, stretch us and fill us with your love until we overflow, until your love breaks forth from us and washes over those around us bringing them into “the healing stream that flows from Calvary’s mountain” .Amen.
Post 01-21-2017