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Day 16: The Gift of Security

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Romans 8:31 NASB

Now that we know we are free from condemnation, protected from Satan, and have victory in Jesus, we begin to understand all the more, in Christ, we are in the greatest position we can imagine. Regardless of what’s taking place in the world we are in the best of hands-God’s. By faith we are God’s, we belong to Him, we are His children. Now that we are living for Him, He is for us. He is on our side since we have chosen, through Christ, His side. Be warned though, if you are not living for Him, you are living against Him.

With this thought in mind I can’t think of a more assuring promise in scripture, “If God is for us, who is against us?” This scripture doesn’t mean that Satan and those who stand opposed to God won’t try to stand against us; it simply means that they won’t be successful in their efforts. On our own, we are powerless against Satan and his allies, but through the power of God, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper.”

Since we now belong to God, we are now under His authority. Jesus clearly stated that He has all authority. (Matthew 28:18). Since His authority outranks all and we are under His authority we are protected, and empowered by His authority. Think about it this way. What makes a 4000lb car stop for a 175lb police officer directing traffic? The individual wearing the uniform has no power to stop such a massive object on his own. Many times they are unarmed. So why do we stop? We see their badge and recognize the authority their uniform represents. Satan is much stronger than us. However, Satan has no choice but to respect God’s authority.

Paul continued to give us great assurances of our security and protection through the authority of God in the final verses of Romans 8. In verse 33 he asked, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?” The obvious answer is no one. The next verse he asked, “Who is the one who condemns?” Paul already answered that question in the first verse of chapter 8. Again, no one. Then he asks in verse 35, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” In verse 37 he gives us the final answer to all of these questions, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”

Paul concludes this text with a great promise that nothing physical, or spiritual, temporal, or eternal can come against. He said, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39). Truly, we have the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 16 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 12, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 15: The Gift of God’s Continued Work

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

There was a time in my life when I could work from daylight to dark hop out of bed the next morning and do it all over again with no ease. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Now that I am older and my physical condition has deteriorated I get tired quicker and my body requires a longer amount of time for recovery. Regardless of our physical conditions, we are all human and face this same reality.

            God, however, never tires. Psalm 121:4 says, “He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” God is perpetually at work. His work is often unseen or unnoticed but rest assured, He is at work. Often times we don’t see the hand of God at work until the work is completed. We then realize that God has intervened for us, comforted us, or supplied for us. Most people have perfect vision when it comes to hindsight.

As Christians, we have been given wonderful assurance of the hand of God at work in our lives. Not only in the work of salvation, although that is more than enough, but a continual work for those who are saved. As we look at the lives of individuals in the bible we see that they often faced very difficult situations. Paul continually faced trials in his life. With this in mind he said in Philippians 4:12, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Paul was stating that he has experienced both the best and the worst life has to offer. He concluded this statement by saying in the next verse, a verse that is often taken out of context, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” In other words, Paul is saying that he can face anything life throws his way, good or bad, because Jesus gives him the strength to face it.

Just as God worked through Paul’s life He has promised that He will work through ours. The promise of Romans 8:28 is exclusively for those who love God and are called according to His purpose-His children. The promise is that God will work all things together for good. Not all things are good. Many things or horrible. God certainly doesn’t cause those horrible things, but He does cause good to come out of them. The promise is that whatever we face, “all things”, God will turn it into good. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 15 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 14: The Gift of No Condemnation

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1-2

In the first 3 chapters of the book of Romans Paul made it abundantly clear that all humanity is guilty of breaking the law of God. He summed up this argument in Romans 3:23 stating, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all guilty. Since we are all guilty, we all stand condemned before God.

But, praise be to God that, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Jesus stated God’s intent for the world in the next verse when He said, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

The word “judge” found in the NASB, can also be translated, “condemn” as it is in the HCSB and the KJV. Since we are guilty lawbreakers, to be judged by God is to be condemned by God. Being judged or condemned by God isn’t something to be taken lightly. Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Fortunately for us God gives us the choice of grace or condemnation. Next, Jesus said in John 3:18, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” By placing your faith in Jesus you are making a choice to receive the grace of God and are freed from you guilt. The result is, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Their sins are forgiven. Those who make the choice to reject God’s grace by rejecting His Son stand condemned already. For they are still in their sin. If they die in their sin, they will be eternally condemned.

Those who accept the grace of God are given the privilege to walk, talk, live, breath, and exist in this life, and eternity to come in the unmerited favor of God. They are free from the condemnation of the law of sin and death and free to walk in the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Because of the gift of God’s Son, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 14 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 10, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 11: The Gift of being a Member of Jesus Body

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ 

“Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” I Corinthians 12:27

            As we have already seen, we are friends with Jesus, family with Jesus, and one with Jesus. We, however, are not alone in our relationship with Christ, there are millions of Christians in the world today. Each Christian is a unique and individual member of the body of Christ with individual callings and gifting that help enhance the purpose and function of the body.

The body of Christ is the church. It is a spiritual house with spiritual purposes. (I Peter 2:4-10.) Yet, at the same time it is a physical house. Not a physical house built with brick and mortar, but a physical house built with the assembly of men, women, and children who have accepted Christ as their Savior and Lord. A physical house with spiritual purposes grafted together by their faith in Christ.

As there are many members with many purposes and functions there is but one head. The pastor, deacons, elders, nor anyone else is the head of the body of Christ. Christ alone is the head. Colossians 1:18 says, “He is also head of the body, the church.” Since Jesus is the head, we follow His direction and leadership.

Not only is Jesus the head, the body is His as well. For we belong to Him and are united with Him. The church was purchased with the blood of Christ. Acts 20:28 says, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Any church that Jesus is not the head of has no purchased body and is therefore not a true church.

Unfortunately, so few people today take the church seriously. The church was placed on this earth to be a blessing to the whole world. It is the churches responsibility to share the gospel and minister to the hurting. We see both biblically and historically when the church is strong, families are strong, and when the church is strong, society itself is morally upright and therefore strong. You want to change the world? Get plugged into a church and make sure it is functioning properly. If it refuses to function properly, find one that will. After all, this is God’s design.

We often hear the phrase quoted from Hebrews 10:25 to, “not forsake the assembling of one another.” To assemble is to be the church. The command is clear in the Word of God to not forsake the assembling or not forsake church. However, when we hold this verse into its context we see why. The verse prior tells us, “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” In other words, we are there to strengthen and encourage one another. Then we see that the whole verse says. “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” This verse is telling us as we see the day drawing near, or getting more difficult, we need to assemble, for the purpose of strength and encouragement, all the more. Truly, we have received the greatest gift this world has ever seen.

This is part 11 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 10: The Gift of Friendship with God

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 NASB

Wow! What an amazing statement that we have from Jesus. If we are His disciples, we are His friend. Not just that we have befriended Jesus but He has befriended us. Jesus said, “I have called you friends.” Jesus is the master and we are His servants, yet, He has allowed us to come into His inner circle by accepting us as His friend.

To be friends with Jesus means that we know Him and He knows us. I have a multitude of “friends” on social media that I have never met and others that I seldom see. Although I am glad to be connected with them that is not true friendship. A true friend is someone you know. Someone who is there for you. Someone you have invested your life into and they have invested their life in you.

Within the lingo of social media, Jesus is the one who sent us a friend request and asked us to follow Him. Prior to us accepting that request we were friends with the world which made us an enemy of God. Jesus sent us a friend request by leaving the glories of heaven and becoming a man. He is God who took upon flesh. Colossians 2:9 tells us that, “In Him (Jesus) all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” This is the purpose of Christmas. God becoming who He created to walk among us, to sympathize with us, and to saved us. Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Yet, He became one of us.

We’ve all had those friendships where it seemed as though we were putting forth all of the effort and the friend was always in need. There is no doubt in our friendship with Jesus that we are always the one in need. Philippians 2:5-8 tells us that the purpose of Jesus becoming a man was to die on the cross. Jesus is the perfect friend. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” He is always there for us and will always provide for us. I can’t think of a greater friend, can you? Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 10 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 8: The Gift of God’s Presence

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 NASB

In the Old Testament only one man, the High Priest, one day out of the year, The Day of Atonement, was allowed to enter into the presence of God. The High Priest on the Day of Atonement would enter the tabernacle, or latter the temple, into the Holy of Holy’s where the Ark of The Covenant resided to sprinkle the blood of a goat on the mercy seat. This ritual was done yearly to cover the sins of the nation of Israel.

Hebrews 9:11, 12 tells us, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” The earthly Tabernacle and it’s sacrifices were only a shadow of the Heavenly Tabernacle that was to come-Jesus. (Hebrews 8:5). For this reason their sacrifices were imperfect and temporary. Since they were imperfect and temporary they continually needed to be repeated.

Jesus sacrifice was perfect. Not only was it perfect it was done “once for all”. In other words it was final and never needed to be repeated again. Jesus obtained for us, “eternal redemption.” When Jesus died on the cross and spoke the words, “It is finished” He gave up His spirit and died. According to Matthew 27:51, immediately after He died the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the Sanctuary was torn from top to bottom. This was an act only God could do. It signified that God’s presence was now available to all. All who would call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.

We are still incapable of entering into the presence of God on our own. We must enter in with the High Priest. Jesus is our High Priest. I Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Through Jesus, and Jesus alone, we have access to the throne of God. Since we have access to the throne of God we have the presence of God, the provision of God, and the power of God.

One might say, “This sounds more like an Easter devotion than a Christmas devotion.” We must remember, we have Christmas for the purpose of Easter. Truly, we have the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 8 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 5: The Gift of Redemption

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13, 14 NASB

Prior to accepting God’s greatest gift, the gift of His Son, the bible tells us that we all, “formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2). We were citizens of the domain of darkness destined to eternal hell and separation from God. We were bound in our sins with no hope of escape and no hope of freedom from condemnation-until God sent His Son. Colossians 1:13 tells us He, Jesus, rescued us. The word “rescued” is used in past tense indicating that the rescue has already taken place. Jesus has rescued us out of the domain of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of God.

How did we become citizens of the darkness in the first place? Sin. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. We bought our residency into the domain of darkness and our ticket to hell with our own sins. The bible tells us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Therefore, everyone who has ever lived has resided in or is residing in the domain of darkness. They have either been saved from the domain of darkness, by Jesus, or stand in need of salvation.

Just as our sins purchased our residency in the domain of darkness, the blood of Jesus redeems us and purchased for us freedom and forgiveness of sin enabling us to reside in our new residency, the Kingdom of God, with Jesus for all eternity. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” As already stated, Romans 6:23 tells us “The wages of sin is death.” The good news is that the same verse tells us, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The gift we have received from God is the gift of redemption. Redemption that came at a great price to Jesus but is a free gift to those who believe. The gift of redemption that was paid for by the blood of Jesus but freely offered to whoever will repent of their sins and make Jesus Lord of their lives. In faith, we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sin knowing that they have already been paid for. Truly Jesus is the greatest gift, “Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession.” (Titus 2:14).

This is part 5 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 2: The Cost of the Gift

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6:19, 20 NASB

Today the Christmas season has officially started. It has started on a day most call Black Friday. A  long and tiresome day many will spend looking for a value. The value of a gift isn’t always determined by monetary value. In fact , I have received many gifts over the years that are worthless as far as the world is concerned. To me however, they are priceless. They are priceless because of who gave them. Because of who gave them they are among my greatest treasures. Yet, if a stranger were to give me a gift my personal value of the gift would only be its monetary value. Although I would be grateful for the gift I wouldn’t treasure it in my heart. Since there are no emotional ties to the gift giver, the gift itself would not have any emotional value.

Some of the greatest emotional gifts are gifts given by people who love you. Because they love you they poured their heart into the gift in which they gave. In my opinion the greatest of these gifts are gifts they crafted with their own hand. Some of the greatest monetary gifts are gifts that were created by the original masters craftsmen and artist. An original Picasso painted by Picasso is worth much more than  a copy. Knowing that you have in your position the very piece that the craftsmen poured his heart and soul into brings great value.

We have received a gift from not only the master craftsmen of a piece of art or a particular object, but, the Master craftsmen of all-God Himself. James 1:7 says, Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” He is the master craftsmen of all. He said, “Let there be light, and there was light” for this reason He is the Father of Lights. He is the Father of “every good thing given” and “every perfect gift.”

The gift that He gave us in creation was for a singular purpose. God is eternal, therefore He existed in eternities past prior to creating the earth. However, God chose to create this earth to populate it with people of whom He desired to have a relationship with. God’s singular purpose in creation was to have a relationship with mankind.

Unfortunately, just after God created a perfect world man corrupted it with sin. Man didn’t only corrupt the world with sin they corrupted their own hearts with sin preventing them from fulfilling the purpose in which God created them for, the purpose of having relationship with Him and therefore living a life that brings Him glory.

This leads us to the greatest gift the world can ever receive. A gift given by the master of all. A gift given by one who loves us more than all. A gift given with which He poured His heart and soul into. A gift given at a great personal cost to Himself. The gift He gave was His own Son, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). The high price He paid was His Son’s life, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:7). Truly, the greatest gift was given at a great cost.

This is part 2 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions place your email in the follow tab on the right. Also, please share.

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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