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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 4: The Gift of Grace

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

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB

Paul begins Ephesians two by reminding us in the first verse that, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins.” Romans 6:23 tells us that, “The wages of sin is death.” There are three types of death mentioned in the bible. The first type of death is what Paul is referencing here, being dead in sin. Our sins separate us from God. They have trespassed the law of God. For this reason our sin keeps the Holy Spirit and Jesus from residing within us. Because of this we are spiritual dead, separated from God. One who is spiritual dead is physically alive. Their hearts are pumping, their blood is flowing, and their lungs are breathing. The Dr. might tell them that they are a picture of health. However, they are spiritually dead.

The second type of death is physical death. Hebrews 9:27 says, “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” Unless we are caught up in the rapture, we will all die physically one day. If one dies while spiritually dead he will then enter into eternal death separated from God in hell with no hope of redemption. Revelation 20:14, 15 says, “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Spiritual death, physical death, and eternal death are all the wages of sin. Death is what we have earned and death is what we deserve. We have all sinned; therefore, we will all pay the penalty of sin-death; unless of course someone pays the price for us. Fortunately for us, God chose to send His Son Jesus to die in our place. We deserve to pay the price for our sins with death; yet, God chose to send His Son to die in our place as a gift, a gift of grace.

We cannot earn the gift of salvation. We have already earned death and condemnation. We certainly don’t deserve the gift of God that was paid for through the death of Jesus. Again, we deserve death. God would be completely just in giving us what we have earned. But praise be to God He chose to offer us grace. Grace has been described as the unmerited or undeserved gift of God.

The Word of God is extraordinarily clear that we are saved simply by placing our faith in the person and works of the Lord Jesus Christ. By faith we believe that the blood Jesus shed and the death that He died cleanses us from all unrighteousness, freeing us from the power of sin and death giving us everlasting life. By faith, and faith alone we receive the grace of God. Can you think of a greater Christmas gift than the grace of God? I can’t. Truly, Jesus is the greatest gift.

This is part 4 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 November 30, 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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Day 1: Giving Thanks for the Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

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

              Christmas time to me is the greatest time of the year. Whether rich or poor, or young or old Christmas brings joy to all who celebrate. I however, am one of those traditionalist who believe that the Christmas season doesn’t start until the day after thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a also a very important holiday that should never be overlooked. Thanksgiving is an important day for family and friends. Giving thanks is a biblical principle that runs throughout Scripture and should be practiced daily. Why then talk about Christmas on Thanksgiving? Because Christmas is all about Jesus and Jesus is our greatest blessing of which we should be the most thankful for.

When Joseph, who was engaged to Mary, discovered that Mary had conceived a child he desired to secretly divorce her. However, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream telling him of the plans of God. At that time the Angel of the Lord told Joseph the very purpose of Christmas. He said, “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). The purpose of Christmas is Jesus, the Son of God, God with us, coming to this earth to save His people from their sins.

Romans 6:23 tells us that, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” For those who have been saved from their sins and brought out of death and into life, I cannot think of a single thing to be more grateful for on this day of Thanksgiving. Psalm 118:21 says, “I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.” Therefore, rejoice in your salvation and give God thanks!

For the next 27 days, from now until Christmas Eve, I will post daily devotions sharing about the Greatest Gift, the Gift of Christ. I will focus on who we are because of the gift of Christ. Please share this with others. PM me your email and I will add you to my subscribers list. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Our Authority

Paul wrote in I Corinthians 4:6, “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.” In this verse he is telling the church of Corinth that he and Apollos have made a standard for themselves not to exceed what is written. He is now telling the church of Corinth to follow their example. What was written? The scriptures. Clearly the Word of God is our authority that we are not to exceed or go beyond.

Paul also wrote in II Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” When one looks at this text in its original language they will see that the literal meaning of “inspired by God” means “God breathed.” God used many men to write down His word but all Scripture comes directly from the breath of God. It is God’s word not mans. II Peter 1:20-21 says, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” For anyone to go beyond what is written is arrogant, boastful, and blasphemous. God has given to us His word “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (I Peter 1:19).

Paul said that Scripture is profitable. He then listed several things it was profitable for. Since it is profitable we will gain and increase through the study of the Word of God which is God breathed. The end result we gain from Scripture is “that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Through God’s word we have everything we will ever need to be thoroughly equipped for service unto Him.

Paul first mentions that Scripture is profitable for teaching. When we are taught, the teaching must be centered in Scripture. When we teach, our teaching must be centered in Scripture. He then says that scripture is profitable for reproof. To reproof someone is to call them out for an error or a wrong. When calling one out for being wrong or for an error in their lives or teaching we must use Scripture. Our opinions are always susceptible to being wrong. However, Scripture is always right. Paul then said Scripture is profitable for correction. Correction is restoration to an upright position. We don’t want to be reproved and not know how to correct the error of our way. Scripture brings us back into the right path, out of the error. It corrects us.

Paul then tells us that Scripture is profitable for training in righteousness. Romans 3:10 tells us that, “there is no one righteous, not even one.” Most everyone will admit that they are a sinner. However, not everyone knows the guilt of their unrighteousness. Scripture makes it clear. Romans 3:22 then tells us that we receive righteousness by placing our faith in Christ and Romans 3:26 tells us that faith in Christ justifies us-makes us right with God. Yet, how will we or anyone else know these truths apart from the authority of God’s word? We won’t. And, apart from Scripture, how will we grow in righteousness? We won’t.

Whether it is for our personal growth, or teaching others, we trust in the authority of God’s breathed word. Paul said not to go beyond what it written. If we were to go beyond what is written it will profit us nothing and more than likely will cause great harm. However, when we trust in the authority of the written word that was breathed from God with our lives and our ministry we will be adequately equipped for every good work. In other words, we will be lacking in nothing.

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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Dealing with False Prophets

In Revelation Jesus told John to write to the seven churches in Asia. The first of those churches was the church of Ephesus. (Revelation 2:1-7).  Jesus praised this church for putting to the test those who called themselves apostles and were not. By proving that they were not apostles and indeed false prophets they protected the integrity and true teaching of the church. We also find Paul in II Timothy 6:20 instructing Timothy to “guard what has been entrusted to you.”  What was Timothy entrusted to? What did he need to guard? The church. Timothy was the pastor of the church of Ephesus. Guarding and protecting the church from false teachers was planted in Ephesus DNA from its very beginning. For this reason, Jesus praised the church.

We test those who claim that they are of God with the authority of God’s word. If they fail to line up with God’s word they are false prophets. Let’s be clear though. We can have doctrinal differences with other Christians who are truly Christians. We simply disagree on certain subjects. One can believe in a pre-tribulation rapture while the other believes in a mid or post-tribulation rapture and another doesn’t believe there will even be rapture at all. I am a very solid pre-tribulationist. I personally believe that the pre-tribulation rapture is abundantly clear in scripture. Does this mean that I should view anyone who believes otherwise as a false prophet? Of course not. Christians can and will disagree on a variety of issues. However, a false prophet is one who denies the fundamentals of the faith such as the person and the work of Christ, along with the means and method of salvation. Once we have determined who is a false prophet we must then ask the question, “How do we deal with those who are sheep in wolves clothing; those who claim to be of God and are not?

First, don’t get distracted. Paul told Timothy to, “avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.” II Timothy 6:20-21. If Satan can’t trick us into his lies he will try to distract us from sharing truth. He is perfectly happy with us stomping out embers as long as we are ignoring the forest that is ablaze. If this happens he still wins. If we get caught up into debating “worldly and empty chatter” rather than proclaiming the truth of God’s word we are losing that battle. We must stay focused on the task at hand. When dealing with false prophets, stick to the simplicity of the gospel.

One of Satan’s greatest distractions is to try and bring guilt upon the proclaimer of truth. When the proclaimer of truth calls a false prophet out for being false the devil will say, “You are being judgmental and Jesus said we shouldn’t judge.” However, within the context of scripture that Jesus said “Judge not least you be judged” (Matthew 7:1) He also said, “Beware of false prophets.” (Matthew 7:15). Don’t bother acknowledging the lies, stick with the truth, for the truth will set you free.

Secondly, although we do not need to be distracted by their deceit we need to pay attention to their deceit. Paul said in Romans 16:17, “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned.” How is their deceit impacting our witness? How is their deceit impacting non believers? How is their deceit impacting the church? When we understand their deceit we are better equipped to counter act it with truth. In the mid 90’s I spent some time in Salt Lake City. Prior to going I studied what Mormons teach and believe. As a result I was better equipped to share the truth of God’s word. Because of this I saw many place their faith and trust in the Jesus of the bible-the true Jesus. Does this mean that we need to become intimately familiar with every lie Satan ever told? Of course not. He is such a great liar I doubt that is even possible. It does mean that we should be intimately familiar with the Word of God. God’s word is truth. The greatest way to counteract a lie is with the truth.

Lastly, we need to turn away from false prophets. Paul continued in Romans 16:17-18 in saying, “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites.” Paul said to turn away from them. We should have nothing to do with them. When the true church disassociates itself from those who are false we make a clear and distinct statement, stating, “We are not of you and you are not of us.” Some would say that this is unloving. However, when we do not make a clear and bold statement of disassociation we are in danger of making others think we are in acceptance of the lies which makes them much more susceptible to receiving it which sets them up for destruction. Which is more unloving? If they choose to repent from the lie and turn to the truth, we will receive them.

Our heart should be as God’s heart, not wishing that any should parish and that all would come to repentance. However, when our clear testimony of truth has been presented and they refuse to come to the truth and are set on following the lust of their flesh rather than the truth of God’s word we sever ties, especially if they are in our churches. The time must come when we wipe the dust off our feet and move on. We continue to pray that the seeds of truth that was planted continue to work in their lives bringing them to the truth.

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Posted by on November 19, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Satan is a Liar

As an active witness for the Lord we must remember two great truths, first God’s word is always true, second Satan is always a liar. From the beginning of time Satan the liar has tried to disprove God’s word. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden giving them the freedom to eat of every tree in the garden with one exception. God said to Adam in Genesis 2:17, “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” Eve knew the command and the warning of God. However, Satan came with his lies to convince her that God was holding out on her. Satan the liar tried to convince Eve that God was the liar. He said to her in Genesis 3:4, “You surly will not die.” He directly contradicted God. We know the rest of the story; therefore, we know who tells the truth and who the liar is. Jesus Himself said of Satan in John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan’s tactics have not changed. He will first try to convince people through his lies that God’s word is not true. If he cannot succeed in this tactic he will then try to twist and warp God’s word removing the truths of God with lies that Paul calls, “doctrines of demons.” (I Timothy 4:1). God’s word time and again warns us of those who proclaim these lies of Satan. The bible calls them false prophets.

When dealing with these false prophets we must remember our truths, God’s word is always true and Satan is always a liar. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Satan is the author of the lie; the false prophets are simply believers of and proclaimers of the lie. Does this make them innocent? Of course not. This simply reminds us of the essence of our battle. It is a spiritual battle with spiritual implications rather than a physical battle. Our struggle is against Satan and his demons, not his false prophets. God’s heart is to win over those who have believed the lie. Not to destroy them. If they choose not to repent from the lie, the lie will destroy them.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” In other words, just because they look and act Christian doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. We need to listen to what they are proclaiming and ask ourselves, “Does it line up with the consistency of scripture?” In John’s warning of false prophets he tells us, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1). How do we try or test these false prophets to see if they are wolves in sheep’s clothing? With the Word of God! Does their message line up with God’s word or does it directly contradict it?

Again, remember our truths, God’s word is always true, and Satan is always a liar. In the fact that God’s word is always true, God’s word never contradicts itself. One extreme of the lies of Satan is that one must do good works and deeds in order to be saved. Satan will lie to them telling them that they have to earn their salvation by the works that they do. This clearly is a contradiction of Satan. Scripture after scripture tells us that we are saved by faith and not of works.(John 3:16, Romans 3:22, 3:24, 3:26, 3:28-30, 4:3, 4:5, 4:11, 4:16, 5:1, 5:9, 9:30, 9:33, 10:4, 10:9-10, 11:6, Galatians 2:16, 2:21, 3:5-6, 3:8, 3:14, 3:22, 3:24, Ephesians 1:13, 2:8, Philippians 3:9, I Timothy 1:16). Titus 3:5 tells us that we are not even saved by acts of righteousness. The clear consistent teaching of God’s word is that we are saved by faith. Faith plus anything equals nothing.

The other extreme in Satan’s deception is that God is okay with sin when the consistency of God’s word says He clearly is not. Satan will lie and tell people that they can live in sin and be in right relationship with God. However, I John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Satan will even go so far as to try and redefine what sin is and is not. However, God’s word is clear as to what sin is and is not.

Paul said in II Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” I have no doubt that this time has come and that this is the day that we are living in. As faithful stewards of God’s word we must stand firm on the truths of God’s word. We are the light bearers of the truth. If we stop bearing that truth and cower down to the masses the world will live hopelessly in the dark.

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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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God’s Word is Powerful

How many times have you heard a sermon or sat in a bible study and never heard the Word of God proclaimed? The preacher or teacher may dance all around the truths of God’s word but if the Word of God is never proclaimed the teaching and preaching is incomplete. God said in Isaiah 55:11, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” This promise is for the Word of God, and not our own. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” God’s word is powerful all by itself. Our opinions, ideas, and illustrations are nothing compared to the power of God’s double edged sword. It must be proclaimed. Powerful preaching is immersed in the Word of God. It is The Word of God that is powerful-not our own.

Paul told Timothy to “preach the word.” (II Timothy 4:2). If I am going to proclaim the truths of God, what other choices do I have? None! God has given to us His word to let us know who He is, who we are, where we have come from, and how we turn to and trust in Him. He has given to us His word to let us know His standards, His statutes, and His requirements for our lives. He has given to us His word so we can know Him. Apart from the Word of God we would know none of these wonderful truths.

Not proclaiming God’s word is as foolish as a food critic describing the meal he ate without telling you what he ate, who the chef was, or the restaurant in which he ate the meal. Whether we are witnessing one on one, leading a small study group, or preaching to the masses, we must proclaim God’s word. Our word cannot penetrate the heart of the hearer and can often be misunderstood leading others astray. When we point others to the author of not only the bible but their very lives we are pointing them to the very one who can rewrite and renew their lives.

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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Follow Me

Repentance means to turn away from something. It is making a u-turn, going the opposite direction from where you were going. Repenting from sin is turning away from the sin. Biblical repentance not only requires us to turn from sin, it calls us to turn to Jesus. Repeatedly throughout the gospels Jesus says, “Follow Me.”

Biblical faith in Jesus isn’t simply believing facts about Jesus, it is also following Him.  James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” Although Satan probably won’t admit it, he believes in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He was there. He saw it. Too many people today have a Christmas and Easter type of faith. They believe the facts of Christ but have never committed their lives to following Him. I am a huge Mustang fan. For this reason I know all kinds of facts about men who influenced Mustangs like, Lee Iacocca, Carroll Shelby, and Steve Saleen. Yet, I have never met any of them. I have never had a personal relationship with them. I do however know Jesus, because I have committed myself to following Him.

Romans 10:9 tells us, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Clearly we need to believe the facts about Jesus. God did raise Him from the dead and that should be our foundation of faith. However, that alone isn’t good enough. Along with our foundation of faith we are to confess Jesus as Lord. This is our statement of faith. If Jesus is Lord over our lives we follow Him every day in every way.

In the tenth chapter of Mark we find one who obviously had great respect for Jesus. He came to Jesus knelt before Him and called Him “good teacher.”  He inquired of Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him that he needed to keep the law. The young man quickly responded to Jesus that he has kept the law since his youth. Jesus then told him to go sell everything you own, give it to the poor, and follow me. Jesus was showing him that he hasn’t really kept the law. Although he had respect for Jesus, he was unwilling to obey Jesus and unwilling to follow Him. Many people in our world today have great respect for Jesus, yet they too are unwilling to obey Him and follow Him.

Matthew 16:24 says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” Notice that He said “you must.” The requirement for following Jesus is denying yourself and taking up your cross. We need to remember that the cross was an instrument of death. It was the form of execution for the day. In other words, just as we talked about in being born again, Jesus is saying if we are going to follow Him we must die to self and follow Him. We need to have more than just respect for Jesus. We must have total surrender; a surrender that leads to denying ourselves and obedient service of Him. Jesus said we must.

While sharing the gospel with the lost we must make it abundantly clear that if they choose to accept Christ as their savior and Lord they are entering into a lifetime commitment. We need to make it clear that this walk should impact and influence every area of their lives. We have way too many Sunday-go-to-meetin Christians in our society who don’t mind going to church on Sunday morning but won’t allow Jesus to impact their daily lives.

We need to clearly communicate the fact that entering into a relationship with Jesus is a onetime decision. It is a death to self and life in Christ decision. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” At the same time we need to clearly communicate the fact that following Jesus is a commitment that is renewed daily. Paul also said in I Corinthians 15:31, “I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Praying for a Great Awakening in America

My heart is to see revival in our churches leading to a great awakening in our nation. God has stirred in my heart to call on all Christians to pray and fast for 40 days seeking God for revival in our churches and a great awakening in our land. The prayer and fast will begin on February 18th and go through March 29th, Easter Sunday. I am asking Christians to pray for 30 minutes a day during an agreed upon time. My hope is to have intersession being lifted up to the throne of God 24 hours a day for 40 days. During that time I will email those who commit to this challenge a daily prayer guide along with a daily devotion that will coincide with the prayer guide. America is in desperate need of revival and revival will not happen unless we humbly seek the face of God and pray. (II Chronicles 7:14). There is power in numbers. So, will you join us? If you feel God calling you to participate in this email me at reclaimingtheland@ilovejesus.net and write prayer in the subject box. If your heart is for revival share this information with everyone you know.

In the name above all names, Jesus

Rusty Kuhn

For more information about the heart of Reclaiming the Land Ministry visit: www.reclaimingtheland.com

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

 

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