September 30, 2016

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask, Seek, Knock”

Think back at a time in your life when you were persistent with something, really persistent. Odds are, it worked out for you! Even if it did not, Jesus promises that our persistence in prayer will be rewarded. In this passage, Jesus describes prayer as asking, seeking, and knocking.

“Ask,  and it will be given to you;  seek, and you will find;  knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7‭-‬11

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September 29, 2016

No Need to Worry

“No Need to Worry”

Everyday there is so much to be stressed out about. School, a job, a relationship, friends, family and so much more. God offers us a solution to our stress problem in Philippians 4. He says not to be stressed about anything, but in every situation to pray. Prayer is a powerful tool we can use as followers of Christ to interact with God. God promises in this verse to not only hear our prayers but he will also guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, so that our worries become less and less.

God will give you His peace when you ask for it. So it’s not that He eliminates the worries from the world, He just strengthens you through prayer to see His magnificence in light of these worries. When you compare a test or a job interview to the power of God—the depth and majesty of God is so much greater. So much so, that the worries of the world become small and our understanding of God becomes larger. He is the answer to our stress, all we have to do is pray to God the worries of our heart.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6‭-‬7

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September 27, 2016

Delight in the Lord

“Delight in the Lord”

How hard is it to walk with God when the world keeps tugging at you through temptations? This Psalm emphasizes the difference between those of us who follow Christ and those of us who follow the world. He says a person who delights in the Bible, who finds a joy and peace in following Christ is blessed. The author of this Psalm compares a follower of Christ to a tree to illustrate his point further. While being a follower of the world takes away life, becoming a Christ follower will make you prosper.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  but his delight is in the law of the LORD , and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalms 1:1‭-‬3

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September 24, 2016

God's Promise

“God’s Promise”

Imagine a world where everyone keeps their promises. Wouldn’t that be incredible? But, there is only one man that has ever lived that keeps his promises forever, Jesus Christ. Here Jesus is speaking directly to his disciples. He explains the importance of his words and the Bible as things that will never pass away.

Even Heaven and Earth will pass away, and be made new, but God’s words will never pass away or change! This should serve as a comfort to us as we live by these words, instructions, and promises that never expire or become obsolete. 

Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matthew 24:34‭-‬35

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September 23, 2016

The Word of God Endures Forever

“The Word of God Endures Forever”

Life happens quickly, one day its blistering hot in early August and then we’re watching the snow fall down in January. Seasons come and go, just like our life here on Earth. In this passage we are compared to grass and flowers because a season is just what our 80-90 year life looks like to God. Everything is constantly changing, people come and people go. New job, new house, new state your living in.

As time passes, nothing really stays the same. We are a people of change and transition. Things can get a little exhausting moving throughout life with almost every variable changing all the time. Yet God promises one thing that will never change -- Himself. God never changes. He will always be the same, He always has been the same. His Word will endure the test of time, because the Word is God. Therefore, when we read God’s Word we can know and find stability in clinging to the one thing that will never change -- the Bible and our God.

The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass.  The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:7‭-‬8

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September 21, 2016

How to Be Successful

“How to Be Successful”

Today’s world is filled with “get rich quick” schemes and infinite self-betterment books. Why? Every person on earth has an innate desire to be successful, but so often we mistakenly believe that success is found in money, power, status, our job, or anything else in the world. Here is where the Bible is clear on answering this question: want to be successful? You have to know the Bible, meditate on it, trust in the Lord, and be obedient to God’s word.

THAT is true success. God’s word will never lead you astray therefore if you are careful to read the very breath of God you will learn just what God wants for your life. God is a GOOD God, so we can be confident that His word and His path for our life will lead us down the road of success.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

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September 20, 2016

God's Very Breath

“God’s Very Breath”

Once we know that reading the Bible is something we are to do, we can come to see just how it impacts us as believers. The whole Bible was written by one Author, God! He literally breathed out every single word, comma and period in this book, and used men to record it! He perfectly ordained this book to be a guide to us, a source of His voice for us and a place of rest for us in any and all circumstances.

God is a Teacher, a Trainer, a Rebuker, and a Corrector. God wants everything good for us in our lives, but sometimes we think we know what is better for our own lives. Yet, the more we read His word the better we can understand His plan for us. And, even more so, the more we engage with God through the scriptures the more He will equip and teach us to be ready for anything that possibly can come our way. How satisfying is that!

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16‭-‬17

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September 19, 2016

Purpose of the Word

“Purpose of the Word”

What’s the point of reading the Bible? How can something written so long ago still apply to me today? The Bible or the Word of God was written in such a way that these words are eternal truths. All the answers to almost every question you have can be answered through God’s word, you just have to know where to look. The Word has the ability to penetrate you, make you a new person and to carve out the bad and make room for the good.

The Word also makes new our thoughts and attitudes of our heart. Our hearts can be deceitful and tell us things that are not always true. However, the Word is always true. We have to be careful of the feelings of our hearts because our hearts were tainted to be lovers of the world and we must teach them through reading the Bible to be lovers of God.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

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September 18, 2016

Live Your Life in Him

“Live Your Life in Him”

What does it mean to live my life IN Jesus? How do I become rooted and built in Him? Receiving Christ and trusting in Him completely is one decision, but the process of being made like Jesus and continuing to live your life IN him takes time. We must seek to know Him more through prayer and through reading his word, the Bible.

This will make us rooted and built more in him and will strengthen our faith. Strengthening our faith is important because it is what we are called to do. We must continue to aim to learn more about God. The journey of knowing God will only increase our thankfulness towards Him as we uncover how unbelievably holy, sovereign and good He is.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6‭-‬7

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The LORD Takes Pleasure in His People

Praise the LORD ! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! 

Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! 

Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! 

For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.

Psalms 149:1‭-‬4

September 16, 2016

Alive in Spirit

“Alive in Spirit”

In this verse, Peter describes who Christ is. Christ Jesus suffered one time for the sins of many. Think about how many sins that is! He suffered for everyone and He died to save everyone on the Earth from the grasp of sin and bring us back to God. Jesus died in the body, rose from the dead, and gave us his Holy Spirit in order that he can still be with us today. He lives within us. God can now always be with us and we can always access Him because He is alive through the Holy Spirit.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 1 Peter 3:18

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September 15, 2016

Become a Child of God

“Become a Child of God”

In this verse John, the author of this book, is speaking about who Jesus is and what Jesus does for those who receive and do not receive him. Jesus came into the world after making the world, but the people of this world did not recognize him. Still, to this day, we forget to recognize Him.

The world aims to draw us away from Jesus and fill us with false gods and distortions of God’s plan for us. Jesus offers to make us His own. There is something that we must do in order to become a child of God. We have the RIGHT to become children of God when we recognize Jesus as Lord and believe in who He is!

He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, John 1:10‭-‬12

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September 14, 2016

Build to Finish

“Build to Finish”

Jesus illustrates a lot of his principles with stories and metaphors. Jesus compares our faith and trust in Him to building a tower. The same way architectural design works, so is it with following Jesus. There is a cost to be His disciple, and before you make such a weighty decision you must be prepared. Jesus doesn’t want us for a day, month, or year.

Jesus wants us for an eternity. Jesus wants us to continually lay down ourselves to be His disciple. It will not be easy, but the reward will be worth it when we are reconnected with our Savior again one day.

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.  For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:27‭-‬30

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September 13, 2016

Believe In Your Heart, Profess with Your Mouth

“Believe in Your Heart, Profess with Your Mouth”

“How do I tell God that I trust Him with my life? I want to surrender my life to God, but I don’t know how.” Have you ever had these thoughts? The Bible gives answers to lots of questions, this being one of them. Once we want to surrender our lives to Jesus we must confess that “Jesus is Lord” and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. Don’t do them in vain, belief is the most important aspect of this decision to hand over the reigns of your life to Jesus Christ.

Confessing with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord” means that you acknowledge and accept him as your authority and commanding officer. “Believing in your heart” means that you believe with your very existence that Jesus Christ is who he said he is. Do you believe these things today?

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:9‭-‬11

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September 12, 2016

The Day Will Come

“The Day Will Come”

In this chapter of the book of Acts, Paul is talking to the people of Athens. The people of Athens were ignorant to God and didn’t understand God’s power. Paul goes on to describe who God is and therefore illustrate who we are because of God. He ends the chapter with this verse saying, that we are God’s children. God wants us to repent and believe in His Son.

Jesus will come back and when He does, appointed by God the Father, He will judge the world justly. Only God the Father knows the time and day when Jesus will come back but one thing we can know for sure is that Jesus will come back one day and the best way to be ready for this is to fully believe in Jesus Christ.

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30‭-‬31

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September 11, 2016

Jesus is Life

“Jesus is Life”

In this verse the author, John, tells us how to share our testimony (or personal story of faith) with others. The only way to have eternal life is to believe in the person and purpose of His Son -- Jesus. If you believe that Jesus was the Son of God, fully man and fully God, died on the cross for all of our sins, and rose again three days later to defeat death and prove that He was indeed who he said he was, then you will have eternal life.

On the contrary, those who reject the person and purpose of Christ will not have eternal life. They will not enter into the Kingdom of God. You must believe with your mind and with your heart.

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:11‭-‬13

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September 9, 2016

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me

“Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me”

Jesus is speaking to his disciples and He says to them whoever wants to be a follower of Him must deny themselves and take up their cross daily to follow him. What is your cross? What do you have to sacrifice in order to follow Jesus better? That’s what He asks. He could be asking you to give up a habit or a relationship, and sometimes staying in these things could be easier.

Following Jesus wholeheartedly isn’t easy. It requires sacrifice. But Jesus gives a promise at the end that whatever you give up or sacrifice in the name of Jesus, he will have life. Jesus says pursuing the world or your own desires will only cause you to stray farther away from Him and separate yourself from eternal life with Him. However, you will save your life when you live to know Him and to follow Him.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Luke 9:23‭-‬24

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September 8, 2016

Heaven vs. Hell

“Heaven vs. Hell”

Who is the one God sent? Jesus is the one God has sent for us all. Jesus speaks the words of God because He is God. In this verse, we see the dynamic of God the Father and God the Son. The Father loves the Son and trusts Him to do his work, so He places everything in Jesus’ hands. Jesus’ hands bore the weight of all our sin.

When we believe in Jesus’ work of his hands (his death and resurrection) we have eternal life, or in other words, we will someday enter into Heaven. But when we reject that Jesus was the Savior of the world, or we choose to not follow him or believe in him, we will not have eternal life. When we do not allow ourselves to be saved by Jesus we keep God’s wrath on us.

Throughout our life, the debt of our sin will continue to accumulate until the day of our death when we are not promised Heaven, but must suffer an eternity separated from God in hell. A decision to trust and believe in Jesus solidifies your eternity in Heaven.

For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:34‭-‬36

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September 7, 2016

Good News for Everyone

“Good News for Everyone”

What’s so important about the Greeks? The Greeks are YOU and ME! In this verse God declared that both the Jews and the Greeks (this now means everyone in the world) can now turn to God in repentance of their sin and have faith in Jesus. Furthermore this verse signifies that the gospel is for everyone, and Jesus came to die and to save everyone so that we all may enter into a relationship with Him.

how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:20‭-‬21

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September 6, 2016

The Work of Belief

“The Work of Belief”

Here in the book of John, a crowd is following Jesus around and they ask him the question of what they can do to do the works that God requires (to get into Heaven). A perfectly normal question, and Jesus answers it very clearly. He says they must believe in the one He has sent. He, who? He, God.

In other words, all these people have to do to enter into Heaven is believe in Jesus Christ! If you believe in Jesus Christ, wholeheartedly.  Believe in His death on the cross and his resurrection than you can be 100% positive that when the day comes you will enter into Heaven and live a life eternally with Jesus.

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:28‭-‬29

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September 5, 2016

The Good News

“The Good News”

What is the good news? The good news is that Jesus has come into the world to save us and allow us to enter into the Kingdom of God through a real relationship with Jesus! Sin separates us from God, and because the debt of our sin is so great we cannot get back to God through our own sacrifices and merit.

Therefore, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to come down from Heaven and pay our debt for us on the cross. Therefore, to enter into God’s Kingdom, thanks to Jesus, all we have to do is repent of our sin and believe in the purpose and person of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14‭-‬15

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September 4, 2016

Christ Lives in Me

“Christ Lives in Me”

In this verse Paul says that he has been crucified with Christ, meaning that his old self (all his old beliefs and old ways) have died. He no longer finds life in the things of the world, but instead he says ‘Christ lives in me’. Paul tells us that now Jesus has become his ultimate authority and ruler of his life. He says he lives his life by faith in Jesus, believing that Jesus knows whats best for his life because He loved him and gave Himself for him.

This is also true for you! As you put your trust in Jesus acknowledging that He died for you and gave himself up for you, you allow Christ to live inside of you. Lastly, the verse says that Christ’s death is because of God’s abounding grace -- that if God was not gracious and did not extend grace to us then Christ would have died for nothing.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 2:20‭-‬21

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September 3, 2016

Repent and Turn

“Repent and Turn”

Throughout the Old Testament, God continually revealed to His people, through prophets, that the Messiah (savior of God’s people) would suffer. The Old Testament foreshadows the death of Jesus Christ, and furthermore proves that Jesus was indeed God.

The verse continues saying that we must repent (acknowledge ourselves as sinners and ask God’s forgiveness) and turn to God so that our sins may be wiped clean. For whomever believes in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus is cleansed from their sin. The Messiah in this verse is referencing Jesus Christ.

But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, Acts 3:18‭-‬20

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September 2, 2016

Saved by Grace, Not by Works

"Saved by Grace, Not by Works"

Paul is writing a letter to the Christians in the city of Ephesus (hence the name of the book in the Bible is Ephesians). Paul explains earlier in this chapter that all people “were dead in their transgressions and sins” but are now made alive in Christ.

In these verses, Paul is specifying how Christians are saved and have eternal life. By good works? Because we’ve earned it? No! He explains that we are saved by grace (God’s free, unearned favor and forgiveness of sins) and that we have this grace by faith in Jesus Christ, and that alone.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8‭-‬9

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