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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Love One Another

1 John 2:10-11; 4:7

He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth is brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not wither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

In light of the negative political campaign that is taking place in this country makes me wonder if these people are Christians and love God. If a survey were conducted I am certain that 99% to 100% would say that they believe in God; based on the tenor of the campaign leads me and others to wonder if that's true, but our scripture text encourages us to love our brothers and in doing do we walk in the light of God and is born of God because He is love.
Therefore, walking in the light of God there is no occasion for stumbling, while on the other hand all the hatred that is being spread around during this political campaign clearly says that some of our brothers and sisters are walking in darkness and is being blinded by the darkness of hatred and the quest for power.
What are we to do in the midst of such hatefulness that is being spread during this political campaign? We continue loving our brothers and sisters, pray for them, but exercise our civil rights as this is our Constitutional rights granted by the Constitution of this great country. Also, we who know the truth must educate and inform others of the truth.
Love brings unity whereas hate divides. 
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Who Is Jesus Christ?

Matthew 16:16

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

In previous discussions we've talked about faith and I was led to pose this question, Who is Jesus Christ and from out scripture text we find Simon Peter making a profound declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God who was prophesied many generations before coming to earth as man. Jesus Christ came to earth to be the Savior of the world as He was the promised Messiah with the mission of dying for the sins of the world thus becoming the Savior of the world. Yes Jesus is God's Son as He was the word made flesh; He was in the beginning with God and the world was made by Him (John 1:1-3). Jesus Christ is the light of the world who shines light on the darkness of sin and the separation it brings from God the Father (John 1:4). Jesus is the believer's propitiator who forgave and continues to forgive sin. Jesus Christ is believers' high priest as He continues to make intercessions for us.
Jesus Christ is the anointed One, God's only begotten Son and yes every believer can make the declaration like Simon Peter because upon accepting Jesus for who He is, then yes He becomes Lord and Savior as He was the only one found worthy to die for humanity's sins and restore the broken fellowship that sin caused.
Jesus Christ is God's Son the Savior of the world.
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Friday, August 24, 2012

The Importance Of Spiritual Separation

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a father unto you and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Today's topical discussion's focus is the importance of believers being spiritually separated from this world and its system as they are contrary to God who is holy and righteous. Another important reason for spiritual separation is that it allows us to draw near to God thus establishing a close intimate fellowship with Him which is what God wants. This is accomplished through prayer, worship, studying and meditating on God's Word, and giving our heartfelt service to God.
 Prayer is our communication with God and He loves to talk with His children as prayer should be a daily part of the Christian's life. Our worship is giving praise and thanksgiving to God for His goodness throughout the ages. As believers study and mediate on God's Word it reveals His ways and will for His people. The closer we draw to God gives believers a willingness to serve God through serving others.
Another importance to spiritual separation is that believers have the strength to persevere in faith by yielding control to the indwelling Holy Spirit. Believer can live in purity as we have been washed in the precious blood of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 7:1). Believers can love God with an undivided heart as Christ taught against trying to serve two masters; this is to say believers are to love God with his or her total being (Matthew 22:37). Believers are to display godly love (1 John 2:5) by showing compassion for others. Lastly, believers are spiritual light in a sin darkened world (John 17:21) as this gives believers unity in the spirit with God as all believers have been sanctified by God for His purpose.
We can conclude then, that spiritual separation is importance because in the sanctification process believers join God's family of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9); therefore, being in the family of God believers must be like Him.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Consequences Of Persistent Sin

For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.

The past several discussions have been on faith from one perspective or another and the results of one's faith, but today's discussion focus is on sin and its consequences as they are dire and leads to eternal separation from God.
Our scripture text refers to those who once believed and for some reason or another have turned away from God and continues to live in sin and in doing so the person is:
a.       guilty of trampling Jesus Christ under foot which is treating Him with disrespect and despising His life and death, which is no more than saying, You may have die for my sins and rose for my justification, but I'm going to do things my way.

b.      The person is saying that Christ's precious shed blood means nothing and shows an unworthy attitude and lacks loyalty to Christ for His atoning work. This begs the question, Do you really love God considering what He has done and continues to do in your life?

c.       Lastly, continuing in sin is to reject and insult the Holy Spirit who is God and His peace that comes into our hearts will depart from you (the former believer, Judge 16:20; Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Hebrews 3:14). The person runs the risk of reaching the point of no return (Hebrews 6:4-6; Deuteronomy 29:28-21).

Allow me to close today's discussion by saying there is a limit to God's patience (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; 1 Samuel 3:11-14), and when it is reached judgment is pronounced.
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Genuine Faith

1 John 5:1

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.

There are many adjectives that describe the word genuine, but true faith is all believers' belief that yes Jesus Christ is God's Son who was born of a woman to be the Savior of the world. Also, a solid belief that yes Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and that the Father and the Son worked together in redeeming man back to God the Father. Christ's Spirit the Holy Spirit resides in all believers to guide them on this Christian journey. True/genuine faith cannot be deterred or shaken by Satan and his masterful tactics because the believer faith is grounded in the Word of God and His promises; God is faithful to His promises.
These questions come to mind, How strong is your Faith? Is your faith strong enough to walk on the water as Peter did? Will your faith allow you to stand as Job did in spite of tremendous losses? Genuine faith says yes to all these questions because God is a rewarder of our faith in Him.
Let's close today's discussion by saying that our faith in Jesus our salvation is assured and spending eternity with Him is guaranteed.
What assurances to have through faith?
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Faith Defined

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I am being led by the Holy Spirit to continue our weekly discussions on faith; therefore, today's focus is the definition of faith as recorded in Scripture. Throughout this chapter are acts of faith that demonstrates total trust in God in every situation. Faith can also be defined as seeing the invisible and believing the impossible as stated in verse 3, simply because it requires a spiritual mind and eye to believe that the world was formed out of nothing and is sustained by an invisible God.
It is our faith in action that causes us to believe that the God we serve has no beginning nor ending. It requires a faith mind to believe that the Holy Spirit who is God impregnate the virgin Mary a human to bring forth His Son Jesus Christ who is God in the second person. It is the believer's faith in the spiritual realm (v. 1) which leads to the believer's righteousness (v.4) with a willingness to live according to God's holy laws. It is the believer's faith which causes the person to sojourn here on earth while knowing that we have a home not made by hands. It was the Old Testament saints' faith in God that was counted as righteousness and they too will spend eternity with Him. Lastly, it is faith that we believe God for who He is.
Faith is believing.
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Faith Worketh Patience

James 1:3-4

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

The message that James is trying to convey to readers both then and now is that just as sure as the sun rises each morning we will experience trials and tribulations in this life and we are to count it all joy (v.2) and the end result will be for our overall good. In many instances God uses these trials to test and grow our faith in Him as this will develop our perseverance and will enhance our godly character. This is because we will learn to trust God completely, develop a deeper and closer relation with Him of love, obedience and reverence.

With that being said, the question now becomes, How do faith work patience? Patience in itself is the courage and ability to wait on the Lord because His time is different from man's time. God's time is perfect and all our needs and some wants are met. It is noteworthy to say that God knows the extent of our faith and trials are sometimes used to prove our faith strength to us. Who can forget Job and his situation? God knew the extent of Job's faith (Job 1-2). The end result Job was restored and with more than he had before his suffering began.
Patience is a virtue.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Steadfast Faith

Colossians 2:5

For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Some of the adjectives used to describe steadfast is unwavering, resolute, firm, constant, dependable, and faithful. Paul was encouraging the Colossians believers to remain steadfast in their faith in Christ even though he wasn't present with them in the flesh, but was always with them in the spirit. This was because the Colossians believers as do all believers sometimes need encouraging from our mature Christian brothers and sisters.
Christians both then and now are engaged in a spiritual warfare designed by Satan and his army to impede kingdom building and the spread of the gospel of Christ. One of Satan's tactics is placing doubt in the minds of all who he can deceive with his lies. Therefore, Christians may become discouraged, but with encouragement from others and with the aid of the indwelling Holy Spirit believers can remain committed to Christ and His message. To remain steadfast in our faith all believers are to recognize Satan's tactics for what they are and stay focus on our mission and message, which is Christ Jesus.

Christ left His Spirit to aid believers in standing firm in faith and persevere until He return for His church. Therefore, all believers are outfitted with God's armour of protection so that we will remain steadfast in faith.
Steadfastness in Christ is the believer's unwavering commitment to Him.
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Grow In Faith

2 Thessalonians 1:3

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all towards each other aboundeth.

When one think of the word "grow" we think in terms of something or someone increasing in size and or knowledge or even in one's steadfastness in his or her faith.
In our lesson text we have the Apostle Paul and his companions praising their fellow laborers in Christ for their perseverance in Christ in spite of the many persecutions they were facing proclaiming the Word of God. Many believers today face oppositions when proclaiming God's Word; therefore, we must allow our faith to work as we trust God's promise never to leave nor forsake us. He promised to be with His people as we carry the good news of the gospel the world over.
If the question were raise, How does one grow in faith? One's faith grows as the person stand firm on God's Word and never doubt what God says even when troubles around you is mounting-just stand. Growing in faith is a testament to one's trust in God and a committed relationship to Him. There must be daily Scripture reading and prayer as we commune with God. It is noteworthy to say that our faith grows as we learn to rely more on God in every test situation. The severity of trails is sometimes seen as faith testers all designed to grow our faith.
Are you growing in faith?
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Walk By Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

This month's devotional deals with living by faith in God as we will discuss topics that will aid in our understanding of every Christian's walk of faith. Faith is defined as seeing things as though they were or seeing things through our spiritual eyes. Simply put, God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). God's Spirit lives in every believer to make real His presence.
With that being said, one's faith walk is seeing God for who He is and what He has done in the lives of all mankind. Salvation comes through one's faith in Jesus Christ as it is predicated upon God's grace which He freely gives. Faith also includes believing God is the creator and sustainer of the universe who gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the sins of the world. Faith also incorporates the belief that Jesus Christ is God's Son, the second person in the triune God who has no beginning and no ending.
Allow me to close today's discussion by saying that all believers have a personal testimony of his or her faith walk with Christ. This is not exclusive to being saved, but to the trials of life, and being delivered rests solely on one's faith in God and His power to deliver.
Believe and walk by faith.
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