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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Redeemed Of The Lord

Psalm 34:22

The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants; and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.
The sub topic of this Psalm is one of praise and trust in the Lord and our lesson verse supports that topic in that the Psalmist offering praises unto the Lord for His redeeming powers. The phrase none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate is one of trust with a sure promise of God's faithfulness to His people. This also incorporates God's protective care for His people.
God is faithful to His promises; He promised a Messiah; Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior came at the Father's appointed time. God promised to be with His people. He was and is now as He will be throughout the ages. God's Spirit the Holy Spirit dwells in every believers to lead, guide and protect as we navigate this faith journey while here on earth.
The question now becomes, what was Christ's mission? Christ's mission was to die for the sins of the world. Christ was the slain Lamb of God who was slain from the foundation of the world to be the sacrificial lamb. Therefore, Christ had no problem taking on the sin of the world redeeming man from sin. In doing so all who believe in Him become the redeemed of God and have been reconciled back to God by God the Son and is kept by God the Holy Spirit.
What a God!
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Friday, March 25, 2016

Christ's Seven Last Words

Luke 23:34
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

I was led by the Holy Spirit to reflect on today being Crucifixion Friday the day our Lord went to the cross atoning the sins of the world. Around the world many will be will be in worship service reflecting on the work of Christ. For me I say thank You Lord for doing what I could not do.
Take notice of Christ's first words and what were His last works and the significance of each. Christ began by asking God to forgiven them (humanity) for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:34). His second word, Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (43), third word, "Woman, behold thy son" (John 19:26),"Behold thy mother" (John 19:27). Fourth word "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"(Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Fifth Word, "I thirst" (John 19:28). Sixth word, "It is finished" (19:30). Christ's seventh word, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"(Luke 23:46).
Just as Christ finished His work here on earth providing salvation to all who believe, and as believers we died with Christ on Crucifixion Friday and rose with on Resurrection Sunday morning to a life of righteousness. Believers, when this earthy life is over our spirit returns to the Father to live in His heavenly mansion not built by hands.
That said, we owe our all to Christ our Redeemer who liveth (Job 19:25).
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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Crucified With Christ"

Galatians 2:20

I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the  faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Our scripture text makes a powerful statement and revelation to all believers; therefore, the question becomes, what does it mean to be crucified with Christ? It means that every believer have died to sin and now live in the righteousness of Christ who paid our sin-debt. Believers, we are no longer enemies of Christ, but instead are in fellowship with Him and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior. All of our sins were nailed to the cross with Christ to be forgiven and never remembered anymore, and for this we say thank You Lord.
Being crucified with Christ means that we as believers die daily to sin and temptations and the life we now live is by faith through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As believers, we cannot walk this faith walk alone, because Satan is busy trying to impede our heavenly journey. Being crucified with Christ means that the things we normally would do we no longer do them because we are new creatures in Christ and seek to live to please God.
Being crucified with Christ, all believers rose with Him on Resurrection Sunday saying I walk in the newness of Christ as I am the righteousness of Him and have dedicated my life to holy living so the world will see Him in me.
Lastly, being crucified with Christ means that all believers is saying thank You God for giving You Son to die for me in love and thank You Jesus for dying for my sins and in doing so I have a right standing with the Father.
Being crucified with Christ, His Spirit the Holy Spirit lives within.
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Friday, March 18, 2016

Nurture Others In Love

1 Thessalonians 2:7

...We went gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children.

Paul is continuing his encouragements of the believers at Thessalonica by using the analogy of a nurse caring for her children. Paul exhibited his caring love for all those he encountered on his missionary journeys and Thessalonica was no exception.
Believers for all generations are encouraged to model their nurturing after Paul's example, because in doing so we are emulating the love and care of God. God is love and shows His love and compassionate care daily. He loved us when we didn't love Him in return.
Another note on nurturing others in love, missionaries show genuine love as they minister and proclaim the gospel message of Christ to many in un-churched nations around the world. Many of the people in these areas respond in kind with love and care for the missionaries.
Our nurture begins with our witnessing Christ to the unsaved and then providing support aiding the new convert as he or she navigate this Christian journey. Mature believers warn the new convert of the pitfalls he/she is sure to encounter for being associated with Christ.
How do mature believers nurture new converts? This is accomplished through Bible study; prayer and meditating with the new convert on regular basics. Mature Christians' acts as a mentor to new converts and this continues as the end goal is to make disciples of the new convert.
Nurturing in love has a pebble affect in the faith community that promotes church growth.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Speak To Please God

1 Thessalonians 2:3-4

For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile; But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

The apostle Paul is speaking to the Christians as Thessalonica encouraging them to speak the truth which pleases God. Paul used himself as an example of how he spoke when he preached the gospel. Paul realized that God has entrusted him with the gospel and it was his duty to speak the truth. Speaking the truth was to please God and not men.
It is noteworthy to say that when proclaiming the gospel, God knows the heart whereas man sees the outward and hears what is spoken. It behooves the hearer to know the truth of God's Word. This is accomplished by studying God's Word for oneself.
Speaking the truth gives rises to the speaker's trustworthiness and the person gains a reputation of being truthful. Being truthful and trust worthy emulates God as He is truth and love. Whatever God says or promises can be trusted.
These questions come to mind, when speaking who are you seeking to please, man or God? Pleasing man is short lived while pleasing God is everlasting. Speaking to please man oftentimes man will want to truth circumvented, what must the speaker do?
Speak the truth which pleases God.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Earthly Or Eternal

1 John 2:17

...The world passeth away and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

In today's society it appears as though it has become more materialist than every before; today's text issues a stern warning about putting earthly things before God and His will. The question now becomes, which do you choose earthly things or the things of God?  God is everlasting so is His salvation; therefore, I encourage all to seek God first, commit to doing His will and He will provide all the earthly things that you need.
All who believe are urged to separate themselves from this world and it immoral standards as they are contrary to God standards and His righteousness. This is because this world is currently being controlled by Satan and we are no match for him in our own strength. Satan make things of this world look glorious and everlasting; rest assure they are temporary and will be cast away as chaff in a fire. Only God and the things of Him last forever.
Reflect with me on many of the things that existed generations ago no longer exist; then what does this say for the world and the things therein? It will pass away; when Christ return He then will establish a new earth and a new heaven as the old earth would have passed away.
The final decision rests upon this question, do I want to spend eternity with God or in the lake of fire with Satan; a heavenly or an earthly choice?
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Friday, March 4, 2016

Sealed By The Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation to whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

Yesterday's focus discussion was Having God's Seal; today's focus is being Sealed by the Holy Spirit.
First, the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead who is as equally God as is the Father and the Son. Second, the Holy Spirit dwells in all believers as He aids believers in becoming and remaining holy temples of God. He plays a vital role in all believers' lives after redemption. He is the convicting voice of all believers. Third, the Holy Spirit is the seal or mark of God that every believer has (v. 13).
It is the Holy Spirit who provides the first installment of believers' inheritance to God (v. 14). It is the Holy Spirit who gives wisdom and reveals the truth of God's Word (v.17). He is God. It is the Holy Spirit who helps believers draw near to God. It is the Holy Spirit who aid in the time of trouble as we travel through dark valley days (Psalm 23:4). It is the Holy Spirit who gives believers the power to boldly witness Christ (Acts 1:8). It is the Holy Spirit who gives unity and aid in maintaining that unity in the faith community as we grow in Christ-likeness (Ephesians 4:13-14). Lastly, it is the Holy Spirit who help in prayer and believers' spiritual warfare that we are engaged in (Ephesians 6:18).
Given the Holy Spirit activities in the lives of believers it is fitting that He is our sealer.
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