Friday, April 27, 2012

Stand On The Word!

Reading from the Book of James 1:21-25
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls
We see from James 1:21 that the Word has the power to save us form a life of sin, but only as it is received and welcomed in our hearts. When we pay wholehearted attention to God's Word, it becomes implanted and rooted in us.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
If you and I are to walk in the power of God, we need to heed the advice of verse 22 to become doers of the Word and not just hearers only. Otherwise we deceive ourselves by reasoning that is contrary to the truth.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
It is the truth, and the truth alone, that sets us free and keeps us free. In order for it to work in our lives, and in order to receive God's promises from the Word, we must be responsible and obedient to the Word. We cannot try to excuse away our sins and weaknesses. Instead, we must become bondservants to God and not to our human nature or to other people or things.
God is your Helper. He is your Healer. He has a personalized plan for your life. Make sure you know what it is, then begin to walk in obedience to the truth one step at a time. Obeying the Word requires consistency and diligence. It cannot be "hit and miss." You cannot just try it to see if it works, but you must have a dedication and commitment to obey the Word whatever the outcome.
Keep your mind tuned into God's Word more than anything else. Let His Word become planted deep into your heart and listen to what it tells you. Obey Him and He will bless you. Stand on the Word!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Strong, Courageous & Firm!

Reading form the Book of Deuteronomy 31:6-8
Deuteronomy6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” 7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”Moses told the Israelites to be strong, courageous and firm. Do you know what it means to be firm? It means to stick to what you know is right without letting anything or anyone talk you out of it".

Moses told Joshua that he was to be strong, courageous and firm because he was to lead the people into the land that the Lord had given them. He assured him that the Lord would never fail him or forsake him and that God would go with him to lead him to victory. God makes that same promise to me and you today.

Sometimes we think that we have to wait until we are no longer afraid before we try to do something. But we probably will not accomplish much for God, for others, or even for ourselves if we wait until all our fear is gone. We need to face our fear with courage and do some things despite our fear.

It is comforting to know that everywhere we go, God has been before us to prepare the way. Whatever your situation, know that God promises to go with you. Wherever you go, whatever your circumstances, ask God to go before you and prepare the way. He will do it and then all you have to do is follow. Be strong, be courageous and be firm!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Empty Tomb

Reading from the Book of John 20:11-18
John 20:11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher") 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. 

The tomb where they laid His body is empty. The stone has been rolled away. The Son of Man has ascended and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. This we know. This we believe. It is to this great truth that we bear witness.

We can believe this truth. This truth is the most important of all truths.Our mission will not be completed until Jesus Himself returns and reigns in righteousness and justice. Yet we undertake this mission with a sense of that same invincible hope that inspired those who peered with amazement into an empty tomb, saw the risen Savior face to face, and then proceeded to turn their world upright.

I pray that you and your family will be especially blessed this resurrection Sunday, as I say to you: He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!  Hallelujah!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Death On A Cross

Reading from the Book of Isaiah 53:3-7
3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

Jesus did not seem to let the fact that He was despised and rejected bother Him. He certainly did not complain about it. I am sure He felt intense pain, just as you and I do when we are rejected, but He did not allow it to prevent Him from fulfilling His purpose.

The beatings that He received, the wounds that shed His blood, the chastisement and ridicule He endured, was all for His children, that we believe in Him and turn to Him.

If condemnation is filling our consciences, it is not from God. He sent Jesus to die for us to pay the price for our sins. Jesus bore our sin and the guilty condemnation that accompanies sin. We should get rid of the sin and not keep the guilt. Once God breaks the yolk of sin from us, He removes the guilt too. He is faithful and just to forgive all of our sins and to continuously cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

His "death on a cross" with the shedding of His blood is the way to remove all our sin.