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Monday, March 31, 2008

Faith In God

According to the Bible, without faith, it is impossible to please God. So we need to have faith in God in order to please Him. The Bible said, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, that's why it's so important to go to church on Sundays and listen to the preaching of God's Word. We need also to read our Bible daily because that is where you will learn more about the Word of God. My faith in God didn't grow instantly. I had to undergo a lot of trials in life before my faith went stronger. God used those trials to mold me and transformed me into the person He wants me to be. When trouble comes into our lives, we sometimes feel as if we've been hit by a strong typhoon. We feel desperation and then we wonder. Why is this happening to me? One possibility is that God is using a painful experience to get our attention and to turn to Him and trust Him to help us. Is God using pain in your life to lovingly persuade you to change and deepen your faith in Him? Trials are not easy but if we let God work in our lives and completely trust in His Son Jesus, then new growth will result and our faith in God will go deeper.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Was Made...

I was made to praise you Lord
I was made to glorify Your name
In every circumstances
To find a chance to thank You
I was made to love You
I was made to worship at Your feet
And to obey You Lord
I was made for You!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Praying On the Armor of God

READ | Ephesians 6:13-18

Prepare yourself for each day's spiritual challenges by making the following prayer part of your morning routine:

"Dear Lord, as I get out of bed today, I know I'm stepping onto a battlefield. But I also know You've given me everything I need to stand firm. So in the power of Your Holy Spirit, I put on the armor of God:

"First, I place the helmet of salvation on my head. Protect my mind and imagination. Guard my eyes, allowing no sin to creep in. Focus my thoughts on the things of God. Let the breastplate of righteousness keep my heart and emotions safe. I pray that I won't be governed by my feelings, but by truth. Wrap Your Word around me like a belt. And safeguard me from error. I put on the sandals of peace to guide my steps. Plant my feet in Your truth. Empower me to stand firm against attack.

"Next, I take up the shield of faith. Protect me from Satan's fiery arrows. Place me shoulder to shoulder with Your army to oppose the Devil's schemes. Finally, I take up the sword of the Spirit, Your Word. Help me to read the Bible in a fresh, exciting way so I will always be ready to deflect attacks and pierce hearts with Your truth.

"I know I'll face assaults today, Lord. But You've empowered me to stand firm. Give me strength for the battle today."
Without God's armor, you're as vulnerable as a soldier who goes into battle wearing only a bathing suit. Get dressed for success!


Monday, March 24, 2008

The Message of the Resurrection

READ | Matthew 28:1-10

The apostles' dreams were shattered. The man they had loved and followed for three years, the one they believed was the Son of God, was dead. But then the two Marys disrupted their hopelessness with incredible news: Christ had risen from the dead, just as He'd promised!

As believers, we can certainly imagine the excitement Jesus' disciples must have felt. For them, the resurrection's message was encouraging. The empty tomb proved that everything Jesus said was true. In Matthew 17:22-23, the Lord told His disciples, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day." If Jesus could make and live out this claim, then He's clearly sufficient to keep all of His promises.

In John 3:17, Christ said He had not come to condemn the world. He came to save all who believed in Him (Mark 16:16; Romans 8:1). Through His death on the cross, Jesus purchased our salvation. The empty tomb is our guarantee that we're eternally secure in Him. Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven, and is seated at God's right hand. The Father accepted His payment on our behalf.

Christ's death bought our freedom from sin and secured us a place with Him in Paradise. In John 14:2, He says, "In My Father's house are many dwelling places ... I go to prepare a place for you." That's a promise to celebrate.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Reason for Christ's Sacrifice

READ | John 1:19-29
The Jews eagerly awaited the Messiah's arrival. The problem was they were looking for someone who could alleviate the pressure of Roman rule. But God was not interested in temporary relief from an oppressive government. No, He wanted to offer the whole world freedom from the bondage of sin.

John the Baptist understood the Messiah's role on earth. In John 1:29, he saw Jesus Christ approaching and he called out, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John the Baptist's words described how the Lord would carry out God's redemptive plan.

In the Old Testament, sacrifice was an integral part of God's plan. The fourth chapter of Genesis describes how Abel offered God an animal sacrifice on his behalf. In Exodus 12, Moses orders the captive Israelites in Egypt to protect their households from the plague by putting lamb's blood on each doorpost. And Leviticus 16 describes how Mosaic Law established an annual Day of Atonement. On that day, the high priest would offer a blood sacrifice for the whole nation.

God made Jesus Christ a blood sacrifice for the entire world. He warned His people in Malachi 1:8 that a sick animal was unacceptable. Sacrificial lambs had to be unblemished and healthy. The One who would redeem the world had to be perfect and sinless. Only Jesus, who was God in flesh, could save mankind from the oppression of sin.


Friday, March 21, 2008

The Necessity of Christ's Blood

Romans 5:8-11
[8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
[9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
[10] For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
[11] And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.


For someone unfamiliar with the Church, all of our talk about the blood of Christ might seem disturbing. But, apart from His blood, there is no Christianity. As Hebrews 9:22 says, "…without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."

God mandated that redemption was available only if our sin was transferred to a perfect substitute. In the Old Testament, an Israelite would lay hands on the head of an unblemished lamb and confess. Then, he presented the animal to a priest for sacrifice. Today, believers are redeemed through forgiveness. But our sacrifice is a sinless Savior who willingly took our guilt and penalty upon Himself.

Every person who accepts Jesus' death as substitutionary and receives Him as Savior is declared no longer guilty of sin. God condemned the sinful soul to death. But, when He looks upon Jesus' sacrifice and sees the paid penalty, He declares us righteous. Christ's shed blood lets us enter God's presence. We experience unity with Him in prayer, knowing He listens when we speak. The harmony between God and mankind was interrupted in Eden. But it is restored in each new believer.

Through Christ's blood, believers are forgiven, justified, and reconciled. These words actually describe a simple process. When we accept that a blameless Jesus died to pay our sin penalty, we enter an eternal relationship with God. John 3:16 says Jesus' sacrifice applies to "whoever believes." This includes you, if you will just believe.


Friday, March 14, 2008

God's Protection and Peace in Life's Storms

Philippians 4:6-7
[7] And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
[8] Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


Emotional storms of inner turmoil are difficult to handle. Grief, fear, and worry can cause us great distress. To see us through life's difficulties, God provides His protection and peace. But protection doesn't mean that troubles won't occur.

Jesus allowed the disciples to experience the fear and anxiety of being in a boat on a raging sea. He permitted them to suffer because He had something far more important to teach them. He wanted the disciples to recognize their own helplessness, His sufficiency, and their dependence on Him.

God's peace is not dependent upon the calming of our circumstances or the removal of external pressures. It doesn't mean the absence of conflict either. His promised peace comes in three ways. First, Jesus Himself becomes our peace. Through His death, He reconciled us to the Father. And we are no longer His enemies (Romans 5:1). In God, we can be at rest. Second, when we're in a right relationship with the Father, we have the ability to live at peace with our fellow man (Ephesians 2:14). Through God, we have the power to choose forgiveness, to keep no record of wrongs, and to show love to our enemies. The third way His promised peace comes is through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. It enables us to experience an increasing sense of inner tranquility (Galatians 5:22-23).

God provides our spiritual needs to both endure and grow stronger in our Christian faith. What challenges do you face? Are you using what God has provided?


Friday, March 7, 2008

Facing Our Fears

Fear can creep into a person's life and wraps itself around his mind and heart. This happens so subtly that he doesn't recognize how anxiety has affected his decision-making, his health, and his spirit. Ultimately, many people miss God's best. Their lack of faith keeps them from stepping out to do His will.

The fear may seem unimportant at first. But left unchecked, it can interfere with our lifestyle. Physically, tension may keep us from relaxing and enjoying the best each day has to offer. Constant anxiety can lead to health problems. Our mind can become clouded by fear, which can limit what we're willing to think about and consider. Once that happens, our dreams and creativity will almost certainly be stifled.

Most dangerous to our spiritual lives is the mental paralysis that often accompanies unchecked fear. Unless it is submitted to God, a single anxiety can easily rule over us and color our attitude with a general sense of uneasiness. We become indecisive and worry that we will make poor decisions. This mindset entraps us, as we try to avoid anything that might cause fear. As a result, we stop growing as Christians, and our work and family life suffers.

This is a worst-case scenario. But, fear can affect you in many ways. When you attempt to ignore your anxiety or work around it, you aren't placing complete trust in God and following Him wholeheartedly. Make an honest assessment of your life, and ask the Lord to reveal instances where fear is holding you back.

Psalm 26:1-6
[1] Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
[2] Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
[3] For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
[4] I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
[5] I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
[6] I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Too Busy Not To Pray

Luke 5:15-16
15
] But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
[16] And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Have you ever skipped your daily prayer time because you felt too busy? When we surrender quiet time for something else, we're making a statement about our priorities. It's a not-so-subtle way of saying, "Jesus, my calendar is more important to me than You are today. I'll catch up with You later."

We all do this from time to time. It's so easy to be pulled out of the prayer closet. We think we can "make up" the time later because God will always be there. We seem to have taken His eternal, indwelling presence for granted.

We fail to realize that our quiet moments with the Lord empower us to face the challenges of each day. So, the busier our day, the more time we should spend in prayer preparing for it.

The Bible clearly shows that Jesus Himself protected His private time with the Father. No one had more on his mind, had more things to do, or was in greater demand than Jesus. And yet, His busiest days are the times we see Him pulling away from the crowds in order to pray.

Is prayer the first thing you remove from your daily agenda when the schedule fills up? Protect that time every day at all cost. Remember, Jesus is God. If He considered prayer necessary to prepare for His busiest days, then it is absolutely essential for the rest of us.