Friday, February 16, 2018

The Love of Christ

The Love of Christ
Romans 8:31-39 KJV
 If God be for us, who can be against us?   

To separate means to disconnect, detach, breakup, split, parting (of the ways), estrangement, rift, rupture, breach, divide. Paul declares Christ’s love for us by posing this question; "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" The fear of separation from God is not possible to those who are Christ’s. If we are truly born again by the Spirit of God, we can know and experience the boundless, unwavering love of Christ.  What security this brings to the believer. There is no need to ever fear the past, the present or the future––– we are secure and protected, in the love of Christ.

God assures us that the hard things in life are working for our good and not against us. He encourages us that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Romans 8:37). God may allow the trials of life to come so that He may use them in our lives for His glory. He will never desert us, for He is closest to us when we go through the most difficult times of our life. We, my friend, are victorious in Christ. We need not fear what may come into our lives because–––He gives the victory with no conditions attached.

Believers can experience defeat, discouragement or depression at times. Our God is concerned with the trials we face and what could cause us to give way to frustration or despair. All our suffering will one day be gone and we will be with Christ in glory. The best is yet to come for us and we are to anticipate His coming! What hope we have in Him who will one day take us home to heaven. This should cause our hearts to rejoice, knowing; victory is ours through Christ, who loved us enough, to die in our place. We are His beloved and nothing can separate us from His deep affectionate love.

Lord, thank You for Your sacrificial love shown on the cross of Calvary.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Challenging Christ

Challenging Christ
Luke 10:25-29

The lawyer in Luke 10:25-29 was known as an expert in the Talmud or the Law. He was trying to test Jesus and so cuts to the chase in asking Christ an extremely important question, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answers with a question, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” The lawyer is smart and attempts to challenge Jesus. He answers with, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

This could sound as though Jesus was teaching salvation by works and what the lawyer could do to inherit eternal life. If you want to be saved under the law, then do this. It is impossible for us to be saved by keeping the law. We cannot keep the law perfectly that’s why Christ came and died for our sins on the cross. We can do nothing to inherit eternal life it has been done completely, totally and entirely by Christ for us.

The lawyer was desiring to justify himself and prove confidence in the law. He asked, “Who is my neighbor?” He skipped the part about loving God and went directly to the neighbor. This was a clever trap that the lawyer set for Christ. He was trying to make the law achievable. Jesus upheld the absolute meaning of the law trying to get the lawyer to admit his failure in upholding the law flawlessly to the point of perfection. Can we love God or our neighbor purely and wholly? No, we are but sinners, hopeless before Him. If it were not for His mercies made new every morning (Lamentations 3:21-24), we could have no possibility of entering heaven. If it were not for His grace (Romans 3:20-24), to justify us by faith, we would be utterly and entirely without hope. Christ is the assurance of our eternal life.

Lord, thank You for my eternal security.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Have You Failed?

Have You Failed? 
I Samuel 15:24 
And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Benjamin Franklin once stated, “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them!” There is an example of that truth found in (I Samuel 15:3,9). Saul, the first king of Israel, had been given a divine command but he failed to obey. When he was confronted by the prophet of God, Samuel, with his disobedience, Saul refused to admit his guilt. After continued rebuke, the king finally confessed, “I have sinned,” but with his confession, he gave an excuse for empty words (I Samuel 15:24). Because of his improper response concerning his sin, Saul’s kingdom was ultimately destroyed. It is foolish to indulge in our own lust and try to make a useless attempt to conceal our guilt.

Another example of one of God’s men failing in his duty as king was David. As Israel’s King, David reflected on his own guilt and afflicted state. Sleep escaped him, his energy was drained by emotional despair and he was feeling the chastisement of the Lord upon him. David’s problem was that he regarded the words of the Lord with little value and treated them lightly (II Samuel 12:9). Undoubtedly this meant that he had an improper view of God’s Word and of God Himself.

What is your view of God? Do you fear Him? Have you expressed your guilt before Him and repented of your sin? Have you experienced God’s grace not only in salvation but in repentance and restoration? Such great conviction and strength are given in Psalm 51 where we find David’s confession of sin and restoration of his spirit to the Lord. David could have easily thought that God had given up on him but in His great mercy and grace, God lovingly forgave him. 

Lord, I confess I am guilty before You and ask for forgiveness of my sin.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Capturing Our Happiness

Capturing Our Happiness
The Christian life is meant to be filled with brilliant passion, an overwhelming love of Christ and exceeding great joy. We find these pleasures articulated throughout Scripture and fortunately we do not have to rely on secondhand information to claim them. So much of our life is spent thinking about how we feel or about how someone else thinks or feels. The famous, scholarly or wealthy people without Christ are not to be our role model for happiness or godliness (II Peter 1:3). The exemplary life of our Lord Jesus Christ written in the pages of Scripture is our ultimate example.

Where does our happiness come from? How can we know that we are truly happy? A person can’t even begin to say that they have discovered true happiness if they are ignorant of the Word of God. One dictionaries' definition of happiness reads: Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. As we search through Scripture we find what makes us joyful and gives to us the unrelenting experience of genuine contentment. The Apostle Paul wrote of his exceeding joy in sharing the gospel with those that he came in contact with. He had great joy because of those that prayed for him and brought him immense comfort (Philippians 1:3-11). His encouragement to them was these words, “Rejoice in the Lord always . . .” (Philippians 4:4).  James 1:2 states, “Count it all joy when you (fall into divers temptations) meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces (patience) or steadfastness.” Absolute, notable joy is in knowing Christ, loving the people called by His name and sharing His Gospel.

The pleasures of this world are often fleeting, but true joy is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and comes as a result of living by faith in Christ. Capturing happiness is founded on the Gospel of Christ, His death, burial and resurrection our foundation, the strength of our joy, and the hope of our salvation.

Lord, my joy, and happiness is in knowing You.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Human Worth

Human Worth
I Corinthians 7:23 
You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.

In the beginning lines of the book, “The Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, he writes, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”. Life in France was hard for the third class people, the peasants and therefore becomes a springboard to the revolt. The upper class, the nobility took advantage of the lower class people believing their only worth was as a means of acquiring more money through taxation. The aristocracy (a group regarded as privileged or superior in a particular sphere) were extravagant, wasteful, and excessive. This left the lower class people of France to virtually starve, beg or rebel.

The French Revolution then erupts with full force in July 1789. The storming of the Bastille was not to free any prisoners but to get ammunition and arms. This fortress was traditionally used by French kings to imprison subjects that didn’t agree with them politically. The Bastille was, therefore, a representation of the oppressive nature of the monarchy. This event was the start of the French Revolution and the eventual fall of the French monarchy.

The measure of human worth, this must have meant something to our Lord. He left the magnificence, grandeur, and riches of His eternal home to come to this sin-cursed earth. He suffered an excruciatingly painful death, defeated death, then rose from the grave on the third day. He ascended back into the splendor, majesty, and glories of heaven and now sits on the right-hand throne of God. We were bought with an indescribable price, Christ’s precious blood a price too unusual or extreme that it may adequately be described. 

Lord, thank You for the ultimate sacrifice, Your life for mine.

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Historical and a Biblical Guarantee

A Historical and a Biblical Guarantee
In the beginning days of becoming an independent nation, the 13 Colonies were determined to break the bonds of England’s insistent control. During the time of the American Revolution, Pierre Eugene du Simitiere was responsible for developing the design for the Great Seal along with our nation’s motto. The motto was written in Latin and read,  E Pluribus Unum meaning: “Out of many, one,”  “One out of many” or One from many.”  The Latin term Annuit coeptis reads, “He approves the undertaking” and Novus order seclorum is interpreted, “New order of the ages.” This was adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782. 

The saying, E Pluribus Unum was our countries’ first motto and stayed our first motto until 1956 when Congress passed an act adopting “In God We Trust” as our official motto. The words, E Pluribus Unum are written on the Great Seal of the United States and is still used today in our present-day currency and the Great Seal as a national emblem. It appears on official documents such as passports, the seal of the President, Vice President, Congress, House of Representatives, and the seal of the Untied States Supreme Court. 

A seal is a guarantee, a formal promise or assurance (generally written words) that certain conditions will be fulfilled. The greatest seal of all and of the utmost importance is the seal Christ has placed upon us. 2 Corinthians 1:22 says, “who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” There is one significant promise or guarantee Christ has given to us and that is He has promised to save us and give us eternal life. When we by faith, believe or put our trust in Him, He miraculously cleanses us from all sin, adopts us into His family and gives us everlasting life. Sola fide ("by faith alone”),  Sola gratia (“by grace alone”) through Solus Christus (“through Christ alone”) are important Latin words which deem us free and biblically guarantee liberty.

Lord,  my faith is in You.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Will I Hear?

Will I Hear?

 Psalm 85:8 
I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints:

The Lord is encouraging us to listen to His Word and His heart when He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The soul that hears the Lord and receives the words of comfort from His lips is truly blessed. The divine whispers of God cannot be compared to the complaints, protests, and grievances of this sinful world. When our ears listen to the voice of God and dismiss the voices from without, we are more inclined to hear what truth teaches. To have our eyes closed to exterior things and matters of this world and have our eyes fixed upon Christ, brings true contentment, rest and peace. 

The Lord gives understanding to the hearer and His Words are strength and life to those that listen. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). We are to write the Words of God on our heart (Proverbs 3:3) and meditate (Psalms 63:6) on them earnestly for temptation will come and we will need strength to overcome. We are to walk before the Lord in truth that we may be defended against the attacks of evil.

Are you listening and attentive to the truth of the Word of God? Is there a longing for knowledge and wisdom to live your life on His behalf?  In the still of the night, does He hear your prayer or do the clamorous voices of this world drown out His sweet voice?

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee (Psalm 143:8).

Lord, I want to hear Your Word and heed what it is saying.