Tag Archive | Jesus

Take heart! We can have peace in a troubled world.

In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:2-4)

My dear children, in this world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world. In Me you may find your peace. My peace is available to you at all times, through all the trials of this life. Though the storms rage around you, you need only look within to find your tranquility. I am in you and you are in Me, just as I am in My Father and My Father is in Me.

Turn to Me, and I will calm the wind and the waves that threaten you. Though you are weak, you may find your strength in Me. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid, for I am with you always. I do not leave you alone as orphans. My Spirit lives in your heart.

When you accept Me as your Savior, you are born of God. When you believe that I am the Son of God, you too, in faith, will overcome the world. Live victoriously in your faith. Show yourself to be My children by loving each other as I have loved you. When you obey My commands, you will remain in My love. My joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.

My peace and joy are available to you, even in the trials and turmoil this world brings. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. Remain in Me and I will remain in you. My love, joy and peace will remain in you as well. Let My joy be a shining light in a world full of darkness. Radiate My love to a broken world.

See also John 14:27, John 15:4, John 15:9-13.

Justified

I absolutely love how God works! He is so amazing! For example, in my previous blog post entitled “No Sin is Too Big,” I quoted from 1 Corinthians 6:11, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

After I posted it, I wondered, what does the word “justified” really mean? I think I know what it means, but I also considered, do all my blog readers understand the meaning of the word? After a few hours, the topic faded from my mind. Until two days later, on Sunday, God generously provided me with two succinct learning opportunities regarding the concept of justification.

My first routine activity every Sunday morning is to select a flavorful K-cup and brew a cup of Joe with my new Keurig machine. Next, I plop down in my favorite recliner, grab the remote control, and turn on the TV to either the Inspiration channel or the Lifetime channel and watch Dr. Charles Stanley, from In Touch Ministries, preach two sermons back to back.

In his first sermon today titled Your Convictions about Eternal Security, Dr. Stanley explained that the word “justified” means we are declared “no longer guilty” by the blood of Jesus. His atoning, sacrificial death on the cross reconciled us into a right relationship with God. When we confess our sin, God is faithful and “just” to forgive us and declare us no longer guilty because He sent His Son, Jesus, as a living sacrifice to pay the death penalty for our sin. One of the Scripture passages for this message came from Romans 5:6-10. Dr. Stanley’s In Touch Sermon 06/26/16

I cracked a smile, pleased that God had designed a way to answer my justification question so swiftly. After watching Dr. Stanley’s sermons, I showered, dried my hair, slapped on some makeup, and got dressed for church.

At Radiant Church this morning, we enjoyed an excellent message by guest pastor, Curt Anes. Romans Road Chapter 5 – Sermon He started his sermon with a definition of the word—you guessed it—justified. When I heard the word, I grinned, even more pleased that God had orchestrated the universe on this day in such a way that I would receive more clarity on the word I had questioned a couple days prior.

Pastor Anes offered a similar definition, “Justified is a divine benefit we have in Christ as Christ followers. We are declared righteous in God’s sight because of what Jesus Christ did for us.”

Supporting it with Scripture, Pastor Anes read Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

Next Pastor Anes read from Romans 5:8-9 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!”

Also, Romans 3:22-24 says, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

In summary, when we confess Jesus as our Savior and invite Him into our hearts, His blood washes us whiter than snow, and He declares us no longer guilty, but righteous children of God. His sacrificial death on the cross paid our sin debt in full and redeemed us from our slavery to sin, making us not only children of God, but also co-heirs with Christ.

I heard two sermons within two hours from two different pastors in two different parts of the country that both taught me two similar Biblical definitions of a term I had questioned two days earlier. Is this a coincidence? I think not!

I am so grateful that the Creator of the universe made the time to weave the answers to my questions into messages from these dedicated men of God that I would listen to today.

Lord, I thank You and praise You for Your wonderful works. Your ways are higher than my ways and Your thoughts higher than my thoughts. I appreciate the way You speak to me in my thoughts and through the instruction of wise, godly people. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who brings Your Word to life in so many ways. I am eternally grateful for Your amazing grace in the gift of Your Son who died for me, that I might be JUSTIFIED by His blood, no longer guilty, but made righteous in Your sight. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

 

No Sin is too BIG

Have you ever felt that your sin is too BIG for God to forgive? Let me assure you, it’s NOT.

When I was a new believer, I wondered if God could really forgive my sins, or were they too great. Over the years, I felt I needed to keep asking God’s forgiveness for the same old sins of my youth, even though I was a new creation in Christ, the old ways were gone, and I hadn’t returned to them. Was my sin too BIG for God to forgive or was God’s forgiveness too BIG for me to grasp?

No sin is too BIG for God to forgive. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul assures the new Christ followers who previously were sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

When you accepted that Jesus Christ died for your sins and invited Him into your heart to be your Savior and the Lord of your life, He wiped your sin debt clean. By His death on the cross, He paid the penalty for all your sins—past, present, and future. By His resurrection, He made it possible for you to know and experience a living God who dwells in you. Jesus cleansed you of all unrighteousness, and the Holy Spirit continues to sanctify you through and through (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

It turns out my sins were NOT too great for Jesus to forgive, however, His forgiveness was too BIG for me to comprehend. Once I dug deeper into God’s Word and more fully understood His plan of salvation, I could more fully appreciate His amazing grace and accept His forgiveness. Then I could let go of the guilt and shame I tightly held and claim the freedom that His forgiveness offered me. I no longer dwelled in the prison of my past sin, but I lived the life of peace that God intended for me.

Have you asked Jesus to forgive you? He has. Have you fully accepted His forgiveness? If not, dive into Scripture to more completely understand and appreciate His plan of salvation and His promises. You are a child of God. You are forgiven. You have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God. Enjoy the peace that a Spirit-filled life extends to you.


 

The Spirit of God in You

“We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

My dear children, you belong to Me. You, who acknowledge Jesus is My Son, live in Me and I in you. You know I am in you by the Spirit I have given you. You have seen the light. In Me there is no darkness. Now live in the light by the power of My Spirit within you. The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. My Son, Jesus Christ, overcame the world. You, too, have been given the power to overcome the darkness when you believe Jesus is My Son, and you walk by My Spirit.

To walk by My Spirit, you must listen to My still, small voice within you. I speak to you from the depths of your heart. Find a place of solitude and listen intently to hear the voice of My Spirit. I speak to you throughout your day. As a shepherd guides his sheep, so My voice will guide you. You are My sheep, and My sheep know My voice.

I have shown you My great love for you by sending you My Son. My love is made complete in you when you love each other, even as I have loved you. You love because I first loved you. Now show the world My love is in you by keeping My commands and carrying out My will. Let others taste and see My goodness.

You are My light in this dark world. Do not hide yourself, but shine brightly for all to see.

 

Many Scripture references in this text also come from the book of 1 John and John 10.


 

Are You Ready?

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

Planning a wedding ceremony and reception is a monumental task. The bride and groom spend months scheduling, organizing, and formulating all the details—the attendants, the pastor, the church, the reception venue, the DJ, the photographer, the wedding music, the colors, the decorations, the meal, and so on.

A year in advance, the bride shops for the wedding dress of her dreams. Next, it’s the veil, shoes, jewelry, and lingerie. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

As the big day draws near, the bride begins to prepare herself personally. She tans her body, so her skin tone makes that beautiful dress come alive. She cuts and colors or highlights her hair the week before so it’s at that perfect stage on the day of. She enjoys a manicure and pedicure the day before with her bridal party. A “run through” of the wedding ceremony is practiced that evening so the attendants know what’s expected of them, and the wedding affair will be executed perfectly the next day. The groom’s parents host a rehearsal dinner, where the bride and groom relay their gratitude for the presence and support of their close family and friends who participate in the wedding.

Finally, the special day arrives. The exciting event the bride and groom so carefully planned comes to a culmination. The bride wakes up early and starts her day with a warm, relaxing shower or a soak in the tub. Her nerves surge and her mind races going over all the details of the day. The entire day is devoted to preparing herself for her groom. A professional artist styles her hair and applies her makeup with great perfection. At her side, her attendants help her get ready, physically and emotionally. The bride’s mother holds her daughter’s dress as she steps into it. The groom’s mother assists her with her veil. The maid of honor fastens a necklace around the bride’s neck. At last, she is ready to join the bridegroom for the long-awaited wedding—a union of their hearts, minds, and bodies. The two shall become one.   *******

Are we as diligent about getting ourselves ready for our Bridegroom? Do we spend months and years preparing for our marriage to the Lamb? Will we be ready when that special day arrives?

When we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins, believe that God raised Him from the dead, and confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we become a child of the King. He washes us whiter than snow and clothes us in His righteousness, so that we may be reconciled to God. Then, He sends His Holy Spirit, our Best Man, to make ready our spirits. He dwells in us and prepares us for the day we will meet our Bridegroom. This begins our sanctification process where the Spirit counsels us, encourages us, teaches us, and guides us to become more Christ-like.

It is such a blessing that Jesus receives us just as we are. We need no special hairstyles or manicures to prepare ourselves for Him. We don’t have to shed bad habits and sinful behavior before coming to Christ. By His amazing grace, Bride getting readyHe accepts us in whatever condition we approach Him. And then, He begins His transforming work in us, making us a new creation in Christ. The old fades away, the new life is here. Rejoice and be glad. Give Him all the glory!Sindy-Bride001

Becoming more like Jesus is the “getting ready” process. We need to get to know God better by reading His Word daily, allowing the Scriptures to permeate our hearts and minds. Tuning in to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us is vital in developing a mind and heart like Christ. We need to make time to walk in close relationship with Jesus by talking to Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him. Loving and serving others, by laying down our lives for our friends, will provide opportunities to share with them the goodness of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. These efforts describe some of our preparation work for our special event. This life is our rehearsal to get us ready for the big day when we will meet our Bridegroom, become united in marriage, and live happily ever after in eternity with Him.

Are you ready for your Bridegroom? How will you prepare for your big day—the wedding of the Lamb?

Who Could Have Known?

The story of Christmas with open Bible to John 3:16

The story of Christmas with open Bible to John 3:16

©ginosphotos1

Who Could Have Known?

By Sindy Nagel

 

Who could have known

One starry night two thousand years ago,

A baby boy would change the world

And evil overthrow?

 

Isaiah prophesied a King

To rule on David’s throne,

As Mary kissed her baby’s cheek

How could she have known?

 

In fields nearby the shepherds watched

Over their flocks by night,

When an angel came to say to them

A Savior is born this night.

 

How could these shepherd boys have known

This peaceful babe asleep,

Would one day be THEIR Shepherd

And they would be His sheep?

 

Three Magi from the East rode far

to see this newborn King,

How could they have known this child

Had a greater gift to bring?

 

The angel and the heavenly host

Sang “Glory to God in the highest”

How could they have known this babe

Would be the great Messiah?

 

The child grew up in strength and wisdom

As the son of carpenter Joe,

He raised the boy to be a man

But how could Joseph know?

His son would one day heal the sick

And cause the blind to see,

How could he and Mary know

Their son would hang from a tree?

 

Twelve disciples followed Him

Not knowing where they trod,

But how could they have known this man

Was the Holy Son of God?

 

In three short years He was betrayed

By His friend’s greed within,

How could Judas Iscariot know

Jesus would die for his sin?

 

A thief on either side of Him

Sharing His final hour

How could they have known this man

Was filled with God’s great power?

 

With all the darkness and the sin

In our evil world today,

How could anyone ever know

Why we celebrate Christmas day?

 

Greater still than the gift He gave–

His life in exchange for mine–

Is Jesus dwelling in my heart

Through me, His light will shine.

 

Who could have known

One starry night two thousand years ago,

A baby boy would change the world

For those His salvation know!

 

(Read Luke 2)


 

A Labor of Love

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

My dear children, stand firm in Me. There is no power on earth that will overcome you when you remain in Me. Your victory comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. Stand firm in His victorious power, in the power of the living God within you. Do not be changed by the things of this world. Be moved by My work. Give yourselves fully to the tasks I give you. When you work for Me, your labor is not in vain. You will bring hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captives, healing to the broken-hearted, sight to the blind, hearing to deaf ears, wisdom to the simple-minded, life to the lifeless, and joy to the downcast. Because My Spirit lives in you, you will do even greater things than the Lord Jesus Christ did. Do not work for riches here on earth. Serve Me with dedicated fervor building yourself treasures in heaven. Serve Me in humility and I will lift you up. Your home is not of this world, but I have prepared a place for you in My eternal kingdom. Leave behind a legacy of faith, a heritage of devotion to Me. I am the Lord, and you are My precious child.


 

All to Jesus, I Surrender

By Sindy Nagel

 

In the early hours, as I laid in bed

A famous hymn rang through my head

The words sang out in grand accord

“I surrender all” to Christ the Lord.

 

I pondered what the “all” entailed

A posture I already failed

Required me to submit myself

To my inner Holy Spirit’s help.

 

He asked to set aside my plans

For all the things my time demands

And seek Him first when I awake

To live my day for Jesus’ sake.

 

So willingly I honored Him

Yielded my desires to Jesus’ whim

I gave my day over to the Lord

And all the time I could afford.

 

I asked Him to guide me through my day

To take my hand and lead the way

To carry out His main desire

And live my life for Him, on fire.

 

I offered Him my kids, my Honey,

My home, my job, my time, my money

But the thing He wanted from the start

Was solely my surrendered heart.

 

For if I give my soul, my all

The rest will follow by His call

According to His great design

My heart and His, they will align.

 

When I surrender every thing

My spirit and my heart will sing

In joy I will live out my days

I’ll lift Him up in grateful praise.

 

I’ll wait on Him with bended ear

Until His voice my thoughts will hear

And willingly His voice obey

As He instructs me through my day.

 

I submit to Him my day, my time,

My heart, my will, my soul, my mind

I surrender myself to Jesus’ whim

See I owe my life, my all to Him.


 

 

 

 

 

Working in You

In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:4-6)

Mountain Grandeur God is Working© Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. For more information visit, www.GregOlsen.com 

My precious child, I created you for a purpose, and I have begun a good work in you. I will continue to work in you and through you until the day Christ returns. You were made in my image from day one, and now that you have been reconciled to me through Christ, the Holy Spirit dwelling in you continues to transform you into my likeness. May you be filled with the fruit of righteousness, remaining pure and blameless until the day of Christ. Whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. Let your countenance and your actions reflect my love in all situations. You are my ambassadors of love. Let the world see who lives in you. Love out loud, sharing the message of the gospel wherever life takes you. Bring others to me as they see you walking out your faith. You are my beloved one. Be my warrior, courageous and fearless, as you fight for the souls that are lost. Let the joy of Christ in your heart overflow, touching every one you meet. I have blessed you to be a blessing to others. Go and bless my world.

 

He Turns Our Darkness Into Light

Today, Lord, you woke me in the middle of the night to David Phelps’ song, Break Free. These lyrics played in my head:

Step out of the darkness and into the light

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

My child, you are my chosen one, you belong to me. Declare my praises for I have brought you out of the darkness and into my wonderful light. The chains that once held you in captivity have been broken by me. Leave them behind and step into my freedom. Do not be bound again by a yoke of slavery with the evil one. Trade that life for a new one. I have made all things new. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old is gone, the new is here. I am your lamp. I will light your way. Walk in the light of my glory and glorify me. Let my radiance be reflected in your countenance. Let my Spirit be your guide. Listen to my voice within you. I am your GPS—God Positioning System. I am your true North. I am your Bright Morning Star. Follow me into the light.