Tag Archive | righteous

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 56 – Set Free in Christ

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 56

Set Free in Christ

Lord, what does it mean to be set free in Christ? Sometimes, I still don’t feel free from the power of sin. I want to be free to become all that You created me to be. Lord, how can I claim Your freedom and remain free?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Child of Mine, when you accepted Christ as your Savior, you became free from the penalty of your sin. Jesus Christ died in your place and paid the wages of your sin (Romans 6:23). You are a new creation in Christ Jesus; the old is gone, the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17). He has released you from a life of sin. You may now live a life of righteousness through faith in Christ (Philippians 3:9). Christ has made you righteous in My eyes, so that we now may enjoy an intimate relationship. You have the freedom to approach My throne of grace with boldness (Hebrews 4:16).

You were crucified with Christ, so you no longer live, but Christ lives in you. Live by faith in Jesus, who loved you and gave Himself for you (Galatians 2:20). Your old self was crucified with Him, so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with and you would no longer be a slave to sin—you were set free from it (Romans 6:6). You are dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11). Sin is no longer your master because you are not under the law, but under My grace (Romans 6:14).

You are free from the power of sin. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). It is up to you to claim this freedom and walk in the victory over sin that the death of Jesus Christ provided for you. You have the authority of Jesus’ name; you have the power of His Spirit within you. You can overcome the desires of the flesh, by the power and authority I have given you. I will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but I will provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).

I sent My Son to proclaim good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (Isaiah 61:1-2). He is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). My divine truth has exposed the lies of Satan. The light of My salvation has released you from the bondage of Satan’s lies. Do not believe the lies of the enemy, when you know the truth of God. Walk in the freedom of the truth. Do not make vows and agreements with the devil, when Christ has freed you from the prison of the evil one. Now you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:32, 36). Claim the freedom of the truth and walk in it victoriously.

You are free to become what I created you to be. Allow Jesus to live His life in and through you. Be obedient to whatever He asks you to do. He will demonstrate His love and power through you. Do not be distracted by the world, but focus your attention on Christ. Trust Him to live out His perfect will and plan for you, through you. This happens only when you are walking in close relationship with Him through reading the Bible, praying, and listening to His voice. The most important thing you can do is to put Him first, meet with Him daily, talk to Him and listen to His voice.

I will speak to you in your thoughts and from My Word. The Bible will come alive for you when you tune in to the voice of the Holy Spirit within you. He will remind you of what I say, as well as, reveal and interpret Scripture for you, so you are able to understand My wisdom, My promises, and My will for your life. When you hear and recognize My voice, you experience the life of abundance that Christ came to give you. I want the best for you. I am the best! Be free in Me.

Prayer:

Jesus, my Lord, thank You for dying for me, so that I might live. I submit myself to You and ask that You will live out Your will and plan for me, through me. Allow me to live a life of abundance by clearly hearing Your voice and obeying it. Lord, I am always blessed with so much joy whenever I am obedient to Your requests. Give me the desire to obey Your every command, and connect with You daily in two-way conversation. Lord, speak to me now as we meet to maintain a deeper, more intimate relationship. In Your precious name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Heavenly Father, will you expose one area of my life that I remain in the bondage of sin? Please tell me exactly what I need to be free from in this area. (Record every word you hear in your thoughts. Spend some time now confessing your sin and submitting yourself to God.)

 

  • Jesus, my Savior, please expose one of the enemy’s lies that I have believed or bought in to, and then, set me free with Your truth. (Write down whatever you hear Him say, and claim the freedom He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please show me Your plan for me to live in freedom from the sin and bondage I just confessed. Please remind me of the truth in God’s Word and remind me to use it when the enemy attacks me in this area. (Write all the thoughts He gives you on this and record any words or verses from Scripture that come to mind.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Sovereign Lord, Your plans and timing are perfect. I submit my will to Yours, and ask that You would live Your life in and through me. Help me become the creation You had in mind when You formed me in the womb. Before you knew me, You set me apart (Jeremiah 1:5). I am grateful that You purchased my freedom from sin and continue to release me from the bondage of sin and the prison of lies I have believed over the years. Lord, I give You access to all areas of my heart and ask that You transform my life so that I might become the creation You called me to be. Thank You for the abundant blessing I receive by hearing Your voice and living in relationship with You. I am so grateful for everything You do for me. I am blessed to be dead to sin and alive to God in Christ (Romans 6:11). In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 146:7, He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free.

Isaiah 61:1-3, 1The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, 2to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”

Luke 4:18-19, 18”The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

John 8:31-36, 31To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Romans 6:6-14, 6For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. 10The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:17-18, 17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 6:22-23, 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness , and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:1-2, 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:1, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 2:10, For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Philippians 3:7-9, 7But whatever were gains to me I know consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Colossians 1:19-22, 19For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, 20and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. 21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

Hebrews 4:16, Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Revelation 1:5-6, 5and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 19 – Crucified with Christ

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 19 – Crucified with Christ

Lord Jesus, Romans 6:6 concludes that I have been crucified with You and I died with You, and if I died with You, then I was raised with You and now live with You. This concept is so difficult for me to grasp. I have suffered nothing compared to the sacrifice You made for me. I do not feel worthy to claim this truth, and yet, if I do not, then You died for nothing! Lord, help me understand the meaning of being crucified with Christ.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved sons and daughters, do not be confused by the concepts in My Word. The simple truth is I died for you. I died once for all the sins of all mankind, past, present, and future. When you invite Me into your heart to be your Savior and Lord, you confess that I am the Son of God, the Lamb of God, who died to take away the sins of the world. You believe in your heart that God raised Me from the dead. When you confess this and believe this, you will be saved. You become My child, and you will spend all eternity with Me.

I died for your sin, in your place, on the cross. So, in essence, your sin died with Me; your old sinful self died with Me. My Word says that you have been crucified with Christ, and you no longer live, but Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:19). But wait, there’s more! Christ did not remain in the grave. God raised Him from the dead! He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father.

Therefore, if you died with Christ, you were raised with Christ. Your old self is gone, your new self is here (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Do not spend too much time trying to grasp the depth of this concept. Keep it simple. Sometimes, you need to exercise your faith and simply believe that My Word is true. You have been crucified with Christ, and you no longer live, but Jesus Christ lives in and through you (Galatians 2:19).

Do not give in, then, to the former ways of the flesh. Those old ways were nailed to the cross and died. You are dead to sin and alive to Christ. Live your new life in step with the Spirit of the risen Jesus Christ, whom I have deposited in your heart.

I have reconciled you to Myself, and I remember your sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34). You must forget them also. Do not cling to the past, but live in your present state, alive in Christ and fully forgiven. Accept My forgiveness in full. When you do not accept My forgiveness in full, you do not accept the complete work of Christ on the cross. Now, do as I do, and remember your sins no more. You are fully forgiven; fully accept it and live in the freedom that brings.

Do not hold on to your sinful nature. That was nailed to the cross as well. You now have new life in Jesus. Live for Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and God, Himself, who sanctifies you through and through (1 Thessalonians 5:23). You are holy and righteous because I have bought you with a price and redeemed you (Psalm 103:4). You are Mine.

Prayer:

Father, Your work in me is amazing. Your Spirit in me is right. I am no longer a slave to sin (Romans 6:6), sin is not my master. I am dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. Thank You for your gift of saving grace through the death of Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord. I am crucified with Christ, and therefore, I am risen with Him, and He lives in me. Hallelujah! Praise You, Lord. And now will you speak to my heart about this some more. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father, why did You send Your Son, Jesus, to die for me? (Record what God says to you in your thoughts.)

 

  • Jesus, I am so humbled that You would die for me and count me in on the act. I am crucified with You. Please share Your heart with me on this. (Write the words Jesus gives you in your heart and mind.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, empower me to claim this victory over death, sin, and the grave, by the precious blood of Jesus, my risen Savior. Show me my part in this plan. (Note the impressions and thoughts you experience right now.)

 

Review the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You all are so precious to me. Thank You for Your love and work in my life. Thank You for Your favor and Your grace. Thank You for Your unselfish acts. May You be glorified! Thank You for the words and thoughts You gave me just now. I am so blessed to be in relationship with You, to know Your heart and Your thoughts. Let me not take this for granted. You are my personal, living Lord, who lives and reigns in me. Have Your way in me, Lord. Sanctify me through and through, to make me more like You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 103:2-5, Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Jeremiah 31:34, “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins on more.”

Romans 6:5-14, 5For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—7because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. 10The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness. 14For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

Galatians 2:19-21, 19“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Galatians 5:24-25, Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.

2 Thessalonians 2:13, But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

1 Peter 1:2, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

 Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #5

image of Stairs to open door. free concept 3d illustration

Reward #5 – Consider the Conviction

One of our responsibilities as Christians is to change our old ways and obey the Holy Spirit’s leading as He empowers us to become more Christ-like. This process is called sanctification. To be sanctified means to be holy, or set apart. Though we live in the world, we are strangers to it. We should act differently than our non-Christian friends do.

Through the work of Christ on the cross, we have been consecrated and made righteous in Him. Our old sinful ways have died with Christ, and now we can lead a new life of righteousness in the resurrected Christ. As Christians, we should appear different to the world. We are made righteous in Christ, and we should choose to live accordingly, so the world may know we belong to God.

Being a new creation is achieved, in part, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin and encourages us to repent and change our ways. When we live as Jesus Christ did, it pleases God, and it provides a witness to a watching world. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Our sin separates us from God because He hides His face from wickedness. He sent His own Son, Jesus, to be our sacrificial lamb. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, so we could be reconciled to God. Jesus made us righteous and holy so we could enjoy a relationship with the righteous and holy God. Now He desires that we would set ourselves apart from the world. He wants us to lead lives that stand out from the way the rest of the world operates. He doesn’t expect us to do this on our own, in our own power. He gives us the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sin and holds us to a life of righteousness.

In His saving grace, God gives believers a spiritual conscience—the Holy Spirit—who helps us discern right from wrong in His eyes. He convicts us of sin and empowers us to overcome the flesh and change our ways. “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). We are directed to submit our spirit to the leading of God’s Spirit within us.

In order to lead a God-pleasing life, we must read His Word to know what He expects of us. The Bible is very clear on what is sinful and what is righteous in God’s eyes. When we obey Him and yield ourselves to the leading of His Spirit, He recalibrates our moral conscience to recognize sin, and then He helps us steer clear of it. When we do sin, He convicts us.

The Spirit encourages us to make choices that will please God. He reminds us of what we know from God’s written Word, convicts us of our sin, and empowers us to live a life of righteousness. In order to be led by the Holy Spirit, we must tune our ears to the living God inside us. As Jesus said before His death,

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:7-11, emphasis mine)

Jesus provided the way to reconciliation with God, and then He provided the way to live a consecrated life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus reunited us with God and gave us access to His power, so we may lead a life set apart for Him. It’s up to us to choose. We can lead a life of sin in the flesh or righteousness in the Spirit. If we choose righteousness, you can be sure the Spirit convicts us when we sin.

It’s important to understand the difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts us we are guilty of sin so we can confess it, ask God for His forgiveness, and turn from our sinful ways. In contrast, the devil condemns us and causes us to wallow in guilt and shame. The Holy Spirit says, “You did a bad thing,” while our enemy Satan says, “You are a bad person.”  The Holy Spirit encourages or prompts us to confess our sin; Satan accuses our person, attacks our identity, demeans our self-worth, blames us, and charges us for our sin.

When we make a conscious effort to listen to the Spirit of God within us, we hold the keys to life and peace. We must allow our minds to be controlled by Him. Paul says we are obligated to be led by the Spirit. Does Satan continue to hold you in bondage and defeat? Or does God’s Spirit guide you into freedom, victory, and peace? When we obey Him and submit ourselves to His leadership, we will experience life and peace. Consider the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you are reminded of your sin and prompted to repent.

Regularly tuning in to the voice of God, the Holy Spirit within, accomplishes a giant step in the process of sanctification. If we are going to become more like Christ, we must not only listen to the voice of God, we must obey it. When you feel the Spirit prompting you to do or not do something, don’t ignore Him. When you feel a tug on your heart to carry out an assignment from God, no matter how big or small, be quick to comply. When you know the Spirit of God has spoken instructions to you, act upon them as soon as possible.

When a human spirit yields to the control of the Holy Spirit, the result is life and peace. Choose to live in the Spirit and be at peace with God. Listen to His voice, and consider the conviction. Is there a sin you need to confess or turn from? What is the Holy Spirit asking you to do or not do? What behavior do you need to change? What action have you been prompted to take? Perhaps it’s the other type of conviction–to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

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.

 

Care for My Sheep

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

There is one in need. At least one person you know is brokenhearted. One is found captive. There is one who mourns and one who grieves a loss. I have anointed you to share my message. Take care of my sheep. Bind up the brokenhearted. Your words will be a covering for their hurts. Bathe them in prayer. Replace the wreckage of their wounds with a crown of beauty. Clothe them in my righteousness to display my glory before the nations. Release those held in bondage. Liberate them from their chains. Unlock the prison doors and set them free. Renounce the enemy that holds them captive. Comfort the one who mourns a loss. Walk alongside the one in sorrow. Provide for those who grieve in despair. Anoint them with the oil of gladness. Dress them in a garment of praise. Strengthen them in me. Serve those who are in need, and I will show my favor to them. I will give them my peace. You are blessed to be a blessing. In ministering to others, you too will be blessed. Live into your calling.