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Monday, May 25, 2009

"My willingness to give of myself"

"What you are willing to give your life for says who you are."
Who will you rescue, love, and encourage today?
Who have I laid my life down for this week?
1 John 3:11, 16 - 18 & 4:7 - 8, For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. By this we know love, that he (Jesus) laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

4:7-8, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Willful obedience"

Jesus, "My pleasure comes from my willful obedience to my Father and His commands. I live to please and choose to please my Father."

A small child takes great delight in obeying his father's commands because he knows that his father has his best interest in heart. Do we put that same amount of trust and confidence in our willingness and desire to please our heavenly Father?

As a father, I except my children to instantly and happily obey me. Shouldan't our heavenly father expect the same level of trust and obedience in us. Sometimes we don't take into consideration that our heavenly Father has our best interest in mind.

Is it harder sometimes to trust God if we have an off-balanced, skewed view of our earthly fathers?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

God's passionate pursuit for us!

So often I think that when we picture God we picture God on a throne in Heaven, at least I do, or did. But what I've been sensing lately is that God is in this mad, passionate pursuit for us. That He loves us so much that He is willing to into circumstance that He needs to in order to rescue us from anything that we may have gotten into. God is willing to offer any sacrifice, the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus Christ, on a cross, for our sins, so that we could have unbridled fellowship and relationship with Him. Yes, God never violates our free will but He is always there, looking for us to accept Him, if we will just open our eyes and our hearts to see Him and accept Him into our hearts and lives.
Luke 15:3-7; So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

Luke 15:17-24; When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

Step 1: God's Purpose: Peace and LifeGod loves you and wants you to experience peace and life—abundant and eternal.The Bible says ..."We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." —Romans 5:1 (NIV)"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." —John 3:16 (NIV)"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." —John 10:10 (NIV)

Step 2: The Problem: Our Separation
God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice.We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from GodThe Bible says ..."For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV)"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Step 3: God's Bridge: The CrossJesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people.The Bible says ..."For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ." —1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." —1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8 (NIV)God has provided the only way. Each person must make a choice.

Step 4: Our Response: Receive ChristWe must trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation.The Bible says ..."Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." —Revelation 3:20 (NIV)"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." —John 1:12 (NIV)"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." —Romans 10:9 (NIV)
Where are you?Will you receive Jesus Christ right now?Here is how you can receive Christ:1. Admit your need (I am a sinner).2. Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit.

(Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)

Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior.
In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Are we prepared to meet with God on a continual basis?

I prepare myself to meet with you. Just as a mother prepares her daughter to get ready to go to church (hair, dress, makeup, etc...) I prepare myself to meet with you. Are you prepared to meet with Me? The table is set, my agenda is cleared for you, every day, every day! Make the time, ready and prepare yourself to meet with Me. Tell others, the time is drawing near, meet and fellowship with Me while there is still time.
As I was in church this morning, I saw a mother and daughter come into church together and I felt God communicated the following message to me. How is your prep time prior to meeting with God? Are you in a hurry, unprepared? How would you feel if you had a set meeting time with an important government official or a hero of yours? We have the awesome opportunity to meet with our Almighty, Awesome Father and we squander the opportunity by failing to meet with Him or we hurry through our time together with Him.