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Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Break From Your Life

Bible Verse

Genesis 2: 2-3 – And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Your Discipleship Minute

Busy, busy, busy. We are always so busy working, playing or just going about the business of our daily lives. But through the creation of the heavens and the earth, God sets a precedent for us to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

God did not rest on the seventh day because He was tired out from the creative work of the past six days. In His rest, He stopped to enjoy His creation and the glory he received from it. Likewise, we need to set aside one day to stop, enjoy God’s creation all around us and to worship Him and give Him the glory.

Action Point

Take one day each week and devote it to God. Fast from something distracting on that day (such as TV, computers or social media) and use the time instead to study the Bible, pray and worship God.

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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It’s All Good

Bible Verse

Genesis 1: 31 –  And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

Your Discipleship Minute

It’s easy to look out of the window to see abandoned buildings, streets full of potholes, cans of garbage and all sorts of damaged and diseased parts of our world.

But that is what we have done to the world.

When God first created the earth, He saw everything that He had made and pronounced it very good. So, what made the difference between God’s “very good” and what we see today?

Sin.

Sinful men spoiled the earth with hatred, violence, spilled blood from wars, and prideful and lofty ambitions that take precedence over relationships and people.

But soon, God will exercise His creative power once more and this world will be destroyed and remade in the image of its former glory.

2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Action Point

Are you ready for that day?  Would you be ready if Jesus returned this very hour?  Take some time to consider confessing and repenting of your sins and failings and asking God for His great power to enable you to live a victorious life.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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Restored to the Image of God

Bible Verse

Genesis 1: 26 –  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

Your Discipleship Minute

Do you know what it means to be made in the image of God?  It is about reflecting the majesty of God’s creation back upon Him to glorify our creator.

And do you want to know the amazing part?  God created us in His image, knowing that we would take the precious gift of free will and choice and choose to disobey Him in the Garden.  He knew that we would continue to choose sin down through the many generations of mankind.  But He also had a plan for restoring us in His image.

That plan was to become human Himself, born of a woman in Bethlehem in a lowly manger.

We could not restore ourselves to our former glory, so Jesus restored us by becoming one of us and defeating sin and death for us.

Action Point

If you have trusted Christ as your savior, you have been restored to the former glory of mankind. Even though the outside doesn’t show it, inside we have been made new.

When Jesus returns, the glory of Jesus Christ inside of us will burst forth and we will be changed in an instant, made to be like Him, who was found to be like us.  Praise God!

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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Be Conformed to Christ

Bible Verse

1 Thessalonians 4:3 – For this is the will of God, your sanctification.

Your Discipleship Minute

For Christians, praying to receive Christ is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to God and the Bible.

Or, at least, it should be.

Sadly, once they pray to accept Jesus as their Savior, they stop there and think they can go back to their regularly scheduled life.

This is not how God means for it to be. Accepting Christ is not the final step in becoming a Christian – it’s the first step in a lifelong process called sanctification where we eschew sin and become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ Himself.

Sanctification is the result of daily discipleship practices and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Action Point

You’ve trusted in Christ for your salvation.  Now trust in Him for your sanctification.  Allow the Holy Spirit to change your heart and draw you in to a closer relationship with Jesus.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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Righteousness As Filthy Rags

Bible Verse

Luke 18:13 – But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

Your Discipleship Minute

What we do matters.  In the judgment to come, we will all be held accountable for our actions, whether good or bad.

But the condition of our hearts is not based on what we do.  We cannot be justified in the sight of God by the good deeds we do.  Scripture tells us that all of our good works are as filthy rags in the sight of God.

And that is the simple truth of the Gospel.  Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, did for sinful mankind what we could never do for ourselves.  He met God’s righteous requirements through His death, burial and resurrection and He imputes His righteousness to us through our faith in Him.

Action Point

At the moment of salvation, we place our trust in Christ and receive His mercy and grace.  But as we walk in the Christian life, it’s easy to forget that we need His mercy and grace each and every day. We begin to trust in the things we do and forget that God sees us as righteous because of Christ’s finished work and mot our own works.

Ask God to give you a fresh vision of your daily need for Christ and His righteousness. Trust in the mercy and grace of God and leave those filthy rags behind.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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Distracted From The Gospel

Grunge vintage televisionI may be showing my age here, but I like TvLand.  I still enjoy those tv shows I used to watch while I was growing up, but recently I noticed something disturbing.

Compared to the shows being produced today, nothing ever really happens on those old programs.

They spend 30 minutes dealing with one character or one issue and then they are done, ready to tackle another issue next week.  But those 30 minutes seem to drag on and on as just one issue is being faced.

And that’s when I realized: those old shows are boring.  They don’t have what it takes to hold my attention like they did in my youth, so I ask: what has changed?

Not the shows.  They are the same as they were 30 years ago when they first aired.  That’s when I realized where the difference lies.

It lies with me.

I just don’t have the attention span to watch one story and deal with one issue for 30 minutes.  TV programs today have multiple characters with multiple intertwining storylines that move at an incredibly fast pace so I don’t get bored with the show.

So what about other areas of my life?  What about the Gospel?

The Gospel is the simple story of God’s mercy and grace being bestowed upon sinful men and women who deserve judgment.

So, have we become bored with the Gospel?

I think, in some ways, yes we have.

For example:

If the Pastor is preaching more than 15-20 minutes, do we get antsy in our seats and start checking our watches?

Do we encourage our Pastor with “amens” and “hallelujahs” towards the end of the sermon or just at the beginning?

Are our hearts eager to hear again the simple saving truth of the Bible and its commandments to love God and each other or does our distracted heart say, “I’ve heard this already, it bores me.  Give me something new.”

You see, we live in an age where learning and technology have taken over the planet and changed the way we think about our world.  Things are changing so fast that we cannot sit and dwell on one thing for very long, lest we be left behind as our culture moves forward.

But the Word of God has not changed, nor it’s truths and our duty towards them.

Deuteronomy 6: 6-9:

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Joshua 1:8

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.

We have lost the ability to sit and to read and to study and to meditate.  But the Bible directs us to always have the Words of God in our heads and in our hearts and to meditate upon them day and night.

Take time each day to unplug from your TV and your computer and your phone.  Use that time to immerse yourself in the pages of the Word of God and allow His Word to immerse itself in your heart.

Remember, people retain a small percentage (20-50%) of what they see and hear, but they retain 100% of what they memorize, so set a goal and start to memorize Scripture today.

Distractions will always come.  Our enemy will make sure of that!  We need to relearn how to focus on Jesus Christ and His Word so that we will grow up completely in the Gospel that saved us and that daily changes us into the image of Christ.

So, how do you deal with distractions from the Gospel?  Let me know in the comments.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Discipleship

 

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Who Gets The Glory?

Bible Verse

Galatians 1: 23-24 – “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.

Your Discipleship Minute

We all have a past.  It is filled with things that we enjoy sharing as well as things we would rather keep secret.  Too many things we would rather keep secret.

But God doesn’t save us from our sins for our own glory.  He saves us because it brings Him glory.

So when we try to hide our sinful past from other Christians and the world because they may judge us and make us feel bad about our sins, what we are really doing is trying to make ourselves sound better than we really are.

And that robs God of the glory that He so rightly deserves!

Only when we admit and share our greatest shame can people see the great power of God working in our lives.

Action Point

Stop worrying about your reputation and what people will think of you and start concerning yourself with making God famous and giving Him glory for the great things He has done in your life.

Share an embarrassing secret about your past that God has delivered you from today. Be sure to give Him the glory for delivering you from your sin.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Devotionals

 

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