Thursday, July 31, 2014

Matthew 8:24

Matthew 8:24 - Without warning, a furious storm came upon the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.

This is an amazing story. Jesus is tired. He has been ministering all day, healing the sick and teaching all who will listen. He’s exhausted. As He gets in the boat with His disciples to cross over the lake He immediately goes below deck and lays down. It doesn't take long before Jesus is fast asleep.
Normally it wouldn't be a problem for Jesus to be sleeping on the boat. In fact, it probably happened quite often. Jesus disciples were fully capable of getting their boat from one side of the lake to the other. A few of them grew up on the water as they were fishermen before Jesus called them.
Knowing that these men were skilled boaters is what makes this next part so intense. “Without warning a furious storm came upon the lake.” Now you know this couldn’t have been a normal storm because all these fishermen thought they were going to die. They had worked to try to keep the boat afloat and were now ready to throw in the towel.
Fear clouded their vision and they couldn't understand why or how Jesus was still sleeping. So they woke Him. Instead of joining in their fear and worry about the storm Jesus actually seemed annoyed, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” He said. It’s like He was saying, “Haven’t you figured it out yet? When you are with me you don’t have to worry.”
We then watch as Jesus gets up and rebukes the storm and it calms down. His disciples are then humbled and amazed. They are not sure what to think.
So many times when we are going through something we do as the disciples did and panic. We run around in fear and ask Jesus why He could be so calm when we are all going to ‘die’. What we need to do is go and sit with Jesus, or even lay down with Him. When we are with Jesus we will be able to be at rest through the storm.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Matthew 7:24-25

Matthew 7:24-25 - Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

If Jesus looked at your life who would He compare you to? Are you like the wise man or the foolish man? Everyone builds their life on something. There is a foundation of beliefs and actions.
Some believe in themselves. Others believe in money or material possessions. These are a just a few of the idols that people put their trust into, there are many more. In the end though these will all fail.
When the storms of life come none of these things will help you get through. There is only one foundation that can stand through every storm. That foundation is Jesus.
Jesus says that whoever listens to His words and does what He says will be like the wise man who built his house on the rock. Notice that it is not enough to just hear the words, we must obey them.
If you just hear Jesus and do not obey Him it would have been better for you to have not heard. Because without acting on Jesus commands, the life that you build will not have any stability. When the storms of life come your life will fall with a great crash.
Here’s the bottom line: Find Jesus. Listen to His words and put them into practice. Then your life will stand through all the world throws at you. It may not always be easy, but you will make it through.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Matthew 6:33

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

There are so many things that we could seek after in this life. Society tells us that fortune and fame are what we want. If we are popular in the eyes of the world we will be doing good.
Then others may say it’s about getting a good education. If you have a good education you will be able to get a good job and be successful. Still others tell us that it is about finding true love. If you find your ‘soul-mate’ and you both love each other, that is all you really need.
None of these things are wrong in and of themselves, but when it becomes your primary focus, it becomes wrong. God wants your focus on Him. He created you and gives you all you need to live the life He called you to. It is when we lose sight of Him that the problems around us start affecting us.
Jesus tells us, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.” Now I don’t know what your life has in store; what the future holds for you. But one thing I do know: Jesus words are truth. If you put the kingdom of God and seeking after His righteousness as the number one priority in your life you will not have to worry about anything.
Cast your worry about the future on Him. Let God take care of it. All you need to do is serve Him and live for Him. Once you do that everything else will fall into place.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Matthew 5:44-45

Matthew 5:44-45 - But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes the same sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Jesus command was this: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” We are supposed to stand out from the world and this is one of the ways we do. Our lives should be different because we are God’s children.
Jesus asked what good is it to Love those who Love you. Everyone does that. It is easy to pay back good for good and natural to want to be around those who like us. But that is not how we are going to stand out from the world.
We will stand out when we start to Love those who hate us; to Love the unloveable. That is not something that just anyone will do. In fact most will not and will make a point to avoid those people. But we are not most; we are different and our life should reflect it. We need to Love everyone, even the outcasts.
As we continue in this verse we see Jesus talking about things that happen to us. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from we will all have good times and bad times. Your circumstances will not make you stand out, but your Love will.
When those around you are talking bad about someone or hating on them for some reason, show that person kindness. Even if they are not around, actually, especially if they are not around. That is where your true character will be revealed.
If you are Loving and praying for the unlovable when they are not there, when they do show up you won’t have to change anything. Ultimately, what it comes down to is Love. Love everyone, both those who return it and those who do not.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Matthew 4:4

Matthew 4:4 - Jesus answered, “It is written ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Jesus was the same as we are now. He was 100% God and 100% man. He was different, of course, in the sense that He was God first, and then He came to earth in the flesh. Jesus was the firstborn.
We started in the flesh and then were reborn into God. But the point still remains that when Jesus came to earth He received the same sinful nature that we have. He had to; if not, He would not have been able to go through the same temptation as we did.
Jesus did, however,  come in the flesh and He did go through everything that we go through. He faced every temptation and every sin, but He stood His ground. Jesus never sinned.
So when we are facing temptation and sin we can first know that Christ went through the exact same thing, and then we can look to Him to find out how to say no.
Notice during Jesus time in the desert when satan was tempting Him how He handled it. Satan saw Jesus physical desires and wants and appealed to His flesh. He offered bread to a starving man; he offered immortality to a God who had taken a mortal body; and he offered kingdom authority to one who had stepped out of His kingdom.
Just as satan attacks you and me he also attacked Jesus; with the desires of the flesh. Jesus however turned it around and brought in the spiritual. When our flesh is weak, our spirit is made strong.
If you are facing temptation the best thing to do is look to the spiritual. Just as in this verse, if you are tempted with food, look to the Word to get spiritual nourishment. Through Christ and with God’s Spirit inside of us we have the ability to face temptation and stand firm.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Matthew 3:1-2

Matthew 3:1-2 - In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

John the Baptist is only talked about in the Word a couple of times. Unlike the stories we see of most of the great men, with John we only see the good he did. We only get a small glimpse of him as he came in contact with Jesus.
Based on what we know of John let’s take a look at him from the perspective of his Loved ones. Think about what they would have thought as they watched John leave everything he knew to go live in the desert. Dressed in the skin of a camel and eating only bugs and honey he had to look a little crazy. Then he starts preaching.
“The kingdom of heaven is near,” he tells the people as he baptizes anyone who will come to him. It was evident that people were drawn to him, but for someone who knew him it had to look a little strange.
If he had wanted to get into the religious world this was not the typical path one would take. This had never been done before. As we read the bible we can see the full picture. We see how he went out and then Jesus ended up also getting baptized by him. As Jesus talks about John we see that his purpose was to prepare the way. 
So the point I want you to see about this story of John is this: God may tell you to do something that looks crazy and may even seem crazy to you. As you step out and start acting on it those around you may not agree with what you are doing. Don’t let them affect you. Once Jesus shows up it will all come together and make sense.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Matthew 2:6

Matthew 2:6 - “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”

It was prophesied that Jesus would be a ruler and a shepherd. As we see it now it all makes sense, but I wonder what they thought back then. On one hand you have a ruler; a king. That makes sense, if God was going to come to earth of course He is going to be royalty. After all He is the King of kings.
Then on the other hand we see Him being called a shepherd. Shepherds were a lower class of people and job that was given to the least of men. It was a necessary job, but not one that anybody wanted. How could Jesus come as a shepherd?
This was not, however, the first time we see someone who was a shepherd and a king. When God called David it was when he was tending sheep for his father. Samuel came to Jesse and told him that one of his sons would be king of Israel. Jesse brought all of his other sons to Samuel first. God did not choose any of them. Samuel actually had to ask Jesse if there were any more, and as a last resort he brought David in from the fields. As we know God chose him to be king.
Now in the same lineage we see another shepherd king coming. We see Jesus who is our Shepherd and our King. He is our ruler and commander, but He also watches over us and guides us as a shepherd does for his sheep.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Matthew 1:23

Matthew 1:23 - The virgin will be with child and will give birth to as son, and they will call Him ‘Immanuel’ - which means, ‘God with us.’

From the moment Jesus came to earth He was doing the impossible. Where people say that there is no way, God makes a way. Even with our ‘modern’ science and technology there is no way that a woman could become pregnant without the help of a man, but for Mary it happened. And, as we know, her baby was not just any baby. Her baby was the Son of God and He would be called Immanuel - which means, ‘God with us.’
That in itself is an impossible feat. To actually have God with us all the time is an unbelievable thing. Prior to this point God would only speak to certain people; sometimes directly, other times through an angel. We also see with the Israelites that God would travel before them or behind Him and eventually His presence came to rest in the temple where only the priests could go. Now it is different.
God’s presence is now within each one of us who have come to Him. Christ was the firstborn, but now we are all children of God. This, too, is a seemingly impossible thing.
So whenever you are facing trials or tribulations or anything that seems too big to handle, remember God. Our God makes the impossible a possibility. He gives us what we need to get through whatever we are facing. In your seemingly impossible situation look to God and He will make it possible.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jude 20:-21

Jude 20-21 - But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s Love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Our faith will not build itself up. We must make a conscious effort to live in a state of constant renewal and refreshing. If we go too long without building ourselves in faith we may grow weary. We have a great future to look forward to: eternal life with Christ. But until then we must continue in the world.
How do we do that? How we do we keep from growing weary? We must build ourselves up in our most holy faith and pray in the Spirit. Praying in the Holy Spirit is one way that we do build ourselves up in faith, but it is not all we need to do.
“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” We must stay in God’s Word. His Word is living and active and as we get it inside of us it not only builds our faith, but it gives us direction on how to live.
Another way to build your faith is to use it. James says, “Faith without works is dead.” So that would mean that if your faith produces action it is alive. Part of Faith’s action is Love. We must walk in the Love of God at all times towards everybody.
Faith and Love work together when you show kindness to those who are not kind. So to live a full and productive life we must build our faith, pray and walk in Love. Then we will not grow weary as we wait for Christ’s return.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

3 John 11

3 John 11 - Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

God is good. there is no evil in Him. In fact evil is the opposite of God and the perversion of His goodness.
What do your actions say about you? Here we are told not to imitate evil, but good. If God is good then we ought to be imitating Him. Ephesians 5 lays it out plainly, “Be imitators of God therefore, as dearly Loved children, and live a life of Love, just as Christ Loved us and gave Himself up for us.”
So we see that we are to imitate God, but how do we do that? In order to copy someone’s actions you have to be able to see them. But who has seen God? Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” So there’s our answer.
We must look to the life of Jesus to see God. Jesus is in God and God is in Him. They are united to the point of being one. As we come to Christ we become united with Him and in doing so become united with God as well.
When we are in God we have the ability to act like him and obey His commands. He fills us with His Love and we are able to ‘live a life of Love’ just as Christ did.
If we are living in evil our life shows that we have not seen God. So, throw off all that is hindering you and the sin that so easily entangles and come to God through Jesus Christ. As you draw closer to God your desires for the things of the world will diminish. Your actions will more and more reflect God our Father.

Monday, July 21, 2014

2 John 6

2 John 6 - And this is Love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in Love.

Love is the ultimate command. If we walk in Love we are walking in obedience to God. How do we walk in Love? We walk as Jesus walked. When Jesus was here on earth He gave us the example of how we are to live. And His example was Love.
Jesus first Loved God. Nothing got in the way of His relationship with God and nothing came in between them. Jesus said that all He did was from the Father. His connection with God was one of Love. They were (and are) unified together in such a way that God’s Love overflowed from Him in all He did.
That is how our relationship with God ought to be. We ought to be so in Love with God that His wants and needs supersede our own. When that happens we will truly be able to walk in the Love of God as Jesus did.
As we follow Jesus story through the gospels we see that everywhere He went He Loved people. Jesus would go from city to city and town to town preaching the kingdom of heaven, but He was often interrupted. He would see those who were lost and hurting and His heart would go out to them.
God’s Love would shine through Him every day as He healed the sick and spent time with those who were rejected by others. Jesus not only Loved the ‘good’ people, but He Loved the unlovable. We must strive to do the same and live in obedience to God’s command: Walk in Love.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

1 John 5:20

1 John 5:20 - We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true - even in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Before Christ there were some who knew God. There were priests and prophets that God would speak to and then they, in turn, would speak to the people. As a whole the people did not know or understand the things of God. Even the priests and prophets had a limited understanding. Then Christ came.
Christ changed life as it was known. He provided a direct link to the Father. Now we do not need an earthly priest to take our requests before God. We now have Jesus, who is in us and we are in Him.
Jesus has brought us into the kingdom of God in a new way. Before God’s people were just that: God’s people. Now we are no longer just God’s people, but we are also His children. We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
Through Christ we now have the ability to understand God like we never could before. In fact, we are told that we have the mind of Christ. So we can know the true God and we receive eternal life in Him. And not only do we know Him who is true, we are also in Him. We are in God and He is in us!
Thank God that He sent Christ Jesus to bring us into the true kingdom and make us His children.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

1 John 4:7-8

1 John 4:7-8 - Dear friends, let us Love one another, for Love comes from God. Everyone who Loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not Love does not know God, because God is Love.

There are 3 stages of God’s Love in your life. First is the receiving. We have to understand how much God Loves us and open our arms to it. We discussed in yesterday’s blog about how great God’s Love is for us that He calls us His children. His Love is the most important thing and we must learn to receive it from Him.

Next we have to return it to Him. When ask what the greatest commandment was Jesus response was, “Love the Lord your God.” We can’t fulfill this command until we receive His Love, but once we do we must return it to Him. Loving God is the first thing we must do once we have His Love in our hearts.
As Jesus spoke about the greatest commandment He continued by stating the second is like the first, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the third thing we must do with God’s Love. We must Love people. This is where John’s message comes in. He says, “Dear friends, let us Love one another, for Love comes from God.”
He continues by telling us that if we are born of God and know God the proof will be in our Love for each other. If we do not Love people we do not know God. That sounds pretty harsh, but it is true.
“Who are you to tell me if I Love God or not?” you may ask. Think about it this way. If you truly know God, a being that is Love, and you Love Him, you will adopt His attitude toward people. God Loves people and if you Love Him you will also Love what He Loves.
In reality Loving people is Loving God. We see that as we Love God we adopt His Love for people. So by fulfilling the greatest command we also end up fulfilling the the second greatest as well.

Friday, July 18, 2014

1 John 3:1

1 John 3:1 - How great is the Love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

I am a child of God! Every time I say it I receive a new level of revelation to what it means. Think about how much God Loves us to call us His children.
I remember when I had my first son, Tristen. Before he was born I knew I would Love him, but I had no idea how much. Once I had him in my arms I was overwhelmed with how much I truly Loved him. 
I Loved him so much that when we were getting ready to have our second baby it scared me. In my mind I couldn't see how I could Love another child as much as I Loved Tristen.
That, however, is part of the awesomeness of the Love of God. Once Logan was in my arms I knew I Loved him just as much as Tristen. And it wasn’t even that my Love was divided between the two. All of my Love was for Tristen and all of my Love was for Logan. I could truly say that I Loved both of them fully and equally.
It’s hard to understand just how it works and even harder to explain, but that is how God’s Love is for us. He Loves each of us fully and unconditionally.
God doesn't have to split His Love because that is how His Love works. It is greater than we can comprehend. Just know this: when you are in God and God is in you, you do not have to share Him. He is your Father, your Daddy and He Loves you as His child.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

1 John 2:15-16

1 John 2:15-16 - Do not Love the world or anything in the world. If anyone Loves the world, the Love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has or does - comes not from the Father but from the world.

What is it that you Love? We are instructed to Love God and Love people. When Christ came He was our example. He lived a life of Love, showing us how to Love God and how to Love people. Christ also showed us what it means to deny yourself and the world. He resisted sin and temptation and followed the plan God laid out for Him. Now we must follow His example.
In this passage John talks about how we must not Love the world. He tells us that if we Love the world God’s Love cannot be in us. If there is anyone (besides Jesus) who knows about the Love of God it is John. He was the disciple that saw himself through the eyes of God as the one whom Jesus Loves.
As we look at this message of Love we must remember that ‘where your  treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ Whatever you value as your treasure is what you Love the most. If you love the world, then you value the world the most. On the flip side though if you Love God you find that He is your treasure.
So John tells us not to love the world and then he also explains what he means. Really it is your heart and attitude toward the world. It’s not the stuff itself that is bad, it is your attitude toward it that can make it bad. We see John talk about the ‘cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has or does.’
You see, It is not the things themselves, it is our attitude toward those things. It is the craving, lusting and boasting that make the things bad. Don’t let things consume you, that is what it means to not love the world. Instead let God consume your heart and your mind.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Here’s the thing about sin: we've all done it. We all still do it from time to time. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” If you try to say you are without sin you are a liar and God is not in you. As long as we are in this world we will have our sinful nature, the flesh, as a part of who we are.
So we know that we have all sinned, yet we still try to hide it. We think that if we keep things looking good on the outside no one will know. First of all, God knows, because He looks into your heart. So He already knows what you did. But if that’s the case why do we need to confess it?
Confession of sin is not for God’s sake, but for our own. If you have sinned or are living in sin part of the problem is denial. We try to justify what we have done and make ourselves believe it is not as bad as it actually is. The reality: sin is sin. All sin is bad and deserves death.
Our sin deserves death, but we do not have to die because God has made a way for forgiveness to come through His Son, Jesus. Because of what Christ has done, forgiveness is waiting for us. It already there, all we have to do is confess our sins and receive it.
I am not saying that you have to announce your sin to the world, but you definitely need to confess it to yourself and God. After that He will lead you and tell you if you ought to confess to others and ask their forgiveness. So all in all we must recognize that our confession leads to our purification. Through Christ we are made righteous and holy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2 Peter 3:9

2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

We often plan out our lives in a certain way. There are goals set and ideas of where we think that we ought to be in a set period of time. Maybe you have a 5 year plan or a 10 year plan, or maybe you have both. Your plan may be based on on your own wants and desires or it could be based on something the Lord has told you specifically.
When things don’t go according to our plan we get frustrated. We start looking for something or someone to blame. Sometimes that person we are blaming is God. We figure He promised us and if we do not see it right now something is wrong.
When God makes a promise there is something we need to keep in mind. First, God is faithful and will always fulfill the promises He has made. We just need to trust Him. And second, God’s timing is not necessarily our timing. We see only a small perspective: our own. God sees the full picture.
Ultimately God’s desire is that everyone comes to know Him. What if you getting what you want today resulted in one less person coming to know God? Would it be worth it to wait if you knew that your waiting a little longer could save a life? Think about that the next time you are waiting for something. Instead of blaming God, ask Him to show you His view on the situation. And keep your eyes open to opportunities to share Him with someone.

Monday, July 14, 2014

2 Peter 2:19

2 Peter 2:19 - They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity - for a man is slave to whatever has mastered him.

Since the beginning people have fought to be free. The desire for freedom has united people that would not otherwise come together. Sometimes it is for physical freedom, fighting against oppressive and controlling governments. Other times it has been religious freedom, so that people can believe and think what they want.
Even today we often hear the promise of freedom. Government officials will promise freedom to gain support in the elections. Sometimes it is unclear what exactly they are promising freedom from, but the ‘promise’ is still there. Just like this verse says, “they promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves to depravity.” Often these promises come those who they themselves are slave to evil and depravity.
It doesn't really matter who the promise comes from, in terms of men, we must realize that we are never ‘truly’ free. There is always something that we answer too; something that drives us. We have freedom of choice, but we once we choose we are subject to the consequences of that choice. It controls you, and your decisions and actions that follow stem from the original one. 
We all have something we live for, whether it be God, our self, money, success or, like this verse suggests, moral corruption. Once we are living for something, that thing controls our thinking and our actions. Make sure you are living for something that is worth it.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

2 Peter 1:3

2 Peter 1:3 - His (God’s) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

When we look at God’s commands and how He had asked us to live it can seem overwhelming. We try so hard to live according to His plan, yet we fail. No matter how many times we try we can never seem to make it. It seems impossible.
In reality it really is impossible for us to do in our own strength. By ourselves we just cannot live according to God’s call on our life. There’s no way, that’s why Jesus came.
Jesus came from heaven to earth to make a way for us to reach God. I say again, it is impossible for us to live according to God’s calling, if we are working in our own power, but with God all things are possible. Through Christ we have access to the power of God.
God’s power flows through us everyday as we continue to live for Him. Now we can hear His words and obey His commands. We were made Holy and now we can live godly.
So if you are still trying to do it in your own strength and power knock it off! God has given you all you need and Christ has shown you how to use it. It is time to surrender our words and desires to the will of God. Let His power flow through you as you live to bring glory and honor to Him.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

1 Peter 5:8-9

1 Peter 5:8-9 - Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering.

We must be aware of our surroundings. Our enemy, the devil, is constantly looking for prey. He preys on the weak and afraid. Think about the comparison here: “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion.” This is not a hunting lion; it is a roaring lion.
A lion that is going around roaring is looking to strike fear into the hearts of those who hear him. Then the ones that get paralyzed by the fear make an easy target.
That is how the devil operates. He’s going around making a lot of ‘noise’, trying to get you to live in fear. If you are in fear he has a foothold into your life.
Where the confusion often comes, though, is people thinking that we need to ‘fight’ the devil. We do not have to fight the devil. All we are told to do is resist him by standing firm in our faith. Don’t listen to his lies, instead believe what God has told you. Faith reminds us that the devil has already been defeated and we have the victory.
Ultimately our victory lies with Christ Jesus and all that he did for us, but faith is what makes it real to us. So be self-controlled and alert. Know what is going on around you and that the devil wants you to live in fear. If you are aware of your surroundings nothing can surprise you.
Also know that everyone of your brothers are going through the same type of things. If we join together in faith it will be easier for us to stand firm and keep the devil at bay. He wants you isolated, alone and fearful. Stay in unity with the body of Christ and stand firm in your faith. Then the devil will not be able to touch you.

Friday, July 11, 2014

1 Peter 4:10

1 Peter 4:10 - Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

God’s grace flows through you. How, you ask? It flows through you every time you reach out and help someone. You see, it’s not enough that we just receive the grace of God, we must do something with it. It is by grace that we receive God’s Love; it is by grace that we receive salvation; and it is by grace that we receive our talents and abilities.
We have received a free gift and the Word says, “freely you have received, freely give.” Now we must also realize that God has given us talents and abilities. Any skills that you have were given by God for a specific purpose. Your talents and abilities were not given to you to bring glory to yourself. They were also not given for you to keep to yourself.
God designed each one of us to help those around us. And when we do, when we use our gifts to help others, we are showing God’s grace. Basically, now that we have received His grace, we have become an instrument for administering it.
So don’t hide your talents. Don’t keep your abilities to yourself. Use them to build up the body of Christ. Be faithful with it. Don’t give up. God sees what you are doing and as you remain faithful to Him, He will use you more and more. Freely you have received; freely give.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

1 Peter 3:15

1 Peter 3:15 - But in your heart set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Has anyone ever asked you why you believe in Christ? Sometimes it can catch you off guard because you are not expecting it. You are going about your day and then the question comes. Are you ready?
  I can honestly say that there have been times in my life when the opportunity has presented itself and I was not prepared. If this has happened to you, don’t worry about it. Brush it off. There’s nothing you can do about that particular situation, because it is in the past.
What you can do though, is make sure it doesn't happen again. Take the time to think about it. Why do you believe in Christ? There is no generic answer to this question, it is personal.
When people ask you why you believe they are not looking for a ‘cookie cutter’ answer mixed with a few bible verses. They want to hear your story. It’s personal, so make it that way. What caused you to turn to Jesus? Was there a situation that changed your life?
It can take some thought, but if you look inside yourself you will find the answer. Mix the Word with your story and it will be powerful. The bible says, “They will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” Christ in your life gives you power. So take the time so that when asked you will be ready to give an answer. Tell people your experience and what God has brought you through.