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You Alone Can Rescue

Our greatest desire of each day should be to grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus.
When you are struggling with sin and the trials of life, remember; Jesus is the only One who can save.
The scheme of redemption was willed by God because of His love for mankind. Christ gave himself for our sins, to make atonement for us: that was the justice God required and Jesus freely submitted.
Galatians 1:3-4, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.”
He gave himself freely into the hands of men, justice, and death, as a sacrifice for sin to redeem and make reconciliation for our benefit.
This could not be done through animal sacrifices for the remission of sins, though it required the shedding of blood. Jesus, the Lamb of God, voluntarily endured the Cross so that condemnation would never again be brought upon His people.
John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
No one compelled him, but He gave Himself freely.
Jesus is the only One who can save!

Don’t Drift

Just like a boat on the high sea is in danger of drifting in strong winds and unpredictable currents; a Believer who is not continually seeking an intimate relationship with Jesus is in danger of being swept away by trivial pursuits.
Christ wants to draw you to Himself as He directs you on the course He has set for your life.
When you constantly seek His love, His ways,  His Word, He will guide and enable you to get through challenging and changing circumstances.
Spending time in prayer and in His Word will restore, renew, and revive you as He draws you closer in fellowship and reveals His plan for you.
Revelation 3:12, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.”
Those who drift from the Lord hardly ever see it coming.  You think you are just a little off course…but before you know it, you have been swept away by temptation and sin.
So how do you minimize the danger of drifting? 
You must make it your daily goal to stay the course by asking God to order your steps as you strive to remain devoted to Him.
Don’t Drift! Keep your eyes on Jesus; His plans, His character, His care and He will direct your path.

Maintaining Your Spiritual Balance

Maintaining your spiritual balance can be difficult in today’s world.  In the clamor of work and home related task and responsibilities, losing your spiritual balance can happen quickly.
That’s why it is so important to make it an objective to read the Word of God and listen to Him. 
Meditating on the Scriptures is one way God guides and provides peace in hectic times.
“Quite time” with God, is a deliberate way to be still as you listen and wait for Him to lead you.
Secondly, it will enhance the quality of time spent with Him and shift your attention to His Word.  This will help you maintain your spiritual balance as you seek God and rest in His power to live the life He has called you to.
Timothy 4:12-15,Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.”
Being an example in conversation, behavior, love, spirit, trust, and purity are important elements to be developed and maintained in a Christian’s life.
As you diligently seek God in Word and prayer, He will provide the power and wisdom necessary to keep you balanced.  He will order your thoughts and guide your way that your progress may be evident to all.

It’s Go Time

There is a time to wait and a time to go!  So how do you know when to go?
First thing you must do is discern God’s guidance through prayer, the Word, the facts, and good counsel. 
So what about the times when you have done all of those things and you are still unsure whether to stay or go.
In those times, you must not worry about the consequences of your decision, but walk by faith knowing your relationship is secure if you have received Christ.
There is an appointed time for everything under the sun. (Eccl 3)
No matter the decision, the Lord is able steer you in the right direction.
After the children of Israel experienced defeat at Ai due to a sinful decision, Joshua goes before the Lord asking why He delivered them into the hand of the Amorites.
The Lord’s response in Joshua 7:10, “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?”
If you seek the Lord with a repentant heart when you make a wrong decision, He will steer you rightly!  Get Up…It’s Go Time!
You must trot down the path already laid out with faith and confidence knowing He knows the future.
If you want to please God, you must not be paralyzed by worry and potential consequences of your decisions.
Instead, move forward, entrusting yourself to an all-powerful, all-sufficient God who is Faithful and Just.

God’s Will is Revealed

In the Principles of Prayer by Charles Finney, he shares three ways in which God’s will is revealed.  By His Promises, His Providence, and His Spirit.
The Word of God, the providence of God, and the Spirit of God are the supernatural reinforcements available to you in discerning the will of God when you go to Him in prayer.
Ephesians 5:17, “do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
God provides total access for you come and stand on every promise revealed in His Word.
He is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent….because of His protective care and guidance, He hears anything we ask according to His will knowing you have the petition you have asked for.
1 John 5:14-15, This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
In times of weakness when you don’t even know what to pray for, the Spirit of the Lord will intercede with groans too deep for words in accomplishing God’s purpose and plan.
He does everything  in order to accomplish His overarching plan.  As a child of God, you may not always know what to pray; but know that as you faithfully spend time with Him, God’s Will is revealed.

“We Got to Pray to make It Today”

In the song, Pray by MC Hammer, he penned the lyrics, “That’s word, we pray(pray, pray)  We got to pray,  Just to make it today.”
There are two compelling details which should cause every believer to pursue wholehearted devotion to prayer.
Prayer is a means by which you can worship God.  Worshiping God  is an act by which you profess your dependence and reverence on Him.  It paves the way to wholehearted devotion as you acknowledge Him as the Source of everything.
Prayer also provides a way for you to know God in an intimate way.  When you seek His will and spend time in prayer, you will learn and understand more of His character as He leads you down the path He’s called you to follow.
Ephesians 1:15-17,For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
Our greatest pursuit in this life should be to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength!
As you commit to prayer and gain a greater understanding of the privilege of knowing, worshiping, and praising God; it will strengthen your pursuit of wholehearted devotion to prayer.
Have you prayed today?
“We pray(pray, pray)  We got to pray,  Just to make it today!

Come Boldly to the Throne

throne of grace
Confidence and Courage are two characteristics necessary in boldness.  Hebrews 4:15-16, speaks of the way we should approach the throne because we have a High Priest who sympathizes with our suffering and is able to provide enough grace and mercy to see us through any circumstance or situation.
No matter what may be going on in your life, the writer of Hebrews implores you to come boldly to the throne.
Sometimes, our prayers may be subtle and weak because we don’t really know if God will answer them the way we hoped.  However, our approach to God should always be distinguished by boldness!
Hebrews 4:15-16, For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
You have full access and complete freedom to God through the atoning work of Jesus on Cavalry Cross.  The blood of Christ gives you access to the throne of grace where you can confess your sins and get help in your time of need.
Instead of getting what we deserve, God’s love is bestowed upon us through Jesus.  If you are a believer, it should give you great confidence and courage to approach the throne in agreement with His Word knowing He will fulfill every promise!
Knowing God is sovereign and faithful, you can rest completely on Him with the assurance that the great “I AM” is wise enough, powerful enough, strong enough, loving enough to care for every one of your needs.
Come Boldly to the throne!

Rooted, Built Up, and Established

Colossians 2:6-7, Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”
In Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse, he writes to deal with doctrinal heresy that began to make its way into the church.
There is speculation that the issues stemmed from a mixture of Jewish rules and Gnosticism.  Paul writes to reiterate the supremacy of Christ in setting the early believers on the proper path.
Even in our world today, there are new cults (some in the form of churches) claiming to be Christian yet they deny the deity of Christ which is a foundational belief of Christianity.
So how can you be rooted, built up and established in the Lord?
You must first be rooted in Christ by the power of God’s Word being implanted in your heart and mind.  Regular reading, studying and meditating upon the Scriptures will provide a renewed concentration to His Word and strengthen you with Christ-like character.
Second, you must praise and exalt His name daily!  Praise and adoration of the Most High God, will build up your view and understanding of who God is, which will revive and restore your spiritual passion for Him daily.
Finally, you must establish yourself in the work of the Kingdom by serving and ministering to others.  Ministering to the needs of others will keep you established in your faith as the power and love of God is released upon those you serve.  You will experience joy through loving others and remain firmly established in the faith by obeying His command.
Remain rooted, built up, and established as you concentrate on His Word, praise and exalt His name, and lovingly serve others.

Your Love Is Extravagant

love is extravagant 
One of the most important elements of the Christian life is experiencing a deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ.
Deeper intimacy begins by drawing nearer to Him.  We draw nearer through His righteousness.
James 4:8, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
God will never draw near in deeper intimacy with the unrighteous.  However, those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ can experience His extravagant love by spending time alone with Him.
Mark 1:35,  In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”
Jesus made a point of being alone with the Father.  God’s presence is the place you can experience a love greater than anything you will ever experience by man.
It takes time as well as deep desire to know Him in an intimate way.  As you spend time alone, you will discover deeper wisdom and gain greater understanding in how to love God with all your heart soul, mind and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27)
God’s presence is a place available to you anytime, day or night!  He will always welcome those who earnestly seek Him with open arms.
Draw nearer to God and you will experience a fellowship and intimacy that is beyond this world!
His Love is Extravagant!

Off to a Good Start

Good start
Though the race of life is not a sprint, we must get off to a good start.  A good start will help you get into a good rhythm which is essential in finishing the race.
For believers, the start is the decision to trust Jesus as Savior.  However, you must also get into a good rhythm which is accomplished by following His lead.
Psalm 32:8, I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
In 1 Samuel chapter 9 and 10, Saul is off to a good start.  He was in the prime of manhood…handsome, strong, with great physical appearance and blessed with great potential.
He was chosen to be king and the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him.
1 Samuel 10:6-9, Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man. It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God is with you. And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you should do. Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day.”
Saul began the race with admirable qualities, and even endured taunts from worthless men. (1 Sam 10:27)  Unfortunately, he stopped following God’s lead at a vital point in the race and lost his rhythm.
A good start will only make a difference if you seek God’s guidance in race prep and on the journey!
Following God’s lead will help you maintain the advantage gained from the start. 
During a race or in preparation for one, you may experience some circumstances that are beyond your control, but the Lord will instruct, teach and counsel so you can cross the line in victory.
Perhaps you are already in the race and your start wasn’t so favorable.  There is still hope for you to finish in victory.
Stop for a moment, make the decision to trust Jesus, then follow His lead!  He is able to change your heart and give you the power and endurance to cross the line in victory.