Tag: by faith

From death to Life!

Scripture reading for September 7th:  Proverbs 8-11, Colossians 2

Key Scriptures:  Colossians 2:13-16 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”  

Paul explained the amazing work of Jesus Christ through His sacrifice on the cross.  The written code of the Law was nailed to the cross, so that it could no longer provoke us to sin.  He defeated and disarmed our arch foe, Satan, and his demons.  He triumphed over them through the cross!  In Him we now have victory and empowerment to live righteously by faith.

Proverbs 11:3-4 “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.  Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Christ’s amazing sacrifice for me.  Through Him, I am saved from death and given life!  Amen.

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Crucified with Christ

Scripture reading for August 16th:  Psalm 101-104, Galatians 2

Key Scriptures:  Galatians 2:20-21  “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”  

Paul was writing to the Galatian church in response to some false teachers that were trying to get the church to add law-keeping to their faith in Jesus.  He explained how his identification with Jesus Christ in His crucifixion brought new life to him through faith, not trying to keep the law.  In fact, if he went back to trying to keep the law, Christ died in vain and grace would be nullified.

Psalm 103:1-5  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Prayer:  Thank You Lord, for salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection.  I bless You for all Your benefits today!  Amen!

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Living by Faith!

Scripture reading for June 13th:  Nehemiah 3-5, Romans 1

Key Scriptures: Romans 1:16-17  “I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:  first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”  

Paul, writing to the Roman believers, declared the Gospel of Jesus Christ as God’s power for salvation.  This message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ brought faith to those who would believe.  Their faith in Jesus brought righteousness  that enabled them to live by faith.

Nehemiah 4:14 “After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them.  Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”   

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for the faith granted me to believe in Jesus Christ.  May I live fully by faith today.  Amen.

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Times of refreshing!

Scripture reading for May 8th: 2nd Kings 10-12, Acts 3

Key Scriptures:  Acts 3:19-21  “”Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.”” 

Peter called on the Jews to repent and turn to Jesus Christ, the One spoken of by the prophets.  Jesus, alone could restore all things and bring times of refreshing that would follow repentance and turning of hearts to Him.

2nd Kings 12:4-6 “Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of the Lord, . . .and the money that a man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the Lord, . .and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.”. . .  “But by the 23rd year of King Jehoash, the priests had made no repairs on the house (of the Lord).”

Prayer:  Lord, my heart is moved to see Your Holy Temple restored and cleansed.  Cleanse me and Your Church and bring times of refreshing as we obey You.  Amen.

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Believe in your heart, confess with your mouth!

Scripture reading for June 26th:  Romans 10

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.  For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.  Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, the did not submit to God’s righteousness.  Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”  

Paul prayed for the salvation of his Jewish brothers and sisters!  He personally knew their zeal for God, having himself been so zealous that he persecuted Christians and had them arrested and even killed.  His own zeal was not in accordance with personal knowledge of Christ.  He sought to establish his own righteousness by zealously keeping the law and standing against Christ.  This changed when he personally met Christ and acknowledged His Lordship!

Paul explained the way of Jesus to his own brothers and to us as well.  “”The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”  that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming;  That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heat that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.””  (Romans 10:8-11)

The way of Jesus is so simple!  We believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord!  Have you believed this simple word of God?  Today is the best day to respond in faith!  You will never be sorry!

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Jews need salvation!

Scripture reading for June 25th:  Romans 9

Paul had a great desire to see his own brothers, the Jews, saved!  In fact, he was willing to be cut off from Christ in order to see them come to know Christ!  (Romans 9:3)   This was the same attitude that Christ, Himself took when He went to the cross on behalf of His brothers!    Paul had the Holy Spirit and he reflected God’s heart for the Jews as well as all people!

The Jews should have been the first to recognize Christ.  They had the law, the covenants, and the promises of God through the Old Testament Scriptures as well as the lineage of Christ flowing from their line through Abraham!  But Paul went on to point out that not all who descended from Abraham were God’s children of promise!  (Romans 9:7-9) It was through Isaac that offspring would be reckoned.  And even Isaac’s offspring, twins Jacob and Esau, found God’s promise flowing through Jacob and not Esau!  This was announced before they were born!  Not all Jews were part of God’s plan.  Was God unjust?

Paul concluded that the Jews missed out on God’s promise.   “What then shall we say?  That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.  Why not?  Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.”  (Romans 9:30-32)

We learn that we can all, like the Jews,  miss God’s promise by trying to work for our right standing with God.  We must simply believe in Jesus Christ and rest in the promise of righteousness by faith that has always been the way of God’s children.  Have you trusted in Christ?

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Pleasing God by faith!

Scripture reading for December 15th: Hebrews 11-13

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3

One of the foundational aspects of our faith is trusting God as creator of all things.  This particular aspect of faith is attacked in our land today by those who put their faith in the theory of evolution.  Evolution is a type of religious system that puts time and chance as key ingredients to finding the basis of beginning in all things.  A creator is ruled out in favor of man’s invention of ‘truth’.

We who trust God’s word know that He spoke a command and it happened.   Faith trusts what God has said.  The Bible records a number of human beings who trusted God’s word and were commended by Him.  Enoch is one such person recorded in Hebrews 11.

“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away.  For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:5-6)

Enoch was a man who walked with God.  He was a prophet who warned of the coming of the Lord in judgment.  His only recorded message is found in Jude 14-15.  Enoch began to walk with God after the birth of his son, Methuselah, whose name tells of coming judgment.  (Genesis 5:21-24)   The flood came in the year Methuselah died and he lived longer than any other man recorded in Scripture.  Enoch so walked with God that he was snatched up to heaven and became a type of ‘faith-walker’ that would inspire others throughout the ages!

There is no other means of pleasing God!  Jesus is coming again.  Will you walk with God today as if that were true and warn others about this coming event?  God has promised to “snatch up” those who walk with Him! ( 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)

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Escaping the World’s Corruption

Scripture reading for December 18th: 2nd Peter 1-3

Does the sin and degradation of this world ever get to you?   Do you become so tired of the constant bombardment of sex, lies, materialism, war, pollution, and lusts that you long for an escape?  Peter offers some advice to those who have the righteousness of Christ by faith.  We are to live in grace and peace in abundance through our knowledge of God and Christ Jesus, our Lord!  (2nd Peter 1:1-2)

“His 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.  Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2nd Peter 1:3-4)

What do we know about Jesus Christ and God our Father that helps us to escape this corruption?  We know Jesus was good!  He went about doing good and healed all those oppressed by the devil, because God the Father was with Him. (Acts 10:38)  We know that Jesus promises to be with us always!  (Matthew 28:20)  We know that God the Father spoke from heaven and confirmed Jesus as His Son.  (Matthew 17:2-5)  We also know that Jesus is coming back the same way He left–in a cloud of glory!  (Acts 1:9-11)  Peter was there and an eyewitness to Christ’s glory when He was transfigured and when He ascended!  (2nd Peter 1:18)

We have Peter’s eyewitness account, but God’s word is even more certain according to Peter.  (2nd Peter 1:19-21)  God’s word contains the precious promises that we cling to.  It came not from man, but holy men spoke from God under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit!  God’s word is Spirit and Life–impregnated with the life of God and able to cause us to be born again.  (1st Peter 2:23)  The life it brings endures forever!  The Spirit is a guarantee of what is to come!  The earth and heavens will pass away with a roar and intense heat, but God’s word will never pass away!  (Matthew 24:35) (2nd Peter 3:10)

Faith and rest in God’s ability to bring His promises to pass enables us to escape the world’s corruption caused by our lusts.  We are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth where righteousness will be complete!  Peter concludes his second letter with encouragement. We do our part and God will keep His word!  “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.  Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation…”  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (2nd Peter 3:14-15, 18)

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