A Holy God

Our human penchant is to trust in our self-righteousness, natural talents and basic good heart to earn us a place in heaven, or at least to ensure that we are reincarnated to a higher life form.

The problem with this thinking is that our heart is deceitful and basically wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Even our best day falls short of God’s holiness and glory, which is the standard for residence in Heaven (Roman 3:23).

When we repent of our sin, ask for God’s forgiveness and surrender our life to Him, He gives us the righteousness, which can only come from Jesus Christ.

Jesus then abides within us by His Spirit (John 15:4). He raises our spirit, which is dead in sin, to walk in a whole new life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). This secures our place in Heaven.

That is why God sent the perfect Lamb, who never lived a moment in sin, to take on the sin of the whole world and to make us righteous like God through the sacrifice of His life (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus willingly laid down His life for us (Luke 4:29-30). He made the choice in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night before He was betrayed, to carry out God’s will (Luke 22:42).

He submitted to the excruciating scourging and death on the cross, not due to human weakness, but according to the spiritual strength He received while considering the glory that lay waiting for Him in Heaven (Hebrews 12:2).

The grace of God transforms us into a Temple made without hands, a dwelling place fit for a King (1 Corinthians 3:16). He uses what the world considers as foolishness to carry out the work of His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Our only honorable response to this is to submit to His will in our life, so that we will also be counted worthy to dwell with Him in His glorious Kingdom for eternity (Luke 21:36).

God created each one of us for a specific purpose (Ephesians 2:10) and will judge our works in this life in order to reward us in the next (1 Corinthians 3:13).

Prayer:
Father God, many people do not comprehend the elaborate tapestry You have woven over millennia of time in order to bring about the fulfillment of all things (Ephesians 1:10). They do not understand that You never send judgment without first sending warning.

The flood, the annihilation of generations of people and their possessions in Canaan, the crucifixion of Your own son and other judgments are puzzles and a stumbling block, which prevent people from surrendering their life to You. Yet, before all of these events, You gave mankind plenty of warning that You are a holy and righteous God and nothing unholy may dwell in Your presence.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus had no thought for Himself, but only love for a dying world lost in sin’s degradation.

Apple of My Eye

The “apple” of one’s eye is commonly referring to the pupil (Deuteronomy 32:10). We protect our eyes at any cost, making sure that no foreign substance or harm come to them in any way.

We use the term “apple of my eye” when speaking about something very valuable to us. We instruct our children, the “apple of our eye”, to pay attention to our advice, in order to prevent them from reaping the destruction caused by making poor choices (Proverbs 7:2).

Those who harm the Lord’s anointed children or Israel, His chosen nation, will truly suffer from His hand, because they touch the “apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). God protects His own.

Sometimes, we may wound a brother or a sister; or we may walk in sin for a season, which grieves God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). At times like these, we plead with God to forgive us and to keep us as the” apple of His eye”.

We hide in the shadow of His wings and He saves us from our enemies and the issues of life, which threaten to overpower us (Psalm 17:8; Lamentations 2:18). This intimate expression reminds us about the extent of God’s love for each one of His Saints.

God took on a human form in order to pay the penalty, which we reaped from the first Adam’s sin (Philippians 2:7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:45). Emmanuel, God with us, felt the degradation, insecurity and weight of living on this sin-cursed earth.

God went all the way to the cross to make it possible for us to dwell with Him for eternity. All He asks is for us to keep His commandments, which were designed to protect us, not to restrict us (John 14:23).

Prayer:

Father God, You encourage us to keep Your precepts as the apple of our eye (Proverbs 7:2). Please, remind us to hide Your Word in our heart, so that we will not sin against You (Psalm 119:11). The nation of Israel was the first “apple of Your eye”. They strayed from You, as we tend to do; but we thank You for giving all Gentile unbelievers a chance to know You, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent to save us (John 17:3). Truly, this is eternal life, which we can enjoy now, as well as all throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:

It is interesting to realize that any person we speak to sees a small image of their profile reflecting in the pupil of our eye.

Christ’s Place in Our Life

In today’s world, people are very touchy about what we say to them. If we even mention anything about God or Christ, they think that we are trying to proselytize them. We are simply living out who we are, and they accuse us of judging them. Of course, if they would join us, they would understand that He is not our hobby or our crutch. Christ is our very life (Colossians 3:4).

We are not trying to impose our beliefs on them, just living the truth of God’s Word. We do not condemn their behavior or their person, but offer them the opportunity to trust Christ for their life and to enjoy the wondrous benefits He provides for His children (1 John 3:10; Psalm 103:2). When we repent and believe in Christ, we no longer live as part of this world, even though we still live in it.

This happens, because God placed the weight of the vilest sins upon His own shoulders and paid the penalty for them in our place. Already accepted in His beloved family, we live by faith and not by works (Ephesians 1:6; 2:8-9). We no longer attempt to earn God’s acceptance by our performance to His standards. We live in total surrender to His will and accept His atoning work for our salvation.

Jesus freed us from deprivation, degradation and devastation in this life. He allows us to walk in a new life in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). His anointing in us and through us breaks the yoke of all bondage to sin and deception (Isaiah 10:27). He exchanges our humanity for His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). His Spirit lives in and through us and enables us to live in the happiest place on earth – God’s will (Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, we are an extension of the ministry of Christ on this earth. His sinless perfection enables us to live free from sin as we depend on Him for our perfection. Thank You for sending Your Spirit to guide us, as Your Body on the earth, to supernaturally perform greater works than Jesus did by Your power in us (John 14:12). Remind us that You direct our paths, as we follow You in all of our decisions (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
When we grow weary, we can trust God to renew our strength and to help us to rise up with wings like eagles. – Isaiah 40:31

The Anchor for our Soul

Eternal life is God’s promise (1 John 2:25), which enables us to know God intimately (John 17:3). This takes place both now and in eternity. It requires no self-effort, just total rest in His presence (Hebrews 4:10). God’s promises also provide pardon for sin, support in trials, the glorious resurrection, and eventually, immortality. God’s promises encourage us to cleanse our self of every evil desire (2 Corinthians 7:1).

When we choose not to live in God’s Will during each moment of our day, we lose the power of Christ in us. It is only through total surrender to His will that we accomplish all that He prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). God shrouds us with His divine nature, which is the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith (Galatians 5:22-23).

As we mature, we increase in the measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). God disciplines us to enable us to share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10). This empowers us to put on our new self, which is created to be like God in both righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). Our humanity is dead and we are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). As we walk in God’s promises, we receive His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Confidently, we cling to God’s promises in tribulation. They are the anchor of our soul and the foundation for our hope. God keeps all of His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20). The nation of Israel wandered from God; yet, God is faithful and is keeping His promises to them (Zechariah 13:8-9; Romans 11:25-26). God guarantees His Body freedom from the law, sin and death. He freely provides us with eternal life in Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

We partake in the divine nature of God through Christ who dwells in our spirit. When we indulge in fleshly pursuits, the divine nature of God is grieved. However, as authentic Born Again Believers, we cannot continue to live in sin (1 John 3:9). God’s Spirit gradually makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we bear His image through continual transformation (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Holy Spirit teaches us to deny unholy conduct and lust, at the same time He encourages us to live serious, blameless and holy lives (Titus 2:12). As we do, we inwardly partake of Your divine nature; which causes us to refrain from outwardly partaking in sin and degradation. Our body houses Your (1 Corinthians 6:15). We are members of Christ’s body, flesh and bones (Ephesians 5:30; John 14: 16-17, 17:20-23). You make Your home in those who love and obey You (John 14:23).

Thought for the Day:
We are now the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but when we see Him return in the clouds, we will be exactly like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. – 1 John 3:2

Jesus Messiah

There is much disparity today among people who claim to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and those who claim He was nothing more than a good man, teacher or heretic. However, there is more evidence to prove the reality of the fact that He is our Messiah than there is to prove He is not. Any one of the following points is enough to verify this claim.

There are over 60 similar prophecies, which the Old Testament prophets recorded, which were fulfilled by Jesus’ life, crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension. In the seventh century Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). This occurred over 600 years before Jesus was even born.

Although Jesus’ parents lived in Nazareth, the Roman census forced them to make the trip to Bethlehem to pay their taxes just in time for His birth. Matthew records the fulfillment of this prophecy (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1). Jesus was also born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18). Jesus came from the lineage of Abraham (Genesis 12:3, 22:18; Matthew 1:1, Romans 9:5). Our Messiah is heir to King David’s throne (2 Samuel 7:12-13, Isaiah 9:7; Julie 1:32-33, Romans 1:3).

He healed the sick (Isaiah 35:5–6; Matthew 11:5). The soldiers beat and spat upon Jesus (Isaiah 50:6; Mark 14:65). He hung crucified on the cross next to sinners (Isaiah 53:12; Mark 14:65). A rich friend allowed his family and disciples to burry Jesus in his tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57–60). The money paid to Judas for betraying Jesus ended up being used to by a potter’s field (Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 27:9-10).

Jesus resurrected from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Mark 16:6). He ascended into heaven (Psalm 68:18; Mark 16:19). God exalted Him at His right hand (Psalm 110:1; 1 Peter 3:22). These are just some of the prophecies, which prove that Jesus is our Messiah, and which validate the authenticity of the Bible. These facts certainly strengthen our faith, fulfill our life and promise us a fantastic future.

Prayer:
Father God, we pray for those people who are blinded by pride and rebellion from seeing the wonderful truths of Your Word. We ask You to meet them face-to-face on their road in life and to remove the scales from their eyes as You did for Paul. Draw them ever closer to Your wounded heart and humble them, as you did those who already Believe, by allowing them to feel the pain their sin caused You. Thank You for becoming a man, Emmanuel, for our sakes and for dying on Calvary’s cross to set us free from the bondage and degradation of sin.

Thought for the Day:
With forty authors writing from three continents over a span of nearly two thousand years, the Bible maintains that Christ’s work on the cross was ordained by God to bring Salvation to anyone willing to repent and believe.

For more prophecy fulfilled by Jesus:
http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm