Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Be at Peace

. . . be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:13b) 

Christians are to display the love of God to all people, especially those within the household of faith. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, He overflows the borders of our natural affinities and freely expresses God's love as only He can. That unique love lays a foundation for peace, like that enjoyed by the Father, Son, and Spirit we serve. When we live in that peace, we truly are one, as They are One.

 

Beware of Christians who are strident and combative, more interested in being seen, being right, and demanding their rights than walking in God's righteousness. That is the spirit of the day, and it is not the Holy Spirit, but a counterfeit. When the Lord desires to bring peace to a situation, He sends you, because you are an instrument of His peace. Controversies, divisions, self-seeking, and the like will all give way when a peacemaker enters the conversation. Our presence in the earth is a sure sign that the Lord is still extending His love and grace to a needy world, and He is not finished winning souls and saving the lost. So, go and deliver the Gospel and God's peace wherever the Prince of Peace sends you. Above all, be at peace.

 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

 

Let’s Pray – Dear God, thank You for the unity of the Holy Spirit and the bond of peace in Your house. We will walk humbly and lovingly before You and before one another. May we come to Your throne and bow at Your feet continually. Amen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Spotless Bride

. . . that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)

 I’ve been privileged to witness many weddings, and I’m always amazed at the attention paid to every detail pertaining to the bride. I have never seen a bride with a dingy dress, a careless hairstyle or makeup -- but she is flawlessly prepared for the occasion, and rightly so. If you and I choose to live in a fashion that adorns the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then we, too, will be properly dressed for our Heavenly Bridegroom on that great wedding day. Would Jesus be proud to call you His bride today? Is your life spotless and holy? Are you fit to be with Him, or will you be shut out of the wedding feast?

 

God's standard is perfection, and that is because His standard is Jesus. Notice Paul tells us that Jesus is preparing His bride for Himself. In other words, if you belong to Him, He places His loving hands on every detail of your life. Every imperfection must be dealt with, and every attitude and temperament, as well as words and deeds, must be laid bare before Him and His scrutiny. Our heavenly adornment must be as spotless and white as His was on the Mount of Transfiguration, because nothing of sin or self will be received or accepted in heaven. Those of us who are looking forward to that Day purify ourselves, just as He is pure (1 John 3:3). Remember, holiness is hard work, but it is glorious work -- and the benefits are eternal.  

 

Let’s Pray – Father, I desire to be ready when my Lord returns for me. Whether by death or rapture, I only want to spend eternity with Jesus. So, cleanse me, sanctify me, and make me holy, Lord. I am Yours. Amen.

Monday, January 18, 2021

A New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) 

Among the greatest joys available to a saint is the privilege of beginning again. God does not ask us to salvage or rehabilitate the old man, but to let him die out altogether. There is a new life Jesus prepares for His children, and He has no interest in recycling that which needs to be put away. Never be sympathetic with your old nature, but crucify him, pick up your cross daily, and follow Jesus. The resurrected life will be yours to enjoy forever.

 

It takes a new creature to thrive in the new creation. We must be willing to move on from all we've come to depend on, go beyond our own understanding, and let the Lord direct us into a deeper and fuller revelation of Jesus Christ. That is why our life with Him is called a "walk." God gives us a progressive outlook on everything through faith, and that is a new and different perspective altogether from the one we once had. The nation of Israel rejected God's invitation into a New Covenant. They refused to walk with Jesus, and it resulted in spiritual blindness that remains to this day. Let us not make the same grave error. The old has passed away, and the Kingdom has come -- not around you, but within you. Behold!

 

Let’s Pray – Dear Lord, I realize my blessings lie before me and not behind. Give me a forward-looking perspective, and I will expect good things as You keep the promises You have made in Your Word. In Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Saved by Grace

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.  (Ephesians 2:8)

God’s grace and our faith are an unbeatable combination by which we live victorious lives that please God and bless others. We cannot earn God’s grace, and that’s what makes it so amazing. Salvation is God's gift to be freely and joyfully received -- no strain, all gain! We are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), and nothing can undo what God has done. So, rejoice in your salvation today. Spend your life loving, believing, worshiping, enjoying, and glorifying Him. Relax and lay down your burdens, because His grace is sufficient for you. Hallelujah!

 

The successful Christian life is not found in our usefulness, giftedness, or anything we can obtain by our efforts. Every good and perfect gift comes down to us from above, and nothing of any eternal weight rises up from us to heaven. Without the Holy Spirit, none of us are good -- no, not one. God is not increased or enriched at all by anything we can say or do for Him, and He is God whether or not we believe or acknowledge Him. The only thing we have to offer is a sacrifice of praise, and even the ability to do that is a function of God's grace. We have been saved by grace, we remain in Him by grace, and He will receive us up into glory by grace. So, none of us should boast, but all of us should worship. What an amazing God! What amazing grace!

 

Let’s pray –Lord, we rejoice in the power of Your name, and because of Your great love. Thank You for the Blood of the Lamb shed for us, so that we might be saved and sanctified in Christ Jesus. Yes, we will rejoice and be glad! Amen.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Shine Your Light

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

 

Wherever the Holy Spirit dwells there is light, and He dwells in believers. We are Spirit-filled, and men get the opportunity to see the Lord by the light of our presence. The world is a place of spiritual darkness, so we must be prepared to stand out every place we go. How well Jesus is represented in the world depends entirely on us, and we glorify Him when we surrender to His will, love one another, and walk in the light as He did. It’s simple; we shine, people see, God gets the glory. Now that’s a great plan!

 

Even a little darkness is unacceptable to God, and we grieve the Spirit by allowing any sin or smallness of heart whatsoever. The Lord is looking to expand the work of Jesus in the earth, and that expansion must first take place in those surrendered to Him. Every root of bitterness, grudge, or unsavory attitude must be brought kicking and screaming to the Cross, where we can exchange them for the strength and sweetness of our Savior. Remember, John teaches us that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Neither can there be any darkness abiding in you. Come to the Lord about this matter today. Your light is dawning.


Let’s Pray
 – Father, please give us Your Spirit so we are able to represent You well before all men. We are honored to be chosen representatives of heaven, and we desire more and more to see You glorified in the earth. Thank You for making us Your children and calling us the light of the world! Amen.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Believe Without Seeing

Blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed. (John 20:29b) 

. . . while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

 

Faith is God’s precious gift to us, and it embraces what is most important — the things that are not seen. The Word teaches we are most pleasing to God when we walk by faith, not by sight. Therefore, we are not defeated or overcome by life's difficulties, because we have made the choice to look to the Lord and not our circumstance. “God said it, so I believe it!” That is faith, and faith alone pleases God.

 

Faith is imperative, because there is far more to the Christian life than what we can see or possess. That is why an overemphasis on earthly prosperity and material success is an affront to all Jesus taught. God is not preparing His children for success, or breakthroughs, or prosperity, or even ministry. God is preparing us for heaven, and nothing else. His perspective is eternal, and so must ours be. If we are prepared for the return of Christ, we will also be ready for everything we encounter in this life. However, we can be dressed for earthly success, having all the trappings of blessings and prosperity, and be thoroughly unprepared to meet our Lord. Jesus puts it his way, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?" (Luke 9:25) May the Lord keep us from accepting worldly standards. May the Lord increase and reward our faith.

 

Let’s Pray – Father, I choose to walk as if I already have everything I need and desire, for I believe You are my Provider. I will rejoice and say, “Thank You!” -– for You have done great things in my life, and I know You will continue to do so! In Jesus alone, Amen. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Born from Above

That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit.  (John 3:6)

 

We had no choice in our natural birth, but we are born in the Spirit strictly by choice. We must choose to believe in Jesus, and we confirm that choice by walking in the Spirit He imparts. Then, our life takes on the fragrance of heaven, and we become the “salt of the earth” -- we are the only ones who make this otherwise bland and sinful world palatable to God. God is Spirit, and as His children, so are we. Welcome to the family of God!

 

God's family is like no other family, for it is not respective of bloodlines or DNA. His family is not natural, but spiritual. No human action or interaction can bring anyone into His family, but only the Cross of Christ and the Atonement He accomplished there. The finished work of Jesus is the only door to the Household of Faith, and we enter on our knees and no other way. That is the difference between being born of the flesh and the new birth. Natural birth opens the door to the world, but the new birth opens the door to forever, and the wise man steps through that door. Jesus is the door. So, think deeply on this, my friends. The consequences are eternal.

 

Let’s Pray - Thank You, Lord, for making me a child of the King. I am forever grateful to be called by Your Holy Name. Teach me to worship You in spirit and in truth. I gladly give you my life, and I consider it my reasonable service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.