Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

romans16_27

He is my Rock. He is my Sword, and my Shield. He is my Bright and Morning Star. He is the Fairest of 10,000. He is the Babe, and He is the Carpenter. He is my Healer, and He is the Great Physician. He is my Counselor, and He is my Guide. He is the Mighty One. He is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings. He is the Prince of Peace. He is Wonderful. He is the Good Shepherd, and He is the Lamb. He is the Rock of Ages. He is the Alpha and Omega; The Beginning and the Ending; and the First and the Last. He is the Rose of Sharon, and He is the Lily of the Valley. He is the Husbandman. He is the Branch, and He is the Vine. He is the Seed, and He is the Sower. He is my Fortress, and He is my Buckler. He is my Salvation, and He is my Savior. He is my Beloved, and He is my Master. He is my Father. He is the Holy Spirit, and He is my Comforter. He is the Word, and He is the Living Water. He is my Guiding Light.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is my All in All. He is my Great High Priest. He is my Advocate, and He is my Intercessor. He is my Righteousness. He is the Creator. He is the One and Only. He is the Bread of Life, and He is my Provider. He is my Protector, and He is my Rewarder. He is from Everlasting to Everlasting. He is the Potter. He is my Delight. He is Love. He is Joy, and he is my Peace. He is my Strength, and He is my Song. He is my Grace and He is my Mercy. He is my Teacher. He is my Lamp, and He is my Light. He is my Hiding Place. He is the Great Liberator, and He is my Friend.

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john-1633

John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you
may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I
have overcome the world.”

What a powerful scripture! This would be a great one to memorize.
Are you full of fear? Does anxiety and stress rule the day? If so, God
has given us an antidote for it. The opposite of fear is peace. God wants us
to be

We live in a world full of trouble and tension. We need to work to make
enough money to live on. The children need new school clothes so we need to go
shopping. The house needs painting, and the car waxing, and there is not enough
time before the winter weather sets in. Johnny needs to be taken to his football
practice, and Susie to her friend’s house. The traffic is bad, and you are late again
to work. The boss gives you “the look.” All the tension and stress of the world
pulls at us. What is the answer?

The great news is that Jesus Christ overcame the world. You see, Satan is
god of this world, but when Jesus died on the cross he defeated Satan.
As we live in this world and face our daily tasks let’s take time to give our
problems to God. He is strong and able to shoulder them. He knows all about our
problems and knows the solutions to them.

My life used to be saturated with fear, but Jesus came in and overcame it.
What a Savior! Now when I feel anxious or fearful about some situation I
remember this scripture and know that God has gone before me so I can have
peace instead of fear.

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christmas3

Look at Luke 2:10-11 “But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”   Have you ever wondered why you need a Savior anyway?  You think you are a good person; you try to life a decent life and get along with everyone.  You figure when you die surely you will go to heaven and be with God.  God says we need a Savior, and he is Jesus Christ.  Joel Spencer delivers a message of hope as he explains what Jesus actually saves us from and why everyone needs a Savior.

Click on the link below to listen to this most important message.

Why Do I Need A Savior?

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I guess  it wasn’t until I was about 30 years old that I experienced my first real Christmas.  It was after I became a child of God.  That made all the difference in the world in how I perceived Christmas.

Growing up Christmas was all about the local fire department’s annual Christmas party.  It was a swell time, and all of us kids looked forward to it.  They put on a super banquet with tons of home cooked food, and we all ate our fill.  Then the country music band would begin to play and many people would get up and dance.  I watched as my folks skimmed over the dance floor to the music, and hoped some day I could dance like them.  Some of us kids would get out there and try.

Sometimes they had a talent show with local talent from the community.  I was always in awe of this one girl who could do a wicked tap dance.  Oh, if I could only do that.  After we were full of food and tired of dancing, we would sing some Christmas carols. They  gave us a little song book to take home and I remember my little sister and I would have singing contests with them.

Then, we would hear sleigh bells jingling, and old man Inar Anderson would come in the side door dressed in his Santa suit and shouting, “Ho, ho, ho!”  Oh, that was exciting!  Us kids would all gather around by the Christmas tree, and wait as Santa gave  each of us a little box of hard candy that had a little srting cord to hang onto. I loved getting that box of candy!  There was always one big chocolate drop in that box and I couldn’t wait to open it and see if it was there.  Yum! My favorite!

Christmas at our house growing up was okay.  We didn’t have much money but we always got something.  We would get a stocking which had nuts, an orange, a tangerine, and an apple.  Sometimes there would be a little gift tucked in there too.  So, to me Christmas was about the Christmas party at the fire hall and our Christmas morning at home with gifts.  I didn’t think too much about Jesus or the Christmas story.

After I grew up and got out into the world Christmas meant something else to me. It was party time!  It was a time to get together with friends and have a drink or two to celebrate.  Yes, we did a lot of celebrating.  We celebrated at work too, as we had office parties.  When we’d go and visit anyone they would offer us drinks. So, at that time of my life Christmas meant partying.  And I certainly did my share!

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

Things Changed

In those days Christmas also meant getting gifts for everyone I could, and buying a tree and decorations.  As I look back I realize that my focus on Christmas was all wrong.  I have to confess that I think I worshipped my tree.  I had to get it all set up and decorated just right. I’d put on some Christmas music, actually worldly music, and with a drink in hand I’d sit and look at my tree for a long, long time and just marvel at how beautiful it was.  I loved people stopping by to celebrate with me and I loved going to their homes and celebrating with them.  Yes, Christmas was a time of drinking and having a grand ole time.

But, then, after I found Jesus Christ as my Savior and went to church I discovered my first real Christmas.  Oh, what a difference!  It was wonderful!  I remember so well that first real Christmas.  It just happened that year that Christmas fell on Sunday.  We  had a short morning service that day. Then we had an evening service at church, and the pastor read the Christmas story from the Bible.  It meant so much to me as I really listened to it for the first time, and let the words sink into my heart.  It was beautiful!

After  that we sang some Christian Christmas carols which were really beautiful, and the words meant something special to me.  Then, members of the congregation shared some of the things they were thankful for.  It was a blessing and I sat there with tears in my eyes. That Christmas I was sober and my heart was blessed with the beauty of Christmas.  I loved hearing how others felt about Jesus and what He did for us.  I wanted everyone I knew to feel like I did.  Yes, there was more to Christmas than what I’d thought all those years.

Since that first real Christmas the holidays have meant so much more to me.  It doesn’t mean partying and drinking any more.  Those things were empty.  But Christ is real and His Word is alive and can change our hearts.

The Bible describes me before I found Jesus Christ as my Savior and discovered the real meaning of Christmas.   I believed in God, but did not realize that I was His enemy.

Rom 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (6) For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, (7) because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (8) and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When I was saved I obtained PEACE with God.  How wonderful is that?

Rom 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

This is the real Christmas story.  Christ came to earth a harmless little baby, but He was born to die.  What love is that?  He died for me a hopeless, helpless sinner. I thought about that on that first real Christmas, and my heart was full of joy that God saved me from myself.  Isn’t that amazing?  He loved me that much!

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Dear Heavenly Father,  I come before you a poor soul who has been graciously saved by grace.  Lord, I don’t know why you chose me, but I am forever grateful that you did.  I certainly didn’t deserve anything at all.
You are a holy God and you are full of mercy and grace.  Lord, I lift up to you all of those who read this prayer and ask that you open up their eyes of understanding to know that they are sinners because of their heritage in Adam and Eve.  When they sinned in the garden, sin entered into the world and has been passed down from generation to generation. 
Help the reader take a good look at themselves and be honest.  Help them see that they  are not capable of saving themselves but need a Savior.  God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to this earth in the form of man so we can identify with Him. Your precious Son took on all the sins of mankind when He went to the cross and died.  He took on mine and He took on the sins of those who read this prayer. Oh, Lord, thank you that you made a way for us to be right before a holy God.
Jesus beat death when He rose from the grave three days after he was buried.  He is ALIVE, in Heaven right now at your side.  This shows us that we too can have the promise of a new life after death. 
I pray that the reader will turn to you Lord. That they will bow their knee to you and allow you to be master over their life.  Lord, please open their spiritual eyes so that they may see their desperate need. 
Your Word tells us that this life is not the end of it all.  When we die we will either go to heaven or hell depending on who we serve down here.  Some will continue to serve themselves and will not respond to your Word.  They will spend eternity in Hell.  Your Word teaches that Hell is a real place and it is eternal torment.  Lord, please, don’t let anyone who is reading this prayer go to Hell.  I beg you Lord. Please help their unbelief right this minute.
There are others who believe they are Christians and on their way to Heaven, but have been deceived by false teaching.  Lord, if anyone is reading this prayer falls into this category, please give them a nudge in their hearts to examine themselves to see if they are truly in the faith.  It is not by good works that they will be saved, and it is not by being a nice person, joining a church, giving money or anything else man can do. 
Lord you want us!  You want our soul and you want our bodies for service.  If there is someone out there who does all the right things in their mind, but does not love you God, does not love your Word, and does not love their fellow Christian brothers and sisters, then by you own Word, that person is not saved.
They need to be born again.  Born anew, and become a new creation.  That is what you do for us.  And, it is wonderful that you actually adopt us into your family, God.  You become our Heavenly Father, and we can call you Father.  Once that happens then you take care of us.  We don’t have to worry or fear anymore.  We will have peace deep down inside knowing when we die we will go to Heaven.  There is no uncertainty about it.  We can be sure! 
If there is someone reading this that is not sure, then Lord I pray you will touch their heart today and nudge them to get right with you.  Open their eyes that they might see.  Help that person to become one of your family members Lord.  Help that person to make a fresh new committment to live the rest of their life for you and not for themself.  Help them to allow you to be Lord and Master.
Oh, this is a beautiful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  But, it is so much more.  It is a time when we can take a look at ourselves and make sure we are on the right path for eternity.  Jesus did so much more for us than we can even imagine, and Heaven awaits us with multitudes of blessings and things we can only dream of.  What a day that will be when we meet him face to face! 
Lord, please bless the readers of this prayer and have mercy on them. 
In Jesus name, thy will be done.  Amen

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Many times in church or when we are listen to Bible teaching we hear words that we don’t really understand. I believe some pastors and teachers simply take it for granted that we all know them.  Sanctification is one of those words.  Do you know what it is?

According to Webster’s Dictionary:

“Sanctification

SANCTIFICA’TION, n. [See Sanctify.]

1. The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God’s grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. 2 Th 2. 1 Pet 1.”

Sanctification is very important for us to understand.  You will see that word, and also sanctify, and sanctified in the Bible and we need to know what they mean so we can understand the scripture.

In my own words:

Sanctification is a process which begins when we get saved. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us right then and sets us apart as something different from what we were.   When we are saved we are actually made a new person by the Holy Spirit.  But, that is not the end of it. All during the time we are alive here on earth we are continually shaped and molded into the image of Christ. This is God’s desire for us. This is a process which continues on until we reach Heaven, and reach perfection.  So, if you are a Christian you are somewhere on the road of sanctification.  You are being sanctified.

Let’s look at some scriptures that show us that:

1Co 6:11 NASB Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Here we see right from the Word of God that we were washed, sanctified, and justified when we were saved. 

2Co 5:17 NASB Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

One of the first things we must get a hold of is the fact that now that we are believers we are actually and truly a new person.  We are not the person we were when we were born.  Then we were dead (spiritually) in trespasses and sin.  We were dead because of Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience which was passed down to us.  We could not please a holy God. A holy God cannot look upon sin.

I don’t think I realized at first after I was saved that I was actually a new person.  It wasn’t until I read the verse above that it sunk in.  It doesn’t matter what has gone on in your past, what your life was like, you are now a NEW person inside.  Do you get that!  It is so important and wonderful.  You don’t have to live like you did in the past.  You don’t have to continue in the old habits that dragged you down. God in His mercy has given you a second chance. You have been set free! 

Joh 8:36 NASB “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Gal 2:20 NASB “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

You see we died (our old person) when we accepted Christ and were saved.  Then the Holy Spirit came to live inside us.  He gave us a new spirit (new person inside us) so now we have the ability to live as God would want us to.  We could not please God before. We live this new life by faith in Christ.  He loved us enough to take our sin penalty and die for us, therefore, we can love Him as we give our lives to Him.

So, how does this sanctification process work in our everyday lives? 

We must die to our old self.  You may say, I thought you said we died with Christ when we were saved.  That is true our old person did die and we were recreated a new person inside.  But, we still live in this old physical body with it’s desires, and it can and does influence us. 

See what Paul says in, 1Co 15:31 NASB I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

He said he dies daily.  He had to die to his flesh everyday, and so do we.  Otherwise, we will be tempted to follow the desires of the flesh and live in disobedience to God.  When we were saved we were made alive spiritually, but we still do have our same minds and memories.  We still can stray away from pleasing God.  I think you will agree with me on that.  We are far from being perfect.  And where does temptation to sin start?  In our minds.  That is Satan’s playground.

Mat 16:24 NASB Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Jesus said to deny self and take up your cross and follow Him.  The cross speaks of death and to deny self is to die to our old selfish desires.  We are naturally self-centered.  We need to take our eyes and mind off from self and get them on things above. 

We are a work in process.  God has given us the Word that tells us how to live a Christian live.  We need to keep in the  Word and obey what it tells us.  When we do, we grow in Christ.  God has told us to renew our minds.  As we do we can resist the devil and he will flee from us.  We do not have to live in sin as a Christian.  Sure there will be a constant battle, but we can overcome by God’s grace and power.

Rom 12:2 NASB And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

As we renew our minds we become transformed, and we know God’s will for us.  We can only renew our minds by our study of the Word of God.  When we read the Bible and obey it, we become transformed.  We change.  Again this is a process.  Look back to the time you were saved and compare yourself to now. Do you see any change for the good?  If so, you are being transformed.  If not, you should revisit whether you are truly saved.

So, we die to ourselves and our selfish desires, we renew our minds and become transformed.

Rom 8:28-29 NASB And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (29) For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

“to become conformed to the image of His Son.”  That’s God’s goal for our lives. 

If you always wanted to know what God’s will is for you, well there it is.  He is now, right now, working in your life to make you more and more like Jesus.  You have a choice.  You can obey God and grow in grace toward that goal, or you can disobey God and live a miserable Christian life, always fighting it, not wanting to die to self.  Yield to God and let Him live His life through you.

Now we are being sanctified as we live the Christian life according to God’s will, and finally we will be totally sanctified when we get to Heaven and see that we are like Christ.  Rom 8:29 “…He would be the firstborn among many breathern;” Just think how wonderful that will be!  All true Christians will be fully sanctified, and we will have the same kind of bodies as He has, we will have the same kind of mind and attitude that He has.  We will be joint heirs in all that He has. Oh, it is more than I can comprehend!  All I can say is “Thank you dear Heavenly Father, that you chose me to be a part of this great eternal adventure!

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 Pic094

In our PD-Overcomer’s group we’ve been talking about some of the road blocks that stand in our way of clear sailing on the road to complete recovery from panic attacks and anxiety. 

Some of the road blocks that we mentioned were:  complacency, past experiences, lack of trust, sin in our hearts, following emotions instead of intellect, lack of assurance, trying to please others, and not being perfect, negative thinking, bitterness, unforgiveness, anxiety, fear, worry, doubt, and unbelief. 

Wow! That is quite a list isn’t it?  And, those are not the only things that can stand in the way.  But, if we take a closer look at all of these things we could boil it all down to sin and disobedience to the Word of God.  So, first, we need to do business with God and get right with Him.

Now let’s look at the other side of the coin.  The more positive side.

As I’ve thought about this, it has become clear to me how much greater we have it then those who do not know Christ as their Lord.  Have you ever thought about that? 

We have the Word of God to stand upon.  We have the Holy Spirit actually living within us.  We have the power of prayer.  We have God Almighty as our Father, and we have Jesus Christ, our Brother, Intercessor, and Lord.  That is only some of what we have in Christ.  Unbelievers don’t have any of that.  Therefore, we can be different in our lives and be overcomers!

The key to becoming an overcomer of fear and anxiety is an intimate relationship with God!  Remember that!  Strive for it!  Make every effort to accomplish it!  It is so very important.  Get your eyes on Jesus and the things in the Word.  Get you eyes off from yourself, your feelings, and things of this world.  Those are strong words, but I am speaking from my heart and truly believe them.

I’d like to recommend a couple of books that have helped me see God more clearly:

Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, by Noel Piper.  This book consists of several short bios of Christian women who have really gone suffered and struggled for the sake of Christ.

They are:  Sarah Edwards, Lilias Trotter, Gladys Aylward, Esther Ahn Kim, and Helen Roseveare.  I’m not quite finished with the book yet, but I’ve really enjoyed reading about how these women faced the trials and tribulations in their lives.  It makes me feel as though I haven’t gone through anything at all.  🙂

Knowing God, by J.I. Packer:  This is a book that I’ve been reading now for some time.  I’ve read it through once and then hit and miss again.  There is so much in it and if you want to get to know God better I highly recommend this book.  It is also one of John MacArthur’s favorites.  It isn’t really easy reading, but it has helped me lately understand who my God really is.

I’m praying for all of you that you will not settle for less than complete recovery.  I want you tol realize that God does have a purpose for everything that is happening in your lives. And that you will trust Him to walk you through your trials and bring you out on the other side.

Mat 19:26 NASB

26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

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