Do You Simply Believe?

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. – 1 John 4:17 (KJV).

As Christ is so are we in this world. Let that sink in for a moment.

As Christ is so are we in this world. How can that be? He is God, and we–mere human beings.

When Jesus went to the Cross, He did a lot more than just pay for our sins.

At the Cross, the Great Exchange happened. God entered into Covenant with man once more.

God didn’t leave it up to us to fulfill our part of the covenant because He knew that we could never live a perfect, sinless life.

He send Jesus to Earth to live a perfect, sinless life, thus fulfilling our part.

When David made a covenant with Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18, we see them exchanging coats, a symbol that everything that was David’s was now Jonathan’s and vice versa.

This is what took place at the Cross, Jesus exchanged all of what He had for all of what we had.

He took our sins, our selfishness, our ungodly thoughts–all of our bad. In exchange, He gave us all of His good–His righteousness (II Corinthians 5:21), His grace, His mercy, His healing (1 Peter 2:24), His protection (Psalm 91), His abundance (John 10:10) and His blessings.

Think about that for a moment.

What if we believed that? What if we believed that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus? What if we believed that we are healed? What is we believed that God wants to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11)? What if we were to believe what the Word actually says and not the experiences and the teaching of others?

What if we just simply believed?

I believe if we did that, if we just believed, our lives would change dramatically, that we might actually live the abundant life God promised in John 10:10.

I challenge you to simply believe what the Word says today. Start with believing you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). Meditate on it. Mutter that Scripture over and over to yourself throughout the day.

Put in the comments below, a time when you believed the promises of God, and you saw a miracle happen in your circumstances.

What Can I Do For You Today?

A few weeks ago, our church sent its members around door-to-door in our neighborhood, putting fliers on everyone’s door.

A thought struck me: wouldn’t it have been more effective if the church members would have knocked on the door and asked, “How can I help you today,” “Is there something I help you with,” “Can I minister to you in some way” or the like.

Have you ever seen the show, 7th Heaven? The minister does recruit people to go to his church. He doesn’t say, like most churches today, “I can’t help you unless you go to my church.”

He helps anyone who is in trouble, usually going beyond the call of duty–running errands for an elderly woman, inviting people to dinner who are hungry, taking people into his own house.

And what happens? His church is filled on Sunday. Why? Because he helped the people in his community–black, white, male, female, adult, child, Catholic, Jewish, Atheist.

So what can we take away from this? Being a Christian is more than carrying a Bible, quoting Scriptures and passing out tracts. Being a Born-again Christian is a lifestyle, a way of life.

If you want to be an effective witness for Christ, start by helping in your own community. Find a need and fill it.

Does your neighbor need a baby-sitter because she is a single mother who works nights? Does your local parks and recreation need a coach? Maybe the guy down the street needs a little encouragement because he lost his job.

It is not as much what we say that people pay attention to as what we do.

Throughout Jesus’ life, He applied this concept. Never did you hear Jesus ask a person, “Do you go to my synagogue” before He helped a person.

He helped a woman at a well. He helped people who came up to Him on the street. He helped people on the way to the synagogue. He helped people in the synagogue.

Whenever people were in need and believed, Jesus helped them.

He was so well known that when the lady with the issue of blood touched His garment, she had to press through a crowd of people.

In the same way, we need to be keeping our ears and eyes open to people we can help in our own community.

A lot of people have grand visions of going to Africa or Mexico to help people. And there is nothing wrong with that.

However, before you buy an one-way ticket to parts unknown, practice by helping the people around you.

There are hurting people around you. People who need encouragement. People who need God. People who need help with their kids, their lives, their jobs.

And what if you are the only time in their whole lives that someone did something nice for them? What if you are the only time they ever see the love of Christ? What if they end up going to hell because you missed an opportunity to help them, to share God with them?

Ask God today who in your community, who around you, that you can help. You might just be the answer to someone’s prayers.

 

Originally printed in 2004

 

#Christian #hope #God #Christ #Bible

 

 

You Are Not A Failure!

God has a purpose for your life. Not many people understand that. Not maybe people comprehend that you were put on this Earth randomly. It wasn’t because your parents got together and created you. No, God picked you out, chose you from the beginning of the world to complete a specific task He had in mind for you. But the task wasn’t tailor made for you. No, you were tailor-made for the task. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, God fashioned you with just the right combination of smarts, talents, abilities and personality to accomplish that task. To Him, you failing to fulfill that task, your destiny, wasn’t an option.

But we, His chosen people, have made it an option. No longer is it “I will fulfill my destiny” and “God, use me for your purpose.” Instead we say “I hope and pray I fulfill my destiny. I hope I am in God’s will” or “If I complete my purpose…”

If failure is not an option with God, it shouldn’t be with us either. We are His children, created in His image. We are suppose to be imitators of our Heavenly Father. And failure is not an option to Him, so we need to banish it from our vocabulary as well.

What does the word fail mean? Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, describes fail as “to be wanting; to fall short; to come to an end; to err; to be mistaken.”

And what is a failure? Someone who fails.

It was never God’s intention for us to be failures.

But somehow we see ourselves that way. In fact, we think that God is up in Heaven waiting for us to screw up, so that He can whack over the head or strike us with lightening. We see God as wanting to trip us up, wanting us to fail, but God isn’t like that.

God is on our side. On our side.

What does it mean when we say that someone is on our side? If you are gang member, or a cop, it means that your partners are ready to stand up for you, defend you and back you in a fight.

And that’s the way God is. Because we are His children–if we have accepted Jesus into our hearts–God is ready to stand up for us, defend us and back us up in a fight.

Imagine that! God is ready to back us up! He is ready to help us in time of trouble. He is ready to give us answers when we aren’t in trouble but are simply confused.

God loves us. No matter what we say. No matter what we do. There is nothing we can do that will get God to stop loving us. Nothing!

He doesn’t look at your behavior chart and say, “Oh, well, you haven’t been good, so I can’t help you.”

No, because you have accepted what Jesus did on the cross, you are in right standing with God. Your salvation and your right standing has nothing to do with your behavior and everything to do with Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, which covered all your sins–past, present and future.
God loves you. If He doesn’t see you as a failure, either should we.

So how do we change our perspective of ourselves? The first thing is to get into God’s Word and see what God says about you. What does He think about you? How does He feel about you? What can you do through Christ? What can you have through Christ?

Then you will learn that God loves you unconditionally, that you are the apple of His eye, that He sent His only begotten Son to die in your place, that He bottles your tears. You will discover the benefits of being a child of God–total life prosperity (healing for your mind, soul, body and finances). Every thing you need, God has provided for you.

Once you realize you are more than a conqueror, that you are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, that God is on your side, you need to start agreeing with God’s Word by speaking those words over your life.

The more you do that, the more you will be changing the image on the inside of you. You are like Michelangelo when he chiseled away at that block of marble, waiting for David to emerge. You are chiseling away at that bad self image, that failure perception, until the real you, the you that God created, appears.

It takes a lot of time, patience and effort to change your internal image to reflect the way God see you. But all that time, patience and effort will pale in comparison to what you gain. A healthy, godly image of who you are and who God created you to be. You are more than a conqueror. You are a child of Almighty God.

 

#God #childofGod #purpose #notafailure

All In Your Mind

Everything that happens in our lives starts as a thought.  It begins as a fleeting thought, but if we allow ourselves to consider it, the thought grows. The more we meditate on it,  the more it takes root in our hearts and then our lives.

Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks in his heart so does he become.

What are you allowing to take up residence in your heart? Are you worrying about your performance at work? Are you spending sleepless nights trying to figure out how to pay off your debt? Maybe you are concerned about your children’s future, and they are still toddlers.

Whatever you think about the most will happen in your life.  If you meditate on a negative outcome, that is what you will see happen in reality.   If, however,  you focus on a positive outcome,  that is the reality you will see.

Counter those bad thoughts with God’s promises.  Focus on them instead.

Worry will take your sleep,  your time and your peace.   Focusing on the Word of God will add good things to your life.   It will make your future sweeter and will change your life in ways you did not think possible.

 

#Christian #GodsPromises #Peace #Mind