23
Oct
20

Blessed Are The Forgiven

One of the greatest lies of the enemy is that God won’t forgive you. He will whisper in your ear that you have messed up one too many times. He’ll say that you’ve screwed up way too much. God could forgive some of those sins, but not all of them. God cannot possibly forgive this sin you have committed. It is just too bad for His grace. God would not possibly forgive you for the lies, the cheating, the addictions, the stealing and so on.
God, through King David, says something different. David wrote in Psalm 32:1-2 (NIV):
Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When God says that He will forgive all of our sins, He means it. Instead of wallowing in shame and guilt because of our transgressions, God wants us to remember that we are blessed. We should be filled with joy and happiness because of God’s mercy and grace. His grace should fill us with a desire to do away with the sin in our lives. We are blessed because our sins are covered in the blood of Jesus and God doesn’t hold them against us anymore.
22
Oct
20

God Knows

Why do you do what you do? What are the secret motivations in your life? Deep down in your heart, why are you doing what you’re doing? Is it greed? Is it selfishness? Is it lust? Is it pride? Is it revenge? Why are you doing what you’re doing? You may be able to fool others, but you cannot fool God. He knows your motivations. He knows your heart. This is what God said through the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 17:10 (NIV):
“I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”
God knows why you do what you do and He is your ultimate judge. You will stand before Him one day and you will answer for the way that you lived your life. You will be held accountable for every word, every thought and every deed. You cannot pull the wool over God’s eyes. He sees it all and He knows. There is only one way to be declared innocent of all charges and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. Trusting Him for salvation and forgiveness is the only way you can be saved from your sins. When you stand before your judge on that final day, you will be declared not guilty.
21
Oct
20

Follow Your Heart?

One of the mantras of our day is to “Follow your heart.” This is especially true of Generation X and millennials. We want to listen to what our hearts are telling us. In other words, we want to follow our feelings, which is very dangerous. Feelings are fickle and change like the direction of the wind. God’s Word tells us that following your heart is a fool’s way to go. This is how God describes our hearts in Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV):
The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
Your heart will lie to you. Your feelings will lie to you. Your feelings will tell you to go after what is most expedient. Your heart will tell you to do what feels good at the moment without consideration of long-term effects. Your heart will say things like, “I don’t feel like I love them anymore.” Your heart is a liar. This is why Jesus said to love God with all of your heart and all of your soul and all of your mind. On their own, your feelings will change. Your soul and your mind can keep your feelings in check. Don’t follow your heart alone because your heart is a liar.
20
Oct
20

Confidence

Have you ever met someone who was truly confident? They just seemed to have an air about them that made you feel like they were in charge. They didn’t worry or fear. It felt like they had no anxiety whatsoever. This is the kind of trait you want to see in an airline pilot or a heart surgeon. You want to know that they have confidence. The prophet Jeremiah says that we can have confidence, too. He wrote this in Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV):
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Could you imagine living with no fear and no worries? The only way to do that is to put your trust in the Lord. Just as a tree next to water is fed by a seemingly endless supply of water, so you can be fed by an endless supply of faith. Plant yourself in the Lord. Let your roots go down deep into His grace. You will have confidence no matter what the days may bring.
19
Oct
20

Guaranteed To Fail

Do you want to know the recipe for disaster? Put your trust in people. Whether it is a President or a pastor, a senator or a spouse, a parent or a CEO, don’t put your trust in people. Listen to what the prophet Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 17:5-6 (NIV):
This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
The people of Israel had put their trust in their leaders instead of trusting in God. Their hearts had turned from the Lord and they were trusting in themselves. Trusting in people and earthly things won’t get you very far. In fact, these things are guaranteed to fail. God, on the other hand, never fails. Jesus never fails to forgive. He never fails to provide. He never fails to guide and comfort. Put your trust in God and not in human beings and you’ll never be disappointed.
16
Oct
20

Renewed Strength

Have you ever seen a toddler who needs a nap? They get cranky, don’t they? They may throw a tantrum. They may be so tired that they trip and fall. We’re all like toddlers sometimes in our lives. I know so many people who are worn out and weary. They’re tired and exhausted. They feel powerless and weak. How do we get our strength back? The prophet Isaiah wrote about this in Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV):
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
The words “hope in the Lord” do not mean a wish or a dream. It means to trust. There is only one place to turn for strength when you are weary. You have to turn to the Lord. Jesus said that all who are weary can come to Him and He will give us rest. Let’s face it, we could all use a nap about right now. We all need some rest. We need it physically, emotionally and spiritually. The good news of God’s Word is that He will give us rest and a renewed strength. Even though we may be weary and exhausted, strength is just a prayer away. Cry out to the Lord and let Him give you rest and strength for your tired soul.
15
Oct
20

Strength And Power

I remember the little song from my childhood, “Jesus Loves Me.” In it are the lyrics, “They are weak, but He is strong.” I know so many people who are exhausted and tired. I am weary and tired. I feel so weak and powerless. It feels as though I have very little strength left. I don’t know where to turn in order to get my strength back. I don’t know what to do in order to overcome my weakness. In reality, there is nothing I can do. That’s one of the reasons, among many, that I need God. The prophet Isaiah said this about God in Isaiah 40:29 (NIV):
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
We are nothing more than little children in our Father’s eyes. He sees us in our tiredness and our weariness and says, “Come to Me.” He can strengthen us when we feel exhausted and He can empower us when we feel weak. If you are feeling worn out and weary. If you are feeling exhausted and exasperated. If you are feeling powerless and past the point of fatigued, go to Jesus and find your strength and power in Him. Because Jesus loves us, this we know. For the Bible tells us so. It is to Him that we belong. We are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves us.
14
Oct
20

God Is Not Like Us

I am an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy. Usually, around 8:30 each night, I start to get tired. It is probably because I wake up between 5:00 and 5:30 AM. While I do not work a physically taxing job, my job can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. I get tired and I get weary. Maybe you do, too. When the prophet Isaiah wrote about God, he told the Jewish people that God is not like us. He wrote in Isaiah 40:28 (NIV):
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
God is God and we are not. He never gets tired and He never gets worn out. He is not like us. We get tired and we get weary. Our minds are finite and our understanding is limited. God, on the other hand, is infinite and we could never mine the depths of His knowledge and understanding. Just because you grow tired and weary, it doesn’t mean God ever does. Just because you may not understand, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan. He has it all figured out. God is not like us and for that I am grateful.
13
Oct
20

God Doesn’t See Me

The prophet Isaiah was foretelling of a time when the Babylonians would destroy the city of Jerusalem and carry the people of Judah off into exile. He prophesied that the people would complain to God and believe that He had forgotten about them. This is what he wrote in Isaiah 40:27 (NIV):
Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever feel as though God has forgotten about you? Do you ever feel like God is oblivious to your situation or circumstances? Maybe you’re thinking that God fell asleep at the wheel and now your life is spinning out of control. Take heart and know that God sees you and He knows you. He loves you with a love so powerful that He cannot take His eyes off of you. Though you may be going through a difficult situation at the moment, God is still in control. He knows what you’re going through and He may be allowing it to draw you closer to Himself. So put your trust in your Heavenly Father. He is not far from you and He’ll get you through this soon.
12
Oct
20

Stars Have Names

Names are so important. When we name something or someone, it indicates some kind of authority. Parents name their children because they brought them into the world. God told Adam to name the animals because God gave him authority over them. The prophet Isaiah said that God named the stars when he wrote in Isaiah 40:26 (NIV):
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
How many stars are there in the sky at night? On a clear night out in the country, you can see so many stars. God created every single one of them and knows all of their names. He named them because He created them and has authority over them. Stars are nice to look at, but they’re pretty inconsequential to our lives here on earth. God knows your name, too. He cares about you. He cares about every single facet of your life, down to the very number of hairs on your head. If He cares about stars and hair, know that He cares about your heart and what is filling it with anxiety and worry. Trust Him to hold your heart in His hands and to take your fears and work them out. God is good and He knows your name.



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