Posts Tagged ‘Savior

10
Jan
17

The Heart Of The Matter

We get so caught up in the outward appearances of things that we forget that God’s primary concern is the condition of our hearts.  We’ll dress up on the outside, but never clean up the inside.  We’re not much different than the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.  Over and over He chastised them for their outward shows of religion and strict adherence to the Law without any concern for people and their predicaments.  Their hearts, though, were far from God.  On two occasions in the book of Matthew, Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6, which reads:

I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know Me
more than I want burnt offerings. (NLT)

We can bring sacrifices of praise and tithes and offerings to the Lord’s storehouse, but never understand what being a Christian is really all about.  Does it please God if we can sing peppy worship songs and timeless hymns, but despise our brothers and sisters in Christ?  Is God happy when we strictly tithe our salaries and income yet hate our neighbors and enemies?  Will God notice perfect worship attendance and daily Bible readings and prayers if we are not compassionate towards those who are suffering and those who are far from Him?  There is a difference between knowing God and going to church.  I believe that we need to worship corporately and be edified by teaching from God’s Word.  But if we are merely trying to earn perfect attendance certificates for our worship attendance and the message never hits home or goes to our hearts, then we have big problems.  God wants a relationship with you more than He wants your money.  He wants a compassionate heart that beats for others more than He wants your sacrifices of praise and worship.  Our giving and our praises please Him more when they flow from a grateful heart for what He has done for us through His Son.  May our gratitude overflow into our hearts and change the way we see others and give us a desire to truly know God.

PRAYER: Lord God Almighty, I want to know You today. I don’t want to merely know about You. I want to know You as my Father, my Savior, my King and my Friend. Help me to know You more each day starting today. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

04
Jan
17

Do You Know Jesus?

John 7:32-36 (NIV)

The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.
33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”

Jesus knew exactly who He was, where He was from and Whom had sent Him. The Jewish leaders were clueless. Here was the Messiah for whom they had been looking and they couldn’t see Him. They wanted to arrest Him when they should have been adoring Him. They wanted to seize Him when they should have been serving Him. They wanted to kill Him when they should have been worshiping Him. 

We aren’t much better in our day and age. People are looking for purpose and meaning, love and joy and they miss the One who can give them these things. They want to ignore Him when they should seek Him. They want to persecute His followers whey they should join them. Jesus has gone into Heaven, but He wants to dwell in every man and woman. He will return one day, but He wants to enter our hearts today. He will bring peace and hope into our lives if we will only listen to Him and accept His offer of forgiveness.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for sending Jesus. I pray for my friends and relatives who don’t know Him yet. I pray that they would see Him living in me so that they would want to know Him and receive His love. Amen.

24
Oct
16

The King Of Our Hearts

John 6:14-15 (NIV)

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

They were looking for a king who would be like David. One who would put Israel back on the map. One who would overthrow the Romans. Surely, Jesus was the king for whom they were looking. He must have been the Messiah! After all, who else could do the amazing things He had been doing?
He was not the king for whom they were looking. Jesus did not come to be seated on a throne in a palace. Jesus came to be seated on the throne of our hearts. Yes, Jesus is the Messiah. He is the One whom the Father promised to send to save us. He did not come to save us from political enemies or persecutors. He came to save us from our sins.
So that is why Jesus withdrew from the people. He did not come to storm the gates of Jerusalem to overthrow the government on that day.  He entered Jerusalem by way of a lowly donkey to die for the sins of the world at a later time. Jesus refused to succumb to the pressure to be what everyone wanted Him to be. Instead, He knew His purpose and He knew the Father’s plan and He stuck to them.
Don’t make Jesus out to be something other than who He really is. He wants to be your Savior and your Friend. He wants to be your Lord and your King. He will not settle for anything less than being the Lord of your life. His rightful place is not as the leader of a nation. His rightful place is to be the King of your heart. Surrender and submit to His lordship and leadership today.
PRAYER: Father, help me to submit to Jesus’ authority in my life. Help me to make Jesus the King of my heart. I want to serve Him and love Him more and more each day. In His name, amen.
20
Sep
16

Seeing For Yourself

John 4:39-42 (NIV)

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Sometimes you’ve got to experience Jesus for yourself before you’re convinced that He is who He said He is. You can tell people about Jesus and the difference He’s made in your life, but until they taste and see the goodness of the Lord, they just won’t accept it. Until they hear His words for themselves, they can’t believe it. Think of Thomas, the disciple who doubted, and how he couldn’t accept the fact of the resurrection until he saw Jesus for himself. The other disciples told him that they had seen the risen Lord and they just couldn’t convince him. The Samaritans in John 4 believed the woman at the well, but they became convinced that Jesus is the Savior because they heard Him for themselves.
We need to be patient and merciful with people who have doubts about Jesus’ true identity. Everyone is in a different place on their journey of faith. Some people are so close to believing in Jesus. We need to keep working with them to show them the truth of His grace. Some people are much further away from believing in Jesus. We need to be patient with them and love them into the Kingdom of God. Don’t give up on the doubters. Instead, as Jude said, be merciful to them (Jude 1:22).
PRAYER: My Father in Heaven, I pray for those people I know who doubt. Whether they doubt Your love, power, grace or existence, I pray that You would reveal Yourself to them that they may come to know You in a real way. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me and for continuing to be patient with me when I doubt. In Jesus’ name, amen.
30
Aug
16

Fully Human. Fully Divine.

John 4:1-6 (NIV)

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

 
Jesus, on His way back home from Jerusalem, was getting tired. As He passed through Samaria, He sat down by Jacob’s well in a town called Sychar. I think that sometimes think of Jesus as this super-human superhero. We find it hard to believe or imagine that He ever got tired. But He did get tired. He grew weary. He was hungry and thirsty. He felt emotional and physical pain. Jesus was fully human. He needed to take a load off and rest.
Jesus was also fully God, as He demonstrates in the encounter with the woman at the well in verses 7-26. Jesus knew the hearts of people. Jesus performed miracles of healing and raising the dead. Jesus forgave sins. He was both fully human and fully God.
This is so important to try and wrap our feeble minds around. Jesus, being fully human, felt pain and when He went to the cross, He truly suffered and He really died. Being fully God, Jesus was sinless and unblemished. His sacrifice for our sins was pure and holy. No animal could effectively take away the sins of humanity. No other human being could ever fully atone for our sins, either. It is only through Jesus Christ that our sins could be forgiven.
PRAYER: Thank You for sending Your Son, O Father. Thank You for Jesus and His love. Thank You for His sacrifice. Thank You for forgiving me by it. I don’t want to take Your grace for granted. Amen.
28
Jul
16

Bring Them To Jesus

John 1:35-42 (NIV)

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

After spending some time with Jesus, Andrew knew. He knew that he had found the Messiah. He had heard John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus and started following Him immediately. The Apostle John says that the first thing that Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon and tell him the good news. They had actually found the Messiah. Andrew brought his brother to Jesus and Jesus changed his name to Cephas or Peter. Not only did Jesus change Peter’s name, but He changed his life.

Jesus still changes lives today. We who follow Jesus must remember this. When we are ready to count someone out and say, “Oh, they’ll never follow Jesus,” we need to be like Andrew. Our job isn’t to change anyone’s life. Our job is to bring people to Jesus in order that He can change their lives. Jesus does the transformation. We just have to get people to Him. Because once people spend time with Jesus, they’ll know that He is who the Bible says He is. He is the Messiah. He is the Friend of sinners. He is the Son of the Living God. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Savior of the world. He is Jesus and nothing is impossible for Him.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray today for the people I know who aren’t following Jesus yet. I pray that You would stir in their hearts a desire to hear about Your Son. I pray that You would give me an opportunity today to tell people about Jesus. Help me to be bold and courageous that I might share the good news with them. In His name, amen.

26
Feb
16

God Calls Us By Name

Sometimes we can feel so alone.  We feel like we are on a deserted island.  No one knows what we are going through.  No one knows the pain we are experiencing.  No one knows and even worse, no one cares.  It is as though no one even knows our names.  We feel like a nameless, faceless nobody.  Do you ever feel this way?

But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. – Isaiah 43:1-3a (NLT)

Notice that God does not promise His people a life free from pain.  There will be:

  • Deep waters
  • Rivers of difficulty
  • Fires of oppression

But I love what God says.

  • I will be with you in the deep waters
  • You will not drown in the rivers of difficulty
  • You will not be burned up by the fires of oppression

He is there with us and protecting us and watching over us.  Why?  Because He is our God and our Savior.  Jesus will always be with you wherever you go.  He knows your name.  He hears your cries.  He loves you for you are His.  You belong to Him.  May this thought and these words comfort you wherever you are today.  Do not be afraid today!  He is with you!

PRAYER: Father God, thank You for being with me wherever I go. Thank You for being with me in my pain and loneliness.  Please remind me of Your presence in my life today.  Amen.




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