Category Archives: christian faith

But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (part 1)

Romans 6:23(NLT), “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When we’re in Christ sin no longer has dominion over us. We may struggle with certain sins, but that struggle does not define who we are because through the blood of Christ we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He overcame all sin when He died on the cross. However He didn’t just die, He also rose again showing us even further that He has conquered sin once and for all. We have our flesh that wants to enjoy the pleasures of sin and we also have God’s Spirit who convicts us of sin, because He knows the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life (Roman 6:23). No matter how good sin may feel to us at the time, we are told that sin when full-grown leads to death (James 1:15). It starts off small and keeps growing. If we choose to persist in sin, some type of death is impending rather it be spiritual, emotional, mental, or even physical. When we turn on the TV and see chaos and tragedy on the news,  much of what we are seeing is a result of sin that has become full-grown and lead to some type of death.

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Not one of us is without sin, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). It’s just a matter of how we choose to handle it. I’ve struggled with certain sins like anyone else, but I can remember God telling me, “This is not who you are.” The enemy of our souls (and the society we live in), will work overtime to try to convince us that sin is acceptable or even worse, that it’s just who we are. It’s not acceptable and it’s definitely not who we are. When we have accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we have a way out. He will give us strength to resist sin. If we fall into sin, we can repent in the name of Jesus and move on. He has promised us that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Unconfessed sin leads to death, but accepting Jesus Christ leads to life (John 14:6).

Choose Life!

Continuing Reading: But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (Part 2)

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What’s Your Idea of Success?

Joshua 1:7-9(NIV)

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Success isn’t just reaching the final goal, but it’s also the steps you take toward that goal that count. Every bit of progress you make, regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem at the time, is an important part of the process. There is no one way of doing things, and there is no one mold that every individual has to fit into. What may work for some, may not work for others. When you understand that you are unique and have a unique purpose, you can focus on what is best for you without comparing yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others is one of the fastest ways to lose focus and get off track. Society has not been shy about giving us its viewpoint on what success is, and it definitely has not been shy about making sure that viewpoint reaches the eyes and ears of every single human soul that is willing to watch and listen.

I have heard many successful entrepreneurs say that we should never be afraid to question what it is that is being suggested to us, because we actually do have a choice in the matter. We can choose what we will do with our lives. We do have the right to question the things we are told to do and a right to “break from the norm” and choose an alternate route. True success is just simply doing what God, not society, has called you to do. Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV) says, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He promised to make our steps firm. That is a promise that society can never make to us.

As I continued to think about success, Joshua came to my mind. In the book of Joshua, chapter one, we read about Moses dying and Joshua then being installed as the leader. Joshua’s task was to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the land the Lord promised to give them. The Lord gave Joshua some very important instructions about being successful in his new leadership role.

He told him to…

  1. Be Strong and Courageous
  2. Obey the Word of God
  3. Meditate on the Word of God Day and Night
  4. Do Not Be Discouraged
  5. Remember God is With You Wherever You Go

God told Joshua that if he does these things he would be prosperous and successful. Based on the instructions God gave Joshua, we can reach the conclusion that fear, disobedience to God, a lack of spending time in the Word of God and discouragement are all pitfalls that can keep us from being successful and taking hold of the blessings that God wants to give us.  There are times in life that we may even question the things God is asking us to do because of doubt and fear, but God is always patient with us as we get to know Him better and learn to be obedient to Him. I’m learning more and more each day that the wisdom of God can handle our questions and that the love of God can surpass our doubts and fears.

By the way, Joshua and the Israelites did successfully cross the Jordan River. When they crossed, they set up twelve stones to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. They put the stones in place so that when future generations of children question what the stones mean, they could share with them the story of how God allowed them to cross the river on dry ground, just as He had done for Moses when He split the Red Sea. The stones would also serve as a reminder to all the nations of the Earth, that the Lord’s hand is powerful (Joshua 4:21-24).

Don’t be afraid to question the ideas of success that are being presented to you by society, after all it’s your life and you only get one chance to live it. Like Joshua, allow God’s power to work in you and through you so that you too will leave evidence of His power to future generations.

Father,

As we aim for success help us to discern right from wrong and produce fruit that will make a difference, not only now in the present, but also in the future. May the works we do leave evidence of Your love and Your power for generations to come.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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A New Year’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

We are thankful that You have allowed us to enter into a brand new year. We give ourselves to You, just as we are. Any worries we have we commit them to You right now and we choose to trust in You, our all powerful, all knowing, ever present God. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT) we are reminded that…”No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

As we journey into this new year, we are excited about all You have prepared for us. Help us to embrace the unconditional love You have for us. It is learning to accept Your unconditional love and depend on You that will see us through. When we understand that You love us, choose to receive that love, and share it with others, we will make a difference in the world around us. The more of Your love that we have in our hearts the better and more fulfilling our lives will be. Teach us to love. We love because You first loved us (1 John 4:19).

The past year has given us many experiences, some pleasant and some unpleasant, but either way we have learned valuable lessons along the way and have grown in wisdom. Yesterday, today and forever You remain the same (Hebrews 13:8). The fact that You never change gives us a solid foundation. We all have needs and desires and You promised to meet our needs and grant our desires as we delight ourselves in You (Philippians 4:19 & Psalm 37:4). We all have areas where we need to improve, but we’re thankful that you’re patient with us as we continue to learn and grow. The mercy you show toward us is amazing. Help us to find contentment in walking with You daily.  Guide our steps and deliver us from evil, keep us safe each day.

We ask that You impart wholeness to those who are broken, comfort to those who are hurting, strength to those who are weak, hope to those who feel hopeless, abundance to those who are in lack, a sense of purpose to those who feel their lives are meaningless, healing to those who are sick, peace to those who are anxious, confidence to those who are tempted to shrink back, and justice for those who are being mistreated. Let Your truth reign over every lie that has been told. May Your Spirit fill those who are empty, but most of all may Your salvation reach those who are lost.

We rejoice in Your goodness and we rest in Your loving kindness. You are our Sovereign God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 2019 is in Your faithful hands and for this we are grateful. We are secure in You.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT),”For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Have a Blessed New Year, Happy 2019!!!