Encountering God through Faith

Monday, June 21, 2021 by Craig Denison

Having consistent and transformational encounters with God while on earth is meant to be foundational to the Christian life. Our God has not left us. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we’ve been filled with the very Spirit of God who longs to reveal to us daily the nearness and love of our heavenly Father. We are never alone. There is nowhere we can flee from the presence of our God. May this week be filled with transformational encounters with the living God as we learn what it is to seek the face of the one who has formed us, knows us, and loves us unconditionally.


Scripture

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

HEBREWS 11:6


Devotional

By faith we come into the throne room of God and have an authentic, transformational encounter with our Creator. By faith we accept the free gift of eternal salvation. By faith we believe we will one day live in heaven with our Father. And it’s by faith that we seek the fullness of relationship available to us on earth.

 

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” The Lord longs to reward your seeking him with an abundance of his presence. You can have consistent, transformational encounters with God. But in order to seek God, you must take him at his word. You must believe that he will reward you out of his good pleasure when you come to him with faith.

 

Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Faith is simply a response to God’s promises and faithfulness. We can have faith because our God has proven himself wholly faithful. When he says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me,” he is making a foundational promise to you.

 

The Lord knocks on the door of your heart and longs to meet with you. He is asking you to have the faith to make space in your life, open your heart to him as an act of trust, and meet with him. His presence is fully available to you here. The veil separating us and the presence of God was torn by the power of Jesus’ sacrifice.

 

Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” I pray that your heart would be filled with the assurance that comes from faith in response to God’s faithfulness. I pray that you would passionately pursue consistent encounters with your loving heavenly Father. I pray that today your faith will be rewarded with the powerful presence of the living God. And I pray that your life will forever be changed in light of how loving and near your Father is to you.


Prayer

1. Meditate on the importance of drawing near to God in faith.

 

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

 

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

 

2. Come before the throne of your God in faith that he will shepherd you into an encounter with his love.

 

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22

 

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

 

3. Rest in the presence of your heavenly Father. Allow his love to lay a foundation of grace, joy, peace, and purpose in your heart.

 

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13



Go...

May Psalm 139:7-12 fill your heart with faith to experience the nearness of your Father:

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

 

Extended Reading: Psalm 139 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Psalms.

How to Make Father's Day Unforgettable

Friday, June 18, 2021 by Paige & Kristin

Father-love is irreplaceable.


Whether we’re celebrating our dads, stepdads, brothers, sons or other father figures in our lives, these men need to hear what a difference their love makes.


1 Thessalonians 5:11reminds us to “encourage one another and build each other up,” and Father’s Day is a chance for us to do just that. Lift those dads up; celebrate their unique calling; remind them how much they’re appreciated every single day. The job of an earthly father is to model the love and ways of our Heavenly Father. That’s a high calling! Let’s join together this Father’s Day and make a concentrated effort to recognize the hard work it takes to be a good and Godly dad.


If you’re looking for ways to bless a special dad or two this year, read on for some practical, heartfelt ways to make his day unforgettable:


Prayer:


Prayer is a simple gift you can offer anytime, anywhere for the men in your life. Spend a little time on Father’s Day thanking God for the blessing of their presence; pray for their strength and guidance. Ask Him for the ability to see and celebrate the good in them, offer them grace in their brokenness, and encouragement for the daily journey.


Experience:


A memory made together is a gift that can last a lifetime. Consider treating Dad to something he’s never done. Take him on a special trip (even a short road-trip!) to a new place, or surprise him with a unique experience – skydiving, horseback riding, canoeing, bird-watching. Plan a weekend outing to a local event you’ve always wanted to try. Sometimes there are memories waiting to be made right in your own backyard.


Messages on the Mirror, in His Car, Nightstand, etc: 


We’ve put together the following messages to Dad in a free printable {download here}. Simply download, print off, cut out, write a personal message on the back and tape onto his bathroom mirror (or hide in his car, by his nightstand, or even next to his workout equipment). Who knows? Maybe it will become a habit to find something to thank him for every day!


1: Thank you for giving your all at work and at home.


“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23 NLT


2: Thank you for making sure we have everything we need.


“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11 NIV


3: Thank you for leading our family in the ways of the Lord.


“But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 NIV


4: Thank you for teaching us about Jesus.


“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 NIV


5: Thank you for making our home a place we want to be.


“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4 NIV


6: Dad, thank you for showing us how to fight hard and finish well.


“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 NIV


7: Dad, thank you for helping us up when we fall.


“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV


8: Thank you for believing in us and for being our #1 fan.


“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:27 NIV


DOWNLOAD DAD’S DAY NOTES



Favorites:


What does he love to do? If he’s a sports guy, plan a day around one of his favorite things: a fishing trip, golf outing or baseball game. Maybe he’s a movie watcher – how about a family movie marathon with his favorite theater treats? An outdoorsman might love a sunset hike, canoe float or bike ride. An indoors-man may enjoy some quiet time with the family. Pull out some favorite old board games and have a tournament; plan a few surprise video calls with far-away family members; head to his favorite coffee shop for a leisurely afternoon together.


Gathering (make sure to follow government guidelines):


Get your favorite dads and their families together for a good old-fashioned celebration – a homemade meal or potluck, lawn games and maybe even some water balloon fun (because boys will be boys!)  Take over the grill and let the dads kick back. It may be an opportunity to not only bless the men you are related to, but to reach out to others who may not have a place to be on Father’s Day. God’s heart for those on the outside is clear – we are called to welcome them in, and we’re blessed each time we open our homes and our hearts.


Remembering:


We’ve all had to say goodbye to good men in our lives, and Father’s Day can be a time to honor their memory. Proverbs 10:7 CSB says: “The memory of the righteous is blessed.” Spend some time reflecting on the legacy they’ve left – how did they show the love of Christ? What did they teach us about being men of God, and how can we pass that wisdom along to those following in their footsteps today? Consider writing a note of encouragement to one of the men in your life who’s building a lasting legacy. Remind him that the choices he’s making today and the time he’s taking to pour into his children (the little ones and the grown ones!) will impact generations to come.


How are you celebrating the men in your life? Let us know by clicking here.

Living Without Offense

Monday, June 14, 2021 by Craig Denison

Introduction

Loving others is one of the most important and difficult commands Jesus gave us. We are a messy, broken, needy, and sinful people. We constantly deal with our own wounds and those of others. Because there is no perfect person, the foundation for loving others must be based outside of the merit or worth of others. The foundation for love must come from the God who is love. As believers we must be constantly tapped into the love and grace of our heavenly Father so that we can love others selflessly and powerfully. May you receive the love of your Father and be empowered to love others this week as we look to grow in our obedience of Jesus’ command to love people.



Scripture

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”

PROVERBS 19:11


Devotional

Taking offense allows others to dictate your emotions and thereby your quality of life. When we allow the expressions of brokenness in others to affect us, we take our minds off of the ways of heaven and place them on the ways of the world. If we are to effectively live in obedience to the second greatest commandment of loving others, we must allow God to transform us into those who live without offense.

 

When someone wrongs me, I instantly feel a need for justice and fairness rise within me. I feel as if I inherently have the right to be angry or even to exact revenge for the wrong they committed. Offense stirs up feelings of insecurity, pride, anger, and frustration that I will do just about anything to rid myself of. But when I look at Scripture, I see Jesus modeling the exact opposite reaction to offense.

 

Matthew 27 is filled with wrongs done to Jesus. As seen in his betrayal, the freeing of the murderer Barabbas, the floggings, a crown of thorns, carrying of the cross, the mocking by the soldiers and thief, and his eventual death, Jesus had more right to take offense and exact revenge than any human in all of history. But Jesus saw past all the offense to the heart of those who wronged him. He saw past the hard, aggressive, and angry exteriors to the wounded places of the soul and found within him the strength, love, and courage to pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). In the face of the worst offenses and injustices, Jesus chose to offer grace, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion.

 

Jesus lived his life free from offense and therefore was freed to love others. His ability to look past expressions of brokenness to the hurts beneath the surface empowered him to live with joy, passion, love, and purpose. Leviticus 19:18 says, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” If we are to fulfill the command of Scripture, we must look to Jesus as our model and live without offense. We must choose grace over revenge and compassion over worldly justice.

 

You have the ability to choose how you will respond to others. Your emotions and actions do not have to be dictated by the sinful acts of others. Choose to pursue love and humility over vengeance and anger. Allow the Lord to highlight and heal any wounds and insecurities that cause you to respond poorly to offense as you enter into prayer.



Prayer

1. Meditate on Scripture’s command to live without offense. Reflect on Jesus’ response to offense and elevate him as your model for living.

 

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11

 

“When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23

 

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:3-8

 

2. What insecurities or wounds cause you to respond to offense in ways other than those of Jesus? What’s at the core of your offense? What’s keeping you from fully loving others?

 

“Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.” Ecclesiastes 7:21-22

 

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you look past acts of brokenness to the heart of those who offend you. Ask him to heal your own brokenness and transform you into a person who loves others well.

 

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

 

“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14:19

 

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3



Go...

What would your life be like if you were free from offense? How much more consistently would you experience peace and joy? If God commands you to choose humility and compassion over offense, it must be a far better way to live. Vengeance, anger, and frustration will only rob you of the abundant life God intends for you, whereas humility and compassion will fill you with the very power and grace of God himself. May you be a child with the heart of the Father and love others with his love today.


Extended Reading: Matthew 27 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Matthew 14-28.


Let us know your thoughts or comments by clicking here.

The Simplicity of Grace

Friday, June 11, 2021 by Craig Denison

Scripture

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

1 CORINTHIANS 15:10



Devotional

Grace is a glorious commodity of heaven that can only be received and experienced in surrender to the will and love of our heavenly Father. Our world is unable to offer grace because it is in a constant state of need, and grace can only be offered from a place of true wholeness and love. In utter completeness, our God is able to offer us grace because he needs nothing from us in return. He requires nothing of us, so he offers us everything apart from any ability or inherent value we possess.

 

Grace comprises the core of the Christian foundation. It’s God’s grace that drove him to send his Son as payment for our sins. It’s through grace that we enter into the fullness of restored relationship with our good Father. It’s through grace that we receive forgiveness for our sins. And it’s in the simplicity of grace that we are transformed into the very image of our Savior.

 

I find myself continually missing out on all that God’s grace offers me. I retreat into a lifestyle of works where I try to earn what God has already given me. I work for the love of my heavenly Father and others, vying for affection rather than receiving the ceaseless love of God for me. I strive and work for holiness and righteousness instead of simply aligning myself with the new nature of freedom God has offered me in grace.

 

1 Corinthians 15:10 says, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.” Can you say today that you are what you are by the grace of God? Is your life marked by and founded on God’s limitless supply of grace? Are your emotions, perspectives, pursuits, and relationships founded on the notion that God loves you simply because he loves you? Have you found total security and rest in the loving embrace of a God who longs to fill you, sustain you, bless you, provide for you, and love you simply because it’s his desire?

 

Allow God to fill you with a fresh revelation of his grace today. Come before him with an open heart, and allow the truth of his unceasing and grace-filled love wash through you. Allow him to cast out any fear, toil, or burden that is keeping you from the abundant life available to you. Spend time in prayer being transformed by the simplicity of grace.



Prayer

1. Meditate on the principles of grace. How does it work? Where does it come from? How can you experience it? Allow God’s word to lay a foundation of grace by which you live.

 

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10

 

For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Galatians 2:19-21

 

2. In what ways are you living a works based life? Where do you need a fresh vision for living by grace?

 

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh vision for how deeply God’s grace goes in any and every circumstance you face. Ask him to fill you with a fresh revelation of how deeply he loves you regardless of what you do. Allow him to lead you into a lifestyle of living by grace in every pursuit, relationship, thought, and perspective.



Go...

Living in response to God’s love rather than working to earn it changes everything. It eliminates the pressures of this world that are founded upon personal success in every area of life. It frees us to live joyfully and satisfied rather than incomplete and in a constant state of want. May you make time throughout your day today to receive a fresh revelation of grace. May you discover through grace the life Jesus died to freely give. May you discover how wonderful it is to be loved by a God who requires nothing of you before he gives you everything.


Extended Reading: Ephesians 2 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Ephesians.


If you would like to learn more about God's amazing grace, please read more here, or let us know by clicking here. We'd love to hear from you.

The Simple Truth of Freedom

Monday, June 7, 2021 by Craig Denison

Scripture

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

2 CORINTHIANS 3:17


Devotional

2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Freedom from sin is not something we pay for with our own blood, sweat, and tears. It is not bought by any measure of human strength or will, but by the precious and powerful blood of Jesus Christ. Scripture tells clearly of the pervasive and liberating effects of Jesus’ death for all those who come to believe in him and claim him as Lord. May we be children freed from the bonds of slavery Christ died to set us free from.

 

Romans 8:1-4 says,

 

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

 

With the filling of the Spirit came a new law, a new covenant by which the chains of sin are broken. We are no longer condemned to live under the tyranny of sin, but rather freed to live under the new law of the Spirit. And “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

 

The simple truth of Scripture in regards to sin is that freedom is ours through Christ Jesus. To experience true freedom from sin is to simply live in light of the powerful infilling of the Holy Spirit and the living and active word of God’s truth about you. Romans 6:6, 18 and 22 say, “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin . . . . And, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness . . . . Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”

 

You are a slave of this world no longer. Your past does not define you. The future before you is one of peace, joy, and freedom in the Spirit. God has incredible plans in store for you that far surpass simply overcoming sin. Jesus died to give you abundant life here in which freedom and love are your portion, not habitual sin and destruction.

 

Renew your mind to the law of the Spirit to which you now belong as you spend time in prayer.



Prayer

1. Meditate on the freedom available to you through the death of Christ and infilling of the Holy Spirit. Allow Scripture to renew your mind and change your perspective on sin and freedom.

 

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” Romans 6:6

 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4

 

2. What sin seems to continually entangle you? What victory do you feel the enemy has over you?

 

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with his perspective in regards to your sin. Ask him to show you the path to freedom. View your sin through the lens of Scripture and put it in its proper place.

 

And, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:18

 

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” Romans 6:22

 

In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:3-7



Go...

James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” The act of confessing our sin to one another is powerful in experiencing the freedom available to us. Everything the devil does is in the shadows and is marked by deception. When we confess our sin, we bring it into the light, expose the lies, and are able to better see the destructive plans of the enemy. It’s in the light that we experience the freedom available to us. May you be filled with courage to expose your sin and walk in the freedom of righteousness today.


Extended Reading: Romans 8 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Romans 5-16.


How can we pray for you today? Let us know by clicking here.

The Discipline of Simplicity

Friday, June 4, 2021 by Craig Denison

Introduction

The Christian life is meant to be marked by simplicity. Jesus summed up our purpose with two statements: love God and love people. But in our humanity we have made complex what God designed to be peaceful, purposeful, and simple. A. W. Tozer remarks in The Pursuit of God, “Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all. If we would find God amid all the religious externals, we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity.” May we discover the peace and joy that come from pursuing a simple Christianity this week.


Scripture

“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” 1 CORINTHIANS 1:12


Devotional

Often, we are kept from living lives marked by the joy and peace of our heavenly Father because of our continual pursuit for more. Humanity’s first sin was pursuing more than God intended for us, and the enemy continues to entice us with that temptation today. A core value of the world is more: more money, more fame, more friends, more success, more happiness, more possessions, more of anything, because we feel dissatisfied with our lives. We are constantly grabbing for that which will never fully satisfy in the present or lead us to a lifestyle of continual satisfaction.

 

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:12, “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” Simplicity is a God-given discipline that prunes the dead branches of waste that effectually deplete us of the energy, time, and provision with which God has blessed us. When we make the decision to stop pursuing more, we step in line with the Spirit and place our trust and faith in God rather than our own understanding.

 

You see, at the core of a continual pursuit for more is a lack of faith in God’s goodness. If we truly believed God provides all we need, we would never step outside his provision and strive for more. Adam and Eve questioned God’s goodness and thereby brought the destructive nature of sin into humanity. They decided for themselves what was enough rather than trusting God to know what was best for them.

 

Our own forbidden fruit takes on all sorts of forms. We work our fingers to the bone for a taste of greater success all the while forgetting who it is we are to work for in the first place. We take God-given financial provision and waste it on worldly pleasures rather than investing it into that which will actually satisfy us. We take what we receive from God and use it to finance self-indulgence rather than sharing it with those whom God wanted to use us to bless from the beginning. And we take the valuable resource of time and waste it on pursuits that were never God’s intention to begin with.

 

We desperately need transformation and training in the discipline of simplicity. In order to experience joy and peace that transcends circumstances and position ourselves through faithfulness to receive more of what God longs to give, we must offer our time, energy, and money to God and follow the guidance of his Spirit and word.

 

Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Take time in guided prayer placing all your treasure in the only place that can offer you eternal investment: with your heavenly Father.



Prayer

1. Meditate on the importance of simplicity and the destructive pursuit of more.

 

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Luke 16:13

 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17

 

2. Reflect on areas of your life that are not marked by simplicity. Ask the Spirit to convict you of anything you need to get rid of. It’s incredibly important to note the difference between guilt and conviction. Conviction from the Spirit is always done in love and will always bring you inner peace and joy as you follow through in obedience.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

 

3. Commit to ending the pursuit of more by trusting in the provision and goodness of your heavenly Father. Place your trust in Him alone and ask Him to guide you into a lifestyle of simplicity.

 

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

 

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” 2 Corinthians 1:12



Go...

God has different plans for each of His children. He intends for some to live in poverty with absolutely no possessions, while others He wants to bless in abundance that they may have the privilege of co-laboring with Him in blessing others. Scripture is clear that our God gives good and perfect gifts. He loves to bless His children. To live simply, we just need to live in continual relationship with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show us what gifts are from Him and whether they are for our benefit or pleasure or to give away to others. May you find greater depths of peace as you grow in trusting God and following the perfect and abundant leadership of the Holy Spirit.


Extended Reading: 2 Corinthians 1 or watch The Bible Project’s video on 2 Corinthians.

Love Based Obedience

Monday, May 31, 2021 by Craig Denison

Introduction

1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of all aspects of the Christian life is love. Love is to be at the foundation of all we do, all we are, and all we hold on to. If we focus on love and allow the Holy Spirit to strip everything else away, what will be left is a life of blessed simplicity rooted in face-to-face relationship with our heavenly Father. As we spend time this week looking at the simplicity of love, I pray that all the weighty, frivolous things of the world that rob you of an abundant life fall away in light of the glorious goodness of God’s unconditional and wholly available love for you.


Scripture

Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.

JOHN 14:21


Devotional

For much of my life I feared the thought of obedience, especially to the almighty, all-knowing, and all-powerful Creator of the universe. I couldn’t seem to find a way to consistently choose Him over myself. I couldn’t seem to be able to live for His affections over those of the world. As hard as I would try in various seasons, I just couldn’t be obedient.

 

What I didn’t realize about God’s command to be obedient was the process by which I could grow in obedience. God will take our obedience however He can get it because He wants us to enjoy the incredible fruits of His perfect will, but His desire is always to love us to a place that our obedience would be a natural overflow of our love for Him. He longs for us to live a lifestyle of love-based obedience.

 

John 14:15 says very simply, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Jesus’ words here are a promise. If we truly love Him, we will keep His commandments. If we truly have love in our hearts, we can’t help but be obedient to Him. I long to grow to the place where I am so in love with Jesus that I long to choose Him in every situation. I long to be a servant so in love with my King that I would die for Him or anyone else He asked me to.

 

The love of God is so real, so powerful, and so transformational that it can mold and shape us into people who no longer live for this temporal world but seek first an everlasting, invisible kingdom. If we will simply be people who let God love us in every moment, we will naturally be people who are obedient to God’s perfect will for us.

 

Romans 6:17-18 says, “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Through the powerful sacrifice of Jesus, you have been transformed into a person who has gained freedom from the law of sin. You are now enslaved to a lifestyle of right living whereby you obey your King out of devotion to Him.

 

Take time in prayer today to receive the transformational love of your heavenly Father. Allow His love to lay a foundation on which you pursue wholehearted obedience. May you be filled with affection for your King today as you receive the wealth of unconditional love He has for you.



Prayer

1. Open your heart to God to allow Him to come in and love you. Ask Him to guide you into a powerful encounter with His love today. Ask Him to make you aware of His nearness and heart for you.

 

And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

 

2. Meditate on verses about obedience. Ask the Holy Spirit to transform you into a person who obeys God’s commands out of love for Him.

 

Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, He it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21

 

Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.'” John 14:23

 

3. Commit yourself to obey God’s commands out of trust and affection for Him. Choose to serve Him and those He’s placed in your life. Ask Him to fill you with a desire to do His will that your obedience wouldn’t take debate but rather be a seamless action flowing from the love He’s placed within you.

 

But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” Deuteronomy 30:14

 

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk In love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2



Go...

Imagine how blessed our lives would be if we lived in total obedience to the will of God. Imagine the impact we would leave on this world. Imagine the wealth of heavenly reward we would have for all eternity. How wonderful is the heart of our heavenly Father that He would love us into a place of obedience to Him, and then reward us and others for it! Our obedience is solely based on accepting His grace, and yet He loves to bless us through it. Praise be to our loving heavenly Father for the incredible life He’s given us at such a great cost. May we love Him in all we do.


Extended Reading: John 14-15 or watch The Bible Project’s video on John 13-21.


How can we pray for you today? Let us know by clicking here.

His Love Has Set Us Free

Friday, May 28, 2021 by Craig Denison

Introduction

1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of all aspects of the Christian life is love. Love is to be at the foundation of all we do, all we are, and all we hold on to. If we focus on love and allow the Holy Spirit to strip everything else away, what will be left is a life of blessed simplicity rooted in face-to-face relationship with our heavenly Father. As we spend time looking at the simplicity of love, I pray that all the weighty, frivolous things of the world that rob you of an abundant life fall away in light of the glorious goodness of God’s unconditional and wholly available love for you.


Scripture

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.” ROMANS 8:1-3


Devotional

What does it look like to be totally free in Christ Jesus? What does it look like to live in the world, but be free from the constraints, demands, burdens, and stresses of living for the world? Scripture proclaims to us a life more abundant, purposeful, and free than what I am now experiencing. The Holy Spirit quietly but clearly beckons me to choose Him throughout my day that I might know what it is to live in constant communion with Him. God clearly has a plan for us far greater than anything we have yet experienced. And He longs for today to be a day marked by the freedom of life that only comes through a transformational encounter with His presence, truth, and love.

 

God’s love has set us free from everything that would entangle us to this world. His love sets us free emotionally, spiritually, and practically. His love broke the chains of sin and depravity as Jesus breathed His last breath on the cross. His love broke through to earth as He tore the veil from top to bottom signifying the availability of His presence for all. His love broke through in each of our lives as we said yes to crowning Him King and accepted His free gift of eternal relationship with Him. And His love breaks through every morning as surely as the sun rises, declaring to us the availability of a day filled with His nearness and love.

 

Scripture says in Romans 7:4, “Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.” And in Galatians 5:22-23, Scripture says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” God longs for our lives to be marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit. He longs for us to bear His fruit that we might enjoy all that restored relationship with Him affords us.

 

Romans 8:1-3 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.” God’s love has set us free from “the law of sin and death” that we might live by the law of “the Spirit of life.” His love has made a way for us to be fully known and fully loved. But the choice is still ours today. Will we submit ourselves to this new law marked by the fruit of His presence, or will we choose to resubmit ourselves to the law of this world as if the death of Christ was for nothing? Choose abundant life today by opening your heart and experiencing the nearness of the Holy Spirit.


Prayer

1. Meditate on the freedom of life available to you through Christ. Allow Scripture to stir up your faith and desire to live differently today.

 

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” 1 Peter 2:16

 

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

 

2. Where have you been choosing the law of the world over the law of freedom? Where have you been living for the things of the world instead of choosing life in the Spirit of God?

 

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.” Romans 8:1-3

 

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you submit yourself fully to “the law of the Spirit of life.” Ask Him to reveal His nearness that you might know His love today. Take time to rest in His presence and bear the fruit of communing with Him.

 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23


Go...

What would it be like to live free from condemnation as Romans 8:1 tells us? What would it be like to live free from the burden of man’s opinion that we could simply enjoy how God feels about us? May the Lord help you today to experience the life that comes only by choosing freedom. May He guide you into a lifestyle of continual encounters with His love. May your days be marked by the fruit of knowing Him personally. And may you exhibit to the world how wonderful it is to know and experience restored relationship with the Lord of all.


Extended Reading: Galatians 5 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Galatians.


Have you been set free from the burdens of this world? Would you like to be set free? Do you have a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe who loves you so much He sent His only Son to die in your place for the wrong things you have done? If you would like to know more, please click here for contact us at comments@whiterockbaptist.ca or 604-531-2344. We'd love to hear from you!

All He Asks of Us is Love

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 by Craig Denison

Introduction


1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of all aspects of the Christian life is love. Love is to be at the foundation of all we do, all we are, and all we hold on to. If we focus on love and allow the Holy Spirit to strip everything else away, what will be left is a life of blessed simplicity rooted in face-to-face relationship with our heavenly Father. As we spend time this week looking at the simplicity of love, I pray that all the weighty, frivolous things of the world that rob you of an abundant life fall away in light of the glorious goodness of God’s unconditional and wholly available love for you.



Scripture

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 CORINTHIANS 13:13


Devotional

One of the most life-giving, transformational truths of the gospel is that of everything we have to offer God, of everything in this life we have to give, he most desires our love. To love God is all-encompassing. Colossians 3:14 says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” To love God is to pursue a life of wholehearted devotion to a King who is wholeheartedly devoted to us. To love God is to place ourselves in this never-ending, blessed cycle of giving and receiving limitless love.

 

The simple truth that God simply wants our love frees us from frivolous pursuits. It frees us from systems and practices that are rooted in “should” rather than true desire. God will take us however he can get us. He’ll take us if all we have to give is a belief that we should serve him or be with him. But he never desires to keep us in that place. He longs to love each of us to such a level that we would live and serve him out of a place of full devotion as the natural response to his overwhelming affections for us.

 

1 John 4:16 says, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” Allow 1 John 4:16 to create an image in your mind for a second. Picture what it would be like to truly abide in God and have him abide in you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a vision of what that would be like. What would everyday life look like if you were to truly abide in God and have him abiding in you?

 

So great is God’s love for us that he makes himself available for us to abide in him. So great are his affections for us that we could have him abiding in us. If we will pursue love above all else, we will discover a wellspring of simplicity and life rooted in wholehearted devotion to the God of love.

 

Cast off all other pursuits today in light of God’s call to love. Cast off the striving and tireless work of doing life rooted in the “should” and let God love you to a place of love-based obedience. Find rest today in the truth that God is simply after your heart. Open up to him and receive his vast affections. 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” May you abide in the heart of your heavenly Father and allow him to come in and meet with you that all you do today might be done in love.



Prayer

1. Meditate on the call of God to love. Allow Scripture to fill you with a wholehearted desire to love God in all you do.

 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

 

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16

 

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with a fresh revelation of God’s love for you. Receive the love of God and allow it to cast out all fear and reservation.

 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18

 

3. Respond to the affections of God with your own. Tell God how you feel in his presence. Thank him for all that he’s done for you. Enter into the cycle of giving and receiving affection.

 

We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19



Go...

This cycle of giving and receiving affection is really just a picture of what it is to worship. As we allow God to love us, our natural response will be to love him in return because we are created for worship. As we receive his love we will naturally love him and others. For a long time I pictured worship as this time where I had to drum up affection for God that I honestly didn’t feel. God never asks us to fake it. He never wants worship that isn’t truly from our hearts. He knows we need his love to love him in return. If you find yourself emptied of affection for him and others today, take time to simply let him love you so that you can live wholeheartedly today.


Extended Reading: 1 Corinthians 13 or watch The Bible Project’s video on 1 Corinthians.


How can we pray for you today? let us know by clicking here.

Love-based Simplicity

Friday, May 21, 2021 by Craig Denison

As you fix your eyes on Jesus today, may you find that the weight of the world falls away. And may you choose the path of simplicity and love going forward living out in joy and peace. 


Scripture

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” COLOSSIANS 3:14


Devotional

God’s command to love affords us a life of simplicity that can only be found in His kingdom come to earth. Colossians 3:14 says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Christianity is a simple religion. Jesus said that all of God’s commandments can be summed up with one word: love. Galatians 5:14 says, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” How is it then that our spirituality often feels so complex and difficult? How is that we have a hard time experiencing the simplicity our faith affords us?


Complexity in Christianity finds its root in the attempt to live for both the world and God. Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Loving God and people is simple. There is only one right choice before us in all that we do. Complexity enters into our lives as soon as we try and juggle living for the world and living for God. There is a fence between this world and God’s kingdom too high to straddle. It is impossible to put one foot in God’s kingdom while keeping a foot in the world.


God longs for you and me to make our first action every day to serve and love Him alone. He longs to guide us into the incredible, abundant life that comes from seeking His kingdom above all else. 1 John 2:15-17 tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” You cannot have both love for the world and love for your heavenly Father. This world is at enmity with God (James 4:4). It is set against Him and His ways. But you and I have been given a choice by the powerful sacrifice of Jesus. We’ve been given a real, available option to serve and love the eternal, Almighty God.


It’s time for the bride of Christ to end its affair with the world. It’s time for us to let God love us and in response live for Him alone. It’s time for us to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Choose today the simplicity of love. Serve God alone. And discover a life far greater than anything you could experience outside of living for God above all else.


Prayer

1. Meditate on the impossibility of loving God and the world. Allow Scripture to fill you with a desire to seek God first today in all that you do.


You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4


No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24


2. How have you been in friendship with the world? In what ways are you trying to serve two masters?


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2


3. Confess any sin of pursuing the world to God and receiveHis forgiveness and love. God has total grace for us in our sin. All He wants is to guide us to a life more filled with His presence, love, and purpose. Don’t wallow in your sin. Receive God’s gift of forgiveness and choose to live differently.


“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9


Do you have a relationship with God who is able to give us an abundant life filled  with peace, love and joy? If not, and you would like to connect with someone to learn more, please let us know by clicking here or reading more about how to have a personal relationships with God by clicking here.

The Joy of a Love-based Life

Monday, May 17, 2021 by Craig Denison

Scripture

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” PHILIPPIANS 4:4


Devotional

In God we have access to the fullness of joy. In Psalm 16:11 David says to God, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” God has set out for us all a path to the fullness of joy found only in his presence, and that path is marked by love. We can have joy in and out of every season because God never stops loving us.


When we base our lives on the love of God rather than the thoughts, perspectives, and pursuits of the world, we position ourselves to live filled with the joy that comes solely through relationship with the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” We have been ransomed from the ways of this world and brought into the kingdom of our heavenly Father. And in this kingdom we discover a wealth of joy found in the Spirit of God dwelling with us.


The Holy Spirit longs to make us a joyful people. He longs to lead us away from that which will steal our joy and guide us to green pastures and still waters. But a choice remains constantly before us. Will we choose the stress, burdens, and insecurities of this world or will we follow God into a more abundant life of his joy-filled presence? We have a very real enemy tempting us every day to choose a world that will never fulfill us. While we may not be his any longer, he will do whatever he can to rob us of the abundant life afforded us by the powerful sacrifice of Jesus. But 1 John 4:4 tells us, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”


The Holy Spirit dwelling within us is perfectly capable of guiding us away from the temptations of the enemy and toward the joy that can only be found in living for God’s kingdom. If we will choose today to be loved by God and love Him in return, we will undoubtedly be filled with joy. Joy is a consistent symptom of seeking first the kingdom of God because His kingdom is marked by joy.


Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” I pray that your life will be marked by rejoicing today. I pray that you will so encounter the love of God that you are filled with joy in all you do. Choose today to base your life on the unconditional love of your heavenly Father. Choose to love Him and others in all you do in response to the wealth of affections He has for you. Experience His love today and be filled with inexpressible joy.


Take time in prayer to encounter God’s presence, commit your day to the wholehearted pursuit of love, and receive the joy available to you in God’s kingdom.


If you would like to have a relationship with this loving God we talk about, and be filled with the love, joy and peace He provides, please click here to learn more.


Prayer

1. Ask God to make you aware of His nearness. Rest in the joy and that comes with it.


You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11


You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13


2. Commit yourself to pursuing love today in all you do. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you love God and people with your thoughts, actions, emotions and words.


Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14


A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35


3. Receive the joy of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to bear the fruit of joy in your heart, work and relationships. Ask Him to transform you into a person marked by joy.


For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17


How can we pray for you today? Let us know by clicking here.

His Love Pursues Us

Friday, May 14, 2021 by Craig Dennison

We all long to be loved. There is ONE who loves us more than anyone else in the entire world.


1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of all aspects of the Christian life is love. Love is to be at the foundation of all we do, all we are, and all we hold on to. If we focus on love and allow the Holy Spirit to strip everything else away, what will be left is a life of blessed simplicity rooted in face-to-face relationship with our heavenly Father. As we spend time this week looking at the simplicity of love, I pray that all the weighty, frivolous things of the world that rob you of an abundant life fall away in light of the glorious goodness of God’s unconditional and wholly available love for you.


Scripture

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 JOHN 4:19


Devotional

The fact that we are pursued by the Creator of the universe is an unfathomable truth perfectly illustrating the amazing love our heavenly Father has for us. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Those of us who have believed in and accepted the free gift of salvation have been lifted out of the world’s foundation of works-based living and ushered into a new standard of grace. By grace alone we have wonderful, restored relationship with the God who passionately pursues us in every season of life. And by grace alone our lives are now based on the unconditional love of our good Father.

 

1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” All that God does is love because it is His very nature. Every word of Scripture was authored because He loves us. Every good thing we have in life is only available to us because He loves us. The fact that you and I have air in our lungs is a miraculous demonstration of God’s overwhelming faithfulness. The fact that we can enter into such a depth of relationship with a perfect, holy God reveals His heart to pursue us.

 

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This passage in Revelation is God’s word to the lukewarm church in Laodicea. God doesn’t just knock on the doors of hearts already filled with passion for Him. He doesn’t just knock on the doors of the lost. He knocks on the doors of the hearts that are in desperate need of inner revival through His tangible, powerful love. He knocks on the doors of the hearts whose flame has been squelched by the cares and stresses of this world that He might come and reignite passionate communion between our spirit and the Holy Spirit.

 

The God of heaven and earth is passionately pursuing you right now. No matter how close you are to Him, He is knocking on the door of your heart, asking to come in and meet with you once again. He’s not knocking just to fix you. He’s not knocking just to make you do something for Him. He simply wants to meet with you. He simply wants to love you.

 

How you respond to the passionate pursuit of God is totally up to you. There is grace for you today to seek the face of your heavenly Father. There is grace to open up your heart and accept the wonderful gift of encountering God’s presence. There is grace to know and experience the depths of God’s love for you. The question before you is simply this: will you choose today to let God love you?



Prayer

1. Meditate on the heart of your heavenly Father to pursue you in love.

 

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15

 

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

 

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3

 

2. Open up your heart to your loving Father. Ask Him to reveal His nearness and love. Ask Him to reveal His presence that you might spend time truly meeting with Him today.

 

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

 

“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

 

3. Take time to simply let God love you. Open up the places of your heart that are broken, wounded, and cause you pain. Confess any sins that are holding you back from walking in the fullness of relationship available to you. Don’t move on from God’s presence until you feel He has done the work He desires to do today.



Go...

Taking time to sit in the presence of God and simply receive His love is foundational to every other aspect of Christianity. All of eternity is simply about being with our Creator. It’s all about allowing God to love us and giving Him our hearts in return. May Ephesians 3:14-19 stir your heart to truly seek a revelatory knowledge of God’s love for you.

 

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

Extended Reading: John 15 or watch The Bible Project’s video on John 13-21.


Do you know this awesome Heavenly Father who loves YOU so much? You can find out more by clicking here or contacting us here.


God Encourages Us

Monday, May 10, 2021 by Craig Dennison

Introduction

There is no better father than Creator God. He formed us and knows us. He provides for us, loves us unconditionally, and longs for real, life-giving relationship with us. He runs out to meet us in our sin, clothes us with new identity, and restores to us the abundant life He has always planned for us. As we spend time looking at the father heart of God, may a fresh revelation of His love for you guide you into greater depths of relationship with your heavenly Father.


Scripture

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” ROMANS 8:31


Devotional

Our God is the great encourager. He takes the weak and makes them strong. He takes the hopeless and transforms them into beacons of eternal salvation. He takes the broken and heals them with His love. And He takes the doubting and fills them with powerful encouragement from on high.

 

Our heavenly Father longs to give you confidence today. He longs to encourage you to accomplish the incredible calling for which you were created. As we look today at a powerful story of God’s encouragement, may your heart be filled with a longing and passion to seek out the entirety of God’s perfect plans for you. Judges 6:12-18 says,

 

And the angel of the Lord appeared to [Gideon] and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” And he said to Him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” And he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And He said, “I will stay till you return.”

 

God calls Gideon a mighty man of valor prior to any mighty actions Gideon had done. He commands Gideon to go out in the might to which he was called and accomplish the very work for which he was created. And when Gideon responds by asking God for a sign, God obliges him and remains with grace and mercy.

 

God is calling you to a life of eternal significance. He’s calling you to a life that matters. There is no weak tool in the hands of God. And there is no small calling in His perfect plans. You were created to live a life that changes the world. You were created for a destiny that draws the lost back into the fold of our heavenly Father. But in order to accomplish the life to which you were called you will need courage. You will need time spent in God’s presence being filled with His encouragement.

 

God is calling you a mighty man or woman of valor. He is speaking strength over you. He is near to you, ready and able to empower you. Take time in prayer to hear the voice of your heavenly Father. Allow his Spirit to speak to your spirit. Allow Him to encourage you in His love. And follow His voice in faith that you might be used in greater ways than you could ever imagine.


Prayer

1. Meditate on God’s desire to encourage you. Allow Scripture to fill you with the truth about the life God intends for you.

 

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

 

“But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.” Daniel 7:18

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

2. Where do you need courage to pursue the life to which God has called you? What is God calling you to today that seems impossible? What has God spoken over you in the past that fear has crippled you from pursuing?

 

3. Allow God to fill you with courage. Open your heart to Him and ask Him to empower you and fill you with His love. Rest in His nearness. Allow Scripture to fill you with faith to pursue to the fullest whatever God asks you to do.

 

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

 

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10



Go...

Don’t settle for a life of mediocrity today. God has a plan and purpose for everything you do. He longs to turn your relationships, job, finances, and passions into good works of eternal significance. His calling will satisfy your heart like nothing else. And the empowerment of His Spirit for His plans will transform you into a passionate, effective, and loving man or woman of valor. May you pursue wholeheartedly the life to which you have been called by your loving heavenly Father.


Extended Reading: Judges 6 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Judges.


What is God calling you to today? Let us know by clicking here.

Celebrating all Mothers and Mother Figures on Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2021 by Focus on the Family & Robyn Chambers

There are mothers around us all. Some are newly pregnant and trying to figure out what to do. Some mothers are struggling to provide a safe and loving home for their children. And sadly, mothers who have experienced significant loss.


John 15:12 tells us, "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." As I pray this month for mothers, this verse has a special place in my heart. Will you join me in praying for mothers during this time of celebration? For all of the moms - new, experienced, foster, adoptive, mother figures and more. Let’s pray that they know they are loved and that they can fully experience this love through Christ. I pray you find something just for you from the hand-picked help below in this Mom’s Day edition of the Focus on the Family eNewsletter.


Celebrating all moms this weekend and all year,


Robyn Chambers

Executive Director, Advocacy for Children

Focus on the Family


5 Things That Make Moms Amazing | Article and a Gift for Moms

Mom, do you know how amazing you are? You’re observant. You have a special voice. You love profoundly. And... you just might be a spy. Or maybe even a mind-reader. These are just a few things that we want to celebrate with you this week as you make meaningful connections with your children year-round. Keep reading to find out more about your super-mom-abilities, and as a special bonus, snag a FREE download we made just for you.


Finding New Strength as a Mom | Broadcast

Motherhood is a unique calling, and while it’s rewarding, it can also be a challenge. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, author Heidi St. John offers encouragement to you as a mom, especially if you feel afraid, overwhelmed, and discouraged by everyday tasks. With humor, Heidi recalls some of her “mom fails” and other embarrassing, challenging, and wonderful moments every mom faces. You’ll be reminded that God has plans for you as a mom and He will equip you with what you need to raise the next generation. Listen to this episode.


Becoming Mom Strong | This Week’s Special Offer

Have you ever looked into the faces of the people who call you “mom” and wondered what in the world you got yourself into? Moms are facing questions that previous generations didn’t even see coming and today’s mothers need a special kind of strength. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Through encouragement, practical prayer points, and authenticity, Becoming Mom Strong by Heidi St. John equips you for a job that only you can do: to train your children to hear God’s voice and to walk in truth no matter where our culture is heading. Get your copy for a gift of any amount.


The Focus on the Family Broadcast | This Week’s Episodes

With both moms and dads in mind, make time this week to catch conversations about marriage, secularism, depression, and purposeful prayer:


The Joys and Challenges of Marrying Your Opposite

Facing the Demands of Secularism with Hope

How to Help a Loved One with Depression

Bringing Purpose and Power to Your Prayer Life


Help Your Teen Become the Woman God Calls Her to Be! |Advertisement

Brio — The magazine Christian moms trust and teen girls love! Super-relevant and faith-filled, Brio® delivers inspiring stories and practical advice on culturally relevant topics. Empower her, inspiring her to live life with brio, vigor, pep, passion and determination! Subscribe at The Focus Store.


Moms with Dementia or Alzheimer's - an Invitation from Jim Daly| Announcement

Mother’s Day can be particularly bittersweet for moms with moms living with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. While he discusses our related broadcast, “Finding God’s Beauty in Alzheimer’s and Dementia,” Jim invites you to call us for encouragement, prayer, or resources.


We celebrate all mother figures and are so thankful for you and all you do!

God bless you!


How can we pray for you? let us know by clicking here.

Finding Hope in God During Turmoil

Monday, May 3 by David Platt

“Why are you cast down on my soul and why are you in turmoil within me?”

-Psalm 42:5


Psalm 42:5 and 11 and Psalm 43:5 all say, “Why are you cast down on my soul and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God for I shall again praise Him. My salvation and my God.” 


You can feel the turmoil within the Psalmist as he’s praying this. And this is one of the more famous, well known Psalms because it starts, Psalms 42 starts with the verse, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so my soul pants for you O God, my soul thirsts for God, for the living God, when shall I go and appear before God.” There’s a longing in the Psalmist to be with God. He feels distant from God and he’s cast down. His soul is low.


“Why are you in turmoil within me?” There’s an angst in him. There’s a longing in him that I trust is familiar to every worshiper of God, every child of God. There are times when your soul feels downcast and there’s turmoil within you that is often accompanied by a feeling of distance from God, lack of intimacy with God, or maybe just walking through the struggles of this world and just feeling overwhelmed by them. And that’s what I love about this verse that we see three times in Psalm 42 and 43. “Why are you cast down on my soul? Why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God.” He’s just preaching to his own soul. “Hope in God for I shall again praise Him. My salvation and my God.” In other words, when your soul is downcast, it is good to say to your soul, “There is hope."


There is hope that you have, downcast soul. There is hope that you have, mind and heart filled with turmoil. There is hope that you have right now and you’re hope is in God, who is your salvation. In other words, this downcast picture, this picture of turmoil will not last forever because God is your salvation. And you can hope in Him no matter how dark it gets, no matter how distant things seem no matter how challenging the trial or struggle is, no matter how low you feel. You are never without hope. You who have put your hope in God, He will show himself faithful as your salvation and your God! 


Prayer
God, we praise you for this reality, that we are never without hope when we put our hope in You, that You will show Yourself faithful as our salvation and our God! We pray this even over our own hearts right now  and for anyone who has a downcast soul, for anyone who has turmoil within them, that by Your Spirit, they would hear You saying to them from Your word right now, they can hope in You. 


Lord, let them know that that they are not hopeless. That there is light in the darkness. That there is hope of dancing that will come from this mourning like we’ve read in other Psalms. That there is joy in the sorrow, that there is hope that nothing in this world can take away from us. God, we praise you for this. We praise you even as we think about the gospel. And Jesus, you’re conquering sin and death and the grave, that even the worst thing that can happen to us, death, is actually the best thing that could happen to us! In the end, to live is Christ and to die is gain, that we will be with You forever. So not even death can take away our hope. So God, I pray for downcast souls right now.


For those who are experiencing turmoil within them, I pray that you would help them in this moment even and all day long and all night long as they lay their head on their pillow at night, that You would help them to hope in You as their salvation and their God. Even as we think about what You said before You left this earth, Jesus, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but take heart. I have overcome the world.” We have hope no matter what the tribulation is, no matter what the challenges are, all glory be to Your name, O God, we say together right now, You are our hope. We hope in You. Particularly those of us with downcast souls and turmoil in our hearts, we say together, we hope in You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Psalm 42 and 43, Amen.


Is your should downcast right now? Do you have this hope in God?

Let us know how we can help or pray for you by clicking here.

Worth It All

Friday, April 30, 2021 by Magen Thurman

I think for many, it’s relatively normal to accept (albeit, difficult) that one day our life will end. We have one life—just one—and when it’s over…it’s over. And here’s the truth: whether we know it or not, believe it or not, or agree with it or not, we will all—every single last one of us—stand before a Holy God who cannot be in the presence of sin. And that puts us all in a bit of a pickle. Because our very nature is to, well…sin. We are prone to wander. We are prone to run from Jesus, run from his loving and sanctifying work in us, and run from the race that is marked for us.  


But for some of us, we don’t run from it. Some of us choose the harder choice…to run to it. Some of us run to the Lord. Some of us choose to run to Jesus, saying to him all the while, “who else do I have but you? Where else can I go, but to you?” And I will be honest with you, this is the harder choice. Running to Jesus forces us to accept that tragedy is going to happen, that pain is a guarantee, that the race will be rocky, and that not everything will be perfect all of the time. 


That there will be seasons of wilderness, seasons of joy, seasons of brokenness, and seasons of hope. Running to Jesus reveals to us our own selves. Maybe when we thought we were “speaking truth”, it was actually just pride. Maybe when we thought we were justified in our actions, it was simply justifying sin or flying off the handle. Maybe when we thought we were rushing our kids for their good, we were actually just allowing our impatience to overtake our love. 


When we run to Jesus, He gently and patiently, and with so much graciousness, shows us the true motives of our heart. He shows us the true reason for our actions and how we actually are: sinful and flawed people in desperate need of the merciful grace of a Savior. 


And when we live our life like this? Well…


The race becomes worth it.


The brokenness becomes worth it. 


The seasons of ups and downs, highs and lows, become worth it. 


The sanctifying work of Jesus in our life, in our soul and in our character, becomes worth it. 


The vulnerability and the “laid bare” feeling that comes from confession of sin, becomes worth it.


Why? 


Because one day soon, we will see His face. And when we do, we will fall down before the mercy seat of a Holy and Righteous God. And when God sees us, here’s what we will have to show for our life here on earth: Jesus. That we ran to Jesus. That we embraced all that Jesus called us to embrace. That we embraced the wounds, the pains, the trials, the brokenness, the sanctification, the struggles, and the hardest part: running to Jesus (instead of away), messing up (again), and running back to Jesus.


Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”


So here’s all I know: that one day I—with every wound, every crown, every trial, and every season—will be able to lay it all at the feet of Jesus and say, “It was worth it all, for the surpassing infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, and running toward Jesus with every breath.” 


Are you running toward Jesus? If you would like to learn more about Jesus, please let us know by clicking here.

God Gives Peace

Monday, April 26, 2021 by Craig Dennison

God is the Giver of Gifts. Today we look at the peace God is faithful to give. We all need peace in this chaotic world, and thankfully God has an abundance of it, which He wants to lavish on His children. Open your heart today, be still, and take in the peace of heaven.


Scripture


“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, 

or He will speak peace to His people, to His saints.” 

PSALM 85:8


Devotional


Peace is a commodity that can only be found with time spent seeking the face of God. The world can’t offer us peace because it has nothing in which to place its hope, trust, and security. Kingdoms come and go. Leaders move in and out of power. What societies value changes like the passing of the tides. Our only constant is God. He has been, is, and forever will be the Creator, Sustainer, and Lord of all. All authority has been given to him. He governs the change of seasons. He thwarts the plans of our enemy. And He longs to offer total and sustained peace to all who place their hope and trust in Him.


Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Our God has peace in store for us in every situation if we will choose to keep our mind stayed on Him and trust Him. The world says that peace can only come when you’ve worked your fingers to the bone and have finally attained all you want. You can only have peace when you have enough money, friends, the right job, or the right spouse. You can only have peace if friends, family, and bosses like you. God’s way is to draw you into Himself and offer you peace in the midst of your circumstances. He doesn’t want you to wait until everything gets worked out before you can have rest—He’s offering you rest right now.


Psalm 23 says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul . . . . You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:1-35). God longs to prepare a table for you in the midst of whatever trouble surrounds you. He is calling you to keep your mind stayed on Him no matter what lies before you. And He is asking you to seek His face and find your rest in Him rather than toiling and striving for circumstantial peace.


Romans 8:6 says, “To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” It’s by the Spirit alone that you will find life and peace. Stop looking for your fulfillment in the things of the world. Stop asking the world to offer you what it never had to begin with. Look toward your heavenly Father for the peace that surpasses all understanding. May you be filled with rest and peace today as you spend time in prayer seeking the face of God.


Prayer


1. Meditate on the truth that God is your sole source of peace and rest. Allow God’s word to mold and shape your perspective.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”Psalm 23:1-3

“To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3


2. Where have you been running to for peace? Have you had much peace and rest in your life lately? Acknowledging your past pursuits will help you make present changes.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6


3. Seek the peace that comes from placing your hope and trust in God alone. Ask the Spirit to fill you with peace in the midst of your circumstances. Let your requests be known to God, and receive the peace that comes from casting your burdens on the loving and capable shoulders of your heavenly Father.

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7


Do you have the peace of God? If you would like to learn more about this amazing peace, please let us know by clicking here.

God the Giver of Comfort

Friday, April 23, 2021 by Craig Dennison

Our heavenly Father is the giver of every good gift. His mercies are vast, powerful, and real. His love has the ability to completely overwhelm and satisfy every one of our needs. Everything He gives us satisfies, transforms, and leads us to abundant life. As we stir up our affections toward God, allow your heart to become soft and open. Allow His loving character to draw you close and provide life to every dry and weary place in your soul.


Scripture

“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”

ISAIAH 66:13


Devotional

Isaiah 66:13 says, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” Your heavenly Father is the God of comfort. When the world takes its toll on you, He longs to wrap you in His loving embrace and bring you comfort to cover all your pain. In the face of trials and tribulations, He desires to provide you comfort in the fact that He works all things for your good. And when everything seems bent against you, He longs to sing comfort over you as He fills you with the joy and foundation of His presence.

 

Jeremiah 31:13-14 says, “‘Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,’ declares the Lord.” God is in the business of turning what your enemies meant for evil into the very source of your joy. He loves to transform what was once your greatest sorrow into a reason for gladness. He longs to lead you to a life of abundance and satisfaction when the world around you seems to be dry, weary, and depleted.

 

God is calling out to you, “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He is beckoning you to open your heart to Him and receive the comfort only He can provide. Sometimes opening our hearts to Him can be difficult. To have our wounds be truly comforted and healed requires allowing Him to come and speak to the vulnerable and sore places of our hearts. We all have wounds deep down that we have worked tirelessly to keep hidden from others and even ourselves. We all have areas of our lives that seem to hurt too greatly to bring up again, even if the very act of bringing them to the surface will be our source of healing.

 

When God beckons you to open up the hurt places in your life to Him, know that He will only ever speak love, mercy, and forgiveness. And know that after He gets done comforting you, the area that used to be a harmful wound will be a continual source of joy, gladness, and abundant life.

 

Open your heart to your heavenly Father today as you pray. Allow the Spirit to guide you to wounds that need to be comforted and healed. Allow Him to wrap you up in His loving presence and guide you into the abundant life He intends for you.


Prayer

1. Meditate on God’s desire and ability to comfort your every hurt. Reflect on His promise to provide you rest where you are weary.

 

“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:18-19

 

“Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:13-14

 

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

 

2. Ask the Spirit to guide you to areas of your heart that need to be comforted and healed. What past or present afflictions have wounded you? What’s at the source of your mourning, sorrow, or pain? What does God long to heal today?

 

3. Ask God to show you how He feels about the person, situation, or belief that wounded you. Ask Him to show you where He was through it all. Remain in His presence, allowing Him to speak and provide comfort and healing. Spend as long as it takes for your hurt to be comforted.


Go...

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” As you receive healing and comfort, God will use you to provide healing and comfort to others. God loves to use those who were broken and now healed to guide others to the place of comfort. Look for those suffering from an area in which God has healed you and comfort them with the comfort you have been shown by your heavenly Father.

 

Extended Reading: Jeremiah 31 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Jeremiah.


How can we pray for you today? Let us know by clicking here.

The Wisdom of God

April 19, 2021 by Craig Dennison

In today’s devotional, we’re going to stir up our affections for God by looking at His wisdom. Not only is our God wise, but He longs to share His wisdom with us as His people. Living with true wisdom, true perspective, knowing how to order our desires and our days is one of the real keys to living an abundant life. May we praise God for His wisdom, and ask Him with boldness and confidence to share that wisdom with us today.


Scripture

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

JAMES 1:5


Devotional

Your heavenly Father is perfectly wise. Everything He does is perfect. Every thought and idea He has is filled with complete wisdom. What’s more, through the Holy Spirit you have access to that wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Your God loves you so much that He’s just waiting to bestow on you His vast wisdom. He never wants you to suffer from a lack of knowledge. So often, we are taught that God only reveals to us what we absolutely have to know right before we need to know it. But that’s not the truth of Scripture. James 1:5 proves that. Your God gives His wisdom “generously!”


Not only is the wisdom of God given to you generously if you ask, but it also has with it incredible attributes. James 3:17 says, “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” The wisdom of God will do incredible things for your life. With it comes the very nature of God. James 3:17 could just as easily have said that God is “pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” So when you receive the wisdom God bestows upon you, you are receiving many of the attributes of God Himself.


The wisdom of God is unlike any other way of thinking you’ll find. 1 Corinthians 3:18-20 says, “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness,’ and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.'”Jesus taught us in Matthew 10:39, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” The path He is guiding you to is the way out of the stress that worldly ambition and success will assuredly cause. He’s guiding you to a life of abundant peace. When you forgo the wisdom of this world for His, you will undoubtedly appear more foolish to some. But you will have found a way of living free from the burdens of the world. God’s wisdom leads you to a life truly hidden with Christ, lost in the sea of His love and mercy.


Ask God for His wisdom today. Read His word with the guidance of the Spirit. God is waiting patiently to reveal everything you have the desire to seek out. Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” Ask Him for His wisdom today, and live the abundant life God has planned for you.


Prayer

1. Meditate on the amazing qualities of God’s wisdom. Let meditation stir up within you a desire to think like God.


“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”James 3:17


2. Where in your life do you need God’s wisdom? Maybe you need to know how to see yourself. Maybe you have a situation in which you could really use some guidance. Think about the areas in your life in which you need God’s help.


3. Ask God for His wisdom. Have faith in response to His word that He gives wisdom generously, and receive and implement anything He shows you.


“If any of you lacks wisdom, let Him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given Him.” James 1:5


Go

The wisdom of God won’t do much for you if you don’t choose to implement God’s thinking over the world’s. If you continuously work for the favor of man and worldly success in light of what you know to be God’s truth, you will continue to experience the consequences of a life lived foolishly. God’s word must be implemented to produce fruit. You have to choose to live in light of your position in Christ for transcendent peace to become the norm in your life. God gives wisdom to you freely when you ask. The question before you today is simply whether or not you will choose to trust God and implement it.


Extended Reading: 1 Corinthians 3 or watch The Bible Project’s video on 1 Corinthians.


Let us know your thoughts, or how we can pray for you, by clicking here.

God is in Control

Friday, April 16, 2021 by Charles Spurgeon

God, you have been good to us for the first part of this year. Each believer here has trodden a different pathway: to some it has been a very smooth road, to others a very rough climb; to some a deep descent into the valley of sorrow and humiliation. But you have led your people by a right way. With all the twisting of the wilderness march, we are persuaded that when you lead us, still we go the best way.


You know best, and often to retreat is to advance, and to be beaten back is to make surest headway. Whatever happens in the rest of this year, we will lift up the song of grateful praise, raise another stone of help to record the loving-kindness of our God.


Amen.



VERSE OF THE DAY (COMMENTARY BY SPURGEON)


“In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him.” (Hebrews 1:2)


Christ is Lord of all the angels—not a seraph spreads his wings except at his bidding. As for all things here below, God has given the Son power over all flesh. All must willingly, or else unwillingly, submit to His sway, for His Father has appointed him. This is another wondrous encouragement to anyone who is seeking salvation. Christ has everything in His hand that he may save us. If we come and entrust ourselves into His hands, we will never have to look about to find the balm for our wounds.


Please join us for our new sermon series, "God is in Control", in the book of Daniel. Watch it Sundays at 10am at www.whiterockbaptist.ca/church-online or on demand shortly after 11am or click the button below:


Watch WRBC Church Online


Please let us know how we can help or pray for you in any way, by clicking here.

Go to Heaven Tired

Monday, April 12, 2021 by Danny Forshee

"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ."


(Colossians 3:23-24)


Have you heard the phrase "a good tired"? Many experience an exhaustion that is not healthy, constantly expending the majority of their efforts on things that lack eternal significance, rather than on the things God wants. But there is a different kind of exhaustion where you have such a profound peace in your heart, even though you are very tired. As a pastor and evangelist, I get it. There is always something to do: a call to make, a question to answer, a sermon to write, a request to read or watch something and give a response, a visit to be made, a prayer to be prayed, and on and on. It is the greatest, most rewarding work, but it can also leave you very weary.


But what a joy and privilege to spend your life in a worthy vocation where you please God and help others in their relationship with God. Some reading this today will quickly point out the dangers of burnout and going so hard for so long that you are no good for anyone. That is a point well taken. For about a year now, I have been practicing a sabbath day. I assure you, it is not Sunday for preachers! It is the most intense and work-filled day of the week. Most pastors I know are up early on Sunday, praying, studying, meeting, interacting, answering questions, and yes, preaching. Preaching one hour on Sunday is like working eight hours on a normal day. I have no greater joy in this life than the preparation and delivery of a message from the Word of God. Charles Spurgeon said, "Preaching is a farce unless the preacher has fire in him; but when that fire is there, it is God's way of bringing souls to himself."


A pastor made the following statement years ago, and it has really stuck with me: "I do not want to burn out, wear out, flame out; I want to max out for the glory of God!" That is how I feel. True, you have to take time off, honor the Sabbath (whichever day you choose; for me it is Saturday), and you have to do good for your soul. Do those things that bless and refresh you and put gas back in your tank. Then, by the power and grace of God, go in Jesus' name and give all you got. Leave it all on the court. When it is all said and done, go to heaven tired and hear Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." (Matthew 25:21)


Whatever your vocation, let the words of the Apostle Paul motivate you and spur you on to good works. Do what you do with all you have within you, or as Paul says, do it heartily. Give it your best by pouring your heart and soul into what you do for the glory of Jesus. He will bless you with a wonderful inheritance. I am praying for you that God would bless you with great dunamis (the Greek word for power), and as a result, God will receive much glory from your life of service and ministry for Christ.


How can we pray for you today? Let us know by clicking here.


The Healing Balm of Refreshment

Friday, April 11, 2021 by David Wilkerson

“The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me…and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus” (2 Timothy 1:16-18).


Onesiphorus was one of Paul’s spiritual sons and he loved Paul so deeply and unconditionally that he sought him out in his sufferings. Once, when Paul was jailed, Onesiphorus went through the city looking for him until he found him. His motivation was simply, “My brother is hurting. He has suffered the terrors of shipwreck, and now he’s being buffeted by Satan. I have to encourage him.”


The ministry of refreshing clearly includes seeking out those who are hurting. We hear a lot of talk about power in the church these days: power to heal the sick, power to win the lost, power to overcome sin. But I say there is great, healing power that flows out of a refreshed and renewed person. Depression, mental anguish or a troubled spirit can cause all kinds of physical sickness, but a spirit that’s refreshed and encouraged—one that’s made to feel accepted, loved and needed—is the healing balm needed most.


We find this ministry of refreshing in the Old Testament as well. When David was being hunted down by King Saul, he was exhausted and hurting, forced to run day and night. During that time, he felt rejected by God’s leaders and God’s people. Then, at a crucial moment, David’s friend Jonathan came to him: “Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, ‘Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that’” (1 Samuel 23:16-17).


That was all David needed to hear and immediately his spirit was refreshed to go on. We see this example time after time in Scripture: God sends not an angel or a vision, but a fellow believer to refresh his beloved ones.


Are you hurting, anxious or depressed? Do you need refreshment? Please let us know by clicking here. We would love to encourage you.


If you are doing well, are you encouraging and refreshing others? Is there someone God is putting on your heart right now that you can reach out to?

If you would like to be more involved in encouraging others, please let us know by clicking here.

April Devotion

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 by BCY Regional Minister Larry Schram

I love condiments. The burst of flavours added to my food makes my taste buds dance, my tongue tingle—and if spicy enough, I will even break out in a wonderful sweat. As a flavour junkie, condiments always add some delightful zest to my mealtimes. In my experience, condiments lack only one thing: they cannot stand alone as a meal. They are intended to add spice or complexity to a dish but can never be a meal in themselves.


I was listening to a sermon recently, and it struck me that too often in my life, I have approached Jesus like a condiment. I have asked Him to add something to my life, like zest to a meal, forgetting that He is much more than that. In fact, His clear call to me is not to add flavour or zest to my life, but to yield my life to Him in all things and follow Him.


In Mark we read; Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (8: 34) It is kind of hard to miss the point of Jesus’ words. If I want to walk with Him, I start by denying myself. This is more than the habits of self denial, like so many of the common practices of Lent. Instead, denying myself is to give up ownership of myself, to disregard myself, or as Eugene Peterson framed it, accepting that I am not in the driver’s seat. To deny myself is to trust Jesus enough that I yield to Him in all things. When I do so, my identity and purpose are found in Him, and not in anything else this world can offer me. In other words, I do not add Him to my life as a meaningful addition—I let Him rebuild, refocus, and redefine my life in every way as I follow Him.


I was convicted by what I heard in that sermon, and it made me think. I cannot truly follow Jesus and syncretize my faith into a personal brand, like some people try to do. Likewise, I cannot treat Jesus like a convenient value added addition to my life—a spiritual condiment, if you will. Neither can I hold back some part of my life as my personal identity that is somehow private and beyond the claims of Christ. Instead, His invitation is clear, and all I need to do is trust Him enough to yield everything to Him and follow Him in all things. All it will take is everything I have, but what I gain is worth the cost of this denial: I gain a life under the Lordship of Christ.


Therefore, I choose to yield and follow Jesus.


Let us know your thoughts by clicking here.

How Are You Celebrating Easter This Year?

Sunday, April 4, 2021 by Kelsey Straeter

Without a doubt, your Easter is looking a little different this season than it has in years past. Like never before, we’re forced to strip down the manmade version of the holiday filled with fancy Sunday dresses, Easter egg hunts, and big family gatherings, to the bare essentials: the cross, an empty tomb, and our Risen Lord.


Yes, this Easter, more than ever, will be about intimate time with our Savior—a time to reflect on the life that conquered death, triumph over hell, the greatest prophecy ever fulfilled, and victory over the sin that should have nailed us to that very cross.


Though the words were spoken many years ago, this riveting message by Dr. S.M. Lockridge could not be pronounced at a more timely age:


“The Pharisees couldn’t stand him, but they found out they couldn’t stop him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in him. Herod couldn’t kill him. Death couldn’t handle him. And the grave couldn’t hold him. THAT’S MY KING!”


“I wonder if you know him?” asks Lockridge. “He’s the key to knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory.”


Listen to Lockridge’s powerful 3-minute message below or click here and join us in boldly declaring these Truths over our own homes this Easter season. 


Dear God, help me to know You more deeply and intimately this Easter. You are MY KING! In Jesus’ name, amen.


We hope you'll join us for our Easter Service on Sunday, April 4 by clicking here.


If you would like to learn more about this wonderful King,  Jesus - our loving, awesome Saviour who took our place and died for our sins, please contact us by clicking here. We would love to hear from you!


Take a Moment to Consider the Cross

Good Friday, April 2, 2021 by Andrew Palau

Consider what Christ did for you. 


He was crucified. It wasn’t a mistake. He went willingly. Jesus said, in John 10:18, “No one takes {my life} from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”

He gave His life for you. It was the greatest act of love and power wrapped up in this work of Easter. His resurrection from the dead was proof of His power.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25) Do you believe this?

He doesn’t want us guessing. We can come to Him and receive assurance of our salvation. Our friends can too! 

Who can you share the Good News with today?


https://www.easterhope.org/alive


Click here for an Easter Gospel pdf you can share.



GOD LOVES YOU

God created you to know Him and the unchanging love He has for you.


 

WE'VE SINNED


We’ve thought and done things that fall short of God’s perfect plan for us. Our sin could separate us from God for all eternity, and God says the penalty for our sin is death, but our loving Father always had a plan in mind to rescue us from the death we deserve.


 

GOD SENT JESUS


God sent Jesus into the world so that our sins could be forgiven. He lived a perfect life—healing people, loving them, and teaching them about God. He was put to death like a common criminal on a cross. When He died, He willingly took the sins of the world—yours and mine—and paid the penalty for our sins, dying in our place.

 


JESUS ROSE ON EASTER!

On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave, displaying to the whole world that He has the power to give all of us everlasting life in Heaven with Him.

 


ACCEPT JESUS...

To receive God’s free gift of love, we must receive His Son Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. You can ask God to forgive your sins and help you to start a new life in Him today. 


Pray this prayer now to ask Jesus into your life…


Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God who died to pay the penalty for my sins. I open the door of my heart and ask You to be my Savior and Lord. I ask Your forgiveness for all my sins. Please forgive my sins and help me to live for You.

 

Did  you pray this prayer and ask Jesus Christ to be your Saviour? Please, let us know!


YES


No, but I'm interested in learning more




Trusting in His Will

Monday, March 29, 2021 by Charles Stanley

People—Christians included—love to feel as though they’re in control, able to influence outcomes by the actions they take. And to a degree, that’s true. But when things don’t go our way, many times we refuse to accept the outcome. Instead, we fight for our idea of how things should be, regardless of what (or whom) it will cost us. This certainly isn’t a peaceful approach to life.


True peace comes only when we trust God and recognize how little control we actually have—not only over difficult circumstances, but over good ones, too. The genuine peace we long for comes through submission. Think of Jesus praying just hours before He was arrested, knowing what would befall Him and how He would be betrayed. In His grief, the Lord prayed for something different to happen. But then He said to the Father, “Not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Let this be our attitude as well, as we remember the only way to be truly free is to trust God’s perfect and loving will.


Think about it 
• Are there any areas of your life that you’re trying to control? Offer them to God, praying, “Father, not my will, but Yours be done” each time they come to mind.


How can we pray for you? Please let us know by clicking here.

Palm Sunday

Friday, March 26 by Billy Graham

This Sunday, Christians around the world are celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (which we usually call “Palm Sunday,” because the crowd welcomed Him by spreading palm branches in His path). Those who greeted Him were convinced He was the Messiah (or “anointed one”), sent by God to establish His Kingdom on earth.


Why did the crowds turn against Jesus so quickly? One week they welcomed Him, and the next week they demanded He be crucified.


Billy Graham addressed this important question numerous times in his My Answer column.


“No events in human history were more important than Jesus’ death and resurrection, and yet many people (even Christians) never take time to study them.

It must have been a dramatic sight as Jesus approached Jerusalem on a donkey (which was a sign of His humility). The Bible says that “the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices … ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!'” (Luke 19:37-38). Even those who weren’t part of that welcoming crowd listened eagerly to His teaching during the next few days.


But not everyone in Jerusalem welcomed Him; the very next verse says that “the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?'” But soon many turned against Jesus and demanded His death: “‘What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?’ Pilate asked. They all answered, ‘Crucify him!'” (Matthew 27:22).


These weren’t necessarily the same people who had welcomed Him—but the reversal is still striking. Were they disappointed because He refused to establish an earthly political kingdom? Probably. But Jesus didn’t come to set up a new political system. He came instead to change our hearts and save us from our sins by His death and resurrection. He declared during that last week, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight. … My kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36). This deeply disappointed those who hoped He would throw out the hated Roman occupiers. They may also have disliked His demand that they repent.


Where would you have been on that first Palm Sunday? Among the disciples who welcomed Him—or among the skeptical crowds? It’s easy to condemn those who condemned Jesus—but would we have acted any differently? We too are sinners, and we too have rebelled against God.


But the central message of Easter is that God still loves us, and because of Christ we can be forgiven. He came for one reason: “Christ died for sins once for all … to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). May you welcome Him into your life during this holy season.” 


Follow the Steps to Peace online to learn about Jesus or recommit your life to Him.


And if you have already welcomed Jesus into your life, have you shared this Good News with others? Easter is the perfect time to share the Good News. An easy way is by inviting people to watch our Good Friday or Easter online services! 


If you just welcomed Jesus into your life, would like more info on anything in this post, or would just like to talk or pray, let us know by clicking here or calling 604-531-2344. We'd love to hear from you.

7 Psalms to Help You Cope with Life!

Monday, March 22, 2021 by Cindi McMenamin

If you’re like most people you are probably familiar with Psalm 23, which speaks of how the Lord is our Good Shepherd. You might even be well-acquainted with Psalm 139 which reminds us of how intimately God knows us, or Psalm 91, which tells of God’s protection over us.


Yet there are many other portions of the Psalms – the Bible’s Song Book – that are just as rich, just as comforting, and just as helpful to your walk with God. Like a favorite song of yours during a certain season of your life, or a touching memory that continues to comfort you when you’re sad, the Psalms in the Bible can encourage, heal, convict, instruct, and minister to you, regardless of your circumstances.


There are so many songs in the Bible that have impacted my life as I’ve studied them or stumbled upon them through the years. And if you highlight them, bookmark them, or even memorize them, I’m certain they will help you grow in your relationship with God, too. Here are seven psalms to bookmark to help you cope with life again:


1. Psalm 13 – A Song for Getting Back on Your Feet


Life takes a lot out of us at times. There are days you may not feel like getting out of bed. Do you realize the songwriters of the Bible felt many of the same emotions you have? In Psalm 13, David asked, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?...” (verses 1-2, ESV). He was clearly on his face in pity. Then, he got up on his knees to pray: “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death...lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken” (verses 3-4). Finally, in verses 5-6, he was up on his feet – in praise, singing, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”


What happened to get David up on his feet when he was previously on his face on the floor? What took him from pity to praise? Prayer. Bookmark Psalm 13 as a reminder of how to get back up on your feet and start praising God again, especially when you feel like He’s forgotten you.


2. Psalm 42 – A Song to Straighten Out Your Thinking


The Sons of Korah gave us this gem that you might recognize from a contemporary worship song: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?” (verses 1-2, NKJV). The song teaches us that a desperation for God is a healthy detour out of despair and depression.

In verse 5, the psalmist starts asking himself why he is so disturbed: “Why are you in despair, my soul? And why are you restless within me?” Then he gives himself a swift kick in the pants, per se, by telling himself what he needs to do: “Wait for God, for I will again praise Him For the help of His presence, my God.” He then recounts God’s goodness and continues to tell himself what to focus on: “The Lord will send His goodness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night…” (verse 8). He concludes his song in verse 11 by again asking himself why he is so restless, and then giving himself his own best advice: “Wait for God, for I will again praise Him for the help of His presence, my God.”

The inspired and ever potent Word of God offers wise counsel when it comes to getting out of the mode of stinkin’ thinkin’. Bookmark Psalm 42 as a reminder of how to get your thoughts back on the right track if they start taking you down a dark tunnel of despair.


3. Psalm 51 – A Fresh Look at How to Repent


It’s likely that you’ve read the well-known song of David’s confession to God after being confronted by the prophet Nathan about his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, one of David’s best soldiers. Yet it’s possible you haven’t read this Psalm in another Bible version


Sometimes we read certain verses in a familiar translation so many times that they fail to impact us as they once did. That’s when it’s time to turn to a passage and read it afresh in language that will allow the Word to pierce your heart again like a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Here's verses 10-12 in the NIRV:


God, create a pure heart in me.
    Give me a new spirit that is faithful to you.
Don’t send me away from you.
    Don’t take your Holy Spirit away from me.
Give me back the joy that comes from being saved by you.
    Give me a spirit that obeys you so that I will keep going.


Bookmark Psalm 51 and let it revive your heart and help you fall in love with God once again.



4. Psalm 62 – A Song to Simplify Your Heart


We live in a culture that wants God plus something else in order to be content. God plus wealth. God plus marriage. God plus a fulfilling career. God plus grandchildren. God plus a successful ministry. Yet David shows us in Psalm 62what it’s like to be satisfied with God only.


David sang “My soul waits in silence for God alone; From Him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I will not be greatly shaken (verses 1-2, NASB). A few verses later he reiterates the source of his hope and trust: “My soul, wait in silence for God alone, For my hope is from Him. He aloneis my rock and my salvation, My refuge; I will not be shaken” (verses 5-6, emphasis added). Can you drop the expectation of anything else and wait for God only, rest in God only, find your joy in God only? Bookmark this Psalm, reflect on it often, and it will change the course of your heart.


5. Psalm 77 – A Song to Find God in the Silence


Does God ever seem silent? Asaph, the songwriter, might have felt that way too when he penned Psalm 77. But the beauty of his song is that he wrote it in retrospect. He knew God was there and He recounted for us how we can know, too.


In verses 7-9 Asaph asked questions that you and I might ask from time to time: “Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? Has His favor ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever? Has God forgotten to be gracious, or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?” (NASB). Asaph surely felt forgotten by his God. But then he admitted in verse 10 that it was his perception (not the truth) that the right hand of the Most High had changed. He then remembered God’s “wonders of old” and was able to declare “You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples” (verse 14). Asaph then recalled the waters, the clouds, the skies, the lightning, and the sound of thunder, as evidence of God’s presence and protection of His people. Then he says something so precious: “Your way was in the sea, And Your paths in the mighty waters, And Your footprints were not known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron” (verses 19-20). Asaph remembered that, even in silence, God was there when He led the Israelites through the sea on dry ground.

Sometimes God’s way seems unfathomable to us. (Who would choose a path through pounding waves? )Yet God is One who leads us through the waters, even though His footprints may not be seen, and guides us like a gentle shepherd. Bookmark Psalm 77 so that you remember that even when God seems silent, His presence can be sensed through His wonders all around you.


6. Psalm 101 – A Song to Keep You from Compromise


In Psalm 101, David sang of God’s lovingkindness and justice (verse 1) and contrasted it with the evil in this world. This song is his commitment to be careful to live a blameless life.

“I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart,” David sang in verse 2. “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me” A perverse heart shall leave me; I will know no evil (verses 3-4, NASB).

David commits himself to tolerate no sin in his presence and vows that his eyes will be “upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; One who walks in a blameless way is one who will serve me” (verse 6).

This passage of Scripture reinforced to me, in my early 20s, that I needed to, like David, take a stand in how I would choose to live. I couldn’t walk the middle of the road. I had to choose righteousness over worldliness, integrity over dishonesty, good over evil, God over self and sin. Bookmark this song as a personal commitment to integrity, a dedication to live purely, a commitment to your home and family, or as a vow to God to live fully for Him.


7. Psalm 145 – A Reminder of God’s Protection and Provision


From the time I was a teenager, I have prayed through this song, and through the years I’ve taught others to do the same, as a way of staying aligned with God’s will and His ways. It’s a song of comfort “The Lord supports all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down” (verse 14 NASB). It’s a song celebrating God’s provision: “The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing” (verses 15-16). And it’s a song that will reinforce to You God’s ability to keep you safe and secure: “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, To all who call on Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry for help and save them. The Lord watches over all who love Him…” (verses 17-20).

Bookmark this Psalm and start praying through it at least once a week. I guarantee it will change your life and heart, and draw you closer to the Only One who satisfies.


Do you have a favourite Psalm that helps you through life's struggles? Let us know by clicking here

Rebekah - Fearful, but Blessed!

and 32 Verses To Fight Fear and Anxiety

Friday, March 19, 2021 by Kelli Worrall

Many of us are dealing with fearful things lately. 

                                                                                    

Fear is a powerful motivator. It can drive us to do dastardly things. Some of us shut down, attack, or distract ourselves. Others face fear by trying to wrestle a problem in their own strength. In Genesis 26, Isaac and his family faced fear in the form of famine. You may notice that this entire chapter bears a resemblance to the Abraham narrative. Just as Abraham had done, Isaac moved his family south to survive. But the Lord stopped them: “Do not go down to Egypt,” God told Isaac. “Live in the land where I tell you to live” (v. 2). Then the Lord reaffirmed His covenant: “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky” (v. 4).


So it may surprise you that immediately following God’s covenant reminder, however, comes a record of Isaac’s deception (v. 7). He lied about Rebekah’s identity, saying she was his sister rather than his wife (again, just like his father!). Isaac was afraid the men of Gerar might kill him and take Rebekah for themselves. Isaac succeeded for some time it seems—until finally, King Abimelek himself saw Isaac and Rebekah in an intimate embrace (v. 8). Abimelek had not yet sent for Rebekah as Pharaoh had sent for Sarah. In that regard, Isaac and Rebekah were spared. God’s grace to them was already evident. Nevertheless, the king confronted Isaac, and Isaac reiterated his fear.


Abimelek’s reaction was to provide Isaac with additional protection. He did not send Isaac away, as Pharaoh did Abraham. Instead, he made a decree that anyone who harmed Isaac or Rebekah would be put to death (v. 11). Despite Isaac’s fear, the covenant of God was again being made manifest. 


>> How do you respond to fear? Today, release your fear to Him and rest in His promises and provision. Even though our emotions may waiver, you have a God who does not change “like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).


                                        

PRAY WITH US                                                                                         

Father, we are frail and finite beings, and fear is never far from us. May we take each fearful moment as an opportunity to lean on you and to listen for your voice.


32 Verses To Fight Fear and Anxiety


If you are like me and have a “Type A” personality, then you probably know what it’s like to deal with anxiety and fear over the circumstances revolving our lives.


The devil uses our flaws such as this one, to break us down even farther. The more we are filled with anxiety, the less we are filled with God’s word and spirit.


I’m a planner and I like to “try” and keep things organized. However, I forget to hand that anxiety and fear over to God. I remind myself often that at the end of the day, no matter how great or terrible I am at planning, HIS WILL, WILL BE DONE. He is in control of my life, and I have to learn to turn some things over to him and trust my own belief that he will fight for me.


Here are 32 Bible Verses to help Fight Fear and Anxiety and to Remind You that God is Always in Control



32 Verses To Help You Fight Fear and Anxiety


Luke 12:22-26

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” 


Psalm 27:1

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” 


Psalm 55:22

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”


Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


Isaiah 41:13-14

“’For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”


Psalm 46:1

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”


Psalm 118:6-7

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” 


Proverbs 29:25

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”


Mark 4:39-40

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”


Psalm 34:7

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”


1 Peter 3:14

“But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.”


Psalm 34:4

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.”


Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”


Psalm 56:3

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”


Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


John 14:27

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”


2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”


1 John 4:18

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”


Psalm 94:19

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”


Isaiah 43:1

“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”


Proverbs 12:25

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” 


Psalm 23:4

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”


Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


Matthew 6:34

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


Peter 5:6-7

“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.”


Isaiah 35:4-14. 

“Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…”


Deuteronomy 3:22

“Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”


Revelation 1:17

“Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.’”


Mark 5:36

“Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’


Romans 8:38-39

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”


Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”


Psalm 91:1-16

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…”


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The Blessings of Being in Christ

Monday, March 15, 2021 by David Wilkerson

Paul says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Paul is telling us, in essence, “All who follow Jesus are blessed with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, where Christ is.” What an incredible promise to God’s people.


Yet, this promise becomes mere words if we don’t know what these spiritual blessings are. How can we enjoy the blessings that God promises us if we don’t comprehend them?


Paul wrote this epistle “to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (1:1). These were believers who were sure of their salvation. The Ephesians had been well trained in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life. They knew who they were in Christ, and were assured of their heavenly position in him. Indeed, they were well grounded in the truth that they were made to “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (2:6).


These “faithful ones” fully understood that “God … raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (1:20). They knew they’d been chosen by God from “before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (1:4). They grasped that they were adopted “by Jesus Christ to himself” (1:5). God had brought them into his family, because when they heard the word of truth, they believed and trusted it.


The Ephesian believers were truly a blessed people. They rejoiced in their redemption through Christ’s blood, knowing the great spiritual blessing of being forgiven of their sins. Indeed, they were so knowledgeable about the riches of God’s grace, most were capable of teaching others. If they met people who were hungry for God, they could show them the glory of the Cross. They could teach of God’s mercy and love, of his holiness, of walking blameless before him. They could speak of the Resurrection, of God’s goodness, of heaven and hell, of the consequences of living in sin.


I trust that most who are reading this message are like those Ephesians: faithful, well-taught believers. You know the redemptive power of the gospel of Christ. You know the doctrine of the new birth. You’re well schooled in the knowledge of grace, accepting the victory that comes by faith alone and not by works.


If this describes you, I have something more to say. That is, many Christians have never entered into the joy that God has promised them. Let me explain.


I believe a majority of Christians, including ministers, never get beyond forgiveness of sins and a hope of future glory in heaven.

Many forgiven, cleansed, redeemed people live in misery. They never have a sense of being fulfilled in Christ. Instead, they continually go from peaks to valleys, from spiritual highs to depressing lows. They’re always nagged by a sense of, “Something is missing. I’m just not getting it.”


As I look back over my life, I’m amazed by all the devoted Christians I’ve known who were never sure of their salvation. This was especially true of many godly men and women who’d served the Lord for up to fifty years. They knew all the doctrines, truths and teachings of the faith, and they ministered faithfully. But they never entered into the supernatural joy that was available to them in Christ.


The truth is, it’s possible to know about all these things — Jesus’ sacrifice for us, the cleansing power of his blood, justification by faith — and yet never enter into the fullness of God’s blessings. How could this be, you ask? It’s because many Christians never get past the crucified Savior to the resurrected Lord who lives in glory.


In John 14, Jesus tells us it’s time for us to know our heavenly position in him. He explained to the disciples, “Because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:19–20). We’re now living in “that day” Jesus speaks of. In short, we’re to understand our heavenly position in Christ.


Of course, most of us do know our position in Christ — that we’re seated with him in heavenly places — but only as a theological fact. We don’t know it as experience. What do I mean by this expression, “our position in Christ”? Very simply, position is “where one is placed, where one is.” God has placed us where we are, which is in Christ.


In turn, Christ is in the Father, seated at his right hand. Therefore, if we’re in Christ, then we’re actually seated with Jesus in the throne room, where he is. That means we’re sitting in the presence of the Almighty. This is what Paul refers to when he says we’re made to “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).


You may say, “But I never feel like I’m in a heavenly place. I always sense I’m in a wilderness, suffering affliction and harassment. If that’s being in a heavenly place in Christ, then I’m just not getting it.” I assure you, your seasons of trials are common to all believers. No, the phrase “in Christ, in heavenly places” (1:3) isn’t something you can attain. It’s what God says of you. If you’re in Christ, then in the Father’s eyes you’re seated near him, at his right hand.


The fact is, the moment you place your trust in Jesus, you’re taken into Christ by faith. God acknowledges you in his Son, seating you with him in the heavenlies. This isn’t merely some theological point, but a truth, a factual position. So now, as you surrender your will to the Lord’s, you’re able to claim all the spiritual blessings that come with your position.


Of course, being “in Christ” doesn’t mean you leave this earth. You can’t manufacture some emotion or feeling that takes you up into a literal heaven. No, heaven has come down to you. Christ the Son and God the Father came into your heart and made their abode there: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23).


Yes, Jesus is in paradise, the Man in glory. And yes, his Spirit moves over all the earth. But the Lord also abides in you and me specifically. He has made us his temple on the earth, his dwelling place. Consider Jesus’ powerful statements about this:


“He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (14:21). “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us … And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (17:21–23, italics mine).


Take another look at the verse in italics. Jesus says, in essence, “The glory that you gave me, Father, I have given to them.” Christ is making an incredible statement here. He’s saying we’ve been given the same glory that the Father gave to him. What an amazing thought. Yet, what is this glory that was given to Christ, which he in turn has given to us? And how do our lives reveal that glory.


The glory we’ve been given is open-door access to the Father.

The glory Christ has given us isn’t some aura or emotion. No, very simply, the glory we have received is unimpeded access to the heavenly Father.


Jesus made it easy for us to access the Father, opening the door for us by the Cross: “For through him [Christ] we both [we and those far off] have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Ephesians 2:18). The word “access” means the right to enter. It signifies free passage, as well as ease of approach: “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him” (3:12).


Do you see what Paul is saying here? By faith, we’ve come into a place of unimpeded access to God. We’re not like Esther in the Old Testament. She had to nervously await a sign from the king before she could approach the throne. Only after he held out his scepter was Esther approved to come forward.


By contrast, you and I are already in the throne room. And we have the right and privilege of speaking to the king at any time. Indeed, we’re invited to make any request of him: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).


When Christ ministered on earth, he enjoyed full access to the Father. He said, “I can do nothing on my own. I do only what the Father tells me and shows me” (see John 5:19, 30; 8:28).


Moreover, Jesus didn’t have to slip away to prayer to obtain the Father’s mind. Of course, he prayed often and intensely, but that was about fellowship with the Father. It was a different matter in his everyday activities, whether he was teaching, healing or casting out demons. Jesus knew at all times that he was in the Father, and the Father was in him. He didn’t have to “go up” to the Father to know what to do. The Father was already dwelling in him, making himself known. And Jesus always heard a word behind him, saying, “This is the way … here is what to do…”


Today, we’ve been given the very same degree of access to the Father that Christ had. You may be thinking, “Wait a minute, that’s mind-boggling. I have the same access to the Father that Jesus, the Creator and Lord of the universe, did?”


Make no mistake: like Jesus, we’re to pray often and fervently. We’re to be seekers of God, waiting on the Lord. But in our daily walk — our comings and goings, our relationships, our family life, our ministry — we don’t have to slip away to beseech God for a word of strength or direction. We have his very own Spirit living in us. And the Holy Spirit reveals to us the mind and will of the Father. His voice is always behind us, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”


The truth about our union with Christ was a hidden mystery to the church until Paul came on the scene.

The Holy Spirit used Paul to open this mystery, which is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Of course, the church had learned about saving grace. They knew salvation was by faith and not by works. After all, they’d been serving Jesus before Paul came along. They knew about repentance and had experienced the Father’s mercy.


But then Paul showed up, declaring, “Repentance and good works are not enough. It’s not enough that you came to Christ and believed, or that you now have great spiritual knowledge. You need something more than simply believing in Christ. Now you must walk in the blessings and fullness in him.” “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Colossians 2:6).


What was Paul talking about? What did he mean by “walking in Christ?” Hadn’t these believers been doing that for years? Simply put, Paul was speaking of the blessings of being in Christ. And he was telling the church in no uncertain terms that they didn’t know the full revelation of those blessings. He described a different attitude, which says:


“I don’t want a mere head knowledge of my salvation. I want to experience it. I want to know what it means to walk in the fullness of Christ’s salvation. I don’t want just to know about heaven. I want every heavenly blessing that God has made available to me today. He has promised ‘every spiritual blessing,’ and he died to bring me near him, where I can enjoy those blessings. I want my life to reflect that fact. I want every spiritual truth of heaven to be a part of my daily walk now. These blessings can no longer be just theological concepts. They have to become a reality.”


Beloved, this is not a complicated issue. Simply ask yourself: have you received Jesus not just as your Savior, but as the enthroned Lord in heaven? And have you accepted that the enthroned Lord lives in you? If so, what effects do you see in your life? What has been the effect of waking up each morning knowing Christ not only saved you from sin, but lives in you? What is the effect of knowing he gave his life to break down walls of separation so he could be near you, to love and fellowship with you?


We’ve been given heaven here in our souls. Yes, that taste of heaven is meant to be a foretaste of the glory that awaits us. But it’s also given as a portion of our inheritance to use right now. Our Savior Jesus Christ came to give us much more than redemption. He came so that we might have fullness of life every day.


That doesn’t mean we no longer experience pain or sorrow. Every Christian will continue to face temptations and hardships. But in the midst of our trials, we’re able to abound with thanksgiving, because of his everlasting kindness toward us. Paul tells us this is exactly why God has made us to sit together in Christ: “That … he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).


Here is the effect we’re to see in our daily lives: God has shown his loving, warmhearted kindness to us. Therefore, we can wake up shouting, “Hallelujah! God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit want to be near me.”


Another blessing becomes ours when we’re made to sit in heavenly places.

What is this blessing? It’s the privilege of acceptance: “He hath made us accepted in the beloved [Christ]” (Ephesians 1:6). The Greek word for “accepted” here means highly favored. That’s different from the English usage, which can be interpreted to mean “received as adequate.” This signifies something that can be endured, suggesting an attitude of, “I can live with it.” That’s not the case with Paul’s Greek usage. His use of “accepted” translates as, “God has highly favored us. We’re very special to him, because we’re in our place in Christ.”


You see, because God accepted Christ’s sacrifice, he now sees only one, corporate man: Christ, and those who are bound to him by faith. In short, our flesh has died in God’s eyes. How? Jesus did away with our old nature at the Cross. So now, when God looks at us, he sees only Christ. In turn, we need to learn to see ourselves as God does. That means not focusing solely on our sins and weaknesses, but on the victory that Christ won for us at the Cross.


The parable of the Prodigal Son provides a powerful illustration of the acceptance that comes when we’re given a heavenly position in Christ. You know the story: a young man took his inheritance from his father and squandered it on a sinful life. Then, once the son became completely bankrupt — morally, emotionally and physically — he thought of his father. He was convinced he’d lost all favor with him. And he feared that his father was full of wrath and hatred toward him.


At one time, this young man had been an honored member of the household, at one with his father. He’d tasted the blessings, order and favor of being in his father’s house. Indeed, the prodigal son represents backsliders, those who’ve failed God miserably.


The prodigal almost died of starvation before he thought about going back home. Yet, finally, when he grew tired of his sinful life, he decided to return to his father. This represents the road to repentance.


When he first left home, his father probably assured him of access to return. Any loving parent would have done so: “My door is always open to you. And I want you to remember that as you leave now. Know that my heart goes with you. When you get to the end of yourself, please come back. You’ll always be welcomed home.” Here was unimpeded access, a father who was always available. So the prodigal told himself, “I will arise and go to my father” (Luke 15:18). He was exercising his blessing of access.


Now this broken young man was full of grief over his sin. Scripture says he cried out, “I’m unworthy, I’ve sinned against heaven.” This represents those who come to repentance through godly sorrow.


Are you getting the picture? The prodigal had turned from his sin, he’d left the world behind, and he’d accessed the open door his father had promised him. He was walking in repentance and appropriating access. But he wasn’t yet in acceptance.


What a tragic place to be. Here was a believer who was walking right, truly sorry for his past sins. He was tired of carrying all his guilt, shame and condemnation. Yet he didn’t know if he was accepted by his father. He thought, “My father has to be angry. He probably hates me for squandering all that he gave me. He’s going to be full of wrath and judgment when I face him.”


The prodigal must have grown weary as he thought about all the ways he’d tried to change on his own. He was dog-tired from thinking about how to improve, how to keep himself from falling. He’d already made a long list of empty promises to himself, only to fall again and again.


Sadly, I believe this is the state of multitudes of believers today. In fact, Jesus gave us this parable in part to open our eyes to our position in him. And he emphasizes, “If you’ve seen the Father, you’ve seen me. I and the Father are one.”


As the prodigal drew nearer to home, I’m sure he encountered messengers who told him, “Your father grieves for you. He calls you ‘his lost sheep.’ He’s gone out looking for you, time after time.” But the young man probably answered, “I know my father is a loving man. But I’ve sinned so horribly. If you only knew what I’ve done.”


He had no peace, because he didn’t know his position. How sad to lack the joy of heaven, the peace that passes all understanding, because you don’t know whether you’re accepted. Like the prodigal, multitudes of believers who’ve failed are convinced, “I’m not worthy. God can’t accept me.”


So, what happened to the prodigal son? “When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). What a beautiful scene. The sinful son was forgiven, embraced and loved by his father, with no wrath or condemnation whatsoever. When he received his father’s kiss, he knew he was accepted.


This is where many Christians think the story ends: “The prodigal has been accepted by his father once again. Isn’t that what matters most?” We picture our own relationship with the Father in the same way. We’ve known his loving kiss, his mercy and forgiveness. But that’s as far as we take the relationship. We stop in our knowledge of God’s love for us.


The fact remains, we’re still not back inside our Father’s house yet. We haven’t taken our seat at his feast. According to Jesus’ parable, there’s more, much more. Our Father will never be satisfied until we enjoy all the blessings that come with being accepted by him. He wants us seated in his house, near him at all times, enjoying the festivities and joy of his household.


Indeed, it’s the father who says, “Let us eat and be merry” (15:23). The Greek word for “be merry” here means, “to put in a joyful, rejoicing state of mind.” Consider the joyful scene that takes place: “The father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it … And they began to be merry … [with] music and dancing” (15: 22–25).


Notice what has just happened in this scene. The prodigal wasn’t asked to dust himself off and get cleaned up before coming to the feast. No, his father prepared him to come inside. And he didn’t just clean up the old clothes. He gave him a whole new set of clothes, signifying a new life. The son might have objected, “But father, I’m not worthy.” Yet that father would have replied, “I’m not looking at your past. I’m rejoicing that you are accepting my love. We are reconciled, and we are one. That is my joy.”


Do you claim to be accepted in Christ? Maybe you’ve experienced what the prodigal did: being kissed by the Father, embraced by his love, accepted into his house. If so, you probably believe, “I am seated with Christ in heavenly places.” If so, then where is your joy? Where do you see the Father’s feast in your life, the singing, the dancing, the merriment of heart?


Perhaps the most telling scene in this parable is the final one, when the older brother comes home from work. As the feast takes place inside the house, he stands outside, looking in through the window. To his surprise, he sees his father dancing in delight over his prodigal brother.


Keep in mind, this older brother is also accepted. But the parable makes it clear he’s sad and miserable. Why? In all his years with his father, he has never entered into the enjoyment of his father’s house. He’s never enjoyed the blessings his father has made available to him. In fact, at the end, his father reminds him of the blessings that have been his all along: “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine” (Luke 15:31).


I ask you: have you experienced the full blessings of your acceptance? Jesus makes it crystal clear we are the joy and delight of our heavenly Father. He rejoices over us. But if we never enter his house and rest in our acceptance, we rob him of that joy.


I urge you: leave your sins and worldly pursuits behind. Lay aside every fleshly weight that so easily besets you. And go inside and take your position in Christ. He has called you to enter into the joy of your acceptance. Then, when you wake up tomorrow, you’ll find yourself shouting, “Hallelujah, I’m accepted by God. My heart abounds with thanksgiving and joy.”


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8 Important Things to Understand and Remember about God's Forgiveness

March 12, 2021 by Meg Bucher

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” -Psalm 139:23-24, ESV


God is the Author of the human spirit. God’s forgiveness has a weighty gravity to it because He knows the “number of hairs on our heads;” He “formed us in the womb.” There’s no escaping our humanity, our frailty, and our sin. We were created to lean on God through His Son, Jesus Christ. His sacrificial death on the cross granted us God’s forgiveness, bringing us into fellowship with our Father. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit pricks every believer with conviction to confess and repent sin. Our Father, because of the perfect sacrifice Christ made in our honor, is faithful to forgive us. The Apostle Peter wrote, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18, ESV). God’s forgiveness gives us life, to the full (John 10:10).


What Does the Bible Say about God's Forgiveness?


“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19, ESV


Jesus Christ brought God’s plan for forgiveness to completion on the cross. No Old Testament Sacrifice or set of religious rules could be followed in accordance worthy enough of the holiness of God. The entirety of Scripture points to the Messiah Christ, and His saving act on account of humanity. Acts 2:38 says, “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (ESV) The new life we receive in Christ stems from the forgiveness of our sins. He made a way for us to stand in the presence of God, even though we remain susceptible to sin every day of our lives.


“If you don’t cherish your justification, your forgiveness, and your eternal life because they get you to God,” writes John Piper for desiringGod.org, “you need to deal with him more deeply.”


God didn’t have to forgive us. He chose to. From the beginning, God knew what tomorrow would bring. Jesus came to save us from the curse of sin we cannot release ourselves from. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:7, ESV). God’s forgiveness is a product of His grace. He has been gracious to forgive us, and He expects us to pay it forward. When we truly grasp the sacrifice Jesus made, and the love God has to forgive us, our genuine faith is illustrated in the way we forgive ourselves and each other. 


Here Are 8 Things to Remember about God's Forgiveness:


1. Forgiveness Has Always Been God’s Plan


“For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” Psalm 86:5, ESV


Forgiveness has always been God’s plan. God pronounced the whole of His creation, “very good.” Jesus came to save all. He leaves the 99 sheep to go after one. The gospel will circulate the earth until every ear has had a chance to hear. “From the moment Adam and Eve left Eden, God has not been content to leave his people in exile, corrupt and condemned,” writes Scott Hubbard, Editor for desiringGod.org. The plan was always Jesus, the only Son of God, to come to earth and sacrifice His spotless life for the forgiveness of our sins. 


God knows we are prone to wander and incapable of living without sin. Yet still, He says, “I, I am he who blots out your transgression for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set for your case, that you may be proved right” (Isaiah 43:25-26, ESV).


“From a spiritual perspective, we were all born with a sin problem, eternally separated from God,” writes Brent Rinehart, “We’d be lost forever without Him intervening and offering us forgiveness.”


2. God’s Forgiveness Is a Gift


“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7 ESV


God’s forgiveness is a gift. “All of us are worse than we think,” writes Professor Joe Rigney for desiringGod.org, “Our hearts really are slimy. When you look in there, it’s true that there is a depth upon depth of self-love and sin.” God knows the depths of our hearts: our intentions, grudges, and our hidden and suppressed sin. “When we live by faith in future grace, rooted in God’s forgiveness,” John Piper writes, “we are freed from the lingering, paralyzing effects even of the shame we deserve to feel. That’s what forgiveness means.” He is not only faithful to forgive us of the sin we see and confess, but also intentional to move our hearts to see other areas of our lives where sin is sabotaging our freedom in Christ. Paul wrote to the Colossians, “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive” (Colossians 3:13, ESV).


3. It’s Our Choice to Accept God’s Gift of Forgiveness


“for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28, ESV


God does not force us to acknowledge or confess our sins, nor to believe in Jesus Christ and the life He came to give us. The covenant of the Old Testament required various sacrifices. The new covenant we live under now is covered by the blood of the “spotless lamb,” Jesus Christ. The long-awaited Messiah, expected to be a military leader coming to conquer the enemies of God’s chosen people, instead died a brutal death on the cross to save the entire world. “The God we meet in Scripture does not hoard his forgiveness like a miser with his money,” writes Scott Hubbard, Editor for desiringGod.org, “With God, there is forgiveness (Psalm 130:4)- and not out of reluctance or necessity, but out of the overflow of his broad heart.” We don’t have to make sacrifices like the people of the Old Testament times did. But we do need to believe, accept, and confess our sinfulness, on the daily.


4. God’s Forgiveness Cannot Be Lost


“And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’” Luke 7:48, ESV


Once Jesus forgave the women at the well, she was forever forgiven. We come to God daily to confess the curse of sin we live under. We all fall short (Romans 3:23), continually. But we needn’t re-confess sins God has already pardoned. “When you come before God today in the moments after committing some sin, you do not need to stumble through the forests of guilt and self-reproach,” writes Scott Hubbard, Editor for desiringGod.org, “Confess your sin, turn to Jesus, and run in the fields of his forgiveness.” We confess, repent, and continue on working for the Kingdom of God. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7, ESV) In Christ, we live a redeemed life. Jesus once and forever paid the price of our sins.


5. Why Must We Confess Our Sins?


“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9, ESV


When we sin, our connection with God starts to cut out like a bad wifi signal. When we confess our sin, God, true to His promise to forgive and restore us, repairs the signal. He, alone, can rightly diagnose the source of the bad connection, and prescribe the proper repair. “Self-examination is only safe when God’s hands are on the reins.”( Professor Joe Rigney, ) He restores the connection and eliminates the spinning wheel signaling us to wait while things buffer. “Our attempts to exude our sin might be understandable if we had a harsh Lord, but such is not our Lord Jesus Christ,” writes Scott Hubbard. There is no need to be afraid of God when we come to Him with a healthy fear of who He is. Jeremiah 31:34 reminds, “And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (ESV).


6. The Importance of Repentance in Light of God’s Forgiveness


“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,”Acts 3:19, ESV


The NIV Study Bible explains, repentance is a change of mind and will arise from sorrow over sin, leading to the transformation of one's life. God draws us to Him, and our confession of sin is transparent to God. He knows our hearts. Every intention, and justification, remains attached to our confession. Acts 10:43 says, “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (ESV). God doesn’t just want us to religiously obey the act of confessing our sins, He wants us to change. Day by day, we are being sanctified … made more like Christ. “Faith in God’s forgiveness does not merely mean a persuasion that I am off the hook,” writes John Piper, “It means savoring the truth that a forgiving God is the most precious reality in the universe.”


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV


For those of us in Christ, we have a hope and a peace that cannot be snatched away. In Him, we find the freedom to shed our sins daily, and remember the peace and hope that spur us on to do the work of God’s Kingdom, here on earth. “He hung there on the cross, pouring out the kindness of his forgiven heart from the wounds we created,” writes Scott Hubbard, Editor for desiringGod.org. When we truly understand and embrace the gravity of God’s grace and the selflessness of Christ’s sacrifice, we are changed. “We need to know sin is in our hearts, and we need to feel the ugliness of it,” writes Professor Joe Rigney, "But then we must also remember that Jesus covers all of it.”


8. God’s Forgiveness Is Reciprocal


“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32, ESV


Scrolling through the feeds of our social media accounts, we see bitterness, wrath, anger, and slander. In Christ, we choose to put them away. We choose not to participate, outside of obedience in defense of righteousness, especially on account of the oppressed. But brother to brother, sister to sister in Christ, we are to put them down, willingly. “God stands ready and willing to forgive,” writes Brent Rinehart, “but asks that we extend the same forgiveness to others first.” We are forgiven for the parts of our hearts no other human knows anything about. The disturbing defaults our thoughts run to and our innate selfishness that attempts to take over, constantly. “Forgiving others shows we have faith; we are united to Christ; we are indwelt by the gracious, humbling Holy Spirit,” writes John Piper.



A Prayer to Remember God’s Forgiveness


Heavenly Father,


All glory and honor to Your name, our lives are meant to bring. Make known our purpose, and reveal our sins, Father. Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross. You willingly put on skin for us and suffered immeasurably to save us. Help us to come to You freely with our sins, and obediently repent from them. Move our hearts, cleanse us from our hidden sins, and transform us into the people we were purposed to be. May we leave behind us, a wake of forgiveness. 


In Jesus’ powerful name we pray, amen.


God’s forgiveness is the story of our salvation. From the beginning of time, in the first pages of Scripture, God called us “very good,” and had a plan in place to save us. Not on account of what we could ever do or accomplish, but of who He is and what He would do. We are His. This curse of sin won’t last forever. Jesus has already defeated death, the curtain has been torn, and we have been forgiven. For all who declare Jesus as Savior and confess their sin, eternity awaits. The countdown has begun. Jesus will return. Come, Lord Jesus, come.


If  you have not experienced the peace that comes from receiving God's forgiveness, please contact us by clicking here. We'd love to hear from you!

How to Pray When You are Hurting: 10 Healing Scriptures for the Weary and Brokenhearted

Monday, March 8, 2021 by Bri Lamm

You’ve heard the old saying, “Life isn’t always fair.”


Perhaps you’ve found a lump, or an unexpected diagnosis has rocked your world. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, or are struggling with loneliness or depression. Maybe you feel like you're losing hope. Wherever you’re at in your journey, the seemingly juvenile thought of “life isn’t fair” has surely crossed your mind.


And while that may be the case, as believers we have something that the rest of the world has yet to discover: The power of prayer.


More importantly, the HEALING power of prayer.


We have the power of prayer at our fingertips. But isn’t it funny that we find ourselves searching for how to pray when we’re hurting?


Think about a time in your life when your relationship with God was strengthened by an easy circumstance. Sure, your praise may have increased, or changed at the top of your mountain, but it’s in the valleys — our darkest, most difficult seasons — when our faith becomes the focus. That’s because we learn how to pray THROUGH the storm, not before or after it.


Knowing how to pray in your darkest seasons is not a one-size fits all thing. It’s totally different in every circumstance, which is why we essentially re-learn how to pray in every season.


God WILL, in fact, give you more than you could ever possibly handle on your own. Because we were never made to do this life without desperately needing Him.


Don’t get me wrong, an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving God, the Lord does not bring us through mountains and valleys for our suffering. He longs to be near to us. And that happens when we learn how to pray desperate, totally humbling, RAW, and authentic prayers.


His testing of our faith is with a treasured goal in mind. Not one that is our own, but ALWAYS a blessing beyond our wildest dreams. And in learning how to pray for healing and fresh hope, we grow not just closer TO God, but we grow IN Him.


Even more notable is that He doesn’t just deliver you through thick and thin, the Lord literally walks WITH you, right by your side through every season.


Still, we know our hearts will break. We know our hard times will come and we will need to heal in order to grow stronger.


It’s in those desperate times when healing scriptures hold more power than we could ever comprehend. The word of the Lord IS our strength, and God provides exactly the healing we need through healing scriptures.


Whether it’s your mother’s death weighing heavily on your soul, a miscarriage…or seven, cancer that has robbed you of all energy and physical strength, or simply just a dark season where there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel; you are not alone. You are never alone.


There’s no knowing how to pray when you are hurting, but these 10 healing scriptures might just do the trick.


1. James 5:15-16


If you’re going through a trial, there’s no better place to start than the book of James. I mean the book itself starts by telling us to be joyful when we encounter trials of any kind, which is totally counterintuitive to the way our minds actually work. The deeper we get into the book of James, the more we learn about trials, healing, and how to pray when you are hurting.


“And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:15-16)



2. Isaiah 53:4-5


Another book to turn to during times of trial and persecution is Isaiah. Isaiah 53 is a prophecy, heavily focused on the injustices and hurting that Jesus Christ would face during His time on earth. Despite the oppression and anguish that he would face at the hands of his own broken people, Jesus “bore the sin of many,” and by his wounds, we are HEALED.


“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)


3. Psalm 147:3


It’s easier to know how to pray during times of trial and hurting, when you know the promises God has laid before you. More often than not, prayer is not about requesting from the Lord, but rather, finding comfort in the position He has you in. The best way to do that is by meditating on and memorizing His Word.


“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)



4. 2 Chronicles 7:14


If you want to know how to pray for healing, I would start first by repenting. We are sinners by nature, and there is always something (whether it be big or small) that we allow into our lives to take control. Repent of your sins, and place God at the forefront of that brokenness.


“If my people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)



5. Jeremiah 30:17


The book of Jeremiah is full of hope. You may know Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you”—declares the Lord—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, but to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah is full of God’s promises, and when we know how to pray those promises, THAT is where healing begins!


“But I will bring you health and heal you of your wounds—this is the Lord’s declaration.” (Jeremiah 30:17)



6. Psalm 103:1-5


There is so much healing that can be found in praise. So often we go to God with desperate requests, and we fail to see the GOODNESS in what He is still doing — even in our suffering. The Lord is SO so good to us! He is Jehovah Rapha, The Lord who heals.


“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” (Psalm 103:1-5)



7. Deuteronomy 32:39


God promises that He will heal. We see those promises over and over and over again. But there is comfort in every single one of those promises. Deuteronomy emphasizes the POWER of the Lord, something that trumps everyone and everything in Heaven and on Earth.


“See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39)



8. Revelation 21:4


Knowing how to pray when you are hurting, is really just knowing God’s promises for healing. The Bible closes with the book of Revelation — a prophecy of the Lord and testimony of Jesus Christ. It tells of what is to come — in the days following His death, and beyond. Revelation is a warning but also a promise of the many ways God will always go before you.


“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)



9. Proverbs 4:20-22


Hold tight to the words of the Lord and you will surely know how to pray for the healing, comfort and health that you need. He tells us this in Proverbs, and again, His promises prevail.


“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)



10. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


In everything, there is a season. God confirms that in Ecclesiastes. So in life, it’s not about whether or not you’ll enter a certain season, it’s knowing how to pray WHEN you enter that season.


“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)


My prayer is that this list has provided you with resources and tools in knowing how to pray during the hard times that inevitably come to all people. Turn to the Lord when your heart and spirit is broken, and He will lift you up.


Is there something we can pray for you? Let us know by clicking here.

God Gives Peace

March 5, 2021 by Craig Denison

This Sunday, March 7, we will be learning more about the amazing peace God gives us, no matter what we go through. Click here to watch on March 7 and later.


Peace is a commodity that can only be found with time spent seeking the face of God. The world can’t offer us peace because it has nothing in which to place its hope, trust, and security. Kingdoms come and go. Leaders move in and out of power. What societies value changes like the passing of the tides. Our only constant is God. He has been, is, and forever will be the Creator, Sustainer, and Lord of all. All authority has been given to Him. He governs the change of seasons. He thwarts the plans of our enemy. And He longs to offer total and sustained peace to all who place their hope and trust in Him.


Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Our God has peace in store for us in every situation if we will choose to keep our mind stayed on Him and trust Him. The world says that peace can only come when you’ve worked your fingers to the bone and have finally attained all you want. You can only have peace when you have enough money, friends, the right job, or the right spouse. You can only have peace if friends, family, and bosses like you. God’s way is to draw you into Himself and offer you peace in the midst of your circumstances. He doesn’t want you to wait until everything gets worked out before you can have rest—He’s offering you rest right now.


Psalm 23 says, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul . . . . You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:1-3, 5). God longs to prepare a table for you in the midst of whatever trouble surrounds you. He is calling you to keep your mind stayed on Him no matter what lies before you. And He is asking you to seek His face and find your rest in Him rather than toiling and striving for circumstantial peace.


Romans 8:6 says, “To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” It’s by the Spirit alone that you will find life and peace. Stop looking for your fulfillment in the things of the world. Stop asking the world to offer you what it never had to begin with. Look toward your heavenly Father for the peace that surpasses all understanding. May you be filled with rest and peace today as you spend time in prayer seeking the face of God.


“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints.” Psalm 85:8


Prayer

1. Think about the truth that God is your sole source of peace and rest. Allow God’s word to mold and shape your perspective.


“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3


“To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6


“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3


2. Where have you been running to for peace? Have you had much peace and rest in your life lately? Acknowledging your past pursuits will help you make present changes.


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6


3. Seek the peace that comes from placing your hope and trust in God alone. Ask the Spirit to fill you with peace in the midst of your circumstances. Let your requests be known to God, and receive the peace that comes from casting your burdens on the loving and capable shoulders of your heavenly Father.


“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7


Go

You will be robbed of peace as soon as you turn your trust away from God and begin to live in your own strength. The only source of consistent peace is keeping your mind stayed on God. You can trust in the reality of God’s desire and ability to help you. You can wait on Him if He tells you to wait. You can move when He tells you to move. Offer your understanding, actions, and emotions to Him, and allow Him to be Lord over them all today.


“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His saints.”


Extended Reading: Psalm 23 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Psalms.


Are you experiencing God's peace? Is there any way we can help you or pray for you? Let us know by clicking here.

God's Divine Love is - Full of Grace

March 1, 2021 by Billy Graham

On Sunday Pastor Brian shared about God's amazing grace.


“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” —Ephesians 2:4-5


We can really mess things up sometimes. Squandering money and relationships. Lying even when we know better. Wasting time on things that don’t matter. Ignoring God’s plans and plowing forward with our own.


But God loves us anyway.


Those two words, “but God,” are seen in Ephesians 2:4 and in several other places in the Bible.


“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” —Genesis 50:20


“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” —Psalm 73:26


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


Beginning to see a pattern? We serve a God who intervenes on our behalf, even when the odds are against us. Every time “but God” is written in the Bible, a blessing follows.


It can be easy to beat yourself up about who you are and the situations you face. “I want to be used by God, but I’m not qualified.” “I want to be blessed by God, but I don’t deserve it.” “I want to trust God, but everything in my life is so bad.” “I want God to forgive me, but I don’t think He can.”


Thankfully, nothing from God is based solely on our works. The Apostle Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 15:10: “… yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”


God wants us to understand that no matter our sin, no matter our weakness or insecurity, no matter our faults and shortcomings, He’s got us covered when we present these things to Him. He stoops down to rescue and help us. That’s God’s grace, and it really is sufficient. It’s not merited. Oftentimes, it’s not understood.


But rest assured, as children of God, it’s not going anywhere.


By His grace we have been saved from any “mess up” we could possibly imagine.


Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues. John Stott

God loves you and cares about you and has stooped down to make a way to rescue you. He's always there, just a prayer away.


Have you experienced God's saving grace? If you'd like learn more, please click here.


If you have any questions, or would like someone to pray with you, or for you, please let us know by clicking here. We'd love to hear from you!

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