December 14, 2017

He Still Fulfills

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In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her,  and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then she exclaimed with a loud cry:

“You are the most blessed of women, and your child will be blessed!

How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me!  She who has believed is blessed because what was spoken to her by the Lord will be fulfilled!”

Luke 1:39-45

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I remember the months before each one of my children were born…and the excitement and fear all wrapped into one emotion.  And what made it even better?  If a few friends were pregnant at the same time, too.  There is something about sharing those times.  And Mary was no different.

Yes, she was carrying the Savior of the world but she was also just a girl, a simple one at that, excited about sharing this time with her cousin who was also with child.  The children would be cousins and friends.  I imagine their conversations went late into the night.  Talks of swollen feet and aching backs.  Maybe of how ready they were to meet each baby.  Yes, they were ready!

“How could this happen to me, the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  Elizabeth got to touch the belly where Jesus was.  And today, He lives inside of us.  We are the blessed ones.  We are the ones full of joy.  So what will we do with it—this excitement?  Who will we share the good news with?  There is a hurting world that has lost some of it’s hope.  And we know that Jesus is the answer  to it all.

Yes, He  came as a small little baby but grew into a man who would lead a group of disciples. They would love Him so much that they would leave it all behind, just to follow Him wherever He would go. He would give sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf.  He would love the least of these, feeling more at home with them. He loved all people so much that He would ultimately die for each one. Even you!  He is coming again here to earth to take us to Heaven to live there forever. I get chills just thinking about it.

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But there are some who are still lost and hurting this Christmas season.  If this is you, and you don’t know Jesus, I urge you to pray this prayer with me.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I am so tired of doing this on my own. I believe that Jesus is Your Son and that He died to take away all sin, including mine. I will get to live with You forever. Please forgive me for my sins. I trust You now with my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

My Story

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If I told you my story,
You would hear hope, that wouldn’t let go
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Love that never gave up
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak, then let it be
of the grace that is Greater than all my sin
of when justice was served, and where mercy wins!
of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him

If I told you my story,
you would hear victory over the enemy
and if I told you my story,
you would hear freedom that was won for me
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Life Overcome the grave

This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior, all the day long
this is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior, all the day long

for the grace that is Greater, than all my sin
of where justice was served, and where mercy wins!
of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
o to tell you my story,
is to tell of the grace that is Greater, than all my sin
of where justice was served, and mercy wins!

of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Big Daddy Weave
written by Jason Ingram and Mike Weaver

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This is the time of year when we, as a nation, take time to focus on what we are thankful for.  We have—this beautiful land in which we live, our freedom to vote, our freedom to worship, our families, our friends, our jobs, and so much more.  We should be full of thanksgiving to our Lord, because He is the Provider of all good things.

And God will generously provide all you need.
Then you will always have everything you need
and plenty left over to share with others…
For God is the One who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat.
In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources
and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
2 Corinthians 9:8-10

The greatest gift that we should be thankful for is our salvation.  We have salvation when we don’t have freedom.  We have salvation when we don’t have family or friends.  We have salvation when we are out of work and have no income.  We have salvation even when we are in a Third World country.  Our salvation is not dependent on any of these things.

But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food.
Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.
For God the Father has given Me the seal of His approval.
John 6:27

You see, it’s really Jesus’ story for which I am most thankful.  Our salvation is dependent on Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross for us, each of us…not just a select few.  His provision to save us gives us grace, love, hope, life.  It gives us victory over the enemy, and freedom.  Out of His kindness, out of His story comes my story.  I have no story to tell if it were not for Jesus being willing to do His Father’s will and come to earth to live and die and be raised again to new life.

God saved you by His grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9

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

I can and want to praise my Savior “all the day long.”

  • He gave His love, which never gives up.
  • He provides hope, which won’t let go.
  • He gave His life, so I could have mine.

Oh, the kindness of the Lord compels me to tell/sing of His grace and mercy, which always wins!

In His kindness, God called you to share
in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:10

What are you thankful for during this Thanksgiving season?  Is your list long?  What’s at the top of that list? I’m praying that your salvation is number one.  I’m praying that your story is not based on the things you are thankful for, but on the One you are thankful to.  Tell me your story; I’d love to hear you tell me about Jesus.

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With great thanksgiving, Lord, we come to You.  We come with our hearts bursting with the love and joy we have for You, knowing that all good things come from You.  Thank You for all of Your blessings.  We also come to thank You for our salvation.  Thank You, Jesus, for obeying Your Father’s will, so that we can experience new life with You.  The details of our individual stories may look different, but the truth of our stories is that it is Your story.  We are privileged to share Your Good News with others.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to praise You all the day long so that others will hear Your story and come to You.  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

This Week…I AM the Door (John 10:1-10)

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Recorded in the Gospel of John, our Lord made seven statements referring to Himself as I AM

I AM The Light of the World
I AM The Bread of Life
I AM The Door

I AM The Good Shepherd
I AM The True Vine

I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life
I AM The Resurrection and The Life

Each week during this season of Lent, here on the Seeking Him blog, we will be focusing our devotionals on a different aspect of Jesus’ revelation of Himself as I AM.  The aim of Lent should be to prepare our hearts for the remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice—His trial and torture, the Crucifixion and His death…and above all, the celebration of His Resurrection from the dead.  We pray that this will be a great encouragement to each of you who read them.  And that all of us will consider the significance of Jesus’ words and, through them, be helped as we remember and are thankful for all Jesus went through during the last few weeks of His life on this earth.

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So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you,
that I Myself am the Door for the sheep.
All others who came [as such] before Me are thieves and robbers,

but the [true] sheep did not listen to and obey them.
I AM the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live).
He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.

I came that they may have and enjoy life,
and have it in abundance (to the full, till itoverflows).

John 10:7-10 AMP

Another incredible promise that Jesus gave…how grateful and thankful are we?!!?   This past week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, our sisters have shared some insight on these words spoken by our Lord.  Here are a few highlights from the devotionals that Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee wrote to encourage us.

In The Door Is Our Protection, Cynda shared a bit of the enlightenment she received…

“…as I was studying commentaries on this passage, I came across a statement that made me pause.  Had I perhaps missed an additional meaning in this Scripture?  Had I stopped short without completely understanding the depth of this Scripture?

“In a ‘field’ sheepfold, the shepherd actually laid his body across the entrance, to keep the sheep in and to keep out the wolves.” – David Guzik

I totally get the symbolism that Christ laid down His life for our salvation.  But I missed the part about Him being our protection. Christ is there to protect us from the evil one.”

In The Gate for the Sheep, Ahmee helped us to see the value of each of our differing journeys to salvation.  

“Our stories are so different.  True, but there is something in common with all our stories—we all said ‘yes!’ to Jesus.  There is no other way.  So, before the yes, our stories are very different. After the yes, our stories are very different. It is even possible that during the yes, our stories are very different.

The point is, Jesus said that He is the Gate for the sheep.  Well, sisters (and brothers) we all walked through that same Gate!  Saying this makes me want to high-five each and every one of you.  We are ‘in’ because of our Savior.  Yay for us! What an awesome feeling it is to have walked through the Gate.  Why not bring someone along?”

In The Door To a New Life, Tina also wrote about salvation….

“As verse 9 states, Jesus wants to give us salvation. All we have to do is ask.  Then believe we are forgiven of all of our sins.  Change our lives and begin living for God.  This changes everything.  Believing and developing a trust in God will empower you in every area of your life. You will believe you can speak before a crowd to share your testimony with others.  You will be able to tell your story with such conviction and self confidence.  You will be proud. ”

In Re-Entering The Door, Laura encouraged us to recognize that  the Door—Jesus—rescues us from distractions of this world.

“However, we can easily reenter that Door when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Christ opened the door to redemption when He died on the Cross for our sins.  He reconciled us to God, so we may have eternal life. A s the children of God, we should pay attention to Jesus and being faithful to Him.  We should not listen to a world that has turned away from God.  If we turn away from God then we will die a certain death when Judgment Day arrives.  All we have to do is see Jesus’ open Door, give up the worldly distractions, and accept Jesus as our Savior.  When we cross over the threshold of that Door, we are no longer of this world. ”

In The Door Gives Access, Ann reminded us of the abundant life available to those who accept Jesus as Lord. (Check out the list of Scriptures she provided for us!)

“Jesus said, ‘I AM The Door’ …what does this imply?  He is giving us access to use Him because those who enter through Jesus will be saved—they will have abundant life (verse 10); they will have all they need to be delivered from sin, guilt, condemnation. He is the ONLY Door; none other exists.   [These}…verses help us to understand what this Door can do and how it is going to help us.  Let us therefore choose deliberately to use this Door which will take us to the highest places. ”

Have you had the opportunity to read through these blogposts this week?  If not, I would encourage you to do so!  Our bloggers have made these as well as some other wonderful points to direct us towards Jesus, Who IS The Door to salvation and eternal life.

Have Everything

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The first time I met you, I was on my knees
Praying, “Lord, if You’re out there, can You speak to me?”
‘Cause I was in a desperate place
My life looked like a hurricane
The moment I felt Your grace

You can have me, You can have everything
Oh, I am Yours
Not holding on, onto anything
But Your promise, Lord
It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn
I’ve found a place where I belong
Nothing I want more than what You’ve given me
Hey, so You can have everything
You can have everything
You can have everything

You are like the sunshine in the dead of night
You’re the only one standing when my world ignites
So why would I hold anything back
‘Cause You keep my world intact
It’s true, Oh, God, it’s true, so I’ll say

Every day I’m gonna wake up,
Gonna wake up
, wake up and say
You can have me, have everything

Singer/Songwriter: David Dunn along with Justin Ebach

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It’s hard for me to remember a time when I didn’t have Jesus as my Savior, my Companion, and my Rock.  I was a young child of eight when I asked Jesus to come into my heart.  I had very few hard times as a young believer and really all throughout my childhood.  He walked with me through my days and I could feel His presence.  I knew I belonged to Him and I knew that He was all that I needed.  I remember thinking, “How do people live when they don’t have Him?” Little did I know just how desperate I would feel one day…like He had left or taken a break or maybe fallen asleep on the job.  But really, it was I who had moved.

“…I was in a desperate place, my life looked like a hurricane…”  Oh, how those words described my life at times, when I had decided that I knew how to run my life better than Him.  He waited patiently, with so much grace and mercy until I once again told Him that He could have everything.  Now when my feet hit the floor, I pray a simple prayer: “Empty to fill.”

Every day is a new day.  One that is full of joy and wonder at the greatest life I could ever have.  My sweet Savior rescued me from darkness and filled me with His light and I will never be the same. What about you today?  Have you asked Jesus to be your Lord?  Have you felt His presence lately…or do you feel you have moved away a little bit? If so, all you have to do is ask Him to come into your life and live in your heart.  He is waiting for you to say, “You can have everything.”

Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:23

LORD, be gracious to us; we long for You.
Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
Isaiah 33:2

I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make Your faithfulness known
through all generations.
Psalm 89:1

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Let us pray:
Dear God, thank You for giving us Your Son to be our Savior and Rock and Comforter.  Thank You for the grace and mercy that are ours through You.  When we fail and trip and stumble, Your hand is always there to pull us up.  What a privilege to be able to lay it all at Your feet, to be able to give You everything that weighs us down knowing no burden is too heavy for You.  All we have to do is ask…and trust You. You love us and You forgive us.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus Prays For You

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Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him,
because He always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:25

Those words really resonated with me as I read them over and over.  This week I gave Him all my problems… then took them back.  I played that game for a while.  Isn’t it just like God to lead us right to the words we so need—His words of comfort? And knowing that Jesus intercedes for us and He saves us and delivers us is the Truth; well, I think we all need to hear that.

I encourage you to read Hebrews 7:23-28.  Before Jesus, there were many priests, but they were human and they eventually died. In this passage above, we see that one of Jesus’ favorite things to do is to save us. (The word save translated means “any kind of deliverance.”)  Have you ever wondered what He was doing up there, after He left His disciples and went to prepare a place for us? I know He is hard at work on our behalf… and don’t we give Him plenty of things to work on!  We know that Jesus sits at the right hand of His Father, and He is our High Priest.  He lives to pray for us, to look deep into our lives, and knows what we need before we ask.  He knows God’s Will and fully understands it.  He knows our desires and He knows God’s total plan for our lives.

See, Jesus tore the veil that stood between us and God so that we can go straight to God.  We have total access to our Father and so does Christ.  And He uses that access for our gain.  They both love us so very much that, together, they are working all things together for our good and answering our prayers and petitions in God’s timing. Think about what is occupying your thoughts right now…are you at peace or is there turmoil going on?  When our minds focus too much on the problems and we take our minds off the Solver of those problems, the Holy Spirit nudges us, and Jesus intercedes and helps us to pray, and God answers our prayers.

Here is the main point; We have a High Priest who sat down
in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in Heaven.
Hebrews 8:1

And in verse 6 it says,

But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry
that is far superior to the old priesthood,
for He is the One Who mediates for us
a far better covenant with God,
based on better promises.

Promises like this: that you have the gift of salvation by faith, and can trust entirely in Jesus.  Jesus has done it all.  Nothing you can do will improve His work. Nothing you can do to make Him not love you.  Accept these truths today…

  • He came to this earth to live a hard life so that we would know how to do this
  • He died on the Cross so that you can live forever with Him
  • He left us the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us on this journey

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Let’s all pray this simple prayer together:

Dear God, I trust in Jesus alone. Please forgive my sins through Him, and give me the eternal life secured by Him. In Your name, amen.

Did you pray this prayer for the first time today? If so, leave us a comment so that we can celebrate your spiritual birthday with you!  God sees you….

Thank You, Lord, For Saving My Soul

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Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul
Thank You, Lord, for making me whole
Thank You, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

~  Written by Seth and Bessie Sykes  /  Sung by Jimmy Swaggart  ~

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I’m writing this Hymn blog in remembrance of my mother, Leona Nelson Gilbert, who went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, November 2010.  As far back as I can remember we sang the chorus of this song.  It was a favorite…in church, in our home, and even in our car.  The last place I heard my mom sing this chorus was in her bed as I would tuck her in at night.  She was 95+ years old.  We would talk, pray, and sing before she grew too tired to sing anymore. “God is So Good” and “Thank You, Lord, for Saving My Soul” were her two favorites.

In my research I found that this chorus is actually part of a hymn written by Seth and Bessie Sykes, copyrighted in 1940.

In 1929 Sykes left his job as a tramway conductor, and along with his wife became a full-time traveling evangelist, well known in the United Kingdom and the USA. Seth’s sermons led countless people to Christ and this hymn was most assuredly sung as a regular part of their services.

Click here and listen to this beautiful song along with the complete set of lyrics.

Our family, like so many others, went through some hard times, but my mother taught me that when Jesus is in my heart I always have a song to sing.  I don’t know if she ever knew the rest of the hymn but I know she would have liked it, because it thanks God for all that she held dear—family, friends, His creation, His joy, His grace, His great salvation.

Now she sings this chorus of praise as she looks upon His glorious face.  I’m looking forward to the day when I will join Mom in front of God’s Throne, and sing “Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul, Thank You, Lord, for making me whole.” Jesus gave us His great salvation so rich and free.  He gave His all.  I pray that I, like Mom, will give Him my all, all the days of my life.  My mother taught me that He is Worthy!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good;
for His mercy endureth for ever.
1 Chronicles 16:34 KJV

Steve Green’s song, “Find Us Faithful” says, “May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe…” and that is exactly what Mom prayed and lived.  In whatever role(s) you play…mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, or caregiver…never begrudge the time you take to play, sing, read, listen, or even “act silly” with a child.  It’s important!  That child is listening and learning from you.  Make every moment count–it’s eternally worth it.

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Dear Lord, thank You for saving our soul, thank You for making us whole. Thank You for the women in our lives who have shared Your love with us. Lord, in our busyness, remind us to take time to share Your love and salvation with others around us, especially the children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

We Believe

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In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only One Foundation
We believe, we believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only One Salvation
We believe, we believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life
We believe in the Crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the Resurrection
And He’s comin’ back again, we believe

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing
And in our weakness and temptations
We believe, we believe

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised
In the here and now, let love invade
Let the Church live love, our God will see
We believe, we believe
And the gates of hell will not prevail
For the power of God, has torn the veil
Now we know Your love will never fail
We believe, we believe

He’s comin’ back again
He’s comin’ back again
We believe, we believe

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

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I imagine you can say along with me that there have been times of desperation in your life.  At some time we have all experienced doubt and fear.  Those things happen in this broken generation, and in our weakness and temptations.

BUT GOD—

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever
Psalm 73:26

But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth
Psalm 86:15

With God, our Triune God, we find our One Foundation, our One Salvation.

I get chills as I sing this song. It is my statement of faith, because I BELIEVE!  I believe in God the Father, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in His Holy Spirit.  I believe in Jesus’ crucifixion, and in His resurrection.  I believe in New Life through Jesus Christ. I have experienced it!  I believe He’s coming back for every believer (you and me.)

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God
John 1:12,13

Because I believe, I agree that The Church (you and I) need to live love that our God will see.  We need to stand against the gates of hell, because our God has torn the veil, and is The Power and The Love we can depend on to conquer sin and death.  We believers need to show and tell that Good News to those who don’t know God’s love yet.

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
Romans 5:7, 8

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord
Romans 6:23

Ladies, Jesus is coming back! Do you believe? If not, today is your day to surrender—and take a stand for the One and Only True Foundation and Salvation by which you can be saved, and live eternally with Him.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.
Romans 10:9

The Only Name (Yours Will Be)

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Yours will be the only Name that matters to me
The only One Whose favor I seek
The only Name that matters to me

Yours will be the friendship and affection I need
To feel my Father smiling on me
The only Name that matters to me

Yours is the Name, the Name that has saved me
Mercy and grace the power that forgave me
And Your love is all I’ve ever needed

When I wake up in the Land of Glory
And with the saints I will tell my story
There will be one Name that I proclaim

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, just that Name

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

 
~  Performed by Big Daddy Weave / Words and Music by Benji Cowart  ~
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Jesus.  The Name that calms storms and heals the sick and raises the dead to living. The blind could see again just by believing in Him.  The woman at the well carried Living Water home with her so she never would thirst again.  And Lazarus, he rose from the dead, just as our Savior would one day.  Jesus.   Doesn’t saying His name just calm you?

His Name is the name that we should seek above all.  Do you know that He experienced everything on earth that we do?  I’m not saying that He sinned, I’m saying that He lived here and walked here and saw the same hurts and sickness that we do.  God sent Him to pave the way for us.  And to experience the same powers that He had.  Of all the things of this world, nothing else matters except our relationship with Jesus, the Son of Man, the Son of God.  Jesus is the difference between life and death.  He is the difference between Christianity and all other religions. You must accept Him in your heart and have a relationship—a day to day speaking, and loving, relationship with Him.

Do you see His beauty?  Do you feel His presence with you?  As it says in this song, His name saves.  His name forgives and shows mercy and grace.  He so readily loves and so readily befriends all.  He is Jesus, friend of sinners.  He is the “I Am.”  We all will live with our Heavenly Father forever, because of Jesus.  He ate with tax collectors.  His own brother didn’t believe in Him and yet Jesus loved him so.  His own disciple betrayed Him, yet He broke bread with them and gave thanks, knowing that His own Father would have to turn His back on Him.  Don’t you want to love like that?  If so, then let’s do this together.  Let’s start now, preparing our hearts for His coming.  While we are here, let’s love each other.  Let’s get our hands dirty and get in the middle of life with each other.  There are plenty of onlookers but not enough team members!  Let’s ask God to empower us to truly turn it all over to Him and start fresh.

This week was the first week of Spring.  It’s time to do some cleaning up and cleaning out; and it’s time to plant some new seeds.  And when you’re ready to give in or give up, or when life is so hard and you just can’t breathe—just whisper His Name, Jesus. It still calms storms!

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Let us pray:  Dear Lord, we praise You for who You are.  We thank You for sending Your Son to walk before us in life and prepare the way for us.  Thank You for Your Word that documents His every move, from birth to death and every miracle in between.  Oh, how we are blessed!!!  Thank You that we can call on You in every situation and You are right there.  Because of Your Son, we are never alone and never will be.  We will forever walk with You and we have been given life abundant, full of joy, full of peace, full of grace, and full of You!  Thank You for the journey…for the wild ride that’s called our life.  Help us to prepare our hearts for Easter and to never take His death for granted.  For it’s in His name we pray, Amen.

What Grace Is Mine

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What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light
Called through the night to find my distant soul
And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me
That I might live and in His name be known

So I will go wherever He is calling me
I lose my life to find my life in Him
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies
I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him

What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me
Beneath His wings my wak’ned soul may soar
All fear can flee for death’s dark night is overcome
My Savior lives and reigns forevermore

So I will go…

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

Traditional melody ‘Londonderry Air;  Arranged by Rob Mathes

Lyrics written and Performed by Mrs. Kristyn Getty

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If you there was one all-important point that was the focus of Jesus’ teaching it would be salvation, don’t you agree?

Websters’ 1828 Dictionary defines salvation as this:
SALVA’TION, n. [L. salvo, to save.]

1. The act of saving; preservation from destruction, danger or great calamity.
2. Appropriately in theology, the redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him everlasting happiness. This is the great salvation.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Jesus spoke over and over and over again (Matthew 10, Mark 8, Luke 9, Luke 17, John 12) to His disciples on this life-changing, life-giving, life-saving issue—of ‘losing one’s life’ for the benefit of actually saving it.  Perhaps He felt that ‘rubbing it in’ and repetition were needful for them.  Perhaps He just loved them so much that He wanted them to know of the vital importance of salvation.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple,
let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests]
and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me,
conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].
For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here]
shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here]
for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life
[his blessed life in the kingdom of God]?
Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God]?
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory (majesty, splendor) of His Father
with His angels, and then He will render account and reward every man
in accordance with what he has done.
Matthew 19:24-27 AMP

These words obviously sunk deep into the hearts of His chosen—the apostles who lived and served alongside Jesus.  Immediately prior to His leaving them to return to His Father, He told them,

…But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
Acts 1:8

And so they waited for the promise of the Father—the coming of the Holy Spirit.  Upon receiving ‘power’ they did witness…through the manifestation of speaking in tongues to believers gathered in Jerusalem from “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5).  In particular, Peter spoke boldly and confidently with much conviction and admonition to the crowds gathered there in Jerusalem.  Just as Jesus had done, Peter made it clear that salvation is required for eternal life…and that it is only available through Jesus Christ.

…Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing before you well.  This Jesus is the Stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:10-12

And the Apostle Paul spoke the Gospel message of salvation often, and stridently, to seemingly everyone he encountered.  He admittedly recognized in his own life, the need to lose his life, take up his cross, and follow the Lord Jesus.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God
that brings salvation to everyone who believes:
first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

We, too, have been given this life-changing, life-giving, life-saving opportunity to do the same.  By God’s grace we have received the Gospel message of salvation; and, by His grace, we have believed it.  May we, too, sing our confession, ‘I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him!’

So I will go wherever He is calling me

  • Jesus has called us (His disciples) into a life of obedience and submission to Him

I lose my life to find my life in Him

  • Our earthly life, in the end, has no value or worth; but eternal life—oh what worth!

I give my all to gain the hope that never dies

  • …We might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul… (Hebrews 6:18-20)

I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him  ♥ 

CHRISTLife — Eighteen: No Longer Condemned

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Why is it so hard to accept His forgiveness?  Why do we automatically think that He is condemning us for the sins that He so readily forgives and forgets?  I remember watching each one of my babies begin to walk.  I remember the praise, the clapping, and oh the hugs!  Yes, they stumbled; and yes, they would fall—but did I ever condemn them?  No…I ran to them, exactly where they were in the exact spot that they fell and I picked them up, held them in my arms for a while, sat down a minute or two just holding them and just being still, enjoying every moment with them.

Don’t you see?  Your Heavenly Daddy does the same thing, except He has the ability to actually forget the sin.  When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, you were made new.  Your name was written down in the Book of Life by the God who created you and the pencil He wrote which has no eraser!  So no matter what you have done or will do, you can never be separated or condemned for your sins.  You may feel a nudge sometimes to repent, but once you have asked forgiveness, you are set free from your sin.

The enemy, however, loves to condemn us and speak lies to us; but that’s what they are—just lies.  The condemnation that you may feel is from him…the same enemy that tempted man to sin in the first place.

At the end of this chapter, Mrs. Myers asks her readers to reflect on a few verses. Let’s read them together shall we?

But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.
These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord,
their vindication will come from me, I, the Lord, have spoken.
Isaiah 54:17

You are His servants…He’s talking about you!  No weapon against you can stand!  He has promised that we will live eternally with Him if we just ask Jesus to be our Savior! He died with our sins on Him.  He cleansed us with His blood.  We are forgiven, made new, cleansed from our filth.

God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save it.
John 3:17

To SAVE it, not to CONDEMN it. He let His only Son die a horrible death, and couldn’t even look at Him because of all the sin that was cast on Him.  Jealousy, addiction, pornography, oppression, murder, robbery are all sins that were on God’s Son when He died.  All that we would do would be undone by Him.

There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him.
But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged
for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
Verse 18

If this (“anyone who does not believe in Him…”) is you, stop now and take a minute and invite Him in.  If you don’t know how, I suggest you reach out to one of us, or a pastor or a friend that you know is saved.  This is the most important thing you will ever do.  And we celebrate with you this day that you become new.

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law.
When He was hung on the cross, He took upon Himself the curse for our wrongdoing.
For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on the tree.”
Galatians 3:13

He has rescued you!  You are promised everlasting life!  This is the heart of our Christian faith, that we cannot get right with God on our own works but by His blood…and by God’s grace we are saved.  He promises us that all we have to do is trust, receive, and just rest in Him.  So I leave you with a question from this chapter:

What makes you most grateful for your new identity in Christ?

(You can leave your answer in your comment under this blog…I look forward to celebrating with you!)

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, thank You that You love us enough to let Your own Son, Who knew no sin, become our sin and die a horrible death so that we may live forever with You.  You are patient, long-suffering, our Stronghold, our Provider, our Comforter and our Redeemer.  Thank You for meeting us right where we are and not expecting us to be anything more than who we are.  You created us to glorify You and oh, how we fall short sometimes but You take us back, just as we are, You pick us up from our many falls and You hold us and love us.  Forgive us when we try to control things around us, for You are in the drivers seat, and we are so grateful.  Gently nudge those today who need You; let this be for someone out there today who needs a Savior.  It’s in Jesus name we pray, amen.