Monday, January 31, 2011

God Has Already Forgiven You

2 CORINTHIANS 5:19 AMPLIFIED
19 It was God (personally present) in Christ, reconciling and
restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and
holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them];
and committing to us the message of reconciliation -- of the
restoration to favor.

A popular idea is that God is really mad at people and can
hardly wait to punish them for their sins.

The truth is that God has already forgiven people. Now you must
accept His forgiveness to enjoy a restored relationship with
Him.

What a shame it is that people are estranged from God and go
without His help and blessing -- simply because they think God
is against them and would have nothing to do with them.

1 JOHN 2:12 NKJ
12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are
forgiven you for His name's sake.

No matter what you have done -- God has already forgiven you!
More than forgiven -- you are loved!

Forgiving you was God's idea -- you do not have to convince
Him. You must believe God forgave you and thank Him.

Jesus Christ already paid the price for all your sins -- and
God is no longer holding any sin against you! You have been
forgiven.

SAY THIS: Thank You Father God for forgiving me! Thank You Jesus!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

God Loves You

ROMANS 8:39 NLT
39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below -- indeed,
nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from
the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You may find it difficult to believe -- but it's true -- God
loves you. His love for you is not based on your appearance or
your performance -- but on the fact that you are His creation
-- His child.

Just as a good parent loves their children, so God loves His
children -- and even more so. You will not be able to make God
stop loving you, no matter what you do or don't do. You can
displease Him, you can disappoint Him, you can anger Him -- but
you can't make Him stop loving you.

What are the practical consequences of God loving you? First,
it means you can trust Him. No one who truly loves you will
mistreat you. Second, it means God is doing all He can to help
you and bless you.

"Then why am I not more blessed, if God wants to bless me?"
Because you must cooperate with God to receive His blessing.
That is why we need continuing instruction from the Bible -- so
we can know how to receive all that God has for us.

The promise of Jesus is that if we continue in His Word it will
reveal the truth to us and make us free. That is the blessing
which God has provided for you through Christ because He loves
you: true freedom! Freedom from fear, freedom from confusion,
freedom from lack, freedom from sickness, freedom from strife,
freedom from sin.

SAY THIS: God loves me and desires the very best for me. That
is why He gave me His Word, so I could know the truth and be
free.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

God Is Bigger Than Your Box

PSALM 78:41 KJV
41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy
One of Israel.

God is unlimited (but people can limit what God does for them).

True, God cannot deny Himself. That means He cannot act
contrary to who He is and what He has said. But beyond that God
has no limits that we know of.

The Bible tells us the people of Israel limited what God could
do for them. We should not make the same mistake.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-6 KJV
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same
Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same
God which worketh all in all.

God is very creative. From looking at His creation, you could
even guess that sameness might bore Him. Every fingerprint is
different. Every eyeball is different. Every ear is different.
No two leopards have the same spots.

Yet people think things like:

"God cannot work outside of our denomination."

"Every church has to be just like ours."

"God can only move in this one way."

"God will only do this, if . . ."

But God is bigger than you realize!

God may have a million different ways to do something. Just
look at what He created. There is not just one type of bug. No,
there are millions. We know of nearly a million types of
beetles alone.

So don't limit God in your thinking. He is God!

SAY THIS: I will not limit God. He is bigger than I can think.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Learn To Use Your Faith

MARK 11:23-24 NKJ
23 "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in
his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done,
he will have whatever he says.
24 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you
pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

There is spiritual growth as well as physical growth. We don't
start out strong and mature. The Bible, and all creation,
teaches gradual growth.

MARK 4:28 NLT
28 The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade
pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally
the grain ripens.

The Bible is full of great promises. We must receive them by
faith. Faith is not trying to believe, but knowing that you
believe. So, you must start using faith at the level you are
at. If you don't have faith for a new car then believe for a
bicycle. Then believe God for a motorcycle. Keep using your
faith and feeding it on God's Word and it will continue to
grow.

Eventually, you will get to where you can believe God for large
things as easily as you did for small things.

It requires feeding your faith on God's Word as well as
exercising your faith to cause it to grow strong.

The mistake many make is trying to believe God for a jumbo jet
when they really don't have enough faith for a bicycle. Yes,
the Word says that all things are possible, but only for those
who truly believe. Most people are just trying to believe and
hoping something will happen.

What if you have a need now, but don't have enough faith to
cover it? Get someone else to agree with you, using their faith
on your behalf.

MATTHEW 18:19 NKJ
19 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth
concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by
My Father in heaven.

But don't expect to go through life depending entirely on
someone else's faith. God will require you to eventually grow
up and use your own faith. So you might as well get started
now.

God knows our needs. The Bible is clear that God does not want
us to be in lack. Then why doesn't God just meet our needs,
without us having to ask?

One answer is God wants us to grow in faith. Our faith can only
grow strong as we use it. So, every need is a faith
opportunity, and thus an opportunity for growth.

God wants us to be specific in our asking, so that when the
answer comes, we will know it was from God and came in response
to our faith in Him.

Don't wait until you have a large crisis in life to start
learning to use your faith. Start now!

Don't try to start praying for something big. Start small. Your
faith will grow as you use it.

SAY THIS: God will help me to learn to walk in faith.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Witness Of The Spirit

ROMANS 8:16 NKJ
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are
children of God,

God has a plan for guiding His children in all the questions of
life.

God's primary method of leading us in matters the Bible does
not specifically address, (such as which job to take or which
person to marry), is the inner witness, which is a knowing
communicated by the Holy Spirit to our spirit. It is not a
voice, but an inner knowing.

ROMANS 2:15 NKJ
15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their
conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their
thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

Another term for the witness of the spirit is "peace."

COLOSSIANS 3:15 AMPLIFIED
15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ
rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and
settling with finality all questions that arise ....

An umpire is responsible for making decisions. Our "umpire" is
the inner peace, or witness in our spirit.

1 JOHN 5:10 NKJ
10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in
himself....

One way Scripture describes the "inner witness" is "it seemed
good."

This was the Scripture phrase God showed me as I sought Him
concerning how to be led by the Spirit. I realized that had
been the way I had determined which message God would have me
preach. I would pray and seek God until, on the inside of me,
it just seemed good to preach a particular message. I couldn't
really explain it, but I knew it was how God was leading me in
what subjects to preach.

I saw in Scripture this was also the same "leading" Luke had to
write down the Gospel of Luke. And also how some important
decisions were made in the early days of the Church. They
described it as "it seemed good."

LUKE 1:3 NKJ
3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding
of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly
account, most excellent Theophilus,

ACTS 15:25,28 NKJ
25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to
send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay
upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:

Obviously, an immature believer could easily use this as an
excuse for their behavior, saying it just "seemed good to
them." But we are not talking about something seeming good to
your flesh or your mind, but to your innermost being, your
spirit where God dwells (if you are a believer in Jesus
Christ.)

And we must always remember that the Holy Spirit will never
lead us to do anything that is not in line with God's written
Word, the Bible. So, being familiar with God's Word is vital.

SAY THIS: God is helping me understand being guided by the
inner witness.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Get Answers To Prayer

MARK 11:24 NKJ
24 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you
pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Jesus says we must believe we receive our answer WHEN we pray,
not wait until we see it.

But no one can believe they receive without evidence. God's
written Word is our evidence.

MARK 11:24 AMPLIFIED
24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in
prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to
you, and you will [get it].

Whenever we ask the Father for anything we really desire, we
must believe that we receive our request granted to us when we
pray. Then we act like we already have it, and the thing we
prayed for will eventually show up.

But we must pray in line with God's Word. We cannot just
"believe" anything out of thin air -- if it does not agree with
God's Word -- and expect to receive it.

1 JOHN 5:14-15 NKJ
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we
ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know
that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Bible-based prayer that works is not getting God to do
something, but receiving by faith from God based on what He has
already said and done.

In other words, we do not need to change God's mind or get Him
to do something. We just need to enter in by faith to receive
what God has already decided and provided.

So, find Scripture that promises what you need or want, then
take that to God in prayer and believe you receive it when you
pray.

SAY THIS: I will base my prayers on God's promises, and believe
I receive my answer when I pray.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Inner Witness

COLOSSIANS 3:15 AMPLIFIED
15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ
rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and
settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds,
in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one
body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful
(appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

God has revealed His will to us in many areas through His
written Word, the Bible. But there are many things the Bible
does not specifically tell us, such as what person to marry,
what job to do, or where to live. (While the Bible gives us
some principles, it does not tell us individually and
specifically what to do in these types of things.) But God has
made provision to guide us in these areas of life also.

The peace of God is the umpire to determine our direction.

Understanding the "peace of God" (which I also identify as the
"inner witness") can sometimes seem difficult. Inexperienced
believers can mistake feeling good or comfortable in their
flesh for the inner witness. But, just like everything in life,
we learn, even when we make a mistake.

While this may be open to misunderstanding and abuse, it's what
Scripture teaches. God desires a growing relationship with us,
and obviously is not too concerned about us never making a
mistake while we grow spiritually and learn by experience how
to better discern the "inner witness."

We are not talking about having "peace" in your flesh, but an
"inner" peace deep within your spirit. It is not fleeting, but
grows stronger the more we draw near to God by spending time
focused on Him and His Word.

Normally, with the inner witness, thoughts will just come to
you. But thoughts can come from sources other than God. We need
a way to judge which thoughts are from God and which ones are
not.

There are two criteria by which we can determine whether a
thought is from God. The first is a knowledge of the written
Word of God, the Bible. God will never lead us contrary to His
written Word.

The second criteria is the inner witness.

ROMANS 2:15 NKJ
15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their
conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their
thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

How can you determine the inner witness?

First, it is important to realize that it is not usually a
voice, but a witness. Some words to define it are intuition,
impression, idea, hunch, knowing, or peace.

The inner witness is something we learn to recognize better as
we grow in our relationship with the Lord. It is best to learn
on things that are not life-and-death issues. God is interested
in every detail of our lives and will help us in everything. He
will even lead us in things we would consider small things,
such as locating misplaced objects.

The inner witness (along with Scripture) is also how God
confirms the most important thing in this life: knowing we are
a child of God.

ROMANS 8:16 NKJ
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are
children of God,

To be sensitive to the Lord's leading, we must look to the Lord
and spend time focused on Him. Prayer, praise, giving thanks,
and acknowledging God in all our ways are part of it. The
better we know the Lord, both through His Word, and through
walking with Him, the easier it will be for us to discern the
inner witness of the Spirit, and know God's will for us.

We must walk in the light we have, and make our decisions
prayerfully and humbly, always being ready to change and admit
we were wrong.

God promises that if any of us lack wisdom, we can ask Him and
He will give it to us (James 1:5).

SAY THIS: I will follow the leading of the Lord, through the
inner witness of His peace, in line with the Word of God.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Should Christians Use Their Imagination?

2 CORINTHIANS 4:18 NKJ
18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at
the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen
are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Many Christians are afraid of using their imagination, equating
it with evil. But God surely had a reason to make mankind with
an imagination. Once, as I was thinking about this, the
question came to me, "Why did God create man with an
imagination?" I do believe He is the Creator, don't you? And
God did make man with an imagination.

When I asked God if there was any scriptural support for using
our imagination, it occurred to me to look in Hebrews 11. As I
began reading the chapter I was shocked at what I found, even
though I had read it many times before!

Right in verse 1, faith is defined as ". . .evidence of things
not seen." I thought, "If it is something you can't see, then
it has to deal with the realm of the imagination." People would
say we were believing something that is just imaginary if it
couldn't be seen. In fact the dictionary says imagine means: to
form a mental image of (something not present). What could more
closely describe the Bible definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1!

By this time I was excited, but the chapter was just beginning.
Time and again, I saw that people in this chapter had used
their imagination; that they had "seen" what was not visible to
others. I began to realize that faith is linked with
imagination like wet is linked with water. The two are
inseparable.

Then I began to understand why the devil had stirred up such a
fuss over this subject. No doubt one main reason the devil
inspired eastern religions to utilize the imagination was to
muddy the waters and make Christians afraid it might be wrong.

As I read of Abraham I thought of Genesis 15:5 where God told
him to "count the stars. . . So shall your descendants be." If
God wasn't telling Abraham to use his imagination, I don't know
what He was telling Him to do!

So be Biblical without fear. Take what God has said in His
Word, and imagine it that way in your life!

2 CORINTHIANS 10:5 KJV
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth
itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into
captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

We must cast down imaginations that do not agree with God's
Word, and keep and nurture the ones that do.

SAY THIS: Imagination is part of faith, so I will imagine in
agreement with God's Word.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

When You Stand Praying Forgive

MARK 11:25 NKJ
25 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything
against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may
also forgive you your trespasses.

Forgiveness is a choice -- not a feeling. Your feelings may not
change while you are praying, but you can choose to forgive at
any time. It does not take long to make a choice.

How long does it take to forgive? How long can you stand and
pray?

Jesus never said anything about the person deserving
forgiveness. Nor did He say to forgive only after they asked
for forgiveness.

Anytime you talk to God, Jesus said to forgive if you had
anything against anyone. That would include people who hurt you
without even realizing they hurt you. Even people who were
still trying to hurt you. "Anyone" in this verse includes
everyone, no matter what their attitude may be.

Why should you forgive them? Not because they deserve it. But
because of the harm it will cause you if you don't forgive. The
reason you are to forgive others is to maintain your status
with God.

Jesus indicates there is something about us refusing to forgive
others that hinders our relationship with God and the free flow
of blessings God desires for us to receive.

I understand that forgiving someone who horribly wronged you is
not easy, especially if they are not even sorry for what they
did. But Jesus makes it clear that you have no real option. You
MUST forgive if you want God's forgiveness. I need not tell you
how vital that is.

If Jesus appeared to you right now and asked you face-to-face
to forgive someone who hurt you -- would you do it for Him? We
should respect Jesus' Word just as much as we would respond to
Jesus appearing to us face-to-face.

SAY THIS: I forgive and release everyone who has ever hurt me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Selfishness: The Opposite Of Divine Love

PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4 NKJ
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but
in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than
himself.
4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but
also for the interests of others.

Selfishness, not hate, is the opposite of divine love.

All the problems in the world today are the result of
selfishness. The problems in our governments and with our
economies are all the result of selfishness. The problems in
our families are the result of selfishness.

JAMES 3:16 TEV
16 Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also
disorder and every kind of evil.

The answer is for each of us to desire the best for others,
even to the point of sacrificing our own benefit to see others
blessed. This describes divine love.

That's how Jesus lived. His aim was to benefit others, not to
please Himself. Jesus suffered so we would not have to suffer.

This love is a commandment for all Christian believers. But
this commandment is given for our good, not to discourage us or
condemn us. With the command we are also given the nature and
ability to perform the command.

JOHN 13:34 NKJ
34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

All who receive Jesus Christ can walk in the same divine love
Jesus did, because they have God's life in them. This is why
all people MUST be born again, so they can be set free from
sin's bondage by being cured of selfishness.

ROMANS 5:5 NKJ
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has
been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given
to us.

(Christians can choose to act selfishly, but when they do, they
are acting against their own nature.)

SAY THIS: I choose to obey God and walk in divine love, which
is the opposite of selfishness.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Love Like Jesus

JOHN 13:15 NKJ
15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I
have done to you.

JOHN 13:34 NKJ
34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

JOHN 14:12 NKJ
12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the
works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these
he will do, because I go to My Father.

JOHN 15:12 NKJ
12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have
loved you.

EPHESIANS 4:31-5:2 NKJ
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking
be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given
Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-
smelling aroma.

EPHESIANS 5:25 NKJ
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the
church and gave Himself for her,

COLOSSIANS 3:12-14 NKJ
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on
tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if
anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave
you, so you also must do.
14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of
perfection.

MATTHEW 5:43-48 NKJ
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your
neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse
you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who
spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes
His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the
just and on the unjust.
46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?
Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more
than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
48 "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in
heaven is perfect.

1 JOHN 2:6 NKJ
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just
as He walked.

SAY THIS: I choose to let Jesus love people through me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Ugly Tree

ISAIAH 61:3 NKJ
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for
ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for
the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of
righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be
glorified."

Jesus came to give us beauty instead of ashes. To transform the
ashes of our life into something beautiful -- for His glory.

As I was walking one day, I came upon a tree. It was short,
twisted, and poorly shaped. Obviously, it had faced many storms
and had suffered greatly. To be honest, the tree itself, was
ugly.

But that day something transformed that ugly tree into
something gloriously beautiful, and very pleasant to look at.
It was covered with little pink flowers. In fact, the tree was
bursting with life coming from inside its gnarled branches.

As I looked at the tree, enjoying the beautiful sight, it
reminded me of us as believers -- who may not be very desirable
on our own -- but with Jesus' life and love flowing through us
-- we become glorious creatures.

So no matter how twisted and ugly you may have become because
of the storms of life, if you allow Jesus to live and manifest
through you, everyone will see beauty instead of ashes and
ugliness.

JEREMIAH 17:7-8 NLT
7 "But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made
the LORD their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots
that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by
the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves
stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

SAY THIS: Jesus in me makes all the difference!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jesus Is Our Advocate

1 JOHN 2:1 NKJ
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you
may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

The Greek word translated as Advocate in this verse is
parakletos. It means someone called to one's aid; someone who
pleads another's cause before a judge; a counsel for defense, a
legal assistant, an advocate, and a helper.

Many people have never fully grasped that Jesus Christ is on
our side. Just like a defense lawyer, He pleads our case.

We should not sin, because sin is harmful -- to us and to
others. But even if we do sin, Jesus Christ is still on our
side. He is not accusing us, but defending us on the basis of
His sacrifice at Calvary.

The devil is the one who accuses us, who brings up all our sins
and shortcomings, and tells us we don't deserve anything good.

REVELATION 12:10 NKJ
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation,
and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His
Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused
them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

Jesus is not the one who is trying to find us guilty. He
remains our Savior!

ROMANS 8:33-34 NLT
33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one
-- for God himself has given us right standing with himself.
34 Who then will condemn us? No one -- for Christ Jesus died
for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the
place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us.

Jesus not only paid the penalty for all our sins by shedding
His own blood, but now He is our advocate pleading our case so
that we might enjoy all the blessings He purchased for us --
regardless of our failures.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:21 NKJ
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we
might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus took our place, suffering what we deserve, so that we
might receive, as a free gift, what Jesus deserves. This is
Good News!

SAY THIS: Jesus Christ is my defense attorney!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love Evidence

JOHN 13:34-35 NKJ
34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you
have love for one another."

True followers of Jesus are different. They are marked by
divine love. They do something which is impossible for "mere
men," they walk in divine love.

1 CORINTHIANS 3:3 NKJ
3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife,
and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like
mere men?

This verse shows that believers can be carnal, or ruled by
their senses and natural mind, but all believers are capable of
showing divine love.

The truth is that we need to be born again so we can have God's
love in us. Then we will be able to love others as Jesus loves
us. The people of the world are not capable of this.

ROMANS 5:5 NKJ
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has
been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given
to us.

Even though we have the love of God in our hearts, we still
have to choose to allow it to control our actions and reactions
toward people. In this, as in every area, we must look to the
Lord for His help.

The love we are to show others is the kind of love God has
toward us. It is a giving love, and a forgiving love.

This love desires the best for others, but goes beyond just
desiring it, for it is willing to do what is necessary to make
good happen for others.

This divine love is evident when you would rather allow
yourself to be hurt than to allow someone else to be hurt.

When people see this love manifest through our lives, it should
cause them to say, "That's not normal!"

That's what Jesus was talking about in John 13:35, that those
who are His disciples would stand out from the crowd because of
the divine love being demonstrated through their lives.

SAY THIS: God put His love in me to be expressed!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Love Means Giving

John 3:16 KJV
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave . . .

You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving.

When you love you will give of your time, you will give of
yourself, and you will give of your resources. Those who truly
love, hold nothing back.

The measure of your giving reveals the measure of your love.

Love is something we can't see, but we can see the evidence of
love in the action it produces, which is giving.

If you love someone you will also give them forgiveness. Love
causes you to be merciful, understanding, and forgiving.

Where you give your time and resources also reveals what you
love. If we think we love someone, yet never give to them of
our time or resources, then we are just deceiving ourselves.

There are many people in each of our lives who need and deserve
our love. Jesus Christ is the most deserving of all!

SAY THIS: My giving reveals my love.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

What Is Sin?

1 JOHN 3:4 KJV
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin
is the transgression of the law.

Sin is breaking the Law, missing the mark set by God.

The word "sin" is a translation of the Greek word "hamartia"
which means to miss the mark.

ROMANS 3:23 NLT
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious
standard.

Religious tradition labels many things as sin which the Bible
does not. People make up all kinds of rules based on what they
think is right. But God is the judge and only God can decree
what sin is.

MARK 7:9 KJV
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of
God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

God has not left us to wonder what sin is. The Bible reveals it
to us. We don't have to guess, or make it up as we go.

Just because you do something someone else thinks is wrong does
not mean it is a sin. So don't let people condemn you over
things the Bible does not clearly say are wrong. God is the
judge.

COLOSSIANS 2:8 NKJ
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty
deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the
basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Another error is to think being tempted is a sin. Temptation
itself is not sin. You cannot help being tempted. Even Jesus
was tempted -- but He never yielded.

HEBREWS 4:15 NKJ
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with
our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet
without sin.

A common mistake is believing that having bad thoughts is a
sin. It is not a sin to be tempted with bad thoughts. It only
becomes a sin when we embrace those thoughts as our own and
decide to act on them.

JAMES 1:15 NLT
15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is
allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

God is against sin because it is deadly. Sin brings forth
death, not life and blessing. God loves people, so He is
against everything that harms people.

All sin harms people. (Just because you don't see how a sin
would harm anyone, does not mean you know more than God.)

But no human can be right with God by never sinning. We have
all fallen short and need a Savior. It is only by God's grace
and His forgiveness that we can be right with God.

ROMANS 3:20 NLT
20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the
law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

We can be glad because Jesus came to save sinners, and He paid
the price for the forgiveness of all sins by shedding His
blood.

EPHESIANS 1:7 NKJ
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness
of sins, according to the riches of His grace

SAY THIS: Only God has the authority to decide what sin is.