Thursday, February 28, 2013

Right Standing With God Is A Gift

24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are
righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us
from the penalty for our sins.

Righteousness is right standing, or good standing with God. It
does not mean human "perfection." You are righteous because God
says you are.

You may wonder about Romans 3:10 which says no one is
righteous. Yes, it does say that, but it is quoting an Old
Testament passage to prove that both Jews and Gentiles were
guilty before God and needed salvation. It immediately goes on
to say in the next few verses (see verses 22 and 24) that now
we can be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ.

19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no
longer counting people's sins against them.
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering
for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through

5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done,
but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a
new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

Righteousness is a gift from God -- not something you can earn
or achieve. God simply declares you are innocent, as far as He
is concerned, because of your faith in Jesus.

22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus
Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter
who we are.

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right
with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are

16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in
Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in
Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because
of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For
no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law."

The only way to have good standing with God is by accepting His
gift -- Jesus Christ.

30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God
made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he
made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.

17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over
many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of
righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over
sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

SAY THIS: No one can be right with God based on their own
performance. It is available only as a gift.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Gift of Righteousness

17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned
through that one man, how much more will those who receive
God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of
righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

The New Testament reveals the good news that God offers
righteousness as a free gift to everyone who receives the Lord
Jesus Christ.

Righteousness means right-wise-ness, or being right. So
righteousness is right standing, or good standing with God.

Righteousness is a GIFT from God -- not something you can earn
or achieve. God simply declares that you are innocent, as far
as He is concerned, because you believe in Jesus.

You are righteous if Jesus is your Lord. In fact, Jesus is your
righteousness. So, you are really as righteous as God is --
because He IS your righteousness. As a believer in Jesus, you
will never be more righteous -- no matter what you do.

30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has
become for us wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness,
holiness and redemption.

SAY THIS: I receive the gift of right standing with God through
my Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You Father God for this wonderful

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How Do I Get Faith?

Faith in God and His Word operates on the same principles as
faith in anything else. Faith comes from the information you
receive. Information can come to you through any of your five
senses, or from your spirit. When you decide to accept any
information as worthy of being acted upon, it becomes part of
your belief system. That is how you get faith.

(Remember that, in the New Testament, faith is the noun form
and believe is the verb form of the same word.)

Each one of us chooses whether we will believe something, based
on our evaluation of the evidence presented to us.

No one was born with beliefs. Every belief you now have was
acquired as a decision you made at some point in your life. You
decided to believe what you now believe.

Since every belief you have came as a result of a decision you
made, every belief can also be changed by another decision.

But because faith is always based on some evidence, we must
have evidence that convinces us before we can change any

Life constantly presents us with evidence which forces us to
make decisions, based on this question, "Is this evidence
sufficient to accept as truth?"

The primary evidence God has given us so we may have faith in
Him is His Word. God is not a liar; He can be trusted. Whatever
God says, always comes to pass.

17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes
through the message about Christ.

A literal translation of Romans 10:17 tells us that faith
results from accepting the God message.

How does someone get faith in God? By being presented with
truth about God, and accepting it as the truth. Faith in God
comes by choosing to accept the message of God.

We must not restrict our understanding of how faith comes to
our physical sense of hearing. Every way we can receive
information about God is an avenue that can bring us faith.

Bible faith can result from what is seen according to John 20:8
and 20:29. Faith in God can also come through the sense of
touch. Otherwise no deaf and blind person could ever be saved,
for they receive the message of God through reading braille
with their fingers.

You can go to the Bible and decide to believe it. Then you will
have faith in God, for the Bible is God's written Word. We get
faith in God by making a decision to accept God's written Word,
the Bible, as truth worthy of being acted upon.

So if someone says they don't have much faith, the solution for
them is to see the evidence from God's Word on that subject,
then choose to accept what God said as true.

SAY THIS: I get faith by making a decision to accept God's Word
as truth worthy of acting upon.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hold Fast Your Confession

HEBREWS 3:1; 4:14 NKJ
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed
through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without
wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Your confession is what you say. You should persistently
continue speaking in faith, agreeing with what God has said,
regardless of circumstances. If it never seemed like it was not
working, there would be no need to hold fast, or hang on, to a
confession of faith.

Some people are surprised when they act on God's Word and it
does not immediately come to pass. But there is abundant
evidence in Scripture showing that is normal. God never
promised that everything would happen instantly. The time
period involved gives us opportunity to walk in faith and
please God.

Remember that authority is released through words. When we
speak in DIS-agreement with what God says, we are giving
authority in that area of our lives to our enemy. This is why
Scripture tells us to struggle (if necessary) to keep speaking
in agreement with God's Word.

Why does the Bible tell us to "hold fast" -- or you might say
"hang on tight" or "hang on for dear life." Obviously,
something or someone is trying hard to get us to turn loose.
Who or what do you think that is?

SAY THIS: With God's help, I will keep speaking in agreement
with the Word of God, no matter what the circumstances may say.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Keep Your Word

3 Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous

God keeps His Word (Titus 1:2), and as His children we are to
be like Him (Ephesians 5:1). God is dependable so His people
should be dependable. Christians should be known as people of

22 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who
tell the truth.

Keeping our word should be a priority. Our reputation should be
more important to us than our feelings, our finances, or our

We should be like those mentioned in Psalm 15:4 who "keep their
promises even when it hurts." People should be able to depend
on us.

Will we do what we said we would do, even if it costs us? Or
will we only do what benefits us? It is really a question of
whether we will be selfish or whether we will walk in love.

But there is also another important reason to keep our word --
so our faith will work as it should.

MARK 11:23 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.

Jesus taught that for faith to work effectively we must believe
those things we say.

If you don't keep your word, it will affect your faith. If you
want to walk in faith, and thus enjoy all the blessings God has
provided for you, then you must believe what you say. Lying
won't work!

Yet as humans, we all may sometimes find ourselves in
situations beyond our control where it is impossible to keep a
promise we have made. In such cases, we should apologize and go
forward in life, asking God to help us do better next time.

SAY THIS: With God's help, I determine to tell the truth and
keep my word.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Life Can Be Tough

JOHN 16:33 ICB
33 "I told you these things so that you can have peace in me.
In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have
defeated the world!"

Jesus never promised us that everything would be perfect here
on earth. He recognized that we would encounter trouble. But
His instructions were to be of good cheer -- not to let it get
us down.

As we encounter difficulties in life, it will help us to
remember the big picture. First, God is our Father and has a
wonderful eternal plan for us. We are His children and He loves
us. Second, this time is but a training period for our future
life with God. We are supposed to be learning to trust God and
to obey Him.

So, every problem we ever face is an opportunity to walk in
faith and please God. Every problem is an opportunity to
overcome with God's help. How can we expect to receive the
blessings promised to the overcomer if we never have anything
to overcome?

What is the answer when we seem overwhelmed with trouble? Look
to Jesus. He has already won the victory. He has overcome and
defeated the world. In Him is victory.

You may ask how you can look to Jesus. It is mostly a matter of
focus -- what you choose to think on. What God says in His Word
will set you free and give you peace. What the circumstances
say is not the final word.

So, go to God's Word. Cling to the promises. Speak them. Sing
them. Shout them. Rejoice over them. And thank God for them.

Also, you need to develop a closer relationship with the Lord.
That is His desire and it should be yours. All relationships
are based on communication, so you must talk to the Lord to
deepen your relationship with Him. Develop the habit of talking
with Him about everything. You can speak freely to Him -- after
all He knows what you are thinking anyway.

SAY THIS: No matter what I face, the Lord is with me, and I can
overcome because Jesus already won the victory.

Friday, February 22, 2013

They Laughed Jesus To Scorn

24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but
sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

Do others think you are crazy for being a follower of Jesus? Do
they think you are too extreme for believing the Bible
literally? Well, don't feel lonely. Jesus faced the same type
of problems. As we see in Matthew 9:24, sometimes people
derided Jesus. They did not just laugh at Him -- they laughed
Him to scorn. They made a big deal out of it.

It is the same today. When we believe what Jesus said, there
may be times when others think we are crazy. They may laugh at
us. They may even mock us for believing God's Word. That is
nothing new. But why should you let it affect you?

Often we are too concerned about what other people think. After
all, they are not our Judge. Nor are they our Provider. But God
is, and we should care what He thinks. That was the stance that
Jesus took.

We must remember that we are not in a popularity contest. Yes,
to some people the message we have to share will be received
with gladness and thankfulness. I am sure the parents of the
girl Jesus raised from the dead -- after He was laughed to
scorn -- were glad. But to others we are often not understood.

That really is the root of the problem. People are in darkness.
They do not understand what is really happening. They don't
understand there is a spiritual side of life. They do not
understand that the words we speak are important and carry
authority. They do not understand that with faith in God,
nothing is impossible. And people generally mistrust what they
do not understand.

So we must walk in love and be patient with people, knowing
that they are in darkness -- but someday they will see the
light. If we continue to walk in the light ourselves, we can be
the means of God's light beginning to shine into their lives
and bring understanding.

SAY THIS: I choose to believe the Word of God regardless of
what other people think. I am a believer, not a doubter.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Does God Desire?

Does God desire a company of people who will obey the ten
commandments, give ten percent of all their income to Him, and
faithfully attend worship services each week?


That was the Old Covenant. If God was happy with what was
happening then, He would have never instituted a New Covenant.

If that was all God desired, He could have stayed with the Old
Covenant. Why bother with Jesus dying to bring in a New

God said the New Covenant is NOT like the Old Covenant.

32 It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their
ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt. For they violated
that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to
them," says the LORD.

The Old Covenant was primarily dependent on human effort. The
New Covenant is primarily dependent on what God has done
through Jesus Christ. That is why the Old Covenant was weak.
Humans are fallible, but God is not.

God does not change, but His covenants do change.

God wants to live in you, and be able to express Himself
through you (2 Corinthians 6:16, Colossians 1:27). God wants
you to give yourself to Him unreservedly, just like He has
given Himself to you.

Would you be satisfied if your spouse visited you once or twice
a week and gave you ten percent of their income? What kind of
relationship would that be? Would you want a part-time spouse
that you shared with several others? Maybe one that just
visited you on Sundays? God gave you His all, His best. God
made a total commitment to you and His desire is for you to
reciprocate His love and commitment.

Jesus did not die for you so you would give Him ten percent of
your money or your time. Jesus expressed His love for you by
giving His all. Nothing less than giving your all to Him is a
decent response to what He did for you.

Does this mean you must give everything you own to a church, or
to the poor? No. But it does mean you should be ready and
willing to trust Jesus and obey whatever He guides you to do.

SAY THIS: God desires for me to love Him just like He loves me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Into All Truth

JOHN 16:12-13 NKJ
12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear
them now.
13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will
guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own
authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will
tell you things to come.

"Into all truth" in verse thirteen is translated "into the full
truth" or "to the complete truth" in other Bible translations.

At the very end of His earthly ministry, Jesus told His
disciples there were many things He still needed to teach them.
Then Jesus told them the Holy Spirit would guide them into a
full and complete understanding of the truth after He left.

It took me a long time to understand this. But I finally
realized that because Jesus ministered under the Old Covenant,
He was not able to communicate everything we need to know about
the New Covenant during His earthly ministry. Only after His
death and resurrection, which brought in the New Covenant, was
the Lord able, through the Holy Spirit, to explain all He had
accomplished for us.

So if we believe Jesus, we must realize it is impossible to be
led into all truth by reading and studying only the four
Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

This is not to say the four Gospels are not truth, for they
are. They are very important for they reveal Jesus to us. But
they do not, and cannot, give us the complete and full picture
of truth. For Jesus plainly said the Holy Spirit would guide
His disciples into all truth only after Jesus left them -- and
the four Gospels primarily cover the earthly ministry of Jesus.

So it is only in the Letters (also called Epistles) to the
Church (Romans through Revelation) that we finally get the
complete picture of the New Covenant and understand what Jesus
has accomplished.

Jesus did not give us the full, complete truth during His
earthly ministry. Without the revelation of what Jesus
accomplished through His death and resurrection, we don't have
the whole picture. This information was only given to us after
Jesus' resurrection, and is found only in the Letters written
to the Church.

The Letters to the Church in the New Testament are also the
words of Jesus, speaking to us from Heaven through the Holy
Spirit, and written down by His apostles.

It is right for us to honor the words of Jesus recorded in the
four Gospels, but it is a mistake to think we should place them
on a higher level than the revelation Jesus gave His church
after His resurrection.

What we have in the Epistles are not just the words of men, but
the Words of God, written down by the Apostles of Jesus. This
is where we must look to be led "into all truth" which Jesus
promised His disciples would be revealed after He left them and
sent the Holy Spirit.

If we are going to understand truth fully, we need divine
illumination. We need help from God. Human effort and study is
not enough. We need a "Guide" to lead us into all truth.

SAY THIS: The Holy Spirit will guide me into the full picture
of truth by giving me understanding of the New Testament
Letters to the Church.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How Faith Works

Faith is what you believe. (In the Bible, faith is the noun
form and believe is the verb form of the same word.)

Faith (a belief) is always a decision, based on some evidence,
resulting in some action.

Faith in God is a choice to believe what God says is true. It
is accepting God's Word as evidence worthy of acting upon.

Faith in God and His Word operates on the same principles as
faith in anything else. There are no special rules. It is all a
matter of what you believe.

All humans operate on a belief system.

As we go through life we are constantly being presented with
information which is evidence that we must evaluate and judge.
Whenever we choose to accept the evidence presented to us as
sufficient to accept as truth, then that belief is added to our
belief system.

Unless and until we are presented with new evidence that causes
us to decide to believe differently about a subject, we keep
the same belief.

Then as we go through life, we always act (often sub-
consciously) on the basis of our belief system. Sometimes we
face situations in life where there is not time to think, and
immediate action is required. These actions are always governed
by the beliefs we have already determined (which form our
belief system).

The Bible is major evidence to change your beliefs. It is a
message from God, the Creator, who knows how everything works.

As we receive new evidence from the Bible, it may conflict with
some of our previous beliefs. But we know that God cannot lie,
and whatever He says is truth and will happen.

MARK 11:22-24 BBE
22 And Jesus, answering, said to them, Have God's faith.
23 Truly I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, Be taken
up and be put into the sea; and has no doubt in his heart, but
has faith that what he says will come about, he will have his
24 For this reason I say to you, Whatever you make a request
for in prayer, have faith that it has been given to you, and
you will have it.

Mark 11:22 literally says "Have God faith." Jesus was teaching
us how to use our faith the same way God does. "God faith"
speaks the desired result and never allows anything to change
that statement. (Mark 11:23) We are God's children, made in His
image and likeness, and He is training us how things work in
His creation. Once God makes a statement, He never changes it.
There are words God spoke thousands of years ago, which are not
yet fully manifest to us in time. But God never chooses to say
anything different. God believes what He said will come to

"Doubt" in Mark 11:23 does not mean "have questions." It means
a judgment (decision) that completely separates. So it would
mean accepting some new evidence presented as sufficient to
reverse your previous decision and statement of faith.

Receiving new evidence and deciding whether it is sufficient to
change our belief is a never-ending cycle. We can be in faith
one minute, and in un-faith (unbelief) the next minute -- if we
make a new decision based on the evidence being presented to
us. The disciples had faith in John 2:11 (close to the
beginning of Jesus' ministry), and did not in Mark 16:14 (at
the end of Jesus' earthly ministry).

Fear is the opposite of Bible hope. Bible hope is a positive
expectation based on and supported by a belief in God's Word.
Fear is a negative expectation based on and supported by a
belief in something bad. Both involve the imagination, the
seeing part of our thinking, the ability to visualize something
before it happens, or after it happens.

Faith in God produces Bible hope – expecting good to happen.
Faith in bad things produces fear – expecting bad to happen.
Faith is the support, the foundation, the underlying thing
under both hope and fear. You cannot have hope (which is a
positive vision) without faith (which is a choice to believe)
in something. You cannot have fear (which is a negative vision)
without faith (which is a choice to believe) in something bad.

It is your belief that supports, undergirds, and provides the
basis for your hope or fear. The belief was a choice you made.
Then it became part of your belief system. That provides the
basis for your hopes or your fears.

Faith is released and put into action by speaking what you
believe with your mouth.

The primary action of faith toward God is speaking in agreement
with God's Word. And then we stand in that position of faith,
regardless of feelings or circumstances, no matter how long it

SAY THIS: Faith in God works by accepting God's Word as truth
and acting on it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Read Your Letters

27 I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the

The Bible contains both the Old Testament and the New
Testament. The New Testament contains the four Gospels (Matthew
through John), the book of Acts, the Letters to the Church
(Romans through Jude) and the book of Revelation.

All the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and as such is an
important message to us today. However, not until the
resurrection of Jesus Christ did the New Covenant start, which
changed everything.

God never changes, but His covenants (and thus His way of
dealing with people) did change. There was an Old Covenant God
had with the people of Israel. Now there is a New Covenant. And
the New is not just a continuation or amplification of the Old,
but is radically different.

The New Covenant did not begin until after the death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. So everything said and done
before the resurrection of Jesus was before the New Covenant
started. (Even the four Gospels, although placed in the New
Testament section of the Bible, are primarily a record of
Jesus' ministry before His death, which means they mostly
happened before the New Covenant started.)

God is now dealing with people based on the New Covenant. If we
go back and read God's message to people who lived under the
Old Covenant we cannot expect all that was said to them to
apply exactly to us today.

You can learn something reading a letter written to someone
else, but it is not nearly as instructive as reading a letter
written directly to you.

So my top recommendation for Bible reading, especially for new
believers, is to read the Letters to the Church. (Epistles is
another word for Letters.) There are 21 Letters with 121
chapters. So by reading just one chapter each day, you can read
all the New Testament Letters three times in a year.

If you are considering reading the Bible, this is an excellent
way to start. If you are a new Christian, I strongly recommend
that you start reading the Bible using this plan.

Although everyone should read the entire Bible, it is not best
for you to do that until you are solidly grounded in the truths
of the New Covenant, which are revealed in the Letters to the

When a new Christian starts reading the whole Bible from the
beginning by starting with the Old Testament, without having a
clear understanding of what Jesus has provided for us with the
New Covenant, confusion is likely to result.

14 But their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading
of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted,
because it is set aside only in Christ.
15 However, to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies
over their hearts,

Reading the Old Covenant, also called the books of Moses --
without the knowledge of the New Covenant -- is like trying to
see something with a veil over your eyes. You see glimpses of
truth, but you can't clearly see the whole picture.

17 for although the law was given through Moses; grace and
truth came through Jesus Christ.

Once a believer has a clear understanding of God's message to
the Body of Christ, the Church, then we can read the rest of
the Bible without as much chance of getting confused.

Some people recommend that a new Christian start their Bible
reading with the Gospel of John. That is a good way to get
acquainted with Jesus. But it still can cause confusion for
someone who does not clearly understand what Jesus accomplished
for them through His death and resurrection.

14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is
without foundation, and so is your faith.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless;
you are still in your sins.

Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is no New
Covenant, and we are all still lost in sin.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, and thus the start of the New
Covenant is a great dividing line in history. What Jesus
accomplished for us changed everything.

So read your letters and find out what Jesus accomplished and
what God has said directly to you!

SAY THIS: I will spend more time reading the Letters God sent
to me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I Don't Agree With Other Preachers

9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the
gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!

I don't know one single person on earth I agree with completely
on every single thing they believe.

That does not make me right, or make them wrong.

It just means that we are all in a process of learning, so of
necessity we are not all at the same place in our thinking.

There are some who know more than I do about a subject, and
there are some who know less than I do about that subject.

I should not fight or argue with those who know less about a
subject than I do. Neither should I be proud because of my
knowledge. For everything I have learned, I have been taught. I
was not born with superior knowledge.

And you may find, as I have from time to time, that I thought I
had knowledge of a subject, only to find out later that I was

In order to keep learning, I need to stay open to what others
have to say. I need to truly listen to others.

However, if I once believed what someone is teaching, but the
Lord corrected me, then it would be foolish to waste my time
continuing to listen to them on that subject. I don't need to
criticize or condemn them. But I don't need to keep listening
to them speak on that subject, either. Yet, there may be other
subjects that I could still learn from them.

SAY THIS: Everyone is still learning, and I can learn something
from everyone.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

God Has Already Forgiven You

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

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

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

Friday, February 15, 2013

God Loves You

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What Does God Want From Me?

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who
comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder
of those who diligently seek Him.

You may be working yourself to a frazzle trying to be perfect
so you can please God.

You may have tried so hard and become so frustrated that you
are about ready to give up. Well, maybe you should quit trying
to be perfect on your own -- because none of us will ever be
perfect through our own efforts, anyway.

God knows you are human. He does not expect perfection out of
you. If you were perfect you would not even need a Saviour.

God loves you and accepts you because He made you. And He is
able to make you into what He desires for you to be -- if you
will trust Him and allow Him to work in you.

God wants you to trust Him. He wants your love and respect. He
has certainly earned it and deserves it. Don't let the devil
keep you from giving to God what He really desires: your love
and faith.

What does God desire from you? Not perfect performance -- but
total trust. God wants you to believe that He is good -- a rewarder!

SAY THIS: I trust You Lord God. Thank You for loving me. I will
rest in your love, instead of worrying about my performance.
Work your will in me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Grow Up!

20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be
infants, but in your thinking be adults.

It's fine to be a baby -- for awhile. But we expect babies to
grow and mature. If anyone still acts like a baby when they are
past that age -- something is wrong.

It's the same in the spiritual as in the physical realm --
we're supposed to grow up. But too many Christians seem content
to remain babies.

Babies focus only on themselves and their needs. God desires
for us to learn to love others and help them.

God wants His children to mature and be trained -- not be a
bunch of babies for ever.

15 God wants us to grow up ....

Sometimes we wonder why our prayers have not yet been answered.
We sit in our corner and whine and complain about God not doing
what He should. We throw fits and complain to everyone we see.
We think God has failed us. But it is never true!

God is just expecting us to act on His Word, and continue
walking in faith and love. God would not do anyone a favor by
allowing them to never grow up.

God wants us to have good things, but He also wants us to grow
up, to learn His ways, and to trust Him. So, instead of just
instantly giving us everything, He encourages us to draw closer
to Him, learn to walk in faith, and learn how to receive all He
has provided for us.

So while you may not always like God's timing, it is the best
for you, even though you may not think so now. Later you will
rejoice, because you will more clearly understand what God has

15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all
aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,

Facing new things as a baby is likely very intimidating. For
example, learning to walk is no doubt scary for a child. But
they can do it, and after learning they would certainly never
wish to go back.

It is the same with us now in our Christian life. God is urging
us on: to use our faith, to act on His Word, to trust Him. It
seems scary, but God knows we can do it. Once we learn how to
walk with God by faith, it is a real joy and we would never
wish to go back.

God desires for you to leave your little restricted world and
step out into His world of unlimited possibilities where you
can fellowship with Him.

SAY THIS: I will feed on God's Word and let Him mature me, so I
won't act like a baby.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

God Encourages

6 But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged
us by the arrival of Titus.

God usually works through people.

The encouragement and love you receive through others, actually
has its source in God.

So as we show love and offer encouragement, we can be God's
mouth and hands extended to those around us.

2 Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right.
Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very
patient when you teach.

As you can see from this Scripture, one of the main purposes of
the Word is to encourage us.

25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people
do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of
his return is drawing near.

A main purpose of Christian believers meeting together is for
encouragement. We are to encourage one another.

Scripture tells us that Jesus does not give up on people just
because they are weak.

20 He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering
candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.

Many are weak and need our input to give them strength to
continue. Many more would overcome in life if they had more

Jesus desires to help people. If you are a member of His Body
on earth, His plan is to work through you today.

SAY THIS: I will let God encourage others today through me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

God Is A Perfect Parent

11 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!

God is primarily a parent -- and a good one, too -- the best.
Better than any earthly parent by far.

I used to think of God primarily as a judge, someone watching
to see if I did anything wrong so He could punish me.

But that is not what the New Testament reveals to us.

Jesus taught us to pray: "Our Father. . ."

That is the primary way we should relate to God, as our Father.

Only once in the KJV New Testament do we find the phrase "God
the judge," while the phrase "God the Father" is found thirteen
times. Eleven times we find the phrase "God our Father," but
not once do we find "God our judge."

A good father will combine being a friend and also being a
trainer. He will be tough when necessary, for the good of the

That's the way it is with God. Yes, there are some things He
has told us not to do -- but they are all for our good, because
He knows there will be bad consequences if we do them.

We can be confident God is always playing the part of being a
good parent to us. He is always trying to help us, nurture us,
and encourage us. God is for us -- not against us.

And, even when we do wrong and get in trouble -- God is there
to help us -- not to condemn us. He is our perfect parent.

We must realize that everything God does is for our benefit --
not His. God is raising a family. He is training us and
encouraging us to grow up. Our destiny is to be like Jesus

Children are not afraid of good parents, because they are there
to nurture and help. However, a good parent will punish wrong-
doing -- not because they want to hurt their child -- but
because they want to train them so they can mature and do well
in life.

The primary desire of every good parent is to see their child
grow up, to become a mature, responsible, capable adult.

This is also the desire of God for His children. His desire is
that we grow up to become mature like Christ.

This requires a certain amount of freedom and responsibility. A
parent cannot forever shelter children and expect them to
mature properly. God wants us to learn to love, just like
Christ did.

SAY THIS: God is a wonderful parent -- the best ever.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Yourself

14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your
neighbor as yourself."

Most people understand it's right to love our neighbor -- but
many do not realize it's also God's will for us to love

We need to understand this correctly. We should not think of
ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3). But we must
remember God placed a high value on us when He gave Jesus to
redeem us.

So we should not hate ourselves, or see ourselves as hopeless
failures. We should not put ourselves down or speak critically
of ourselves.

Without the Lord, we can be wretched creatures. But when we
come to Jesus, He changes us and puts us in the family of God.
Ephesians 2:10 says we are God's workmanship (literally God's
work of art). For us to be critical of God's work of art is not
respectful of God.

When we realize we are valuable and precious -- not because of
what we do, but because God made us, then we can love our
neighbor as we should -- not because of what they do, but
because God also loves them.

First Corinthians 13 tells us what love acts like. It is
patient, kind, and accepting.

How should we love our self? We should be kind and respectful,
just as we should be with others. We should forgive and forget
the past rather than beating ourselves over the head with our
failures and mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Why let them be
an anchor holding us back from making progress?

We understand we are to forgive others, but many refuse to
forgive themselves.

Don't refuse to forgive yourself for the failures and sins of
the past. God forgives you. Should your standards be higher
than His? Since God forgives you, you should forgive yourself.

The command to love our self is not meant to make us selfish,
but to take care of God's creation. We are not to love
ourselves more than we love our neighbor.

God loves our neighbor just as much as He does us. That does
not mean we have the exact same responsibility toward our
neighbor as we do concerning our own life, but we should care
about them, in the same way as we do ourselves.

Loving yourself means taking care of yourself. And it means
accepting yourself as you are -- because God made you. (No, God
didn't make you to be in the shape you are in now, but He made
YOU. And as long as you keep condemning yourself you will stay
in bad shape.)

God loves you right now. Because you are good enough for God to
love, then you are good enough for you to love. Your standards
should not be higher than God's.

SAY THIS: God loves me, so I should love myself.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Remember Me

LUKE 22:19 NLT
19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he
broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This
is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me."

Not only were these some of the last words of our Lord Jesus on
earth, but they are the heart cry of every human: remember me.
We all have a desire to be of value, to be significant, to be
judged as someone important -- at least to someone.

Remember me!

Jesus -- in addition to everything else He is -- is also human.

As Jesus faced the enormity of the task ahead of Him, He told
His little band of followers: Remember me! Don't let my life
and my sacrifices be in vain. Don't forget about me!

Do you remember? Or, have you forgotten?

Is Jesus at the forefront of your thoughts each day? Or, do you
forget about Him -- most of the time.

Do you walk and talk with Jesus? Or, does your life give no
testimony to your belief in Him?

Do you live as if Jesus did not redeem you? Are your days lived
just as if Jesus never existed? Do you neglect to remember
Jesus except on Sunday, or Christmas?

Probably all of us have fallen short in this area. But the Lord
is gracious and it is never too late to change.

SAY THIS: I will never forget Jesus.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

MARK 12:31 NKJ
31 "And the second, like it, is this: `You shall love your
neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater
than these."

Eight times the Bible tells us to love our neighbor as we love
our self.

Clearly, God considers this important. But what does it mean?

It means we should not just look out for our own interests, but
also for those around us.

4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but
also for the interests of others.

Who is our neighbor?

Anyone -- and everyone -- who is near-by. If they are near us
they are, at that moment, our neighbor. And according to God's
Word, we have an obligation to love them.

What does this word "love" mean in the original Greek language
of the New Testament.

It is "agapao," the word used of the kind of love God has for
us. It gives and asks for nothing in return. It gives without
waiting for the other person to love first. It is not a selfish
love, but cares about the welfare and happiness of the person
being loved.

To truly love your neighbor as yourself, you need to be a born
again child of God. Love is of God, and to show this kind of
love you need to be born of God (1 John 4:7). Without His love
continually flowing out of your heart, it will not be possible.

SAY THIS: With God's help, I will love my neighbor as I love

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Thank God For You!

3 Dear brothers and sisters, we can't help but thank God for
you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one
another is growing.

God made you for a purpose. God has a plan. You are not an

You may not have discovered where you fit and what your purpose
is yet, but God has not forgotten you. He is still at work.

Most of us will not affect the whole world, or even our entire
city. That does not mean you are not important.

The Bible uses the picture of a human body to illustrate the
Body of Christ. Not every part is ever seen, but every part is

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least
important are actually the most necessary.

Even if no one knows the part you are doing, God does. You are
important to God -- important enough to die for.

God has a plan for you, and it lasts far beyond this life that
we can now see.

SAY THIS: Thank God for me!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Talk To God About Everything

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is
naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we
are accountable.
14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered
heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we
15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he
faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.
There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help
us when we need it most.

You should talk to God just as you would to a very well-
respected friend. Don't worry about using any special form of
words. Just talk openly, honestly, and sincerely from your
heart. (This is what "prayer" is supposed to be.)

God knows what you are thinking anyway. You can't fool God or
hide anything from Him. God knows you better than you know
yourself. And the wonderful thing is that God still loves you!

Nothing that concerns you is unimportant to God. Remember, He
even keeps count of how many hairs you have!

God is not too busy to hear about every detail of your life. I
have no idea how God can listen to all of us, but He can. He is
not bound by time like we are. However He does it, we don't
have to be concerned but can just trust Him.

33 'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and
mighty things, which you do not know.'

What a privilege to have the input and counsel of God who knows
everything. Don't fail to take advantage of this tremendous

We are called into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ! That
means we should share everything with Him.

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship
of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

God invites us to fellowship with Him. That would include just
discussing things. Just visiting. Just "hanging out" together.
This is what God desires. So don't disappoint Him!

Don't talk at God, talk directly to God. Prayer should not be a
spiritual exercise you have to get through. It's a conversation
with Someone who loves you, and is very smart.

"But what can I say to God?"

"Thank You!" would be a good start. What would you say to any
friend who was with you? You wouldn't have any trouble figuring
out what to talk about with them would you?

"But," you say, "God doesn't talk back."

Yes, that is a difference you have to get used to. True, God
does not usually speak back to us in the normal human fashion.
The main way He "speaks" to us is through inward impressions or
ideas, all of which will line up with His written Word, the
Bible. We have to learn His way of communicating.

SAY THIS: God wants me to talk with Him about everything, so I

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Some Commands Take Precedence Over Other Commands

MATTHEW 22:37-38 NLT
37 Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God...'
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Some commands are more important and carry more weight than

Not all of Scripture is commands. Mostly it could be called
rules (or precepts) for living. In some situations these rules
may conflict with one another. When they do, we must know which
ones take precedence.

Unless you recognize this, you might find yourself confused
when facing an important decision.

The Bible says children should obey their parents. But children
should not obey an order to forget God.

1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,
for this is the right thing to do.

The Bible says we are to obey government leaders. But what if
you live in a country where it is illegal to be a Christian?
Clearly, God is a higher authority than human government, so
there are times when a believer may have to disobey human

1 Remind the believers to submit to the government and its
officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is

29 But Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather
than any human authority.

As these examples should make obvious, there may be times we
have to ignore one Scriptural instruction in order to obey a
more important one.

We should obey our spiritual leaders, such as a pastor. But
those leaders are human and can be wrong. If they tell you to
do things contrary to God you should not blindly follow them.

17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their
work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to

When we work for someone we are to obey them. But we should not
obey if asked to do something illegal or immoral.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try
to please them all the time, not just when they are watching
you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the

As an extreme example, a teenage boy might be in a situation
where God, government, his parents, his boss, and his pastor
might all be telling him to do something different. Which one
should he obey? There is New Testament Scripture telling him to
obey them all!

Obeying God is always the ultimate priority. If and when we are
ever faced with such decisions, we should turn to God for
guidance and follow His direction.

SAY THIS: Obeying God takes precedence over everything.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Claim Prosperity!

21 For God has already given you everything you need.

(We don't claim prosperity, or anything, from God. We are not
making any demand on God.)

God has already made provision for us in every area of life. He
created enough abundance for all mankind. Yet many Christians
struggle with financial problems. But the problem is not that
God is withholding from us.

Throughout the New Testament, we are told God has already given
us everything we need, for example see: 2 Peter 1:3, Romans
8:17, Romans 8:32, Galatians 4:7, Ephesians 1:3.

The problem is that we've been allowing the devil to steal what
belongs to us. We must quit allowing this to happen. We must
stand in faith and claim what is ours. After all, Jesus paid a
great price for us to have it!

Jesus came to redeem us from the control of the devil and set
us free from the curse. Jesus paid the price for us to have
abundant blessing in every area of life.

9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though
he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by
his poverty might become rich.

But the devil is a thief. So we must claim prosperity from the
devil who has stolen from us -- and continues to steal from us
if we let him.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for
our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us
peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

Jesus' suffering brought us peace. (But unless you understand
Hebrew it is unlikely you would realize all this means.)

Peace -- shalom -- means wholeness, nothing missing, nothing
broken, nothing wrong. It definitely includes the idea of
prosperity -- every need met and having more than enough.

Jesus suffered so you could have this shalom -- peace and
prosperity. Part of the curse that Jesus redeemed you from is

And what a curse poverty is! It causes misery, disease, ruined
lives, and destroyed families.

The devil has tried to convince Christians that poverty is a
blessing because it will make you humble and more godly. While
it is true that many rich people are arrogant and ungodly, that
does not automatically mean being poor makes you godly. On the
contrary, God is the richest being in the universe, and riches
have not corrupted Him.

The devil is a thief. He has stolen money that belongs to you.
You need to say, "That's mine! Jesus paid for me to have
abundant provision. Turn loose of it devil!"

That is what I mean by claiming prosperity.

After you receive legal notice that something is yours, you can
claim it whenever you desire. God's Word is our legal notice of
what belongs to us as a gift because of the wonderful grace of
our Lord Jesus Christ. It's time we quit letting the devil
steal what belongs to us.

SAY THIS: I claim prosperity. It's mine because Jesus bought it
for me.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Thank You!

18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for
you who belong to Christ Jesus.

When you don't know what to say or do -- say "Thank You!"

Sometimes we feel like we don't know what to do. We wonder what
God's perfect will is.

Certainly the will of God is not for us to start worrying and
being fearful about missing His will. Instead we should stay in
faith, knowing that God is working and guiding us even when we
are not aware of it.

God is not responsible for the bad things that come our way in
life -- the devil and people are to blame.

But when we start complaining and criticizing, we step out of
faith, joy, and peace. These spiritual forces (the "fruit" of
the spirit) are for our protection.

So we can, and should, always thank God at all times. We should
develop the habit of having an attitude of gratitude.

Our God is amazing! He can turn bad things around and take the
sting out of them.

When we stay in faith, always being thankful, the sting is
removed from the evil that comes against us. Then, instead of
destroying us, it can become a stepping-stone to take us to a
higher place of blessing.

So while God is not actually responsible for any of the bad
things that happen, we should be thankful always -- no matter
what happens.

An attitude of constant gratitude provides a shield of faith
protecting you and allowing God to freely act in your life,
bringing blessing and deliverance.

So when something bad happens in your life, don't complain.
Don't criticize God, or people. Don't beat yourself over the
head. Just begin (and continue) to say things like:

Thank You Lord that you are with me to guide me and help me,
that You love me, that You are working in my life, that You
protect me and preserve me and deliver me from evil, and that
no weapon formed against me shall prosper or prevail!

The most appropriate words you can ever speak are "Thank You!"

SAY THIS: Thank You, Lord Jesus!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Sin Is Deadly

God loved the people of the world (including you) so much, that
He chose to suffer the penalty justice demands for your sins,
so He could enjoy life with you. We should rejoice in God's
mercy and love, but we should not forget that sin is a terrible

Sin is not just a list of things God has arbitrarily determined
to be against. Sin is bad. Even if there was no God, sin would
still be bad. God is against sin because it hurts people.

The Bible is clear that sin is deadly. All sin eventually
brings forth death.

I don't mean that sin results in punishment (which is another
issue), but that sin produces death and loss.

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man,
and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because
all sinned -

21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign
through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord.

16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as
obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey,
either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which
leads to righteousness?

Sin leads to death.

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

Sin pays some very undesirable wages: death.

15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and
sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Sin brings forth death, when it is fully grown.

Sin is also deceptive. It can sometimes tantalize by offering
pleasure for a season.

25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than
to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

But when the fleeting pleasure of sin is gone, the pain remains.

SAY THIS: Sin hurts people! Sin is deadly!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Accept People As They Are

7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in
order to bring praise to God.

We have only two choices, accept people, or reject them. When
you realize this, it may change the way you treat people.

When we criticize or condemn people, we communicate rejection.
When we try to change people, it communicates that they are not
good enough for us, that we don't like them.

"But what if they are not perfect? What if they don't believe
everything I believe?"

Were you born believing all you do now? Or did you go through a
process of learning over time? Should we throw out people
because they still have something to learn?

What happens when you don't accept people as they are? It feeds
the lie that they are no good and have no value.

We can accept people and celebrate their value without
approving of their sins. But when we refuse to accept people
until they are perfect, we communicate rejection.

When someone feels rejected, they tend to reject those who
reject them, and what they represent. So when Christians
communicate rejection to sinners, they assume God is rejecting
them, and tend to reject God because they think He rejects

Whenever you reject someone, you have set yourself up as their
judge, something only God is truly qualified to do.

To walk with Jesus you will have to treat people as Jesus would
treat them. You may not like the way they look, talk, act,
think, or smell, but if they are a human being you must
acknowledge that Jesus Christ loves them enough to die for

Jesus is our perfect example, and He is not rejecting people
(John 6:37). Instead, the Bible reveals that Jesus Christ is
our Advocate, (our defense lawyer), not the one who condemns (1
John 2:1, Romans 8:34).

People are hurting. Usually they know they need to change, to
be better, and to do better. What they have not discovered is a
way they can change. They have probably tried, but given up in

Only God's unconditional love can give them the strength they
need to have hope. Most people realize that if they must earn
God's help there is no hope for them.

This is the main reason why so many people shun Christianity
and want to have nothing to do with God. They have accepted a
wrong image of God, thinking He is a stern Judge who is against
them, instead of realizing the truth that He is a loving Father
like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son that Jesus
told us about in Luke 15:11-32.

God accepts people as they are. So should we. Christ died for
the ungodly (Romans 5:6). God so loved the world that He gave.

People crave love. Unconditional love will draw people. It is
God's goodness that leads people to repent (Romans 2:4).

Every time we meet someone, we are faced with a choice: love
them -- or judge them, accept them as they are -- or attempt to
change them, make them feel respected -- or despised, make them
feel valuable and precious -- or make them feel worthless.

You might as well accept people as they are instead of trying
to change them. You can't change people anyway. Only God can
really change people. Our job is to love them and help them.

Also remember that God made people to be different. So don't
expect everyone will be exactly like you.

SAY THIS: I will accept people and love them with God's love.