Tag Archives: faith in Jesus

Charles Stanley – Jesus Is Lord

Philippians 2:5-11

What does it mean when we say that Jesus is Lord? We hear the word used so frequently that we are in danger of losing the significance of its sheer power and magnitude.

Lord is far more than a mere title that Scripture bestows on Jesus. The second chapter of Philippians emphasizes this fact by repeatedly mentioning the word name. We see that God gave Jesus the “name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus,” all of heaven and earth will bow down and “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vv. 9-11).

In that passage, the name given to Jesus is none other than “Lord.” You see, that word is not used to describe what Jesus does; it’s simply who Jesus is. He is, and will always be, the sovereign ruler of everything in heaven and on the earth.

Therefore, if we echo the confession, “Jesus is Lord,” then our lives must reflect that confidence. Is there anything in your life that you attempt to hide from Christ? Have you refused to do something that He has called you to do? These are acts of rebellion, and they simply demonstrate our lack of faith in Jesus as Lord of our lives.

One day everyone will recognize that Christ is Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15). We who are His children should show our faith by inviting Him into any dark areas of our life and allowing Him to conform us to His image. We can begin with the simple yet profound confession: “Jesus is Lord.” And when we confess those words, we should be mindful of their meaning.

Joyce Meyer – Talk to God Anywhere

Joyce meyer

Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? —1 Corinthians 6:19

The angel of the Lord said to Moses, “Take the shoes off your feet, for the ground on which you stand is holy ground” (see Exodus 3:5). The ground was holy because the Holy One was there. Now through faith in Jesus, you are the temple of the Holy Ghost. Everywhere you go becomes a holy place because the Holy One dwells in you.

God is not in a building, where you can only visit Him on Sunday morning. He is with you everywhere you go. You can talk to Him while you vacuum, or while you change the oil in your car. When you let God become involved in every aspect of your life, every day becomes exciting.

 

Greg Laurie – Heaven Is a Literal Place     

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Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. —John 14:1–3

Heaven is an actual place.

It isn’t an “idea” or a “state of mind”; it’s a location, like Miami or Chicago or Paris. We often think of heaven in sort of a mystical way, and our minds gravitate toward the Hollywood version, where people in filmy white robes float around on clouds with little halos over their heads, strumming harps.

How boring! That is certainly not the heaven of the Bible. The Bible uses a number of words to describe heaven. One word it uses is paradise. In the Gospels, we’re told that Jesus was crucified between two thieves. When one of those thieves, in the last moments of life, put His faith in Jesus, he said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). And Jesus replied, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (verse 43).

Heaven is also compared to a city. In Hebrews 11:10, we’re told that this city’s architect and builder is God Himself. And then Hebrews 13:14 says, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (NIV).

Now, we know that cities have buildings, culture, art, music, parks, goods and services, and events. Will heaven have all of these things? We don’t know. But we can certainly conclude that heaven will in no sense be less than what we experience here on earth—with the exception of all things harmful or evil.

Heaven is also described as a country. Hebrews 11:16 says, “They desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.”

Heaven is a paradise, a city, a country . . . and so much more that we can’t begin to wrap our finite minds around it. But one thing I do know: Jesus is expecting me, and He’s prepared a place for me. What more could I ask for?

Today’s devotional is an excerpt from Every Day with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 2013

Charles Stanley – God Forgives Our Sin

Charles Stanley

Ephesians 1:3-8

The Bible is a guidebook mapping the route to our eternal home. But travelers must read and follow the directions. Some people claim they will get to heaven because of their morality, their religious observances, or even their belief that God exists. But those paths lead to death.

The only road that leads to the Lord’s eternal home is faith in Jesus (John 14:6). Scripture gives us three landmarks along the route—points when there is an awareness of Christ and our need for Him.

Landmark 1: I am a sinner. Everyone has done wrong (Isa. 53:6; Rom. 3:23). But only someone under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit recognizes that sin is what separates us from our holy God (John 9:31). When the spiritual seeker has this awareness about iniquity, he is accountable for his response.

Landmark 2: Jesus is perfect. Christ’s sinless sacrifice on the cross is what spans the chasm between the Father and His creation. Our Savior paid all past, present, and future sin debt.

Landmark 3: I need Jesus. The defining moment on the journey is the point when the traveler believes Jesus is who He claimed to be. Belief is accompanied by repentance—a turning away from old sins. The pilgrim is given a brand-new nature and is welcomed into God’s family (2 Cor. 5:17; John 1:12).

Are you on the road to discovering the Lord? Here is a peek at what is ahead if you stay the course: redemption (Rom. 3:24), eternal life (John 3:15), and a great adventure walking with Jesus. Trust in the Savior, and thank Him for His mercy and grace.

 

Our Daily Bread — True Loyalty

Our Daily Bread

2 Corinthians 11:23-31

If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. —2 Corinthians 11:30

By one estimate, more than 14 trillion frequent-flyer miles have been accumulated by people worldwide. It all started in the early 1980s, when airlines began the first frequent-flyer programs to encourage repeat business by rewarding customers for their loyalty. Accumulated miles could be redeemed for free travel, goods, and services, so it wasn’t long before people began planning their travel based as much on personal reward as on price or schedule.

The apostle Paul was an avid first-century traveler, but he wasn’t in it for the “frequent-sailor miles.” His goal was to reach as many people as he could with the good news of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus. When some people in the city of Corinth questioned his authority, he wrote a letter describing the price he had paid to bring the gospel to others: “Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep” (2 Cor. 11:25). God gave Paul the grace and endurance to risk his life to tell people about Jesus with no thought of personal gain.

Whether we receive persecution or praise for our service to the Lord, may our focus always be loyalty to Him and gratitude for His sacrifice of love. —David McCasland

I am Yours, Lord, yet teach me all it means,

All it involves of love and loyalty,

Of holy service, full and glad,

In unreserved obedience to Thee! —Bennett

Our loyalty to Jesus grows from His love for us.

Bible in a year: Psalms 13-15; Acts 19:21-41

Insight

To modern-day followers of Christ, the apostle Paul is held in the highest regard for his tireless work of teaching, church-planting, and writing of biblical letters. This, however, was not the case in the first century. Even after years of faithful service, Paul had to write the letter of 2 Corinthians to defend his calling and ministry, which was being questioned by people in Corinth. Today’s reading is a part of that defense of his ministry.

Joyce Meyer – Follow God’s Priorities

Joyce meyer

The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. —John 10:27

Many people try to feel spiritual by obeying religious laws. But they never get around to feeling good, because there is always one more law to follow. That is why God does not define our righteousness by our works, but by our faith in Jesus. We feel inner peace when we obey the voice of the Holy Spirit.

God may tell you that it is more important to give away your favorite personal possession, than to try to please Him by reading the Bible through in a year. He may say that it is more important to just remain silent, if He tells you to, than to volunteer for every activity at church. His ways are not our ways (See Isaiah 55:8–9), so learn to listen for His direction each day.

 

Alistair Begg – God’s Is the Victory

Alistair Begg

Daily Devotional for June 28, 2014

But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.  Exodus 7:12

This incident is an instructive illustration of the certain victory of God’s handiwork over all opposition. Whenever a divine principle is set in the heart, even though the devil may create a counterfeit and produce swarms of opponents, we may be sure that God is in the work, and it will swallow up all its foes. If God’s grace takes possession of a man, the world’s magicians may throw down all their staffs, and every staff may be as cunning and poisonous as a serpent; but Aaron’s staff will swallow up their staffs.

The sweet attractions of the cross will woo and win the man’s heart, so that although he had lived only for this deceitful earth, he will now have an eye for heaven, and his mind will be set on the things that are above. When grace has won the day, the unbeliever begins to seek the world to come. The same fact is to be observed in the life of the believer. A company of enemies assailed our faith—our old sins; the devil threw them down before us, and they turned to serpents. What numbers of them! But the cross of Jesus destroys them all. Faith in Christ makes short work of all our sins.

Then the devil has launched another host of serpents in the form of worldly trials, temptations, unbelief; but faith in Jesus is more than a match for them and overcomes them all. The same absorbing principle shines in the faithful service of God!

With an enthusiastic love for Jesus, difficulties are surmounted; sacrifices become pleasures; sufferings are honors. But if faith is a consuming passion in the heart, then it follows that there are many people who profess it but do not have it; for what they have will not bear this test. Examine yourself, my reader, on this point. Aaron’s staff proved its heaven-given power. Is your faith doing so? If Christ is anything, He must be everything. Do not rest until love and faith in Jesus are the master passions of your soul!

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

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The family reading plan for June 28, 2014 * Isaiah 60 * Matthew 8

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Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread

James 2:1-10

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. —James 2:1

A 2010 survey by Newsweek contained some startling statistics: 57 percent of hiring managers believe an unattractive (but qualified) job candidate would have a harder time getting hired; 84 percent of managers said their bosses would hesitate before hiring a qualified older candidate; 64 percent of hiring managers said they believe companies should be allowed to hire people based on appearance. All are clear examples of unacceptable prejudice.

Prejudice is not new. It had crept into the early church, and James confronted it head-on. With prophetic grit and a pastor’s heart, he wrote: “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality” (James 2:1). James gave an example of this type of prejudice—favoring the rich and ignoring the poor (vv.2-4). This was inconsistent with holding faith in Jesus without partiality (v.1), betrayed the grace of God (vv.5-7), violated the law of love (v.8), and was sinful (v.9). The answer to partiality is following the example of Jesus: loving your neighbor as yourself.

We fight the sin of prejudice when we let God’s love for us find full expression in the way we love and treat each other. —Marvin Williams

Thinking It Over

Who helped you determine what is the right way to

treat people? Was it based on external things?

What are some ways you can love people as Jesus did?

Looking up to Jesus prevents us from looking down on others.

Bible in a year: Numbers 31-33; Mark 9:1-29

Insight

In James 2:8, we see a guiding principle of Scripture—our responsibility and privilege to love our neighbors as ourselves. This theme was established in the ancient law of Israel (Lev. 19:18) and was the life principle illustrated by Jesus in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:27). In addition to James’s words here, it is affirmed by Paul in Galatians 5:14.

 

Charles Stanley – Can Eternal Life Be Earned?

Charles Stanley

Mark 10:17-22

Sometimes teenagers decide on a course of action first and ask for input later. And then, if the response is one they don’t want to hear, they often react negatively. Believers can act the same way toward God.

One day a wealthy man came to Jesus and asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17). Having spent his days keeping the commandments, he wanted to know what else needed to be done to secure his position in heaven. The man erroneously believed that eternal life could be earned.

Satan, the great deceiver, promotes the false idea that man can make himself acceptable in God’s eyes. Many of us have fallen victim to the Devil’s lies and approach God on the basis of our conduct or performance. Just like the rich man, we may have thought, God will accept me because I am doing the right things. Or perhaps we have assumed that our good deeds outweigh any wrong we have done.

In thinking this way, we have established our own standard of acceptability and ignored God’s. He says we all have a flesh nature bent away from Him, and nothing we do will pay for our sin debt. Only faith in Jesus, who died in our place, makes us acceptable to God. Through the Savior, we are forgiven of our sins and receive life everlasting. Apart from Christ, we face eternal punishment.

The rich young man chose to walk away from Jesus. How do you respond when the truth of Scripture conflicts with what you believe? Do you embrace God’s standard or turn away to follow your own desires?

 

Presidential Prayer Team; H.L.M.- Truth from Error

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God’s righteous foundation in America is slowly and systematically being destroyed. Society today often calls right wrong and wrong right. People honor the immoral and ridicule the upright.

The anointing that you received from him abides in you.

I John 2:27

Yet when you put your faith in Jesus, you receive a new nature – one of holiness and righteousness. There is not anything you can do to earn this priceless gift of grace. Therefore your Heavenly Father only sees the righteousness of Christ which covers you. As a result, you can live a righteous life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

Every day, thank God for the gift of His Holy Spirit. Allow Him to help you discern truth from error. Seek opportunities to be an advocate for God’s righteousness wherever you go. Pray also that your local and national leaders would place their trust in Jesus Christ to relinquish wrong morals and exchange them for His righteousness.

Recommended Reading: John 14:15-21  Click to Read or Listen

Charles Stanley – A Gift from the Father

Charles Stanley

John 3:16

Think about all the presents you’ve received in your life. Some may have seemed heavenly, but Jesus Christ is the only gift any of us will ever receive that came straight from heaven. Without a maker, without a beginning or end, He is unlike any other gift in human experience. And although He arrived as a tiny infant, He is precisely what all mankind desperately needs.

When you placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you could not have been given a gift that was more practical or necessary. Sin had so wrecked humanity that we were all under the wrath of God and in desperate need of forgiveness and deliverance from our guilt, shame, and fleshly behaviors. We had emotional needs, material needs, and all manner of brokenness.

So God the Father sent His only begotten Son into our lives. He knew that no other gift could ever provide for our needs or fulfill our longings as completely as Christ Jesus.

He came in human flesh. That’s what the incarnation is all about. God came into this world with a body like ours so that we could see Him, touch Him, and understand Him. And yet the tragedy is that most people never “unwrap” this gift. They keep Him a baby in the manger scene or categorize Him as just a teacher or preacher. But this will never do. If you do not unwrap the gift, you will never know what is inside. To open the present, open the Bible. The more you get to know Jesus, the better you will understand how perfect the gift is for you.

 

Alistair Begg – Equal to the Greatest Christian

Alistair Begg

Infants in Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:1

Are you mourning, believer, because your spiritual life is so weak, because your faith is so small, your love so feeble?

Cheer up because you have reason to be grateful. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most mature Christian.

•You are as much purchased with blood as he is.

•You are just as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a matter of degree: Your little faith has made you clean every bit.

•You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies does not lie in your growth but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure but the token of your inheritance in Him.

•You are as rich as the richest-if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the sun. In the family register of heaven, the small and the great are written with the same pen.

•You are as dear to your Father’s heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender toward you.

You are like the faintly burning wick; a rougher spirit would say, “Put out that useless flame; it fills the room with an offensive odor!” But the feeble wick He will not quench. You are like a bruised reed, and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away; but He will never break the bruised reed. So instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should rejoice in Christ. Am I but small and feeble in the vast company of believers? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Yet in Jesus I am heir of all things. I do not need to boast or elevate myself; even as an infant in Christ I will rejoice in the Lord and glory in the God of my salvation.