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Believe In God? .. Know His Name?

Believing in God

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is" (Hebrews 11:6).

Nothing you do can please God apart from faith... Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. Many trust in their own good works, not realizing that even their best efforts are offensive to God (Isa. 64:6; Phil. 3:8). And the more we try to justify ourselves, the more we offend God, because "by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight" (Rom. 3:20).

Some trust in their family heritage or nationality. The Jewish people thought they were pleasing to God simply because they were descendants of Abraham. But John the Baptist warned them, saying, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham" (Matt. 3:7-9).

Apart from faith, man cannot please God. And the first step of faith is simply believing God exists. That isn't enough to save a person—even the demons have that level of faith (James 2:19)—but it's a start, and by God's grace can blossom into full saving faith.

God has given ample evidence of His existence. Romans 1:20 says, "Since the creation of the world [God's] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made." David said, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands" (Ps. 19:1).

Creation itself proclaims the existence, power, and glory of God, yet most people "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18) by rejecting the Creator and denying their accountability to Him. Rather than bowing to the true God, they pay homage to "Mother Nature" or evolution. How foolish!

Suggestions for Prayer - Praise God for the beauty of His creation .. and spend a minute or two learning His Name

http://www.iaskgod.com/content/how-great-your-name-throughout-earth

 

Ever Strive .. Seek to attain .. Pursue Holiness?

God’s children are called to live holy lives that are marked by a deep reverence for Him. One strong motivation for righteous living is the cross and what it represents. First, the cross is a reminder of our original position as outsiders, separated from God because of sin. Second, it points to our need for a Savior. Divine justice decrees that the penalty for sin is death (Rom. 6:23). But the only acceptable payment is a blood sacrifice from a life without defect (Lev. 17:11; Deut. 17:1).

Since we’re all guilty, we can’t pay for our own sins.

Third, it was on the cross that Jesus took our place and endured God’s wrath so we could be forgiven.

Fourth, the crucifixion marks the time when God’s justice was satisfied and His mercy was demonstrated. Finally, it points out the way to be reconciled to the Father and adopted into His family. Only by faith in Jesus Christ can we be saved (John 14:6).
Sadly, many have forgotten about God’s requirement of holiness (v. 15). Instead of keeping to His standards of attitude and behavior, they tend to embrace some worldly values that seem more comfortable or self-satisfying. Then, secular goals like pleasure and material wealth tend to replace godly ones like obedience and servanthood. Such worldly goals are encouraged by our culture, which has little fear of God and typically ignores His warnings and commands.
To counteract the culture’s influence, keep the meaning of the cross before you. Then you’ll be motivated to pursue holiness in honor of the One who gave His life to save you.

1 Peter 1:15-21 - (NIRV):

15 The one who chose you is holy. So you should be holy in all that you do. 16 It is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44,45; 19:2) 17 You call on a Father who judges each person’s work without favoring one over another. So live your lives as strangers here. Have the highest respect for God. 18 The blood of Christ set you free from an empty way of life. That way of life was handed down to you by your own people long ago. You know that you were not bought with things that can pass away, like silver or gold. 19 Instead, you were bought by the priceless blood of Christ. He is a perfect lamb. He doesn’t have any flaws at all. 20 He was chosen before God created the world. But he came into the world in these last days for you. 21 Because of what Christ has done, you believe in God. It was God who raised him from the dead. And it was God who gave him glory. So your faith and hope are in God.

STUDY:  http://www.iaskgod.com/content/how-great-your-name-throughout-earth

Jesus was devoted to prayer - How did He speak with Our Father?

Jesus was devoted to prayer - How did He call His father?

The Savior was devoted to prayer. He met with God in the early morning, sought Him in the midst of busy days, and slipped away for nighttime fellowship with Him - have you ever wondered how He called out to "Our Father" In heaven?

His actions testify to the central place prayer is to have in the lives of believers.

Prayer seemed to come naturally to Jesus, but most of us have to work at maintaining regular communion with God. We find ourselves easily distracted by the details of life, our own desires, and the demands of people. The road to a deepening prayer life begins with the firm commitment to develop a habit of talking with God and to make it a high priority in our day. We follow through by setting aside a daily time with the Lord and by identifying a location that minimizes interruptions. Sacrifice will be necessary to make this happen—we might have to accept less sleep, give up a favorite activity, or use our lunch hour for prayer. And parents might have to ask friends for help with the kids in order to have alone time with God.

In addition, our prayer life must be undergirded by Scripture, which teaches us about God’s character, promises, and priorities. ( The Names of God from Scripture reveal much - http://www.iaskgod.com/content/how-great-your-name-throughout-earth

The Bible turns our thoughts from worldly cares and pleasures to a focus on the Lord. Reading it daily will remind us that He is supremely important to our life and our desire should be to please Him. Then, we’ll be ready to make requests according to His will—and to hear what He has to say.

Evaluate the current state of your prayer life, and commit to improving at least one area described above.

You Are God’s "Special Person" - Be Strong In Him Alone!

We Are God’s "Special People" - Stand Strong In Him!

Read | 1 Peter 2:9-10

Sometimes, even believers have trouble remembering their purpose in life. In the busyness of our day-to-day activities, it is rather easy to forget how wonderfully and purposefully designed we are in the eyes of our Creator.

Yet 1 Peter 2:9-10 brings our focus back to God, showing us that He made us to be . . .

1. A chosen race. You did not have to fight for a place in the house of the Lord. Instead, He chose you. The God of the universe actively sought you out because He wanted an unending relationship with you. You were selected by God Himself! Think about this for a moment today - http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-7

2. A royal priesthood. In the days of the Old Testament, a king could not be a priest, and a priest could not be a king. The two offices were separate and distinct. However, in Christ, God has called every believer into a new category. We are now sons and daughters of the King, and we have unrestricted, intimate access to almighty God. We are royal priests. http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-23

3. A holy nation. The word holy simply means “set apart.” The Holy Spirit has sealed all believers as children of God (Eph. 4:30), and nothing can ever dissolve their relationship with the Father.  Try This .. and see .. http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-31

4. God’s own possession. Do you realize how valuable you are to the heavenly Father? You are worth so much to Him that He purchased your eternal salvation at great cost: the life of His only Son (1 Cor. 6:20).

Nothing about you takes our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God by surprise. He made you to be His representative in the world and therefore knows you completely. Does your life reflect your God-given position? .. http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-36

God Is Good to All - His lovingkindness is everlasting!!

God Is Good to All - His lovingkindness is everlasting!!

Is there any doubt in your mind or heart.. The world is corrupt?

God is good, and many non-Christians often experience God's kindness .. though they might attribute it to what they calll .. luck or their own hard work .. Yet we who follow Christ sometimes feel unbelievers don’t deserve benefits of prosperity or good health, particularly if we've been faithful but find ourselves struggling.

However, no matter how great our service to God, we’re no more deserving than anyone else.

Our omniscient God takes many things into consideration when deciding what is truly good for an individual and how best to bless that person. He bases His determination on His knowledge of each heart. For instance, a $10 tithe may not seem like a huge amount to a young person, even though he earns just $100 a week. A few years later the same person, now successful and wealthy, may decide he can’t afford to give $1000, even though that figure represents the same percentage of his paycheck.

At times the Lord refrain from pouring out blessing because He knows that too much of a good thing can have a negative effect. Or He may be selective about what He bestows so we won’t be tempted to worship the gift instead of the Giver.

In fact, unless we’re wise stewards, the Lord may withdraw certain benefits. To be fully blessed, we must heed what the psalmists teach: God unleashes blessing on those who walk uprightly, take refuge in Him, and obey (Ps. 84:11; 34:8-9).
Every good thing comes from the Lord (James 1:17), and we must seek Him to better understand His plans. Our part is to walk according to His will and follow His ways.

Psalm 118 ..
1 Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good.
    His faithful love continues forever.
2 Let the people of Israel say,
    “His faithful love continues forever.”
3 Let the priests of Aaron say,
    “His faithful love continues forever.”
4 Let those who have respect for the Lord say,
    “His faithful love continues forever.”

If you're having doubts - THIS IS FOR YOU!!

Psalm 19 concludes David's hymn on the sufficiency of Scripture.

How appropriate that it ends noting the value of God's warning, because guarding His people against temptation, sin, error, foolishness, false teachers, and every other threat to their spiritual well-being is a major concern to God.

If you're having doubts right now .. THIS IS FOR YOU!!

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+19&version=NIRV

 

When Things Seem Impossible - Where Do You Stand?

When Things Seem Impossible - Where Do You Stand?

Lord and King, you have reached out your great and powerful arm. You have made the heavens and the earth. Nothing is too hard for you.  -- READ  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+32%3A17-22&version=NIRV

 

What is your initial reaction when you encounter a difficult circumstance? Something that you feel is and looks impossible?

Some people go into overdrive searching for an answer or a way out ... Others curl up in defeat or withdrawal ... either declaring the situation hopeless or trying to avoid it altogether. Hopefully, as a Christian, you turn immediately to the Lord, seeking His guidance.
But what you ask Him is very important.

O Lord, what am I going to do? At first glance, this seems like the right thing to ask, but is it really? The problem with this question is that even though we are seeking the Lord’s guidance, the focus is on our actions. That means the way we think about how to handle the situation is limited to our abilities, resources, and understanding. Often, our minds begin to devise possible plans, and we soon resort to manipulating and maneuvering in an attempt to fix the problem.

God, what are You going to do? This is the right question because now the focus has shifted to the omniscience and omnipotence of almighty God. He blows the sides out of any box that confines us and untangles any situation we find baffling. He has the power to carry out His plans, which—unlike our solutions—are perfect and always bring Him glory.

To truly pray the second prayer, you must be willing to surrender all your plans into His hands. Not only does He know what to do and how to accomplish it, but He can also make a way through any impossibility. Your job is simply to trust Him and be obedient by following His directions -- the one thing I know will help you in this matter can be found here: http://www.iaskgod.com/content/how-great-your-name-throughout-earth

Living .. Fishing .. Hunting - Triumphantly?

Are you Living .. and Fishing .. and Hunting - Triumphantly

Look how God used an uneducated fisherman .. who likely had a whole lot less skills than you ..

The man who stepped forward to preach at Pentecost was flawed and known to be impetuous. Peter had not only disagreed with Jesus but had even denied knowing Him. Yet he’d developed into a man whose impact for the kingdom surpassed his impulsiveness.

When studying Peter’s life, believers often focus on his negative actions—the doubt that nearly drowned him when he walked on water, and his aforementioned rebuke and denial of Jesus. But Peter is also an example of triumphant living. An uneducated fisherman who likely had few other skills, Peter put down his nets and followed Jesus the instant he was asked. He was the first to acknowledge Christ as the Son of God (Matt. 16:16). And after the Lord’s resurrection, Peter’s spontaneous nature led him to leap into the water and swim for shore when he noticed his Savior waiting there (John 21:7). The disciple’s devotion cannot be questioned.

Peter is an inspiration for us today. God does not choose servants who are solid rocks with no cracks or crevices. Instead, He selects people who have weaknesses, failures, and a need to be forgiven repeatedly. The Lord looks for believers who are teachable, willing to repent, and prepared to surrender to God’s greater will—folks who are a lot like Peter.

Too many of us Christians .. have already decided how much the Lord can do with us .. based on education, personality, or talent. But God isn’t interested in qualifications. He seeks willing followers who echo Isaiah’s call, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isa. 6:8). That’s triumphant living.

I Feel Guilty Over and Over Again - What Can I Do?

A Call to Repentance or just feeling guilty over and over again?

Hebrews 4:13-16 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+4%3A13-16&version=NIRV

How often have you been caught in the “guilt cycle” from our past? This involves confessing the same old sin, telling God you’re sorry .. over and over .. and promising not to do it again ( knowing that you probably will since you have been trying to overcome this sin for so long ). Around and around you go, over and over...  You've come clean dozens of times but still have no real sense of victory. Yet there is a biblical promise that states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, emphasis added).

Friends, God is holding up His end of the promise. It’s people who fall short .. we have turned confession into a recitation of all our shortcomings. The attitude is, I’m disappointed in myself, and I know that I am weak .. God knows that.

True confession of sin - which in reality means - agreeing with the Lord Our God about our sin and it is inseparably linked with repentance - they are two sides of the same coin. To repent is to turn away from wrong. By looking at our sin from God’s perspective, we’ll see a vile, wicked habit with terrible consequences and will want to run from that as fast as possible.

In practical terms, to confess and repent requires the intentional decision to say, “By the Holy Spirit’s power, I’m turning away.” Satan will still tempt you, and failure remains a possibility. But God can break the chains of your sin, and He wants to set you free.

Victory can be immediate -- or it can be a process of trading wrong choices for right ones -- and the time table is known only by God. In some cases, temptation involving habitual sin never goes away. Then it becomes necessary to face each day in God’s strength. When you forsake sin, the power of heaven is there to help you.

STUDY THIS PASSAGE: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A10-20&version=NIRV

Can Problems Be Solved Through Praying?

Solving Problems Through Prayer

2 Chronicles 20:4-15

When the king of Judah called for a nationwide fast to seek God’s help, the people from every town convened to pray. Jehoshaphat’s actions and words teach us some important truths about solving life’s problems through prayer.

• God is bigger than our problems. The king stated that God was the all-powerful ruler of nations, against whom no one could stand (v. 6). Many issues are beyond our ability to solve, but nothing is impossible for Him (Jer. 32:17; Matt. 19:26). If we pray while focusing on His greatness, our troubles will shrink to proper proportions.

• God wants to involve others in praying with us. Entire families from throughout Judah answered the king’s call and came together before God (2 Chron. 20:13). Prayer had a central role in the life of the early church as well (Acts 2:42).

• Through prayer, the Lord will give us a solution to the problem. His answer could be just what we asked or something entirely unexpected; He might tell us to wait in our current situation instead of taking action, or He could direct us to become involved in something new. In any case, God’s direction will be according to His perfect will. What’s more, He may ask us to take a step of faith. The Lord uses every opportunity to strengthen our trust and grow us in righteousness.

We don’t know how long the people waited for an answer, but they didn't act until they heard from God. He told them not to be afraid or discouraged, but to trust Him. Prayer likewise brings us into God’s presence so we can receive strength and direction for life’s challenges.

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