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The Lord of Our Lives .. Baby Jesus?

The Lord of Our Lives .. Baby Jesus?

This is the scriupture reading that puts me into some inner turmoil .. sometimes wondering about who I am or what kind of life I am leading ..

Luke 6:46-49 .. 46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the ]torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

The term .. the word .. "Lord" ..  should not be used casually. When that word appears in relation to Jesus Christ, it refers to the God who is sovereign over life and all creation. In the Greek, this title for Jesus is kurios .. One who rules the lives of others for their good. In the Old Testament there is another "NAME" used for God .. El Gibbor, The Mighty God - My God who is the ultimate warrior  .. and The Champion .. of ALL BATTLES ..

We use the term Lord in conversations and in our prayers but then contradict its meaning by defying His will and His work in our lives. Our resistance is oftentimes subtle. For example, a believer might qualify his obedience by saying, “I’ll follow the Lord if . . .” or “I want to do what is right, but . . .”Jesus’ question to His followers in Luke 6:46 must have stung their spirits: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” When we entreat the Lord, we must be prepared to obey Him without resistance or pretense. He is the One who rules over us for our good. So you ask? .. Where is He? .. He sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3) .. there He is interceding for us as Satan tries to convince us that we are not worth much .. we are always "falling into sin" .. so what's the use?

Jesus Christ offered one sacrifice for all the sins of mankind, then sat down with the Father once He had accomplished it. The Bible makes it perfectly clear that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Jesus Christ went to the cross, died the death we deserved, and consequently freed us from the penalty of sin by our faith in Him.

The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that Christ "does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself" (Heb. 7:27). In the Old Testament, the priests had to make continual sacrifices, but Jesus made only one. And not only was He the priest, but also the sacrifice! He made a tremendously potent sacrifice, for He forever purged our sins .. something the Old Testament sacrifices could never do. When His sacrifice was complete, "He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3, emphasis added). That is significant because the Old Testament priests never sat down ... there were no seats in the sanctuary because they offered sacrifices day in and day out .. But Jesus offered one sacrifice, finished it, and then went to the Father and sat down. What the Old Testament sacrifices couldn't accomplish Christ's did for all time.

As a result, God exalted Him to His right hand, the seat of honor and rule and rest. But perhaps most important, it is the place where Christ intercedes to the Father on our behalf (Rom 8:34)... Don't ever forget what Jesus accomplished for us .. YOU AND ME .. and what He still does for us: "If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1).

Suggestions for this Christmas Season ..  Thank Jesus for His sacrifice on your behalf. Also thank Him for the salvation He has given you and the access you now have to God. We might be remembering His Birth .. we might see pictures of a little "babe" in a manger .. so take that little innocent moment and "ask God" .. ask Baby Jesus .. to help you gain a deeper understanding of Who He Is .. How He wants you to fulfill your life ..

Interested In a Fresh Encounter With God?

Interested In a Fresh Encounter With God

Then by all means .. Read ..  Isaiah 6:1-9

We live in busy times .. and none busier than the holiday season in America. For many Christians, sadly, church is an item on some mental "checklist" .. we tend to think attending a church service or midnight Mass fulfills our  “spiritual duty.” As a result, God seems distant .. way out there and we feel unexcited about God's work in our lives .. and we lack compassion for the unsaved, the hurting people we know .. or those whom come to our mind.

We then, as believers, find it easy to start acting in a worldly manner... caught up in shopping, planning our own lives ..

But Our Heavenly Father desires an intimate relationship with His children. (  http://www.iaskgod.com/content/how-great-your-name-throughout-earth  )

As in Bible times, God still has personal encounters with His people .. sometimes to comfort .. sometimes to encourage .. at other times to guide .. or convict of sin. ( http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-gems ) - In today’s passage, the prophet Isaiah wrote of such a meeting with the Lord. His reaction to the holiness of God’s presence was a profound recognition of his own sin: “I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips . . . ; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (v. 5).

As the prophet experienced, when God reveals His presence to us, we are likely to be overwhelmed with awe and a sense of our unworthiness. Then, as we humbly respond in repentance or obedience as we see Jesus .. we, too, will know that our sins have been forgiven (v. 7). We cannot manipulate or create divine encounters, but we make them possible by being available to God .. Learning of Him .. Discovering more about Who He is by the power of His Holy Name .. through the reading of His Word.  Are you spending time with the Lord, praying and reading His Word? Or has life become too busy and your spiritual walk too mechanical?

"Ask God" .. today .. right now .. for a more personal encounter. Then expectantly watch for Him.

Looking For Solid Footing On A Slippery Slope?

Seeking An Anchor in the Midst of Your Tempest?

What do you do when the storms of life come all over you? .. covering you in fear, doubt, uncertainty? .. To whom do you turn? Where do you seek comfort and security during tumultuous times?

We all realize that storms will come and go unexpectedly throughout life. Yet even when struggles throw us off balance, the Word of God assures us that we can maintain a steady footing, regardless of the circumstances. How do we do that?
There is an amazing truth in the Bible --- that, once you take hold of it, will keep you steady during even the most trying of situations. That anchor for the storms of life is simply this: Jesus Christ never changes .. He is the "same" .. yesterday .. today .. and forever  !

You might wonder, What is meant by “anchor”? Think about it this way: Every single thing in your life .. career, relationships, finances .. is in a constant state of flux. In fact, you yourself are growing, learning, and developing every day. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this continual change. So, if we try to hold tight to things like resources, friends, abilities, or prestige during times of hardship, we can’t keep from being pulled one way or another. Why? Because we have affixed ourselves to something that is itself moving. We have chosen a foundation that isn't stable.

However, when we fix our hopes in Jesus Christ, we can be sure that the anchor will hold .. nothing is more solid .. He isn't moving, changing, or leaving. Regardless of all the things in life that can morph and shift, He is the same as He always has been. Jesus is the only sure footing in an unstable world ..

And He can keep you steady, too ... ALL YOU NEED DO .. is  "ask" ..

 

 

 

Pregnant? Scared of the Future? Cancer? Facing Uncertainty?

God’s Guidance - Even In the Storms of Our Lives

Isaiah 43:1-3

Life's Storms .. ever experience one? Sure you have .. and they can make our life feel uncertain, we become panicky, scared .. off our course and unsure of our direction - RIGHT?

How about those disciples? .. most were seasoned and experienced fishermen - they were well aware of storms on the Sea of Galilee weren't they? As they headed for Gennesaret the battering gale ( a storm of life ) came upon them and they couldn't gauge their direction or distance from shore... The storm obscured the guiding lights of the sky and at the same time assaulted their senses. Have you ever felt that way?

Let’s think about what the disciples learned that will be able to help us today as we experience a storm in our life.

Jesus’ Sovereignty .. The Lord demonstrated that He was fully in charge of both nature and His followers’ lives. There isn't a single moment when He has less than absolute control of our storms. That night on the Sea of Galilee, the winds blew just so hard and no harder; the waves rose just so high and no higher.

Jesus knows exactly where we are, where we’re headed .. and how fierce our storm is. Remember, the One who died in our place because of love is the One who holds the future .. and He also holds us.

Jesus’ Protective Power. Christ’s ability to protect was evident in this tempest. He watched over the disciples in the boat, and He took care of Peter on the water. But don’t miss an essential lesson: Peter was allowed to sink just enough to recognize his own helplessness so that he would turn to the Lord for rescue. It protects us to remember that each of us is absolutely helpless without Jesus and must turn quickly to Him.

Jesus’ sovereignty and protective presence caused the disciples to worship Him as the Son of God. Are your lips bursting with praise today?

Thanksgiving On Our Minds - A Place To Begin.

Clothed With Power - THANKSGIVING on our Minds.

Luke 24:44-49

The power of the Holy Spirit is the dynamic, supernatural control and authority of Almighty God - "El Shaddai"

It is the strength and sufficiency by which we are enabled to serve .. to have eyes to see .. and ears to hear!  Tragically, too many of God’s people attempt to carry out supernatural work in their own human strength. Have youy ever thought "I can handle all this "

The Spirit of God indwells all believers. But there is a considerable distinction between having the Holy Spirit within us and the Holy Spirit releasing His power in our life ..

Consider the difference between a sedan and a race car. Both vehicles run, but what is under the hood of the race car makes it far more powerful than the sedan. When God’s Spirit enables you, your performance will be like that of a race car.

We often think that the power of the Holy Spirit is available only to pastors and missionaries.. However, the truth is that this power is offered to every person who is willing to serve God and meet the requirements given in Scripture. First, we must be convicted of our inadequacy ( that should be an easy thing for each of us to admit to ourselves ) ... This means acknowledging we cannot work for God without the aid of His Spirit.

Next, recognizing and admitting our inadequacy grows out of a pure life .. Confessing sin and repenting are necessary to maintain fellowship with God. When we allow deliberate sin to enter our life, we short-circuit the power of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, every person who appropriates divine energy has an active prayer life ( and this is our most likely short-coming ) ... When we trust in God to provide the stamina for the work He calls us to do, we are clothed in power.

Is your confidence in yourself or in Him?

Your Missionary "position" .. oris it .. The Missionary "question"?

Your Missionary "position" .. is The Missionary "question"?

Romans 10:1-5

Why are some people today .. willing to uproot their lives .. learn a new language .. become part of a totally different culture --- in order to share the good news of Jesus Christ? .. and why is it that for the same reason  .. that some of those who stay at home ... abandon their comfort zones to help others in need, tell the gospel story to a neighbor or friend or another family member — namely, It's God’s call.

Whether we bear the title of "missionary" .. or not, we are unable to live in the Lord’s will unless we’re involved in mission work. This universal call is based upon four truths:

1. Man’s spiritual condition. People are helplessly and hopelessly lost without Jesus Christ. Although most people we know today .. try to manufacture righteousness through good works or a false religion .. they inevitably fail.

2. God’s provision. Knowing man could not save himself, the Father gave His Son in order to pay sin’s penalty. Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. This redemption is available to every man, woman, and child.

3. Jesus’ commission. All who belong to Jesus are charged with the responsibility of going and making disciples of all nations through the Holy Spirit’s power (Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:19). The Spirit comes, not to ensure our own happiness, but to make us impactful witnesses.

4. Jesus’ proclamation. The Lord was clear about this: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14).

Mission work isn't optional for believers. In Romans 10:14, Paul asks, “How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?” They won’t unless you tell them.

Patience - How Well Do We Do In This Category?

The Powerful Attribute of Patience - How Well Do We Do?

Hebrews 6:9-15

When you approach an elevator and see that the up button is lit, do you ever push it anyway?  .. Or when you are stuck in a grocery line that will not move, do you ever think how poorly managed the store is .. or how rude people seem to be as they just "talk and talk" ?

Our patience .. or lack thereof .. spills over into many aspects of our lives. Patience is not a natural trait that some possess at birth. Likewise, it’s not a skill that we can, on our own, continually muster. No, patience is available only through the Holy Spirit. Apart from Him, we will have a difficult time developing this awesome quality.

The nature of patience allows us to have the mindset that says, I’m willing to let go of immediate gratification and wait for God to supply. Then, we’re able to experience the inner quietness that can come only from Him. This doesn't mean we’ll never feel pressure or stress; at times the need to press persistently toward our goals feels overwhelming, but the Lord can calm our heart - TRY ONE OF THESE and see how God speaks to you today -  http://www.iaskgod.com/content/thought-conditioner-gems

It’s important to realize that patience cannot be developed apart from other godly characteristics. In considering the life of David, we can see that this is true. While waiting to be made king by God’s hand, David had several opportunities to kill Saul, the nation’s current ruler. By refusing to take advantage of the situation, David demonstrated discernment, wisdom, love, and faith in God’s timing (1 Sam. 24:10-11; 26:10-11). Patience is one of the nine qualities named as fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). So to exhibit this important virtue, we must surrender our lives to Him.

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.

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