"Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did." ~ Romans 6:6–11 (The Message)
Posts from January 2011
"I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you." ~ Isaiah 46:4
My journey with Christ began on May 3, 1973. He's been with me every step of the way. Great peace comes with the understanding that God is our creator and that He cares for us. He cares for us and will be there to carry us along when we need Him most.
His promise to "be your God throughout your lifetime" or as the King James Version reads "even to your old age" is amazing. He will be our God through every season of our life. He was our God when we were young children living carefree, teenagers struggling with the emotions of growing up, young adults adjusting to life on our own, young parents trying to figure out how to raise our children, empty-nesters concerned for our children as we launch them into this great big world, or adults rushing full speed to "old age". He is our God throughout our lifetime.
If God wills, let us live long enough to proclaim with the Psalmist...
"I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread." ~ Psalm 37:25 (ESV)
"We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment." ~ George Eliot
"I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." ~ Abraham Lincoln
I was saddened to hear that Ricky Graham. a man I led to Christ 15 years ago while starting a church in an old pizza parlor, was killed in an automobile accident in Arkansas this past weekend. Ricky struggled often during his journey here, but always managed to find his way back to the church and to the Lord. I'm praying for his family this week.
"God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honour and glory." ~ Augustine
"How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God." ~ Psalm 84:1–2
"He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills." ~ Psalm 147:8 (ESV)
Note three things in the following passage of scripture.
Amos 3:1–2 (NLT) Listen to this message that the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel and Judah—against the entire family I rescued from Egypt: “From among all the families on the earth, I have been intimate with you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins.”
- "I rescued you"
- "I have been intimate with you alone"
- "I must punish you for all your sins"
Along with our rescue from sin and intimate relationship with God comes the promise that God will deal with our sins. He loves us... and "whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth".
There are all sorts of trials that come our way. Joseph's life was filled with trials and dissapointments but he always seemed to handle them with grace and rise above them. In Genesis chapter 50 notice four things that can help us through the toughest of trials.
Genesis 50:15–21 (ESV) ~ 15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, 17 ‘Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
- God Is God, We Are Not
- God Is In Control, At All Times
- God’s Purpose Is To Redeem People
- God Uses Us To Accomplish His Purpose
Probably one of the most quoted phrases from scripture by those "outside" the church is "Judge not". Unfortunately that phrase has become all too popular within the church too. The problem is, scripture teaches that we are to judge those "inside" the church. We are to "Purge the evil person" from among us. In a time when churches and pastors' success is judged by attendance numbers, nobody wants to purge anyone from the church and sadly we turn a blind eye to sin, but God does not. He will exercise judgement on this world and it's sins and His judgement will begin "at the household of God".
1 Corinthians 5:9–13 (ESV) I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”