Saved by Grace
We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 15:11 (NLT).
One morning, as I was standing at the coffee pot, a friend and I began discussing God's love and how He uses us for His glory. My friend told a joke about getting into heaven. I won't attempt to tell the joke in this devotion, but basically, it boiled down to the fact that no matter how much we work for God's kingdom or how good we are, works and being a good Christian, will not get us through the heaven's gate.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6 (NLT).
Folks, works are very good and we should strive to work for God's kingdom, but we are only saved through His grace by our faith. Our faith should manifest in good works, but His grace is the reason we are saved. (Read James 2:14-26)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8 (NLT).
Dear Lord God, thank You for Your amazing grace. Without You pouring out Your grace on us through Your Son, Jesus Christ, we could never walk on the streets of gold, with You. Help us to remember to do good works as an example of being a follower of Christ, but remind us that we are not saved by our good deeds but by Your amazing grace. We praise Your holy name, Lord God. We ask and pray in the mighty and matchless name of Jesus. Amen.
Trouble Is Trumped by Christ
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me (Psalms 23:4 NLT).
No matter the trouble (valley) that you are going through, you are not alone. Thank you, Lord! You will also never leave us in the valley because You have supplied the mountaintop that will come. Praise God!
Father God, thank you for staying with us during the bad times in life. You will never leave us and you certainly won't leave us in that valley. Father, thank you for the mountaintop that everyone can experience by accepting Jesus as their Savior. Help us, Lord, fight the battles in the valley's of life, but let us remember the mountaintop that you have waiting for us. Lord God, thank You. In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Control: Sin or Jesus?
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin (Romans 7:14-25 NLT).
An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old chief simply replied, "The one you feed."
Author – Unknown
Are you feeding the sin(s) in your life or are you letting Jesus feed you His glory? Are you letting Christ direct your path? Are you going to rely on God or on yourself? From my experience, I know that I'm in real trouble when I rely on myself and my abilities. I bet your experience is basically the same. We must remember, as, in today's Scripture, Paul writes about his battle with the thorn of the flesh. If the Apostle Paul struggled with this, I know all of us will fight this battle.
Trust and rely on God and ask His help. He will help each of us turn from the evil that is trying to destroy us from inside.
Lord, may we fully rely on you. In Jesus' mighty and matchless name, Amen.
Denying God and His Word
For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts (2 Peter 1:16-19 NLT).
Those who deny God and His Word have a hate for truth and God. His Word is infallible and perfect. He gave us His Word so that we would have a roadmap for life. A life that is not just about eternity but also a guide on how to live in a broken world that hates truth.
There are many historical and proven first-hand accounts of God's miraculous events. His Word is not just stories or fairy tales. It's God's account which is written for our benefit.
Many of the anointed writers personally witnessed God's hand as He did miraculous things on earth. Many witnessed Jesus as He walked this earth and without a doubt, knew He was the Son of God. He was the Messiah.
Don't let those the unbelievers sway your belief. Stand firm.
I am still amazed at how an atheist, who hates God, can say in his next breath, that he doesn't believe in Him. How can you hate something that you don't believe in?
Lord God, I thank You for Your word and Your never-ending love. Amen.
The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace (Psalm 29:11 NLT).
What do you do when you realize that God has blessed you far more than you deserve but even knowing that you can't get peace in your soul?
The only answer is turning to Jesus. He has all the answers. Rely on Him because the peace you are seeking is only found in and through Him.
Thank You, Lord, for hearing our pleas and prayers! Amen!
Ever Present Darkness
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life (John 8:12 NLT).
When you are driving into the darkness of night, what do you do?
You turn on your headlights.
As you walk into the darkness of this broken world, what do you do?
You turn to Jesus!
Lord God, help us to turn on the switch for Your light so that we might see Your brightness instead of all the darkness that surrounds us. Lead us and direct us today that we might follow Your path of light. We pray in the mighty name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
In the night I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek you. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right (Isaiah 26:9 NLT).
The questions are: Are you right with God? Have you begun your personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
One day all the Earth will face Jesus when He returns to claim His church. Are you part of His kingdom?
It's for each of us to choose and I pray each of you will make the right choice. That choice has eternal consequences.
Thank You, Lord, for holding open the door for us. We pray that all will walk into Your grace, mercy, and love. It is in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.