Saturday, January 28, 2012

Obedience in Christ

Obedience may be the most called for command in the Bible.  

Throughout the Word we can find this command over and over. 

I have two memory verses this week.  The topic for my memory verses this week is "Obedience to Christ". Here is the first verse:

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and show myself to him." John 14:21 NIV

What a wonderful reward we have in exchange for our obedience.  We will be loved by God and Christ, and will have Christ show himself to us. With such a magnificent promise of divine love and confidence that Christ's nature is being revealed to us, how could we not accept His will for us that we keep HIs commands? 

My second memory verse is:

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1 NIV"

Paul is calling us to consecration.  In light of God's mercies for us, we dedicate our whole selves to be transformed into the living image of Christ.   We are to surrender to His will and commands, and living in such a way as  to bring glory Christ.

Paul then goes on in Romans 12:2 to command us not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed to His image. Renewing our spirit daily in the Word.

Our grandmother wrote to us the following poem:

By the mercies of God, I beseech you
Your body to Him to present,
A sacrifice, holy, acceptable,
Which will bring you heart's ease and content.

Be ye daily renew'd in your spirit
To this world be not conformed;
Thus you are proving the good will of God,
To His image being transformed.

Day by day, lay your life on the alter
In complete surrender to Him;
Let your love and your purpose ne'er falter,
Thus your living will glorify Him.

Cordelia Hawkins Gatewood

We face each day decisions where we have the opportunity to accept or reject obedience.  Make each an opportunity of acceptance of Christ's love.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A new life in Christ

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has gone. The new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
God wants us to become reconciled with Him. This has always been His plan for us and He draws us to Himself.
When we accept His invitation by receiving Jesus into our hearts, we experience a transformation. We become new creatures, having the Holy Spirit living inside us.
The fact that we become this new creation results in the replacement of our old, morally unsound self with an entirely new one. A new self that desires to grow as a believer in a new direction and with new convictions.
The source of our new creation is Christ!
As we live in your sphere as Your new creations, we are thankful that the old has gone and the new has come. We ask that You guide and direct us as we walk as You lead us. We pray in Christ's name. amen

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Living in peace

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage." John 14:27

When Jesus told his disciples that He would be going away, He explained to them that the Holy Spirit would be coming to them from God as their helper, advocate, and to be their counselor. Through the Holy Spirit we are to have peace daily.
The peace that Christ brings to us is a gift. We can only have it when Christ comes into ours hearts. How will we respond to His gift?
We respond with acceptance of God's sovereignty over our lives. When we accept our circumstances, knowing that God plan for each of us is a good plan that is created specifically for us, we are strengthened to face all trials with courage. Using the same faith though which we received Him into our lives we can step out, facing each day in faith.
"If I'm going to have the peace of God in my heart I must accept His view of my circumstances and rest in His love and power to see me through it. " Dr. Charles Stanley

Perhaps Paul best expresses this idea best when he said:
In every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

Thank you for the Holy Spirit who provides peace to us each day of our lives. Peace no matter our circumstances. Help us to respond to Your gift of peace in the way you intended -- through our relationship with You provided by Christ. We pray in the name of Your Son. Amen

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Conviction and condemnation

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

"Conviction" and "condemnation" are terms that you may have heard, but not fully understand.

In reading your bible and listening to sermons, we will frequently hear the terms that may at first seem to be very similar.

It is important to see that the two are very different.

Conviction happens in the believer's life when the Holy Spirit tells us that something that we have done or are contemplating is not in agreement with God's will for us.

For example, if we have not prepared well for a test we are to take in school, we may have considered the possibility of cheating. We know that cheating is wrong and we hear the Holy Spirit telling us so.

Maybe we have heard something about someone at work that we don't know to be true, yet we repeat it to a co-worker. Again, the Holy Spirit is there to tell us what we've just done is wrong and let's us know that we should repent and ask for forgiveness.

In these two examples, the Holy Spirit is convicting us. He is helping us to remember what is right and what is wrong.

God created us for fellowship with Himself. We were created for His pleasure.

When we choose to live apart from God, we live in sin. The result of this sin is condemnation by God.

Once we become Christians, we are no longer condemned by God for sin. That is the good news! Being born again makes us new creations in Christ. We are no longer our old self and Christ now lives his life in us and through us.

If we sin after becoming Christians we are not condemned, but through repentance, we receive forgiveness through Christ's death on the cross.


We rejoice that we are no longer living under condemnation, but are new creatures in Christ. We thank you for the Holy Spirit who convicts us of any wrong doing and for Your grace to grant us forgiveness. We pray to you in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen