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4 months ago

Saturday, August 30, 2014

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2 Peter 1:1-4

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Galatians 5:1 tells us “Christ has truly set us free” (NLT). The reason we can know genuine freedom is that Jesus “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us” (2 Peter 1:3).

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Oftentimes people say, “I would like to become a Christian, but I don’t dare start because I know I couldn't live up to all that is required.” Of course they couldn't. And that is precisely why this generous assurance is given. God says that you and I have been granted everything we will ever need to live a triumphant Christian life.

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The Lord’s glorious provision, however, begins only after we trust Christ for salvation. We have to take the plunge of faith before His divine power is released into our life. Once we've taken the step of believing in Jesus, all things are available, including courage, forgiveness, vision, wisdom, and a deepening trust in God.

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Such a promise is hard to comprehend because it seems too good to be true. Many people pass it by with hardly an acknowledgement. Others look askance and wonder what needs to happen for it to become a reality in their life. As with all of God’s promises, you must accept it before you can act upon it. And while recognizing the promise as yours is one thing, applying it in daily life can be quite another matter. Ultimately, the promise is realized by the full experiential knowledge of Jesus as we hunger and thirst for the living water He supplies. Only when we refuse to be content with the world’s broken cisterns (Jer. 2:13) will we find the fullness of this promise working in us.

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

4 months ago

Shaking Hands or Saving Lives?

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” - John 3:36

There was a preacher who kept a painting in his study of a shipwreck. There were sailors in lifeboats reaching out their hands to people floating on debris from the ship. A little boy looked at the painting and asked his daddy, “Are those in the lifeboats trying to save those people or are they just shaking hands?”

I wonder about us. It is all right to have friends; in fact, I encourage you to do that. But are you doing more than just socializing? Wouldn’t it be a shame if all you did was shake the hands of those around you, when you could be serving and showing them the way to God through Jesus Christ?

We don’t pray, live, and witness as if people are dying and going to hell or heaven every day around us. May God have mercy on us. The need of the hour is for men and women to have a servant’s heart.

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.

4 months ago

AUGUST 27, 2014

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“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light.”     1 John 1:7

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As he is in the light! Can we ever attain to this? Shall we ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as he is whom we call “Our Father,” of whom it is written, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all?” Certainly, this is the model which is set before us, for the Saviour himself said, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect;” and although we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, yet we are to seek after it, and never to be satisfied until we attain to it. The youthful artist, as he grasps his early pencil, can hardly hope to equal Raphael or Michael Angelo, but still, if he did not have a noble beau ideal before his mind, he would only attain to something very mean and ordinary. But what is meant by the expression that the Christian is to walk in light as God is in the light?

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We conceive it to import likeness, but not degree. We are as truly in the light, we are as heartily in the light, we are as sincerely in the light, as honestly in the light, though we cannot be there in the same measure. I cannot dwell in the sun, it is too bright a place for my residence, but I can walk in the light of the sun; and so, though I cannot attain to that perfection of purity and truth which belongs to the Lord of hosts by nature as the infinitely good, yet I can set the Lord always before me, and strive, by the help of the indwelling Spirit, after conformity to his image. That famous old commentator, John Trapp, says, “We may be in the light as God is in the light forquality, but not for equality.” We are to have the same light, and are as truly to have it and walk in it as God does, though, as for equality with God in his holiness and purity, that must be left until we cross the Jordan and enter into the perfection of the Most High. Mark that the blessings of sacred fellowship and perfect cleansing are bound up with walking in the light.

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C.H. Spurgeon

4 months ago

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Take It to the Lord in Prayer
BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Thou shalt make thy prayer unto Him, and He shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.” Job 22:27

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Have you ever disagreed with someone and felt you were in the right? I have. What started out as a conversation turns into a confrontation. And the tension becomes so thick you can cut it with a knife. At that point, it’s time to separate before things disintegrate.

And when you separate, it’s time to communicate with the Lord. It’s when you get alone with God that the communion of conviction comes, and what seemed to be confusion becomes crystal clear in His light. More often than not, the Holy Spirit has shown me that I was in the wrong and needed to ask forgiveness.

ACTION POINT:
Have you had a disagreement with someone lately? It’s time to retreat, reflect, and receive what the Lord wants to tell you. Enter your prayer closet today.

4 months ago

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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"The people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed, and running to Him saluted Him."—Mark 9:15.
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OW great the difference between Moses and Jesus! When the prophet of Horeb had been forty days upon the mountain, he underwent a kind of transfiguration, so that his countenance shone with exceeding brightness, and he put a veil over his face, for the people could not endure to look upon his glory. Not so our Saviour. He had been transfigured with a greater glory than that of Moses, and yet, it is not written that the people were blinded by the blaze of His countenance, but rather they were amazed, and running to Him they saluted Him. The glory of the law repels, but the greater glory of Jesus attracts. Though Jesus is holy and just, yet blended with His purity there is so much of truth and grace, that sinners run to Him amazed at His goodness, fascinated by His love; they salute Him, become His disciples, and take Him to be their Lord and Master. Reader, it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life. Not that you find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God; you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards desperation. Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all his repelling splendour, and look to Jesus, resplendent with milder glories. Behold His flowing wounds and thorn-crowned head! He is the Son of God, and therein He is greater than Moses, but He is the Lord of love, and therein more tender than the lawgiver. He bore the wrath of God, and in His death revealed more of God's justice than Sinai on a blaze, but that justice is now vindicated, and henceforth it is the guardian of believers in Jesus. Look, sinner, to the bleeding Saviour, and as thou feelest the attraction of His love, fly to His arms, and thou shalt be saved.

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C.H. Spurgeon

4 months ago

Monday, August 25, 2014

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Acts 8:36. . ."And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?"

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These words may address any hesitations the devout reader may have about the ordinances. Perhaps you say, "I am afraid to be baptized; it is such a solemn thing to declare myself to be dead with Christ and buried with Him. I do not feel at liberty to come to Communion; I am afraid of eating and drinking judgment to myself, of failing to discern the Lord's body." Come now, trembling one, Jesus has given you liberty—do not be afraid.

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If a stranger came to your house, he would stand at the door or wait in the hall; he would not dream of entering uninvited into your home—he is not at home. But your child enjoys complete freedom in the house; and so is it with the child of God. A stranger may not intrude where a child may venture. When the Holy Spirit has given you to feel the spirit of adoption, you may be baptized and take communion without apprehension. The same rule holds good for the Christian's inward privileges. Perhaps you think that you are not allowed to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; if you are permitted just to get inside Christ's door or sit at the end of His table, you will be content with that. But you will not have less privileges than the strongest saint.

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God makes no difference in His love to His children. A child is a child to Him; He will not make him a hired servant. The son will feast upon the fatted calf and have the music and dancing as much as if he had never wandered away. When Jesus comes into the heart, He issues a general permit to be glad in the Lord. No shackles are worn in the court of King Jesus. Our admission into full privileges may be gradual, but it is certain. Perhaps our reader is saying, "I wish I could enjoy the promises and walk at liberty in my Lord's commands." "If you believe with all your heart, you may." Loosen the chains at your neck and live in freedom, for Jesus makes you free!

4 months ago

Saturday, August 23, 2014

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"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."—Ephesians 3:17.
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EYOND measure it is desirable that we, as believers, should have the person of Jesus constantly before us, to inflame our love towards Him, and to increase our knowledge of Him. I would to God that my readers were all entered as diligent scholars in Jesus' college, students of Corpus Christi, or the body of Christ, resolved to attain unto a good degree in the learning of the cross. But to have Jesus ever near, the heart must be full of Him, welling up with His love, even to overrunning; hence the apostle prays "that Christ may dwell in your hearts." See how near he would have Jesus to be! You cannot get a subject closer to you than to have it in the heart itself. "That He may dwell"; not that He may call upon you sometimes, as a casual visitor enters into a house and tarries for a night, but that He may dwell; that Jesus may become the Lord and Tenant of your inmost being, never more to go out.

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Observe the words—that He may dwell in your heart, that best room of the house of manhood; not in your thoughts alone, but in your affections; not merely in the mind's meditations, but in the heart's emotions. We should pant after love to Christ of a most abiding character, not a love that flames up and then dies out into the darkness of a few embers, but a constant flame, fed by sacred fuel, like the fire upon the altar which never went out. This cannot be accomplished except by faith. Faith must be strong, or love will not be fervent; the root of the flower must be healthy, or we cannot expect the bloom to be sweet. Faith is the lily's root, and love is the lily's bloom. Now, reader, Jesus cannot be in your heart's love except you have a firm hold of Him by your heart's faith; and, therefore, pray that you may always trust Christ in order that you may always love Him. If love be cold, be sure that faith is drooping.

4 months ago

Friday, August 22, 2014

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"The unsearchable riches of Christ."—Ephesians 3:8.
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Y Master has riches beyond the count of arithmetic, the measurement of reason, the dream of imagination, or the eloquence of words. They are unsearchable! You may look, and study, and weigh, but Jesus is a greater Saviour than you think Him to be when your thoughts are at the greatest. My Lord is more ready to pardon than you to sin, more able to forgive than you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your wants than you are to confess them. Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus. When you put the crown on His head, you will only crown Him with silver when He deserves gold. My Master has riches of happiness to bestow upon you now. He can make you to lie down in green pastures, and lead you beside still waters. There is no music like the music of His pipe, when He is the Shepherd and you are the sheep, and you lie down at His feet. There is no love like His, neither earth nor heaven can match it. To know Christ and to be found in Him—oh! this is life, this is joy, this is marrow and fatness, wine on the lees well refined. My Master does not treat His servants churlishly; He gives to them as a king giveth to a king; He gives them two heavens—a heaven below in serving Him here, and a heaven above in delighting in Him for ever. His unsearchable riches will be best known in eternity. He will give you on the way to heaven all you need; your place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks, your bread shall be given you, and your waters shall be sure; but it is there, THERE, where you shall hear the song of them that triumph, the shout of them that feast, and shall have a face-to-face view of the glorious and beloved One. The unsearchable riches of Christ! This is the tune for the minstrels of earth, and the song for the harpers of heaven. Lord, teach us more and more of Jesus, and we will tell out the good news to others.

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C. H. Spurgeon

4 months ago

When?

“I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” - John 9:4

Robert Moffett, a great missionary statesman, said, “We shall have all eternity in which to celebrate our victories, but only one short hour before the sun sets in which to win them.”

Life’s setting sun is sinking low. There are only a limited number of days in which to save souls. Are you going to spend your days investing in the things of this world, or putting up treasures in heaven? When?

Are you going to start sowing seeds of salvation or are you going to plant happiness in this life alone? When?

Are you going to do something nice for your wife? When?

Are you going to write your father? When?

Make a promise to yourself right now that you will not put off until tomorrow what you should be doing today.

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.

4 months ago

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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"And they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall."—Nehemiah 3:8.
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ITIES well fortified have broad walls, and so had Jerusalem in her glory. The New Jerusalem must, in like manner, be surrounded and preserved by a broad wall of nonconformity to the world, and  separation from its customs and spirit. The tendency of these days break down the holy barrier, and make the distinction between the church and the world merely nominal. Professors are no longer strict and Puritanical, questionable literature is read on all hands, frivolous pastimes are currently indulged, and a general laxity threatens to deprive the Lord's peculiar people of those sacred singularities which separate them from sinners. It will be an ill day for the church and the world when the proposed amalgamation shall be complete, and the sons of God and the daughters of men shall be as one: then shall another deluge of wrath be ushered in. Beloved reader, be it your aim in heart, in word, in dress, in action to maintain the broad wall, remembering that the friendship of this world is enmity against God.

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The broad wall afforded a pleasant place of resort for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, from which they could command prospects of the surrounding country. This reminds us of the Lord's exceeding broad commandments, in which we walk at liberty in communion with Jesus, overlooking the scenes of earth, and looking out towards the glories of heaven. Separated from the world, and denying ourselves all ungodliness and fleshly lusts, we are nevertheless not in prison, nor restricted within narrow bounds; nay, we walk at liberty, because we keep His precepts. Come, reader, this evening walk with God in His statutes. As friend met friend upon the city wall, so meet thou thy God in the way of holy prayer and meditation. The bulwarks of salvation thou hast a right to traverse, for thou art a freeman of the royal burgh, a citizen of the metropolis of the universe.

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C.H. Spurgeon

4 months ago

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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"He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord."—Micah 5:4.
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HRIST'S reign in His Church is that of a shepherd-king. He has supremacy, but it is the superiority of a wise and tender shepherd over his needy and loving flock; He commands and receives obedience, but it is the willing obedience of the well-cared-for sheep, rendered joyfully to their beloved Shepherd, whose voice they know so well. He rules by the force of love and the energy of goodness.

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His reign is practical in its character. It is said, "He shall stand and feed." The great Head of the Church is actively engaged in providing for His people. He does not sit down upon the throne in empty state, or hold a sceptre without wielding it in government. No, He stands and feeds. The expression "feed," in the original, is like an analogous one in the Greek, which means to shepherdize, to do everything expected of a shepherd: to guide, to watch, to preserve, to restore, to tend, as well as to feed.

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His reign is continual in its duration. It is said, "He shall stand and feed"; not "He shall feed now and then, and leave His position"; not, "He shall one day grant a revival, and then next day leave His Church to barrenness." His eyes never slumber, and His hands never rest; His heart never ceases to beat with love, and His shoulders are never weary of carrying His people's burdens.

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His reign is effectually powerful in its action; "He shall feed in the strength of Jehovah." Wherever Christ is, there is God; and whatever Christ does is the act of the Most High. Oh! it is a joyful truth to consider that He who stands to-day representing the interests of His people is very God of very God, to whom every knee shall bow. Happy are we who belong to such a shepherd, whose humanity communes with us, and whose divinity protects us. Let us worship and bow down before Him as the people of His pasture.

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C. H. Spurgeon

4 months ago

Thank you,Michael.Do most people,Christian or otherwise,ever stop and think about what is life? Think about what a gift it is?Think about what am I suppose to be doing?There has got to be a reason.And if a person's life is cut short for their own fault,find out fast what is it?What does God want?What must I do before I go,because now there is less time to do it.The truth is,we all on borrowed time.No exceptions.We all going to die,and we don't know when.It can be tomorrow or today.Or it can be many years.It is not just a priority to "say the magic prayer" to "get out of hell free".So many times,it is all about "Jesus save my ass." instead of,"What can I do  for you,Jesus.I am so grateful to you,I owe you everything.Like the other post here,our reasonable service.I went to church for the first time in my life,took my kids.Offering time,when you give money....HE doesn't want our money.Can I go put myself in that offering plate?He wants everything.When you do,it is not bad to live or die,because you let Him have everything,which is still not as much as He gave us.I think Paul means that.I need to be ok with it too.I am not where I need to be yet.It is not about me,and never has been.There is so much more,there are people who do not know what we do.We have to tell them.Sorry for going on and on.I have so much inside of me.I do not know what to do with  it,or how much time there is,none of us knows.I am not good enough.I am not afraid of death.But I am afraid to die before I have done what I am suppose to do.

4 months ago

There Is More

To me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
—Philippians 1:21

The apostle Paul wrote those words from a dungeon in Rome, facing imminent execution, and Christians through the centuries have repeated them. But not everyone will love those words. Some will think a person who says, "To live is Christ" is nuts. They'll think, This is a guy who's got his head in the clouds. Or maybe, This is a woman who's so heavenly minded, she's no earthly good.

But that is not true. Far from it! Those who think of the next world do the most for this one. My concern is for people who are so earthly minded, they're no heavenly good!

The apostle Paul loved life. And the simple fact is, no one loves life more than the Christian. We can enjoy it because we know it comes to us from the hand of a loving God. That beautiful sunset. . . that's the signature of my Father who happens to be the Creator of all. That wonderful meal. . . the joy of love and marriage. . . the comfort of family and friends. . . the satisfaction of a hard day's work. All of these are beautiful gifts from the hand of our Father.

But as blessed as we may be in this life, there is more — more than what we are experiencing on this earth. All the great things we do experience in the here and now are just hints of heaven, hints of something better that will come for the man or the woman who has put faith in Jesus Christ.

C. S. Lewis made this statement: "All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of [heaven] — tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear."6 He went on to say, "If I find in myself a desire, which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

There is another place, another time, another life. And life on earth, be it nine years or ninety years, is a nanosecond compared to eternity. Even so, it is here on this earth where we will decide where we will spend eternity. Trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is the only key that will open the doors of heaven to us after we leave this life.


Today's devotional is an excerpt from Every Day with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 2013

4 months ago

Saturday, August 16, 2014

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He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

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Here is the way of mercy for a guilty and repenting sinner. He must cease from the habit of covering sin. This is attempted by falsehood, which denies sin; by hypocrisy, which conceals it; by boasting, which justifies it; and by loud profession, which tries to make amends for it.

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The sinner's business is to confess and forsake. The two must go together. Confession must be honestly made to the Lord Himself, and it must include within itself acknowledgment of the wrong, sense of its evil, and abhorrence of it. We must not throw the fault upon others, nor blame circumstances, nor plead natural weakness. We must make a clean breast of it and plead guilty to the indictment. There can be no mercy till this is done.

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Furthermore, we must forsake the evil; having owned our fault, we must disown all present and future intent to abide in it. We cannot remain in rebellion and yet dwell with the King's majesty. The habit of evil must be quitted, together with all places, companions, pursuits, and books which might lead us astray. Not for confession, nor for reformation, but in connection with them we find pardon by faith in the blood of Jesus.

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C.H. Spurgeon

4 months ago

"And I will give you an heart of flesh."
Ezekiel 36:26
by:C H Spurgeon

A heart of flesh is known by its tenderness concerning sin. To have indulged a foul imagination, or to have allowed a wild desire to tarry even for a moment, is quite enough to make a heart of flesh grieve before the Lord. The heart of stone calls a great iniquity nothing, but not so the heart of flesh.

"If to the right or left I stray,

That moment, Lord, reprove;

And let me weep my life away,

For having grieved thy love"

The heart of flesh is tender of God's will. My Lord Will-be-will is a great blusterer, and it is hard to subject him to God's will; but when the heart of flesh is given, the will quivers like an aspen leaf in every breath of heaven, and bows like an osier in every breeze of God's Spirit. The natural will is cold, hard iron, which is not to be hammered into form, but the renewed will, like molten metal, is soon moulded by the hand of grace. In the fleshy heart there is a tenderness of the affections. The hard heart does not love the Redeemer, but the renewed heart burns with affection towards him. The hard heart is selfish and coldly demands, "Why should I weep for sin? Why should I love the Lord?" But the heart of flesh says; "Lord, thou knowest that I love thee; help me to love thee more!" Many are the privileges of this renewed heart; "'Tis here the Spirit dwells, 'tis here that Jesus rests." It is fitted to receive every spiritual blessing, and every blessing comes to it. It is prepared to yield every heavenly fruit to the honour and praise of God, and therefore the Lord delights in it. A tender heart is the best defence against sin, and the best preparation for heaven. A renewed heart stands on its watchtower looking for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Have you this heart of flesh?

4 months ago

Knowing Jesus

BIBLE MEDITATION:

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He
was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His
poverty might be rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9
http://www.lwf.org/site/R?i=wescuOQjXVPm-uoASUp1aw

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

Years ago my wife gave me a little card to carry in my billfold. On it
she had written her dress size, shoe size, glove size and more. That
was nice to have so I could know all about her when I went to do some
shopping. But it didn't provide much companionship or
encouragement when I was away from her.

It's one thing to have the facts about Jesus, it's another
thing to have a relationship with Jesus.

ACTION POINT:

Do you know Jesus...really know Him? Or are you just gathering facts
about Him?

4 months ago

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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August 13

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It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24)

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Quick work this! The Lord hears us before we call and often answers us in the same speedy manner. Foreseeing our needs and our prayers, He so arranges providence that before the need actually arises He has supplied it, before the trial assails us He has armed us against it. This is the promptitude of omniscience, and we have often seen it exercised. Before we dreamed of the affliction which was coming, the strong consolation which was to sustain us under it had arrived. What a prayer-answering God we have!

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The second clause suggests the telephone. Though God be in heaven and we upon earth, yet He makes our word, like His own word, to travel very swiftly, When we pray aright we speak into the ear of God. Our gracious Mediator presents our petitions at once, and the great Father hears them and smiles upon them. Grand praying this! Who would not be much in prayer when he knows that he has the ear of the King of kings? This day I will pray in faith, not only believing that I shall be heard, but that I am heard; not only that I shall be answered, but that I have the answer already. Holy Spirit, help me in this!

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C.H. Spurgeon

4 months ago

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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August 12

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For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. (2 Samuel 22:29)

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Am I in the light? Then Thou, O Lord, art my lamp. Take Thee away and my joy would be gone; but as long as Thou art with me, I can do without the torches of time and the candles of created comfort. What a light the presence of God casts on all things! We heard of a lighthouse which could be seen for twenty miles, but our Jehovah is not only a God at hand, but far off is He seen, even in the enemy's country. O Lord, I am as happy as an angel when Thy love fills my heart. Thou art all my desire.

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Am I in the dark? Then thou, O Lord, wilt lighten my darkness. Before long things will change. Affairs may grow more and more dreary and cloud may be piled upon cloud; but if it grow so dark that I cannot see my own hand, still I shall see the hand of the Lord. When I cannot find a light within me, or among my friends, or in the whole world, the Lord, who said, "Let there be light," and there was light, can say the same again. He will speak me into the sunshine yet. I shall not die but live. The day is already breaking. This sweet text shines like a morning star. I shall clap my hands for joy ere many hours are passed.

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C.H. Spurgeon

4 months ago
Monday, August 11, 2014

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"Everlasting consolation."—2 Thessalonians 2:16.
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ONSOLATION." There is music in the word: like David's harp, it charms away the evil spirit of melancholy. It was a distinguished honour to Barnabas to be called "the son of consolation"; nay, it is one of the illustrious names of a greater than Barnabas, for the Lord Jesus is "the consolation of Israel." "Everlasting consolation"—here is the cream of all, for the eternity of comfort is the crown and glory of it. What is this "everlasting consolation"? It includes a sense of pardoned sin. A Christian man has received in his heart the witness of the Spirit that his iniquities are put away like a cloud, and his transgressions like a thick cloud. If sin be pardoned, is not that an everlasting consolation? Next, the Lord gives His people an abiding sense of acceptance in Christ. The Christian knows that God looks upon him as standing in union with Jesus. Union to the risen Lord is a consolation of the most abiding order; it is, in fact, everlasting. Let sickness prostrate us, have we not seen hundreds of believers as happy in the weakness of disease as they would have been in the strength of hale and blooming health? Let death's arrows pierce us to the heart, our comfort dies not, for have not our ears full often heard the songs of saints as they have rejoiced because the living love of God was shed abroad in their hearts in dying moments? Yes, a sense of acceptance in the Beloved is an everlasting consolation. Moreover, the Christian has a conviction of his security. God has promised to save those who trust in Christ: the Christian does trust in Christ, and he believes that God will be as good as His word, and will save him. He feels that he is safe by virtue of his being bound up with the person and work of Jesus.

4 months ago

Saturday, August 09, 2014

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"He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils."—Mark 16:9.
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ARY of Magdala was the victim of a fearful evil. She was possessed by not one devil only, but seven. These dreadful inmates caused much pain and pollution to the poor frame in which they had found a lodging. Hers was a hopeless, horrible case. She could not help herself, neither could any human succour avail. But Jesus passed that way, and unsought, and probably even resisted by the poor demoniac, He uttered the word of power, and Mary of Magdala became a trophy of the healing power of Jesus. All the seven demons left her, left her never to return, forcibly ejected by the Lord of all. What a blessed deliverance! What a happy change! From delirium to delight, from despair to peace, from hell to heaven! Straightway she became a constant follower of Jesus, catching His every word, sharing His toilsome life; and withal she became His generous helper, first among that band of healed and grateful women who ministered unto Him of their substance. When Jesus was lifted up in crucifixion, Mary remained the sharer of His shame: we find her first beholding from afar, and then drawing near to the foot of the cross. She could not die on the cross with Jesus, but she stood as near it as she could, and when His blessed body was taken down, she watched to see how and where it was laid. She wasthe faithful and watchful believer, last at the sepulchre where Jesus slept, first at the grave whence He arose. Her holy fidelity made her a favoured beholder of her beloved Rabboni, who deigned to call her by her name, and to make her His messenger of good news to the trembling disciples and Peter. Thus grace found her a maniac and made her a minister, cast out devils and gave her to behold angels, delivered her from Satan, and united her for ever to the Lord Jesus. May I also be such a miracle of grace!

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C.H. Spurgeon

4 months ago

Friday, August 08, 2014

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"All things are possible to him that believeth."—Mark 9:23.
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ANY professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, and they forlornly think that this is the necessary state of believers. This is a mistake, for "all things are possible to him that believeth"; and it is possible for us to mount into a state in which a doubt or a fear shall be but as a bird of passage flitting across the soul, but never lingering there. When you read of the high and sweet communions enjoyed by favoured saints, you sigh and murmur in the chamber of your heart, "Alas! these are not for me." O climber, if thou hast but faith, thou shalt yet stand upon the sunny pinnacle of the temple, for "all things are possible to him that believeth." You hear of exploits which holy men have done for Jesus; what they have enjoyed of Him; how much they have been like Him; how they have been able to endure great persecutions for His sake; and you say, "Ah! as for me, I am but a worm; I can never attain to this." But there is nothing which one saint was, that you may not be. There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no post of duty, which is not open to you if you have but the power to believe. Lay aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your true position; you are little in Israel because you will be so, not because there is any necessity for it. It is not meet that thou shouldst grovel in the dust, O child of a King. Ascend! The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of communion with Jesus is ready to bedeck your brow. Wrap yourself in scarlet and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day; for if thou believest, thou mayst eat the fat of kidneys of wheat; thy land shall flow with milk and honey, and thy soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. Gather golden sheaves of grace, for they await thee in the fields of faith. "All things are possible to him that believeth."

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5 months ago

Thursday, August 7, 2014        1 Corinthians 2:12-16

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The Bible is God’s revelation of truth, and it is intended for regular use by every believer. The Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence is a necessity since He is the one who makes clear the meaning of the Word. He illuminates the mind of each person who genuinely seeks to know God.

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When we read, our Helper opens our understanding to the true meaning of the text so that we can grasp its significance. We never outgrow this need for Him. Even a mature believer with decades of experience meditating on Scripture requires as much revelation as a child who has just received Christ. Not long ago, I had reason to recall this fact as I read a passage I had seen often in my studies. For the very first time, my soul opened wide to these verses, the truth burst in, and I felt immediately energized. Grasping a new truth from the Scriptures gets us excited and inspires us to apply what we have learned. Then, as we integrate one truth into our life, the Spirit of God reveals another in order to make us increasingly like our Savior.

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Learning about God and conforming to the image of Jesus Christ are the highest ambitions of Christianity, and we can achieve these goals only by learning and applying scriptural principles. But truth cannot be poured into a dirty heart. Nor can we expect to understand the Bible if we refuse to obey its precepts. If we want the Holy Spirit to reveal biblical meaning, we must ask first for a revelation of our sin. When we repent of the wrongdoing brought to mind by our Helper, our heart opens to His illumination.

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

5 months ago

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

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"Let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen."—Psalm 72:19.
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HIS is a large petition. To intercede for a whole city needs a stretch of faith, and there are times when a prayer for one man is enough to stagger us. But how far-reaching was the psalmist's dying intercession! How comprehensive! How sublime! "Let the whole earth be filled with His glory." It doth not exempt a single country however crushed by the foot of superstition; it doth not exclude a single nation however barbarous. For the cannibal as well as for the civilized, for all climes and races this prayer is uttered: the whole circle of the earth it encompasses, and omits no son of Adam. We must be up and doing for our Master, or we cannot honestly offer such a prayer. The petition is not asked with a sincere heart unless we endeavour, as God shall help us, to extend the kingdom of our Master. Are there not some who neglect both to plead and to labour? Reader, is it your prayer? Turn your eyes to Calvary. Behold the Lord of Life nailed to a cross, with the thorn-crown about His brow, with bleeding head, and hands, and feet. What! can you look upon this miracle of miracles, the death of the Son of God, without feeling within your bosom a marvellous adoration that language never can express? And when you feel the blood applied to your conscience, and know that He has blotted out your sins, you are not a man unless you start from your knees and cry, "Let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen." Can you bow before the Crucified in loving homage, and not wish to see your Monarch master of the world? Out on you if you can pretend to love your Prince, and desire not to see Him the universal ruler. Your piety is worthless unless it leads you to wish that the same mercy which has been extended to you may bless the whole world. Lord, it is harvest-time, put in Thy sickle and reap.

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C. H. Spurgeon

5 months ago

Heaven in a Mountain
by:Rick Joyner
A fundamental calling of Christians is to experience heaven, and bring heaven to earth. The prayer the Lord gave us to pray is for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Daniel gave a very specific prophecy about how this would happen when he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
This dream is remarkable for its accurate foretelling of the coming great empires of men, which have now been fulfilled just as he foresaw. Now, it is time for the rest of it to be fulfilled—for the little stone to grow into a mountain that fills the whole earth. To understand what the Lord is doing in the earth today it is important to understand this dream, along with Daniel's interpretation, which we will read in brief from Daniel 2:28, 31-45:

"However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries,
and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar
what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions
in your mind while on your bed.
You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue;
that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor,
was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome.
The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver,
its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron,
its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands,
and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them.

Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold
were crushed all at the same time, and became like chaff
from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away
so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue
became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
This was the dream; now we shall tell its interpretation before the king.
You, O king . . . are the head of gold.
And after you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you,
then another third kingdom of bronze...

Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron;
inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces,
it will crush and break all these in pieces.

And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron,
it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron,
inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. . .
And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay,
they will combine with one another in the seed of men;
but they will not adhere to one another,
even as iron does not combine with pottery.
And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom
which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people;
it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain
without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver,
and the gold, the great God has made known to the king
what will take place in the future; so the dream is true,
and its interpretation is trustworthy."

The history of the following empires of men remarkably followed thepattern of this dream. Theologians and historians almost universally agree that these kingdoms were Media Persia, Greece, the Roman Empire, then the Holy Roman Empire, which was represented by feet of iron and clay because it was a mixture of Rome (iron) and the church (clay).
These kingdoms were all much more than just their periods of domain in history. They were humanistic philosophies, doctrines, customs, cultural, and religious influences that were passed down and continue to have an influence on the entire earth. This statue was of a man because it represents the kingdoms of man. As Daniel asserted, in "the latter days" there will be a "little stone" that will strike the feet of this statue and bring it all down.
Here we see that the kingdom of God will begin very small, but even a small stone from heaven can easily overthrow all of the kingdoms, philosophies, doctrines, and religions of men. When we confront such things we often feel compelled to attack the whole statue, but all the Lord does is cast a little stone at their feet and all that man has built in opposition or rebellion to God will collapse.
The stone is Christ, and the mountain is His government, which is "the kingdom of God." This speaks of His authority and dominion growing until it fills the earth. This is now taking place. We are called to be a part of it, by taking dominion for the kingdom of God wherever He has placed us. We are called to turn our homes into a piece of heaven. We are called to turn our jobs, schools, places where we shop, everywhere we go, into part of the domain of heaven.
To do this we must understand the kingdom of God will not be established like the kingdoms of men. It will not come with carnal weapons, carnal force, political alliances, or other human means, such as the statue that the king of Babylon saw in his dream. It will come by a love so strong that hatred collapses before it. It will come by a joy so powerful that depression dissipates like fog before the sun. It will come through a peace so profound that fear flees from it. It will come with such patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that all authority and influence based on anything man has tried to build on will not be able to stand before it.
The time will soon be upon us when everything man has tried to build will be seen as the fragile

5 months ago
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
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"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."—Romans 8:28.
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PON some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world's tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, "It is I, be not afraid." He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, "If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it." "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God." The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil, the believer's heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, "Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from Thee; never came there an ill portion from Thy table to any of Thy children."

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C.H. Spurgeon

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    "Say not my soul, 'From whence can God relieve my care?
       Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
            His method is sublime, His heart profoundly kind,
          God never is before His time, and never is behind.'"

5 months ago

Monday, August 4, 2014        Philippians 3:10-14

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To be someone who perseveres, it is necessary to . . .

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• Learn the difference between being a failure and experiencing failure in life. Once we trust in Christ as our Savior, we are new creations, and our past failings are just that—in the past. Any future mistakes are to be regarded as temporary defeats; they do not define who we are. The apostle Paul learned this lesson well. No matter how many times he was reviled, chased out of town, or stoned, he did not consider himself a failure. Rather, he looked to His Lord to determine the truth about who he was: a forgiven sinner commissioned to take the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 22:10, 21).

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• Learn that encountering difficulties and tests does not automatically mean we’re to change direction. They may delay us in reaching our goals, but they aren't necessarily a dead end. Look at trials not as reasons to quit, but as opportunities that can assist us in reaching goals. During our moments of defeat, God wants to teach us something that will help us succeed later on. Paul didn't interpret the tragic events of his life as signals to stop. He knew what God was calling him to do and was committed to accomplishing it. He also experienced the power of persistence to transform his character and give him hope (Rom. 5:3-4). We are sustained by such hope, even in our greatest crises.

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Through the work of His Holy Spirit, our heavenly Father will give us the ability to stay on course. Do not give up. Draw near to the Lord, and allow His power to sustain you.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.



This post was modified from its original form on 04 Aug, 8:30
5 months ago
Sunday, August 03, 2014
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"The Lamb is the light thereof."—Revelation 21:23.
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UIETLY contemplate the Lamb as the light of heaven. Light in Scripture is the emblem of joy. The joy of the saints in heaven is comprised in this: Jesus chose us, loved us, bought us, cleansed us, robed us, kept us, glorified us: we are here entirely through the Lord Jesus. Each one of these thoughts shall be to them like a cluster of the grapes of Eshcol. Light is also the cause ofbeauty. Nought of beauty is left when light is gone. Without light no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceedeth from the pearl; and thus all the beauty of the saints above comes from Jesus. As planets, they reflect the light of the Sun of Righteousness; they live as beams proceeding from the central orb. If He withdrew, they must die; if His glory were veiled, their glory must expire. Light is also the emblem of knowledge. In heaven our knowledge will be perfect, but the Lord Jesus Himself will be the fountain of it. Dark providences, never understood before, will then be clearly seen, and all that puzzles us now will become plain to us in the light of the Lamb. Oh! what unfoldings there will be and what glorifying of the God of love! Light also means manifestation. Light manifests. In this world it doth not yet appear what we shall be. God's people are a hidden people, but when Christ receives His people into heaven, He will touch them with the wand of His own love, and change them into the image of His manifested glory. They were poor and wretched, but what a transformation! They were stained with sin, but one touch of His finger, and they are bright as the sun, and clear as crystal. Oh! what a manifestation! All this proceeds from the exalted Lamb. Whatever there may be of effulgent splendour, Jesus shall be the centre and soul of it all. Oh! to be present and to see Him in His own light, the King of kings, and Lord of lords!

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C.H. Spurgeon



This post was modified from its original form on 03 Aug, 9:28
5 months ago

Christianity.com
I will make all my mountains a way (Isaiah 49:11).
God will make obstacles serve His purpose. We all have mountains in our lives. There are people and things that threaten to bar our progress in the Divine life. Those heavy claims, that uncongenial occupation, that thorn in the flesh, that daily cross -- we think that if only these were removed we might live purer, tenderer, holier lives; and often we pray for their removal.
"Oh, fools, and slow of heart!" These are the very conditions of achievement; they have been put into our lives as the means to the very graces and virtues for which we have been praying so long. Thou hast prayed for patience through long years, but there is something that tries thee beyond endurance; thou hast fled from it, evaded it, accounted it an unsurmountable obstacle to the desired attainment, and supposed that its removal would secure thy immediate deliverance and victory.
Not so! Thou wouldest gain only the cessation of temptations to impatience. But this would not be patience. Patience can be acquired only through just such trials as now seem unbearable.
Go back; submit thyself. Claim to be a partaker in the patience of Jesus. Meet thy trials in Him. There is nothing in life which harasses and annoys that may not become subservient to the highest ends. They are His mountains. He puts them there. We know that God will not fail to keep His promise.
"God understandeth the way thereof and knoweth the place thereof. For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven"; and when we come to the foot of the mountains, we shall find the way.
--Christ in Isaiah, by Meyer
The meaning of trials is not only to test worthiness, but to increase it; as the oak is not only tested by the storms, but toughened by them.

Fully Alive
5 months ago

Friday, August 1, 2014        1 Corinthians 15:22

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Because the apostle Paul recognized the limitations of human understanding, he used word pictures to illustrate spiritual concepts. In several letters, Paul wrote about being “alive in Christ.” He pointed out that before the Lord rescued us, we were spiritually dead. But once we received Jesus as our Savior, we became alive in Him (Rom. 6:11).

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Paul wanted us to realize that we have a new freedom, a new nature, and a new standard of conduct. To show this, he chose the word pictures of circumcision and baptism (Col. 2:9-17). While neither one represents the complete picture, together they provide a starting point for us to grasp the glorious foundational truth of being alive in the Lord.

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If we use human reasoning to help us grasp a spiritual truth like this one, we often become confused. Only through the teaching of the Holy Spirit can we begin to comprehend its full meaning. Besides, God’s living Word is meant to be experienced. We can know the fact that Jesus has given us a new nature, but only when we experience this new nature and the freedom it brings do we truly discover the scriptural meaning of “made alive.”

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Think about the examples Paul chose: baptism and circumcision. Set aside your human logic, and depend on the Holy Spirit for understanding. Believe that you are a new creation—that the old nature is gone and has been replaced by the new one (2 Cor. 5:17). Practice what you learn. Spiritual joy will fill your being as you experience the truth of the revealed mystery of being fully alive in Christ.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

DAILY DEVOTIONS ~ AUGUST
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