Saturday, December 1, 2018

Immanuel


In God's word we find there are many names given to our Lord Jesus. He is Messiah, Redeemer, our Advocate with the Father, Prince of Peace and King of Kings. One of the most comforting names of God and His Christ is found in Isaiah 7:14, The Lord Himself will give you a sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel" (which means 'God is with us').

Jesus is Immanuel and no matter what we are going through, He promised He would be with us always, even to the end of the age. Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, the very presence of God was made available to every child of God. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, but are we aware of His working in our lives? Sometimes life can get so busy that we fail to recognize God is near and working for our good.

Christmas time can be a wonderful time with family and friends but it can also be a time where we become so busy preparing for Christmas that we lose sight of who we are celebrating. If things start to get stressful for you this Christmas I encourage you to stop whatever you are doing and call out to Him, to Jesus, to Immanuel. Ask Him to be with you, to be near you, and to help you. Jesus said, “Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Psalm 145:18 says, The Lord is near to all who call on Him.” Call on Jesus. He is Immanuel, God with us. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Lord's Prayer



From Matthew 6:9 we are studying the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus begins this prayer with the words, “Our Father in heaven.” Prayer should begin by connecting with the one we are praying to, our loving heavenly Father. Next Jesus prays, “Hallowed be thy name.” Throughout scripture God’s character is revealed in His many names. He is Jehovah Jireh (provider), Jehovah Rapha (healer), Savior, Counselor, God Most High, and the great I Am. These and other names reveal who God is and why we honor Him.

Next Jesus prays, “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In this portion, we surrender our will to God’s will. We offer our life to be used for God’s purposes. Then Jesus prays, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This is a prayerof dependence on God for all we have need of. “And forgive us our sins.” Here we admit our faults and ask God to cleanse usfrom our sins. Only by faith in Jesus can our sins be forgiven. Next Jesus prays, “As we forgive those who have sinned against us.” This is such an important step in prayer because Jesus also said if we will not forgive those who have sinned against us, we cannot be forgiven. Don’t hang on to past hurts, instead release them to God.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Here we ask God to guard our heart and protect us from the evil one and all his schemes. God has delivered us from the power of darkness in Jesus. “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.” This prayer ends where it began with praise to God. Let the Lord’s Prayer be your guide to a deeper walk with God.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The New Man

The book of Ephesians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul primarily to gentile believers who had recently accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Paul told them they were now accepted into God's family and redeemed from a life of sin to serve the living God. In chapter four Paul tells these new believers that they are to put off the old man and put on the new man. How do we do this?

The "old man" Paul is talking about is our fleshly nature. That’s the part of us that wants to sin and rebel against God. We are to put off the old man. We do this by making a quality decision to no longer cater to the desires of the fleshly nature. The same way someone would take off an old ragged jacket that no longer serves any useful purpose, we put off the old man, whose identity is in rebelling against God.

Then, we are to put on the new man. How do we do that? By making a quality decision to obey God and whatever His word tells us to do. The same way someone would decide to put on a beautiful new jacket given to us by a friend, we can put on the new man. It starts with a decision to follow God with our whole heart. Our identity is no longer with the old man, but with the new man who is created in Christ Jesus to do good works. It starts with a decision, but the power necessary to maintain this decision has to come from God. We don’t have the power in ourselves to consistently put on the new man, but by surrendering our lives daily to Jesus, His power helps us to put on the new man.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Jesus Won the Victory


When Jesus rose from the dead He defeated death and its power. Through Jesus, there is the promise of eternal life for all who put their trust in Him. If eternal life was the sum total of what Jesus accomplished at Calvary that would be awesome. But Jesus accomplished so much more that applies to the here and now. His promises are not just for getting to heaven, but for experiencing God's presence every day.

In rising from the dead, Jesus not only won the victory over death, He also won the victory over sickness and disease. Acts 3 tells of a man who was lame from his mother’s womb. When he saw Peter and John going up to the temple to worship, he asked them for alms. Peter said, “What I have, I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” The lame man rose up well, walking and leaping and praising God.

In Acts 2 the disciples gathered for prayer. As they sought God, the power of the Holy Spirit fell and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then Peter preached his first sermon telling of the saving power of Jesus, and three thousand were saved that day. Acts 16 tells of a young lady who was possessed by an evil spirit. She followed the apostle Paul around and after some time, he turned to her and cast out the evil spirit by the power of the name of Jesus.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He won the victory over death. He also gave His name to His church. That in the name of Jesus there is salvation, healing, and deliverance from the control of satan and the promise of eternal life if we believe in Him. Praise God!