After the trouble we have seen the last couple of years, we might think we need to be saved from the troubles of life. The Israelites in Jesus’ day wanted a Savior. They had been told the Messiah was coming. The Bible records the prophecy such as Isaiah 7:14. What was missed at that time (and is now) is the fact that Jesus came to save people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He did not come to save us from troubling circumstances. He came to save us from the wrong in us. I believe if more of us were aware of that need, we would have fewer troubling situations. However, too many reject Jesus Christ completely. Some of us after placing our trust in Jesus don’t live as though we know Him. I pray this Christmas season we learn more about Jesus and seek to show we know Him. This is the only salvation we need.
Dear Heavenly Father, we groan with the trials we have faced. Thank You for sending Jesus to save us from the burden and penalty of sin. Please help us to seek You more each day.
I have talked the last couple weeks about trusting in Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Some think that to have a relationship with God, there is a difficult formula to manage. No, it is very simple. Romans 10:9-10 tell us that it is as simple as confession (saying, “I’m sorry”) and belief that God has done what He says. Jesus did the hard work when He died on the cross. He took the penalty on Himself.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing such a simple way to have a relationship with You. You are worthy of all worship, but You made a way for us to come to You. I praise Your name.
I have had a few responses from others who shared their favorite verse about thankfulness. Today I will share the verse my grandma sent to me.
If you read all of chapter 9, you will find the concept of cheerful giving. When we understand what God has done for us by sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins, cheerful giving is so much easier. The Bible tells us that we are sinners – the book of Romans shares a lot about that. We shouldn’t have too much trouble believing that when we look at the wrong all around us. But I believe if we are honest with ourselves, we can see wrong within us. That makes the joy of what God did greater. Who can express the joy? I am going to try throughout this month.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die for me. Thank You that everyone has the opportunity to know You and trust in Your Son. The gift of salvation is indescribable. I praise Your name!
I know we often use this verse around election time. Corruption seems more rampant. Some of the corruption is from those seeking election; some is from those pushing for a person to be elected. We want the wickedness to stop. While that is a worthy desire, I think we forget our own issues.
2 Chronicles 7:14 is specifically for the children of Israel. However, I think this concept applies to children of God today – those who have trusted in Jesus as their Savior. The verse says, “My people who are called by My name.” Friends, those of us who claim Christ are called to humble ourselves, pray, and seek God’s face. I think we want those who have rejected Christ to do that first. While we should pray for those who do not know Christ to seek God also, we need to do this daily.
Dear Heavenly Father, I still struggle with my sin nature. Please forgive me for my sins and help me to turn away from wrong behavior. I claim Your promise to hear, forgive and heal. I pray for those who do not know You. Please help me to be the example to help people desire a relationship with You. Thank You for providing a way to know You and find forgiveness and healing.
This week has been a doozy. We continue to struggle with the “side effects” of the stay at home orders. As I navigate my piece of this, I have tried to be careful what I read, watch, and share. However, I have been watching and reading about two doctors from Bakersfield, CA who spoke up with their opinion of our current situation. They have been under attack. They weren’t trying to make waves. Their goal was to take care of their patients and be examples in their community. That has stuck with me. I want to make a difference. I’m not likely to change the world, but I hope to be an appropriate example where I live. Hopefully, direct someone to the truth.
As I thought about what I wanted to write this week, the news flooded with the story of George Floyd, a black man who died when a police officer knelt on his neck. Then the city of Minneapolis (and many others) became the site of rioting and looting. People, who are no doubt hurting for multiple reasons, are lashing out at this injustice.
With all that has been going on and the addition of this horrible situation in my home state, words truthfully seem futile. I knew that I still wanted to pursue my original thoughts. Be an example – lead by example – lead towards truth.
I can’t change people’s hearts and minds. The evidence that George Floyd died wrongfully is overwhelming. I don’t know the heart of the police officer, but I pray that he acknowledges his wrong and accepts lawful punishment. I pray that those rioting and looting wake up to their own ugliness and learn of God’s love. I pray that those who manipulated through the pandemic situation are held accountable. I pray that we learn and move forward appropriately.
What I can do is to speak the truth of Who God is. That is my goal with this blog. He does not force us to choose the right path. He has the power to change wrong and ugliness, but He has allowed us to choose. The truth is that we all choose sin at some time. All sin is ugly and deserves to be punished. The truth is that Jesus died to save us from sin (Romans 6:23). If we confess our sin and trust in Jesus, we will be saved from the eternal effects of sin (Romans 10:9-10). We ALL need this.
There are many Bible verses that tell what God does for those who follow Him. I am sharing 3 with this post. We are facing hard times. We need to turn to the truth of the Bible to make a difference that will matter for all eternity.
Dear Heavenly Father, it feels as though multiple powder kegs were lit and blew up. We have so much hurt and pain – all based in sin. Please convict us and forgive us for the wrong each of us has done. We are in desperate need of Your help. Please help me as I seek to show truth – Your truth – the only truth. Please break through the barriers that keep people from knowing You and how much You love them. Please help me to be an instrument of Your peace.
I know, my title is hideous grammar. To some extent, that is my point.
Those of you who have been following my blog might have seen a pattern. Early this year, I went through Jesus’ Example Prayer by writing about each phrase one time. Then I started going through Jesus’ Example Prayer again, but writing two weeks in a row about each phrase. Now I am breaking that pattern. I want to spend more time on the phrase, “Forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors.”
I think we get mixed up about forgiveness. We change the definition of forgiveness to suit ourselves. I call it the “more wronger” idea. I have heard it called the 60/40 rule. As long as the other person is at least 60% wrong, and I am only 40% wrong (or 70/30, etc.) then I am not really wrong. The other person has to ask for forgiveness, but I am off the hook. I don’t think God would agree with that. To be human and breathing is to have the sin nature. Read the book of Romans in the Bible. When we sin, we need to be forgiven. I think that is why Jesus started this phrase with, “Forgive us our debts”. Then He reminds us to forgive others. The two concepts should go together.
I pray this helps you see better who God truly is. Not a made up human view (which is inherently flawed). If we continue to pray as Jesus taught us, we will gain greater insight into God’s character. I can assure you, this is a worthwhile pursuit.