Friday, January 16, 2015

Keep Our Eyes on Jesus

One of the raimbows we saw last year
“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling,
Fix your eyes on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”
Hebrews 3:1 (NIV)

               The writer of Hebrews tells us we need to look to Jesus. He is talking to us, not to non-believers. We have written evidence that the people of Israel didn’t always do this. As we read the Old Testament, we see kings ascend the throne who did as they themselves chose. In Biblical terms, they did what was good in their own eyes.
               In Sunday school recently, we talked on the importance of keeping our eyes on Christ. One lady said that over the centuries, the church hadn’t done this. We named several events in history that transpired because people chose to ‘do what (they thought) was right’ at the expense of other people groups. The Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, and The Holocaust came to mind.
               Have you ever wondered how our world would be if Christians, those called by God’s name, would look to Jesus before doing anything else? What about our personal lives, would they be different? Can we do this or is it too late?

Dear Lord God:
               We thank You for Who You are. We thank You for the many acts of kindness You perform. Please show us how to keep our eyes on You. Guide us as we walk through each day You give us. Let Your light shine through us in order for those around us to see You. We will give You the praise. In the Name of Jesus we pray, AMEN


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Confession Leads to Forgiveness


“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
 I said,’ I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’—and you forgave the guilt of my sin.’”
Psalm 32:5 (NIV)

               David pens these words to God. He knew what he had done and had tried to keep it a secret. But that only made David experience physical illness. (: 3-4)
               When I was a sophomore in high school, my geometry teacher said, “Confession is good for the soul.” As I remember, several of us giggled because we had never heard that expression before. But it is true.
               When we admit something we did and that action was wrong, we feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders.

               We shouldn’t be afraid to confess when we have done something that harms another person. Several years ago, one of my friends confessed to me that she had done something she shouldn’t have done. She didn’t need to give me any of the details because I discerned what she had done. It was a while before she could deal with any aftermath of her action. One of the injured parties promised my friend a hard time if she moved back to town. My friend was scared.

               Now, King David received God’s forgiveness and, still, he had issues that arose from within his family, a prototype of dysfunction.

               We learn from David’s life that God forgives us from our wrongdoing but we still may have to weather some storms. God used David in spite of his sin and his family’s issues.

               A lot of us, when we are troubled turn to the Psalms for comfort, strength, and guidance. Most of the Psalms were written by David. Without his moodiness, his thankful heart, and his love for the LORD, we might not have these beautiful essays.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Saved by Grace


“If we claim to be without sin,
 we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and
will forgive us our sins an purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1John 1:8-9 (NIV)

               Did you ever watch a movie or a television show where a rough character tempts one of the good guys? The likeable character listens until the shady one finishes his spiel. The last words of the proposal are, “No one will ever know.” The hero of the show responds, “But, I’ll know.”

                Whenever I here this dialogue, I say aloud, “And God will know.” My reasoning for my added thought is based on Scripture.        
                 In Psalm 139, David writes, “you perceive my thoughts from afar. . . Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely.” (:2b, 4)
               Let’s face it, each of us is a sinner saved by grace. All of us, except Christ, were sinners until we asked Jesus into our hearts; then we became saved through nothing we did but by the love of Jesus Christ.
               In this a new year, people make resolutions in an effort to become better than they were in the past.
               The apostle John writes that if we claim to be sinless, we actually lie to ourselves. John continues by telling us if we admit our wrong-doing God forgives us and blots away the impurities and wrongdoings from our hearts.

Dear Father God;

               We thank you for being available to hear us when we confess our wrongdoings to You. We thank You for that privilege given to us. We give You all the praise. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN 

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