“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”Romans 10:9-10 NIV
First, let me apologize for not having a post ready this morning. I had a few words rolling around in my head and I knew the meaning. I did not have a clear enough direction and I have had to work this over. As I said a few days ago – God is doing a new thing. Maybe the way in which He is giving me these studies will be new as well? We will find out.
Second, let’s start in prayer: Dear heavenly father, as we do this study, give us a spirit of humbleness and pour out your mercy and forgiving grace. Forgive us for any sins, including the sin of thinking we know (any topic and your Word). Lord we acknowledge that sometime we know your word so well, that we miss what you are trying to say to us in the moment and we know some topic and our opinions so well, that we sometimes miss what you are saying about it. Bring our own sins to the surface, to our attention, and wash them away as we acknowledge them. Help us turn from our sins. Prepare us to learn from you. Open our eyes and understanding; give us ears to hear what you are saying. You are doing a new thing Lord, yet you are the same. Since you do not change, help us use your word to be guided in the work you are doing. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
I feel like a broken record. I speak and I write the same things over and over in a different way each time, hoping that each new way I present it will help it get through. Lately I feel unheard. I can only imagine how God feels, while He speaks and we do not listen or we hear and just do not do what He wants us to do. Let me be as simple as possible. Simple because the bible says:
“And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NIV
So in the simplest language I can muster:
It is time. The time is now. There is no time to wait.
Believe. Love. Seek God.
Now let’s study this like the mature adults we are – God doesn’t want us to be lukewarm, so please keep your heart open in case God is trying to speak directly to you today.
“Making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16 NAS
You have to see it. It is so difficult to believe that you cannot see it. The days ARE evil. This is the time.
Making the most of your time? Other versions say “redeeming the time”. This means we should be urgently doing the will of God.
“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:11-14 NIV
Understand the time. Wake up. If it was time, almost two thousand years ago when this was written how much more is it time now when we are seeing the signs that were prophesized?
“For He says, “At the acceptable time (the time of grace) I listened to you, And I helped you on the day of salvation.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” 2 Corinthians 6:2 AMP
Today is the day of salvation.
I have received a little slack for being one of those Christians who is always saying – Jesus is returning soon. I was told that they have been saying it since the time of Christ – and that is true. But if they were saying it and they are our example, shouldn’t we also? If they believe the hour was at hand, should we all the more???
Believe and be changed
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
I have met so many who profess they believe in Jesus as Romans 10:9-10 says (first verse written above). I have met so many who are trying to avoid condemnation as written in Romans 8:1, that they preach a message of ‘good enough’. However, ‘good enough’ is not good enough. Do not confuse “condemnation” with “conviction to change”.
Do you believe? I am not judging you when I say I can tell by just looking at you. So can the whole world. If you believe the Bible, if you truly believe, then you are changed (and for the better). If the Bible be true, and you have not been changed, then you are not in Christ. This is simple logic. I do not say this to condemn you as there is therefore now no condemnation – but to bring awareness and for you and I to permit God to do His transforming work within us. The good news is that when we believe, it is no longer us living, but Christ living in us. Yes, this is good. In there are the blessing, peace, salvation, victories, on and on – the list of promises goes on.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 MSG
Dear Jesus, we believe. Help our unbelief.
Love one another
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV
Do you love? Do you even know what true love is? Would you recognize it and cherish it? It is so rare in our world. Dear Lord, help us recognize true, Godly, unconditional love. It is always a gift from You, let us not ever take advantage of it and always thank You for it!
In this verse are the words of Jesus. He loved us by dying for us. Do you love enough to die for the ones you love? How about the ones you don’t like? How about for the ones who do evil against you? Serious question here – would you die for them?
Do you love the rioter? Do you love the politicians? Do you love the people who rewrite the event of the day in the media, twisting it to fit their agendas? Do you truly love the sinners (regardless of their choices and sins)? Love is not condoning actions. Love is understanding where they are at in their minds and heart, seeing them the way Jesus sees them. (I cannot understand some people’s minds and hearts. I just pray that I can see them the way Jesus sees them.)
Dear Jesus, open our eyes to see people the way you see people! Change us Lord!
Seek Him – He is faithful
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV
Sometimes I think we focus too much on the second half of this verse. It is a beautiful and hope filled promise of faith. But all too often, we seek Him ONLY when we need something instead of seeking Him FIRST.
Seek Him always. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) – which does not mean you need to stay in your prayer closet all day! I actually do not even have a prayer closet or a designated place to pray. I do find a quiet place every day to pray but I also wake up and praise Him as I climb out of bed and turn on the coffee. I say a prayer with my morning coffee. I get to work and pray over the work I am doing and anything else that comes into my head as I go about my day. Pray without ceasing is just staying aware that Jesus is right there with you, and if you have a relationship with Him, then you should be talking and listening to Him. If you are not, then are you even in a relationship with Him? Are you even saved?
Seek hearing Him! Listening to God comes by reading His Word. That is first and foremost. That is infallible. If you are not reading, you are in disobedience to Him. (Reading the Bible DOES include audio versions, some cannot read for various reasons. And even if you can read, some people are audio-learners.) Get into His Word.
Hearing Him also comes by being still – waiting on Him. See what He can and is doing. Hear what He is saying.
“God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change his mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19 NIV
God is not a liar. His words are fulfilled and will be fulfilled. When you seek His promises, when you read Hs prophecies, regardless of your belief in them or not, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow therefore His will shall be done. It is written.
Our belief and transformation determines if we are going to be part of the blessing or the curse.
Listen, everyone to some degree has an agenda or a plan. God laid His plan out in the Bible. When we are Christians we are on His team we are for His will. He isn’t on our team, fighting for our will and our agenda. He is for us. But He isn’t like a magic wand we can wave to get our own way. If we are truly Christians and our will is God’s will we are on His team, doing His work. Let go of our own plans and watch how much God blesses us. Give up – your will, your hurt, your agenda, just stop railing against yourself and what God is trying to do. Stop, and let God heal you and bless you.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV
God’s plan, His will, is that we give testimony. We should share what we have experienced God doing. Tell others of His Love, mercy, and forgiveness. This is the will of our Father.
I am a sinner, saved by grace. I once did drugs, had wrong relationships, was in bondage to sin. Now I am different. I am free. I began being changed by God deep down in my inner parts – and as God does a work in my depths, in my darkness. He is pushing sin up and to the surface for me to acknowledge and turn away from. Yes, he is still doing this – yes, I still sin. I cannot turn away from it on my own. Sin is too tempting and has too strong a hold on me. BUT…
It is grace. Grace is doing a transforming work in me (currently DOING and will keep working in me as long as I am here on earth). Grace convicts and causes me to change.
Then self-condemnation sweeps in and I cry out – But Lord, I am so evil. I am so unworthy and shall never be worthy – I might as well give up!
And a quiet voice, a good voice, a solid and unwavering voice responds: “there is now no condemnation – ask for forgiveness and be clean, be made whole, and be healed.”
Yet I am tempted to punish myself – hold myself down – enter into a new bondage. BUT NO! God has freed me – He has freed us! Standing strong, Lord help me not be moved, standing in (inside of, surrounded by, engulfed in) the liberty and freedom of my salvation!
Heavenly Father, help keep this word in our hearts and minds. Stir inside us and grow us. Let these word be seen and heard, watered and fertilized. Transform us Oh Lord. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
~Grace be with you ~ Love one another ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Watch and Pray ~