In Mark 4:35-41 we read of a time when Jesus and his disciples were in a boat at sea. A furious storm arose which threatened to sink the boat, thereby drowning its occupants. All the while, Jesus was sleeping. This lead the disciples to wonder if He even cared.
Of course He cared! But what enabled him to sleep through this seemingly life-threatening storm? Wasn't it that Jesus was secure in the knowledge that nothing could prevail against Him, that He was always safe in His Father's arms?
Would Jesus ever be found on a list of passengers lost at sea? Of course not. No boat on which He sails will ever sink. If you are in stormy waters today and Jesus is with you, rest assured that the storm will not - cannot - prevail. And even if Jesus seems to be asleep, know that He cares and is with you and will not allow you to perish.
What is that makes slavery so onerous? Isn’t a huge part of our hatred of slavery the fact that the slave has literally no choice about what he does? The slave must do whatever the master commands.
The Bible tells us that, if we continue to sin, we become a slave to that sin. In other words, sin becomes our master and we lose our choice of whether or not we will sin.
The Good News is that Jesus has broken the bondage of slavery and set us free. We no longer need be under the compulsion to repeatedly sin. We are free to choose the better way: one of peace and life.
Today, recognize your freedom in Christ and do not place yourself again under the yoke of slavery. Your old ways no longer control you; do not go back and even taste the fruits if your old life and risk being sold back into slavery. Instead, savor the glorious feeling of freedom from all that used to control you. It is a new day!
Daniel was one of the greats of the Bible. Although no one is perfect, he followed God's commandments and maintained a close relationship with God while living in a very unGodly country (Babylon) and being, at times, persecuted for his faith. He and his fellow Jews were living in Babylon because the Jewish nation had repeatedly and steadfastly turned away from God.
In Daniel 9:1-19, we see Daniel praying that the Jewish people would be forgiven and be restored to their homeland. But nowhere in this prayer does Daniel make a distinction between himself and his countrymen. Instead, he consistently confesses the sins of his people by saying we have not obeyed and we have sinned.
Our country is desperately in need of God's forgiveness and mercy. Let's each of us confess our sins whether we have personally committed those sins or not. If we, as God's people, don't humble ourselves before God and confess our country's sins, who will?
Have you ever wondered why the Word of God is referred to as "the sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6:17)? There are at least two reasons:
One is that the Word of God is a weapon against our enemy. Read Matt. 4:1-11 and see how Jesus used Scripture to combat the attacks and temptations from Satan.
Another is that the Word gets to the heart of the matter (Heb. 4:12-13). We humans have an incredible ability to rationalize and the Word is often effective at bringing clarity of mind to an issue that we have perhaps unconsciously made gray and murky.
Pick up your Bible today. Even if you only read a verse or two, it is another opportunity for the Spirit to talk to you in a deep and personal way.
The Gospel is this: Although we have all sinned and are deserving of the consequences of that sin, Jesus was willing to suffer those consequences in our place so that we wouldn't have to. When we accept Jesus' offer to suffer the death sentence that we deserve, we are free to go and enjoy all that God had originally intended for us.
So why is the Jesus' resurrection so important?
When a criminal is sentenced to jail, he may not leave prison even one day before his sentence is finished. However, the State may not keep him in jail even one day after the criminal has paid his dues. When we were sentenced for our sins, Jesus took our place and suffered our punishment. But when that debt had been paid in full, the law no longer had any hold on Him and He was free to go - free to rise from the grave.
Therefore, by rising from the grave, Jesus demonstrated that our debts have been paid in full and that death has no legal hold on us!
For is is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. - Eph 2:8-9
Have you ever thought or been told that things would go better for you if you "just" had more faith? Have you felt that your lack of faith was your fault and then tried to have more faith - only to fail and feel condemnation?
This passage tells us that faith - like everything else - is a gift from God. If your faith is weak or you simply desire greater faith, ask God and your good Father will give you what both you and He desire.
Come up here and I will show you what must take place after this. - Rev 4:1
Are you experiencing turmoil in your personal life? Are you worried about the state of the world or what might happen tomorrow? Stand next to God and see things from His perspective. He sees all, He is in control of everything, He knows the end from the beginning and He works all things together for your good. See things from His perspective and you will have peace.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) - Rev 19:8
The "her" to whom the fine linen is given in this passage refers to the bride of Jesus, i.e. all believers. Notice that our righteousness is not something that we can manufacture or attain but it is something that Christ gives us.
Let us learn to always walk with Him secure in the righteousness with which He has clothed us.
"What is truth?" asked Pilate rhetorically, believing that all truth was either relative or unknowable (John 18:38).
"I am the Truth," said Jesus (John 14:6).
When Satan reminds you of the "fact" of something you did, remember that the only Truth is God's perspective - and that God has no record, no memory of your sin (Jeremiah 31:34). You have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus.
By the king's command each guest was allowed to drink in his own way, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished. - Esther 1:8
This passage mirrors God's offer to each of us: that we may have as much of the Holy Spirit as we wish. May we seek more of Him today!