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Friday, June 28, 2013

Daily Reminders #19

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mathew 10:29-31

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.
Isaiah 45:7

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Daily Reminders #18

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

God Provides

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

These are some pretty powerful words. God equips us to do whatever we need to do. Equip means to provide whatever is needed for use or for any undertaking. 
This is the authors conclusion, and that's because he wants to leave the Hebrews with an outstanding promise from God. He wants them to know that God will provide, that even when you feel like giving up, God will provide.
We should also desire to be equipped

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"
1 Kings 3:9

This is were Solomon asks God for wisdom. God was so pleased with his request that he gave more than just wisdom, he gave him glory and wealth. If we desire to have wisdom and desire to be equipped, God will equip you and he will give you wisdom (James 1:5)

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."
James 4:6

If you are humble enough to tell God you need his help, he will show you favor.

God is willing to equip us, but the question is will you let him?

You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
Acts 7:51

Do not quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30

These three verses tell us the we can resist, quench, and grieve the Holy Spirit. So while we are equipped to do anything God wants us to do, the choice is ours. Knowing that God has taken the time to prepare you for life, how could you resist him?

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
Ephesians 4:11-14


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Daily Reminders #17

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.
Isaiah 40:12-17

But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud; they have no breath in them.
Jeremiah 10:12-14

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

God's Approval

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
Luke 18:9-12

This Pharisee is shown trying to find God's approval outside of God's grace. He tells God about all he is (and isn't) and doesn't even ask for forgiveness once.
The head pastor of my church made this list what self-righteous people do. Here it is:
  • They are confident in their own words
  • They follow a list a "dos" and "don'ts"
  • They pride themselves in their own standards
  • They place confidence in how they look or act
  • They see themselves as a model of holiness
  • They are critical and judgmental of others
  • They associate with those who are like-minded
  • They scorn those who don't promote them
  • They really believe God sees them as being spiritually superior
  • They are prideful, but cloak it with false humility
  • They are a danger to the church and evangelism
  • They demean the cross and the mercy of God
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
Luke 18:13

The humble find their approval from God's mercy. The tax collector didn't even find himself worthy enough to look up to heaven when he prayed. His sin weighed him down and so all he asked was "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Luke 18:14

Rather than saying forgiven, Jesus said justified.

Justified- to declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit.

The tax collector has a new standing before God. The tax collector is not just forgiven, he is declared innocent. He has received approval and righteousness in God's eyes.

In this parable, we see two approaches for righteousness:
  1. The "outside in" approach is where you look to righteousness on the outside so God will approve of you.
  2. The "inside out" approach is where you seek mercy and forgiveness for sin. This approach gets God's approval
My Pastor

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Visible v.s. Invisible

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

God never said life would be easy, but, in a way, trails are good because they test us. They make us work and suffer, which helps us look forward to the "eternal glory." God wants us to have a rich inheritance in heaven.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:10-11

God wants us to receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord. He wants us to bear through the sufferings of life and then have the joy of rewarding us forever. Keep in mind that suffering does not always equal a heavenly reward. "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen" We have to focus on Jesus when things get bad, not worldly things.
If you set your mind on yourself, your circumstances, or human wisdom you will only frustrate yourself. This kind of approach to life does not bring eternal blessings. We must focus on the unseen things because "what is unseen is eternal."

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
2 Thessalonians 2:16

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Unseen things are what God gives us through grace.
We have to depend on God. The Christian life is lived by faith in God. Our afflictions are turned into eternal glory by looking to the grace of God during our difficulties and having faith that he will help us.

For we live by faith, not by sight. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:7-8