Convinced

Have you ever investigated something and found solid evidence to support a conclusion?

The Bible teaches that faith is the evidence of something “unseen” (Hebrews 11:1). Paul the Apostle was not someone who relied on fables or “hope-so” religion, he was trained at an early age to study the scriptures intensely and base conclusions on it. At conversion, he began a journey of knowing Christ personally to go along with his vast knowledge of the text. After years of ministry, and extreme circumstances, he wrote these words to define his rock-solid position regarding Christ’s faithful love:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of Christ.” –Romans 8:38-39 NIV

Have you ever considered the implications of the fact that absolutely, positively nothing can separate us from the love of Christ? As disciples, we don’t earn God’s love, nor is it dependent on circumstances or feelings. He chooses to love us and there’s not one thing the enemy can do to change it. Have you thanked Him for that today? Are you walking in the confidence of it?

Kept

Some items have significant worth, even if the monetary value is low.

For example, a loved one’s photo may be worthless on an auction site, but priceless to you. It’s often described as having “sentimental value”. As followers of Christ, God places a certain value on us personally. And He not only values us, He protects us as well. As a matter of fact, these incredible words of encouragement sum it up:

 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” –Romans 8:31 NKJV

And if that’s not enough to fortify your soul, consider this verse to go with it:

“Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” –Romans 8:37 NKJV

It doesn’t matter what value others place on you because God’s accounting is all that really matters. We’re kept by his hand, and that’s a secure place to be.

What brings fear to your heart today? Is it intimidating people, challenging situations, or maybe the unknown? Remember who watches over you, and walk in His strength. “If God is for you, who can be against you?”

Wisdom 4.23

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23 NIV

The enemy is always scattering seeds of doubt, fear, anger, lust, jealousy (and other things) that aren’t of the Lord. The battle to keep a heart healthy is a daily struggle; and the Lord is the only one who can renew it. “Above all else, guard your heart…”

Family

It’s been said that “blood is thicker than water”, but what is it that makes family…family?

The most obvious answer is birth, but then there’s adoption and marriage that also join people into the bonds of family. In each case, there’s a common link. For example, the parents of children are the connection to the grandparents, the spouse is the link to the in-laws, and in Romans chapter 8 the Bible says the Holy Spirit links the believer to Christ. Verse 16 says this:

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

His ministry is intimate and far-reaching. In the previous verses Paul says those who are in Christ are alive in the Spirit and are sons of God through Him as adopted children; welcomed into God’s presence as a child crying “Daddy!” Our Father knows, loves, and provides for His children; and in the common bond of family, we’re part of His household. We’re welcomed to relax in the “family room”, at the “family table” and at “family reunions” among other believers.

Are you living according to the Spirit’s guidance as He “bears witness” with your spirit? Do you have an appreciation for the rest of God’s family, or is there a tendency to act like an “only child”? You’re part of His family; take comfort in the strength of those bonds today…

Guiltless

“Not guilty!”

Upon that declaration, what would be on the mind of one exonerated of a criminal charge? Thanks? Joy? Things-to-do? Freedom? All-the-above?! For the believer, there’s also such a declaration:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” – Romans 8:1 NKJV

The Righteous Judge has looked at the evidence, heard the arguments of the Accuser, considered the presentation of the Advocate and declared the followers of Christ, “Not guilty!” And by the way, His decision is final. So, what should be on the mind of one walking out of the spiritual courtroom and into freedom? Paul says it should be a mind that’s “set” on the things of the Spirit (8:5). It’s a determined focus on what’s important to Him; in a spirit of joy, letting the Holy Spirit work in and through us to accomplish the will of the Father. He leads the way, and we humbly follow as ones declared, “Not-Guilty!” Breathe in the fresh air of liberty today and live!

The Lord’s Day 9-25-16

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I hope in Him!” – Lam. 3:22-24 NKJV

Sunday mornings are such a great reminder of this truth. It’s the Lord’s Day, may His name be praised!

Newness

What’s so special about a sunrise?

For some it’s the beauty, for others it marks the end of a night shift, and for commuters, a companion in the early hours. Regardless of your appreciation, a sunrise represents the beginning of a new day. In a similar way, the Bible speaks of newness. Romans 6:4 describes the picture of us being buried with Christ in His death and raised to walk in “newness of life”. The life of a disciple is filled with newness, and each day is an opportunity to walk in it.

So what is walking in “newness”? It’s a deliberate posture of turning one’s back to sin, and seeing each day as one filled with…

  • Purpose that is ordained of the Lord
  • Forgiveness that brings liberty
  • Boundaries that provide a framework for success
  • Opportunities that present fresh experiences with the Lord

Is your spiritual posture turned away from sin? What area of your life needs refreshment? Do you see today as one filled with newness? It can be…

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