Schlagwort-Archive: week

Easter Why is the Resurrection so Important?

Why is the Resurrection so Important?

Written by Dan Lee on 11/04/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Resurrection, Heaven, Salvation
My friends, I want you to remember the message that I preached and that you believed and trusted. You will be saved by this message, if you hold firmly to it. But if you don’t, your faith was all for nothing. I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. That part is: Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say. He was buried, and three days later he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
What makes Easter the most important day in the Christian calendar – bigger even than Christmas? Here are three simple reasons:

1. The Resurrection is a Historical Fact
Just days earlier, Jesus had been betrayed and arrested. He was beaten, mocked, tortured and executed. His disciples had scattered, His closest followers denying that they even knew Him. It seemed like total failure.

But on Sunday morning, the women who had come to anoint Him found, not a body, but an empty tomb. The Jewish leaders chose to spread the story that someone had stolen the body (Matthew 28:13).

Then, as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:5-6, “Christ appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After this, He appeared to more than five hundred other followers. Most of them are still alive, but some have died.” To back up his statement, Paul says, in effect, “You don’t believe me? Go ask the people who were there!”

2. The Resurrection is Central to Our Faith
The resurrection is more than a nice afternote at the end of the story.

Again, read what the Apostle Paul says: “You will be saved by this message (of the resurrection), if you hold firmly to it. But if you don’t, your faith was all for nothing” (1 Corinthians 15:2b).

If Jesus’ story ended at the cross, His claims of divinity and of the power to forgive sin, would be empty. Christianity would be just another philosophy for living, another list of “what to do” and “what not to do” – and eternal life, only a wish.

But because Jesus rose from the dead, his claims were confirmed and His authority validated. He truly is Lord and Savior to those who put their trust in Him. And those who do not follow Him are deserving of judgment: “No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son” (John 3:18).

3. His Resurrection Guarantees Our Resurrection
“If our hope in Christ is good only for this life, we are worse off than anyone else. But Christ has been raised to life! And he makes us certain that others will also be raised to life” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20).

Have you ever observed a baptism? As the person was dipped into the water and then lifted out, the minister probably said something like this: “Buried with Christ; raised to walk in newness of life.” This is almost a direct quote of Romans 6:5, “If we shared in Jesus' death by being baptized, we will be raised to life with him.” And Paul goes on to say, “As surely as we died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him” (Romans 6:8).

This shows that we are completely connected – that is, united – with Jesus, in His death and resurrection (Romans 6:1-11). Our sins were crucified on the cross with Jesus (Colossians 2:14), as was our old human nature’s power over us (Galatians 2:20).

And some day, the Lord will return for His people. Believers who have died will be resurrected first (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and all of us will receive amazing glorified bodies.

So this Easter, think about all that the resurrection means for us, and give praise to our great God for His glorious and wonderful plan for His children.

Pray this week:

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that You did not stay in the grave, but You are alive today. Thank You that everyone will see You and bow down to You when You return. Thank You that because You rose from the grave, we also will rise and reign with you in Heaven. Give me the faith to believe and to live for eternal things.

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Do you worry about money?

3 reasons not to worry about money

Written by Hope on 08/03/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Finances, Money, Worry
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” Proverbs 3:9

The Bible is full of stories showing God working in the lives of wealthy people. Abraham, Israel’s King David, and Lydia (a woman who sold purple dye) are just a few. But when Jesus also said that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” it was a warning that money can hurt more than it helps. (Matthew 19:24). How can you follow Jesus and His Word rather than letting money keep you from following God? Here are 3 truths to help.

Money Will Never Satisfy
Although money is not a bad thing, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Christians should not let anything–including money–interfere with their relationship with God. God is a great provider. Even among the wealthy, “those who love money will never have enough” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). The “happiness” found in things money can buy will not last, for “moths eat them and rust destroys them and thieves break through and steal.” (Matthew 6:19) Remember that Jesus gives His joy as a gift–and doesn’t take it back! (John 15:11)

God Gives What We Need
As Christians, we should strive to take good care of anything God blesses us with–including money. Our goal is to use money in a wise way. This includes providing for ourselves, our families and giving to support the local church. But how can you avoid worrying about money? God tells us to focus on Him. Jesus taught, “seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33). As you deal with and work for your money, “seek God’s will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:6).

If You Are Walking With God, Be Content As He Provides
The Apostle Paul famously wrote, “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have” (Philippians 4:11). God promised to provide for those who put Him first. So you do not have to “worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (Philippians 4:6). Be faithful with your money, but when you feel worried, “give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you” (Psalm 55:22). Christians can learn to “be satisfied with what you have, for God has said, ‘I will never fail you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

Pray this week:

that God will provide for you and help you learn to glorify Him with your financial resources.

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Discovering Needs

Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”

Written by Hope on 19/05/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community, Service
"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”(Matthew 21:22)

Having a child has taught me a lot of things about meeting the needs of another person. As an infant, my daughter, like all babies, was unable to supply anything for herself. As she aged and grew, we’ve taught her to do more and more for herself. Our ultimate goal, of course, is for her to learn enough to become a secure, intelligent, Christian adult.

What We Want
It’s difficult to know what little ones need, sometimes. One of my daughter’s frustrating habits is neglecting to say when she has a basic need – such as hunger, thirst, or a restroom break. Unlike God, the Father Who “knows exactly what you need even before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8), human parents can’t always “just know” what a child needs. As the Apostle James taught the early Christians about the Heavenly Father, “you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it”(James 4:2). We encourage our daughter to talk about what she needs or wants. Then we can decide how to meet her needs; however, we won’t always get what she wants. And God won’t always give Christians what we want, either: “even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong” (James 4:3).

Not What We Expect
Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). So why doesn’t God answer every Christian prayer with a “yes”? Sometimes our motives are wrong. And just as my daughter doesn’t know what’s best for herself from her young perspective, Christians don’t always know what’s best for ourselves from our earthly perspective. God knows what’s best for us, and He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [Him]” (Romans 8:28). Maybe the answer to our prayer doesn’t look like what we thought it would; sometimes God has a better plan! St. Paul trusted God’s provision and told his friends that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches”(Philippians 4:19). All God’s children can trust Him to meet their needs – in His way and in His time.

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
If you cannot physically assist someone in need – Pray Now!

Scripture: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34

In Scripture Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow – just to deal with today. His heart is also that we, as believers, will assist the people around us (believers or not-yet-believers) with the troubles they have today.

In a previous Prayer, Care & Share (PCS) teaching we are called to meet the needs of people around us by solving problems using our skills, talents and gifts, encouraging them or praying for them.

JUST ASKING THIS QUESTION is a proven way of discovering a person's real need: "If there was ONE THING I could pray for you, personally, what would it be?"

Example: When greeting a co-worker last week I asked the ONE THING question and he responded: "Please pray for my marriage, my wife and I are in a dry season." I prayed that God would help him court his wife in a new way every day and God changed his whole attitude in that minute!

The ONE THING question politely asks permission before you pray and we encourage always pray in the Name of Jesus so that there is no doubt to which god you are praying.

You may wonder what happens if the person says they have no concerns. Well, then you revert to the Bless step of PCS and say: "Can we simply ask God to bless you?" Most people then say, "Yes, please".

Very rarely someone might say "No" they do want prayer. Then keep being friendly and talk about other things (which is the "build relationship" part of PCS). When you walk away you can then intercede silently with God for the person who refused prayer.

A Helpful Tip:In most countries it is a cultural custom to ask people how they are when you greet them. Sadly we most commonly respond: "I am fine." What you can do is to continue the greeting by asking: "How are you really?" Often they'll tell you their real concern and that concern could be the door opened to PRAY NOW for them!

Pray this week:

God will purify our hearts and motives.

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Reaching Out in Your Community

By going outside the church walls, we show God’s tangible love and care to many who have never seen it.

Written by Hope on 22/12/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community, Service
"Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare." Jeremiah 29:7
"Don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God." Hebrews 13:16

Recently, my church has started encouraging our congregation to get involved in local community service. Many people already serve inside the church — as teachers, cleaners, musicians, and more. But by going outside the church walls, we show God’s tangible love and care to many who have never seen it.

It can be as simple as picking up trash in a neighborhood, or as involved as starting a mentoring program for at-risk children at the local elementary school.

Also, you may find organizations near you that you can work with or pray for. Here are some kinds of groups that God might call you to serve with.

Rescue Mission
Jesus' brother posed the question, "If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?" (James 2:15-16). Rescue missions help provide for the basic needs of people who are homeless or impoverished. Right now, you can pray for these organizations that follow the Lord's example of caring for the poor. Ask the Lord if He is calling you to serve, donate to, or otherwise partner with a rescue mission.

Women's Shelter or Crisis Pregnancy Center
James gave further instruction: "Pure and genuine religion means caring for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27). And the Apostle Paul told his disciple, Timothy, "Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her" (I Timothy 5:2-3). Ask the Lord if He is calling you to help protect the most vulnerable in your community — abused women, or the unborn.

Financial Ministry
Some ministries share the Gospel through loans for small business start-ups, according to this principle in Psalms: "[the godly] are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly" (Psalm 112:4-5). These ministries lend money for people to start small businesses, while teaching the borrowers about the Lord and how to grow in their faith. Successful small businessmen and women are able to provide for their families and build up their communities, repay their loans, and expand the ministry by lending money to other entrepreneurs. Ask the Lord if He is calling you to bless your community by working with this kind of ministry.

This week’s Prayer, Care, Share Guide below shows a different way we can care for others by caring for groups or organizations.

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
Pray this week:

You will be able to serve those in need.

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Life in the Body of Christ It is important to be part of a local church or christian community.

It is important to be part of a local church or christian community.

Written by Hope on 01/12/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community, Service
“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . .” Hebrews 4:25

Last week we learned about being part of Christ’s Body, the Church. We also talked about how important it is for every believer to be part of a local body of believers., a “little c” church.

These days, you can “attend” church online. You can sing songs, hear great preaching, and even give money. But you would miss your chance to make a difference in the lives of other believers. That’s why Hebrews 4:25 says, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . .” You AND your disciples need to physically “show up” at church or in a fellowship group.

The New Testament is full of instructions on relating to one another. In fact, 56 passages include the phrase “one another” or “each other.”* Here’s just a few:
• Love one another – 15 separate times in the New Testament we are commanded to love each other (John 13:34-35, Romans 13:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:9 to name a few). When Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment, He told us there are two: To love God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). He said that all the commands of Scripture were summed up in these.
• Serve one another – Galatians 5:13 tells us to “serve one another humbly in love.” Jesus was our example, saying in Matthew 20:28, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This world is filled with people who care only about themselves. When we put others first and serve each other with pure motives, the world takes notice, and God is glorified.
• Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16) – In music, harmony means not doing the same thing as everyone else, but playing or singing something different that blends with others, increasing the beauty and power of the song. On the other hand, just one person playing the wrong note can make the whole group sound terrible!

In the same way, when we are in conflict with our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ, or worse, spreading that conflict to others, the whole body is “out of tune.” It stops functioning as it should. Ask the Lord through His Holy Spirit to use you to build unity instead of conflict.

*For a list of all the New Testament commands concerning “one another,” see http://www.mecf.net/one_anothers.html.

Pray this week:

That God will give you opportunities to serve, love and live in harmony with others.

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Scripture Memorization: Spiritual and Mind Exercise The Word of God is Powerful

The Word of God is Powerful

Written by Lois on 21/02/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: God, Jesus, Benefits Of Memorizing Scripture, Holy Spirit
That’s how it is with my words. They don’t return to me without doing everything I send them to do.

Isaiah 55:11
Do you have enough power in your life? Is it time to try something new, such as memorizing the most powerful book, God’s written word? Is there anyone but God who can tell a fish to swallow a man and have the fish eject him to go preach? Jonah 2:1, 5-6, “From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God… I was almost drowned by the swirling waters that surrounded me. Seaweed had wrapped around my head… But, you, Lord God, rescued me from that pit.” Do you find yourself in a pit? Maybe it’s time to seek Jesus in a deeper way, and it can be found in His word.

Here are ways to memorize the Bible and grow in deeper understanding and meditation of God’s word:

1. Spiritual Exercise
The Bible, God’s word is the most powerful book ever written. 2 Timothy 3:16, “Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.” Memorizing (committing to memory) Scripture can increase your intimacy with the living Christ Jesus. Memorization increases your intimacy with Him and can give you a way to meditate upon, (contemplate) the Word of God. Isaiah 55:11, … “That’s how it is with my words. They don’t return to me without doing everything I send them to do. ” The Father’s words will accomplish all He sends it to do. Memorization of Jesus’ words is a worthy investment of our time.

2. Mind Exercise
Memorizing may help cognitive decline due to aging. Memory Athletics has been a part of several studies on the use of memory work to battle against cognitive slow down. Try brain stimulation and increasing your intimacy with the word of the Lord Jesus who suffered for us on the cross.

3. Why And How Should I Memorize God’s Word?
Memorizing verses by topic or personal circumstances is helpful. Psalm 5:2, “You are my King and my God. Answer my cry for help because I pray to you.” Try a couple or more verses; consider memorizing whole chapters of God’s word.

Encouragements to memorize:
Assurance for those lacking faith: Luke 11:13: “As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks.”
Strength from the Lord Jesus to help you against sin: Ephesians 3:16, “God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followers…”
Reminder Jesus is coming back: Revelation 22:12, “I am coming soon! And when I come, I will reward everyone for what they have done.”
Reasons and expressions with which to praise God: Psalm 146:2, “I will sing and praise the Lord God for as long as I live.”
What Are The Benefits of Memorizing Scripture?
In Matthew 4, the Devil was tempting Jesus. Each time, Jesus answered the temptation with a correction from God’s Word. For example, in Matthew 4:10, when Satan claimed to own the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would worship him, “Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

Since we face spiritual darkness daily we should commit the Word of God by memory and follow Jesus’ example.

Pray this week:

Father, memorization is difficult for me. Will You give me the power that I need to commit Your word to memory? In Jesus’ name. Amen

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The Bible – Our Greatest Treasure

How God’s Word Transforms Us

Written by Dan Lee on 07/02/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, God
I treasure your word above all else; it keeps me from sinning against you.

Psalm 119:11
The Bible is unlike any other book. It was written by 40 authors chosen by God, over a period of around 1,500 years. Yet, it displays remarkable unity and consistency.

For many years, most people did not even have the Bible in their own language (and even today, some don’t). So being able to read the Bible is a rare and priceless treasure.

So, what is the Bible about?
In the Old Testament, we see God creating the universe and putting mankind on the earth. We see the tragedy of Adam’s fall and the rise of the nation of Israel. We see Israel’s failure to faithfully follow God and accept how much they need a Redeemer.

In the Gospels and Acts, that Redeemer arrives – we see and hear what the Lord Jesus did here on earth and learn the way of salvation. The church is born and the gospel spreads.

In the Epistles, we receive clear instructions for living as Christ’s followers as part of His body.

In Revelation, we see how God will bring an end to history. We eagerly anticipate Jesus’ final redemption of His people and the beginning of a glorious eternity in God’s presence.

From beginning to end, the Bible is all about Jesus. As he said in Hebrews 10:7, “And so, my God, I have come to do what you want, as the Scriptures say.”

Knowing all this should make us excited to spend time reading the Bible. And we should not come to it casually as if it were a novel or a magazine. We approach God’s word with purpose, keeping these principles in mind:

1. Read it Regularly
Just as we need food every day to feed our physical bodies, reading the Bible every day is like food for our spiritual lives.

Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me.”

How do we live a fruitful life? By staying joined to Jesus. And we stay joined to Jesus through prayer, and by reading His word.

2. Read it for Obedience and Direction
We don’t read the Bible just to gain information, but much more! We read it to see how God is directing us to live. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp that gives light wherever I walk.”

We should have the attitude of young Samuel, when he was first called by God, “‘I’m listening,’ Samuel answered. ‘What do you want me to do?’” (1 Samuel 3:10).

When you read the Bible, look for promises to hold on to; commands to follow; and sins or attitudes to turn away from — all in the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. Remember what you read
It’s hard for us to remember everything we read. Just looking at something only one time does not usually make it stay on our mind.

So when you open the Bible, it’s good to have a notebook or a journal. When you see something important, or feel that God is telling you something, write it down. If you want to respond in prayer to God’s word, you can write that too.

Even if you don’t have a notebook, you can highlight or underline verses right in your Bible.

Any of these practices will make it easier for you go back and meditate on the things that God is showing you from His word.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “What God has said isn’t only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.”

It is a great privilege to have God’s holy Word revealed to us, and to let it do its work in our lives. Even when it may be uncomfortable or even painful at times.

Pray this week:

Lord, I know that Your word is precious. By Your Holy Spirit’s power, help me to love Your word and to spend time in it regularly, so that You can do Your work in my heart, and glorify Yourself in my life.

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In the World, Not of the World

Jesus calls us to be different from the World, while making a difference in the World.

Written by Joy on 08/08/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Culture, Life, Light, Sin
“Jesus prayed, ‘They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.’” John 17:16-17

We cannot expect non-believers to have godly moral standards and desire to please God. We can, and should, expect Christians to act differently than the culture that they live in—as different as night and day.

Darkness of World Culture
“This, then is the judgement: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19). Human culture is ruled by sin and selfish desires. Without Jesus people are lost in darkness (Matthew 18:10-14), dead in their sin (Ephesians 2:1-5), separated from God (Colossians 1:21-22) and condemned without hope (John 3:18). When you are in the dark, you cannot see the truth.

Remember, that is where we ALL began. (Romans 3:11, 23)

Jesus is the Light of the World
“He (Jesus) has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (Colossians 1:13-14). Becoming a Christian is not about reciting a prayer or going to church. It is a complete transfer of your allegiance from one king to another. It is a radical transformation of your identity. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Have you been born again? What King do you serve?

Become Born Again

Live as Children of Light
Read Ephesians 4:17-24 and understand that “Christ-followers” must be different from the popular culture that surrounds them. We no longer belong to this world but to God. “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world – lust for physical pleasure, a lust for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions- is not from the Father, but is from this world. And this world with its lust is fading away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17).

Are you seeking first to please God?

Pray this week:

That God would expose any way that you are letting worldly culture influence you. Ask Jesus to rule your thoughts and actions as your rightful King.

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Do You Know the Real Truth?

Most of us will not fall for an obvious lie, but we can be fooled by a slight twist of the truth.

Written by Joy on 12/10/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Truth
“The people of Berea were more open-minded and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures daily to see if Paul’s teaching was true.” Acts 17:11

The best way to recognize a counterfeit is to know the REAL thing! Most of us will not fall for an obvious lie, but we can be fooled by a slight twist of the truth.

Know the Enemy’s Strategy
In Genesis 3:1, Satan only changed a few words from God’s original commandment to confuse Eve. When Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, he quoted scripture to lure Jesus into sin. Jesus quickly saw the verses had been taken out of context and used for wrong motives. People can be easily led astray by the use of scripture that gives the appearance of following God, but actually promotes selfishness and pleasure-seeking.

Know the Whole Truth
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Bible is a complete message from God, so it all fits together. Be careful of taking verses out of context. Like the Bereans, study the scriptures every day searching for an overall understanding. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth according to Jesus’ promise in John 14:16-17,26.

Know the Meaning
Pay attention to the meaning of words, and check everything against the rest of scripture. If someone talks about “Jesus,” make sure they are talking about the Jesus of the Bible who is God and rose from the dead. “…just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily listen to whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach..” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

Some say that because God is “love,” you can do whatever you want. Some say God is a “judge,” so you must obey these strict laws. Both of these ignore the total truth of scripture summarized in John 3:16 – God does love us! He graciously gave His Son Jesus to save us. Why do we need a Savior? God’s holiness required a just punishment (death) for our rebellion (sin) against God. Peace with God (eternal life) is a free gift for ALL who believe (have faith), just as it was for Abraham in Genesis 15:6 (See also Romans 4)

The entire Bible is a love letter to us from God our Creator. From beginning to end, it shows God lovingly pursuing us to bring us back into His plan which we rebelled against. If you want to go back to God’s plan, accept Christ today. How will you respond to God?

Pray this week:

For the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth.

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How can We Have Joy in Trials?

The Bible says our faith is like gold that needs to be purified and refined in fire. The joy comes when we realize the fire makes the end product more valuable and beautiful.

Written by Hope on 13/04/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Challenges, Difficulty, Joys, Trials
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:2

Why does God allow trials in our life? They help build our faith and dependence on God. The Bible says our faith is like gold that needs to be purified and refined in fire. The joy comes when we realize the fire makes the end product more valuable and beautiful.

Expect Suffering
Our hope cannot be based on a comfortable, trouble-free life here on earth. Jesus said, “In this world you will have troubles, but have courage! I have overcome the world” John 16:33. Jesus tell us to expect it; He says you will have troubles, not if you have troubles. Jesus’ promise is victory over the things of this world, not happiness in them. The Bible warns against us loving this world and its comforts (1 John 2:15-17). This world is fading away, and so are the pleasures it holds.

Suffering Builds Faith
Jesus died to make us holy and righteous. Our strength of character and faith is more important to him than our temporary happiness. “We confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that trials develop endurance; and endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 5:3-4.

When trials come, we are forced to trust in God. We realize we cannot depend on our own strength and knowledge. Jesus wants us to believe in his promises no matter what our current situation is.

Focus On the Joy
When we focus on Jesus and the things in heaven, we see that our troubles here on earth are only temporary. They cannot compare to the wonderful things God has ready for us in heaven.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. We can endure suffering when we have faith in God’s promises for eternity. Jesus himself was able to endure the cross “because of the joy awaiting him.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Let our prayer be this: “For I want to understand what really matters, so that I may live a pure and blameless life until the day of Christ’s return. May I always be filled with fruit of my salvation–the righteous character produced in my life by Jesus Christ–for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Philippians 1:9-11

Pray this week:

For help in bringing glory and praise to God in the midst of suffering.

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