Posts Tagged ‘love’

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True grace should cause a lasting change. If we claim to live in God’s grace but continue to live reckless sinful lives, we are not living in TRUE grace.

God’s grace is not cheap. The price was the life of his only son. Living your life in your old self cheapens the gift of Grace extended by Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:15-16 tells us that we must no longer live as slaves to sin if we except the grace of God.  On the contrary,  because of grace, we must reject sin. We now become slaves of righteousness.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 gives us a list of people who will not enter the kingdom of God. Essentially it’s shows us that we cannot be a slave to sin and God at the same time.  If we are going to wall in grace then there must be a change in your lifestyle.  2 Corinthians 5:17.

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Never look at how big your problem is, instead look at how how big God is.

Matthew 8:23-27

Regardless of the storm raging around him, Jesus was able to rest.  Jesus knew who he was and what his purpose in life was to be.  This assurance allowed Jesus to see the storm as an opportunity to rest in the promise of God. 

The disciples viewed the storm as an opportunity to panic.  What the disciples saw blinded them to God’s promise. In the same way, sometimes we become blinded by what we see.  Life’s trials cause us to panic instead of rest in the promises of God.  Like Jesus we must remember who we are and what our purpose in life is.

This assurance can only come through a true relationship with Christ.  A connection to God allows us to rest in the middle of the storm.  It allows us to believe when the sun is shining, and trust when the rain is pouring. 

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Who do you go to when dealing with life’s issues? Are you connected to other believers, or do you isolate yourself, thinking you can deal with your issues alone?  Our inability to live in community with one another is a by-product of our lack of fellowship  with God.

The first hindrance to living in community is our unwillingness to live in fellowship with God.

1 John 1:5-7 tells us that if we walk in light, we will have fellowship with one another. 

We see here, the key to living in community; fellowship with God.  People who are not connected to God will not connect with others. Living in community allows us to lean on our brothers and sisters at our toughest moments. 

Sin pushes us away from God and  others, and removes the urgency of living in community.  As a result we live isolated from God and the body of Christ. 

In Galatians 2:20  Paul tells us that we must die to ourselves.  Once we let go of our pride , Christ can live in us.  As a result we will live in community with others and in fellowship with God.

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The biggest hindrances to living in community is conflict.  Unfortunately conflict is unavoidable.  It’s how we deal with conflict that will determine our success.  Anything you do that is worth any merit will be attacked by the enemy. 
The first step in dealing with conflict is determining the agenda.  If the agenda is about ourselves then conflict will prevail.  If the agenda is God centered, focused on winning the lost, conflict fails.

As you build community you must expect conflict.  If God is moving, expect a counterattack from the enemy.  Even in the midst of an attack it’s important to maintain community.   Why? Because ordinary people,  living in community, under the direction of God, can change other peoples lives.  Through community our strengths can reach others weaknesses.  True community says, “I will love you through your weakness.  Where you fall short, I will carry the load“. 
Living in community is a give and take.  We soak in,and pour out.  We have needs, but we also give.

Psalms 1:1-3, Genesis 2:18,

Ecclesiastes, 4:10, let’s us know that two is better than one. Why? If they fall one will be able to help the other.  

The enemy tries to push you to separate from the body of Christ so that if you fall, you fall alone.   Community its important, and essential to your success as a Christian. 

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Today we will focus on two benefits of the secret place.  Over the last few weeks we have stressed the importance of having a devotional life.   A time in which you go to the secret place to commune with God.   Remember the secret place is not necessarily a place,  rather its a time and commitment totally dedicated to prayer and worship to God.   The first benefit of the secret place is

1. You can come out of hiding.

Genesis 2:23-26, 3:9-13
The secret place allows you to be completely transparent and unashamed.  The secret place also allows us to be free from being unable to accept responsibility for our actions.

Our deliverance and freedom is found in the secret place.   Our shame is removed and our hearts are healed when we go to God in the secret place.  We no longer have to hide or cover up. 

The next benefit of the secret place that we will focus on is

2. You get to be on the cutting edge of what God is doing.

John 5:17 tells us that God is ALWAYS at work doing something.  Those who are in the secret place get to be on the cutting edge of what God is doing.   It is in the secret place in which God will assign you task to accomplish his will,  to redeem this lost and dying world.  

God is always at work doing something.  Our job is to find where we fit, in God’s plan.   This is only found in the secret place.   Look at example of Cornelius the centetirion found in Acts 10:1-6  Cornelius was man who was in the roman army, yet made time daily to go to the secret place.  It was in the secret place in which God spoke to Cornelius.  Cornelius was able to be on the cutting edge of what God was doing. This is available for all who meet God in the secret place.  

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There is no substitute for a hunger for God.  We must get to a place in which we ask God to reveal ourselves to ourselves.  As strange as that may sound the truth is, until we get to a place in which we are totally honest about our commitment and devotion to God, we will never grow.

John 7:37: we must get to the place in which we have an all consuming craving for God.   A place in which nothing can satisfy your hunger and thirst except God.

Real spiritual growth doesn’t  happen unless you make a real effort.  In other words, you have to want to grow.   Ask yourself, can connect I God on my own?    Every follower of Christ should have a secret place where they can connect with God in an authentic way.  This is what taking the next step in your hunger for God is about.

Today make the decision to take the next step.   Are you praying consistently?  Do you have a time set aside to seek God everyday?  These spiritual disciplines must become a part of your life if you want to grow. Your ministry,  relationships,  and personal growth starts with a  personal devotion time with God.

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The next step that God has for your life brings new commitments and trials.   It requires you to move from a place of comfort into a place where you’re uncomfortable.  Consider the weight trainer. Discomfort and pain brings forth the desired results to his body.  In the same way stretching and pushing past your spiritual limits with bring the desired results to your spiritual body.

Today our focus is taking the next step in our agenda.    Everyone has an agenda.   Some people’s spiritual agenda is to escape the pain of the world.  For others the agenda is to have peace of mind,  healing,  or a restoration of a broken relationship.   Whatever the agenda,  when we first come to God,  we come with selfish motives.  This may be fine when you are new to Christianity,  however there does come a time in which your agenda must become selfless.

Matthew 5:6 tells us those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed.   Your next step in your agenda is to move to a place in which you hunger and thirst after God.   To move to a place in which you’re know longer content with your selfish motives, but instead desire to know God in an authentic way.

God is moving us forward, past our original agenda and  towards his plan for our lives ; to be empowered to do His will.  This requires us to go deeper in our spiritual life.   Our prayer time should become centered on fulfilling God’s will. 

This year become honest in your spiritual life.   Make up in your mind that you will do whatever it takes to do God’s will.   This is your next step.   Will you take it?