—If there is one thing we learn in the book of Romans, it is that we are all sinners saved by grace. We are all in desperate need of a Savior!
—Paul, in no uncertain terms, makes that crystal clear. We are all guilty.
—There are two kinds of people in the world – saved and unsaved.
— When we understand the depth of our depravity, then we understand the exuberating freedom of forgiveness in Jesus Christ! Praise God, Hallelujah, Amen!! Thank you, Jesus!! Thank you!
–As believers, we all have baggage to deal with. We put it at the feet of our Lord Jesus and know we are forgiven and our sins are not remembered by God anymore.
—Or we can carry it with us and worry day to day.
—Our opinion of anyone’s past, or baggage is not worth a hill of beans. Anyone’s opinion of our past, or baggage is not worth a hill of beans.
—Only the Word of God matters, and each one of us must search the scriptures for ourselves and go to Christ in prayer for whatever our needs are, for whatever is in our hearts and on our minds. For whatever our concerns are. For whatever our circumstances are.
—Individual and corporate prayer are both important and we can share our burdens but “opinions” of each other’s burdens are irrelevant. Again, the Word of God, the Bible is our only standard.
—He is merciful and forgiving and loving and the bottom line is we all need forgiveness for one reason or another. For many reasons. We all need a Savior. Desperately.
—In Romans, Paul gives us an airtight case for the lostness of humanity and the necessity of God’s intervention. Grace.
—Jesus suffered and died for all of our sins. Through faith in Christ, we have been set free! And when we are set free in Christ, we are free indeed!
You can accept God’s gift of salvation today! Simply asks our Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and be in charge of everything in your life. Your joys, your sorrows, your pain and ask Him to rule over your relationships, your work, your everything! He will do just that. Ask Him for forgiveness of all your sins and He will forgive you and put you on a new road that leads to Him for all eternity.
At dawn, Mary Magdalene was the first to arrive at the tomb. With her were Mary, the mother of James, Joanna and other women who followed Jesus. At the tomb they encountered an angel.
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you. (Matthew 28:5:7) nkjv
Roman Guards Bribed, But First Terrified
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothes as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. (Matthew 28:1-4)
. In the meantime, some of the Roman guards went and told the chief priests what had happened. They gave a large sum of money to the guards to tell people that the disciples came at night and stole His body. Of course, there were Roman guards on duty at the tomb who would have stopped anyone from stealing His body, as the consequences for the guards falling asleep was death. But the chief priests and the elders were desperate. The empty tomb was the Pharisees and chief priests and elders worst nightmare.
Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” so the took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. (Matthew 28:11-15) nkjv
If they guards had slept, as they were paid to say, they would have been killed. The thought that all the guards fell asleep is outrageous. This explains why the chief priests had to pay them to say they were sleeping and the disciples stole the body of Jesus. And why the chief priests told the guards they would protect them for their lies.
The Women Spread the Good News to His Disciples
When the women came to the disciples with the news of the empty tomb, they at first did not believe them. Peter and John went to the tomb themselves and saw that white linen that Jesus had been buried in. And the handkerchief that been around His head. They saw the tomb was empty and believed.
The Risen Christ Appears 12 Times Before His Ascension
Christ first appeared to Mary Magdalene, and then to the other women who with her at the empty tomb. He appeared to the disciples as they were huddled and frightened behind closed doors. He appeared to the two travelers on the road to Emmaus, who were followers of Christ. He appeared to a crowd of 500. In all, He appeared 12 times, and He always appeared to believers. The resurrected Christ was on the earth for 40 days before His ascension.
Jesus Christ is Alive
If Jesus, our Lord and Savior had not been resurrected, there would be no Christian church. Many through the ages have tried to diminish and mock the resurrection of our Lord, and they still do to this day. But they have failed miserably. Jesus Christ is alive and sitting at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf.
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness. Or peril, or sword?
It is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Romans 8:34-36)
Hallelujah, Jesus is risen and is Lord and Savior for those who believe. And Jesus is coming back because He said He would and that settles it. Not one of us is promised another minute, or another day so please take your eternal destination seriously. We all have two choices and two choices only. Heaven or hell. So you might say, you do not believe in hell? But what if you are wrong? And you are. What a crucial mistake to make. Good works cannot and will not save anyone. Only Jesus saves!
Jesus spoke of hell more than he spoke of heaven as He loves us and gives us every chance to accept salvation that comes only through Him. Don’t delay folks as this is serious business and gambling with your eternity in unwise and thoughtless.
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also: and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:5-7)
After Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was first taken to the house of Annas and questioned. Annas was hoping to prove that Jesus and His disciples were against Rome and Caesar, which would be an act of sedition punishable by death. After Annas questioned Jesus, he sent him bound to the High Priest, Caiaphas who accused Jesus of blasphemy. The religious leaders of the time really just wanted to be sure that Jesus was out of the way, one way or the other.
Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. (John 18:12-13) nkjv
Jesus Must Die…The Sanhedrin Made Their Decision
Sanhedrin: 70 men, plus the high priest and including the chief priests, scribes and elders.
Then the members of the Sanhedrin assembled before Caiaphas in the middle of the night, and when Jesus confessed that He was the Christ, they were outraged and accused Him of blasphemy. They knew oh so well this would lead to His certain death. They met early the next morning to announce their verdict.
And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But He kept silent and answered nothing.
Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”
And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. (Mark 14:60-64) nkjv
Caiaphas, after accusing Jesus of blasphemy, sent Him to Pontius Pilate to carry out the death sentence.
Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor (prefect) of Judaea, under emperor Tiberius in the 1st century. All four Gospels portray Pilate as weak. He was an indecisive and compromising man so he was easily dominated by the members of the Sanhedrin, as well as the mob like crowd. However, he did offer the crowd to let either Jesus or Barabbas go free. Then he washed his hands of the situation.
Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.
Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They said, “Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”
They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”
Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” (Matthew 27:11-24) nkjv
The Crowd Chose Barabbas
Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. (Matthew 27:26) nkjv
And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. (Mark 15:7) nkjv
The crowd roared that they wanted Barabbas released. But why in the world would they want Barabbas, a murderer and a notorious prisoner released? The answers always can be found in scripture.
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:20) nkjv
Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find not fault in Him.”
The Jews answered him, “We have a law and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” (John 19:6-7)
There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and cast lots. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
The the soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”
And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:
THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly,for we receive the due reward of our deed; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:32-43) nkjv
Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior
If you do not believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, your sins are still on your shoulders and you will be accountable for them before a Righteous and Holy God. The consequence of rejecting Christ, is hell. Separation forever from God Almighty. I have never meant anyone whose goal was to go to hell, so please consider carefully what Jesus has done for you. Then simply humble yourself and ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior over your life, and repent of your sins. We all have to repent and the perfect time to do so is now. Good works do not save, families cannot save, friends cannot save – – only Jesus saves!
Jesus reigns now and forevermore, He is Lord and Savior!
Today is my 67th birthday and this month is Bible Love Note’s 7th birthday, so please allow me to depart from my usual format.
I’d like to share some of my observations after 40 years of Christian ministry, leading Bible studies, teaching Bible seminars, working with Christian women’s groups, doing overseas Christian work, editing devotions, writing a blog, doing ministry on social media, and being a wife, mother, and grandmother.
1. Christians aren’t the same, and it’s a good thing.
I love the diversity of the Body of Christ: “every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9).
It is my prayer that I will fully appreciate and enjoy how Jesus is honored in different cultures and different denominations.
2. Some Christians are growing and some are perpetual babies.
Those who mature in Christ are regularly studying Scripture and letting it shape their lives (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6). Immature believers aren’t serious about growing in their faith (Hebrews 5:11-13).
It is my prayer that I will always be deliberate about my walk with the Lord, always seeking to know Christ better.
3. Christians view Scripture differently.
Some Christians form their beliefs based on Scripture, just like the noble Bereans (Acts 17:11). Some hold fast to half-truth errors even when Scripture refutes them (2 Timothy 4:3).
There are many popular beliefs in Christian circles that are simply worldly philosophies repackaged using Christian words. They do serious damage to our walk with the Lord. The only remedy is a deeper respect for God’s Word and a commitment to check all teachings, no matter how popular, against the words of Scripture.
It is my prayer that I will not be taken captive by human philosophies that contradict God’s Word (Colossians 2:8).
4. Christians don’t disagree the same.
Some state their opinions kindly and humbly (Colossians 4:6). Others state their views rudely (Proverbs 15:18).
It is my prayer that I will hold my tongue unless I can share my views in love (Ephesians 4:14-15).
Culture tests Christians daily. Will we stand up for the “hard” parts of the Gospel or buckle under the pressure? The pressure comes not only from the world but also from compromised Christians.
It is my prayer that I will stand firm so one day Jesus may say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).
6. Christians view Jesus differently.
Some know Him and realize He spoke about sin and judgement as well as grace and love (John 15:18). Some don’t know Him and think His purpose was to make people feel good about themselves (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Misunderstandings about God’s character are the source of many false teachings.
It is my prayer to genuinely know Christ even if involves hardship and persecution (Philippians 3:10).
7. Christians don’t have the same committment.
God’s love is wonderful and it should inspire deep committment. Some Christians motivated by His great love are focused on glorifying God no matter the cost. Some are focused on personal gain, health, wealth, and comfort.
Everyone loves the benefits of Christian faith – and there are many. But genuine believers also submit to the responsibilities and difficulties of faith (John 14:21).
My prayer for this coming year is that my devotions will not only encourage others to love Jesus more fully, but they will also encourage me to love Him more fully.
I feel incredibly blessed by my readers who give me the opportunity each weekday to share truths from God’s wonderful Word! Thank you! Gail
One is not saved by going to church, doing good works, trying to be moral on their own merit, following rules and regulations or sacraments and traditions.
One is not saved by belonging to a particular denomination, saying all the right words, memorizing Scripture, fasting, praying, or by saying a prayer of salvation.
One is not saved by standing in a pulpit. One is not saved by being a Christian speaker or a Christian leader. One is not saved by being religious.
Whether it is a prayer of salvation, or following sacraments and traditions – it is all the same. These things alone do not save us. Because they are ALL equally inadequate for salvation. But the prayer of salvation is a good place to start to communicate with our Lord.
...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
We Are All Sinners:
Make no mistake about this, we are all sinners! We all have deceitful and wicked hearts. We tend to drift to self interest instead of thinking about what is best for others.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)
Saved By Grace:
Christianity is distinct from other religions in the world because we are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, and not by our own works. We can’t work our way to heaven. We have to surrender every part of our lives to the power of Jesus Christ.
Only then do we become new creatures. Only then do we know without a doubt, that we are going to our eternal home in heaven to be with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. One God revealed in three distinct and eternal persons.
“Yes” or “No” to Christ:
We all have the option to receive or decline this precious gift that God has offered us. We all have the option to say “yes” to Jesus Christ or “no” to Him. As a matter of fact, it is more than an option, it is a requirement. Yes or No.
People who say “no” to salvation do so at their own risk. Just take a few minutes, search the Scriptures, and see what Jesus says about hell. And see that He alone is our escape! It is really that simple. Study, pray and talk to Jesus from your heart.
He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. (Matthew 12:30)
It is a Free Gift:
Salvation is nothing any of us deserve and it is nothing we can earn – it is a free gift. If you have not accepted that free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ alone, maybe today is the day.
For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8)
We are not promised tomorrow. This is serious business people and to delay your salvation is the biggest mistake a human being can make. Your eternal destination depends on it. Talk to Jesus one on one.
He already knows everything about you. You won’t shock Him. Humble yourself this day in front of our Lord Jesus. Confess your sins to Him and repent. You can find salvation right now, today!
Silence truly can be golden. I can remember like it was yesterday when my very wise mother washed out my brother Jimmy’s mouth with soap for saying the most dreaded foul four letter word that is unfortunately used in everyday language today.
He was testing the waters of his ability to shock and awe our mom and she was having none of it. It is interesting to note that I never once heard him utter that word again even to this day.
The only damage it did to him was to let him know his smart and vulgar mouth would simply not be tolerated. And it worked. As I watched from the down the hall, I also learned that foul language was not welcome in our home.
If she had spanked him, well, I think he would have just shrugged it off, but this was different. He got the message – sometimes it is just smart to be silent. Anyway, mom never spanked us because she said we were good kids. Until that fateful day, however, when that four letter word hung in the air and sounded like he had yelled it through a megaphone.
The Beauty and Wisdom of Silence:
A while back I came across a list of Biblical teachings regarding Christians holding their tongues. Hmm…now that should hit us just where it hurts. We have all been guilty of the wayward tongue in some fashion or another, so we can all learn something here.
The Book of James teaches us that the tongue is a wicked thing. It destroys reputations, attacks good character, it can be vulgar and damning and just downright evil. Whisperers and backbiters leave behind a road of utter destruction. Only the Holy Spirit can keep our tongues under check. When we allow Him to do so, that is.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:6-8)
This is a list of 20 times we should remain silent. None of us hit the mark when it comes to controlling our tongues. Many of you can probably add to the list.
Be Silent in the heat of anger (Proverbs 14:17)
Be Silent when you don’t have all the facts. (Proverbs 18:13)
Be Silent when you haven’t verified the story. (Deuteronomy 17:6)
Be Silent if your words offend a weaker person. (1 Corinthians 8:11)
Be Silent when it is time to listen. (Proverbs 13:1)
Be Silent when you are tempted to make light of Holy things. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
Be Silent when you are tempted to joke about sin. (Proverbs 14:9)
Be Silent if you would be ashamed of your words later. (Proverbs 8:8)
Be Silent if your words convey the wrong impression. (Proverbs 17:27)
Be Silent if the issue is none of your business. (Proverbs 14:10)
Be Silent when you are tempted to tell an outright lie. (Proverbs 4:24)
Be Silent if your words will damage someone else’s reputation. (Proverbs 16:27)
Be Silent if you words will damage a friendship. (Proverbs 16:28)
Be Silent when you are feeling critical. (James 3:9)
Be Silent if you can’t say it without screaming it. (Proverbs 25:28)
Be Silent if your words will be a poor reflection on the Lord or your friend or your family. (1 Peter 2:21-23)
Be Silent when you may have to eat your words later. (Proverbs 18:21)
Be Silent if you have already said it more than one time. (Proverbs 19:13)
Be Silent when you are tempted to flatter a wicked person. (Proverbs 24:24)
Be Silent when you are supposed to be working. (Proverbs 14:23)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”(John 14:6-7)
Thank you Billy Graham for preaching the truth of the Gospel; the truth of repentance, the truth of forgiveness, the truth of confession, the truths of heaven and hell, the truth of the Cross, and the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. He faithfully preached so many truths with conviction, with focus, and with love. Never wavering and always pointing to Jesus Christ as the solution to our problems in this ever changing world and pointing to Jesus Christ as the only way to eternal life. With grace and humility, he reached out to others to accept Christ, all over the world, he boldly preached the Gospel, opening hearts to Jesus. Billy Graham was obedient. Only the Holy Spirit can bring a sinner to Christ, but Mr. Graham opened millions of hearts to the truth by preaching the Gospel.
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways, Thankfully:
How wonderful and merciful that God sees things so differently than we do. He took a young man born on a Dairy Farm near Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1918, and led him by the Holy Spirit to preach the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world for over 70 years. He preached the same Saving Grace message of Jesus Christ wherever he went. It did not matter where he was speaking or who his audience was. One person or hundreds of thousands, same message, same boldness, same Gospel. Billy Graham spoke to over 215 million people in 185 countries with the same message, The Cross, loud and clear.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
His Sermons Were Consistent With The Gospel:
If you listen to his sermons it is apparent that he gave his life to sharing the love of Jesus and proclaiming that Jesus is the only way to God. When I think of Mr. Graham, I think of what it means to truly be a Christian and to truly love others enough to preach the Good News. Billy Graham actually followed The Great Commission.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
How many millions Billy Graham led to Christ and out of the pits of Hell only Jesus knows. But I imagine there were a whole lot of grateful souls waiting to greet him. I can only imagine the smile on Mr. Graham’s face as he first saw the face of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As believers, we look forward to that monumental moment. Thank you Jesus, for sending Mr. Graham to this fallen world. May his children and grandchildren continue to boldly preach the Gospel.
Salvation Through Jesus Christ Alone:
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please consider doing so right now. All of your sins can be washed away right now if you are willing to repent of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your life and allow Him to have complete authority over your life. Ask Him, trust Him, believe Him, and read the Bible. It is God’s written Word for everyone. There is nothing you or I can do on our own to be saved – nothing! Jesus paid the price for our salvation when He died on the Cross. He took our place. You will be a new creature when you accept God’s grace through His Son, Jesus Christ. When you think about it, what’s to think about? Your eternal destination depends on it! Cry out to Jesus and acknowledge what He already knows, you are a sinner, like all of us. Confess your sins, repent and He will save you! You will change, you will become new in Christ. Your old ways will fall away. Please don’t put it off, for none of us know if we have another minute or another day left.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
“If you had known Me, you would have know My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:6-7)
This little Child born to the Virgin Mary confounded the world, and He still does. But one thing is for sure, so many people of this world are hurting and the most important aspect of life is to share the love of Jesus. Show others His faithfulness, His truth, His healing power and His love.
It is a simple message and yet it is the most profound message you will ever hear. It is joyful, it is miraculous and it changes lives and hearts and relationships and most importantly, it determines our eternal destiny.
It melts hatred and builds bridges that brings people of all backgrounds and races together in love and understanding. The love of Jesus changes things. But it must be accepted, shared, and given away to each other without any strings attached whatsoever. That kind of love will set us free!
This Little Child Born in Bethlehem
This little Child born in Bethlehem has the power to change the coldest heart, heal the worst addiction and give inner peace to the weakest and the strongest among us.
The little Child born in the manger created the universe and He has the power to forgive our sins. Your sins, my sins, everyone’s sins.
He is waiting for you to acknowledge Him, accept Him, follow Him, trust Him, love Him, believe in Him. For He is the Everlasting and He loves you and me.
But He is also righteous and holy and one day every knee will bow to our Lord and Savior, who was born in a manger but who has the power to change the hearts of men and women who call upon His name.
Three Responses to Christ Then and Now:
There were three responses to the Christ Child when He was born and there are still three responses today. Opposition, disinterest and worship. The first two responses will lead to spiritual decay and eternity without God. Only the third response will lead to eternity spent with God.
Today is the perfect day to humble yourselves and repent of your sins. You know you have them. We all do.
And it does not matter how bad your situation looks, for He is our great Healer and Redeemer. Trust Him. He will never fail you. This little Child born to the Virgin Mary is the Light of the world and the great I AM.
This is an incredible time to be alive. As believers, we look past the craziness that has hit every aspect of our human existence, we know our Lord God Almighty is still in control and we continue to praise Him.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. (Psalm 100)
Through it all, prophecy is unfolding, souls are being saved, Christians are encouraging each other and the church is still strong regardless of the “falling away.” (The Great Apostasy) False teachers are on the increase, while many pastors preach feel good sermons.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Through the social and political messes, the insults, the anger, the confusion, the corruption, the violence, the hatred and it goes on and on, but, like so many, my thankfulness and trust still grows daily in Jesus Christ.
I Have So Much to Be Thankful For
*****I thank my Lord Jesus Christ for every day so I can humbly and respectfully praise Him and give Him all the glory for all the opportunities Christians have to share the Gospel in a fallen world.
*****Thank You Jesus for the love and the compassion and the kindness and the steadfast commitment that so many have in lifting others up in Your name.
*****Thank You Jesus for the encouragement You give Your followers to proclaim your Name, even when they face certain death in doing so.
*****Thank You Jesus for Your Gospel that has not and cannot be stopped by the evil one.
*****Thank You Jesus for the strength you give us just when we need it and in the exact way we need it. My strength comes from You! I love You, I serve You, I adore You, and I stand on Your every word. You are God’s gift to us so that our sins are forgiven as we repent of our sins to an all knowing and all powerful, omnipotent and omnipresent God. In Your name I pray all things.
*****Thank You Jesus for caring about every aspect of my life no matter how big and no matter how small. Thank You that You are a God that is knowable and merciful and just.
*****Thank you Jesus for my true friends and family. Thank you for bringing sincere Christians into my life who lift others up in Your blessed name.
*****Thank you Lord for my blessings, as I look past personal problems and anxieties and focus on your blessings! The problems will still be there but we have the promises of God to get us through them. With God all things are possible.
…But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
If you are thankful, let it be known to God and those around you. It opens the heart to better hear and understand the word of God. And if you do not know Jesus Christ, this is the perfect time, right now, to ask Him to take control of your life and humbly repent of your sins and acknowledge that He is holy and righteous, and the only way to salvation. No sin or sins is too great not to be forgiven by Jesus Christ. Please don’t delay for we are not promised another moment or another day. Do you really want to call Jesus a liar?
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now you know Him and have seen Him. (John 14:6-7)
Beware, Satan is the liar of all liars and deception is his secret weapon. He started telling lies in the Garden of Eden. He is the master of confusion and deceit. He is dangerous and he will not be stopped until Jesus Christ comes back.
But before we go on let’s look at some of the Biblical names for Satan. Of course there is Satan – which means adversary, the devil – which means slanderer. Then there is the wicked one, the evil one, a roaring lion, the god of this age, Abaddon and Apollyon which mean destroyer. Then there is murderer, father of lies, the prince of this world. A dragon. Well, you get the idea. Spending eternity with Satan would certainly be pure hell. And spending time with him in this world will lead ultimately to hell…forever. This is nothing to be taken lightly. Our world makes him look harmless, laughs at him, imitates him, make jokes about him but make no mistake, he is a destroyer and he wants to devour you and me, and everybody else. Jesus is the one and only answer!
Satan a Roaring Lion
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Paul Said Satan was the god of this Age
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
Jesus Called Satan the Wicked One
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart…”(Matthew 13:18-19)
Jesus Called Satan a Murderer and the Father of Lies
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:42:47)
Abaddon and Apollyon
And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. (Revelation 9:11)
Let’s look at Satan’s lie to Eve and how that lie encouraged Eve to be disobedient to God. He knows so well how to tempt but God always gives us a way of escape if we are obedient.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ “
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)
Eve gave into temptation, even though she knew eating from that particular tree was forbidden by God. Satan’s lies are the same today but just repackaged for our culture and times. We can all look at our own lives and see where Satan has done considerable damage. Pride, self-absorption, self- hatred, self-promotion, self-exaltation and the “self” list goes on and on. When we get too wrapped up in self, instead of focusing on our blessings, we will be be disobedient to God.
We desperately need discernment from the Holy Spirit, strength in Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s word, the Holy Bible, on a daily basis. Otherwise we are more susceptible to Satan’s lies about ourselves and others.
Satan always wants us to leave God out of our plans, out of our daily lives, and out of our relationships with each other. He constantly works to create doubts and confusion through lies and temptations.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
If you do not have a relationship with our Lord God Almighty, pray this very moment to Him and talk to Him about your sins and repent of them now. He is waiting for you to humble yourself and turn your life over to Him. He has given us His Son Jesus Christ to redeem us and to give us a new birth. A new beginning, a new life, and the promise of eternal life. Nothing you have done is so bad that it is out of His reach of forgiveness. Nothing! And if you think you are a good person who does not need a Savior, please, think again as you are wrong. Jesus paid it all on the cross and all you have to do is accept that in faith and know that He will never leave you. Don’t take a chance on leaving this earth without salvation, found only in Jesus Christ.