Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A to Z April Challenge 2014


This month, I've been participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge (blogging at least once a day everyday) and the A to Z April Challenge (26 posts in an alphabetical order). It's challenging but fun :). I thought it would be neat to look back at all the posts from A to Z so I'm listing them in this post.


Amazing Example: Follow the Foot WasherBetter to Have Not Been Born

Cup of New Covenant

Drink Decisively

Everyday Confetti

For Us

God's Love Demonstrated

Heaven's Throne Made Accessible

Incredible Contrast

JESUS, the Eternal Priest-King

Keys to a Highly, Happy Marriage

Living Lord

Motivated by Christ's Victory

No Longer

Outstanding Offer!

Proof

Quote Collector

Response to Resurrection

Scriptures Testify about Jesus Christ

The True Bread from Heaven
Unfailing Love and Grace of God

Vocation of Reconciliation: Christ's Ambassadors

Worry Not!

X = Ten
Y
es to Faith in God, No to Word of Faith Movement

Zealous for the Lord

 

Zealous for the Lord

 

 "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." (Romans 12:11)
"Do not let your heart envy sinners but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." (Proverbs 23:17-18)
"It is fine to be zealous, provide the purpose is good." (Galatians 4:18a)

zeal = enthusiastic and diligent devotion in pursuit of a cause or goal; ardor, fervor
zealous = filled with or motivated by zeal, ardent, fervent

Today, I've officially finished the Ultimate Blog Challenge (blogging at least once a day everyday) and the A to Z April Challenge (26 posts in an alphabetical order). If you have visited my blog once or twice or more, I hope you'll be able to tell what I am zealous about :). It's all about God and about honoring Him. I hope and pray that He will use my writing/blogging to draw unbelievers to Jesus and to encourage believers in their faith journey with Him. I am very passionate about living purposefully for God with no compromise, loving God and loving others, serving God and serving others, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and raising kids to be world changers for Christ! Soli Deo Gloria!

What are you zealous about?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yes to Faith in God, No to Word of Faith Movement


What is faith? According to the Bible, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1) Faith in God (of the Bible) is complete confidence/total trust in Who God is and what God does and that God will do what He will do when He wants to do and how He wants to do.  We are sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see because of God alone Who is always faithful and unchangeable, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. We can rest in His love, grace, mercy, wisdom, power, goodness, faithfulness, and sovereignty. We trust God, His Word and His promises without terms. Faith is the assurance that the thing God has said in His Word is true and that God will act according to His character/attributes and what He has said in His Word. God is both the Object and the Origin of our faith.
"Faith is believing what God says simply because it is God Who says it." ~Unknown
"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading." (~Oswald Chambers)
"Faith is expressed in obedience to Biblical truth because we have confidence in our trustworthy God." (~Alistair Begg)
"Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of faith is to see what we believe." (~St. Augustine)
"Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right." (~Max Lucado)
"Faith endures as seeing Him Who is invisible; endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him Who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind." (~A.W. Pink)
"Faith is a Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him." (~Corrie ten Boom)

Whom or what you have your faith in is of utmost importance. Say yes to faith in God but you must say no to the Word of Faith Movement! This movement (aka the Prosperity Gospel) teaches wrong theology/false doctrines and it is very dangerous; it has destroyed many lives and led so many astray. It is not Christianity but it continues to creep into some Christians and churches. What they teach is unBiblical & atrocious and has devastating consequences on those who believe in them/follow their teachings. Some of their teachings include Christians are little gods, Christians have the power to speak things into existence, words are powerful and can change God's plan, God wants us to be healthy and wealthy always and if we're not healthy or wealthy, then it's because we don't have enough faith, and God needs our permission to do things; He is merely a puppet moved by "the force of faith". These false teachers also claim that they can control weather. Where were they then when the tornado just hit the South and killed 17 people on Sunday night? Please do not believe these false teachers. They are liars and deceivers. They elevate themselves yet have no concept of God's sovereignty whatsoever. I encourage you all to be like the Bereans/to compare everything you hear and read to the Scriptures. "Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." (Acts 17:11) Guard yourselves against lies and false teaching by familiarizing yourselves with the truth, God's Word!

To learn more about the Word of Faith Movement, I recommend you read Christianity in Crisis 21st Century by Hank Hanegraaff and check out Christian Research Institute for more resources. Please take time to listen to Justin Peters in the video below! And please pray for these false teachers to repent and turn to God and pray for those who have been deceived by them that they will see God's truths from God's Word themselves. "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

"The Bible lists in Hebrews 11 the heroes of the faith...who were tortured, imprisoned, stoned, torn apart, and killed by the sword. They didn't wear designer jeans but went about in animal skins, destitute and tormented." ~Billy Graham

"Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. 'We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,' they said." (Acts 14:22)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil." (Proverbs 3:5-7)


Monday, April 28, 2014

X = Ten


Since X is the Roman numeral for ten and X marks the spot for a hidden treasure on a treasure map, I'm eXcited to share with you 10 of my favorite Bible verses (my treasures). You don't know how eXtremely difficult for me to only pick X (10) :)!

I. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

II. "I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." (Acts 20:24)

III. "Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Strength of my heart and my portion forever...As for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my Refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds." (Psalm 73:25-26, 28)

IV. "I am the Vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing...If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that My joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. This is My command: Love each other." (John 15:5, 7-17)

V.  "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him (Christ) Who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:12b-13)

VI. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:7-11)

VII. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:3-5)

VIII. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:8-10)

IX. "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son." (Romans 8:28-29a)

X. "If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." (Romans 14:8)

Oh...I cannot only share eXactly 10 :). Please eXcuse me for I must share some eXtra verses which are also very eXcellent. They eXhibit and eXplain God's eXpressive, eXquisite, eXtraordinary, eXtravagant, & eXuberant love, grace, and mercy for us.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

"Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your Name I will lift up my hands." (Psalm 63:3-4)

"God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

"Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:6)

"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us." (1 John 4:9-12)

"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.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1a)

I can just keep going but I'd better stop before I eXhaust you eXceedingly :).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What's On My Mind?

If you're on Facebook, you know that the status box on your Facebook wall asks, "What's on your mind?" Well, I thought I would share here what I've been posting on Facebook this past week (since last Sunday) so you'll know what has been on my mind :). Hope you find the following Bible verses, quotes, and random thoughts of mine, and songs somewhat encouraging!
  •  Because Christ lives, we can face anything!
    "Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:54b-57
    "Because I live, you also will live!" ~Jesus (John 14:19b)
  • Rejoice! Our Redeemer is risen! Let's live our lives in such a way that people will know undoubtedly that Jesus is alive...that He is living in our hearts and guiding our lives!
  • What does the Resurrection mean to you personally? Who do you say Jesus is?
    "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" ~Jesus (John 11:25-26)
    Christ's resurrection changes everything! It proves that Jesus is truly Who He said He is, that His words are always true, that we have been completely forgiven and justified (His death for the payment of our sins was accepted), that our God is not dead (He is indeed omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient), and that there is certainly life after death. What you believe about Jesus matters! In fact, it's a matter of life and death!
  • "He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: 'He has risen from the dead.'" (Matthew 28:6-7a)
    Come and see! Then go and tell the world about our Living Lord and Savior! Live to tell what He died to do!
  • God has given us proof! There's no excuse whatsoever...
    "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:30-31
  • Live for Christ, not self!
    "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him Who died for them and was raised again." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
  • "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel." 2 Timothy 2:8
  • Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” (~Elisabeth Elliot)
    Jesus always welcomes your questions!
  • "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." ~Jesus (John 14:6)
    "Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only Way." ~A.W. Tozer
  • You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read, and your life is under scrutiny every day. What do others learn from you? Do they see an accurate picture of your God?” ~John MacArthur 
  • "Without the renewed mind, we will distort the Scriptures to avoid their radical commands for self-denial, and love, and purity, and supreme satisfaction in Christ alone." ~John Piper
  • "When they see a follower of Jesus who is sold out for Christ, living free of legalism and bondage to the world, they are drawn to Jesus. When they see a follower of Jesus living for 'self' and the world, they have no problem rejecting Jesus because it allows them to play the hypocrite card. The world needs us to be an example of living the Bible so that they too are drawn to Christ. They need answers, and for us to say we are "Christians" and live our life in pursuit of personal gain would only be a contradiction to who we say we follow." ~David McGee
  • "Those who make the worst use of their time most complain of its shortness." ~Bruyere
  • "Household life is not primarily a sphere for cooking, keeping things tidy, sweeping and dusting, nursing and training of children, hospitable entertainment of friends, and the thousand things that must be done each day. It is a sphere for transforming women's souls into radiant Christly beauty!" ~J.R. Miller 
  • "We have largely lost sight of the holiness and purity of God today. This is one reason why we tolerate sin so easily." ~Billy Graham
  • Isn't it strange how the world considers a person unbalanced when his/her life is fully consecrated to the Lord? Think "Jesus Freak" :). But the world thinks it's fine for people to be crazy about celebrities, fanatical about sports, and obsessed with social media, video games, fashion, fame, power, popularity, possessions, wealth, health,...
  • "People often admit to a bad memory--but never to bad judgment." (from the book, P.S. I Love You)
  • Check out my book review and giveaway of Impact by Tim Irwin!The giveaway will end on May 9th. You can make an impact with your life whether you're a leader in your family, class, office, organization, community, church, ministry, or small group. If you desire to be an effective leader, check this book out. It's an easy-to-read leadership manual filled with practical ideas and insightful advice. What kind of legacy do you wish to leave? Live and lead accordingly.
  • "There is no middle ground when it comes to Jesus Christ. You either believe Him and live for Him or reject Him and live for yourself." ~Billy Graham
    "Becoming a Christian means no longer living for yourself but for God in obedience to Him...To say you believe in Him and then continue living as though nothing has changed is to deny the power of God in your new life." ~Billy Graham
  • "What does the Lord require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
    " (Micah 6:8)
    Justice/integrity of conduct, mercy, humility, intimate relationship with God should be ingrained in every believer's life.
  • This is my prayer today for my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ around the world: "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (2 Corinthians 13:14) The Source of all grace, love, and fellowship: The One Triune God!
    "We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord!...All praise to the Father, from Whom all things come, and all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son, and all praise to the Spirit, Who makes us one. And they'll know we are Christians by our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love." ~Peter Scholtes
     
  • Only 20 days left to give to Steps for Life 2014, an annual fund-raising event for Pregnancy Resource Centers! Please consider giving through my 12 yo son's page. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Life is a gift from God! Let's choose life and save lives!
    Even if you're unable to give a donation at this time, please help spread the word by sharing this link on your Facebook wall :). Thanks a bunch!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Worry Not!

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:27)
"The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the Word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the Word, making it unfruitful." (Matthew 13:22)
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength." (~Corrie ten Boom)
"Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due." (~Unknown)

I think we can all agree that worrying is wasteful and doesn't work. It weakens us and makes us weary. It weighs our heart down, causes our mind to wander aimlessly, and withers our soul. It ain't worth it!

Seven Worry Busters:
1. Seek God first.
"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33) It's a matter of priorities. When we put God first in our lives, we'll discover that all other pieces of the life puzzle will fall into place. No need to worry whatsoever! He will provide what we need when we need it. "But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:19-20)

2. Pray and worship God more.
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3) When we pray and worship God, we set/"stay" our mind on God, resulting in peace. "Pray for wisdom to deal with whatever is worrying you. Pray that God will act to change the circumstances according to His will. He doesn't always do what we want Him to--but He knows what's best for us, and He can be trusted." (~Billy Graham) God's answers are always wiser than our prayers.

3. Want less. Be completely content in Christ alone.
Most worries stem, not from what we need, but from what we want. If God is enough for us, then we will always have enough, because we will always have God. In other words, when all we have is God, we have all we need. "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him (Christ) Who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:12b-13)

4. Want God's will and God's ways, instead of ours.
We
usually worry that things won't turn out the way we want. When we want God's will and God's ways, instead of ours, we willingly leave all matters in God's hand, let go, and just wait to see how God will work things out. "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." (1 John 5:14) "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9)

5. Enjoy today. Trust God with each day.
"Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries Today's trouble is enough for today." (Matthew 6:34 NLT) Often things that we're afraid might happen never do. Don't waste time and energy on "what-if" worries for either the past or the future. It won't do you any good. And in the meantime, you'll be missing your opportunity to enjoy what is happening now. Worrying robs us of joy. "You can't change the past, but you ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future." (~Unknown) God meets our daily needs daily (ex: manna and quail for each day in the wilderness). God is never too late. 

6. Read and memorize God's Word more.
"Memorizing the Bible is most important. 'Thinking God's thoughts' will take the place of worried, anxious concerns." (~Billy Graham) God's Word encourages our heart and reminds us to walk by faith (not by sight) and to trust in God's wisdom wholeheartedly. God's Word adjusts our perspectives...helps us embrace God's perspectives, eternal ones.

7. Care less what people think.
You wouldn't be worried about what people think of you if you knew how seldom they actually do. Aim to please God, not people. "If your all is in the hand of the Lord, why worry about what 'they say'?" (~Unknown)



























Pray about everything; worry about nothing!

This post is linked up with Fellowship Fridays @Christian Mommy Blogger, Faith-filled Friday @Missional Women, Still Saturday @sandraheskaking,  Spiritual Sundays, Essential Thing Devotions, Sharing His Beauty @The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, "Hear It, Use It", The Weekend Brew @My Freshly Brewed Life, and Inspire Me Monday @Create With Joy.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Vocation of Reconciliation: Christ's Ambassadors


- One of the vocations God assigns to all His children (no exception) is a vocation of reconciliation. As Christ's followers (who have been reconciled to God through Christ), we are to be Christ's ambassadors/messengers. We are His representatives spreading His message of reconciliation to the world. We should take this vital job seriously with valor as though God were making His appeal (urgent request) through us. We are to implore (plead or beg for urgently) people on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to God. Can you see the sense of urgency? Tons of people die and go to Hell every day. "You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." (James 4: 14b) Are we diligently doing our job of sharing the Gospel? How are we doing with our given ministry of reconciliation? Are we representing Christ accurately as His ambassadors? Are we vocal about our faith in Jesus? "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work." (2 Timothy 2:21) What kind of vessels are we?

- The Sinless One voluntarily became a sin offering for us so that we sinners might become sinless/the righteousness of God in Christ. When we trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we make the greatest exchange--our sin for Christ's righteousness. Our sin was laid on Christ at His crucifixion and His righteousness is imputed to us at our conversion. His verdict for us: not guilty! He vindicates us. How vast the Father's love for us is!

- Veneration
and awe should characterize the believer's life in view of his/her appearance before Christ as Judge. We must help others see the need for repentance, reconciliation, and redemption. The verses right after these two verses say, "As God's co-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For He says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:1-2) Do you hear the sense of urgency? Do you receive God's grace in vain? May we share Paul's vision/resolution: "I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace." (Acts 20:24)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Unfailing Love and Grace of God


- All of us were born sinners by nature and we do sin by choice (disobey God, rebel against God, and fall short of God's standards). Because of this, we all deserve eternal damnation in Hell. But thanks to God's unfailing love and grace, He provided the Way for us to be reconciled to Him, to be cleansed of our sins, and to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

- The one and only Way is Jesus Christ. Christ is our propitiation. God is both just and merciful. Since God is just, He cannot leave sin unpunished. In His mercy, God took upon Himself the punishment of our sin, in the Person of Christ (the Sinless Sacrificial Lamb). Therefore, He can forgive our sin and those who accept the gift of salvation also receive Christ's righteousness. By God's undeserved grace, all who put their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work of redemption at the cross are justified (declared not guilty) and are granted the status of being considered righteous before God. Jesus removes from us the punishment of sin that we deserve and the power of sin that enslaves us. When God forgives our sins, our record of wrongs is wiped out. Now when He looks at us, He sees Christ's righteousness and sees us as though we had never sinned.

- Redemption--Jesus sets sinners free from slavery to sin and from its penalty. He purchased our freedom by paying the price with His life which was the ultimate sacrifice (once for all) required by the justice of God.

- It is very important to understand that salvation is a free gift from God. None of us can be good enough/do enough good deeds to earn salvation. It's by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. It's not because of any merit in us but all because God is love and God is unbelievably gracious, kind, merciful, and compassionate towards us, unworthy sinners.

- God's Good News is available to all. Jesus is a Friend of sinners.We should be the same, showing grace and compassion to unbelievers. Love them like Jesus! And share with them the gospel of God's grace.

- Do not ever minimize the seriousness of sin. We all were born with sin-sick souls. The spiritual disease of sin-sickness leads to spiritual death (eternal separation from God). Jesus said in Matthew 9:12-13b, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick...For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." "The cause of all trouble, the root of all sorrow, the dread of every man lies in this one small word--sin. It has crippled the nature of man...It has caused man to be caught in the devil's trap." (Billy Graham) Not until we realize our helplessness is there desire for and appreciation of a Savior! Not until we acknowledge our sin can we see the necessity for repentance and redemption!

- Unless
you repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you're still lost and dead in your sin. Do you want freedom from the penalty of sin? Believe that Christ died for you and rose from the dead; He defeated death so that you can truly live. But you must respond by confessing your sins, surrendering your life to Him unreservedly, devoting your life to live for Him with an undivided heart, and depending utterly on Him Who is unchangeable. "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." (1 Peter 3:18) Your eternal destiny is a matter of the utmost importance. Do not delay. We're never promised tomorrow (or the next second for that matter).
  You and I have never been unloved!

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The True Bread from Heaven


- The people were happy with physical food that Jesus provided (He just fed the five thousand with 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish the previous day). He then tried to teach them the difference between food that perishes and food that endures unto eternal life. While Jesus had spent much time meeting people's physical needs, the real purpose of His coming into the world was to save people's souls. 
- "Jesus said to them, 'Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from Heaven, but it is My Father Who gives you the True Bread from Heaven. For the Bread of God is the Bread that comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.'" (John 6:32-33)--In order to prevent misunderstanding, Jesus reminded his listeners that it was not Moses but God Who provided the bread (manna) in the desert and Who was giving them the True Bread from Heaven--the perfect food that satisfies humans' deepest need. "Thou has made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it find its rest in Thee." (St. Augustine) Christ identified Himself as the Bread of Life, One Who had actually come down from Heaven to give life to the world. We must come to Him and believe in Him to receive this life (eternal life and abundant life). "Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the Bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the Living Bread that came down from Heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:47-51) Jesus gave "This Bread"/His flesh for the life of the world by dying on the cross for our transgressions. Jesus provides spiritual sustenance, in order that all who believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life! I'm so thankful for Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
 - For those who come and put their trust in Him, their spiritual hunger and thirst will be fully and forever satisfied. We are complete in Christ. No one else and nothing else will ever make us complete. People, places, and things are never meant to give us life's fulfillment. Christ alone is the Author of a fulfilling life! We eat bread to satisfy our physical hunger and sustain physical life. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ can satisfy our spiritual hunger and sustain spiritual life. He gives us total spiritual nourishment and satisfaction... everything we need to live, grow, and stay strong. He is our Infinite Supply! Feed daily on Jesus, the Bread of Life!
- Do you spend much time with God and His Word? The world will try to offer you junk food and thus diminish your appetite for God and His Word. We cannot be spiritually healthy if we keep feeding our mind, hearts, and souls with unhealthy stuff, instead of the necessary nourishment from God's Word. "It is not the ship in the water but the water in the ship that sinks it. So it is not the Christian in the world but the world in the Christian that constitutes the danger. Anything that dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it." (~J. Wilbur Chapman)
- Many people in the world are starving spiritually...living without hope and purpose. May we eagerly share the Bread of Life with others so that they also may no longer be hungry! We cannot force people to eat or take the bread, but we can offer them the bread. Pray that they will "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8a).







Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scriptures Testify about Jesus Christ


- The Scriptures of the Old Testament point to Jesus. However, the Jews did not receive Him of Whom the Scriptures speak. They studied and searched the Scriptures diligently and seriously because they believed that these contain the secret of eternal life and thought they could somehow attain eternal life that way. Knowing the Scriptures was the goal of Jewish piety. But they did not realize that the Scriptures testify of Jesus Christ. They knew the teachings of the Scriptures but failed to see the Messiah Whom the Scriptures revealed. They followed the strict rules but sorely missed the King. Sadly, even when Jesus was in their midst, these religious people would not come to Him for the life they vainly sought in the Scriptures. They were so smug in their own religious system and their own self-righteousness that they refused to surrender their lives to the Son of God. Don't become so involved in "religion" that you miss Christ, the Savior.
- We should study the Scriptures but we need to remember why. God wants us to read His Word to know Him more, to know His will & His ways, and to do what it says. Studying the Scriptures should strengthen & deepen our relationship with Him, keep us from stumbling & sinning, and enable us to immediately detect any false teaching/doctrines. "Seek not to grow in knowledge chiefly for the sake of applause, and to enable you to dispute with others; but seek it for the benefit of your souls." (~Jonathan Edwards)
- The Scriptures cannot save you; only Jesus can! Accept no substitutes. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood." (Romans 3:23-25a)
"Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Hebrews 9:22b)
God’s sinless, sovereign Son scorned by several, sacrificed self (solely suitable, satisfactory scapegoat) to save sinners’ souls securely from sin, suppressing sly satan’s scheme. Only the shedding of God's Son's blood can sufficiently satisfy God's justice for our past, present, and future sins. Christ's blood makes us righteous (have right standing with God). He sets us free from shackles of slavery to sin and shame. Please accept His gift of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus if you haven't done so yet. Christ loves you so much that He suffered and died for you so that you can spend eternity with Him.
- "Without the renewed mind, we will distort the Scriptures to avoid their radical commands for self-denial, and love, and purity, and supreme satisfaction in Christ alone." (~John Piper)

Sad but true, we have seen people, including those who appear to be "active" Christians, distort the Scriptures to justify their sins, to serve their own agendas, and even to commit crimes. Satan knows the Scriptures. Most atheists know the Scriptures. Pharisees and false teachers know the Scriptures. What do they all have in common? The lack of the renewed mind and transformed heart! The absence of Christlikeness! Self, not Christ, is still on the throne of their lives. Let's be careful not to fall into the same pitfall as these people: "You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence." (Matthew 23:24-25) We constantly need the Holy Spirit to steer us, show us His will, help us stay steadfast in our faith, stand stable in our conviction, and give us strength each day.

"When they see a follower of Jesus who is sold out for Christ, living free of legalism and bondage to the world, they are drawn to Jesus. When they see a follower of Jesus living for 'self' and the world, they have no problem rejecting Jesus because it allows them to play the hypocrite card. The world needs us to be an example of living the Bible so that they too are drawn to Christ. They need answers, and for us to say we are "Christians" and live our life in pursuit of personal gain would only be a contradiction to who we say we follow. " (~David McGee)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Choose Jesus

- This penitent man demonstrated amazing faith and confidence in Jesus. He was seeing Him dying on a cross and yet believed that Christ would come into His kingdom.
- The dying criminal had more faith than the rest of Jesus's followers combined. Although the disciples loved Jesus, their hopes for the kingdom (for a king who's going to redeem Israel politically) were crushed when they looked at Christ on the cross. By the way things looked at that moment, the kingdom was nowhere to be seen. Jesus had tried to teach the disciples that His kingdom was not to be a kingdom of this world but they didn't get it. By faith, this man saw beyond the present gloom to the coming glory. Now we have the privilege of knowing that Christ's death and resurrection overthrew satan's rule and established Christ's eternal authority over the earth.
- This man trusted Jesus to save him and Jesus accepted him and granted his request. Even in His pain and suffering, Jesus loves sinners and had mercy & compassion on this criminal who chose to believe in Him. It shows that our deeds don't save us. Our faith in Jesus does. It shows that baptism is not required for salvation, either. We're saved by grace alone through faith in Christ alone.
 "Ever wonder why there were two crosses next to Christ? Why not six or ten? Ever wonder why Jesus was in the center? Could it be the two crosses on the hill symbolize one of God’s greatest gifts? The gift of choice.
The two criminals were convicted by the same system. Condemned to the same death. Equally close to the same Jesus. But one changed!
You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? You look back and you say, “If only I could make up for those bad choices." You can!
When one thief on the cross prayed, Jesus loved him enough to save him. When the other mocked, Jesus loved him enough to let him. He allowed him the choice. He does the same for you!" ~Max Lucado

Response to Resurrection



"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23-24)
"In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." (Ephesians 1:7)

Jesus Christ, our royal Redeemer, has paid our ransom in full, has rescued us from sin & self, has imputed His righteousness to us, and has reconciled us to God so that we can have relationship with Him. How should we then respond?

Repent. Turn away from your sins and turn to God. "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31)
Receive Christ into your heart/life as your Lord and Savior. "He who receives Me receives the One Who sent Me." ~Jesus (Matthew 10:40b) "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9) Receive His remarkable grace & mercy...His gift of salvation and eternal life.
Remain in Him. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." ~Jesus (John 15:5)
Resolve to live for Him. "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him Who died for them and was raised again." (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) "If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." (Romans 14:8)
Reflect Him. "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Represent Him. "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20)
Remember what Christ has done for you and remember to tell others about Him. "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel." (2 Timothy 2:8)
Rest in Him. "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." ~Jesus (Matthew 11:28)
Rejoice. Christ is risen! "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2b)  "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4) Christ's resurrection sets Christianity apart from all other religions. Jesus is alive; He didn't stay dead. All the founders of other religions are dead. Only Jesus has victory over death, demonstrating that He has power over all things. His resurrection is a provable historical fact. Some day, all will see the living proof when Christ returns.

Sadly, many choose to reject Him, refuse His offer of salvation, and rebel their way to hell. God gives everyone free will; the choice is yours!  
No one can remain neutral regarding Jesus’ resurrection. The claim is too staggering, the event too earthshaking, the implications too significant and the matter too serious.We must either receive it or reject it as truth for us. To remain indifferent or undecided is to reject it. ~Mark Driscoll 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I Know My Redeemer Lives!

Happy Resurrection Day! The happiest event in world's history! Without Christ's resurrection, there is no hope! Because Christ lives, we can face anything! Let's celebrate Christ every day! Walk daily in newness of life! Dead to sin, alive in Christ!
"Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:54b-57)

"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth." (Job 19:25)


"Because I live, you also will live!" ~Jesus (John 14:19b)

I wrote the poem below on the Resurrection Day last year (but I had never posted until now :)).

God's love did win!
Victory over death and sin

For me Christ was crucified
To self, sin, and the world I must die
My Redeemer lives!

All to You, Lord, I give
Your grace still amazes me
Thank You for setting me free

Christ is risen!
All my sins are forgiven
I live with hope and joy always

Because of that first Resurrection Day!

Copyright @2013 Urailak Liljequist

The resurrection of Jesus assures us of God's tomorrow. The glorious hope of living eternally with Him in Heaven enables us to live joyfully now regardless of life's sorrow. Because Christ is risen, we can have assurance of eternal life and resurrected bodies. We can have confidence that He is actively involved in our lives. He is interceding on our behalf. He is preparing a place for us in Heaven and He will return one day to bring us to our everlasting home. He always keeps His promises. He promises that those who abide in Him and do His will would bear much fruit for God's kingdom, enjoy spiritual blessings, and receive guidance from the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who is ever-present.

What does the Resurrection mean to you personally? Who do you say Jesus is?
"I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" ~Jesus (John 11:25-26) Christ's resurrection changes everything! It proves that Jesus is truly Who He said He is, that His words are always true, that we have been completely forgiven and justified (His death for the payment of our sins was accepted), that our God is not dead (He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient), and that there is certainly life after death. What you believe about Jesus matters! In fact, it's a matter of life and death!

To my brothers and sisters in Christ: "He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: 'He has risen from the dead." (Matthew 28:6-7a) Come and see! Then go and tell the world about our Living Lord and Savior! Let's live our lives in such a way that people will know undoubtedly that Jesus is alive...that He is living in our hearts and guiding our lives! Live to tell what He died to do!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quote Collector


I'm a quote collector; I collect quotes :). You can see some of my favorite quotes on my sidebar. I quote Bible verses on my posts quite regularly. No question, some people were (dead ones) and are blessed with the gift of understanding and writing . In other words, they have wisdom and have a way with words. I like to collect inspiring, insightful, thought-provoking quotes by those quotable people.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about the cross, Christ's death, and resurrection:

"God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross." Colossians 2:13b-14

 "The cross shows the seriousness of our sin--but it also shows us the immeasurable love of God." ~Billy Graham

"The cross of Christ reveals man's sin at its worst, but God's love at its best." ~Anonymous 

"How could God remain equally faithful to His love for us and His just judgment of our sins? The glory of the cross, its unimaginable wisdom lies in the way God has devised to provide salvation for His people." ~Sinclair B. Ferguson  

"If I am perturbed by the reproach and misunderstanding that may follow action taken for the good of souls for whom I must give account; if I cannot commit the matter and go on in peace and in silence, remembering Gethsemane and the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love." ~Amy Carmichael

"We need men of the cross, with the message of the cross, bearing the marks of the cross." ~Vance Havner

"For the Christian the cross of Christ is not merely a past place of substitution. It is also a present place of daily execution...The cross is not a mere event in history; it's a way of life! Take up your cross DAILY, Jesus said!" ~John Piper
  
"God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." Romans 4:24b-25

"Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life." ~Ravi Zacharias

"I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" ~Jesus (John 11:25-26)

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still your sins...If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." 1 Corinthians 15:17, 19

"Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:54b-57

"He is not here; He has risen, just as He said!" Matthew 28:6a


No one can remain neutral regarding Jesus’ resurrection. The claim is too staggering, the event too earthshaking, the implications too significant and the matter too serious.We must either receive it or reject it as truth for us. To remain indifferent or undecided is to reject it. ~Mark Driscoll 

"Because the Lord Jesus died on the Cross, I have received forgiveness of sins; because the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, I have received new life; because the Lord Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of the Father, I have received the outpoured Spirit. All is because of Him; nothing is because of me." ~Watchman Nee

"Believing the right things about Jesus isn't enough. You're not adopted as God's child until you confess and turn away from your wrongdoing and receive the freely offered gift of forgiveness and eternal life that Jesus purchased with his death on the cross. Until you do that, you'll always be on the outside looking in." ~Lee Strobel
   
"If Christ thought the soul was worth the shedding of His blood, well may we think it worth spending our sweat." ~Thomas Watson

"Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God's goodness, as if you had seen it, and all things, new-created upon your account: and under the sense of so great a blessing, let your joyful heart praise and magnify so good and glorious a Creator." ~William Law

There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared. It is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment. Wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God. Not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Do you collect quotes? Please share one of your favorite quotes in the comment. Thanks!
   

Friday, April 18, 2014

Proof


- Jesus opened the disciples' minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. They finally saw that Jesus was indeed the Messiah Who fulfilled the prophecies written about Him in the Old Testament. Did you know that Jesus Christ has fulfilled more than 300 prophecies? These prophecies were given 500 to 1200 year before His birth. Consider the following: The probability of anyone fulfilling just 8 would be one in a hundred million billion (1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000).

- When we read the Bible, we should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to open our minds to understand and interpret God's Word correctly, penetrate & permeate our heart and soul with His profound truths, and guide us to apply His Word in our daily lives.


- This is the post-resurrection commission Jesus gave to His disciples. It's paramount that the Messiah's suffering/death and resurrection on the third day along with repentance and forgiveness of sins must be preached. Primary point of the Gospel!

- Jesus laid out the plan for His disciples. God wants the whole world to hear the Good News of salvation, starting at Jerusalem. "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

- "The strongest historical evidence for the resurrection is the eyewitness testimonies of the disciples and more than five hundred other witnesses, which later would include the apostle Paul." (Lee Strobel) The encounter with the Risen Christ transformed the early disciples and propelled them to passionately proclaim the Gospel, in spite of persecution. May we purpose to do the same with perseverance!

- Praise God for His presence, provision, protection, promises, propitiation, and power! The power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that the Holy Spirit gives us as we continue to "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)

- Jesus, the perfect, sinless Lamb of God, died on the cross in our place to pay for the penalty/ punishment of our sins. By the precious blood of Christ, we have been purchased, pardoned, provided Christ's righteousness, and made peace with God. He died so that you and I might live. Will you live for Him? Don't permit pleasure, position, power, possessions, popularity, preconception, or people to prevent you from putting your faith in Jesus Christ and professing Him as your Lord and Savior.

"In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:30-31
"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9



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