And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Salvation is a free gift – according to what I read in the Bible anyway. Here is a passage that shares this truth with us. Salvation is free – it is not something we can earn.
Ephesians 2:8–9 – 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
While salvation is free and there is nothing we can do to earn it – there is a required response to our salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Galatians 6:15 – Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.
Romans 6:22 – But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Continue reading
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Can we remember the moment we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior – the moment of our salvation? Some of us experienced a sudden conversion. Some of us experienced a more subtle conversion – where God works on us for a period of time and we finally yield to His Spirit’s tugging. However we come to Christ there must be a change and that change – the moment of our salvation – brings a great deal of joy.
I remember a man who was caught in all sorts of sin in his life. He came to the church almost out of desperation – trying to find something that would give him a reason to live. When the moment of his salvation came – months after he arrived at the church (God loved him into His arms) there was a dramatic shift in his behavior. Sin no longer had a strangle hold on his life – oh he still fell from time to time but sin didn’t rule their life any longer. He would stand before the church – often – and celebrate the new found freedom that he had found in Christ. He had a new purpose in his life. He was free from sin and had great joy. Continue reading
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
I hope our readers don’t get tired of posts about the heart. I think that the heart (not the blood pumping organ but the inner being) is the central element in our Christian walk. One of my favorite sayings – which I created some 35 plus years ago – goes like this – Christianity boils down to attitude. A about 25 years ago I added the following – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart.
The condition and position of one’s heart is vital. One can go through all of the Christian-like actions and not feel it in the heart. One can rend their garments and bow and tithe and attend to the regular ordinances of the faith – but if they do not feel it in their heart – their actions are empty.
Today’s passage reminds us that it isn’t the outward things God is after but the inner heart. If God has the inner heart – the actions will follow. Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Joel 2:12–14 – 12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. Continue reading
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
How’s our prayer life? I ask this question often. It is the 3rd devotional thought that has the same title. I ask it because I believe our prayer life is very important – even essential to our walk the Lord.
We usually get out of something what we put into it. If we lack communication or time for our spouse – our marriage won’t be very good. If we don’t spend time with our children our relationship with them will be shallow. If we put little into our jobs we will get fired.
How’s our prayer life? Prayer is our communication time with God. We’re called in Scripture to deny self and follow Christ. We’re called to spend time in prayer as Jesus modeled for us. Continue reading
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Today’s devotional thought is refreshed from a post of mine on November 8, 2012. The truth still holds today and this year’s election.
(11/8/12) The election is over and the results are mostly in by now. Your candidate either won or lost – your opinion was either in the majority or the minority on the questions on the ballot. You may agree or disagree that our nation is headed in the right or wrong direction. Many in the news and on Facebook have tried to project the future – with mixed projections. The market dropped dramatically yesterday and some speculate about the elections impact on it – and where it is headed. Some make a living looking into the future and trying to gauge how today will impact tomorrow.
Several of us who are closing in on retirement – say in the next 10-20 years – naturally peek into the future to see what the climate will be as that day approaches. We look at things like the housing market – our debt – the Dow Jones – our savings – the cost of living – and on and on the list might go. Looking to the future is not a bad thing – it is actually a wise thing. David Ramsey has many suggestions about savings and retirement. Continue reading