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Archive for the ‘saved’ Category

Blood is thicker than water.  Family has its good and bad. It even has its “for better or worse.”  Family can lift you up or leave you high and dry. 

Family is depicted in the Bible with numerous situations.  Think about it.  David and Jonathan were more than friends.  Jonathan was David’s brother-in-law since David was wed to the daughter of King Saul.  Oddly enough, Saul was David’s father-in-law, boss and king, as well as his tormentor.  Now that spells family d-r-a-m-a.

Biblical characters typically had distinct moments where family made a difference in their walk with the Lord. At times, especially when these characters may have needed their family members the most, family members may have been more of a hindrance than a help.  In some other instances, family may have been supportive of one stepping out on faith.

Family matters such as:
 Cain and Abel (Genesis 4)
 Abram and Lot (Genesis 13 and 14)
 Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37)
 Moses with Miriam and Aaron (Numbers 12)
 David against Saul (1 Samuel 23-26)
 David and Absalom (2 Samuel 14-18)
 Jesus lost at temple (Luke 2:47-49)
 Andrew and Peter (John 1)
 James and John with Salome (Matthew 20:20)
 Ananias and his wife (Acts 5)

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I will bless the LORD at all times;  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.– Psalm 34:1 (NASB)

There’s plenty of room for boasting when it comes to the Lord.  We call it praise.  It involves worship, blessing the Lord with the “fruit of your lips.”   Beyond what we say, it involves our very spirit in coordination with the Lord’s Spirit.  We can be lifted up in the midst of someone else shouting praises to His name as another pours out tears of relief from pain and another cries out His name in acceptance of His answers to the confusion of life.  Each of these people offer the Lord what they have to offer Him, and they offer it from the heart and in the spirit and truth.

What are you using to worship God? What about worship? Are you in it or into it?

The Book of Psalms is the Holy Bible’s hymnal of sorts.  It’s a book of praises and poems.  In several instances, it reveals that the entire volume is suitable for the wide variety of needs within the congregation on any given day.  Yet, Psalm 34 opens up with a proclamation and profession that should ignite contagious worship.  It opens with blessing the Lord at all times, praise continually in my mouthThe psalm continues to speak of how the writer will boast about the Lord so much that the “humble and afflicted [will] hear and be glad.”  Then, in verse 3, the psalm writer provides an outright and open invitation to worship together  Imagine how uplifted that congregation would be after that declarative opening  and the opportunity to get lifted up and join in the blessing.

 David wrote this psalm out of the pure inspiration of the Lord showing Himself as his protection.  David had pretended to be insane before Abimelech.  He truly was at his wit’s end at that point.  There was no real guesswork once God had delivered David from his enemies.  He could boast about the Lord.  He had earned some bragging rights about the God he served and the God who saved him. 

We don’t use extol like it appears in the King James Version.   We do understand that we can boast of the Lord’s goodness and grace.  We do know that we can brag about His mercy and His might.  We do know that we can bless the Lord for His loving kindness and His peace.  He’s done so much already for us.  There’s so much we can offer Him.  Let’s start by submitting and surrendering to His Spirit within us so that we can spark some blessing and boasting among us.

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…But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, Romans 5:20 NIV

Grace overcomes guilt.  We are truly guilty of being sinful.  As the seed of Adam, we are truly “as guilty as sin.” We are to confess our sin before the Lord and among one another.  That is true, too.  Yet, we tend to get weighed down by the guilt that comes along with sin.  People become bogged down by the burden of living with their own sins, grieved to the point of near exhaustion.  It can be merciless, the toll that sin takes on the lives of believers.

Grace does a mighty work.  We are saved by by grace.  It’s not our works that do it.  It is a gift from God.  Grace is called “unmerited favor.”  Spurgeon wrote of such grace.  Martin Luther said it was only by grace that we have been saved.  It is throughout Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians.  Even Genesis says that Noah found grace from the Lord.

Let us purge the pain.  Let us accept God’s grace and its bountiful blessings.  Let us rejoice and celebrate the freedom that we have through the Lord’s grace.  he’s opened the door.  Will be be loosed from our burdens and walk upright, free from the guilt and covered by His grace.  Be blessed today.  Live by His grace today.

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When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”- Luke 5:4 (NLT)

Jesus desires us all to go a little further.  Can’t you hear it in His voice? Do you sense the urging of the Lord Peter as he crouched down to his ear level and whispered:”C’mon, Simon, just a little further.  Right over there.” That’s what He does to us through the Holy Spirit.  He gets right where we unmistakably know that it is Him and His voice, and then He shares exactly what we don’t want to hear or didn’t expect from the Lord.

Are you stuck on the shore, afraid to launch out? Is your limit the shallow waters for now? Hear His voice.  Look at what He has already done for you in the past.   God has been a mighty helpful resource to you.  Think about all that He has done, and then speak up and speak out.  Share with others the mighty works performed by God.  See where God wants you to go.  Serve as an obedient and faithful servant.  Please God with what you do in His name.

Shallow-water believers are involved but only so far.  Shore-sitting Christians are pretty much like those Christians who sign up but rarely ever show up.  They have no idea of Christianity beyond the fact that they have accepted Jesus as their Savior and pretty much left it at that.  However, Deep-water believers go the distance.  They may not know all of the reasons for it, but they know that God wants them to take it a little further.  What do they do? The respond to God leading them in their walk with Him.   Go out into the deep and prepare for what the Lord has in store for you.

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19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

We live under grace and are justified by faith. However, our salvation was the price paid for our new lease on life. Jesus was bruised for our iniquities and it is by His stripes that we are healed. Indeed, the high cost for our eternal life include a young man from the ghetto called Galilee with a criminal record and piercings in His hands and His side. His life was the price paid for our eternal life.

Not only that we have been bought, we now have a new level of stewardship. The Holy Spirit dwells within us as Spirit-filled believers. We should “honor God with your body” as you live for Christ. Paul is careful to stress that we are not our own. We can’t live as though we are our own. Then, we live in falsehood, not living in or by the truth.

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