Praise Prayers

In our last discussion we talked about how Paul encouraged others in his prayer for them.  He also never ceased to give God praise for all that He has done.  This is something we all should remember in our prayers.  As we talk to God, we should acknowledge how great a God He is, how good He is to us and all the things He has done for us.  There are so many scriptures to choose from that have prayers of praise, particularly from the Psalms, but also many in both the Old and New Testaments.  Many scriptures acknowledge God’s greatness and may not actually be part of a prayer, but I think by reading these and perhaps using some of them in our prayer will honor God.  As the authors do, let us not only acknowledge Him in our prayers but share it with all those around us. Continue reading “Praise Prayers”

Guilt and Forgiveness

In some ways guilt and forgiveness go hand in hand, but in other ways they are completely opposite.  Without guilt there is no need for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is more about the forgiver showing mercy.  We can all receive forgiveness if we just believe and trust in Jesus Christ…and we all need it.  In my last post, we talked about how we should forgive, knowing that we have been forgiven too.  Jesus not only took our sins away, but He also took away our guilt.  Knowing this, we should e able to not only forgive others, but also forgive ourselves. Continue reading “Guilt and Forgiveness”

No Need to Fear

Jesus clouds
The Lord is my Light

Psalm 27:1

The LORD is my light and my salvation;

Whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the strength of my life;

Of whom shall I be afraid?

With all the talk of violence and mass shootings and gun laws and the direction our country and this world is heading, one thing we can be sure of is that God is in control and there is no need to fear.  Many would ask, then why does God allow these things to happen?  I do not know the answer, but we live in a fallen world.  We are not God’s puppets, and there are evil people in this world and Satan is allowed to roam this earth…for now.  But I believe his time is short.  It appears we are living Matthew 24.  But, those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, who follow Him, have nothing to fear.  God assures us of this and there are better things to come.  No matter what we are going through, God is with us and He will guide us and He will give us all that we need.  No matter what happens to us on this earth, we have so much to look forward to.  There is no need to fear. Continue reading “No Need to Fear”

Encouragement from Hebrews

I am going through a great study in Hebrews right now and I realize there are so many words of encouragement to believers that we can have confidence and hope.  God always keeps His promises.  Jesus is our Savior, but He is much more.  Jesus, the Son of God, perfect in every way because He IS God, gave His life for us.  With His blood sacrifice, we now have access to the Father.  He is the Priest-King, who is our Intercessor and Redeemer, who offered Himself as a sacrifice, the prefect blood offering once for all.  It is the perfect sacrifice because He is perfect, no flaw, no sin, and He lives forever, giving eternal salvation to those who believe.

The book of Hebrews is written to the Jews of the early Christian church.  Many were true believers and some were seeking.  But the Jews from outside the church (and perhaps some from within) were trying to turn them from faith in Jesus Christ or draw them back to the Law.  The writer explains how the Law had been fulfilled by Christ and that there is a new, much better covenant that God had given all of us through His Son.  This covenant was promised through Abraham and all things throughout the Old Testament point to Jesus Christ.  The Law showed us our sin and the need for blood sacrifice, and the New covenant shows us God’s mercy and grace, that through Jesus, our sins are forgiven once and for all.  We are saved by faith in Him and our salvation is based on what Christ did for us, not on ourselves.  Thanks God for that, because all of us fall short!  I encourage you to read through the entire book of Hebrews to fully understand the reason for the law, the blood, the sacrifice and how Jesus fulfilled all of it and became our High Priest to be our sin offering. It also reminds us of His promise of eternal salvation and to encourage us to not lose hope, but to have boldness and confidence, trusting in Jesus Christ our Lord, living for Him, serving Him and others. Continue reading “Encouragement from Hebrews”

Cost and Blessing of Following Jesus

At first I thought of titling this post, “Strength through Tribulation and Persecution.”  But it is more than that.  Every trial we go through, every time we are persecuted, every struggle, God is with us and we grow spiritually and become a better person and we have an opportunity to help others in similar situations.  He is always there whether we realize it or not.  As a believer, we need to realize we will go through trials.  There is a cost to following Jesus.  But it does not compare to the blessings and the reward we will receive by knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  As the last of the series on “I am Saved…Now What Do I Do?” I want to prepare my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, in particular those who are young believers of things they may face while giving words of encouragement that it is all worth it.  I also want to start this discussion by making it clear that what we do does not determine our salvation.  It is what Jesus Christ did on the cross.  Our sins are forgiven because of Him.  We just need to accept that gift of grace He has given us.  What we do is a result of that salvation.  When we are saved, there will be a change in our hearts, our lives and our actions.  The blessings are tremendous, but that does not mean things will be easy.  It just means it will be worth it. Continue reading “Cost and Blessing of Following Jesus”