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Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”

God told the people present at the baptism of Jesus that Jesus was His Son in whom He is well pleased. Prior to this public statement, Jesus hadn’t healed the sick, performed a miracle, or even preached a sermon, but God said He was loved and well pleased with His Son.

A lot of us have this longing desire to please God. That’s good and all, but we’re attempting to accomplish something that already exists. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us when we’re born again, we’re new creations in Christ. Seeing that we’re in Christ and God is well pleased with Him, God is well pleased with us. Like Jesus, we don’t have to perform certain tasks in order for God to be well pleased with us. He is pleased because we’re in Christ.

Some of us associate our actions (good or bad) with pleasing or displeasing God. God may not be pleased with certain actions we commit, but through Christ, He separates us from our actions. This separation leaves us in a well pleased state with God.

Praise God for Jesus. It’s because of Him that God is and forever will be well pleased with us.

 

A part of 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. When most of us read this verse, we usually think of temptations such as, lustful temptations or temptations to abuse drugs or alcohol. But, these temptations also include subtle temptations such as wealth.

As we see from the millions of people playing the lottery around the world, a lot of us desire to be wealthy. We would love to make a $100 million and retire at 40. But God, Who is so rich in love and knows us better than we know ourselves, will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. We may think we’ll give a few million to the church and a million to help out those in need, but God knows our inner workings. He knows we’ll be tempted to invest in an illegal trade to make more money. He knows we’ll have a boastful spirit that will turn people away from Him. He knows we’ll stop coming to church because we think we have all we need.

Let’s be clear. There’s nothing wrong with wealth. We simply need to make sure we’re spiritually mature enough to handle the responsibilities of wealth. If we desire wealth, we need to ask God to show us what we need to work on to make ourselves ready to receive wealth. Part of our spiritual maturity is to put God first and be led by the Spirit with every dollar we have now. If we’re faithful with little, He’ll make us rulers over much (Matthew 25:23).

Galatians 4:1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had.

Genesis 2:19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

“God’s original intent for mankind’s mouths was for creation and not communication.” –Pastor B. Winston

God gave Adam the responsibility of naming all the animals. Whatever Adam called them, that was its name. He called this winged creature an eagle and a mooing creature a cow. Whatever Adam called it, that’s what is was going to be.

Adam is our prototype. This same design was built in us. Whatever we call the things in our lives, that’s what it’s going to be. If we call our marriage problematic, that’s what it’s going to be. If we call our children dumb or bad, that’s what they’re going to be. If we proclaim we hate our jobs, that will be our experiences. Proverbs 18:21 says, death and life are in the power of the tongue.

If we want to change our lives, we have to renew our minds (Rom. 12:2). The renewing of our minds will change our confession and our confession will change our lives. Let’s create the life we want by calling whatever we desire into existence.

Romans 4:20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,

To obtain anything from God, it has to be received by faith (Mark 11:22-24). Hebrews 6:12 tells us faith requires patience. Patience lets us know waiting is involved before acquiring the promise. We may have to wait an hour or 10 years. Romans 4:20 provides a blueprint on what to do while waiting.

Waiting is not sitting back allowing time to go by. Waiting requires our participation. Romans 4:20 tells us Abraham did not waver in unbelief while waiting on the promise of a son. He was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.

From the time we prayed, to the time we received the promise, worship needs to take place. We worship and give glory to God for Who He is, what He’s done, and what He promised. We may not have the promise in our lives, but we worship Him as if we do. The enemy will attempt to discourage us by magnifying the waiting period and attempt to convince us the promise won’t come to pass. That’s the perfect time to worship. Worship counters the attacks of the devil and it keeps us focused on God, the Source of our promise.

The key components to receive the promises of God are unwavering faith, patience, and worship.

 

To get anything from God, it has to be received by faith. If we want a new house, a new car, or a spouse it all has to be received by faith.

Faith can also be used to obtain intangible things from God such as positive emotions. God promised us love, joy, and peace. Those promises don’t come automatically. They too have to be received by faith. These promises must be received by faith especially when these emotions are threatened by life’s issues and we don’t feel loved, joyous, or at peace.

When we get laid off from our jobs and we don’t know where the money is coming from, by faith, we have to receive joy. When our marriage seems rocky and our children are acting up, by faith, we have to receive peace. When we’re without a spouse and we have family issues, by faith, we have to receive that we’re loved.

It doesn’t matter how we feel, by faith, we can obtain and maintain these positive emotions even in the roughest of times. Exercise that faith and receive everything from God.

Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,”

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Joy and peace are available to us. It’s available to everyone who believes in the finished works of Jesus. The joy and peace that God provides is not partially given. Joy and peace are given in excess.

Like anything that God provides, we can choose to accept or reject this offer. We can allow the issues of life to steal our joy and peace or we can recognize that regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we can hold on to the joy and peace God provided. It’s up to us.

Joy and peace allow us to abound in hope. Hope in what? Everything we desire from God. Hebrews 11:1 says, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for. Without joy and peace, it’s difficult to gather up the energy to hope in something. It’s difficult to go boldly before God with our desires or exercise our faith while depressed or worried. That’s why maintaining our joy and peace is so important. They are key pieces in receiving our desires.

Receive this joy and peace and don’t let it go.

You take a good friend to a fairly expensive restaurant. You allow them to order whatever they desire with no limit on cost. They order an appetizer, main entrée, and a dessert. Their portion alone cost $130.00. While you’re eating, you realize your friend only ate a few bites of the appetizer, entrée, and dessert. There’s still a lot of food left on their plate. They’re not full and they genuinely like the taste of their meal. When the waitress asks if they want to take it to-go, they decline. Most of us would be puzzled and possibly upset with our friend for leaving all of this expensive food on the table.

This is just a little taste of how Jesus may feel with some of us. Jesus paid an awesome price for us to have a prosperous abundant life. Meanwhile, some of us desire the bare minimum or we glorify poverty as if it’s a badge of humility. We leave so much on the table until it has Jesus shaking His head.

Sure, we have a house, a car, and we’re able to live comfortably, but there’s more still on the table. Wouldn’t it be great to go on more than one vacation a year without going into our savings? Wouldn’t it be nice to have enough money to pay someone else’s bills? Wouldn’t be great if we can give one of our cars away to a family in need? If we can dream it for ourselves or for someone else, Jesus paid for it.

Jesus paid too great of a price for us to be living below Kingdom standards. Live the life God wants us to have by maximizing on the benefits that God provided through Jesus. Enjoy!

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

If we look at the events that occur during the end of days in the Bible, they’re all coming to pass right before our eyes. There are wars, division, people are lovers of money, and abusive. Seeing that all of this must come to pass before the return of Jesus, one may question the purpose of praying for the world or praying for people who seem to be “too far gone.” One may ask, “What’s the point?”

Well, the reason we continue to pray for a positive outcome in the world and intercede on the behalf of lost people, even though terrible times are inevitable, is compassion. If Jesus would have had this “what’s the point” attitude at Calvary, knowing everyone won’t take advantage of His sacrifice, we all would be lost. Jesus was able to carry out His mission, knowing all of us wouldn’t accept Him, because He had compassion on the few that would. 

That same compassion should overflow in our lives. It should overflow on the affairs in the world and the people we view as lost. Although we know everything is not going to turn out well for this world and everyone in it, we continue to intercede because of our compassion for the few. 

Our prayers are not in vain. That one prayer can change a person’s life, positively impact a community, and possibly save one soul. Every bit counts. So, don’t give up on compassion. It’s the fuel that helps us continue to do the will of God. 

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

We get it, you sinned. You had a baby out-of-wedlock. You currently watch pornography. You have a problem with lying. You gossip. You cheated on your spouse.

Regardless of the sins we’ve committed, that doesn’t disqualify us from receiving the promises of God. We can still live a blessed, prosperous life without settling. Our sins will have some consequences that may make our lives a bit more challenging, but all of God’s promises are still available to the believer.

Jesus came so that we can have an abundant life (John 10:10). Not, an abundant life unless we sin. His blood has allowed us to receive forgiveness and God’s not remembering our sins (Eph. 1:7; Heb. 8:12).

Let’s not disqualify ourselves or disqualify another just because the mark was missed several times. We can still live in a big beautiful home, have our desired career, and have enough finances to be a blessing to others.

Allow the Holy Spirit to help you get out of your current situation, allow Him to guide you into not sinning, receive the forgiveness of sins, and receive the promises of God by faith.

Romans 4:16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the Law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.

John 8:10 Then Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?” 11“No one, Lord.” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you.” Jesus declared. “Now go and sin no more.”

This woman was caught in the act of sin (adultery) by the Pharisees. She was brought to Jesus by the Pharisees so that they could confirm whether or not He was a doer of the Law, which commanded them to stone her for this act. However, Jesus knew the entire Law and made his famous statement, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.” They all dropped their rocks and left with conviction in their hearts.

Jesus was the only One who had a justifiable right to stone her, but He didn’t. He didn’t condemn her and He graciously spared her life.

*If Jesus didn’t condemn and end the natural life of a woman caught in the act of sin, why do some Christians believe God will condemn and end our eternal lives because of sin?

For a long time, there has been a big misconception in the body of Christ. Some people still believe that people go to hell because of sin. That’s not true. People go to hell because they rejected the payment of sin. People go to hell because they reject Jesus. All of our past, present, and future sins have been paid for by the blood of Jesus. There is no sin(s) (quantity or quality) that has not been covered.

When we say yes to Jesus, sin has been eliminated from our lives. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ and sins are not charged to our accounts (Rom. 8:1; 2 Cor. 5:19). We’ve been freed.

Receive the full payment of what Jesus has done (sin removal) and solidify the fact that we have eternal life in Christ.

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Scriptures of the Day

August 2017
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