Salvation!

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. (11) So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.
Hebrews 2:10-11 (NLT)

We are those many children. Anyone can become God’s child. Romans 10:9: 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. Whoever believes as John 3:16 says … “…everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

So we all…everyone can be a child of God. It is a choice of belief and declaration.

Jesus was a perfect leader. By believing in Him we are sanctified ..as in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 “We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation–a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.

Through salvation, of believing, we receive God (YHWH) (Elohim) (the many holy names of God!) (The God of Abraham) as our Father. And He is not ashamed of us. We are therefore called Jesus’ sisters and brothers!

Isn’t this AMAZING!

To have a heavenly father, and a relationship with Him that is closer than any other. That we can hear and speak with Him, and be led by Him in our daily lives. WOW! So amazing! So Great! AWESOME! 😀

Territory after Love & Obedience

…(He will give you this land if you are careful to obey all the commands I have given you–if you always love the LORD your God and walk in his ways.)
Deuteronomy 19:9b (NLT)

This verse seemed a little unusual when I first read it in the NIV translation. But now I see how it can work in my own life. When reading the previous verse, you find that the territory was actually already promised by God, yet requires obedience to unlock it.

One of the main things that we are told to do in the Bible is to obey God’s word, and to Love God first above all things.

This verse then talks of territory being given to you if you are obedient and ‘always’ love God.

In life, as we move through obedience with integrity, and our character is built, we can then be trusted with more responsibility. When God lets us have more territory, it is Him saying that we can be trusted to handle more than we had before.

May we be those beloved sons and daughters of God that are obedient and trustworthy, that God might bless us even more abundantly. God bless!

Speak Up!

The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
Mark 16:8 (NLT)

The Resurrection. Then verses 1- 8.

1Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on Sunday morning,a just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

5When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,b who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”

8The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.

[Shorter Ending of Mark]

Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.

[Longer Ending of Mark]

9After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened.

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples after seeing Jesus risen from the dead, and told the disciples. However, the very women that the angel spoke to, were too terrified to obey when the angel told them what happened and to go tell the disciples.

Who are you like? The woman who went by herself to the disciples, or one of the women who followed the others and was too afraid to go tell the disciples.

This reminded me of previous posts including Do Not Be Afraid!Strong and Courageous and the Reminder to be Strong and Courageous.

Courage! The best action in the face of fear. Fear is not peace. Fear is not from God. Always face fear. Take Courage.
Courage defined: (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Take Courage. Stand. Speak up.

Jesus Speaks…on Many Topics.

Matthew 5 (NLT)red words: Jesus speaking.

The Sermon on the Mount

1One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

3“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,a for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
6God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,b for they will be satisfied.
7God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
9God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
10God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about youc and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Teaching about Salt and Light

13“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

14“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.16In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Teaching about the Law

17Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

20“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Teaching about Anger

21“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’d 22But I say, if you are even angry with someone,e you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,f you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,g you are in danger of the fires of hell.h

23“So if you are presenting a sacrificei at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

25“When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.j

Teaching about Adultery

27“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’k 28But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29So if your eye—even your good eyel—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your hand—even your stronger handm—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Teaching about Divorce

31“You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’n 32But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

Teaching about Vows

33“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.’o 34But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

Teaching about Revenge

38“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’p 39But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile,q carry it two miles. 42Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching about Love for Enemies

43“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’r and hate your enemy. 44But I say, love your enemies!s Pray for those who persecute you! 45In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47If you are kind only to your friends,t how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.48But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Take Responsibility

My chosen people act like speckled vultures [or hyenas], but they themselves are surrounded by vultures. Bring on the wild animals to pick their corpses clean!
Jeremiah 12:9 (NLT)

Wow.
The whole chapter is quite intense…I encourage you to read it. Jeremiah 12 (NLT)

There are 2 verses that stood out to me.

5“If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?
If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?

This verse (above) is about becoming more skilled and preparing to be more than who you are, at this moment in time.

10“Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard,
trampling down the vines and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness.
11They have made it an empty wasteland; I hear its mournful cry.
The whole land is desolate, and no one even cares.

This verse (above) strikes as … no one even cares how the beautiful land has become a  wasteland. Let us not be like that. Let us be people who care about the land that God has given us. Whether it is people, or physical land, or business, or even the opportunities that God gives us. Let us care, and take responsibility for what He has given us personally to look after.

I think both these verses have to do with taking responsibility and ownership of your life. Truly caring and looking after the territory and skills that God has given you.

Hope and a Future

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 
Jeremiah 29:11-13(NLT)

Such encouragement.
Look for God wholeheartedly and you will find Him.

He knows the plans He has for you. Seek Him.
His plans are very good and not for disaster. You need not worry, trust Him.
His plans are to give you a future and a hope. Have faith.

Be strong and courageous...and if you need a reminder…click here. 🙂

Hope!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Overflowing hope. Imagine. When you have it, it is amazing!!! If you don’t it can seem so elusive.
Hope.
Joy and Peace will (if you are not experiencing this…you need to check your walk with Christ 🙂 ) fill us … as we trust (have faith) in Him. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

Wow. Faith requires hope. Hope in Christ. Hope in God. Hope for things that we cannot see … and it is the confidence and assurance about those things we hope for.

Hope is a feeling maybe like rising up in a hot air balloon, rising up over all the things of this world, all the things going on below. And looking out over them towards the horizon…the horizon of things promised or hoped for. The dreams that we hide in our hearts…or the goals and plans we strive towards. When we are in this place, of hope, the worries of this world fade and drift by, making space in our view (or perspective) for the things we desire to come towards us. Maybe it’s a time with our grandchildren, maybe it’s a business accomplishment .. usually it is many things.

Let us HOPE More!

We can rise above the things in this world…think on higher things (Colossians 3:2) and move forward!

God bless!

God. Most Almighty.

For I have sworn by my own name,” says the LORD …
Jeremiah 49:13a (NLT)

How to explain this…

A little context perhaps?

12And this is what the LORD says: “If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you! You will not go unpunished! You must drink this cup of judgment! 13For I have sworn by my own name,” says the LORD, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror and a heap of ruins; it will be mocked and cursed. All its towns and villages will be desolate forever.”

This verse always reminds me of the Greatness of God. Wow. He is no little .. His words are so powerful.Who He is. Wow.

If God swears by His own name that you are cursed… my goodness! There is no question. You are in big trouble.

But if He blesses you, then oh my goodness…you must be in good hands!!!

Be strong and courageous! seems to be the season! 🙂 Did you need a reminder: be strong and courageous!

God is with us!! Make sure to stay obedient and aligned with His will. 🙂

Did You Need The Reminder: Be Strong And Courageous!

“Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!
2 Chronicles 32:7 (NLT)

Wow. Yesterday I wrote on this same concept, except it was taken from Joshua 1:9 (See Blog Post: Be Strong and Courageous!)

This time, the verse is as an encouragement that God who is on our side, is far greater than the enemy’s army that we are seeing coming towards us!

An encouragement not to feel dismayed, or fearful. But rather a reminder of whose we are, and on whose side we are. God reigns! Have no fear! The battle is already won! Take your God’s side, and be strong and courageous! 🙂 You are on the winning side!!

Thank you, God, for Your endless mercies. For Your peace that guides us and covers us. Thank you that You never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you. We give glory to Your name!