It is Finished

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You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.

Colossians 2:13-15

Everything you are going through, carrying on your back, or stressing about for the future has been dealt with by Jesus. The anxiety, depression, sickness, hurt, shame, and sorrow has been nailed to the cross and the victory is ours through Jesus Christ! God doesn’t want you to continually live with your trouble. Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

What you are struggling with won’t last forever. When the enemy whispers in your ear, “You are going to go through this for the rest of your life. Your depression is part of your DNA. Healing isn’t for you because look at how much you mess up and how weak your faith is. Look at the others getting their prayers answered and God’s not answered yours. You’ve failed him too many times for God to listen to you. You’re the only Christian struggling in this area. You are all alone and no one can relate to what you are going through. You’d be better off gone. God can’t use someone like you.” When you hear these lies whispered into your mind don’t let the devil confuse you into thinking it’s your own thoughts and that it’s all true. Rebuke the enemy in Jesus mighty name. Cast down these evil, untrue, and vile thoughts in the name of Jesus. There is real tangible authority when we use His name. Satan can only operate in your life through lies he leads you to believe and fear he tries to paralyze you with. The battle begins in the mind and the enemy tries to make you believe it and speak those lies into existence to hold whatever he can against you. Speak life into whatever situation you are going through. Say, “I am a child of God, and the joy of the Lord is my strength. Though my flesh and heart may fail God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. No weapon formed against me will prosper because I am covered by the blood of Jesus and ever record against me has been canceled by Jesus on the cross!”

Remind Satan of his place. I have read in the Bible the devils obituary and I know his end. His time is limited and he knows he has but a short time. Although you may be saved he can still try to make you live a defeated life by attacking you with his lies. You are alive in Christ and are seated in heavenly places. He is beneath you. Remember who you are in Jesus, bask in the Father’s love, and let the Holy Spirit fill you with joy today!

Verse references:

Colossians 2:13-15; Romans 8:37; Matthew 11:28; John 8:44; Proverbs 18:21; John 1:12; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 73:26; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 20:10; Ephesians 2:6

 

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Ask & Receive

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“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:18-20

Imagine if God were standing right in front of you. What would you say to Him? If you were guaranteed a private audience with the Lord Almighty what would you ask of Him? Knowing that whatever you ask would be given to you with heavenly power behind it. When you pray and gather with two or more people in Jesus name He is there. Did you grasp that? Jesus is literally in your midst! You are able to have a private audience with Jesus Himself! That His Word promises. Yet so many people treat that scripture so lightly. We have been given the authority through Jesus to bind things on earth and in heaven yet how much of that do we really do? We don’t have to worry that our prayers are going to miss the ear of the Lord. He has promised to be there and He is true to His Word. All the more we should be praying together with our friends, family, and even stranger abroad to present our requests to God. We need to bind in heaven and earth what we need. Don’t be afraid to be specific. If you have the ear of Jesus at your beck and call I wouldn’t want to give a general prayer. Instead you should give a specific, on target, and detailed prayer. Sometimes we get this fear that we shouldn’t ask to much of God because it would then make as greedy and unappreciative. If only you knew how much your heavenly Father wanted to give you, you would never stop asking Him for things! “Ask and you shall receive.” (Matthew 7:7) Never will you find a verse that tells you to stop asking, or stop once you’ve gotten a certain amount. God wants you to overflow with blessings, favor, and love. He wants more for you then you want for yourself.

Don’t let fear hold you back from asking God what you need. Stop what you are doing and find someone to pray and agree with you. You no longer need to hold your breath and wonder if your prayers went through. “You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.” (John 14:14) Stop wondering, and start asking!

If you ever need someone to agree with you in prayer that you don’t have in your life now, then feel free to reach out to me and together we can have a private audience with Jesus for whatever you need! I hope all who read this have a blessed day!

 

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Closer to God

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“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” -Jesus

John 16:12-13

If there was one nugget of information you could take away from today’s devo is to never become complacent in your relationship with God. When I say God I mean the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There is so much to learn and so much to gain from Him. We think we know so much or sometimes we get so comfortable in our relationship that we don’t allow ourselves to grow further.

Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would reveal what is yet to come. He is already in the future ready to help, equip, and empower us for everything we will need. Why wait when you can know now what He has in store? He wants to talk to you more than you want to hear from Him. We complain we can’t hear God’s voice so we pray to hear Him more clearly and just when He is about to talk back to us we stand up after we say ‘Amen’ and go on with our day. We need to be sensitive to God’s voice in our quiet time but we also need to seek Him in His Word.

Two years ago I challenged myself to read the whole Bible from beginning to end. I’m a huge bookworm and can go through books like popcorn. I had read hundreds of books, but not every chapter the Bible had to offer. I read my favorite books and passages of the Bible like most do and skipped over pages I didn’t think applied to me. I could feel God pressing me to read it all from start to finish. My goal was set to read the whole Bible in one year, which I accomplished in eight months. I was so proud of myself and thought that I had deserved a small break from my hard work. God firmly reminded me that I was not done in my learning. I know He told me, “Well done. Now start again.” It’s amazing how you can read the same passage over and over yet every time it is different. You see it from a deeper perspective with a greater insight than before and uncover hidden revelations. You are never done learning and will always find something you never found before when you read the pages of the Bible. We will spend eternity getting to know God better and I for one don’t want to wait a second longer in my journey to learn! Don’t become spiritually complacent or go through the motions because it’s what you’ve always done. I pray God lights a fire in you that never burns out and your eyes will open to the things unseen. We are living in the greatest time in history and not a moment should be wasted!

 

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Seeking Approval

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“For am I seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10

There seems to be an overwhelming need to impress and get the approval of others. We tend to compare ourselves to those around us and even more so with social media on the rise. We do all sorts of strange things because of our need to please and seek the approval of people we don’t even know. Popular opinion can dictate our decisions and lead us astray. The unpopular topics of discussion tend to fall under conservative, biblical, and moral values. It’s not popular to stand up for truth when cultural “tolerance” is relentless in their attack of silencing those who oppose them. It’s hard at times to find firm ground in our beliefs in an uncertain world. The result of our complacent behavior leads to finding ourselves trapped in a sinful society’s norms. God’s desire is to remove us from this sinful mindset. He doesn’t want us seeking the approval of others in fear of their rejection or rebuke. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we look to God for His ultimate wisdom. He will strengthen, correct, and uplift you in a firm yet gentle manner when you seek His council above all others. Resist the urge to run with the crowd. When we become rooted in the identity of Christ we no longer seek worldly approval or cultural agendas. Don’t be deceived by worldly doctrines that hold no truth or morals and try to corrupt who you are. Take a stand for what is right in the eyes of God and let the opinions of others fall to the side so that the one true opinion can shine through!

 

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Why God?

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“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”

Ezekiel 36:26

I often ponder on how to respond to someone who asks why God? Why Jesus out of all the others gods? What proof do you have? These are valid questions and they are also questions we need to be prepared to answer. We all have a unique story on how God spoke to us but it doesn’t benefit the person asking the question of why God. The personal experience you went through didn’t happen to them. Sharing a testimony can have tremendous impact on those who hear it but there are others who still won’t believe. There are in depth theological and philosophical answers as well to why Jesus but there is also another. The profound proof of Jesus’ existence that all can witness including the skeptic is witnessing the change of one’s heart and ultimately their new life. A drug addict, alcoholic, prostitute, depressed, broken, or any lost person can randomly walk into a church service and hear the message of Jesus. Words are being spoken by the pastor but God is touching the heart of the individual and is being supernaturally changed. All of a sudden in that moment of surrender Jesus changes what you want to do and frees you from your current addiction that you could never break on your own. Your decisions are affected, your character is reformed, and your heavy load is lightened. We suddenly have a fresh love for others we didn’t have before. We suddenly want forgive the people who wronged us. We now live in a wonderfully freeing truth. The troubles and burdens of this world are now lifted from our backs and placed in the hands of God. Joy can now be experienced through the storm and trials of life because the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) If there is someone who asks you why Jesus and where the proof lies then you can always point to change of one’s heart. No one can deny the change of someone’s life that Jesus has touched and how their own lives can change as well. If Jesus has changed your life and touched your heart make every effort to express this transformation in all you do!

 

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The Roman Road : The Plan of Salvation

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The Bible is a book with sixty six divisions in all. The book of Romans is a series of verses that outlines God’s plan for salvation. Write these verse on a page in your Bible or highlight the verses. You can memorize them and be prepared to tell anyone about God’s plan for salvation when the time arises!

Romans 3:23 // Romans 6:23 // Romans 5:8 // Romans 10:9-10 // Romans 10:13

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.

Romans 10: 9-10

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:13

The Roman Road: This is one of the most effective presentations for people who’ve heard the message but need to see it in black and white, right out of the pages of the Bible. It’s based on…verses in the book of Romans I’d suggest highlighting these in your Bible so that they’re easy to find and show to others. -Bill Hybels

 

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Be Worthy of Your Calling

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“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

Ephesians 4:1-7

Living the Christian life should feel natural and become easier as we grow closer to God. We need to leave our old life in the past and learn to walk in the new. Our old lives may have been comfortable but it’s also a life filled with no peace and discontentment. Our old life is one with the world while our new self should reflect the Kingdom of Heaven. We need to continually shed old attitudes and habits while renewing our minds and bodies to walk in the Spirit where God is. As Christians we claim to be citizens of Heaven but continue to wear the old fashions of our former lives. Why is that? Because we are reluctant and hesitant at times to totally leave behind a life that was comfortable and mostly easy. When you are one with the world you are least likely to be rejected and ridiculed for walking in the light. Being a Christin requires us to make a stand against the attitudes of the world and its deceitful desires. We can’t live two separate lives and serve two different Gods. We need to make a choice because living for God and living for the world is not a viable option. We must choose. Don’t try to hang on to the old parts of your life. Living a new and free life in Jesus is a daily process. He will help you through it one step at a time and before you know it living a Christian life will become liberating and a joy!

 

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Refuge in the Lord

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Read this passage. Meditate on it. Memorize it. And stand on His Word!

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,

no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

 

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Faith in Trials

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“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold- through your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trails, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”

1 Peter 1:7-8

Sometimes when we are facing trials it’s hard not to wonder where God is. How do you hold on to your faith when you are going through the fire and it appears God is nowhere in sight? The worst thing we could do is let our circumstances turn us against God.

“Trials and pain are not ultimately harmful unless they diminish our relationship with God. But the righteous will not let them do that. They let their trials draw them closer to God. They see His grace more clearly in the aftermath of pain; they trust Him more truly when obstacles hinder trust; they serve Him more sacrificially when it costs something. Through pain, we see Him better, and He becomes more real to us. There is no harm in that.” -Chris Tiegreen

We grow best when we are going through trials because pain causes us to depend on God to carry us through and develop us spiritually. When the enemy strikes our spiritual maturity will come to surface and determine how we handle our circumstances. When trouble comes all we are becomes exposed and our true faith in God comes out. Do we accuse God and question His intentions? Adversity and troubling times reveal a lot about what we really believe. It’s easy to love God when everything is going smoothly but where is your unwavering love when the storm hits? Every time adversity strikes is a time of character development and a chance to grow closer to God. Instead of accusing Him of why He is allowing it to happen we can instead worship Him through the midst of the darkness and praise him all the more when He carries us through. And He ALWAYS carries us through. If faith is maintained through the trial, then nothing can truly harm you.

 

 

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Comparison

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“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

James 3:14

There are two kinds of wisdom. The wisdom that is earthy/demonic, and the wisdom that is from heaven. Envy is the root of all comparison. What this verse is saying is where you find envy and comparison you find every evil practice. Think about it. We all fall short in this area in some department. Whether you are comparing your job, relationship, material things, or even spiritual maturity. Comparison produces a resentment and rejection in us that God never intended for us to have. The worst kind of comparison is when you start becoming envious of other believer’s gifts given to them by God. Sometime it’s hard not to ask and wonder why that person can pray so eloquently. Why can they sing and worship so beautifully? Why another can witness so effectively and not me? Why does your friend hear from God so clearly but yet it’s so difficult for you? When we compare and think God has blessed someone else more than us we are developing a resentment towards God that is orchestrated by the enemy. It opens the door for Satan, and allows him to work you against God. If you continue reading on to James 3:17 it says:

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

As the body of Christ we were meant to need each other and work together. If we all equally had the same gifts, then we wouldn’t need each other and would become prideful. Give thanks to God for what He has blessed you with and break off every chain of comparison that you’ve harbored in the past. Seek wisdom from above and ask Him who generously gives to those who ask and believe. Your gift that God so uniquely and specifically gave you is needed in His Kingdom that only you can accomplish. Don’t waste it!

 

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