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Thursday, February 22, 2018

First Sin

Sin was not God’s original plan.  Sin came about because man was granted free will. It is a life or death issue. Read Genesis 4:1-7.


Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.  In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering,  but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

This is the first time the word sin is mentioned in the Bible. 

What happened next?

Sin won, and Cain killed Abel. We are told to do what is right and allow God to rule in our lives. Take your temptations to Jesus. He will see you through.

Amen?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Jesus Is Life


Today let’s answer six critical questions about sin using God's Word as our guide.

1. Who has sin?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, - Romans 3:23

2. Is sin real? 

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. - Psalm 51:5

3. How does sin operate in our lives?

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. - Ephesians 2:1-3

Where does “But God” come in to play here? (Romans 5:8)

4. What is the cost of sin?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23.

We have a choice“two deaths or two births”.

5. “Now what?” 

 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, has made us alive in Christ. - Ephesians 2:4

It's a choice of life in Christ or death in sin.

6. How great is God’s love for you?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Stay Ahead


Kodak is an iconic American company just like Kleenex and Coke. For nearly 100 years it was synonymous with photography. In 1975 Kodak invented digital photography, but they decided that the old technology of using film cameras was good enough. They were making lots of money. Why change? In 2012 the Eastman Kodak company filed for bankruptcy and subsequently closed their doors for business. They let the competition take their ideas and they never caught up.



This is a great lesson in that sometimes we must stop something while it is successful before the old model declines and dies. We need to begin what God wants us to do before something stops working.



Wisdom from Proverbs 19:21 tells us, Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.



I (or we’ve) never done it that way before are the dying words of many people and churches. God is always doing a new thing! Are you following His plan, or just following your routine?



Be wise and be about God’s ways, plans, and purposes always. Amen?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Don't Stop


A couple years ago I received a teaching from Max Lucado called, Pray First, Pray Most. It was a great reminder on how to take on the "Goliaths" in our lives, but also how to trust God in all things in your life. the study was based out of Acts 12. Peter was imprisoned, the church was praying, and an angel came and delivered him from harm. There are great take-aways from this story.



One is that passionate prayers move the heart of God. Jacob prayed such a prayer in Genesis 32. He was on his face one moment and in God's face the next! That's passion!



In Acts 12, Peter was asleep - resting in the knowledge God would save him. There was a prayer meeting going on at the church, but had trouble believing their prayers could be answered.



We’ve all been there. Satan makes it his mission to interrupt our prayers.

Do you know what happens when a church prays without ceasing? Satan trembles because God shows up!



Let's pray. Pray first. Pray most. Prayer brings guaranteed results. God still hears prayers, and He's listening now. The only question is, "Are we praying?"



I hope I get an Amen on that!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Prayer Promise


Jesus said, “If you believe” to His disciples concerning prayer. What is involved with believing when it comes to prayer? Let’s take a look at that story and the promise that Jesus gives to all Christ followers.

 18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. 20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” - Matthew 21:18-22 

The prayer promise is dependents on having faith and not doubting. If we obey then nothing is impossible!

What parts of your life do you need to turn (in faith and no doubts) to God in prayer with?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Winning


Every day I see people battling giants of all kinds; money problems, health issues, emotional, mental, and spiritual warfare. Here is some good news - God can win every struggle! It’s hard to believe when you are going through hardships, but the giants that we battle are designed to bring and keep us closer to God. Don’t ever go into battle thinking of the glory it will bring you or that you’re able fight the battle under our own strength. No, this is a call to stand up to the giants in your life and be faithful to God as we battle with His direction and power.

As David ran toward the giant Goliath in battle he declared, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you (giants and enemies) into our hands." - 1 Samuel 17:47

Remember: greater is He that is in you, believer, than anything the world can throw at you. Amen?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Turn in Prayer

Jesus instructs us how to pray - Ask, Seek, Knock in Matthew 7:7-12.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

How does asking, seeking, and knocking, according to Jesus’ prayer instructions, look in your life? Maybe we “have not” because “ask not” according to His plan.

Verse 12 is the basis for what we know as the “Golden Rule”. It starts with, “So in everything”. I guess that means we need to apply it to every part of our life. Let’s start today.