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God Connect: Daily Renewing Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

Obtaining Salvation

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 5:9

Since Adam and Eve first made the decision to eat of the fruit of the garden, sin has spread throughout the entire world.  Romans 5:12 declares, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  We are not naturally born “good moral people,” we are born as sinners.  Without Christ, we are hopelessly lost.

God doesn’t want us to be appointed to his wrath, as 1 Thessalonians 5:9 points out.  He wants us to have salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ.  Some people may think that attending church, paying tithes, or doing good deeds will get them into heaven.  Jesus made it clear in John 14:6 that He is the only way to heaven.  He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus’ death on the cross was the atonement for our sins.  By His blood, we can be made free.  Today I challenge you to live for Christ.  If you haven’t accepted Him in your life, do so today.  Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the death, thou shalt be saved.”  Becoming a Christian is as simple as ABC.  Admit you’re a sinner, believe that Jesus died for you, and confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.  Have you accepted Jesus today.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the moth confession is made unto salvation.”  Romans 10:10

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Love One Another

“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”  1 John 3:11

Loving people can sometimes be a challenge.  The Bible reminds us time and time again, however, that we must love everyone.  It may be easy to love your family or people that are good to you.  It’s easy to show love when things are going well in your life.  It’s not only those people or in those times that God wants us to show love, though.

Matthew 5:43-44 reminds us of this when it says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”  However hard it may be, we must learn to love our neighbors, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our enemies.

It may seem like an impossible task, but it’s not.  We must strive to obtain this pure love, because as 1 John 3:15 points out, having hatred will not allow you to have eternal life with Jesus.  “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”  Do you have the love of Christ abiding in your life today?

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him, if he thirst give him drink; for in doing so thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”  Romans 12:20

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My Help Is From the Lord

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1-2

Facing difficult times is just part of life.  God doesn’t promise that our lives will be problem-free once we accept Him.  There will still be difficult times we must face as Christians.  He does promise, however, to be our help.  When we lift our eyes to the Lord and trust in Him, He will help us.

Psalm 121 lists some of the thing He does for us.  He will not suffer our feet to be moved.  He watches over us at all times.  He is our keeper and our shade or protection.  He also preserves us.  Isn’t it so comforting to know that when trials and tribulations come our way we have help from the Lord?  His power and His love and compassion comfort us.

Today I challenge you to entrust God with your greatest challenges and even your smallest fears.  He is your protector, your comforter, and your guide.  Don’t feel like you must face life’s troubles alone, let God be your ultimate help.

“The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”  Psalm 121:8

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Get In the Word

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:8

Everything we know in this life is temporal.  The grass withers, flowers fade: nothing last forever.  We’re so accustomed to the fact that everything dies or fades that it’s hard to grasp the concept that the word of God will stand forever.  We’re also used to the unfaithfulness of our fellow humans’ word.  Most people don’t keep their promises.  God’s Word, whether spoken or written, shall surely stand forever.

When we feel God is leading us in a direction or telling us something, we can be sure that His word is true.  The Bible, God’s written Word, is sure to last forever.  It’s so important to apply His word to our hearts and minds each day.  When we read God’s word we can know it’s true and we can trust God to speak to us through it.

Today I challenge you to get in the Word.  God speaks to us through it when we are prepared to listen to Him.  His word will stand for ever.  If we’re rooted and ground in His word, we’ll be prepared to stand before God.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15

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The Love of God

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”  1 John 3;2

God’s love for us is so great and so mighty, yet so gentle and kind.  The love He bestows upon us is exactly what we need for the day.  He shows His love by watching over and protecting us.  His love is given to us as He comforts us and gives us peace.  When we seek Him and ask for His will to be done, He shows His love by giving us guidance and direction.  He daily shows His love when He blesses us and provides our needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  However, the most ultimate love He gives to us is through His Son.

Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  The love that God exhibited through the act of giving His Son is beyond our comprehension.  When you’re feeling down and out look no further than God’s love for encouragement.  His love is perfect and through us the love of God is perfected.

“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know that we are in him.”  1 John 2:5

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My Grace Is Sufficient

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ” 2 Corinthians 12:9

As humans, we want to be healthy and strong.  We want to physically, mentally, and emotionally be able to handle everything that life throws at us.  It doesn’t take long to realize that our capabilities will never be sufficient enough to handle all our needs.

We can never, on our own, be fully prepared to face the challenges of life.  Paul reminds us, however, that the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength in made perfect in weakness.”  It’s in times of our despair, when we know we couldn’t possibly handle the situation on our own, that God makes a way. When we have no question and no doubt that by God’s strength we made it through, He then gets the glory. Through our weakness, His strength is made perfect and His power rests upon us.

Today I challenge you to glory in your infirmities.  Realize that you’re powerless and that God has the ultimate power.  Let Him use you to bring honor and glory to His name.

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”  1 Peter 4:16

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He Hears

“Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.”  Micah 7:7

Sometimes it feels like God is so far away that He couldn’t possibly hear us or have the answers to our prayers.  God, however, always has the answers to our prayers and He knows our hearts desires before we even ask.  We may feel like God is far away, by He’s not.  He loves us and beckons us to draw near to Him.

Psalm 4:3 reassures us of this when it says, “But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.”  In times when we feel like no one else hears us or cares we can be sure that God hears us.  He loves us and wants the best for us.  He created us for His good pleasure.  He wants us to delight in Him and He also wants to give us the desires of our hearts.

Today I challenge you to not be discouraged if you feel like God isn’t listening.  Instead, glory in the fact of knowing that He is.  He loves you, He hears you, and He will not let you down!

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”  Psalm 18:6

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Refinement

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:6-7

We can be sure, as Christians, that we will face many trials in this life.  Things aren’t guaranteed to always be easy, and nothing hardly ever seems “perfect.”  Trials and temptations are discouraging, but we must be willing to accept that they are a part of life.

The attitude that we have concerning our trials can make a huge difference in the outcome.  Peter compares the trial of our faith unto gold.  In order for gold to be the quality metal it is, it must first go through a refinement process where it is heated.  Through the heating, the impurities are separated from the pure gold.

The same is true for Christians.  The refinement process we go through is the trials and temptations we face.  Through these trials we can draw closer to God and become more pure and more like Him.  By undergoing this process, we will find ourselves unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”  James 1:12

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The Way

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  John 14:6

It’s so easy today to get caught up in “playing” church.  We might assume the role of a Christian and even be committed to the church.  We may attend each service and event or even have the job of song leader or teacher.  Being active in the church is important.  It can help us grow spiritually and have fellowship with other Christians.  We need to be careful, however, not to just be “playing” church.

Our salvation doesn’t come from our involvement in the church.  No matter how many services we attend or leadership roles we undertake, it won’t save us.  Jesus made this clear in John 14:6 when He said, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Jesus died on the cross to be the sacrifice for our sins.  We must realize that the only way to get to the Father is through Him.  None of our efforts will ever be enough.  Accepting Christ, believing in Him, and repenting of our sins is the only way to be right with God.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  Romans 10:9-10

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Holiness

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.”  1 Peter 1:13-14

Being a Christian isn’t just a decision that you make one time in your life and then go on with your normal routine.  It is a decision you make each day.  Serving God requires discipline and commitment.  We must discipline ourselves to put away our former lusts and to gird up the loins of your mind.

When we discipline ourselves to put away the old things, we also need to make a commitment to the new things.  As Christian, God asks us to lead a holy life.  The only way we can find holiness is through our relationship with God.  The closer we get to God, the more we are able to put away things of this world because we find that they don’t matter anymore.

Today I challenge you to commit yourself to growing closer to God each day. Set aside time to read your Bible, study, and pray.  In turn, you will begin to see yourself moving toward the holiness God requires of us.

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:15-16

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