Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

The Ultimate Makeover

Monday, July 13th, 2015

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There are a number of televisions shows dealing with makeovers from people to houses. Sometimes they go to great extremes to perfect just that certain look. I enjoy watching these programs but probably could never look that good or have a house that breathtaking.

makeupI am encouraged, though, to know that God is able to do a makeover on us. He changes us from the inside out at the time when we begin our personal relationship with Him. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:172 Corinthians 5:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

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The key phrase here is “be in Christ”. Of course, it does not mean that we are inside Christ but after we accept Him as our personal Savior and the price He paid for our sins, God no longer sees how imperfect we are. He views us as united to Him.

No matter what we do to our outward appearance nothing changes our “being in Christ”. Our Godly image should reflect His image and “all things should become new”. “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.1 Corinthians 1:301 Corinthians 1:30
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:

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Our greatest makeover should be to “BE IN CHRIST“!

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The Unpaid Debt

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

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When I was a teenager (which dates me quite a bit) there was a popular song entitled, “He Paid a Debit He Did Not Owe” by Ellis J. Crum. The essence of the lyrics was to share about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. He did this to save us and to bare our penalty before God. The punishment that we all deserved was paid in full by Christ’s death on the wooden tree. This act of grace affords us the opportunity to be free from the consequences of our sins.

jesus on crossAnother aspect of this song is that we owe a debt to God but there is no way we can ever repay it and neither does God expect any payment. The price was paid in full that first Easter so that we can live with Him eternally.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” I Peter 3:18 Christ’s ultimate purpose was to bring you to God. He is just waiting for us to come.

Following is a video of the song, “He Paid a Debt He Did Not Owe” sung by Conrad Fisher. Listen to the words and reflect on that great debt that was paid because He loves us so much.

He Paid a Debt

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Within the Covers

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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Ronald ReaganPresident Ronald Reagan once made a very profound statement, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” What a timely statement even for today.

It seems there is so much unrest in the world. Wars, rumors of wars, major global illnesses, disagreements on all types of social issues – and the list goes on. What should be my reaction to these?

A person recently told me she was conservative in her way of thinking. I responded that I didn’t know if I was conservative but rather I was “biblical”. She had a strange reaction but I told her that, since God’s Word is my measuring tool, the answer to all my decisions are found in the Bible.

Psalm 18:30Psalm 18:30
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

30 As for God, his way is perfect: The word of Jehovah is tried; He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in him.

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NIV states, “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.”  Since God’s Word is flawless, why would I look for the answers anywhere else? Some people try to make the Bible say what they want by making their own interpretation but as the lyrics of the old song goes, “if God says it, I believe it, and that settles it for me!” I am not going to change God’s Word to suit my own needs or so I will be socially accepted.

I am going to look “within the covers”!

Following are the lyrics to the song “God Said It and I Believe It” as sung by Del Delker.

God Said It and I Believe It

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Where’s January?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

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Have you ever seen one of those perpetual calendars with blocks that can be changed on a daily and monthly basis?  By turning each block to the correct number to represent the day of the month or another block to indicate the name of the month, a whole new day begins? I have one on my kitchen counter that was given to me many years ago as a gift. My calendar even has little blocks that can be inserted in the top to represent the various seasons. Right now it has a snowflake on it. Ugh!

On the first day of January of this year I was methodically changing my perpetual calendar. It was easy to find the number representative of the day but finding the correct month was a little more difficult. Needless to say, January had slipped all the way to the back of the pile. As I was frantically trying to find it, I kept muttering to myself, “Where’s January, where’s January”.  At last, I found it.

januaryFor most of us, January represents a new beginning. It is another chance to start over again by doing those meaningful things in our lives such as spending more time with God, our family and friends.  Philippians 3:13-14Philippians 3:13-14
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

13 Brethren, I could not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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NLT admonishes us to focus on one thing:  “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven”.

Where’s January? It is in the privilege to forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead all the while keeping our focus on Godly endeavors. I hope you find your January!

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God’s Image

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

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Malachi 3:3Malachi 3:3
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

3 and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness.

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states, “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.”

What is the process of refining silver? A silversmith holds a piece of silver over the fire and lets it heat up. He will hold it in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest. The fire burns away all the impurities.

The silversmith keeps a watchful eye on the silver the whole time he is refining it because, if it is left too long in the flames, it will be destroyed. The most remarkable thing of the process is that the silversmith knows it is fully refined when he can see his image in the silver.

TrophiesGod’s purifying process is difficult sometimes. Do you believe He is holding you in a real “hot spot”? Do you feel the heat of the fire? Is He burning away the impurities of your life? It is encouraging to know, though, He has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you. With God purifying and refining you, you will be a better person in the end. Others will see Christ in you.

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Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

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According to Wikipedia® “the comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.  A person’s personality can be described by his or her comfort zones. Highly successful persons may routinely step outside their comfort zones, to accomplish what they wish. A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security.”

“To step outside their comfort zone, a person must experiment with new and different behaviors, and then experience the new and different responses that occur within their environment.”

I think of one particular person in the Bible who dared to step out of his “comfort zone”. That was Abraham.

Genesis 12:1-4Genesis 12:1-4
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

12 1 Now Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee: 2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing; 3 and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram went, as Jehovah had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

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states, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran”.

stepsBy faith Abraham took that first step out of his “comfort zone” and the Lord blessed him and made him famous. This obedience to God’s command led to Abraham being the father of a great nation. His age, possessions, family obligations or afflictions did not hinder him from doing God’s will.

Is God asking you to step out of your “comfort zone”? What is God asking you to do? Where is God asking you to go? What is God asking you to say? If you step out in faith, God will show you the way and provide the resources. Even a baby step can be the beginning of something great in your life. What stepping stones are in your way? After all, your security is in Christ!

stepping stones

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Were You There?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

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A famous African-American spiritual entitled, “Were You There” asks some very thought-provoking questions. This song is based on the following passage of scripture from Acts 2:23-24Acts 2:23-24
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

23 him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

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: “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

First, the song asks if you were there when they crucified my Lord? Jesus was there. Pilate was there. But no, you were not there!

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree is the second question. Jesus was there suffering and carrying all the burden of our sins. Mary, his mother, was there enduring the grief and pain of seeing her son go through such suffering. But, yet she knew it was prophesied. Jesus’ disciples were there in total disbelief. A condemned thief was there totally believing in God’s mercy. But no, you were not there!

The next question is if you were you there when they laid Him in the tomb. Jesus was still there after experiencing the agony of torture all bloodied and lifeless. His disciple, Joseph, was there, burying Him. Pilate’s centurion guard was there; however, his attempt to guard against Jesus’ escape was unsuccessful. No, you were not there then either!

Finally, the spiritual asks if you were there when He rose up from the grave. Amidst the rumbling earthquake, you were not there but . . . neither was Jesus. Our Savior had risen! 

Hallelujah, the resurrection of Jesus witnesses the immense power of God himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. No one would be redeemed from sin had Christ not arose from the grave. Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important to salvation? It demonstrated that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It guarantees that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead and will be resurrected unto eternal life. We can have that blessed hope. Although we were not physically there, we were there in Jesus’ thoughts and actions. He made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. The resurrection is the triumphant and glorious victory over the grave for every believer.

HE LIVES!!!

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Silly Putty®

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

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According to the encyclopedia, Silly Putty® is a toy based on silicone polymers which display unusual physical properties. It bounces, but breaks when given a sharp blow and can also flow like a liquid. It contains a viscoelastic liquid silicone, a type of Non-Newtonian fluid, which makes it act as a viscous liquid over a long time period but as an elastic solid over a short time period. It was originally created by accident during research into potential rubber substitutes for use by the United States in World War II.

We all know it is a popular toy for children. Why do the kids like it? Because it can be rolled, smoothed, stretched and patted to fit into tiny crevices and corners, wadded up, reshaped and used over and over again. It will never wear out. If it is dropped, it bounces right back.

How can my Christian life be similar to a piece of putty?

  1. I must be willing to be used over and over again and never tire of doing God’s work.
  2. I must bounce back from failure, from loss or from disappointment so I can set the example for others who are watching my Christian lifestyle.
  3. I must fit into tiny crevices and corners so I can do whatever God wants me to do.
  4. I must be willing to be broken as I place all of my cares and concerns before God.
  5. I must be “silly” enough to do what God asks me to do even if it sounds “crazy” to others.
  6. I must be willing to flow freely as a liquid so I can touch the hearts of those around me who are hurting.

Romans 9:21Romans 9:21
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

21 Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?

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states, “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” I want the Master potter (God) to take a lump of clay (me) and create a beautiful vessel to be used for His special purpose.

In other words, I want to be Silly Putty® for Christ.

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Who Truly Came at Christmas?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

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Most people know that at Christmas we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Even though many do not thoroughly understand the importance of Christ’s birth, they are quick to tell you that is why we celebrate the day. 

Who was Jesus Christ? Who truly came at Christmas? The answer to that question may be found in the Bible by the use of some names used to describe Him. Collectively the following names give us a better idea of who Jesus was: Messiah, God’s Anointed One; The Lord; Savior; Son of God; Lamb of God; The Word; The Way, the Truth, the Life; Light of the World; Holy One; Good Shepherd; Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God; Prince of Peace, Chief Cornerstone; Alpha and Omega; Beginning and the End; King of Kings, Lord of Lords, I Am; God with Us and Emmanuel.

There are many more descriptive names but this gives us an idea of who He is. Also, it affirms to us who truly came at Christmas. It was the Lord Jesus Christ who was and is nothing less than God himself. His purpose was to save us from our sins.

To listen to wonderful Christmas carol, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Larkandspur follow the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nEs0eUZNbg

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The Hidden Gift of Christmas

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

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You might wonder what is meant by the hidden gift of Christmas. We all know that Christmas is all about presents, trees, ornaments, baked goodies, parties, family get-togethers and on and on. Oh, how we all enjoy those things. So how could there be anything hidden?

No matter how much many people want to take Christ out of “Christ”mas, it is impossible to do so because . . . 

Christmas begins with “Christ”.

Christ died on the cross for forgiveness of our sins, thus the cross of Christ is the hidden gift. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23Romans 6:23
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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What a gift that was! God displayed his great love for us by sending Jesus Christ, born in a stable and placed in a humble manger on that first Christmas morn, to one day die for us. Thank God for the cross.

MERRY “CHRIST”MAS!

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