Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Devotion: Actively Receive

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32)?

Just about everyone is familiar with or has heard of John 3:16.  It says that God so love the world that he gave his only begotten to save us.  And even though God so loved the world, the “everlasting life” spoken of here is “conditional,” which means that in order for us to receive this “everlasting life,” we have to do something.  Receiving this “everlasting life” is contingent upon us “believing in his only begotten son.”  According to this passage, if we “just believe in this only begotten son,” then we will not perish but will receive this “everlasting life.”  Though it appears that God has freely given us all of these things, nothing in the verses suggest that receiving this “everlasting life” is automatic, but conditional.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).

While God is extremely patient with us, not wanting or desiring that anyone of us to perish, he has once again made our salvation “conditional,” meaning the in order for us to receive this “salvation,” we again have to do something.  Receiving this “salvation” is contingent upon us “coming to repentance.”

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

Everyone is given the power to become a son or daughter of God, but again becoming “a child of God” is conditional.  Everyone who “receives his only begotten son” and who “believes on his name” is freely given or receives the right to become a child of the Almighty God.  This means that unless the conditions set forth by God are met, then “no one receives that power to become a child of God.”  You see, everyone is “a creation of God,” but not everyone is “a child of God.”  In order “to receive” what God has freely given us all, which includes “salvation, everlasting life, and the power to become a child of God,” we each have “to actively” meet the conditions that God has set.  Make the choice to “actively receive” all the God has to offer and all that he has freely given because nothing is automatic; everything is conditional, conditional upon you doing something.

As always, we pray that today’s inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Devotion: Jesus Is Coming Back

Do you believe that Jesus is coming back?

“When is all this going to happen?  I really don’t need to say anything about that, dear brothers, for you know perfectly well that no one knows.  That day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.  When people are saying, ‘All is well; everything is quiet and peaceful’—then, all of a sudden, disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman’s birth pains begin when her child is born.  And these people will not be able to get away anywhere—there will be no place to hide.  But, dear brothers, you are not in the dark about these things, and you won’t be surprised as by a thief when that day of the Lord comes.  For you are all children of the light and of the day, and do not belong to darkness and night.  So be on your guard, not asleep like the others.  Watch for his return and stay sober.  Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk.  But let us who live in the light keep sober, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the happy hope of salvation” (I Thessalonians 5:1-8 TLB).

Scripture says that Jesus is coming back and he is coming back “like a thief in the night.”  Will you be ready for his return?

“Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief!  Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed” (Revelation 16:15 TLB).

Are you watching continually for Jesus to return?  Do you have your clothing ready?  Is your “cloak of grace” intact so that no one will see your nakedness and shame or will others see your sin and punishment because “you have left the cloak behind?”  Be forewarned, he will come suddenly, unexpectedly, and abruptly; will you be ready?

“Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him.  Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun.  Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us.  Don’t be fooled by what they say.  For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness (the man of sin) is revealed—the one who brings destruction (the son of destruction).  He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship.  He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God” (II Thessalonians 2:1-4 NLT).

But don’t be deceived about his return for there are certain events that must take place first and then comes the day of the Lord.  Jesus is coming back, will you be ready?

As you read today’s inspirational message, we pray that it will be a blessing to you and that you will share it with others that they may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Monday, January 2, 2017

Devotion: Make Room For Jesus

Do you make room for Jesus in your life?  Be honest, because we do not ask for our knowledge, but for yours.  You see, as believers, we claim to love Jesus and we claim to have a relationship with Jesus.  But if we have to truthfully describe that relationship, the one word that comes to mind is “complicated.”  By “complicated,” we are saying that our relationship with Jesus is “a little hard to explain and understand.”  Most relationships involving Jesus are “one-sided.”

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:13-14 NIV).

Most believers know that Jesus gave his life for us because he loved us.  Yes, Jesus laid down his life for us because he considered us “to be his friends.”  And in return for this friendship, he only ask that we do what he has commanded of us.  But this is where things get a little “complicated” and a little “one-sided.”  Our relationship with Jesus has become “a little hard to explain and a little hard to understand” because we have allowed the cares of this world to affect and define our relationship with Jesus.  We allow the demands from our family, the demands from our jobs, the demands from our friends, and the demands of just trying to survive this life to dictate the kind of relationship that we have with Jesus.  Because of these demands, demands that we have prioritized, we have no time nor do we make room for Jesus.  So, when we ask if you make room for Jesus, it is truly for your knowledge only.

Most believers have placed Jesus in a position, that if they get a moment, a spare moment mind you, at the end of the day, they try to dedicated that time to Jesus.  The problem with this thought process is that they tend to run out of time before they get to Jesus or are so tired that they just to have anything left and tend to fall asleep.  However, in their time of need, in their time of crisis, when they feel there are no other options, they suddenly make room for Jesus.  When they need him, their priorities change and suddenly they find themselves making time for Jesus.  When they find themselves in such a situation, at the end of their rope, his name is the first name they call out.  “Help me Jesus,” “Save me Jesus,” and “Have mercy on me Jesus,” are just a few of those calls for help that come to mind.  Yes, we have a “one-sided complicated” relationship with the one who gave his life for us.  But it does not have to be that way.

“Look!  I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking.  If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:20 TLB).  “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:9-17 NIV).

Jesus is standing at the door, knocking, wanting to come in and fellowship with us.  All we have to do is open the door and make a little room for him, make a little more time for him.  Jesus laid down his life for us, because he considered us to be his friends.  In return, he asked that we do what he has commanded.  In doing this, we will find that his joy will be in us and our joy will be made complete and overflowing.  Make time for Jesus in your life and change the description of your relationship with him.  No longer see the relationship with the one you claim to love as “one-sided and complicated.”  Make room for Jesus in your life.

We again give thanks to God for this avenue that he has given us to share his word through our commentary.  We also thank God for the accompanying inspirational message that he also provided.  We continually pray that God’s grace will be upon you and that these devotionals will be a blessing to you.  If you are blessed by them, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW