Run To The Throne Of Grace

There is a daily tug-of-war for control of your thoughts, feelings, motives, attitudes, words and actions, pulling you in the opposing directions of what sin entices you into and what God invites you into.   Look to Jesus for help and look for His help to arrive in your time of temptation as a way to leave it, the power to say “no” to it, a divine removal of it, the arrival of someone to help you through it, and / or a promise of something worth waiting for that is better than it.  He is bigger than your biggest need!  Take heart… You are never helpless against temptation as long as there is a throne of grace for you to run to for help.

Salvation Is Received, Not Achieved

Salvation is received, not achieved.  We cannot do anything to deserve it or earn it, not even acts of obedience or righteousness.  God does it all… The Father wills it.  The Son secures it.  The Holy Spirit administers it.  What a gift!  What a God! He doesn’t help those who help themselves; He helps those who cannot help themselves.  From start to finish, it’s all by grace… Chosen.  Called.  Converted.  Completed.  Someday every genuine believer will be fully and forever delivered from the presence of sin into the presence of God.  Not because we are able to keep the law, but because Jesus is able to keep us.

Grace Has Gotten Us This Far And Grace Will Get Us …

Every good thing about who we are, what we do or what we have is the result of God’s grace.  It is all undeserved and unmerited.  Yes… We may live wisely.  We may be highly motivated. We may work hard.  But none of this originates with us because God freely supplied the ability, opportunity, voracity and community to make these things possible. He’s been working on our behalf our entire lives! Because God is gracious, we do not have the fear, frustration, or futility that comes from depending on ourselves when we depend on Him. Rest in this today: grace has gotten us this far; grace will get us all the way home.

Grace To Begin Again

There are three questions we should regularly ask in an honest-as-we-can-be evaluation of our spiritual journey with Jesus. First, how am I relating to God through my daily prayer and Bible time? Second, how regular and authentic is my corporate worship with others? Third, how am I stewarding my time and resources for the kingdom of God?  These are essential parts of us knowing Jesus and making Him known so that God is honored in us and we are happy in Him.  When we have been less-than-faithful in these areas, let us ask God for grace to begin again, rejoicing that He will never stop being fully faithful to us.

Jesus Is Our Security

Jesus is our security… He laid down His life on the cross so we can be forgiven and freed from the one thing that can truly threaten us, our sin.  He rose from the dead to defeat the one thing that we could never safeguard against, our mortality.  He sits in the position of power and authority to rule for good the one thing that we struggle to control, our lives.  He prepares for us a place and an inheritance to be enjoyed forever by ensuring the one thing that we cannot, our eternity.  He promises to provide all we need until He brings us safely to the one thing in our future that we long for most, our home with Him.

We Must Encourage Each Other To Follow Jesus

Every Christian faces the ever-present danger of distraction, frustration, and temptation to become preoccupied with things that don’t matter, things that don’t satisfy and things that don’t last.  That’s why Christian community is so important in helping each other keep the faith and keep our focus.   Let us… Spur each other on to good works for Jesus.  Strengthen each other with good news about Jesus.  Support each other with good deeds like Jesus.  By His grace and in His love… We must continually encourage each other to follow Jesus because the world is continually encouraging us not to follow Him.

Two Kinds Of Help

There are two basic kinds of help.  First, there is help for things I can do without you.  Second, there is help for things I cannot do without you.  I can lift a cumbersome box by myself, but your help would make it easier.  I cannot lift a couch by myself, so your help would make it possible.  As branches to the vine, we only receive the second kind of help from Jesus.  He helps us do things that we could not do apart from Him (John 15:5):  bear fruit, do good, live rightly, have faith, glorify God, persevere, experience His joy, everything.  His help doesn’t just make these things easier.  His help makes these things possible.

He Didn’t Get You This Far Just To Get You T …

In this world, we will have tribulation.  Trouble has either already made its way into your life, or it is on its way.  But…  Jesus has overcome the world.  His power is greater than our enemies, His sovereignty rules over our battles, His promises reside in our hearts, His forgiveness ensures our futures, His presence empowers our lives, and His grace provides for our needs.  Though He doesn’t always remove the threats from our lives, He does render them powerless to do anything that would prevent us from joyfully enduring and prevailing in the end.  Take heart! He didn’t get you this far just to get you this far.

Jesus Is Ready, Willing And Able

We need help every single day to wisely and safely and joyfully and productively keep going in life.  And we will have every single day’s worth of help that we need to keep going in life because we have Jesus! He is gracious, so He is ready to help us.  He is loving, so He is willing to help us.  He is mighty, so He is able to help us.   Ready.  Willing.  Able.  His grace means we don’t have to earn His help, His love means we don’t have to pry His help, and His might means we don’t have to doubt His help.  Be confident and courageous today knowing that no matter what comes your way, the help of Jesus is on the way.

Cheering Others On To Serve Jesus

When was the last time you took the time to encourage someone else to keep serving God with his or her life? Not only should we actively do good works for the kingdom of God ourselves, we should actively spur on others to do good works for His kingdom as well.  One of the reasons why people give up and give out when they serve is because no one is there to verbally cheer them on as God has commanded us to do. Therefore, speak up often because God may intend to use your words to prevent someone from quitting.  Remember: It matters today that you encourage others to keep going and keep doing for Jesus.

And So Is The End Of Sin

There are many things we long for about heaven, such as being with Jesus, reuniting with loved ones, eliminating sorrow and experiencing fullness of joy.  One big thing that we should daily and decidedly look forward to is the complete defeat of all sin.  What a day it will be when we sin no more!  No more unkindness, hardheartedness, covetousness and selfishness.  No more idolatry, bigotry, adultery and mockery. No more rebellion, manipulation, inaction or division.  Every sin completely gone forever because our Savior has secured the victory! Take heart, friends.  Jesus is coming, and so is the end of sin.

Our Lives Are Under The Careful Rule

First glances can be deceiving.  Initial observations can be short-sighted.  The opening paragraph doesn’t tell the whole story.  While it is easy to see the obvious things happening in, around and through our lives, without a careful look through a gospel lens, there is a lot that we can miss.  God is doing a thousand things for us today, and we may not have our spiritual eyes locked in on any of them.  Rejoice! Our lives are under the careful rule of a wise, powerful and loving God Who is moving us along toward the glorious return of Jesus when all will make sense, and all will be made right, and all will be made new.

Turn On The Light Today

The Bible is a light that illuminates dark places.  When you read it or hear it, it lights up the darkness of… Your heart.  Your path.  Your witness.  Your life.  It exposes the sinfulness of your heart so you can go to Jesus for forgiveness.  It shows you the pitfalls of the path you are on so you can follow Jesus safely to where you are meant to go.  It brightens your witness before other people as you go so you can point them through your good works to the hope and happiness you have in Jesus.  It shines encouragement into your life so that you can keep going because of the promises of Jesus. So… turn on the light today.

In The Boat With Jesus

Some storms build slowly.  Some storms develop quickly.  Some storms end quickly.  Some storms disappear slowly.  But… No matter how great or lasting the storm that arises in your life, Jesus rules in absolute control over when it rages and when it ceases. It doesn’t get in the way of His plan working out; it’s a way of working out His plan. Even storms serve His purposes for good! Listen… If you trust Jesus for eternal life, then trust Him during everyday life.  And if the storm doesn’t scare Him, it shouldn’t scare you either.  Because you are in the boat together, and He’s already promised to get you to the other side.

Don’t Let Anything Keep You From Him

Hard times can cause people to harden their hearts against God, but good things in life can make us just as unfeeling toward Him.  When things go wrong, we are tempted to blame God; when things go right, we are tempted to ignore God.  Overcoming this sinful tendency to live as if God doesn’t care or as if God isn’t there will only happen when we regularly remind ourselves of Who He is and how good He is.  He helps us in hard times and gifts us with good things so that we will… Remember Him. Rejoice in Him. Remain with Him. Don’t let the seriousness of the bad or the shininess of the good keep you from Him.

He Will Not Lose Us On The Way

There are days when our faith falters, but Jesus does not abandon us.  There are days when we feel like giving up, but Jesus does not let us. There are days when we are too overwhelmed to carry on, but Jesus does not move on without us.   Through every sinful setback, every stagnant season and every stormy squall, Jesus remains faithful to get to heaven all those who believe in Him.  By grace, let us keep taking the next right step in front of us knowing that Jesus is with us every step and will overcome even our mis-steps to take us home.  Hallelujah!  He will not lose us on the way.  He will not let us lose our way.

The Best Is Always Yet To Come

For all who trust in Jesus, there is a glorious eternity ahead in which bad things will be eliminated, good things will be perfected, and the best things will be unveiled.  We have an eternity with Him that… Never gets stale.  Never gets boring.  Never gets routine.  Never gets unappealing.  Never gets finished.  There will always be more to discover and enjoy from the immeasurable riches of God’s grace towards us in Christ Jesus.  Don’t live for this day; live for that day.  Don’t be discouraged by this day; be encouraged by that day.  Take hope in this every day:  for those who are trusting in Jesus, the best is always yet to come.

Pardon For Sin And Power Not To Sin

God loves us, but He doesn’t approve of everything we think, say and do.  God took our sin seriously enough to put His Son Jesus to death in our place; we should take our sin seriously by fighting against it instead of trivializing it, rationalizing it or fraternizing with it.  Let us feel godly sorrow for our sin, but may that conviction give way to celebration of the forgiveness and freedom that is ours because of Jesus.  Grace means there is pardon for our sin and power not to sin.  We fight against it, we fail in the battle, we fall into mercy, we fight on, we finish.  For those who are trusting in Jesus… Grace always wins in the end.

Pressing On And Passing On

One of the primary aims of Christianity is to invite as many people who are far from God into the joy that we have in Him so they can experience it with us. To fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith means not only enduring in the gospel ourselves until our homecoming, but also equipping others with the gospel so they can fight on, race on, and keep on when we have gone on, until there is no place left that has not heard the good news of Jesus.  A life well-lived means we press on in the faith ourselves and pass on the faith to others so that God is honored in more of us and more of us are happy in Him.

Unfinished, But Not Unloved

A semi-painted canvas doesn’t show the whole picture.  A rough draft doesn’t tell the whole story.  A list of ingredients doesn’t look like the whole entrée.  Similar to these things, you and I are works-in-progress in the transforming hands of our loving Father.  And He will continue changing us from who we used to be into who we will be.  We are… Unfinished, but not unsaved.  Unfinished, but not unfixable.  Unfinished, but not unloved.  Because God will finish what He starts in you, you don’t have to give in to despair when you stumble in your faith or give up in trying to live out your faith. He isn’t done yet.  And neither are you.