Month: April 2024

Faith and Forgiveness

Faith and Forgiveness

Mark 2:5 tells us, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.”

This verse highlights the powerful connection between faith and forgiveness.

Power of Faith

Faith is not simply intellectual assent; it’s complete trust and confidence in God and His promises. It’s the conviction of unseen realities and the assurance of things hoped for.

In Mark’s account, Jesus recognizes the faith of the four men who brought the paralyzed friend. He sees their unwavering belief, their persistence in overcoming obstacles, and their expectation of healing.

This shows us that faith is the key to pleasing God and receiving His blessings. It empowers us to overcome challenges, access His grace, and experience His presence.

Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness isn’t just overlooking an offense; it’s the release of a debt and the restoration of a relationship. It’s the embodiment of love and mercy.

Jesus, acknowledging the deeper need, forgives the paralyzed man’s sins before healing him physically. This demonstrates His authority, compassion, and offer of a new beginning.

Forgiveness has the power to heal our wounds – guilt, shame, bitterness, and isolation. It allows us to heal not just emotionally but also physically.

Demonstrating and Receiving Faith and Forgiveness

Faith and forgiveness are not passive concepts; they require active participation.

We can demonstrate faith by following the example of the four men: bringing our needs and the needs of others to Jesus, persevering in prayer, and believing and obeying His words.

Likewise, we can demonstrate forgiveness by following Jesus’ example. This means forgiving those who have wronged us, seeking forgiveness from those we’ve hurt, and extending forgiveness to ourselves and others.

Receiving faith and forgiveness starts with responding to Jesus’ invitation. We receive faith by accepting His gospel and promises, confessing our sins, and trusting Him as our Lord and Savior.

Forgiveness is received through His grace and sacrifice. We acknowledge His love and mercy, experience His peace and joy, and grow in His presence.

Reflecting and Revealing Faith and Forgiveness

Having experienced faith and forgiveness, we’re naturally compelled to share them with the world.

We reflect and reveal faith by sharing God’s word and love. We explain His message, invite others to join Him, and tell them about His works.

Similarly, we reflect forgiveness by showing God’s grace and mercy. We care for others, use our gifts in service, and offer prayers and blessings.

Faith and forgiveness are expressions of God’s power working in your life. They move mountains, heal wounds, and bring you closer to Him.

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Finding Hope and Joy

Finding Hope and Joy

Malachi 4:2 speaks of a beautiful promise: “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves” (NIV).

This verse offers a glimpse of the hope and joy God has in store for His people.

God’s Hope: A Light in the Darkness

The “sun of righteousness” symbolizes God’s presence, justice, mercy, and the promise of salvation.

Malachi assures us that for those who revere God, a time will come when He will intervene and bring an end to suffering. He will fulfill His covenant, ushering in a new era of peace and restoration.

This hope isn’t based on fleeting circumstances; it’s anchored in God’s unchanging character and faithfulness.

God’s Joy: Freedom and Abundance

The image of “well-fed calves frolicking” depicts the freedom and happiness God’s people will experience.

This joy comes from liberation from bondage, access to God’s provision, and the healing touch of His grace.

It’s a genuine and lasting joy rooted in God’s goodness and generosity.

Experiencing God’s Hope and Joy Today

This hope and joy aren’t reserved for the future; they are available now. We can experience them by:

  • Reverence: Acknowledging God’s greatness, worshiping Him sincerely, and honoring Him through our actions.
  • Grace: Confessing our sins, trusting His promises and forgiveness, and living in His presence, following His guidance.

Expressing God’s Hope and Joy in the World

Having experienced God’s love, we are called to share it with others:

  • Sharing His Word: Telling others about God’s works and promises, explaining His message, and inviting them to join His journey.
  • Showing His Love: Demonstrating care for the needs of others, using our gifts to serve, and offering prayers and blessings.

God’s hope and joy are like a radiant sun, dispelling darkness and bringing life.

As the hymn writer expresses, “Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love; hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.”

Even in difficult times, God’s hope remains a constant source of strength, and His joy fuels our mission to share His love with the world.

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God’s Enduring Word

God’s Enduring Word

Luke 21:33 tells us, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (NIV).

This verse highlights a profound truth: God’s word transcends time and circumstance.

Eternal Nature of God’s Word

God’s word isn’t limited by time or space. It’s unchanging and independent of human opinions. Unlike the temporary physical world, God’s word endures forever.

Jesus emphasizes this by stating that even heaven and earth will eventually fade, but His words – spiritual and eternal – will remain.

This assures us that God’s word is a more reliable source of truth than anything we can perceive with our senses.

Unmatched Power of God’s Word

God’s word isn’t mere words on a page; it’s alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). It has the power to create, heal, convict, transform, save, and sanctify.

Jesus describes His words as “spirit and life” (John 6:63). They have the capacity to bring about new beginnings, restore what’s broken, bring conviction of sin, and lead to spiritual transformation.

God’s word offers what we deeply need and long for.

Trusting and Obeying

Trusting God’s word is essential. It’s not something we can ignore, doubt, or pick and choose from. We must embrace and obey it.

Jesus compares those who hear His words and put them into practice to a wise person who builds their house on a solid foundation (Matthew 7:24). God’s word provides a secure foundation for our lives, guiding our decisions and offering a wise investment for our future.

Ultimately, God’s word presents us with a choice and a challenge. It shapes our destiny and tests our faithfulness. It’s an opportunity and a responsibility we cannot neglect.

Treasuring and Sharing

God’s word is a priceless treasure we shouldn’t keep to ourselves. It’s meant to be shared and spread.

Jesus uses the illustration of a merchant seeking a pearl of great value (Matthew 13:45-46). He emphasizes that God’s word is a precious treasure worth seeking and acquiring. Just as the merchant sold everything he had to buy the pearl, we should value God’s word above all else.

God’s word is both a gift we’ve received and a mission we’ve been entrusted with. It’s a treasure to cherish and distribute to the world around us.

God’s word is eternal, powerful, trustworthy, and priceless. It’s the ultimate source of truth, guidance, blessing, and purpose.

Cultivate a love for God’s word and allow it to guide your life.

As the psalmist proclaims, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105)

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All In: The Cost and Reward of Following Jesus

All In: The Cost and Reward of Following Jesus

Luke 14:33 “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

This verse challenges us to consider the true meaning of being a follower of Christ.

Meaning of Discipleship

The word “disciple” translates to “learner” or “follower.”

A disciple of Jesus is someone who actively learns from Him, listens to His teachings, obeys His commands, and imitates His example. It’s about a relationship – loving Jesus, becoming like Him, following His path, and sharing His mission.

Jesus calls us to join Him on a journey of love, service, and sacrifice. He invites us to “take up your cross” – a symbol of willingness to suffer for Him – and follow in His footsteps.

Being a disciple is more than just belief or church membership. It’s about transformation – a growing love for Jesus that compels us to be more like Him, living according to His will.

Cost of Discipleship

The cost of discipleship is nothing less than our all.

Jesus doesn’t demand literal poverty, but a complete surrender of attachments and priorities. He requires our love for Him to surpass all else. He asks us to put Him first in every aspect of our lives.

Two parables illustrate this point. Building a tower and going to war require careful planning and commitment. Likewise, following Jesus demands, we count the cost – are we prepared for challenges and difficulties?

Are we willing to pay the price?

Being a disciple is a serious and lifelong commitment, not a casual decision. It affects everything we do and requires sacrifice, dedication, and our wholehearted effort.

Reward of Discipleship

The reward for such commitment? Jesus Himself. He assures us that what we give up pales in comparison to the gain.

He’s the pearl of great price, the treasure hidden in the field, the bread of life, and the living water. He’s the Way, the Truth, and the Life – our Lord, Savior, Friend, Brother, God, and King.

Discipleship isn’t a burden or a loss; it’s a profound joy and gain that surpasses all expectations. It’s the joy of knowing Jesus and being known by Him.

Challenge of Daily Discipleship

The challenge lies in living out our faith daily. Jesus calls for self-denial, carrying our cross (embracing challenges for Him), and following Him every day.

This translates to loving God completely and our neighbor as ourselves. We are called to be “salt and light” in the world, influencing others for good and sharing the gospel message.

Jesus expects us to apply His teachings in everyday situations, showing love and grace to everyone we meet. He desires our continual growth in faith and character, witnessing for Him and His kingdom.

Being a disciple is a lifelong journey of learning, doing, receiving, giving, trusting, obeying, and continually growing in Christ. It shapes who we are and our ultimate destiny.

The cost of discipleship is everything, but the reward is Jesus Himself. He calls you, equips you, and promises to be with you always.

As the hymn writer declares, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.”

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Words and Actions: Guarding Your Heart

Words and Actions: Guarding Your Heart

Luke 6:45 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

This verse highlights a profound truth: our hearts are the wellspring of our words and actions.

The Heart: Source of What We Say and Do

The Bible portrays the heart as more than just a physical organ. It’s the center of our thoughts, emotions, desires, and will.

It shapes who we are – our character and identity. Jesus teaches us that our words reveal our heart’s condition.

A heart brimming with love, joy, peace, and kindness, overflows with words of encouragement, gratitude, and praise.

Conversely, a heart filled with anger, bitterness, or envy manifests in negativity, criticism, and gossip. We cannot hide our true selves; our words eventually betray our hearts.

God’s Work in Transforming Our Hearts

God desires to transform our hearts into His likeness. He wants them filled with His love, grace, and truth.

He accomplishes this through the Holy Spirit working in us via His word, His people, and even life’s circumstances. God convicts us of sin, offers forgiveness, and challenges us to follow His will. He grants us a new heart, a new birth, and a new life in Him.

Our role is to cooperate with God’s work. We open our hearts, listen to His voice, obey His commands, and repent of our wrongdoings. We trust and follow Him, allowing Him to shape us.

The Heart: Reflecting Our Spiritual Growth

The state of our heart, reflects our spiritual growth. It reveals how much we’ve learned from God and His word, how much we love Him and others, and how much we’ve matured as Christians.

Just as a tree is recognized by its fruit, a person is known by their words. Good hearts produce good words, while bad hearts produce bad words.

Examining our words offers a window into our hearts. Are our words pleasing to God and edifying to others? Do they align with our faith?

The Heart: Motivating Our Actions

Our hearts don’t just influence our words; they motivate our actions. What’s in our hearts shapes our choices, behavior, life path, and ultimately, our destiny.

Jesus tells us, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”. This principle extends to actions as well.

A heart filled with good things leads to good deeds, serving others, and glorifying God. Conversely, a heart filled with negativity manifests in harmful actions that dishonor God.

Therefore, guarding our hearts is crucial. We avoid anything that can corrupt them, like sin, temptation, and worldly influences. We seek what nourishes them – prayer, worship, fellowship, and God’s word, which equips us for good works.

The Heart of the Matter

Your heart truly is the matter of the matter. It shapes your words, actions, and spiritual growth. Strive to align your heart with God’s heart.

As the psalmist pleads, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:1).

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Facing Rejection: The Cost of Following Christ

Facing Rejection: The Cost of Following Christ

John 15:19 reminds us, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (NIV).

This verse highlights a reality – following Christ can lead to rejection.

Price of Choosing Christ

Choosing Christ comes at a cost. It means embracing values and beliefs that differ from the world’s.

It means living differently, loving differently, and serving differently. This difference can make us targets for ridicule, rejection, and even persecution.

However, Jesus offers comfort: we’re not alone. He chose us despite the world’s opposition, and He promises to be with us (John 16:33).

Persevering Through Trials

The good news is that we don’t face this rejection alone. Jesus promises to guide us and give us the strength to persevere.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

When trials come, we can find comfort in knowing He has already overcome the world. His promises and faithfulness assure us He will never abandon us.

Respond with Love

Despite the hatred, we’re called to love. Loving our enemies shows them Christ’s love and demonstrates that our motivation is love and compassion, not hatred or revenge.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

Matthew 5:44

Loving our enemies also frees us from the burden of bitterness and allows God’s love to transform us.

Facing rejection for your faith can be challenging, but it’s a sign you’re on the right path. You called to follow Christ, persevere through trials, and respond with love.

Commit to living a life that honors God even in the face of opposition. Trust in His love and grace, allowing Him to work through you for His glory.

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Gift of Living Water

Gift of Living Water

John 4:11 captures Jesus’ message to the Samaritan woman: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (NIV).

This verse offers a solution to a universal human longing.

Insatiable Thirst for More

As humans, we crave a sense of fulfillment, happiness, and purpose.

Often, we chase after these feelings in the wrong places – material possessions, relationships, or achievements.

But these things offer only temporary satisfaction. They leave a void that nothing earthly can fill.

Gift of Grace: Living Water

Jesus offers a different kind of drink: “living water” that eternally satisfies.

This living water represents God’s grace – a free gift we don’t earn or deserve. It’s an acknowledgment of our need for Him and our inability to find true meaning on our own.

When we accept this gift, we experience a deep peace and contentment that only God can provide.

Promise of Eternal Life

The living water isn’t just about this life; it’s about eternity with God.

Accepting this gift fills us with the Holy Spirit, who guides and transforms us. We gain a new perspective, empowered to live for God’s glory.

Beyond this earthly life, the promise extends to being with Jesus forever in heaven.

Drink Deep

The living water offered by Jesus is the answer to your deepest longings. It’s the only true source of lasting fulfillment.

Accept His gift of grace, drink deeply from the well of living water, and allow the Holy Spirit to transform you.

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Power of Truthful Living

Power of Truthful Living

Honesty is a cornerstone of Christian life. James 5:12 instructs, “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Otherwise you will be condemned” (NIV).

This verse emphasizes the importance of truthfulness in our words and actions.

Why Honesty Matters

Honesty builds trust. When we’re truthful, people see us as reliable and dependable, fostering strong relationships.

Dishonesty, however, erodes trust, creating doubt and suspicion. It damages the very foundation of connection.

Honesty is also a reflection of character. It demonstrates integrity and a commitment to truth. Conversely, dishonesty reveals a willingness to compromise values for personal gain.

Temptation to Lie

Despite the importance of honesty, we can be tempted to lie. Fear of consequences or the allure of personal gain might cloud our judgment.

However, the Bible is clear: lying is wrong. Proverbs 12:22 states, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy”.

Dishonesty not only disobeys God’s commands but also strains our relationship with Him.

Power of Truth

Honesty is ultimately the best policy. It frees us from the burden of deception. We avoid the stress of maintaining lies and the guilt of wrongdoing. More importantly, honesty fosters transformation.

Truthfulness allows us to be authentic and vulnerable. We let others see the real us, creating deeper connections.

It also strengthens our faith. Honesty with God opens us up to His grace and mercy, allowing Him to transform us from within.

A Truthful Life

Honesty is a vital Christian virtue. It builds trust, reflects character, and strengthens relationships. It allows for authentic connections and fosters spiritual growth.

Commit to living truthfully in all aspects of your life, trusting that God values your commitment to truth.

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True Riches: God’s Grace and Inheritance

True Riches: God’s Grace and Inheritance

James 2:5 “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”

This verse challenges our definition of wealth.

God’s Perspective on Wealth

The world measures wealth by possessions, status, and power. It focuses on acquiring more and surpassing expectations.

The Bible, however, offers a different perspective. True riches come from what we receive from God, not what we have ourselves.

It’s about God’s grace and our future inheritance.

Poverty and Heavenly Riches

James calls his readers “brothers and sisters,” acknowledging their shared faith and God’s choice. He highlights their richness in faith – a gift from God – and their inheritance of the kingdom – a promise from God. However, he acknowledges their earthly poverty and struggles.

This seeming paradox – present poverty and future riches – is resolved by understanding their source of wealth.

It’s not earthly possessions but God’s grace.

Power of God’s Grace

Grace is God’s undeserved favor, love, and limitless resources.

It’s the power that saves, transforms, and empowers us. It makes us rich in God’s eyes even when we lack in the world’s.

Grace enables us to trust, obey, and love God, even in challenging times.

It empowers us to overcome sin, resist evil, endure suffering, serve others, share the gospel, and live for God’s glory.

Promise of the Kingdom

The kingdom of God signifies His reign and rule. It’s not a physical place but a spiritual reality, already present.

It’s the ultimate goal and the greatest expression of God’s glory.

This kingdom is the inheritance of those who love God, a reward for obedience and a treasure for those who seek Him.

Focus on seeking the kingdom of God, for it represents the true riches found in His grace.

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Unrivaled Glory

Unrivaled Glory

Isaiah 42:8 declares, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols”.

This verse raises a question: Why is God so concerned about His glory?

God Deserves All Glory

God isn’t insecure or seeking praise. He’s the source of all good, beauty, and truth, the creator of everything. As the most glorious being, He deserves all the credit.

Glorifying Him benefits both Him and us. We acknowledge His greatness and grace, expressing gratitude and love.

We align ourselves with His will, enjoying His presence and peace, reflecting His character, and participating in His mission.

Problem and Peril of Idolatry

However, when we fail to glorify God, we fall into idolatry – worshiping, serving, or trusting anything more than Him. We might value something else more, find our identity in something else, or seek satisfaction elsewhere.

Idolatry is a serious issue. It dishonors God by rejecting His truth and grace, distorting His glory, and provoking His judgment.

It damages us by corrupting our hearts and minds, enslaving our wills, and forfeiting our joy and purpose.

The Solution: Salvation Through Christ

Thankfully, God offers hope through Jesus Christ, the perfect image of God. Jesus paid the price for your idolatry, offering forgiveness, freedom, and reconciliation through faith in Him.

Responding Through Worship

Worship, the opposite of idolatry, is our response to God’s salvation. It’s giving Him the glory He deserves, loving Him with all our being, serving Him with all we have, and trusting Him in all circumstances.

Worship isn’t confined to Sundays; it’s a daily choice, an attitude, a lifestyle. It’s not just singing or praying, but obeying commands, following His example, and delighting in the privilege of honoring Him.

Therefore, worship God alone, for He alone is worthy of all glory.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration
Power of Christ’s Blood: Eternal Redemption

Power of Christ’s Blood: Eternal Redemption

Hebrews 9:12 declares, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

This verse highlights the superiority of Christ’s sacrifice – a single offering that grants us eternal redemption.

Necessity and Sufficiency of Blood

The Bible verse emphasizes the need for blood in redemption. Blood symbolizes life, forfeited by sin but restored by God’s grace. It represents the price paid – our debt to God settled by His sacrifice.

We might find the concept of blood outdated, but it reveals the gravity of sin and God’s holiness.

The verse further emphasizes the sufficiency of Christ’s blood. Unlike the temporary sacrifices of the old covenant, Christ’s blood – pure and infinite – establishes the new covenant.

It fulfills God’s justice and love, cleansing our conscience and redeeming us completely. We might doubt its power, but Christ’s sacrifice is all-encompassing, fulfilling the law and securing our salvation.

One Sacrifice, Forever

The author clarifies that Christ’s blood is effective. It doesn’t merely cover sin; it removes and cancels it.

Unlike repeated sacrifices, Christ’s offering was “once for all.” It’s the final and ultimate sacrifice, valid eternally. We might feel un-forgiven or insecure, but Christ’s blood assures us of God’s pardon and redemption, enabling us to enter His presence.

Faith and Gratitude

The verse implies a response – faith and gratitude. Faith is trusting God and His promises, receiving the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice through repentance, and surrendering our lives to Him.

Gratitude is acknowledging the value of Christ’s blood, thanking and worshiping Him for His love and mercy, and sharing His grace with others.

God’s Offer

God offers redemption through His Son’s sacrifice. This sacrifice reveals His justice and love, inviting us to experience His forgiveness and presence. Respond today with faith and gratitude, living in the reality of Christ’s redemption and finding rest in Him.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration
Entering God’s Rest

Entering God’s Rest

Hebrews 4:1Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.

In this verse, believers are warned not to repeat the Israelites’ mistake in the wilderness and miss out on “entering his rest.” This verse offers an invitation and a challenge: to embrace God’s rest, signifying His salvation and presence.

Promise of God’s Rest

The Scripture emphasizes God’s enduring promise of rest – a spiritual reality and eternal destiny, not a physical state.

It’s a dynamic relationship, a divine provision, and a gift secured by Christ’s work.

We might think God’s rest is irrelevant or unattainable, but it’s what we truly need and long for.

Danger of Falling Short

The verse warns of the danger of “falling short” of God’s rest due to sin and unbelief. It’s a consequence of disobedience and rebellion, not a mere possibility.

We might think it’s avoidable or reversible, but the truth is, it’s a real and permanent consequence.

Means of Entering: Faith

The author reveals faith as the key to entering God’s rest. It’s trust and obedience in God and His Word, the confidence we have in His promises.

By faith, we access the rest He prepared for us, accomplished through Christ’s sacrifice, and applied by the Holy Spirit.

Faith is NOT optional, but it’s essential and sufficient; it’s what God requires and honors.

Goal of Resting

The Scripture verse implies the goal is to “rest” in God’s rest. It’s experiencing His peace, joy, and presence, worshiping and serving Him, and growing in His Word.

It’s not boring or unproductive; it’s what fulfills our purpose and destiny. We might think we need to find our own rest, but true rest is found in Him.

God offers us rest – His salvation and presence. He warns against missing it, teaches us to enter through faith, and invites us to experience the peace and joy of resting in Him. Embrace His offer and enter His rest.



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No Longer Slaves, But Heirs

No Longer Slaves, But Heirs

Galatians 4:7 declares, “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir”. This verse, from Paul’s letter to the Galatians, emphasizes our transformed identity in Christ. It contrasts our pre-salvation state with the freedom and inheritance we receive through faith.

From Bondage to Son-ship

Paul begins by stating we are “no longer slaves.” Slavery represents the oppression and control of sin. We were slaves to the law, unable to attain righteousness through its demands. We were slaves to the world, lured by its empty promises. We were slaves to the flesh, ruled by desires. Before Christ, we were alienated from God.

We might think slavery is irrelevant, but it limits our potential and hinders our relationship with God. The truth is, sin’s bondage robs us of joy and purpose.

Thankfully, the verse continues, “you are God’s child.” Son-ship signifies a state of grace and favor. When we accept Christ, we’re adopted by the Father, becoming part of His family. We are no longer strangers, but loved children.

Heirs: A Present and Future Reality

The verse further declares we are “heirs.” Heir-ship signifies entitlement to God’s promises. As God’s heirs, we have access to His presence, protection, provision, and guidance.

We share in Christ’s suffering and glory, His death and resurrection. We are co-heirs with Him, participating in His kingdom and mission.

We may perceive heir-ship as distant, but it’s a present reality. It enriches us, motivating and inspiring us. It challenges and transforms us, preparing us for what awaits.

Living by Faith

Finally, Paul implies living by “faith.” Faith is our response to our new identity in Christ. It’s trust and obedience towards God as our Father and Lord. It’s the confidence we have in His love and power.

Through faith, we live free from slavery, enjoying God’s love as His children. By faith, we claim the promises and blessings He offers.

We might think of faith as a feeling, but it’s a necessity. It pleases God, benefits us, strengthens us, and helps us witness to others. Faith overcomes the world and anticipates the future.

By grace, God has made us His children and heirs. He freed us from slavery and calls us to live by faith. Let us embrace our freedom and dignity as His children, loving, praising, serving, and glorifying Him as our Father.


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From Stealing to Sharing

From Stealing to Sharing

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. (Ephesians 4:28)

This verse is part of Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians on how to live as new creations in Christ. It is a practical and ethical application of the Gospel, which transforms us from being selfish and sinful to being generous and righteous.

It reflects the heart of God, who gives us everything we have and expects us to use it for his glory and for the good of others.

In this devotional, we will explore four implications of this verse: the problem of stealing, the purpose of working, the power of sharing, and the promise of blessing.

Problem of Stealing

The first thing that Paul addresses in this verse is the problem of stealing. Stealing is taking something that belongs to someone else without their permission or consent. It is a violation of God’s commandment and an offense against our neighbor.

It is a manifestation of our fallen nature, which is greedy, covetous, and rebellious. It is a sign of our lack of trust in God, who provides for our needs and desires. It is a symptom of our discontentment with what we have and our dissatisfaction with who we are.

We may think that stealing is not a big deal or that it does not apply to us; rationalizing that we are only taking what we deserve or what we need. We may even justify that we are only borrowing or using what is not ours.

But the truth is that stealing is a serious sin and a harmful habit. It dishonors God, who owns everything and gives us everything.

It damages our relationship with others, who are made in God’s image and deserve our respect. It destroys our character, which is shaped by our choices and actions.

Purpose of Working

The second thing that Paul teaches in this verse is the purpose of working. Working is doing something useful with our own hands, using the abilities and opportunities that God has given us.

It is a way of expressing our gratitude and stewardship to God, who created us and gifted us; a way of fulfilling our role and responsibility in God’s kingdom, which is advancing and growing.

We may view work as a curse or a burden, or complain that it’s difficult or tedious. It’s possible to resent the fact that work is necessary or obligatory, and we might even avoid it because it’s challenging or demanding.

However, the truth is that work is a blessing and a privilege. It honors God, who himself works and rests.

Work benefits us by providing for our needs and allowing us to enjoy the fruits of our labor. It also helps others who depend on us and appreciate our contributions. Ultimately, work reflects our dignity, which is both derived from and affirmed by our labor.

Power of Sharing

The third thing Paul emphasizes in this verse is the power of sharing. Sharing is giving something that we have to someone who needs it.

It is a demonstration of our love and generosity to God, who loves us and gave his Son for us.

Sharing what we have is a gain and a joy. It pleases God, who sees and rewards. It enriches us, who give and receive.

Promise of Blessing

The fourth thing that Paul reveals in this verse is the promise of blessing. Blessing is the favor and grace of God that he bestows on us and through us.

It is the result and reward of living according to God’s will and way. It is the evidence and testimony of God’s presence and power in our lives, and the hope and assurance of God’s future and plan for us.

Conclusion

God wants us to live as His children, who are transformed by His grace and empowered by His Spirit.

He wants us to stop stealing and start working, so that we may have something to share with those in need. He wants us to experience His blessing and be a blessing to others.



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“One Minute with God”

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration
The Rock of Our Salvation

The Rock of Our Salvation

He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4)

This verse is part of a song that Moses sang to the Israelites before his death. It is a song of praise, warning, and hope.

It reminds us of who God is and what He has done for His people. It challenges us to remain faithful to Him and not to turn away from His commands.

In this devotional, we quickly explore four aspects of God’s character that are revealed in this verse: His sovereignty, His righteousness, His faithfulness, and His justice.

God is Sovereign

The first thing that Moses declares about God is that He is the Rock. This is a metaphor that expresses God’s strength, stability, and protection. God is the solid foundation on which we can build our lives.

He is the source of our security and confidence. He is the one who holds everything together and controls everything that happens. Nothing can shake Him or change Him. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

We can trust God because he is sovereign. He knows what He is doing and He has a plan for us.

He is not surprised or threatened by anything that happens in the world. He is not limited by our circumstances or our choices.

He can turn our trials into triumphs, our weaknesses into strengths, and our sorrows into joys.

God is Righteous

The second thing that Moses proclaims about God is that His works are perfect. This means that everything that God does is good, pure, and flawless.

He never makes a mistake or does anything wrong. He never acts out of selfishness, pride, or malice. He always does what is best for His glory and for our good.

  • He is the standard of excellence and beauty.
  • He is the creator and sustainer of all things.
  • He is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
  • He deserves our praise and admiration, and is worthy of our love and devotion.
  • He is the one who made us, saved us.
  • He is the one who blesses and guides us.
  • He is the one who forgives us and transforms us.

God is Faithful

The third thing that Moses affirms about God is that He is a faithful God who does no wrong. This means that God is true to His word and loyal to His covenant.

  • He never lies or breaks His promises.
  • He never forgets or forsakes his people.
  • He never changes or fails.
  • He is always reliable and trustworthy.
  • He is always present and involved.
  • He is always gracious and compassionate.
  • He is always merciful and generous.

God is Just

The fourth thing that Moses testifies about God is that He is upright and just. This means that God is fair and impartial. He never shows favoritism or partiality; never cheats or oppresses.

He always judges rightly and acts accordingly, He rewards the righteous, punishes the wicked, and He always defends the oppressed and vindicates the innocent.

Conclusion

God is the Rock of our salvation. He is sovereign, righteous, faithful, and just. He is our strength, our hope, our joy, and our love. He is our creator, our redeemer, our friend, and our King. He is our God and we are his people.

Let us praise him, trust him, worship him, and serve him. Let us live for his glory and his kingdom. Let us sing his song and share his story. Amen.



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“One Minute with God”

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration