Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Child of the Living God {repost}

{This was originally posted on Fire and Hammer prior to my restarting the blog.}

Genesis 32:27-28

The name Israel conferred upon Jacob the position of being a prince of God. Jacob received this name during a faith struggle in which he held tight to the truth despite his fears. Because of his faith the Bible declares he had power with God and with men. His reward for his faith was that he could become a child (a prince) of the living God.

Jacob’s adoption into the family of God was a demonstration of what happens to those who believe under the New Covenant. Those who receive God’s chosen messiah are given the power (authority) to become a part of God’s family (John 1:12). The true believer is a prince (or princess) of God, having been converted during a process no less dramatic than Jacob’s wrestling match with what appears to be an angel (Hosea 12:4). What could be called a defeat, leaving Israel with a severe limp, is the sign of a victory which left him a changed man.

Each and every person alive has the opportunity to sit as a member of royalty in the family of God. By faith in Jesus Christ (and only in Jesus) we receive the full gift of salvation according to the will of God. God has declared this and as we see time and time again, the commands of God are always carried out. The Gospel is your invitation to join the family of God. It is the greatest honor and the most important change you can make in your life. But the invitation comes with an RSVP. How have you responded?

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Celebration {repost}

{This was originally posted on Fire and Hammer prior to my restarting the blog.}

Genesis 43:24-34

Each and every day the true believer’s life is a celebration of the power of God to save mankind. Every choice we make is an opportunity to demonstrate that we are set free from bondage to sin. As the Spirit works in our lives, the transformation wrought by his hands declares the glory of the Lord. I believe all creation celebrates with us as we become like him in our very nature. Because the Spirit of God lives in us in Christ Jesus, there is a grand party going on in celebration of his presence and work. As a follower of Christ we are part of that celebration but we must make sure the cares of life do not keep us from enjoying the party.

There is so much to life which can rob us of our joy, causing us to miss out on the celebration even as the Lord works in our hearts. Guilt is a weapon of choice for our enemy as he desires for us to focus on our past or on what might go wrong in our future, just as Joseph’s brothers feared God might allow the governor of the land to punish them because of their past sins. The cares of this world (financial difficulties, job woes, problems with family, etc…) weigh on us, challenging our faith in God and moving us to seek our own way. Life is not a smooth road, not even for the Christian and not for Joseph whose path was full of frustration. If we allow, these things will blind us, keeping us from worshipping God and from celebrating his love.

If you believe in the God of the Bible it is time to celebrate in worship. As followers of Christ our celebration is based solely on the presence of God in our lives and is a result of the fact that we are reconciled unto our creator. Having had our sins washed away in the blood of Jesus Christ, we can celebrate knowing we are no longer separated from our loving creator. This does not mean we ignore our problems nor do we run from them. Instead we see our problems in the light of our relationship with God and learn to celebrate based on his standing with us in all circumstances.

True faith leads to worship, even when life takes an unexpected turn. We know in Christ that we are seated in the banquet hall of our Lord based on the testimony of the Spirit. Nothing that happens in our lives can change the fact that Jesus died for our sins and lives in our hearts. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39) and once we grab hold of the truth we are set free to face life’s pot holes with the knowledge that God will work things for our good (Romans 8:28).

I can think of nothing greater than the presence of God and a right relationship with him. Having been saved by the grace of God, what more reason do we need? It is time to celebrate and to enjoy our relationship with Jesus.