45: 50 Days Freed

There are many out there using the name Christian who out imprisoned by rules and regulations that have been created to keep followers ‘in line’. Over the years men have added to the bible and just like the Pharisees of Jesus day, they have made it hard for anyone to be able to live up to their expectations of what it means to follow God. Jesus made it quite simple when he was asked what the ‘rules’ were ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbour as yourself.’ If we do these things everything else will flow naturally. Yet many are working hard to ‘keep’ their faith as if it was something they lose the moment they make a mistake.

 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.”

Hebrews 13:8-9 NLT

 

I am so thankful that I follow a saviour that stays the same. I know I am saved and don’t have to worry that he somehow changed the Boundaries he set in place.  There are many groups of “believers” out there that are outside the boundaries. They are following a split off of Christianity that at some point in the past has added strange new ideas to what the bible says, added books and made a list of rules and regulations to ” complement” the bible.

 

The problem is they don’t complement the bible they corrupt those who decide to follow that sect. It causes division in the body of Christ as they begin to confuse true believers in these strange and somewhat attractive ways of living. They may look good from all outward appearance but at the heart is poison.

 

So how do we know if something is wacky or not in line with what the Bible teaches? Well, we have the best resource which is the Bible. Read and study it, as to know what it says, you’re not going to be able to remember everything, but key verse and themes can permeate your life.

 

Another useful tool is the Internet, not perfect by any means but believers who have studied false religions and sects and share their findings online. You may have to do some digging and research until you find the truth but if you take what you find and pair it up with what the Bible teaches it should help.

 

Lastly, you have your pastor and elders of your church. They may have experienced things like this and should be willing to talk with you about things that are caused for you to question ” am I following the right path”

 

A relationship with Jesus needs to be the main message of any church that claims to be Christian. The cross, the resurrection, are key in this relationship. If you think you are being taught strange new ideas that don’t correspond with the Bible, pray and ask Jesus to guide you through it and possible out of it.

 

If I ever present a strange new idea here on this blog, I pray that you would call me out on it so we can talk and see where I am wrong.

 

Dear Jesus, thank you that your word is clear and complete. I thank you that we don’t have to add anything to make it better. I ask that you protect your followers from the traps laid by the enemy to lure believers into falseness. Strengthen your believers to see the truth, decipher the tricks of the enemy and move forward in reaching the lost for you. Let us speak the truth to the confused, show them that Jesus is the reason and that he wants to rescue them. Even today Jesus, let us be a witness for you. Amen

 

#50daysofpray

 

 

 

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21: 50 Days Freed

People in this world are longing to be freed. Make no mistake about that. They may not always realize that they are in the bondage of sin but their hearts are yearning for the connection with the creator. They have come to adhere to the motto that if you believe a lie long enough it must be true. Mankind was created and is here to have a relationship with God. Without it we are broken and like the man in Acts below begging for anything just to get by.
 
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts,
walking and jumping, and praising God.
Acts 3: 1-8
 
Notice how excited the man becomes when the prospect of help is even hinted at. The man gave them his full attention. He had been so used to people giving him money or quick fixes that he wasn’t looking for anything else. He wasn’t aware that there was, even more, he could be asking for, even sitting outside the temple. As I alluded to earlier, those in the bondage of sin don’t know there is more to life. The fish with a hook in its mouth will follow the line where ever it takes them. This man was just looking for what he needed to get by another day. He had lost all hope that there was going to be any more to his life than this.
I can only imagine the look on this face when Peter opened his mouth with the phrase ‘Silver and God I do not have”, it was probably disappointment as these two men had purposefully looked his way. And if they had left it at that and walked away like so many of us do when we encounter a panhandler asking for money, he would have resumed his daily slump. Yet Peter and John were not like everyone else. They had seen the power that Jesus had used to perform miracles. They not only seen it they understood that because Jesus was their savior and the promised Holy Spirit was living in them that they had the same power in them given by the grace of God.
The name of Jesus has a powerfully freeing property. Not only does it freedom from the bondage of sin but it can free with miracles and healings. I can’t explain why miracles or healing aren’t as prevalent as they should be. I really don’t know, we have the same Holy Spirit that Peter, John and the other Apostles had known. Peter knowing that giving this man money would only continue the cycle of bondage he gave him something that would free him, calling out the name in which all freedom resides, Jesus, commanding him to get up and walk. Now the man had a choice here. He could have just laughed and reminded Peter and John that he had never walked before and that was impossible. The man chose to believe what was being commanded and he was freed from his infirmity. It says he then walked, jumped, ran, danced and praised God for the healing.
I wonder what we need to do to have the faith that Peter, John and other disciples had when it came to freeing people through miracles and healings. This freeing power is promised to us by Jesus himself. Yet we don’t embrace it because we have never really seen anything like it before. Sure we read about it but until we see a blind eye opened, a dead person raised or a limb regrown why should we believe? I personally am starting to pray that God will use me to perform healings and miracles. I will be asking the Holy Spirit to guide me to people who need prayer and the courage to pray for them. Are you ready to let God use you to free others with the truth and power of Jesus name?
 
Father, all too often we keep the miracles and healings in the bible. Good for than but they don’t happen now. That lie from the enemy needs to be overturned and we need to see a mighty move in our world today. This world now more then ever needs you and your healings. Use us to free people from the physical ailments that hold them down, let there be no reasoning behind their recovery then Jesus. We want to see people freed from the bondage of sin, reveal to us whatever is holding us back so we can be effective in this mission. Amen

18: 50 Days Freed

I can’t imagine living life in prison with a death penalty. You have done something that has in the minds of a group of your peers is so heinous that your life is no longer validated and to pay for it you must give your life. I don’t think anyone who made a choice to suggest or demand the death sentence would do so lightly. Mankind in the garden of Eden disobedience to God put all mankind under a death sentence. I don’t think God did this lightly, he must have weighed out the cost.
 
“Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
Ezekiel 18:30-32
 
There are some who have a hard time understanding why a loving God would deal with man’s disobedience in the garden so swiftly and harsh. Man’s disobedience wasn’t the first time God has dealt with this, when Satan decided he wanted to assume the role of God he was cast out of heaven, with no plan for redemption. We don’t see the full account or conversation of what happened there or the extent of what Satan did. But we do see how God dealt with Adam and Eve in the garden.
 
Unlike the way he sent Satan out of His kingdom with no return, mankind was given a second chance of redemption. God must have seen something in mankind that was worth redeeming. He promised of a day where mankind would be able to free themselves of the sin that now bound them and separated them from his presence. As we read in today’s scripture, God’s heart is that we make the step towards ridding ourselves of the bondage of sin. We can’t do this in our own strength. How then can we ever rid ourselves of sin and get a new heart?
 
God had a plan for that. He sent His Son to be born of a virgin. He grew up like any other boy of his time, yet as He grew He never sinned. He wasn’t born of sin, He was God in the flesh, yet fully man. He was obedient to the will of God the Father and knew his role was to be the redeemer of the people of this world. He struggled with this even calling out that if it were possible could there be another way. He submitted to his role as the sacrifice and was lead to die on the cross, sinless. This sacrifice broke the power of sin in the lives of everyone on earth forever. It did not remove sin from the earth but gave away for those who accepted it to be reborn to a life free from the bondage of sin. To cement, the power over sin and death Jesus rose from the gave three days after his sacrifice on the cross. This was no gimmick or illusion. Jesus came back from breaking sins power and displayed for all to see his role as redeemer.
 
God does not have a desire that we die in our sin. Jesus is waiting for each and every man, woman and child to open their hearts to him and ask for a pardon for their sin. If we are living in sin and do not have this relationship with Jesus, believe it or not, we are still under the death penalty. But for those who have accepted Jesus, he already paid the price of death for you. Now you can live as a free man or woman. If you have this freedom, why are you not sharing it with others?
 
Father, thank you for the freedom we can have in Jesus. Once I was on deaths row, but because of your sacrifice on the cross, that penalty of sin is gone. Let me daily thank you for your sacrifice. Give me a passion to share this freedom with those around me. We need to be an example of what it means to be free. Help us to spread your love to all those who need to hear it. Amen
 
 
If you know someone who needs to hear about Jesus and the freedom he offers, I pray that you share this message.
God Bless

Day 42: 50 Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: Comoros

 

We pray today for the believers in Comoros. Unlike Mexico yesterday Comoros has a small percentage of its population of believers. The government has made it illegal to be converted to any religion other than the state religion.

Of the population of under 800,000, there are an estimated 3,300 believers. For more information check out Open Doors USA.

Father, we pray for Comoros. We pray for a freedom for believers to have opportunities to openly and freely share their faith. Provide opportunities for them to meet together without fear and ability to distribute bibles to any and all who would want to read them. Move throughout the Island and change lives. Amen

Day 49: 50 Days of Passion

For the last 48 days we have been working to increase our passion in our faith. We have looked at many aspects such as prayer, church, relationships and our own personal relationships. When we boil it all down passion for Jesus needs to flow from our relation ship with God himself. How we see Him will ultimately generate the passion we have. A disconnected God doesn’t encourage passion. Our God is connected, interactive and loving, when we truly realize this and let the Holy Spirit, who is God, work in us, our passion will come naturally. There will be times where we find ourselves in a lull, but we can come back to God and ask him to reignite the passion, he promises He will give good gifts to his children. We get distracted from the mission, but he can give us focus.

 

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

Ephesians 3:17 NLT

 

We are promised if we give our lives to Christ, wholly and freely, he will come make a home in our hearts. This relationship aspect of Christianity is one of the major things that sets it apart from any other religion or idea out there. Most other faith based groups provide a deity who is so far way that you must work hard to get its attention. But not Christianity.

 

The bible shows us that Jesus is at the door of every heart waiting to be heard. His message is clear, I have died for you, so you may live, invite me in, confess your sins and I will forgive you, then let’s work to live a life with me. No other group offers this relationship with the creator.  They work hard to make you feel you aren’t good enough to be forgiven, that you must continue to do more and more to be free. I heard of one faith where if you sin and ask for forgiveness you may or may not be forgiven, but you can’t know for sure if your offering was acceptable.

 

We can be assured that if we stumble and sin and bring it to our saviour Jesus Christ he is just and will forgive us our sins. Just like he forgave when he was walking the earth he continues to tell us your sin is forgiven, go and sin no more. He doesn’t let us walk away back to sin, his desire is we walk away and change, so we don’t keep doing the same things that we just asked forgiveness for. But that doesn’t mean he will turn away from us if we do it again. But here is what we must remember, if we truly repent we must be ready to do a 180 from what brought us to our repentance. Stop hanging out in a mine field hoping that we won’t step on a mine, it will always lead to you getting hurt.

 

Our relationship with Jesus will be what leads other to follow. They will see how we live our lives, and it will be attractive. You will want to share your faith. You will want to do things not to be forgiven but because you are forgiven. Are you ready to grow your roots deeper? Trust him and see where he will take you.

 

Jesus, I pray that those reading this today have a relationship with you. If they don’t I pray right now that they will ask you to come into their lives and forgive them of their sin. As we move forward in our faith I pray Jesus, that we put our faith into action. Let our works be because of forgiveness not to earn it. Let us be an example to those round us. Let them see you in us. Give us moment where we can tell them about you and what your forgiveness is all about. They matter to you Jesus and they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 47: 50 Days of Passion

What are you working on right now for Jesus? Are you involved in a ministry at your church? Maybe you are helping out in the community? As believers we are called to action, action leads to passion. We are motivated by doing and the results that come with doing. Some get stuck in the weeds of preparation and never put their plan into action. Others jump in without a plan, or maybe someone else has already set the plan in motion and you are joining in. Whatever the case as believers we need to be doing something to love our community, family, neighbors, enemies and friends. You will not experience true passion for your faith locked in your bedroom.

 

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

 

Some people I know must have everything exactly right before they start something. They must have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. If they aren’t 100% prepared they won’t begin.

I don’t think our Christian life always works like that, we sometimes need to take a step of faith even when we’re not ready to allow God to show us that He has our back, he is our power in the weakness.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t take time to plan at all but the need to be a perfectionist isn’t always necessarily needed as there will always be more to do. There is a time to say okay God lets do this, ready or not I am moving forward with what you are calling me to do.

So, have you been planning on doing something for God? Have you been waiting till it is all planned out or is it time to get going on it and trust God to fill in the blanks. Let his power work in His plan. Let him use our weakness, to showcase his power.

Jesus, in our weakness you are strong. Show us your power in our daily walk, help us to rely on you in the plans you have for us. If I have been holding back give me momentum to push forward and trust you. Grow my passion for my faith as I serve you. Help us to witness to others showing your love and strength for today. Amen

 

Day 35: 50 Days of Passion

As we talk this week about prayer, the question today is where is your hope? Do we pray because it is the next thing we can think of to do after trying all else? Or do we pray because it is the hope we have that the one who we trust will answer them?

 

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NLT

 

In reading this prayer from Paul I see two powerful words that must be taken into consideration to understanding the order in how his pray is laid out. I read this and see a formula for hope. First, I read “because”. This tells me that trust in him must be first in all we do. Trusting in God through Jesus salvation and daily trust him to meet your needs is the foundation by which every believer must rest. Building your spiritual home on anything else is folly and bound for failure.

 

So, with a foundation of trust in place we then can be prepared to be filled with the joy and peace that he offers. There will be a place for it to reside and live in us. Without the trust of God these gifts given will only seep out and never be long lasting. We will trade them in for whatever we put our hope and trust in. There is no joy and peace in trusting money. There is no joy and peace trusting our politicians. There is no joy and peace trusting man. We need to put our hope and trust in God.

 

The second word I read is ” then”. This tells me the previous statement must be help true for the second to become reality. If we want an overflowing confident hope in what we believe so we can reach others, we must trust God. We must live a life filled with joy and peace. The most important part of this verse is that we must believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, still works today and gives us this confident hope. The Holy Spirit, an equal part of the trinity is with us believers to shape us, empower us to go into the world and spread the love of Christ with confidence.

 

Joy and Peace = Confident Hope

TRUST                      HOLY SPIRIT

 

 

Are you trusting God? Have you asked him to fill you with joy and peace? Are you overflowing with confident hope? Are you plugged into the Holy Spirit? If you want to be effective in reaching this world you need to examine each question, if you can answer yes to one or all then you need to mediate on this scripture and ask God to fulfill it in your life.

 

Jesus, we need to trust you with everything. Thank you for providing us a way to connect with you through Jesus sacrifice and daily through the Holy Spirit. Give us peace and joy because of this trust in you. Then fill us with an overflowing confident hope through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so we can be come effective in sharing your love to others. They matter to you Jesus, so the matter to me. Amen