“What does it mean to rededicate your life to Christ?” 12/04/2016 Written by Michael for “Altruistico”

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                                 Image result for Picture galatians 6:1 Bible

Written by Michael for “Altruistico”  @  https://altruistico.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://altruistico.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/what-does-it-mean-to-rededicate-your-life-to-christ/

What does it mean to rededicate your life to Christ?

  “Rededicating your life to Christ” is a popular concept in modern Christian culture. It’s a decision made by a Christian who has fallen away from the practices of Christianity to turn back to Christ and strive to follow Him more completely. The act of suddenly returning to Christ is spoken of indirectly in Galatians 6:1, where the church is exhorted to restore sinful believers by gently confronting them. Rededication is popular among older children and young adults who grew up in the church. Christians who were saved at a young age may come to realize that their understanding of what it means to follow Jesus was incomplete. In a desire to consciously choose to adhere to a newfound, deeper understanding of the gospel, believers may “rededicate” themselves to Christ.

However, falling away and returning to God is not how the Christian walk is supposed to look. Romans 12:1–2 explains that spiritual maturity is a gradual, ongoing process Jesus said that to follow Him we should take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). And 1 Corinthians 9:24 and Hebrews 12:1 speak of the Christian life as a race, meant to be run every day. Many people rededicate after every sin. It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of rededicating, striving to follow Jesus closely, failing, and rededicating again. But habitual sin is not a problem solved by rededicating [SEE ALSO: Self discipline]. . It’s a deeper issue that can only be solved with a greater understanding of the grace and love of God.

Still, rededication is a useful tool. It’s a way to deliberately reject sin and renew a love for Christ. The disciples went through a rededication of sorts when they saw the risen Jesus. Their half-hearted devotion turned into a desire to pour out their lives for His service. In the same way, whether because of a conviction about a sinful lifestyle or a greater understanding of the gift of Christ, we can choose to abandon our shallow devotion to Christ and devote ourselves to Him more fully.

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“30 Days of Cultivating Thankfulness: Day 30 – Faith” 12/03/2016 Written by Denise Pass for “Seeing Deep Ministries”

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Written by Denise Pass for “Seeing Deep Ministries”  @  http://denisepass.com/home/

Original post @   http://denisepass.com/blog/blog/30-days-of-cultivating-thankfulness-day-30-faith

30 Days of Cultivating Thankfulness:       Day 30 – Faith

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

The Christian faith is formed in a living faith based on grace and forgiveness.

Scripture of the Day:

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.”

In concluding 30 days of gratitude, I realize there is vastly too much to be grateful for that could never be fully expressed. But today I am grateful for the gift of faith. How is it that I came to believe? That God would have mercy on me? It was God alone Who opened my eyes to see and understand His amazing salvation and God alone Who overcame my unbelief. And I am grateful beyond words.

This faith is a conviction deep within our souls despite not seeing fully what we hope for. Though it is tested, the confirmation in our souls is not swayed by the storms of this life. The storms of this life only serve to strengthen our faith as it is built on Christ.

When God first opened my eyes to understand His salvation, people around me said it was a crutch. I was mocked and persecuted and it only made me believe all the more. This lost world mocks faith yet has a faith, as well – in the creation rather than in the Creator.

This false faith formed in manmade, dead religion, is based on fleshly pursuits and good works that a fallen people could never fully achieve. The Christian faith is formed in a living faith based on grace and forgiveness by a God Who knew we could never be good enough to please a Holy God.

Each day God’s word is a love letter to His people, inviting them to go deeper with Him. Come be a “fool” alongside me and find the greatest joy of your life. Michael Card says it well in “God’s Own Fool” – Christ humbled Himself to reach His people with the message of the cross – foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God.

Lord, thank You for the gift of faith and enabling us to know You – Our God.

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“I CAN’T WAIT!” 12/02/2016 Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare”

 

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Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare” @   http://atimetoshare.me

 

Original post @  https://atimetoshare.me/2016/12/01/i-cant-wait-2/

I CAN’T WAIT!

legit-patience

“Time always seems long to the child who is waiting  – for Christmas, for next summer, for becoming a grownup: long also when he surrenders his whole soul to each moment of a happy day.”  Dag Hamarskjold

Advent is a season of waiting and preparation – a time of repentance and reflection.  As we await the birthday of the Savior of the world, we need to take time to recall the reason for season.

The children of Israel waited for centuries for Him.  Countless prophecies are woven through the Old Testament which clearly described how He would be conceived, where He would be born, the kind of life He would live, the price He would pay to redeem them.   How they could have missed Him, but just how will we receive Him when He returns.

As children wait with anxious hearts for Christmas, the anticipation often clouds the true reason for the waiting. Why must we wait?  Why can’t we simply have Jesus with us right now?  We grow weary.  Patience wears thin and life can become futile at times.  Many times we simply give up.

The fact is, we do have Jesus with us right now.  He’s our breath and life – our oxygen.  He came to us in the form of a tiny baby, grew up and played in the streets of Nazareth with other little boys, He lived a life of poverty, felt every blister as he worked alongside his step dad.  He was frowned upon by the elite – nothing good ever came from Nazareth. He gathered a flock of followers who were not only intrigued by His words, but captivated by His presence. He waited for just the right moment to fulfill the work He was destined to do.  He suffered and died, but he rose from death and lives eternally – just as we will when we leave this world.

Life can jab at us in ways that torment and beat us up, but Jesus went through so much more so that we could receive the greatest gift ever.

I CAN’T WAIT!

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“Life from Death” 12/01/2016 Written by Beth Andrews of “Deeper Roots”

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                   Hebrews 11:6

Written by Beth Andrews of “Deeper Roots” @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com

Original post @   https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/life-from-death/

Life from Death

garden-angel“By faith Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead” (Hebrews 11:19).

What has died in your life?  Your marriage? Your future goals?  Your plans?  Your hopes? Your dreams?  Your faith?  You sit there staring at this thing that you built your life around as its heart slowly stops beating.  What do you do now?  Where do you go from here?  Why should you even bother to do or to go anymore?  I’m not talking about simple everyday disappointments; I’m talking about those soul-crushing desperations that drain your hope and leave you empty.  I’m talking from experience.  I’ve been in those places, I’ve felt the heart-rending pain.  I’ve buried hopes and dreams – and yes I’ve even buried my faith.

But the God who created me is also the God who brings life from death.  Abraham understood that – God had made promises to him that centered on his son Isaac, then God asked him to put his son on and altar of sacrifice.  Abraham didn’t understand God’s plan, but he knew God would never make a promise He didn’t intend to fulfill.  He knew that whatever God had in mind by making this request of him, He would still be faithful to the promise of descendants – coming from the very son over whom he now held a knife.

I’m sure you know the story, and if not check out Genesis 22.  God stayed Abraham’s hand and brought Isaac from the brink of death.  God fulfilled His good promise.  The thought that runs through my mind over this account is not that Isaac had to die, but that Abraham’s dependence on Isaac had to die.  Abraham had to put all his hopes in God, not in Isaac.  Now, the question for you and me is, what are we depending on?  A hefty bank account?  A great job?  A college degree? (That one is for me.)   Who are we depending on? A spouse?  Children? Parents?  A significant other?  God had to put some things to death that I was building my life around.  He had to break my dependence on things and people so that all I had left to depend on was Him.  It wasn’t just to bring me pain; it was to bring life out of death.  It was to let the perishable die so that the imperishable could live.  Beloved, in God’s hands is life – everlasting and abundant. You can trust Him to resurrect what you have buried.  You can trust Him with your heart.

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“Royalty For A Reason” 11/30/2016 Written by Beejai for “THE RIVER WALK”

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Written by Beejai   for  “THE RIVER WALK” @  https://theriverwalk.org

Original post @    https://theriverwalk.org/2016/11/26/royalty-for-a-reason-2/#like-8080

    Royalty For A Reason

         Royalty 4

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Read: Ezekiel 45:13 – 46:24, 1 Peter 1:13 – 2:10, Psalm 119:33-48, Proverbs 28:11

Relate: I don’t think I have ever heard a sermon coming out of 1 Peter 2:9 that does not focus on how special the Christian is. God has chosen you. He has made you a royal priesthood and a holy nation. Ninety percent (if not all) of the sermons from this portion of scripture will focus on these three things and perhaps at the end they will tack on the end of that verse. I can almost hear someone shouting out the first part of this, coughing through “so you can show others” and working back into a crescendo for that wonderful light.

React: We’re special, yes, we’re special, but that is not nearly the focus of this verse. We are a chosen people. The King James uses “peculiar” and this is one of the few times where the KJV actually fits better. In old English “peculiar” would usually mean owned. Webster still lists a sub definition of the word as “belonging exclusively to”. We are God’s possession and no one or anything else has any claim on us.

We are also a royal priesthood. A priest is one who acts as a spiritual intermediary. (See Hebrews 5) As a royal priesthood, we have direct access to God, yes, but that access is for a purpose. We bring the needs of the people to Him and the words of Him to the people. All too often we the church are speaking and acting in a manner that creates a wall between the lost and the Redeemer when God has called to be a bridge.

We are a holy nation (a different community). Even as we act as a bridge and an intercessor for the world, we are also to be different from them. All too often the difference we display is in our words but not in our actions. We condemn the world for its evil even as we struggle in the same mire. We proclaim a difference but we only display judgment and hypocrisy. This is not the different God has called us to. We are a city on a hill. We are to be a standard of purity and excellence that the world would aspire to emulate. The fact we are usually quite rightly seen as something to be avoided rather than emulated says far more about the church than it does the world.

Yes, there is greatness, but that greatness is not for us. It is through us. The thrust of 1 Peter 2:9 is not about us as an end but rather a means. The focus of Peter’s declaration is that very part I all too often hear glossed over or barely mentioned. The crux of this verse is, “As a result, you can show others the goodness of God.” So… what am I showing them?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Over and over again I need to learn the lesson that it is not all about me. Forgive me for this. Please, help me to keep the focus on You and keep my efforts centered on how I can present You to my world. I don’t want to be the end point for all You have blessed me with. I want to be a conduit. Let the richness of Your grace spill out of me to drench everyone I come in contact with. Let me understand that I am royalty for a reason. Help me to shine.
Amen

 

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“The Humbling Doctrine of Election” 11/29/2016 Posted by Alister Begg for www.truthforlife.org

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                    Image result for picture Romans 9:15

Posted by Alister Begg   for   www.truthforlife.org

Original site  @   https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/daily-devotionals/11/25/2016/?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=37907044&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–Mw3jouv13OLqrVJShQ_AePALKP1VpE4NBA9cF24_G1SyDWhptnwIrHweSY9ObBM5eMM0vc_20-kP05P0zJ0Z8NafciWcOh7XXUbSavVMsQYwqes4&_hsmi=37907044

The Humbling Doctrine of Election

           

For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’

Romans 9:15

In these words the Lord in the plainest manner claims the right to give or to withhold His mercy according to His own sovereign will. As the prerogative of life and death is vested in the monarch, so the Judge of all the earth has a right to spare or condemn the guilty, as may seem best in His sight. Men by their sins have forfeited all claim upon God; they deserve to perish for their sins—and if they all do so, they have no ground for complaint. If the Lord steps in to save any, He may do so if the ends of justice are not thwarted; but if He judges it best to leave the condemned to suffer the righteous sentence, none may call Him to account.

All those discourses about the rights of men being placed on the same footing are foolish and impudent and ignorant; worse still are the arguments against discriminating grace, which are just the rebellions of proud human nature against God’s rule. When we are brought to see our own utter ruin, and the justice of the divine verdict against sin, we no longer scoff at the truth that the Lord is not bound to save us; we do not murmur if He chooses to save others, as though He were doing us an injury, but feel that if He deigns to look upon us, it will be His own free act of undeserved goodness, for which we will forever bless His name.

How will those who are the subjects of divine election sufficiently adore the grace of God? They have no room for boasting, for sovereignty most effectually excludes it. The Lord’s will alone is glorified, and the very notion of human merit is cast out to everlasting contempt. There is no more humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election, none more deserving of gratitude, and consequently none more sanctifying. Believers should not be afraid of it but adoringly rejoice in it.

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Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.

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    “Copyright Truth For Life. Used with Permission. www.truthforlife.org.”

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“Faith In Action-Taming the The Tongue” 11/28/2016 Written by Wally Fry

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                     Image result for picture james 3:1-2

 Written by Wally Fry   @   https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com

 Original post @  https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/faith-in-action-taming-the-the-tongue/

          Faith In Action-Taming the The Tongue

                         faith in action

James 3:1,2

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.


Read James Chapter 3 here

James apparently had strong feelings about the role of the tongue, or the words we speak, in the life of the believer.  He actually mentions it in every single chapter of his book, in fact. He mentions it in the following passages: 1:19,26; 2:12; 3:5,6,8; 4:11; and 5:12.

Reading what James has to say about our speech and we can see the idea of the tongue not only being the reflection of what is in our hearts, but also representative of the depravity of our nature.

Also, since James’ primary objective with his Epistle seems to be to teach believers how to behave, it follows in line that one of his lessons here is that the ability to control one’s tongue is a mark of a mature believer.

Let’s just take a look at some of the thoughts God shared with us regarding the tongue in His Word for today’s devotional.

When Paul was illustrating to us all our fallen condition, in Romans 3:13-15, he listed 5 organs of the body which are common vehicles for sin: throat, tongue, lips, mouth and feet. It seems very significant that four of the five have to do with our speech!

Some of the most Godly men in the Bible had issues holding their tongues, as well; Moses (Psalms 106:32-33), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5,7), and Job (Job 40:4) all had tongue issues at some point.

The tongue is described using many words in Scripture: wicked, deceitful, perverse, filthy, corrupt, flattering, slanderous, gossiping, blasphemous, foolish, boasting, and many others.

Jesus even had thoughts about our tongues

Matthew 12:36,37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Our words are similar to a sound wave broadcast into the air. Eventually, that sound wave will reach the far parts of  space in a never ending journey; not only that, but the trip cannot be cancelled. Once that sound wave or our words start their journey, they cannot be brought back to the source and packed away.

What do our words say about our walk with Christ? If our words are a reflection of our heart, then what do we reveal about our heart when we speak?

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