Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

  

“You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care.” (Job‬ ‭10‬:‭12‬ NLT)

Lake Natron in Tanzania is one of the most serene lakes in Africa, but it’s also seemingly mythological, appearing to turn living animals to stone! The water’s alkalinity comes from the minerals that flow into the lake from the surrounding hills. And deposits of sodium carbonate — which was once used in Egyptian mummification — also acts as a fantastic type of preservative for those animals unlucky enough to die in its waters, appearing to turn them into stone!

While the caustic waters of Lake Natron only preserve after it has eaten away life, God preserves our life from destruction. Yet to a life undedicated to Him, it risks the ruin of itself due to the erosive nature of sin, selfishness, and self-destruction based upon Free Choice, which is not free from consequence. This dissolved life now stands as a monument to the world as stark as flamingo skeletons in briny waters. But does anyone notice?

Take today to REALLY LOOK at lives around you. Pay attention to more than gaudy trappings and sparkling laughter. Look in the eyes for life! See for yourselves the devastation of sin and the sweetness of salvation! Where lives are truly saved, God creates monuments of testimony! You are loved today! 

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“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John‬ ‭8‬:‭36‬ NIV)

Discovered just off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, the Sao Jose-Paquete de Africa is the first known slave ship that sank with its human cargo of slaves aboard. Setting sail from Mozambique in December 1794, the Sao Jose began its four-month journey to deliver 400–500 slaves to sugar plantation owners in Maranhao, Brazil. Pressed against one another, the slaves were shackled in the hold almost constantly during the trip.

Twenty-four days into its voyage, the vessel ran into a severe storm. The captain, crew, and about half of the slaves survived. It was a valiant effort to save the slaves lives, but some 200 still perished. And those that were freshly saved? Within two days, the rescued slaves were resold to another party. 

Some days it feels like our newfound peace and freedom from Sunday is gone by midweek. But what Jesus performs in your life is enough, regardless of how you “feel”, if you walk in His ways! Stay free from the slaveries of a fallen life by doing right! You are loved! 

  

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John‬ ‭8‬:‭36‬ NIV)

Discovered just off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, the Sao Jose-Paquete de Africa is the first known slave ship that sank with its human cargo of slaves aboard. Setting sail from Mozambique in December 1794, the Sao Jose began its four-month journey to deliver 400–500 slaves to sugar plantation owners in Maranhao, Brazil. Pressed against one another, the slaves were shackled in the hold almost constantly during the trip.

Twenty-four days into its voyage, the vessel ran into a severe storm. The captain, crew, and about half of the slaves survived. It was a valiant effort to save the slaves lives, but some 200 still perished. And those that were freshly saved? Within two days, the rescued slaves were resold to another party. 

Some days it feels like our newfound peace and freedom from Sunday is gone by midweek. But what Jesus performs in your life is enough, regardless of how you “feel”, if you walk in His ways! Stay free from the slaveries of a fallen life by doing right! You are loved! 

  

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark‬ ‭11‬:‭25‬ NLT)

When Thérèse Bartholomew’s brother, Stephen Leone, was murdered on the night of February 12, 2003, her life fell apart. As she left the courtroom after seeing the accused for the first time and feeling a compassion for her brother’s murderer, she broke down, confessing her confusion to her husband, “If I forgive this person, does it mean I don’t love my brother?”

The grace and forgiveness of God is our greatest gift that God gives us. Our sense of justice is strong when we are wronged, but we plead for mercy when Justice comes knocking on our own door. So it is an affront to God’s loving nature if we stay angry while asking for forgiveness. Why should He give it when we’ve done worse towards Him?!

As you spend time praying today, start with forgiveness. You and I need it, but we also need to give it to those that have hurt us. Forgiveness isn’t easy, so ask God to help you. Don’t stifle God’s work in you! Move on! You are loved today!



But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” (John‬ ‭1‬:‭12‬ NKJV)

In the first inning of the April 25, 1976, Chicago Cubs game at Dodger Stadium, two individuals tried to burn an American flag in the outfield. Rick Monday, outfielder for the LA Dodgers, saw the incident and snatched the flag away, deeply grieved as a former soldier that this would take place. It was a battle of the Right of Free Speech vs the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

As Christians, our heavenly rights do not match our human rights. As members of a Church, we might expect the right to have a voice. As Americans, we demand much more. But as Christians, there are essentially two rights that we can cling to biblically: the right to become a child of God and the right to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we pick up the cross to follow Jesus, we forfeit many other rights. 

Our rights are based upon our need to protect self and self-interests. But by carrying a cross, we are purposefully denying self for a greater cause: That Christ would guide our life and provide for what we need. As John the Baptist said in his own self-denying moment, “He (Jesus) must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Choose the greater, better, harder path of discipline. Choose the life of Heavenly Rights! You are loved!

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And you yourselves be like men who wait for their master…” (Luke‬ ‭12‬:‭36‬ NKJV)

Growing up in an Army town, you never knew exactly when deployed soldiers were coming home. Women in our church were vigilant to keep the house cleaned, there hair fixed, and the diaper bag packed, because at any moment, the phone might ring and be told that the plane was coming in! For military families, you can’t get ready; you have to live ready.

We have a promise from our Savior: One day He is returning for us. It might be the whole church body or you alone through a life circumstance. Regardless, when it’s our time to leave this world and face eternity, there won’t be a chance to “get ready”. Spiritual vigilance, much like the military, means that we must live ready, anticipating our Lord’s call to come home!

Always remember that we are not earthly beings having spiritual experiences in this life; we are spiritual people having an earthly experience until our home is built! Live ready to serve in this life, and ready to go for the one to come. It could be today! You are loved!

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Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.” (Psalms‬ ‭27‬:‭9‬ NKJV)

In one study that focused on the abandonment of pregnant teenagers, it was reported that around 40% of caregivers kicked out or gave up their teen daughter when her pregnancy was discovered. In my opinion, disowning a child is irresponsible and the ramifications ripple into the community. Parents of these teens need to be involved in their lives, especially during such a trying time. Responsibly does not end when a child goes against a parent’s will.

For many, we view God through the same lenses of our own abandonment issues. If others are willing to dump me, then God is too. We can sense this same fear in the psalmist’s pleas to God, probably on the heels of a failure or hardship.

The good news is that God NEVER abandons us! While He is a good parent and corrects our bad behaviors, He also promised never to disown us (Hebrews 13:5). Trust that your future is indeed safe in the hands of an unchanging and truly forgiving Savior! You are loved today!