Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Salvation Sunday: Grace

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

In this age of extreme pluralism, it is sometimes hard to know which way is the right way to go. Some say that all paths lead to God. Others will tell you that there is no God. While yet others will tell you that there is only one way to God.

So who is right?

I think the first question we should ask is, "are we all talking about the same destination?" Hindus believe they are right. Buddhists think they are right. Muslims and Jews believe their way is the path to God. And Christians believe that Jesus is the only way to God. It can be quite confusing sometimes.

After a little bit of careful analysis it is clear that all religions aren't talking about the same god, and... all religions do not get to God. We live in a country where religious freedom is the expected response to a person's faith. This is fair, right? We don't want anyone offended or discouraged to believe a certain way. Right? Certainly stepping on people and their beliefs is not a socially correct method of evangelism, but telling people the truth about God is.

The Bible makes it clear that there is only one way to God. Through the person of Jesus Christ. Now I understand that many will say that this belief is egocentric. "How do we know that it is true?" Short answer: Faith and Grace. Not believing in something doesn't make it untrue. Believing in the Sovereignty of the One True God requires faith.

Salvation comes to us only through God himself entering the human world to suffer the consequences of sin, to free us from sin, as his gift to us.

Most religions teach that good works with lead to our salvation—if we pray well, act right and hope good enough then we will get there. They teach that people can be good enough if they try hard enough. But Christianity teaches that we all need grace. We are unable to perform good enough to get to heaven no matter how hard we try.

It is impossible for both ideas to be true at the same time. The doctrine of grace teaches, whether we like it or not, that no other paths lead to salvation. Grace is a gift from God. Grace defined is simply this: Being given something we don't deserve.

Daily In Christ - Salvation Sunday

Have you laid your life before God and received His Grace? Are you trying to earn your way to heaven? I encourage you today to receive the free gift of Grace and get right with the one true God.

If you would like more information how to discover your relationship with God click here.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Give Thanks: In The Midst Of Struggles

In a time where things sometimes seem out of control it can be difficult to see the good in life. Many of us are struggling financially. Some of our friends and family members are battling disease and illness. Many marriages are on the rocks. In spite of it all, we shall give thanks.

1Th 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

This verse in 1Thes 5 tells us that we should give thanks in all circumstances. Sometimes I wonder to myself if the Biblical writers knew what they were talking about. Did Paul have any idea of the things we would have to go through? Answer... yep!

Paul was no stranger to struggles and difficulties and in them he continued to glorify God. I think the key to giving thanks in all circumstances begins with perspective. When we are focused on the here and now and our own personal comfort we tend to have a more difficult time giving thanks in everything. However, if we can learn to follow Paul's example as he follows Christ (1Cor 11:1) we can develop an eternal perspective. When we start to see God as loving in all things and working each difficulty and struggle toward our good then we can start to understand how to give thanks in everything.

Daily In Christ - Give Thanks

Today I encourage you to be thankful. Even if it is a struggle, look around and start with the little things. God has put so many good things into our life. I admit, sometimes we miss them due to our own pain in our circumstances.

Blessings to you as you draw near to Him.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Time For Worship: Hosanna

Hosanna in the highest...

Take a few minutes today and worship the Lord.

I pray that you find your peace and contentment in Him today.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

True Life Challenge: Fight The Battle

As Christians we often forget we are at war! Not the kind of war that require guns and ammo, a spiritual war that goes on all around us every day. If we are prepared, we can fight this war and be victorious. If we are unprepared we often fall prey to the powers of this world and walk through our Christian life defeated and hopeless.

Fighting this battle we need to realize there are enemies. The three main areas I see we battle with every day are:
  • The Flesh
  • The World
  • Satan
We know that the Bible talks about the outcome we have in our life if we give into any of these enemies. The works of the flesh are found in Galatians 5:19-21. They include sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. As empowered believers we are to put to death the things of the flesh (Col 3:5). Putting the things of the flesh to death is a pretty strong term... It doesn't mean ignore them and they will go away. When we put things in our life that are stumbling blocks to death it takes war on our part.

When we give into the things of the world we are giving into our desires apart from God.
1Jn 2:15-16 tells us: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. This means lover's of the world would rather do the things they desire rather than knowing the things of God and desiring what He desires.

The third battle is against Satan and evil forces. Yes, they are real and they do exist. The Bible makes it clear, however we sometimes ignore the power of evil all around us. James tells us that fighting the enemy of evil is not a difficult task. (Jas 4:7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Jesus defeated Satan at the cross and the power of the resurrection. Satan can only affect the lives of you and me if we allow him too. Resist him, and tell him to leave!

So, how do we fight these areas of our life and claim victory in this war? We flee from evil desires (2Tim 2:22). We flee from sexual immorality (1Cor 6:18). We submit our lives to God (Jam 4:7). And we pursue the things of God by setting our minds on things above (Col 3:2). We become transformed by the renewing of our mind (Rom 12:2).

The battle we are in takes discipline just like a qualified soldier. We put on the armor of God (Eph 6:13-18) and we seal the battle with prayer. Resisting the things of the world, our fleshly desires and the darts from the evil one is a full time endeavor. We must be connected to God daily and prayerful always to fight the sins and attacks that come our way.

Blessings to you as you find peace in Him.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Marriage Minute: Let Not Man Separate

Mat 19:6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."

So often in marriage there is the idea that if things don't work out we can always get a divorce. This thought occurs in Christian marriages as well as non-Christian. Why do so many Christian couples see divorce as an option?

I understand that there are many reasons a couple might get divorced... (Been there done that) So today's post isn't a condemnation of those who have been through such a difficult occurrence in their life, it is to encourage those who are married to look at things regarding their marriage from a Biblical perspective. If you are contemplating divorce as you read this I pray that God speaks to you and softens your heart to what He tells us in His Word.

Since this is a "marriage minute"... I will try to make it concise. Marriage is designed by God for a purpose. I see from the scriptures that there are at least three:
  • To show the world the image of God (Gen 1:26)
  • To show the world the relationship of Christ and the church (Eph 5:31)
  • To be a covenant between man, woman, and God (Mal 2:14)
We often think of marriage as a way for us to have companionship with another to keep us from being alone. It is far more than that. God designed marriage to reflect His image and the relationship Jesus has to the church. When we enter into the covenant of marriage there are always things that will try to destroy our relationship. When kids come into the picture, financial hard times, or even our own sin creeps up we can often scratch our heads and wonder, "what is going on here?"

Like all relationships in life, marriage not only takes work but staying power as well. If we have a friend offend us we often find new friends. If we don't like our job we can get another one. And many times when people experience difficulty in their church they simply move on. Marriage is different... God designed it to be permanent, lasting, and forever.

Daily In Christ - Marriage Minute

I know that there is much that can be said about this and I will be posting more in future posts. Until then, I encourage you to look at the scriptures. Pray to God to open your eyes to the purpose of marriage and help you see Him working in and through your relationship.

Blessings to you as you build your marriage on Him.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Salvation Sunday: Our Assurance Is In Him

Eph 1:11-14 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

As children of God we have received a divine inheritance in Christ. He is the source of our inheritance. We not only have received grace, which is poured our abundantly to us, (Eph 1:8) and forgiveness of our trespasses (Eph 1:7), but we have receive the gift of salvation and eternal life in heaven through Him. This inheritance was laid out before the foundation and was done according to His great purpose according to the counsel of His will. God's plan for salvation was predetermined before we could ever make a decision to choose him. In His grace, God determined to choose vile, corrupt, sinful people to glorify Himself through His son Jesus Christ. (Rom 3:23-24). This glorifying of God will continue for all time and according to many commentaries "was first hoped for by the Jewish people waiting on a messiah." The first converts, the one's who first hoped in Christ. Jesus Christ came and fulfilled the Old Testament Prophesy and thus fulfilling the hope for a Messiah. This fulfillment is to be praised to the glory of God.

Paul wants the people of Ephesus to understand that they are sealed in Christ. There is no greater assurance of the Christian faith than the assurance of salvation. (2Cor 1:22) He seals each one of us in Christ by putting the Holy Spirit into our hearts as a deposit for the redemption of our souls. First we heard the gospel of our salvation and then we believed the gospel of our salvation. Then we become sealed with Christ by the Holy Spirit of Promise. (2Cor 1:21-22)

What an amazing gift we are given in Jesus. We are sealed in Him forever. The Holy Spirit was pledged by God as an inheritance to His children. When God makes a promise He keeps it. (Acts 2:33), (Gal 3:14) This is not like any human pledge that can be broken but is assured because God tells us it is. Be praise and glory to Him.

Isn't it nice to know that we are secure in the work of Christ and not our own!

Blessings to you today. If you don't know Jesus as your personal Savior and want to learn more click here.


Sovereignty Saturday: Sovereignty Over Evil

Gen 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

We serve a God who is Sovereign. Many people, including myself, often have a difficult time grasping the full understanding of Sovereignty. Today I want to touch briefly on the Sovereignty of God when it comes to evil. I know we see it every day in movies and television. There is often a bad guy, (or evil villain) and a good guy. As the movie plays out it appears like the bad guy is going to win and eventually the good guy triumphs over evil.

Fortunately for us, that isn't how it works. There is never a struggle from God to defeat evil. It has already been done! We don't serve a God who might triumph over evil... we serve a God who did. Jesus defeated evil on the cross and we know that Satan only has as long of a leash as God will allow him to have.

This verse in Genesis tells us that the trouble Joseph went through was not a mystery to God. He didn't look at what was happening, scratch his head, and ask Himself what He could do about it. Joseph understood the Sovereignty of God. What his brothers did he understood they meant for evil but God "meant" it for good. He didn't say turned it into something good. He said he meant it for good.

Romans 8:28 tells us a similar story. God works all things together for good...

Daily In Christ - Sovereignty Saturday

Do you believe all things in your life are intended for good? Do you see God's Sovereign hand working all things out?

Today I encourage you to look at the story of Joseph in the Bible. See all the events that led up to him saving his people and see how that correlates to Jesus saving us. God's hand is in all things and it is reassuring to know that we don't have to worry whether or not anything is out of His control.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Freedom In Christ: Prayer

1Th 5:16-17 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,

Today I find it necessary to make my post a bit more brief than usual. I have been on the go for days and have had very little time to write. However, I do have something the Lord has laid on my heart and I want to share it.

As Christians we are blessed in so many ways. One of those blessings is the ability to come to God in prayer. No matter what time of day or night He is always there to hear from His children.

Daily In Christ - Freedom In Christ

Today I encourage you to exercise you Spiritual Freedom and pray. Pray to God about your family, your job, your church and community. Pray about the government, the world, the universe... Whatever you have on your heart... Pray.

Blessings to you as you draw near to Him,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Give Thanks: God's Love Never Ends

Today I am thankful for the never ending love of God Almighty.

Rom 5:7-8 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

How far would you go for someone to show them that you loved them. There is a poem that says, "I would climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest ocean, and walk the hottest desert just to have you by my side." I find it quite intriguing that there are so many songs, poems, and other stories where people will talk about the things they will do for someone to show their love, yet I have never seen it happen. When was the last time you saw someone climb a mountain to show his love? Or even swim 100 yards into the ocean for that matter?

We have great intentions when it comes to love, but true love doesn't just talk, it acts. God shows His love for us not only by the things He speaks to us, but through the unselfish action of Jesus. He laid down His life for our sins so we could be right with God. He loves His children so much that he didn't only say He would do something, He did it!

So then, how do we show our gratitude to God for the sacrifice that was made in Jesus? Eph 5 tells us in the first two verses...

Eph 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Daily In Christ - Give Thanks

Today I am encouraged to give thanks to God for His never ending love. While we were yet sinners... He not only said he would climb upon the tree and die for us, but he did it. As you reflect on the love of God today I encourage you to take the verses in Eph 5 to heart. As gratitude to God be an imitator of Him and give back His love to Him, and the people you encounter.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Time For Worship: Revelation Song

This has to be one of my all time favorite worship songs...

I pray that you take time today to lift your heart and spirit in worship to God. He is Holy and worthy of all of our praise.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

True Life Challenge: Consistency

Php 3:14-17 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.

As I read through the book of Philippians today I am encouraged by the verses Paul writes. In these words I hear the Lord speaking to my heart on the topic of consistency. It is an area that I often have a very hard time with in my life. Being on call for my job, working all hours of the day or night, and not having the ability to plan more than a couple of days in advance makes consistency a real chore.

There are three phrases in this verse that tell me that Paul was a man devoted to consistency. Though he may have run into troubles of many kinds, he kept pressing forward in the advancement of the Gospel. The three phrases are:
  • "Press on toward the goal."
  • "Hold true to what you have attained."
  • "Keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us."
Press, hold, and keep. Three amazing verbs that describe staying the course. Paul is consistent in many areas of his life and we will do well to model our walk after his. He was consistent in his message. Whether you read Romans or Ephesians, Galatians or Corinthians, Paul preached Jesus to everyone. It was a consistent message... we are saved by faith alone. Not only was his message consistent, but he lived consistent with what he taught.

We spend a lot of energy trying to make things happen in our life. Are you spending as much time doing the things for the Lord consistently? We are called to go and make disciples, and to do that we must have consistent habits of reading the Word, praying, and seeking to be like Him.

Daily In Christ - True Life Challenge

Today I encourage you to look at the words in Philippians and ask yourself, "When it comes to the things of God do I 'press' - 'hold' - and 'keep'?"

I pray today that we can look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and ask Him to help us keep on keeping on!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Marriage Minute: Healing Power Of Forgiveness

Mat 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Every relationship we have, especially marriage relationships, require us from time to time to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others. It is quite easy for us to wait and expect our spouse to come to us when we feel we are "mostly" in the right and they are "mostly" in the wrong. Unfortunately, this can lead to a marriage filled with un-forgiveness because we both sit and wait for the other one to make a move.

Marriage relationships can be hard. They cause us to take a close look at our heart. Many of us know the benefit of true forgiveness but will be stubborn and prideful and wait until the other person comes to us. Jesus says in Mat 6 that we actually stifle forgiveness in our own life when we lack forgiveness for others. Forgive, and seek to be forgiven...

Daily In Christ - Marriage Minute

Today I encourage you to bring up an area in your marriage that you need to forgive your spouse for. Pray to God to reveal your heart and ask for guidance. Lovingly work together at trying to heal from this past hurt and begin the process of forgiving each other...

Blessings to you as you forgive your spouse today.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Salvation Sunday: Why God Shouldn't Love Me

Why God Shouldn't Love Me

Today I am inclined to look at a list that many people use to keep from understanding the love of God. It is an unfortunate reality, but so many people have an understanding that for God to accept them they need to have their life pretty well in check. "He would never accept someone like me!"

How many times have you heard it said, (or said it yourself) that God could never accept you because you have done too many bad things. Or you are in a horrible place, wrapped up in all kinds of wicked sin and personal destruction.

Jesus came to rescue you, heal you, and restore you. If you believe that you have to have your life in order before He will accept you then you are sadly mistaken. His mercy and grace will cover you even in your shortcomings. When you were ugly and full of sin He died for you.

So here is a list of ten reasons God shouldn't love me, but does anyway.
  1. I am a sinner.
  2. I lie and cheat sometimes.
  3. I used drugs and alcohol in excess.
  4. I envy and desire things I don't have.
  5. I have committed sexual sin.
  6. I have lust in my heart.
  7. I can be angry when things don't go my way.
  8. I sometimes use language that would be an offense to God.
  9. I can treat people like crap.
  10. I can be quite selfish and prideful.
Do any of the items on this list look familiar? Paul tells us in Col 3:5-10 to put away these things... "if we are in Christ." He doesn't say to put them away to get to Christ, rather, once you have been transformed by the Gospel these things will become like an old coat that you remove and put on the coat of righteousness given to us by Jesus.

Daily In Christ - Salvation Sunday

Rom 5:6-8 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Blessings to you as you give your life to Jesus.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sovereignty Saturday: Is He Sovereign Over Death?

Is God sovereign over all things? Many people have a difficult time answering this question, me included. If He is sovereign over all things then we eventually come full circle to the question, "Is God sovereign over sin and death?"

Several years back my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. During the same time a close friend was diagnosed with cancer in his spine, stomach, and brain. While I was walking with my lovely bride through the effects of this horrible affliction, I was also walking by the side of my friend. Today, eleven years later, I celebrate with my wife the victory the Lord has given her over the cancer, and I still ponder over the death of my 28 year old friend.

He fought the battle of cancer for five months and as it would seem to many of us here on earth... he lost. The question arose often while many of us would gather around his bedside and pray and worship... "Is God listening to our prayers?" This young man knew the Lord, lived a clean life, and lived to glorify Him. So why did he die at such a young age of 28. His entire future was still before him. He was married and had great plans to serve God with his wife for 50 more years. He had it all going for him.

Let's take for a moment and suppose a thing or two. Suppose that my friend had lived. We would all praise God for Him being Sovereign over disease and healing him. Let's suppose that my friend was able to grow old with his wife and share his story with thousands how God saved him from the clutches of cancer. We would all join him in his victory. So why then do we often assume that because he died that God isn't just as involved?

God knew the Egyptians would die in the Red Sea. God understood that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah would turn away from Him and He would eventually wipe them out. God knew Moses was going to die in the wilderness. And Jesus even predicts and tells the apostles of His own death. Jesus tells us in Mat 10:29 that He even knows when a sparrow is going to fall to the ground. Not only does he know when we are to die, but He also has authority over death. Col 1:18 tells us the He is "firstborn" from the dead. The term here means that God has authority over it. He died on the cross and rose from the dead.

Mat 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

Since He has broken the chains of death, we know that one day the scripture will come to pass that asks, "Oh death where is your sting?" (1Cor 15:55) We understand today that death has a sting. We experience it every time we go to a funeral. But there is hope that the victory and sting of death will be removed when we too are resurrected unto Him.

Daily In Christ - Sovereignty Saturday

If we believe that God is the giver of all good things, then do we assume that He is also Sovereign over death? Today I encourage you to search the scriptures and pray. Ask God to reveal His heart to you and help you see His hand working in all things.

Blessings to you as you draw close to Him,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Freedom In Christ: Grace vs Law

Gal 2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Please understand as you read today's post... in just a couple short minutes I can only scratch the surface of this topic on law and grace and it is not intended to be an all inclusive answer to what the Bible teaches on the subject.

We hear a lot of talk in Christian circles regarding the topic of law and grace. Often times I find it confusing. Today I want to look closely at this topic and try to understand for myself what the differences are and how law and grace might correlate to one another.

Paul instructs us in the letter to the Galatians that we are saved only by faith in Jesus and not by any works of the law. Our salvation is a gift of His grace and is not accomplished by anything we can do. Since we can not earn favor with God, then no man can boast over his own ability to keep the law. Since we are unable keep the law, we need someone who did to be reconciled to God. The law is a pointer to our need for a Savior. The law came for us to see our need for Jesus.

Since we are not justified by the law, do we still need to obey the commands of God? I think many Bible believing Christians mistakenly interpret grace as not needing to obey the commands of God. I have heard it said many times, "I live under grace, not under law!" However, the Bible instructs us otherwise. We may not be saved by the law, but we are commanded to live a certain way. Keeping the commands of God is pleasing to Him.

In John 15:10, Jesus tells us that if we keep His commandments then we will abide in His love. Paul tells us in Romans that we who are in Christ are dead to sin. We no longer want to live sinfully in order to receive more grace.

Rom 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

So here is my perspective on law and grace... It is obvious from scripture that we are not saved by works of the law. The law points to our inability to work our way into the favor of God. We are saved by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. And, we are to keep from breaking the law in the way we live our life once we have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Not to gain favor with God, not to remain saved, but because we have a new heart and we desire the things of God and not the flesh.

When we break the law of God, a mature Christian will run to God for forgiveness, not hide from Him. God knows our heart and will seek us out and find us no matter how hard we try to hide.

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

So here is my take in a nutshell... We are saved by grace alone and we are to keep from sin as an expression of our faith in Him.

Daily In Christ - Freedom In Christ

We understand that the grace of God covers us. We are free from the bondage and yoke of slavery because of it. Today I encourage you to embrace your freedom in the Grace of God, find all your affection in Jesus, and turn from your sin toward pleasure in Him.

Blessings to you as you find your freedom in Him.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Give Thanks: I Am Thankful For Reconciliation

Rom 5:11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

mp3 audio file

Today I am thankful for reconciliation. I believe that regardless of your country of origin, race, or other factors, we all seek a relationship with God. Many cultures create different gods for different purposes. There is a god of love, god of earth, moon god, god of travel, god of war, etc... And then there is God. We try so hard to create ways to be right with the gods, often times missing the fact that God made a way for us to be right with Him.

Today I am thankful for reconciliation. Without reconciliation we would not be in God's favor. We would be lost, searching for our man made gods to satisfy the place that only He can fill in our life.

Many people believe to be reconciled to God you have to have your life together. You need to be free from sin, obey all the rules, and live in a way that is pleasing to God. But that is just not true. If we go one verse prior to verse 11 in Romans chapter 5, we see that Paul tells us "while we were yet enemies of God." (Rom 5:10)

God not only loved us when we were His enemy, but he also teaches us to do the same. He instructs us to love our enemies and pray for those who hate us. (Luke 6:27)

Daily In Christ - Give Thanks

Today I encourage you to thank God for the reconciliation plan He laid out for us from the beginning. Reconciliation to God comes through faith alone in Jesus Christ. I also pray that you will be reconciled to your enemies.

Blessings to you as you live like Jesus and learn to forgive those who have harmed you.


For a direct link to save audio file right click here and "save as."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Time For Worship: He Loves Us

Here is a great song from David Crowder Band today - He Loves Us

I pray that you will take time today and every day to worship the Lord.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

True Life Challenge: Our Identity Crisis...

Col 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

mp3 audio file

This week I am feeling a little bit convicted. God has placed in my heart a burning desire to seek Him first in all that I do. And, since this blog is about what God is doing and speaking in my life, I feel compelled to be brutally honest and just say it how I am feeling it... There is nothing in this entire Daily In Christ Devotional Blog that I write that God isn't working on in my life. I believe I am the test pilot for all of my writings and I pray that you see my heart and know that what I speak, I speak from Him working on me first...With that said:

Are you having an identity crisis? No, seriously... I think at some time or another in our life we run into a period where our identity gets shaken. The things we place our identity into crumble around us, let us down, or abandon us all together. I know this is true for me and I have seen it occur in the the lives of many people around me. When our identity is in anything but Christ, we will get impatient, frustrated, angry, and desire the things of the world over the things of God. Paul calls them idols and they take first place in our life.

Some people put their identity into their children. And when their children fail them they feel like a failure as a parent. Others might put their identity into health, nutrition, and working out. And we all know that eventually our body is going to let us down. Cars, houses, jobs, etc... we all seek our identity in some form or another in and through these types of things.

As I look closely at the book of Colossians, Paul speaks clearly to the fellow believer's in Colosse to put their identity in Christ. He begins in Col 3:1, "if you are a believer"... "if you have been raised with Christ" then...

Then what? Col 3:2 Set your mind on things above; Col 3:3 put to death what is earthly; Col 3:9-10 put away the old self and put on the new self; Col 3:12-13 put on the attributes of Christ; Col 3:14 and above all else put on love; Col 3:16 let the word of Christ dwell in you; Col 3:17 do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ...

When we have our identity in Christ, we are like a mirror image of the Almighty Creator. We look different, we act different, and we love different than the rest of the world. We do these things not to gain the approval of God, but because we have been transformed by Him and we have placed our identity in Him.

Daily In Christ - True Life Challenge

Where do you place your identity? In your kids, your spouse, you appearance? Do you seek approval because of the work that you do or the people you know? Christ is all and should be all in our lives.

Here are some things that often take the place of God in our lives:
  • Success
  • Family
  • Popularity
  • Things
  • Health
  • Good Works
  • Pleasure
  • Money
  • Position
  • Selfish Desires
I encourage you today to look at the things that are most important in your life. Do they center around the things of God or are they for personal comfort, success, or to bring glory to yourself? God wants all our affection. I pray today that you will honor God with all of your heart and begin tearing down idols that keep you from seeing Him. When you place your identity in Christ, you will never be let down!

Blessings to you as you draw closer to Him.


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Monday, February 7, 2011

Marriage Minute: Looking Out For Number One!

Php 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

We live in a dog eat dog world. Around every corner there is someone or something lurking to trip you up. In business, school, and life in general it is important to look out for potholes that will knock us off of course. And it is especially important to look out for number one! And I am not talking about you... I am referring to your spouse.

In order to make your spouse number one in your life, this verse from Philippians tells us that it comes from humility. When we are looking out for our own interest first, it comes from a heart of pride. And, as we know, pride is an abomination to the Lord (Prov 16:5).

So what does it take to have a heart that puts your spouse first? Well, I am glad you asked... The first thing it takes is an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. True love must come from the vine. If we are learning to be more Christlike in our life, putting our spouse in the number one slot will come much easier. In order to do this we must spend time in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with other Christians.

Daily In Christ - Marriage Minute

Do you put the interest of your spouse over your own? I am not talking about being beat down and not taking care of your needs. I am talking about a genuine love for your mate that causes you to desire their needs over your needs? Today I encourage you to intentionally place a need of theirs over your own and discover the difference it makes in your marriage.

Blessings to you as you love like Jesus.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Salvation Sunday: Cardboard Testimonies

Have you ever witnessed a service where they shared cardboard testimonies? God is amazing. His love for His children never fails.

If you haven't responded to Jesus, I pray that you will see His transforming power through the cross. Even if you know Him, I encourage you to watch this video and allow the Spirit of God to fill your heart today.


Daily In Christ - Salvation Sunday

What is your testimony? Feel free to share in a comment today...

Here is mine!

Blessings to you as you give your life to Jesus.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sovereignty Saturday: God's Hand Over Nature

Psa 135:6-7 Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

I remember growing up as a kid in the 70's there was a commercial we would see on television for Chiffon margarine. The theme of the commercial was that someone substituted margarine for the great taste of butter, and fooled mother nature. When she found out she was being duped, she would stand up, flash a bolt of light across the scene with roaring thunder and exclaim in her angry voice, "It's not nice to fool mother nature!" Isn't it nice to know that nature isn't controlled by some "mother" who gets angry when you tick her off and throws down lightning bolts?

We serve a Sovereign Creator who is in complete control of His creation. If you are a Bible believing Christian then this should come as no surprise. But when you see the news and another hurricane strikes the coast, massive amounts of snow blanket the East, or an earthquake rocks a small defenseless island, do you wonder just a bit if God had any idea it was happening? Rest assured, He is not surprised. God uses nature to do His will and serve His mighty purpose. There are many examples of it in the Scriptures.

He sent a great storm to cause the sailors to throw Jonah into the sea (Jon 1:4). God caused the earth to flood and saved only Noah and his family(Gen 6:1 - 9:17). Jesus calms the storm when He and the disciples were crossing the sea (Mark 4:35-39). These are just a few examples of His power over the weather and nature.

The Old Testament is filled with many examples of God using storms, famine, and other natural occurrences to discipline His people. However, we have moved into a New Covenant. Jesus took the wrath of God on the cross for us and now we live under His mercy and grace. God is in control of nature, but no longer uses it to punish us. All of our punishment for sin was laid upon Jesus. Why we have natural disasters, famine, and other weather related difficulties is a mystery to me. I trust that God is good and that He loves us, so I believe He uses them for a purpose and we will one day be able to see the big picture. Until then...

Daily In Christ - Sovereignty Saturday

Look around today and experience God through nature. Take some time to see His hand working in the beauty, majesty, and mystery of His creation.

Blessings to you as you seek Him.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Freedom In Christ: Joy in Suffering - Part 2

Col 1:11-12 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

mp3 audio file

In this weeks Freedom in Christ, I want to dispel the myth that suffering in the life of a believer is the punishment or wrath of God. Whenever a person goes through a difficult time there is always someone sitting along the roadside to point out that the cause of this difficulty must be sin. "God is punishing you for something," they will say. When a small child gets cancer, another earthquake occurs around the world, or one of us simply loses a job or finds themselves in financial hard times, it is not the wrath of God in our lives.

Absolutely nothing could be further from the truth that suffering is punishment, and here is why. Jesus came into the world to take the punishment from sin and death for us. God's wrath was poured out on Him on the cross for all of mankind. He is our propitiation.

The first three chapters of Romans spell out quite clearly that we are all deserving of the wrath of God. Jew and gentile alike are condemned due to our corruption, our sin, and our disobedience. But there is good news... in spite of us falling short of the glory of God, Jesus became the recipient of our punishment (Rom 3:23-25). We will all struggle, we will all have hard times, and we will all die. It is just the facts!

Suffering doesn't serve the wrath of God, but it does serve a purpose of God.

Rom 5:3 tells us that we rejoice in our sufferings and our sufferings produce endurance, our endurance produces character, and our character produces hope. What good is it in our life if we are immune to difficulties? If we are a witness to God almighty and His glorious work, and we live like our neighbor who has rejected God and lives for himself, then where is the hope. If God only gives us nice things, and our neighbor has nice things already, then he can take the credit as we give the credit to God.

But what happens when we rejoice in our sufferings? What happens when an ungodly world sees Christians having hope in the midst of difficulty and trials. What happens when we are giving praise to God when our teenager dies 70 years early, or our house gets foreclosed on, or we are diagnosed with a brain tumor? What happens is that those people around us who have never understood the grace of God begin to see it. They see our hope. They see our character. They see Jesus.

Daily In Christ - Freedom In Christ

Today I encourage you to mentally and spiritually prepare for trials and suffering. If you have not seen much difficulty in your life then praise God. There is a season for everything in this life and one day we will all experience difficulties. If we prepare our hearts and get the right perspective then the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will be able to dwell in our hearts.

If you are experiencing difficulties, in addition to turning your pain over to Jesus, I encourage you to join the World Wide Prayer Network. (If you are a facebook user) This is a place to share your prayer requests and pray for others.

Blessings to you as you give Him praise in all circumstances.


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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Give Thanks: I Am Thankful For Grace

Today I am thankful for God's grace. Being a person who has always strived to find value and identity in getting things accomplished, understanding God's grace was quite a challenge for me. I began my Christian life with an understanding that in order to get more of God's favor I needed to do more for Him. And on the flip side of that, I believed that if I was in a funk or not performing up to expectations that God would love me less... then came Grace.

The grace of God frees us from religious performance and allows us to be able to walk with confidence into His throne room. We can mess up and not be condemned. We can struggle and be forgiven. We can walk confidently, understanding that He will help us in a time of need.

Heb 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Daily In Christ - Give Thanks

If you are stuck in a religious rut and don't understand God's grace, I encourage you to seek it out through prayer and reading of the scriptures. A great resource on this topic is a book by Timothy Keller... "Generous Justice"
Check it out.

Jesus didn't come to keep us in bondage, He came to set us free... Be free in His grace today and give Him thanks for it.

Blessings to you as you bathe in His glorious grace.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Time For Worship: Freedom Reigns

Freedom Reigns in this place! Does the freedom reign in your heart today?

Praise Jesus for the freedom He gives us in Him.



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

True Life Challenge: We Can't Do This Thing Alone

Pro 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

mp3 audio file

We sing it in hymns and it is preached in pulpits all over the world, "What a friend we have in Jesus." And it rings true in every Christian's life. We do have a friend in Jesus around every obstacle, during every joyous time, and when things get just flat out hard. Jesus is our true friend and will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5-6). But sometimes the road we are going on gets really dark and it is difficult to see our Friend amongst the weeds. That is where an earthly friend can help.

Proverbs 27:17 tells us that iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. When we are in continuous fellowship with Christian brother's and sister's we are sharper and acutely aware of the snares that lie before us. I'm not just talking about watching a football game or going shopping, Prov 27:17 is reminding us that we are to work at sharpening the minds of one another regarding the things of God. Going out with friends and having fun is good, but in order to avoid the snare we must also have friends in our life that help us sharpen our minds so we can ultimately bring glory to God in all that we do.

1Co 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Daily In Christ - True Life Challenge

Today's challenge is this... Take a good look at your friendships. Are they superficial and focused merely on pleasure and fun? If you don't have one or two people in your life that can help you (and you help them) sharpen your mind regarding the things of Christ, then pray that God will bring someone into your life for this purpose.

Having a true Christian friend that you can share your life with is rewarding and strengthening. This world brings us much trouble, it is far better to not go through it alone.

Blessings to you as you seek your true friendship in Jesus.


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