Archive for April, 2012

Living The Better Life

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2012 by greatvictories

God didn’t create us only to live for pleasure…Pleasure does not equal happiness (Ecclesiastes 2:1-10).

Break the connection between temporary pleasure and lasting happiness. “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin…” (Hebrews 11:24-25).

Pleasures are enjoyable but they are fleeting, only lasting for a time, temporary. Pleasure is fun on credit, at first it is fantastic…30 days later ~ OUCH! By faith, God has something so much more. He wants us to experience permanent, glorious, rich, eternal pleasures.

Break the connection between what you do and who you are. “Then I looked at all the works my hands have done and on the labor in which I had toiled, and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun” (Eccl. 2:11).

It is not all about what we do, it is ALL about God.

Break the connection between your circumstances and your character. “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake” (Luke 6:22).

Pleasures sustained through circumstances…Happiness when our character is right…We find true happiness in the midst of our character.

We seek and seek for worldly happiness through pleasures and circumstances, but true happiness is only found in JESUS!

“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14).

It is an “inside” job, a heart change…”Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls~Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

“Blessed are the; poor in spirit, those who mourn, are the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, are the merciful, are the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (Matthew 5:3-10).

So, how do we find happiness?

It begins and ends with a relationship (not a religion) with the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty. It is not fancy toys, flatter tummy’s, buns of steal, fine dining, etc.

Receive God’s forgiveness. “Blessed is he who’s transgressions are forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit…I acknowledge my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said; “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:1-5).

Submit/obedient to God’s way of life. But Jesus said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28).  You have to know God’s ways to be obedient.

“Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it” (Psalm 119:35). Reject the world’s ways for pleasure.

Experience a heart at peace with God and man. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

There are so many messages, books, etc. for self-help and how to live a better life. Make sure you don’t fall for those false roads to happiness. Only God can fulfill your life with “true” happiness. Allow Jesus to be your Savior and Lord.

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What It Means To Believe In Jesus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by greatvictories

Many believe, but many don’t live by the power of God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Nicodemus went to Jesus by night (may reveal the timidity of his faith), however, his faith was developing (John 3:1-17).

He wanted to find out the truth and what to do. So, he asks Jesus; ” How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

We have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk…actions speak louder than words. “Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Genuine faith will naturally produce good works, the two complement each other.  Faith itself will demonstrate itself in love for others. “What does it profit , my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14).

Jesus invited people to “Follow Me.”

So, how are we to respond to His invitation to believe and walk by faith?

FFollow His example. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15-17).

Who are you following for your example? Parent? Movie/Sports star? Peer? A program? Are you willing to follow Jesus? He wants to show us how life is meant to be lived. He is worthy of us following Him, NOT a religion. Life is about living relationships. He came to begin a relationship with us. When we follow Him, we get truth. No longer having to walk in the dark.

Be wise, follow Jesus. Listen to His leading by faith.

AAccept His grace. God gives us what we need, not what we deserve. Freedom from guilt and shame. “For if by one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17)

Do you want your life to count? We can either spend, waste, or invest our life. But remember, there are consequences for what we do in life. We will reap what we sow.

Jesus died to declare us not guilty! We must receive His grace.

IInvest your life in Jesus. Live your life in faith. Ask God how to invest your life in Him and things that are important to Him. “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourself to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13).

Everything we have is a gift from God! “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things…for in Him we live and move and have our being”  (Acts 17:24-28).

Do you want success in life or significance?

TTrust His wisdom and strength. We trust Him for our salvation, do we trust Him for everything else? “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6).

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Do you believe this or do you worry? When we worry, we are not putting our complete faith and trust in Jesus.

HHold on to His promises. They are like an insurance policy. They help us overcome whatever tragedy. “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things , in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:17-18).

We have to know what’s in the insurance policy, God’s Word, His promises. Do you know what is in your insurance policy?

Live on His promises. It is a life of faith. Living in His amazing love.

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11: 25-26)

Do you believe that Jesus will do for you what He promises?

Faith in Jesus is not a passive belief, it’s an active adventure for those who put their faith in Jesus!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

Even in the night, Jesus tells us the truth and he will show us how He wants to change us from the inside out like He did Nicodemus.

Are you willing to: Follow, Accept, Invest, Trust and Hold On?

A Fresh Start

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by greatvictories

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God ~ and righteousness and sanctification and redemption…(1 Cor. 1:30)

What changes when God gives us a fresh start?

1) We get a new clarity about everything in life. “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…” (1 Cor. 14:33).

We see everything differently in relationships, family, friends, trials and tribulations, and even our enemies. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face…” (1 Cor. 13:12).

We are going to have trials and tribulations. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

If you are not seeing God working, maybe you have closed your heart to see Him at work in everything?

2) We get a new confidence about our future. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We all have fears and insecurities.  We try to be God ~ doing what He come to do for us ~ living in our own strength. We can trust God to work out the details of our life. We can be confident because we know God will give us strength for whatever we face. He has a purpose for our life and a future for us in heaven.

3) We get a new connection to God. “…we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:11).

He did not come to establish a religion, but a relationship.

“…where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all in all” (Col. 3:11).

God Almighty wants a relationship/connection with us as His friend ~ He wants us to get to know Him, love Him and become His friend. “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that i heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:14-15).

Would you like a fresh start? Faith in Jesus is what matters and He is here to give you a fresh relationship with God. The power of the resurrection is available to everyone of us.

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width, length, depth and height ~ to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be all the glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3:14-21).