Archive for April, 2015

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me. – Colossians 1:27-29 (The Message)

Christ in me!  A present and indwelling Christ is with me in all I do. Jesus, who died for me, lives in me  and fills my soul so I can bring forth the fruit of the spirit in my  life.  And Jesus died for all – not just me —  so that all could be saved — Christ is available to everyone.    Knowing the blessing of Christ in our life, we are compelled to faithful discipleship so all may know the truth of God’s salvation message for mankind.  We are called to bring this message with a deep spiritual attitude, grounded in the truth of God’s word, without hypocrisy.  We bring the message of God’s love and salvation by living a life driven by the energy

of God and blessed by the love and peace of God toward all of mankind.colossians1_27-28

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Lord, who may go and find refuge and shelter in your tabernacle up on your holy hill?  Anyone who leads a blameless life and is truly sincere.  Anyone who refuses to slander others, does not listen to gossip, never harms his neighbor, speaks out against sin, criticizes those committing it, commends the faithful followers of the Lord, keeps a promise even if it ruins him, does not crush his debtors with high interest rates, and refuses to testify against the innocent despite the bribes offered him—such a man shall stand firm forever.  – Psalm 15 – The Living Bible

Our character, as a Christian, should reflect the nature of the God we love.  While only Jesus can be perfect, as we walk with God the fruits of the Holy Spirit become reflected in our actions.  With God by our side, we can strive to walk blamelessly and sincerely through this life.  How does this look to the outsider?  We treat our neighbors well, we keep our promises, we speak the truth, we manage our resources faithfully.  These are not always easy tasks, but when following Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are provided the ability to lean on God to live our lives righteously – through His power.  This is pleasing to the Lord.  Which areas of our daily routine need to be turned over to God so we might be more obedient to God’s desires and unlock God’s secret to our happiness in this life?

psalm 15

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There’s an old story about a boy who, having grown up at the edge of a wide, turbulent river, spent his childhood learning to build rafts.  When the boy reached manhood, he felled some trees, lashed them together, and riding his raft, he crossed to the far side of the river.  Because he had spent so long working on the raft, he couldn’t see leaving it behind when he reached dry land, so he lashed it to his shoulders and carried it with him, though all he came upon in his journeys were a few easily fordable streams and puddles.  He rarely though about the things he was missing out on because he was carrying the bulky raft – the trees he couldn’t climb, vistas he couldn’t see, people he couldn’t get close to and races he couldn’t run.  He didn’t even realize how heavy the raft was, because he had never known what it was like to be free of it.    —  Lori Gordon  Passage to Intimacy


What raft are you carrying that makes your life journey and your walk with God more difficult?  What worries, scars, burdens or guilt stand in your way of living an abundant life of joy and peace that only God can provide?  Pray that God can help you see the things in your life that are barriers to living the life Jesus wants us to have.


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Be Prepared

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

– Ephesians 6:13-18 [The Message]

Ephesians 6 10-18

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Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!  [Romans 5:10 The Message] 

Through the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are no longer separated from God, but reconciled with Him.  Jesus’ death on the cross removed our sin, guilt and condemnation – our transgressions no longer alienate us from God.  That is God’s part of reconciliation.  To be fully reconciled, however, we need to receive this gift of God by putting aside our own alienation and hostility toward the power and authority of God.  We need to repent (turn around) and demonstrate our faith in Christ in our day-to-day living.    It is through our repentance and faith in Christ that we will be fully reconciled with God and find abundant life.

Romans 5 10

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Abundant Life

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.  – John 10:6-10 (The Message)

Salvation — eternal life — is given to the redeemed who trust in Christ. This gift of grace is ours for the asking.  Do we place our trust and hopes in Jesus and the abundant life He promises?  Let’s not be fooled by the sheep stealers who are out only to steal, kill and destroy.

john 10_10

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As we celebrate the wonder of the resurrection, let us take time to give thanks and express our gratitude for a faithful and present God who answers our needs and provides the gracious gift of salvation.  On this day, and every day, let us express our gratitude to God by:

  • Seeing His work in our lives and the lives of others
  • Rejoicing in His presence
  • Praising His creation and giving thanks for all we are given
  • Practicing love to reflect His image to the world

Knowledge of our good and gracious God gives us reason to give thanks and express our gratitude each day of our life.

Open wide to me the gates of justice so that I may walk through them and offer praise and worship to the Eternal. This is the gate of the Eternal; the righteous children of God will go through it. I will praise You because You answered me when I was in trouble.  You have become my salvation.   – Psalm 118:19-21 (The Voice)

Psalm 118

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