God Sent His Son To Bless Us (Acts 3:26)

Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquties.

Acts 3:26 (KJV)

How comforting it is to know that God’s purpose for sending His Son into the world and raising Him from the dead was to bless us! And so let no one ever doubt that it is God’s desire for us that we be blessed in every area of our lives. God has willed that in Jesus we be set free from the bondage of inquity, and that we enter into faith-filled and victorious living. All of this has already been freely provided for us in and through the finished works of our Lord Jesus, and all that is left for us to do is to receive this precious gift by faith. So today, let us rejoice as we consider the enormous blessing that is upon our lives, and may we purpose in our hearts that we will take hold of this glorious victory that was won for us two thousand years ago.

Weekly Grace: Exercising Our Muscle Of Faith

Scripture tells us that the Gospel reveals the righteousness of God “from faith to faith” and that “the just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) And so it follows then that nothing is of greater importance for us than to exercise and thereby strengthen our spiritual muscle of faith.

Let us examine now for a moment why faith is so crucial in our Christian walk, and how we might go about strengthening it. Notice that “the just shall live by faith.” Faith is not something that we are to resort to every now and then when faced with a particularly challenging situation, but much rather does the Word command us to live by faith.

It is certainly encouraging to know that faith is like a spiritual muscle that can be strengthened and developed. And let us also be very clear that faith, as all things in our walk with the Lord, is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8) When we realize that our faith is not our own, but that it has come to us from our heavenly Father as one of the many sweet gifts of His precious love, it takes the pressure off. God has already equipped us and empowered us with all of the faith we will ever need. The Bible says that God has dealt to everyone the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3) If you have received Jesus as Lord, you have received with Him all of the faith you will ever need. And so your task, my friend, is not to try and get more faith, but to simply and consistently develop the faith you already have.

Consider that when you go to the gym for physical exercise your body is not suddenly growing new muscles. You are simply strengthening the muscles you already had all along. The same applies to our spiritual muscle of faith!

And so what does this look like? How do we strengthen our muscle of faith? The answer is found in Romans 10:17: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If we want to work out physically, we go to the gym. If we want to work out spiritually, we go to the Word of God.

Each of us are called to continuously immerse ourselves in His Word. One of the greatest lies the devil is attempting to sell Christians on these days is that it is possible to live a victorious Christian life without being regularly filled up with the Word of God. In addition to hearing faith-filled and life-giving sermons where the Word is preached, we must each take responsiblity to renew our minds daily in God’s Word. (Romans 12:2 & Ephesians 4:23) The more that we fill our hearts and minds with the promises of God’s Word, the more will we strengthen our spiritual muscle of faith.

I will oftentimes describe the Word of God as the fuel for our born-again spirit. The more that we feed our spirit with God’s Word, the stronger our spirit becomes. And the stronger our spirit, the more receptive it is to the promptings of the Holy Spirit which ever so gently bears witness with our spirit that we are a precious child of God. (Romans 8:16) “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;” (Romans 8:17)

Brothers and sisters, I encourage you today to be diligent in your daily spiritual exercise by immersing yourself in God’s Word. There is a reason why the Word of God is referred to as the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17) When we begin to stand firm upon the Word, and use it to counter attacks of fear, doubt, worry, guilt, or any type of insecurity, we will bear witness to the supernatural ability of the Word of cutting straight through the lies and deceptions of the enemy, and awakening within us a revelation of who we are in Christ.

And so let us set time aside every day to consider His Word, and let us meditate on all that our heavenly Father has so freely provided for us. The Word can also be referred to as a spiritual mirror. (see James 1:23-25) The more that we feed our born-again spirit with the Word, the more will we see in the Word a reflection of who we are in Christ as we live the victorious and overcoming lives He has called us to live.

Father, I thank You for Your precious Word. I ask, Lord, that You would awaken in me a continual desire and hunger for Your Word. May it speak to me, and may it remind me of all that You have done for me and all that You are calling me to be. I thank You, Lord, that even now Your Word is working in me to dissolve and eliminate every wrong thought or false perception I may have inherited from the world, and it is shaping in me a heart of righteousness, a heart that is pleasing to You. Thank You that Your Word is casting out all doubt as it brings my every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. I praise You for this, Lord, and I give You all of the glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

SCRIPTURES:

Romans 1:17, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 10:17, Romans 12:2-3, Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 8:16-17, Ephesians 6:17, James 1:23-25, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Choosing Love (Romans 13:8)

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8 (NKJV)

As disciples of Jesus we are called to love all those whom the Lord leads into our path. Yet the only way we can truly do this is for us to first receive God’s love for us. The more that we receive God’s love, the more will we be able to reflect it into our world. And so let us remember that in all things, whether we may agree with a person or not, we have been given the option to choose love. May we resolve to live lives of radical love, and in so doing follow the example of the One who loved us first.

Grace-Based Prayer (Mark 11:24)

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:24 (KJV)

Grace-based prayer begins with gratitude that the very thing we are praying for has already been made available through the finished works of Jesus. And so we believe that we receive, knowing that our God withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly. And to walk uprightly simply means that we put all our faith, trust and reliance in what Jesus has already done for us, rather than in what we can accomplish through our own works or efforts. The more we can rest in this assurance, the more we will see the goodness of God manifesting in our lives.

Believe & Love (1 John 3:21-23)

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

1 John 3:21-23 (KJV)

Notice that doing the things that are pleasing in the sight of God is summed up in this commandment: that we should believe on the name of the Lord Jesus, and love one another. It is out of following this commandment of love and trusting in the finished works of Jesus that everything else will flow. The greater our confidence in what Jesus has done for us, the greater will be our heart’s assurance that we will see our prayers answered and God’s glory made manifest in our lives.

God’s Love Never Changes (Jeremiah 31:3)

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yeah, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)

God’s love for us is everlasting—it never changes. No amount of mistakes or shortcomings on our part can ever change this fact. Let us pray that all may have a revelation of this, for it is God’s lovinkindness towards humanity that draws people unto Him. The deeper our revelation of God’s love, the stronger our trust and faith in Him become. And so let us thank Him today for His goodness and His grace, and rejoice in all that has been so freely made available to us through the precious gift of His Son.

 

Speaking The Truth In Love (Ephesians 4:15)

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)

Our words should reflect the truth of God’s Word as well as His love. Our words point to what is in our hearts, and the more that our words line up with God’s Word, which is His revelation of His love for us, the more are we growing and maturing on our path of reflecting the image of Jesus. Let us pray therefore that we may be aligned with the heart of God, which is found in His Word and embodied in Christ Jesus—the Word made flesh.

Choosing Love (Romans 13:8)

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8 (NKJV)

As disciples of Jesus we are called to love all those whom the Lord leads into our path. Yet the only way we can truly do this is for us to first receive God’s love for us. The more that we receive God’s love, the more will we be able to reflect it into our world. And so let us remember that in all things, whether we may agree with a person or not, we have been given the option to choose love. May we resolve to live lives of radical love, and in so doing follow the example of the One who loved us first.

The Love Of God Brings Hope (Romans 5:5)

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:5 (ESV)

When we receive the love of God into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, hope begins to envelop us. We may walk with a calm reassurance, a quiet confidence that we will see the goodness of God in our lives. Today, let the Holy Spirit speak to you of God’s love. Let this love fill you and saturate you, and be assured that your hope will not put you to shame. 

To Know The Love Of Christ (Ephesians 3:19)

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Ephesians 3:19 (KJV)

May we be filled with all the fullness of God today as we consider His incredible love towards us in Christ. Let us pray that His love so fill us that it overflows from within the depths of our being. The more that we open ourselves to simply just receiving the love of God, the more will we be able to carry it out into our world. And the more we see ourselves as the vessels and instruments through which Jesus can manifest Himself unto the people in our world, the more of His goodness will we see reflected in our lives and day to day affairs.