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Living the Life of Job -Job 19:25

Living the Life of Job Job 19:25

For I know that my Redeemer lives.
                                Job 19:25

A few years ago, God told me that I would live the life of Job. Now, that’s a pretty big pill to swallow! And if I’m completely honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the news. No one wants the life of Job, because everything he had was taken from him.

True to His word, God has followed through on His “life of Job” promise to me. I have faced many trials in my life. Loved ones have been taken from me either through death or through broken relationships, my livelihood has diminished, my health has suffered and my faith has been tested.

I can see the parallels between Job’s life and mine. And I find myself referring back to the book of Job for inspiration often. With everything that Job went through, it would’ve been easy for him to curse God as his wife told him to and no one would have blamed him for it. (Job 2:9) But Job trusted God and refused to curse Him no matter what circumstance God placed him in. When everything seemed lost, Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (v. 1:21) This kind of resolute belief Job had, inspires me to get up, keep moving forward and remain faithful to God no matter what circumstance I’m in.

God has allowed my faith to be tested, just as He allowed Job’s to be tested. But He didn’t do it to hurt me. He did it to bless me and teach me the lessons I need to know as I move forward in my life. And with each trial and lesson God has shown me His plan and will for my life in a way I couldn’t see before.

Proverbs 17:3 says “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.” God allows us to go through trials and He tests our hearts. But He doesn’t do it as some kind of punishment. He knows what is ahead and He is preparing us for it. He is refining us like silver or gold, melting us down to our core, taking the impurities out of our lives and leaving us with all of the good that He has in store for us.

Yes, Job faced many hardships and he was tested. But the lesson that I take away from reading the book of Job is not one of defeat. It’s a story of great faith and triumph over adversity. Through it all, God was there right next to him. He never left Job. He was Job’s mediator and ultimately his redeemer.

The lesson that I take away from reading the book of Job is not one of defeat. It’s a story of great faith and triumph over adversity. #Devotional Click To Tweet

By sending Jesus to die for our sins, God has given us a redeemer and mediator. Right now, this very moment, He is seated at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf. (Romans 8:34) When we face trials and our faith is tested, we can have complete confidence that Jesus is still there, in the fight with us.

It’s been a few years now that I’ve been living the life of Job. It’s been a hard path, full of unexpected twists and turns. But, when it seems that the world is against me, I can take comfort in knowing that Jesus is always for me. No matter what comes my way, I can face the future with confidence because… I know my Redeemer lives!

If you are facing a trial in your life today, I pray that you will turn to Jesus and trust in Him. He loves you and wants to refine you like the silver and gold that you are. To find out more about Accepting Jesus as your Savior, click on this link or go to the Accepting Jesus tab above. Cast your cares on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) God bless!

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How to Have Liberty in Christ – Galatians 5:1

How to Have Liberty in Christ Galatians 5:1

This time of year, my thoughts turn to how thankful I am for the independence that I experience as an American. But I also recognize the sacrifices that have been made by so many to ensure this freedom. President Ronald Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” His words have never been more poignant than right now when we are once again facing the possibility of war to secure a freedom that some seek to take away from us. Every day our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for our liberty and for the values we hold dear as Americans. Independence Day is the time we set aside to support the ongoing efforts of our military. And to remember all of the freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifice.

While I am reflecting on my liberty as an American, I also think about a more important kind of freedom I experience as a Christian. Jesus put His life on the line so that we could have everlasting liberty. He died to set us free, free from sin and free from the trappings of this world. It is only by His sacrifice that we can achieve this liberty.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
                                                             Galatians 5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 #JesusChrist #BibleVerses Click To Tweet

The Apostle Paul, tells us how to have liberty in Christ in three parts. So, let’s break it down and examine each one.

#1 Stand Fast…

We cannot lose our salvation in Christ. That is the most basic fact of our Christian faith. Even though we can’t lose our salvation, we are told many times in the Bible to stand fast or to stand firm in our beliefs. The world is knocking on our door, trying to cause us to back down. They don’t want us to stand up for what we believe. They want us to agree with their misguided thoughts, that they are right and we are wrong. But we can’t back down. We must always be ready to stand fast and stand up for our faith.

#2 the liberty by which Christ has made us free…

Liberty in Christ and freedom from sin comes from accepting Jesus as your Savior. There is no other way. We know this because we have experienced the love and grace of salvation in Christ. But sometimes it slips our mind and we forget that we have been set free. So now is the perfect time to remember all that Christ has done for us and experience the liberty by which we have been made free.

#3 do not be entangled again by the yoke of bondage…

Sin is a burden that we don’t have to bear any longer. Jesus has taken that yoke on Himself so that we can be free from it. We don’t have to become entangled by the things of this world or by the sin that so easily ensnares us (Hebrews 12:1). We can move forward knowing that because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we are able to live a life that is full and free from the bondage of sin and shame.

This Fourth of July, I hope that you will spend time with your family and friends, grill some burgers and hot dogs and watch the amazing fireworks displays. But most of all, I hope you will remember the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that true liberty comes from knowing Him.

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The Blood of Jesus -Luke 22:20

The Blood of Jesus Luke 22:20

Recently, I was asked, “Why do you sing songs about the blood of Jesus in church?” Isn’t it a little bit macabre to sing about blood? I admit, this question jolted me out of my “Christian bubble”. It seems so normal to me. It’s something that I don’t even think about anymore.

Today, I’d like to look at some of the many Bible verses that shed light on the importance of Jesus’ blood. The first is from the Old Testament when people lived under the Law of Moses.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
                                                                                                          Leviticus 17: 11

So, why do we talk so much about the blood of Jesus, even celebrate it, and why is His blood so important to us?

Because, Blood equals Life!

In order to have salvation, God has given blood a significant role to play in our lives. It has the power to atone for our sin. If there is no blood, then there is no life. Just as it is true that without blood in our bodies we will die physically, the same is true, that without a blood sacrifice we will die spiritually.

Blood equals Life! In order to have salvation, God has given blood a significant role to play in our lives. #JesusSavesClick To Tweet

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
                                                                                                         Hebrews 9:12

Before Jesus came to save us from our sins, people were required to sacrifice animals to atone for their sin. But this redemption was only temporary and another sacrifice was required to stay within the grace of God. This is why Jesus was sent to be our sacrifice. He died once and saved us from our sin permanently.

This cup is a new covenant in My blood, which was shed for you.
                                                                                                         Luke 22:20

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When Jesus died on the cross a new covenant between God and people was formed. We no longer live under Old Testament law and we no longer need to sacrifice animals for our sins. Our salvation comes from the blood sacrifice of Jesus, because His blood has the power to save us eternally!

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
                                                                                                       Hebrews 10:14

Because Jesus is perfect, His sacrifice is also perfect. It doesn’t need to be repeated over and over again. It is His selfless sacrifice on the cross that gives us salvation of our sins and eternal life with Him. His blood is the only way to salvation. All you need to do to have this salvation is, to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for your sin and accept Him as your Savior. He has already done the rest!

If you are not a believer in Jesus yet, then I pray that you will understand His great love for you and the sacrifice He made for your sins on the cross. If you have questions concerning what it means to accept Jesus as your Savior, please click on the Accepting Jesus tab at the top of the page. I hope that you will find the answers to your questions there. I also encourage you to talk to a minister at a church in your area. They will be happy to explain anything that I may have left out.

If you are saved, then I rejoice with you that your sins are forgiven and washed away by the blood of our Savior, Jesus! I hope that you will be encouraged and uplifted today by a reminder of what Christ has done for you.

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Abide in the Love of Christ -John 15:9-11

Abide in the Love of Christ John 15:9-11

What does it mean to abide in the love of Christ? The word “abide”, isn’t used very often in our modern vocabulary, but it’s a word that sparks my imagination. When I hear it, I think of cozy family dinners or intimate conversations with close friends. I would like to think that my relationship with Jesus is cozy and intimate. And I want to feel that there is a real connection between us and not just a ritual that I was taught as a young child. So how do we get there? How can we develop the close relationship we desire and abide in the love of Christ? The words of Jesus tell us how.

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

                                                  John 15:9-11

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9 #Love #JesusChrist Click To Tweet

The word abide means to continue, remain in, or dwell. In this passage, there are three key points about what it means and how to abide or dwell in Christ’s love. Let’s look at each one.

First, Jesus tells us that He loves us just as the Father loves Him. What an amazing thing to hear! Jesus wants us to continue to experience the joy of our salvation through Him and to have a close and personal relationship with Him, all because of His great love for us.

Second, Jesus explains that when we keep His commandments that is when we “abide” in or remain in His love. If we are obedient to Christ and His teachings then we are able to have the intimate relationship with Him that we are looking for.

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Lastly, Jesus says that when we are obedient to Him, His joy will remain in us. This joy is a complete joy that is full of love. To receive this joy, all Jesus asks of us, is that we obey Him just as He has obeyed the Father. The idea of obedience is not a popular one these days, but to obey Jesus is to love Him. And when we love and obey, then we can truly experience what it means to abide in the love of Christ and have the fullness of joy through Him.

Simply put, to abide in the love of Christ means to love Jesus and to be loved by Him. Just as the Father loved the Son, Jesus loves us. It sounds so easy, yet seems so complicated. In the fast-paced modern world we live in, we can become so caught up in chasing the things of this world that we forget to be still and abide in the love of Jesus. But to set aside the things of this world and dwell in Him is exactly what we should do. My prayer for us today is that we will learn to obey the commandments of Jesus and understand what it means to follow Him in everything that we do. Then, through our obedience and love for Him, we will abide in the love of Christ and have fullness of joy.

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In 1 John 3:24 we hear again about abiding in Jesus. But there is an extra component to this verse. Can you spot it? What did you learn about abiding in Jesus? What is different about this verse? What is it that we are given to help us abide?

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