Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Everytime you do whats right, and it feels wrong, you are growing." Joyce Meyers

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nothing Can Alter His Plan

The Bible also teaches that nothing can alter God's plan. Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, "I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.

Our Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is immutable-- unchanged, unchanging, and unchangeable. His grace doesn't fluctuate. His power doesn't ebb and flow. His love and mercy don't rise and fall with the tides of any cosmic ocean. He is steadfast, constant, and enduring. The Bible says, "The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations" (Psalm 100:5).

What security and hope! What a basis for an optimistic attitude, even during painful times. And how wonderful to know we don't have to fear the future or worry about our security.

The Bible does not use vague or nonspecific language regarding our salvation. It doesn't use terms like maybe or might or hope-to-be. It says will and shall and is. If you struggle with knowing for certain that you're going to heaven, you can ARM yourself with assurance in three ways, using the acronym ARM:

A= Ask Yourself: Have I sincerely asked Jesus Christ to forgive my sins? Am I trusting His blood for eternal salvation? Have I received Him as my personal Savior and Lord? If not, it's important to do so today, for today is the day of salvation.

R= Realize that doubting your salvation is questioning God's faithfulness to His promises. Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote, "When God has made an unconditional declaration of His faithfulness, it is hardly becoming in one of His children to entertain any uncertainty in those things which He has promised."

M= Memorize one of the verses cited in this article, meditate on it whenever you're tempted with fear, and rest in the promises of God's Word.

Nothing can separate us from His love. No one can snatch us from His hand. Nothing can alter His plan. We're as secure as secure can be, as hopeful as the brightest promises of God, and as blessed as the richest soul.

Let's start enjoying our eternal life today!

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nothing Can Separate Us From His Love

Not only can nothing snatch us from His hand; nothing can separate us from His love. The apostle Paul declared: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" He went on to say, "I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor power, 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 8:35, 38-39).

The Apostle Paul said, "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12). He had a hope that infused his days with optimism. There weren't any insecurities with Paul, even when he was facing execution. he was convinced. He knew. He was persuaded. And no one could tell him otherwise.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nothing Can Pry Us From His Hand

Many of today's companies offer retirement, investment, and insurance benefits that help ease our minds regarding the future. One insurance company even uses two upturned palms to assure us that we're in good hands when we're in their care. Yet we know by hard reality there's not much security in our world or its economy. We don't know what a day will bring forth. Riches can disappear in a moment. Jobs vanish. Savings and investments can turn sour. Stocks decline. Economies crash. As Proverbs 27:24 says, "Riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations."

As Christians, we don't depend on the world for ultimate security. For us, the eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. We have a hope that endures; for when Jesus comes into our lives, He comes with abiding security. He not only died to forgive us our sins; He rose from the dead to give us eternal life. His resurrection supplies the power, provision, and pattern for our own resurrections. Because He lives, we will live also.

John's Gospel drives this home. At the end of his Gospel, John stated his purpose in writing it-- that we might believe in Christ and have eternal life (John 20:31). He similarly ended his little letter of 1 John by telling us he had written it that we might know we have eternal life (1 John 5:13). Throughout his writing, John used the phrases "eternal life" and "everlasting life" 23 times. For example, Jesus told us in John 10:26-29: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand."

The future just doesn't get any more secure than that!

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Security System - A Hope That Endures

As Christians, we don't depend on the world for ultimate security. It's not enough to have a job that simply takes care of today's needs. Somehow we need to manage wisely for the future. King Solomon drew a lesson from the lowly ant, "which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest" (Proverbs 6:6-8).

In ancient Egypt, Joseph wisely stored up grain for the coming days of famine. In Proverbs 31, the wise woman was hard-working manager who provided for her family and wasn't worried about winter. She prepared for the coming seasons in advance. Jesus commended the shrewd steward in Luke 16 for using his current position to insure a secure future.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Confidence in God's Strength

So how do we go about living in God's strength and not being influenced by the culture of fear promoted by Satan? Five ways:

#1) Clarifying God's Strength
#2) Clothed in God's Strength
#3) Claiming God's Strength
#4) Commanding God's Strength
#5) Confidence in God's Strength

#5) Confidence in God's Strength. the strongest bridge in the world is of no use to travelers if they lack confidence in its strength. If you cannot agree with the psalmist who said, "I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust" (Psalm 91:2) -- then you lack confidence in God's strength. Bury your mind in the Word of God and hide your heart in the closet of prayer until you can say, "I have confidence in the strength of my God. I am confident that Christ who lives in me is stronger than Satan who lives in the world."

Remember these five C-principles: clarify, clothe, claim, command, and be confident. With God's armor in place, you will be ready to live a fearless, confident life--- "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Commanding God's Strength

So how do we go about living in God's strength and not being influenced by the culture of fear promoted by Satan? Five ways:

#1) Clarifying God's Strength
#2) Clothed in God's Strength
#3) Claiming God's Strength
#4) Commanding God's Strength
#5) Confidence in God's Strength

#4) Commanding God's Strength. We use the defensive part of the armor (truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation) to repel Satan's attacks, and the offensive part of the armor (the Word of God) to cause him to flee. The best example of using the Word to cause Satan to flee is when Jesus repelled Satan's three temptations in the wilderness by quoting the Word of God: "[Jesus] answered...Jesus said...Jesus said... Then the devil left Him" (Matthew 4:1-11). When Satan discovers that you know the truth, his lies and distortions lose their power.

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Claiming God's Strength

So how do we go about living in God's strength and not being influenced by the culture of fear promoted by Satan? Five ways:

#1) Clarifying God's Strength
#2) Clothed in God's Strength
#3) Claiming God's Strength
#4) Commanding God's Strength
#5) Confidence in God's Strength

#3) Claiming God's Strength. The New Testament uses the word "reckon" (as in Romans 6:11) to mean "believe; act on; embrace; live as if" what God has said is true. The promises of the Word of God are what we are to believe. Paul would not write, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10) if it was not possible for us to be strong in Him. We must believe that we are strong in Him in spite of Satan's accusations to the contrary.

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Clothed In God's Strength

So how do we go about living in God's strength and not being influenced by the culture of fear promoted by Satan? Five ways:

#1) Clarifying God's Strength
#2) Clothed in God's Strength
#3) Claiming God's Strength
#4) Commanding God's Strength
#5) Confidence in God's Strength

#2) Clothed in God's Strength. You must, on a daily basis, make sure you have "put on the whole armor of God" (Ephesians 6:11). Theologically speaking, that means you have "put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and [made] no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:14). Practically speaking, it means you are relying on truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God as they are found in Jesus Christ -- and covering your life and the lives of others with prayer (Ephesians 6:14-18). Christ is the armor. To be clothed with the armor of God is to be obedient, faithful, dependent, prayerful relationship with Jesus.

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Monday, July 11, 2011

Clarifying God's Strength

So how do we go about living in God's strength and not being influenced by the culture of fear promoted by Satan? Five ways:

#1) Clarifying God's Strength
#2) Clothed in God's Strength
#3) Claiming God's Strength
#4) Commanding God's Strength
#5) Confidence in God's Strength

#1) Clarifying God's Strength. Let's be clear: Satan has enormous strength, and sometimes he is allowed by God to exercise it as in the case of Job (Job 1-2). But here is what must be clarified: Satan only attacks Christians as a way to attack God. Satan's goal in spiritual warfare is to hurt, wound, discourage, or derail you so as to cause you to deny God's goodness, His faithfulness, His promises, and His loving care. If Satan can make your life miserable enough to cause you to deny or desert your faith, or speak poorly of God's love and protection, He will have won the battle. Therefore, God's promise of defense doesn't guarantee you won't ever be attacked or even wounded in spiritual warfare. (Just consider Job, Paul, Jesus, or countless innocent martyrs in the Church.) But it does mean you will have strength to praise God in the midst of every trial. Your goal in spiritual warfare is not comfort -- it is Christ-likeness.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Culture of Strength

Satan's kingdom -- the kingdom of this world -- is based on fear and intimidation. God's Kingdom is based on power and strength. ("For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power..." 2 Timothy 1:7) But it is up to us to avail ourselves of God's defensive strength to withstand the intimidating attacks of Satan, and us His offensive strength to cause Satan to flee from us. It is up to us to permanently imbed in our thinking the most important verse in Scripture about our relationship to God and Satan: "...He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

So how do we go about living in God's strength and not being influenced by the culture of fear promoted by Satan? Five ways:

#1) Clarifying God's Strength.
#2) Clothed in God's Strength.
#3) Claiming God's Strength
#4) Commanding God's Strength
#5) Confidence in God's Strength

 Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Culture of Fear

Humans' use of intimidation and fear is a "like father, like son" thing. Jesus referred to those who opposed God's kingdom as children of the devil (John 8:44). John wrote that those who willfully sin against God are "of the devil" (1 John 3:8). And because Satan has been given authority to influence life on earth (1 John 5:19), his character is reflected in the culture. From junior high school bathrooms to corporate boardrooms, from battlefields to athletic fields, from neighborhoods to brotherhoods, fear and intimidation permeate the world's cultures as invisibility as the air we breathe.

And Christians are not immune -- we who live in God's Kingdom but reside in this fallen world can be tempted to fear. Satan is free to roar at us whenever he chooses. Sadly, far too few Christians realize they do not have to cower in fear at his tactics. Be aware of his power? Yes. Know his strategies and tactics? Yes. Live a defensive and offensive life? Yes. But fear Satan? NO!

Nowhere in Scripture are we admonished to fear the devil. We are given full information about him so we may live an informed and equipped life as we take the Gospel into his kingdom and anticipate conflicts with him and his demonic forces. To paraphrase President Franklin Roosevelt as he rallied our nation in the grips of the Great Depression, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." And to quote the apostle Paul: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power..." (2 Timothy 1:7a). And, "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear..." (Romans 8:15a). Jesus Himself siad it most plainly when He told His disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27b, NIV).

Let me say it as plainly as I can: Fear of the devil -- or fear of anything else -- has no place in the heart of the one who fears God. Fearing God means to honor, trust, worship, and respect Him.

Your Benefits Package by Dr. David Jeremiah

Friday, July 8, 2011

Three Ripe Tomatoes

"Prayer is the lever that can exert a force much greater than its size. It's a fulcrum that tilts our circumstances grace-ward. It's a wedge that allows us to open doors and to exert influence. It's a pulley that lifts us upward while simultaneously drawing down the provision of heaven. It's the axle on which the abundant life turns. What a tool is prayer!"

Recently I read the story of John and Mina Clark who were serving in the Belgian Congo, as it was called then, with the Africa Inland Mission (now AIM International). One day Mina became ill with a dangerously high fever. In her delirium, she kept crying, "I want three ripe tomatoes, John! I want three ripe tomatoes."

There were no tomatoes in that region. No one had yet heard of them. John fell to his knees and prayed earnestly for his wife, asking for healing and begging God to send a doctor. He also spoke to the Lord about those tomatoes.

The next day, a tribesman and a neighborhood woman knocked at the door. The woman carried a basket covered by a banana leaf. After casual conversation, the visitors got down to the reason for their visit. Some time earlier a traveler had left the woman some seeds. She planted them, and the bush had borne fruit. But she was afraid of the produce, not knowing if these strange-looking spheres were edible or poisonous. John lifted the banana leaf to see--you guessed it--three ripe tomatoes. Seeing his delight, the visiting woman said, "You can have those. We have lots of them at home."

John took them right into Mina who devoured them; and shortly thereafter the doctor arrived ahead of schedule. Mina was soon on the road to recovery, and John never knew whether it was the tomatoes or the doctor-- but in either case, it was an answer to prayer.

The Lord's answers aren't always that instant and dramatic, but they are always as wisely bestowed. The Bible says, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have asked of Him" (1 John 5:14-15).

One of our greatest benefits is the privilege and power of prayer, for on the cross Jesus opened the way for us to approach the throne of grace with boldness.

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Secret Place

Jesus told us in Matthew 6:6 to enter our "closets" and to pray to our Father in secret. He was referring to the storage rooms included in Israeli homes in the first century. Because most families in those days were filled with children and animals -- there was little privacy. But most houses had a room for storing supplies. It would have been a small room, crowded and unheated. But it was a place where one could find a few moments of peace and quiet for prayer. For the believer, Jesus said, such a humble spot provides direct access into the presence of God Himself. It's a secure communications complex where prayers can be rendered and rewarded.

Dr. Samuel D. Gordon, in his classic 1904 book, Quiet Talks on Prayer, spoke of the kind of people who take advantage of this. "It is wholly a secret service, " he said. "We do not know who these people are...I often think that sometimes we pass some plain-looking woman quietly slipping out of church...and do not know, nor guess, that perhaps she is the one who is doing far more for her church, and for the world, and for God than a hundred who would claim more attention and thought, because she prays; truly prays as the Spirit of God inspires and guides.

Then Dr. Gordon said something interesting about praying for the global missionary task: "A man may go aside today and shut his door, and as really spend a half-hour in India... (as if he were actually there)...Without any doubt, he may turn the key and be for a bit of time as potentially in China by the power of prayer as though there in actual bodily form."

One of the benefits of our Christian faith is the privilege of instant, direct access to heaven's throne. The line is always open. The Lord is always attentive. Romans 5:2 says that "we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand."

To take advantage of this benefit, we must cultivate a set of personal practices involving prayer. It's helpful to have a regular time and place for daily prayer. Many Christians have learned to begin the day with a time of Bible study and prayer as Jesus did in Mark 1:35. Some of us call this by a certain title --our "Quiet Time" or "Morning Watch," or our "Daily Devos."

For other people, the evening is best, or even the lunch break. Find the time that works with your schedule, but make time. To quote Dr. Gordon again: "The great people of the earth today are the people who pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who can explain about prayer; but I mean these people who take time and pray. They have not time. It must be taken from something else. This something else is important --very important, and pressing, but still less important and less pressing than prayer. There are people that put prayer first, and group the other items in life's schedule around and after prayer. These are the people today who are doing the most for God..."

Of course, our prayers are not limited to our daily devotional time. We're to pray without ceasing. Dr. Stephen Olford, the British expositor, once said he never placed a phone call without pausing to ask God to bless it. Dr. Michael Guido, the radio evangelist, said that he prayed every morning while brushing his teeth that God would give him wise words to say; and as he washed his face, he asked God to give him a cheerful countenance for the day.

We should learn to pause before answering a difficult question, as Nehemiah did: "Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king..." (Nehemiah 2:4-5).

Let's also learn to end the evening in prayer, thanking God as we fall asleep for some of the specific blessings we've encountered during the day. Psalm 92:1-2 says: "it is declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night."

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Benefits of Being God's Dwelling Place

We are the one's who benefit from the Holy Spirit taking residence in the dwelling of our life -- in at least seven different ways.

1)  Born of the Spirit.
When Jesus explained to the Pharisee, Nicodemus, what it meant to be "born again" (John 3:3), He referred to the new birth as being "born of the Spirit" (verse 6; also Galatians 4:29).  Before believing in Christ, we were "dead in [our] trespasses" (Colossians 2:13); but we have been given new life (been reborn) by the Holy Spirit taking up residence in us.

2) Indwelt by the Spirit.
Six times, in five different verses, the New Testament says the Spirit of God "dwells in you" (Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:14; James 4:5).  Could anything be more clear?  If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit dwells in you.  At this very moment, the Spirit of God is helping you understand and apply what you are reading -- a permanent, live-in Counselor (or "Helper"; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).

3) Baptized by the Spirit.
The Greek word Baptizo means "to dip, put into, submerge." and every Christian has "by one Spirit...[been] baptized into one body" --the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).  That means you are a hand, eye, foot, mouth, or some other part of Christ's Body (to use Paul's anatomical metaphor; 1 Corinthians 12:14-27).  Everything you do affects every other member of the Body; no more "Lone Ranger" Christianity --we are part of each other.

4) Filled by the Spirit.
There are eleven references in the New Testament to people being "filled with the Holy Spirit" -- from John the Baptist (Luke 1:15) to Jesus (Luke 4:1) to the apostles (Acts 2:4; 4:8) to the Church (Acts 4:31) and others in between.  And in every case, the reference accompanies some dynamic act, event, or word of power or consequence.  Those filled with the Spirit prior to Pentecost were filled for a purpose; those filled since Pentecost are filled permanently so that our lives may be continually characterized by the power of Christ.  Our responsibility is to remain filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) by not grieving (Ephesians 4:30) or quenching (1 Thessalonians 5:19) the Spirit.

5) Illumination of the Spirit.
Paul says that in Christ, "the eyes of [our] understanding [have been] enlightened" (Ephesians 1:18).  Things that seemed foolish to us before now make perfect spiritual sense.  The Holy Spirit makes God's truth clear to speakers (1 Corinthians 2:13) and hearers (1 Corinthians 2:14):  "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  If you have Christ, you have the Spirit -- and the ability to discern spiritual truth.

6) Walk in the Spirit.
Paul set up a logical progression for the Galatians:  "If we live in the Spirit, [then] let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).  What good is it to say, "I have the Spirit, "if we are not manifesting the Spirit (the life of Christ) in our life?  That is Paul's point -- walking in the Spirit is an ongoing life of obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord after trusting Him as Savior and receiving the Spirit of Christ who lives within.

7) Fruit of the Spirit.
The evidence that we belong to Christ is the transformation wrought by the Spirit in the form of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control -- the fruit of the Spirit (John 13:35; Galatians 5:22-23).  We have the privilege of being "ambassadors for Christ" on earth (2 Corinthians  5:20), revealing His character by means of the fruit of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit wants to be the sole, permanent resident in the dwelling of your life. The question is, Have you given Him access?  Are you enjoying all the benefits of having Him in your life?

To make sure, why not bow and confess anything in your life that is occupying any of the rooms of your heart and invite the Spirit to fill you completely -- and begin living the Spirit-powered life God saved you to enjoy.

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Most Unique Dwelling Place

In the Old Testament, God dwelt in the Holy of Holies, first in the temporary Tabernacle and then in the permanent Temple in Jerusalem. But after the glory of God departed the Temple in the wake of Israel's exile (Ezekiel 10), God had no dwelling place on earth -- until Pentecost, A.D. 33.

Acts describes the coming of the gift promised by Jesus before He left this earth (John 14:16). From that time until now, and until the Spirit leaves the earth and the Tribulation begins (2 Thessalonians 2:7), God the Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of individual Christians -- the "living stones" from which the "spiritual house" of God, the Church, is built (1 Peter 2:5).

Is that not the most unique, unconventional living arrangement you can imagine -- the holy God of the universe taking up residence in the life of sin-stained human beings? Yes, our scarlet sins have been made white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). Yes, we have been declared righteous in God's sight, having been washed clean by the blood of Christ and kept clean by the purifying of the Word (John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:26; Revelation 1:5). But still -- for the infinite, eternal God to willingly choose to make the body, soul, and spirit of man His dwelling place on earth.

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Certain Conversion

Our "positional" conversion in God's sight is instantaneous, but our "practical" conversion happens over time.  at the moment we pass from time into eternity, our experience of being converted into the image of Jesus Christ will be complete (Romans 8:29).  God uses "all things" (Romans 8:28) in our life to transform our new position into our new reality --and our challenge is to believe by faith that this conversion is complete in His sight and ongoing in ours.

Don't be confused:  religious practices might be new in your life, but they do not make you a new creation in Christ.  That only happens through faith in Him.  If you are not sure you are the new creation the Scriptures promise, tell God today that's what you want to be.  And allow God to make all things new in your life through faith in Christ.  And if you are in Christ today, ask yourself:  Am I walking in the "newness of life" (Romans 6:4) that is my birthright as a new creation.

You have been handed the key to a totally converted life -- yours to live in and enjoy, now and forever!

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Conversion: Making All Things Possible

When God Transforms Us, He Makes All Things New

The clearest statement in the New Testament about how God transforms us is 2 Corinthians 5:17:  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

But what about a human being becoming a "new creation" in Christ?  How does that work?  If you take a snapshot of a person immediately before he places his faith in Christ as Savior and Lord, and a picture right after his conversion to Christ...the two pictures look identical.  We don't lose our wrinkles, extra pounds, or crooked smile for all to see.  But there is no question we have been turned into (converted; transformed) something new.  In fact, Jesus called it being "born again" (John 3:3; see also Romans 6:4 and Galatians 6:15) --definitely something brand new.

First of all, we get a new description.  We are "the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).  When God sees us as a new creation in Christ Jesus, He sees us as righteous (cleansed of sin) and holy (set apart for Him) --just like Jesus.  Indeed, He sees us like He sees Christ.  That newness doesn't show up in earthly photographs, but it shows up in God's sight.

Second, we get a new disposition.  When we place our faith in Christ and become a new creation, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us (Acts 2:38).  When that happens, new character traits begin to manifest:  "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control --when Paul calls "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23).  Yes, some of those traits might have been in our life before, but here's what's new:  before, they were not manifistations of the indwelling Christ.  Now, they are (Galatians 2:20).

Third, we get new desires.  Paul says when we are saved by grace it means we have been "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them"  (Ephesians 2:10).  Good deeds done for the glory of God are a new thing for the glory of God are a new thing for those who are new creations in Christ.

Finally, we get a new destination.  Before becoming a new creation in Christ we were desired for a Christless eternity.  But we have been turned around (converted), headed in a brand new direction:  eternity in the New Jerusalem, dwelling in God's new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-4).

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Conversion: A Biblical Idea

When God Does A Conversion Project, It is Complete!

While forms of the English word "conversion" only occur five times in our English Bible, the idea is prevalent throughout Scripture.  In both Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament), the original words which we render as convert or conversion are words which meant simply to turn, to return, to turn back, to turn one's back to another, or to turn from one condition to another.  When the turning is spiritual in nature, we use the English word conversion to describe it as in Psalm 19:7 ("converting the soul"), Psalm 51:13 ("sinners shall be converted), and Acts 15:3 ("conversion of the Gentiles"; see also Matthew 18:3 and Acts 3:19).

A true conversion is a complete turning; a 180-degree change in direction or condition; going one way, then turning and going another.   

Think of the Bible as a whole:  God's entire plan of redemption is one of conversion --turning man's direction from being self-centered to being God-centered; turning scarlet, sin-stained souls into souls that are white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).  Throughout Isaiah, God speaks of the "new thing" He is doing in Israel.  With reference to bringing the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, God said,

Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:18-19)

And He said the same regarding Israel's return from exile in Babylon:

Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them.
(Isaiah 42:9)

And about God's ultimate conversion project, the conversion of the entire planet:

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
(Isaiah 65:17; see also 2 Peter 3:13; Revelations 21:1-4)

When God does a conversion project, it is complete!  And nowhere is that more evident than when the New Testament talks about those who have been made new in Christ.

Your Benefits Package by Dr David Jeremiah

Friday, July 1, 2011

Loaded With Benefits

The most important thing about our relationship with Christ is -- Christ Himself.  He forgives our sin by His blood, providing an eternal relationship with Him in heaven.  But along with our salvation comes an infinite benefits package and perks that fill our lives with blessings.

One of Paul's most unique writings was the private letter sent to Philemon of Colosse.  This man undoubtedly had many conveniences in life, especially for the times in which he lived --economic security, a home large enough to accommodate a crowd, guest quarters for travelers, and a contingent of personal servants.  But Paul told Philemon he was praying "that you will have a  full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ" (Philemon 1:6, NIV, 1984).

We may have a job with good benefits, but how would your attitude be different today if you had a full understanding of every good thing you have in Christ?  Let me list a few of them:

  • A set of precious promises that never expire.
  • An inner peace the world cannot take away.
  • Dogged hopefulness that cannot be denied.
  • A worldwide family of brothers and sisters and a local group of friends with whom to fellowship weekly.
  • A purpose for living that insures a lasting legacy.
  • The assistance of unseen angelic helpers at timely moments.
  • Constant communication with the God of the universe.
  • A fascinating Book that takes a lifetime to fully study and appreciate.
  • The pledge that all things in life will work together for good.
  • Personal guidance for every decision.
We will focus our attention on five specific benefits that accompany our salvation:  (1) the immediate and long-term transformation process we experience as Christians; (2) the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; (3) our direct access to the Father through prayer; (4) the inner strength God provides; (5) the hope and security that comforts us throughout life.

Your Benefits Package by Dr. David Jeremiah

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Formula For Fellowship - Part 3

How do you get right with God and stay right with God? 

3.  Now the third thing…Not only must that sin be exposed to the light, not only must be expressed to the Lord, it needs to be expelled from the life.   

Look at chapter 2 verse 1 and see why John is doing this.  

Is John saying, “Oh it really doesn’t make a difference how you sin?” Oh no! 

“Or whether we sin?” Oh no!   

He says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”   

You say, “Hey pastor Rogers, you are making it awful easy to be forgiven.”  No, John says, “I’m not writing these things to encourage you to sin, I am writing these things so you sin not.  But if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  What he is saying is this…”My desire, my goal for you is this…that you live a sinless life.”  That’s the goal, that’s the aim.  But if you sin, here is the way to be cleansed, the way to be forgiven.  John knowing we are not perfect and we would not be until we get to heaven, holds nothing less than a perfect standard mind you.   

Why do I love God?  Why do I serve God?  If I am truly saved, no amount of condemnation will keep me from going to heaven.  God will discipline me. God will chastise me.  But if I am truly saved, I am going to heaven.    Why are you so careful about dealing with these day by day things in a practical thing?  Because I want fellowship with God.  Because I want joy.  John says, “I am writing so that you might have fellowship, so you might have joy.”   

So why do I therefore serve God?  I would as soon eat dirt than to sin.  Why?   
(1) A slave serves because he has to. 
(2) An employee serves because he needs to. 
(3) A son serves because he wants to.   

I am all three.  I am a slave, servant and a son.   I serve him because I have to, because I need to, but mostly because I want to.  He’s done so much for me.  So this is not an inducement to sin.  This is an inducement not to sin. “These things that I write unto you, that you sin not.”  But isn’t this a wonderful salvation.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that He forgives our sins judicially and never again will sin be brought up against us, to send us to hell.  But then as a son, in order that He might have fellowship with us, He tells us that if our sin were being exposed to the light, if our sin were to be expressed to the Lord, it can be expelled from the life.  That’s wonderful. 

Adrian Rogers  3/9/09 “A Formula For Fellowship”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Formula For Fellowship - Part 2

How do you get right with God and stay right with God?

2.  So, first of all, sin must be exposed to the light.  Second, not only must your sin be exposed to the light, it must be expressed to the Lord.  Look at verse 9.  He said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Do you see that?  You see once the Holy Spirit of God shows you what is wrong, what do you do?  You confess it.  Now the Holy Spirit of God legitimately, specifically, redemptively says, “That Adrian is wrong in your life.”  Then I say what He says about it.  I confess my sin.  I agree with God.  I don’t stonewall God.  I don’t say I don’t have no sin.  I don’t lie to others.  I don’t lie to myself.  I don’t lie to God.  I agree with God.  I express it to the Lord.  I confess it.  I agree with God.  God will not settle for an excuse or an alibi.  Don’t to rename the sin and say it’s a mistake and I need to be fixed.  Tell Him it’s a sin and I need to be forgiven.  Now if you do that, the bible says you will be cleansed.

How do you confess that sin?  First, confess it immediately.  This is in the present tense.  “If we confess”  That means do it now.  Don’t just wait until the end of the day to confess your sin.  Do it immediately, as soon as you are aware of sin.  You need to come into the place in your life where you are really sensitive to sin.  You know probably the most sensitive part of your body is your eyeballs.  If you got a piece of sand that flew into your eye, would you say I would get that out later tonight?  No, you would say, “Hey, I’ve got something in my eye, I need to get that out, its bothering me, its irritating me.  You need to be that sensitive to sin, to get that out of your life, immediately.  Now what most of us do is ride a spiritual roller coaster.  We are down here….out of fellowship with God…and then we hear someone preach and then we go to a revival meeting, we confess our sins and get right with God and back into fellowship with Him…then we get away and start coming back down again…then someone speaks to us or we read the bible and then we start going back up again.   The only problem is that our valleys take a lot longer than our peaks.  Have you ridden that roller coaster?  In fellowship and then out of fellowship and then in fellowship.  That’s what they think the Christian life is.  Let me tell you what the Christian life is…its not so much riding that roller coaster.  The victorious life is… you’re not right with God…you get right with God.  You are up here and then you are going along and a lustful thought comes in, or a dishonest thing comes in, or then anger comes in, or then pride comes in…and you are aware that sin is there.  At that point, before you go down there, at that moment confess your sin.  Do it immediately.  That’s the way you live victorious.  Its not that you don’t have sin, its not that you don’t have temptations, its not that you don’t fail….You do not have to go through those long valley’s of despair.  Confess your sin immediately.

Secondly, confess specifically.  Don’t just pray…. “Oh Lord, if I have sinned…forgive me.”  How does the Holy Spirit of God convict you?  Specifically.  How do you confess?  Confess specifically.  Call it by name, nail, and name it and it will be cleansed.  Say, “Lord, I told a lie, or I should not have read that, or I failed to do this and call it by name.  He says, if we confess our sins, not our sin.  Sing that song “Count your many blessings name them one by one.  And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.  Count your many sins, name them one by one.  It’ll surprise you what you’ve done.“  If you knew it.  Only the sin that the Holy Spirit convicts you of, that has not yet been cleansed, anything that is in the grave of Gods forgefulness you do not have to bring up again.  God will never bring you into double jeopardy.  Do it immediately, do it specifically. 

Thirdly, do it confidently.  “If we confess our sins, (He is what?) He is faithful (and what?) just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Think about the words “faithful” and “just”.  Do you know that if He did not do it, He would be therefore unfaithful and unjust.  Why?  Why must God forgive?  Can we speak God must doing something?  YES, Because Jesus died for those sins.  And the Bible says in the next chapter…He is the propitiation the satisfaction for our sins.  The blood of Jesus Christ would make God unfaithful and unjust if He did not forgive you because it is that blood that has the cleansing power …vs 7…The blood of Jesus Christ, Gods son,  does what?  It cleanses us from all son.  If He were to fail to forgive you, if He fails to cleanse you, He would be going back on the contract of Calvary.  He would be dishonest.  He would be unfaithful.  He would be unjust.  He would be a liar, a crook.  I can know that I know that if I agree with God the Holy Spirit about my sin, if I agree with Him, He is faithful and just to forgive me.  Well, you say, “Some things.”  No, no, no.  What does it say? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.”  Don’t you let that devil accuse you.  Don’t let that devil condemn you. “HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!”  You can confess that sin confidently, do it immediately, do it specifically.  You do not have to go around carrying that load of guilt.  That’s a wonderful thing about being a child of God.

Adrian Rogers  3/9/09 “A Formula For Fellowship”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Formula For Fellowship - Part 1

I John 1:3

A child of God can slip into sin very easily but he should also have a desire to get back into fellowship with God very quickly.

To have fullness of joy you must have fellowship with the God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Two relationships with God is sonship and fellowship.  They ought to both be the same but sometimes they are not.  When you become a Christian you are His, He is your Father.  You can still walk in darkness and still be Gods but your fellowship will cease as you are in darkness and so your joy ceases as well.  So you can have sonship without fellowship.  You never stop being His son.

How to have fellowship with God the Father and with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Read verse 6

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, 
we lie and do not practice the truth;  1 John 1:6

How do you get right with God and stay right with God?

1.  Your sin must be exposed to the Light - “If we walk in the light” (vs 7). 
         Who is the light?  God is light.(vs 5) “… for in Him there is no darkness…”

You just open your life to God and you say, “Lord is there anything in my heart and in my life that is not right with you?”

Many times we don’t want to do that.  We hate the life because our deeds are evil.  But your sin must be exposed to the light.  “If we walk in the light…” (vs 7)  Our     sin must be exposed to the light. 

Look in verse 6.  Look in verse 8.  Look in verse 10….”If we say..”  3 times.  Some people say one thing when the other thing is true.  John is talking about the evolution of a lie.  We first begin to lie to others (vs 6)  and then we lie to ourselves (vs 8) and then we lie to God (vs 10). 

                   vs 6 - If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in 
the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

vs 7 - but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, 
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of 
Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
 vs 8 - If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving 
ourselves and the truth is not in us.
                   vs 9 - If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him 
a liar and His word is not in us. 
If you tell a lie long enough, you really start believing it.  You start making excuses, calling it a mistake, and giving yourself alibi’s, rename it, whatever.   Then finally you start lying to God.  When you lie to God you just stonewall Him and shutout the light.  So therefore you never really have that fellowship with God because you are not walking in light but in darkness.  You pull the veil of darkness over your sin.

Now what you must do is expose yourself to the light.  Just say, “Here I am Lord.  Holy Spirit of God shine your light on me.  Let me know if there is some sin or wickedness in me. Search me o’ God.  Try me and know my heart. Open yourself to God.  Don’t be afraid to do this.  This is not Gods way of punishment this is Gods way of blessing us.  God wants to lead us to fellowship and joy.  But so many of us just want to pull a cloak of darkness over our life.  Expose your sin to the light.  Now the light is the Holy Spirit of God.  The Holy Spirit of God will point out to you that thing in your heart, in your life that is wrong. 

You need to learn the difference between Holy Spirit conviction and satanic accusation.  The Holy Spirit of God convicts the devil accuses.  Now Jesus said, “He will convict you of sin.” But He says of Satan, “He is the accuser of the brethren.”  He accuses you before God and to yourself.

What is the difference between Holy Spirit conviction and devil accusation?  If you don’t know the difference between Holy Spirit conviction and satanic accusation you are going to be in deep trouble trying to have fellowship with God. The Holy Spirit of God will convict you legitimately.  The Holy Spirit of God will never convict you of any sin that has already been confessed and cleansed.  He will not bring it up again.  Lets say you tell a lie to your husband.  You said, “Oh God, I’m so sorry I told a lie. God forgive me.”  You confess that.  God forgives you because you confessed.  Then later on you feel dirty and guilty about that.  Who brought it up again?  NOT GOD.  The devil brought it up.  The devil wants to accuse you to bring you into double jeopardy.  Now the devil is dirty.  Remember what I told you…before you sinned, the devil said, “Oh, go ahead and do it, you can get away with it.”  But after you sinned, the devil will say, “Oh, you will never get away with it.”  Isn’t the devil something.  See he wants to bring up that sin that has been buried in the grave of Gods forgetfulness.  Don’t you let him do it.  The Holy Spirit will convict you legitimately, only a sin that has not been confessed.  But the devil will accuse you illegitimately, something that has already been forgiven. 

Another way the Holy Spirit of God convicts you is not only legitimately, He will convict you specifically.  Now the devil will accuse you generally.  If he cannot get you to dredge up some sin that has already been forgiven, then he will just try to make you feel guilty about anything or over nothing.  He’ll just say, “You are no good.”  Has he ever pulled that on you?  “Your just no good.  You’re unworthy.  God doesn’t love you.  You’re just vile.  You’re just a sinner.  You are no good.”  You are the righteous of God in Christ.  You’ve been saved, redeemed, born again, made a partaker of the Holy Spirit.  But the devil would just like to accuse you generally.  For the Holy Spirit of God convicts you specifically.  The Holy Spirit of God will tell you exactly, precisely, where it is that you went wrong.  You don’t have to do it.  You don’t have to dig around.  You don’t have to poke around.  You just expose yourself to the light and the Holy Spirit like a skilled physician will put His finger on the sore spot and push.  He’ll say you told a lie or you were proud or you were arrogant, or you were cruel, or you were selfish, or you were dishonest, or you were lustful, or you watched that show you ought to not have watched, or you told that lie you ought to not have told.  He is will name it exactly, specifically.  See, until He puts His finger on the sore spot, and tells you exactly what it is, you will really never have a sense of forgiveness.  But with the Holy Spirit of God convicting you legitimately and specifically, then you are going to have that sense of a wonderful cleansing, wonderful forgiveness. 

The third way the Holy Spirit of God will convict you redemptively.  I mean by that this…that He wants to bring you back into fellowship.  He wants to give you joy, he wants to bring you back.  Now, accusation leads to despair.  Conviction leads to confession and cleansing.  Accusation drives you from God, causes you to be morose and guilt ridden.  That’s on the devil.  The devil is the accuser.  He does not want to redeem, he wants to condemn.  But the Holy Spirit of God wants to draw you into fellowship with Himself. 

Adrian Rogers  3/9/09 “A Formula For Fellowship”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Trust His Ways

"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (Psalm 37:5).

"Having taken the step of faith by which you have put yourself wholly and absolutely into His hands, you must now expect Him to begin to work. His way of accomplishing that which you have entrusted to Him may be different from your way; but He knows and you must be satisfied.

I knew a lady who had entered into this life of faith...with a wonderful flood of light and joy. She supposed this was a preparation for some great service... Instead of this, almost at once, her husband lost all his money, and she was shut up to domestic duties, with no time or strength left for any Gospel work at all. She accepted the discipline, and yielded herself up as heartily to sweep, and dust, and bake, and sew, as she would have done to speak, or pray, or write for the Lord. And the result was that through this very training He made her into a vessel 'meet for the Masters use, and prepared unto every good work.'

Another lady who had entered this life of faith under similar circumstances of wondrous blessing ... was shut up with two peevish invalid children to nurse and amuse all day long. Unlike the first one, this lady chafed and fretted, and finally rebelled, lost all her blessings, and went back into a state of sad coldness and misery. She had understood her part of trusting to begin with, but not understanding the Divine process of accomplishing that for which she had of the Heavenly Potter, and the vessel was marred on the wheel. I believe many a vessel has been similarly marred by a want of understanding these things. (Hannah Whitall Smith - adapted)

When trouble, restless fears, anxious fretfulness strive to overpower the soul, our safety is in saying, 'My God, I believe in Your perfect goodness and wisdom and mercy. What You are doing I cannot now understand, but I shall one day see it all plainly. Meanwhile I accept Your will, whatever it may be, unquestioning, without reserve.'

There would be no restless disturbance, no sense of utter discomfort and discomposure in our souls, if we were quite free from any -- it may be almost unconscious -- opposition to God's will. But we do struggle against it, we do resist; and so long as that resistance endures we cannot be at peace. Peace, and even joy, are quite compatible with a great deal of pain -- even mental pain -- but never with a condition of antagonism or resistance." (Henrietta Louisa Sidney Lear)

Thus will I live and walk
from day to day,
Contented, trustful, satisfied, and still.
What life so shielded, or what life
so free,
As that within the center of Thy will!
Jane Woodfall