Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have access to God’s wisdom. In James 1:5 we learn that though Christ we have the ability to ask God for wisdom. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.” James makes it known that God gives wisdom to help us in our daily decisions and won’t put us down in any way for asking. James also assures us that God generously wants to give us wisdom for living. We can trust that all God’s advice is good. Nahum 1:7 assures us of God’s goodness and Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that all God’s plans and purposes for us are good. Therefore, we can be assured that good advice always comes from Him. Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good a refuge in times of trouble, He cares for those who trust in Him.” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God is good; it is an integral part of His character. We can trust Him and know that He will not give us bad advice or lead us in the wrong way. I don’t know about you, but it comforts me to know that God is willing to share His wisdom with me and guide me.
How do I get godly wisdom? Proverbs 1:7 tells us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Having the right heart attitude that shows reverence for God and His great wisdom is the place to start. Then look into God’s Word, spend time in prayer fellowshiping with Him allowing God the opportunity to lead you in His way. If we are diligent and patient, God will reveal His perfect will to us. God tells us “We do not have because we do not ask. We do not receive because we ask with wrong motives.” James 4:2b-3 Prayer that is honest, sincere and heartfelt is required. One other thought, the Lord promises to give us wisdom generously. We won’t get just a little bit of wisdom but enough to do what God has for us to do!
Suggestion: Think of a problem that is coming up this week, a relationship that needs work, or a task that needs to be accomplished. Pray and seek God’s wisdom in how to specifically proceed. Then wait and be amazed at the results.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have been adopted as God’s child and belong to His family. This is a precious truth from scripture that gives me great comfort. Through my faith in Jesus, I now have a forever family and God is my heavenly Father. Romans 8:15-17 lays out our family heritage and what it means to us eternally. “ For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” We are adopted through our faith in Jesus into God’s family. We can call God our Father. His Holy Spirit indwells us and reminds us that we are God’s children. By suffering with Christ, we are considered joint heirs with Him and will share in heavenly glory. Through adoption we have access to our heavenly Father and can go to Him each day seeking knowledge, wisdom, comfort, mercy, compassion, hope…. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8
How will you use this truth in your life today? You are God’s child and belong to His family thorough your faith in Jesus. This blessed privilege brings hope, contentment, comfort, assurance and belonging into your life.
Read the scripture again in the Message and let it sink into your soul and cause you to praise and thank God. “15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!
Suggestion: Call on your Father, God, today in prayer and thank Him for the privileges you have as His child. He is accessible in prayer, has saved you for eternity, has a home waiting for you in heaven, will be with you each day- will never leave you nor forsake you, His Holy Spirit indwells and bears witness to your spirit that you are His, He gives you power for living and a purpose for your life…..Thank you Jesus for making this possible for me. Amen.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have a friend in Jesus. I love the old hymn, “What a friend I have in Jesus”. The lyrics speak of our friend Jesus bearing all our sins and griefs and our privileged of taking our problems to Him in prayer. Jesus called us His friends in John 15:14-15 “ You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Being called a friend of Jesus means we follow His Word and walk beside Him in our daily life. He is right there to help us when we stumble, give a word of comfort or be our companion. By following His pathway we are no longer just like a hired servant or one who receives orders but a friend to be confided in, helped and taught. He also promises to reveal what He knows about God the Father to us. A few verses later in John 15:18 Jesus warns us that being called His friend will put us in a position to be hated by others. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” He also speaks of this in Matthew 10:22 “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” I love the promise Jesus gives at the end of the Matthew verse. Standing with Jesus and enduring the derision and persecution that the unbelieving world places upon us because we proclaim Him, will bring a great reward.
Where do you need Jesus to be your friend today? Reach out to Him in prayer and let Him know of your thoughts, hopes and struggles. Read His Word with confidence and hope as if expecting a word from a friend, the Bible is God’s love letter to us.
Suggestion: Spend some time with your friend Jesus today. Go for a prayer praise walk with Jesus. Talk with Him as you walk along and praise Him for His provision and the glory you see along the way. Can’t get out? Just gaze out a window and spend time journeying with Jesus in prayer.
Here is a country version of the old hymn- What a friend we have in Jesus.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have been made complete in Christ. Colossians 2:10 “So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” My understanding of this is that all God’s purposes for our lives are made complete in Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20 “ For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” Knowing that we can be who God wants us to be because of Christ’s work on the cross, we can consider ourselves complete in His power. We have assurances from God’s Word that our completeness in Christ is made possible by His Holy Spirit within us and through the leading of His Spirit we will be made more and more like Jesus.
Here are some verses to encourage you as you walk with Jesus each day and seek be to complete in Him: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” God’s Word teaches, corrects and trains us so we can do His good works. Seeking completeness? Stay in God’s Word so He can equip you!
James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. God wants us to face trials with joy as they will hone and perfect our character to be more like Jesus. Do you feel your character is sagging or you are growing apathetic? Endeavor to see your trials and tests as opportunities to build your character and allowed by God to grow you up in Christ.
1 John 1:3-4 “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” John wanted us, as believers, to rejoice in Christ as fellow-shipping with the Father and Son brings complete joy to us and our fellow believers! Do you consider yourself a joyful Christian? If not, seek to know Christ better and fellowship with positive spirit-filled Christians. Their joy for Christ will be contagious!
Suggestion: Choose one of God’s completeness strengtheners from scripture and praise God for the completeness you feel!
- Choose a portion of God’s Word to read each day this week. (Psalm 31, 37 or 103 are my personal favorites)
- If you have a particular trial coming up this week, endeavor to count it joy and praise God for the opportunity.
- Seek out a fellow Christian(s) and praise God together in song or prayer.
On Sunday’s during Lent, I desire to focus on praising God. Pondering the Sovereignty of God this morning brought me to my knees as I considered all that God controls, directs, His kept promises and those in the future He will keep, and the fact that nothing surprises God or catches him off guard. He is ever vigilant and none of His plans can be derailed or thwarted. The Old Testament prophet, Habakkuk, offered a prayer to God in Habakkuk 3. Let his words of praise and awe wash over you and seep into your soul. Cling to the sovereignty of God in all your experiences in life and trust Him, the one who knows all, sees all and determines all by His power. Habakkuk 3:2-4, 17-19
I have heard all about you, Lord.
I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger,
remember your mercy.
I see God…
His brilliant splendor fills the heavens,
and the earth is filled with his praise.
4 His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise.
Rays of light flash from his hands,
where his awesome power is hidden.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.
Praise Him today for His Sovereignty and trust all that you have and are into His care.
Suggestion (it’s a challenge): Knowing that God is sovereign and depending upon God’s sovereignty are vastly different. Think of something that is coming up for you today or this next week. Determine now to release that item to God and depend upon and seek His sovereignty over all parts of this task. Do your part in preparing for the event, but release the outcome to God. No worrying allowed as you depend solely on His sovereignty. and for God to bring this work to completion for your good and His glory. Let go and let God!
Enjoy this beautiful song about God’s Sovereignty.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can have the Holy Spirit living within me. Scripture is filled with references to His indwelling Holy Spirit. We receive His Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus. It is His Holy Spirit within us that gives us hope, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are called the fruits of His Spirit living within us. When we see these character traits being manifested in our lives, we know He is at work within us.
Here are some assurances from God’s Word about this amazing Holy Spirit that lives within each believer: Ephesians 3:16 “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,” His Spirit with gives us power for living! 2 Corinthians 1:22 “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” His Spirit is a seal and guarantee of our salvation in Jesus. Galatians 4:6 “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” His Spirit declares our sonship and allows us to call God our Father or Daddy. 1 John 4:13 “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” His Spirit helps us to stay connected to Jesus. Romans 8:11 “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” His Spirit gives us a His spirit to be with us forever.
Belief in Jesus and His work on the cross brings the Holy Spirit into our lives. Rejoice in that hope today and look for His indwelling work within you. He is there-alive and working in you! He gives us the power to resist sin, stay connected to the Father and guarantees results. His fruit is eternal and always for our good and His glory!
Suggestion: Today- look for His fruit in your life– peace where you might not have thought, patience where you usually would be impatient, joy where you did not expect it, a reaction to a situation with kindness, a deed unexpectedly done, a gentle touch or word to another, a trust in God that is unexpected but natural, showing self-restraint exactly when it is called for- any of these are the working of the Holy Spirit within you. Rejoice and give Glory to God.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have hope. One of the most precious things we possess in Christ is our eternal hope in God and His power to transform and use us to do His work. Romans 5:1-2 gives us a list of God’s provision that results in hope for us. ” Therefore, since we have been justified by faith (declared not guilt of our sins), we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Our hope in Jesus brings us freedom from sin’s guilt and punishment, peace, grace, and joy. Oh! glorious HOPE! This same theme is repeated in 1 Peter 1:21 “Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.” Because of Christ and His work on the cross, we can know and trust God and our faith in Christ brings Him glory and us HOPE!
Where do you need the HOPE of Christ in your life today? Are you feeling burdened by sin’s guilt? Give it to Jesus with a repentant heart and He will replace that guilt with hope. Are you struggling with doubt or difficult circumstances? Give it to Jesus and He will replace it with peace which He gives freely bringing you hope. (John 14:27) Are you struggling as you feel alone or singled out? Ponder God’s grace, His undeserved favor, and know that He promises His grace is sufficient for all our needs. (2 Corinthians 12:9) His grace will bring you hope. Are you suffering from lack of joy? Ask Jesus to restore the joy of your salvation and those thoughts of eternal rest and refuge with Him will bring you joy. David knew the struggles of life and reminds us in Psalm 43:5 “Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
May you Hope abound as you put your trust in God and firmly place your gaze upon Jesus.
Suggestion: Pass on the hope of Jesus today– forgive someone you have been holding something against, be a voice of peace, calm or joy to someone, or be gracious to someone today (giving them undeserved favor in your eyes). The look of hope you see in their eyes will bring joy to you and give God glory.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus speaks of His family of faith and calls us His brothers, sisters and mother in Matthew 12:48-50. ” 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Jesus’ earthly family had come looking for Him and this was His reply. Those who believe in Jesus and strive to follow God’s Word are considered family by Jesus. What a privileged position this is! Not only are we linked to Jesus but we share a family position with all believers who know Him as Lord and seek to follow His ways.
This family bond is something very special. I have sisters in Christ that I see infrequently as our paths in life have taken different directions. It is amazing to me that when we meet it is as if we were never apart. That instant bond is there and we see love, trust and hope in being with each other. When a brother or sister leaves, it is always with the hope of seeing them again either here on earth or in heaven. The constancy of the bond of fellowship is always present and binds us in love.
Here are a few scriptures about brothers and sisters in Christ and how we are to work together: Romans 15:30 “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,” We are to pray and strive together to do God’s will. 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” We are to stand together firmly as we work for the Lord with hope. Philippians 4:1 “Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” We have a shared love in Christ and a desire to stand firmly for Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” We are to work together to do good in the name of Christ.
What a great comfort and encouragement it is that we have brothers and sisters in faith that we can stand with in our shared love for Christ and work together to accomplish His purposes.
Suggestion: Tell one of your brothers or sisters in Christ how you appreciate their prayers on your behalf or how you love standing and working with them or how much you love and appreciate them or how much it means to you to have someone to share in the good work of Jesus or all of the above! A kind work of appreciation brings glory to God as He works within us.
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have the Father’s love. Knowing you are loved gives power, affirmation, hope and joy. Knowing you are love by God the Father fills us with confidence, hope, security, and comfort. Scripture speaks frequently of God’s love for us. Jesus was talking to the disciples about God’s love and his imminent return to the Father shortly before His death in John 16:27-28. “For the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God. 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.” Jesus said I am dearly loved by God because of my love for Him. God loves that I love Jesus! When you think about one of your loved ones, aren’t there things you really love about them. Maybe it is the way they smile, maybe that they always hug you so tightly or say loving things to you for no reason except that they love you. This little portion of scripture gives us a glimpse into God’s character and love. He loves us dearly- not a little bit of love but a special love that is close to His heart. The motivation for this dear love is because I love His son. Isn’t that like a good Father? As earthly mothers and fathers, we love the kids that love our kids. We cherish them and want our kids to associate with them. Being a good Father, God loves and cherishes us with a special love because we love Jesus. What a privileged and heart warming thought to ponder today!
Suggestion: Think about your love for Jesus. How has He brought you to faith, and provided you with hope, joy, security and comfort. Know that the things you love about Jesus makes God the Father love you even more.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have a place in heaven. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my eternal home in heaven because I’m usually so preoccupied with life in the here and now that it seems distant. However, the older I get the more I have pondered what this home will be like and who will be there with me. I realize now the urgency for telling others about Jesus and His saving power, so that they will not be left behind.
Today’s scripture comes from John 14. It is a familiar passage about the home Jesus is preparing for us and gives us great hope. I like the extra meaning the Amplified version gives John 14:1-4 ““Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe[confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you.3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.4 And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.” We are not to be afraid because through faith in Jesus we know that He is preparing our eternal home and that He will come get us when the time is right.
Another passage in Ephesians reassures us that through faith in Jesus and because of God’s great love for us, we will be seated with Christ. It is truly by God’s grace, His unmerited favor, that He made such a place for us, as we did nothing to earn the riches we will receive. Ephesians 2:4-7 “ But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
In our eternal home will have a place of honor that is prepared for us by Christ himself, and we will be with Him for eternity. My finite mind can only try to imagine such provision, but I know I only need to believe in Jesus and His saving work on the cross for it to be mine.
Suggestion: Give some thought to heaven today and make a list of at least 5 things you know about it. Need some help- read Revelation 21 or go back and reread today’s passages. They are filled with promises about our heavenly home. Hint- one of my favorites is Revelation 21:4