Mercy is ours. Thank you Jesus.

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, I have received mercy.  What mercy have I received?  By definition, mercy is kindness or compassionate treatment; relief from suffering.  Before I knew Jesus as my Savior, I was a condemned person.  Romans 3:23 tells us that we are all sinners before a holy God.  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”  Romans 6:23 tells us that sin has to be atoned or paid for and Jesus paid the price for my sin and treated me mercifully.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  I did nothing to deserve His act of mercy towards me.  Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  

1 Peter 1:9-10 explains this state of mercy I received because of Jesus in a beautiful way. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  How glorious it is to be the recipient of God’s mercy.  He treats me with His loving kindness and rescued me from eternal condemnation.  

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for giving and treating me with your eternal mercy and loving kindness. Open my eyes today to receive your marvelous light and treat others as you have treated me.  Amen.

Linda

popefrancis1Suggestion:  Try to grab hold of God’s mercy today in a new way.  Pray for an opportunity to do a random act of kindness or mercy towards someone.  That means look for ways to act with kindness/mercy when it would be unexpected,  like going out of your way to help someone without them even asking for help.  Be open to giving out mercy in God’s name today.

Lent- let it begin with my heart, mind and soul

Lent is a time of reflection, fasting, praise, worship and thanksgiving as we walk daily towards the cross.  The number 40 is used in the Bible to signify a time of testing and trial.  During your Lenten journey which is from today, Ash Wednesday, to Good Friday when Jesus died on the cross, we are to think about the price Jesus paid for our sins through His own death.  How we do that can take many forms.  Daily devotions with prayer and scripture, fasting for a meal or even a whole day can bring your focus on Jesus to a greater height.  Or you can choose to let go of something you really like to do, say or eat as a form of penance or identification with Christ’s suffering for you and your Pope Lentsin.  Last year, I found this quote from Pope Francis and it brought a new perspective to fasting during Lent.  It isn’t just denying myself chocolate or alcohol,  it is denying myself in other ways.  I love his suggestions to fast from stress and pressure by being intentionally more prayerful, or letting go of bitterness and focusing on love.

Today as you think about Christ and His suffering and the price He paid for your sins- think about ways you can honor Him in the next 40 days.  Each day at the end of my devotion I will have a suggestion of what you might do that day to honor Christ by doing for others in love as Christ did for you at the cross.   My daily blogs will focus on what we have in Christ because Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  I pray that my blogs and suggestions will help you to gain greater love and appreciation for your Lord and Savior and be prepared in your heart, mind and soul when Good Friday and Easter arrive.

Let the journey begin today in your heart as you set your mind towards the cross.

Linda

Suggestion:  attend an Ash Wednesday service or spend some time reflecting on your own sins.  Take a piece of paper and write them down.  Then take that paper place it before you as you pray and ask God to take those sins away and fill you anew with His love and devotion.  Symbolically placing your sins on the cross of Christ helps us to see that He died for me and my sins. Romans 5:8 “But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Lent- are you ready?

Lent-renewal2Join me during the Lenten Season beginning tomorrow March 6, Ash Wednesday.  I will be blogging daily for the 40 days leading up to Easter, April 21.   40 is a biblical number that signifies a period of trial or testing.  You can begin a new habit and in 40 days it will have become second nature to you.  Begin each day with a message from God’s Word.  Begin each day with a desire to do an act of kindness towards others.   Begin each day by carving out time to listen, pray and reflect on what Jesus did for you at the cross.  It will prepare your heart for Easter in a new way and deepen your walk with the Lord.

Last year, I was mightily bless as I wrote each day about who I am because of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection.  This year I am going to focus on what I have because of Christ’s death and resurrection.  I am looking forward to all God will teach me through His Word during these next 40 days.

Join me on this Lenten journey to the foot of the cross.

Linda

I am filled with wonder over His mercy and grace.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am filled with wonder over His mercy and grace to me.  Lent is a long time to write daily.  It is 6 weeks of planning, rising early, study, inspiration and typing each morning on my computer.  As I depended upon God, He faithfully inspired me each day.  Trusting Him to provide,  I have experienced His grace and mercy.  I never lacked for time, energy or inspiration and was struck by the wonder of His Word.  Through faith we receive so much from Him that our only true response is one of wonder, praise and love for our Savior.  His promise to me in psalm 37 5Psalm 37:5 has been enacted over and over as I committed this Lenten season of blogging to Him.  “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.”  

Here is a recap of all the I am statements from this season.  Print it out and use it to encourage yourself and revisit it when you doubt the value of faith in your life.

I am …. loved, a child of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, reconciled, justified, forgiven, holy and blameless before God, an ambassador, a temple, tenderly loved by God, salt, light, helped by God, sanctified, God’s Workmanship, not condemned, a citizen of Heaven, the sweet fragrance of Christ to God, a branch on Christ’s vine, a saint, confident of God’s good work in me, a prince/princess in God’s kingdom, a child of light, a friend of God, chosen by God, chosen by God to bear fruit, a joint heir with Christ, holy and I share in God’s heavenly calling, sustained by Christ, united with Jesus in Spirit, sealed by the Holy Spirit, firmly rooted and built up in Christ, one of God’s living stones, born of God and the evil one cannot touch me, a personal witness for Christ, known by God, seated with Christ in the heavenly realm, a member of Christ’s body, a conqueror, overwhelmed with joy, a bride/bridegroom for Christ and SAVED!   

What an amazing list of what God has given to us and made us in and through Christ.  Praise be to Jesus our Lord and Savior!

Blessings,

Linda

I am overwhelmed with joy! Blessed Resurrection Day!

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised joyfrom the dead,  I am overwhelmed with joy.  I am dressed as a bridegroom or bride, resplendent in my robes of salvation.  With His righteousness upon me, I am like a garden in the spring growing everywhere.   Read Isaiah’s words of prophecy over us in 61:10-11.

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
    For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
    or a bride with her jewels.
11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
    Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
    with plants springing up everywhere.

Praise Him today for your joy, your salvation and your righteousness.  Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we are victorious and are filled with joy, saved and clothed in His righteousness!  We are in right standing before God because of Him.  Have a glorious Easter celebration because our God is alive, HE LIVES!  HE HAS RISEN, Easter_crossINDEED!   He has conquered the grave and because He lives so can we.

Happy Easter celebrating our risen Lord Jesus,

Linda

I am SAVED!

john 14 6Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am SAVED!  The most important statement this Lenten season is that I am saved.  Jesus said that He was the way to salvation and all we need to do is believe in Him to be saved from eternal death into life, John 14:6 ” “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  He also called himself the gateway, John 10:9 “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”   Acts 4:12 says that Jesus and only Jesus can provide salvation, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is only jesusno other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Belief in Jesus saves us from God’s wrath over our sin, Romans 5:9-10 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”  

What about you?  As I look at the cross and Christ’s suffering, I realize that He john 3 16suffered and died for me, to take away my sin, so I can live with Him eternally.  He loved me so much!  John 3:16 says it all, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Belief in Jesus cost me nothing but it cost Him everything.  How grateful am I?  Praise Jesus and thank God for sending Jesus as you prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday.  The Love of God has brought us full circle from the beginning of Lent to it’s end- Jesus and His love for us reigns supreme. Jesus conquered it all to save me and you!

Loving Jesus more and more,

Linda

I am a conqueror.

Because I believe that Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am a conqueror.  I love the verse in Romans that refers to me, the believer, as even more than a conqueror.  Paul stated unequivocally that nothing can separate us from God’s love, and we can conquer all through Christ.  Romans 8:35 and 37. “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”   37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”   In Christ, I am even more than a conqueror!  According to the dictionary a conqueror is one who conquers, vanquishes; is a victor.      1 John 3:4-5 also speaks of thisFor everyone who has been born of God overcome the worldovercomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”   Being a conqueror in Christ means that you can overcome the evil influences in the world that seek to destroy you and your influence for Christ.  Jesus encouraged all believers in John 16:33 when he spoke to His disciples about all they would endure. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

conquerorSo what about you?  Do you feel like a conqueror for Christ?  If not, why not?  If you are a believer, you are empowered to tell others about Christ, you are empowered to reject sin in your life, you are empowered to live and walk with Christ daily.  Since Lent is a time of prayer and reflection, why not talk with Jesus about these things.  Ask Him to empower you in a greater way so that you can live the life of a conqueror for Him.

Seeking to live the life of a conqueror in Christ,

Linda

I am a member of Christ’s body.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am a member of Christ’s body.  This biblical truth is spoken of many times in the Bible.  Believers are considered to be part of Christ’s body, which is the church.  Paul explains 1 corinthians 12 27this amazing unity with Christ in 1 Corinthians 12:12 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”  verse 27 “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”   In Romans 12: 4-5 Paul also speaks of this unique blending of believers into a body that functions to support each other in Christ.  For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  The idea of us working together and supporting one another as a body committed to Christ is also expressed in Ephesians 4:11-12 “ And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,”

The-Body-of-Christ-Open-1So what does this mean for you and me?  Do you consider yourself a member of Christ’s body, the church?  “The Church” is the body of believers throughout the world that believe that Christ is their Lord and Savior.   Together, whether local or within the world, we are to work to spread the good news of Christ and His redeeming work.  Not all of us are preachers or teachers but we all have a special gift and are equipped by God so we can contribute to the body and support each other in faith.  Are you using your gifts to encourage other believers?  Christ suffered and died for each of us and desires that we all work together as members of His body to reach a needy world.

United in Christ we stand,

Linda

I am known by God.

Because I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am known by God.  Paul made this statement several times in his letters:  in 1 Corinthians 8:3 “ But 1-corinthians-8-3if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”  and in  Galatians 4:9 “But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”   Being known by God changes your life and as a believer you are freed from the sins that enslaved you and opened to have a full relationship with God.  Jesus himself spoke of being known by God in his relationship with those who believed in Him.  John 10:14-15a, 27  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father”  and 27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them , and they follow me.”  Jesus spoke of God knowing us, even to the minutest details, even to the number of hairs on our head and how valuable we are in His eyes.  Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  

So what does this mean for you?  God knows you personally and values you.  As a believer you also know God and hear and understand his voice.  Have you ever  been reading scripture and had a revelation about the meaning of a passage? Or have you been praying and feel a sense of peace come over you about what you are to do?  These are examples of how God speaks to us, and how we hear and understand His voice.   I am always amazed that God wants to know me and cares for me.  Here are a few lines from Psalm 91 that speak of God’s care and tenderness towards me- the one He knows personally.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
psalm 91 14-1515 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Being known by God leads to a life of peace and contentment in Him,

Linda

 

I am a personal witness for Christ.

acts 1 8Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am a personal witness for Christ.  This astounding statement was made by Christ just before his return to heaven in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  The believers witnessing His ascension were told to go back to Jerusalem and await the coming of this promised power.  Acts 2:2-4a “And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”  After the arrival of the Holy Spirit the Bible records mighty things done by believers to spread the good news of Jesus throughout the world.  This commission to go to the world and witness to the truth of Him was given to all of us by Jesus.  All believers are filled with the Holy Spirit when they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and are to be His witnesses in the world in which they live. 

How does one come to know about Jesus?  The Bible tells us that faith comes from hearing.  Romans 10:17 ” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the romans 10 15word of Christ.”   We have to tell others about Christ.  That is why Paul proclaimed in Romans 10:15 “And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  Jesus issued the marching orders in Acts 1:8, we are to go and tell others about Him and His great saving love and redemption.  You don’t have to go to a far away land (the ends of the earth) you can tell others in your own home, at your job, in your town, state and country.  Living a life committed to Jesus brings blessing and good news to those around you.  What a privilege this Holy Week to live for Him.  Tell someone of Jesus and His love today.

Living with good news for the world,

Linda