Archive for July 2014

NO TURN ON RED – IT’S THE LAW!

July 16, 2014

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:21-24, NIV)

No Stop on Red

Red light cameras are becoming more and more popular here in the Orlando area. The other day, I was sitting at a red light in the right lane when an emergency vehicle pulled up behind me with its lights flashing. Although my intention was to go straight (once the light changed to green), I decided to get out of the way and make a right turn – while the light was still red. I thought I did the right thing. A couple of days later, I received a letter in the mail with a ticket for $268.00 for turning right on red when there was clearly a sign that indicated “NO TURN ON RED”. What was missing in the photograph? Right! THE EMERGENCY VEHICLE. I called the number on the ticket and was told that I could either pay the fine or take it to court. Either way, I lose. I’m frustrated because a penalty will have to be paid even though my infraction was unintentional and truly non-existent.

For the ancient Jews, a violation of God’s laws committed even in ignorance was taken very seriously. The Old Testament recognized and provided for unintentional sins through appropriate sacrifices: “If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments . . . let him offer to the Lord . . . a young bull without blemish as a sin offering” (Leviticus 4:2-3, NIV).

Old Testament sacrifices were more than a reminder that accidental wrongs have consequences. They were given in anticipation that God, in His grace, would provide atonement even for wrongs we didn’t realize we were doing.

Then came Jesus. His life, and ultimate death, meant that we no longer had to bring sacrifices to the altar. Christ sacrificed Himself for us! God’s grace is far greater than we could ever imagine! Grace is getting what we do not deserve. Because Jesus bore our sins on the cross, He has made us righteous in God’s eyes. This righteousness comes through faith in Jesus; it is given to us by God’s grace; and, best of all, it is free to all who believe.

Work for Christ
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

GIVE GOD YOUR LOVE!

July 11, 2014

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV)

Love God

Deuteronomy charges us to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. Then along came Jesus. He added the word mind. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30, NIV). In those words, Jesus summed up what God most desires from us.

 We should love God with everything we have and everything we are … Everything!

That helps us change our perspective about the way we live. As we learn to love God with everything, we begin to see our difficulties as Paul described them – “light and momentary troubles” that will help bring us “an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV)

When we love God with our entire soul, doubts and struggles don’t necessarily disappear, but their effect on us diminishes. Our trials and questions recede as we learn to trust in His ultimate goodness.

The most treasured gift we can give to God is one that He can never force us to give – our love.
Work for Christ
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHO IS THIS GUY?

July 9, 2014

“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54, NIV)

 Son of God

A researcher in Boston visited Harvard Square to ask college students what they thought of Jesus. Although often respectful of Him many people really didn’t understand who He was. One said He was “a person who took care of people.” Another said, “He sounds like a cool guy.” Another, “he was a Jewish carpenter.” Others rejected Him completely: “He was just a guy, a man. I don’t think He was the Savior.” And “I do not accept any faith system that says, ‘I am the only way to God.’”

Two thousand years ago, people questioned who He was, too. As Jesus faced death many people mocked the idea that He was anyone special. “Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.” (Matthew 27:37). And there were those who said, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:40). The religious people of the time even said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” (Matthew 27:42).

In His death, Jesus may have seemed powerless. But when we read the whole story, we see that He gave His life willingly. He proved Himself to be the Son of God with limitless power as He walked out of that tomb. Take a minute to reflect on the value of His death and behold the power of His resurrection. He’s not just some regular guy like you or me. He is the Savior of the world!

“Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!” – Lowry

He is the reason we wake up every morning. He’s the reason we go to work every day. Our work, and our lives, are meaningless if we are just living for ourselves. Don’t live just for today, to please yourself. Start living for eternity today – with someone special, Jesus Christ! Your day will be blessed!

Work for Christ

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

THE PEACE OF GOD COMES FROM THE GOD OF PEACE!

July 8, 2014

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9, NIV)

Peace (2)

During the economic downturn of 2008, many people lost their jobs. Sadly, many of them also lost their faith in Christ. However, it doesn’t necessarily take a recession or the loss of employment to turn us away from our Savior. Losing a sale, a reprimand from our boss, or an unsettled relationship with our spouse may trigger doubt and cause us to fall away.

Believers in Jesus can have peace in the midst of uncertainties because we know that our heavenly Father loves us and cares for our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). We can bring all our concerns to Him with an attitude of thankfulness, trusting Him to meet our needs and to give us peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” writes the apostle Paul, “will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  To say the peace of God surpasses all understanding reveals that we can’t explain it, but we can experience it as He guards our hearts and minds. Our peace comes from the confidence that the Lord loves us and He is in control. He alone provides the comfort that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax even in the midst of our daily trials and challenges.

Jesus taught us not to worry, because we can entrust our needs to our heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us (Matthew 6:25-34; 7:9-11; 1 Peter 5:7). In Philippians 4, Paul follows Jesus’ example and encourages us to replace our anxieties with trust and prayer. The “peace of God” is not a psychological state of mind but an inner calm or tranquility. This peace comes from trusting in God who answers our prayers. It comes when we develop a disciplined spiritual perspective, and when we deliberately practice our Christian virtues.
Those who entrust themselves to God will not only experience the peace of God, but the “God of Peace” will be with them.
Work for Christ
Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

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