righteousness

Don’t Negotiate Against Yourself

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” – 1 John 2:1 Today, I would like to share this truth with you: Because you are God’s beloved and live under His loving care, you don’t have to negotiate against yourself anymore. Regardless of what we believe to be true about ourselves, we should never presumptuously think that we are unworthy of God’s blessings. Jesus’ resurrection has paved the way for us to receive God’s best. Allow me to illustrate how life in God’s Kingdom can play out like a modern courtroom with a twist. As Christians, the Bible says that Jesus is “our attorney,” and we’re in the court of law and being judged by Satan, our enemy. As the defendant, you are on trial. Christ stands beside

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The Foundation of the Gospel

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21 In simple terms, the Gospel is God’s plan for you to trade places with His Son. The beloved Son of God became, in a way, sin, so that you will become righteous. When you receive and embrace the love of God as found in the Word of God, you understand this foundation. When the Apostle Paul spoke of Jesus, he said,  “He who knew no sin became sin so that you could be called the righteousness of God.” In other words, we can say for sure that if this beloved son of God was sent to the cross for me, He loves me as much as He loves Jesus. Now, if you really listen to what those words truly mean in your heart,

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Jesus Won the War

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:10-12 I believe that as Christians, you and I are in a war with the enemy. It’s imperative to acknowledge that we have an enemy and that he comes to steal and destroy. However, though it sounds contradictory, I don’t want you to be afraid of him because he’s a defeated foe. Don’t tune out teaching about your adversary, but on the other hand, don’t feel discouraged, oppressed or worried about his influence in your life. As a believer in Jesus Christ, baptized into His

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Suffering is a Force for Change

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 The Apostle Paul was writing to the church when he wrote the passages above. Do you know what he’s talking about when he says “all-surpassing power”? In the first century church, they were healing the

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Evil Has No Power

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21 As Christians, we are constantly in a battle with the enemy! It’s critical to recognize that we have an opponent who is out to steal, murder, and destroy. Despite how counterintuitive it may sound, I don’t want you to be terrified of him because he’s already been defeated. Don’t ignore your adversary’s teachings, but don’t become discouraged, oppressed, or anxious about his influence in your life. You have authority and power against the forces of darkness as a believer in Jesus Christ, baptized into His Kingdom and covered by His blood. This is because you share your identity with your Savior; you are seated with Him in the heavenly realms and join in the work He finished on the cross. Even if the devil tempts and tests you, he does not have the final say! Friends,

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Your Soul is Eternal

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” – John 10:28 Last week we discussed how Albert Einstein’s discovery that all matter is energy was one of the most important discoveries of the twentieth century. Today I want to address “The Law of Conservation of Energy,” which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another, another great discovery during this time. While I am not a scientist and do not claim to grasp all of the implications of this law, I do know that it speaks to and affirms the eternal nature of our existence. Because energy

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He is Our Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3 We will be looking at Psalm 23 for the next few days as we continue talking about living a life without lack and having everything we need in the sufficiency of God’s Kingdom. I encourage you to memorize individual Psalm verses as we go through them so you may dwell on them and truly let their truth sink into your spirit! The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. We have a good Shepherd and in His love, we have everything that we need. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Sheep lie down in green meadows when they have had enough to eat. A pasture is where flocks

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Grace and Truth

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14 Do you like things that are salty and sweet? I sure do. There’s something about kettle corn, salted caramel, and french fries with milkshakes that creates the perfect balance of flavors. Interestingly, I believe this is how grace and truth function in the life of a believer. The Bible says that Christ — the Living Word — came to earth full of these important, and seemingly opposite, characteristics. You see, whereas grace is unmerited favor, or getting what we don’t deserve, truth calls out reality and reminds us of what we do deserve. So how do these two coexist and complement each other? The answer is simple, and it’s found in the salvation we

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Divine Irony

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.” – Psalm 45:6 Yesterday, we talked about Henry VIII and how his life, as selfish and crazy as it was, gave birth to a church that has shared Jesus with millions. And today, if you’ll permit me, I’d like to continue using a lesson from history to demonstrate how sovereignly God works. Once King Henry VIII died, his only surviving son ascended the throne at just nine years of age, but he passed away six years later. Upon his death, his sister, Queen Mary (a.k.a. Bloody Mary) — who was the only surviving child of the king and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon — took the throne in 1553. Since the new queen was very much Catholic, she hated her Protestant father with a passion. She was determined

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The Ancient of Days

“As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.” – Daniel 7:9 Yesterday, we discussed the world’s system and how Satan is waging war all around us in the kingdoms of the earth. Today, I want to talk about the good news we can cling to — that there is One greater than the devil! Further along in his vision in Daniel 7, the prophet, after seeing four hideous, terrifying, and powerful beasts, speaks of a throne of fire being set in place and the Ancient of Days ascending it to execute judgment. Interestingly, the Lord is often represented by fire in the Old Testament because the heat of flames purifies and their presence consumes.

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