2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Tomorrow when you look in the mirror try to see yourself as God sees you. Don’t look with your eyes or through the eyes of your friends, family, coworkers or your neighbors. Instead see yourself as God sees you.
Once you are saved, you become new and HE lives within. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person and now has power. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
You are no longer a weak person. You no longer have to walk in fear or be burdened with anxiety and worry. You have become a new creature. You have changed from a little meek and mild kitten to roaring lion. Queen of the jungle we roam.
Post a picture of a lion where you brush your teeth, put on your make up or fix your hair and remind yourself every day that you strong, brave and courageous. Now go out and conquer today!!
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Ask yourself these questions?
Do you say you love Jesus but people don’t see it?
Are you excited about the mere mention of Christ name?
Are you asking Jesus to make you more like him?
Is He the priority in your life?
Are serving Him at work, at your church, in your community?
Go back to the day you were saved. Do you remember how you felt? Most of us could hardly wait to get back to church the next week. We read His word, talk about Him to everyone would listen and we wanted to know every thing we could about Heaven and Jesus. So what happened?
Romans 3:23 (ESV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
We forget we are sinners in need of Christ forgiveness. Either we are living in sin or we begin to judge others sins not our own, thinking that WE are ok. We no longer pray for God to remove the sins in our life.
We have become one or more of these things: 2 Timothy 3:1–4 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
We have lost faith because we have stopped asking God for impossible things.Matthew 17:20 ESV He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
We forgot how much He loves us. Romans 5:8(ESV) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
If your heart has grown cold for Jesus it is time to TURN THE HEAT UP! It is time for your SOUL TO BE ON FIRE AGAIN!!
Ephesians 3:17b-19, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)
Ephesians 4:29 ESV Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
I was watching a show on Amazon Video the other day that was filmed in a small town in Kentucky. In the series, the people on the show were portraying Kentucky mountain folks. The southern accent was very prominent, and actually pretty accurate of the south. In one of the series there was a man from up north that came into town on business with the locals, both bad guys. I had to laugh as I watched this episode. In the first series the northerner starred in, he would say over and over again how he could not understand the local man. In the second series he starred in, the northerner said he needed google translate to help him understand what the local man was saying.
It reminded me of how we should speak as Christians. Our language should change after we are saved. People who are not saved should not understand what we say because we don’t talk like them. John 8:47 says “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” Non-Christians may not understand the things of God but that doesn’t mean we should not talk about God. We should talk about Him so much that they want to know what we are saying. In the show, even though the man did not understand what the locals were saying, he really wanted to understand them. His frustration made him work harder to figure out what they were saying.
When we are Christians the way we talk to others is different. Those who are not saved may not understand the way we talk to each other. Colossians 4:6 ESVLet your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. We should not loose our cool with other people, christian or not.
Matthew 15:11ESV says “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” What words are coming out of your mouth? I heard a sermon by Joel Osteen and he was talking about the different sins people struggled with. He specifically mentioned people in his life who struggled with swearing. I hear so many christians swearing. I have watched the faces of lost people when they hear a christian swear. It is a look of confusion. Even they do not understand how a christian can so freely swear.
Ephesians 5:4 ESV says “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” The bible is full of scripture that tells us how we should talk once we become saved. Maybe you don’t know “churchy talk” but we all need to learn God talk. How do we do that? By reading His read. Churchy talk is man talk. God talk is His language and there are blessings for His children who use God talk.
I am not sure if there is google translate for the bible, however there are many tools available to you to make reading the bible easier. There are many different versions of the bible. Check them out online before you buy one. Here are a few online resources where you can read a verse in many different versions. If you keep going to a particular version then maybe that is the one you should buy.
Each of these sites also have a commentaries by several people. If you read something and you don’t understand it, no matter which version you read, then you can read the commentary, which explains the text you just read.
In Joels sermon he stated that we all deal with our own sin. For him, it was impatience while for someone else it was their words, swearing. This isn’t a devotional to make you feel bad about swearing. The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Maybe you are saying that you can’t change your language. Those old ways just won’t go away so how do you change? Philippians 4:13(GW) I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. With God’s help thats how. YOU CAN DO. Don’t stop trying.
Just in case no one has told you this today….God loves you, wherever you are in your walk with Him!
Today’s Truth: Revelation 2:4-5, “4 However, I have this against you: The love you had at first is gone. 5 Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first…..” (GW)
From My Heart To Yours:
If you were born after in the 90’s you will probably laugh as you watch the following video. Now try to listen to the words of the song and not focus on the large mustache. If you were born before or right after 1973, go ahead and sing along, you know you want to. By the way, I immediately wanted to search for, watch and sing Knock Three Times, didn’t you?!?! Oh no, I couldn’t help myself…found it, watched and sang it too.
This popular song, Tie A Yellow Ribbon by Tony Orlando and Dawn, was based on the true story of a convict returning from jail who requested a sign from his wife to indicate that she would welcome him home. First he writes her a letter and puts it in the mail, text messaging, emails or cell phones didn’t exist back then. Ok so go ahead and laugh again those of you who laughed earlier. He doesn’t wait for her to rejection him, instead he jumps on a bus to go to her. In his letter he ask her give him a visual sign that she will take him back, a yellow ribbon around a tree he remembers in the front yard of her home.
As the song goes on you can hear the anticipation, urgency and yes even fear in the lyrics as he gets closer to her house. Rejection will be hard but easier to handle if he doesn’t have to see her face to face and hear the word NO. That’s why he has ask for visual sign.
Almost there, tension building, all the feelings of rejection and discouragement overwhelm him to the point that he can’t even look, can’t look for the sign he asked for a simple yellow ribbon around big old oak tree that he remembers standing in the front yard. He has pulled the other passengers on the bus into his story by telling them about his love and how he hopes she will take him back, about the simple sign of acceptance he hopes to see and his fear of not seeing it.
The passengers tell him he doesn’t even have to look, they will be his eyes. They too are now hoping and looking for HIS yellow ribbon on the tree. As they near the house I can see EVERYONE but the man standing on the same side of the bus stretching to see over the others to see if the simple yellow ribbon requested is on the tree. I can imagine as the man hears the shouts and cheers is he excited and stands to see what they see. It turned out that he was very welcomed home: there were a hundred yellow ribbons on that old oak tree. Whew, I almost want to cry and shout with joy myself as I am typing the description of this song.
This song really hits home with me not because I have lost an old love who was in prison or been separated from husband before, but because I know so many who have lost their love for Jesus. Todays scripture talks about returning to your first love, God. So many have strayed far away from God, almost forgotten that they were saved. Fear somehow replaced the faith they once had, causing them to run away from God and go back into the sinful world of the flesh to satisfy their doubt and unbelief. Have you or someone you know left God, been a prison of sin, and want to return but you have the same fears and anxiety about rejection as the man had in this song?
If you want to return to God you can do it. First you have to decide that you are tired of doing it your own way and remember that doing things God way is more satisfying. Proverbs 14:14 says: A heart that turns from God becomes bored with its own ways, but a good person is satisfied with God’s ways.(GW) YOU and only you can decide that you are tired of living the way you are.
God wants you to come back home to him. He knew that some of us would wonder so he has made a way for us to return home. You are not the first nor only one to stray away from God. He tells us in Jeremiah 6:22 “Come back, you rebellious people, and I will forgive you for being unfaithful….” (GW)
So how do you return to God? So change the way you think and act, and turn to God to have your sins removed Acts 3:19 (GW) Ask God to forgive you, get back into the word, and let God blot out your sins. It’s that simple. Just pray and ask God to forgive you and clean you up and HE DOES. How wonderful and amazing is that? No rejection letter, no door slammed in your face, just yellow ribbons all over the oak tree for you. Just like in the song not only will God say yes but He will say emphatically yes.
Now that you have been given the forgiveness to come home you should be careful so you do not stray away again. Jesus said, “Stay awake, and pray that you won’t be tempted. You want to do what’s right, but you’re weak.”, Matthew 26:41(GW). Tell other Christians about your return home to let them rejoice with you, like the passengers on the bus rejoiced with the man in the song. Ask them to pray for you and with you. Welcome home my friend.
Dear Lord, I am sorry for leaving You, my first love. Sometimes the pull from the world is so strong that I can lose my way. Help me to stay strong through the reading of your word, prayer and meeting together with other Christian brothers and sisters. Thank you for forgiving me, for loving me and for allowing me to come home. Let my light burn brightly once more for you. Hear my heart, Lord, and ignite my passion for you in a, fresh and dynamic way. In Jesus Name. AMEN.