Posted on July 7, 2021
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 ESV
The miracle of salvation is that God involves us in His eternal plan. The only way we become righteous people is through Christ Jesus. We lay down the pursuits of the world and instead follow Him home to eternity. The life-long path of discipleship isn’t easy, as many biblical people recorded in their pursuit of holiness on this earth. Every day we face our humanity, which exists under the curse of sin. We cannot fully shake it this side of heaven, and so Jesus made a way for us, through Him, to confess our sins and stand in the presence of our Holy God. Confessing our sins leads to healing and restoration, both attributes are worth seeking.
What Does James Mean by ‘Confess Your Sins to One Another’?
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before me, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before angels of God” Luke 12:8-9 (ESV).
Confession, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, is defined as “an acknowledgment of sins to God, and to a neighbor whom we have wronged.” Confession is an everyday process. We are adopted into the family of God when we freely receive the gift of salvation. God has purposefully placed us in families and communities because He knows it is not good for us to be alone. There are sins we will only take straight to the Father, but when we sin against each other, we must also confess to one another. Forgiveness is important to God! We have been forgiven, and so we must lend that same forgiveness to each other.
Posted on July 2, 2021
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)
Joy lives in every Christ follower. It is a supernatural product God’s love. He sent His one and only Son to earth to save us from sin. The night Christ was born, angels sang and Joy entered the atmosphere. He lived a human life, died sacrificially, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Joy was always God’s plan. And it is joy we embrace to endure our purposed steps on earth and will enjoy for eternity.
The common English dictionary definition of joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. Biblical joy, though it may evoke the same feelings, surpasses fleeting happiness. Joy remains in us eternally, from the minute we embrace Christ as our Savior. The original Greek word Peter penned means joy and gladness, but the root word further defines the depth of joy as to be thriving and well. God’s blessings, the New Bible Commentary explains, “are so great that we can pass joyfully through times of testing holding by faith to a Christ we have not seen.” The joy of the Lord causes us to rejoice!
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/frankiefotografie
Posted on June 30, 2021
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalm 91:1
God is sovereign and omnipotent, meaning He is all-knowing and everywhere simultaneously. These are comforting truths in a world full of pain, calamity and injustice. “Like a bird protecting its young,” the VOICE paraphrase of verse 4 reads, “God will cover you with His feathers, will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you.” When we turn to God, we find the peaceful and powerful arm of His protection. The NIV Study Bible Notes proclaim Psalm 91 as “a glowing testimony to the security of those who trust in God.”
Prayer is powerful, and our Father in heaven hears, and answers, us. The words of Psalm 91 guide us in prayer for God’s protection and refuge from all of the things life throws at us.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Posted on June 28, 2021
“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.” (Psalm 23:1-2)
God’s design for humanity was never to exist and suffer under the curse of sin, separated from Him. We are made in His image, and He desires a relationship with us, His children. His plan was always to rescue and redeem us through His Son, who was there with Him at the beginning. Christ came to earth to seek and to save the lost. He conquered death by carrying out the will of His Father. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. We come to the Father through Christ, by the sound of His Voice.
What Did Jesus Mean in John 10:27?
“Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.” (John 10:22-23)
Jesus taught about his status as the Good Shepherd during the Festival of Dedication, known today as Hanukkah, typically celebrated in November and December (NIV Study Bible). The festival was a commemoration of Jewish deliverance. Many surrounded Jesus at this time looking for Him to definitively claim his Messiahship, ready to claim blasphemy. Jesus turned their attention to his sheep, and the Good Shepherd who protects them. Matthew Henryexplained in his commentary of the Bible, “He described the gracious disposition and happy state of his sheep; they heard and believed his word, followed him as his faithful disciples, and non of them should parish; for the Son and the Father were one.” Jesus came to earth, fully God and fully man, to achieve the will of the Father in heaven. All things and everyone lie under the sovereign reign of God.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Joaquin Corbalan
Posted on June 25, 2021
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Life is hard enough on us without us being hard on ourselves. Continually criticizing your performance and worth will wear you down, and the kindness you withhold from yourself, you will eventually withhold from others. It’s time to put down your weapons and learn to practice being kind to yourself.
Christ has set us free to flourish in the fruits of the Spirit Paul listed in his letter to the Galatians. We cannot live out kindness in its true form apart from Christ. But within His love, we can learn to let kindness flow in and through our lives, fully, and expectantly. The wise King Solomon wrote, “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor”(Proverbs 21:21). To pursue kindness, we must pursue Christ. Kindness develops in us as our hearts are sanctified in Him.
Here are four habits every follower of Christ must practice in themselves to allow this fruit of the Spirit to flow outward to those around them.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/coffeekai
CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING AT IBELIEVE.COM