Thursday, December 26, 2019

God's Plans...have His Attention

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 

The angel Gabriel told Mary that God was planning to do something humanly impossible. All human logic would agree that a virgin could not give birth to a child. It was impossible. Yet this is exactly what was to happen. When God speaks of doing the impossible, it is no longer absurd. When was the last time God did the impossible in your life ? When was the last time God spoke to you about what He wanted to do and you were scared to death by its magnitude? God still does the impossible! Too often we acknowledge our belief that God can do whatever He wants; then we add a safety clause: “But I just don’t think God will do that with me!”We become practical atheists, believing that God can perform miracles but never expecting a miracle in our own lives. God wanted to bring salvation to all of humanity. It is critical that Mary not only believed God could perform a miracle, but also adjusted her life to the awesome work He planned to do through her. The difference between a Christian and a moral person is the divine. The difference between a church and a social club is the miraculous. Some can duplicate the morality of a Christian, but no one can reproduce the miraculous that should be a part of the Christian experience. Do you believe that nothing is impossible for God? - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

"It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8

In The Call of Service, author Robert Coles, exploring our reasons for serving, tells the moving story of an older woman’s service to others. As a bus driver, she showed great care toward the children she drove to school each day—quizzing them on homework and celebrating their successes. “I want to see these kids make it in life,” she said of her motivation. But there was another reason too.
As a youth, the words of an aunt had shaken this woman to the core. “She’d tell us that we had to do something God would notice,” she told Coles, “or else we’d get lost in the big shuffle!” Worried at the prospect of hell after the “big shuffle” of judgment, this woman had devised ways to “get God’s attention”—going to church so “He’d see me being loyal” and working hard to serve others so God might “hear from others what I was doing.”
I grieved reading her words. How had this dear woman never known that she already had God’s attention? (Matthew 10:30). How had she not heard that Jesus took care of the big shuffle for us, offering freedom from judgment forever? (Romans 8:1). How had she missed that salvation can’t be bought with good deeds but is a gift to anyone who believes? (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Christ’s life, death, and resurrection take care of our future with God and set us free to serve others with joy.

Why is it easy to mistakenly believe you must do good things to be accepted by God? How does understanding the gospel help you to love others better?

God, help me to trust that You’ve done what’s needed for me to be accepted by You.

- Our Daily Bread for December 26th 2019

A once very popular television show had a character who, with a big grin on his face, after a successful event,  would say "I love it when a plan comes together!"

I would imagine that in Heaven, Angels might say the same when we obey and the result that God said would happen, happens.   It was interesting that two of the 3 devotionals that I read this morning tied together so well. 

Believing in the impossible, when it's God behind it, should indeed be a part of our daily life. Also too, look to the other devotional.  We don't need to figure out what works we do in order to get our lives right before God.   

The two devotionals really do work together.  Our lives will undoubtedly have impossible moments in them.  Moments where if the hand of God wasn't there, then man, it was NOT happening.  Add to that thought, we don't need to create moments either.  Our lives are meant to be us JOINING God in the works He has prepared in advance for us to do.

That's what Scripture says.  We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. Ephesians 2:10.

It's very easy to get caught up in the moment and think we have to be that child of God that needs to do great things to get God's attention. 

I know.  Been there done that, wasted much of my life along the way because I took my life in a direction that wasn't His Plan but mine.  

But He stayed with me.  Like the children of Israel in the wilderness, slowly we got back around to where He was going to take me in the first place.

But I think God, today, really wants the ending prayer of that Our Daily Bread moment to be read and understood. 

"God, help me to trust that You’ve done what’s needed for me to be accepted by You."

We seem to think that we must do this or do that or we won't keep the Salvation that Jesus gave us. 

You cannot do or not do anything to lose what you had nothing to do with!  The ONLY part of Salvation you had a part of was your asking for it.  You and I were born into sin.  It was and is a part of us since Adam and Eve.  The process of Salvation that is Sanctification is God making us more like Him.  Read that closely.  He makes...He does.  Scripture says He removes our sin stains, sinful clothes, washes us, gives us new clothes. He.  Not us. Not we. He.  The adoption process is a done deal.  Covenants with God cannot be broken.  Read your Bible. 
They may be delayed at times but, unlike man, God doesn't break His Word. 
This isn't to say we gain a license to run off and do what we want.  An adopted child learns from the one who adopted him or her.  They learn what is expected of them.  What will no longer be tolerated and what benefits come with their new life. 

Blackaby writes, "The difference between a Christian and a moral person is the divine. The difference between a church and a social club is the miraculous. Some can duplicate the morality of a Christian, but no one can reproduce the miraculous that should be a part of the Christian experience."

Many, many people believe that God wouldn't send them to Hell because they were good people. Read your Bible.  No where does it say if you were good enough that you get a pass on this life.  If being good enough was enough then Jesus did what He did for nothing!

Look at it from His perspective!  For Him to leave Heaven, be born as Humans are born.  Be helpless.  Grow up as a human.  Live a sinless life.  Be mocked, scourged, whipped, beaten, nailed to a cross.  Hung on a mountain side for all to see to die before men.  Only to find out later, oh wow. People could be good enough on their own!  I didn't have to go through all that??

Truth is...yes...He went through all that. 

Truth He didn't react that way. 

Truth is...God the Father's plan was absolutely necessary because no man or woman born could or would be good enough.

We needed His intervention. We needed Jesus to do what only He could do to save us. To make a way for us to be saved.  

Mankind will always want to believe he or she is good enough to be accepted by God.  Yet countless trillions will stand before God to find out they were not.

Don't be one of those!  Come to Christ today on His terms.  Find out what life really is about.  He has a life planned for you with Him.  Believe the impossible, that you can be made clean of your sin.  

Life was meant to be lived in a right relationship with Jesus. The absolute best friend you will ever want or need.  The author and perfecter of our faith.  The only one who loved you enough to die for you. 

"He took my place" by Charlie Pride is perhaps my most favorite song next to "Trust and Obey".  Look up the song.  Look them both up. 

Let today be the day you are walking with Him the way He intended for you.  

Stop beating yourself up over sin He already forgave you of, if you indeed have been saved by Jesus.  There's nothing there from His perspective.  

Jesus loves me this I know. 
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong. 
They are weak but He is strong. 
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me. 
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so. 

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