The Enemy Has Been Defeated

The Enemy Has Been DefeatedAn important truth to keep in mind as we go about our daily lives is the fact that the enemy has been defeated. Though he likes to try to get us to think otherwise, the devil has lost the battle. Christ has won. Because we are in Him, His victory is our victory as well.

In the Garden of Eden, Satan whispered his lies to mankind and convinced them to sin against God, resulting in years of turmoil and chaos. Poverty entered the earth. Sickness and disease came into being. Death became a part of life. This was not how God wanted things to be.

At the cross, Jesus became sin for us, that we might be made right with God
(2 Corinthians 5:21).  His stripes provided our healing. Upon Him was the chastisement for our peace (Isaiah 53:5). That we might become rich, He became poor (2 Corinthians 8:9). His sacrifice removed the terror of death, because for those who have received Him, it is only going to be with their Heavenly Father. Before Jesus died, He utter the words “It is finished” (John 19:30). The veil, which separated man from the part of the temple where God’s presence was, tore in two (Matthew 27:51). The enemy’s plans had been foiled, once and for all.

God has disarmed principalities and powers. Through Christ, He has triumphed over them (Colossians 2:15). In Christ, we have been given power and authority over all the power of the devil (Luke 10:19). When we submit to God and resist the enemy, he MUST flee (James 4:7). Never forget the marvelous truth that because of what Jesus did for you at the cross, the enemy has been defeated in your life.

Your Light

Your LightDo you ever feel like you’re surrounded by darkness? Maybe the devil’s lies play on constant loop in your mind, assuring you that you could never measure up. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with a sense of regret over some past event . Maybe you’ve been battling some sickness or disease, and it’s been a long fight. Perhaps your emotions are rising, and you feel a sense of despair.

Whatever point you may be at, know that such is not God’s will for you. His plans for you are ones for your prosperity – plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He looks upon you with love in His eyes. The brilliance of His divine favor surrounds you as with a shield (Psalms 5:12). He is your light (Psalm 27:1). What does light do? It chases away darkness!

Darkness cannot remain in the presence of light. It must flee. In the same manner, all depression, disease, fear, anxiety, shame, and condemnation cannot remain in the presence of God’s light, which surrounds you constantly. They have no right to do so. Instead, they must flee.

Next time you feel like the you’re groping your way through the dark, remember that God is with you. He will never leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).  Fix your eyes on Him, and watch the darkness flee before you in the presence of the One who is your light.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HUViEJkosg

The Holy Ghost

The Holy GhostBefore Jesus went to the cross, He promised His disciples another Helper – One who would be with them forever (John 14:16-17). In Acts 2, we see the fulfillment of that promise when the God’s Spirit filled those who were gathered together on Pentecost, and they began to speak in tongues.  God’s gift to us of the Holy Spirit has a huge impact on our lives today.

Let’s see what God’s Word has to say about the Holy Ghost:

  • The world neither sees or knows Him. Therefore, it can’t accept Him (John 14:17).
  • He is with us in and in us (John 14:17).
  • He will teach us all things (John 14:26).
  • He will bring to our remembrance the things which Jesus said. (John 14:26).
  • He will show us that which is to come (John 16:13).
  • He will guide us into truth (John 16:13).
  • When the Holy Spirit comes on us, we will receive power (Acts 1:8).
  • Manifestations and gifts of the Spirit: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
  • We are to eagerly and earnestly desire the gifts of the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 14:2).

Fear Replaced with His Presence

Fear Replaced with His PresenceWhat do you fear? What is it you’re afraid of? Whatever it may be, know that God is bigger, and He’s on your side! He’s mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17). With Him beside you, you never again need to fear any harm (Zephaniah 3:15). Put your trust in Him. Fix your eyes on Jesus, who authors and perfects your faith (Hebrews 12:2). Make Him your focus, and watch your fears be replaced with a sense of His presence.

Listen to what God’s Word has to say on the topic of fear:

  • God has given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind – not a spirit of fear
    (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • We need not fear evil, for God is with us (Psalm 23:4).
  • God is our light and our salvation – who need we fear (Psalm 27:1)?
  • Let us not fear mere men, but remember God, our Maker ( Isaiah 51:12).
  • We need be neither afraid nor dismayed, for wherever we go, the Lord is with us (Joshua 1:9).
  • When we are afraid, let us trust in God (Psalm 56:3).
  • God’s perfect lives drives fear away (1 John 4:18).

The Source of Knowledge

knowledgeIn Romans 10:2, Paul speaks of those who have a zeal for God, yet that zeal isn’t in accordance with knowledge. Some of us truly do have a zeal for the things of God. We want to follow Him – to walk in the way He would have us to go. Our heart is in the right place. However, Proverbs 19:2 tells us that it isn’t good to be without knowledge, and Hosea 4:6 states that God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. It is imperative, then, that we add knowledge to our zeal.

Where is this knowledge found? Proverbs 2:6 informs us that wisdom is given by God, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. To gain true knowledge, therefore, we must turn to God. We must open His Word for ourselves and find out what He really says, asking Him to give us an understanding of what we’re reading. We must listen to His voice as He reveals things to us, inviting Him to show us who He is.

Open your heart to the Source of knowledge. Ask God to give you, as stated in Ephesians 1:17 (NASB) ” . . . a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Keep your mind open to what He may have to share with you in His Word, listen for His voice speaking to your heart, and watch Him reveal Himself to you in a greater way than ever before.

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

Love Nailed to a Cross

Love Nailed to a Cross

Love nailed to a cross for all to see
The Son of God became sin for me.
Can it be that grace divine
Came down to save and now is mine?
How could He – the Son of Man –
Reach out to me His nail-pierced hand,
Call me by name, and welcome me in,
His blood obliterating every sin?

Grace so amazing swept in like a tide
Through His death I have gained new life.
The fight is over, the battle’s won,
His finished work I rest upon.
In this knowledge I’m filled with peace
Here in my Savior, my strivings cease.
With Him came truth, with Him came grace,
He gave His all and took my place.

I know I could never begin to repay
A sacrifice complete in every way.
Yet it is offered as a free gift,
So I receive all my Savior did.
I’m seated with Him in realms above
And on this earth, filled with His love
Demonstrated clearly at the cross,
Where He paid for me the highest cost.

None could ever begin to compare
With Him whose praise I delight to declare.
I consider all loss, save the One
Who came down from heaven – God’s own Son.
He inspires in me a passionate desire
For more of Him, the all-consuming fire.
I simply just can’t help but tell
The world of Him who loves me so well.

A Glimpse of His Love – Part Three

A Glimpse of His Love - Part ThreeMy understanding of God’s unequaled grace, love, and mercy wasn’t completed over that one trip. To this day, God continues to reveal to me more about the glorious gospel of Christ. The wonder of what Jesus did for us at the cross is so great that no matter how much we may know about it, there always remains more to comprehend.  Though I had a long way to go in understanding the full truth of the new covenant of God’s unmerited favor, the foundation for future revelation had been established.

As time went on, God continued to further reveal to me the good news of what His Son has accomplished. I came to understand how He had never intended for us to live under the burden of guilt and condemnation in the first place, and how the law was our
” . . . tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24, NASB). It was given to show mankind just how sinful they really were, that they would recognize their need for a Savior and turn to Him – rather than their own works – to secure their righteousness. He enabled me to more fully grasp the fact that we are made right with Him through faith (Romans 3:22), not by the works of the law (Galatians 2:16), and that because of Christ, in fact, He no longer remembers our sin (Hebrews 8:12).
I started to apprehend that I was a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and that
” . . . as He is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17, NASB). I began to understand that Christ was my new identity.

The truths that God was revealing to me affected more than just my beliefs. They impacted many areas of my life in significant ways. Once I understood how very much He loved me, and that I had right standing with Him because of Jesus, I started hearing God’s voice more clearly and consistently than I had in the past. I began to to view others in a new light – as people dearly loved by Him, and worth much in His eyes. I experienced a new passion for praise and worship, born out of the the change in my life which had started during a worship song.  I fell more in love with my wonderful Savior, who had captured my heart with His grace, and I came to possess a burning desire to share with others the wonderful news that had so impacted my own life. It was this desire that prompted me to start Called and Created. These are the effects the gospel had in my life.

The gospel is not the bad news that God is put out with us because of our wrong doing. It is the GOOD news that Christ took all of our sin upon Himself, that we might receive His place of righteousness before God. It is the truth of the undeserved, unmerited favor that our Heavenly Father has shown us in abundance. It is the power of God for the saving of all who believe (Romans 1:16). God wants you to experience this saving power in your own life. Invite Him to give you a fresh revelation of His love and grace – demonstrated through His Son’s work at the cross – today!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.” 

A Glimpse of His Love – Part Two

A Glimpse of His Love - Part TwoI’d never before experienced such a time of worship. This encounter with God was far more living and active than any other I’d had throughout my relationship with Him. That night, I experienced His presence in a completely different way from what I was used to, and it was only the beginning.

During service the next night, God continued to speak to me of His amazing love and grace. The theme of the evening was the power of the cross. A brief video was shown, depicting our Savior’s death. In light of what God had been revealing to me, stories from His Word that I’d heard many times over became alive to me in a new way. They were more than just accounts of events that had happened long ago. They became truths that had a direct impact upon my life.

Jesus went through so much to redeem me. He suffered such extreme agony on my behalf, and died in my place. It was God’s amazing, inconceivable, unsurpassed love that prompted Him to send His Son to do so. Only someone with the greatest kind of affection – far greater than any I’d ever experienced before – would do such a thing.

If Jesus took my sin upon Himself at the cross, that meant that it was gone. Obliterated. Erased. I was now the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). I’d been given right standing with Him, apart from my actions. No longer did condemnation need to have any part in my life. No longer did a sense of same and guilt over various shortcomings need to linger in my mind. I could walk in the freedom of knowing that it wasn’t about what I did, but what Jesus had accomplished for me. My right standing with God wasn’t based on my performance. It was a gift of God’s grace.

Such ideas concerning the significance of man’s good conduct in their relationship with God were vastly different from what I’d heard generally expressed among Christian circles. Though I wasn’t aware at the time, it was the beginning of shift of focus in my belief system from an emphasis on my own actions to Christ’s finished work at the cross. This change of mindset would have farther-reaching influence on my life than I could then foresee.

A Glimpse of His Love – Part One

A Glimpse of His Love - Part OneIt was the first night of a youth retreat. I found myself in an auditorium filled with hundreds of other teens, praising God. That worship session started out quite similarly to the many others I’d experienced back home, only on a much larger scale. Then I heard God whisper to my heart that I needed to understand His love better. Though I didn’t know it yet, those words were to change my life forever.

What did He mean that I needed a better understanding of His love? I’d grown up going to church every Sunday. I’d asked Jesus into my heart at a very young age. I’d been a Christian the majority of my life. Of course I knew that God loved me! In spite of all of this, I was missing something. At the time, I wasn’t even aware of my state of lack. I failed to realize that I had yet to cross the line between religion and relationship, tradition and truth – to come to apprehend the true gospel. I was at a crossroads, and I didn’t even know it.

In response to God’s whisper that I need to better understand His love, I inquired of Him how to do so. A little while later, the worship team began playing a song that was all about God’s love for us. As they did so, a realization of that love – more vividly real, more tangibly alive than I’d ever experienced before – washed over me like a wave. The sheer vastness of it was overwhelming! Jesus gave His very life for me. He wanted me to walk in the freedom His death had purchased for me – to be rid of of such feelings as guilt, condemnation, and shame, which had been rendered unnecessary by His work at the cross. It was all I could do just to take it! Though I didn’t yet understand all that it meant, this glimpse of His love for me personally was the beginning of a total life change. I would never again be the same.

The Heart of Our Heavenly Father

The Heart of Our Heavenly FatherJesus paid the full penalty for our sin at the cross. Because of what Christ has done, God will neither rebuke nor be angry with us any longer (Isaiah 54:9). His attitude towards us today is that of a kind and caring father towards his beloved children.

 

 

 

Here are some verses that reveal the heart of our Heavenly Father in regards to us:

  • In and through Christ, He has reconciled us to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19).
  • He no longer counts our wrong doings against us (2 Corinthians 5:19).
  • We are not treated by Him as our sins merit (Psalm 103:10).
  •  He sent Jesus to save us, not to judge and condemn us (John 3:17).
  • He has given us the garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness          (Isaiah 61:10).
  • He is our Savior and Redeemer (Isaiah 60:16).
  • In His sight, we are precious and honored (Isaiah 43:4).
  • His love for us is everlasting (Jeremiah 33:1).