Does God Seem Distant?

Does God Seem Distant?Does God ever seem distant to you? Like He’s far away? Do you just wish He would make Himself real to you?

Did you ever consider that maybe this has less to do with Him, and more to do with how you’re viewing Him?

Sometimes we tend to see Christianity as merely a religion – a set of dos and don’ts that we must follow if we want God to be pleased with us. We think that there’s this level of perfection we must reach before we can truly get close to God, and we’re constantly aware that we don’t measure up to this standard. We feel like we’re not worthy to draw near Him, and therefore get the sense that He’s far away.

Religion portrays God as cold and distant, and only concerned with how good we are, but that’s not who He is. He is our loving Heavenly Father, who, because of Christ, accepts us and calls us His children. He is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9), and will never leave  us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Begin to view God in the light of Him being your Daddy in heaven, who is always with you, and cares about you deeply, and see how much more real He will seem!

Blessings For The Righteous

Blessings For The RighteousThis week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is
Psalm 5:12. This verse tells us that God blesses those who are righteous, and surrounds them with His favor as with a shield.

How are we made righteous? Do we become righteous by doing enough good deeds, trying to obey all of God’s rules, or by being a ‘good’ person? Romans 3:22 gives us the answer to this question. It says that righteousness is given through faith in Jesus to all who believe. We can never be good enough to become right with God on our own. The only way for us to truly be made right with Him is by trusting in Christ’s finished work at the cross.

If we have faith in Christ, then we are righteous – not because of what we have done, but because of what He has done for us. God’s Word says that He blesses the righteous. Know that if you have placed your faith in His Son, His blessings are yours! Also, know that His favor surrounds you as with a shield. Wherever you go, and whomever you come in contact with, God’s unmerited favor is upon you! As you go about your day, expect success, for your Heavenly Father is on your side!

Will You Step Up To The Plate?

Will You Step Up To The Plate?Some thoughts to ponder . . .

How has the good news of what Christ has done affected your life?

How would you sum up the gospel, in your own words?

When it comes to sharing your faith with others, are you unafraid and unashamed to tell them what Jesus has done for them? Or are you hesitant to do so?

Are you willing to step up to the plate and share the gospel with those God places in your life to share it with?

Give Thanks For Freedom

Give Thanks For FreedomTomorrow is the Fourth of July – the day we celebrate America’s independence from British rule, and our nation’s beginning. This Fourth of July, let’s take some time to give thanks for the ability to live in a free country, and the rights we have as its citizens – such as freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.

Let’s also give thanks for the freedom that we have in Christ. He gave His life for us at the cross, so that we could live a life of freedom as God’s beloved children.

God wants us to experience the freedom His Son died to give us. Here are some verses that speak of our freedom:

  • Those the Son sets free are free indeed (John 8:36).
  • The law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death
    (Romans 8:2).
  • We have been set free from sin (Romans 6:18).
  • It’s for freedom that Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1).
  • We were called to be free (Galatians 5:13).
  • We have been freed from our sins by Jesus’ blood (Revelation 1:5).

This Fourth of July, let’s give thanks for our freedom as Americans, and even more, for the freedom that we have in Christ!

Happy Fourth Of July!

Trust In What Christ Has Done

Trust In What Christ Has Done

Week 24 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was Romans 13-16, and
1 Corinthians 1. These chapters finish Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, and begin one of his epistles to the church at Corinth.

1 Corinthians 1:30 says that Christ has become for us wisdom from God – our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

We are in Christ. Our identity is found in Him. Our relationship with God, and our standing before Him, is based not off of anything that we have done. It is based off of what Christ has done for us. God doesn’t accept us because we have done enough good things, or are good enough people. He welcomes us as His children because we believe in His Son, who gave His life for us.

Our righteousness and holiness don’t come from ourselves. We haven’t done anything to earn our own redemption. Christ is our righteousness. He is our holiness. In Him is our redemption. Let’s learn to trust in what He has done for us, rather than our own efforts, in our relationship with God!

Paul’s Secret

Paul's SecretWeek 20 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearing its end. This week’s reading was Acts 21-25. These chapters speak mainly of Paul, of his arrest, him speaking to the crowds, a plot against him, and charges being brought against him.

In Acts 21:10-13, Paul was warned by a prophet that he would be arrested in Jerusalem. The people pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Paul responded by stating that he was ready not only to be bound, but to die in Jerusalem for Jesus’ name. What made Paul, a former persecutor of all who believed in Christ, now willing to risk his life to bring His name to others? What caused him to change direction so completely? What was his secret?

In Philippians 3:7-11, we find our answer. In these verses, Paul declares that he considers all things a loss compared to knowing Christ. He considers them garbage, that he may be found in Christ, having not a righteousness that came through the law, but a righteousness that is based on faith in Christ.

As these verses express, Paul understood that right standing before God isn’t based upon keeping His commandments. It’s based upon having faith in Christ, who kept them for us, and gave His life for our sins. Because our right standing before God is dependent not our imperfect selves, but on the One who truly is perfect, our righteousness is forever secure.

When we truly begin to understand this, something amazing happens. We go from religion to relationship. We go from head knowledge to heart knowledge. We go from an acknowledged belief in Christ to a living, vibrant, active faith in Him. This revelation of righteousness through faith in Christ made Paul willing to face imprisonment for the sake of His name. God desires for each of us to catch this revelation. I challenge you to ask God to reveal to you His grace, and the truths of the gospel, in a great way every single day.

Reconciled To God Through Christ

2 Corinthians 5:18-19This week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. These verses tell us that we have been reconciled to our Heavenly Father through Christ, and that He has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

We have been reconciled to God through Christ. Though none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10) in and of ourselves, because of what our Savior has done for us, God can welcome us as His children. Though undeserved, He offers us salvation, and a place in His family as His dearly loved son or daughter, to be freely received as a gift of His grace – His unmerited favor. Christ paid the price at the cross in full for all of our sins, that we might be accepted by a holy God. It is through Him that we experience reconciliation with the Most High.

Not only have we been reconciled to God, but He has also given us the ministry of reconciliation. It is our privilege to be able to share with others the good news of reconciliation to God through Christ. We are to tell them that He no longer counts their sins against them, and that they can receive the forgiveness He offers through faith in Christ. This is the message of reconciliation with which we have been entrusted.

We have been reconciled to God, and given the ministry of reconciliation – the sharing of the good news of the gospel, which we have come to know for ourselves. Let’s never be ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16), proclaiming it to all whose lives God gives us the opportunity to touch for His kingdom!

All That He Has Done – Receive God’s Blessings

All That He Has Done - Receive God's BlessingsBecause of what Christ has done for us, not only have we become God’s children, but we have also been qualified to receive all of God’s blessings in Him!

We are children of God. As our Heavenly Father, He has provided all that we need. Healing, financial provision, forgiveness, favor, peace, joy – all that we need is promised to us in His Word, ours for the taking, if we will believe and receive it.

How can this be, when we don’t deserve it? Try as we might, we can never earn God’s blessings. The answer to this question is found in what Christ accomplished for us at the cross.

In the Old Testament, under the law, when God’s people obeyed His commands, they were blessed, but if they disobeyed, they would experience the curses that came with their disobedience. When Jesus was on this earth, He fulfilled the law for us (Matthew 5:17). He kept all of God’s commands perfectly, and died for our sins – all the times we have broken them. Because He received the punishment for our transgressions, they no longer need to prevent us from receiving all that God has for us.

You are have been made right with God through Christ! Because you are in Him, God views you in the same manner He views His Son – completely righteous, loved and accepted. There’s nothing left to stand between you and your Heavenly Father’s blessings. You will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, believing (Matthew 21:22). Reach out and receive all that He has provided for you today!

Names of Jesus – The Life

Names of Jesus - The LifeIn John 14:6, Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is The Way – the only way to the Father. He is The Truth, and He came to show us the truth of God’s love and grace for each one of us. He is also The Life.

We all have sinned (Romans 3:23), the wages of which is death (Romans 6:23). Romans 5:12 states that through one man – that man being Adam – sin entered the world, and through sin, death. Also that death came to all in this way, for all have sinned. The good news of the gospel is that even while we were dead in our transgressions, God made us alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Jesus came to save us by giving His life for us at the cross. One died for all. All died, therefore (2 Corinthians 5:14). Because He died in our place, His death was our death. We have been raised with Christ (Colossians 3:1). We have been given new life in Him. He is The Life. All who believe in Him possess life everlasting (John 3:16).

Our Savior came that we might have life more abundant (John 10:10). He wants to give us life in every area – mentally, physically, financially, and in every other way, as well as spiritually, in our relationship with Him. He wants us to experience the abundant life He came to give us.

Though we were once dead in our sins, we have been made alive with Christ. He gives us, His sheep, eternal life (John 10:28). He desires for us to enjoy life more abundant in every area of our lives. Come to Him, and receive an abundance of life for your every area of lack!

Join us tomorrow as we wrap up the Names of Jesus series!

“You give life. You are love. You bring light to the darkness. You give hope. You restore every heart that is broken.”

Linking this post up with Thriving Thursdays