Blessed Assurance…Encouragement from God’s Word

inspiration-1136862.jpgAs a follower of Jesus Christ, I am grateful for God’s promises.  He always keeps His promises and I am especially thankful that He promised me eternal life.  He promised that He will never leave me or forsake me.  He promised me that the Holy Spirit indwells in me to guide me, convict me and pray for me.  He promised to work in me to grow.  He promised me understanding of God’s Word.  He promised me that He would answer my prayers and provide my needs.  As we read through the Bible, it is full of promises from God.  There are many words of encouragement for the believer.  We can learn of God’s character and who we are in Christ.  We can learn how to live.  I hope these scriptures give you encouragement this day and I hope you will be strengthened and inspired to follow Him wherever He leads you and to overcome any doubt or distraction, weakness or temptation that comes to you.

Philippians 1:3-7

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.

 1 John 4:4-6

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

We can have confidence, because God is working in us.  God is for us and wants us to succeed.  He paid the price for us so that we will have eternal life.  Until that time when we are in His presence, in we are home in heaven, the Sprit that is in us will guide us  and lead us to greater faith and draw us closer to Jesus Christ.  Remember, there is always someone praying for you.  Not only does the Spirit pray for you, but there are brothers and sisters in Christ who pray for you.

Philippians 3:20-21

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Ephesians 2:14-3:12

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

  For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles — if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

Did you catch that?  We ARE citizens of heaven.  Not might be, not will be, but ARE.  When you give your life to Jesus, you become a citizen of heaven.  You are promised eternal life.  You are His.  We are saved not by following the law or by our good works, but by God’s grace Christ took our sins and nailed them to the cross.  He paid the penalty for our sins so that we can be saved by grace and become children of God.

Colossians 2:11-15

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

John 14:1-4

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

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Encouragement from Hebrews

I am going through a great study in Hebrews right now and I realize there are so many words of encouragement to believers that we can have confidence and hope.  God always keeps His promises.  Jesus is our Savior, but He is much more.  Jesus, the Son of God, perfect in every way because He IS God, gave His life for us.  With His blood sacrifice, we now have access to the Father.  He is the Priest-King, who is our Intercessor and Redeemer, who offered Himself as a sacrifice, the prefect blood offering once for all.  It is the perfect sacrifice because He is perfect, no flaw, no sin, and He lives forever, giving eternal salvation to those who believe.

The book of Hebrews is written to the Jews of the early Christian church.  Many were true believers and some were seeking.  But the Jews from outside the church (and perhaps some from within) were trying to turn them from faith in Jesus Christ or draw them back to the Law.  The writer explains how the Law had been fulfilled by Christ and that there is a new, much better covenant that God had given all of us through His Son.  This covenant was promised through Abraham and all things throughout the Old Testament point to Jesus Christ.  The Law showed us our sin and the need for blood sacrifice, and the New covenant shows us God’s mercy and grace, that through Jesus, our sins are forgiven once and for all.  We are saved by faith in Him and our salvation is based on what Christ did for us, not on ourselves.  Thanks God for that, because all of us fall short!  I encourage you to read through the entire book of Hebrews to fully understand the reason for the law, the blood, the sacrifice and how Jesus fulfilled all of it and became our High Priest to be our sin offering. It also reminds us of His promise of eternal salvation and to encourage us to not lose hope, but to have boldness and confidence, trusting in Jesus Christ our Lord, living for Him, serving Him and others. Continue reading “Encouragement from Hebrews”

Love and Forgiveness

God is a loving and forgiving God.  He is also just and sin is detrimental to any relationship with him.  Sin cannot be in His presence.  But, He wants to have a relationship with us and He loves us so much that He provided a way to atone for our sins.  As the Israelites, His chosen people, were delivered from the bondage of the Egyptians, a system was created to appease God of sin.  That is a long story for another time, but basically, a blood offering was needed,  a sacrifice for the sins of the people.  But, because of the sins of the people, including the priests, this was needed over and over, every year.  Read through Hebrews to learn more about this.  So, God the Father, sent His only Son, Jesus, who had no sin, to be that blood sacrifice to redeem all who believe.  Jesus Christ came to this earth, becoming fully man and fully God, giving freely His life, taking the sins of the world on His shoulders, being nailed to a cross and being raised from the dead on the third day.  He showed true love, unconditional love.  Because of what Christ did, we can be forgiven.
Continue reading “Love and Forgiveness”

Jesus the Greatest Gift

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Merry Christmas, everyone!  May your hearts and homes be filled and I hope that all of you will have a wonderful time with friends and family this Christmas season!  I love the time of opening gifts and seeing joy of others when they receive a gift that they will enjoy.  But the greatest gift of all and the greatest blessing is knowing Jesus Christ.  Not just knowing who He is, but really knowing Him, having an intimate relationship, a saving relationship with Jesus.  It gives me such great joy to see someone make that decision to trust in Jesus.  It is overwhelming joy!

That is what Christmas is all about.  We celebrate the birth of Jesus (though it may have actually been some time in the fall, not December 25) on this day, not for the opening of presents or gathering of families or the feast or any of that, though that is all great, too, but that Jesus came to this earth to save us from our sins, from eternal damnation, to give us eternal life! Continue reading “Jesus the Greatest Gift”

Access to the Father

God gives us more than we can imagine including direct access to Him.  God the Father wants His children to talk with Him.  He loves us.  He sent His Son to die for us so that we can have that access.  Jesus took the sins of the world to the cross so that we can be declared righteous to be in the presence of almighty God.  In the early days of Israel, only the priests were allowed in the Holy of Holies, in the presence of God, to intercede for the people.  But Jesus changed all of that.  We no longer need to go through a priest or anyone to speak with God, to ask forgiveness, to be redeemed.  Each of us can go directly to Him, not through ritual or a mediator.  Christ is that Mediator and all who believe in Him have the Holy Spirit in them to guide, to convict, to intercede and pray for us. Continue reading “Access to the Father”