Is it hard to find the strength to go on? David, writer of this Psalm had times he felt that way. He learned that sometimes you have to wait on the Lord, putting all your hope in him. Because of the Lord, you don’t need to fear but wait courageously for him to deliver you.
Thank you, Lord, for being our anchor of hope, the one who allows us to run and not get weary. Help us to wait on you.
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. John 13:14
Jesus spoke to his followers after he humbled himself to serve them. The washing of feet was a source of refreshing and relaxation. What had his followers been doing? Sharing the Good News, the Gospel, all around the region as commanded by Jesus. This was hard, physical work, walking from town to town on dusty roads wearing sandals. It was emotionally challenging as many refused to hear the message of truth and grace. The Twelve needed rest and encouragement. What better encouragement than to have your Master and teacher acknowledge your hard work and care for you?
Followers of Jesus today are likewise commanded to share the Gospel and make disciples. It’s still hard work.
Plan how you will intentionally minister to your brothers and sisters in Christ who work hard to teach and preach Jesus.
Won’t you humble yourself and serve, offering refreshing and encouragement to your fellow laborers for the Lord?
Confronted by the Resurrected Jesus- What Should You Do?
The events in the life of Jesus surrounding Easter demand a response. Jesus suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again to the fulfillment of the Scriptures. What will you do?
The events in the life of Jesus surrounding Easter demand a response. What happened to Jesus? In the historic words of the Nicene Creed, “…he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures.” The remainder of the New Testament commands that all who confront this truth make a decision. Will you choose to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? The verses in this series will show you what it means to accept the truth of a Resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ.
Acts 3:19 clearly states the requirement for forgiveness of sin- repent and be converted. What is the meaning of repent? metanoeo, the Greek word for “repent” in the New Testament, means a change of mind leading to change in behavior. It means to go in a new, different direction. This happens when you move away from your old life. Following Jesus means you no longer follow your own ways. The ways that seem right to a man lead to destruction, Proverbs tells us. (Proverbs 14:12)
What do you need to change your mind about? Two things- who you are and who Jesus is.
1)You must see yourself as a sinner in need of grace and forgiveness.
2) You need to recognize Jesus as the Son of God who died on the cross for the forgiveness of your sin.
It’s not enough to walk away. You must know what and who you are walking to.
To be “converted” means to go one from one state to another. You will pass from an unrepentant sinner, comfortable with your sin, to a child of God who knows the gravity of sin in the face of God’s holiness. You are converted into a believer in Jesus. Your life turns towards God as you seek to walk with him. Jesus is now your Lord. You are yoked to him and he carries your burdens. You learn of Jesus and desire to dwell with him forever. Walking in confidence with Jesus is only one of the amazing joys that come with repentance and conversion. What happens to your sin is an important fruit of repentance and conversion.
What do repentance and conversion do to your sin? They officially wipe it away. “Blotted out” is a reference to the way a scribe would clean up a mistake from a scroll he was writing. The ink needed to be completely removed from the scroll. Your sin is completely removed from God’s sight. Instead, your name is now written in God’s book of life and it will NEVER be blotted out! Hallelujah, God no longer keeps record of our sins!
Times of refreshing or relief will be yours. Along with the removal of sin from your record, you will feel relieved. Objectively, the sin is gone. Subjectively, God graciously allows you to feel this. You no longer need to fear the presence of the holy, sinless, righteous God like one who lives in sin must. Your sin no longer separates you from God. In his presence you will find fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)
If you have not already, repent, convert and be relieved. Put your faith and trust in the resurrected Jesus today.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NIV)
The Desire to be Filled
Are you looking for fulfillment? Have you tried everything that is supposed to help you? You’ve heard you need more self-care, more good works to others, better relationships, less responsibility and stress.
So you’ve tried relaxing more, giving more, loving more and leaving more behind. But still, that sense of fulfilled contentment is elusive.
An Answer for You
I have good news for you! You need only one thing to satisfy the thirst and hunger that is driving you. It is the righteousness that is found only by believing in Jesus Christ and his loving sacrifice for you.
By desiring Jesus and his righteousness above all things, you will receive all the other things you need for long-term, deeply satisfying fulfillment. You will have the peace that passes all understanding in every circumstance.
You will be filled with hope that comes from believing. You will have the joy of the Lord. He will give you supernatural love for his people.
What You Gain
No, you will not wake up with a Pinterest-perfect life. But guess what? God knows that will make you filled. However, you will live life abundantly, filled with living water that flows from you.
You will have the privilege of eternal life with Jesus.
You will be filled with everything that matters.
Thank you God, for filling my need for righteousness through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
The only blood that will give you everlasting strength, today and into eternity, is the blood that Jesus shed for you on the cruel cross at Calvary.
No matter how low you get or how weak you feel, find your strength in Jesus and his sacrifice for you.
At your lowest, stop and remember what Jesus did for you. Jesus loves you with a powerful love! Find your strength in him.
I am reminded of the words to an old Gospel song by Andrae Crouch-
The blood that Jesus shed for me Way back on Calvary The blood that gives me strength From day to day It will never lose its power It reaches to the highest mountain It flows to the lowest valley The blood that gives me strength From day to day It will never lose its power
It’s that time of year and we are more determined than ever to transform our bodies and bank accounts. Smart marketers know this. We are inundated with special offers for gym memberships and invitations to join down lines selling products guaranteed to make us wealthier and our prospects healthier.
Is There More?
But what if there’s something more? What if God is calling us to something greater this New Year?
What if God’s resolutions for us have nothing to do with the New Year because they’ve been there all along?
I suggest to you that the most important resolution God has for you and for me isn’t unique. Yours isn’t different than mine and God doesn’t change and give us a new resolution each year.
God’s Two Priorities
What God wants from each of us, more than anything, every day of every year falls under two broad categories.
We are called to resolve, every day of every year, to:
Why? So that we might spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us that to love him and love our neighbor are the greatest commandments.
John says others will know us by our love for one another in the body of Christ, the church. In this way, we draw others to Jesus.
As he taught the travelers on the Emmaus Road to search the Scriptures to learn about him, so we are to teach others.
Jesus final instructions to his followers was that they would teach the rest of the world to be his disciples. So are we to do also.
Are these resolutions easy to keep? Is it even possible in our age of relative truth and hostility to Christianity?
Yes, but only in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is he who will allow us to seek first the Kingdom of God and it’s righteousness and trust that God will add everything else that we need.
Jesus’ counter-intuitive teaching tells us not to focus on those things we think we need most. We are not to worry about what to eat or wear. We are not to build up storehouses of goods or set our hearts on things that moths and rust can destroy.
Get the Focus Right
Instead, as the New Year begins and every day thereafter, let’s focus on Jesus and his word. He wants us to abide on the vine with him. It is the Word of God that cleanses us, guides us and transforms us.
Do you want a permanent transformation from the inside out? Do you want to feel more satisfied and successful than you ever have before?
Take this opportunity at the beginning of this year to give yourself fully to following Jesus. Join the cloud of witnesses who have done so with great joy since the beginning of the church.
Ask God how you can put him first in all that you do.
Where to Start
Start by devoting yourself to learn, live and teach God’s Word.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
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As we start the new year, it is good to consider time and how we use it. God, who created time and lives outside of it, is eternal.
We, in contrast, are given finite lives here on earth. Moses in this Psalm prays and asks God to show him how to consider carefully the time given to us.
Only God knows how much time we have on earth. Though we don’t know the day of our death, we can know how to live and live abundantly through Jesus Christ. Accepting our limited lifespan will lead us to seek God’s wisdom everyday.
We need God’s wisdom to teach us:
– that our days are fleeting and precious
– how to make use of our time for God’s glory and his Kingdom
– how to live in light of God’s love, mercy and saving power.
Yes, Lord, show us how to properly number our days so we can focus on receiving and following your wisdom.