Read the Word, the Word speaks.
For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
What then shall we say that Abraham our father 1has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Although we have sinned, although we make bad choices, and too often do the wrong thing, there is hope.
There is hope in the fact that Jesus is died for us.
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Jesus is our hope!
Three weeks into this challenge, I hope that you have been enriched by a deeper walk with God.
Yesterday we read the first 5 chapters of Romans. You will notice that in the first few chapters Paul, addresses our sinful nature, and how we have a bent to turn from the way God naturally created things to be and to follow our own selfish desires.
One of the keys that we must realize is that we have sinned, all of us have. Romans 1-3 is pretty clear on this.
We have a broken propensity to choose that which is wrong.
The interesting thing is that what is wrong, is always that which is selfish. The two cannot be separated.
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Notice how Lucifer, (Satan) is all about selfishness. He has a bad case of the I's. For him it's selfish.
Is this our problem. Is selfishness what is keeping us from being better people, from connecting with God?
Spend some extra time today praying that God will help you to remove the selfishness from your life.
Back to basics today.
Read Romans 1-5
Yes it sounds like a lot but it will help build perspective.
Pay attention to what God says is natural.
What is our problem?
How does selfishness play a roll?
How do we get away from being selfish?
What at is God telling you to do?
Pray: God help me to surrender to you, to live for you, Today I am inviting you into my life. Take control Lord as I am a sinner and I need you.
What is the Sanctuary?
1. A sacred or holy place.
2. Judaism. The Biblical tabernacle or the Temple in Jerusalem. The holy of holies of these places of worship.
3. An especially holy place in a temple or church.
4. The part of a church around the altar; the chancel.
5. A church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.
6. Immunity afforded by refuge in such a place.
7. Any place of refuge; asylum.
The Sanctuary in the wilderness was the place where God lived. It was the tabernacle.
And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
God wants to be with His people.
Spend 5 minutes thinking and praying about this, God wants to be with you to dwell with you.
The word for the tabernacle in Hebrew means dwelling place, the word in the Exodus literally says to live with.
The God of the universe wants to live with His people. He wants to be so close to you that he wants to live with you.
Read Psalm 91
Do you want to be strong? As a man, all my life I have wanted to be strong. As a child I loved the stories, of Biblical strongmen, David defeats Goliath. Samson defeats the Philistines. I loved the champions of Scripture. As I got older I loved to go to the gym and work out. I have had this burning inside of me, to be strong.
In my adult maturity, I have realized something, I may have a muscle or two, but my strength does not make me strong.
Samson, with all his muscles, was as weak as a baby. When he was tempted he had no strength. When He turned from God he had nothing. But when He turned back to God he had enough strength to give God the victory.
David, not a big guy but a strong guy, who had great faith, but when he was tempted by the woman on the roof he was weak.
Only did his strength come from God.
Our strength is only, weakness without a relationship with Jesus.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
1 Corinthians 12:9-10
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Prayer: Lord God in heaven, all to often I want to rely on my own strength, but really I am weak. Lord, I want to think that I can do it on my own, but I cannot. Wash me, Lord, I need to be who you want me to be. In my weakness you are strong.
It's that time of year, every time our girls go outside and play, we have to keep our eyes open for any signs of ticks. The other day we found one in our daughter's hair. I had to pull it out before it got under her skin.
One summer when I was working at a camp in Saskatchewan, Canada, I was given the task of clearing and cleaning the trails through the woods. Every day I would check for ticks. I would usually find several. Fortunately, none had dug there head under my skin to suck my blood. One particular day I removed 50 ticks. It was somewhat scary to know that any one of them could have poisoned me and gotten me very sick.
This is like sin. All too often we allow sins and bad habits to live in our lives. Just like a parasite, they drain us. If we don't continue to make sure that we are not holding onto things that will keep us from connecting with God, our sins or our bad habits will slowly poison us, and keep us from the life-saving blood of Jesus.
These texts remind us that we should keep our minds on God things and get our strength from Jesus.
Read Psalm 23
God promises as our shepherd to lead us.
But what does that mean, does He lead us in a place in which we grow, or stay the way we are?
God calls us to follow Him, to be His disciples.
Watch this video:
What does this say about how God leads us? How does it change your perspective?
Read: Matthew 6:25-34
This morning at 7:30 am is my first triathlon of the year. Last night as I packed my gear for the race, I thought about all the preparation I have done, all the hours I have trained over the years. This is not a long race but the better you prepare the better you race.
It's very similar to the race of salvation. Yet this race is way more important than a triathlon, or a marathon. This race is for your life, an eternal prize. You cannot save yourself but you do need a daily relationship with God. If you don't spend time training, in other words growing your relationship, you may slip away from the God who loves you.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for man imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
The Message (MSG)
18-20 Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
I want you to pay close attention to verse 19.
In the Matthew 4:19
New Century Version (NCV)
19 Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
The words in Greek, the original language, literally says, "Come behind me, and I will make you fishers of people."
This is huge, Jesus says, come behind me, In other words, follow, I will lead you, and in leading you I will train you.
In a sermon I listened to the other day, Dr. Dwight Nelson explained that no one is born a fisherman, you have to be taught.
Do you get that. You, me and the other guy, none of us are naturally talented fishers. We only become God if we let Jesus teach us to fish.
God calls all of us to fish. Will you today let Jesus help you learn to fish for people.
I love what James says, in chapter 2:20, "20 You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing?" CEV
It's time to get off our feet and let Jesus teach us to fish. People need the Lord, let's get fishing.
If you want to listen to Pastor Dwight Nelsons sermon you can listen to it here.
Today the challenge is for you to think? No answers here, no judgement.
Today I just want you to think about what you read below. Then answer the questions.
25 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Read this a few times.
What do you think God wants you to learn from this passage?
How does he want you to feel because of it?
What are you going to do because of this passage? In other words how will you respond?
How often do we wonder, "Where am I going? or What is my purpose?" In our day to day life, in our inner walk, many of us are looking for a purpose. You may be here because you want answers. You may be here because you truly want an Epic Walk. For whatever your reason, I am glad you are here. Read on. Enjoy our daily homework and hopefully, you can find more purpose, and begin an Epic Walk.