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Posts tagged ‘Savior’

Living a new reality….

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”
-Isaiah 26:3-4

If you have the love of God in your heart, the affections and the attentions of other people just don’t matter as much, nor does the distress, the lack of meaning, or the worry. If God is protecting you, if God is on your side, if you’re living in God’s reality, those things still affect you but they lose their edge. If you truly know the love of God, you’re given strength to live in an imperfect world, a world that may hate you for no good reason, a world that gossips about you, a family that dislikes you, friends or co-workers that are always on your heels. You can abide with all these circumstances because there is this love that gives you strength.

You can be like Jesus. You can sit on a boat and take a nap in a storm if you really have that peace. You don’t have to worry about tomorrow. You live in a new reality.

And that reality was with Mary and Joseph in that stable. It was with those shepherds who followed angels to our Savior’s manger. That reality encourages you to become like the Magi, saying to yourself, “I will search and search and search for years. I will cross thousands of miles. I will take everything I have, and I will give it up if I can just see Jesus. If I can just kneel before him, I will gladly give away all of these things that the earth says are valuable, and I will not rest until I’m able to lay them before his throne.”

Peace is available today at Christmas, for Jesus came to be our Prince of Peace.

Prayer: Dear Lord, even this Christmastime when there is little peace in the people surrounding me, little peace being reported in the news, little peace in the workplace, I will find my peace in you. Amen.

Devotion: How do you find peace amidst a disquieting world?


Which Side are You On?.

James Merritt
Luke 23:33,39-43


1. The universal symbol of the Christian faith is the cross, the old rugged cross. The empty tomb may be the foundation of Christianity, but the cross is the focus of Christianity. When we think of the place called Calvary; when we think of that “hill far away” in our mind’s eye we can picture the cross upon which Jesus died.

2. But too often we forget there was not just one cross that day. There were three. “And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, AND THE CRIMINALS, one on the right hand and the other on the left.” (v.33) There was more than one cross, and there was more than one crucifixion. There was a cross of redemption, but there was also a cross of reception and a cross of rejection.

3. Someone has observed that Jesus did not die in a cathedral between two candles. He died on a cross between two criminals. Three men died that day on a cross. One was a benefactor, one was a blasphemer, one was a believer. One was a Savior, one was a sinner, and one was a saint. One man died for sin. Another man died in sin. The third man died to sin.

4. Now the fact that a Holy Savior died between hopeless sinners was not just an accident. It was an appointment. This was a fulfillment of prophecy for Isaiah had said 750 years before about the Messiah “And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12b)

5. Before this world was even created, God had made an appointment in his calendar for the Savior to meet these sinners and for these sinners to meet the Savior. Two men died that day. One man died on the wrong side of Jesus. One man died on the right side of Jesus. Friend, when the day comes that you die, the only question that will really matter is: which side are you on?

6. Now both men were on the wrong side of Jesus, but one man got on the right side of Jesus. The way he got right is the way we must get right. So I want us to look at Calvary through the eyes of a sinner who became a saint.

I. The Revelation Of His Sin

1. This thief saw something in the last minutes of his life, that had he not seen it, would have doomed his soul forever. That is, he saw his sinfulness.

2. He realized that it was his sin that had nailed him to the cross. But more than that, he realized it was his sin that had nailed Jesus to the cross. The reason why this thief was saved is because he finally realized he was lost.

3. He realized because he was a lost sinner he needed to fear a holy God. It was his fear of God that led to his faith in God. It is important to understand not only why one thief was saved, but also to understand why the other thief was lost.

A. No Fear Of The Person Of God

1. One thief wanted to save his soul. The other thief wanted to save his skin. “Then …

Youth Ministry: Making Wise Choices.


Gina McClain

It was another average weekday. Shortly after arriving home from work, I’m routinely rifling through the pile of papers pulled from my second-grader’s backpack. Amid the assortment of math worksheets, writing assignments and doodles, I see one yellow slip of paper.


One glance, and dread envelopes me.

Another ticket; another note from the teacher; another reminder of my son’s innate gravitational pull toward horsing around. (Sigh.)

As a parent, there are worse situations to experience. This circumstance is minor in the grand scheme of things. But it’s difficult to remember this fact when it seems as if your 7-year-old believes the very purpose of a boys’ bathroom is for pranks. How do I help him understand the ramifications of his choices?

One of the phrases our elementary kids hear frequently at our church is “I can make the wise choice.”

I love the simplicity of this phrase. It doesn’t just speak to our capability, but also of the freedom we have to pursue what is best. It doesn’t just speak to our freedom, but also to the reality that wisdom is not simply accessible to us—it is imbedded within us.

Have you ever considered this fact?

According to what we learn from God’s Word, our kids are created in God’s image. Our kids are designed to reflect His character.

According to God’s Word, when we say yes to Christ, when we claim Him as Lord and Savior, God indwells us with the Holy Spirit.

“The Holy Spirit is given to us to guide, to teach, to help us remember what God has told us” (John 14:26). “The Holy Spirit is also given so Truth can be revealed through us” (John 15:26).

This means that our kids are not only designed to be wise, but with the Holy Spirit, they have the very source of wisdom within them.

So the phrase “I can make a wise choice” is not a patronizing statement meant to coerce good behavior. It’s a call to press into the very core of who they are in Christ.

On our morning drive to school today, my 7-year-old and I talked about making choices. I reminded him of what a great kid he is and the opportunities he has today to put that on display. To make the wise choice because with God, he’s got all the wisdom he needs. It’s his job to listen and do.

Maybe today we’ll escape another ticket situation, or maybe we won’t. Obviously, this won’t be the last time he makes a poor choice. This won’t be the last time we’ll have a conversation about the concept of making wise decisions.

So, I want to be prepared.

If words matter and how I deliver my words matters, then knowing how to phrase an important lesson in simple terms are the parenting tools I need to teach and guide my kids through everyday circumstances.

“I can make the wise choice” is one I’ll always have in my back pocket.

What are simple phrases you use to teach your kids big lessons?

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Written by Gina McClain

Connecting the Dots.

Those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
Acts 3:18-19

Recommended Reading
Isaiah 52:13-53:9 ( )

Connecting the dots is a children’s game. As a child draws a line, connecting the dots sprinkled across the page of his or her coloring book, a picture is created. Similarly the verses in the Old and New Testament can be connected and reveal Jesus as our Savior.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( )

The first dot is God’s creation of man. The second dot is sin entering the world through Adam and Eve. Next are the many dots of wandering prophets and kings. A picture of need emerges. Humankind is in need of a Savior. Broken and sinful, man is incapable of saving himself.

The first dot in the New Testament is the genealogy of Christ in Matthew. This dot connects us to the past. Jesus is from the tribe foretold to bring a Savior. From this point the four Gospels are filled with dot after dot, revealing the life and character of Jesus. He came with truth and compassion, speaking accurate judgment but offering forgiveness and mercy. As the line is drawn leading to Christ’s death and resurrection, the picture is complete. Jesus is our perfect Savior. He died for our sins. Can you connect the dots and trust in Him today?

Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.
John Stott

Amos 1-4

By David Jeremiah.

Waking up….

By Pastor Fred Gillett

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”
-Ephesians 5:8

My friend Darrell Creamer, 75, gets up at 5 a.m. at least four days a week and opens the St. John Siegfried Health Club in Tulsa, OK, at 5:30 to exercise.

He started running when he was 34 years old without ever having been in sports and later transitioned into a dedicated rower, both competitively and non-competitively, when he was 50 years old.

“I love the physical and psychological feeling it gives me,” says Darrell. “Exercise is soothing. It makes you feel good, like you’ve accomplished something, especially when you get older. I take very good care of myself. I’ll be exercising until I die. And I now think that nutrition is even more important than exercise.”

This past December, during the 17 days he was unconscious in intensive care due to a second major heart attack, Darrell had a spiritual, out-of-body experience that gave him a fresh, new-found perspective on life. After staying away from church for more than 55 years, he is now devoting the rest of his life to serving God, faithfully attending church, and focusing only on what’s important.

“I have a 17-day hole in my life. When I woke up, I woke up a different person,” Darrell explains. “I came to realize that I have a really good life, and I’m going to enjoy it all. I don’t worry about anything I can’t change. Nothing.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, I am so blessed to have awakened to the knowledge of you, who you are in my life, my Savior, my Father, my Friend. I will do my best to enjoy the blessings and never worry, for you are in charge of my life. Amen.

Reflection: Describe when you first “awakened” to the knowledge of Jesus as your Savior. How did this awakening change your life?

{ Day 239 }.

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 24-25

Can you believe this? Jesus has the ability and intention to present you with exceeding joy before the Father. On that final day I can imagine an angel greeting me and saying, “So, what do you think? It’s Judgment Day. Any nerves?” I’ll answer, “Nerves? Nah, I love being here!” How about you? Do you cringe when you think of that day? Do you fear that God will rebuke you publicly, before all the saints? What is your dominant emotion when you envision that day? If it is fear or dread, what does that say about your image of God? Have you fallen for lies of the devil and accepted a false view of a vindictive, unsmiling Savior? Or do you picture yourself running and embracing the Lord? Does your heart skip a beat with anticipation? Do you picture His goodness outweighing and outlasting His anger? Do you see the judgment as revealing the good motives of your heart, too?


My heart is filled with unspeakable joy as I think about the moment I will stand before You in heaven. I long to see Your smile of approval and see Your arms outstretched in welcome. Because of Your gift of righteousness I am ready, and I cannot wait!

Do you wish you could find some broom closet
and wait out the judgment, coming out when
the day of reckoning has passed?


Double mindedness….

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
-Romans 10:17

Many of us Christians are trapped in this double mindedness where Jesus is our Savior but not our Lord.

We say, “Jesus, save me. Jesus, take me to heaven. Jesus, heal me of my sickness. Jesus, resolve this relationship problem. Jesus, help me find a job.” We’re constantly asking God to meet our needs. That’s okay. We should do that. He tells us to do that. But what we don’t do is say, “Jesus, get me there YOUR way.”

What if the Lord tells you to apologize to your enemy? What if he says to stop lying? What if he tells you to quit your job because it’s unethical? Is Jesus still Lord of your life then? And what if, to get the kind of life that God has called you to lead, you’re going to have to make some important sacrifices based on principle. Do you have the character to make those kinds of choices?

You see, Jesus can’t be our Savior unless he’s our Lord, too. And for him to be our Lord means that, if he tells us to do something, we do it. It means that there is a certain way we ought to lead our lives.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I humble myself and ask you to take me to the next step of growth. Help me to change any bad habit that is holding me back from being all that I can be in your Kingdom on earth. Amen.

Reflection: Is Jesus your Savior? Is he your Lord? What is the difference?

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