Ephesians 1:7 NKJV – Redemption

Ephesians 1:7 NKJV – Redemption

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Redemption simply means deliverance, as from slavery or captivity, by paying a price or ransom. Now racial slavery was abolished after the Civil War. But slavery continues to exist today in many other ways and horrors. This devotion will not be discussing that issue, but I will say, “Lord, have mercy on us.” The slavery I will discuss is the slavery and bondage to sin. God alone has the ability to save us from sin and bondage. It’s through His redemptive power in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection that we can be free. Jesus Christ paid the ransom for all of humanity. His payment for us defines the “riches of His grace.” When we didn’t deserve the grace and mercy poured out by His suffering and death, Jesus continued in obedience to the Father because God loved us so much. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV) A very familiar Scripture verse and probably most of us have heard since early on in our life. But the verse not so familiar is John 3:17. You really see the everlasting love of God even more. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Bondage and slavery are a byproduct of condemnation. Any way you look at it, when someone is bound and held captive (bondage and slavery) they have been condemned of something. Jesus came not to condemn you but to save you; to break the power of bondage and slavery to sin by defeating sin and death once for all. His act of love by dying on the cross and rising from the grave (the Resurrection Event) enables us to live eternally. It’s by His undeserved grace we are saved. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV) What Jesus accomplished by His death and resurrection could never have been accomplished by us. Never! It’s only through our belief and submission to Him that we can freely receive His perfect grace to free us from every chain that binds us and every sin that ensnares us.

Jesus is our Redeemer. And we have complete access to Him. Our time with Him in prayer and praise is so important. Jesus gave His life for us. Jesus paid it all. The world gives us nothing and death is certain. But even though our physical bodies will die, we have life in Christ and that life can be more fulfilling the more we spend time with Jesus in prayer.

Let me ask you some things? If this applies to you, I just want you to think about it. Before you were married and you believed that you had found the spouse that you wanted to spend your entire life with, was it not important to get to know them? Was it not important to know their personality, their likes, their dislikes, etc? How important was that for you? I don’t believe there are too many folks who didn’t want to get to know their spouses before marriage. (I may be naïve, but I don’t think so) So knowing that you pondered on the questions above about your spouse, how much more important is it for you to ponder about establishing and having a relationship with Jesus and then spend time with Him getting to know Him, listening to Him, learning about Him in His Word, talking to Him. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV)

Friend, this may have been the first time that someone has placed Jesus Christ in front of you this way. Jesus wants to redeem you and set you free from all slavery and bondage. Remember, redemption simply means deliverance, as from slavery or captivity, by paying a price or ransom. Jesus paid the price for you. Jesus simply asks “Will you accept my grace?” The choice is yours. Prayer is the beginning to the process by humbly submitting yourself to Him and talking to Him. It’s not something that needs to be elaborate; it just needs to be spoken with humility and truth. The choice is yours, my friend. Will you make that choice today?

Dear Jesus. I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Will you be my Redeemer today? The world had bound me up with chains and slavery that I cannot free myself from. Deliver me, Jesus, as I humbly submit myself to You and commit my life to You. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the grave to defeat sin and death for me. Come in to my life today Jesus and be my Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Romans 8:32 – Our protection is in Him

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Matthew Henry published the following in his commentary, “The ground of the challenge is God’s being for us; in this he sums up all our privileges. This includes all that God is for us; not only reconciled to us, and so not against us, but in covenant with us, and so engaged for us—all his attributes for us, his promises for us. All that he is, and has, and does, is for his people. He performs all things for them.”

If we believe that God is truth as written in His Word (John 14:6, Psalm 33:4), then we must believe that God is all that He says He is and that we can rely on God’s covering against those things that try to rob us from the truth.

Sometimes when we hear things told to us from others, we respond, “I can’t believe that!” Or we might say, “You’re kidding me.” We respond that way because what we’ve been told might be pretty outrageous and our minds can’t comprehend that it is believable.

But God IS believable. Without question. God is our defender (Psalm 68:5), our protector (Psalm 61:3), our healer (Psalm 103:3), our deliverer (2 Samuel 22:2), our redeemer (Isaiah 47:4), our very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He sees all and He knows all and He performs all. We are never out of His sight, His mind, His love, His rescue. God is fully engaged for us every minute of time. When we don’t feel that He is around, He is. (Deuteronomy 31:8) When we sleep, He does not. (Psalm 121:3) When everyone else doesn’t have time for us, God does. (Jeremiah 33:3) God is who He says He is. Our responsibility lies in believing.

Holy God, thank You for the truth of Your Word. That God, You are definitely for us and never against us. We can count on it, Lord, because You are truth. You see all that we face and nothing is a surprise to You. Help us Lord, to believe and not waver. Help us Lord, to know that in every instant of time, You are watching over us. And when we pray Lord, You listen. May we honor You Lord, with our belief. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

2 Timothy 4:8 NKJV – Our Judge

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Jesus Christ executed judgment against the forces of evil through His death on the cross. Individuals will be judged according to their response to His saving grace. And Jesus was appointed judge by God the Father. “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22 NKJV) What better judge could there be but Jesus Christ. We were purchased for a great price. His death and resurrection paid the price. Jesus Christ’s death brought judgment on Satan and evil world powers. Christians will stand before Jesus Christ as judge and be rewarded for what they have done. “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27 NKJV) Praise the Lord!

So today, I have to ask this question. If we have placed our faith and belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus and have accepted His blood sacrifice for our sinful life, and have called upon Him to be our Lord and Savior, why is it that we sometimes continue to be fearful of what lies ahead of us in circumstances and struggles? Didn’t Jesus pay the price for everyone and everything? Didn’t Jesus pay the price for our life, our healing, our deliverance, our restoration, our fear, our doubt, and all the other struggles and strongholds we seem to think are insurmountable?

I guess it comes down to this. Do we believe? Scripture tells us, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 NKJV) Jesus’ eternal life and priesthood make possible His eternal intercession for worshipers who “draw near to God through him,” leading to their complete and eternal salvation. “Uttermost” refers to comprehensive salvation (meeting our every need) and to eternal salvation (especially as it is grounded in Jesus’ always living to pray for us). Hello, did you get that? I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I, too, need to be reminded of this. Every need, every situation has been purchased. And Jesus is always living to intercede to the Father on your behalf to provide us with everything that pertains to life and godliness (1 Peter 1:3). And you will wear the crown of righteousness when you stand before our loving and just judge Jesus. And you will be able to remove that crown on that day and lay it before the feet of Jesus. Hallelujah!

Friend, I believe that a time is upon us where we will hear from the Lord. I believe He is asking us to believe. Not in our interpretation of what we think “believe” means, but rather belief on the basis of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the promises of His Holy Word; the confidence of believers, grounded in God’s character, actions and trustworthy promises, rather than human achievements. Listen to me. We should have nothing to fear. We should be walking in eternal and life giving confidence. Our eyes should be fixed on Jesus; the One who died and rose so that we could be set free. Our hearts should be fixed on the unconditional and everlasting love of Jesus. The Apostle Paul said this, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV) Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing. And if we have called Jesus Lord and Savior of our lives, He will reward us with a crown. Jesus is our righteous judge; an appointed judge who is loving and just. Let us draw close to Him. Let us come to Him in prayer and meditate on His Word. Let us learn from Him and hear from Him. Let us make our relationship with Him the most important thing in our lives.

Dear Lord, thank You that You are our righteous judge. That You will look upon our lives and give judgment. Thank You that a crown of righteousness is laid up for us on that day when You return. Lord, keep us strong in our faith. Remind us when we feel our circumstances and struggles are greater than the price You paid for them. Thank You that You have covered each and every one of them with the blood You shed. You saved us to the Uttermost! Hallelujah! We give You praise. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Isaiah 44:22 NKJV – He’s my Redeemer

I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.

The Lord alone is our Redeemer. He alone has the ability to save. God’s redemptive will and power is demonstrated supremely through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God redeems because of His great love. “But because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh King of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:8 NKJV).

As I said, Jesus Christ is central to God’s redemptive purposes. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 NKJV) By His death and resurrection, Jesus paid the price for all of our sins. Every one of them.  Jesus redeems believers from all forms of sinful bondage and oppression.  And we are called to make a choice; to believe in what Jesus did by dying on the cross and His defeating sin by being raised from the dead; or to not believe.  He is asking that we return to Him.

There is nothing that you and I can ever do to defeat our sinful nature and enter into eternal life. It’s only by the grace and mercy shown through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection that we have access to eternal life. Salvation must be accepted as a free gift of faith. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9 NKJV)

“But you don’t know me. You don’t know what I’ve done. I’ve hurt a lot of people along the way and I’ve done a lot of bad things. I’ve lost everything because I’ve wanted to do things my way. I don’t even like myself.” No, I don’t know you. But Jesus does. And before time began, He created a plan for you. And you don’t have to like yourself, because, whether you believe it or not, Jesus loves you with an everlasting love. His love does not come from you doing or not doing anything. His love is eternal and unconditional. He loves you because He has put His fingerprint on you. He created you. And He died for you.

Friend, if you know Jesus as your personal Savior and you find yourself in a place where you’ve made some mistakes, done some bad things, feel separated from God, you can return to Him because He has redeemed you. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and want to be redeemed from the pain, suffering, confusion, indifference, and heartache you are feeling because of the life you lead, you can go to Jesus and be redeemed. Either way, you start with prayer. A humble prayer with a heart that wants to repent. You simply need to seek God in conversation, laying down all that you have before Him, ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you by His blood, and you will be redeemed. The bible says, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV) Take the time sometime today and get alone with God and seek His presence. Humbly go to Him and talk with Him. He is as close as a whisper. Remember this, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

Dear Lord, I am a sinner in need of redemption. I’ve messed up and made a mess out of my life. I’ve hurt others and don’t think anyone could love me as I am. But I’m told Lord that You died for me and paid the price for all of my sins. I’m told Lord that Your redemptive power covers all that I’ve done and it’s a free gift by faith through Your grace and mercy. Come into my life and my heart and forgive me today, Jesus. I repent before You and receive Your forgiveness by Your blood. I love You Lord and pray in Your Name, Jesus. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Philippians 4:19 NKJV – I call Him Jesus

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

We know this Scripture, probably by heart. We have spoken this Scripture into our lives over and over again. Am I making some presumptions here? I don’t think so. God shall supply all of our needs. Through Jesus Christ, God’s riches cover every circumstance. Every circumstance whether physical or spiritual.

What an incredible promise to those who believe! Jesus is by our side, walking with us, resides in everything we face, and is in our tomorrows. So then what’s the problem? Why is it that so many times we don’t accept these truths? Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord who provides”. “Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.” (1 Chronicles 29:12 NKJV)

Well, I think part of the answer as to why we don’t accept the promises of God is because we see our circumstances from our own eyes and our own strength and not from God’s point of view. That is a fatal flaw. God sees the bigger picture and possesses all the strength needed to deliver us, to sustain us, to lift us above our burden, to love us, to provide everything we need and to conquer what holds us down.

When we go to the Lord in prayer for whatever we need, how do we approach it? Do we ask God for help if He sees our need as important? Yikes! Or do we seek God because we believe that God is above all things and is our All in All. When the bible says to humbly seek the Lord, “Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear” (Psalm 10:17 NKJV) it doesn’t mean we go to God without confidence and belief that God is able. Scripture says so much about this:

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJV)

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 NKJV)

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)

Friend, what is it that you need God to do? What is it you need God to accomplish? God is your Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. I know some things to be the truth. God and His Holy Word is the truth. The power of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us and to lead us into all understanding is the truth. And that Jesus Christ loves you with an everlasting love and died for you so that you could have eternal life is the truth. If you don’t have complete understanding of the truth, the power of God and the love of Jesus I talk about above than I might be able to help you with these questions. My family seems to be breaking apart, can you help me? No I can’t but I know a man who can. I’ve lost my job and I don’t know what to do. Can you help me? No, but I know a man who can. My kids seems so distant to me. Can you help me restore our relationship? No, but I know a man who can. I’m so sick. My doctor’s seem to think all is lost. Can you give me something to get well? No, but I know a man who can. I feel I don’t belong. I feel no one loves me. Can you change my circumstances? No, but I know a man who can. I call Him Jesus.

Dear Lord, thank You that You will supply all of our needs according to Your riches. Thank You that we can put our complete trust in Your glorious abundance. Thank You for Your everlasting love and provision. You are our Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. Lord forgive our wicked ways. Lord we believe that You died for us and rose from the grave to defeat our sin and death and give us eternal life. Come into our lives Lord and be our Lord and Savior. May we rest in Your provision and care in Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

1 John 2:27 NLT – It’s the Holy Spirit that reveals God’s truth

But you have received the Holy Spirit,and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

Believers have an illumination (discernment) from God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who accompanies the Word and keeps us in the truth of the gospel. The Holy Spirit is the source of human understanding. This Scripture verse ends with remaining in fellowship with Christ. Fellowship with the Holy Spirit and His wisdom goes hand in hand with fellowship with Jesus Christ. They are one and the same. So when we step out on our own and insert human wisdom, why do you think we fail?

Scripture says this, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13 NKJV)

The lost of this world do not have the capability to understand the wisdom of the Holy Spirit because they can only know the things that are natural. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV) So it would seem to me that if we are in Christ and abide in Him, we would never want to venture out on our own relying on our own human understanding. But, guess what? We do. Believers become complacent in their walk and the blessings of God and feel they “got it”. No condemnation here. I’ve done this as well. It’s a scheme of the enemy to get us to think we’re capable on our own. But let me tell you, we are not.

The Holy Spirit is our teacher. He is the Spirit of truth and continues to reveal the truth of God to believers. The Holy Spirit teaches us the ways of God. “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” (Psalm 143:10 NKJV) And the Holy Spirit’s teaching is centered on Jesus Christ. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14-15 NKJV) Fellowship with the Holy Spirit and His wisdom goes hand in hand with fellowship with Jesus Christ.

Where does one start to establish fellowship with the Holy Spirit? It starts with submission of your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It starts with understanding that no human effort can earn eternal life. It’s only by God’s grace that we can live eternally in fellowship with Him. It’s all about Jesus. God gave us His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Only the perfect sacrifice could atone for our sinful nature. Scripture says, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV) Humanity is lost until they come to the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 NKJV) To receive the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit, we must first come to the cross; we must first be saved.

Friend, let me share something with you that a dear friend of mine gave me recently. I don’t know who originally wrote this, but here’s what it says:

You are Complete in Jesus Christ

“God sent the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter. He’s the still, small voice we hear guiding us in God’s ways and nudging us when we sin. He teaches and prods. When we grow weary, He strengthens us. When we lose faith, He reminds us of God’s love. The Holy Spirit never lies to us. Therefore, we can trust Him. When He leads us through the dark valley, He knows the way to the other side. We may want to take our own path, but He alone guides us as we grow in Christ.”

Does this sound like someone you would desire to have fellowship with? Does this sound like someone you would desire to help you survive living in this world? Then all you need to do is go to God in humble prayer. First, seeking Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life, and then ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, I understand that true wisdom comes from Your Holy Spirit. It is only through Your Holy Spirit that I can receive true knowledge and walk in true wisdom. Lord, there is sin in my life and I don’t call You Lord and Savior. I desire to change so that I can have fellowship with You and the Holy Spirit. Forgive me Lord for my sin and come into my life as my Lord and Savior. I believe that You died for our sins and defeated sin and death once and for all through Your resurrection. Holy Spirit come and fill me up; come and live in me. I submit my life into Your hands. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

1 John 5:5 NKJV – Overcomers

Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God

Matthew Henry, renowned commentator said this about our Scripture, “It is the world that lies in our way to heaven, and is the great impediment to our entrance there. But he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God believes therein that Jesus came from God to be the Savior of the world.”

God the Father affirms that Jesus Christ is His Son. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”” (Matthew 3:17 NKJV) This testimony from heaven confirms Jesus’ identification as the Son of God. So it appears fairly simple in understanding. If we are to overcome the world (the things of the world and the world view) we are to believe that Jesus came from God and is His beloved Son. For believers, this understanding comes from our faith in Christ. For those who remain absent from believing in Jesus, it’s nearly impossible to understand. Rejection of God lies at the heart of human sin. It is seen in rebellion against the authority of God, the purposes of God and Godly instruction. This results in the rejection of not only God but also of God’s servants.

Unbelief in God is a powerful bondage over the world. It is born in stubbornness and a sinful refusal to accept God’s Word and His messengers. “Because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in His salvation.” (Psalm 78:22 NKJV) Unbelief, or the failure to trust God, holds back His blessing and leads to spiritual death. That is why God sent His Son Jesus. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV) Jesus Christ came to save and to give life. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJV)

This promise of abundant life comes from the grace given to those who believe and is demonstrated in Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17 NKJV) What is this grace of God? It’s undeserved favor based on our belief that Jesus Christ came to die for us and take our punishment on Himself once and for all. Through grace we are saved. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV)

Grace and mercy are the qualities of Jesus Christ by which He is compassionate, accepting, and generous. Grace and mercy are poured out on those who believe. So friend, I have to ask you this. Do you desire to overcome the world’s ways and not allow the world any longer to impede your path to salvation and heaven? Do you desire to know the only way to heaven? Jesus is the only way. Faith is necessary in order to approach God and effective prayer depends on faith. The Bible says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) The instructions are very clear. First, you must believe that God is. Second, you must believe that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. That means God rewards those who seek Him in prayer. Do you believe that God is? If that is where your faith is, then pray. God will reward you and you will overcome. “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” (Galatians 1:3-4 NKJV)

Dear Lord, thank You for the promises of Your Word. Thank You for Your grace and mercy in our time of need. We believe God that Jesus is Your only begotten Son, sent by You to redeem humanity by His death and resurrection. Teach me Lord to place my trust and belief in You and not in the world. Jesus, we believe that You are the only way. We believe Lord that You took our sins and died for them on the cross. We believe that through Your resurrection You defeated our sin and our death. I submit my life and trust in You, Jesus. Help me to overcome the world by Your blood. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!