I Am Born Again! (9/24/18)
“In His great mercy He has given us new birth…” (1 Peter 1:3 NIV)
I have heard this concept of being “born again” since I came to know Jesus personally (just over 20 years ago). Yet, does it’s truth really sinking into my daily life? Do I really live as someone whose old self died and who now has a new, fundamentally different nature – complete with a clean slate with no past errors on it? This is what transformation is all about. I am a new creation. The old is gone! This is what happens when the Spirit of God comes to live in the human heart… it’s amazing! I am born again, so how can I better live born again today? First, I need to stop dwelling on my past mistakes, they are gone. Secondly, I need to walk every moment of my life in the victory of Christ, because He lives in me. And, thirdly, I must live this new life out loud so others can know how great it is to be made new as well. I am born again!!
More & More (9/5/18)
“Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord – crowds of both men and women.” (Acts 5:14 NLT)
Why do “more and more” people continue to believe in God? Because He is a God who wants to be known more and more. He wants to be known in His compassion, and His mercy, and in all His wonderful attributes. Just the fact that God wants to be known personally blows my mind! He is not my heavenly butler, who I request this or that favor from, as I sometimes treat Him. He wants relationship. It’s why He wants to be known. I need to see everything about God through this lens… He desires relationship with me. Like Gerard Hughes once said, “God is continually drawing us to Himself in everything we experience”. He is the God of relationship, and I am truly thankful for that.
The Shepherd’s Voice (8/27/18)
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NLT)
“There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us well nigh incessantly.” (Frederick William Faber)
Oh Good Shepherd, this world is a noisy place and I am bombarded with many opinions and voices. Help me to hear You above all the other voices and all the other noise. Help me (as Your sheep) to hear Your voice (as my Shepherd) above everything and everyone else. You care for me and I care what You say. Fine-tune my hearing to Your voice alone today. Amen.
Salvation AND Judgment (8/20/18)
“Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later He destroyed those who did not remain faithful.” (Jude 1:5 NLT)
This is an interesting dynamic to the character of God that not everyone likes to talk about. He is the God of salvation as well as the God of judgment. Jude is speaking here to those who missed that balance. Those who focused on the comfort of God being a Deliverer but got complacent about obeying God consistently. God did rescue His people from Egypt but He also let a generation die in the wilderness on the way to Canaan because of their unfaithfulness. The false teachers of Jude’s day advocated for casual morals and a take-it-easy approach to obedience. Kind of like today. This is a distortion of the character of God! There must be a balance of grace and holiness, of salvation and judgment, of mercy and righteousness. May I worship this God for who He is, because there’s nothing casual about that.
The God Of Miracles (8/13/18)
“The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people.” (Acts 5:12 NLT)
I know I worship and serve the God of miracles, but I can often get disheartened when I see a Bible full of miracles but a life that is seemingly not. Was God mightier in the past than He is today? No. Maybe He’s reminding me today to just open my eyes more. I think one of my problems is I too often anticipate the ordinary from God. I need more realistic expectations. After all, He is able to do infinitely more than I can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). I underestimate Him! What I forget is that God is always working behind the scenes and changing hearts and maybe even waiting for the plot to unfold a little further before He intervenes in visible ways. The fact remains, He will ALWAYS be the God of miracles.
Living With Purpose (8/8/18)
“So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.” (1 Corinthians 9:26 NLT)
As I live my life, as I run this race, am I running with purpose? One translation of this text says not to run “aimlessly”. I need to constantly be asking myself, where is my aim? Like the majority of this world, I could be aiming for prosperity, power, status, influence, etc… but those purposes in life will all fall short in light of eternity. That’s just not the point of life! If I am to truly live for Christ with purpose, I need to think beyond this life. I need to think eternity. My role as a believer is to prepare people for the Kingdom and for the coming judgment. From my roles as husband, father, and friend to pastor, accountability partner, and leader… I must live on purpose! This is my aim. May I keep my eyes on “the prize” and never forget my purpose, even in the midst of an aimless society.
Posts are deleted after about a month. For additional entries, please email Pastor JWo at Justin@albertvillefbc.org.