link3822 link3823 link3824 link3825 link3826 link3827 link3828 link3829 link3830 link3831 link3832 link3833 link3834 link3835 link3836 link3837 link3838 link3839 link3840 link3841 link3842 link3843 link3844 link3845 link3846 link3847 link3848 link3849 link3850 link3851 link3852 link3853 link3854 link3855 link3856 link3857 link3858 link3859 link3860 link3861 link3862 link3863 link3864 link3865 link3866 link3867 link3868 link3869 link3870 link3871 link3872 link3873 link3874 link3875 link3876 link3877 link3878 link3879 link3880 link3881 link3882 link3883 link3884 link3885 link3886 link3887 link3888 link3889 link3890 link3891 link3892 link3893 link3894 link3895 link3896 link3897 link3898 link3899 link3900 link3901 link3902 link3903 link3904 link3905 link3906 link3907 link3908 link3909 link3910 link3911 link3912 link3913 link3914 link3915 link3916 link3917 link3918 link3919 link3920 link3921 link3922 link3923 link3924 link3925 link3926 link3927 link3928 link3929 link3930 link3931 link3932 link3933 link3934 link3935 link3936 link3937 link3938 link3939 link3940 link3941 link3942 link3943 link3944 link3945 link3946 link3947 link3948 link3949 link3950 link3951 link3952 link3953 link3954 link3955 link3956 link3957 link3958 link3959 link3960 link3961 link3962 link3963 link3964 link3965 link3966 link3967 link3968

Tag: Lord

How To Confess

How is “confession good for the soul?” What is Biblical confession of sins?

Written by GodLife on 06/06/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ConfessionForgivenessSinSalvationHoliness


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Sin separates you from having a fellowship with God. “Sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) It includes giving in to temptation. (James 1:13-15) Refusing to do what is right. “…whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17) Even “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23) And “sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:15)

If this is true, there aren’t just “seven deadly sins,” are there? All sin is “mortal!” Classifying sins only hides that fact. We’ve all done and thought things that would make us God’s enemy: “On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:6) How can we get right with God again?

For the answer to that question, why go anywhere else but God’s Word? Keep reading for what God Himself tells us about sin and how to confess it.

Don’t hide or make excuses for your sins

What happened in Genesis 3 when the first people sinned? They hid from God. They blamed one another (and God). They tried to cover their shame. The temptation was a cruel betrayal. It brought ruin to their relationship with each other and with God. It also made us, their descendants, think and act the same way. We fool ourselves (Galatians 6:7) when we think we can hide, shift blame or minimize sin. It is always found out (Numbers 32:23). God promises, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

Confess your sins directly to God

God created us for His own glory. (Isaiah 43:7) When we fall short of it, He is the first One Who is offended.(Psalm 51) You may fear His displeasure and His great holiness. But remember what Jesus did for you. Remember where He is now: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

After God, don’t forget anyone else you have offended. Confess to them and restore those relationships also. (Matthew 5:21-24)

Agree with God’s opinion of your sins

Adam and Eve were tricked into thinking God was keeping something good from them. (Genesis 3:1-2) This set them up to fall into direct disobedience. Hiding, covering up and shifting blame shows how little we think of sin, God’s wisdom, and God’s power. We can be tricked, but it’s a big mistake to think God is like that. (Psalm 50:16-23)

Faith will take us in a different direction. (Hebrews 11:6) Not only is God great, He is good to you. “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11) Keeping this in mind helps us see how a sin started. As soon as you recognize a sin as sin, confess it in a simple prayer to God. Ask God to show you the whole picture. (Psalm 139:23) How would your holy, loving, all-knowing Father describe it? Learn to see sin the way He does.

Agree also about forgiveness

Finally and most importantly, leave the guilt behind you. Our scripture appears in a section of 1 John reminding us of God’s love for His children. John says it is written “so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:4) How can sin grieve us enough that we humbly confess it, but still leave us in complete joy? Because of what follows:

“…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 1:5-2:1)

God promises to forgive and cleanse us when we confess and forsake sin. Jesus Himself represents God’s children before the Father, in all His righteousness. Are you a child of God? Take a moment to let God search your heart for unconfessed sin and confess it for restored fellowship with Him. It is the only way you can “walk in the light” with Him. Once you have done this, be assured that He has kept His promise, and rejoice in the peace and fellowship that is yours!

Do you lack peace? Are you unsure if you are God’s child? Visit http://www.godlife.com/forgiveness to be certain your sins are all forgiven!

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” (Romans 4:7-8Psalm 32:1-2)


Pray this week:

Holy Spirit, search my heart and reveal everything that keeps me from close fellowship with God. Father, show it to me for what it really is. Lord Jesus, thank you for what You did, and for Your mercy available to me.


Is confession hard for you? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Love Serve and Stay United in Church

Life with Jesus

Written by GodLife on 14/08/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church, Service, Unity
…we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12:5
The Church Jesus built has an enemy. That was clear from the time He introduced it: “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) In less than 300 years the Roman Empire went from being its most vicious persecutor to acknowledging Jesus as Lord. Preaching “Christ crucified” — which was called “foolishness” by the gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23) — ended up being victorious over the “wisdom” sought by Greco-Roman culture. (1 Corinthians 1:22-30)  But that’s in the past. What about today? Do the “wise” and “strong” still search for “the wisdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 1:27, 30) Yes! Here are a few examples: 

Facebook’s founder admitted that he wants to imitate the church’s ability to make strong and unified groups. 
Guy Kawasaki, an American author and “Chief Evangelist” for an important computer company, attended the Billy Graham school of evangelism. 
After so many centuries, the Church is still effective and influential. How does it operate? What kind of organization, (or, as it has also been called, organism), is the Church of Christ?

How are we to love one another?
Romans 12:9 urges, “Let love be genuine.” How are we to do this? “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9) Impostors seek honor for themselves, taking advantage of others and tearing down the integrity of the group in the process. (As the problems in the Church of Corinth show.) True Christian love puts the other person’s best interests first. If you’re part of a group you can really trust, where you can be yourself, it works to build you into the person God means for you to be.

How are we to serve one another?
In  Romans 12:11-13 goes on to explain,  “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit.” Have you ever volunteered for something without really wanting to do it? Probably not if you were helping a really close friend. With our church family, God wants us to be energetic and passionate: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Prayer is necessary because Jesus Himself promised us we’d have trouble. “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” The longer you’re part of a church, the more likely it is you’ll have opportunity to help someone in a profound way: it may be giving them something they need, serving in place of someone missing in their life, or making space for them in your home or routine. In fact, it might end up being you who has the need, who experiences the loss or who needs a place to stay. You should turn to your church family before your government or unsaved friends. It makes a great witness to the world! (John 13:35)

How do we stay united?
The Church is called an “organism” — Paul compares it to a human body in 1 Corinthians 12. Each member has a unique function, but they all serve in unity. The word used in Romans 12:16 is “harmony.”  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another.” Harmony is a better word, since it makes it clear we’re not all the same. We’ll sometimes feel sadness and joy at different times — this gives us opportunity to support one another and to celebrate with one another. “Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”

God wants us to always remember that our righteousness, our wisdom, all comes from Him, not ourselves. “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:15–18) In saying this, Paul is not telling us to be peaceful until we’ve reached the limits of our patience. He’s telling us that a relationship with another person requires both to be peaceable, and that it’s not always possible to have a harmonious relationship with a disagreeable person. Don’t forget that Jesus taught us not to put a limit on our forgiveness. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Reminding ourselves of Jesus’ commandments should be a central part of what we do together as a church. As 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” We serve as His body “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:18) The life of the Body is Jesus’ life: His continued ministry on earth. It’s by His direction and in His power. Living this way is how we, like the early church, will be victorious over the world, and show them Christ is their only hope of salvation: “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23)

Pray this week:
Lord, give me the opportunity to serve with a joyful spirit. Amen. 

Do you want to know what it’s like to be in unity? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

You are a Full-Time Minister of God

Wherever Christians are — even if it’s a region in which no-one else can know you follow Jesus — God can use you to bless others.

Written by Hope on 09/06/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, God, Jesus, Purpose, Work
"Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the Church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the Church, the Body of Christ." ( Ephesians 4:11-12)

What work do you do to provide food, clothing, and shelter for yourself (and your family)? The Apostle Paul did work as a tentmaker (some translations say "leatherworker"); however, he tirelessly preached Christ’s message, evangelizing to everyone he could and teaching new Christians. Today, sometimes, people say they are employed "full time" or "part time" in this or that job or career; as Christians, we could consider that earthly work as how we make our living. But because we are "living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple. What's more, you are His holy priests" ( 1 Peter 2:5), we can consider ministering for God our full-time work!

Spiritual Temple
Wherever Christians are — even if it’s a region in which no-one else can know you follow Jesus — God can use you to bless others. St. Paul wrote that "whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone" (Galatians 6:10). He encouraged Christians to "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them" (Ephesians 4:29). In being sensitive to others, he instructed, "whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). By living for Jesus, we live as the Church — even if we can't physically attend a church — praising His Name with our actions and building one another up for His glory.

Holy Priests
"Holy" is used to describe something sacred, something set apart, something unique in the world. Born in sin, humans have natural, sinful desires; but as Christians, "you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy" (1 Peter 1:15). "When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous" (1 John 3:7). That means we, as "priests," must follow the example our "High Priest" (Hebrews 8:1). Jesus gave us: loving and obeying God, and loving and serving others.

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
The Prayer, Care and Share (PCS) guide is based on scripture in the Bible: ( Luke 10:1-9).What I’ve been sharing the last few weeks is a basic teaching to equip all believers of Jesus for their full time ministry every day wherever they go.

So, whether you are a student, accountant, domestic worker, home maker, IT specialist or CEO of a company; as a believer of Jesus, you are firstly a full time minister of the Lord, then secondly, you do the work of your occupation!

There are 4 steps in the PCS guide I've been encouraging. They are: Asking the blessing of the Lord on people, places and tasks; Building relationships with people who don’t know Jesus; Meeting needs by helping, encouraging or praying; and Telling people about Jesus (directly, or by answering questions about your faith). These are basic tools you can use to be a full time worker in God's harvest every day everywhere.

Pray this week:
God will help us understand how He has called us to love, minister to, and serve others.

You are 'set apart and holy' to the Lord… how does this affect your life each day? Do you show the world who Christ is by your words and deeds? Talk to someone about how you can show the world who Christ is.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Knowing God Through His Creation

Everything God creates reveals something about Him

Written by Don Olson on 26/02/2019
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Creation, Science, Bible, Joy, Wonder
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Romans 1:20
God delights in His creation and in revealing Himself in and through it. Everything God creates reveals something about Him. That is why He told us about His creation in more than 200 verses and passages throughout the Bible.

 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

In this verse, Paul is saying that we only have to look around at nature to see that an almighty God — a supreme creator — exists.

Creation is a source of joy
From the Bible’s first verse (Genesis 1:1), God reveals Himself as the creator of everything. In other passages in the Old Testament, He tells us to look at creation: the diligence of the ant, the power of yeast, the beauty of the lilies.

In the book of Job, when God finally broke His long silence, He used four chapters to point Job to details in His creation. 

In the New Testament, Jesus, in whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16), encouraged people to look at nature — the birds, the fig tree, the fields. 

God is the ultimate source of joy, and we who are created in His image also experience joy. God wants us also to experience joy from His creation. We see evidence of this in Job 38, where God pauses while telling Job about His creation and says that when the angels saw His creation, they shouted with joy:

 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? … when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7)

As mysteries are revealed, they increase our appreciation of God’s handiwork
The nature that we can see around us with the naked eye is the visible universe. While the visible universe is incredibly magnificent, there is far, far more beyond. Speaking about Jesus, Paul says that, “…by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…” (Colossians 1:16) What we can see with our eyes, or even with all five of our senses, is only the beginning. The vast majority of God’s creation is invisible to our eyes. 

A good example comparing the visible to the invisible are the stars in the sky. On a clear, dark night, the human eyes can see around 6,000 stars. Modern telescopes can see trillions. 

What is exciting in today’s world is that the tools of modern science, such as the telescope, have given us powerful new eyes with which we can peer deep into God’s creation. We can see so much, from the mighty cosmos to the tiny living cell, and see the wonders of His handiwork. Like no other time in history, science has unveiled many of the mysteries of the universe. What a gift from God! For more information on these wonders revealed by science, check out www.reasons.org.

Pray this week:
Blessed are You, O Lord, the true and awesome God Almighty who created all things.

We thank you, Lord, for the gift of science and scientific tools which allow us to peer deep into Your creation so that we may gain a fuller knowledge of You and Your plan for us. What we learn about You with our minds we can rejoice about in our hearts. We thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Do you have questions about the Bible’s relationship to science? Write us to connect to someone who can help you.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Living and Teaching

 

A modern proverb states, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." However, for followers of Jesus, a lot of the "doing" is teaching. The Lord has directed His people to share His message of love with the world.

Written by Hope on 15/12/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, Living, Teaching
"Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you." Matthew 28:19-20

A modern proverb states, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." However, for followers of Jesus, a lot of the "doing" is teaching. The Lord has directed His people to share His message of love with the world.

Right Living
While leading others in their faith, we must keep an eye on our own lives, making sure that we are living what we are teaching. Jesus said, "Why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye" (Matthew 7:3-5). You will harm your disciples if you display a lifestyle of saying one thing while doing another. "Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did" (I John 2:6).

Bible-based Teaching
The Apostle Paul wrote to his disciple, Timothy, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right" (II Timothy 3:16). To properly lead another in godly growth, our foundation must be God's Word. "Those who obey God’s Word truly show how completely they love Him" (I John 2:5).

Follow Up Faithfully
When you commit to helping a new believer, don't give up on them. Many of the books of the New Testament exist because God didn't let His Apostles abandon the churches they'd planted throughout the region.

Instead, they wrote to them and visited them to ensure that they learned and obeyed God's Word. St. Paul called his fellow Christians in Philippi "…my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it" (Philippians 1:5). The Apostles' follow-up contributed to the amazing growth of the Early Church, and when you help a new believer, you are walking in the Apostles’ footsteps.

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
“Teaching How to Share the Gospel”
Scripture: Matthew 28:19-20

People who have recently become believers are often in the "first love" stage of their relationship with Christ (Rev 2:4). They are in a good position to tell others about the gospel. As their spiritual leaders, we should teach them as soon as possible how to share their faith with others.

We suggest that you start by teaching your disciple some simple methods to share the gospel:

A proven tool for sharing the gospel verbally is the Four Spiritual Laws, which you will find at www.godlife.com/gospel.
To share Christ visually, consider using a simple diagram that explains Jesus as the "bridge" to life: http://www.navigators.org/Tools/Evangelism Resources/Tools/The Bridge to Life
A personal and powerful way for your disciple to share the love of Christ is through their personal testimony. (Rev 12:11) This will be fresh on their hearts, and we encourage you to have your disciple write out their testimony and practice sharing it with you.

A concise testimony that can be shared verbally in 3 to 5 minutes should follow this simple outline:

How was your life before you met Christ?
How did you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? (Give a brief summary of the gospel message)
How has your life changed since you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Encourage your disciple, after presenting the gospel, to bring the person to a point of decision. Have them ask, “Would you like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior right now?” If they are ready, lead them in a prayer acknowledging that Jesus died and rose from the dead, asking God's forgiveness for their sins, and inviting Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.

Teach your disciple not to lose heart if someone does not respond to the gospel right away. Your disciple should realize that their responsibility is just to share the gospel, and the Holy Spirit who brings understanding that leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

Pray this week:
You will teach Bible-based truths.

What does it mean 'to live for Jesus?' If you're not sure, talk to a Christian and find out.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Are You Ready to Share Your Faith?

Don't let the moment pass you by.

Written by GodLife on 25/09/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, Love, Witness, Sharing
…, pray also for us that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ…

Colossians 4:3
Following the Spirit of God includes having conversations about Jesus. How do we go about having a conversation about spiritual matters with someone we do not know? When we bring up the subject, we are using a bridge to open that door. Have you ever missed an opportunity?

One summer at my teenage son’s ball game, I noticed a friend I had not seen since college. As we sat together and visited, I was urged in my spirit to bring up the subject of Christ and to present the Gospel to her, but fear of rejection kept me silent. Later that winter, she was involved in an unfortunate accident that resulted in the death of her and her daughter. 

Are you willing?
In Acts 8:26-40, Philip was instructed by an angel to go south on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza in the desert. As he traveled, the Spirit told Philip to approach an Ethiopian Eunuch who was reading. Philip obeyed and asked the Eunuch a question: “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Eunuch replied, “How can I, but that some man should guide me.” Philip was then invited to attempt to guide him. Philip was willing, following, trusting, and ready. He already knew the subject, and he didn’t go in his own power. Finally, he had a divine appointment. If God used Philip, it makes sense that Jesus would use you too and empower you.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:9)

In our daily interactions with strangers we should be willing to follow the Spirit, who will lead us into situations to share our faith. Are you willing? 

How can I do this? 
How can you move into a conversation about Jesus? A good start is by being helpful to others. Make their job easier and be appreciative. Be friendly. Reaching out to people in the service industry that help us or that check us out at the store can be very easy! But first we must pray.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Why not ask questions or make comments with a smile? For example: 

How can I pray for you today? Or If there was one thing I could pray for you, what would it be? 
I was wondering when you attend church, where do you attend? 
The Bible says a workman is worth his hire. You have done a great job. 
You are an answer to prayer (if they really were). I believe in prayer. What about you?
I can only find peace in one place when I am stressed out. 
Be ready and be on mission like Philip wanting all to be saved and none to be lost. Jesus prayed for us that the love the Father had for Him would be in us (John 17:26), and we must allow it to propel us out of ourselves and our fears to be spent on others. We must remember that hell and the wrath of God are real, and Jesus is the only way to escape. Love like Jesus. 

Dealing with Rejection
If your words are rejected — it’s not you who were rejected, but Christ (Luke 10:16). Either way, you have been obedient. The results of your efforts are up to the Lord! He alone gives the increase, but he tells us all to plant and to reap. Do not forget to thank the Lord for the opportunity to be used, pray for that person and thank Him for more to come. 

“And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear; hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23)

I encourage you to love others more than yourself and be obedient to the leading of the Spirit. Pray to be bold and to be filled with love for the souls of others.

Pray this week:
Lord, Please, guide me and use me. I will love, and I will go, and I will speak. Amen.

God loves you. Are you ready to love others? How can you do this?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member