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Hello, Got good news, we are starting a new bible study in the book of Acts., Just check the menu for, ( The Book Of Acts Bible study. You can study at your own pace, I hope that you enjoy this new feature, God bless, Pastor William Wagoner. Dec.28, 2015
A Daily Email Devotional :
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
1Thessalonians 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
Our verse today is taken from one of the letters Paul, being led of the Holy Ghost, wrote to the church in Thessalonica. I’m interested in the last part of verse 10. Paul and the preachers that accompany him have a great desire to visit this church once again. He has a place in his heart for them. He has received a report that the church is doing well and that they are remaining in the paths of the truth of the Lord. He then reveals a powerful truth to them. Even though they are excited about the next visit to the church to fellowship, Paul is most excited to teach and preach more of the Word of God to these people. You see, the fellowship of the church is most definitely important, but the most important is the spiritual growth and maturity of the saints. I have heard saints grumbling about a visiting preacher so many times I have lost count. Many times the saints will belly ache and whine because their Pastor is away being a blessing at another church. Dear friend, we should be excited that the Lord saw fit to count our Pastor worthy and fit to be used to preach the Word in another pulpit. The Pastor will fill the home church pulpit with another preacher he feels the Lord is pleased with so that the Word for that day may be delivered, but the members will whine and complain and even many times will lay out of church because the Pastor is not present. Shame on us! Our verse today stresses the vital importance of visiting preachers. The Lord uses fresh voices and unfamiliar faces to deliver a much needed word to the people. Satan knows this and therefore he attempts to disgruntle the saints that they will not receive this possible life changing word. Paul said “we look forward to our next revival with you folks”. Why? “That we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith”. I am afraid we have misunderstood the power behind the messages that have been personally addressed to us. God does not just fill a space of time when it comes to pulpit time. Every message He sends is very vital to our growth. And what about the times that we are absent from hearing our very own Pastor’s message? God powerfully sends the perfect word we need for that day and if we are absent then we just missed what God had to say to us. Our spiritual maturity depends on a word from God. Why are there so many baby Christians that are still on the milk instead of the meat of the Word? It is because they are still in the elementary school of spiritual maturity. They are so far behind on the word needed to graduate to a higher level! Maybe we should be begging the Lord for some make up work. Maybe we need to ask for extra messages that we can mature in our faith that we may pass on to another level of spiritual growth. Every message sent to your pulpit is vital! Friend, determine not to stay in kindergarten your whole life. Be in front of your pulpit that the Lord may perfect that which is lacking in your faith. Amen.
QUIET MY HEART, LORD
Quiet my heart, Lord,
and show me a Christmas
as peaceful and calm as
an old cattle shed...
Slow down my pace, Lord,
and help me seek Jesus,
the Son of Your Love,
in a humble straw bed...
Steady my spirit, Lord,
call me from chaos
in simple surrender
to pray and rejoice...
Breakthrough the busy,
and whisper your message,
"Be still...hear my voice..."
Be still, and know that I am God..."
-- Author Unknown
Could I ask you the most important question of your life? Your destiny, joy or sorrow for all eternity depends on your answer. The question is: Do you know that when you die that you will go to heaven? Are you saved? The term "saved" is used in the Bible to refer to a person receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior and God forgiving them their sins and giving them eternal life.
- The Bible uses the word in Romans 10:9, 13. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. . . . For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
The term "saved" is used more than fifty times in the New Testament to refer to one receiving salvation. It means that one is saved from the condemnation of their sins and because they are saved, meaning their sins are forgiven and they go to heaven when they die.
Being saved is not a question of how good you are, or good deeds you have done, nor if you are a church member or have been baptized, but have you believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior and received forgiveness? Those whom God saves and gives eternal life, are those who have at some point in time realized that before God, they were sinners. Realizing they were guilty of sinning against God they asked Him to forgive and save them. Because they believed and asked for God's forgiveness they are now absolutely sure they are saved. They know, based on God's word, that they are the children of God and will go to heaven when they die?
Would you like to know that when you die you would go to heaven? The Bible is God's word and He in it tells us how
God says in order to go to heaven, to have peace in our lives, we must be "born again." In John 3:7, a very religious, but unsaved Jewish Pharisee named Nicodemus came to the Lord Jesus seeking truth. Nicodemus was a morally good man and very religious, but his faith was in his good works and religious acts. Like so many he was a trusting in his own righteousness and works to get him to heaven. Jesus explained to him that in order to be saved, "Ye must be born again." That meant that Nicodemus needed to be spiritually born and put his faith in Jesus Christ and not his works.
God explains the only way a person can be "born again" is to believe. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) His plan is simple! God says that we are His creation and that He loves us. He says we can be saved today, even this very hour if we believe Him and ask Him to save us?
First, you must realize you are a sinner. God says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Surely we know that we have done wrong things which God says is sin. Therefore, as a sinner we understand that we are separated from God by our sin because He is a totally holy and righteous God. Our sin separates us from God and condemns us to die apart from Him who created us because we do not believe and receive His forgiveness. God says, "For the wages meaning payment of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Sadly, this includes eternal separation from God and punishment in hell.
God has told us that "... it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Revelations 20:11-15, explains this that in this judgment all the unsaved will be judged according to their works and cast eternally into the Lake of Fire. The reasons is they would not believe God and accept His free offer of forgiveness. That that is not what God wants! The desire of God for our salvation is stated in 1 Timothy 2:4. "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
God loved you so much he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sins and die in your place. John 3:16-18 says,
- "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
- "For he hath made him (Jesus, who knew no sin) to be sin for us ... that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
That means that Christ came to Earth and that He suffered and died for our sins that we might be able to receive full forgiveness of our sins. The only way to be saved and forgiven of our sins is to come to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Because we were sinners and under the penalty of sin, Jesus Christ, came to Earth as a man (John 1:1-2, 14), to shed his blood and die in our place. He paid our sin debt so that we could be pardoned for our sins. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11) "... without shedding of blood is no remission pardon" (Hebrews 9:22).
Because God loved us, even though we sinned against Him, Christ died for us. The Bible says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
God said mine and your sins were laid upon Jesus and he suffered and died in our place. On the Cross He suffered, died, became our substitute, and because of His death for us we can absolutely believe and trust Him to save us because God cannot lie.
The Bible tells us, "God ... now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30).
This repentance means a change of mind, that agrees with God that each of us is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross. In other words, we recognize we have sinned against God, our Creator. We understand the truth that God loved us, and sent His Son the Lord Jesus to die on the Cross and to pay for our sins (Romans 5:8). Thus, knowing that we are a sinner, and thereby separated from God, we in faith we ask God to forgive our sins.
In Acts 16:30,31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: "...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." More than sixty time in the New Testament God tells us to believe in Him.
God is telling us to simply believe on Him as the One who bore our sins, died in our place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. Our Creator loves us and wants to forgive us, to give us a new heart and soul, and a new life in fellowship with Him. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus He gave up His life and died for us. After three days and nights, on that glorious Sunday morning, He arose from the grave victorious over sin and death. Because of His resurrection, we are assured that when one believes on Jesus Christ for their salvation he has everlasting life. The "born again" believer is promised by God that because Christ arose from the grave we too will be resurrected to eternal life with Jesus Christ.
- "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12). This verse tells us that to be saved and become a child of God we must believe on Him.
And if a person believes God promises, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).
Do you understand that the "Whosoever" includes you and I. "Shall be saved" means not "maybe", nor "can", but shall be saved.
Surely, if we are honest we realize that we are a sinner. Shouldn't we would want to receive God's forgiveness, be saved and have the assurance when we die that we will go to heaven? Right now, whoever, or wherever you are, whatever is your past, if you will believe God you can lift your heart to God in prayer and ask Him to save you. Salvation is not a process that happens over time. Salvation comes fully the instant that a person accepts that he or she is a sinner and with a repentant heart asks God to forgiven and save them.
In Luke 18:13, a sinner prayed: "God be merciful to me a sinner." It was a sincere prayer from the man's heart asking God for forgiveness. Anyone who sees themselves as a sinner in repentance can simply pray and ask God to save them. One could pray similar to this:
"Oh, God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for me on the cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank you for your grace and mercy and for forgiving me of my sins. Thank you for everlasting life. Amen." It is not the saying of a prayer that saves us, but the true belief in Jesus Christ in our hearts. Our prayer is our outward expression of what has happened in our hearts. It is our asking in faith in Jesus Christ that saves us. It is the genuine belief in our hearts that God sees and He then promises to forgive us and give us eternal life.
This is clearly stated in Romans 10:9-13, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
God tells us to just believe and take Him at his word and to claim his salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works, or religious ceremonies can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it! You cannot clean up your life or make yourself more acceptable to God. You must simply come to Him as you are, a sinner sincerely asking for forgiveness.
Our loving Creator, Jesus Christ died in your place and offer each of us forgiveness and eternal life. But He also explains that if a person rejects Him and will not believe, he will spend eternity in hell separated from God. Yet, God wants to save you and explains that if you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you will receive forgiveness for all of your sins and eternal life. Further you will have the Holy Spirit in your heart to guide you the rest of your life. You will have a new life and purpose for living.
Note what God says in 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Some may say, "Surely, it cannot be that simple." But God says, Yes, it is this simple! It is what God has said in the Bible. It is God's simple plan. It means that you can this very moment, believe on Jesus and receive him as your Savior today.
Receiving God's forgiveness and salvation is not received by doing some work, like join a church, being baptized, living a good life, doing good deeds, or some religious ritual. God says in Ephesians 2:8-10:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
It is God's grace that saves us when we believe and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. We cannot merit or earn our salvation because we are sinners under the condemnation of sin. Yet, God in His love, offers us His free gift of grace in order that we can be saved.
This is important to understand that the beginning of a new life in Christ with God's peace and assurance can begin now as you turn to the Lord for salvation. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36).
You can be sure you are saved if you with your heart in sincerity ask God to save you. You see salvation is promised to us by God if we ask Him.
To not believe God, and take Him at His word means a person will lose his soul and miss heaven. God cannot save those who will not believe and accept His free gift of Salvation. He will not force Himself on anyone. Please! Let God save you this moment by believing and asking Him to save you.
God's power will save you, keep you saved and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We cannot trust our feelings because feelings and emotions change. God says we are to stand on His promises. They never change. After you are saved, there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth: Pray--you talk to God. Read your Bible--God talks to you. Witness--you talk for God.
You should unite with a Bible believing church without delay and be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, as a public testimony of your salvation. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord ..." (2 Timothy 1:8).
"Whosoever therefore shall confess [testify of] me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32).
If God's plan is not perfectly clear to you, please read this over and over, until you understand it. Where you will spend eternity after you die should be the most important thing in your life. You can settle the question now, if you will believe God and accept His grace and salvation. You may e-mail me with any questions you might have and I will be happy to explain anything you do not understand. Click Here to E-mail me. If you have questions please write.
If you have believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior do you now want to learn how to live your life for the Lord? If you do, Please click this paragraph. I have eight online lessons for New Converts that will help you. God has given the new Christian very specific instructions as to how to live his life and thereby live the best life possible. If you have been saved and never taken a new converts class, these lessons will be helpful to you also. God bless you as your study His word.
You can go tohttp://www.wayoflife.org/directory/usdirectory.html to find a good Bible believing church near you.