Jesus Is My Savior Quotes

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I’m in a band. I don’t go to church every Sunday. I love punk rock music. Sometimes I use swear words a lot. I respect and admire gay men and women. I’m obsessed with horror films. I know what shame feels like. And guess what old man? Jesus is still my Savior.
Hayley Williams
Jesus Christ is not just 'my personal Savior'. He is Lord.
John F. MacArthur Jr.
Sweet Jesus! Sweet, sweet Jesus!” Mom called to the Savior, caught up in the divine intervention that was Hank and me. I narrowed my eyes at her. “Stop cal ing Jesus, Mom. Hank’s gonna think you’re weird,” I snapped. “She is weird,” Dad said. “I’m not weird,” Mom returned.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Redemption (Rock Chick, #3))
I am a strong Christian. Not a perfect one—not close. But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I’ve done on earth. He may hold me back until last and run everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins. “Mr. Kyle, let’s go into the backroom. . . .” Honestly, I don’t know what will really happen on Judgment Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows. I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
There are those among you who, although young, have already suffered a full measure of grief and sorrow. My heart is filled with compassion and love for you. How dear you are to the Church. How beloved you are of your Heavenly Father. Though it may seem that you are alone, angels attend you. Though you may feel that no one can understand the depth of your despair, our Savior, Jesus Christ, understands. He suffered more than we can possibly imagine, and He did it for us; He did it for you. You are not alone.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Your Happily Ever After)
I soon came to know that when we align our will with the Lord's, nothing is impossible. I learned that through the enabling power of the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I could do things beyond my own natural ability.
Lori E. Woodland (An Elect Lady: The Illustrated Life Story Of Emma Smith)
RELAX IN MY PRESENCE, KNOWING THAT nothing can separate you from My Love. The worst-case scenario in your life—that I might stop loving you—is not even in the realm of possibility. So rejoice that you don’t have to perform well enough to earn My Love, or to keep it. This Love is pure gift, flowing out of My own perfect righteousness. It secures your connection to Me—your Savior—for all eternity.
Sarah Young (Jesus Today: Experience Hope Through His Presence)
This Church is true. It will weather every storm that beats against it. It will outlast every critic who rises to mock it. It was established by God our Eternal Father for the blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations. It carries the name of Him who stands as its head, even the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. It is governed and moves by the power of the priesthood. It sends forth to the world another witness of the divinity of the Lord. Be faithful, my friends. Be true. Be loyal to the great things of God which have been revealed in this dispensation.
Gordon B. Hinckley
I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." A bumper sticker read, "God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him." I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, "US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup." Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, "God bless our troops." "God Bless America" became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, "God bless America--$1 burgers." Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes, and sprinkled with golden eagles. This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual, and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage, and fear. But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallies around the drums of war. Liberal Christian took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God. ...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
Many people think of Jesus as our Savior, as the one who will get us into heaven. So the question often is “Have I accepted Jesus as my Savior?” But we never ask the question “Have I accepted Jesus as my teacher?
Dallas Willard (Living in Christ's Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God)
When the Lord entered my world, I experienced that gospel-ignited “expulsive power of a new affection” (to quote the title of Thomas Chalmers’s famous sermon). That new affection was not heterosexuality, but Jesus, my Jesus, my friend and Savior. I was not converted out of homosexuality. I was converted out of unbelief.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
The truth is, no man is my savior, my Jesus, my Buddha, or my mama. He is just a man.
Brandy Engler (The Men on My Couch: True Stories of Sex, Love and Psychotherapy)
Now I know Jesus Christ is more powerful. But having accepted Jesus as my Savior, I now see the chains that held me down. Not only is Jesus more powerful, He is love.
Vicki V. Lucas (Bound: Alpha Mission (Angel Warrior Files Book 1))
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew He moved my soul to seek him, seeking me; It was not I that found, O Savior true; No, I was found of thee.
James Montgomery Boice (The Parables of Jesus)
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas
My phone rings, and I groan in relief. “Oh thank Jesus. Hopefully whoever this is will save me before you break my dick.” Turns out my savior is Beau, and I pick up with my usual, “What’s shaking, Maxwell?
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary. O my adorable and loving Savior, consume my heart with the burning fire with which Yours is aflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your love. Let my heart be united with Yours. Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things. May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions. Amen.
Gertrude the Great
In the midst of the storm, my only anchor is the Saviour.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
I was, for weeks, a poor, broken-hearted mourner, traveling through the darkness and misery of doubts and fears. I finally found that change of heart which comes by “casting all one’s care” upon God, and by having faith in Jesus Christ, as the Redeemer, Friend, and Savior of those who diligently seek Him. After
Frederick Douglass (My Bondage and My Freedom)
I was very timid, and bound as with chains in a man-fearing spirit. When I arose to testify I trembled like a leaf, and began to make excuses - O God, send someone else! Then the Lord in a vision caused me to see the bottomless pit open in all its horror and woe. There was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was surrounded by a great multitude of people who seemed unconscious of their danger, and without a moments warning they would tumble into this awful place. I was above the people on a narrow plank-walk, which wound up toward heaven; and I was exhorting and pleading with the people to come upon the plank and escape that awful place. Several started. There was a beautiful bright light above me, and I was encouraging them to follow that light and they would go straight to heaven. "In all these trials God was preparing me and opening the way for the great battle against the enemy of souls and now the great desire of my heart was to work for Jesus. I longed to win a star for the Savior's crown.
Maria Woodworth-Etter
I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
Chieko N. Okazaki
As pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person. I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. God grant that all of us may walk in the light as God our Father is in the light so that, according to the promises, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son will cleanse us from all sin.
Bruce R. McConkie
If anyone can be trusted, it's the Savior. He's always true, always faithful, loving, kind, right. ... He never left me then, but stayed firm and strong, like a rock. I learned—even though it's tough sometimes—my Father knows best.
Ocieanna Fleiss (Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ROMANS 8 : 28 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. MICAH 7 : 7
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
I would like to acknowledge my Father in heaven, Who is the LORD God Almighty! The Most High God! The Great I Am! All praise, honor, and glory unto Him, And His beloved Son, the LORD Jesus Christ; Who is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Friend! And it is only because of Him, That I am alive and living! Praise His holy name, Forever and ever! Amen
C. Read
In my opinion, we will always be sinners in need of our Savior, Jesus Christ." ~R. Alan Woods [2007]
R. Alan Woods (The Journey Is the Destination: A Book of Quotes With Commentaries)
Though a poison should threaten to kill I know my Savior reigns And when the breezes of death leave a chill I've got Jesus’ blood in my veins
Citizens
Jesus Christ is my savior, not the government.
Joseph P. Sekula
Pray out loud, “Jesus, I confess that You are my Lord and Savior. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. By faith in Your Word, I receive salvation now. Thank You for saving me!
Andrew Wommack (Who Told You That You Were Naked?: A Study of the Conscience)
Take my hand and join me on this journey, please. If you are a Christian and you are struggling with sexual sin, this book is meant to equip and encourage you in your daily walk of faith with Jesus. If you are not yet a Christian, my hope is that I can reach through the pages of this book, take your hand, and put it in the hand of our Savior.             If you call yourself a Christian, but you do not believe that you need to repent of the sin that claims your identity, heart, and perhaps body, my prayer is that this book sounds a serious alarm to you. Your soul is at stake, and I will take the risk of offending you to help. Salvation is a gift, offered to all who have a broken and contrite heart (Ps. 51:17). God promises tenderness to the brokenhearted: “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick,” but judgment for those who defend the right to their sin: “but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment” (Ezek. 34:16). A humble and a broken heart is a gift from God. Pray for a heart that breaks on the rock of Christ. Pray for a tender conscience about sin, even your deepest, most primal sin.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
My purpose in writing this book is simply to offer my witness that being a member missionary can be a source of deep happiness. It need not be hard. You will pull wonderful friends into your life because they will be able to feel your love for them when you invite them to learn more about their Heavenly Father. And every time you take someone figuratively by the hand and introduce him or her to Jesus Christ, you will feel how deeply our Savior loves you and loves the person whose hand is in yours.
Clayton M. Christensen (The Power of Everyday Missionaries)
Just as some of Jesus' first-century followers could not credit the presence of the risen Christ, so our own blindness, habit, and fear form a kind of constant fog that keeps us from seeing, and thereby believing in, the forms that grace takes in our everyday lives. We may think that it would be a great deal easier to believe if the world erupted around us, if some savior came down and offered as evidence the bloody scars in his side, but what the Gospels suggest is that this is not only wishful thinking but willful blindness, for in fact the world is erupting around us, Christ is very often offering us the scars in his side. What we call doubt is often simply dullness of mind and spirit, not the absence of faith at all, but faith latent in the lives we are not quite living, God dormant in the world to which we are not quite giving our best selves.
Christian Wiman (My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer)
Many “spiritual people,” not necessarily those that claim Christianity, share a common sentiment: “Religions, faiths and even Jesus are personal matters, so stay out of my business and I will stay out of yours.”  Christians are not supposed to, nor can they afford to share this sentiment. 
Matt Carter (Bad Christian, Great Savior)
Please Pray With Me, “Lord, I know I’ve sinned and I’m sorry. I’m sorry for every way I’ve ever hurt You or anyone else. God, I repent! I want to change my life! I want to be better for You. Please forgive me. God I can’t do this myself. I failed at this life You gave me the first time I tried. Please help me God. Please help me to do this right. Please give me your Holy Spirit now that I may be alive in You. Give me Your Spirit, Lord, that I can have strength to please You in all things. Create in me a new heart. I devote my life to You now. Please, Jesus, be my Lord and Savior forever. Amen.
Adam Houge (The 7 Most Powerful Prayers That Will Change Your Life Forever)
The Name of Jesus is so sweet, I love its music to repeat; It makes my joys full and complete, The precious Name of Jesus! W. C. MARTIN (1864–1914) PRAY: Let me be always aware of Your unceasing presence beside me, Lord. You are not only my Savior but also by dearest, closest, most trustworthy Friend.
A.J. Russell (God Calling)
Most churches do not grow beyond the spiritual health of their leadership. Many churches have a pastor who is trying to lead people to a Savior he has yet to personally encounter. If spiritual gifting is no proof of authentic faith, then certainly a job title isn't either. You must have a clear sense of calling before you enter ministry. Being a called man is a lonely job, and many times you feel like God has abandoned you in your ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible. And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career. It is not a job you pursue. If you don’t think demons are real, try planting a church! You won’t get very far in advancing God’s kingdom without feeling resistance from the enemy. If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. Once a month I get away for the day, once a quarter I try to get out for two days, and once a year I try to get away for a week. The purpose of these times is rest, relaxation, and solitude with God. A pastor must always be fearless before his critics and fearful before his God. Let us tremble at the thought of neglecting the sheep. Remember that when Christ judges us, he will judge us with a special degree of strictness. The only way you will endure in ministry is if you determine to do so through the prevailing power of the Holy Spirit. The unsexy reality of the pastorate is that it involves hard work—the heavy-lifting, curse-ridden, unyielding employment of your whole person for the sake of the church. Pastoral ministry requires dogged, unyielding determination, and determination can only come from one source—God himself. Passive staff members must be motivated. Erring elders and deacons must be confronted. Divisive church members must be rebuked. Nobody enjoys doing such things (if you do, you should be not be a pastor!), but they are necessary in order to have a healthy church over the long haul. If you allow passivity, laziness, and sin to fester, you will soon despise the church you pastor. From the beginning of sacred Scripture (Gen. 2:17) to the end (Rev. 21:8), the penalty for sin is death. Therefore, if we sin, we should die. But it is Jesus, the sinless one, who dies in our place for our sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to take to himself the penalty of our sin. The Bible is not Christ-centered because it is generally about Jesus. It is Christ-centered because the Bible’s primary purpose, from beginning to end, is to point us toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation and sanctification of sinners. Christ-centered preaching goes much further than merely providing suggestions for how to live; it points us to the very source of life and wisdom and explains how and why we have access to him. Felt needs are set into the context of the gospel, so that the Christian message is not reduced to making us feel better about ourselves. If you do not know how sinful you are, you feel no need of salvation. Sin-exposing preaching helps people come face-to-face with their sin and their great need for a Savior. We can worship in heaven, and we can talk to God in heaven, and we can read our Bibles in heaven, but we can’t share the gospel with our lost friends in heaven. “Would your city weep if your church did not exist?” It was crystal-clear for me. Somehow, through fear or insecurity, I had let my dreams for our church shrink. I had stopped thinking about the limitless things God could do and had been distracted by my own limitations. I prayed right there that God would forgive me of my small-mindedness. I asked God to forgive my lack of faith that God could use a man like me to bring the message of the gospel through our missionary church to our lost city. I begged God to renew my heart and mind with a vision for our city that was more like Christ's.
Darrin Patrick (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission)
Jesus Christ is not a cosmic errand boy. I mean no disrespect or irreverence in so saying, but I do intend to convey the idea that while he loves us deeply and dearly, Christ the Lord is not perched on the edge of heaven, anxiously anticipating our next wish. When we speak of God being good to us, we generally mean that he is kind to us. In the words of the inimitable C. S. Lewis, "What would really satisfy us would be a god who said of anything we happened to like doing, 'What does it matter so long as they are contented?' We want, in fact, not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who as they say, 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves,' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, 'a good time was had by all.'" You know and I know that our Lord is much, much more than that. One writer observed: "When we so emphasize Christ's benefits that he becomes nothing more than what his significance is 'for me' we are in danger. . . . Evangelism that says 'come on, it's good for you'; discipleship that concentrates on the benefits package; sermons that 'use' Jesus as the means to a better life or marriage or job or attitude--these all turn Jesus into an expression of that nice god who always meets my spiritual needs. And this is why I am increasingly hesitant to speak of Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. As Ken Woodward put it in a 1994 essay, 'Now I think we all need to be converted--over and over again, but having a personal Savior has always struck me as, well, elitist, like having a personal tailor. I'm satisfied to have the same Lord and Savior as everyone else.' Jesus is not a personal Savior who only seeks to meet my needs. He is the risen, crucified Lord of all creation who seeks to guide me back into the truth." . . . His infinity does not preclude either his immediacy or his intimacy. One man stated that "I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone." . . . Christ is not "my buddy." There is a natural tendency, and it is a dangerous one, to seek to bring Jesus down to our level in an effort to draw closer to him. This is a problem among people both in and outside the LDS faith. Of course we should seek with all our hearts to draw near to him. Of course we should strive to set aside all barriers that would prevent us from closer fellowship with him. And of course we should pray and labor and serve in an effort to close the gap between what we are and what we should be. But drawing close to the Lord is serious business; we nudge our way into intimacy at the peril of our souls. . . . Another gospel irony is that the way to get close to the Lord is not by attempting in any way to shrink the distance between us, to emphasize more of his humanity than his divinity, or to speak to him or of him in casual, colloquial language. . . . Those who have come to know the Lord best--the prophets or covenant spokesmen--are also those who speak of him in reverent tones, who, like Isaiah, find themselves crying out, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). Coming into the presence of the Almighty is no light thing; we feel to respond soberly to God's command to Moses: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained, "Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns, maintain a reverential barrier between themselves and all the members of the Godhead.
Robert L. Millet
A heart of diligence to my Master A hand of diligence to my Maker A mind of diligence to do what matter My savior Jesus is watching My savior Jesus is seeking For a life that upholds diligence Steps in diligence I must take Deeds in diligence I must do To please my master with works in diligence My savior Jesus is watching My savior Jesus is seeking For a life that will give account in diligence Steadfastness and diligence I must pursue In a world full of deceptions which hinder salvation My heart and my lips must be for my Master My savior Jesus is watching My savior Jesus is seeking For a heart and a tongue that shall please Him to the very end
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
I know without question, my brothers and sisters, that God lives. I testify to you that this is His work. I testify as well that our Savior Jesus Christ is at the head of this Church, which bears His name. I know that the sweetest experience in all this life is to feel His promptings as He directs us in the furtherance of His work.
Thomas S. Monson
I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.
Bruce R. McConkie
When you receive Jesus as your Savior,” Dr. Graham continued, “you are regenerated by the spirit of God. Your life is transformed. You are a new person in Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus doesn’t want part of your life, He wants all of your life. He wants you to repent of your sins and then completely and totally surrender your life to Him and follow Him.
Louis Zamperini (Devil at My Heels)
Latter-day Saints are far from being the only ones who call Jesus the Savior. I have known people from many denominations who say those words with great feeling and deep emotion. After hearing one such passionate declaration from a devoutly Christian friend, I asked, “From what did Jesus save us?” My friend was taken aback by the question, and struggled to answer. He spoke of having a personal relationship with Jesus and being born again. He spoke of his intense love and endless gratitude for the Savior, but he still never gave a clear answer to the question. I contrast that experience with a visit to an LDS Primary where I asked the same question: “If a Savior saves, from what did Jesus save us?” One child answered, “From the bad guys.” Another said, “He saved us from getting really, really, hurt really, really bad.” Still another added, “He opened up the door so we can live again after we die and go back to heaven.” Then one bright future missionary explained, “Well, it’s like this—there are two deaths, see, physical and spiritual, and Jesus, well, he just beat the pants off both of them.” Although their language was far from refined, these children showed a clear understanding of how their Savior has saved them. Jesus did indeed overcome the two deaths that came in consequence of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Because Jesus Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10), we will all overcome physical death by being resurrected and obtaining immortality. Because Jesus overcame spiritual death caused by sin—Adam’s and our own—we all have the opportunity to repent, be cleansed, and live with our Heavenly Father and other loved ones eternally. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). To Latter-day Saints this knowledge is basic and fundamental—a lesson learned in Primary. We are blessed to have such an understanding. I remember a man in Chile who scoffed, “Who needs a Savior?” Apparently he didn’t yet understand the precariousness and limited duration of his present state. President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effects upon all mankind” (“Book of Mormon,” 85). Perhaps the man who asked, “Who needs a Savior?” would ask President Benson, “Who believes in Adam and Eve?” Like many who deny significant historical events, perhaps he thinks Adam and Eve are only part of a folktale. Perhaps he has never heard of them before. Regardless of whether or not this man accepts the Fall, he still faces its effects. If this man has not yet felt the sting of death and sin, he will. Sooner or later someone close to him will die, and he will know the awful emptiness and pain of feeling as if part of his soul is being buried right along with the body of his loved one. On that day, he will hurt in a way he has not yet experienced. He will need a Savior. Similarly, sooner or later, he will feel guilt, remorse, and shame for his sins. He will finally run out of escape routes and have to face himself in the mirror knowing full well that his selfish choices have affected others as well as himself. On that day, he will hurt in a profound and desperate way. He will need a Savior. And Christ will be there to save from both the sting of death and the stain of sin.
Brad Wilcox (The Continuous Atonement)
Look, if you don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, that’s fine. That’s fine. No biggie. Go your way. I’m going my way. I happen to believe it. And there is no doctorate that could ever be given to me that would actually prove otherwise. Because you learn that through faith. You learn that through an individual testimony. I got one. You don’t have one, you should find one. You don’t want one, that’s fine. I don’t really care.
Glenn Beck
Not long ago I was watching the film A Story Worth Living with my sons. The film concludes with everyone enjoying a lovely Colorado evening at twilight. The characters sit in a circle around a fire. The discussion is about wholeness and the soul’s longing for a time of complete restoration and what that might be like. “That nothing is between me and any other person—no misunderstanding” was how one character described this wholeness. Another added, “That everything I have lost will be returned.” Nods of approval and expressions of affirmation filled in the space. Then another spoke: “That nothing is lost and that there are no more good-byes.” This is shalom. This is what we were made for. It is how life is supposed to be for us. This is humanity in its glory, but it waits. It cannot be while we live fallen. And perhaps it cannot fully be realized until the Savior’s return—but we can have so much more right now than we might realize.
Brian Hardin (Sneezing Jesus: How God Redeems Our Humanity)
According to the gospels, Christ healed diseases, cast out devils, rebuked the sea, cured the blind, fed multitudes with five loaves and two fishes, walked on the sea, cursed a fig tree, turned water into wine and raised the dead. How is it possible to substantiate these miracles? The Jews, among whom they were said to have been performed, did not believe them. The diseased, the palsied, the leprous, the blind who were cured, did not become followers of Christ. Those that were raised from the dead were never heard of again. Can we believe that Christ raised the dead? A widow living in Nain is following the body of her son to the tomb. Christ halts the funeral procession and raises the young man from the dead and gives him back to the arms of his mother. This young man disappears. He is never heard of again. No one takes the slightest interest in the man who returned from the realm of death. Luke is the only one who tells the story. Maybe Matthew, Mark and John never heard of it, or did not believe it and so failed to record it. John says that Lazarus was raised from the dead. It was more wonderful than the raising of the widow’s son. He had not been laid in the tomb for days. He was only on his way to the grave, but Lazarus was actually dead. He had begun to decay. Lazarus did not excite the least interest. No one asked him about the other world. No one inquired of him about their dead friends. When he died the second time no one said: “He is not afraid. He has traveled that road twice and knows just where he is going.” We do not believe in the miracles of Mohammed, and yet they are as well attested as this. We have no confidence in the miracles performed by Joseph Smith, and yet the evidence is far greater, far better. If a man should go about now pretending to raise the dead, pretending to cast out devils, we would regard him as insane. What, then, can we say of Christ? If we wish to save his reputation we are compelled to say that he never pretended to raise the dead; that he never claimed to have cast out devils. We must take the ground that these ignorant and impossible things were invented by zealous disciples, who sought to deify their leader. In those ignorant days these falsehoods added to the fame of Christ. But now they put his character in peril and belittle the authors of the gospels. Christianity cannot live in peace with any other form of faith. If that religion be true, there is but one savior, one inspired book, and but one little narrow grass-grown path that leads to heaven. Why did he not again enter the temple and end the old dispute with demonstration? Why did he not confront the Roman soldiers who had taken money to falsely swear that his body had been stolen by his friends? Why did he not make another triumphal entry into Jerusalem? Why did he not say to the multitude: “Here are the wounds in my feet, and in my hands, and in my side. I am the one you endeavored to kill, but death is my slave”? Simply because the resurrection is a myth. The miracle of the resurrection I do not and cannot believe. We know nothing certainly of Jesus Christ. We know nothing of his infancy, nothing of his youth, and we are not sure that such a person ever existed. There was in all probability such a man as Jesus Christ. He may have lived in Jerusalem. He may have been crucified; but that he was the Son of God, or that he was raised from the dead, and ascended bodily to heaven, has never been, and, in the nature of things, can never be, substantiated.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Then the true name for religion,' Fat said, 'is death.' 'The secret name,' I agreed. 'You got it. Jesus died; Asklepios died - they killed Mani worse than they killef jesus, but nobody even cares; nobody even remembers. They killed the Catharist in southern France by the tens of thousands. In the Thirty Years War, hundreds of people died. Protestants and Catholics - manual slaughter. Death is the real name for it; not God, not the Savior, not love - death. Kevin is rights about his cat. It's all there in his dead cat. The Great Judge can't answer Kevin: "Why did my cat die?" Answer: "Damned i I knoe." There is no answer; there is only a dead animal that just wanted to cross the street. We're all animals that want to cross the street only something mows us down half-way across that we never saw. Go ask Kevin. "Your cat was stupid." "Who made the cat? Why did he make the cat stupid? Did the cat learn by being killed, and if so, what did he learn? Did Sherri learn anything from dying of cancer? did gloria learn anything-' 'Okay, enough,' Fat said. 'Kevin is right,' I said. 'Go out and get laid.' 'By who? they're all dead.' I said, 'There's more. Still alive. Lay one of them before she dies or you die or somebody dies, some person or animal. You said it yourself: the universe is irrational because the mind behind it is irrational. You are irrational and you know it. We all are and we know it, on some level. I'd write a book about it but no one would believe a group of human being could be as irrational as we are, as we've acted.
Philip K. Dick
The English word Atonement comes from the ancient Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness in the Garden of Eden, God sent Jesus to make coats of skins to cover them. Coats of skins don’t grow on trees. They had to be made from an animal, which meant an animal had to be killed. Perhaps that was the very first animal sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, Adam and Eve were covered physically. In the same way, through Jesus’ sacrifice we are also covered emotionally and spiritually. When Adam and Eve left the garden, the only things they could take to remind them of Eden were the coats of skins. The one physical thing we take with us out of the temple to remind us of that heavenly place is a similar covering. The garment reminds us of our covenants, protects us, and even promotes modesty. However, it is also a powerful and personal symbol of the Atonement—a continuous reminder both night and day that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are covered. (I am indebted to Guinevere Woolstenhulme, a religion teacher at BYU, for insights about kaphar.) Jesus covers us (see Alma 7) when we feel worthless and inadequate. Christ referred to himself as “Alpha and Omega” (3 Nephi 9:18). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is surely the beginning and the end. Those who study statistics learn that the letter alpha is used to represent the level of significance in a research study. Jesus is also the one who gives value and significance to everything. Robert L. Millet writes, “In a world that offers flimsy and fleeting remedies for mortal despair, Jesus comes to us in our moments of need with a ‘more excellent hope’ (Ether 12:32)” (Grace Works, 62). Jesus covers us when we feel lost and discouraged. Christ referred to Himself as the “light” (3 Nephi 18:16). He doesn’t always clear the path, but He does illuminate it. Along with being the light, He also lightens our loads. “For my yoke is easy,” He said, “and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). He doesn’t always take burdens away from us, but He strengthens us for the task of carrying them and promises they will be for our good. Jesus covers us when we feel abused and hurt. Joseph Smith taught that because Christ met the demands of justice, all injustices will be made right for the faithful in the eternal scheme of things (see Teachings, 296). Marie K. Hafen has said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ was not given us to prevent our pain. The gospel was given us to heal our pain” (“Eve Heard All These Things,” 27). Jesus covers us when we feel defenseless and abandoned. Christ referred to Himself as our “advocate” (D&C 29:5): one who believes in us and stands up to defend us. We read, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler” (Psalm 18:2). A buckler is a shield used to divert blows. Jesus doesn’t always protect us from unpleasant consequences of illness or the choices of others, since they are all part of what we are here on earth to experience. However, He does shield us from fear in those dark times and delivers us from having to face those difficulties alone. … We’ve already learned that the Hebrew word that is translated into English as Atonement means “to cover.” In Arabic or Aramaic, the verb meaning to atone is kafat, which means “to embrace.” Not only can we be covered, helped, and comforted by the Savior, but we can be “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). We can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11). In our day the Savior has said, “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20). (Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Atonement, pp. 47-49, 60).
Brad Wilcox
Q. What is your only comfort in life and death? A. That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, wherefore by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him
Zacharias Ursinus (Heidelberg Catechism)
according to the Apostle, the highest virtue is to praise our Lord in the midst of perils and miseries, ever saying: “Blessed be God; I know that I suffer less than I deserve; these evils are light as compared with my sins; they are nothing to what my guilt demands.”[102]  “This is the spirit of the good Christian; he, bearing his cross, follows the Savior, nothing daunted nor discouraged by his ills. He who gives thanks to God and the Father by the Mediator between God and man refers them to Jesus Christ, since we can only come to the Father through him.” The above is quoted from Jerome.
Francisco De Osuna (Third Spiritual Alphabet (Contemplative Series Book 5))
Oh! happy day, happy day, thrice happy day, when a man comes into this blessed state! I have heard many regret that they have pursued the pleasures of sense and been fascinated with them; but I never yet heard of one who had found the dear delights of faith pall on his taste. It has never fallen to my lot yet to attend a dying bed where I have heard a Christian regret that he put his trust in his Savior; neither have I ever heard at any time of anyone who died believing in Jesus who has had to say, “Had I but served the world with half the zeal I served my God I should have been a happier man.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 63: 1917)
Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank you for rising from the dead. I believe you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I believe you are the only way to heaven, the only way to the Father. And right now, as an act of the will, by faith, I open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins. Thank you for giving me eternal life. Have mercy on me, Lord. Show me your will. Teach me your Word. Guide me by your Holy Spirit. Take the throne of my life, Lord Jesus, and make me the kind of person you want me to be. In your holy and precious Name I pray, amen.
Joel C. Rosenberg (Dead Heat)
I did not mean to be a Christian. I have been very clear about that. My first words upon encountering the presence of Jesus for the first time 12 years ago, were, I swear to God, “I would rather die.” I really would have rather died at that point than to have my wonderful brilliant left-wing non-believer friends know that I had begun to love Jesus. I think they would have been less appalled if I had developed a close personal friendship with Strom Thurmond. At least there is some reason to believe that Strom Thurmond is a real person. You know, more or less. But I never felt like I had much choice with Jesus; he was relentless. I didn’t experience him so much as the hound of heaven, as the old description has it, as the alley cat of heaven, who seemed to believe that if it just keeps showing up , mewling outside your door, you’d eventually open up and give him a bowl of milk. Of course, as soon as you do, you are fucked, and the next thing you know, he’s sleeping on your bed every night, and stepping on your chest at dawn to play a little push-push. I resisted as long as I could, like Sam-I-Am in “Green Eggs and Ham” — I would not, could not in a boat! I could not would not with a goat! I do not want to follow Jesus, I just want expensive cheeses. Or something. Anyway, he wore me out. He won. I was tired and vulnerable and he won. I let him in. This is what I said at the moment of my conversion: I said, “Fuck it. Come in. I quit.” He started sleeping on my bed that night. It was not so bad. It was even pretty nice. He loved me, he didn’t shed or need to have his claws trimmed, and he never needed a flea dip. I mean, what a savior, right? Then, when I was dozing, tiny kitten that I was, he picked me up like a mother cat, by the scruff of my neck, and deposited me in a little church across from the flea market in Marin’s black ghetto. That’s where I was when I came to. And then I came to believe.
Anne Lamott
Does Jesus Care? In a fit of despondency, the psalmist once bemoaned, “No one cares for my soul” (Ps. 142:4). But in the next verse he turned his gloom into a prayer, declaring to God, “You are my refuge.” The word care occurs eighty-two times in the Bible, which frequently reminds us that when “the days are weary, the long nights dreary,” our Savior cares. Frank Graeff wrote “Does Jesus Care?” in 1901, and it was set to music by the noted conductor and composer, Dr. J. Lincoln Hall (born November 4, 1866), who later called it his most inspired piece of music. The form of the hymn is unusual. Each stanza asks questions about God’s care for us in various situations, and the chorus resounds with the bolstering answer: “Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares!” NOVEMBER 4 Does Jesus care when my heart is pained Too deeply for mirth or song, As the burdens press, and the cares distress And the way grows weary and long? Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed To resist some temptation strong; When for my deep grief there is no relief, Though my tears flow all the night long? Does Jesus care when I’ve said “good-bye” To the dearest on earth to me, And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks, Is it aught to Him? Does He see? Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares. . . . casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
Robert J. Morgan (Near To The Heart Of God)
Meditation Take the world, but give me Jesus, Sweetest comfort of my soul; With my Savior watching o’er me, I can sing though billows roll. Take the world, but give me Jesus, Let me view his constant smile; Then throughout my pilgrim journey Light will cheer me all the while. Take the world, but give me Jesus, All its joys are but a name; But his love abideth ever, Through eternal years the same. Take the world, but give me Jesus. In his cross my trust shall be, Till, with clearer, brighter vision, Face to face my Lord I see. Refrain Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love! Oh, the fullness of redemption, Pledge of endless life above! “TAKE THE WORLD, BUT GIVE ME JESUS,” FANNY CROSBY (1879)
John Dunlop (Finishing Well to the Glory of God: Strategies from a Christian Physician)
The kingdom is finally to be identified as the Lord Jesus himself. When we say “Come, Lord Jesus” on this Christmas Day, we are preferring his Lordship to any other loyalty system or any other final frame of reference. If Jesus is Lord, than Caesar is not! If Jesus is Lord, then the economy and stock market are not! If Jesus is Lord, then my house and possessions, family and job are not! If Jesus is Lord, than I am not! That multileveled implication was obvious to first-century members of the Roman Empire because the phrase “Caesar is Lord” was the empire’s loyalty test and political bumper sticker. They, and others, knew they had changed “parties” when they welcomed Jesus as Lord instead of the Roman emperor as their savior.
Richard Rohr (Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent)
What interested these gnostics far more than past events attributed to the “historical Jesus” was the possibility of encountering the risen Christ in the present.49 The Gospel of Mary illustrates the contrast between orthodox and gnostic viewpoints. The account recalls what Mark relates: Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene … She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.50 As the Gospel of Mary opens, the disciples are mourning Jesus’ death and terrified for their own lives. Then Mary Magdalene stands up to encourage them, recalling Christ’s continual presence with them: “Do not weep, and do not grieve, and do not doubt; for his grace will be with you completely, and will protect you.”51 Peter invites Mary to “tell us the words of the Savior which you remember.”52 But to Peter’s surprise, Mary does not tell anecdotes from the past; instead, she explains that she has just seen the Lord in a vision received through the mind, and she goes on to tell what he revealed to her. When Mary finishes, she fell silent, since it was to this point that the Savior had spoken with her. But Andrew answered and said to the brethren, “Say what you will about what she has said. I, at least, do not believe that the Savior has said this. For certainly these teachings are strange ideas!”53 Peter agrees with Andrew, ridiculing the idea that Mary actually saw the Lord in her vision. Then, the story continues, Mary wept and said to Peter, “My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I thought this up myself in my heart? Do you think I am lying about the Savior?” Levi answered and said to Peter, “Peter, you have always been hot-tempered … If the Savior made her worthy, who are you to reject her?”54 Finally Mary, vindicated, joins the other apostles as they go out to preach. Peter, apparently representing the orthodox position, looks to past events, suspicious of those who “see the Lord” in visions: Mary, representing the gnostic, claims to experience his continuing presence.55 These gnostics recognized that their theory, like the orthodox one, bore political implications. It suggests that whoever “sees the Lord” through inner vision can claim that his or her own authority equals, or surpasses, that of the Twelve—and of their successors. Consider the political implications of the Gospel of Mary: Peter and Andrew, here representing the leaders of the orthodox group, accuse Mary—the gnostic—of pretending to have seen the Lord in order to justify the strange ideas, fictions, and lies she invents and attributes to divine inspiration. Mary lacks the proper credentials for leadership, from the orthodox viewpoint: she is not one of the “twelve.” But as Mary stands up to Peter, so the gnostics who take her as their prototype challenge the authority of those priests and bishops who claim to be Peter’s successors.
The Gnostic Gospels
I can't explain the motive of ever Christian, but for me... the answer is obvious. Our Savior was Jewish. His disciples were Jewish. They were born in Israel. They lived in the Promised Land. Jesus preached to 'the lost sheep of Israel.' He died on the cross in Jerusalem. He was raised from the dead in Jerusalem. And the Bible teaches that our Savior is coming back again to reign and rule from Jerusalem. Why shouldn't we love Jews, then? Jesus never taught us to hate anyone. He taught us to love, and he set the supreme example for us to follow. Jesus commanded us to love one another. He commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. You're my neighbor, Jacob, If not you, then who? You're from the same family and people as my Savior. How could I hate you or do you wrong?
Joel C. Rosenberg (The Auschwitz Escape)
Preaching that confronts racism: • Speaks up and speaks out. • Sees American racism as an opportunity for Christians honestly to name our sin and to engage in acts of detoxification, renovation, and reparation. • Is convinced that the deepest, most revolutionary response to the evil of racism is Jesus Christ, the one who demonstrates God for us and enables us to be for God. • Reclaims the church as a place of truth-telling, truth-embodiment, and truth enactment. • Allows the preacher to confess personal complicity in and to model continuing repentance for racism. • Brings the good news that Jesus Christ loves sinners, only sinners. • Enjoys the transformative power of God’s grace. • Listens to and learns from the best sociological, psychological, economic, artistic, and political insights on race in America, especially those generated by African Americans. • Celebrates the work in us and in our culture of a relentlessly salvific, redemptive Savior. • Uses the peculiar speech of scripture in judging and defeating the idea of white supremacy. • Is careful in its usage of color-oriented language and metaphors that may disparage blackness (like “washed my sins white as snow,” or “in him there is no darkness at all”). • Narrates contemporary Christians into the drama of salvation in Jesus Christ and thereby rescues them from the sinful narratives of American white supremacy. • Is not silenced because talk about race makes white Christians uncomfortable. • Refuses despair because of an abiding faith that God is able and that God will get the people and the world that God wants.
William H. Willimon (Who Lynched Willie Earle?: Preaching to Confront Racism)
Judging by its commercial, political, and media success, the evangelical movement seems to be booming. But is it still Christian? I am not asking that question glibly or simply to provoke a reaction. My concern is that we are getting dangerously close to the place in everyday American church life where the Bible is mined for “relevant” quotes but is largely irrelevant on its own terms; God is used as a personal resource rather than known, worshiped, and trusted; Jesus Christ is a coach with a good game plan for our victory rather than a Savior who has already achieved it for us; salvation is more a matter of having our best life now than being saved from God’s judgment by God himself; and the Holy Spirit is an electrical outlet we can plug into for the power we need to be all that we can be.
Michael S. Horton (Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church)
As for the claim that science is a kind of “faith” because it rests on untestable assumptions, depends on authority, and so on, this involves either a deliberate or an unconscious conflation of what “faith” means in religion versus what it means in everyday life. Here are two examples of each usage: “I have faith that because I accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, I will join my late wife in heaven.” “I have faith that when I martyr myself for Allah, I’ll receive seventy-two virgins in paradise.” “I have faith that the day will break tomorrow.” “I have faith that taking this penicillin will cure my urinary tract infection.” Notice the difference. The first two statements exemplify the religious form of “faith,” the one Walter Kaufmann defined as “intense, usually confident, belief that is not based on evidence sufficient to command assent from every reasonable person.” There is no evidence beyond revelation, authority, and sacred books to support the first two statements. They show confidence that isn’t supported by evidence, and most of the world’s believers would reject them.
Jerry A. Coyne (Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible)
Despite the rise of the mental health profession, people are becoming increasingly vulnerable to depression. Why? Martin Seligman, a brilliant psychologist with no religious ax to grind, has a theory that it’s because we have replaced church, faith, and community with a tiny little unit that cannot bear the weight of meaning. That’s the self. We’re all about the self. We revolve our lives around ourselves. Ironically, the more obsessed we are with our selves, the more we neglect our souls. All of our language reflects this. If you’re empty, you need to fulfill yourself. If you’re stressed, learn how to take care of yourself. If you’re on a job interview, you have to believe in yourself. If you’re at the tattoo parlor, you must learn to express yourself. If someone dares to criticize you, you have to love yourself. If you’re not getting your own way, you have to stand up for yourself. What should you do on a date? You ought to be yourself. What if your self is a train wreck? What do you do then? Self is a stand-alone, do-it-yourself unit, while the soul reminds us we were not made for ourselves. The soul always exists before God. So soul is needed for deep art, poetry, and music. Former opera singer Scott Flaherty said it best: “I mean, when you sing you’re giving voice to your soul.” Imagine singing, “Then sings my self, my Savior God to thee,” or “Jesus, lover of my self.” Innately we know that the self is not the soul, even as we do everything we can to preserve it.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
PRAYING IN JESUS’ NAME Deep down, we just don’t believe God is as generous as he keeps saying he is. That’s why Jesus added the fine print—“ask in my name.” Let me explain what that means. Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: “I want to see the king.” Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, “Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus.” At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms. The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. “Asking in Jesus’ name” isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect. Jesus’ seal not only guarantees that my package gets through, but it also transforms the package. Paul says in Romans 8:26, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life)
As Christians, we celebrate many holidays and memorials throughout the year. Some we decide to celebrate by referencing events in the Bible. Others are related to events in our personal lives. Still more are pushed upon by this World. There's nothing necessarily wrong with celebrating events that bring us joy or keep important parts of our lives in focus. As a Christian, it is important for me to follow Christ's words and teachings. I do not obey man's intepretations of God's word. I read it and follow it. Its that simple. I dont need an interpreter. Christ is my intermediary. Ive been blessed to have been given the gift of language and... in the Bible, when you read it in Aramaic, there is only ONE event, one memorial that Jesus asks us to remember and thus honor our Savior. And its not His birthday. We are upon that annual event this weekend. For Jesus "blessed and he broke and he said, “Take eat; this is my body, which is broken for your persons; thus you shall do for my Memorial." [1 Cor 11:24] Holidays can be fun times for families to get together and to celebrate life. This weekend lets not lose focus. For this is the one and ONLY holiday that our Christ commands us to memorialize. Its in his words. Its in the Bible. It was important enough for Him to spell it out. It should be important enough for us to listen. Above all other events in our lives, isn't Christ Jesus's sacrifice truly the most magnificent one? Lets remember our Savior and not allow the World to mislead us into over prioritizing any other day than when -He gave His life for us. Truly His act was a gift to mankind that remains matchless.
José N. Harris
-Eternal Life- I had a dream of a place where everything was at peace. There was no more pain, no hurting or crying, A place where death forever ceased. There was no more hunger or disease Nor, nations rising up against each other. All pride and jealousy were swallowed up in the final battle. The King has returned, so let us all rejoice. We all gathered there to meet As people assembled to pay homage at His feet. Even the creatures on earth and in heaven came to proclaim His eternal, sweet and precious name. There we will reign with Him forevermore, As we crowned Him King of kings and Lord of lords. I am surrounded by thousands and thousands Of angelic hosts singing His praises. Oh, what a sweet sound which will continue throughout the ages. I turned to see our loved ones who had gone on before us We rejoiced with each other as we joined the endless chorus. Our new bodies, how perfect we are designed. Oh, the wisdom and knowledge of God How unsearchable are His ways, There will be joy and peace throughout the eternal days. There in that holy place forever we will be, The earth shall be full of His knowledge and glory As waters that cover the sea. When I woke up from that beautiful dream I gave thanks to Jesus Christ my Savior, Who will forever reign supreme. So, read to me the Word of Life page by page God’s eternal love will never age. I Corinthians 15: 51-55 Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Romans 8: 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Shane Anders
The Son of God dies in splendor and majesty, not in defeat and loss. The crucifixion event covers about six hours. During those six hours, the gospel writers capture a series of seven sayings of Christ from the tree of death—sometimes referred to as the Seven Last Words. The first three statements are horizontal in nature, describing Christ’s conclusion of His dealings with mankind. They are characterized by: Forgiveness: “Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34). Redemption: “He said to [the thief on the cross], ‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise’” (23:43). Compassion: “When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour the disciple took her into his own household” (John 19:26-27). * Even in the middle of His pain and anguish, Jesus took the time to perform the duty of the oldest son in caring for His mother. Having cared for those around Him,* the Savior turned His attention heavenward and to the ultimate task at hand. His final four statements engage His Father in the redemptive act that is occurring on the cross of Calvary. These statements express the spiritual aspects of Christ’s work as He progresses through these stages: Abandonment: “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” (Matthew 27:46). Readiness: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty’” (John 19:28). Fulfillment: “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit” (John 19:30). Release: “Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:46). The charge that was placed above His head read: “this is Jesus the King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37). Everything about His crucifixion spoke of His true majesty, not only as the King of the Jews but also as the King of kings.
Bill Crowder (The Mockery & Majesty of the Cross - Discovery Series)
There comes a time in most of our lives in which we no longer have the strength to lift ourselves out or to pretend ourselves strong. Sometimes our minds want to break because life stomped on us and God didn’t stop it. Like a family who watches their loved one slip and fall onto the rocks on a mountainside vacation when all was supposed to be beautiful and fun; or like a parent whose child was mistreated or shot while at school. Charles and those who lost their loved ones that terrible day had to come to terms with suffering in a house of God while the word was preached and a prankster cackled. Questions fill our lungs. We mentally wheeze. We go numb. When on vacation or at school or at church, that kind of thing is not supposed to happen there. Even the knees of a Jesus-follower will buckle. Charles’ wife, Susannah, said of Charles at that time, “My beloved’s anguish was so deep and violent, that reason seemed to totter in her throne, and we sometimes feared that he would never preach again.”5 Though it cannot be said for all of us or for every person that we have loved, it remains true that, in this cherished case, Charles Spurgeon did preach again. But sorrows of many kinds haunted and hounded him for the rest of his life. His depression came, not only from circumstances, or from questions about whether or not he was consecrated to God, but also from the chemistry of his body. God gave to us a preacher who knew firsthand what it felt like for his reason to totter, not just once, but many times during his life and ministry. And somehow this fellow sufferer named Charles and his dear wife Susannah (who also suffered physically most of her adult life) still made a go of it, insisting to each other and to their generation that the sorrowing have a Savior. On that November morning, in weakness, Charles did what some of us are not yet able to do in our sorrows; he read the Bible. Perhaps it will comfort you to learn that for a while “the very sight of the Bible” made Charles cry.6 Many of us know what this feels like. But this Scripture passage, Philippians 2:9-11, “had such a power of comfort upon [his] distressed spirit.” And being found in human form, he [Jesus] humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:8-9). From this Scripture, Charles set the larger story of his hope before us. The same Heavenly Father who picked up His son out of the muck, misery and mistreatment can do the same for us.
Zack Eswine (Spurgeon's Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression)
28 When I Must Rethink My Expectations My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. PSALM 62:5 WE WIVES TOO OFTEN come into our marriage with great expectations of what our mate is going to be like and who he will become. We see things we want to see, and we don’t always see the things we should. Because our expectations are so high, when our husband doesn’t live up to them we can’t hide our disappointment. It comes out in moodiness, discontent, disrespect, disdain, critical words, and the ever-popular silent treatment. A wife can become the victim of her own misplaced expectations, and her husband pays for it. King David had it right when he told his soul to wait quietly for the Lord and put his expectations in Him. We must do the same. Your husband can only be who he is. You cannot put expectations on him to fulfill you in ways that only God can do. Your husband simply can’t be everything to you—nor is he supposed to be—but God can be. And He wants to be. Has your husband fulfilled every expectation you have had of him? If not, tell God about it and ask Him to fulfill those needs instead. Of course, there are certain expectations you should have of your husband, such as fidelity, love, kindness, financial support, protection, and decency. If he cannot, or won’t, provide those things for you, he is not living up to what God expects of him either. But beyond that, if you are constantly disappointed in your husband, ask God to show you whether you should be looking to your Lord and Savior, instead of your husband, for everything you need. My Prayer to God LORD, show me any expectations I have of my husband that are unfair, and for which I should be looking to You to provide instead. I know he cannot meet my every emotional need—and I should not expect him to—but You can. I look to You for my comfort, fulfillment, and peace. I thank You for all the good things my husband provides for me, and I ask You to keep me from being critical of him for not being perfect. Lord, help me to wait quietly for You to provide what I need, for I put all my expectations in You. For everything I have expected from my husband and have been disappointed because he couldn’t provide, I now look to You. If I have damaged my husband’s self-respect in any way because I have made him feel that I am disappointed in him, I confess that to You as sin. Help me to apologize and make that up to him. Bring restoration, and heal any and all wounds. Where there are certain things I should expect of him as a husband and he has failed to provide, help me to forgive him. I release him into Your hands to become who You made him to be and not what I want him to be. Help me to keep my expectations focused on You so I can live free of expectations I have no right to put on him. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
When I Want a Gentle and Quiet Spirit Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 PETER 3:3-4 IT’S GOOD TO TAKE CARE of yourself and make a consistent effort to always look good for your husband. But while you tend to your health and do what you should to stay attractive to him in what you wear and how you care for your skin and hair, you cannot neglect your inner self, where your lasting and ever-increasing beauty is found. The Bible says that the beauty of a gentle and quite spirit cannot be lost and is always pleasing to God. Having a quiet spirit doesn’t mean you barely talk above a whisper. God has given you a voice, and He intends for you to use it. But it is the quiet and peaceful spirit behind your voice that communicates you are not in an internal uproar. A gentle spirit doesn’t mean you are weak. It means that you aren’t brash, obnoxious, or rude. It means you are godly in nature and have love and respect for the people around you. What is in your heart shows on your face. The attractiveness of inner peace and gentleness in you will always manifest as beauty externally as well. And that is appealing to everyone—especially your husband. Pray that God’s Spirit in you will be the most important part of who you are, and that you will reflect the beauty of the Lord, which is beyond compare. His gentle and quiet Spirit in you will be more attractive to others than anything else. My Prayer to God LORD, I pray You would give me a gentle and quiet spirit, which I know is precious in Your sight. Enable me to have the inner beauty that is incorruptible, which comes from Your Spirit of peace dwelling in me. Only You can fill me with all I need in order to become as You want me to be. Show me how to always be attractive to my husband in the way I dress and look, but more importantly, help me to remember and understand where true and lasting beauty comes from. Enable me to be perceived by him and others as beautiful because of Your beautiful reflection in me. Help me to never be offensive or undesirable to be around. Keep me from allowing anyone to bring out the worst in me. Let the beauty of Your Spirit in me shine through and above all the fleshly parts of me that I am still dealing with and trying to allow You to perfect. Fill my heart with Your love, peace, and joy so that they are what always show on my face. Pour Your Spirit over me and in me so that what is seen on my face is not anger, concern, worry, or sadness, but rather contentment, calm, peace, and happiness. I depend on You to accomplish this in me because I know I cannot achieve this on my own. I worship You, Lord, as the Savior, Restorer, and Beautifier of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
A few years ago, a couple of young men from my church came to our home for dinner. During the course of the dinner, the conversation turned from religion to various world mythologies and we began to play the game of ‘Name That Character.” To play this game, you pick a category such as famous actors, superheroes or historical characters. In turn, each person describes events in a famous character’s life while everyone else tries to guess who the character is. Strategically you try to describe the deeds of a character in such a way that it might fit any number of characters in that category. After three guesses, if no one knows who your character is, then you win. Choosing the category of Bible Characters, we played a couple of fairly easy rounds with the typical figures, then it was my turn. Now, knowing these well meaning young men had very little religious experience or understanding outside of their own religion, I posed a trick question. I said, “Now my character may seem obvious, but please wait until the end of my description to answer.” I took a long breath for dramatic effect, and began, “My character was the son of the King of Heaven and a mortal woman.” Immediately both young men smiled knowingly, but I raised a finger asking them to wait to give their responses. I continued, “While he was just a baby, a jealous rival attempted to kill him and he was forced into hiding for several years. As he grew older, he developed amazing powers. Among these were the ability to turn water into wine and to control the mental health of other people. He became a great leader and inspired an entire religious movement. Eventually he ascended into heaven and sat with his father as a ruler in heaven.” Certain they knew who I was describing, my two guests were eager to give the winning answer. However, I held them off and continued, “Now I know adding these last parts will seem like overkill, but I simply cannot describe this character without mentioning them. This person’s birthday is celebrated on December 25th and he is worshipped in a spring festival. He defied death, journeyed to the underworld to raise his loved ones from the dead and was resurrected. He was granted immortality by his Father, the king of the gods, and was worshipped as a savior god by entire cultures.” The two young men were practically climbing out of their seats, their faces beaming with the kind of smile only supreme confidence can produce. Deciding to end the charade I said, “I think we all know the answer, but to make it fair, on the count of three just yell out the answer. One. Two. Three.” “Jesus Christ” they both exclaimed in unison – was that your answer as well? Both young men sat back completely satisfied with their answer, confident it was the right one…, but I remained silent. Five seconds ticked away without a response, then ten. The confidence of my two young friends clearly began to drain away. It was about this time that my wife began to shake her head and smile to herself. Finally, one of them asked, “It is Jesus Christ, right? It has to be!” Shaking my head, I said, “Actually, I was describing the Greek god Dionysus.
Jedediah McClure (Myths of Christianity: A Five Thousand Year Journey to Find the Son of God)
III. But we must close with a third remark. Christ really underwent yet a third trial. He was not only tried before the ecclesiastical and civil tribunals, but, he was really tried before the great democratical tribunal, that is, the assembly of the people in the street. You will say, "How?" Well, the trial was somewhat singular, but yet it was really a trial. Barabbas—a thief, a felon, a murderer, a traitor, had been captured; he was probably one of a band of murderers who were accustomed to come up to Jerusalem at the time of the feast, carrying daggers under their cloaks to stab persons in the crowd, and rob them, and then he would be gone again; besides that, he had tried to stir up sedition, setting himself up possibly as a leader of banditti. Christ was put into competition with this villain; the two were presented before the popular eye, and to the shame of manhood, to the disgrace of Adam's race, let it be remembered that the perfect, loving, tender, sympathizing, disinterested Savior was met with the word, "Crucify him!" and Barabbas, the thief, was preferred. "Well," says one, "that was atrocious." The same thing is put before you this morning—the very same thing; and every unregenerate man will make the same choice that the Jews did, and only men renewed by grace will act upon the contrary principle. I say, friend, this day I put before you Christ Jesus, or your sins. The reason why many come not to Christ is because they cannot give up their lusts, their pleasures, their profits. Sin is Barabbas; sin is a thief; it will rob your soul of its life; it will rob God of his glory. Sin is a murderer; it stabbed our father Adam; it slew our purity. Sin is a traitor; it rebels against the king of heaven and earth. If you prefer sin to Christ, Christ has stood at your tribunal, and you have given in your verdict that sin is better than Christ. Where is that man? He comes here every Sunday; and yet he is a drunkard? Where is he? You prefer that reeling demon Bacchus to Christ. Where is that man? He comes here. Yes; and where are his midnight haunts? The harlot and the prostitute can tell! You have preferred your own foul, filthy lust to Christ. I know some here that have their consciences open pricked, and yet there is no change in them. You prefer Sunday trading to Christ; you prefer cheating to Christ; you prefer the theater to Christ; you prefer the harlot to Christ; you prefer the devil himself to Christ, for he it is that is the father and author of these things. "No," says one, "I don't, I don't." Then I do again put this question, and I put it very pointedly to you—"If you do not prefer your sins to Christ, how is it that you are not a Christian?" I believe this is the main stumbling-stone, that "Men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil." We come not to Christ because of the viciousness of our nature, and depravity of our heart; and this is the depravity of your heart, that you prefer darkness to light, put bitter for sweet, and choose evil as your good. Well, I think I hear one saying, "Oh! I would be on Jesus Christ's side, but I did not look at it in that light; I thought the question was. "Would he be on my side? I am such a poor guilty sinner that I would fain stand anywhere, if Jesu's blood would wash me." Sinner! sinner! if thou talkest like that, then I will meet thee right joyously. Never was a man one with Christ till Christ was one with him. If you feel that you can now stand with Christ, and say, "Yes, despised and rejected, he is nevertheless my God, my Savior, my king. Will he accept me? Why, soul, he has accepted you; he has renewed you, or else you would not talk so. You speak like a saved man. You may not have the comfort of salvation, but surely there is a work of grace in your heart, God's divine election has fallen upon you, and Christ's precious redemption has been made for you, or else you would not talk so. You cannot be willing to come to Christ, and y
Anonymous
Salvation is a simple yet mysterious truth. The way is clear: a person must agree with God about his sins and turn from them. He must personally invite Jesus into his life as Lord and Savior. My friend Ron Dunn put it best, I think, when he said that salvation happens when “we give all we know about ourselves to all we know about Jesus.” This is a transaction that takes place by faith.
Ron Phillips (Unexplained Mysteries of Heaven and Earth: Surprising Insights About Our World and Beyond)
I do and I will yet praise you, my Savior and my God. My hope is in you, Father—for me and for all of my brokenhearted friends. I pray in Jesus’ compassionate and victorious name. Amen.
Scotty Smith (Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith)
It is an early step in this knowledge of Christ, to know and to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord; to know that Christ is God, divine to me; that Christ is man, brother to me—bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh—that as such he is a sin-subduing Savior; that he is for me an intercessor, pleading before the throne; my prophet, priest, and king—in this sense I trust that most of you know him. If you do not, breathe the silent prayer now, "Lord, help me that I may know him." But this knowledge of recognition is comparatively a low attainment, one of the lowest rounds of the ladder of light. from sermon called " Do You know Him
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Who or what is your God? Is it your career, sex, drugs, alcohol, porn, cars, houses, money, fame or My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? If you could only choose one, which would it be?
Alex Hartley Jr.
Then came my favorite line of all: “you are to give him the name Jesus” (v. 31). Do you realize this was the first proclamation of our Savior’s personal name since the beginning of time? Jesus. The very name at which every knee will one day bow. The very name that every tongue will one day confess. A name that has no parallel in my vocabulary or yours. A name I whispered into the ears of my infant daughters as I rocked them and sang lullabies of His love. A name by which I’ve made every single prayerful petition of my life. A name that has meant my absolute salvation, not only from eternal destruction, but from myself. A name with power like no other name. Jesus.
Beth Moore (Jesus, the One and Only)
16 Through the Eyes of a Child Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16-17 When children discover a new treasure, they are not content to simply look at it. They touch, smell, and explore it. With wide-eyed delight they share the treasure with others. Even if the “treasure” is a creepy crawling insect or a wide-eyed toad, it’s beautiful to the one who found it! As adults we sometimes miss the joy of experiencing the treasures that surround us. One of those treasures is our faith. As time passes, we might forget our first love for God or even take our faith for granted. Our lives become busy and complicated, and it becomes easy to get caught up in what we think are more “important” matters. Sometimes we intellectualize the Bible or our relationship with God and completely miss the simplicity and beauty of it. The excitement and joy of new believers is like that of a child who has discovered a treasure. They marvel at it, delight in it, and can’t help but share it with others. Revisit the moment you accepted Christ as your Savior and ask God to restore the excitement of your first love for him. PRECIOUS SAVIOR, I sometimes take my faith for granted. Forgive me for the times I make my faith complicated or cumbersome. I want to embrace the freshness I felt when I first knew you and rejoice in the simplicity of my Father’s love, but there are also new depths that you wish to show me. I ask you to take my faith to the next level, and then help me to share it with others.
Cheri Fuller (The One Year Praying through the Bible (One Year Bible))
If then a man is not found in truth He is not found in the Holy Spirit nor being guided by Him. If he is not guided by the Holy Spirit, then he is not following God. The words of the Spirit are truth and for our salvation, if anyone does not follow the Holy Spirit nor listen to His word they are not living out the word of God but living a lie. Thus they are not saved, but condemned, seeing that the truth and good doctrine does save us. As it is written, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1Ti 2:3-4 And also, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” Joh 8:31-32 And again, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1Ti 4:16  But regarding condemnation and righteousness, “…For this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” 2Th 2:11-13 God does not save an unbeliever who does not walk in truth. Why would He change His mind about a brother who stopped believing the truth to walk in a lie? Such a brother is no longer a “believer” of the truth, so to speak, but a believer in a lie just like the world. This strong delusion which God will send is meant for those who waver on a fence in the church, not the world. The world has already believed the lie before the delusion has ever been made. And they already reject the truth, hence they are condemned. Therefore those who memorize the word of God and come to a full understanding of how to appropriately apply it are like guardians to their brethren. They can turn a sinner from the error of their ways and so save a soul from death, as we read in James. Thus there is a reward for those who turn the brethren to truth, even as an evangelist leads an unbeliever to Christ.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
My prayer regimen is a small act of surrender, a practical way to deliberately pull my gaze from myself to my Savior—a lesson I learned years earlier on long car rides to news assignments but have now begun to put into daily practice. Eyes cannot look in two different directions. I want mine on Jesus—not on yesterday’s failures or successes, not on today’s agenda, and definitely not on the world’s scorecards.
Jennifer Dukes Lee (Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval - and Seeing Yourself through God's Eyes)
Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I want to repent of my sins and turn and follow You. I believe You died for my sins and rose again victorious over the power of sin and death, and I want to accept You as my personal Savior. Come into my life, Lord Jesus, and help me obey You from this day forward. Amen.
Elizabeth George (A Woman's Guide to Making Right Choices)
Truly, there is no other Lord but you, Jesus. You are the Christ, the promised and present Savior. Through you the Father created the world, through you he granted salvation, through you he’s sustaining all things, and through you he’ll complete his great story of redemption and restoration. It is through you that I live and move and have my being, Jesus (Acts 17:28).
Scotty Smith (Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith)
I remember when I first became a believer in Jesus. I somehow thought it was my duty to change people for the sake of spreading the gospel. I would rejoice when people would find hope in Christ but would feel like a failure when someone would decline the invitation to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. It was a little discouraging. But that’s because my understanding of how God works in my life was off. I say this because I believe many of today’s Christians put too much pressure on themselves to bring people to Jesus. It’s our job to love people, not change them. Only the Holy Spirit has the power and authority to do such a thing. Our calling is to simply share the gospel in love and truth, showing the character of Jesus through our everyday lives. When you let yourself off the hook for being solely responsible for somebody’s soul, you will find a totally new sense of freedom: the freedom to love. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to know all the right things to say. You don’t have to have all the answers. And if your message is totally rejected . . . it’s not on you. It’s between that individual and God. Maybe you’ll get another opportunity to try, but it’s not your job to change him or her. Our job is to simply be available for those who are looking to know more about God, take opportunities to be vocal about our personal relationships with him, and continue to point people back to God with every question they may have. I didn’t understand this in the early years of my faith, and I put way too much pressure on myself when it came to people being transformed. Why? Because we live in a performance-based culture, and yes, even pastors have a tendency to fall captive to its pull. Like me, you probably feel pressured from multiple angles. We’re told by advertising that we need to be attractive, by parents that we need good jobs, by teachers that we need good grades, by friends that we need to give more time. Jesus isn’t like that. He doesn’t make irrational demands and point a finger at us for not living up to the expectation. The only thing Jesus wants from us is our love. And when we learn to offer him that love, we long to obey him and live in the better way he has for us as well. It’s a beautiful thing. As we learned from Jesus in Matthew 25, we can love God simply by loving others. Whether that love produces a change in their lives is up to God. We don’t have to stress about it. Only the Holy Spirit has the power and authority to change someone’s heart. Our calling is to simply share the gospel in love and truth, showing the character of Jesus through our everyday lives. This alone is the calling of a Christian. This alone is a weighty yet fulfilling purpose for all who choose to pick up their crosses daily. If we were to scour the Bible, we’d see there isn’t a single passage that states we are called to change people ourselves. Why? Because it’s not our job, and it was never intended to be. We must take a step back and realize that God’s job is to be God and our job is to lead people toward the door that is hope. Once we’ve done this, we must let go and allow the one who created the world to take care of the rest. If we had the power to change people, the transformative love of God wouldn’t be needed. Don’t waste your time trying to change people. Instead, focus on loving well.
Jarrid Wilson (Love Is Oxygen: How God Can Give You Life and Change Your World)
An Orthodox priest, a friend of mine, telephoned me and told me that a Russian officer had come to him to confess. My friend did not know Russian. However, knowing that I speak Russian, he had given him my address. The next day this man came to see me. He longed for God, but he had never seen a Bible. He had no religious education and never attended religious services (churches in Russia then were very scarce). He loved God without the slightest knowledge of Him. I read to him the Sermon on the Mount and the parables of Jesus. After hearing them, he danced around the room in rapturous joy proclaiming, “What a wonderful beauty! How could I live without knowing this Christ!” It was the first time that I saw someone so joyful in Christ. Then I made a mistake. I read to him the passion and crucifixion of Christ, without having prepared him for this. He had not expected it and, when he heard how Christ was beaten, how He was crucified and that in the end He died, he fell into an armchair and began to weep bitterly. He had believed in a Savior and now his Savior was dead! I looked at him and was ashamed. I had called myself a Christian, a pastor, and a teacher of others, but I had never shared the sufferings of Christ as this Russian officer now shared them. Looking at him, it was like seeing Mary Magdalene weeping at the foot of the cross, faithfully weeping when Jesus was a corpse in the tomb. Then I read to him the story of the resurrection and watched his expression change. He had not known that his Savior arose from the tomb. When he heard this wonderful news, he beat his knees and swore—using very dirty, but very “holy” profanity. This was his crude manner of speech. Again he rejoiced, shouting for joy, “He is alive! He is alive!” He danced around the room once more, overwhelmed with happiness! I said to him, “Let us pray!” He did not know how to pray. He did not know our “holy” phrases. He fell on his knees together with me and his words of prayer were: “Oh God, what a fine chap you are! If I were You and You were me, I would never have forgiven You of Your sins. But You are really a very nice chap! I love You with all of my heart.” I think that all the angels in heaven stopped what they were doing to listen to this sublime prayer from a Russian officer. The man had been won for Christ!
Richard Wurmbrand (Tortured for Christ)
Instead of focusing on other people’s lack of integrity, on their split personalities, we need to focus on how Jesus is reshaping the church to be more like himself. We need to view the body of Christ with grace. Paul delights in the influence of Jesus on people’s lives. It is at the heart of his praying. He doesn’t have a generalized spirit of thanksgiving; he is thankful for “you.” Even with the messed-up Corinthian church, Paul is thankful: “I give thanks to my God always for you” (1 Corinthians 1:4). Then he addresses their permitting of incest, suing one another in court, and getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper! Because he keeps his eye on the present work of Jesus, Paul is not overcome by evil but overcomes evil with good. Goodness infests Paul’s prayer life. He is living out the gospel. Even as God has extended grace to Paul, so Paul extends grace to the Corinthians. He looks at the church through rose-colored glasses, tinted with the blood of his Savior. Obviously, Christians are not better than non-Christians. In fact, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1 that the raw material of believers is worse than that of unbelievers. The Corinthians themselves prove that! Christians aren’t superior, but our Savior is. He makes the difference. He is alive and well in his church.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World)
THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION. — ROMANS 8:1 Come, my soul, think about this. Believing in Jesus, you are actually and effectually cleared from guilt; you are led out of prison. You are no longer in chains as a slave; you are delivered now from the bondage of the law; you are freed from sin and can walk around as a free man—the Savior’s blood has procured your full acquittal. You now have a right to approach your Father’s throne
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
I am thinking of heaven tonight,   Of the mansion prepared there for me,   Where Jesus my Savior now dwells,   And where I am longing to be.
Charles Ebert Orr (How to Live a Holy Life)
I am prone to prefer people who are like me-- in color, culture, heritage and history..the creation of man and woman in the image of God with equal dignity before God..this means that no human being is more or less human that another..for in the process of discussing our diversity in terms of different "races," we are undercutting our unity in the human race..instead of being strictly tied to biology, ethnicity is much more fluid, factoring in social, cultural, lingual, historical, and even religious characteristics..The pages of the Bible and human history are thus filled with an evil affinity for ethnic animosity..God promises to bless these ethnic Israelites, but the purpose of his blessing extends far beyond them..[it is] his desire for all nations to behold his greatness and experience his grace..When Jesus comes to the earth in the New Testament, we are quickly introduced to him as an immigrant..he nevertheless reaches beyond national boundaries at critical moments to love, serve, teach, heal, and save Canaanites and Samaritans, Greeks and Romans..he came as Savior and Lord over all..Though Gentiles were finally accepted into the church, they felt at best like second-class Christians..the Bible doesn't deny the obvious ethnic, cultural, and historical differences that distinguish us from one another..diversifies humanity according to clans and lands as a creative reflection of his grace and glory in distinct groups of people. In highlighting the beauty of such diversity, the gospel thus counters the mistaken cultural illusion that the path to unity is paved by minimizing what makes us unique. Instead, the gospel compels us to celebrate our ethnic distinctions, value our cultural differences, and acknowledge our historical diversity..(In reference to Galations 3:28) some people might misconstrue this verse..to say that our differences don't matter. But they do..It is not my aim here to stereotype migrant workers..It is also not my aim to oversimplify either the plight of immigrants in our country or the predicament of how to provide for them..Consequently, followers of Christ must see immigrants not as problems to be solved but as people to be loved. The gospel compels us in our culture to decry any and all forms of oppression, exploitation, bigotry, or harassment of immigrants..[we] will stand as one redeemed race to give glory to the Father who calls us not sojourners or exiles, but sons and daughters.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Abortion (Counter Culture Booklets))
My salvation came with the realization that if you don’t live for something, you don’t live for much of anything. My something was Jesus, my Lord and Savior, and I no longer wanted to maintain a lifestyle that would disappoint the One who had given His life for me.
Shawn Michaels (Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Reality, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar)
So when you wake up every day, tell the Lord, “Jesus, I believe you are my Savior and Lord. I accept your invitation. I don’t want anything to keep me away from you today.” And every evening before you go to sleep, tell him, “Lord, I’m sorry for the ways I failed you. Give me your grace to do better tomorrow.” It’s that simple. “Jesus, I accept your invitation. I want to be with you both now and forever.
Anonymous
Cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. (Matthew 22:13) How crowded is heaven? How about hell? Theologians have debated this question for centuries. Some have taught that everyone (or almost everyone) will get to heaven. Others have argued that only a few will be saved. Who is right? No one really knows. Whatever the answer is, today’s Gospel reading makes one thing clear: heaven isn’t a matter of who is worthy or unworthy. It’s a matter of who accepts God’s invitation and who rejects it. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus using exaggeration to make his point. He doesn’t really want us to cut off our hands or pluck out our eyes (Matthew 5:29-30). He is doing a similar thing in today’s passage by telling such an extreme story. But there is always a point to these exaggerations: we will all face a final judgment, and it’s risky to remain indifferent or to treat his invitation lightly. Where do you stand? Have you done your own risk-reward analysis? Take some time today to think about it. Whether you believe heaven is for the few or the many, the risk of being kept away from it is too great to ignore.  The good news is that none of us has to take that risk! God didn’t mean for it to be hard for us to accept his invitation to eternal life. He hasn’t set out a daunting obstacle course for us to master before he will admit us to heaven. All he wants us to do is to believe that Jesus has saved us and to try our best to follow him. So when you wake up every day, tell the Lord, “Jesus, I believe you are my Savior and Lord. I accept your invitation. I don’t want anything to keep me away from you today.” And every evening before you go to sleep, tell him, “Lord, I’m sorry for the ways I failed you. Give me your grace to do better tomorrow.” It’s that simple. “Jesus, I accept your invitation. I want to be with you both now and forever.
Anonymous
Sinner’s Prayer Heavenly Father, I come to you in prayer asking forgiveness for my sins. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and was resurrected sitting on the right hand of the Father. Through Jesus, I believe I have eternal life. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! I ask you right now to come into my heart and I give you my life. I accept Jesus as my personal savior. I confess with my mouth that I am born again. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and cleanse me Lord. Make me new in you. I receive your Holy Spirit and can begin a new life now in you Jesus. Help and guide me daily to read your word and to walk with you God. In Jesus’ name Amen.
Janie McGee (Prayers For Black Women)
It’s very easy for the church today to fall into the same bad behavior that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and religious teachers exhibited in Jesus’ day. But we have less excuse for blocking access to the love of the Father, because we’re supposed to be learning from the example of Jesus! Which leads me to ponder what Jesus might think if he came to my church and observed the way we are helping people connect to the love of the Father—or denying them, as the case may be. Would Jesus like my church? Would he attend my church?
Tim Harlow (What Made Jesus Mad?: Rediscover the Blunt, Sarcastic, Passionate Savior of the Bible)
Gracious God, how precious it is to know that you are sovereign and that you protect your people. In the midst of confusion, you provide insight. When facing danger, you are my shield and protector. No evil words or plots to destroy your people can separate me from your love that has been demonstrated in Christ Jesus, my Lord. I do not understand the forces of evil in our world or the suffering your people endure. I acknowledge that many around the world are killed because of their witness to your Son, Jesus Christ. But I trust the truth your are God and there is no other. You know the future, and you see the evil attempts of evil people to accomplish your purposes for your glory and your good. May I stand firmly on what I know and not be distracted or discouraged by what is unclear. In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Amen
Jane Roach (God's Mysterious Ways: Embracing God's Providence in Esther, a Ten-Lesson Bible Study)
You want to know what gets on my nerves? When people say 'you can't be a Christian because you're LGBT+, or you used to be a Muslim/Hindu/atheist/pretty much anything else really'. The reason people say those things is because we believe doing so is sinning, but haven't we all sinned? Aren't we all in the same boat, at the mercy of the storm raging outside? If so, why keep to ourselves in what we think is the safest corner, but the whole boat sinks nonetheless? Every sin, whether it's stealing a cookie from the cookie jar to murdering and robbing an innocent child is sin. Even if you have never done any wrong, except did one thing, isn't your soul still poisoned, still doomed to being a sinner? Why must we separate ourself because we believe we are 'righteous', when in doing so we simply dirty ourselves in sinful dust even more so, yet continue to believe ourselves better then anyone else? If you don't think you are worthy, or can possibly be righteous, well, I'm afraid your not on track. The only reason we are even not-dead-yet is because a perfect soul died after never sinning, Jesus payed the price we so selfishly went into debt for because we wanted temporary satisfaction and worthless paper called money. If we have all been called to be clean, why must we refuse this and say others are dirty, when if that's true we are dirty as well ourselves? We sink the boat we are on to see others drown, yet in the process we drown ourselves. We have been selfish, lazy, prideful, and sinful, every one of is, and yet are so blind we cannot even see the great light that calls us to be clean and perfect. There is no such thing as too far gone, so why do we say others are too far gone yet set the bar lower for ourselves? Are we more perfect, more righteous, more forgiven then people who don't know God as well as we do? Surely not! If we know God, instead of keeping him to ourselves we are quite clearly instructed to give freely in the Bible, and yet we refuse to do so for the sake of our sinful pride. Why do we not reach down, and get our knees dirty to help the poor? What is stopping us from going that extra mile, from giving more then you have, from reaching out with the great news of the savior? We are too prideful, we don't want our silken robes to get muddy in someone else's sin even when they're already disgusting in ours. We tell ourselves we're are too tired to walk the extra mile, yet powerful enough to strike down the needy and ones in poverty. We are too greedy, we would rather keep the Savior to ourselves then give it, even though in giving you get even more. What right do we have to choose who should come with us into heaven? What heavenly authority gave us the power to say 'you sin, you cannot come to heaven', even though we sinners think we can when there is no difference between us? Any one can truly believe, there is no 'special requirement' to be a Christian other then to know God exists (well, duh you didn't need to tell us that) and to know you are a sinner and to try to not sin, even though we all fail miserably at that, and to love God with all your heart and soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as much as God loves them. (No, autocorrect is not a human, I hate it too). There is no human on earth who is perfect, if you believe yourself to be so you are even more wrong then before. If there is anyone reading this, who is suicidal or LGBT+ and have been bullied or just don't know, trust me, there is nothing, NOTHING preventing you from believing except for your own will. I don't know if this is a quote or a rant ;;
Unicornfarts2000
When did we revert back to sticks and shields, Uniform uniforms, stylized agenda reveals, Hiding behind glass with nods to our reflection, Blocking out the light that sparked the deception? Who do we see staring across the isle, A path once for feet now stretched into miles, Removed from our view to a place unseen, Forcing poisonous venom through a flickering screen? Where should we gather outside of the homes, But a place for the masses to manifest from their phones, The hatred and evil broadcasting the waves, Telling you daily, “Elvis lives and Jesus saves”? What could restart a flawed mental state, Built on cause and guilt for an unfulfilled faith In policy, redemption, a nation self aware, Our values compressed and trapped in despair? How can we rise with the odds in their favor, Sedated once more, still waiting for a Savior Willing to spare from thoughts profound? Stand tall, my friends, when the fool comes around.
Ross Caligiuri
Jesus sure seemed to have a good set of enemies, and some of them even wanted to kill Him. Why? He was nowhere near being a hypocrite. He stood solidly for His Father and spoke the truth plainly. Jesus had a big list of enemies, yet His life was well lived for His Father. It is okay to have enemies. Matter of fact, you should have some enemies in your lifetime. Sometimes people say you can judge others by their enemies. If you are living a true and holy Christian life, not everyone is going to like you. That is normal. They treated your Savior the same way. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:26 Churchill’s dictum shows the truth of Jesus’ teaching: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” —Winston Churchill28 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Matthew 5:11 If we’re standing strong for the Lord Jesus Christ and the truths of God’s words, we will have enemies. That is okay. Now, if people don’t like you because you are a jerk or unloving, that is another story. I always tell people to speak the truth in love, and let the chips fall where they may. Make sure you spend more time worrying about being a friend of Jesus than worrying about whether friends and strangers like you down here.
Mark Cahill (Ten Questions from the King)
True, the doctrine of purgatory was not so popular outside Roman circles in the nineteenth century. But “penal substitution,” which had been emphasized partly in order to ward off that idea, then found a new home in the Western piety that focused not on God’s kingdom coming on earth as in heaven, but on my sin, my heavenly (that is, nonworldly) salvation, and of course my Savior.
N.T. Wright (The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion)
He is my Savior. He is my friend. He was born in a manger. And died for my sins. He still lives in heaven above, Looking down on us. He loves us so much, Even if sometimes we’re dumb. And so, we celebrate Christmas every year, Loving God and bringing holiday cheer. But we often get so mixed up in the spirit, We don’t realize what makes Christmas. It’s not about the eggnog, presents, Reindeer, or even elves. It’s about God who sent His One and only Son, Jesus for us. So, whatever you do this year, Remember Christmas is about Jesus, Not Santa Claus and Reindeer. Merry Christmas, Dear!
Rachel Nicole Wagner (Yesterday's Coffee)
EVENING THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION. — ROMANS 8:1 Come, my soul, think about this. Believing in Jesus, you are actually and effectually cleared from guilt; you are led out of prison. You are no longer in chains as a slave; you are delivered now from the bondage of the law; you are freed from sin and can walk around as a free man—the Savior’s blood has procured your full acquittal. You now have a right to approach your Father’s throne. No flames of vengeance are there to scare you now—no fiery sword; justice cannot strike the innocent. Your disabilities are removed. Once you were unable to see your Father’s face; now you can. You could not speak with Him; but now you can approach Him with boldness. Once there was a fear of hell upon you; but now you have no fear of it, for how can there be punishment for the guiltless? He who believes is not condemned and cannot be punished. And more than all, the privileges you might have enjoyed, if you had never sinned, are yours now that you are justified. All the blessings that you would have had if you had kept the law are yours, because Christ has kept it for you. All the love and acceptance that perfect obedience could have obtained belong to you, because Christ was perfectly obedient on your behalf and has imputed all His merits to your account, that you might be exceedingly rich through Him who for your sake became exceedingly poor. How great the debt of love and gratitude you owe to your Savior! A debtor to mercy alone, Of covenant mercy I sing; Nor fear with Your righteousness on, My person and offerings to bring: The terrors of law and of God, With me can have nothing to do; My Savior’s obedience and blood Hide all my transgressions from view.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
I can stand up like this, with P2’s gun pointed at my back knowing it will go off at the touch of a finger if he decides I’ve said too much, and you know what? I’m not in the least worried about it. If I die, I go into that vision of heaven. I go to meet my Savior who has met my needs and loves me more than His own life.
Catherine Gruben Smith (The Parabaloni)
Nimmie, when I realized that I was a sinner, that I could do nothing myself to atone for my sins, I did the only thing one can do—that is necessary to do. I accepted what God has provided for all of mankind—His forgiveness. His forgiveness through the death of His Son, Jesus. He died for our sins so that we need not die for our own. I don’t understand that kind of love either, Nimmie. But I know that it’s real, for I have felt it. When I prayed to God and asked for His forgiveness and took His Son as my Savior, that love filled my whole person. Where I had had misery and fear before, now I have peace and joy.” “And He would do that for me?
Janette Oke (Canadian West Collection (Canadian West #1-6))
YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD, and you are Mine forever. Someday you will see Me as I am—face to Face in Glory. You have been a member of My royal family since the moment you trusted Me as Savior. I am training you in the ways of My kingdom: to be made new
Sarah Young (40 Days With Jesus: Celebrating His Presence)
My introduction to Jesus was as a loving savior whose own suffering rescues me from my sinfulness and therefore enables me to live with him and the Father and the Spirit forever, and all of his friends.
Francis George
Heavenly Father, I understand that sin has damaged my heart. I put my trust in the Savior’s sacrifice and ask You to wash away my sins and make me a new person. Thank You for what Jesus did for me.
Our Daily Bread Ministries (Our Daily Bread - October/November/December 2015)
The prayer of Joseph Pignatelli reminds us that God will never leave us. “My God, I do not know what must come to me today. But I am certain that nothing can happen to me that you have not foreseen, decreed, and ordained from all eternity. That is sufficient for me. I adore your impenetrable and eternal designs, to which I submit with all my heart. I desire, I accept them all, and I unite my sacrifice to that of Jesus Christ, my divine Savior. I ask in his name and through his infinite merits patience in my trials, and perfect and entire submission to all that comes to me by your good pleasure. Amen.
Philippa Alby (The Seven Prayers of Pope Francis)
Examination of Conscience    Come, Lord Jesus!   For the times when I forget that I need a Savior, and arrogantly conceive of myself as sufficient to myself,   For the times when I do not believe Jesus and instead give in to the lie of perceiving God the Father as being indifferent or hostile to my well-being,   For the times when I trust my self-pitying accusations more than the Father’s love,   For the times when I desecrate the presence of Christ by making my own opinions, my own criteria, or my own likes and dislikes the measure for measuring the circumstances of life and other people,   For the times when I have shunned the presence of Christ, whether it be his sacramental presence or his presence through the people he puts in my life,   For the times when I have blasphemed the presence of Christ through using other human beings as things that I can manipulate or use for my own selfish ends,   For the times when I have disregarded the will of Christ through abuse of those things he has given to me for the building up of his kingdom,   For the times when I justify my sinfulness and thus treat God’s mercy with disdain,
Magnificat (2015 Magnificat Advent Companion)
That Jesus Kinda' Love [20w] What people do for the love of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I wouldn't do for my fucking mother.
Beryl Dov
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. PSALM 43:5
Anne Graham Lotz (Fixing My Eyes on Jesus: Daily Moments in His Word)
When I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I found the secret of life!
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
For those who may not yet know Him, my prayer is that the Lord will draw you through this study of His Word and by the truth of the gospel to embrace Christ with your whole heart as Lord and Savior and friend. Regardless of who you are or what circumstances brought you here, may the Spirit of God impress on you the importance of giving your all to Him who freely gave His all for His people.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (The Upper Room: Jesus' Parting Promises for Troubled Hearts)
Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I have sinned against You and other people, and I am sorry for my sins and repent of them. I ask for and receive Your forgiveness today. Jesus, I invite You to be the Lord and Savior of my life, and I believe in my heart You died for the penalty of my sin on the cross and after three days were raised from the dead and are now seated in Heaven. Lord, I ask You to send Your Holy Spirit to fill me to overflowing even now and to melt me, mold me, and shape me into the person You want me to be. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen. If you just prayed that pray and meant it, it is settled. You are now a child of God and are in covenant with Him. This is the absolute most important decision you will ever make, and whether you felt anything or not, you are now “reborn,” as Jesus said in John 3. This is just the start of
Bruce Van Natta (Saved by Angels: To Share How God Talks to Everyday People)
Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I have sinned against You and other people, and I am sorry for my sins and repent of them. I ask for and receive Your forgiveness today. Jesus, I invite You to be the Lord and Savior of my life, and I believe in my heart You died for the penalty of my sin on the cross and after three days were raised from the dead and are now seated in Heaven. Lord, I ask You to send Your Holy Spirit to fill me to overflowing even now and to melt me, mold me, and shape me into the person You want me to be. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen. If you just prayed that pray and meant it, it is settled. You are now a child of God and are in covenant with Him. This is the absolute most important decision you will ever make, and whether you felt anything or not, you are now “reborn,” as Jesus said in John 3. This is just the start of a new and exciting life. To help you along that journey, here is a list of things you should do as soon as possible:          1.   Find a church that teaches the Word of God and get involved.          2.   Fellowship with mature believers who can help you to grow in your newfound faith.          3.   Get water baptized and tell others what you have done.          4.   Start reading the Bible daily and praying to God as you would talk to your best friend, knowing that He loves you.          5.   Make the daily choice to live for God and hon-or Him through your obedience to Him and love for others.
Bruce Van Natta (Saved by Angels: To Share How God Talks to Everyday People)
March 4   CHARITY is being rescued by the LORD   I love you just as the Father loves me. ~ John 15:9   Someone asked an old chief “Why’re you always talking about Jesus?”   The chief didn’t say anything.  Instead, he collected some dry grass and twigs and put them into a circle.   Next he caught a caterpillar, feeding on a nearby clump of weeds.  He placed it inside the circle.  Then, he took a match and set fire to the dry grass and the twigs.  As the fire blazed up, the caterpillar began to search for an escape.   At this point the old chief extended his finger to the caterpillar.  Instantly, it climbed on to it.   He said, “That’s what Jesus did for me.  I was like the caterpillar, without hope.  Then Jesus rescued me.  How can I not talk about my Savior’s love and mercy?” ~ Mark Link, S.J.   How grateful are you for what Jesus did for us?  How do you show it concretely?   It wasn’t the nails that held Jesus on the cross but his love for us. ~ Author unknown
Scott Hahn (Knights to Christ)
He sat beside me, then grabbed the bread in silence and tore it into shreds, almost violently, dropping each piece deliberately onto his rag. The drama caught me off guard, but before I could say anything, he raised his wineskin above his head and poured it out onto the broken pieces of bread. Like water hitting a flat rock, the splatter was unmistakable. My heart, already raw with emotion and hope, was spellbound by the sight and sound. I couldn’t see it at the moment, but his dramatic action was already preparing me for his final and greatest lesson. The apostle soared into prayer: Lord Jesus, only begotten, beloved, and faithful Son of Abba, the living Word of God, anointed of the Holy Spirit, Son of Miriam, humble brother of the human race, Lord of all creation. With our whole hearts we honor you and bless your great name, the arche of creation, the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Lamb slain and seated upon the Throne of thrones, Heaven’s Gate, the “I Am,” Savior of the world, Victor over death and darkness. Worthy are you of all honor and glory and life, in this age and in all ages to come. We rest in you. Bless you for finding us in the great darkness, for receiving me and my young son and the whole world into your life with your Father, for giving us your eyes. Worthy, Lord Jesus, are you of the summation of the ages; blessed be your great Name. Holding
C. Baxter Kruger (Patmos: Three Days, Two Men, One Extraordinary Conversation)
Enslave me or deliberately liberate me as I'm meant to be. Dependent on God is a mindset in ancient, present and future prophecy. Hallucinations of the light coming to an illumination of Truth for death has no place in the life of an immortal. The third eye is a wide open portal. I brush off any of lifes struggles, any of lifes limits. I have no shame, Jesus is my Savior and with redemptive pride, I admit it.
Jose R. Coronado (The Land Flowing With Milk And Honey)
Praise is to express approval in worship to your Lord and Savior. I hope you want to praise the living God and His Son, Jesus Christ, right now: for they are good, and God’s mercy and love endures forever and ever. Do you agree? Say this to yourself until it’s deep down on the inside of you, “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise should continuously be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
Shelena Griffiths, A Real Desire To Praise God Devotional
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. —HABAKKUK 3:17–18
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling Morning and Evening Devotional)
Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: “I want to see the king.” Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, “Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus.” At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms. “ASKING IN JESUS’ NAME” ISN’T ANOTHER THING I HAVE TO GET RIGHT SO MY PRAYERS ARE PERFECT. IT IS ONE MORE GIFT OF GOD BECAUSE MY PRAYERS ARE SO IMPERFECT. The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. “Asking in Jesus’ name” isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect. Jesus’ seal not only guarantees that my package gets through, but it also transforms the package. Paul says in Romans 8:26, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World)
The more friends from other religions I made and the more I studied other religious traditions, the more I felt, often painfully, that my understanding of Jesus the Savior needed revamping and expansion.
Paul F. Knitter (Without Buddha I Could Not be a Christian)
And yet, why do you think Jesus Christ came into this world through a pregnant, unwed teenage girl in a patriarchal shame-and-honor culture? God didn’t have to do it that way. But I think it was his way of saying, “I don’t do things the way the world expects, but in the opposite way altogether. My power is made perfect in weakness. My Savior-Prince will be born not into a cradle in a royal palace but into a feed trough in a stable --not to powerful and famous people but to disgraced peasants. And that is all part of the pattern.
Timothy J. Keller (Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions)
God gives the Scriptures to us so that we would have hope, life, and comfort. So we ask, at last, “Where is the comfort? Where is the forgiveness of my sins? Where is my Savior Jesus?” With these questions, the Gospel shines through. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). When we look for the comfort of the text, then we find the heart of the Scriptures and the purpose of God’s Word: the forgiveness of our sins. The Bible, at last, is a revelation of God’s work of salvation for us. The Scriptures give what we can obtain nowhere else: the life-winning, sin-forgiving death of Jesus brought into our ears and heart as the sure and certain promise of God’s kindness for us.
Bryan Wolfmueller (Has American Christianity Failed?)
Say out loud, “Jesus, I choose You as my Lord and Savior. I believe You died for me and purchased for me a free ticket to heaven. I accept the invitation and thank You for it. I believe You not only died, but rose from the dead to bring me new life
Marybeth Wuenschel (Your Thoughts are Killing You: Take Control of Your Mind and Close the Door to Those Negative, Depressing, Fearful, Worrisome Thoughts Forever)
God forgives sin only because of the death of Christ. God could forgive people in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted as Savior because of His death.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
Consecration to the Father Father, I am sorry for my sins, and I recommit to living as a true Christian, not just in name but in deed. I firmly reject Satan and all his pomps, works, and empty promises. I renounce the way of the world with its selfishness and pride. I reaffirm the truth that you, God, are my Father and that I am your dearly beloved child. I believe in your love for me. I declare that your love is enough. And I commit to loving others as you have so mercifully loved me. I offer this prayer, Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, my Savior. Amen.
Michael E. Gaitley (33 Days to Greater Glory: A Total Consecration to the Father through Jesus Based on the Gospel of John)
Douglass much preferred to employ passages such as John 5:17, when Jesus is condemned to death because he broke the law and labored on the Sabbath: “My father worketh, said the Savior, and I also work.”26
David W. Blight (Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom)
Cast all your troubles and woes aside, and seek God in whatever situation you are in. This is how the Savior lived on earth. He did not recoil from the world--not even the wicked world, not even his enemies. He found God the Father even in what was bad: "Thank God! The Almighty is in the world. Now I know why my Father sent me into the world--it contains treasure!
Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (Everyone Belongs to God: Discovering the Hidden Christ)
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. HABAKKUK 3 : 17 – 18
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Sometimes in my life, I feel like should go but i did like to stay. I did like to speak but I just want to keep quiet. I would like to be with you but please leave me alone. I just called to say hello, but please don't respond. The human life is a script of so many desires. Insatiable as they might be, it takes a person with the right mental attitude to understand the mind of the script writer 'God Almighty' and follow the guide of the director 'The Holy Spirit'. This way, it would be easy to act our part in life's movie as edited by our savior 'Jesus Christ
Aideyan Edward
I SPEAK TO YOU from the depths of eternity. Before the world was formed, I AM! You hear Me in the depths of your being, where I have taken up residence. I am Christ in you, the hope of Glory. I, your Lord and Savior, am alive within you. Learn to tune in to My living Presence by seeking Me in silence.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Come Clean with God It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. —1 TIMOTHY 1:15 NASB     One of the most watched TV series in recent years has been Donald Trump’s The Apprentice. The highlight of the program is when Mr. Trump delights in saying, “You’re fired!” This format has been so well received in America that other networks quickly introduced their versions. While we never want to hear our bosses utter, “You’re fired!” it could happen. But thankfully, we will only hear Jesus say, “You’re hired.” He gives us new life. But in order for us to be hired, we must humble ourselves and come clean with God. The apostle Paul had the same dilemma when he was challenged to deal with God’s grace. Some of these struggles can be found in his writings: • 1 Corinthians 15:9—I am the least of all the apostles. • Ephesians 3:8—I am the least deserving Christian there is. • 1 Timothy 1:15—I am the worst sinner of all. Paul was humbled by his past and wanted to change his direction in life. At one time in my life I had to make a decision. I had to let old things pass away and then turn to eternal values. As I faced decisions about how I lived and what I wanted, I had to ask, How do I come close to God? Examine Paul’s challenge in 1 Timothy 2:1-4: Here are my directions: Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them.   Pray in this way for kings and all others who are in authority over us, or are in places of high responsibility, so that we can live in peace and quietness, spending our time in godly living and thinking much about the Lord. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he longs for all to be saved (TLB). Paul gives us three very valuable challenges and instructions: (1) pray for your needs, (2) pray for others, and (3) pray for thanksgiving. Notice that we are instructed to go from our internal needs first and then move to prayers for others and then thanksgiving to God. We are a very narcissistic
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
CHOOSING THE GOOD LIFE And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23-24 NKJV God offers us abundance through His Son, Jesus. Whether or not we accept God’s abundance is, of course, up to each of us. When we entrust our hearts and our days to the One who created us, we experience abundance through the grace and sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. But, when we turn our thoughts and our energies away from God’s commandments, we inevitably forfeit the spiritual abundance that might otherwise be ours. What is your focus today? Are you focused on God’s Word and His will for your life? Or are you focused on the distractions and temptations of a difficult world. The answer to this question will, to a surprising extent, determine the quality and the direction of your day. If you sincerely seek the spiritual abundance that your Savior offers, then follow Him completely and without reservation. When you do, you will receive the love, the life, and the abundance that He has promised. It would be wrong to have a “poverty complex,” for to think ourselves paupers is to deny either the King’s riches or to deny our being His children. Catherine Marshall A TIMELY TIP Don’t miss out on God’s abundance. Every day is a beautifully wrapped gift from God. Unwrap it; use it; and give thanks to the Giver.
Freeman (Once A Day Everyday ... For A Woman of Grace)
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Only One Thing One thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14 AMP The start of a new year is filled with anticipation of what is ahead—a sense of getting to start over, make a fresh start—and with relief that some things are best left behind. Some make resolutions, only to break them within a few days or hours. Some set goals, both realistic and unrealistic. Many stay up New Year’s Eve in order to welcome in the New Year; others value their sleep more and really couldn’t care less. Luke records a story in his Gospel illustrating our need to resolve to do only one thing. Jesus and His disciples came to Bethany and were invited to stay with Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. When Martha came to Jesus, complaining that her sister Mary wasn’t helping her, Jesus spoke to her in loving concern: “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42 NLT). Maintaining a close relationship with the Savior is the only goal Paul would set. He wasn’t perfect at it, but he singlemindedly pursued it. And he encourages us to do so today. Life is much simpler when we choose to pursue only one thing—the race before us. Don’t look back. Heavenly Father, keep our eyes on the goal, forgetting the successes and failures of this past year.
Various (Daily Wisdom for Women 2015 Devotional Collection - January)
YOU ARE BLESSED I will make them and the area around My hill a blessing: I will send down showers in their season—showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26 HCSB If you sat down and began counting your blessings, how long would it take? A very, very long time! Your blessings include life, freedom, family, friends, talents, and possessions, for starters. But, your greatest blessing—a gift that is yours for the asking—is God’s gift of salvation through Christ Jesus. Today, begin making a list of your blessings. You most certainly will not be able to make a complete list, but take a few moments and jot down as many blessings as you can. Then give thanks to the giver of all good things: God. His love for you is eternal, as are His gifts. And it’s never too soon—or too late—to offer Him thanks. Oh! what a Savior, gracious to all, / Oh! how His blessings round us fall, / Gently to comfort, kindly to cheer, / Sleeping or waking, God is near. Fanny Crosby Count your blessings! Recounts are OK . . . Anonymous A TIMELY TIP If you need a little cheering up, start counting your blessings. In truth, you really have too many blessings to count, but it never hurts to try.
Freeman (Once A Day Everyday ... For A Woman of Grace)
O God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, forgive me for becoming so enthralled with my surroundings that I forget to look up and gaze into Thy face. The radiance of Thy face is all I really need. Amen.
A.W. Tozer (My Daily Pursuit: Devotions for Every Day)
~Z L/ti ~0"I/~ Z t4 k Lt(n. I/ ~ Z L When I awake, I am still with You. -PSALM 139:18 Isn't it great to know that even though we sleep eight to ten hours, when we awake God is still with us? He hasn't dozed off during the early hours of the morning. I know that when I am the closest to Jesus, my prayers come more easily and more often. During dry seasons of life I have to consciously set a time for prayer-and often it's more out of duty than desire. As I abide with my Savior, I don't have to say, "It is time for me to get to my task and pray." No, I pray when there is a need, regardless of the time of day or night. These last few years have brought me to God's throne because I want to go there, not because I have fallen back to the law. If you aren't there yet, just wait. The sufferings of life will cause you to drop to your knees in earnest prayer. Earlier in my Christian walk it was hard to understand the meaning behind I Thessalonians 5:17, where it says, "Pray without ceasing." Now I have experienced that in real, living color. I pray literally without ceasing. I pray when I wake, pray at mealtime, pray throughout the day-and I end my day with a prayer of thanksgiving for getting me through the day. When a friend calls to tell you of a prayer need, you don't say, "I'm sorry, but I don't pray again until I go to bed tonight." Of course you wouldn't say that! In fact, I recommend that you pray with the person who's making the request. That way you are sure to pray for their particulars rather than getting distracted with a busy schedule. No longer is prayer a burden. It's a privilege to be able to pray, not because of the law, but because of the grace of the cross. Embrace this privilege and make it a regular, important part of each day. Be faithful in prayer so you can know of God's faithfulness. PRAYER Father God, what a privilege it is to pray without ceasing. You have given me the
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
February 24 Disappointed For this is contained in Scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.—1 Peter 2:6 (NASB) Life is full of disappointments. I have walked through numerous disappointments. A job was declined. I broke my foot (falling down ONE step). I had to cancel a trip to Montana to see my aunt who passed away shortly afterwards. All of this happened in a span of two months. We all experience things in our lives that disappoint us. As women, we develop expectations in our minds of how a certain situation is supposed to turn out. If you had asked me at the age of twenty-one what I would be doing at age twenty-six, the single life would not have been my answer. I expected to be married to the man of my dreams by now and starting our own family. However, God’s plan and my expectations were different, very different! While there are times that I am disappointed with the way life is going, I know that I will not be disappointed in the end. You see, as believers, our hope and focus is not on life here on earth. Our focus is on Jesus Christ, our precious corner stone. If we believe in him and walk in his light, we will not be disappointed in the end. We have eternal life! Scripture is not saying that it is wrong for us to be disappointed at times. He knows when our heart is breaking because a relationship did not turn out the way we wanted. He knows the drop in our stomach that comes when we learn of a family member’s illness or death. He knows our frustration when things at work just keep going the wrong direction. Trust me, whatever disappointment you are walking through right now, God knows. What Scripture does say is that ultimately we will not be disappointed. When life on earth is over, we will have eternal life with our Savior. Now that is something to celebrate.
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. —HABAKKUK 3:17
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Spiritual Growth Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes! 2 Peter 3:18 MSG Are you continuing to grow in your love and knowledge of the Lord, or are you “satisfied” with the current state of your spiritual health? Your relationship with God is ongoing; it unfolds day by day, and it offers countless opportunities to grow closer to Him … or not. As each new day unfolds, you are confronted with a wide range of decisions: how you will behave, where you will direct your thoughts, with whom you will associate, and what you will choose to worship. These choices, along with many others like them, are yours and yours alone. How you choose determines how your relationship with God will unfold. Hopefully, you’re determined to make yourself a growing Christian. Your Savior deserves no less, and neither, by the way, do you. Growing up in Christ is surely the most difficult, courageous, exhilarating, and eternally important work any of us will ever do. Susan Lenzkes You are either becoming more like Christ every day or you’re becoming less like Him. There is no neutral position in the Lord. Stormie Omartian There is nothing more important than understanding God’s truth and being changed by it, so why are we so casual about accepting the popular theology of the moment without checking it out for ourselves? God has given us a mind so that we can learn and grow. As His people, we have a great responsibility and wonderful privilege of growing in our understanding of Him. Sheila Walsh If all struggles and sufferings were eliminated, the spirit would no more reach maturity than would the child. Elisabeth Elliot Maturity in Christ is about consistent pursuit in spite of the attacks and setbacks. It is about remaining in the arms of God. Abiding and staying, even in my weakness, even in my failure. Angela Thomas Suffering is never for nothing. It is that you and I might be conformed to the image of Christ. Elisabeth Elliot We set our eyes on the finish line, forgetting the past, and straining toward the mark of spiritual maturity and fruitfulness.
Freeman Smith (Fifty Shades of Grace: Devotions Celebrating God's Unlimited Gift)
MARCH 27 YOU WILL WALK IN MY SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE YOU WILL KNOW that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but I will be to you an everlasting light and your glory. Though you may be hard-pressed on every side, you will not be crushed. When you are perplexed, I will not forsake you. If you are struck down, you will not be destroyed. By faith you will know that just as I raised up My Son, Jesus, I will also raise you up with Jesus and will bring you before My throne in heaven. Therefore, do not lose heart. For your light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for you a far more eternal victory. Do not look on the things that you see, but look at those things that are not seen. ISAIAH 60:1, 15–16; 2 CORINTHIANS 4:7–18 Prayer Declaration Because the Spirit of God is at work within me, I am empowered to walk in the excellence of God. When troubling and perplexing circumstances come into my life, I will not lose heart. I will not look at things as they are seen, but I will look at the unseen power of God. I will place my eyes on my Father’s throne in heaven, and as I walk in His excellence, His Spirit will enable me to radiate His glory.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
March 7 Looking at the Inside The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.—1 Samuel 16:7b My husband just had an amazing medical test. The technology, which has only been available for three years, actually shows the inside of your body. The cardiologist described it as doing an autopsy while you are still alive. He has actual pictures of his heart, as well as other organs. The test is able to identify cholesterol, tumors, and other aberrations that might be present. However as great as that is, there is still no test that can read our minds and determine the motives of our hearts. Only God is able to do that. He knows what we are thinking. He knows what we are about to do, as well as what we are about to say before we say it. God still can identify a true believer, a pure heart, and a child of His. There will never be any technology to replace what only God can do. Wouldn’t it be awful if someone knew what you were thinking at times? What if someone were able to identify your motives? If we only looked deeper into our souls before we spoke, and thought more honestly about our motives before doing something, maybe we would reconsider. I am thankful others can’t do that; but I need to be more concerned about what my Jesus already knows about me. I should be more careful of the things I say and do, so I do not disappoint my Savior. Jesus, help me to be more sincere in all I do so that my life glorifies You in all ways.
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
HEART ACTION Make a date with a friend you are missing. Don't worry that a long time has passed since you last spoke. Start with where you are right now and let her know that you miss her and her presence in your life. The spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort, and refinement. ARTHUR GRAY Rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven. -LUKE 10:20 A few days after Roy Rogers passed away at his home in Apple Valley, California, a local Christian television station broadcast a tribute to his life. In one of the segments, Dale Evans, Roy's wife, sang a song entitled, "Say `Yes' for Tomorrow." This song was dedicated to the memory of Roy's early decision to put his trust in Jesus as his Savior. While listening to this song I began to think back over my own life, back to when I invited Jesus, as my Lord, into my heart. At that time I made the most important decision in my life. I truly said "`yes' for tomorrow," in that I settled my eternity by saying "yes" to Jesus. I was a teenager who came from a Jewish background. Even though my decision for
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
Our Father and our God, purge my heart and mind with the truth of Your Word. Find the unfruitful parts and eliminate them from my life. Prune my attitudes and my actions, Lord, until they are healthy and wholly in service to You. Give me the heart of my Savior Jesus Christ, through whom I pray. Amen.
Billy Graham (Unto the Hills: A Daily Devotional)
You literally became everything ugly and vile about my sin. You became sin for me that in you I might be clothed and become the very righteousness of God. You who shared the eternal delight of the Godhead and the adoration and esteem of angels became the despised and rejected one for us—for me. You who are the fountain of pleasures, whose laughter fills heaven, whose joy is our strength, became the man of sorrows for us—for me. And though you didn’t remain a tender shoot, you have retained all tenderness. Lord Jesus, no one is familiar with suffering like you. In taking up your cross, you took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. What a wonderful, merciful, tender Savior you are!
Scotty Smith (Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith)
Out of humility I label not myself or others. All I can say is this; God is my Father. Jesus is my Savior. And the Holy Spirit dwells in me.
Tom Krause
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,2 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
Anonymous (The Story of Jesus (NIV): Experience the Life of Jesus as One Seamless Story)
All too often in my battle with fear and anxiety, I keep looking at my situation and my struggles, thinking things will never change, when my focus should be on my Savior. After all, Jesus didn’t just die on the cross so I wouldn’t have to go to hell, but also to give me an abundant life on this earth (see John 10:10).
Anonymous
To be spared God’s tenth plague, the Israelites have to take specific action—anyone failing to apply blood to his doorframe would meet the fate of the Egyptians. Thus, the Passover also teaches that in order to avail oneself of God’s saving work, you have to appropriate it for yourself—you have to smear the blood on your door, metaphorically, by placing your saving faith in Jesus Christ. “The provision must be applied personally,” Dr. Roy Matheson writes. “It is not enough that the provision was made at Calvary for my sins. I must appropriate and apply this provision by trusting Christ in a personal way.”21 This points to God’s requirement that Christ’s blood, in order to effect our individual salvation, must be appropriated by each of us and applied personally by our faith, trusting in Him and His redemptive shedding of blood. The late Pastor Ray Stedman put it well: “The Passover is a beautiful picture of the cross of Christ. . . . But the Israelites—those who, by a simple act of faith, took the blood of a lamb and sprinkled it on the doorposts and lintels of their houses—were perfectly safe. Then and now, salvation is accomplished by the simple act of faith, a trusting response to God’s loving provision of a Savior who has settled our guilt before God. Then and now, the angel of death passes over those who are covered by the blood of the Lamb.”22
David Limbaugh (The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament)
Furthermore, if you are still in the cave of doubt and sin, plead with God to set you free. You cannot present a better prayer than the prayer of David in the cave: “Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name” (Ps. 142:7). If you are in prison, you cannot get out by yourself. You may grab the bars and try to shake them, but they are unmovable. You cannot break them with your hands. You may meditate, think, invent, and devise, but you cannot get through those bars. However, there is a hand that can cut bars of iron. Oh, prisoner in the iron cage, there is a hand that can open your cage and set you free! You do not have to be a prisoner. You do not have to be confined. You may walk in freedom through Jesus Christ, the Savior. Only trust Him, and believingly pray David’s prayer right now: “Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name” (v. 7). He will set you free!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Spurgeon on Prayer & Spiritual Warfare (6 In 1 Anthology))
Suddenly a ragged man wearing a hairnet and flip-flops walks toward us, holding a stack of pamphlets. Sophie, scared, hides behind her mother’s chair. “My brother,” the vagrant asks me, “have you found the Lord Jesus Christ?” “I didn’t know he was looking for me.” “Is He your personal savior?” “You know,” I say, “I’m still kind of hoping to rescue myself.” “The man shakes his head, dreadlocks like snakes. “None of us are strong enough for that,” he replies, and moves on.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
Imagine America as one house on a suburban lane. Years before he became a Jehovah's Witness, Prince knocked on America's door through his music. He came to the door holding a guitar and an umbrella while concealing a Bible. He flirted his way inside the door and told us he had a dirty mind and was controversial, and then he sat down in the living room on the good couch. And, when America's guard was down, because we thought we were having a conversation about sex, Prince eased out his Bible and said, "Let me also tell you about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Touré (I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon)
Help me to keep my oil That my lamp may not go off in the middle of the toil When all others have light in the night Help me to keep my oil That I may keep vigil with all my might And stay waiting for my King all the night Saints! An hour is coming for His coming! Behold He comes! Behold with a reward! Jesus is coming again! Christ is appearing soon! Help me take enough oil So I may walk through the night to give a good account of all my toil Help me take enough oil So my light shall keep brighten all day and all night And when you come in the night, I may see you and you may see me! The night be long; the hour of Thy coming be unknown! Saints! An hour is coming for His coming! Behold He comes! Behold with a reward! Jesus is coming again! Christ is appearing soon! Make my lamp brighter When the night grows darker So my account of stewardship would smell better To attract a better reward from Thee my Master For I may not know when you shall appear in splendor The night be long; the hour of Thy coming be unknown! Saints! An hour is coming for His coming! Behold He comes! Behold with a reward! Jesus is coming again! Christ is appearing soon! Help me to take extra oil That I may not get lost when the night grows darker And my lamp goes dimmer And when though my lamp grows dimmer Fuel it for me oh my Savior For you alone a hold; for in you alone I trust! Saints! An hour is coming for His coming! Behold He comes! Behold with a reward! Jesus is coming again! Christ is appearing soon!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Help me to keep my oil That my lamp may not go off in the middle of the toil When all others have light in the night Help me to keep my oil That I may keep vigil with all my might And stay waiting for my King all the night Saints! An hour is coming for His coming! Behold He comes! Behold with a reward! Jesus is coming again! Christ is appearing soon! Help me take enough oil So I may walk through the night to give a good account of all my toil Help me take enough oil So my light shall keep brighten all day and all night And when you come in the night, I may see you and you may see me! The night be long; the hour of Thy coming be unknown! Saints! An hour is coming for His coming! Behold He comes! Behold with a reward! Jesus is coming again! Christ is appearing soon! Make my lamp brighter When the night grows darker So my account of stewardship would smell better To attract a better reward from Thee my Master For I may not know when you shall appear in splendor The night be long; the hour of Thy coming be unknown! Saints! An hour is coming for His coming! Behold He comes! Behold with a reward! Jesus is coming again! Christ is appearing soon! Help me to take extra oil That I may not get lost when the night grows darker And my lamp goes dimmer And when though my lamp grows dimmer Fuel it for me oh my Savior For you alone I hold; for in you alone I trust! Saints! An hour is coming for His coming! Behold He comes! Behold with a reward! Jesus is coming again! Christ is appearing soon!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Hearken ye to these words. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the aSavior of the world. bTreasure these things up in your hearts, and let the csolemnities of deternity erest upon your fminds. 35 Be asober. Keep all my commandments. Even so. Amen.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Book of Mormon | Doctrine and Covenants | Pearl of Great Price)
Jesus, there is something seriously wrong with me. My stalker sneaks into my house and has his way with my sleeping body, and the only part I find upsetting is that he left.
Charleigh Rose (Savage Savior (Savage People #3))
If God is with us, there is no need to fear. Why should we worry? Why should we be discouraged? Why should we be confused? The transcendent, most holy, infinite, personal God in Jesus Christ has promised to be with us until the end of the ages. He is with us as God, King, Savior, Physician, Shepherd, and Healer. He meets our every need. We can thus join with the psalmist and say, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall lack nothing.” Think of the blessing that accompanies God’s being present in your home. He is there to help you, bless you, heal you, instruct you, defend you, and protect you. Your home becomes part of the kingdom of God. And what is the kingdom of God? Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
P.G. Mathew (Daily Delight: Meditations from the Scriptures)
There is a myth flourishing in the church today that has caused incalculable harm: once converted, fully converted. In other words, once I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, an irreversible, sinless future beckons. Discipleship will be an untarnished success story; life will be an unbroken upward spiral toward holiness.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
What a joy it is to hear your Saviors voice Speak gently to you saying “I am with you, I am with you” What a relief it is to know that your Savior Still stands by you through the thick and thins With absolute faith I respond, Lord I believe, Lord I believe! Without doubt I say Lord Jesus Christ I believe! Never seen tomorrow, but still marching into it Never seen Heaven, but still hoping for it Never seen Jesus Christ, but still trusting in Him In dreams He speaks to me saying, “I am with you, I am with you” With absolute faith I respond, Lord I believe, Lord I believe! Without doubt I say Lord Jesus Christ I believe! Wanting to see You; waiting to be with You After I have come to my journeys end Guide my to live everyday for and with You Taking each step with you until I get to the end Say to me always, “I am with you” With absolute faith I shall respond, Lord I believe, Lord I believe! Without doubt I shall say Lord Jesus Christ I believe!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Sweet, sweet Jesus,” Mom whispered, staring bright-eyed at Hank shaking hands with Dad. Dad dropped Hank’s hand and backed away. “This is my wife, Trish. The Good Lord overwhelms her on occasion. I find it best to just ignore it,” Dad advised Hank. Hank smiled at Mom. She stared at him a beat and then her eyes rolled back into her head. “The Lord our Savior heard my prayers,” she told the inside of her eyeballs. “Mom!” I cried, sounding uppity. Her eyes rolled back to normal and then she bugged them out at me. “What?” Mom asked, sounding just as uppity as me. “He’s cute.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Redemption (Rock Chick, #3))
We sing back to Job and in doing so, sing to ourselves. We sing not from pride but from mutual relief, for God has introduced an unexpected Deliverer into our hopeless case. We were alone in the dock, the gavel descending to pound out our deserved sentence of death, when the courtroom doors burst open and an unexpected Savior exploded into the room. The watching cosmos fell quiet, and we who were guilty fell on our knees and whispered, “For my pardon this my plea—nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Dick Brogden (Live Dead Joy: 365 Days of Living and Dying with Jesus)
This book is intended to “upset the apple cart” planted squarely in the middle of most mainstream churches today. It is meant to provoke you to reevaluate whether or not you may have been served a spiritual diet of “bad apples.” “Do you experience God more as a good Father or as “the Godfather” who is just waiting to break your kneecaps?” “Being religious is like trying to be a good caterpillar, whereas spiritual rebirth means receiving new life, Christ’s life, and becoming a bold-winged butterfly in and through Him! It’s a takeover, not a makeover! “The problem is that we have a culture of guilt-ridden, weary Christians today who have been taught a faulty formula of forgiveness. They think that forgiveness is doled out to them on an “as needed” basis in accordance with their pleading for a fresh batch of forgiveness. They function out of a “faith” that offers them only partial, conditional forgiveness.” “To remain living under the Old Covenant law is something like eating a menu rather than eating the real meal.” “The Old Covenant law can only administer condemnation. The grace we receive under the New Covenant provides us the opportunity of emancipation.” “Jesus did not come to earth to give us a pattern of good works to follow so that we would live by imitation. He came to purchase us by proxy as our divine substitute and Savior so that we could live through His impartation.” “During the teaching ministry of Jesus here on earth, He was teaching under the Old Covenant. He was amplifying the stringency of the law and man’s hopeless inability to keep it. He had not yet died; therefore, the New Covenant had not yet gone into effect!” “The church in the West has essentially hijacked the Old Covenant sacrificial system and has perverted most of its fundamental tenets. Rather than resting in Christ’s finished work and the once-and-for-all forgiveness He executed when He shed His blood on the cross, Christians have devised their own “system” of forgiveness in an attempt to “manage” their sins. “Newsflash: Worthy is the Lamb, not the sheep!” “Did you know that the Chinese character for “Righteousness” is pictorially composed of two words: A “Lamb” that is written over “Me”. How perfect!” “Idols can be metal or mental, and my anger had become an idol.” “We can devote ourselves to aggrandizing the “altar” of our affliction to such a degree that we end up aborting the true gift of the gauntlet, or we can choose to cooperate with God’s Spirit and “alter” our oyster’s irritant into an iridescent oracle. We can parlay our pain into pearls of wisdom, or we can massage malice and murmuring into a malignant marble. Pearls of our hearts are a manifestation of our mind-set. So, grit or glory, it is our choice to make.” –– – Sherri Stevens, Portals and Pearls
Sherri Stevens
Prayer upon Beginning One’s Work or Study My good God, Father, and Savior, grant me aid by your Holy Spirit to now work fruitfully in my vocation, which is from you, all in order to love you and the people around me rather than for my own gain and glory. Give me wisdom, judgment and prudence, and freedom from my besetting sins. Bring me under the rule of true humility. Let me accept with patience whatever amount of fruitfulness or difficulty in my work that you give me this day. And in all I do, help me to rest always in my Lord Jesus Christ and in his grace alone for my salvation and life. Hear me, merciful Father, by our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
I’ve never much liked the whole setup of Christianity, with its emphasis on being saved, thereby acknowledging a debt that can only be paid by a lifetime of sacrifice and devotion. Must God’s love have strings attached? People who crave salvation should think about how they’re going to feel if it turns out that this God who saved them is, upon closer acquaintance, completely alien. He, possibly she (or, more likely, it), is not now and never has been one of us. Jesus clearly was not one of us, with his crypto-stories about the prodigal who is more beloved by the father than the dutiful son and the sliding pay scale for field hands, with his magic powers that run the gamut from improving the wedding beverage to blasting trees to raising the dead. These days we have born-agains everywhere, even in the White House, carping about how clear and meaningful everything is now that they’ve seen the light and accepted Christ as their Savior. There they were, just sinning along aimlessly, drinking and fornicating down that slippery slope lined with good intentions and ending you know where, when suddenly Jesus reached out and down or across and saved them. And now they feel grateful all the time, every day. It things go wrong, that’s God’s way of testing their faith, and if they are successful and make lots of money, that proves they have been chosen by God. It's supposed to be all about free will, but there’s not much freedom in it. And if God is really so eager to save the desperate from themselves, where was he when my mother was knocking back the Seconal with her lunatic girlfriend from hell.
Valerie Martin (The Confessions of Edward Day)
We live in a world that is lost and in a moment of intense darkness. Have we fallen asleep when our Lord and Savior has asked us to stay awake with Him? Are we sleeping in spiritually and letting momentous events and opportunities pass us by? My dear friends, let’s wake up and draw close to Jesus.
Darlene Zschech (Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional)
It is very beneficial to praise Jesus through the names used for Him in the Bible. He is: ·· the gate to the sheepfold the sacrificial Lamb slain the Word who cleanses the Word who reveals the Light of the World the Spirit who fills and satisfies the Bread of heaven that nourishes and strengthens me my Intercessor my Advocate before the Father the Veil that was torn the atonement blood on the mercy seat Savior Lord Master
Donna Gaines (Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer (InScribed Collection))
Lord Jesus, You came into the world to seek and to save those who were separated from Your love. It is with a heavy and aching heart that I come to You, the Savior of sinners, imploring You to restore to saving faith my erring child. O Lord, my heart is breaking as I realize that my son (daughter) is following the way of unrepentant sinners, which always leads to condemnation. Save him (her), O Lord, save him (her). You have, in Your vast mercy performed many wonders, and I pray that You would lead back all the erring lambs who have wandered away from Your fold. O Lord, if by any fault or neglect of my own I have caused him (her) to have strayed from You, I beg of Your mercy that You would forgive me. Guide me by Your Holy Word, and show me how to share Your love, mercy, and forgiveness. Draw all of us closer to You in faith. If it be Your will, let this erring child be returned so that our hearts are filled again with Your peace and Your joy. Unite us with You in faith, and abide in our hearts both now and forevermore as our loving, compassionate, and forgiving Savior. In Your holy name I pray. Amen. (132) FOR ONE WHO HAS STRAYED FROM THE FAITH Lord Jesus Christ, You are the friend of sinners, the shepherd who seeks the lost sheep. I come to You, Lord, in humble repentance, as one who was lost and dead in sin. Yet, by Your grace I was baptized into the name of the triune God and made an heir of everlasting life. You have blessed me with the nourishment of Word and Sacrament, where I receive constant forgiveness and the power of the Spirit to renew my life. As You have gifted me, O Lord, so work Your salvation for (name), who at this time seems far away from Your cross and the Word of God. Lord, You know all things; You know how Satan works to deceive, how he would lead even the elect away if he could. He uses our selfish natures to make us believe that it is okay to do things our way, to trust our own judgment, to ignore Your commands. Bring (name) to the judgment of Your Law, so that he (she) may see the condemnation of sin and
J.W. Acker (Lutheran Book of Prayer)
I Am a Church Member I am a church member. I like the metaphor of membership. It’s not membership as in a civic organization or a country club. It’s the kind of membership given to us in 1 Corinthians 12: “Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it” (1 Cor. 12:27). Because I am a member of the body of Christ, I must be a functioning member, whether I am an “eye,” an “ear,” or a “hand.” As a functioning member, I will give. I will serve. I will minister. I will evangelize. I will study. I will seek to be a blessing to others. I will remember that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor. 12:26). I am a church member. I will seek to be a source of unity in the church. I know there are no perfect pastors, staff, or other church members. But neither am I. I will not be a source of gossip or dissension. One of the greatest contributions I can make is to do all I can in God’s power to help keep the church in unity for the sake of the gospel. I am a church member. I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires. That is self-serving. I am in this church to serve others and to serve Christ. My Savior went to a cross for me. I can deal with any inconveniences and matters that are just not my preference or style. I am a church member. I will pray for my pastor every day. His work is never-ending. His days are filled with constant demands for his time—with the need to prepare sermons, with those who are rejoicing in births, with those who are traveling through the valley of the shadow of death, with critics, with the hurts and hopes of others, and with the need to be a husband and a father. My pastor cannot serve our church in his own power. I will pray for God’s strength for him and his family every day. I am a church member. I will lead my family to be good members of this church as well. We will pray together for our church. We will worship together in our church. We will serve together in our church. And we will ask Christ to help us fall deeper in love with this church, because He gave His life for her. I am a church member. This membership is a gift. When I received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, I became a part of the body of Christ. I soon thereafter identified with a local body and was baptized. And now I am humbled and honored to serve and to love others in our church. I pray that I will never take my membership for granted, but see it as a gift and an opportunity to serve others and to be a part of something so much greater than any one person or member. I am a church member. And I thank God that I am.
Thom S. Rainer (I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference)
We need to think long and hard about sanity, a word most of us cling to with a steel grip. Does fear of being regarded by others as insane confine me in a cage of “responsible” behavior that limits my freedom and cripples my ability to love? And is it in fact such a wonderful thing to be regarded as sane? After all, the chief administrator of the Holocaust, Adolph Eichmann, was declared “quite sane” by the psychiatrists who examined him before his trial in Jerusalem. Surely the same psychiatrists would have found Saint Basil, Saint Theodore and Saint Xenia all insane—and Saint Francis, and that most revered of all mad men, the Son of Man, the Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.
Jim Forest (Praying with Icons)
You may wish to pray a simple sinner’s prayer, such as, ‘Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins, which I confess. I ask you to come into my life as my personal Lord and Savior. I pray that you will be with me and guide me in the days ahead’ In Jesus precious and powerful name. Amen.
John Price (THE WARNING A Novel of America in the Last Days (SECOND TERM SERIES))
APRIL 4 SUGGESTED READING: ACTS 5:17–32 … We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29b). You know exactly in what respects you have refused to obey the Lord and persisted in having your own way. When He said, “Drink with Me,” you responded, “No, Lord, I want to have the pattern and imprint of my church. I want to go their way. I want to live as they live and adhere to their decisions in my life.” Instead of having fellowship with Him, you have preferred the fellowship of other Christians. The Lord stands beside you very patiently, but in judgment as you refuse Him and obey others. Do you want to know Paul’s attitude about what other Christians thought of him? He said, “With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment …” (1 Cor. 4:3a). Is this true with you, brother and sister? If the Christian crowd you mingle with judge you, so what? Are they your god, or is the crucified Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? We are called to faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. Any movement or person that contradicts Jesus, God will blast to pieces. PRAYER THOUGHT: Deliver me from obeying other people instead of You.
Oswald Chambers (Devotions for a Deeper Life)
Even after the civil war ended, my country was still a very lawless place. Walking in the dark to early morning prayer meetings and Friday night gatherings added to the danger for me. The nighttime streets were still empty of people and cars. No one left their homes after sunset because of the risk of being attacked. But I was in love with Jesus, and sometimes that love made me do things I wouldn’t otherwise have done. It made me brave. I was sixteen years old and had been studying tae kwon do for a couple of years. I had passed the tests to achieve first my yellow and then my green belts. Johnny’s schools had multiplied all over our country. Even though all the classes operated as mini-churches, hundreds of Muslims came to learn self-defense. Many stayed to meet and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, despite the fact they would be persecuted by their families and suffer beatings. Others would receive death threats.
Samaa Habib (Face to Face with Jesus: A Former Muslim's Extraordinary Journey to Heaven and Encounter with the God of Love)
The Ob opened her eyes with shock. She sat up, pulled her robe to cover herself more, as if she was a modest woman. She was herself again. The woman looked into Jesus’s eyes and she knew everything. She knew that he knew everything about her. She knew he was her savior, and that he had cast out seven demons from her. She began to cry and crawled over to him to kiss his feet. His hands stopped her and pulled her face up to his level. “What is your name, woman?” “Mary,” she said. “Where are you originally from?” “I grew up in Magdala.” “Well, Mary Magdalene,” he said, “I have need for someone of your gratitude in our little community. My disciples seem to think they are entitled to everything.” He smiled. She smiled back at him, and hugged him again.
Brian Godawa (Jesus Triumphant (Chronicles of the Nephilim, #8))
Faith and the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary The Baptism of the Lord – Baptism is the sacrament of faith. Baptism was instituted to destroy the sin in us so that it could never again give birth to death. May I imitate the gesture of self-emptying Jesus manifests at his baptism. May I constantly turn to the Father in my nothingness and in the confident dependence of faith. The Wedding Feast of Cana – In the miracle of the water made wine at Cana, Jesus revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him. May daily problems and the experience of need move me to place my trust in our Savior’s providential care for me. May my struggles deepen my belief in Christ’s compassion. The Preaching of the Kingdom – Faith comes through hearing. The preaching of the Church brings me to belief; the Word of God nourishes my faith. May I grow in my conversion and become a credible witness. May God use me to open the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life. The Transfiguration – The Transfiguration of Jesus aims to strengthen the disciples’ faith in anticipation of the Passion. May I believe in the radiant life of holiness Jesus reveals in his Transfiguration. May I grow in my belief that what I behold in the miracle of the Lord’s Transfiguration is what he desires me to become. The Institution of the Eucharist – At the Last Supper Jesus blesses us with his supreme gift: the Holy Eucharist, sum and summary of our faith. May my way of thinking become more and more attuned to the Eucharist, and may the Eucharist in turn confirm my way of thinking, filling me with confidence. – Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.
Magnificat (Magnificat Year of Faith Companion)
reject Satan’s lie that I will never amount to anything. I have been given gifts by the Holy Spirit and am an important member of the Body of Christ. I renounce the lie that I would be better off dead. I have a life to live doing the will of God that will bring glory to You, my Savior. I renounce the lie that I am not worthy to be loved. I am loved by You, Almighty God, who knows me completely, and I am worthy to be loved by others as well. I renounce the lie that I will always be alone. I am a member of Your family, Father, and have a host of brothers and sisters who will welcome me into community. I confess my failure to love and to like myself, and repudiate the lie of Satan that I once believed. I am accepted in the beloved. You, Lord, see me as Your treasured possession, and it is right that I both like and love myself. I reject the lie that nothing I do is ever good enough. You, Lord, take my efforts, no matter how feeble, and work through me by Your Spirit. I renounce the idea that there is no use trying. I reject self-hatred and self-condemnation along with false guilt. And I affirm that You, Lord Jesus, will enable me to do anything that You call me do. I renounce fear of failure and that sense of hopelessness, which are also Satan’s lies. I believe Your promise, that You give me “hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Lawrence O. Richards (Full Armor of God, The: Defending Your Life From Satan's Schemes)
Saul said, “I have been wrong in my thoughts and deeds. But God in his great mercy has given me light. Light through blindness. I now stand here to proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah, the risen Lord, the Son of God. He is come to save man from his sins. He is the gateway to heaven! Accept him as your Savior, and receive God’s forgiving grace!” After a stunned silence, a clamor of voices filled the air. Had this man just said what they thought they heard? The murderer, Saul of Tarsus, proclaiming Jesus Christ as the Messiah?
Davis Bunn (The Damascus Way (Acts of Faith, #3))
They are not our Jesus. But he can use them to speak truth into our lives and hold us together when we're falling apart. My friends aren't my Savior, but sometimes he uses them to point me to him when I can't find my way.
Melanie Dale (Women are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends)
4 The Lord GOD [the Father] hath given me [Jesus] the tongue of the learned [Father taught Me well], that I should know how to speak a [strengthening] word in season to him [Israel; see 2 Nephi 7:4] that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned [German: the Father is constantly communicating with Me and I hear as His disciple]. 5 The Lord GOD [the Father] hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back [I was obedient and did not turn away from accomplishing the Atonement]. In verses 6–7, next, Isaiah prophesies some details surrounding Christ’s crucifixion. In verse 6, especially, He speaks of the future as if it is past. 6 I gave my back to the smiters [ allowed Himself to be flogged; see Matthew 27:26], and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair [pulled out the whiskers of My beard]: I hid not my face from shame and spitting [see Matthew 26:67]. Here is a quote from Bible scholar Edward J. Young, (not a member of the Church) concerning the plucking of the beard, in verse 6, above: “In addition the servant [ Christ, in Isaiah 50:6] gave his cheeks to those who pluck out the hair. The reference is to those who deliberately give the most heinous and degrading of insults. The Oriental regarded the beard as a sign of freedom and respect, and to pluck out the hair of the beard (for cheek in effect would refer to a beard) is to show utter contempt.” (Book of Isaiah, vol. 3, page 300.) 7 For the Lord GOD [the Father] will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded [I will not be stopped]: therefore have I set my face like a flint [I brace Myself for the task], and I know that I shall not be ashamed [I know I will not fail]. 8 He [the Father] is near that justifieth me [approves of everything I do]; who will [dares to] contend with me? let us [Me and those who would dare contend against Me] stand together [go to court, as in a court of law—go ahead and present your arguments against Me]: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me [ face Me]. 9 Behold, the Lord GOD [the Father] will help me [the Savior]; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they [those who contend against Me] all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up [the wicked will have their day and then fade away and reap the punishment]. Next, in verse 10, the question is asked, in effect, “Who is loyal to the Lord and is not supported by Him?” The answer, as you will see, is no one. 10 Who is among you that feareth [respects] the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? [Answer: No one, because the Lord blesses His true followers with light.] let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon [be supported by] his God. the sparks that ye have kindled [rather than Christ’s gospel light]. This shall ye have of mine hand [German: you will get what you deserve]; ye shall lie down in sorrow [misery awaits those who try to live without God].
David J. Ridges (Your Study of Isaiah Made Easier in the Bible and the Book of Mormon)
Only one answer will give a person the certain privilege, the joy, of entering heaven. “Because I have believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my Savior.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
The True Foundation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church What then is our foundation? Here’s the answer: The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and central pillar of the Advent faith was the declaration, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” (GC, 409). Thus “the foundation” of our “Advent faith” is Daniel 8:14, not Leviticus 26. What about “the platform”? God is leading out a people and establishing them upon the one great platform of faith, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus (3T, 447). These “people” are Seventh-day Adventists, and based on the above quote, that “one great platform of faith” is the message of the third angel. Ultimately, “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11. “Upon this rock,” said Jesus, “I will build My church.” ... That Rock is Himself,—His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail (DA, 413). Thus the primary foundation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself, not a chart.
Steve Wohlberg (Prophecy's Blind Date: 2520)
JANUARY 11 FAITH GROWS BY EXPRESSION You are the light of the world. MATTHEW 5:14 Tom Allan, Scotland’s famous preacher, was brought to Christ while a soldier was singing, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” He said it was neither the song nor the voice, but the spirit in which that soldier sang—something about his manner, something about his sincerity of expression—that convicted Allan of his wicked life and turned him to the Savior. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before [others], that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14, 16). Our faith becomes stronger as we express it; a growing faith is a sharing faith. Pray now for those you know who need Christ, and ask God to help you be a witness to them—by the life you live and the words you speak. JANUARY 12 ALL FOR JESUS We are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. 1 JOHN 5:20 In His Steps, by Charles M. Sheldon, tells of a challenge given by a pastor to his people to pledge for one year not to do anything without first asking the question: “What would Jesus do?” This challenge was kindled when a shabby man, mourning his wife who
Billy Graham (Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith)
Many people think of Jesus as our Savior, as the one who will get us into heaven. So the question often is “Have I accepted Jesus as my Savior?” But we never ask the question “Have I accepted Jesus as my teacher?” And that’s the real question. With the disciples, it began there. They began by accepting him as their teacher, and then accepting him as their Savior—which included, of course, their eternal destiny—was a natural outflow of that. But they started with Jesus as their teacher, because we all have to learn how to live.
Dallas Willard (Living in Christ's Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God)
That’s the message of the gospel: the work of salvation is completed. It is finished. There’s nothing we can add to it, and to add to it would mean taking away from it. God offers the lost world a finished work, a completed salvation. All the sinner has to do is believe on Jesus Christ. The Book of Hebrews explains this completed salvation: “But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:26–28). “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.… But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.…” (Heb. 10:4, 12). The work of salvation is completed. “It is finished!” Our Lord died, was buried, arose from the dead, and returned to glory. There he sat down because the work was finished (Heb. 1:3). In the Old Testament tabernacle, there were no chairs because the priests’ work was never finished. But Jesus Christ sat down in heaven because his work was finished. Since salvation is a finished work, we dare not add anything to it, take anything from it, or substitute anything for it. There is only one way of salvation: personal faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. When my Lord died, he cried, “Tetelestai! It is finished!” It was a familiar word shouted by a faithful Savior about a finished work. It has well been said that Jesus didn’t make the “down payment” on the cross and then expect us to keep up the installments. Salvation isn’t on the installment plan. Jesus paid it all, and that means that redemption is a finished work. Lifted up was He to die, “It is finished” was His cry; Now in heav’n exalted high, Hallelujah, what a Savior! (Philip P. Bliss) Is he your Savior? He can be if you will accept his finished work on the cross, make it personal (“Christ died for my sins”), and ask Jesus to save you. “For whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13).
Warren W. Wiersbe (The Cross of Jesus: What His Words from Calvary Mean for Us)
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. MATTHEW 11:29 (NIV)
Max Lucado (Just Like Jesus Devotional: A Thirty-Day Walk with the Savior)
Psalm 119:57–64 The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words. I have sought Your favor with all my heart. Psalm 119:57–58 How would you fill in this blank: The Lord is my __________. Various characters in the Bible answered that question in different ways: Moses said, “The LORD is my strength and my song. . . . The LORD is my banner” (Exod. 15:2; 17:15). The psalmist said, “The LORD is my refuge” (Ps. 94:22). Isaiah said, “God is my salvation” (Isa. 12:2). Jeremiah wrote, “The LORD is my portion” (Lam. 3:24). The writer of Hebrews said, “The Lord is my helper” (Heb. 13:6). David said, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold ” (Ps. 18:2). And we all say, “The LORD is my shepherd ” (Ps. 23:1). The old-time Christians had a phrase for all this. When we seek Him with all our hearts, Jesus becomes our “all-in-all.” He fills all our lives, meets all our needs, and claims all our affections. Jesus only, Jesus ever, Jesus all in all we sing, Savior, Sanctifier, and Healer, Glorious Lord and coming King. —A. B. Simpson
Robert J. Morgan (All to Jesus: A Year of Devotions)
We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 JOHN 4:13 – 14
Anne Graham Lotz (Fixing My Eyes on Jesus: Daily Moments in His Word)
Two of the most violent criminals in US history were Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Bundy preyed on girls and women; Dahmer on boys and men. Both violent sex addicts gave themselves wholly over to dark compulsions. They murdered dozens of innocent people to gratify out-of-control lust. Law enforcers eventually caught and convicted these men, but only after reigns of terror and death. The state of Florida executed Ted Bundy in 1989 at age 42. A fellow prisoner bludgeoned Dahmer to death in 1994 while he served a life sentence. Dahmer was 34. These two monsters shared another characteristic in common: they both professed Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. They received his forgiveness while in prison. Many of us would exclaim, “No way!” I did. How can such miserable excuses for human beings be let off the hook by a just God? If this is true that means even Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and Pol Pot could have repented and God would have forgiven them. That’s entirely too much grace and mercy in my book! Such unmerited and massive forgiveness feels unfair and impossible to believe, but it’s consistent with biblical accounts of Jesus’s character and teachings. He lives by a different book than we do. Even when put to death unjustly, he still forgives.
Jan David Hettinga (Still Restless: Conversations That Open the Door to Peace)
We spread the Gospel by the proclamation of the Word of God (see Rom. 10:17). But God has told us that we should restrain evil by the power of the sword and by the power of civil government (as in the teaching of Romans 13:1–6, quoted above, p. 37). If the power of government (such as a policeman) is not present in an emergency, when great harm is being done to another person, then my love for the victim should lead me to use physical force to prevent any further harm from occurring. If I found a criminal attacking my wife or children, I would use all my physical strength and all the physical force at my disposal against him, not to persuade him to trust in Christ as his Savior, but to immediately stop him from harming my wife and children! I would follow the command of Nehemiah, who told the men of Israel, “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes” (Neh. 4:14; see also Genesis 14:14–16, where Abraham rescued his kinsman Lot who had been taken captive by a raiding army). Boyd has wrongly taken one of the ways that God restrains evil in this world (changing hearts through the Gospel of Christ) and decided that it is the only way that God restrains evil (thus neglecting the valuable role of civil government). Both means are from God, both are good, and both should be used by Christians. This is why Boyd misunderstands Jesus’ statement, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5:39). When this verse is rightly understood (see below, p. 82), we see that Jesus is telling individuals not to take revenge for a personal insult or a humiliating slap on the cheek.51 But this command for individual kindness is not the same as the instructions that the Bible gives to governments, who are to “bear the sword” and be a “terror” to bad conduct and are to carry out “God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Rom. 13:3–4). The verses must be understood rightly in their own contexts. One is talking about individual conduct and personal revenge. The other is talking about the responsibilities of government. We should not confuse the two passages.
Wayne Grudem (Politics - According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture)
When I die, tell others that I’ve gone to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—that’s where I am.
Billy Graham (Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond)
They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ZECHARIAH 13:9 Prayer Focus 2 DECLARE GOD TO BE LORD OVER YOUR LIFE The moment we receive Jesus as our Savior, we begin a new life.
Stormie Omartian (10 Minutes to Powerful Prayer)
I heard an old, old story How a savior came from glory How He gave his life on Calvary To save someone like me I heard about His groaning, Of his precious blood's atoning Then I repented of my sin And won the victory Oh, victory in Jesus, my savior forever He sought me and He bought me With his redeeming blood He loved me ere I knew him And all my love is due Him He plunged me to victory beneath the Cleansing flood I heard about His healing, Of His cleansing pow'r revealing How He made the lame to walk again And caused the blind to see And then I cried "dear Jesus, Come and heal my broken spirit" And somehow Jesus came and brought To me the victory Oh, victory in Jesus, my savior forever….
Cliff Ball (Times of Trial: an End Times Thriller (The End Times Saga 3))
Jesus’ teaching and witness is obviously relevant to social, economic, and political issues. Indeed, the Jewish leaders and the Romans (the powers that be of the time) found his teaching and actions disturbing enough to arrest him and execute him. A scene from the life of Clarence Jordan drives home the radicalism and relevance of Jesus’ message. In the early 1950s Clarence approached his brother, Robert Jordan, a lawyer and future state senator and justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, to legally represent Koinonia Farm. Clarence, I can't do that. You know my political aspirations. Why if I represented you, I might lose my job, my house, everything I've got. We might lose everything too, Bob. It's different for you. Why is it different? I remember, it seems to me, that you and I joined the church the same Sunday, as boys. I expect when we came forward the preacher asked me about the same question he did you. He asked me, “Do you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” And I said, “Yes.” What did you say? I follow Jesus, Clarence, up to a point. Could that point by any chance be—the cross?
J. Milburn Thompson (Introducing Catholic Social Thought)
When his teaching is more straightforward, it is no less baffling or challenging. Blessed are the meek (Mt 5:5); to look at a woman with lust is to commit adultery (Mt 5:28); forgive wrongs seventy times seven (Mt 18:22); you can't be my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions (Lk 14:33); no divorce (Mk 10:9); love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Mt 5:44). A passage that gives us the keys to the reign, or kingdom, of God is Matthew 25:31–46, the scene of the judgment of the nations: Then the king will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” As Mother Teresa put it, we meet Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor. Jesus’ teaching and witness is obviously relevant to social, economic, and political issues. Indeed, the Jewish leaders and the Romans (the powers that be of the time) found his teaching and actions disturbing enough to arrest him and execute him. A scene from the life of Clarence Jordan drives home the radicalism and relevance of Jesus’ message. In the early 1950s Clarence approached his brother, Robert Jordan, a lawyer and future state senator and justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, to legally represent Koinonia Farm. Clarence, I can't do that. You know my political aspirations. Why if I represented you, I might lose my job, my house, everything I've got. We might lose everything too, Bob. It's different for you. Why is it different? I remember, it seems to me, that you and I joined the church the same Sunday, as boys. I expect when we came forward the preacher asked me about the same question he did you. He asked me, “Do you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” And I said, “Yes.” What did you say? I follow Jesus, Clarence, up to a point. Could that point by any chance be—the cross? That's right. I follow him to the cross, but not on the cross. I'm not getting myself crucified. Then I don't believe you're a disciple. You're an admirer of Jesus, but not a disciple of his. I think you ought to go back to the church you belong to, and tell them you're an admirer not a disciple. Well now, if everyone who felt like I do did that, we wouldn't have a church, would we? The question, Clarence said, is, “Do you have a church?”25 The early Christian community tried to live according to the values of the reign of God that Jesus proclaimed, to be disciples. The Jerusalem community was characterized by unlimited liability and total availability for each other, sharing until everyone's needs were met (Acts 2:43–47; 4:32–37).26 Paul's exhortation to live a new life in Christ in his letter to the Romans, chapters 12 through 15, has remarkable parallels to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapters 5 through 7, and Luke 6:20–49.27 Both Jesus and Paul offer practical steps for conflict resolution and peacemaking. Similarly, the Epistle of James exhorts Christians to “be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (1:22), and warns against class divisions (2:1–13) and the greed and corruption of the wealthy (5:1–6).
J. Milburn Thompson (Introducing Catholic Social Thought)
Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly come close to reaching it? I would be happier if I never knew it. What good is there in telling me to be what I can never be—to be “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), to do more than my duty, or to be completely devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
Self is a stand-alone, do-it-yourself unit, while the soul reminds us we were not made for ourselves. The soul always exists before God. So soul is needed for deep art, poetry, and music. Former opera singer Scott Flaherty said it best: “I mean, when you sing you’re giving voice to your soul.” Imagine singing, “Then sings my self, my Savior God to thee,” or “Jesus, lover of my self.” Innately we know that the self is not the soul, even as we do everything we can
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
Jesus, I recognize that I need your forgiveness, and the life you offer. Thank you for dying for my sins and rising from the dead on my behalf, so that you could give me true life. I receive you by faith as my Savior and Lord. I trust you to forgive my sins, give me a new heart, join yourself to me forever, and come to live within me. Thank you for giving me new life.
David Gregory (If Jesus Loves Me Why Isn't This Working?)
Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, that You died on the cross to rescue me from sin and death and to restore me to the Father. I choose now to turn from my sins, my self-centeredness, and every part of my life that does not please You. I choose You. I give myself to You. I receive Your forgiveness and ask You to take Your rightful place in my life as my Savior and Lord. Come reign in my heart, fill me with Your love and Your life, and help me to become a person who is truly loving—a person like You. Restore me, Jesus. Live in me. Love through me. Thank You, God. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Stasi Eldredge (Defiant Joy: Taking Hold of Hope, Beauty, and Life in a Hurting World)
I am a child of the most High God. Jesus is my Lord and savior. He is my healer and my deliverer. I can do all things through Christ who paid for all my sins on the cross. He died for me so I can live and He took with Him all my sicknesses and diseases as well. So I can declare in faith that I am well and these symptoms are lies. By His Stripes, I am well.
Marybeth Wuenschel (Your Thoughts are Killing You: Take Control of Your Mind and Close the Door to Those Negative, Depressing, Fearful, Worrisome Thoughts Forever)
One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain, One day they nailed Him to die on the tree; Suffering anguish, despised and rejected: Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He! One day the trumpet will sound for His coming, One day the skies with His glories will shine; Wonderful day, my belovèd ones bringing; Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!
Robert J. Morgan (Near To The Heart Of God)
The time may come when many self-professed Christians might stand before Jesus, but will not be awarded the gift of salvation. They will protest, “But I accepted You as my Savior!” And Jesus will answer, “You spoke words of acceptance, but you did not accept me. Many times I came to you and you turned me away. You saw me as a homeless beggar and turned away in revulsion. I was sick with AIDS and you refused to come near me. I was a stranger, from a different country, without proper papers, and you welcomed me not. I came to you as the ‘least of these,’ and you accepted me not.” Jesus closed out his first teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, with a warning that it is not enough to profess acceptance with lip service only (Matt. 7:21-27). True acceptance is demonstrated in action, not just empty words.
Davis D. Danizier (Betrayal of Jesus: 21st Century Challenges for Christians)