Does God love me out of obligation?
Or does God actually enjoy me?
Our relationship with God is founded on one primary truth: He loves us (1 John 4:19). Yet how come believers so often feel that He is displeased with them and only loves them because He is contractually obligated? I know that I’ve definitely felt that way. Is He mostly sad, mad, or disappointed? Or is He mostly happy with us?
“…He delivered me because He delighted in me.” Ps. 18:19 (emphasis added)
God loves unbelievers (John 3:16), yet He likes and enjoys believers (John 15:9). Jesus rejoices over us when we turn to Him in repentance (Lk. 15:4-7). His smile is seen as a believer embarks on the journey towards mature obedience and love. Our repentance elicits a compassionate response in Jesus’ heart (Lk. 15:18-22), even though we still have immature areas that need transformation.
Can you really be free from sin?
The positive role of repentance in overcoming sin in your life
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re a sincere Christian who’s struggling with sin. Or maybe you just want to be sincere. But sin in your life has you feeling stuck and likely ashamed.
The pain you feel from sin can be crippling, keeping you from the life of freedom you want. Without God’s righteousness in your life, the Bible says you are dead in your sin (Rom. 6:23, Eph. 2:1).
This is exactly why God became a man (Jesus) to die in our place and take the punishment for our sins. He is the solution to our otherwise dead lives of sin.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Even after you become a believer, it is likely that you will struggle with sin at some point in your life. This is where repentance comes into play. Repentance is a reckoning with your life, a reset, and a resolve to live your life God’s way. His lifestyle of righteousness according to what the Bible says.
Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
In this day, there seems to be a lot of confusion about whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God. There are core differences between Islam and Christianity which make the answer no, we do not. Let’s look first at a few basic Christian beliefs and determine why.
1) Christians believe in the Trinity, a Triune God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9, emphasis mine)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, emphasis mine)
2) Christians believe that the Uncreated God, Yahweh, revealed Himself in flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus also rightfully claimed to be God. “‘Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8:58)
“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
“But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)
7 tips for leading worship without a band
This post was originally posted here. Re-posted with permission from the author.
If you lead worship in a small group setting or at a church that doesn’t have a band, you have a unique opportunity as a worship leader.You can literally go wherever you feel led at a moment’s notice. You can change tempo, key, song, or arrangement without having to communicate to a team. There’s a ton of freedom that comes with leading solo corporate worship. But there are also some challenges.
Photo Recap: National Day of Prayer 2018
On May 3rd, 2018, hundreds gathered on the 22nd floor of the Florida State Capitol to join together from different influential aspects of society to honor God, humble themselves, and pray for God to intervene in America.
A National Day set aside by Congress with a long history in our nation
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. The following excerpts are from that proclamation:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.”
A list of prayers to strengthen your inner man
A prayer guide for personal times of prayer
In the quest to learn how to increase our prayer life we sometimes don’t know where to begin. It can be discouraging running out of things to pray for. I have definitely experienced this. A prayer list is great, but what exactly do we pray over those that we have on the list?
The best prayers are ones that are from the Word. This is a list of scriptures that will help give you dialogue material to speak with God.
This list is compiled by Mike Bickle. Watch his teaching on this topic.
We can use the acronym F.E.L.L.O.W.S.H.I.P. to guide our times of prayer.
F E L L O W S H I P
FFear of God
- I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. (Jer. 32:40)
- The Lord…you shall hallow; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. (Isa. 8:13)
- Unite my heart (to Your heart and Word) to fear Your name. (Ps. 86:11)
- His delight is in the fear of the LORD… (Isa. 11:3)
- Being strengthened with all power…may have great endurance and patience… (Col. 1:11 NIV)
- May the Lord direct your hearts into…the patience (endurance) of Christ. (2 Thes. 3:5)
- It was written, “Zeal for Thy house will consume me (Jesus).” (Jn. 2:17, NAS)
- Zeal for Your house has eaten me (David) up… I wept and chastened my soul with fasting that became my reproach. I made sackcloth my garment… (Ps. 69:9-11)
- Phinehas…was zealous with My zeal among them… (Num. 25:11)