Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Have I been overwhelmed by His overwhelming victory?

Scripture Read: Romans 8:35-39 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Application: I realize that we are talking about the overall picture here – the ultimate victory is ours because of Him – but many times we do not live like that. That is a sin and we need to ask you to forgive us Lord. If we can see the reality of what Your victory truly is – then we will not allow that old flesh to live it’s way – because we will be excited about realizing that final victory. You emphasize this by Your choice of word here – not just conquer – but …

Overwhelmingly: ὑπερνικάω hupernikáō; from hupér - more, and nikáō - to conquer, overcome. To more than conquer, utterly defeat This rare word is used in Rom. 8:37 For the warrior whom no earthly affliction or defeat perturbs νικάω (nikáō) is almost too weak a term. Paul does not have to restrict himself - He can say: ὑπερνικῶμεν διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντος ἡμᾶς, “we win the supreme victory through Him who loved us.”  [1] [2]

God You are so great and we know that if we live in this reality we will know the difference. Jesus totally defeated every foe that really matters!!! Not physical death or suffering in the sense that He never went through that – He did – but He won in the end and defeated their power. More important He defeated all the attempts to get His character to sin. This is the overwhelming victory – this we can have now!! Oh Lord this is what we want! Give us this life – filled with this reality! – Help us take what You made ours we pray! Thanks Lord for your Word – keep us close to You Oh God.

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
[2] Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

He’s done His part – are we doing ours?

Scripture Read: Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
 Application: “Spare” epheisato, (from pheidomai) is the same word used in the Septuagint in Genesis 22:12 where the NIV translates it “withheld.” God said to Abraham, “You have not withheld your son.” [1]

The very thought of what You have done should leave us in awe Lord! When we consider what You did to save us we should stand amazed! As conditional creatures we do not understand that kind of love and we should recognize that we do not possess that kind of love within ourselves. This knowledge alone is too great for us, yet Your Word goes on to say what You still want to do for us. You say that you will also give us all things – this must be things that relate to the new life You have supplied for us. Again, words cannot express Your great love shown toward us. Yet we all need to also understand – just like salvation itself, being “offered” is still different than “possessing”. That is in our power. That is our stewardship. So if we are not experiencing new things from You in our walk – perhaps we need to look in the mirror and examine our faith walk. Are we believing His Word and stepping out in faith looking for His work in our lives? Faith is an action word – we need to step out in trust and then we will see “all things” become a reality in our life.

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

His point of view

Scripture Read: Romans 8:28-30 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  

Application: This is a passage that almost every believer knows. Sadly it is misunderstood so many times, either through wrong application or not thinking through what the words are really saying -  

Work together - συνεργέω sunergéō; fellow worker, cooperate, contribute to an end or a goal

Good - ἀγαθός agathós; Good and benevolent, profitable, useful, beneficial.

Purpose - πρόθεσις próthesis; A setting forth, presentation, an exposition, determination, plan, or will. It involves purpose, resolve, and design. [1]

We must remember that this verse does NOT say everything is good. It states that everything can Work for good. The other reality we must face is that it is from God’s perspective not ours! The working together and the purpose all are centralized in the design He has in our lives, not what our desires and wants dictate. That is why sometimes when we try to comfort ourselves during a bad circumstance using this verse it does not seem to help. We are trying to see how all the details in the end will be to our advantage – forgetting that it is not our advantage that is being considered – it is His advantage. How will it benefit what God desires. That is hard for many but it must be faced. This life is about Him, not us. Our flesh hates that, but we should celebrate that truth in reality. He desires only the best for those He loves. That brings Him delight and joy. Let’s not forget that the great freedom we have and always like to hold up as our “right” is the reason we have problems in the first place. If He did not allow our freedom – sin would never have entered. So our Dad, allowing our freedom works our sin and His mercy, grace, teaching, judgment, etc. all together and turns it into something good for His ultimate purpose – which in the end – whether we see it now or not – will be to our advantage in eternity. This is a great verse and very comforting – and all the more when we see it from His perspective, not ours!

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

God’s grace cursed the earth

Scripture Read: Romans 8:18-27 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God

Application:  The fall affected all – everything. Not only is there futility in creation - pointlessness = Book of Ecclesiastes – but it has been used by God to open us to His grace. This is an aspect of His grace that many times is over looked – yet God extended it to bring us to redemption. There is no point in life outside of one in a relationship with our Creator. If God had allowed us to attain a worthwhile point in this life without Him – we would go into eternity separated from Him. It is that very pointlessness that drives us to look for something more – which leads us to Christ. We are created for a purpose, but due to the fall we will never be able to reach that purpose outside of God. When we enter into a relationship with Him – that sense of purpose begins. Our purpose will never be fully realized until He comes for us, but as we grow in Him each day we will sense it ever clearer. God help us pursue that purpose to the exclusion of our sin.