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16  Theology / Bible Study / God Is For Me on: December 21, 2004, 04:15:23 AM
GRACE WALK - Weekly Devotional


God Is For Me


“God is for me.” Can you make that statement with a deep sense of certainty? He is, you know. When things are going the way you want, God is for you. When life seems to be falling apart, God is for you. When the Philistines chased David down in Gath, he wrote, “This I know, that God is for me” (Psalm 56:9). What a time to make a declaration like that!

Many of us have found ourselves in a place similar to David’s situation at times. Life is closing in . . . the enemy seems to have us cornered and there appears to be no way out. Pleasant circumstances disappear before our eyes and the world turns dark.

At times like that, we may be tempted to cry out, “Why is God against me?” Not David. He assured himself with the truth, “God is for me.” He didn’t say, “This I feel, that God is for me.” There are many times in life that we don’t feel like God is for us. No, he said, “This I know, that God is for me.

Will you affirm this truth in your own life? God really is for you. Nothing can ever change His mind or heart toward you. If you are His child, His lovingkindness toward you will last forever. (Read Psalm 136 sometime!)

Circumstances may be suffocating you at times, but God is for you! Negative feelings may seem to be strangling you, but God is for you! Life may not make sense at a given moment, but God is for you! Trust Him. When you feel like you’re drowning in an ocean of problems, cling to your Heavenly Father. He will prove Himself strong in your life by assuring you of His love.

Your circumstances may or may not turn out like you want, but He will hold you in His loving and sovereign arms and gently whisper His love to you again and again. Sit in quietness for a moment and listen to his loving voice assure you of that fact until, like the Psalmist, you may say, “This is know, God is for me!”




Steve McVey is the President of Grace Walk Ministries, a discipleship ministry located in Atlanta, GA. If you have been sent this devotional by a friend and want to know more about Grace Walk Ministries, visit our web site at www.gracewalk.org.


This devotional may be duplicated if printed with no changes in its entirety and with the following acknowledgment: “Copyright, 2004,used by permission. Steve McVey, Grace Walk Ministries, www.gracewalk.org




2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
 
17  Theology / General Theology / Why do I celebrate Christmas? on: December 21, 2004, 03:54:41 AM
JUST 4 MORE DAYS Grin
18  Theology / Bible Study / Grace Eye For The Legalistic Guy on: December 21, 2004, 03:52:38 AM
GRACE WALK - Weekly Devotional


Grace Eye For The Legalistic Guy


Meet Pastor Joe. He’s a flaming legalist who is need of a complete makeover. His wardrobe consists of religious rags that he bought somewhere years ago while he was still in seminary. The sad thing is that he thinks they’re still stylish. Somebody needs to tell him that the Old Covenant clothes are out. That cutting edge Apostle named Paul put it like this: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). Pastor Joe needs to come into the New Covenant and try on grace for size.


His closet is filled with worn out suits of self-sufficiency that don’t fit him anymore. But he still tries to squeeze into them nonetheless. He knows that they aren’t comfortable to wear, but doesn’t realize there is a better wardrobe available to those who have discovered that they can get their clothes from Abba’s closet. There, any Christian can find tailor-made garments of grace that fit every occasion. And the best part of it all is that there’s no price to pay. All the grace garments have already been paid for and are available at no cost to the recipient.


A big problem with Pastor Joe’s wardrobe is that he has influence over others whom he has caused to dress the same way. Can you remember the time in American history when men all went to work wearing “leisure suits?” This is even worse. It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.


I love you, Pastor Joe. I love you enough to be honest with you about your wardrobe. You need a makeover – in a bad way. Believe me when I say that I’m not judging you. I dressed the same way you do for most of my life, but I’ve found a better way. That’s why I’m motivated to share some faith-fashion tips with you that somebody shared with me at a time when I badly needed them.


I hope you aren’t offended by my analogy and the comparison I use. Truthfully, I used the words “flaming legalist” just to get your attention. It’s not intended to be an insult. I suppose that it’s my way of attempting to lighten my approach to a sensitive subject by trying to use a little humor to make a serious point. There’s just not an easy way to tell a man that how he is dressed isn’t working for him – or for those around him. “You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny” is seldom well received by anybody of any age.


But the truth is that there are some things that you need to take off and others that you need to put on. This makeover strategy didn’t start with me. The Apostle Paul once found a group of Christians still wearing the old, out of style clothes of the Old Covenant and he plainly told them to take off some things and put on others. (Read Ephesians 2:22-24, Colossians 3:8-14.)


Many pastors only have one suit and that’s the one they always wear. Worse yet, they usually peddle to their congregations. I know because for years I was a leading distributor of this brand name.

The Rags of Religious Ritual

For years I encouraged members of my church to “do the right things.” “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” was one of my favorite verses. In fact, I’d beat them over the head with it. “God knows your level of faithfulness!” I would pronounce in my best “Isaiah-woe-is-you-if-you-don’t-get-it-right” tone of voice.


My emphasis was on how people ought to look in terms of their outward behavior. “Don’t be a spiritual slacker” was the underlying theme I applied to myself and my congregation. While I would never have said it directly, I implied that if you do all the right things, the rest will sort itself out. Read your Bible, pray, come to church, give your money, witness to your neighbor, etc. Those are the foundations of Christian living, I believed.

The Garment of Grace

If you’ve read my first book, Grace Walk, you know how God finally stripped me spiritually naked after I moved to Atlanta. Once I found myself standing there before Him in my birthday suit, I was ready to put on whatever He had in His closet for me.


As things turned out, He covered me with the garment of grace. I’ve worn it all these years since. It fits so well! It is comfortable, functional and enjoyable to wear! I wouldn’t go back to the old wardrobe for anything.


Not only do I wear this Bible brand now, but I’m also a distributor of this line. With that in mind, here’s what I want to offer you.


I don’t usually do this kind of thing, but if you’d like to try on this grace garment for size, I’d like to give you a free gift. If you are a pastor of a local church, I’d like to give you a free copy of my book, Grace Walk. There’s no catch. I just want you to have it.


Email me at the address below, and send me your address and I’ll send you the book right away. I’ll pay the shipping too. Why would I do this? It’s because I know you’ll love the makeover that the Holy Spirit will do on you. I have been thrilled since He did the work in me that you’ll read about in Grace Walk.

Try the garment of grace on for size. You won’t be disappointed!

To receive your free copy of Grace Walk, please send your request to: PastorsFreeBook@gracewalk.org Note: This offer is only for church pastors. Others may purchase the book by calling 1-800-472-2311.

Steve McVey is the President of Grace Walk Ministries, a discipleship ministry located in Atlanta, GA. If you have been sent this devotional by a friend and want to know more about Grace Walk Ministries, visit our web site at www.gracewalk.org.

This devotional may be duplicated if printed with no changes in its entirety and with the following acknowledgment: ““Copyright, 2004,used by permission. Steve McVey, Grace Walk Ministries, www.gracewalk.org



2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a  workman  that needeth  not  to  be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.



 
19  Fellowship / What are you doing? / Sharing Christ at Christmas! on: December 20, 2004, 02:33:46 PM
Sharing Christ at Christmas!

By Thomas Nitz



Luke 1:26-35 “ Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David: and the virgins name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “greetings favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “ Do not be afraid, Mary: for you have found favor with God. “ and behold, you will conceive in the womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His Father David: and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end, Mary said to the angel, “ How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you , and the power of the Most High will overshadow you: and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”Luke 1:38 And Mary said, behold the bond slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.Luke 2:7-11 And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “ Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”

As we recount the birth of Our Lord lets extract a few details of His birth that made the angel declare “ good news of great joy, and a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” Good news of great joy. Hmmm, Really how much joy do we testify to when we start to ponder the current state of affairs? Christmas being as it is in these recent days have become just another holiday, people are stressed because of financial problems, illness, depression, and war just to mention of few. Could there be no joy because we have lost sight of the real meaning of why we celebrate Christmas? Lets examine this further with the other declaration the angel made “ for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord.

Could the fact that we pushed out the Savior be the reason we are not experiencing “good news of great joy” Lets look further and pursue the Savoir aspect of Christ birth..Matthew 1:21-23 “She will bear a Son : and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold the virgin shall bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, God with us”

We see in further study that He is not only the Savoir and God. Savoir but for what reason, what is He supposed to save from? If we look back into verse 21 we see He is declared to save people from sin. Years later as Jesus grew into His ministry and was coming to John the Baptist , John in his gospel account declares.John 1:29 “ The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said , “ Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

With that statement we can start to understand why the birth of Christ was declared to be “good new of great Joy!” The Lamb of God who takes away Sin, no plurality to this just sin. From the time of Adams fall forward we all are born spiritually dead. Jesus’ birth came to deal with this problem once and for all. God new that He had to set the record straight for man. So He decided to empty Himself of His divinity and be born flesh so he could become a sin substitute for us. Sin separates us from God. Jesus came to deal with the cause and effect. Sin produces separation and death. The life of Christ bore witness to the spiritual deadness of man as He magnified the law to those around Him. He constantly was showing man that the heart is dead. He was trying to wake man. Romans 6:23 “ The wages of sin is death”Romans 3: 23 “ All have sinned and fall short “

Jesus’ birth into the world truly is “good news of great joy” when we start to understand the meaning of His coming. He came to deal with sin, which was dealt with through His death and burial. He had to first deal with the cause of death and then death itself, otherwise when we receive His life we would fall under the penalty of sin again which is death. There would be no eternal security if the cause was not dealt with first. This is why Jesus declared .John 11:25,26 “ Jesus said to her, “ I am the resurrection and the life: he who believes in Me will live if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die, Do you believe this?”

Jesus concluded the work of reconciling mankind back to God through His suffering and crucifixion. He paid our sin debt for us. Could this be the reason of “good news and great joy”John 19:30 “ …It is finished!” He dealt with the sin issue for each and everyone of us. He could now declare.

Romans 5: 10 “ For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son…”

He was the Lamb of God who John declared takes away the Sin of the world. He completed His work. He reconciled mankind back to God through what He accomplished All we need to do is appropriate it all by faith. Once we are convicted that we are sinners and in need of Life we can then come to Him accepting His righteous act and be ready to receive His Life. Life can only come when we appropriate the other aspect of the gospel through the resurrection. Forgiveness is good , but it does not give life or salvation, otherwise we would have universal salvation. Life is exchanged when we accept our condition. It can’t be through good works, tithing, church attendance, being good neighbors and the list can go on and on. He died was buried and resurrected for each and every human that has ever lived. When we individually come to this conclusion we then can say.Romans 5:10 “...Much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

We then can receive His resurrected life and become spiritually reconnected with God. This is all through a gift to humankind by God.Romans 6:23 “ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ our Lord.”

This birth of God or Jesus truly is the best gift given to mankind. It set in motion reconciliation and eternal life to all who believe. Once we believe we are born from above. Never to see death again.Ephesians 1:13” In Him, you also after listening to the message of truth the gospel of your salvation-having also believed you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit.”

Sin is dealt with, life will be freely given to those who believe this is why there is “good news of great joy.” We can celebrate His birth as we reflect individually what He means and has done for all. Sharing Christ at Christmas should not only be the believers main focus throughout this season but for all of ones life.Romans 10:14,15 &17 ” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, How Beautiful are the feet Of Those Who Bring Good News Of Good Things! So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.”

This season when opportunities arise lets share Christ birth and its meaning and who knows maybe just maybe we will witness the birth of Our Blessed Lord all over again through a unbeliever. We all can become midwives for Our Lord. We have “good news of great joy” won’t you share the greatest gift given to mankind at this time of year? Lets Celebrate Christ at Christmas! Joy to the world the Lord has come.


If you are not sure where you stand with God all you need to do is accept His Son’s work of restoration for you, through the death , burial and resurrection . He wants to impart His Life to your heart. Prayerfully, ask Him to come abide in you. God loves you and accepts you .
20  Theology / Prophecy - Current Events / ORDERING A PIZZA IN 2010 on: December 20, 2004, 02:26:37 PM
Hungry man to wife: "I'm hungry....how about a pizza, dear"

Wife: "ok, sounds good to me."(as phone rings in background)

Hungry man to wife: "get the phone, dear."

Wife to hungry man after answering phone: "It's Pizza Hut, dear...they want to know what kind and size."

Good Stuff Smiley
21  Entertainment / Animals and Pets / My Dog Is The Best Dog In This World on: December 20, 2004, 12:51:51 PM
My Golden Retriever almost never barks. She only barks when she wants to follow one of us outside, or if she's tied up outside. Tongue

My wife LOVES Golden Retrievers  Smiley

She has good tastes. Smiley

Thats True, she married me Grin
22  Entertainment / Movies / Re:Lord of the Rings on: December 20, 2004, 12:38:04 PM
O' Brothers and Sisters, this really is a jolly good trilogy. I especially liked the Christian message contained in the 'battle of helms deep' scenes.

  pardon me, but, um....   Roll Eyes

I prefer to call it, "Lord of the Thing"


     Grin


Really? Why? Grin
23  Fellowship / Witnessing / How Excited Are You About Being Saved? -Emphasis on Evangelism on: December 20, 2004, 12:31:14 PM
Great post Brother Love I never realy thought of satan trying to silence me he has suceeded with doing so; many times. But that fact only makes me want to try harder. God Bless.

AMEN!!! Tyler AMEN!!!
24  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re:Guest/User Ratio on: December 20, 2004, 12:29:18 PM
3 Guests, 7 Users
Brother Love Smiley, gary cook, Evangelist, Pastor Roger, Kris777, Marv, Patzt

Christmas Is A Time Of Love

So Lets Have Christmas Everyday!!
25  Theology / Prophecy - Current Events / Re:ORDERING A PIZZA IN 2010 on: December 20, 2004, 12:20:29 PM
Better yet;

Hungry Man: "Um hel..."

Pizza Dude: "Would you like your regular pepperoni extra cheese sir?"

Hungry Man: "I have only order here twice!"

Pizza Dude: "We know we keep logs of every order."

Hungry Man: "Okay I guess."

Pizza Dude: "Thank you sir we have automatically transfered the money required and will have your pizza delivered in 5 minutes or your money back."

You guys get reall silly about these things.  Do any of you use a food store "discount card"?  The only reason they exist is so they can see what you buy and try and specifically maket things to you?   Are you computer savvy at all?  If not then chances are you don't block cookies from your computer and ad sites (meaning an ads you see flashing on the web site etc) leave cookies on your computer and report back to the ad server of you browsing habits to better market you.

Do you realize the text ads on the side of google are specifically targeted to you because of what you have search for in the past and where you browse?  When you call Pizza hut now all they ask for is your phone number because they store your other information for faster "processing".  

Your drivers license and SS # are used all the time for CC and the like.  For $35 and up I can get a backround check on you for several things with as little as a current first and last name.

Cell phones send out tracking signals even when they are turned off and you can be found if needed.  

I find it very humorous how people are getting worried about what is to come and not what is here.  Everywhere you go on the net is tracked by your ISP and has to be given over to the govn't if they suspect you of something like terrorist activities.  None of this is new either just much more prevalant.

I am not worried at all Bro, and I am sure by the year 2010 all the above will be true.  Smiley
26  Theology / Apologetics / IS YOUR BIBLE THE RIGHT ONE? on: December 20, 2004, 12:13:03 PM
Didn't mean to steal your thread Brother Love, my apologies.

You might be interested that I am working on typing in the 1611 "he" KJV into e-Sword.  It's still going to be awhile before its done though.  What I find online as the 1611 KJV isn't true to the actual text.  

The general idea is to provide an easy to use interface with a dictionary and word helps for those that want to study from the original KJV.

Those "s"s are enough to drive me batty!

Marv

No problem Marv, you may feel free to share at anytime.
Smiley
27  Theology / General Theology / Christmas Is The Time Of Love... on: December 20, 2004, 12:10:07 PM
Christmas Is The Time Of Love

So Lets Have Christmas Everyday!!
Smiley
 
28  Prayer / General Discussion / Thought For Today on: December 20, 2004, 11:58:35 AM
God allows the faith to be tried, and He permits trouble to crowd into our lives.
Sometimes they seem more than we can bear, but Christ can bear them.  
The first step towards "parted-waters" is to frequently remind ourselves that the Lord has either put us in this different place or has allowed us to be there for reasons perhaps only He knows.
29  Fellowship / What are you doing? / Re:MY MISSION on: December 20, 2004, 06:00:51 AM
There seems to be very little honest Bible study today and as a result we have a very worldly and immature Body of Christ..






Amen Brother... just pray to catch the <Smiley))>< and God will clean them Smiley

Merry Christmas...God Bless

Thanks AJ, 5 more days until Christmas Smiley
30  Entertainment / Laughter (Good Medicine) / Men strike back! on: December 20, 2004, 05:58:54 AM

   




KOOL

Thanks Symphony, you made my day. Your the Greatest  Grin
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