LET YOUR HEART BE ESTABLISHED BY GRACE
Hebrews 13:9 – …it is good that the heart be established by grace…
God does not want your heart full of worries and fears, tossed and turned by every challenge that comes your way. He wants your heart at rest and established by His grace toward you.
But when you think that the breakthroughs to your challenges depend on your ability to obey God, then your heart will not be at rest. It will be full of worries and anxieties. Why? Because you can never obey God perfectly.
But when you depend on God’s grace, that is, His undeserved, unmerited favor, the opposite happens—your heart becomes established. When you know that the only thing that qualifies you to receive God’s blessings is faith in the finished work of Christ, your heart becomes established. Then, you will walk without the fear of your troubles swallowing you up. You will walk with full assurance that His blessings will be manifested in your life.
My friend, God wants your heart established, knowing that His righteousness, healing, protection and provision are yours—all paid for by Jesus’ finished work at the cross. God’s blessings are sure in your life because they are not dependent on your ability to keep His laws, but Jesus’ perfect obedience.
You see, under the old covenant, you receive God’s blessings only if you keep all His laws. (Deuteronomy 28:1–2) If you sin and fail to keep even one law, you will be disqualified from receiving His blessings. But today, under the new covenant, your sins no longer disqualify you because God Himself has said, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
So let your heart be established by God’s grace. Because of His grace, you have full access to His blessings. You no longer have to worry about whether you are good enough. You can stand firm on the promises made in His Word and enjoy His blessings today because Jesus has paid the price. Your part is only to believe and receive!
Thought For The Day
God’s blessings are sure in your life because of Jesus’ perfect obedience.
A WONDERFUL EXPLOSION
As I have loved you, . . . you also love one another. — John 13:34
In the book Kisses from Katie, Katie Davis recounts the joy of moving to Uganda and adopting several Ugandan girls. One day, one of her daughters asked, “Mommy, if I let Jesus come into my heart, will I explode?” At first, Katie said no. When Jesus enters our heart, it is a spiritual event.
However, after she thought more about the question, Katie explained that when we decide to give our lives and hearts to Jesus “we will explode with love, with compassion, with hurt for those who are hurting, and with joy for those who rejoice.” In essence, knowing Christ results in a deep care for the people in our world.
The Bible challenges us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). We can consistently display this loving response because of the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. When we receive Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. The apostle Paul described it this way, “Having believed [in Christ,] you were sealed with the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 1:13).
Caring for others—with God’s supernatural assistance—shows the world that we are His followers (John 13:35). It also reminds us of His love for us. Jesus said, “As I have loved you, . . . you also love one another” (v.34). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Dear Jesus, help me to experience Your love more deeply so that I can share it with others. Empower me through Your Holy Spirit so that I can glorify You.
Love given reflects love received.
FULLY EQUIPPED FOR WHATEVER
If you are a born again believer, you have the spirit of God inside of you. The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you! You are not ordinary; you are a child of the Most High God!
I think about Mary, the chosen mother of Jesus. She seemed ordinary to the people around her, but God chose her to do something extraordinary. He chose her to bring Jesus to the world and shine forth His glory!
Today, you and I have this same extraordinary purpose—to bring Jesus to the world and shine forth His glory! No matter where you are in the world, there are people around you who need what you have. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit inside when He prompts you to shine your light. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others, to share a word of kindness or even a smile. Be your best for God. Be an example of His goodness. Be a peacemaker. Be quick to repent when you know you’ve made a mistake. Love people. You never know what is going on in another person’s life when you encounter them. Loving hurting people is what’s closest to the heart of God.
There may be a lot going on in your life today. You may be thinking, “How can I reach out to someone when I’m hurting so badly?” The truth is, when we’re hurting, that’s the best time to reach out to someone and sow a seed of hope into their life. When you take your eyes off of your own circumstances and focus on helping others, God will make up the difference. He’ll help you tap into strength you didn’t know you had. He’ll give you peace that passes understanding. He’ll give you joy unspeakable and full of glory!
Jesus said the kingdom of God is inside of you, and it’s a kingdom that has no end! There’s no end to His strength; there’s no end to His joy; there’s no end to His peace, and there’s no end to His power! That’s mean you are fully equipped for whatever you are facing today and for all that God has for you to do. Remember, God chose to live inside of Mary, and He chooses to live inside of you. He chose you and equipped you to be His extraordinary representative in the earth!
“However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NIV)
HE BECAME LIKE US
Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
How could it be that Jesus, who was God (Jn. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:16), and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, increased in wisdom? (Col. 2:3)
God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24). Jesus, as God, had existed as a Spirit forever.
When He came to the earth as Jesus, he was Lord at birth, but that was in His Spirit (Lk. 2:11). His Spirit didn’t have to grow or increase in wisdom but His physical body did.
The Lord could have done things differently, but He didn’t. Jesus came into this world in His physical body exactly as we did. He had to grow and learn.
He became just like us so that we could become just like Him (2 Cor. 5:21).
This is the great exchange. He became like us so that He could bear all our iniquities and become a mercy high priest for us (Heb. 2:14-18).
Christianity does not produce a changed life but an exchanged life. Christ does not reform us, but He transforms us through His union with us. In the same way that the Eternal Christ could come and inhabit the body of an infant and still retain all His deity, He now inhabits our bodies through the new birth in all His glory and power. Like Jesus, grow in your wisdom and understanding of who you now are in Christ.
LIFE IS ABOUT CHOICES (1) …
Daniel resolved not to. – Daniel 1:8 NIV
When Daniel was taken prisoner to Babylon, he was quickly promoted to leadership in the king’s palace. But as a Jew he refused to ‘defile himself with the royal food and wine’. Could his choice have affected his career, or even cost him his life? Absolutely! But what we choose to do under pressure results from one of two things:
(1) Clearly established convictions we live by.
(2) Fuzzy convictions we’re willing to compromise for personal gain. Hard times don’t make you, they reveal you! In Leadership Gold John Maxwell writes: ‘After visiting twenty cities in seven days, it was good to be coming home! As the small private jet approached the runway, we were celebrating the success of the week. Then, in a moment, everything changed. The plane was hit by crosswinds and dropped straight down to the runway, the wheels hitting out of balance. All conversation stopped and our eyes widened as we realised we were in danger. The pilot, without hesitation, pushed the throttle and launched the plane back into the air… We all realised that could have been it! We sat quietly as the plane circled the airfield and a few minutes later we landed safely.’ As he got off the plane, John asked the captain, ‘When did you make the decision to put the plane back into the air?’ He replied, ‘Fifteen years ago.’ He went on to explain how as a young pilot in training, he decided in advance what decision he would make for every possible air problem. His decision was made long before the crisis. So have a game plan in place before the problem arises.
WHAT ARE YOU SEEING AND HEARING?
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. -Proverbs 4:23, NLT
I can’t stress enough the importance of guarding your heart. The Book of Wisdom says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). Jesus also said that a man is only able to “bring forth good things” in his life if he has first filled his heart with good treasure!
How then do you guard what enters your heart? You guard what comes through your ear and eye gates!
What this means is that if all the bad news on television or the Internet is causing you to despair, turn your attention to something else that’s edifying and God-glorifying. If the people you hang out with are speaking fear, doubt and cynicism into you, I encourage you to hang out with kingdom friends who are faith-filled. Just as fear is contagious, so is faith!
Beloved, store up good treasures from the Lord in your heart and you will bring forth good success!
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