And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. – Matthew 1:21
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalms 18:2
The name “Jesus” is Yeshua in Hebrew, which means “salvation”. That’s why Jesus is known as our Savior. What a beautiful name!
Every time you call on the name of Jesus, the name that is above every other name, you are calling on Jesus (who is God Himself) to save you. Saving you is Jesus’ job description! Whatever the challenge or circumstance, whatever the crisis you are in—physical, financial or emotional—you can call on the name of Jesus and Almighty God Himself will save you!
What is David Beckham famous for? Soccer! (He’s also famous for product endorsements!) What is Jesus famous for? Saving you!
Beloved, what do you need saving from today? See Him in your situation, rescuing, protecting and providing for you!
BELIEVE AND RECEIVE …
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24, NIV
Has God spoken things to your heart that haven’t come to pass yet? Sometimes when we are believing for things, it’s easy to let circumstances and the pressures of life drag us down. But when you make the choice to receive your promise by picturing it in your mind’s eye, and declaring it with the words of your mouth, your faith becomes stronger. You begin to feel more confident. You begin to feel more settled. You begin to have joy and peace because you know God is working behind the scenes on your behalf.
What are you believing for God to do in your life today? Can you see it in your mind’s eye? Can you see yourself healed? Can you see yourself paying off that last debt? Can you see yourself at your ideal weight? Can you see yourself sharing the gospel with a family member or coworker? Ask the Lord to give you the picture of what He sees when He looks at you. As you open your heart and allow God’s thoughts to become your thoughts, and your receive His promises by faith, just like it says in the above verse — whatever you ask for in prayer will be yours!
HOUSE – HUNTING ANTS
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. —Psalm 90:1
According to researchers from the University of Bristol, the European rock ant may be better than we are at staying on top of the housing market. The researchers found that the ant colonies use scout ants to continually monitor their colonies’ living conditions. Using social skills complex enough to stun the scientists, the rock ants work together to find the right living space, darkness, and security needed to give the queen mother and her larvae the best available housing.
In the days of Moses, the families of Israel were looking for a new home. The slave yards of Egypt had been brutal. The wilderness of Sinai was no place to settle down. But there was a problem. According to Israelite scouts, the homeland to which God was leading them was already occupied—by walled cities and giants who made the scouts feel like grasshoppers in their own eyes (Num. 13:28,33).
Sometimes it may be helpful to compare ourselves to insects. House-hunting rock ants instinctively follow the ways of their Creator. But we often let our fears keep us from following and trusting God. When we rest in the assurance of His presence and love, we can say, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.”
Father in heaven, please help us to see that today there is no better place to live than in Your presence and love. Help us learn to settle in and be comfortable with our place in You.
Finding ourselves at home in God is a good place to be.
TAKERS AND GIVERS …
…It is more blessed to give than to receive. – Acts 20:35 NKJV
Are you a taker or a giver? If you’re not sure how to answer that question, think about certain TV personalities. Even though they have genuine talent, their main motivations are ratings, image, approval and profits. Check their background. Chances are that the little girl who dressed up like Cinderella and insisted, ‘Look at me,’ now lives and performs for the approval of the crowd. Or the little boy who beat his chest to attract attention and shouted, ‘I’m Tarzan,’ now goes around with a sense of entitlement. John writes about a man, Diotrephes, ‘who loves to have the pre–eminence…’ (3 John 1:9 NKJV) Leadership coach Dan Reiland observes: ‘If communicators teach out of need, insecurity, ego, or even responsibility, they’re not giving. The needy person wants praise, something the audience must give. The insecure person wants approval and acceptance, something the audience must give. The egotistical person wants to be lifted up, to be superior and just a little bit better than everyone else, something the audience must give. Even the person motivated by responsibility wants to be recognised as the faithful worker, to be seen as responsible—something the audience must bestow upon them. Many communicators teach in one of these modes all the time and aren’t aware of it. Then there’s the giver. This person teaches out of love, grace, gratitude, compassion, passion, and the overflow. These are all giving modes. In each of these modes of the heart the audience doesn’t have to give anything—only receive. The teaching then becomes a gift. It fills and renews.’ Today, ask God to help you become a giver and not a taker.
SALVATION BEGINS NOW
MATTHEW 6:10, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
We do not have to live a beggarly existence here on this earth and just wait till we all get to heaven to begin to experience the benefits of our salvation. Jesus told us to pray “thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” In heaven, He will “wipe away all tears from our eyes” (Rev. 21:4), so here on earth we can pray and believe to receive “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8). Healing, prosperity, and all the other benefits of heaven are ours here on earth to the degree that we can believe and receive them.
It is God’s will to deliver us from this present evil world. The Lord didn’t save us from our sins so we could be “saved and stuck” until we go to heaven. He made provision for our success in this life as well.
Our salvation is effectual in this life too, not just the one to come. Some people have relegated all the benefits of salvation to, “when we all get to Heaven.” But that’s not so. Through the atonement of Jesus, we have been delivered from sickness, poverty and demonic control, as well as sin, in this present life. To the degree we believe that, we
will begin to experience the physical benefits of our salvation in the “rough now and now,” not just in the “sweet by and by.”
Our salvation is not just “pie in the sky,” but it is victory in this present life. Today believe God to start receiving every benefit of your salvation here in this life, and help others to receive what has been purchased for them also. We don’t have to wait until we get to Heaven.
WHAT IS ON YOUR HEART?
Hebrews 8:10 – “…I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts…”
Many of us have been taught that we cannot trust our hearts. We quote verses like “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” (Jeremiah 17:9), not knowing that Jeremiah was referring to the man who had not received Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
I have had people come to me and say, “Pastor, I don’t know what I should do with my life.”
“What is on your heart?” I asked one of them.
“I would love to work among children.”
“Then work among children!”
“But I am waiting on the Lord to tell me to do that.”
“Well, He has given you the desire, so go and work among children!”
“But the desire comes from my heart. How do I know if it is of God?”
My friend, once you are saved, you have a brand new heart (Ezekiel 36:26), and you can trust the promptings of your heart because God dwells in you and He leads you from within. And don’t worry because His promptings will never contradict His Word. It will lead you to good success.
Often, you find that when you follow your inner promptings, it is actually God who has put those desires in your mind and written them on your heart. I remember years ago when I approached one of our church leaders and told him, “I really think that you are called to be a full-time pastor.” It turned out to be a confirmation of what he already knew on the inside. You see, God was already leading him from within. Today, he is one of our full-time pastors.
If you enjoy something and desire to do it, then go for it! Go with the flow. God Himself says that He will guide us from within. Let’s not doubt Him. And don’t worry about the outcome. Your part is just to follow the flow. God’s part is to work in you both the willingness and the performance of it! (Philippians 2:13)
Beloved, because God has given you a new heart, He will write His desires on it. And as you fulfill these desires, you will bring forth fruit, and not wither and die. Whatever you do will prosper!
A SEASON FOR EVERYTHING
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. —Ecclesiastes 3:1
If you’re like me, you’ve struggled with having to say no to taking on a new responsibility—especially if it’s for a good cause and directly related to helping others. We may have sound reasons for carefully selecting our priorities. Yet sometimes, by not agreeing to do more, we may feel guilty or we may think that somehow we have failed in our walk of faith.
But according to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, wisdom recognizes that everything in life has its own season—in human activities as in the realm of nature. “There is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (3:1).
Perhaps you are getting married or becoming a parent for the first time. Maybe you are leaving school and entering the workforce, or moving from fulltime work to retirement. As we move from season to season, our priorities change. We may need to put aside what we did in the past and funnel our energy into something else.
When life brings changes in our circumstances and obligations, we must responsibly and wisely discern what kind of commitments we should make, seeking in whatever we do to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Proverbs 3:6 promises that as we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will guide us in the way we should go.
Heavenly Father, give me Your wisdom to know what priorities I need to have at this season of my life. Guide me in all that I do. I only want to bring You the honor You deserve with the way I live.
Commitment to Christ is a daily calling that challenges us.
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