Monthly Archives: November 2013

Be My Witness

Text: Matthew 24:14,35

Among the many spiritual blessings God has given His children is the privilege and authority to speak His Word. God has commissioned Christians and given them the message of the cross. This message that can never be suppressed nor silenced.

Paul wrote, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For since the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:18,21)

The message of the cross is simple. All humanity has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God required a sacrifice to pay the price for sin. Jesus gave His life on the cross so the price has been paid. God so loved that He gave His Son, and whoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and the resurrection from the dead can be saved.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18, 19) Christians have been given the ministry and the word of reconciliation, to give people the message that Jesus Christ has paid for their sins and sicknesses,

“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:79)

As ambassadors of Christ, believers are to make known the message of salvation through Jesus, and bring people back to the living God.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)

As 2 Corinthians 4:5 teaches, Christians are not to preach about themselves, or their church, even with all of its exciting activities and friendly smiling people.

Christians are to make known Jesus Christ the Lord. God has committed the ministry and the word of reconciliation to them. To reconcile is to bring together again. This means reconnecting two parties that have been separated. The Christian’s message is not a message of an angry God Who wants to punish and destroy, but a message of peace and restoration’, the message that God is love and He sent His son to be the payment for all the sins of mankind.

Christians have the God-given right to share the message of Jesus Christ, the God-given responsibility to hold forth the Word of life. God stands behind His Word. The Word of God never falls to the ground, but as the good seed is sown, it will always produce results and prosper. God guarantees it.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10,11)

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

Copyright 2013 by Daily Devotionals.
http://www.fayannswearing.wordpress.com

Looking for Him

 Hebrews 9:28
“Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” 

This is our hope. He to whom we have already looked as coming once to bear the sins of many will have another manifestation to the sons of men; this is a happy prospect in itself. But that second appearing has certain peculiar marks which glorify it exceedingly.

Our LORD will have ended the business of sin. He has so taken it away from His people and so effectually borne its penalty that He will have nothing to do with it at His second coming. He will present no sin offering, for He will have utterly put sin away.

Our LORD will then complete the salvation of His people. They will be finally and perfectly saved and will in every respect enjoy the fullness of that salvation. He comes not to bear the result of our transgressions but to bring the result of His obedience; not to remove our condemnation but to perfect our salvation.

Our LORD thus appears only to those who look for Him. He will not be seen in this character by men whose eyes are blinded with self and sin. To them He will be a terrible Judge and nothing more. We must first look to Him and then look for Him; and in both cases our look shall be life.

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

Copyright 2013 by Daily Devotionals.
http://www.fayannswearing.wordpress.com

The Benefits of Praise

Ephesians 1
Praise helps us honor, worship and give maximum glory to the only one who deserves it. Eph.1:1
Praise helps us fully appreciate and appropriate God’s grace, goodness and peace. Eph. 1:2
Praise helps us gain a greater awareness of how enriched we are through God’s blessings Eph.1:3
Praise helps us complete God’s primary purpose for creating us. Eph. 1:3
Praise helps us live lives that are blameless, pure, and wholly devoted to God. Eph 1:4
Praise helps us understand our inherited entitlements in Christ. Eph. 1:5
Praise reminds us of our wonderful redemption, deliverance and salvation in Christ Eph.1:7
Praise helps us see how everything in life is created and held together around Christ. Eph 1:10
Praise helps us appreciate how we were made God’s heritage and accessed His power. Eph1:11
Praise helps us appreciate the surpassing greatness of His power for us who believe. Eph. 1:19

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing
Copyright 2013 by Daily Devotionals. http://www.fayannswearing.wordpress.com

The God of Second Chances

Luke 15:24
“For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’ so they began to celebrate

Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart touching stories of grace and forgiveness is recorded in Luke chapter fifteen. It’s what we’ve come to know as the story of the Prodigal Son. This young man demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive, spent it all on riotous living, and found himself dirty, destitute, and despairing. As despicable as pigs were to Jews, this young man took a job taking care of pigs and eating their food just to stay alive. He came to his senses.

“How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him,  ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’So he got up and went to his father. Luke 15:17-20.”

And where was his father? He was panning the horizon, hoping for a sign that his boy might return home. While “he was still a long way off,” the father spotted his son on the horizon. Filled with compassion, he picked up the edges of his robe and ran. He didn’t wait for his son to come to him, grovel at his feet, and beg for forgiveness. No, as soon as the father caught a glimpse of his son, he dashed toward his boy, smothered him with kisses, and welcomed him home. 

If you remember, not everyone was happy when the prodigal son returned. His big brother resented the fact that he was given another chance. And you know what? There will be those who resent the fact that we get another chance as well.

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

Copyright 2013 by Daily Devotionals.
http://www.fayannswearing.wordpress.com

God cares what you do

Scripture Reference: Isaiah 3:10-11

Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, for what he deserves will be done to him.

Salvation—being forgiven for your sins and welcomed into God’s family forever—is a free gift. It was purchased for you by Jesus when He went to the cross for you.

You don’t earn your salvation by being good enough. You don’t lose it by being bad enough. It’s entirely dependent on what Jesus did, not what you do. You simply receive God’s gift by faith. No wonder the Apostle Paul exclaims,“thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

But God is reminding us today that although salvation is a free gift, it does not mean that God doesn’t care how we live after we’re saved. Just the opposite—the terrible price Jesus had to pay for our forgiveness shows just how much God hates sin.

Today, Isaiah is telling us one of the basic truths about how God has set up this universe. Those who do what’s right will ultimately be blessed for it and those who do what’s wrong will experience negative consequences. Any actions that seem to have escaped their consequences in this life will find justice in the next. It’s never a mistake to do what is right.

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Don’t Quit

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1 Peter 2:9

Most of us at one time or another has felt like quitting, at one point or another. It is during those dark moments the Lord often speak in that still small voice back to me, saying “I Love you Fay-Ann don’t quit now.” And what the enemy meant for evil I will turn it into a blessing if you just don’t quit!

I know His voice because he has spoken to me many times but on days when I was broken and crushed and he was asking me not to quit. I have always encouraged others not to give, He is the God of “I can.”I found when we began to get the word of God in our hearts we find the courage to face that which is facing us and the will to carry on, for He is still God. I want to encourage you he is the God who brings restoration so don’t quit!

Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me– the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

Phi13:7 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing—-

Look what Jesus did for you on the Cross of Calvary! Don’t quit.

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing
Copyright 2013 by Daily Devotionals.
http://www.fayannswearing.wordpress.com

Trust in God

Text: Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Here is a wonderful promise: “He, the Lord, will make your paths straight”. (He shall direct thy paths.) What does that mean? Three ideas come to mind.

A. He will make your paths level, remove the stumbling blocks, keep you from tripping and falling. This is the same promise given to the captives returning from Babylon: “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.” (Isaiah 40:4) Remember, we are as captives returning back to our home city, the Heavenly Jerusalem.

B. He will bring about a successful end or lead you safely to your destination. Those who trust in the Lord until the end, will be saved. This is a guarantee, paid for by the death of Jesus and His resurrection.

C. He will keep you from wandering off the path of righteousness, so that you will not be drawn into sin. It reminds us of the assertion in the 23rd Psalm, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness.” In a day when temptations are so abundant, we need to hear this promise, and be motivated to follow His leading.

This is the promise, “He will make your paths straight.” But as with every promise of God, there is a condition to fulfill. In this case, the condition is, Trust. The basic message is this: Trust God, Distrust Yourself.

THE PEACE OF GOD

Text: Philippians 4:7

In order to have God’s peace described in Philippians 4:7 the believer must fulfill the conditions set forth in Philippians 4:6. These conditions are as follows:

1) be worrying about nothing; 2) prayer–coming to God in view of Who He is; 3) supplication — a specific request based on a specific need in my life (whatever it was that was causing me to worry); 4) thanksgiving — thanking God that He will take care of the problem in His way and in His time. God’s peace is the result of doing these four things. We should also mention the gift of Christ’s peace as mentioned in John 14:27 which makes it possible for us to have peaceful hearts in a very troubled world (compare John 16:33). Are we enjoying the gift that Christ has given to us?

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

Copyright 2013 by Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.
http://www.fayannswearing.wordpress.com

The Need for Repentance

Scripture Reference: Jeremiah 18:7-8

7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

 Let’s think of what this means. If the people at the time of Noah had repented, God would not have sent the flood. If Sodom and Gomorrah repented of their evil, the Lord would not have destroyed these cities of the plain. If the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah repented, they would not have been scattered and exiled. And, if we repent, we will not be punished for our sin.

We cannot read the Bible without seeing the call to repent – in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is part and parcel of the Gospel. What did John the Baptist preach but a baptism of repentance (Mk 1:4)? What was Jesus’ first sermon? It was a call to repentance (Mk 1:14-15). Peter and the other apostles implored their listeners to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus (Acts 2:38).

Guess what is missing in many churches today? A call to repentance! People are told that Jesus loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life, but they aren’t told they need to repent. People are told Jesus forgives them by dying for them, but they aren’t told they need to repent. People are promised the blessings of heaven without being told the demand to repent. We see the results of this when people answer an “altar call” or say the “sinner’s prayer” but there is no change in their life. Celebrities and sports heroes claim to “love Jesus” but engage in sexual immorality, abuse drugs and alcohol, and dress immodestly. Many people think of themselves as being saved though they never attend worship or love their neighbor or change their way of life.

This is a damnable error. Woe to those churches and preachers that don’t issue the call to repentance together with the call to believe in Jesus.

The Greek word for repentance means “change of mind.” This includes a change of mind about Christ – you accept that He is the eternal Son of God, that He is the Savior from sin, that He rules as Lord. But it also means a change of mind about sin. To repent means to turn your life upside down. To repent means to flee from sin and to follow Jesus. This is more than just saying, “Sorry, Sorry, Sorry!” It is more than offering a prayer and bringing a gift. Listen to how David puts this: (Ps 51:16-17) You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. (17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise. To repent means you feel bad enough about your sin to quit your sin.

Do you repent? As you prepared for the Lord’s Day, have you repented of your sins?

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

Copyright 2013 by Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.
http://www.fayannswearing.wordpress.com

The Gospel Strengthens Our Faith

SRomans 16:25-27

Look carefully with me how “the obedience of faith” (at the end of verse 26) fits in these verses. Paul begins his doxology by saying that one of the reasons glory belongs to God is that he is able to strengthen us. Verse 25: “Now to him who is able to strengthen you . . . be glory forevermore.” Between that opening declaration that God can strengthen your faith and the closing acclamation that God is glorious, Paul unpacks the gospel as the very thing that God uses to strengthen our faith.

Follow the phrases he uses to unpack the gospel and you will see how he begins by saying the gospel strengthens our faith and ends by saying the gospel produces the obedience that comes from faith.

Verse 25 says he strengthens us “according to my gospel.” So he simply strikes the note that this message is “good news.” That is what gospel means. We are made strong by good news. Then he calls the gospel the preaching of Jesus Christ. That means that the heart of the gospel is good news about who Jesus Christ is and what he did when he came and died and rose again. He doesn’t tell us what that is because that is what the first eight chapters were about.