Bountifully Blessed

Acts 26:18   (NLT)   18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’

A lot of great things happens to us when we place our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and surrender our lives to Him. For one, our blind eyes are opened. God’s love, our need, our spiritual poverty, God’s answer to our spiritual need, our appropriate Acts 26.18 - Bountifully Blessedresponse—all these are elucidated in our minds and hearts by God’s precious Holy Spirit. That’s why we humbly, gratefully, and readily call on Him and receive Him into our lives.

There’s so much more: we no longer live in darkness, we now live in the light—we are children of light, lights of the world. Whew—awesome descriptions of our identity. Satan, as powerful as he may be, no longer has a hold on us because we’re now under God’s Almighty protection. Satan has got nothing on God. Oh, what joy to know He who gives us life, and life way more abundantly, is infinitely more powerful than the one who tries to steal, kill, and destroy.

We’re also forgiven of all our sins. That’s big. Our sins separated us from God—spiritually dead, that is. That’s serious. Without His forgiveness, it leads to eternal death. That doesn’t sound good; that’s horrible. To spend eternity apart from God, void of love, joy, peace, freedom, and bliss is more than horrible; it’s indescribably agonizing. But we’re forgiven. We’re now, in a saving sense, God’s children—a part of His spiritual family—His people. We’re different; we’re separated from the rest; we’re unique—wonderfully unique.

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Speaking of Repentance

Luke 3:3   (KJV)   3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins

Luke 3.13 - Speaking of RepentanceOne act—repentance—causes such immeasurably great results: forgiveness of our sins, assurance of eternal destiny in the presence of our dear precious Lord. It’s a message everyone needs to hear.

We don’t cower or withdraw from preaching the message of repentance. Although it’s not a popular subject, we don’t turn our backs on it. It is an essential message for an indispensable experience: salvation.

Others don’t like to be told to repent; it suggests sin and sinfulness. Although it’s a common knowledge that all sin, that nobody’s perfect, others would rather not be told about it. But we’re not moved by people’s words or reactions. We’re moved by God’s Word and His Spirit. We do what God says we do.

God-Powered Weapons

2 Corinthians 10:4  (KJV)   (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Believers are engaged in a battle beyond the physical and the material. Spiritual warfare necessitates spiritual weapons. We do possess such weapons. Our weapons are not weak; our weapons are not outdated; our weapons are powerful. They are God-powered.

We have the weapon of the most advanced kind. There is no weapon on earth or in hell that even comes close to its power. It won’t jam; it won’t backfire; it won’t misfire; it won’t malfunction in any way. There is no nuclear weapon invented or any other weapon to be invented by the most brilliant of human scientists that can duplicate its potency. No, the most advanced and most powerful bomb we have won’t even scratch the surface – much less, even touch this special weapon we possess.

We don’t need the help of any human gadgetry to overcome our real enemies. Our true enemies are not physical; we’re fighting against the world system, our own ungodly desires, and the devil. For these, no knives, swords, guns, cannons, or bombs would work. Any attempt to advance Christianity through sword or force isn’t Christianity. It’s detestable and deplorable. We as believers ought to not only stand in disapproval to such evil act; we ought to take strong actions to stop any such wicked outworking of terribly misguided vigilance to faith.

A song we used to sing goes something like: “The church of God is moving… The battle has been won, the foe’s been overcome and we are marching on today. So say goodbye to doubt and give a victory shout. The church of God is moving on.” (Thanks to the composer – didn’t get to find out who). But that’s it. We know how the war ends: the Kingdom of God is victorious. That Kingdom power – the God-powered weapons we have will give us the daily victories over our daily battles. There’s no stronghold too strong, no fortress too fortified, no enemy too powerful to stand effectively against our weapons. Let’s not cower; let’s not retreat; let’s not sit idly, hopelessly – convinced that we’re defeated and that there’s no way we can overcome our sins and struggles. CHARGE!!! THE VICTORY’S OURS!!! TAKE IT!!!

Our victorious God and Savior, thank You for giving us the weapons we need for sure victory. We understand perfectly why You can so confidently assure us that no weapon formed against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17) and that the gates of hell will not prevail against us (Matthew 16:18), – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Of News and Truth

Luke 3:18  (AMP18 So with many other [various] appeals and admonitions he preached the good news (the Gospel) to the people.

John courageously prepared the way for the Lord Jesus through bold exhortations and preaching. He unflinchingly told it like it was. Doctrine, correction, rebuke, instruction – whatever was necessary, He spoke clearly, and bravely – no batting of eyelids, no fear of the potential of unescessarily offending others. He preached what people needed to hear – wanted or not. He preached the bad news and the good news. Despite being associated often only with radical rebukes, He did both: appealed and preached the Good News.

News ought to be uncompromisingly truthful. This is our special call as privileged bearers of the eternal truth. Many a times, there’s  a tendency to gravitate towards either the pleasant, encouraging words or the fearful warnings and judgments. Those who joyfully preach the God of love look down on those who still engage in preaching hellfire and brimstone as preachers of legalism and condemnation. Those who adamantly preach about the God of holiness and justice look down on those who continually preach on the God of grace and mercy as shallow, compromising and advocates of licentiousness. Faithfulness requires fullness of the message. No matter what’s our propensity or inclination, no matter what’s our preference, we are to boldly speak them all: bad news and good news. Different personalities will yield different approaches – some, even interesting ones; it’s great; let’s just make sure we proclaim the same full Scripture message.

Dear God may we be faithful bearers of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – in love, with wisdom and gentleness, so help us God.