Salvation of Our Families

Acts 16:31   (NLT)   They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”

One of the greatest joys we have as believers is the salvation of our entire family or everyone in our household. Although the statement was spoken directly to a specific individual—the Philippian jailer, this is something many of us believers claim for Acts 16.31 - Salvation for Our Familiesourselves. If the Lord did it for him, the Lord can—and we believe will—do it for us and own families as well.

But, is this is a sweeping promise of salvation to all family members of all believers? Experience shows us it doesn’t seem so. Many of us know fellow believers who have family members who passed away as unbelievers. Although, a faithful and direct interpretation of Scriptures, or at least that specific passage would show us that it was a statement made only to one person, it wouldn’t be wrong to believe that for ourselves and our families.

We absolutely desire that everyone in our household be saved. The Scripture’s also explicit about God’s desire for no one to perish but for everyone to come to repentance. To believe this for ourselves is to agree with the will of God. We can let this be our faith statement and stand. To clarify: this does not mean that when one person in the family is saved, everybody in that household is saved automatically based on the merit of one person’s salvation. No; that is not the case; salvation is clearly personal. But it’s an encouragement for our faith to work in agreement with God’s will and our will. Faith matters. We may not fully understand the implications of the Lord’s words, but He told his disciples many times how things will be done according to their faith.

We don’t have control over how our family members respond. But we certainly have control over what we can do. As for us, our faith is: our household will be saved. Praise God!

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The Fire that Always Burns

Leviticus 6:13   (NLT)   Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.

Our God is always inviting, waiting, ready and willing for us to come into his presence. His fire—the fire of His mercy and grace, the fire of His cleansing blood, the fire of His Holy Spirit—is always ready, always lit to burn away all our sins, any hour, any minute of the day.

Leviticus 6.13 - The Fire that Always BurnsThrough our Lord Jesus, God’s throne is open and accessible 24/7. What a wondrous truth. We desperately need that. We have sinned at various times of our day. Temptations come at us every opportunity it gets. Praise God for many times of victory. But we have times of failure. Praise God that when we fail—when we sin—we don’t have to wait for a year, for a month, a week, a day, not even for an hour for us to ask for forgiveness—for us to be cleansed. We don’t have to bear the load of guilt sin and shame—not for a single moment. At the instance we fall, we can immediately and sincerely confess our sins to him; and as he promised, He is just and faithful enough to forgive us of all our sins and to cleanse us of all our unrighteousness.

Thank You Lord that you have already provided us the ways and means—all that are necessary for us to come to You any time of any day. Through the death of our precious Lord Jesus, through His sacrifice—His shed blood on the cross—we no longer have to wait to be forgiven. We no longer have to come up with our own animal sacrifices; we don’t have to delay until we could find the proper time; we no longer have to suffer—weighed down—for a prolonged period of time, as we struggle to complete the grueling task of gathering all the necessary requirements and performing necessary sacrifices—to the strictest detail. Our cleansing, restoration, and refreshing are available to us any moment of our day. Because of you, we get to always live light and free. Thank You Lord—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Go Forward!

Exodus 14:15   (NLT)   Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!

The sea before them; Pharaoh and his mighty Egyptian army was behind them; the Israelites, in fear, were complaining to and blaming Moses for their seemingly fatal predicament. God tells Moses to tell the Israelites to get moving. That’s a statement of Exodus 14.15 - Go Forwardfaith. God told them to do what they needed to do despite the seemingly impossible scenario. God gave His command as if there was no sea in front of them.

If something has to be done, it does not matter how impossible the situation is—how wide the ocean, how insurmountable the mountain, how challenging the challenge, how impenetrable the obstacle, how problematic the problem, how serious the sickness, how expensive the cost—we have to act in faith, get up, and get moving. And we will see how God will split the sea for us; move the mountains out of the way; solve our problems; remove the obstacles; or just simply carry us in His mighty arms through all of them.

Dear God, it’s You Who gives us the confidence that nothing we face in life can ever stop us from reaching our destiny, from doing what needs done, from accomplishing our missions. Because you’re present, we don’t have to be stopped; we have a God who’s infinitely much bigger and greater than any hurdle, and more powerful than any enemy. As we’ve probably heard before: we look not at the bigness of our problems; we look at the bigness of our God. With that, nothing—no one scares us; we keep moving, pressing on towards the mark—our temporary destinies here on earth and our eternal, high, heavenly calling in our precious Lord Jesus.

More Blessed than Mary?

Luke 11:28   (NLT)   28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Luke 11.28 - More Blessed than Mary.jpgWe cannot overestimate the value of God’s Word—of listening to and obeying it. It brings an exceedingly great blessedness—greater blessedness than being a channel of our precious Lord’s incarnation.

Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus in His humanity without a doubt is extremely blessed. This is a truth recognized the world over. Others emphasize the wonders and value of this experience while at the same time neglecting the glories and importance of God’s word.

A lot of people have a tendency to do this or something similar to this. We have a tendency to elevate things and people above God and His Word. Our affection, our attention, our energy, our time, and our efforts are spent towards them; our focus on God, His Kingdom, our ministry, our callings, things eternal, things spiritual, our mission—all these infinitely more important things are lessened or diminished in our estimation. We get busy doing a lot of things we find very important and big; God’s word becomes a distraction.

So much is written about the wonders and the glories of the Word of God—so many admonitions for us to listen to it, read it, study, meditate on it, commit it to our minds and hearts, and live it out. That’s one of the obvious proofs that God really wants as blessed.

We thank You Lord for Your desire to bless us, and how You have made that possible, not just for a few but for all who would act and respond to Your clear directions appropriately and in humble, grateful, loving obedience. It’s so amazing living blessed. All this is from You, and we’re enjoying it immensely.

Rebuking the Devil

Luke 4:36   (NLT)   Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!”

There were people who noticed Jesus and had the observation, assessment, and statement about Him. Jesus’ Words possessed very noticeable authority that evil spirits obeyed the commands. Although evil spirits are against Jesus, they’re still under His absolute control.

People notice; not everybody does, but others do. They are open enough to see the reality of our precious Lord, His work, and yes, us, His people. Our relationship with Jesus is obvious. It translates to our lifestyles—the purity of our actions, and the authority of our words. We’re not intimidated; we don’t fear—not even them. We submit ourselves to God, we resist the devil, and the devil flees.

Our uniqueness as believers is beautiful. People who awaken to this reality can’t help but see the many blessings we have. Yes, we are humble: we’re meek, but this doesn’t mean we’re weak and powerless. The Holy Spirit resides in us. That’s the power able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all anyone is able to ask, think, or imagine. We don’t retaliate when insulted, but the words we speak—the oracles of God flowing from our mouths have authority to command a mountain to be uprooted and cast into the sea, to order the devil to get out and go, and they don’t have any recourse but to do what we say.

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.

Jesus: Baby—and a Lot More

Luke 2:16   (KJV)   16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2.16 - Baby - and a Lot MoreJesus was described in no spectacular way; in fact, unlike Joseph and Mary, He was not even called by His Name. He was just referred to as babe.  This doesn’t mean however that that’s all there is to Him. Jesus was way more than just an ordinary baby.

What we know about Jesus, and what others know about Jesus fail in comparison to who our precious Lord really is.  Just because he was born humbly in a manger, just because he lived as a human being, just because he died, it doesn’t mean He is just an ordinary man. He is the king who came down from heaven. He lived as a man but he lived a victorious sinless life through 33 years of Him being here on Earth. He died a sacrificial death and paid for the sins of the whole world of all generations. And he is right now seated at the right hand of God the Father. He will come back as the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords to judge both the living and the dead. He will rule and reign over every tribe, every language, every nation—forever.

That’s our Jesus—and a lot more.

The description doesn’t define the person or create the substance. Others may perceive Him very lowly or unfavorably, but He is still the great He is. Same with us: others may look down on us and say all manners of evil against us, but we are who we are. We are not affected by people’s demeaning words if we don’t let them.