52 Weeks (Week 9)

This week as we continue memorizing the last verses of Romans 8, we take a look at Romans 8: 31-32.  As we have mentioned, these last verses of chapter 8 in Romans are so encouraging, some hopeful, just so good.  Listen to what we see here in 31-32:

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

66982We see here this reminder.  If God is for us, then who can be against us?  If God is on our side, pulling for us, calling us, leading us, pushing up, then what in the world do we have to fear?

Nothing.

If God is for us, then who can be against us?

No one.

This is how much God loves us.  He loves us so much that He didn’t even spare His son so that we can know life and know life eternal.  So how much more will He be with us and for us in all things?  All things.

Today, no matter who you face, no matter what trials come your way.  No matter what is happening, hear this.

No really.  Listen.  Listen to this.  Know this to be true.  Because it is.  It is really and truly true.

God is for you.  God is on your side.  He is.  He really is.  No matter what happens today, God is for you.  No matter what happens today, God is on your side.

Trust that today.

God is for you.  Don’t lose hope!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

52 Weeks (Week 8)

66982Just like we did a few weeks back with Psalm 121, we are going to learn another set of passages.  We are going to, over the next few weeks, learn the concluding verses in Romans 8.  Last week we learned Romans 8:28, this week we will learn Romans 8:29-30.

If you look at Romans, you see Paul spending so much time in Romans 1- 7 explaining our need for Jesus, how everyone that has ever lived needs Jesus.  And when you read it,  you can almost feel a little down because Paul really hammers everyone and their sin and their need for salvation.

And then you get to Romans 8.  Romans 8 may be one of the most graceful, optimistic chapters in the entire Bible.  It starts off the call that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, we are forgiven. And then it just keeps getting better and better and better.

Today we and memorize Romans 8: 29-30:

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

In this passage, we see this truth about salvation.  It’s not just about us.  Now of course we have to respond to God’s offer.  We have to respond to God’s gift of live and joy and peace.  We have to move.

But, it doesn’t start with us.  It starts with God.  He is the first actor.  He reaches out to us.  He calls us.  He comes to us.  He moves first.  He acts first.  He says you are mine.

And then it’s up to us to respond.

Today, through Jesus Christ, God has called you.  He had reached out to you.  He desires to know you.

And He calls us to reach back.  He calls us to respond.

Today, as grace is offered to us by God, may we receive that precious gift.  May we respond to God’s action.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

When They Frustrate Us

frustrated-faceAre you ever tempted to look at someone and say – you know better! Why are you doing that? Why do you keep making the same mistakes? Come on, man, you know better than to do that!

I’m sure each of us has felt that way. We may have felt that way with our kids before. Maybe someone in our family. Or with a friend. A co-worker. Someone.

We can get so frustrated. We want to give up on them, don’t we?

What do we do then? What do we do when we want to give up someone?

Listen to what Paul tells us today in Romans 15: 1-3:

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.

Paul says this – when you want to give up one someone, remember. We don’t live for ourselves. We live to serve and help others. We don’t live for us.

It’s so easy to get frustrated with others. With their weakness. With their mistakes. With their stuff. They can really irritate us. But remember what Paul said. We don’t live for us.

We live for Jesus. And we live for others. We live to point them to Jesus. And that’s one of the keys. As Paul says, Jesus didn’t live to please Himself, He lived for His prose. To point us to His Father.

And you know, you know Jesus must get frustrated with us sometimes, huh? At our weakness. Our faults. Our mistakes. Our stuff.

And how does He respond? He loves. So should we.

He loved us in our weakness and mistakes.

We are to love to love them, in their weakness and mistakes. Because love points to Jesus. And only Jesus can help. Only Jesus can change.

Be patient. You can only do that through Jesus and His spirit. Love them. Point them to Jesus.

And let Him change them. That’s not your job. That’s His job. Let Him do His work. Your job is just to point to Him, in all things.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Hey Y’all, It’s Monday!

mondaysHey y’all, it’s Monday.  Yep, all day long.  Monday.  The entire day.

So, what are we gonna do with it? What will do about it?  How will we handle it?

Well, this week, it starts now. And it starts with our attitude. It starts with how we choose to look at things. It starts with what our mentality is. We can choose today to only see the problems, the issues, the worst.

Or.

We can choose to today to look for the positive. The good.  The hopeful.  The joyous. The life giving.

Today, we can choose. We can choose what Monday will be like. We can choose what this week will be like.  It’s our choice.  What will we do?  Listen to the words of Paul today in Romans 8:6-8:

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Set you mind on the spirit.  On the things of God.  On what matters, what is good, what is holy, what matters.

This week is wide open ahead of you. Full of potential. Full of hope. Full of what is good.

What will you do with it?  Where is your mind today?

Focus on the good.  On the spirit.  On the holy. Focus on that.

And see what God does with it!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Grace

Faith versus works. That’s an inside baseball, church phrase and argument.  It’s one that Christians have fussed about and struggled over for many, many, many centuries.

And its one that we struggle with, even if we don’t know it.  What do I mean by that?

It plays out in our lives when this happens.  When we think to ourselves, if I just do this, God will love me.  I have done some many things wrong, I know God can never forgive me.  I’m not good enough to go to church. I’m done too much. I can’t earn it.  I’ll never get it.  Surly I’m not good enough.

All those thoughts make our faith about what we do.  And that is wrong.  Our faith is not about what we do. It’s about what He has done.

Our faith is not about works. It’s about grace.  Listen to what Paul writes today in Romans 3:21-25

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

grace_candle_logoWe are all equally broken and sinful, we have all made mistakes in our lives, fallen, stubbled, made messes.

And God equally loves us.

And our salvation rests not upon us, what we have done, what we are doing or going to do, our salvation rests upon Him.  Upon what He had done. Upon the cross and the empty grave.

And our response, our only response is this. To believe.  To have faith.  To take that step.

We are saved by grace through faith. That’s it. That’s the list.

You don’t earn it.   You receive it.  Remember that.  Never forget that.  Cling to that.

And let that change your life.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.