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This tag is associated with 9 posts

Habits Of A Healthy Mind

http://odb.org/2015/02/05/habits-of-a-healthy-mind/

Habits Of A Healthy Mind
David C. McCasland
Psalm 37:1-8

Trust in the Lord, and do good. —Psalm 37:3

There is much said today about improving our health by developing habits of optimism, whether facing a difficult medical diagnosis or a pile of dirty laundry. Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina, says we should try activities that build joy, gratitude, love, and other positive feelings. We know, however, that more is required than a general wish for good feelings. We need a strong conviction that there is a source of joy, peace, and love upon which we can depend.

Psalm 37:1-8 gives positive actions we can take as an antidote to pessimism and discouragement. Consider these mood boosters: Trust in the Lord, do good, dwell in the land, feed on His faithfulness (v.3); delight in the Lord (v.4); commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him (v.5); rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him, do not fret (v.7); cease from anger, forsake wrath (v.8).

Because they are connected to the phrase “in the Lord,” those directives are more than wishful thinking or unrealistic suggestions. It’s because of Jesus, and in His strength, that they become possible.

Our one true source for optimism is the redemption that is in Jesus. He is our reason for hope!

Lord, we can’t manufacture hope, and even if
we tried it wouldn’t be real. Help us to find
hope in You because of what Jesus has done
for us. We know You are walking beside us.
When there’s bad news, our hope is the good news of Jesus.

Psalm 37 is one of the many “wisdom psalms”—psalms that give instructions on how to live wisely. In this psalm, David deals with the perennial perplexity of the injustice of life—the wicked go unpunished while the righteous suffer. He tells the righteous not to fret, be envious, or be angry, for God will ultimately bring justice (vv.1-2,9-10,20,35-36,38). Instead, they are to be patient, to trust, to delight, to rest fully in God, and to continue to live godly lives (vv.3-8). For the “Lord upholds the righteous” (v.17), takes delight in them (v.23), and will not forsake them (vv.28-29).

Bible in a Year:
Exodus 36-38; Matthew 23:1-22

What Money Can’t Buy

http://odb.org/2015/02/04/what-money-cant-buy-2/

What Money Can’t Buy
Marvin Williams
Ephesians 1:3-14

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. —Ephesians 1:7

“There are some things money can’t buy—but these days, not many” according to Michael Sandel, author of What Money Can’t Buy. A person can buy a prison-cell upgrade for $90 a night, the right to shoot an endangered black rhino for $250,000, and your doctor’s cell phone number for $1,500. It seems that “almost everything is up for sale.”

But one thing money can’t buy is redemption—freedom from the stranglehold of sin. When the apostle Paul began writing about the rich nature of God’s plan of salvation through Jesus, his heart erupted in praise: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us” (Eph. 1:7-8).

Jesus’ death on the cross was the high cost of delivering us from sin. And only He could pay that price because He was the perfect Son of God. The natural response to such free but costly grace is spontaneous praise from our hearts and commitment to the God who bought us through Jesus (1:13-14).

Praise to our loving God—He has come to set us free!
What amazing love You have for us, heavenly Father!
That You gave Your Son who willingly
died in our place. It seems too good
to be true. Thank You!

Only Jesus’ death could purchase our freedom.

God’s generosity is immeasurable. He paid the price for the forgiveness of our sins and purchased our salvation (Eph. 1:7). “All praise to God”! (v.3 nlt).

Bible in a Year:
Exodus 34-35; Matthew 22:23-46

A Storyteller

http://odb.org/2015/01/12/a-storyteller/

A Storyteller
Randy Kilgore
Colossians 1:13-23

You, who once were alienated . . . , yet now He has reconciled. —Colossians 1:21

In the years following the American Civil War (1861–1865), Union Major General Lew Wallace served as a governor of the New Mexico territories; New Mexico not yet having been admitted as a state. His work there put him in contact with many of the characters that make up the Wild West’s near-mythic history, including Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett. It was here that Wallace wrote what has been called by some “the most influential Christian book” of the 19th century, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

Wallace witnessed the worst impact of sin on humanity as he saw the violence of the Civil War and the Wild West. In life and in his best-selling book, Wallace understood that only the story of Jesus Christ has the power of redemption and reconciliation.

For the follower of Christ, the climax of our lives was the moment God “delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). Now we have the privilege of being storytellers of God’s wonderful redemption.

Lord, please take control of my words today.
Fill me with Your words of love and grace.
Use them to turn some heart toward You.
I can do nothing without You.

The difference Christ makes in your life is a story worth telling.

Paul mentions the believer’s past, present, and future in this passage. We “once were enemies,” but now in Christ “we have redemption” and are “reconciled” (vv.14,21). When Christ returns, He will “present [us] holy and blameless” if we “continue in the faith” (vv.22-23).

Bible in a Year:
Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

I Am Redeemed!

http://odb.org/2015/01/03/i-am-redeemed/

I Am Redeemed!
Dave Branon
Psalm 40:8-10

Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. —Psalm 96:2

One day when Ann was visiting her husband in the hospital, she began talking with a caregiver who was assisting him. Ann enjoys engaging people in conversation wherever she is, and she also looks for ways to talk to people about Jesus. Ann asked the caregiver if he knew what he wanted to do in the future. When he said he wasn’t sure, she suggested that it’s important to know God first so He can help with such decisions. He then pulled up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal “I am redeemed!” tattooed across his arm.

They realized that they shared a mutual love for the Lord Jesus Christ! And both had found ways to show their faith in the One who died to give us life.

The title of an old song by Steve Green says it best: “People need the Lord.” It’s up to us to find ways to share “the good news” with them (Ps. 40:9). Not everyone feels comfortable talking to strangers, and there is no one-size-fits-all method. But God will use our personalities and His light in us to spread His love.

“I am redeemed!” Let’s allow God to guide us to find ways to tell others about Jesus Christ, our Redeemer!
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy—
His child, and forever I am. —Crosby

The good news of the gospel is too good to keep to ourselves.

David had been through some tough times when he wrote Psalm 40, but God had answered his cries for help and deliverance (vv.1-2,12). Testifying to God’s faithfulness, goodness, and greatness, David calls on the congregation to join him in praising God (v.16). Knowing God’s requirement that the king of Israel personally know and fully obey God’s law (v.7; see Deut. 17:18-20), David recommits himself to knowing God’s Word and doing His will (Ps. 40:8). Thousands of years later, the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 40:6-8 and applies the words to Jesus (Heb. 10:5-7), affirming Christ’s total obedience to the Father when He came to this world as a man.

Bible in a Year:
Genesis 7-9; Matthew 3

Creation Can’t But Redemption Can!

http://bible.com/r/S.5N

Today I am reading day 333 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 333

Creation Can’t But Redemption Can!

John 9:7 7And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent).So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

When Adam sinned and fell, everything about creation fell. Yet, people today are still putting their trust in creation. For example, they try to become healthy by eating what is called the “Eden diet” — vegetables and no meat. They are acting as if creation did not fall. They also forget that there are people who eat well and exercise regularly, and still drop dead in the prime of their lives!

Thank God that what creation cannot do, redemption can and did. Jesus demonstrated this when He spat on the ground, made clay with the saliva and put it on a blind man’s eyes. (John 9:6–7) Now, it is certainly unusual to put clay on a blind man’s eyes because he would become doubly blind!

So why did Jesus do that?

He was demonstrating to us that all our body parts come from the ground and that because creation is fallen, the work of creation cannot open a blind man’s eyes. But the work of redemption can! That is why He sent the blind man to the pool of Siloam. The word “Siloam” means “Sent”, referring to the sent one, Jesus. When the blind man washed his eyes in the pool of the sent one, he received supernatural healing for his eyes.

Beloved, when we go to Jesus, the sent one who came to redeem us with the price of His blood, and we rest in His finished work, we will receive the miracle we need. If we believe that by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5), we will have greater health than those who trust in creation.

Jesus was sent to redeem us from every curse that came upon creation with the fall of Adam. (Galatians 3:13) He has redeemed us from sickness, pain, sorrow, depression, poverty and even death. The world may know Him as the Creator. But today, we know Him as our Redeemer. Where the work of creation cannot save us, His work of redemption can and has!

Thought For The Day
Where the work of creation cannot save us, Jesus’ work of redemption can and has!

Total And Complete Forgiveness

http://bible.com/r/S.40

Today I am reading day 248 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 248

Total And Complete Forgiveness

Ephesians 1:7 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

People have said to me, “Pastor Prince, I was taught that only my past sins — from the day I was born until the day I became a Christian — have been forgiven, and that my future sins are not forgiven until I confess them and seek forgiveness.”

My friend, when Jesus died on the cross, how many of your sins were future?

Unless you are more than 2,000 years old, all your sins were future then! Jesus took them all upon Himself, nailed them to the cross and declared, “It is finished!” So if you are not forgiven of all, then you are not forgiven at all.

“You mean Jesus also died for the sin that I have just committed?”

Yes!

“And also for the sins which I will commit?”

Yes! That is why He said, “It is finished!”

But many of us are inconsistent in our believing. One part of us says, “God has forgiven me of all my sins. “But another part says, “Yes, but I must still confess my sins to be forgiven of them.” Are you like that?

Beloved, you are forgiven not because of your work of confession. Your confession cannot wash away your sins. You are forgiven because of the blood of Jesus shed for you. His blood alone cleanses you.

You cannot believe that you are forgiven of your past, present and future sins, and still think that there is something for you to do to make that forgiveness complete. If you do, then it becomes your work too, not Jesus’ alone.

Is there a place for confession of sins? My friend, if you have just sinned, you can always tell God about it without feeling condemned because you know that you already have forgiveness and that Jesus was condemned in your place. But you don’t confess your sins to God in order to be forgiven. You already have total and complete forgiveness because of the blood of Jesus!

Thought For The Day
You are forgiven because of the blood of Jesus shed for you. It is His blood alone that cleanses you.

God Is Not Punishing You For Some Sin

http://bible.com/r/S.2T

Today I am reading day 153 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 153

God Is Not Punishing You For Some Sin

Ephesians 1:7 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Some Christians believe that although you have forgiveness of sins, you are not free from the penalties of your sins. In other words, you can still expect punishment from God. For example, some married Christian couples have been told that they are childless because God is punishing them for having had pre-marital sex. So although God has forgiven them of that sin, He still has to punish them for it.

I am certainly not for pre-marital sex, but I want you to know that God, who is the only one who can fully appreciate the full value of His Son’s blood and who is completely satisfied by His Son’s sacrifice, is at rest in His heart today concerning your sins! That is why He is not against you even when you fail. Neither is He out to punish you when you sin. No, He still loves you, is for you and wants to help you overcome that sin.

In the Old Testament, the blood of bulls and goats could only “cover” sins and not take them away. (Hebrews 10:4) But the blood of Jesus is not like the blood of animals! For by one sacrifice, the eternal blood of the Son of God has forever removed your sins (Psalm 103:12) and cleansed you of all unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9) In fact, God is so satisfied with His Son’s perfect work that He says to you today, “Your sins and lawless deeds I will by no means remember!” (Hebrews 10:17) And if God does not remember them, why would He punish you for them?

Beloved, you have “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”. Because Jesus’ work is complete, all your sins have been completely forgiven. And complete forgiveness means that the penalties for your sins can no longer fall on you because they had already fallen on Jesus at the cross. (Isaiah 53:5)

So don’t think for one moment that God is punishing you for some sin just because something bad happened to you. Look to the cross and know that all your sins have already been punished fully in the body of Christ. Believe that God is for you and expect victory!

Thought For The Day
Because Jesus’ work is complete, all your sins have been completely forgiven.

Redeemed From Every Type Of Sickness

http://bible.com/r/S.1C

Today I am reading day 74 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 74

Redeemed From Every Type Of Sickness

Galatians 3:13 13Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

The One who cleansed lepers, opened blind eyes and made the lame to walk took your sins, sicknesses and every curse when He hung on Calvary’s tree. The curses that were meant for you because of your sins fell on Him instead. He was cursed in your place to redeem you from every curse that comes as a result of breaking God’s laws.

What are these curses? They are listed in Deuteronomy 28. It is a long and detailed list. Don’t get frightened when you read the curses, but rejoice because Christ has redeemed you from every single one of them, including those curses of sicknesses!

Are you stricken with tuberculosis, fever or inflammation? (Deuteronomy 28:22) Christ has redeemed you from every one of these conditions!

Do you have painful boils, tumors or an itch which doctors say cannot be healed? (Deuteronomy 28:27) Christ has redeemed you from every one of these conditions!

Perhaps yours is a serious and prolonged sickness. (Deuteronomy 28:59) It doesn’t matter. Christ has redeemed you from every prolonged sickness!

“Well, Pastor Prince, you have covered tuberculosis, fever, itch… but what about my disease? It is not covered in Deuteronomy 28. Did Jesus forget my disease?”

No, His work is perfect! Look at Deuteronomy 28:61: “Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed.” That covers everything. So if Christ has redeemed you from this curse, then He has redeemed you from every type of sickness! I don’t care what new type of sickness the world discovers because Christ has redeemed us from every type of sickness!

Now, if you have a particular sickness, say, “This (name the sickness) is part of the curse of the law. But Galatians 3:13 says that Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law. Therefore, I have been redeemed from (name the sickness)!” Believe and confess that every day, and as surely as Jesus took every curse of sickness, your healing will break forth!

Thought For The Day
As surely as Jesus took every curse of sickness, your healing will break forth!

Be Numbered Among The Undevourable

http://bible.com/r/S.G

Today I am reading day 16 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 16

Be Numbered Among The Undevourable

1 Peter 5:8 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

The devil cannot just walk right up to you and rob you of your health, peace or family. He cannot just come into your life to enforce disease and destruction.

If the devil can do that, then he does not have to walk about “seeking whom he may devour”. He only has to walk straight up to anyone he wants to devour and devour him! But since the Bible says that he goes about seeking whom he may devour, the truth then is that there are people whom he cannot devour.

You see, the devil goes about like a roaring lion trying to stir up fear in people with his roars. But the people who are not devourable are those who refuse to be intimidated by his roars because they know that the true Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:5), has already come and rendered powerless him who had the power of death. (Hebrews 2:14, NASB) They know that the devil cannot just do anything to them because the Lion of Judah resides in them, and that He is greater than the devil who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

My friend, the Lion of Judah is in you. He has given you rights, privileges, authority and power. He redeemed you with His blood. Therefore, everything about you and your life is redeemed by His blood. So if you are fearful about losing your job, cover your job with the blood of Jesus. If you are worried about your children’s safety in these days of terrorist attacks, plead the blood of Jesus over them. If you have received a bad report from the doctor, speak the blood over yourself.

Whatever you have covered with the blood of Jesus, God declares, “Protected! Redeemed!” And the devil flees when he sees the blood. And when he flees, he takes with him sicknesses, diseases, pains, sufferings, destruction and loss.

Once the devil knows that you know who you are in Christ and what you have in Him, his days of intimidating you are over, and you are numbered among the undevourable!

Thought For The Day
Everything about you and your life is redeemed by Jesus’ blood.

My journey with Christ

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