Today was an awesome day! It was a good morning! We started worship with “Hold Us Together,” singing the words, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” I looked onward and considered that today’s the first day of something special for three young girls, one who was confirming her baptism, and two who were scheduled to be baptized. Yes, my eyes began to tear up. One of the three girls was my daughter—the other two were two precious sisters who I have watched grow through the years—former students, considered family in my eyes. Oh what a wonderful morning!
As the three girls were before us I continued to pray for each one of them and I thanked God for His great plan for each of their lives. After the ceremony had finished, I made my way to the bathroom. I heard the words, “Good morning.” I looked around. No one was in the bathroom. No one was in the lounge. No one was anywhere near me. And I said, “Yes God, it is a good morning.”
Every day someone accepts the Lord as their Savior, it is a good morning. Every time someone becomes a brother or sister in Christ, it is a good morning. Heaven rejoices. We rejoice. God wants all of us to come home. Each one of us. Read 2 Peter 3:9. Today, it was a good morning. Three people very near and dear to my heart had the most important day of their lives. Join me in praying for each of these girls. Pray also that those who have yet to have their “good morning” will open their eyes and ears to what God has for them—the beautiful free gift—and give themselves as a living sacrifice. Thank you Jesus!! Oh what a beautiful day!
I wrote three verses in each of the books for the girls. Here’s one I wrote for my daughter:
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” – Zephaniah 3:17 [NLT]
When I was younger, it was always about how much I could do and how well I could do something. That was true even when it came to my relationship with God. I wanted to do my best in my actions and be the “good Christian.” I read my Bible. I tried to do what it said. But again and again I failed. We cannot be perfect. We are not perfect. Every time we fail some way or another.
We need to remember that it’s not our story; it is God’s story. It’s not because of what we do that saves us, but we have salvation through the blood of Christ. There is NOTHING we can do to save ourselves. Each of us needs saving. Jesus is the only way.
Salvation through Christ is a free gift. You do not work for it. You do not earn it. If your relationship with God is based on what you can do for Him and how you can follow His Word, you are missing out on what God truly wants and on what God can provide you. When it becomes a “you story” rather than God’s story, it is time to reevaluate your relationship with God and understand you are only set right through Christ. Stop making it about you.
“So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, ‘Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.’ If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.” – Romans 4:1-5 [MSG]
I have two crosses that I wear daily. The one cross I was given as a birthday gift by my dear friend and mentor; the other cross I received from my church when I finished the discipleship program and became an official disciple of the church. One day a fellow saw that I was wearing two crosses and he asked if I could give him one. As we continued to converse, I found that he wasn’t teasing for me to give him one since I had two, but that he felt that I had twice the blessing and protection of God while he was cross-less.
I told him that we each have our own cross to bear but I did not forget the encounter. Later in the day I thought about this man and his request for one of my crosses. He felt it would bring him protection and blessing. He felt it would help him to have one of mine. It was a firm reminder that we cannot save another person—we cannot give someone something that will provide them salvation, we cannot accept Jesus for someone, we cannot save someone.
Remember this truth as you go about your day today. Your unsaved friends and family, you may be the only one who can bring them the Gospel. Those of you who went to church all your life but never independently accepted Christ, stated your belief or have not been baptized, cannot depend on the faith of your family. You personally need to declare that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. Salvation is a beautiful gift, a gift only available from God through Christ Jesus. Do not miss out on this gift. Do not miss out on what God has offered you. It is not about wearing two crosses around your neck—it is about the life you can have through Jesus.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9 [NIV]
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I have two children and one thing they know is that they can count on me. Throughout the years, I have made it known to them that I’m here for them no matter what happens. The other day, my daughter needed help. She tried to do something on her own and things didn’t work the way she desired. She wasn’t afraid though, because she knew that I had not left her.
In John 8, the scribes and the Pharisees took an adulterous woman to Jesus. When they attempted to get her condemned and stoned, Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (v. 7 NASB). One by one, everyone left– everyone but Jesus.
Jesus was the only one who actually could condemn her. He was the only one that was present that was without sin. Not only did He not condemn her, but He also did not leave her. This is an important reminder to all of us. He does not leave us, even when we are not having a good day. When we fall short, when we make mistakes, when we aren’t so pleasant to be around, He is right there waiting for us with open arms.
At times we need to show ourselves the grace that God shows us. Too often because society is so quick to condemn us, we follow suit. We fear we won’t be accepted or good enough. Today, show yourself some grace. Don’t be afraid. Seek Jesus– He has not left. Understand that no matter what you have done, He awaits with open arms.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:23-24 [NASB]