Free Indeed

Happy Independence Day, America!

The power behind worship is that it is a choice. No matter your circumstances, you can choose how to respond to your situation. You can choose to be miserable during hard times, or choose to let go and trust God. Ultimately, you decide whether to live a life in bondage or be a free child of God. Worship is an act of your will.  This song simply says:

“I’m free indeed, in Christ I’m free indeed. No chains are holding me, its who I choose to be…I choose to be free!”

The bible says in Romans 8:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who[a] do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our freedom, and Jesus died for us out of His love for us, that we may not be held in the bondage of sin but have freedom and everlasting life through the gift of salvation. All we need to do is choose Jesus. Choose to live a life of obedience to the Word, renouncing sin out of our lives. All we need to do is willingly lift up our hands in worship, declaring that in Christ, we are free indeed! Selah.

Photo provided by unsplash-logoWilliam White

Again and Again and Again

First, take a minute to LISTEN TO THIS ENTIRE SONG!

When has God never been there for you? Even when you think you are alone, God is there! And He will solve all your problems. He will heal all your pain. He has the PERFECT plan for your life. When are you going to praise God like you REALLY trust Him? When are you going to truly give up on trying to things on your own and allow God to be GOD in your life? I mean, when are you going to let Him be first and foremost, let Him guide you and take care of you and let the endless depth of His love pour over you? Stop worrying and praise the King of kings! He is the Lord of lords! He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

Psalm 113 “Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.
3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.
4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high,
6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
8 That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.”

AND IF HE DID IT BEFORE, HE WILL DO IT AGAIN! That difficult thing you are going through? GIVE IT UP TO GOD!! LET HIM HANDLE IT! Be empowered! Get up and praise Him now! Selah.

He’s faithful God
He’s an on-time God
He’s a healing God
You will come through once again!
Just in the nick of time!
Satan is defeated!
You WILL come through once again!

He’s a wonder, He’s a wonder! He’s a mighty God!

Photo provided by unsplash-logoJessica Felicio

The Day of Pentecost

Welcome to Summer! In Bible study we have been discussing the book of Acts. Today we discuss the Day of Pentecost. What happened at Pentecost in the Bible? How does it relate to Christians today? Read Acts II.

Starting in Acts II, we read an account of the Holy Spirit coming upon the believers at Pentecost. This is in Jerusalem after Jesus has ascended to Heaven to be with God post-crucifixion and after the disciples are reaffirmed in their mission for the Kingdom of God. The Day of Pentecost signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and we see Peter acknowledge the fulfillment of prophecy from Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.

Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He spoke to the believers about being baptized in the Holy Spirit and the significance. This spectacular event not only signified the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and followers of Christ Jesus, but it signified the birth of the new church. Peter spoke a sermon over a crowd of thousands in Jerusalem, converting 3,000 people to Christianity from many nations and backgrounds. From that day on, the revived church began and the good news of the Gospel of Salvation was being spread.

Acts II: 42-47The Fellowship of the Believers: 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

God used the Day of Pentecost as a revival for the Kingdom of God after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ever since that day, believers have been working in as servants of God to spread the message of the gospel to all who have ears to hear with a mission of saving as many people as possible. They met daily fellowship and talk about the goodness of God to those who had yet to hear.

God’s promise is that all people will have heard the good news of Salvation before the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the Day of Pentecost signifies a call to action for all believers to spread to gospel of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. The mission began at Pentecost and continues with all of us who have given our lives to God today. It is our calling and the will of God that we use our gifts and the direction of the Holy Spirit to spread the message of love and salvation to all who are lost.

Prayer: Father, allow me to be used by You to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ. Allow the love, grace, and mercy that You have shown me give me the ability to show a lost soul the way to Jesus Christ. Transform my heart and fill my heart with the compassion of the disciples and believers at Pentecost. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead me to those who need to hear about You, and give me the boldness and confidence to share Your gift with the world. Amen.

Photo provided by unsplash-logoSunyu

Man of Faith: Abraham

Happy Father’s Day! Today we discuss Abraham, the father of all nations and a true man of faith.

Abraham is the man who took his son Isaac on a mountain as a sacrifice to God.
Abraham is a man who started out as Abram, who believed in God but was still unsure of his calling.

We are the descendants of Abraham, the father of all nations. We’ll look at Abraham’s life and learn from what God spoke to him. Today we’re going to talk about TRUST.

God’s call is a call to trust.

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Abram’s journey to becoming Abraham in the Bible reveals a man who was obedient but struggling with depending completely on God. It is fascinating to think that the same man who lied to protect himself would end up taking his only son to serve as a sacrifice to the Lord. Abraham’s overall growth is a journey we all face, to lean not on our own understanding but to depend completely on the direction of God and the Holy Spirit.

Abraham’s growth reveals man who learned to trust along with his obedience.

God established his covenant with Abram, changing his identity to align with the calling that is on his life which is signified by the change in his name from ‘exalted father’ to ‘father of many’ (Abraham).

Genesis 12:2-3 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 

God uses people He calls to fulfill His promise.

God’s promise was fulfilled through the birth of Abraham’s eight sons, and nations would be forthcoming that would lead to the birth of Jesus Christ. God accomplished this through His servant Abram who He called, just like He has called and chosen each one of us to fulfill a promise and purpose in our own lives that will impact the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Father, let my faith be made strong in mt weakness and just as You established Your covenant with Abraham who struggled with trust, establish Your will with me that I may fulfill the purpose You have designed for my life. Teach me to trust in You and learn to lean not on my own understanding, but instead follow Your guidance and direction, and be obedient to Your word. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Photo provided by unsplash-logoAaron Burden

This Is The Air I Breathe

Are you desperate for God? Is your worship an act of desperation? We should always come to God with an expectancy because He loves us and is the only one who can grant the desires of our hearts. But is your temple worthy?

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Ephesians 2:21-22 “In [Jesus] the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in [Jesus] you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

A Prayer for the Ephesians

Ephesians 3: 14-21 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoTaylor Ann Wright

Smile

Romans 12:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Let us remember that God takes joy in our worship, that our main purpose as worshippers of Christ is to show Him our love and submission. Not as slaves, but as children – as sons and daughters of Christ. As the adopted, the chosen ones. We want God to know that it is better to be in His presence for these moments of praise and worship than anywhere else in the world.

“Better is one day Your courts, better is one day in Your house…than 1000 elsewhere.”

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoTaylor Grote

Flow To You

What is your desire and what is your prayer this morning? It can be so easy to get distracted and off course in our lives, no matter your age or circumstance. It can be easy to forget why we worship God and do the things we do in obedience to him. The Bible says in Romans 7 that we do the things we do not wish to do because of our sinful nature; our natural flesh has desires of its own contrary to what God intends for us. Worship is a form of discipline to strengthen our spirit-man to overcome the desires of our flesh because as believers and worshippers of God we have life in the Holy Spirit:

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the powera]”>[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed youb]”>[b] from the power of sin that leads to death.” –Romans 8:1-2

Worshiping God is an act of obedience and surrender. Surrendering what we think is right in order to obtain the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Honoring the Lord God our Savior for all that He has already done, even if He does nothing else for us from this day forward. Yet hoping and believing that the best is yet to come. So let all your worship and all your praise flow to the one and only God this morning! Selah.

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoRichie Lugo

Made A Way

This young man is 15 years old, praising God with a song with lyrics that describe a testimony every single follower of Christ can attest to. Think about those difficult circumstances in your life, even the ones you thought got the better of you – Are you still standing? Are you still living and breathing and covered with God’s grace and mercy? That is because He made a way for you, even when we turn our backs on Him – He still wants the best for us all. Only the love of God can make that possible, only He can move mountains and cause walls to fall and we have no idea how He does it, but aren’t you grateful? Are you not humbled? Are you not blessed??

This young is pouring out his heart to God, and we may not know why but we have every reason to be like him. We have every reason to give God all the praise and all the worship.

You made a way
When our backs were against the wall
And it looked as if it was over
You made a way
And we’re standing here
Only because You made a way
You made a way

Deuteronomy 10:21: He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.

Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.

unsplash-logoKai Gradert

Akekho Ofana Nojesu (There is No One Like Jesus)

The song says:
There is no one like Jesus
I have traveled everywhere
I have looked everywhere
I have searched everywhere
There is no one like Him!

You don’t have to understand the language to feel the power of the praise of the people of God! See how they dance and move and shout to God? Aren’t they having a great time praising God together? We should strive to have the same or better praise and worship experience no matter who we are, where we are, or the circumstances we face! God deserves the all the glory and the honor and the praise! Don’t let the rocks and stones cry out in your place, praise God now and always. Selah!

Psalm 150:1-6 “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!”
Ephesians 5:19 “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.
Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Photo provided by: unsplash-logoHanna Morris