Archive for the ‘Christ’ Tag

PROMISES FROM GOD

I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite Bible promises pertaining to everlasting life for God’s faithful.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:16,17).

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever” (Dan 12:3).

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out” (Rev 3:12).

The Bible is filled with many beautiful promises pertaining to blessings God will bestow on us in our earthly lives, as well. Do you have a favorite promise of God found in the Bible? Feel free to share.

—Scripture Quotations are taken from KJV—

PERSEVERANCE REQUIRED

How many times lately, outside of church, have you spoken to others about your faith in God? For myself, I do not measure up in this area. Sure, I write this blog and have written a wonderful book, THE CASTING OF CROWNS, about relationships with God in the Last Days, for which I continue to seek out a traditional publisher. But witnessing in person rather than in writing is, I think, harder hitting.

I recently accepted a volunteer position at church as a greeter. I had forgotten how satisfying and rewarding contact with people can be even while stepping out of my comfort zone. And there is no other place I’d rather help people feel welcome. But that’s just a start.

What about neighbors, friends, and family? I’ve spoken to them in the past about God, but many of them rejected God’s truths as revealed in the Bible. Some of my neighbors don’t care to go to church at all. Their lifestyles don’t include reliance on God for their needs. All I can do is befriend them, reflect Christ’s image, and pray for them. Perhaps a crisis in their lives will drive them to God’s door. In the Bible, Jesus tells the church at Laodicea, prophetically the Last Days church, “Here I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him , and he with me” (Rev. 3:20). We need to encourage others to open the door and commune with Him.

What a marvelous relationship with Jesus will ensue. He is our Redeemer, bound to offer us, as sinners, with everything we need to overcome the power of Satan. Jesus promises: “To him who overcomes, I give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Rev. 3:21).

There is nothing more rewarding than leading someone to Jesus. However, it requires patience and perseverance. Never stop praying for those relatives of yours who need Christ in order to overcome. Don’t be afraid to witness to others who need caring friends to introduce them to God’s unconditional love, that healing balm which produces a sense of purpose and the hope of salvation.

—Scripture quotaions taken from NIV Bible—

ARE YOU CONNECTED

Some days I consider my choice of daily activities as mine alone, to do as I please. What a lapse of judgement! Our lives are not ours alone, but God’s, who seeks to use us each day, as vessels carrying hope, mercy, love, and examples of faith in Him to those within our reach.

Our selfish carnal natures will prevent us from doing His work. When we fail to surrender our lives daily to Him, we are prone to wander off the narrow road leading to salvation. We stray within an arm’s length of the devil, Satan. On days we forget, neglect, or willfully turn away from abiding in Christ, we are susceptible to Satan’s seemingly innocuous schemes. Satan tricks us into thinking that acting on an idea in our head will free us from God’s constraints. At that point we’re blinded to the fact those constraints (God’s Law) were given to mankind to protect us from harm.

When we neglect our relationship with God we forget or are unaware we have no strength of ourselves to obey God’s Laws. We flounder. We sin. We may feel guilt. What we do at this point is crucial. Either we continue to fill our carnal desires, or we get down on our knees to God in sorrow for our sins that nailed our Savior to the Cross. We confess our transgressions to the Lord, sincerely repent of them, and humbly receive His forgiveness.

Again in favor with God, we offer Him praise and thanksgiving. Our next step is again crucial — abiding in Christ, for He is the true vine, sustaining us through hard times, giving us strength to obey His Law, and allowing us to bear much fruit. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Indeed, Christ requires us to be connected with Him. This is best done by prayer, first thing in the morning, and then throughout the day, allowing us to commune with Him as we carry out God-approved and God-inspired activities. Certainly, we don’t think about God constantly, but He is the first one we will turn to for comfort and guidance, and to offer praise and thanksgiving, when we are God focused.

He is a mighty God. Get to know Him. Abide in Him. Follow His ways. You will be blessed and bless others in ways only God can enable you to do.

— Scripture quotation taken from NKJV —

THE HOLY ONES

Who are the holy ones still standing
Before the throne of Christ the King?
They’ve washed their robes in His blood,
Fixed their lives on God’s holy will.

Illumined, they stand in victory now.
Once turned against the Lord’s holy ways,
They were then sinners like us all.
Immersed in natural inclinations
Torn away by Satan’s spell.

The King turned darkness into light
By His coming, His words, and His rite.
He lay himself upon the Cross,
A Lamb whose slaughter set us free
To join the holy ones
Yes, you and me.

GOD’S BEAUTIFUL JEWEL

The gentle way of a woman
Is one of God’s wondrous creations.
Kind in words, she brings joy to others.
Calm in voice, she is a peacemaker.
Resolved in her faith,
She raises up the young,
Giving encouragement and praise,
Showing the way to God.
Thoughtful and loving,
She focuses on others needs,
Remembering also to spend time with God,
Refreshing herself.
She builds relationships
With wisdom and forgiveness.
Sacrifices she makes for her significant other
Flow from Love.
A fruitful woman,
She remains a branch
Proceeding from the Vine,
Abiding in Christ, waiting for His lead.
Her love for God is hewn in stone,
She sparkles as a jewel
In God’s loving eyes.
She shares the Gospel with the world,
Telling of the strength and salvation
To be found in Him.
She is acquainted with God’s work
For she knows God intimately;
She knows His Heart,
She is God’s beautiful jewel.

Copyright 2007 Betsy Borchardt
Based on Proverbs 31 Woman

THOUGHTS ON CHRIST’S COMING

Christ’s first coming as an infant in Bethlehem fulfilled prophecies of old, of a Savior to come for a people He loved so, He could not let them go. God had set into action the plan He had ordained from the beginning of the worlds — the Son who came to this world to become our Redeemer, a life-line for humanity separated from God by sin. A gulf of darkness pervaded the earth. Iniquity still abounds. Christ came as our Bright and Morning Star, dispelling the darkness, calling us to Him for forgiveness, reconciliation, and life — eternal life with Him.

Christ came without fanfare, except for the angels proclaiming His birth to humble shepherds in an austere setting.

Jesus lived His life in total accordance with the Father’s will. Let us, this Christmas, be reminded of our calling as Christians: to live obedient and holy lives, sharing our faith with non-believers and expressing our love to family members, friends, and strangers alike. Perhaps we could invite our non-churchgoing neighbor to Christmas service.

What we do with the rest of our lives, whether we draw closer to Jesus or go our own way, is important to contemplate this Christmas.

Christ’s Second Coming will be soon, as the signs of the times point to. Of the signs Jesus laid out all through the book of Matthew, chapter 24 in the Bible, Jesus said: “when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors” (Matthew 24:33).

As an infant, Christ came humbly. His Second Coming will be glorious and magnificently visual, for He will come as the victorious King, accompanied by hundreds of thousands of His angels, to claim His people who love and obey Him, people He has purchased with His blood.

— Scripture quotation taken from NKJV —

TO KNOW HIM

The well ran dry
Who knows the cause
Could it be all thoughts
Are straggled and lost
Flowing not from His Word

We need a guide
To stay on track
Lest we derail
Losing the oil of life
Precious God-given power
To just say no
Denying Satan a bounty
Your priceless life

Priceless souls
Christ died to save
Grab your shields now
Cling to His Word
Enter its courts
Fall before the King
In adoration
Praise and honor
Give Him your ear
Surrender your heart
Pour out your soul
For to know Him
Cleanses thoughts
Returns us to the well
That never runs dry

GOD’S LAW — JUST RULES?

What is the greatest gift we can give to the Lord? Would it be going to church weekly on the Sabbath for worship service? This is certainly one of the duties of a Christian. God looks with great favor on those who worship Him. Our duty to Him to comply with the fourth commandment is partially fulfilled by this worship of Him. The other component is ceasing work on the Sabbath. I would advise you to read the fourth commandment in it’s entirety, found in Exodus 20:8-11. It is the longest of the Ten Commandments and bears careful consideration.

Another gift we give our Lord is loving our neighbor. Truly loving, reaching out to him in times of struggle or sorrow, involves sacrifice on on part. Spending time with friends in wholesome activities that glorify God, helps developmental growth and offers opportunites for exchange of spiritual experiences. We all need to witness our faith.

When Jesus was on earth He reached out in love to thousands of needy souls, curing their illnesses, as well as teaching and healing them spiritually. When we follow His example by loving our neighbor, we please Him. Although our human abilities are limited compared to Jesus’ capacities which were aided by His dual divine and human nature, He knows we are helping Him move His work forward when we show genuine love for one another. Jesus says: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

As followers of Christ we need to attend seriously to the Ten Commandments. God gave us His commandments because He loves us immensely. He wants us to avoid sin and its disastrous consequences. He wants us to be happy. Obedience to all of the Ten Commandments is the supreme gift of love we can offer the Lord. It reciprocates the love He has for us.

But how do I keep all the commandments of God, you may ask? I am prone to sin because of my human nature. Well, there is a solution: abide in Christ. Connect with Him in prayer each day. Stay close to Him and depend upon Him to guide you all day. If you slip up He is there to help. God’s Word says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

If we obey the Ten Commandments, not as a set of rules we have to follow, but as a deep expression of our love for God, who sent His only Son to die for us, He accepts our obedience as the greatest gift we can give Him.

(All quoted Scripture from NKJV.)

LEADING FROM THE HEART

So many people today make decisions, both major and minor ones, without consulting their hearts. The heart is the seat of love. Criteria most often used in making decisions stem from selfish vices. What will I gain financially or materialistically? How will my choice allow me to put forth less effort? Will this choice allow me to spend more time surfing the internet, entertaining myself? Will it allow me to limit my time helping people I deem uninteresting or undeserving, to satisfy my needs first? Will this choice further my dreams regardless of how it affects others close to me?

Our priorities certainly can get out of order. We need to turn toward Jesus as our model to live with divine purpose, thereby striking vices from our lives. Divine purpose uses love in making decisions. Sure, we need to allow our minds guide our choices, but love needs to play a predominant role. We need to lead from the heart.

A prayerful, daily study of the Bible will acquaint us with Jesus’ motives. Motives are at the root of voluntary decisions. Jesus’ motives sprang from love for mankind, shaping His decision to die on the cross for us, saving us from the result of our sin — everlasting death. Christ’s love for us is manifested for us thoughout the Bible.

I counsel you to feed on His Word, the Bible, drawing life from God’s expression of love found therein. Model your life after Jesus, always remembering Jesus’ words: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34,35). The decisions we make will, then naturally, lead from the heart because we love one another as He has loved us.

Considering others in our decisions endears us to them and helps reveal our divine purpose: to love and serve the Lord. This act of worshipping God by loving and serving Him, when seen by non-believers, tends to attract them to the Lord. It creates a kernel of spiritual life in them so necessary to begin a walk with God.

The greatest love we can extend to those in spiritual darkness is to witness our faith through our actions and lifestyle choices. This method can win more souls to Christ than words alone. The key to Christian decision making is leading from the heart. Only when we are unencumbered by selfish motives can we, then receive a blessing when bringing others to Christ.

(Quoted Scripture from NKJV.)

JESUS CHRIST SAVES

Jesus’ gift of life to us
The eternal life we lost in sin
He offered to us at the Cross
Because He loves us endlessly.
He suffered total separation from God
Fearing it may be His eternal grave.
Yet He clung to this horrible death
Because He knew there was no other way
To appease God’s wrath against the mar
The enormity of sin.

Jesus’ resurrection shone so bright
To all who would believe in Him.
His ever mastery of love and life
He revealed in full glory.

Those who love Him will reign with Him
As saints and even priests,
To complete the justice and the love
Christ proved at Calvary.

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