Sometimes I’m asked “why the basics?” Why am I investing my life into helping people get the basics of faith? Why not dive into “deep” topics instead?
Here’s the truth of the matter...without knowing and applying the Bible basics in life, we’re destined to live life on the struggle bus. That’s why it’s the basics...the fundamental truths from God’s Word...that our enemy in life (the devil) works overtime to keep us from learning and putting into practice.
So what are the Bible basics? Are they trivial, non-essential things that are “beneath” us? Nope! They are the starting point...the essentials...fundamentals...they are pivotal, preliminary, quintessential, key, focal, critical, primary, cardinal and foundational. No matter how long we’ve known the Lord or how many times we’ve read our Bibles -- none of us ever “graduates” from the basics. It’s like the very foundation of your home...everything else in life rests upon how solid that basic foundation is, and continues to be!
>>Think about how important the foundation of your house is. The Bible basics are like that...they’re the very foundation for your LIFE!
The Bible basics are things like how to become a Christian...how to know for sure where you’ll spend eternity...how to know Jesus and hear His voice...how to get answers to prayers...how to use your faith to see results...how to be filled with the Holy Spirit...how to reign in life and lots of other basic things!
Let’s make the choice today to not live on the struggle bus! Rather, let’s invest in growing in our faith through hearing what the Word says on each of the fundamental Bible basics. What could our lives look like by next year, if we made an intentional effort to get to know more and more of the Bible basics...and put them into practice?
Here’s one idea...what if you took one Bible basic per month this year and dove into it? Listened to sermons and podcasts about it, read your Bible to find everything you could on that topic, read books by faith-filled authors and sought the Lord for wisdom on how to apply all of that to your life? Saturate your heart with what the Word says about that Bible basic. I have no doubt it would change your life!
How can I be sure of that? Well, the Bible is not some dusty old book...it’s a living, breathing roadmap for life...what a blessing from the Lord! We see this truth in verses like these:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)
The Bible is alive and active...so, even when we read verses we’ve already read before, God will show us layers upon layers of new understanding from those verses and how we can apply it to our lives. And, because the Word always accomplishes and prospers...getting the Word into our hearts is the greatest investment we can make into our lives.
Continuing to grow in the Bible basics is how we get off the struggle bus and take our seat with Christ, to reign in life through the authority He has given us. Let’s get passionate about learning and growing in the basics...make this YOUR year to strengthen the foundation of your life!
Say This: “Father, thank You that as I invest in learning the Bible basics, You help me understand them and build my life upon them. Lord, help me to apply what I learn from Your Word into my life, and thank You for helping to stir up in me the ongoing desire to keep learning and growing as I walk through life with You! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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Filtering by Category: Grace
Sometimes I’m asked “why the basics?” Why am I investing my life into helping people get the basics of faith? Why not dive into “deep” topics instead?
Did you know...God has a lot to say about your life? Check this out…
In Psalm 139 He says that YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made.
In Jeremiah 29:11 He says He has good plans for YOUR life, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 He says His grace is sufficient for YOU, and His power is made perfect in your weakness.
In James 1:17 He says the gifts He gives YOU are good and perfect.
In Matthew 11:28 He says you can come to Him with heavy burdens and He’ll give YOU rest.
In Philippians 4:13 He says YOU can do all things through His strength.
>>Wherever you are or whatever you find yourself facing today, you can remain confident that YOU were made for THIS.
I pray that you’ll be encouraged today -- whatever “this” is in your life...He’s got you.
Say This: “Father, thank You that You have my back, You believe in me, and You have great things in store for me. Lord, I ask You to be the Lord of my life, and I choose to follow Your Word and seek after Your wisdom. Thank You that there’s nothing I’ll ever face alone -- You’ll always be with me, helping and strengthening me! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
In last week’s devo, we talked about rejection...which all of us at some point or another have faced. You are not alone! (I encourage you to go back and read last week’s devo, in case you missed it!) Today, let’s dive further into this subject because the fact of the matter is that in our Christian lives, some rejection is inevitable! Jesus confirmed this basic truth in verses like this one: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV).
It’s true that because of our union with Jesus Christ, we are totally accepted by God. At the same time, because of our alliance with Jesus, we will experience rejection by others. People will mock, insult and distance themselves from us because of our faith in Jesus.
>>Because of our identification with Him, we will face persecution and rejection. When this happens, Jesus told us to be happy about it. It’s confirmation that you’re a Christian!
Wait a second...you might be thinking...He wants us to be happy about it? Yes! Take a look at this passage in Matthew: “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way” (Matthew 5:10-12 NLT).
So, as Christians, we will at some point in our lives experience things like being “looked down on” because of our faith in Jesus Christ, or we might lose friends, be ignored, laughed at, talked about or rejected and overlooked. When Jesus, Savior of the world, was on earth, they did all of that to Him -- so as we identify our lives with Him, it makes sense that this world would throw some rejection at us as well.
Here’s the deal...no matter how good your intentions are and how gracious your approach, you will at some point or another be misunderstood, and people may reject you and your faith in Christ. You are in good company! Jesus, the disciples and prophets of old, and Christians all around the world are experiencing rejection too, for His Name’s sake...and Jesus knows it. That’s why the Lord comforts us with promises like: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
Now, as a quick point of clarification here, let’s be sure persecution and rejection is coming because of our genuine Christian testimony, not due to any kind of obnoxious or self-righteous kind of behavior! Let’s be “true blue,” walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk, real deal, gen-u-ine Christians who live out our faith through our actions and who share our faith with truth, grace and wisdom.
Friends, keep growing your knowledge of His Word and in your faith...and rest assured that He’s always got your back, even when rejection or persecution knocks at your door. He has given you everything you need to rise above it and to keep living out your amazing, faith-filled, overcoming, blessed and joyous Christian life!
Say This: “Father, thank You that You never leave me nor forsake me. I know that even when I face rejection or persecution because of my faith, You are always with me and You’ve given me everything I need to walk out this faith-filled journey. Lord, help my Christian testimony to be strong, bold, genuine and effective for reaching more and more people for Christ! When rejection comes, I will choose to rejoice and to keep my eyes on You -- and I will keep pressing forward in following You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Last week, we looked at how multi-faceted God’s grace is and if you missed it, I encourage you to go back and check it out! Today, let’s look at some important types of grace and how they’ll help you in life. The Bible describes at least three different categories of grace: saving grace, standing grace and serving grace. Let’s dig into each of them.
Saving grace is the grace God gives to sinners to influence their hearts and turn them to Christ. We cannot be saved apart from God’s grace. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
Think about your own salvation. Do you remember how God graced you in such a way that you were able to have faith to believe? God’s saving grace allows us to have faith to believe and be saved. It’s truly a gift!
Standing grace is the grace God gives us to stand in faith and live the Christian life. We need God’s grace to live. Romans 5:1-2 tells us: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (NIV). It’s through faith that we stand in grace.
>>God’s standing grace gives us His ability to live in a place of rest and to have faith, to know, to grow, to think, to give, to be and to do all the things God wants for us.
It’s possible that some may be unfamiliar with the term “standing grace,” but it is this very grace that we are talking about when we seek the Lord for grace for the pace! When God gives us standing grace, He gives us His power, energy and ability for various areas of our lives.
Serving grace is the grace God gives us to serve Him. He gives us grace gifts, talents, passions and callings that are unique to each one of us. God has graced or gifted each of us in a special way so we can serve Him in a powerful and fruitful manner. Whether your serving grace is in the area of leadership, hospitality, teaching, mercy, giving or some other area, God enables and equips you for serving by His grace.
The Apostle Paul understood serving grace when he said, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us” (Romans 12:6 NIV). He also said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV). Notice that Paul said that it was the grace of God within him that allowed him to work and serve God. Each one of us has been endowed with serving grace that also helps us function in the grace for the pace!
When we truly receive God’s abundant provision of grace -- saving grace, standing grace, and serving grace -- along with His gift of righteousness, we can reign in life. Just read this incredible promise found in Romans 5:17: “For if, by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (NIV).
>>Through His grace, we are empowered to overcome every bit of stress and overload that is thrown our way.
Reigning in life...being saved, standing and serving the Lord...overcoming stress or overload...these are all terms I want for my life -- how about you? Be encouraged today, friends, and ask the Lord for a fresh deposit of grace!
Say This: “Father, thank You for saving grace, standing grace and serving grace. Help me to experience all of those in my life! Thank You for Your great love in providing these incredible provisions of grace in my life. Lord, I ask for a fresh deposit of grace today and I thank You for it! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Overloaded, stressed and busy -- life is moving at a rapid pace these days! How are you handling it? Are you feeling fried, or energized? With so many demands, choices and obligations, not to mention all of the technology coming at us from every side, it can become overwhelming.
But...here’s the secret to not getting run over by the crazy fast pace of life...we simply need to tap into God’s grace for the pace! Simply put, grace for the pace is when God Almighty gives us a supernatural deposit or endowment of inner strength, energy, gifting, ability, know-how, understanding, knowledge and favor which first leads us to salvation and then helps us stand in victory and serve God.
Grace is His free gift to man. What a gift -- that God Almighty would impart His grace to us and that grace would supernaturally help us succeed in whatever we face! When we truly receive God’s grace for the pace, we receive His ability to function at the pace life requires of us.
>>God’s grace helps us with the stressed and overloaded pace we often face. We need God’s grace for the pace!
I once heard it said that people think the term “grace” is like a pair of fluffy bunny slippers...nice and soft, but not really of any practical value in everyday life. But, what grace truly is like is a pair of combat boots! God’s grace (“combat boots” in this analogy) equips you to walk through whatever terrain you’ll face that day. It makes you more resilient, protected and equipped! Don’t walk through the gravel and sharp rocks up ahead without your combat boots on!
You see, if you have grace...life will start to feel like a well-greased machine. There’s a flow. There’s supernatural ease. You know when to say yes, and when to say no. Whatever you need to know, be, or do -- God wants to grace you in such a way that you have His supernatural ability in that area. Grace is huge! Can you see how wonderful God’s grace is?
On the flip side of the coin, without grace you will eventually burn out and resent the very things you once loved. Without grace you’ll do what you have to do, but eventually you’ll start to feel like a “flat-liner” in life and experience a sense of detachment.
Without grace, you function but there’s no unction. You survive, but you do not thrive. You may be skilled, but you are not fulfilled. You live and die, but never know why. Are you getting the picture here? Without God’s grace for the pace, we can end up with sorrow and regret, when it’s all said and done.
So...don’t let that be your story! God’s mercies are new every morning. He doesn’t ever run short on His supply of grace -- ask Him for grace for the pace in your life! His grace will help you navigate the twists and turns of life, and despite any challenges, to remaining standing. Check out what Romans 5:2 says about grace: “Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God” (AMPC).
Isn’t that encouraging? God, through supernatural deposits of His grace into your life, will equip you with everything you need to stand and succeed in life. Keep tapping into His grace each and every day, and you’ll experience just how powerful -- and absolutely essential -- His grace is for your daily life!
Say This: “Father, thank You for Your grace! Lord, I ask You for more deposits of grace for the pace into my life, please. Help me to tap into Your grace each and every day, so I can carry out all of the wonderful plans You have for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”