Tag Archives: heavenly

Adoption Into God’s Family

 

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Adoption

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He chose us in Him . . . having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself. —Ephesians 1:4-5

My wife, Marlene, and I have been married for over 35 years. When we were first dating, we had a conversation I have never forgotten. She told me that at 6 months old she had been adopted. When I asked her if she ever wondered about who her real parents were, she responded, “My mom and dad could have selected any of a number of other babies that day, but they chose me. They adopted me. They are my real parents.”

That strong sense of identification and gratitude she has for her adoptive parents should also mark our relationship with God. As followers of Christ, we have been born from above through faith in Him and have been adopted into the family of God. Paul wrote, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:4-5).

Notice the nature of this transaction. We have been chosen by God and adopted as His sons and daughters. Through adoption, we have a radically new relationship with God. He is our beloved Father!

May this relationship stir our hearts to worship Him—our Father—with gratitude.

Loving Father, thank You for making me
Your child and giving me a place in
Your family. With a grateful heart, I
thank You for making me Yours.
God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. —Augustine

 

The Life of Power to Follow

My Utmost for His Highest

Jesus answered him, ’Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward’ —John 13:36

“And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ’Follow Me’ ” (John 21:19). Three years earlier Jesus had said, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19), and Peter followed with no hesitation. The irresistible attraction of Jesus was upon him and he did not need the Holy Spirit to help him do it. Later he came to the place where he denied Jesus, and his heart broke. Then he received the Holy Spirit and Jesus said again, “Follow Me” (John 21:19). Now no one is in front of Peter except the Lord Jesus Christ. The first “Follow Me” was nothing mysterious; it was an external following. Jesus is now asking for an internal sacrifice and yielding (see John 21:18).

Between these two times Peter denied Jesus with oaths and curses (see Matthew 26:69-75). But then he came completely to the end of himself and all of his self-sufficiency. There was no part of himself he would ever rely on again. In his state of destitution, he was finally ready to receive all that the risen Lord had for him. “. . . He breathed on them, and said to them, ’Receive the Holy Spirit’ ” (John 20:22). No matter what changes God has performed in you, never rely on them. Build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives.

All our promises and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to accomplish them. When we come to the end of ourselves, not just mentally but completely, we are able to “receive the Holy Spirit.” “Receive the Holy Spirit “— the idea is that of invasion. There is now only One who directs the course of your life, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:18-25 (Good News Translation)

God’s Word: Guiding Us to Follow Jesus

Introduction

Matthew 1:18-25: Matthew recounts how the birth of Jesus took place. An angel appears to Joseph in a dream and tells him that Mary, to whom he is engaged, has conceived a child by the Holy Spirit, and that the child is to be named Jesus.

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 1:23b

“He will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).

Today’s Reading

18 This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately. 20 While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. 21 She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus—because he will save his people from their sins. ” 22 Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, 23 “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”). 24 So when Joseph woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to. 25 But he had no sexual relations with her before she gave birth to her son. And Joseph named him Jesus.

Reflect

Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth has been described as being written from the perspective of Joseph. You may wish to compare this account with the one recorded in Luke’s Gospel (1:26-38; 2:1-20) which records the story from Mary’s perspective. According to Mosaic Law, Joseph knew that Mary could be put to death by stoning (see Deuteronomy 22:21) because she became pregnant before she was married. Do you sense that he was reluctant to marry her? Based on today’s reading, how would you describe Joseph?

Pray

Lord God, you sent your Son Jesus into the world to save people from their sins. Thank you, God, for your loving gift and for your mercy and grace. I praise you, “Immanuel,” for being “God with us.” In your holy name I pray, Amen.

Prayer Concern

Couples preparing for the birth of a child

Grace Through Faith

 

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Eternal salvation: by works or grace through faith?

— By Dr. Stan Satterfield

Trust in the Lord - Proverbs 3:5,6

“We are not always sure why the Lord convicts us to do certain things, but we hope this message will encourage you in your walk with Him.  Many of us continue to be concerned that so many Protestants (Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc. ) and Catholics believe they are redeemed (forgiven of sins) and saved (going to heaven) because of their good works (keeping the Ten Commandments or God’s Law).

The Bible (God’s holy inspired love story given to us) says if we are guilty of even one sin (Rom. 3:23) then we are condemned to eternal separation from God.  However, because of God’s grace (undeserved favor based on his love, not our good works) we have forgiveness of sins and the free gift of eternal life (John 3:16).

Our salvation is based on God’s saving grace (what Christ did for us on the cross) through our faith in what he did to save us from our sins.  These Bible passages clearly show that we are saved to eternal life by the work of Christ.

Isaiah 53:4-6, 8, 10-12 “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.   But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.  And who can speak of his descendants?  For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makeshis life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.  After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities (sins).  Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.  For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

John 1:12 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” ~ Receive Him as Savior.

John 5:39, 40 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life.  These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

John 8:24  “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”

John 17: 1-5 “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began’.”

John 20:31 “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  ~ Assurance of Heaven.

Acts 16:31 “They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”  ~ Believe Jesus died for us.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  ~ Recognize our sinfulness.

Galatians 4:4-6 “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.  Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’.”

Ephesians 2:8, 9 “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.”

Titus 3:3-7 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”


1 Peter 1:17-19 “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

1 John 4:9, 10 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live though him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Please understand that your good works will bring rewards once you’re in heaven but will not get you to the gate of heaven (Gen 28:17).  The Bible clearly says that we are not saved by religion, church membership, baptism, association or a knowledge of Christ (James 2:19 “Even the demons believe and shudder”).

Why do we think the Bible refers to the message of Christ as the gospel (means good news)?  It is good news because Christ did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.  He paid the penalty for our sins so that we don’t have to try to earn our salvation (of course only perfection could satisfy the requirements of a holy God and only the sacrifice of our perfect savior could substitute for us and meet this need).

Therefore, give thanks to our gracious heavenly Father and his holy Son for this amazing saving grace that cost Christ his life on the cross, but comes to us as a gift.  Please note that we must individually accept (receive the free gift) Christ as our Savior (paid for our sins) and Lord (ruler of our lives).  You will not be saved by church membership or by a relationship to someone you believe led a righteous life (a relative or friend who is a pastor, priest, deacon, nun, elder, etc.).

You receive Christ by personal invitation (Rev. 3:20) Christ says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door; I will come in to him (her) and fellowship with him (her).”  We receive Christ by grace (undeserved favor of God based on his love alone) through faith (Eph. 2:8,9) “By grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.”

If you’ve never accepted Christ into your heart, you can do it right now by faith through prayer (talk with God).  What you say in prayer is not as important as what is in your heart.

Prayer of salvation example:  “Dear Lord Christ, Thank you for dying on the cross to save me from my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life with you in heaven.  I now receive you as my Lord and Savior.  I turn away from my sins and choose to follow your path for my life that will bring glory and honor to you.  Please take control of my life and make me the kind of person you desire me to be.” 

If you prayed this prayer, please share it with a strong believer and join a body (church) of Bible believing Christians that can pray for and encourage you in your new life as a servant of Christ.”

From: www.Inspire21.com.