Blessed Authority

   There is One who has authority over the lives of men.  Authority refers to the power to give commands, require obedience or make judgments.  God has revealed Himself to us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and granted absolute authority to His Son.  However, American thinking is often characterized by challenging authority.  It is not difficult to see why many Christians struggle with Christ’s claims of control.  But Christ’s authority is unparalleled.  No other has bought our rights of ownership at the cross.  No other has conquered our dread enemy Satan.  No other supplies unlimited resources for living life.  Through these acts of power and love Jesus Christ claims sovereignty.  God has given Christ everything needed to meet man’s need for salvation, justice, and direction for living life.
    Jesus speaks to us of salvation in John 6:40.  “For it is my Father’s will that everyone who sees his Son and believes on him should have eternal life- that I should raise him at the Last Day.”  True justice is revealed through the wisdom and foreknowledge of God.  In John 5:30 Christ declares, “I pass no judgment without consulting the Father.  I judge as I am told.  And my judgment is according to the will of God who sent me and is not merely my own.”
    Whoever believes in Christ experiences a brand new life lived through the power of God.  “I live by the power of the living Father who sent me, and in the same way those who partake of me shall live because of me.”  John 6:57 “For the scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.”  John 7:38
    God has given Christ all authority to offer to each person life unending and overflowing with His amazing grace.  Only Jesus Christ possesses the key to open men’s hearts to receive salvation, true justice and new life.  “Master, to who shall we go?  You alone have the words that give eternal life, and we believe them and know you are the holy Son of God.”  Friends, may we respond fully to the claims of ownership on our lives, the blessed authority of Christ.

Are We Happy Yet?

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    Have you ever thought about how others might view Christianity?  Some feel we are the “sad sack” religion.  Yet every believer is given so much to make them happy.  Wouldn’t you be happy, even dance for joy, at the reality of having peace of mind, a clear conscience, and that sense of being cherished?  Have we really communicated accurately just how wonderful it is to be under such an amazing Lord?  He is always for us, showering compassion and favor upon us, removing the last trace of guilt from us and leading us forward by the inspiration and creativity of the Holy Spirit. Now that’s something to be happy about! 
    However, in the Word of God I have discovered happiness in some unexpected places.  Matthew 5:6-9,11&12  “Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied.  Happy are the kind and merciful for they shall be shown mercy.  Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God.  Happy are those who strive for peace- they shall be called the sons of God.  When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers-wonderful!  Be happy about it.  Be very glad for a tremendous reward awaits you up in heaven.” Living Bible. 
    I admit it isn’t easy to trust God when we get hurt and situations go wrong.  But turning to God’s Word provides the answers and the stability we need.  Biblical truth always causes faith to grow.  So by God’s grace we too will be leaping and dancing with pure delight at God’s provision for His children.  At last happy in the knowledge we are truly loved.

God’s Reflection

God’s message is best displayed through a changed heart as well as a daily changing life.  We are His Good News bearers.  We carry the torch.  Matthew 5:14 “You are the world’s light, a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see.”  Our lives are also to be the reflection of God’s truth and the expression of God’s character.  So what is this daily change so requisite,so crucial to being an effective Christian witness?  John 4:17-19 reveals this most important change that gives every Christian credibility.  Jesus prayed, “Make them pure and holy through teaching them your words of truth.  As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world and I consecrate myself to meet their need for growth in truth and holiness” Living Bible.  Do we really want to be an effective Christian witness?  Then we must answer the call to purity, no purity, no power.  May this wonderful song become our prayer.  “Holiness, holiness is what I long for.  Holiness is what I need.  Holiness, holiness is what you want from me.  Take my heart and form it.  Take my mind transform it.  Take my will conform it to yours, to yours, Oh Lord”