5-26-2018 Take It Through The Week

Monday – Hebrews 12:1–2 Sunday we talked about Jesus enduring the cross, “for the joy that lay before Him.” Jesus was crucified so that he could finish the race that was set before Him. He purposefully chose the cross so that we could become God’s children. Now, here in this verse we are instructed to keep our eyes on Jesus. Just as Jesus kept his eyes on the race set before Him, we are to keep our eyes our Jesus. The reason is that He is both the source and perfecter of our faith. We become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ when we hear the Word Of God and respond to it. Read Rom. 10:17. Faith in Jesus comes when we hear the Word and accept Him as Lord. So hearing about Him, is the source of our faith. According to Hebrews 12:2 He is also the perfecter of our faith. As we live for Him and use our gifts for His Glory, He makes us more useful for Him. He is perfecting us. We will not be perfect in this life, but if we walk with Him and follow Him, He will continue to perfect our faith. This is the joy that was set before Jesus. Imperfect people becoming more like what God intended them to be in the beginning. Imperfect people finding Joy in this life, they never could have experienced, without Jesus.  

Tuesday- 1 Corinthians 9:24–25  Once every four years the Olympic Games take place somewhere in the world. The greatest runners on earth will compete with one another. But there will be only one true winner in each race. Yes there are Silver and Bronze medals, but it is the Gold that is most highly valued. Paul says here that it was the same back then. In much the same way, we are competing spiritually for “a crown that will never fade away.” We are talking about a competition for men’s souls. Jesus endured the cross, “for the joy set before Him”. It was a competition with the Devil. Jesus won because he completed the contest, on the cross. Paul talks about nearly the same thing, running a spiritual race in such a way as to win the prize. Who are you praying for? Who do you know that needs to know Jesus? Write down their names below and commit to pray for them, as though they were the highest prize in the greatest race in the world, because they are. 

1. _______________________ 2._____________________3._____________________

Wednesday – Romans 5:1–2 Not that we are righteous because in and of ourselves we are sinners. But thanks be to God we can be declared righteous, even if we are not, because of faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. When we confess our sin, He declares us righteous. And not only that, “we have peace with God”. In other words, God no longer sees our sin and no longer counts us an enemy to His coming Kingdom. In the world around us we see many who oppose the Lord and His coming Kingdom. Various religions and atheists openly oppose Christianity. But for those who have been declared righteous by faith, they also have peace with God. In addition God hears our prayers. We have access to God through Jesus. Before we were declared righteous, God would not hear us. Now because of the Grace that has been given us through Jesus, we can call out to God and He treats us like His most precious children. Read  . Through Jesus we can call out to our Father-God and He will hear us. Because we have been declared righteous by faith, we have been given so much that “…we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God.” (Rom. 5:2)  Pray with me. Lord Jesus, I rejoice in the knowledge that I have been declared righteous by faith. I called out to you, in my trouble and you heard me. You heard when I confessed my sin and you forgave me. Thank you Jesus that you have given me peace with God. I am His child because you endured the cross. It was for the joy set before You. It was for my joy that you were faithful even unto death. I thank you for the grace I have been given. In Jesus Name, I pray Amen. 

Thursday – Romans 5:3–5 I guess I am just not in the same shape I was in when I was younger. I just don’t have the endurance I used to. I get out of breath more easily. I don’t mind a nap for any and almost every reason. It just seems like a good idea.  Spiritually, we are told that endurance is a very good thing. We obviously need more of it to serve the Lord. In theory, we might “rejoice in our afflictions”, but in real life situations it gets a bit harder. Nonetheless, we should rejoice because afflictions produce endurance, endurance produces character and character produces hope. God uses that process to give us irrepressible, inescapable hope. Hope that will carry us through. Hope that helps us through this life and prepares us for eternity. “God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” What is God allowing in your life right now, that He will ultimately work for good, that He will ultimately use to help you to love Him more? Read Rom. 8:28. Take a moment and thank God for what he is doing in your life, and for how he is going to use it for good.  

Friday- Romans 5:6–9 Everyone is helpless at some point. We all get to a place or places where we need someone to help us because we just can’t make it on our own. What a beautiful passage of scripture this is. “For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment…” Just when we need it most, just at the appointed time, Jesus embraced the cross for our sakes. We were helpless spiritually, and He helped us in the only way that could possibly be successful. “…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” God has indeed proven His love toward us. He not only said He loved us, He showed us. He didn’t ask us to get better and then He would love us. For all time, for all eternity He provided every man with the opportunity to be forgiven, “…while we were still sinners…” God’s wrath because of our sin is what we deserve, but we have been declared righteous by His blood.  Yes we are helpless, but He is our helper. Read Psa.  46:1. Make it your prayer and thank your Helper.  

Saturday- 1 Peter 1:13–16  Ignorance is a fascinating word. It is far different than “stupid” or other common terms we might think or say. Someone can be ignorant and not be stupid at all. They just don’t know yet. Here Peter calls believers to not go back to “…the desires of your former ignorance.” Our “former ignorance” is anything we believed to be truth, before we learned about the truth of scripture. Our “former ignorance” is anything we used to desire before we knew the Lord. As God’s children we are not to go back to it. Instead we are to learn from it; to learn from the emptiness of what we used to believe and do.  Then, in the light of scripture, He uses all of our past experiences to set us apart in our lives, and to help us be “…holy in all your conduct;”.  God is holy and we are called to be holy. Pray with me. Holy Father, I don’t know how to be Holy and I don’t’ completely understand what it means for me to be holy.  I do know that my life before I was following you was not Holy. Change me. Help me. Show me how to do and say things that bless you and please you. You are my God and you are Holy. Help me to examine my life and live for you daily. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen. 

“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 HCSB

“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.”

Romans 10:17

“Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away.”

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 HCSB

“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:1-2 HCSB

“And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.”

Romans 5:3-4 HCSB

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28 HCSB

“For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person — though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath.”

Romans 5:6-9 HCSB

“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.”

Psalms 46:1 HCSB

“Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:13-16 HCSB

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