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Born This Way

What if I told you we are NOT born naturally good? In fact, that is EXACTLY what I am saying. We are born wicked and it is only through Christ alone that we can produce good fruits.

What?! How could you?

I think I am a pretty good person…

I would then have to ask you– measuring by what standards are you counting yourself as a good person?

At this point in time most people go on about how they help people, feel like they are a good friend/parent/etc., and say things like I mean I haven’t killed anyone.

Well, yes that is good and I am certainly glad to hear murder isn’t on the table. (insert chuckle)

However, if we measure by the ultimate judge on weather we are good or wicked, I think you may come up with a different conclusion.

I now ask you to be completely honest with me, yourself, and God. Answer the following questions.

  • Have you ever told a lie? Even a little white lie?
  • Have you ever taken something that was not yours or that you didn’t pay for? Think hard, because it happens on accident a lot! (a pen, something you carried home from work, something you found at a public location)
  • Have you ever said something about another person out of anger, hurt, etc.?
  • Have you ever talked about someone else to a third party, when it was not your place to tell?
  • Have you ever looked at another person in a lustful way?

If everyone is being honest, the answer should be ‘yes’ to all of the above questions. It is common for mankind (men and women) to naturally do these things because we are NOT naturally good. So, if we measure by God’s standard, which He has the ultimate say, then we are liars, thief’s, unforgiving, gossiping, adulterers.

YIKES! When you put it that way… we are not naturally good.

Which is precisely why the Bible tells us in John 3:3-7 that we need to be born-again.

John 3:3-7

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Why are we born this way?

God created mankind (Adam and Eve) and called it all very good. He gave mankind freewill and CLEAR instructions, in this case they could eat from any tree in the garden except NOT from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent and disobeyed God’s instruction and ate the forbidden fruit. If you read the whole story of the creation and fall of mankind in Genesis 1-3, God tells us that the land and mankind is cursed from the time we are born until we die because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

From here the Bible is full of stories about the wickedness of mankind’s hearts. Stories of murder, stealing, betrayal, adultery, and so much more. (Doesn’t sound much different from what we hear today on the news and in social media.

As the story goes on you will read about periods of time that mankind used animal sacrifices in attempt to atone for our sins. However, nothing was good enough to cover the disobedient wicked ways of our sinful nature. None of these sacrifices were able to bridge the gap of separation between God and mankind (us).

This is where Jesus comes in and radically changes EVERYTHING from that point forward!

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus came and fulfilled many prophesies spoken. He is fully God and fully man, which is how he lived the perfect life during His time walking the Earth. Jesus’ purpose was to be the ultimate example for us to follow and to ultimately be crucified on the cross as an atonement for our sins.

Jesus conquered sin and conquered death. He was buried in a tomb and rose from the dead on the third day. He is alive today and will return for His people. Those who are born again– that repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness, and confess Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior

Just as John 3:3-7 says born again is by spirit and water. This is our new birth or re-birth. This is not just a stated prayer. It should be followed by devout study of God’s Word. It should be a life changing radical moment in a person life.

Being born again doesn’t mean we are instantly perfect and will never sin again, it means we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus.

Born again also doesn’t mean we are free to sin when and how we please or that we should continue down the same paths, making the same choices, it means the old has passed a way, we are free from the bondage of sin and we are a new creation in Him.

A born again Christian who has had true repentance and a life changing renewal spiritually will want to seek God’s direction and to know Him more. They will be intentional when it comes to prayer time and reading the Bible.

Reading the Bible and prayer is our way of communication with God, to learn His instruction and renew our minds and soul. An internal noticeable change.

There is a common misconception that ‘most people are naturally good. have your best interests at heart’. This is just NOT the case, the Bible tells us so and not in a ‘because I said so’ type of way. The Bible clearly explains why the evil and wickedness is in the hearts of mankind from birth. It goes all the way back to the original sin of disobedience to God’s Word.

What is the root of disobedience to God’s Word or disobedience in general? Pride, thinking we know better then God or someone else who has given clear instruction for our safety, health, and well being.

Proverbs 11:2

When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

This is why in Luke 9:23 we are to to deny ourselves daily, and take up the cross to follow Him. Our ways are wicked and will lead only to destruction and death (an eternal separation from God).

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

A born again believer is a new man, a new creation, and you should see changes in their life as evidence of that.

Ephesians 4:17-24

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Matthew 7:15-16

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

Galatians 5:22-26

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Fruits of the spirit are NOT produced by our flesh naturally. We are not naturally born with these traits. They are produced by and through the Holy Spirit from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Just as the Bible tells us we must be born again through water and spirit to see the kingdom of God.

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Daily Devo- New Year, New Beginnings

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The new year has finally arrived and many of us are hoping for a better year then 2020. The new year seems to be the time people choose to make an effort to change something in their life. New year resolutions for things like weight loss, to stop smoking, eating healthier, to exercise and so on.

However most of these new years resolutions do not make it passed a week or so. This is likely because people are trying to make these changes within their own will power; which rarely ever works. The Bible tells us that without God we can do nothing, but with God we will bear much fruit. With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

John 15:5-7 NKJV

“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. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

This year I want to encourage each of you to make changes that will last. Make changes that will bear great fruit and lead you to a deeper connection with God.

The Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior that we become new creations in Him. The old passes away and all things are made new. In God we get a fresh start, a blank slate, and new beginnings.

Are you ready for a new year– new you?

God is waiting for you. Change is inevitable; the changes could be bad or good. However, even the bad changes have purpose in our life; they help us to grow and mold us into who we are.

Change is meant to polish you to make you shine brighter

When we make the ultimate, radical change and choose life over death, committing our lives to God and His kingdom we are made new in His image. His word tells us to forget the old things and focus on what God is doing in our life currently. Explaining that He can make ways when there seems to be no way.

Isaiah 43: 18-19 NKJV

18 “Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Change can be scary and uncomfortable when we are going through it, however God reminds us that His plans are for us are good and prosperous; they are meant to give us hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Often times when we choose to hand our life over to God; to renew our minds and save ourselves from our own sinful destruction; we will notice we will lose things from our former self. Things such as friends, family members, habits, and more, but God promises that He will replace these things with something far better.

The story of Job is a perfect example of this. He lost his health, his wealth, and all of his children died, but he kept his faith in God. Guess what?!? When the trial was over God blessed Job with far more than he had before.

Job 42:12 NKJV

12 Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.

This year make the ultimate change and commit your life to God. If you seek Him above all else, He will guide your path and bless your life.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

Matthew 6:33 NKJV

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your safety and protection throughout last year. Lord, although 2020 was full of uncertainties there is still a lot to be thankful for and I am truly blessed by Your mighty hand.

Lord a new year is upon us which means new obstacles, new trials, and many many new blessings. I pray that as we kick off the new year that as a nation we would dedicate our lives and future to You. That we would relay solely on Your guidance, direction, and protection. I pray as we walk through each day we would live a bold and courageous life for You.

I pray those that are lost would seek You and commit their lives to You; accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that You would remind us that change is not always easy but it is necessary to live a fulfilling and prosperous life. I pray that Your will be done in each of our lives in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Take A Stand

Always stand up for what is right and good, even if you feel like you stand alone! Now is the time for people all around the world to be taking a stand. Too many people live their life ‘on the fence’ so to speak. Trying to float through life in a neutral- uncontroversial way- being easily swayed back and forth between two opinion’s: truth and deception.

On one side of the fence: the world- on the other- God’s kingdom.

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

1 John 5:19 NKJV

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

1 John 2:15-16 NKJV

God’s kingdom representing truth, love, patience, faithfulness, meekness, kindness, self-control, etc. The world’s side represents the skewed views of truth and morality- confusing what is right and wrong and misleading people down a destructive path. It is full of deceit, violence, hatred, strife, pride, greed, anger, etc.

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:12-17 NKJV

During a time where emotions are high and our nation is divided more than ever- we need to be the light in an otherwise dark world.

The biggest problem non-believers have with Christians is they say we are hypocrites.

This is because we aren’t deciding where we stand and choosing to take the stand regardless of what others think or feel. We are saying one thing and doing the opposite. When they look at us on the outside and see we are no different than others in the world, we are hurting the image of God.

This doesn’t mean we have to walk through life being over the top religious. God calls us to be who we are- in Him. Remember, it’s about the relationship with God not organized religion. However, we also can’t go through life ‘willy-nilly’ doing whatever we like without any regard of the consequences to our actions.

Often times we are the only example some non-believers ever see of God- we are to be living in God’s kingdom at all times. Once we have made the choice to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior- we are in God and His holy spirit dwells within us. We are new creatures and the world should be able to see there is a difference in us. We are no longer of this world.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

There are many controversial subjects going on around the world today, in which the media and government have tried to skew as acceptable and right. Things that are clearly spelled out in the Bible as wrong, unrighteous, and some even as an abomination to Him.

We need to remember that the truth is in Him. God is truth. We do not follow the beliefs of the government or anyone else for that matter- except God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6 NKJV

The whole justice and moral measurement system originated from the Bible and what God has laid out as right and wrong. It seems as if the world has forgotten about God and our moral compass. Now the world is running on personal feelings- which is causing the nation to fall deeper into sin and further away from God.

I have found myself treading lightly around some of today’s controversial topics- in order to ensure I didn’t offend anyone. However, I don’t believe this is what God wants from us.

The more I studied and prayed for our nation the more I realized how God had to be feeling when He sees our nation falling into the traps of Satan and quickly self-destructing.

We have to be very careful as to what we grasp on to as truth and allow into our life and to guide our moral compass.

I believe that God is telling us today to PICK A SIDE!

It’s time to get off the fence and take a stand for what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord. In a time like this- we are the voice for God. We can not stand by and allow the world to fall at the hands of deceit.

If we know something is wrong- yet the world is telling us that it’s okay and acceptable-we must remember we are NOT of this world. We are set apart and made new in His image.

This does not mean we have to be rude or make a big scene when in a situation that is clearly against what the Bible says and what God approves of. But we also do not have to participate or entertain the idea(s) that is of a sinful nature.

As Christians we are the example of what God does for a person’s life and how living with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, truly sets us apart from the world. If those around us can’t see a difference in us- we are doing the Holy Spirit a huge injustice.

We stand up for our kids when we feel like the school teacher has done them wrong
We stand up for friends and family when others speak against them
We stand up for the injustice in the wake of police brutality
We stand up against anyone or anything that threatens our well being
But, why do we not stand up for God and His truth?

TODAY IS THE DAY TO STAND UP!

Well what if I offend someone?, you may be thinking. Well, that’s just too bad. As long as you are taking a stand from a place of love, peace, and God’s defense- speaking with respect and gentleness- You have no reason to fear any thing. God is with you.

Besides, do you not think God is offended by our lack of standing up for what’s right- offended by the behavior and actions of those who are misconstruing the truth. I am sure He is- But He is a forgiving and merciful God if we repent from our sinful ways.

I ask you today, is there something that comes to mind that you have been on the fence about? Something you know is wrong- but you have been justifying why you are not taking a stand and picking a side about it?

Are you standing in a lukewarm position- neither hot or cold in your relationship with God?

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.

1 Kings 18:21 NKJV

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

Matthew 12:30 NKJV

15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth

Revelation 3:15-16 NKJV

In the above scriptures you can see we are better off to be hot or cold but not lukewarm. This is why I am urging you all today to take a stand- get off the fence- and defend what we know is proven to be good and right with God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being a merciful and forgiving a God. A God that is never changing- always near- and loves abundantly. Lord, we thank you for this message to take a stand. I confess and ask You to forgive me for straddling the fence in particular areas of my life. I pray that you would open the eyes of each person’s heart- let them see You- Your truth- and feel Your presence among them. I pray that You would expose to each of us any area of our life that we are straddling the fence on- give us the wisdom and clarity to take a stand in and for God’s Kingdom. Lord I pray that You would fill each of us with confidence and boldness in the Holy Spirit. Draw near to each one of us- give us discernment to know what is truth and what is deceit from the world. I pray through the help of the Holy Spirit I am able to be a light for You- a beacon of hope and truth in the dark world around us. I pray that we would learn to stand up and step out in faith- knowing we are not of this world in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen