Unleashing the Power of Prayer

One of the most common stumbling block in unleashing the power of prayer is avoiding alone time with God. It’s easy allowing the demands of family, careers and social events to override my prayer life.

When I become too busy for God, it opens the door for unnecessary troubles. I know this from experience because when I’m not active in embracing Christ, my problems become overwhelming and I take the wrong actions in finding a resolution.

But the moment I show God my undivided attention then He takes my life and eliminates my obstacles. This doesn’t mean it takes place right away. A point often overlooked is God uses a timetable, unlike mine. The emphasis is without Christ as my top priority my prayers stay unanswered.

The Lifeline of Prayer

Think of it this way. When a child’s conception happens, the umbilical cord is its lifeline. And without this essential physical bond between mother and child life doesn’t exist.

Likewise, the same holds true in prayer because failing to speak with the Lord cuts me off from the Light of Christ. And living in spiritual darkness is eternal death.

As we continue looking at the Gospel of Matthew Christ shows how confused the believers are in knowing God’s truths. One problem they experienced is understanding the way God wants a believer to pray.

With this in mind, Jesus delivered them the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).

Many of us approach prayer with good intentions but lose focus on the way God wants us to speak to Him. No one is perfect in their walk with the Lord (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

In Matthew sixth chapter verses five through fifteen we find Christ’s exceptional lesson for praying. It’s not by accident Jesus first shared on preparing the proper mindset for rightful praying (Matthew 6:5-7).

Our Messiah pointed out two unfavorable approaches for praying and one worthy of receiving God’s grace.

Improper Prayer

Jesus started with a stern message on humility. It’s important to realize God disapproves prideful actions. Here Jesus tells us not to pray intending to show others (Matthew 6:5). And Christ warns us a prayer anchored in self-centeredness is unprofitable in God’s eyes.

Remember the Lord doesn’t find it amusing to live as a hypocrite.

The second key in Christ prayer lesson is avoiding repetitive words. Our Messiah identified prays with long and duplicate words are worthless to God.

Christ said this:

“And when you pray do not use vain repetitions as the heathens do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7)

No, the Lord prefers a simple and sincere language.

Christ’s Vision of Proper Praying

God is faithful to those who follow His commands and Christ reminds us this truth. Jesus left no doubt the greatest approach in praying is private. Nothing pleases God more than facing Him alone. Here Jesus promises if we do this then God will answer our prayer, and our reward becomes noticeable (Matthew 6:6).

Christ’s Prayer Command

Once I get Christ’s recipe for acceptable praying, then the wisdom behind the Lord’s Prayer is at my disposal. It’s in this prayer I find the three ingredients needed in unleashing the power of prayer.

The first action to take is glorifying God (Matthew 6:9). Christ made it known God responds to those who glorify Him. And when we obey our Messiah God steps in and protects from His enemy. Nothing draws us closer to our Creator than honoring His presence. And nothing matches God’s indisputable grace.

Selfless service to God (Matthew 6:10) is a key to finding the full might of prayer and brings us to Jesus’s second point in the Lord’s Prayer. Each of us understands the essence of serving God’s purpose brings us incredible spiritual balance in every circumstance of living. Nothing is more impactful or profound than working for God!

The last three verses of Christ’s lesson on proper praying is asking God for guidance (Matthew 6:11-13). In those scriptures, Jesus commands us to ask God for spiritual food (our daily bread), forgiveness of sin (others included), and removal from temptation and deliverance from evil. Each of those requests is straightforward petitions keeping us focused on fulfilling His will.

Now with Christ’s knowledge of praying and our willingness to apply it then we can unleash its full potential. Every one of us has bear witness to the miracle of prayer both in personal experience and observing others victory. Remember with God everything is possible!

Have you unleashed the power of prayer?

The Undeniable Key of Righteousness

In Christ’s sermon on the mountain (Matthew Chapters 5-7) He shows the conduct God expects a member of His kingdom to manifest to their neighbors. When we take an honest view of the Bible, our understanding of how God opposes mistreating others emerges. And Christ spoke on the key of righteousness.

Jesus held nothing back when speaking of God’s truth. In His homily, He set right every misinterpretation on anger (Matthew 5:21-26), adultery (Matthew 5:27-30), and marriage (Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:1-10).

Likewise, Christ illuminates the way to selflessness (Matthew 5:38-42), unconditional love (Matthew 5:43-48), and humility (Matthew 7:1-6).

It’s in this part of Christ’s teachings He lays out the Christian actions necessary in living a God-centered life. The first thing to remember is Jesus highlights love (Matthew 5:43-48) as God’s favorable interaction with those who cause us trouble. So finding spiritual love comes from reliance on Christ.

Righteousness is out of reach on willpower alone. We understand this truth when we revisit Adam and Eve’s great fall from God’s grace (Genesis 3: 1-19). The second they disobeyed God, sin sprouted and corrupted the human soul. Their penalty for disobedience cost them God’s affection, but the Lord loved them and provided them the key to a pure heart (Genesis 3:22).

 

 

Remember, Christ defeated sin (1 Peter 2:24) and without His intervention, in the way, I react to being mistreated is sinful. Think of it this way. When someone belittles me and I react in the same way, then sin controls my response. But the more I grow in Christ when those circumstances arise my ability to forgive increases. And when I fall short in love, then repentance is my way back to righteousness.

It’s important to realize the key to righteousness as set forth through Christ’s firm teaching is love and humility. Both a loving and humble existence lead to a life of glorifying and serving God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and helping others. God is pleased when we live a modest life and express His love to others.

For example, when Christ talked about murder, He made it known anger is its taproot. In, our generation the world reminds us the devastation anger causes in society. Nowadays, murder is a headline broadcast to the masses.

Jesus understood anger is dangerous and the way to stop it from infesting the heart is reconciling our indifferences and making amends for wrong doings (Matthew 5:24). Making right wrongdoing is an act of love and an example of humility.

Love coupled with humility removes resentment and brings serenity in angry circumstances. And when we show those around us God’s love our lives become rich in righteousness.

Another excellent illustration of pure at heart is understanding other’s sinful ways (Matthew 7:1-6). It’s easy to forget my sinful actions. At birth, sin is present (Romans 5:12). So passing judgment on others is senseless because God knows everyone falls short in living holy.

I am familiar with the unfruitfulness of pointing the finger at people’s shortcomings. Many times when I become self-righteous it’s an unpleasant experience. I never walk away from it feeling good. But the more willing I am to live in Christ the less I judge others. This revelation brings me peace and I can love people who cause me problems.

Our discussion on the key to righteousness comes to an end, and we touched on a few aspects to its reverence for God. Since righteousness doesn’t come easy then a more comprehensive understanding stems from building a personal relationship with Christ. And with Jesus as our guide finding a pure heart is God’s reward for adhering to His word.

Have you found the key to righteousness?

Part 3: The Bright and Sweet Aroma of Salvation

God is incredible. His eternal light is bright, and the sweet aroma of salvation is His endless gift of good fruit. This experience comes from the ones Christ receives from God (John 17:24).

Christ is impressive in the way He teaches God’s truths. One of His greatest messages is making a real believer the salt and light of salvation (Matthew 5:13-16).

In other words, living in the Lord’s kingdom is full of flavor and filled with eternal light. And this means we must show those around us the impact Christ has on our lives through our Christian actions.

In our study of the Sermon on the Mountain (Matthew Chapters 5-7) we come into contact with Christ’s remarkable way of sharing God’s truths. Last week the Beatitudes gave us a glimpse into the Lord’s designed plan for righteous living.

To put it another way, those truths hold us accountable to show others the way the Lord wants us to live for His purpose. This is important to realize because Christ’s next discussion is taking those internal changes and displaying them to those around us.

Since God saves a soul through His grace (Ephesians 2:8), then we need to attract others into His light. For this reason, He delivered Christ to us so we can shine above our carnal selves and radiate the sweet aroma of a saved life.

And when we live by God’s will then our lives are a bright spot to those around us. For one thing, the Holy Spirit gives us the Christian attributes needed to help others overcome adversity. It’s in Christ we find the wisdom to comfort those in distress.

Shining Christ’s Light to those around us comes with responsibility. The first thing to remember is God watches the way we treat our neighbors.

Remember we don’t choose who Christ places in our paths. It’s easy assisting others we love, but the more challenging testimony of our faith is when God asks us to shine His light on someone we want to avoid. In this case, the Lord is asking us to go beyond our personal preference and offer our selfless services. And failing to not act on God’s commandment opens the door for a hardened heart.

Living a distasteful life brought me negative results. My life full of bitterness, resentment, and jealousy. The way I conducted myself left a horrible taste in other mouths. I was vulgar and rude causing people to turn away from my ungodly behavior. This immoral way of living left me alone, afraid and at odds with God.

I’m pleased to announce to you I’m no longer bearing rotten fruit. God stepped in and pulled me out of the black hole of despair and everything changed. And for the first time, I saw His shining Light. Today even in my imperfections Christ’s never dimmed His light. I now know the fruits of salvation, and this keeps me seeking the will of God.

It’s not by accident we cross paths with other believers. Since our bond is with Christ, God attracts us through the Holy Spirit and this unity strengthen His kingdom.

As long as we keep faithful our place in God’s house is secure. It’s important to realize Christ makes sure our light is bright, and this allows us to share with others God’s everlasting reality.

Expressing love, reaching out to others and giving more than expected are the results from Christ’s light and leaves the greatest impression to those receiving it. This is even more rewarding when we show the ones we dislike the same as those we love.

The experiences of Christ’s light are many, and we have touched on a few of them. Christ provides us many opportunities to shine. God’s salt heals because it never goes flat. And when we show others, the source of our Light this pleases God because we are professing His truth.

How do you shine Christ’s light to others?

Christ’s Sermon: Blessed are the Faithful

Part 2: The Beatitudes

Throughout man’s history, God recognizes faithful believers. He rewards those who place Him as their number one priority and live by His commandments. The Lord blesses His chosen ones, and in the Gospel of Matthew, we find this to be true. Blessed are God’s faithful followers.

Christ’s sermon on the mountain begins with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-12). Each of them starts with a blessing. In fact, this is Christ’s way of reaching out to humanity with the keys to eternal happiness. Because being blessed means living a joyful life through God’s grace.

This blissful consciousness is God given and not by our making. And when we live the Beatitudes, God takes notice, and our lives become prime examples of a Christ-centered life. And this makes living in a broken world enjoyable.

Jesus uses the Beatitudes as the blueprint for a life built on God’s word through living in His truths. They radiate a life anchored in Christ’s Deity showing others the inner-workings of God’s Spirit. In the same way, they are the spiritual principles the Lord gives to those worthy to receive His unconditional love.

In the Beatitudes, Christ outlines God’s eternal plan for a life centered on Christian action. As a matter of fact, it’s in those scriptures that Jesus spells out in perfect detail the behavior a Christian must show to find God’s blessing. For this reason, we need to deny ourselves and live for Christ.

It’s important to realize the Beatitudes have three distinct attributes. First, they show a life rooted in humility. For example, becoming poor in spirit isn’t a lack of spirit but is surrendering free will for God’s purposes.

Once a believer becomes willing to continue letting go of individualism for Christ’s sake then his or her spirit transforms into one driven by the Holy Spirit. And this brings an overwhelming want to serve God better.

This spiritual transition from spiritual darkness into Christ’s light opens the door to the kingdom of heaven. And the more our spirits yearn for God, the happier we become because real gratification of life comes from dependence on Christ and not from selfish motives.

 

The second Christian attribute contained within the Beatitudes is acting on God’s word without reservations. A point often overlooked is salvation is an active participation in God’s truth. And this means developing a personal willingness to apply faith under each circumstance of a Christian’s life. With this is in mind it’s easy to understand words are meaningless until they become active. Christ makes it easy to understand the meaning behind the Beatitudes.

As a matter of fact finding the kingdom of heaven, God’s comfort, eternal inheritance, and Christ’s righteousness are more than words. One must take action by showing God a willingness to do His will in a world that rejects His truths. This means showing a humble, mournful, and righteous life (in unjust circumstances) and knowing others will ridicule us for standing firm on Christ’s words.

The last spiritual attribute in Christ’s Beatitudes is receiving God’s unconditional love. A most compelling evidence to God’s love is best shown in His rewards of mercy, seeing Him, becoming sons of God. And receiving a great reward in heaven for standing firm in times of Christ persecution is His gift to the faithful. Christ didn’t shy away from the way God responds to those who follow the Beatitudes.

In my past unhappiness raised its head. Living in darkness brought me emptiness and discontent. Everything I tried to bring me joy failed because I lived in the lusts of the world. My selfish motives became interwoven in prideful ambitions. I knew nothing of meekness nor God Himself. Then, when I wanted to die, God rescued me.

I’m grateful God saved me and introduced me to Christ. Today my code for Christian living are the Beatitudes. I’m not perfect and fail to live those spiritual truths. But the moment I realize my failure and humbly ask Christ for help then through repentance I’m connected to the Holy Spirit.

How do you practice the Beatitudes?

Christ’s Sermon on the Mountain

 

Part 1: Overview

I have heard many great sermons preached on God’s truth. Those pastors are pouring out their hearts to spread God’s words. They motivate, inspire and encourage me to live for God. But the most excellent sermon I’ve ever read is the Sermon on the Mountain and the one sharing is Christ Himself.

Understanding the Sermon on the Mountain (Matthew: Chapters 5-7) is of the utmost importance. In fact, this speech speaks volumes and describes the Christian qualities God’s expects from his faithful followers.

Those chapters are Christ’s blueprints for building a spiritual foundation anchored in God’s Spirit. Here Christ gives us the tools of righteousness and leaves no doubt of the will of God.

Contained within those three chapters are God’s real truths and corrects every wrong presentation of the Lord’s word. In the Old Testament, the stubborn attitudes from God’s chosen ones continued to place distant between them and God. They became misled, and their spiritual leaders taught them an incorrect understanding of God’s word.

They practiced Jewish traditions giving little or no focus on God’s law. And when the time came for God to deliver Christ to them they were unprepared for the Lord’s truth.

As soon as Christ taught His Disciples the wisdom behind the Father’s words everything they knew changed. The scriptures written in The Sermon on the Mountain comes directly from God’s voice and spoken by Christ.

Christ’s opens His sermon with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) and ends it by telling the disciples His role as God’s Son (Matthew 7:24-27).

The Sermon on the Mountain shows the actions a member in Christ’s kingdom needs to take to find favor with God. In fact, the other three Gospels support its validity. Everything Jesus spoke of in this powerful sermon is in each Gospel. God is constant, never deviates from His words and we understand this from the way the Gospels tells the same truths.

In this sermon, Christ’s delivers God’s message of how a believer needs to respond to life’s terms. In other words, it spells out the solutions to the way we approach God (Matthew 6:5-15) and how to treat our neighbors (Matthew 5:43-48). Christ made sure He spoke on the actions God wants humans to take to live in His kingdom.

Christ shows God’s way of handling anger (Matthew 5:21-24), lust (Matthew 5:27-30), marriage (Matthew 5:31-32), and hatred (Matthew 5:43-48). Jesus explained the reason not live by oaths (Matthew 5:33-37) and how to avoid selfishness (Matthew 5:38-42).

In Chapter 6 the sermon identifies the proper way to please God (Matthew 6:1-4). Jesus spoke on how to pray (Matthew 6:5-15) and fasting (Matthew 6:16-18). The rest of this chapter places the focus on building a relationship with God (Matthew 6:19-20, 24) righteousness (Matthew 6:22-24), and trusting God (Matthew 6:25-34).

Chapter seven begins with Jesus sharing God’s command of taking a non-judgmental towards others. Then Christ points out going to God by asking, seeking and knocking on God’s door. The last sixteen verses of chapter seven cover the narrow way, false belief, and reliance on Christ himself.

Over the next few weeks, I will share a deeper look into The Sermon on the Mountain. I hope you will join me and share your experiences with Christ’s masterful display of God’s word.

The Undisputable Miracles of Christ

God never fails to place Himself as the true God, and He used Christ’s miracles as the means of setting Himself above everything. No other false gods match God’s eternal grace.

We are discussing the Gospel of Matthew. In this Gospel, God established His Son Christ as King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). The Lord made His King unlike any other king manned. No human king equals Christ’s eternal powers. Because when Christ walked on earth He healed many human sicknesses (Matthew 4:23).

It’s important to realize the way God operates. When we look at the last three scriptures in Matthew’s fourth chapter, we notice God’s divine plan working in Christ’s healing ministry. Our Father captivated those present since many traveled to see Him work wonders. They became baffled over Jesus’s ability to heal.

Christ carried out thirty-seven recorded miracles. With this in mind, God leaves no doubt of whom Christ is because those unusual events come from God and no human can duplicate them. No human past or present can heal or cure the many physical defects known to humanity.

Yes, the disciples healed others, but it was through the Holy Spirit they did miracles. And those miracles are a witness to God’s existence and His powerfulness.

In the days of Christ’s ministry, God saw it fitting to show those living on earth an unbelievable experience. Right before their eyes, a first of its kind set of events unfolded. They heard of the miracles of how God parted the Red Sea and provided food.

With their own eyes, the indisputable existence of Christ’s supernatural powers emerged.

One of the greatest of miracles Christ showed was raising humans from physical death. To highlight His unique qualities, Jesus raised three people from the dead (Matthew 9:18, 23 Luke 5:11 John 11:43).

Take a moment and envision this incredible display of Christ’s amazing ability. It’s inconceivable. But God is almighty, and this resurrection miracle (Matthew 9:25) proves Christ is His Son because no human restores human life.

Besides resurrecting others from death, Christ gave sight to the blind (Matthew 9:29  ).

Imagine being blind, never seeing God’s stunning natural wonders. Unable to predict the way your mother looks or fixate on a sunrise. They lived in darkness. Then through your faith and asking Christ for healing, your sight restored watching the world for the first time. God is remarkable, and this miracle is the essence of Christ’s unbelievable ability to do the impossible (Luke 18:27).

Another miracle Christ did was curing a leper. When Jesus walked on earth, this infectious disease frightens people. Hopelessness plagued those inflicted. The infected became outcasts living in isolation. They couldn’t live with family friends or with the general population.

Those free from the illness thought unfavorable towards them because of superstitions. Anyone touches a leper became uncleaned and could not live among the healthy. But Jesus placed His hands on him, and the leprosy was no more (Matthew 8:3).

The indisputable miracles of Christ give us the wisdom of God’s powerfulness. Miracles explain the extraordinary attributes of God aimed at showing us His love for humanity. Christ’s miracles strengthen our faith because in our present times we don’t experience miracles. Remember our faith isn’t by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

What do Jesus’s miracles mean to you?

 

Christ: The Essence of Real Discipleship

After Christ had returned from His 40 days of fasting (Matthew 4:1-2), He chose His first four disciples. God planned for His Son’s ministry to be short, and Christ needed to teach others the mysteries of God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:26-27). These four men became the essence of real discipleship.

It’s not by accident Christ approached these men. Since Christ is God (John 10:30), we see God’s Spirit working because those men without delay followed Jesus. They didn’t question who Jesus is and did as He asked. This illustrates God’s undeniable presence in a faithful believer’s life.

The first two men anointed to discipleship are Peter and his brother Andrew (Matthew 4:18). They were fishermen casting their nets from the shore. Christ told them He will make them fisher of men (Matthew 4:19). Here Jesus gives us the essence of discipleship-fishers of men. In fact, Christ appointed Peter as the leader of His church.

The next two who Christ called on is James and John (Matthew 4:21-22). Again Matthew highlights the impact God made in their lives. Those two men showed an unshakable trust in Christ because upon hearing God’s command they picked up their cross and walked with Christ.

When we take an honest look at the way, those men responded to Christ; we gain knowledge into true discipleship. The first thing to remember is their unselfish commitment to God. Their faith shows us a disciple denies oneself for the will of God. It takes selflessness to live as a disciple. Likewise, for us to become disciples, we must do the same.

Jesus recruited eight more disciples. One of those twelve betrayed Him (Judas Iscariot) in the garden of Gethsemane. Many others entered discipleship because God planned for anyone who believes in Christ sovereignty (John 8:31-32). Today others are still being granted this same privilege.

The essence of discipleship is applying Christ’s teachings to our everyday lives. It’s easy speaking the Gospels. But a more challenging presentation of God’s Spirit is exemplifying the impact Christ has in the way we respond to adversity.

For example, our reactions to life terms need to radiate the way Christ dealt with His troubles. Even though our problems don’t match the ones Jesus endured, He shows us the spiritual principles necessary in staying firm on God’s word. It’s our reliance on Christ that we find courage beyond ours to face the world full of evilness.

One of the first things to remember is discipleship radiates God’s Living Spirit. This doesn’t mean a disciple is perfect. Everyone falls short of living in God’s will (Romans 3:23), and no one is free from sin (1 John 1:1-10). With this in mind, we must remember it’s our willingness to repent and let Christ remove our trespasses. Nothing pleases God more than a believer’s action of repentance.

A disciple is a spiritual craftsman working for Christ’s Deity spreading God’s truth. And for this purpose, the Holy Spirit is the driving force behind discipleship. Without God’s Spirit present in the life of a disciple, the message of Christ’s Kingship is ineffective. This includes taking a self-righteous approach in sharing Jesus’s truths.

Discipleship is of divine importance because our spiritual lives depend on our willingness to live in Christ. This significant God-granted experience is not without responsibility. We must pick up our cross (regardless of its pain) and become His servants. Remember we no longer living in the world but God’s kingdom!

Have you found your discipleship?

Christ Defeats Satan’s Temptations

As we continue looking at Matthew’s Gospel we see how God made Christ the King over temptation. A most compelling evidence attesting to this truth is the way Christ defeats Satan’s temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:3-11).

A temptation is a real and devastating problem. Eve couldn’t resist it nor did Adam. I can’t either and neither can you. The moment we give into its demand, everything changes for the worse. In fact, this three syllables ten letter word damages our relationship with God.

But the Lord’s love for His children is greater than the trouble temptation causes because He redeems us through Christ.

To show us Christ’s as the redeemer, Matthew’s testimony to the three temptations He faced proves Jesus is stronger than everything the devil can dole out. Each time Lucifer confronted Christ with his cunning deception He didn’t waver from God’s powerful truths.

When we take a deeper look into the enticement, Satan used against Christ an incredible insight of God’s sovereignty emerges. Since the Messiah is God’s Son so Lucifer created those temptations to overtake Jesus’s kingship.

In other words, those attempts of disobedience aren’t for humans but made for Jesus. The devil understood who Christ is and designed his temptation in line with assaulting His loyalty to God.

For instance, the devil’s first try to trick Jesus is asking Him to do a miracle. Here Matthew shows us the wisdom of Christ. Jesus rebutted His tempter by sharing the purpose of life isn’t just physical.

Christ used the Old Testament scripture to let Satan know the way God intends for a believer to live (Deuteronomy 8:3). Here our Messiah gives us a blueprint for building a spiritual foundation anchored in God’s will. Remember, my friends. Salvation goes beyond the flesh.

After Jesus defeated Satan’s first entrapment, then he tries to lure Christ into tempting God. Here we find the devil seeking to extinguish himself as an expert in interpreting God’s word. The devil used Psalm 91:11-12 to show our Messiah his knowledge of God’s law.

Again Jesus corrected him by explaining another key point in living in God’s kingdom is never to tempt the Father (Deuteronomy 6:16). Here Christ gives His adversary God’s truth to stress the Lord’s way in staying humble. Tempting God is useless because He is the most powerful and knows our hearts.

God’s enemy failed in those two attempts but gave one last try to make Christ stumble. This last temptation is the real motive behind Satan’s intention of turning away from God and working for his evil deeds.

But Christ’s unshakable trust in the Lord coupled with His perfect wisdom crushed the devil’s trap. Jesus said to him: “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

Matthew gives concrete evidence of Christ’s undeniable power in defeating Satan’s temptations. Under those circumstances, Jesus proved He is God’s King by illustrating His dominance over sin.

Through Christ’s victory, God rewarded Him by sending angels to minister to Him (Matthew 4:11). Likewise, we receive a blessing when we rely on Jesus because God takes notice when we move away from sin and into righteousness.

I know the result of temptation. Every time I give into its enticing call my spirit becomes disturbed leading me to sin. I’m powerless over its entrapment. The moment I succumb to its demands my relationship with God becomes fractured placing a wedge between Christ and me.

On my own, this troubling dilemma gets worse. But when I humble myself before Christ and ask for help I find courage beyond mine. Then I’m able to stop and turn away from temptation.

My battles with temptation are overwhelming. But because of my everyday reliance on Christ, those wars become lessen. Since Christ overtook Satan’s domain, He gives me the strength to live in God’s will.

I’m not perfect and when I sin my willingness to repent gives me a way back to Christ. Even though I have to wait for God’s mercy the results from practicing patience outweigh the suffering caused by a hardened heart.

In conclusion, temptations aren’t impossible to overcome because God gave us Christ as our saving King. No matter how tempting you become remember Jesus is never absent.

How do you overcome your temptation?

Christ’s Deliverance: God’s Greatest Pleasure

God is astonishing in the way He keeps His word. For centuries He used Prophets to prepare for the day of Christ’s deliverance. The Lord’s love for His Son coupled with His compassion for humanity gives Him incredible pleasure.

 

 

God made this eternal deliverance His greatest gift. To receive this infinite treasure, one must receive God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8).

Because of Christ’s baptism; God’s new plan for salvation is real (Matthew 3:15).

Last week we discussed God’s message of repentance. We saw the crucial role an act of contrition is in God’s eyes.

Matthew wastes no time to show us God’s joy in delivering His beloved Son (Matthew 3:16-17).

When God speaks, it has the utmost importance for humanity. It’s imperative to understand God’s language. Without knowledge of His dialect, eternal life stays elusive. And, Matthew recorded Christ’s deliverance through God’s voice.

 

 

Here in this part of Matthew’s third chapter (Matthew 3:13-17), we come to see God’s overwhelming joy for His Son.

Since Adam and Eve’s disobedience, it’s rare for God to express pleasure with humanity. In Jesus’s baptism, God treats us with His happiness.

Imagine witnessing God’s pleasure. It’s mind boggling pondering over the Lord’s excitement to give humanity a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). But God’s love is never absent from those He saves. I’m thankful to understand Christ is the way to God’s kingdom (John 14:6).

Watching the pleasure God showed in delivering His Son is a privilege. With this in mind, remember not everyone understands the meaning behind Christ’s ministry. This experience is an incredible gift. We are fortunate God included us in His kingdom.

The moment God exposed Christ as His Son the way of believing in Him changed. At the time of Christ’s arrival, an unfavorable faith in God developed and under those circumstances God put right this tragic mistake.

At this point in man’s history, many believers relied on traditions handed to them through the generations. Most of those doctrines center on rituals and not anchored in God’s truth. But Christ’s deliverance put an end to this incorrect understanding of God’s word. Because of Christ’s deliverance God unlocked His mysteries (Colossians 1:24-27).

When I meditate over Christ’s deliverance, it makes me grateful for God’s truth.

I use to live in darkness consumed by a life full of resentment, bitterness, and selfishness. Everything I centered in prideful motives leading to a life filled with disappointment.

It brings me great pleasure to share with you God pulled me from the darkness. Today my life changed, and it started with God introducing me to Christ. This new way of living isn’t easy, but with Christ, as my guide, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). Even though I’m not perfect Christ helps me overcome my sinful nature.

 

 

Christ’s deliverance fosters many discussions, and we have touched on a few of them. We can agree without Christ our lives stay troubled. But on the positive side with Him, our place in God’s kingdom is everlasting!

What does Christ’s deliverance mean to you?

 

 

Repentance and the Commencement of Christ’s Kingship

Experiencing Christ’s commencement begins with repentance. Nothing grabs Jesus’s attention more than a believer’s willingness to turn away from sin and do the will of God.

In the past weeks, we saw how God established Christ as King (Matthew 1: 1-17) and reviewed Jesus’ unconventional birth (Matthew 1:18-25).

Next, we examined the three wise men declaration of Christ the King (Matthew 2:1-12).

And then we looked at Satan’s failed assassination on baby Jesus (Matthew 2:13-15). So, when the devil didn’t succeed in killing God’s King we saw Lucifer’s murderous acts on innocent boy’s (Matthew 2:16-18).

Our last conversation ended with how Christ became a Nazarene (Matthew 2:19-23).

Now we check out the role John the Baptist plays in proclaiming Christ the King of the Jews.

In Fact, when new Kings took the throne he sent a messenger announcing his kingship. Likewise, God did the same by choosing John the Baptist as His envoy.

God used John as a courier for Christ’s Kingship. John’s ministry became the starting point to God’s new Covenant with humanity.

And for this reason (God’s kingdom) the Lord’s messenger preached repentance (Matthew 3:2).

In Matthew’s third chapter God shows us the course of action, oneself must take to receive His King. Since God’s Spirit worked through John, it paved the way for Christ’s commencement.

First Matthew tells us John listened to those whom he baptized confess their sins (Matthew 3:6).

Yes, confession is an imperative action in a life anchored in Christ’s Deity and without a willingness to confess a believer’s life experiences unnecessary suffering.

But God’s messenger didn’t stop at confession. No, he emphasized a change in behavior through repentance.

And those two Christian attributes (confession and repentance) are equally relevant to our present day walk in Christ!

The Pharisees and Sadducees became curious and visited the Jordon where many Jews received baptism. Upon their arrival, John unleashed a strong warning on their motives. His stern words (Matthew 3:7-10) are most compelling evidence of how they weren’t favorable in God’s eyes. Here Matthew displays their spiritual fate by illustrating their inward hearts.

John’s confrontation with the Pharisees and Sadducees is important to realize because if I’m not right in my faith, the same results will happen to me. This means I must live in repentance and prove a change in behavior.

Repentance is a point often overlooked. Since God holds repentance as one of His highest commandments (2 Chronicles 7:14), then it becomes crucial to understand how to apply it to our faith.

I know repentance is hard. In my journey with Christ, the greatest spiritual lessons I’ve learned come from my disobedience. When I hold onto sin, my spirit is gravely affected, and I suffer from guilt. Until I get right with Christ, the spiritual pain causes me to make unwise decisions.

But when I stop and spend quiet time confessing my sin to Christ, then when God sees fit He releases my turmoil. Even though at times it takes a while before I experience God’s mercy; without exception this experience changes my behavior. And the more I spend quiet time with Christ the easier I find to live holy.

This message of repentance John preached is a focal point for every Christian past and present. The moment he began sharing God’s plan of preparation for Christ an entry into His kingdom emerged.

God wants everybody to understand salvation starts with an act of contrition. Once we humble ourselves, without reservation, then Christ takes control of our hearts, and we learn the real meaning of repentance. Since Matthew shared with us the importance of repentance then there are no excuses not to apply John’s message.

What are your thoughts on repentance?