This cannot be posted often enough (reblogged from Isaiah 53:5 Project)

This is from The Isaiah 53:5 Project blog and is too good not to share with you!

This cannot be posted often enough

I have posted this before but it’s an important message and sharing it is the sole reason this blog exists so…

How Can you become a Christian?

Realize Who God Is

It all starts with a realization of Who God is. The Bible says He is the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1) and creator of man (Colossians 1:16). God is holy (1 Peter 1:16), righteous (Psalm 145:17), perfect (Matthew 5:48) and is the judge (Romans 2:16) of all mankind. He is all-powerful (Luke 18:27), all-knowing (Psalm 139:2-6), and is everywhere (Job 28:24). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), infinite (Psalm 102:25-27), and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8). He is sovereign (Romans 8:28-30), good (Psalm 25:8), merciful (Daniel 9:9), and gracious (Psalm 103:8). Understanding these attributes helps build a proper foundation to our need for Him.

Realize That You Are A Sinner

To become a Christian, you must realize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that your sin is rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4). Think about every time you have lied, stolen, lusted after someone, hated someone, disobeyed your parents or used God’s name disrespectfully. You will never be good enough to enter Heaven on your own merit (Ephesians 2:8-9) because committing even one sin deserves judgment (Revelation 20:12) according to God’s law (James 2:10). No amount of good deeds can ever erase your sin.

Read the rest here.

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Sunday Praise and Worship: My Story

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If you are anything like me, you are often overwhelmed by the thought “of the grace that is greater than all my sin, of when justice was served and where mercy wins.”

Grace and mercy: two of the most amazing things that Jesus Christ lavishes on us sinners, for whom He died and took upon Himself the punishment for our sins so that we can live with Him forever. And all we need to do is confess and be sorry for our sins, and believe that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). The Word made flesh, just for us.

Beloved, do these thoughts move you to tears?

Every time I hear Big Daddy Weave sing “My Story,” I am once again amazed and humbled by so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:3).

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

 

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins.
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

 

Beloved, if you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior and the Lord of your life, please go here to find out how easy it is. If you have any questions about this, please write to me at  faithlhj777 at gmail dot com.

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Quell Life’s Storms

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Quell Life’s Storms

By Patricia Knight

As a child, I secretly yearned for my name to be assigned to a hurricane. Recently the Weather Channel flashed devastating scenes on TV of Hurricane Patricia, a category V storm. My anticipated childhood glee was replaced by an adult reaction of horror that my name was associated with massive destruction, death, and human suffering on all levels.

Hurricane Patricia gained landfall in Mexico, ripped down mountainsides and pulled whole chunks of earth along with trees into an escalating mudslide that tore through sparsely populated, remote villages.

In Texas and adjoining states, phenomenal amounts of raging rain and wind buried vehicles in rising street floods. People, young and old, tenaciously clung to rooftops and tall trees, awaiting rescue. Vehement currents snagged possessions, swirling them downstream, caught in the fast-rushing, turbulent waters, to deposit them miles away.

Dependency, confidence, and hope all contribute toward building trust. Victims who perilously hover between life and death are more willing to compromise objects of trust. As an example, normally a person who wouldn’t consider parachuting a recreational sport, would decline participating when the opportunity is offered. During an emergency when the same person’s life is threatened by rising flood waters, he is eager to escape drowning suspended in a safety harness from a rescue helicopter.

Someone who has suffered a memorable bout of seasickness would likely refuse a ride in any watercraft. When the only option of surviving a flood is transport by boat to dry land, accepting the temporary seasickness of a boat ride over the permanence of death is instinctive. During such trials, doubt and fear evolve into hesitant trust. Stretched to the maximum and modified for self-preservation, trust is often redefined to accommodate catastrophes.

In a crisis, trust communicated by helping strangers is heartfelt. The most humbling lessons can be learned from an out-stretched hand thrust in our direction, as we dangle in a precarious position. The rescuer reveals a willingness to help by direct eye contact, eager body language, and clarity of directions. The victim’s trust is then reciprocated by explicitly complying to instructions. When trust is encouraged, prejudice and fear are diminished.

Long ago, when Jesus and His disciples were deluged with long days spent teaching and healing, they retreated by boat, affording solitude on the Sea of Galilee. As the boat sailed that night toward the far shore, a rapidly progressing storm didn’t awaken Jesus, asleep in the stern. The disciples were terrified by the violent waves sloshing over the gunnels, nearly capsizing the craft, flooding their fears with thoughts of perishing.

With the boat nearly swamped,

“The disciples woke him {Jesus} and said to him,
‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves,
‘Quiet! Be still!’
Then the wind died down and it was completely calm”
(Mark 4:38-39).

Jesus’ authority over the elements of nature was confirmed when the wind and waves immediately obeyed His commands, further affirming to the disciples that He was the Son of God. The disciples were  awe-struck by their Master’s authority, with power exceeding that of the raging sea. They were shocked that Jesus silenced the storm; that the storm obeyed with immediate tranquility.

In a world where self-reliance is embraced, are you relying solely on your own meager strength? When the next storm of life reveals its wrath—a destructive hurricane, a diagnosis of cancer, a phone call delivering devastating news—do you feel adequately prepared with the emotional stamina to respond to such a major crisis? The paltry strength we amass during times of stress is quickly exhausted. Weakness fills the void.

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Almighty God is the only adequate resource of power and strength. He is willing and waiting for you to call on Him. Jesus said,

“ ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you’ ” (Matthew 7:7).

God is delighted to convert your weakness to His sovereign strength. However, God won’t crowd or coerce you. He has created each of us with self-will, and now eagerly awaits your decision to trust in His power to calm the storms that occur in your life.

Is your faith fully and firmly planted in Jesus? Do you own the conviction that, come what may, your trust will be indelibly anchored in Christ, steadfastly clinging to His power?

Don’t wait for the next emergency. Be prepared. Seek God in prayer. Develop a personal relationship with God that functions every day. Your heavenly Father has been waiting all of your life for you to call on Him; to ask Him to be your Lord and Guide. When you submit to God, there will be no limit to the power, love, forgiveness, and grace God showers upon you.

Don’t tarry in trusting God. Like the disciples of old, when the water crashed over the sides of their boat, it was difficult for them to think clearly; confusion prevailed.  Take Jesus on every excursion of life with you.  He is the only one in whom to solidly place your trust for all of the big and little problems that assail. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

To rely solely upon one’s own understanding of life generates pride and hinders trust. Humility and obedience activate God’s powerful promises. To know God is to love and obey Him.

I’ve re-evaluated my adolescent desire for name recognition, preferring to sink into obscurity from any future storm notoriety. As for impending dangers, my Lord is masterfully adept at quelling all of my storms.

You can read more of Pat’s writing here.

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The Ultimate Rags To Riches Story

Shared from GraceThruFaith.

The Ultimate Rags To Riches Story

A Feature Article by Jack Kelley

We all love this kind of story. And as much as we’re encouraged by the experience of an ordinary person who due to personal drive and perseverance rises from humble beginnings to become a leader of business or industry, we’re especially fond of stories where an absolute nobody is plucked from the faceless crowd and instantly propelled to the pinnacle of success. Great Hollywood stories have been built upon this premise, and they’ve never failed to delight us. But by far the absolute best example of this comes from the Bible and is about you.  Our story begins in the Old Testament Book of 1st Samuel with David and Jonathan.

And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. (1 Samuel 18:3-4)

The making of covenants was serious business because people’s lives depended them. A covenant was the strongest bond known to men, and had both business and personal applications that extended even to the descendants of the two parties involved. Here’s an example.

Read the rest here.

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Sunday Praise & Worship: Joy to the World!

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Joy to the world, the Lord has come,
let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing

Joy to the world! the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ!
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make
His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
Far as the curse is found
Far as, far as the curse is found

Songwriters: G. F Handel, Isaac Watts 
Published by Lyrics © HAL LEONARD CORPORATION

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Apathy Stifles Joy

 

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Apathy Stifles Joy

By Patricia Knight

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
and she {Mary} gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger
because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

Mary and Joseph sought overnight accommodations in Bethlehem, where their ancestors originally lived, the town where they were required to register for the government-decreed census. After an exhausting, three-day walking journey from their hometown of Nazareth, the couple probably found only one inn available. The Bethlehem inn could have simply been a personal dwelling that offered guest beds, still a welcome sight to the weary travelers.

We aren’t aware of the innkeeper’s name.  Though he most certainly observed Mary’s advanced pregnancy, he powerlessly quipped, “no room,” like he had to so many other travelers that day.  The innkeeper wasn’t altogether heartless; he did have the compassion to point the couple to a nearby barn. Early tradition suggests the royal family’s lodging may have been a cave, used as an animal shelter. The innkeeper today is known only as the man who missed Christmas, who participated only by complacency. His personal identity has passed into anonymity.

Consider how the innkeeper could have enriched his life if he had entered into worship—if only he weren’t so involved with everyday details. Down through the centuries the prophecy of a Messiah, promised as the Savior of the Jews, had been communicated to each generation. There was great anticipation and expectation associated with the promise. When the prophecy was finally fulfilled, the innkeeper was caught too absorbed with mundane business dealings to notice the Savior’s birth on his own property; too preoccupied with the ordinary to detect the extraordinary.

How do we react to the celebration of Jesus’ birth?

Are we too entrapped by daily demands to focus on the phenomenal entrance of Wonder into our lives? Are we too overwhelmed by family obligations to ponder the miracle of the Messiah’s birth? Have the demands of the season distracted us from the amazing plans of God to send His only Son into the world, forgiving sins, and securing eternal life for those who believe?  Do we allow the natural to interfere with the supernatural entrance into our lives?

God was aware that the known world at the time of Jesus’ birth would be indifferent to His sovereign, astonishing methods, so He chose to announce His Son’s birth to the shepherds tending their flocks of sheep in the nearby fields, men considered lowly outcasts of society and religious life.  To their limited audience the angels acknowledged the glory and majesty of God by singing praises to Him. The Prince of Peace had been born!  As we grasp the enormous gift of Jesus’ birth, we offer praise for a Savior who lived on earth, who experienced challenges and victories similar to the ones we confront daily, and who knows how to respond to our needs.

“The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:7) concluded God’s early prophecy of His Son’s birth. This year, like the innkeeper, does apathy relegate Jesus to the stable room of our hearts?  Or, do we resolve to emulate the ecstasy and enthusiasm the Father displayed for the sacrificial, extravagant gift of His Son, as the long-awaited Messiah, the Savior of the World?

You can read more of Pat’s writing here.

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