Living By Faith

Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4

1. Read God’s Word. God has called us to a life of faith. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Faith is produced when we pay attention to the Word of God.

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How to Run Your Race with Strength

One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13b-14

Hey, Family Church!

God wants to meet your needs right where you are. Today can be a new beginning, a season of refreshing and strength. He will help you make big decisions, get you unstuck, and lift you out of depression.

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God Is at Work

It is God Himself whose power creates in you both the desire and the power to execute His gracious will. Philippians 2:13 Weymouth

Hey, Family Church!

YOUR HELP COMES FROM THE LORD. Any Christian who has taken on any kind of responsibility knows that we can’t do it alone – our help comes from God (Psalm 121:2). God never gets weary. When you hang out with Him, His likeness rubs off on you; His strength gets into you. That’s why we must take time to connect with the power source.

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STEPS TO EFFECTIVENESS

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Hey, Family Church!

These five actions from the Apostle Paul give us an amazing scriptural to-do list that can enable us to be effective all the way through our lives.

1. BE ON THE ALERT. We are called to keep watch and stay alert and always ready for what God wants to tell us (Habakkuk 2:1). This doesn’t mean we are to be anxious, but instead we’re to be distraction-free and ready to pray and act as the Holy Spirit leads.

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FORGIVEN & FREE

Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13b-14 NLT

On Good Friday, Jesus died on the Cross and canceled out our sin. Crucifixion was not the only form of execution during the Roman Period, but when used it conveyed rejection and shame – an extreme form of cancel culture. Jesus, who had never sinned, took all the shame and sin of humanity on Himself so that we could be free (2 Corinthians 5:21).

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HOW TO STAND STRONG IN A SHAKING WORLD

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

MAKE JESUS YOUR FOUNDATION. Jesus gives us a clear contrast of two lives built on very different foundations – a life built on the firm rock of Jesus or a life based on shifting sand (Matthew 7:26). The book of Isaiah foretells the Messiah by describing Him as “a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on” (Isaiah 28:16 NLT). We can trust Jesus with every aspect of our lives.

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A Steadfast Life

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NLT

Hey, Family Church!

With Easter coming up, I’m thinking about how Jesus at 33 years old was anticipating the agony of becoming a sin substitute for humanity. It had to be brutal on His mind, yet He did it for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). He looked down the annals of time to the other side of His sacrifice and saw people like you and me experiencing forgiveness and relief.

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God’s Blessing Is for You

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Genesis 1:28a

When I look at the Book of Genesis, I think of that amazing beginning moment. The first thing God did after creating humanity was to speak blessing over Adam and Eve. Then, even when humanity sinned and darkness and deprivation covered and eclipsed society, God had a plan to save Noah and his family and give humanity a second beginning. And again God proclaimed His blessing over them (Genesis 9:1).

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Lift Up Your Light

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

1. LIFT UP YOUR EYES. Sometimes we put our noses to the grindstone trying to figure out the intricacies of a problem, when what we really need to do is take a step back and look to Jesus. When your eyes are focused on Him instead of on the problem, you aren’t denying reality — you are looking to the One who has the answer.

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Future Plans

So don’t worry and don’t keep saying, “What shall we eat, what shall we drink or what shall we wear?”! That is what pagans are always looking for; your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your heart on the kingdom and His goodness, and all these things will come to you as a matter of course. Matthew 6:31-33 PHILLIPS

1. WORRYING ABOUT TOMORROW IS UNNECESSARY. Five times in Matthew 6 Jesus addresses worry. He’s saying to quit obsessing on the “what ifs” and the “how comes” and seek first His Kingdom, and then all the other things we need will be added.

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Fruit of the Spirit

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:16, 22-23

1. WALKING BY THE SPIRIT. When you receive Jesus as your Savior, your spirit comes alive in God. You become a child of God and you have the ability to hear His voice and receive His guidance. These are blessings for choosing the things of God. These attributes – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – are the tools that give us victory in life.

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Pay Attention!

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23

1. GUARD YOUR HEART. When we enter the secret place with God, we obtain strength, direction and refreshing (Psalm 91 NKJV). But the strategy of the devil is to provide weapons of mass distraction that pull us away from attention to God’s Word. That’s why we must stay attentive — to guard our hearts and to keep life’s distractions from choking out the fruitfulness of the Word.

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A Time for Everything

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11a

1. SAVOR THE SEASONS. Life is a season of series and stages. God has an overall mission for your life, but there are different stages of your course. Along the way He has divine appointments prepared for you. So enjoy the journey!

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The Result of Wisdom

The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17

1. WHAT IS WISDOM? There is an earthly type of “wisdom” which is described in the Bible as sensual, demonic, jealous and arrogant (James 3:14-16), but Jesus invites us to seek authentic wisdom which is “peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

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Guided By the Holy Spirit

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

1. THE SPIRIT IS LIFE. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I [Jesus] have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). Living by the Spirit gives life and peace, but the mindset on the flesh leads to death (Romans 8:6). The Spirit raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11), led Moses and parted the Red Sea (Isaiah 63:11-12), hovered over the water at Creation (Genesis 1:2), and visited the disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4). And He is the same Holy Spirit who is available to us today!

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Help Is on the Way

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. John 14:26 AMP

SIX WAYS THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR HELP

1. COMFORTER. When we receive comfort from the Holy Spirit, not only do we benefit, but we are also activated to go out into the world as shock absorbers and comfort others with that same comfort we have received. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

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Life in Jesus

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

LIVE DEEP. Have you ever noticed how your thought life can get bombarded with negativity? That’s why God invites us to study, ponder, and meditate on His Word. I love to marinate foods, and the longer the meat is marinated, the more flavorful and tender it becomes. You and I are invited to soak in God’s presence and in His Word and let the truth go deep into our hearts.

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RESTORING THE SOUL

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet
waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

REST. Rest is not a luxury; it’s a requirement. When we approach life from a position of rest, we will make better decisions and won’t be as susceptible to sin. That’s why we must take time to quiet ourselves before the Lord, to let His peace come in and replace the commotion.

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WATCH OVER YOUR HEART

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

1. FROM BITTERNESS TO FORGIVENESS. Protect and guard your heart from the poison of resentment and fear. They are vision suppressors and growth inhibitors. Keep forgiving. Your heart needs to stay fresh and clear because there is plenty more God has planned for you to accomplish.

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How to Get Refreshed

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38

GET FILLED. When we get dehydrated, we drink water. When our gas tank is empty, we fill it up. When we become spiritually drained, we can tap into God’s living water to drink and be refreshed. God wants to restore to you the joy of your salvation. Connect with God. Read God’s Word. Pray in the Name of Jesus (John 14:14) – and you will be revitalized.

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Love: A More Excellent Way

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

WALK IN LOVE. The apostle Paul called the love walk a “more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Love covers a multitude of sins and causes us to face the future with a fresh start. We don’t have to rely on our human power to love. The love of God is poured out in our hearts and the Holy Spirit enables us to walk it out (Romans 5:5).

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Living Water

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit. John 7:37-39a

1. GET IN THE FLOW. God’s flow is life-giving; it’s deep and beautiful. When Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water (John 4:10), He looked past ethnic, gender, and religious divisions. He knew her condition and offered her eternal life. He knew her sin and was there to forgive her. The Holy Spirit never changes and the New Testament truths are for us today. Jesus is calling out to all of us, inviting us to partake in His flow.

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He Recovered All

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

1. RESTORED RELATIONSHIP. What Adam forfeited in the Garden of Eden, Jesus recovered to such an extent that we can hardly fathom it. We have restored fellowship with the Creator of the universe. But God didn’t stop there; He went on to offer us “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

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Overcoming Fear

He [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. Mark 4:35, 37-39

1. GO TO THE OTHER SIDE. God’s love will produce tremendous security even in the middle of a storm. He wants to set you free from fear so that you can both command the storm to be calm and trust Him enough to even be at peace in the midst of it. When Jesus is in the center of your situation, you will get to the other side!

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