There is More Meaning to the Word Believe.

Believe

When I Say that I Believe in Jesus What am I Really Saying?

This is one of my favorite word studies, because there is so much more meaning to the word, believe. In the dictionary, it is defined as “to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.” Yet, in the Greek word, pisteuo, to believe, has more meaning to it than this.

We can all have confidence in something like our jobs, our families and even our cars. However, believing in Jesus is more than mere confidence. Pisteuo means to be persuaded of, to place confidence in, to trust, and reliance upon. I like to think of it this way. Picture yourself hanging on a rope. There is a knot tied at the end and you are hanging on for dear life. Jesus is that knot in the rope.

Furthermore, when I say that I believe in what Jesus did for me, I am saying that I am relying on Him, trusting in Him, adhering to Him and clinging to Him. Yes, I have confidence to but I am sold out and I know that He has me in His right hand. Therefore, I have assurance of eternal life and I can be reasonably happy in this life.

How do I know that I am right in believing? Good question. God’s Word tells me so. John chapter 3 clearly states it many times that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved and whoever does not believe is condemned (John 3:18, 36 ESV).

For Your Information.

The word believe/r/d/s is found 84 times in the book of John and 39 times in the book of Acts. The Apostle Paul made it quite clear to people in Antioch. He told them everyone who believes in Jesus is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39 ESV). So my question to you is “In whom do you rely upon, trust in and cling to?”

If you like word studies, check out this related link: Redeemed, Defined and Explained.

 

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Redeemed, Defined and Explained!

To Be Redeemed

Oh Joy! I am Redeemed!

This blog is inspired by another blog, “Don’t Be Perfect, Be Redeemed.” The word redeem/redeemed is found several times throughout the Bible. However, I want to focus on a couple of passages in the New Testament; Galatians 3:12-14 and Titus 2:13-15.

First let’s look at the meaning of the word redeem. According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, The Greek word for redeem in Galatians 3:13 is exagorazo, a strengthened form of agorazo denoting “to buy.” It is used metaphorically. Jesus has delivered us from the Law and its curse. He did so with giving His life on the cross. Doesn’t that sound like He wanted us because He willingly paid the price?

Second, the Greek word for redeem in Titus 2:14 is lutroo. Here it means “to release on receipt of ransom.” It Redeemedis used in a spiritual sense. Jesus gave Himself to ransom us from all lawlessness. Not only did He set us free but He also did so to purify for Himself a people for His own possession. He desires for us to zealous for good works.

In summary, to be redeemed means that Jesus bought and/or ransomed me from the Law and its curse and all iniquity. He did not have to but did so out of love for me. Therefore, I am His and bought with a price. I am no longer slave to sin nor am I destined to pay the price for my sins. Yet, while we were sinners Christ paid your debts as well as mine.

Be Sure to Check Out Allie’s Blog

In the aforementioned blog, Allie reminds us that Jesus doesn’t want our perfect. He desires us and we are to remain open and vulnerable to Him. Thus rejoice! And shout I am redeemed! To God be the glory!

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Be Ready to Give a Reason for the Hope in You!

Reason for the Hope

Can You Give a Reason for the Hope in You?

In Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Ted outlined for us how we can take the gospel to others. He used 1 Peter 3:14-16. We are to be prepared to give a reason for the hope in us to anyone who asks.

Have you ever thought of how you might give a defense for the hope in you if you were asked? This is a really good question and one that needs some preparation and thought. Pastor Ted broke it down for us.

  1. First Honor Christ- Remember it is all about Him.
  2. Prepare a Defense- Answer when asked what Jesus means to you personally; tell them the reason for the hope that is in you.
  3. Do it with Gentleness and Respect- This is contrary to what the world does. Speak with kindness and with respect.
  4. Have a Good Conscience so that when you are slandered those who revile your good behavior will be put to shame.
  5. Sharing Jesus leads to joy.

Therefore, take some time and thoughtfully tell your story to yourself.

For me, I know that if it were not for my faith in Jesus I would not be where I am today. There have been too many things in my life that I am not proud to speak about. As well as situations that might have lead me to take the wrong course of action. For example, I was pregnant when I lost my first husband, I could have chosen to have an abortion or given my child up for adoption. Jesus gave me the strength to carry on and I now have a handsome young man as my son.

The Reason to Be Ready.

Furthermore, we all have a reason for the hope that is in us as believers and followers of Christ. The Holy Spirit will empower us with the right words at the right time. We just need to be ready. Because the world is hurting and they need to know that there is hope.

In closing, I leave you with this hymn, “Jesus, My Blood and Righteousness,” because it helps me be prepared. Here is a relate link, Hope.

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5 of My Favorite Bible Verses on Grace!

Bible verses

These Are Just a Few of My Favorite Verses.

Grace is defined as unmerited favor or as I have seen written out, God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. I do believe that these five verses will reveal much about grace. For me, I often struggle to fully comprehend God’s grace and in return share it. Here is a link to the following verses.

 Two Verses Regarding God’s Gift of Grace.

  1. Ephesians 2:8-9

First and foremost is that it is by grace that we are saved through faith. This grace is a gift of God. Yes, you heard me right, a gift. It cannot be earned and is freely given. There is nothing we can boast about. The beauty here is that there is freedom from having to prove ourselves.

  1. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Theses verses reveal that Jesus has given us comfort and good hope through grace. There is a purpose to this grace that we have received.  We are now established to do every good work and word. Therefore, we have a mission. God empowers us by His amazing grace to carry it out.

Three More Verses about Our Responsibility to Live Out Grace.

  1. Colossians 4:6

Furthermore, we are to let our speech be seasoned with grace and seasoned with salt. This way we can give answer to anyone who questions us. Salt is used as a preservative. Thus, we ought to speak in a way that will preserve the relationship and bring glory to God our father.

  1. Hebrew 4:16

In addition to these, comes a verse that paints a wonderful word picture. Through Jesus, we now have confidence to approach the throne of grace in our time of need. And in doing so, we will receive mercy and find grace. Hence, we are not left defenseless. We can always turn to God in our time of need.

  1. Hebrews 12:15

Last but not least, we are encouraged not let anyone fail to obtain the grace of God. We are also not to let the root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble. This will only defile others.

In Summary

Most importantly, we are saved by grace through faith not by works. Jesus has given our hearts comfort and given us a good hope. Therefore, we are to be living examples of that grace both in word and in our actions. And when we need help we can always go to the throne of grace to find mercy.

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Storms in Our Life Have a Purpose

Storms

Storms of Life: What Lessons Can We Learn?

As part of the Easter story, we heard of Peter’s denial but the part I think that is most often overlooked is that Jesus tells Peter that Satan has demanded to sift Peter like wheat. Jesus goes on to say that He has prayed that Peter’s faith may not fail. And when Peter has turned back, he is to strengthen his brothers. Therefore, this storm in Peter’s life had a purpose and so do the storms in our lives.

Yet, we often do not recognize our storms as having a purpose but they do. The Bible has many references to that fact. I, particularly, like what Jesus told Peter, And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers,” Luke 22:32b ESV*. There is the purpose right there. Though the storms in life are tough, there is purpose and that is to help others who are going through the same trail.

Another scripture that I think of is 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Here, I am instructed to comfort those who are afflicted with same comfort that I have received from God. For example, I was widowed 20+ years ago and have received God’s comfort, therefore, I can comfort someone who has recently been widowed. I had also been a single parent for 15 years before marrying my heart’s desire. There are a number of ways that I can extend God’s comfort.

Last but not least is Romans 8:28. I remember learning in Bible Study Fellowship that the good mentioned in this verse means building our character to be more like Jesus. God has a purpose in all the storms in our lives if we only look to Him to reveal it. Often they serve to smooth away the rough edges or help me change my perspective on something.

Riding Out the Storms with Jesus

It was in the study of the book John that I came to understand something new. When the storms come and they will, all I need to do is join Jesus in the boat and let Him take me to the destination of His choosing.

At the Women of Faith conference in 2011, I heard Patsy Clairmont speak. She said, “You are either in a storm, coming out of one, or are heading for one.” So how will you handle the next storm in your life?

 

 

 

*The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Excruciating Means Out of the Cross or Crucifixion.

excruciating

Excruciating: What is it Origin?

Have you ever wondered about the word excruciating? Or have you pondered on the suffering that Jesus Christ went through for your sins? Well, I learned about it in regards to the crucifixion of Christ in world history in the 8th grade. Where we looked at from a medical perspective.

The origin of the word is “Latin excruciātus, past participle of excruciāre to torment, torture, equivalent to ex- ex-1+ cruciāre to torment, crucify (derivative of crux cross); see -ate[1]. Can you see how it means out of the cross? When you look at the medical aspect of what Jesus went through on the cross, you can understand the word even more.

If you really want to read more about suffering Jesus went through, this check out this link Medical Aspects of the Crucifixion of Christ.

As we are approaching Good Friday, there is a hymn that comes to mind. O Sacred Head Now Wounded brings tears to my eyes when we sing it in church.  Though it is 10 verses long, this hymn sings so mournfully of the woe He went through and that He bore my burden to the cross. In verse 8, I sing of how can I thank Him for this dying sorrow and ask Him to make me His forever. “O Lord, let me never, never out live my love for Thee,” is how this verse ends. The final two verses close with seeking Lord Jesus to be near me when I am at death’s door.

Thus, I pray that you will contemplate His true suffering and how He died on the cross for you. As you do, I hope that you will have a new appreciation for the word excruciating.

In Closing

I leave you with Luke 22:44.

44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[2]

[1] excruciate. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved April 13, 2017 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/excruciate

[2] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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O Perfect Life Of Love – Jesus Died to Make us Whole

Perfect Life of Love

O Perfect Life of Love

O perfect life of love!
All, all is finished now;
All that He left His throne above
To do for us below.

No work is left undone
Of all the Father willed;
His toil, His sorrows, one by one,
The Scripture have fulfilled.

No pain that we can share
But He has felt its smart;
All forms of human grief and care
Have pierced that tender heart.

And on His thorn crowned head,
And on His sinless soul,
Our sins in all their guilt were laid,
That He might make us whole.

In perfect love He dies;
For me He dies, for me;
O all atoning Sacrifice,
I cling by faith to Thee.

In every time of need,
Before the judgment throne,
Thy work, O Lamb of God, I’ll plead,
Thy merits, not my own.

Yet work, O Lord, in me,
As Thou for me hast wrought;
And let my love the answer be
To grace Thy love has brought.*

This hymn is most inspiring to me as we enter Holy week. The first four verses speak to what Jesus came to do for us,  how he did it, and how it pierced his tender heart. Jesus died to make us whole. In verse 5, I especially like how it becomes personal. Jesus died for me and I cling by faith to Him. When my time here on earth is done and I face the judgement throne, it will be on the merits of Jesus and not my own I plead. The last verse is such a beautiful plea that Jesus would work His love in my heart.

*http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/p/operfect.htm

Meditation for Your Holy Week

Here is a link to hear the hymn sung.

I encourage you to read and meditate on Psalm 22 as you go through Holy week.

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My Overwhelming Gratitude List

Gratitude List

My Gratitude List

I suffered an injury to my back in March and my world has been different ever since. Despite the pain and inconvenience, I have chosen to compose my gratitude list. This exercise has been most rewarding and uplifting because there is so very much to be thankful for.

God’s Many Blessings!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

On the night of April 3rd following cortisone shot, I lay in bed trying to go to sleep and my mind was flooded with thankfulness. Here is what I am thankful for:

  • My husband for all that he does for me and for his working from home to look after me.
  • The sound of my husband snoring because it meant that I am not alone
  • My mom’s sound advice and help and having followed it & I benefited
  • Friends that prayed for me and I know that God heard their pleas.
  • Even for the lonely Mockingbird singing after 11:30pm to way past midnight.
  • The doctors and nurses that had to put up with me when I was hurting and complaining
  • The fellow Christian blogger who did not know me but cared enough to send me her book on Help and Hope while You’re Healing; Thank you, Christine Carter
  • The community of fellow Christian bloggers that prayed for me though they did not know me
  • Pastor Crowe who brought me communion
  • Kay Gray who came for a visit
  • Dee who helped me more than once; her kindness is beyond words.
  • Most especially, my brother-in-love who brought my sister and my niece for a visit
  • My two young men who have helped fix and prepare dinners and helped me in many ways to include cleaning house.
  • The one night which I slept well since I injured my back
  • The friends that offer to help in anyway and the emails and Facebook replies.
  • The faith that God has given me through Jesus Christ, His Son

I Give Thanks!

Dear Lord God, I cannot begin to give You enough thanks for the many blessings that You have given to me. You alone are worthy of all my worship and praise. Please bless all my friends and family. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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Lord Jesus, Imprint Your Image on My Heart

Imprint Your Image Lord Jesus

Hymn, ‘On My Heart Imprint Your Image’

This was my hymn for meditating on and my prayer this week. I am so moved by how Jesus answered. But first, let’s look at the scriptures that talk to us about being conformed to His image. God alone has the power to imprint the image of His son on my heart.

First, Romans 8:29, For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. I am not going to discuss predestination here. Thus, the point I want to make is that God’s intent for us is to be conformed to the image of His Son. God will not force Himself upon us because He desires an intimate relationship with each person not a robot like follower. Therefore, we must want to be conformed and seek His will through prayer and obedience. He does truly know what is best for us.

Second is one of my favorites in 2 Peter 1:3-4. It addresses the fact that through God’s divine power we have been granted all things that pertain to life and godliness. Knowledge of Him and His great and precious promises are enough to become partakers of the divine nature. Yet, I so often forget this very fact.

Third set of scriptures are Ephesians 23-24 & 2 Corinthians 3:18. Here I am instructed to be renewed in my mind and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God. This is a matter of turning over my will to His. Jesus is the source of the transformation thus He can and will imprint His image on my heart. He will transform me one step at a time.

So What Does This look Like in Me?

The image of Jesus in me can be seen when I serve others and not of selfish motives. It is when I pray for the driver who is in a hurry and appears to be driving recklessly instead of getting upset. Another example is when you spend several minutes on the phone helping someone get to where you are without grumbling. I feel as if someone stepped in and directed all my comings and goings.

Serving others is amazingly so uplifting. Jesus enables me with a do it without thinking and free flowing spirit. I will find myself in the right frame of mind where I do not let my right hand know what my left hand is doing. Now, I may not always function like this for I am human with a sinful nature and I do get self focused. However, from what I have experienced in the just the past couple of days, I hope to allow Jesus to imprint His image on my heart as much as possible.

The Lyrics are as follows:

On my heart imprint Your image, Blessed Jesus, King of grace.

That life’s riches, cares, and pleasures Never may Your work erase;

Let he clear inscription be; Jesus, crucified for me.

Is my life, my hope’s foundation. And my glory and salvation.

Here is the link to hear the Hymn sung. It is just one verse and sung in melody.

In Conclusion, May Jesus Imprint His Image on Your Heart.

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Forty Appears to Be a Significant Number in the Bible

Forty Days and Forty Nights, Etc.

Just out of curiosity, I went to Bible Gateway.com to see how many times the number forty appears in the Bible. Would you believe that it came up 97 times, from Genesis to Revelation? Apparently, it is a number of some significance.

The first mention is, of course, in Genesis (7:4). God said it would rain for 40 days and 40 nights, which it did in verse 12. The flood continued for 40 days (7:17). At the end of 40 days Noah opened the window on the ark.

In chapter 50 verses 2-4, I read that 40 days were required for embalming. In addition to this, both Isaac and Esau were 40 years old when they took a wife (25:20; 32:15).

Furthermore, forty is used in the Exodus in reference to the people of Israel. They ate manna for 40 years in the desert (16:38). Moses spent forty days and nights on the mountain (24:18). 40 is also the number of silver bases used in the building of the temple (26:19). In the book of Numbers, the spies returned after 40 days (13:25) and the Lord was angry with Israel because only Caleb and Joshua believed that God would deliver the Promised Land. Therefore, God sentenced them to 40 years in the desert, one year for each day spent in Canaan (32:13).

Last but not least, the number 40 is found nineteen times in the New Testament. Jesus also appeared to people for forty days after His resurrection. Let’s not forget the temptation of Jesus found in both Matthew and Luke chapters 4. I do believe that this is where we get the forty days for Lent. I cannot begin to imagine fasting that long.

Something to Consider

Have you ever tried to do the same thing for 40 days and nights? It takes a good bit of will and determination.

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