Good Works

Ephesians 2 10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

The question is: are you walking in good works today?

Reflecting on the Life of Peter

According to Fox’s Book of Martyrs, the apostle Peter suffers persecution, and is crucified during the reign of Emperor Nero. There is some disagreement among historians as to whether Peter is crucified in Rome or elsewhere. Nonetheless, Peter knows he is being sought by Nero. Upon attempting to leave the city, Peter sees a vision of Christ. Peter asks, “Lord, where are You going?” And the Lord answers, “I am come again to be crucified.” Peter understands these words to mean that he should remain within the city, and suffer persecution on Christ’s behalf. At his crucifixion, his only request is that he be placed on the cross upside down because he feels he is not worthy to be on the cross in the same position as Christ.

Before his unfortunate demise, Jesus selects Peter as one of his disciples. He walks with Christ as his disciple for his entire ministry. He is known throughout the Gospel as one of the most outspoken disciples, even chiding Christ for revealing for the disciples that he would go to Jerusalem, be beaten and killed, and be resurrected – to which Christ replied, “Get behind me, Satan!” (See, Matthew 16:21-23). Peter is given credit for writing 1 Peter and 2 Peter in the Bible. He also preached the church’s first sermon after the dispensation of the Holy Spirit.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
2 Peter 1:3

I just love these words written by Peter!

Free eBooks for Christian Living

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Prayers Are Powerful

Prayer changes me. When I pray consistently to God something changes within me. And it can change you too. However, sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and not take the time to pray. This book can help you form a habit of coming to God everyday in prayer.

21 Days to a New Habit of Prayer

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. And so I have shared 21 prayers of faith with you to help you form a habit of prayer in your life. I have taken key truths from scripture and reworded them into prayers of faith. Combining prayer with God’s Word is powerful. I have experienced this in my own life and now want to share it with you.

I pray that these prayers help you to overcome fear and doubt through applying the power of prayer and God’s Word to your life.

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Do you find yourself fearful, depressed, lonely, and just going through the motions with no purpose or power to change your life? Do you feel “stuck” and don’t know where to find happiness and contentment? Do you ever wonder what God’s will is for your life? If you feel like you’re missing out on something good, then this book will reveal how you can get the good things God intends for you. God’s Word holds the keys to being confident, joyful, and passionate.
God didn’t create you to be average. He wants to bless you and prosper you. God has good things in store for those who want to know His will for their lives. Come explore and see what God has for you…

Please note that the price for these eBooks is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to check the price before checking out to verify.

These eBooks are specifically for Kindles, but you can go here to download a free application that enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

Note: The link(s) in this post may contain my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.

Sunday Summary: How to Correct Ourselves & Others

Mother and Son Reading Bible Together

On Sunday, Pastor DZ Cofield preached How to Make Your House God’s Home from Matthew 21:12-16. He said that in order to do so we must become people of “purity (v. 12), prayer (v. 13), power (v. 14), and praise (vv. 15-16).”

What struck me in this passage is how Christ went from irate (v. 12) to healing (v. 14). What a lesson is how to correct ourselves and others, over whom we have responsibility. Jesus drove out those who had turned the temple into a marketplace. He quoted Isaiah 56:7 as His authority and to re-establish God’s standard. Then he demonstrated how to meet God’s standard. He acted out the words of Isaiah, his action demonstrating what they meant.

So, for my personal application, if there’s something in me or in my daughter, for example, that needs correcting, I must follow Jesus’ example.

  1. Chase off the bad behavior
  2. Quote God’s standard
  3. Change behavior to meet the standard

Read the verses of Matthew 21 for yourself.

12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the
tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”

14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and
saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”

And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,
‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise’?”

What about you?

What is your Sunday Summary?

And how can you apply the Word you heard today?

Benefits of Using Spiritual Gifts

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The fact that God has given each believer unique abilities is awesome, exciting, and, at the same time, frightening. But I’m learning to not let fear stop me from using the spiritual abilities God has given me. In fact, I’ve discovered there are benefits to using them.

Keith Krell writes:

There are the three primary benefits to exercising your spiritual gift:

(1) God will be glorified.

Your spiritual gifts are ultimately designed to bring glory to God. This is your highest calling.

(2) Others will be edified.

Spiritual gifts are given to build up the body and lead her to maturity. If you fail to develop your gifts or let them decline through disuse, your fellow believers will be hurt because they will be deprived of the unique ministry that only you could perform in their lives.

(3) You will be satisfied.

Knowing and using your gifts will allow you to discover a significant part of your purpose for living. You will also have a sense of fulfillment and joy in serving others. I would go so far as to say that any Christian who is not a functioning, serving member of a local church is living outside of God’s will.

 

In light of these benefits do we know what our gifts are? Are we using them?

 

Keith Krell is the senior pastor of Fourth Memorial Church in Spokane, WA and associate professor of biblical exposition at Moody Bible Institute–Spokane.

Photo source.

All About Spiritual Gifts

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In my studies of Romans 12:6-8, I came across the observations of Dr. Allen Ross.

A spiritual gift is the special ability that God has given to each of us to use in ministering in and to the body. Or, to put it another way, a spiritual gift is the special use God makes of an individual in certain capacities. Several observations come to mind from the general teaching in Scripture:

(1) The spiritual gifts are not offices; they are functions.

(2) They are not natural talents (although we sometimes call those gifts), even though they might overlap with natural talents—but they might not. It is all how God uses the person.

(3) The spiritual gifts overlap with some biblical exhortations. For example, all Christians are to give, but some have the gift of faith (that is, God uses them more abundantly in these capacities than others).

(4) Some spiritual gifts can be cultivated, and others cannot. There are gifts that you can try to see if God will use you in that way; but others where God simply has to break through supernaturally.

(5) Some gifts are readily misconstrued, like “miracles” and “healings” (Christians love to describe things as miracles, almost anything that happens unexpectedly); but some of the phenomena here probably comes under the gift of faith because they are answers to prayer.

(6) Not everyone has the same gifts. It is wrong to expect people to have certain gifts when they do not have them.

(7) Spirituality is not measured by the possession of certain gifts. In fact, sometimes a serious case of pride comes in and destroys the gift, making the person with the powerful gift very unspiritual.

(8) And there are far more gifts than the spectacular sign gifts that seem to get so much attention.

People seem to think only of the sign gifts and wonders, the tongues, the prophesies, the healing. But what about the gifts of helps, administration, showing compassion, giving?

So, do you know what your spiritual gifts are?

More importantly are you using these gifts for God’s glory?

Romans 12 Resources

BethMoore Beth Moore, of Living Proof Ministries, is teaching on Romans 12 this week on her radio program. It’s so good to have her insight on this passage, especially since I’ve been studying and writing about it. Please feel free to check out what she has to say about verses 1 and 2. She brings out totally different things from what I wrote about in Do Not Conform and Be Reasonablewhich doesn’t surprise me because the depth of the riches of God’s word is unimaginable. I can’t recommend Beth Moore enough. I had the privilege of attending her 6-week study of the Holy Spirit here in Houston recently. It was such a blessing!!!

And if you haven’t read my other posts on Romans 12 but would like to:

  1. Be Reasonable (v.1)

  2. Do Not Conform (v.2)

  3. How To Rate Yourself (v.3)

  4. Back & Forth: Between Two Realities (v. 3)

  5. We Belong to Each Other (v. 4-5)

 

I hope to continue the Romans 12 series this week, picking up with verses 6-8. In the meantime, don’t forget Romans 12 is all about transformation, which is my top goal for 2014. As Christians, we are to be reasonable, considering all that God has done, the most logical and rational thing to do is to present ourselves as living sacrifices to Him (v.1). We must be careful not to conform to this world but be transformed, which starts when our minds are saturated by God’s truth (v.2) With our truth-saturated minds, we must not think of ourselves as too important or too unimportant because God has given each of us specific faith-works that only we can under His power (v.3). After all, we are members of the body of Christ, and as members we belong to each other. So we must serve each other by diligently working out our faith (v.4).

Are you being transformed?

 

Sunday Summary: What I Really Think About God

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Pastor Chris Clemons preached, The Haves & the Have-Nots, based on Matthew 25:14-30 and the Parable of the Talents. The last servant failed to make an investment with the talent his master gave him. The master judged that the servant was lazy and wicked.

The Verdict

Lazy, because of what he didn’t do.

But wicked is who he was. His character was wicked. His behavior indicated what he really thought about his master.

How convicting!!

What does my behavior indicate that I really think about God? Am I reclining like the woman in the picture above – satisfied to rest on my laurels? Am I not using all the Lord has invested in me?

The Punishment

In the end, the master sentenced the servant to outer darkness and issued a warning:

To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. (v. 29)

Do I want to lose the little that I do have?

Starting this week I must take advantage of opportunities to invest the talent God’s given me – to proclaim and practice God’s Word. One way that I can proclaim God’s Word is by posting regularly on this website. And I can practice God’s Word by being more patient with my husband and daughter.

What about you?

What is your Sunday Summary?

And how can you apply the Word you heard today?

Free Easter Devotional: Trail to the Tree

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Ann Voskamp of, A Holy Experience, is offering a free Easter devotional. It includes:

The full  text of the day’s Bible reading in either ESV, NLT or  MSG… Readings are selected to lead chronologically through the significant events in the story of the life of Christ.

A verse to prayerfully linger over as a family — a verse to pause over for a moment or two, close eyes and deeply reflect on. It is just focused alone on Scripture and prayer and living the Gospel — without any peripheral notes or added commentary, only prayer… simply, powerfully Christ-centric and Biblically focused.

A short, simple action point for the day –  a way to do something together as a family that not only invites the coming Kingdom of God and Jesus’ love into your home and community, but is an opportunity to apply and obediently live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

A full color ornament, all classic art from the masters,  to hang on your own Easter Passion Tree….

To receive the free devotional, subscribe to Ann’s website here.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom and Moms by Heart.

 

Free eBook: Consider the Cross

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Consider the Cross

Here’s another free Easter devotional.

These devotions for the Lenten period before Easter will cut through denominational lines and theological stances, challenging you to simply consider. Consider the person of Jesus. Consider the moment in history where he was nailed to a cross. Consider what significance the resurrection has in your life.

Focusing on the last week of Jesus’ life, these devotionals and questions will help prepare your heart to celebrate Easter by reflecting on the person and work of Jesus.

How convicting are these author’s words?

Simply. Consider.

Click here!

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Please note that the price for this eBook is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to check the price before checking out to verify.

This ebook is specifically for Kindles, but you can go here to download a free application that enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

Note: The link(s) in this post may contain my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!