Daily Archives: September 26, 2019

September 26 Saved by Grace

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14–17

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Grace is God’s goodness and kindness freely extended to the utterly undeserving—you and me. Because of His grace, He offers salvation through Jesus Christ so that we might have a relationship with Him. In that relationship, His viewpoint of us has changed. God, in His grace, does these things for us:

  • Declares we are righteous. Christ’s righteousness is credited as our own (2 Corinthians 5:21). The guilt and shame of sin has been removed (Romans 8:1). We can live boldly for Jesus no matter who we once were.
  • Claims us as family. A spiritual adoption has taken place so that we might become children of God and call Him “Father.” No matter how insignificant the world says we are, we are to live our days remembering we’re children of the King.
  • Gives us, who were spiritually dead, a new heart and a new spirit. We are born again. We have a fresh start in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  • Raises us out of the life we used to live into a new life with Him. The seal of this new life is the presence of the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love, joy, and peace.
  • Sets us free from the power of sin, Satan, and self. Obedience and victory become a reality as we grow in faith and trust.

Praise God for His unending grace!

Thank You for Your unending grace, Lord. Thank You for declaring me righteous and claiming me as family, providing an inheritance, setting me free from sin, and raising me from the old life to a new life.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 281). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Joel Osteen Opens Church Cafe That Only Serves Lukewarm Beverages — The Babylon Bee

HOUSTON, TX—Lakewood Church has everything you could want for a fine day of churchgoing, shopping, and fine dining. But Pastor Joel Osteen was never comfortable with the church’s cafe, which only served hot or cold beverages.

“These hot and cold beverages are making me uncomfortable and their negativity is really rubbing off on me,” Osteen said at a recent leadership team luncheon as he opened up a fortune cookie, immediately scribbling down whatever it said for use in his next sermon. “I think from now on we should just serve lukewarm coffees and teas—not too hot, not too cold, just middle of the road, easygoing, not rockin’ the boat too much, you know?”

Church leaders jumped into action and began making the switch. The cafe’s grand reopening occurred this past Sunday. Lakewood church attendees reported they were very happy with the lukewarm beverages, as they weren’t “too extreme” but had just the right amount of complacency for a satisfying taste and mouthfeel.

“The problem with hot or cold beverages is that I want to spit them out of my mouth,” Osteen said. “I’m always like, ‘Oh, how I wish it were lukewarm, like a victorious Christian life!'”

via Joel Osteen Opens Church Cafe That Only Serves Lukewarm Beverages — The Babylon Bee

September 26 Staying on Course

Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:7–10

Key Verse: Philippians 3:8

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

Jesus was very clear when He gave parting instructions to His followers: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19 nasb).

This is the mission of the church today—or should be. Some churches, large and small, drift away theologically and doctrinally from the absolute truth of Scripture. Others suffer from a lack of Christ-centered leadership, with much friction between the pastor and the staff. And some leaders forfeit the trust of the congregation by willfully pursuing sin. If not addressed, these problems bog down the church and cause it to lose sight of the ultimate purpose.

Take a serious look at the vitality and activity of your church:

  • Is Bible teaching a priority?
  • Is evangelism emphasized?
  • Are people involved in service to the community?
  • Is the worship service meeting the needs in your life?
  • Are there real opportunities for fellowship and support?

If you find the answers to these questions less than satisfying, ask God to show you how to pray for its leaders. Be willing to obey Him, and make it your goal to worship with people who are committed to Christ above all else.

O Lord, let my church be a place where Your Word, worship, and evangelism are emphasized. Draw us to serve our community. Make our fellowship one of mutual support. Bless our leaders. Help us stay on course to accomplish our mission.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 281). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 26 Born for Adversity

Scripture reading: Psalm 35:9–15

Key verse: Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times,

And a brother is born for adversity.

You’ve probably heard the homespun phrase that you never know who your real friends are until trouble comes. But perhaps you didn’t realize that a biblical principle is behind the saying.

Today’s verse states, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Maybe you’ve wondered who among your friends would love you at all times, not just when there are peace and plenty. But have you ever stopped to consider whether you are that kind of friend? Are you a brother or sister who was born for adversity?

One of life’s most difficult challenges is to be a stalwart for a hurting friend, particularly if his trial involves potential wrongdoing or error on his part. Sometimes we are quicker to judge and condemn than to pray and be available to vicariously share a burden.

Take a moment to consider how you have reacted to the adversities of your friends throughout the years. Did you steer clear for a while until the situation settled? Did you cease relations altogether? Or did you put an arm around your struggling buddy and lend an ear, encouragement, and prayer?

Christ called His disciples friends. And when they hurt, He was there. Always. His example remains perfect today, and you’ll never know what kind of real friend you are until their trouble comes.

Dear Lord, help me be a true friend to those in need, a strength to the weak, a comfort to the hurting.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 281). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.