Christian, you are not forgotten. You are always on His mind.
You may feel alone. But you aren’t.
He promises He will never forget you. No matter who else forgets, He does not and will not forget.
Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:15–16)
The Lordis the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
These were spoken in the Old Testament and applied to Christians in the New:
He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor willI ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5–6)
And Jesus promised: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Keep in mind that you are always on God’s mind.
When you feel alone, remember Him.
When you feel forsaken, recognize that as a lie from the devil, and remember that you are always ALWAYS on His mind.
We–Christians, believers in Christ, Christ-followers—are to live examined lives.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23–24)
Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40)
We are to ask God to search us. God, of course, knows everything already. But we don’t. I am very, very capable of fooling myself.
When we pray for God to search us, He will show us.
Examination isn’t only to learn what we need to confess. When God searches us and shows us, He will also show us what we’re doing well and what we need to strengthen. We are learning to please God.
Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
Examination also shows us areas of sin that we need to confess, repent, and change with His help.
After we have been saved, saved from the penalty of sin, we still sin, alas. But we are learning how to walk in the newness of life, and being made into the image of Christ.
Until God takes us home when we will be saved from the presence of sin, we will sin. Examination shows us the areas God wants us to confess and work on.
The result is a more godly life and deeper fellowship with God. What an enormous blessing.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Set aside some focused time and give it a try.
Blessings will result.
Father, search me and show me where I sin and what I need to strengthen. Help me be sensitive to anything I think, say or do that does not please You. Help me confess my sins, and, with Your help, eradicate it, substituting thoughts, words, and deeds that please You. Help me understand Your word and Your will for me, and help me make my life glorify You. Thank You that You encourage as well as reprimand. Thank You that You are leading and guiding me. Thank You that You are making me into the image of Your Son. Thank You that You will bring me home.
Do you know anyone who doesn’t think he or she sins?
Christians are sinners who have recognized their sins, repented, and believe in Christ for salvation. Christians still sin, but when we confess our sins, God forgives (1 John 1:9).
Non-Christian sinners are everyone else. Some are those who rely on their behavior, believing their external adherence to God’s law or their ethical/moral standing makes them righteous and guarantees them a place in heaven. The Pharisees are a prime example, although there are many today, including within the organized church.
For the self-righteous, they have convinced themselves their standard is the one that counts with God. They are relying on external behavior. They are whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27).
Other non-Christian sinners do not believe they sin. They don’t believe in God, perhaps. They may believe only their opinion is right and cannot listen to alternative points of view. They may think whatever they do is right. Some claim they are perfect just as they are.
I saw a well-known athlete repeat a mantra: “I am perfect. I am strong. I am enough.”
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.(Galatians 6:3)
Is it possible for either group ever to believe they are sinners in need of a savior?
The gospel contains both bad news and good news. The bad news is that we are all sinners and that sinners face a righteous, just God who hates sin. The good news is that God provided a Savior who died in our place IF we repent, believe, and trust in Jesus Christ, receiving Him as Lord and Savior.
I know nothing is impossible for God, and that He can bring anyone to confession, repentance, and belief. BUT….
God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—thank You that nothing is impossible for You. Please make us sensitive to the needs and opportunities of those who do not know You, who don’t think they need You. Please guide us.
Jesus, eternal God, became a man. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
Jesus Was Fully Man
Jesus was fully man. He was born of a virgin. He was a descendent of David according to the flesh, through both His mother, Mary, and her husband Joseph. He was circumcised as any Jewish boy. He was born under the Law. He was raised in Nazareth, in subjection to His mother and Joseph. He grew in wisdom and stature. He attended synagogue. He was tempted in everything as we are but was without sin. He was laughed at, mocked, insulted, slandered. He suffered. He hungered and grew thirsty. He traveled. He tired. He was touched. He was distressed. He agonized. He prayed. He was beaten and scourged. He bled. He was crucified. He died. He was buried.
He was man.
Praise the Nazarene.
Because He became a man and lived a perfect life, He:
Went through what we are going through, was tempted as we are, yet without sin, and is able to come to our aid;
Learned obedience from the things He suffered, and understands our weaknesses, infirmities, and trials;
Was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, and became God’s perfect sacrifice, saving believers from our sins.
Became our sympathetic high priest who sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:14–18)
Lord Jesus Christ—eternal God—I praise You for becoming a man. I am so grateful You humbled Yourself, being made in likeness of man and being obedient to death, even death on the cross. I praise You for perfectly living a life on this world, being tempted as we are, but without sin. I praise You for suffering enormous pain for our sakes. I praise You that You are our great High Priest, able to sympathize with us since You also endured this life. I praise You for coming to our aid.
We’ve been looking at history (See Preparing for Easter). The next big event after Jesus’ ascension was Pentecost, giving believers the Holy Spirit, which occurred 10 days after Jesus’ ascension.
During Jesus’ ministry on earth, the people who believed in Him had not yet received the Holy Spirit. I don’t know what that experience was like since the Holy Spirit now dwells in all believers in Christ. But now is better!
Jesus promised the Holy Spirit.
“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, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:38–39)
Jesus told His disciples: “It is to your advantage that I go away.”
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1–4)
Before Christ’s resurrection, the disciples were in a locked room. After they received the Holy Spirit, they testified with power, they rejoiced to suffer in His name. All but one became martyrs. They were transformed.
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit dwells in all believers, sealing us, and given as a pledge of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit is our helper, our encourager, our teacher, and guides us to all truth (John 14:26; John 16:13). The Holy Spirit gave us gifts and empowers us to do the good works God prepared for us (1 Corinthians 12). The Holy Spirit gives us access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18). The Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26). Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Father, thank You for giving the Holy Spirit to believers. Help us worship Him and listen to Him. I want to walk in, and be by controlled by Your Spirit. I don’t want to grieve or quench Him. Please help me consciously and continually seek You and yield to Your Spirit dwelling in me.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
HOW do we love Him with all our mind?
For several years my core goal was to thank Him in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I might have made marginal improvement, but, really, I gave myself a low grade. Another year my goal was to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Really low grades on that goal! This year my core goal is “Rejoice!” How am I doing? Well, not so well. I need to learn HOW.
So, HOW do I love God with all my mind? HOW do we love God with all our minds?
ONE. STUDY GOD’S WORD
We need to regularly study God’s word. Devotional reading is great, but we need to go deeper. We should made daily Bible study our routine.
The Holy Spirit dwells in believers, and He will illuminate to us God’s word. (Pray before you start reading or study.)
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment… (Philippians 1:9)
TWO. MEDITATE ON GOD’S WORD
As we study, certain passages will stand out. These might be doctrine, commands, instruction, application. Meditate on those passages. Consider memorizing them.
You might be more inclined to focus on instruction, but don’t ignore doctrine. Behavior is rooted in belief, and the more we understand God, the more readily we will walk in His way.
Blessed is the man [whose] … delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)
Throughout the day, regularly review what you’re reading and meditating on. Repeat the passages you’ve memorized.
By regularly reviewing God’s word, the more He and His word become top of mind. By having His word at our fingertips, the more likely we are to understand our situation (and the world) through His eyes, and the more likely we are to apply His word.
We have to decide to do this. We have to make up our minds.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)
FOUR. PRAISE GOD
There are many commands in the Bible to praise God.
Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)
FIVE. KEEP GOD’S COMMANDS
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. (John 14:15)
Application solidifies learning. The more we walk according to His ways, the more we learn His ways. This is an awesome cycle.
Become controlled by His word.
We become more settled in a Christian world view. Unless we have God’s point of view in mind we cannot rejoice when we suffer for Him (for example). (Acts 5:41, James 1:2)
[Through true knowledge and discernment we] may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.(Philippians 1:10)
I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts.(Psalm 119:100)
I developed this list through searching the Scriptures and reading some sermons for HOW to love the Lord with all my heart. Now I am asking the Lord to show me my deficiencies and guide me to implement these steps for His glory. Will you join me?
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.(Psalm 19:14)
And more after the next event on the historical calendar: Sending the Holy Spirit.
What does Christ’s ascension mean for us?
I came to saving faith when I heard the gospel systematically preached, learned about Jesus’ life, recognized my sin, and realized His enormous sacrifice for me. The magnitude of the torture, brutality, and horrible execution to a truly good Christ overwhelmed me.
Jesus of Nazareth was winsome and approachable. The little children came to Him. His love drew me to Him.
When John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, saw the exalted Lord Jesus Christ, he fell at His feet like a dead man. (Revelation 1:17)
The exalted Lord Jesus Christ continues to:
Call us: “Come unto Me.”
Guard and keep us.
Pray for us.
Serve as our Great High Priest.
Prepare a place for us in heaven that we may be where He is.
Our exalted Lord Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest, who was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) He is sympathetic, merciful, and faithful on our behalf. We can draw near with confidence, knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord and also our loving priest.
But don’t forget: Jesus Christ is God, exalted above all.
Praise our Lord Jesus Christ, King, Lord, and Ruler over all.
Father, we praise You for raising Christ from the dead, seating Him at Your right hand, and making Him King, Lord, and Ruler over all. We praise You, Lord Jesus, for saving us and keeping us. We are so grateful You continually intercede for us. We praise You that You are preparing a place for us. Help us grasp that everything is in subjection under Your feet, that You care for us, and that we can have Your peace in the midst of our trials. Help us live out this truth.
This post is for you, if you are a follower of Christ, having believed, repented, placed your trust in Him, and received Christ as Lord and Savior. If you haven’t, or if you’re not sure, see Becoming a Child of God.
Put your name in the designated places, making this post personal to you.
The Truth about You
God chose [your name] not because of anything [your name] did or didn’t do, but out of His own sovereign will. (Ephesians 1:4)
[Your name] was redeemed, saved from the penalty of sin. (Ephesians 1:7)
[Your name] is sealed with the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing [your name] eternal life, and providing guidance, teaching, and intercession. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
God blessed [your name] with all spiritual gifts. (Ephesians 1:3)
God granted everything to [your name] pertaining to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)
[Your name] is being sanctified, lessening the power of sin over [your name] life. (1 Peter 1:2)
God is at work in [your name], both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
God who began a good work in [your name] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)
Throughout the trouble of this fallen world, God keeps and protects [your name], using everything for good, making [your name] into the image of Christ and bringing glory to God. (Romans 8:28-29, 1 Peter 1:5)
One day Christ, with great joy, will present [your name] to the Father holy and blameless. (Colossians 1:22, Jude 24)
And [your name] will live forever with God in heaven. (John 3:15)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places…(Ephesians 1:18–20)
The Mighty One is able to accomplish all His will.
He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.(Psalm 33:9)
God is mighty over all, nothing and no one can stop what He wills to do.
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ (Daniel 4:35)
The Mighty One redeems, judges, avenges
I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.(Isaiah 49:26)
Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The Lord of hosts is His name; great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds.(Jeremiah 32:17–19)
Nothing is impossible for the Mighty One.
Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
The Mighty One is able
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” (Psalm 138:8)
I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.(2 Timothy 1:12)
For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.(Hebrews 2:18)
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.(Hebrews 7:25)
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us… (Ephesians 3:20)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24–25)
What seems impossible in your life? Are your desires/dreams godly? Then turn to your Mighty One for whom everything is possible, and nothing is hard.
We praise You, Mighty One. Nothing is impossible for You. You are able to do all things: create, redeem, save, keep, protect, judge, avenge. You are able to perform all Your word. And You care for us, Your chosen. You promise good for us, followers of Christ, and Your mighty power accomplishes the good You intend for us. Your mighty power works in us. IN US! As we face challenges and opportunities, please remind us that You are the Mighty One, accomplishing Your will, that Your power works in us and the situation. We know we can do what You purpose for us, because nothing is impossible for You. Praise You, Mighty One. Please help us know, really know, that You are the Mighty One.
For many reasons we can plunk down and stay there. Fatigue can stop us, but sometimes we stay idle even when rested. Depression certainly can bring activity to a halt. And there are many other reasons as well.
I’ve heard of physicians giving patients prescriptions that instruct them to exercise. Once we get going, often our mood improves, and we feel more energetic.
God sometimes tell us to rest. God sometimes tells us to get with it. Whatever His instructions, we are to obey.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you … So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him. (Genesis 12:1, 4)
But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) So he got up and went. (Acts 8:26–27)
And the Lord said to him [Ananias], “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul …” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem …” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine …” So Ananias departed and entered the house …” (Acts 9:11, 13, 15, 17)
Jesus said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. (Luke 5:24, -25)
If God tells us to get up and go, there are blessings for obedience. We might be healed in some way. We will become more mature, growing in our Christian walk. Others may be blessed.
It can be hard to get started. Here are some ideas:
Pray about what the Lord wants you to do that day, or what to do next. This may be something about the opportunity He has given you (See Redeem the Time), or it may be “Get up and do the dishes!”
Determine to obey Him.
Get up and go!
Even if you don’t feel like it, get up and go.
Father, I want to obey You in all things, including the daily activities of life. Help me hear what You have for me to do. Help me do the work You have for me to do. I want my life to glorify You.