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Jesus is the only One who can save people. No one else in the world is able to save us.” Acts 4:12 (NCV)

There is, within each of us a desire to believe in something greater than ourselves. Something more powerful. More passionate and loving. Something that can take us from where we are and bring us to new levels of freedom, hope and peace.

The world is full of answers. Full of people and systems that urge us to follow their way and buy into their system of beliefs. It doesn’t take long to realize that all of that comes with a cost. It could be our lives. It could be money. In most all cases it requires that we ‘do something’ to prove our worthiness.

The enemy’s game plan is to burden us down with rules and regulations. He is fully aware that Jesus came to give us freedom. His goal is to make sure that we never experience the freedom purchased for us on the cross.

He’s also aware of our desire to believe. It may come a surprise to many, but Satan is a great fan of religion and he wants each of us to hold strongly to religion. His personal favorite is atheism by the way, but he’ll settle for any of the other ones. The important thing is that you realize that salvation comes at a cost and if you are going to be saved you must follow the rules.

Religion is a monster whose hunger will never be filled by human activity. The demands are too steep and we are too weak. We fail. We try again. We fail again. We lost heart. We stop trying or try a different religion or relationship. The end result is that we sink into this pit of despair that says “It’s no use. There’s no hope. I simply can’t do it.” We lose. Satan wins.

Jesus didn’t come to earth to burden us with rules and regulations. His purpose for being here is to bring us freedom. He didn’t come to condemn us (John 3:17) he came to give us freedom (Galatians 5:1).

The battle for our faith tells us that we have to perform to be spiritual. The Bible tells us otherwise. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast”.

There is nothing you can DO to be a good Christian. All the things we measure our ‘spirituality’ by (going to church, reading the Bible, praying, etc) aren’t supposed to be duties to make us better Christians. They are activities that deep our relationship with Jesus. He purchased our salvation on the cross. He sealed our eternal fate in his resurrection. He doesn’t ask for our actions. He only asks for our heart.

Satan would have you believe that you must do something to be spiritual. Jesus only asks that you take his free gift and live in freedom.

The Truth Statement in the battle for our faith is: Our spirituality is based on relationship not rules.

PRAYER: Father God, it’s so easy to get caught up in ‘doing’ and not resting in the fact that my spiritual life rests in relationship and not activity. The enemy is constantly reminding me of my failures and shortcomings in order to keep me in bondage. Forgive me for listening to him. Today I will live in the truth that my walk with you rests on relationship not rules. Thank you. Amen.


He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3 (NLT)

Ever heard a song that spoke to you in such a way that the words stuck in your mind all day long? The type of song that seemed, in some way, at that moment in time to make a statement about who you were or what you were going through? People who are in love will often hear a song that speaks of their relationship and make that ‘their song’. They may have it sung at their wedding ceremony and for the rest of their lives, whenever they hear it; they will be reminded of that day when they officially began their lives together. Some may even be lucky enough to have a song written just for them by the one they love, a testament to undying, eternal love.

So, what’s your song? It’s not important if the tune is best fit for rock ‘n roll, rap, or classical. It doesn’t matter what instruments you play it with. What is your song?

There’s an old chorus, part of which goes something like this: “There’s a new song in my heart since the savior set me free There’s a new song in my heart ’tis a heav’nly harmony all my sins are washed away in the blood of Calvary o what peace and joy nothing can destroy there’s a new song in my heart.”

During some of the darkest times of my life I’ve found it interesting that the songs that come to mind are the songs of my faith. Faith in a God who is so Holy that he can not bear to look on sin and failure. A God that is so powerful the winds and nature obey his voice. A God so loving that he chose to give me grace and mercy at the Cross of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Songs can give a message of love or hate, of life or death, of hope or hopelessness. My song wasn’t written by me. It was written on my heart by Jesus. My song isn’t dependent on my actions or the actions of others. Its message of hope and love and grace and mercy rings on through the darkest times of our soul, when the wounds seem too much to bear.

He has given me a new song! A song that will never, ever end. A song that will make others take notice and praise God. Not because of me, but because of Jesus.

I’ll ask the question again. What’s your song? If you have Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you have been forgiven of all those wounds and bad choices of the past. Then your song of hope and praise must be sung. It can not be squelched. So sing! Sing your song in the words you speak, in the actions you take, in the love you show to those who deserve it least.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, Thank you for the song you gave me when you died for my sin. Forgive me for the times I’ve squelched its message. Empower me to sing for you with every thought, word and action. In your name I praise! Amen.


Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. Ruth 4:16-17 (NLT)

She was Ruth. She was just your normal widow and peasant woman. There was nothing special about her other than the fact that she was a foreigner and a hard worker. Nothing about her would attract someone’s attention to her at all.

He was Boaz.  A young, hardworking farmer who was well-respected by men and committed to the God of Israel. But there was one other quality about Boaz. He had a heart for people. His success hadn’t made him forget his God or people.

One day Boaz noticed Ruth gleaning in his field. Gleaners were women who followed after the harvesters to gather what little grains of wheat were left. Often this was the only food they had. On a good day they may even find enough to sell for a few extra coins to cover other expenses.

Moved to compassion for the young woman Boaz instructed the harvesters to leave a little extra for the young woman. He warned them not to harass here, a common occurrence in other fields.

Boaz had plenty of opportunities to push Ruth away. He could have viewed her as any other foreigner and widow and ignored her completely. She wasn’t like him after all. He could have had her stoned the night she slipped into his tent to sleep at his feet. He had a reputation to protect. He could have refused to spend the funds needed to ‘purchase the right’ to marry her.

No one would have blamed Boaz for any of the above actions. He had life made. He was young. He was rich. He was very well respected. But none of that mattered. He saw a person in need and did whatever he could to meet those needs.

Want to read a good love story? Read the book of Ruth. Eventually Ruth and Boaz become husband and wife. To this union was given a son and that’s the best part of this story. The son born to this couple was the grandfather of David, the greatest, most powerful King in Israel’s history, and the man after God’s own heart.

Even more important than David was another child born into this family line. His name was Jesus and he was born to take away the sins of the world. One small act of kindness led to my salvation.  

We never know where our small acts of kindness may lead. God may call us to do something relatively simple or something that will yank us out of our comfort zone. Whatever he calls you to do, no matter how simple can be used greatly by him. Reach out to those in need. Be willing to take risks. Go the extra mile in showing God’s love. You never know where it may lead!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. I thank you for the story of Boaz and Ruth and how it shows me that my small acts of kindness can have eternal rewards. I ask that you would help me today to see someone who needs your touch. Then give me the courage and wisdom to reach out to them for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.


But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” 2 Timothy 2:19 (NLT)

Imagine the scene in heaven. You are standing before the God of the Universe, the Creator and sustainer of all things. He has the power to send you to hell for eternity or welcome you into an eternal life of rest with him. Not to oversimplify but it’s sort of like the scene from the “Wizard of Oz”. Like the cowardly lion you stand shaking in your shoes as the greatness of God fills the room and shakes the very foundation of the building.

Between you and the throne stands the accuser. He’s not the red-suited, horn bearing being you remember from the pictures back on earth. He’s huge, he’s beautiful and his very presence says POWER.

He opens a scroll within your view. On it are the charges against you. Every time you disobeyed your parents is recorded. Every time you flipped off another driver is listed. Every time you lied about not going to church, talked evil of your neighbor, abused your kids and had sex with your girlfriend before marriage. The list goes on. Charge after charge.

There’s no hope you know. You are guilty. Guilty…as they say, as sin. Charge number one is read. In great detail the accuser tells how you did the act. Your attitude. Your words. He even goes so far as to mimic (perfectly, might I add) your facial expression. It’s as though he were there!

The Supreme Judge turns to you and asks how you how you plead. Guilty? Or Not Guilty. You are guilty of course. Guilty of every charge. But just as you are ready to speak, you hear a voice.

“NOT GUILTY FATHER!”

Jesus steps forward. He’s glowing. The compassion and love oozes from every pore. He looks at you and smiles proudly. Then he turns to his father and holds out his hands, the scars from the nails are obvious.

The Father smiles and looks at you. Satan grimaces and his beauty fades into anger and hate. And so it goes with every charge on that list. Satan accuses, Jesus reminds the Father that you are his. Not guilty by reason of the shed blood of Jesus.

When it’s all said and done, your heavenly Father smiles and says “Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter into my rest.”

Our sin is forgiven. Our lives are free to live in perfect relationship with God. And it’s all because of Jesus.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I thank you for forgiving me of my sin. I confess to you the struggles I still have with anger, lust, worry and abuse. Forgive me for what I do. Thank you for who I am in you. In your name, Amen.


But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:31

Ever noticed how those info-mercials on TV make their particular product so inviting? “If you call now you’ll not only get the original item, they’ll throw in something else. But wait! There’s more. Call within a certain amount of time and they will give you a free give valued at some fantastic amount!”

The company attempts to paint a picture for you. First of all, you NEED this product in order to make life bearable. Secondly, if you purchase this product they will do you a huge favor by giving you much more than what you originally asked for. It’s a deal that simply can’t be passed up!

I’m not trying to cheapen life as a Christ-follower when I say this, but in a sense, living for Christ is like the ultimate info-mercial. Think about it for a moment. Here we are, a bunch of rebellious, self-centered, angry, doubting human beings just looking for things our way. It all started in a garden with a perfect climate, and two people who were physically, spiritually and emotionally naked. They had all God could give them yet they chose to rebel.

God said, I know what I’ll do. I’ll send my only son, my beloved son to die a cruel death on a tree. I’ll watch from heaven as they take my ‘little boy’ and strip him naked, beat him so badly that I won’t even recognize him and finally brutally murder him on a tree. They’ll even have the audacity to say they are doing this horrible thing in my name!

But wait! There’s more. Not only will I let them do this to my son, I’ll forgive their sin. Wipe it out completely. No penalty. No condemnation! Then, I’ll send my very own Spirit to live within them. He’ll guide them, show them the way to salvation, and administer grace and strength in their weakest moment.

Oh, I know they’ll fail. Some will fail over and over again. But if they repent and come back to me, I’ll forgive them and make things right between us once more.

But wait, there’s more! While they are struggling along the path of life, I’ll be preparing a place for them so that once their time on earth is complete they can come to spend all of eternity with me.

Too good to believe? It is to me too. But it’s true. God doesn’t just give us what we need. Our Heavenly Father gives us far more than we ask for. All he asks from each of us it to confess our sin, and invite Christ to be the Lord of our lives.

PRAYER: Father God, I thank and praise you for your wonderful gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. You not only have given me forgiveness. You have given me freedom to be all I can be and a promised hope of eternity with you. Empower me by your Spirit to live daily for you and not myself. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

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