Music Appreciation

God created music for our benefit

Music is a powerful influence. It can have negative effects on our hearts and souls, but it can also be a wonderful life-changing influence.

This 1-minute devotion is guaranteed to inspire you. Check it out: Music Appreciation.

Distracted From the Truth

Distracted From the Truth

Technology constantly distracts us.

Couples sit at the same table focused on their phones, ignoring each other.

We interrupt face-to-face conversations to take or send text messages.

But we don’t need technology to divert our attention. Most of us are poor listeners with or without it.

We're a self-focused culture, and it's affecting our relationships with others as well as our relationship with God.

But we can muster the courage to stand against these selfish distractions.

Every day, God is waiting to speak truth, encouragement, correction, warning, and comfort into our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Let's let nothing distract us from listening to His Word each day.

"Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." Proverbs 8:34 

It will improve our relationship with God and with others!
See also: Making Christian Friendships a Priority
and  Have We Forgotten What Real Friendship Looks Like?

Distracted From the Truth

God's Gracious Love

Grace is an inseparable element of God’s love. 

“Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

We can exhibit grace toward others, but the most gracious acts of mankind don’t come close to God’s grace given to us who deserve to die in our sins. 

I hate to hear the word “unconditional” tied to God’s grace. 

You won’t find it used in Scripture.

God’s grace had an enormous condition – the death of Jesus.

And while none of us can do anything to be worthy of Christ’s death and the resulting grace, it is given only to those who believe.

After we receive grace, we cannot help but:

1. Understand the cost - (1 Corinthians 6:20).

2. Love the Giver (1 John 2:15-17).

3. Follow the Giver (Luke 9:23).

4. Obey the Giver (John 14:21).

Receiving God’s grace raises us from our spiritual graves (Ephesians 2:1-10). 

No one who receives it remains unchanged.

What a great love He has given us! 
You might also enjoy reading "When Two Equals Ten" and "Christians are Not Antinomians"

What Kind of Dead Man Are You?

Suppose you were a dirty, illiterate, sickly criminal justly charged with a violent crime, awaiting your execution.

Then, to your amazement, a man said he’d die in your place, give you his inheritance, and make you part of his loving family.

A fantasy, right?

No, this is the true story of God's love for us. 

Spiritually, we're on death row, deserving punishment, totally unworthy - dead men walking(1):

“All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”  Romans 3:12

"The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

In addition to dying in our place, God gives us a family and inheritance we don't deserve:

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 

He has given us "an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade....kept in heaven" (1 Peter 1:3-4).

We were dead men walking. Now we are dead men living (John 11:25).(2)
(1) Term used to describe a condemned man walking to his execution.
(2) We are dead men living in two ways: We are condemned men given life in Christ and we are men who have died to self to live for Christ (Luke 17:33).
You might also enjoy: We're No Longer Dead Men

3 Benefits of Sacrifice

3 Benefits of Sacrifice

I wrote about missing my grandchildren (here), and a reader asked why I don't live closer to them. 

We used to live ten minutes away. 

Then in 2015, we felt the Lord directing us to move to another state so my husband could volunteer with a ministry during his retirement years.

Sometimes God's loving plans involve sacrifice.

Throughout history missionaries have given their lives for the Gospel (Danger, Death, Devotion, Saint's Life). In some countries, Christians suffer for their faith daily (Worth the Risk).

Our sacrifice is small comparatively.

But God's children have these rewards:
1. Purposeful, specific work prepared by God for us (Ephesians 2:10).
2. Peace in trouble (John 16:33).
3. Future rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

“Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29

3 Benefits of Sacrifice
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