wavesMatt. 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

God’s word is not only living but it is powerful! Jesus told the Sadducees that they were making a mistake because they didn’t know (understand) the scriptures! But Jesus did end there? No! He went on to say they didn’t know the power of God. God’s words have the power to save … His words are powerful and guide one to salvation.

There is nothing more miraculous than the change that occurs after a person accepts Jesus Christ as his/her Saviour! The Bible speaks of that change in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2 Cor. 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Have you experienced this change in your life? Did you get saved only to keep living your life in the same way? There’s a problem if you did … you didn’t experience the power of God’s word! You read it, you heard it, you may have even had an “experience” that produced temporary elation. But what about the long-term effects? Were there any? Did that experience result in permanent change as it relates to sin in your life? If you were a shoplifter, did you stop? If you were a chronic liar, did you find yourself under great conviction afterwards? If you were addicted to pornography, did you stop? If not, you did not experience the true salvation spoken of in the scriptures. The scriptures say that those old sinful ways of yours pass away. Some pass away immediately … other sins are a challenge but God sees you through with the power of His Holy Spirit and the scriptures.

Your relationship with God is now new and alive – your old ways are gone and behold new thoughts and ideas have entered in. These thoughts and ideas come from God’s powerful words in the Bible. They produce a change – they produce a desire to change. They produce a new person!

You may not be sinless, Christian, but you will most certainly sin LESS!  Your desire will be to follow Christ, not your old life. AND when you DO sin, you fall under extreme conviction and desire to make things right with your Saviour! If you cannot say this is true in your life, then you did not repent of your sin. Repentance brings about the change.  Saying you’re sorry doesn’t necessarily come from repentance. A thief can say he’s sorry but if he continues to steal, he did NOT repent. A repentant thief will steal no more … an repentant adulterer will abandon his sin and become a faithful husband … a repentant liar will lie no more. THIS is change … this is truly the renewed life life that Jesus spoke of in John 3:3 – being born again is depicted in the old sinful man being saved from his sin and coming out a changed and renewed man!

Eph. 4:22-32 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

DannSeagull

~Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Christ did not want us to be like the rest of the world. His ministry was consistently pointing people to their sin and encouraging them to forsake their worldliness. He did not just make a suggestion but also gave us directions as to how to accomplish this task. Renewing of our minds comes as a result of having a new nature.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Our old worldly nature can only become new if we are born into a new nature – if we are born again.

~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

~Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God’s Word lives and abides forever and is what pierces the heart to lead us to salvation. Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit guides us to live righteously and not like the world!

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

This isn’t to say that we will be “sinless” but after salvation we will desire to grow and “sin less.” Herein lies the difference between those who are born again and those who are not. The new nature we receive at the time of salvation nudges us, through the Holy Spirit’s leading, toward righteous living. That is why we are different from the world … we do not desire the same things we did prior to our salvation. We are now children of the King, and as any parent guides and teaches his child, so does our Heavenly Father!

~2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Mark 7:6-9 Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

So many today think they are religious and think their good deeds will outweigh the bad and hopefully they will make it into Heaven. However, man’s heart is wicked and there is no good thing found in it. Even at its best, as with the Pharisees, there is not enough to enter Heaven. If it were not so, Christ would have died in vain.

But today’s devotional is not about the Pharisees but it deals with doing a sincere moral inventory on your heart. Be honest with yourself for once in your life. Why? Because where you spend eternity depends on you being honest with yourself! Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is your heart truly dedicated to God and the things of God? Only you can answer that. What do you think about the moment you wake up? What do you think about during the day? Is it your heart’s desire to serve God?  What do you think about when you are alone? Mother Theresa was one of the greatest benefactors of mankind. However, even at the end of her life, she questioned where she would spend eternity and knew she was lost as lost could be. Even after so many good deeds, she had no assurance and knew she was not going to Heaven!
  2. Do you truly worship God or is it honestly only through your church? What I mean is, do you think about God at all after you walk out the church doors? Do your thoughts revolve around God, His Word, righteous living? Or do you predominantly think about work, your next party, or hanging out with friends?  The Bible says that what is in your heart will come out of your mouth.  The Bible also says that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  What kind of fruit are you bearing?
  3. Are the commandments/instructions you follow in your church a priority in your life? If so, why do you keep them? Is it because the church says so or is it because the Bible says so?  Is it because you love God and want to serve Him?  Do you keep these commandments because you have to or because you desire to do God’s will?
  4. If the Bible contradicts one of your church traditions, do you continue to do it or do you figure the church “fathers” know better and so you follow what they say instead?
  5. Does your church have their own instruction book like the Book of Mormon or something similar? If so, does it take precedence over God’s Word making God’s Word irrelevant?

Moral inventory is something everyone should do and the sooner the better.  God desires to be your Father. God desires fellowship with you. God desires to guide you. What are your desires today? Do they revolve around God or the here and now? If you desire to be a child of God, you must be born again according to Scripture. Baptism at birth does not allow the baby to make a conscious decision. A baby cannot be born again because it does not even realize it has sinned yet. However, you can. You must be born again to be able to go to Heaven.

~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

You must recognize that not one of your good works is going to be good enough for your entrance card into Heaven. If it were, Christ died in vain (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Salvation is ALL about Christ and has NOTHING to do with any good deed we do. Accepting the fact that Christ is the Son of God, who came to earth to live a sinless life, died on the cross and shed His own blood so He could pay the price of our sin and penalty of Hell. He rose from the dead and now sits in Heaven as our King and Saviour. That is the Gospel full and complete. Nothing more, nothing less.

Please, reader, be sincere and honest with yourself for once in your life.  If you are not a true born-again Christ, you will know.  Today’s devotional will sound like mumbo jumbo to you.  You will pass judgment on me and will criticize my writing.  That’s good!  :smile: I don’t mind as long as my devotional will get you to thinking!

~Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Just how important is God’s Word in our lives? If we take Luke’s passage, it seems that it must be very important because Luke says that we should live by every word of God. Who would know better than a physician like Luke? People today trust their doctors and follow their instructions impeccably. Why won’t they trust the Creator of the Universe’s words? It stands to reason that our all knowing God would know what to teach us, how to guide us down the paths of life, correct?

Let’s allow the Bible to speak to us today. The Word has been in written form for thousands of years. Scrolls and parchments were kept and preserved through the generations. Just reading the history of what Scribes had to go through to copy the Torah, one sees how it is not by chance and mistakes were not made in the Bible’s preservation. God spoke and man wrote down what the Holy Spirit told man to write.

Here’s what God’s own Word has to say about His words:

~1 Samuel 9:27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.

~1 Kings 12:22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

~1 Chronicles 17:3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,

~Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

~Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

~Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Luke 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

~Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

~Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

~Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

~John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

~Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

~2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

~2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

~Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

~1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

~Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

~Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

~1 John 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

~Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Jesus Christ came to earth to speak His Word to us and to teach us about His Father’s great love. His Holy Spirit lives with believers and teaches us from the words that He moved men to pen. The Word of God has power to transform lives if we allow the Spirit to change us.

Those who do not believe that the Bible is God’s own Word miss out on one of the most wonderful experiences Christians have on a daily basis! It amazes me still to this day that I can ask God a question and He gives me an answer in His Word! His Word is living – it never changes – it is eternal.

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There are different opinions on how one can worship God. Some worship God only if they are in a church “building.” Others worship God by kneeling and praying. Even yet more worship Him by singing or through the actions of their deeds. While all of these are good, one must not neglect what the root of true worship really is. Let’s go to God’s Word to see what He says:

~John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

There are two steps to worshiping God:

  1. Worship Him in spirit
  2. Worship Him in truth

To be able to worship God in spirit, one must have the Holy Spirit residing within him. How can we have the Holy Spirit residing within us? Jesus said that we must be born again.

~John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Once one is born again of water and of the spirit, one receives the Holy Spirit. The water does not reflect baptism here. The water reflects the water of life, the Word of God. God gives us the Holy Spirit at the time we acknowledge our sinful nature to Him and become born again – with a new attitude toward sin.

~2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

~Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

~Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Our Heavenly Father desires that we worship Him in spirit and in truth. The only truth we can count on is from Him. God left us His Word, the Bible, to read and learn exactly what the truth is. People today are distracted by man’s words and cannot worship God in truth.

~John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

~John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

~John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

~1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

One can only worship God if one is born again! It is at this point that we sealed with the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, who testifies of Jesus Christ and gives us understanding of His Word through the bible. There is no other way to worship God. Any efforts to worship God in any other way are futile.

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~Psalm 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Praise the Lord that His work in the born-again believer is never finished! Daily we find ourselves tempted and daily we fail. I am so thankful that God continues to work in my life for my benefit!

~Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The Lord began a good work in me the day I was born-again! He continues to grow good works in me through His Holy Spirit’s convicting power. When I yield to His convictions, I grow spiritually. That is the reason a baby cannot be born-again at baptism as some religions claim. Babies cannot decide for themselves whether or not they will fall into sin. They are born in sin. They cannot choose to do right – not yet. That is why a child must get to the age where he knows the difference between right and wrong. At this point, he is able to understand the need for salvation.

~Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

We’ve all seen babies who cry the minute they are put down for a nap, yet the minute Momma picks the baby up, the baby stops crying. How true Psalm 58:3 is!  But can a baby repent?  Not just yet – he is totally dependent on his parents until he reaches an age where he can see for himself that he is sinning.  Once that child is born-again, then God begins that beautiful work spoken of in Philippians 1:6!

Thank you, Lord, for your continuing work in my life!

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When a man is truly born again, he is different. His desire to remain in sin is no longer there. He no longer finds pleasure in sinning. The sinful life is no longer enjoyable. Instead, this desire and pleasure in sin is replaced with a desire to be more like Jesus Christ. Therefore, each time a true born again believer sins, it grieves him because he knows that he has failed. However, praise the Lord that our salvation is not based on our own abilities but by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is what is in our hearts that counts. Yes we will sin after salvation but it will not be a “way of life” for us like it was before salvation. The Bible explains our “newness” this way:

~Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

~Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

~Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

~Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

~Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

There is so much written in the Word about a new life for the believer. It is a wonderful Bible study and it opens one’s eyes on this issue of exactly what it means to be a born again Christian. It isn’t just a prayer-ette. It is a sincere acceptance of Christ’s saving power and a desire to change.

“Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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sepia-praying-woman

~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Twenty-nine years ago, I made a choice in my life that would forever change me. My life was a mess and my marriage was a mess. My solution was cowardly and selfish – I wanted to end it all.

My dear friend came on a holiday and she was used to alter the course of my life forever. I didn’t know it at the time but God would use her to draw me to Him. It was this day that I discovered my religion was in vain. It was this day that I learned a new phrase, “Ye must be born again.” My sinful nature was brought to the forefront and I stood guilty before God. I knew that I could not enter Heaven on my own efforts as I had made quite the mess of my life. When I wrapped my head around Christ’s work on the cross and His shed blood for my sin, I finally understood His saving power. It was at that moment that I repented of my ways, sought forgiveness of my sins, and started my new life in Christ.

~John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

How grateful I am to be called a child of the King! How grateful I am to be counted as one who will enter Heaven, without a shadow of a doubt, when I die! How grateful I am to have God’s Word to read and guide me down this path of life!


A child of God should be a visible beatitude, for joy and happiness, and a living doxology, for gratitude and adoration.  Charles H. Spurgeon

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