Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4: 5-6
Imagine you are getting out the ingredients to bake a batch of cookies, but you have unknowingly mixed up the salt and the sugar. You end up putting in a dash of sugar and a cup of salt.
Now, picture a little child taking a big bite of one of those cookies. How long will it take the child to realize something is wrong? Do you think he or she will ask for another cookie? Of course not!
The art of seasoning is a matter of balance. Just enough salt to notice, but not too much salt to overwhelm. Salt creates a thirst, a desire for more. As Christians, we sprinkle the salt of God’s grace and gospel into our daily conversations. We don’t saturate every conversations in a way that drives others away. The artful seasoning of God’s loving grace into our conversations will create a thirst and a desire in the lives of others. They will long to know more of Jesus. This is how you “make the most of every opportunity.”
Yesterday we talked about being fearless. Immediately God took me to His Word and to a place in my heart asking Who is this God that you would serve Him fearlessly in this crazy life and in seemingly impossible circumstances? And, why??
Immediately He took me to Matthew 6:9; The Lord’s prayer. Specifically the first line: Our Father in heaven.
Who is your Daddy?
Because of Jesus, we come to God as our Father. A child, sitting on our Daddy’s knee chatting….and listening to His wisdom. Trusting in His care over us. We come to Him not as a fearful people to a tyrant lording over us. No, He’s kind. He’s gentle, yet sure and just. He’s your Daddy!
Some of you may have never had that feeling of being a Daddy’s girl. Never sat on your Daddy’s knee and felt that love, care, protection, strength, provision and wisdom. I’m sorry. I truly and deeply am. I know you have an idea or dream of who you wanted your Daddy to be, wished your Daddy to be.
I have some notes on Daddy. Notes on who He’s been to me, will always be to me, and most certainly wants to be for you. This list never ends, and is added to regularly. I’ll never be able to stop describing Him as He meets my every need, my every longing as I go through this life. Some of this list is from teaching notes, and all of it is true.
You are secure and taken care of because of Who you belong to. This is your Daddy. Follow Him fearlessly. Allow me to introduce you:
Your Daddy is…
the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End
Keeper of creation and Creator of all
Architect of the universe, Manager of all time
He always was, always is, always will be unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone
He was bruised, but brought healing
He was pierced, but eased pain
He was persecuted but brought freedom
He was dead and brings life
He has risen to bring power and was raised to bring peace.
The world can’t understand Him, armies can’t defeat Him, schools can’t explain Him, and leaders can’t ignore Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him, Nero couldn’t crush Him
He is Life, He is Love, He is Longevity, and He is the Lord
He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness and He is God
He is holy and righteous and powerful and pure
His ways are right, His Word eternal, His will unchanging, and His mind is consumed with US
He’s our Savior, our God, our peace, our comfort, our Lord, and He rules our lives
His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life
He’s the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders
His goal is a relationship with you and He will never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment book
When you fall, He will life you up
When you fail, He will forgive you
When you’re weak, He is strong
When you’re lost, He is your way
When you’re afraid, He is your courage
When you stumble, He will steady you
When you’re hurt, He’s going to heal you
When you’re broken, He will mend you
When you’re blind, He will lead you
When you’re hungry, He will feed you
When you face trials, He’s with you
When you face persecution, He shields you
When you face problems, He will comfort you
When you face loss, He will provide for you
When you face death, He will carry you Home to meet Him
He is everything for everybody everywhere every time and in every way.
He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to
You see, with a Daddy like this, we can face anything, anytime fearlessly because we can trust Him. We. Can. Trust. Him. You are His creation. He’s invested and consumed with you. He can’t stop thinking of you, and doesn’t want to. He is the Supreme Ruler. Nothing can defeat Him. He’s your Protector. He never fails. He is madly in love with you. Madly. Crazy. Head over heals. Stalker type love….only not creepy. He is unstoppable and never gives up on you. Never. He is your Provider. When He calls you to a thing, He will carry you through it. He will equip you. He is powerful and majestic.
He’s your Daddy
You can do all things through Him who is your strength. In His strength, you are fearless.
The New Testament of the Bible literally means “The New Covenant.” The word covenant means an arrangement made by one party, which another party involved could accept or reject but could not altar. We can accept or reject Jesus, but we can’t change or altar who He is, or what He accomplished. Religions try. People try. But it doesn’t change a thing.
The whole second half of the Bible teaches us about the new covenant given to us in Jesus. The Old Testament primarily records God’s dealings with Israel on the basis of the covenant given through Moses, while the New Testament describes the new arrangement of God with men through Christ on the basis of the New Covenant. The Old Covenant revealed the holiness of God in the righteous standard of the law and promised a coming Redeemer; the New Covenant shows the holiness of God in His righteous Son. The New Testament, then, contains those writings that reveal the content of this New Covenant
The message of the New Testament Centers on:
Thus the central theme of the New Testament is salvation. The Gospels introduce the Savior. The book called Acts describes the spread of the good news about His salvation. The letters (Romans-Jude) give details of the blessings of that salvation (and the practical application of Christian doctrine to life situations) , and Revelation describes the ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ and His people in the future.
We are now under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ who brings us from glory to glory each day through His unwavering grace. We are a chosen people belonging to God who called us out of a darkness into His wonderful light. We must declare His praises! (see 1Peter2:9) We are no longer at sin’s every beck and call. We get included in Christ’s sin conquering death and we also get included in His life-saving resurrection.
When Jesus died, He took sin down with Him, but alive He brings God down to us
From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. Sin doesn’t get a vote. You are dead to sin and alive to God. THAT’s what Jesus did. See Romans 6:1-23 MSG.
What will you do then with this Jesus? Accept or reject Him?
“The days are coming”, declares the LORD, “when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. “In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line”; he will do what is just and right in the land.
God’s grace-filled promise is paid in full in Jesus Christ- the Righteous Branch. He came with a journey of love to carry out and He did it, and did it well….righting wrongs, and bringing justice for all who receive Him.
Grace: giving us what we don’t deserve. I don’t know about you, but I certainly have done nothing to deserve this kind of love and sacrifice.
God’s promise is true for my salvation and also just as true for my daily life. In all things (all means all) God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8).
“In those days and at that time”….God knows what’s going on with you and me. Believe that God will swoop right in at the right time and work for your good. I ask again, do you really think God would love us enough to send His Son to die for us, and not care for us in our daily life? What would be the point? What about that would make us eager to serve Him? No, He’s all about the details of our lives. We just over look Him and aren’t listening for His voice.
There’s a power of God that you and I can’t even imagine, and that power is at work in us, for us and through us
This Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior…..a King born to die….let’s remember that His love for us is consuming, overwhelming, never ending, awesome, and huge. He brought salvation to us, and He also brought an invitation….a front row seat to allow Him to work in us, for us and through us in such powerful ways.
What a mighty and loving God we serve!
Thank You, Lord for our Christmas Branch….a Branch for Christmas is the richest gift of all!
Walk in loving power, and at the edge of your seats with the King.
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God. (John 1:9-12)
Jesus, the only true light….the only path to eternity….came. Though offered to everyone, not everyone recognizes Him for who He is as Savior. Those who do become children of God.
Through every situation, Jesus is offered as my hope daily…..minute by minute….and no matter the situation. Do I recognize Him? Do I recognize His work on my behalf?
He’s my Savior! Do I really think He’s going to love me enough to die for me, and then leave me to stumble through? No, He’s not a love ’em and leave ’em kind of guy! He said He’d never leave me and I believe Him.
He’s my hope and my salvation and there’s power in that name
Call out to Him. Try it. There’s power in that name.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Lord, thank You for the hope and salvation we have in you! I sit at the edge of my seat watching for You in my life. May it ever be so! Thank You that You came and that You keep coming every day in every thing.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
We have been rescued! We needed rescuing from the domination of the enemy. His ways are meant for our destruction and harm. Let’s speak the truth….he’s after us.
Thanks to Jesus and His redeeming forgiveness of the cross, we reside under his dominion no more!!
God rescued us from darkness to light….
from slavery to freedom….
from guilt to forgiveness….
from hell to heaven….
from the power of satan to the power of God.
The enemy no longer has any dominion over us. We are freeeeee!! Thank You Jesus! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Sweetest name I know!
Paul mentions we are rescued AND redeemed:
Rescued: to save someone from a dangerous or distressing situation; keep from being lost or abandoned; to set free from danger; a deliverance
Redeemed: Do something that compensates for poor past performances or behavior; to recover ownership by paying a specified sum
Isn’t that cool? Rescued and redeemed….that’s what we who accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior are! Saved and set free……paid for and under the power of a great and wonderful God!
Any bondage we are in is by our own doing.
My husband puts it like this:
Imagine being raised by a mean man….mean to the core. This man continually tells the child, “You can’t do this, you can’t do that.” or, “You must do this, you must do that.” One day this man dies, and that child is on his own. He comes to know that the old man was wrong about everything he said; that there is freedom in Christ that’s been there all along.
We need to start listening to the right Man! You see, we are co-heirs with Christ. This means everything Jesus has, we now have. Everything. We have put ourselves in bondage to things in this world that we are free of.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
(For more in relation to the former life read Ephesians 4:17-32)
But before we can have a former life, we have to gain a new life in Christ. I ask you now, if your life ended today, would you go to heaven? The Bible tells us all about how we can claim our salvation: read here and then come back and tell us about it, and let us celebrate with you.
Our sin debt is paid. We have been redeemed and and rescued. Our sins have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west to be held against us no more(Psalm 103:12). Let’s walk in it!
There’s an awesome song that speaks so well what we’ve talked about today. Go here and allow this song to speak to you in worship of our risen Savior.
I love you deeply. Walk freely with the King.