Weekly Devotions
 
 
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What’s Your Motivation?

 

As Christians, we all want to live a life pleasing to God. We go about that in many different ways. We try to follow the golden rule, obey the ten commandments, read the bible more, pray more, attend church more and a various number of other things.

 

Of course we know that we cannot earn our salvation through works, so we need to think about what our motivation is for the things we do.

 

Many people emphasize good works and doing things for God because they feel they need to be doing something for God. Some feel we owe God for the gift of salvation, while others are trying to earn their salvation by their works.

 

There is nothing wrong with good works, as long as we are doing them out of love and by God’s strength and guidance.

 

Good works will be a natural way of life when we focus on Christ and allow him to do the works through us by his Spirit.

 

The problem is many people do good works out of a feeling of guilt, or necessity, or trying to pay God back for His gift of salvation. They think their good works will earn them salvation.

 

First, we need to realize that good works will not earn us more of God’s love, and not doing good works will not take away from God’s love. God loves us no matter what we do. Obviously, we want to do things that please God, but His love for us does not change no matter what. He has given us the gift of salvation because of His love for us.

 

Next, we cannot do good works in our own strength. It is by His love, strength and guidance that good works happen naturally. When motivated by love for God, and allowing Him to love through us, the good works done will be what is needed at the moment for the person receiving the benefit.

 

So we see in this that the motivation for good works is important. Are we doing these things because we feel obligated and should be doing something for God? Or are we resting in what He has done and allowing Him to love through us.

 

Stop trying to be so busy for God; rest in His love; wait for his moving and strength. Then allow Him to touch those you come in contact with throughout the day.

 

 

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The Four in One Gospel of Jesus

 

A friend of mine whom I have known for a few years has a book published that may be of interest to you.

 

Nikola Dimitrov from Bulgaria has published The Four in One Gospel of Jesus. In the book, Nikola has written in a way that provides a harmony of the four Biblical Gospels rearranged into a single chronological narrative.

 

Nikola says that in the process of preparing the book, the greatest ever theologian (not just my opinion) of our century, saw my book and agreed to write an endorsement. I am talking about a guy who is unequivocally the most recognized theologian in the world today - N.T. Wright - a historian and scholar of early New Testament and first century theology and history. Here is his endorsement, which is also on the front cover of the book itself:

 

"Every so often, it does Christians good to stand back from the four gospels and get a sense of how the whole story might work as a continuous narrative. Nikola Dimitrov has done a remarkable service in producing this compilation of all four gospels so that the reader can feel the full impact of the unique and explosive story they tell."

 

Here is a 3 minute video Nikola made for the book which helps understand the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtV156P0v5E&feature=youtu.be

 

If this sounds interesting to you, here is a link to the publisher's information about the book. It can also be pre-ordered from this link: http://nordskogpublishing.com/product/four-one-gospel-jesus/

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage and Being One with God

The institution of marriage is such a great comparison to life with our Father. I think a lot of the time we miss some good points about marriage that directly relates to life with God. To many times we do not associate marriage with Kingdom meanings.

Actually marriage is a shadow of spiritual things. Ephesians 5:31 and 32 state … For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. The church being mentioned here is not a building or an organization. The Church are the people who Jesus brings together. It is not a weekly meeting, it is a living organism made up of those of us saved by grace.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is how we are one with God. It’s hard to imagine that our Father lives within us. Jesus said when he left the earth, he would send us another comforter. Through his Spirit, he came to make his home within us and he is constantly with us.

We always think of God sitting on a big throne, way off in heaven somewhere and that one of these days we will go and meet Him and live with Him forever.

The thing is, that is not what His written word tells us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, God’s physical dwelling place on earth. His Spirit dwells within us and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Now it’s not saying we are God, but we are one with God. The best way I’ve found to make sense of this is to think of marriage. When two individual people fall in love, make a commitment to love each other and live together, the bible says the two shall become one.

Does that mean that the spouse becomes their partner, that they somehow become the same person? No, both people remain individuals, yet they live as one. Same with us and God, we are still the person He created, yet because God loves us and we love him, he made his home within us, and His spirit lives within us. We are one with God.

In John 17:21 Jesus is talking with the Father and asks … that they may all be one, even as You Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. Seems to me it is truly a marriage made in heaven.

We do not have to wait to a future time when we live with God in some far-away place, we are living as one with Him in His Kingdom right now. We are his temple, his dwelling place, and each of us are equally important parts of his body.

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