Month: January 2020

Did You Know?

John 1:12
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”


Written by: Danielle Morgan

Righteousness is an interesting thing. Its literal meaning is “the quality of being morally right or justifiable.” And if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “well…I might as well give up in ever obtaining righteousness.” And you’d be right.

But Christ calls us to righteousness, so we strive for something we know we’ll never achieve because we know we’re not good enough and we never will be—at least on this side of Heaven.

We are not good enough and God knew that, which is why He gave us Jesus. We must accept that we will never be righteous, but that we are made right through Christ.

The first step towards righteousness is accepting Christ and then believing who we are in Him. Even if we don’t feel righteous, He has given us His spirit and made us like Him.

We can have a hard time separating our identities from all these labels we place on ourselves. We think that these labels describe who we are to the core and we have somehow become our mistakes—our sin.

This plays out when we hide in a cloud of shame due to the mistakes we’ve made or the hurt we carry that someone else has caused us. But shame and guilt are dark and heavy chains that we need to break free of so that we can become the righteousness of God.

Did you know you are not your divorce, you are not your addiction, you are not your affair, and you are not your bankruptcy? Did you know you are no longer under the burden of shame because of what your abuser did to you, how your parents hurt you, or what your spouse said to you?

You are a child of God. You are loved.

God is love and His love is made complete in you through Jesus Christ. When you have Jesus, you are righteous because He is righteous. The next step is choosing to believe His promise and to start living it out.

Fight.1.31(2)Thought of the day: Do you believe you are righteous in God’s eyes? How has guilt and shame played a role in your heart and mind? Have you allowed it to shape how you see yourself?

Prayer: God, thank You for Your righteousness and for allowing me to be part of Your family and giving me the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Even when I don’t feel like it, help me to accept your gift of righteousness. Help me to see myself the way You see me and to begin to live it out in my everyday life. In the name of Jesus, I pray, amen.

Old for New

Isaiah 43:18-19
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.


Written by: Tiffany Robison

One of my favorite characteristics of God is that He is unchanging. God is the same today as He was yesterday. His promises are true, and I can depend on them in my life every day. When I do not know what the future holds or why the past turned out the way it did, I can turn to the truth that God will be there and He can be trusted.

This truth does not mean, however, that our lives won’t change. Whether we welcome change or run from it, it always comes. God knows something we often forget—growth comes from change. Our lives are full of things we wish would change, and also, things we want to stay the same forever. God promises that He will do something new. He also promises that He will make a way for us—a pathway through the wilderness.

Fight-1.30Thought of the day: Is there an area of your life that you wish would change or stay the same? Are you giving it to God and trusting His faithfulness?

Prayer: God, thank You for being a God who is faithful to Your truth. Thank You that I can depend on Your word and know that You will not change. Help me to surrender to the changes you want to make in my life. Give me the courage to depend on the truth that You don’t change, even when life is changing all around me.

Guard Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.


Written by: Shannon Swenson

In Ephesians 6:14, Paul tells us to put on the breastplate of righteousness. A breastplate is something that was literally used in war; a piece of protection to guard the soldiers’ vital organs. Sometimes the breastplate was a solid piece of metal, and other times it was a drape-like piece made of linked chains closely knit together.

In the physical act of hand-to-hand combat, it is wise and necessary to guard the heart. In the spiritual battle for our heart and soul, it is even more important. Eternal life with Him is at hand when we put on His righteousness. Simply stated, He gave His life, and fought death and destruction to rise again in order to protect us and to win the battle for all time. The war has been won. We must choose to walk in His victory.

He knew we could not handle living a righteous or holy life without Him. He knew that there would be chinks in our armor that give the enemy easy access to our hearts if not solidly protected by His righteousness. Whether we have said yes to Him or not, life is a literal war zone. Left to fight our own battles, we don’t stand a chance.

As Jesus followers, the intensity of the battles still exists but we know that He is in every battle we will ever face. He is never unprepared when life drops a bomb and is always with us when we encounter the next hill to climb. He is never unprepared or surprised to see that even on our best days we don’t fill our minds with His wisdom and truth, and we don’t always guard our hearts as evidenced by the shrapnel we leave behind.

The Bible teaches that when we accept Him into our lives as Lord and leader, we are equipped for battle and clothed in His righteousness and in His goodness, and we are covered by His blood.

Fight-1.29Thought of the day: If you find yourself in intense spiritual battles, let today be the day you take a stand, check your gear, and check your heart. Repent and return, recommit your life to Him, and be intentional in guarding your heart from this day forward.

Prayer: Daddy, thank You for wanting to fight my battles for me and for giving me everything I need to learn to continue to surrender my life to You. Give me wisdom and courage to guard my heart, to take inventory of where I have fallen short, and take action to move forward with You as leader and Lord. Holy Spirit, let me leave evidence of Your love with every person I encounter today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Perfection

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


Written by: Robert Watson

When you and I say “yes” to following Jesus as our Lord and put our faith in Him as our Savior, we are forgiven for all our sin. But that is only part of the story. Forgiveness is absolutely essential for us to be with God in eternity, but forgiveness by itself is not enough. God’s standard is not just the absence of our sin debt, it is also the presence of perfect righteousness. So, how’s that whole perfection thing working out for you lately? Yeah, it’s not working for me either. But God’s plan covered this for us as well. On the cross, Jesus paid the debt of our sin. And through our faith in Him, Jesus also clothes us with His perfect righteousness. Even on a bad day, our legal standing before God is perfectly righteous. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Paul warns us not to take advantage of this amazing gift of grace but to use this glorious freedom to serve others. You are free in Jesus. You have nothing to fear with God. You stand righteous before Him through your faith in Jesus.

Fight-1.28Thought of the day: Let’s go forth and serve those God puts in our path today as ambassadors of Jesus, drawing them into this incomprehensible freedom we have found in Christ.

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Reveal to me who I can serve today in the name of Jesus. Thank You for inviting me to play a part in Your ministry of reconciliation. Use me as Your ambassador so that others might experience Your amazing grace and absolute freedom. Amen.

Run to the Father

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10


Written by: Jimmy Leaf 

When I said “yes” to Jesus, He elevated me above the law and clothed me in His righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). I am now defined as a child of God and He is my perfect Father. His love for His righteous children is boundless. He desires to give us rest. He made us to live in perfect relationship with Him. However, our actions separated us from God. We are now in a spiritual battle.

Proverbs 18:10 has sustained me through many difficult times in my life. There are moments when the world becomes cold and I feel lost, anxious, and confused. I know I can rely on God’s promise. If I run to Him, He will wrap His arms around me and keep me safe. Through reading the Bible, He guides my path and His Spirit gives me wisdom to proceed.

The battle is God’s, so fear not. He has already overcome the world. Stay focused on Jesus and know you are a child of God whom He loves. It is by His strength that your battle is won.

Fight-1.27Thought of the day: When was the last time you fell into the arms of your perfect Father and shared what was troubling you with Him?

Prayer: “To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 1:24