Monday, April 16, 2012

Assurance That God Hears Us

Remember the day you told Jesus you were really and truly sorry for your sins? Do you remember believing in Him enough to invite Him into your heart? That was a turning point. That was the day of your salvation and that was the day that God declared you righteous.

Righteousness comes with the package called salvation and God hears the righteous.

From the moment you took that faith- filled step, God rescued you from the punishment for breaking His law. Any sin or unrighteousness on your record in heaven was wiped totally clean. Romans 3:22 confirms this point. 22 . We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

Now check out Romans 3:23 (NLT)23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

According to this verse, all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s expectation for us. In God’s eyes there is a consequence for breaking His law. Somebody has to shed blood and die. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. (Hebrews 9:22) Fortunately for us, God allowed His son Jesus to shed His blood and die on the cross to save us from having to shed blood and die. What a gift.

The payment for our sins is wrapped up in Jesus. When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior the payment is made. In God’s eyes we are officially in right standing with Him. Righteousness is right standing with God and God hears the righteous.
Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
God’s ears are open to our cries in the old testament and open to our prayers in the new testament.

In my mind that’s reassuring.
Once we get on that path of righteousness our daily challenge is to allow the Lord to lead us so we can stay clean—stay in right standing with Him. The key is faith and obedience. He leads, we follow. (Psalm 23:6) We believe God’s word and do what He says no matter what.

He hears the cries of the righteous and that is where we want to live.
There will, of course, be moments when we fall short, disobey, miss the mark, lean to our own understanding, even revert to doing things our way rather than listening to that still small voice.

This is no time to throw in the towel. Instead, admit to God that you blew it. Tell Him how sorry you are and purpose in your heart not to do that again. He wiped your slate clean when He saved you and He promises to do the same now.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The moment God cleanses us from all unrighteousness we are back in right standing again.

Sounds like a set up for success to me, so the question is what are you waiting for. Don’t you want God to hear you when you cry, hear you when you pray? Whatever it takes, get right with God and do it now. You will be so glad you did.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Holiday Lookout

Holiness is one of the greatest goals we could possibly achieve. As such, as we approach this HOLIday we should look with great expectation for our God to reveal to us the next step in our sanctification process. We should really be as excited about God’s sanctifying work as little kids are excited about that new hairdo and those new clothes this holiday often brings.

When I was little there were five things my siblings and I could count on for Easter—a new hairdo, a new dress or suit, new shoes, a lonnnnng Easter speech to memorize and Paas Easter egg dye and vinegar smelling up the house. This holiday was almost as good as Christmas and we got absolutely nothing done in school the week before the break.

Be assured now though, that each new joy came with its own special challenge.

I don’t know about other little girls but getting my hair done was torture. I was tender headed, had zero tolerance for pain and regarded the straightening comb as my worst enemy. I don’t ever remember going to a beauty shop, but there was always some poor soul willing to set up shop by our kitchen stove to press and curl my hair. Rarely did any of these volunteer beauticians come twice though, probably because it was an unforgettable experience for both beautician and me—the victim. Somehow or another I would always start in the chair, scoot forward with the intent to escape the heat and eventually end up on the other side of the room. They would always drag me back to the chair and when it was all over both beautician and victim would be sweaty, red eyed and exhausted. Oh, but when it was over, that hairdo, those gorgeous Shirley Temple curls were a vision of loveliness and well worth the torture I endured.

Then there was the shopping or really more like the shopping wars. There was always the clashing of the tastes between parent and child and of course stretching that miniscule budget to cover three outfits required patience beyond measure. The experience was frustrating for all and there were always tears shed and lips poked out but we were ever so spit shined and beautiful on Sunday morning.

Then, there were those speeches. For as long as I can remember, for some reason they always gave me a speech that was at least two pages long. I never ever got the chance to just say “Jesus rose on Easter day. The angels rolled the stone away. Have a happy Easter day”.

Nooooo, I’d always get the speech that told the whole resurrection story from beginning to end with no commercials. I think I had a flashback when I saw the movie Akeelah and the Bee and the teacher had her use jump roping to memorize some words. Parents and big sisters and Sunday school teachers did the Easter speech drill with a stick or mean mugging me, but I would learn my speech jumping like Akeelah in the privacy of my driveway. When it was all said and done I would recite it perfectly and the applause was music to my ears.

The final joy was in the kitchen. That smell of dye and vinegar would always burn my nostrils but there was nothing, absolutely nothing more exciting than watching a boiled egg turn from plain white to all the glorious colors of the rainbow. Isn’t it something how that egg has to withstand the hot boiling water without cracking before it could take the dye.

As I look back now I am ever so grateful for those experiences that eventually taught me that great gain is almost always accompanied by great pain and that transformation for the good always comes with a price.

I can’t help but recount here those precious words in the book of Hebrews 12:2—“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Experience has taught me well that just like with Jesus there is a cross I must endure, but my focus must always be on the joy that is set before me.

Imagine a new attitude and a new focus this resurrection season. Imagine looking forward with great expectation to all you will go through to become all God has designed you to be.

 I don’t know about you, but I am a work in progress, a masterpiece in the making and I am expecting God to do marvelous things with me. David said it in Psalms 139:14…”I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

I challenge you to go forth praising God for the marvelous transforming work He is doing in you in every season.

Looking for more insights on sanctification and the transforming work of the God in your life, be sure to get a copy of McNair’s “The Way of The Holy Spirit” available at

New Electronic Version of “The Way of Salvation: Getting Started with Jesus Christ” Released!

New Electronic Version of “The Way of Salvation: Getting Started with Jesus Christ” Released!