I am ready

What is love? - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV) – learn more about the love of God today.

I am ready!

Discipleship

From Bible studies, our online Bible tool, sermons, devotions and more, grow in your faith and devotion to the Lord. Check out our free discipleship tools today.

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30 day challenge

A family that prays together, stays together. Is Jesus Christ the center of your marriage and family? Would you like your devotion to God and your spouse to grow deeper? Are you in need of healing? Take the 30 day challenge today.

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Happy Good Friday!

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Jesus came and died for our sins so we could be forgiven and free. Jesus did not die so bad men could become good but so that dead men could live (C. S. Lewis). Please join us in rejoicing, celebrating, and honoring God and the amazing love and sacrifice He has shown. Please like us on Facebook and #LiveSent as we take the Gospel in to all the world! http://www.facebook.com/livesent

Categories: From My Emanuel

The struggle is real

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The struggle is real

Scripture: Romans 7:24, 25

 

There is a saying that some use to illustrate something comically, ironically or dramatically and can be used to express frustration, amusement, or a host of other emotions: “the struggle is real”. There is a much more desperate struggle that takes place in the heart of every man, woman, and child that is truly the real struggle, one that no life has ever been free from: the struggle between sin and sanctification. Sin, the result of disobedience to God, is a force that has corrupted, destroyed, and eventually killed every person that has ever lived (Romans 6:23). Sanctification, the power of God at work in the heart of any man or woman who surrenders at the cross of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

The struggle that we face, even after we’ve come to know Christ as Lord, is our flesh struggling against the desire and will of the Holy Spirit who dwells with-in our hearts. Paul spoke of this struggle this way: For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:15 ESV). As a follower of Jesus Christ, as a teacher, preacher, minister, and disciple, I am fully aware of God’s desire and will as revealed in His Holy Scriptures, yet no matter how I struggle, I still fall and fail God daily.

 

The Devil is a liar and the father of them (John 8:44) and he would have you and I believe that if we fail God, surely we cannot be saved, forgiven, or redeemed. How could someone who claims to be a follower of Christ fail Him? How could someone who knows the Word of God fail to keep even the most basic commandments of Christ? How could someone who loves God disappoint Him over and over? Knowing the terrible price Jesus paid on the cross for me and because of me, how could I give in to the temptation and sin that He died to set me free from? Paul reminds us of the truth that we must hold on to: Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:24, 25 ESV).

 

Today maybe you find yourself walking in a painful, dark valley, alone and desperately crying out to God, don’t give up. Though we may fail God, even in a very big, public, terrible way, the grace of Jesus Christ is enough and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:28, 29). Maybe you are angry with God, questioning the pain and suffering in your life, maybe in your heart you are screaming “God, where are you!?” Quietly listen for His reply: “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). You are not alone, Jesus is with you (Matthew 28:20) and trust that He who has started a good work in you will see it through until it is completed (Philippians 1:6).

 

May the words of Jesus pierce the darkness of the night you find yourself in, and may His blessed hope fill your heart with peace, joy, strength, and hope:

 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 ESV)

Categories: Devoted

He is willing

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He is willing

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:9

 

In our last three devotions we have considered how God is faithful, how He is present, and how He is able, these three truths alone are breathtaking. So often when we think of God, we envision a mighty Judge on His throne handing out eternal life sentences like they mean nothing, but the truth couldn’t be farther from this. Yes, God is righteous, holy, and He alone is Judge, but is that all there is? We can rejoice in the truth that while God is all those things, He is so much more.

 

My mother has always explained that she envisions God as the mighty, scary Father figure, while picturing Jesus as a gentle, warm person, but in truth God and Jesus are One (John 10:30, Hebrews 1:3) and thus as Scripture describes, God is the true picture of love (1 John 4:8). We must never forget that if God judged us according to His holy, perfect Law and condemned us to hell, He would be right and good for doing so, but He has a much more amazing hope for our lives: eternal life and fellowship with Him.

 

Scripture reminds us: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 KJV). By the law of non-contradiction (two things that are directly opposed cannot both be true) if God is not willing that we should perish, He must be willing that we come to repentance and eternal life. Not only is God willing, but because He is faithful, present, and able, He has already given us the only way back to Him: Jesus (John 3:16).

 

Today I wonder, do you think God is against you? In Christ we are assured that God is for us and in His will through His power, nothing can stand against us (Romans 8:31). May the words to the old hymn “There was One who was willing to die” remind us of the love and the willingness that we may be saved that we have through Jesus:

 

There was One who was willing to die in my stead,

That a soul so unworthy might live,

And the path to the cross He was willing to tread

All the sins of my life to forgive.

 

They were borne on the cross,

They were borne on the cross,

O how much He was willing to bear!

With what anguish and loss,

Jesus went to the cross!

But He carried my sins with Him there.

Categories: Devoted