Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Life Words

It is such a great Wednesday and you are loved by God with an everlasting love. Matt and I prayed for you today, in faith believing that His will and purposes for Your life are overtaking you.  We love you!  This morning I am preparing for an amazing class tonight in Foundations for Life. I want to encourage you with a scripture that  is such a blessing to matt and I this morning. Matt shared it with me earlier and we so loved talking about it  The Word of God is incredible and rich and alive!  This verse is in Titus chapter 3:3-6. I'm sharing it with you in the New Century Version.
 Titus 3:3-7
In the past we also were foolish. 
 We did not obey, we were wrong,
and we were slaves to many things our bodies wanted and enjoyed. 
We spent our lives doing evil and being jealous. 
People hated us, and we hated each other. 
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was shown,
He saved us because of His mercy. 
It was not because of good deeds we did to be right with Him. 
He saved us through the washing that made us new people through the Holy Spirit. 
 God poured out richly upon us that Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Savior. 
Being made right with God by His grace,
we could have the hope of receiving the life that never ends.
Wow!  We were born with a sin nature that was completely separated from our God.  We were alienated from Him, because of Adam and Eve's disobedience.  We were without hope and destined for an eternity in hell.  We were in sin and darkness and spiritual death.  But God loves us so much.  He pursued us because of His love.  Someone surely prayed for us.  Someone shared the good news of the Gospel with us.  We received Jesus as our Savior!  We were forgiven at that moment and literally "Born Again" by the Spirit of God.  He made us new people! He came inside us to live in us and has never left!. He put us into right standing, translated us out of darkness, freed us from the power of the enemy and we received the gift of eternal life with Him.  The life that never ends.
And all  of this by grace through faith.  The gift of God.  None of our works could do it.  But, one decision of our free will to receive Him, receive forgiveness and be born again, changed everything.  We received His grace and love and presence.  Dear ones, this is a great day, because we are the redeemed of the Lord.  Its a new day.  The old is gone.  All has become new.  The Holy Spirit is continuing the work of salvation in our lives even now.  God bless you today.  Remember who you are and whose you are!
We love you,
Matt and Amy

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Old is Gone

Its an amazing Friday! We love you and we prayed for you this morning again. Prayer moves the hand of God!!!!!! You are so loved by Him. Today I want to encourage you in the Lord! It is such a magnificent miracle what happens to us as the New Birth! When we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we are Born Again. Remember Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 that "you must be born again" in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. As an act of our will, we receive the free gift given to us by God! Literally, old things are passed away, all things become new! We become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) Here is what happens.

By the operation of God, the Holy Spirit, using the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, recreates you, putting into you eternal life. When you believe the Word of God, the first thing the Holy Spirit does is resurrects your dead spirit out of spiritual death and sin. He then translates you out of the Kingdom of Darkness and into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13) Next He clothes you in the very righteousness of Jesus. Next He comes inside you, to dwell and live forever, sealing you with Himself (2 Cor 1:22) When He seals you, (the guarantee of your salvation) He gives to you the gift of eternal life. The result of all this is that you become the very home of the Holy Spirit and now possess the abundant eternal life of God Himself. According to 1 Cor 6:17 you and the Holy Spirit are now joined together and are considered "one spirit", much like in a marriage when the husband and wife come together and are considered "one flesh." The result of all this is you are born again into the very life of Jesus Christ. You are now a "new wineskin" ready to be filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit. As a born again child of God, you are a brand new, never before in existence creation or species of man. Not only do you have a human nature, but you also have been made a "partaker of God's divine nature."(1 Peter 2:24.)

Also, at that moment of the new birth, you are not only forgiven, given a new nature, reconciled to God to be able to fellowship with Him again, but you are put into a new family, with a new Father! You are translated from darkness to light, death to life. All that was lost in Adam, is restored to you and more. The Lord gives you His authority over all the works of the evil one. He commissions you to take His presence and life to the world. He clothes you with His very righteousness.

You were alienated from God, but at the moment of your decision to receive Christ and His forgiveness and be born again, you were not only joined back with Him, but put into Him. You have become the temple of the Holy Spirit, His very dwelling place. You formerly bore the image of Adam, the earthly man, but now you bear the image of Christ, the heavenly man. You were dead, now alive. Made a partaker of the divine nature. Your name written in the Book of Life. You are given the gift of eternal life with God forever.

And all this, we could never earn by our good works. It is a free love gift from our Father who loves us and wants us to be with Him. It is by grace. All by His grace. And it is received through faith. For this purpose was the Son of God manifest, to destroy the works of the evil one. And He did. Death no longer has a hold on us! Sin has no power over us! Remember this today!

Walk in the miracle of the new birth. Be who you are in Christ. Don't live like the old man, live like the new creation. Walk in relationship with Him, His blood made a way for continual fellowship. Receive His lavish love, and be filled to overflowing with it so that it touches everyone in your world today.

The old is gone. All is new. What an amazing miracle that is ours today. I'm rejoicing with you. It is a good day, because we were destined for eternal separation because of Adam, now we are destined for eternal life because of Christ. By one man, Adam, sin came into the world, and death through sin. So by one man Jesus Christ, came forgiveness of sin and eternal life in Him. The greatest miracle of all. And because He made us a new creation, now we can be filled with all the fullness of God this day and every day.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's a beautiful March 17!

Matt and I love you and we prayed for you today. Many around the world are celebrating leprechauns  and green beer today but we are remembering a revolutionary Christian brother who dared to proclaim Christ and reach a nation.  It's inspiring to read from the actual journal writings of Patrick and I want to share with you a brief overview of why he is one of our heroes of the faith.
He was born in England in the 1400s.  As a teenager he knew nothing about God. He was kidnapped by Irish Druids along with many other young people at that time, put on a boat and sold into slavery in Ireland.  Far from home and isolated from family, friends and everything dear, he was enslaved as a sheep herder.  He was treated cruelly, but during the next  7 years he began to call on God and the Lord began to reveal Himself to Patrick.  Kind of reminds me of Moses, or David! He received Christ.  He says in his journal that one of the most powerful scriptures to him was from Jeremiah..."Call upon Me in the day of thy trouble, and I will deliver thee, and you will glorify me.."  The love of God began to overtake him and he was strengthened day by day.  He writes, "I used to get up for prayer before daylight, through snow, through frost, through rain, and I felt no harm, and there was no sloth in me, as I now see, because the spirit within me was then fervent."  
After many years, he escaped his captivity and found a boat to return to his homeland in England.  But soon he felt out of place, and was compelled to return to the Ireland who enslaved  him and treated him cruelly. His passion was to bring to the entire  nation of Ireland the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He returned and began to preach, and teach, and plant churches, and make disciples , and start schools, and train pastors.  For the next decades he evangelized  all of Ireland. Soon he and his teams were sending missionaries to other nations like Germany, France and Holland. Supernatural miracles followed his preaching. He continually used the three leafed  Irish Shamrock, which was plentiful on the hills of the entire nation, to illustrate the nature of our triune God...God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  This enraged the Druids, because up until then, the shamrock was their symbol! He had many supernatural encounters with the Druid priests and some were converted to Christianity.
This Patrick of Ireland overcame the bitterness and hurt of being snatched from his homeland and family and enslaved and treated cruelly. He allowed the love of God which rescued him to propel him in to his destiny and return to that very place of his devastation and see God pour out His Spirit.  Out of ashes, God brings restoration.  From death comes resurrection.  He replaces our mourning for joy unspeakable.  From destruction He brings life!  Many of the churches Patrick established are still continuing today. And the people he shared the gospel with, he discipled and trained to share the gospel with others, who did the same for others.....and this multiplication continued through the centuries. Perhaps even your life has been influenced by God through the ministry of this man in Ireland.  Today, be encouraged to  be willing do something great for God! He will direct you, enable you, and fill you with His love.  On this Saint Patrick's day, remember this man of God whose example  is so powerful!  And don't be moved if things look like they are not going could be a divine set up!  He is the orchestrator of our life and works all for His purposes.
You are His beloved today.
Love, Amy