30 Days Through the Bible-Life by the Spirit

Scripture: Romans 8:1-17, Galatians 5:16-26


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.



 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


Observation: If we have the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, then we too will be given that same opportunity. When we invite Jesus into our lives and accept Him as our risen savior, we receive this spirit. And we are given a new title, Sons of God. Think for a moment about this. Son of the creator of the universe. That is huge. And because of this, we are no longer under the law but under grace. However, it does warn us to live according to the Spirit. Just because we have the Spirit, we should not live like we are untouchable. It does not give us license to sin just because we are saved and forgiven. No, we need to “keep in step with the Spirit”.  We should want to. In Galatians, it tells us what the fruit of our relationship with the Spirit should start looking like. More loving, more kind, more patient, etc.., and the fleshly desires mentioned should be things we are avoiding and should find completely disgusting to us.

Application: We have been given an incredible gift. Are we abusing it? are there areas that  we are abusing the grace given to us? Are we still living by the flesh in some areas? Do we have unforgiveness? Are we always angry? Sexually immoral? Lets bring this before God today. Lets give it all to Him, our father, who wants us to be completely free.

Prayer: Thank you today for your incredible gift of your Spirit. Lord reveal to me any areas where i am holding on to fleshly desire. Lord, I give these over to you, set me free from this. Help me to live according to your Spirit. Help me to grow good fruit in my life, fruit that lasts. Fruit that others can see, not for boastful purposes, but for the purpose of growing your kingdom. Thanks you for calling me your son. In Jesus name, amen.

30 Days Through the Bible-Life Through Christ

Scripture Romans 5:12-21

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Observation: verse caught my attention was vs. 14.  Not sure if I’ve ever noticed that one before. “…even over those who did not sin by breaking a command..”.  So that had me wondering what does this mean? After reading many commentaries on this today, the general consensus is that it is talking about infants here. They do not sin by breaking a command, as they are incapable of understanding that, but rather the point is how sin is part of our nature, stemming from the original sin in the Garden. And isn’t it interesting how the story of the original sin is always told of Eve eating the fruit, but it’s called the sin of Adam. Men step up, we are going to be held accountable for our family.

The point; just as sin entered the world through one man, sin was defeated by one man, Jesus. And His saving grace was given to all mankind who choose to take it.


Application: We are so vulnerable to sin. It’s all around us, it’s in our nature. We must not give up or grow weary from sharing the good news and pointing people to the man who defeated sin. We have an important mission, the most important mission there is. This is why we are here.

Prayer: what a wonderful reminder of your incredible power and love to save us all. God help us not to give up or grow complacent towards leading people to You. Lord, I pray for those around all of us today that we know are not following you. Show us Lord how to reach out to them. Give us courage and words to speak, and may our actions today reflect you. thank you Jesus, amen.

30 Days Through the Bible-Righteousness by Faith

Scripture: Romans 3:9-26

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.

10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.


Observation: There is a theme in the verses we have read in the past couple weeks. We see it here again in vs. 20.- No one is declared righteous by the law, but rather to make us aware of our sins. Highlighting  the incredible grace we are given, and the amazing work done on the cross. And here again, we see God shows no favoritism, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” followed by these incredible words” all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  We are free from sin by faith.


Application:  Remembering that God views us all equal in His eyes. And that Christ died for us all equally. How often do we compare our spirituality to another person? How often do we compare our “good deeds” to others around us? We may be all in different places in our walk, but we are all covered by the same grace. We are all called to help one another walk more holy lives, but we are all still under the same grace. We are called to hold each other accountable for our actions, but we are not called to judge each others character. We need to understand the difference.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me where I have judged someone simply by their looks or past or something assumed in my own mind. Forgive me if I have judged others, not understanding or bothering to listen to their story. Give me wisdom and boldness to hold others accountable to actions contrary to your word, but help me to always do it in love. I pray others are bold enough to hold me accountable also when my actions don’t line up with your laws. Thank you for another incredible day of life, in Jesus name, amen!

30 Days Through the Bible-God’s Judgement

Scripture: Romans 2:5-11


But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.


Observation: His judgement really is very simple. If you accept Christ and follow Him, this is good news for you. If you reject Christ and follow the world, bad news for you. God is just, meaning, it is very black and white. He does not show favoritism. He loves us all the same, He judges us the same. It is really simple, we are the ones who complicate it.

Application: God warns us many times not to judge others. We have no right to do so, but yet, we still tend to compare ourselves to others to try and elevate our level of spirituality or level of goodness. We need to remember, God looks at us in two ways, either we are His children, or we’re not (or not yet) Either we are under grace or we are not. He loves us all, but judgement will be different depending which side of the fence you are standing. Let’s not elevate ourselves above others.

Prayer: Thank you that we are your children, and you show no favoritism. Help me to be persistent in doing good. Help me to constantly seek your face, to do your will. Thank you for your righteous judgement. In Jesus name, amen



30 Days Through the Bible-God’s wrath explained

Scripture: Romans 1:18-32

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them


Observation:  “God gave them over” four words that should strike fear in us all, if not for His incredible grace. I read a bunch of stuff trying to really understand what this actually meant, and what I conclude is that it simply means God is withdrawing from this situation. He is saying “if you insist you want this so bad, go ahead, I won’t interfere” The answer and solution to this is very simple, in vs. 21 it says”they did not glorify Him as God or give thanks to Him”. They knew about Him, but chose to not follow Him.

click on the link below to read an interesting article on this subject.



Application: going to go in a different direction that you may expect today. This is really about being obedient to God, acknowledging him as God, giving thanks and doing as the word says. The bible tells us to pray for our leaders and respect those in authority. We just had municipal elections yesterday. So, whether you are happy with the results or not, our job right now is to hold up these men and women in prayer. Lets remember that these positions are thankless ones. They are jobs where you can never please everyone, so there will be constant scrutiny and criticism. Pray for them,.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for people willing to step up and lead. God give them wisdom and a listening ear for the people. Help them make the tough decisions, even when it’s not popular. God help them to be people of integrity and honesty. Help us to be people of integrity also as we hold them up in prayer rather than complain about them. In Jesus name, amen.

30 Days in the Bible-Christ a sacrifice for all

Scripture: Hebrews 10:1-18

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Observation: I find it interesting once again that we can see clearly the law was not established to bring people to Holiness, it was just a reminder of our sinfulness. God said the blood of bulls and rams could never take away sin, and He knew this sacrifice would be every  year, not really getting any closer to sinlessness. In fact, it says here that He was not pleased or desired this sacrifice, but it was required at this time. But Jesus changed all that. God knew only one final sacrifice would ever accomplish holiness and the forgiveness of our sins. And what a promise He makes us; He will remember our sins and lawless acts no more. Sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary to those who have accepted this forgiveness.

Application: to not take for granted the grace and forgiveness I’ve been given. I may not have to sacrifice a bull or goat when I sin anymore, and I don’t have that ritual to remind me of my lawlessness, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t actively strive for, and desire, holiness.


Prayer: As we work our way through your word, it just becomes more clear that your plan for us all is incredible. Lord, I may never quite understand how the blood of Jesus pays for my sins and the sins of everyone, but I know it does. I do not wish to take this for granted. Thank you for remembering my sins no more, thank you for writing your word on my heart and my mind. Thank you that your sacrifice was perfect and was the final one, the only one, required to cleanse the world of my sin. Jesus, today I ask for your guidance and wisdom through my day. God may you give me words of life to speak into others as I encounter them today. In Jesus name, amen.

30 Days Through the Bible- Jesus death and resurrection

Scripture: Luke 23:44-24:12

4 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Jesus Has Risen
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Observation: This story sends chills down my spine. In a good way. This could be the single most important story in our history. The whole reason we call ourselves Christians and put our hope in Jesus. He rose from the dead, just as He said he would!

The other day I had a conversation with someone who said they were reading about the Isrealites and how they kept breaking God’s commandments and sinning against Him. The thought was, “how stupid were these people?”, until the thought struck him, “wait a minute, I do that all the time”. This story is also about us. Can we see this with the Apostles in this story? As the women told them of what they saw at the tomb, they didn’t understand. Thought it was nonsense. And we sit here reading this thinking, “how dense were these guys?” Jesus told them this is exactly what would happen.  But for so many, we have the truth right in front of us, we have the truth explained to us, we can see the incredible world around us that could not have been made by chance. I lived this reality for so many years, how dense was I? Why did it take so long for me to see the truth? Praise God He does not give up on us!! Praise God for people like these women who had so much faith to tell the story to the Apostles. Just like the people that had so much faith in God, that they prayed for me when I was still lost.

Application: This really convicts me today. Jesus died for me. People prayed for me for my eyes to be opened and my heart to soften. For years. Do I have that much patience and endurance for people? Do I give up if it seems hopeless to pray for someone? My challenge of today is to never give up praying. Let God do the rest.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for this story in your Word. You died for us and rose from the grave, just as you said you would. You did this for me and each one of us reading this right now. Thank you for your sacrifice and the pain you endured for us. And thank you for the empty grave, so that we may know and have that assurance that we, too, will someday follow you into heaven. God help me today to remember those that are still lost, and help me to remember to pray for them and never give up. Thank you in Jesus name, amen.

30 Days Through the Bible-Jesus willingly taken

Scripture: John 18:1-11

When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

Observation: a small army of people came to take Jesus, armed and ready for a battle, but little did they know He would have went willingly if only one person had showed up. I always have wondered why Peter had a sword. I never would have pictured the apostles carrying weapons. There must have been incredible conflict in the hearts of the soldiers and priests. When Jesus told them who He was, they drew back and fell to the ground. They knew, or seemed to know, who this man was, and yet they were sworn to duty. I’m guessing there was a lot of regrets by a lot of people as Jesus hung from that cross for their involvement in the whole thing.

Application: What I see in this story is the willingness of Jesus to do the Father’s will. Yes, we read in other accounts of this story of how scared He was, but that never deterred him from doing what He knew He needed to do. That is how I want my faith to be. Unwaivering. I get scared a lot of stepping into the unknown, when trying something new. Sometimes the fear almost cripples me, sometimes I fail because I don’t do it, but the times I step forward in faith and trust, God always blesses. It’s seems to be a never ending journey of being willing and learning to trust and be obedient. Despite my own shortcomings, God is teaching me. He is pruning away what is unproductive. Life with God is awesome and exciting!

Prayer: God you are so awesome. Thank you for the example of this story of Jesus’s willingness to do what you called him to do. You gave him the strength to face what was coming. You gave him courage in a situation which would have made most people run. God give me courage and the willingness to do the things you ask of me. Help me not fear failing, but rather help me to trust in You more. With You guiding me, I know I cannot fail. God I am willing today. Thank you Jesus, amen.

30 Days Through the Bible-Jesus teaches about new life

Scripture John 3

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.


Observation: First, how awesome would it have been to be baptized by Jesus himself!  What caught my attention today was verse 30 “He must become greater, I must become less” John was implying that he needed to back off now that Jesus was in the picture. But what strikes me is, isn’t this verse for all of us? If we truly want to live the abundant life in Christ, we must allow Jesus to become greater. We must let Christ be our Lord, we need to let go of those areas that we don’t currently want Jesus to be part of, those areas we really don’t want to lose control of. When we do let go, we have allowed Jesus to become more.

Application: Are we allowing Christ into every area? Into our home life, our business life, our bank accounts, our relationships, our speech, our daily schedule?  What is it we are not letting go of? Time for some dangerous prayer.

Prayer:  Lord search my heart, and reveal where I am holding on to control. Lord I do desire for you to become greater in my life, help me to become less. Prune this vine, Lord, remove what is not healthy and fruit bearing. Thank you for this reminder, that you want to be involved in every little area. I know this is best for me, but why do I resist at times? You do everything out of love, thank you Jesus, amen.

30 Days Through the Bible-Jesus fulfills the law

Scripture: Matthew 5:5:17-20, Romans 8:1-4

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.


Observation: I heard it said recently that the law was never given with the hopes of making us live righteously, but rather to make us aware of our sin. Make us aware of all the places we fall short of God’s standard. What incredibly encouraging verses these are! Jesus was there to be my sin offering. He died for sins I hadn’t even committed yet, or even thought of committing.

Application: How can we not feel anything but excited about this? And peace. We are forgiven. Nothing will change that. As we strive for becoming more holy, we can take great comfort today in knowing that we aren’t going to always get it right, but that won’t change God’s love for us. Wow, the simple truths are so exciting!

Prayer: God I thank you for forgiving me, even when I don’t deserve it. I thank you for this simple but important truth in your Word today. That your son came and was the sin offering for me. Before I even existed. But you already knew me. And you still forgave me. Lord, help me to tell others about You. Give me courage to do so. Thank you for all those who had the courage to tell me so many years ago. In Jesus name, amen!