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Forgiven

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Psalm 32:1-3

Christian, you are blessed. The gifts that God has bestowed upon us are many and wonderful. What a mighty God we serve!

The psalmist teaches the followers of God about an important blessing in these verses. And what is that blessing? It is the forgiveness of sins.

Through Christ shed blood, Believers are forgiven and restored unto God. (Ephesians 1:7) Our sin has been forgiven, removed, and placed upon Jesus account. (Psalm 103:2) Therefore, we can live in peace, liberty, and joy. Others may hold our sin against us, but, God never does when He forgives.

Be thankful for the blessing of forgiveness. Without this wonderful work of Christ, we would all be left in our sins forever. The Lord does not count our sin against us anymore. Hallelujah!

Tony French  

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Consequences of Sin

Sin is a word we don’t hear much in our current societal context. It has basically dropped from our linguistic lexicon. The Bible uses the word sin often. Therefore, we would do well to understand the concept of sin even if the world chooses to ignore it.

In the Bible, “sin” has several different meanings. It could mean any of the following…..

  1. Disobeying God (Genesis 3)
  • Breaking God’s Law (Matthew 6:12)
  • Fulfilling our own desires instead of God’s desires for our life (Matthew 4:3)
  • Not taking the opportunity to do good (James 4:17)

                                                                                                                                                                   As believers, we do not lost our salvation when we sin against God. (John 3:16-17) However, sin certainly has consequences for Christians. Let us examine a few today.

**Sin causes us to lose our witness. When we are caught in sin, we have a much more difficult time telling others about Jesus. Our reputation matters to people. And when we allow sin to destroy our reputation, they won’t listen to us as they will consider us hypocrites. Disobedience to God can result in a weakened, diminished testimony and is extremely dangerous for Believers.

**Sin also results in losing our closeness with God. The Scriptures teach us that sin hinders our prayer life. (Psalm 66:18) We lose our closeness with God when our prayers are hindered. It seems as if a veil is placed over our hearts when we trespass God’s commands. We need to hear from God and hinders our prayer-life in devastating ways.

**Sin causes us to be restless and have a wandering spirit. After Cain killed Abel, he was forced to become a vagabond and a wanderer on the earth. (Genesis 4) This story is emblematic of our lives when we sin. Sin never satisfies. Therefore, when we chase after sin we always keep wandering and searching for the ultimate satisfaction that never arrives.  The only way our souls can find rest is in the forgiveness and cleansing of the Savior.

I will end with these words from John’s epistle.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:8-9

Tony French

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Redemption

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.  Ephesians 1:7

The foundation of our salvation is Christ Jesus. Without Him, we are lost and undone. Let’s look at three things from this verse.

**Redemption is through the blood of Jesus. We are set free from our sins because Christ became a curse for us. (Galatians 3:13) We are no longer slaves to sin and shame. We have been set free to live a Godly, holy life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

**Forgiveness is received through the blood of Jesus. The book of Hebrews tells that “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission from sin.” (Hebrews 9:22) His blood was spilled out for our forgiveness. Through His love, Jesus died for us so that all sin might be atoned for and removed.

**Forgiveness flows to us through God’s grace. We are not saved because we deserve it. Instead, Christ died for us when were utterly underserving (Romans 5:8) Thanks be to God for His wonderful grace.

Dear Christian, may God’s peace and blessing overshadow you today. You have been redeemed and forgiven by God’s amazing grace.

Tony French

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Thoughts

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

Revelation 5:11-14

Here are some thoughts to ponder on this day that the Lord has made……………….

Trust in the Lord, He is worthy!

Believe His promises, He is faithful!

Obey the Lord, He is our Master!

Worship the Lord, He is Holy!

Fear the Lord, He is worthy of all reverence!

Sing to the Lord, blessing and glory belong to Him!

Call upon the Lord in your time of distress, He will hear you!

Honor the Lord, He loves you and provides for you!

Blessing, honor and glory belong to the Lord. He is worthy!

Tony French

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The Subject of God

Let us peruse something of the nature of God in this post. God is a big subject and theology is a study that cannot be exhausted.  With that in mind, we will cover three aspects of God’s nature and character today.

First, let us be reminded that God is great. God is greater than anything, any person, or any entity in the entirety of the universe. This world offers great sights, sounds, and experiences. None of them can compare to the surpassing greatness of God. He transcends time and space and He is above all. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. (Psalm 145:3)

Also, God is good. No, I mean perfectly good. He is always good, always righteous, and always holy. God is pure beyond our belief. He is absolutely pure and good in all things, all circumstances, and at all times. The goodness of God endures continually. (Psalm 52:1)

God is great and God is good. And for us, that is a problem. Human beings are neither great nor good. As a matter of fact, the Scriptures tell us that no one is good (Psalm 14:3), that we have all sinned (Romans 3:23), and that we all deserve God’s judgment (John 3:17). We are separated from God by our sinfulness. This is bad news indeed. But, thankfully, there is one other aspect of God’s nature to examine.

God is gracious. God’s grace gives us what we do not deserve. Christ entered our world and took upon himself our flesh. (John 1:14) He lived for our righteousness, died for our forgiveness, and was raised for our justification. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)  We can be forgiven, reconciled to God, and saved through trusting in Christ Jesus. And it’s all because of the gracious gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) God’s love is expressed through His grace and mercy.

God is great, God is good, and God is gracious. That is wonderful news, dear Christian. Now, go tell someone about it!

Tony French

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Give Thanks

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Let us give thanks in all things. When things are good, give thanks. When things are difficult, give thanks. We are not commanded to give thanks for all things. We are directed to give thanks in all circumstances.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 107:1

We are to give thanks for God’s goodness. His love endures and is shown to us each day. Give thanks for God’s amazing righteousness and His abiding love, dear Christian.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 4:2

Giving thanks is an integral part of prayer. We are told to continue in prayer and to pray with thanksgiving in this verse. May we lift up praises and thanksgiving as we pray. Petitions in prayer are important. Praise and thanksgiving are equally important as we pray each day.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

Finally, let us give thanks as we serve Christ. Thankfulness should accompany our ministry in word and deed. Let us serve Christ with thankfulness and in thankfulness for all that He has done for us.

In everything, give thanks! May God’s richest blessings overflow to you this week!

Tony French

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Comfort

8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: 9 ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

Revelation 2:8-11

Jesus’ second message in Revelation 2-3 is a word of comfort to the church in Smyrna. This local body of believers was suffering intense persecution, pain, and heartache. It is commonly believed among Bible scholars that Christians in this city were being persecuted awfully for their faith in Christ. Some were being beaten, others were being thrust into poverty, and some were even dying for their beliefs. Jesus wanted them to know that He saw them and that He would be with them. 

The Savior gives this church one command—be faithful to the death. The church at Smyrna was instructed to continue in faithfulness to Christ. A crown of life was promised to those who refused to give up and give in to the trouble.

Jesus teaches us that trouble will be a part of this life. (John 14:27) Nevertheless, Christians remain faithful to the truth of God’s Word and the promises of His Word. The way may be difficult but the abiding presence of the Savior will always comfort and keeps us. Christian, be faithful until the end!

Tony French

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Awesome Faith

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.   Hebrews 11:6

Without faith it is impossible to please God. This is one of the most profound statements in all of Scripture. The absolute nature of this decree is stunning. The writer doesn’t say without faith it is difficult to please God. He tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.

In order to be in relationship with God, we must believe that God exists. This may seem simplistic but it is vital. We believe that God exists by faith. Though we cannot see Him or hear Him with our senses, we believe and trust in Him nonetheless. He is alive forevermore and He is the “I AM” eternally.

God is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Human beings who realize God’s authority over them and realize their guilt before God understand that there is nothing they can do to earn God’s favor. However, God revealed Himself through His Son who lived for our righteousness, died for our forgiveness, and was resurrected for our justification. Those who trust in Him, by faith, are forgiven of their sins and reconciled to God. They are given a new purpose for living, a new desire for good, and are promised a home in Heaven. God reveals himself to those who seek Him sincerely.   

Everyone places faith in something or someone. Some people’s faith resides in money, fame, or even ourselves. All of these sources will eventually let you down and leave you separated from God. Trust in Jesus! Place your faith in Him. Know that He cares for you and desires that you be saved. He simply calls on us to trust Him even though we can’t see and understand everything.  Trust Him today, by faith!

Tony French

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The Story

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.   John 1:14

What a beautiful thought. The Word became flesh for us. The Son of God comes to earth and takes upon Himself human flesh. Somehow, someway, deity meets humanity in the mystery of the incarnation. What a glorious, glorious thought.

What an awesome truth. They saw Him. No, they really saw Jesus in the flesh. He dwelt with them, taught them, and equipped them to change the world. No more reaching for the stars and hoping to find God. God has come to us as “Immanuel”; God with us in the very flesh of humanity. What a glorious truth.

What an awesome balance. This one who was sent displayed the perfect symmetry of grace and truth. Jesus offered grace and fulfilled the truth by enduring the Father’s justice for us. He gave His life for us so that truth and justice could produce grace and mercy. He bore our sin and shame to offer us the gift of salvation. The truth is that we are sinners. But, Jesus gave His life for us so that we might receive grace and forgiveness. What a glorious dichotomy we see in Jesus.

Trust in Jesus today, my friend. He came to this earth for you, lived for you, died for you, and rose from the dead for you! Believe in Him!

Tell Me The Story of Jesus

By Fanny J Crosby

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him
Writhing in anguish and pain
Tell of the grave where they laid Him
Tell how He liveth again
Love in that story so tender
Clearer than ever I see
Stay let me weep while you whisper
Love paid the ransom for me

Tell me the story of Jesus
Write on my heart every word
Tell me the story most precious
Sweetest that ever was heard

Tony French

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First Love

1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

Revelation 2:1-5

Jesus’ letter to the church Ephesus in this passage is comforting and, at the same time, confronting. The Savior begins by encouraging this church for being faithful to doctrine and right teaching. Yet, Christ also chides the believers in Ephesus for leaving their first love. He calls them to repent and return to Christ in love and promises that failure to do so would mean losing their light and influence.

This message teaches us the importance of love for Jesus. Christians can believe the right doctrines and teach the right things and still be off base when that teaching is not born out of a heart of love for Jesus. The first commandment is to love God with all we have. (Matthew 22:27-40) Our love for others will never be what it should be without the love of God being supreme in our lives. Love must proceed ministry so that ministry will be effective and fruitful.

Let us commit to loving Christ firstly, dear Christian. Love makes all the difference. I leave you with this blessing from the Apostle Paul—“grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.” (Ephesians 6:24)

Tony French

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