Before God justified you, you were helpless, ungodly, and God’s enemy. In that state, Jesus died for you. Paul says “If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!”
Is it presumptuous to fully know you are saved? Absolutely not! It is written throughout the Scripture that God wants you to have the assurance of knowing you are saved so that not only can you be secured in your salvation but assured.
The problem is knowing a point of reference. If someone asks you, “How do you know you’re saved?” Many do not know how to answer. They say things like “I feel His presence.” “I feel the Holy Spirit bearing fruit.” “Things are great.” But what happens if things are not so great? What happens during seasons that you see no fruit? Seasons in which you do not feel His presence. Those seasons may take you to dark places. You may blame God and distance from Him when the point of reference is yourself based on how well you’re doing. This is a terrible point of reference. Yes, God’s work in your life is confirmation of salvation. However, He never intends for salvation to be based on your performance.
Your assurance and security are based on God’s ability to make and keep a promise. God says that when you trust in Jesus, He will save you. We know we are saved because God made a promise. You are secured in Jesus Christ because of the power of God, not your standard of holiness. And you are assured of your salvation because of the promise of God, not because of your performance.
You may be wondering if good works are important. What about holiness and obedience? What about the things God asks us to do? Yes, they are critical, but they do not earn your salvation. Good works flow in gratitude and obedience out of your justification. That’s how you become more like Jesus. A Christian should not be foolish and willfully sin. You cannot abuse of God’s grace without consequence. Paul says you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ for good works so that you would walk in them. Grace is the seed of spiritual growth.
God does not want you to live with fear, doubt, or insecurity. All that needs to be accomplished has already been done in Jesus Christ. When He said on the cross, “It is finished,” He meant it. If you slip, He’s got you. He will hold you. You can be assured and secured in that. That’s the way He wants His children to live. It’s a gift of God’s grace.
Greetings Saints....... I come bearing the love of Jesus Christ to each and every one. Many times like others I have pondered am I truly walking into my called exsistance? Am I being the best me that I can be? Well the truth is I was born at my best even when I've lived in my worst. We must remind ourselves that perfection is not the goal we seek.... but to live everyday knowing that I am anointed and appointed by "The Best" and as long as I am in His will, The best is always in front of me. and in front of you too! So stay encouraged faithful servants and know that it is not about the best we can become ourself but about the best road we follow.... which leads to God's glory which the world can't give us ..... and the world can't take away! Peace and Blessings from ON GOD'S SIDE MINISTRY
Good day Gods Chosen. Meditating on "The Word" and "The Goodness" of The Lord I urge My Believers this morning to not get weary in your well doing for Our God is not sleep, sees your servent heart/attitude and rewards those who diligently serve Him. May peace and Prosperity be upon You as You strive to stay "Connected to the Vine" As always LOVE AND BLESSINGS from On Gods Side Ministry!
Healthy Churches Excel More
Let’s summarize the characteristics of healthy churches we’ve read about in God’s Word over the past few days.
There’s a strong drive and passion to push further, not for their own glory, but for God’s. Healthy churches truly believe there are more people to reach for Christ. More opportunities to give. Stronger unity to live out. More churches to plant. More leaders to equip. More of God to know and share. They excel still more.
Let’s strive to grow a healthy church where people are changed and communities are transformed, all for God’s glory.
As you read today’s scriptures, be encouraged to not only continue what God’s Word calls you to do, but to excel even more. As long as you have breath in your lungs, God has more to do in you and through you.
1 Thessalonians 4:1 AMPV
Finally, believers, we ask and admonish you in the Lord Jesus, that you follow the instruction that you received from us about how you ought to walk and please God (just as you are actually doing) and that you excel even more and more [pursuing a life of purpose and living in a way that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation].
Now concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write you, for you have been [personally] taught by God to love one another [that is, to have an unselfish concern for others and to do things for their benefit]. For indeed you already do practice it toward all the believers throughout Macedonia [by actively displaying your love and concern for them]. But we urge you, brothers and sisters, that you excel [in this matter] more and more,
Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Healthy Churches Keep First Things First
The ultimate goal of the church is not growth, great environments, or effectiveness. The ultimate goal of the church is to bring God glory. Everything is for His glory.
Healthy churches keep first things first. They passionately seek God. They are not driven by programs or numbers or accolades, but use them as they are driven by the Spirit of God and making Jesus’ name known. They are seeking God’s glory to be revealed through them. They are hungry to know God more. They understand that the Gospel is not ultimately about us, but it is about God. They constantly fight to keep first things first.
We see the first-hand struggle of doing for Jesus versus being with Jesus in Luke 10. This well-known story of Mary and her sister, Martha, stills speaks to us today about the need to keep our relationship with Jesus primary to our mission for Jesus.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Don’t busy yourself so much with God’s work that you forget to be in His presence.
As you read today’s scriptures, remember that you’re a follower of Christ first and foremost. Your ultimate goal is to know God and make Him known, all for His glory!
Luke 10:38-42 AMPV
Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”
Matthew 6:33 AMPV
But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right--the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
Philippians 3:8-11 AMPV
But more than that, I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him--a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him [believing and relying on Him], not having any righteousness of my own derived from [my obedience to] the Law and its rituals, but [possessing] that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did]; so that I may attain to the resurrection [that will raise me] from the dead.
Ephesians 3:18-19 AMPV
be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love]; and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].
Psalms 96:3-8 AMPV
Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works and wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are [worthless, lifeless] idols, But the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord , O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; Bring an offering and come into His courts.
Isaiah 43:7 AMPV
Everyone who is called by My Name, Whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”
Healthy Churches are fun and attractive
Organizations that make a difference in their communities and go beyond their goals draw others in. Their staffs are passionate about the vision and the values of their company, and they genuinely enjoy their work. They are bought in, and their excitement is contagious. Effectiveness is fun and attractive.
Fun is not about easy and laid back. Fun and attractiveness is directly tied to effectiveness, and there’s no better picture of effectiveness than the early church in Acts. The first church burst onto the scene with thousands accepting the Gospel and choosing to enter into relationship with God and each other. People were eating together and talking about their faith every day. Others outside this community were drawn into it. You can’t read the words in Acts without seeing that these people were excited to experience life like they never had before. It must have been so much fun!
Healthy churches have fun. Not the type of fun that’s selfish is nature, but the kind of fun that comes from fulfilling God’s plans. The kind of fun where everyone understands their part in accomplishing the mission. That’s the kind of fun that’s infectious. The kind of fun that even non-Christians notice even if they don’t understand it.
As you read today’s passages, be reminded of the life God intended you to live, of the life the church was meant to have. The work of the church should be fun, and when done God’s way, it will attract those around it.
John 10:10 AMPV
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].
Acts 2:42-47 AMPV
They were continually and faithfully devoting themselves to the instruction of the apostles, and to fellowship, to eating meals together and to prayers. A sense of awe was felt by everyone, and many wonders and signs (attesting miracles) were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed [in Jesus as Savior] were together and had all things in common [considering their possessions to belong to the group as a whole]. And they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing the proceeds with all [the other believers], as anyone had need. Day after day they met in the temple [area] continuing with one mind, and breaking bread in various private homes. They were eating their meals together with joy and generous hearts, praising God continually, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord kept adding to their number daily those who were being saved.
So now through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God [in all its countless aspects] might now be made known [revealing the mystery] to the [angelic] rulers and authorities in the heavenly places . This is in accordance with [the terms of] the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Proverbs 15:13 AMPV
A heart full of joy and goodness makes a cheerful face, But when a heart is full of sadness the spirit is crushed.
Proverbs 17:22 AMPV
A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
God's Church Is Filled With Ministers
Jesus’ ministry was so different than the Jewish religious ministry of the time. His followers were a ragtag band of men that the religious order had overlooked. He did not just teach them the Bible, but he provided on-the-job training. This is how the church founders were trained, and it’s how the church was meant to function. A church wasn’t meant to be a lone pastor who ministers to a group of people. It was meant to be a group of people ministering to the world. Every member of your church is a minister, and every minister plays a critical part in the mission.
Healthy churches are full of ministers who understand they are called to be the Church. They are active and learning on the job. They are using their gifts to fulfill the mission of the church—inside and outside the walls of the church. They are often the only reflection of Jesus that a dark world will ever see. They are each ministers in their own missions fields.
Luke 9:1-6 KJV
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
Ephesians 4:11-13 KJV
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Healthy Churches Grow and Reproduce
What does an apple tree produce? This might seem like a simple question, but many times our answer is incomplete. The answer “apples” is correct, but on its own, it misses the true scope of the apple tree. Apple trees were meant to create more apples, which were meant to create more apple trees, which were meant to create more apples, which were meant create more apple trees. You get the idea. Apples alone are not what apple trees produce. A healthy apple tree has the potential to not only produce many apples, but many apple trees.
We love this picture of the apple tree as a metaphor for healthy churches. Healthy churches are not only passionate about growing their church, but growing other churches. Their influence and growth goes far beyond their walls. In the early church, you see this explosion of growth. It was not just people in one area being reached and changed, but pockets of people coming together from different areas to reach more people.
By the end of Acts, we see that the churches (plural) were strengthened and growing daily. That explosion of growth is why we are even reading this plan now! Growth isn’t an option for healthy churches; it is a responsibility. And, growth isn’t just about a single church. It’s about the “capital C” Church—the global body of Christ. Healthy churches grow and reproduce.
Acts 2:42-47 KJV
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 9:31 KJV
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
Healthy Churches Produce Good Fruit
Throughout the Bible, “fruit” is a good indicator of those who are truly believers in Jesus. In order to see the health of a tree, you have but to look at the fruit. It doesn’t matter the amount of fruit trees you have. What matters is they produce good fruit.
Healthy churches are passionate about producing good fruit. They build processes and structures that create environments for a healthy orchard. They make hard decisions when production is down. Everything they do ultimately leads people to become fully devoted followers of Christ.
Healthy churches are full of people who have been transformed through the power of God and are living out His purpose. They’re full of people who exemplify Christ both inside and outside the church. They’re full of people who are bearing the fruit of the Spirit more than the fruit of the flesh. Healthy churches produce good fruit.
Churches can get caught up in everything but producing good fruit, but today’s reading is a great reminder: it is by our fruit that people will know we follow Jesus. It is only by our connection with Jesus that we will produce good and lasting fruit. As you read today’s Scripture, ask yourself about the fruit production in your life and in your church. Allow God’s Word to remind you that as we are all called to bear good fruit.
Matthew 7:16-19 KJV
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
John 15:1-5 KJV
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John 15:8 KJV
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
John 15:16 KJV
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
2 Peter 1:5-9 KJV
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Minister Andre "Dre OG" Flanagan CEO of Jehovah Gang Ent.