We pray for our loved ones to be saved, but we do it through our own limited understanding and not through faith in our Lord. ~ Lisa Blair
In reading the Doctrine of Election, we are reminded that only God can provide salvation. The parts that stood out to me most are:
“People are so ruined by sin that they are unable to respond by faith…unless God first gives the ability to respond.”
“God must draw people Himself and awaken faith in the dead hearts.” (John 6:37-40, 47)
“By grace, God calls individuals to faith” (Eph. 2:8-9)
“This favor of God is undeserved and unearned.” (Romans 9:20)
“God must work in individual hearts to draw them to Himself.”
“Because salvation is God’s work from start to finish, all the glory belongs to Him.”
As ambassadors of Christ, it is our mission to share the Word with them (nonbelievers). We are watering the seed that was placed in them before they were born. At some point, most if not all, of our loved ones will recognize the seed of faith growing within causing them to question their lifestyles and who they are in Christ. When that happens, God calls them to Him. Age is not the crucial factor, surely, we want our loved ones to be saved early in life, but we must not give up it may not occur until they are old. Our prayers are not in vain. A prime example is the life of Abraham. God’s promises may escape us in our youth where our free-will seems strongest, and blossom in the later years of life. Don’t give up on them. It is never too late, and our prayers continue to water the seed God placed in them before they were born.
My prayer is: Lord cover my son/daughter/loved one in your Blood until they call out your name and receive salvation. Protect them on their walk in sin. Cause them to step back from temptation through faith they do not yet know they have. Thank you for planning our paths before you created life on earth. Help me to accept the things I don’t understand. Help us “embrace the struggle with this truth” and “settle our hearts on Your goodness and your unconditional love”. We thank you for standing by us in all times, circumstances, and situations. We will continue to share the Word with our loved ones knowing you are there to retrieve them from death. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.
Lord, we follow and we stray, help us to continue down your path looking forward as we travel through 2021.
~ Lisa Blair
Dear Lord, So much is going on in our Nation; the COVID 19 virus is continuing to take lives and fill hospitals with little to no available beds. Our democracy is being stressed beyond our wildest thoughts. Our economy is suffering as the virus brings us to our knees. It is my prayer that while we are on our knees, we pray to you for forgiveness. I pray we, hi as a Nation, recognize you as our Lord and Savior, the only one that can save our Nation. Please save us of our sins, heal us (spiritually, emotionally, and physically), Lord, and help us put you first in our lives, forever seeking you in all conditions.
Lord, by your grace we entered the New Year, 2021. We are survivors. We are here! Let us proclaim you King above all kings and leaders. Let us surrender to your will, your way, and your life. Let us become more dependent upon you. Teach us to obey your Word. Please help us to heal historical wrongs against one another in the USA and abroad. Please help us save the earth and quit polluting and wasting valuable resources. Let us become a world of people seeking to help one another as you expect us to do, loving one another, helping those in need, and treating our neighbors as we want to be treated. Help us to be strong and courageous. Not to fear or be afraid of any outside forces. (Deut. 31:6 NIV)
Lord, do not allow us to return to the old norms that caused us to suffer from fractured relationships with you. Let us create new norms that are ensconced in your Word.
We are your handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which you have prepared us to accomplish. (Eph 2:10 NIV) Since we are in Christ, we are new creations in Christ. the old man is gone; we stand here new. (2 Corinth. 5:17 NIV)
God can call you wherever you may be, in any number of ways, answer the Call.
~ Lisa Blair
The medium does not matter, He can call you via Skype, Zoom, radio, television, advertisements, a stranger, or silently speak to your inner self. The important thing is that you answer His Call. It doesn’t matter what sins you committed, God will receive you and forgive you of your sins. He is a loving God who is waiting patiently for you to call His name and receive His son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior.
God knew you before you were born. He knew the path you would take in life and knew what you were going to experience, and (He) uses those experiences to lead you down the path of righteousness, the righteousness of Christ. For many this is difficult to believe, they feel undeserving of a chance to live an eternal life with Christ, but the beauty of His story is that God wants us all to be saved and reconciled to Him.
There are many stories of people accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, from an innocent child, to atheists, to those who grew up with other religious affiliations, to those who only believe in science, to frightened tormented souls, to those willing to give up their lives to receive Christ and spread the gospel in deadly environments. God will receive you anywhere and everywhere, including on your death bed. His sole concern is your everlasting soul, your eternal life with Him.
My Uncle was a scientist and only believed in science and the Big Band theory. He rejected the notion that God created the world. No one could convince him otherwise. It is not our place to try to force our loved ones to believe in Christ. All we can do is what two sisters have done for their mother, who was a nonbeliever. Their Mom, a Buddhist, accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior after her daughters had shared the gospel with her for many years. The story is the same for my Uncle. Both had heard the gospel and rejected it time and again. Still, the time eventually came when the seeds planted in their hearts overtook their belief systems when they openly received Christ as their Lord and Savior and received eternal life. There is a saying that one plants, one waters, and God sows. Only God can Call us at that moment, both the sister’s mother and my Uncle answered. She was in her nineties and very ill, my uncle was in his mid-nineties, and death was not far off. Later he experienced doubt as did she, but their hearts were already connected to Christ’s heart, and they were overcomers. At the moment, they accepted Christ; they became new people. Both received eternal salvation.
Experiences of two people finding Christ late in life
God knew them before they were born. He knew what path they chose to take, and knew when they would accept His Son as their Lord and Savior. People do their part sharing the gospel (the Great Commission), the seed is planted and when the day arrives, they are ushered to the place of reconciliation. I say reconciliation because God has always been with us, sitting patiently for us to return to Him. My prayer is that everyone will rest in peace in Jesus’ arms during their life on earth. It is never too late to receive Christ. The time is always the perfect time.
If you have not received Christ as your Lord and Savior and want to have a relationship with Him, recite Romans 10:9 NIV, If you declare (confess) with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
“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
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be sav.” Romans 10:13 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
It is important to find a church home or a body of believers to help support you as you walk down the path of righteousness, the righteousness of Christ. The gospel is a living word and meets you where you are. The Bible (Word) is what will begin to inform your decision making. It is the warmth that fills your soul. It becomes the language you use to strengthen your relationship and conversations with God. It becomes your go-to. This is not a walk you want to take on your own. If you have no one to share your walk with, pray to God to send someone. He does not intend for you to do it on your own. The grace of God can change your heart.
God’s promises are eternal. Theywill never fail, fade away, or end. He is not a man and cannot lie. His truth is forever.
~ Lisa Blair
I am studying the Book of Genesis this year at BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, and have come to realize that Genesis is so much more than what we learned in Sunday School or Church. It is a deep and lengthy study. One of the most profound things is that God established a covenant with Adam and Eve after they were expelled from Eden. God made a similar covenant with Noah after the flood subsided. The covenant was God’s promise that He would continue Adam’s genealogy to give life to Christ through Mary and save us from eternal sin through the resurrection of Christ.
All of God’s promises stem from His love for us. Each promise has a purpose and is true today just as it was when He made them. God will never forsake us or leave us. He will lay His eyes upon us. His Word will always be good, and it will always just.
This is the fifth and final installment of the series, God’s Promises Shape Our Lives. The focus of this installment is the Promises of the Holy Spirit. This series highlights some, though not all, of God’s promises. The Holy Spirit intimately knows the worst of us and the best of us, yet He remains faithful even when we persist in rebellion against Him. He protects us and walks with us, even when we sin. There is nothing in this life that we cannot share with Him. The Holy Spirit resides in us, and the blood of Jesus reigns over us. We are completely encapsulated by the Spirit of God. The lyrics to one of Tasha Cobb’s songs says, ”He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own… No fire can burn me, no battle can turn me, no mountain can stop me, ’cause you hold my hand. Now, I’m walking in Your victory ’cause your power is within me, no giant can defeat me, ’cause you hold my hand. (Lyrics to You Know My Name. Tasha Cobb Leonard.) God’s promises protect us without failure or compromise because He walks with us as we navigate through this life.
Walking in the Spirit
Walking in the spirit means that when we were saved, we invited the Holy Spirit to reside in us. We no longer victims of this world driven by the lust of the flesh. We are no longer condemned to walk in our flesh, lusting for the things of this world, things associated with the external world such as riches, recognition, and possessions. The Holy Spirit indwells in us and through Him, we are free from sin. We have the power to turn away from temptation and the gift of repentance. We are renewed every day. Each day is a new day in the Lord. Each day His Spirit resides in us and strengthens us to walk in the Spirit.
Romans 8:1 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16 NKJV
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 6:8 NIV
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV
Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
God is (forever) our guide. We can choose to lean on our own understanding or trust in the Lord to light our path and direct our steps, especially in times of grave difficulties. During these times of uncertainty, the evil one conspires to entice us, to weaken us, to separate us from God. God’s Word, His promises, strengthen us and are our tools to overcome the circumstances that may have afflicted us through no fault of our own, such as, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, eviction, critical illness, and ultimately loss of hope. Our strength is in the Lord and when we rest in His arms, His strength, the world looks different than when we resign hope and only see failure.
Psalms 18:28 NIV
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 48:14 NIV
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
Proverbs 3:5,6 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 16:9 NKJV
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
John 8:12 NKJV
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.”
John 16:13 NKJV
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Praying in the Spirit
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, sometimes our hopelessness camouflages what we should pray for, leaving us unable to pray for the condition or circumstance. When we do not know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes and prays on our behalf. He prays for us in the Spirit. However, He can only do that when invited, we must seek Him to help us.
Romans 8:26 NKJV
Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Praying for Wisdom, and Knowledge
As humans, we seek wisdom, though not always in the right places. We seek wisdom from peers, leaders, and fallen souls when we should wisdom from God through the Holy Spirit and His word. we should seek wisdom from God who gives it to us generously. It is His wisdom and knowledge that strengthens us to walk upright. It is His wisdom and knowledge that will refrain our conditions as we see them. It is His wisdom and knowledge that leads to our victory over our circumstances.
Ecclesiastes 2:26 NKJV
For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner, He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
Amos 3:7 NIV
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets.
Luke 21:15 NIV
For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
James 1:5 NIV
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
So, What does this all mean?
The scriptures highlight God’s love for us. They prove that He is trustworthy and will carry all of His promises out. He activates and fulfills all promises He has made. His promises will manifest to either take us through our current circumstances or deliver us out of them.
When we feel defeated, we cannot waiver but rather stand fast. We cannot compromise what God promised, choosing a quick remedy over His plan. We may feel our ways are more expedient, but experience proves they generally cost more than had we waited on the Lord to fulfill His promises for us. Only God knows where our path leads, and only He knows what is required of us to walk down the path. It’s important to always remember His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Always go into prayer before making life decisions.
Seek God and ask that He reveal the things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3) and do not make your own decisions on how to move forward without God’s input. As humans, we tend to believe that we should do as we please and then make amends. However, spiritually speaking, we are to go before the Lord, seek His Word and direction through faith, and move forward in His grace.
Developing an ATTITUDE of GOD FIRST in our lives places us on solid ground. The more familiar we become with His promises, the more quickly we can stop in our tracks when doubt and hopelessness try to invade and destroy us. His wisdom and knowledge lead us to acknowledge that God’s promises yield results. I personally find when I relinquished my will to His Will, His Word, and His Way, I find a place of peace that allows me to comfortably make decisions that align with His Word.
It is my sincerest hope that this series has helped you and me by reminding us that God is always with us, and we can turn to Him at any time in our lives. We can rest assured that decisions that align with God’s Word are the right decisions to make. To nonbelievers, our decisions may seem to be folly or misdirected, but to believers, we know that God is directing our steps, and God’s Promises are shaping our lives.
Update, God is so good. I completed this series last night, and felt something was missing. When I awoke this morning, God directed me to this devotional. It is the perfect closing for the study of God’s Promises.
Resources: Life Principles Bible by Charles Stanley, NKJV; Song-Apple Lyrics; Biblestudytools.com; biblegateway.com; He Whispers Your Name, 365 Day Devotionals, by Cherie Hill
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? ~ Psalm 27:1
This devotion is from, Grace for the Moment: Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year, by Max Lucado. 2000
Jesus says the options are clear. On one side there is the voice of safety. You can build a fire in the hearth, stay inside, and stay warm and dry for what you don’t try, right? You can’t fall if you don’t take a stand, right? You can’t lose your balance if you never climb, right? So don’t try it. Take the safe route.
Or, you can hear the voice of adventure-God’s adventure. Instead of building a fire in the hearth, build a fire in your heart. Follow God’s impulses. Adopt the child. Move overseas. Teach the class. Change careers. Run for office. Make a difference. Sure it isn’t safe, but what is?
Don’t let life pass you by, each day is a blessing, each day is a day you can accomplish something new. If not an adventure around the world, take a different route to you destination. Read something different. Enjoy viewing the majesty of the world through God’s eyes, it is always brighter and peaceful even in the midst of the storm. Take a breath and step out of your norm.
Life is full, enjoy it. Remember, you never walk alone-with Christ in you.