Encouragement for Today - May 12, 2005


May 12

Encouragement For Today


“Finding God”
Mary Nash, Certified Speaker


Key Verse:

John 14:6, “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, and the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father, but through me.’” (NIV)




The Christian life is built entirely upon a relationship with Jesus Christ.  This relationship is a process of drawing closer and closer to Him, step by step, as He calls to our hearts.  As we do, He continually renews and directs us.  It is our choice to be spiritually alive and actively searching to do His will, or to go off on our own way and try to improve ourselves.


God says, if we know the truth, it will make us free - but what is the truth? Is being the master of our own destiny the way to freedom? Or is it to relinquish our “rights” to Christ? 


The enemy, Satan, entices us with choices that seem right, or at least harmless.  He paints the Christian life as God’s attempt to pull the plug on the party and keep us from the pursuit of happiness and all the prizes that go along with our dreams.  But the truth is that real freedom comes only from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He created us, and He knows what will bring us true fulfillment.  He knows that everything else leads us to unhappiness, emptiness and fractured dreams.


Jesus offers us a way out of our depression, despair and sin.  Sin separates us from God and no amount of money, success, or ability can fix that.  Nobody is born a Christian, nor does God have any grandchildren.  We all have sinned and each of us must come through Christ for forgiveness.  No one can do that for us. 


Before I knew about God’s plan for my life, or even that He was calling me to Him, I was in charge - and lost.  I tried to do everything on my own.  I hoped time would pass and I would eventually grow up and be in control of my own life.  But growing up didn't help.  I still felt worthless and bad about myself.  Meeting Jesus was the one single event that changed my life.  Immediately I knew I wanted to live the life He had planned for me.  I began to change.  My whole life took on a different focus.


I learned that sin was not just something we do.  It’s a condition of the soul that makes us do stupid things.  We were born with it.  But God demonstrated His love for us by sending Jesus, His only Son, to this earth to deliever us from that condition.  My bad habits began to fall away and they were replaced by His blessings in my life.  I learned that Christianity was not God’s attempt to limit me, but to get me out of my self-destructive ways. 


God has a plan for all of us.  When we wander off on little detours or walk off in an attempts to do things our way, Jesus is there calling us to back to Him.  Then He once again points us in the right direction.  He doesn't care what we've done or where we've been.  He just wants to take us right where we are and begin a good work in us.


When we make the choice to surrender to Christ, He makes the changes in our lives.  It isn't easy - but it can be done.  I know full well how difficult it is.  I used to live as if I were in charge of my life, and I used to blame others for my problems. Then came the day I heard the Savior pleading for me to draw close and let Him direct my life.  In answering His call I found a real peace in my soul - a soul I previously thought was worthless.  But guess what?  God called it worthy when He called me to Him.  Can you hear Him calling out to you today?  Answer Him by surrendering all. 


My Prayer for Today:

Dear God, I know my sin has separated me from You.  I believe You sent Jesus to die for me and I ask You to forgive me.  I now turn my life over to you and receive Jesus as the Lord of my heart and life.  I want to walk in your light and not the darkness of sin.   In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Application Steps:

 1.  Recognize you are separated from God.
 2.  Be willing to turn toward God.
 3.  Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and was
 4.  Invite Jesus to come and be the Lord of your life.
 5.  Do it now.  Don't waste another day without Him.
 6.  If you have already asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life, take this
      time to thank God for the difference He has made in your life.


Reflection Points:

Have you solved the problem of your separation from God?

If you were to stand before God today, would He say He has a relationship with you?

Are you following His plan for your life?


Power Verses:

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (NIV)


Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue to work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” (NLT)


Romans 10:8-11, “Salvation that comes from trusting Christ - which is the message we preach - is already within easy reach.  In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.  For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.  Anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”




Do You Know Him?



Message of the Month Club



Coming Out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland


Originally published Thursday, 12 May 2005.