Well, I’m back! Christmas break for IHOPU is in full swing, and so far I’ve taken a lot of time to sleep and clean (which were both VERY needed) and I baked a little yesterday, too! Also, I’ve been able to catch up on some Bible reading! It’s been wonderful. One thing that I found extremely helpful and convenient is the free audio Bible from Bible Gateway (which you can check out here). I’ve been able to “read” the Bible while cleaning, cooking, doing dishes, etc. which has been really helpful. Plus, it’s way better than listening to music or something. I mean, it’s the Bible, people! Anyways, I’m going to do a rapid-fire style post again since I think that will be the best way to share a few points without writing five pages worth of stuff! Here we go!
1. Mark 16:16 stood out to me when I read it. In it, Jesus is talking to His disciples right before He ascends into heaven and He says:
16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Seems pretty fundamental, but what really struck me was the emphasis that Jesus put on baptism. Not only does one need to believe to be saved, but he needs to believe and be baptized. If you believe but have not been baptized, you better go get baptized. I’m not saying that God’s gonna kick you out of heaven if you haven’t been, but I am saying that if Jesus said you gotta do it, then it’s important and you better do it!
2. Luke chapter 7 tells us the story of a prostitute pouring out her love at the feet of Jesus. I don’t want to get into all of the details for the sake of time, but you can read the story here. What I want to talk about is Jesus’ remarks about forgiveness. He stated in verse 47 that those who are forgiven little will love little. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can only love Jesus according to how much you sinned before (and even after) you received the gift of forgiveness and salvation. That would be ridiculous! But what it does mean is that we need to realize that our sin, no matter how great or small, made us deserving of death (Romans 6:23). And when we realize where we were (the depths of sin and death) and where Jesus has brought us (heavenly places with Him, Eph. 2:6), that will cause us to love greatly. We can’t truly love Him with everything if we don’t realize all that He has done for us. But when we do, it will cause us to do nothing less than fall at His feet, worshipping Him with all that we have and pouring our love on Him.
3. Faith is SO important! As I was reading (well, listening to) Luke today, I was getting hit with the need for faith. In Luke 6:2o, Jesus heals a paralytic “when He saw their faith”. In chapter 7:9, Jesus speaks of the faith of the centurion whose sick servant He then healed. In chapter 8:48, Jesus tells the woman with the issue of blood that her faith made her well. Then, in verse 50 of the same chapter, He tells Jairus, the father of the little girl who was dead (or sleeping, as Jesus said), to “only believe, and she will be made well”. I was kinda getting blown away, and I was reminded of my one of the points I made on my last rapid-fire style blog (which you can read here) – believing is the key to receiving. We truly need to believe. Even if our faith is as small as a mustard seed, it can move mountains (Matthew 17:20)! I want more faith!
Well, there you have it. We’ll talk again tomorrow. I’m gonna spend some time in the prayer room finishing up reading Luke and getting into John, so I know I’ll have some good stuff to talk about! See you later! :)