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Monday
Feb192018

New Bible for a New Chapter

My poor Bible has seen better days. It’s been read, highlighted, written in, taped, and re-taped. The cover is missing. Pages are ripped. Whole sections have fallen out of it. But I can’t make myself throw it away! I’m not generally a sentimental person. I don’t attach memories to things. In fact, I happen to own several Bibles in a variety of translations. But this particular Bible
is special.

My mom gave me this Bible on my sixteenth birthday. It wasn’t my first Bible, but it was the first Bible I had asked for. I grew up in a Christian home, but I was no longer satisfied with knowing God just through my parents. I was convinced that getting a “real” Bible, one that I could study for myself, was the first step. I was done with Bibles with cute covers and illustrations.

Writing in my Bible for the first time felt both sacrilegious and liberating. I highlighted and underlined and made notes and drew arrows through the whole thing! Today, when I look at its pages and reread the notes I wrote in the margins, it’s like each one is a flashback. I remember where I was when I wrote each note. I remember what I was feeling. I remember my insides screaming out for God to speak to me, not realizing that every note, every highlight was His voice.

Then one day I read:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. . . . And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Romans 8:2, 10, New International Version

I remember that day. I remember reading this chapter and thinking, for the first time in my life, I am free from sin! It was such an exciting revelation, I noted it in the corner of my Bible. You see, I wanted to know God, but all my life, sin had been presented as the enemy. Sin was separating me from God. It was keeping me from experiencing His blessings.

As a child, I didn’t feel like sin was that big of a deal, but for years, I watched the same people approach the altars every week to repent of and mourn their sin. I didn’t understand why people, who spoke in tongues and saw angels and heard the voice of God, had to be born again, again and again. However, just to be safe, I decided to add “and forgive me of any other sins I may have committed but can’t remember” to my bedtime prayers!

When I realized I didn’t have to spend my entire Christian life struggling with sin, it changed everything. Like Andrew says, “Separation from the sin nature is an accomplished thing whether you understand it or believe it or not. When you got born again, you became separated from this old sinful nature that drove you to sin. . . . But whether you reap the benefits of that is completely dependent on whether or not you know these truths.” He goes on to say, “So, really, walking in victory is as simple as recognizing your new identity, that you are now freed from that sin nature. It has no more dominion over you.”

That revelation (and that sixteenth birthday gift) changed my life. It started me on the path to eternal life—to knowing God (John 17:3)—and has given me the tools I needed to start my own children on that path.

If you want to learn more about these truths that have changed my life, check out Andrew’s teaching Grace, the Power of the Gospel, which is airing all this month on the Gospel Truth.

Written by Roxanne Troup

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Thursday
Feb152018

Andrew's Response to the Florida School Shooting

Again, we are mourning the loss of innocent lives as the result of a violent school shooting. I join with you in praying for all those injured and those who have lost sons and daughters. I pray that the Lord would comfort and draw them to Himself for the strength only He can give. He is our only hope.

I’ve heard total despair from a number of people today as to how we solve this problem. They feel that this is the new norm that we just have to get used to. I don’t believe this is so. I didn’t grow up with this as the norm, and the young people of today don’t have to either.

Although there isn’t a quick fix and many things need to be done, I believe the root of the problem is simple. There is evil in this world that our nation has systematically been releasing by our departure from morality and the fear of God. Disrespect for God, authority, and life in general is being promoted in multiple ways, and this is the consequence.

Psalm 36:1 says, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.”

The lack of fear or reverence for God has removed the restraints on the devil, and this is the result. The answer to this isn’t easy, but it’s simple: we need to return to God as a nation. That’s where we believers come in. We must speak out and let our light and salt be the preserving influence God ordained.

As we pray for those affected, let’s also renew our commitment to sharing the good news of the Gospel, which is the only thing that will change the hearts of people and stop this carnage. Most will look for things in the natural that need to be done, and while we don’t deny the natural, the only cure for this is spiritual, not physical.

Father, use us to counter this evil in our culture. Give us boldness to speak out and get involved. Give us Your wisdom about how to address this, and we pray Your comfort and strength to everyone affected. In Jesus’s name, amen!

Monday
Feb052018

Established 

Early in my walk with God, I heard the same kind of teaching that many brand-new Christians receive: We’re poor sinners who will struggle with our sinful nature for the rest of our lives. We’ll make it to heaven, but just barely. This erroneous teaching left me without strength and without much hope. Believing the words to the song “Victory in Jesus”? Forget it.

The only hope I had was that one day—in the sweet by and by—I would die and be free. What a horrible way to live!

Thank God for the revelation of my righteousness as a Christian. It has completely changed my life. When somebody recommended Andrew’s teaching Grace: The Power of the Gospel, I was instantly hooked. I learned the truth about my new nature as a born-again believer, that I had received the gift of righteousness through Christ’s finished work (Rom. 5:17), and my faith and confidence grew to incredible heights. Getting ahold of this teaching didn’t just change my life—it saved it!

Isaiah prophesied that God’s free gift of righteousness would bring awesome benefits into the believer’s life:

All your sons will be taught of the Lord; And the well-being of your sons will be great. In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; And from terror, for it will not come
near you.

Isaiah 54:13-14, New American Standard Bible

There are big truths in this small passage! Notice that when people are taught of the Lord (i.e. the Word of God is rightly divided for them), the benefit is great well-being. How is your well-being? Is it great? Well, it can be. And it should be!

When you are taught of the Lord, He assures that you are established in righteousness. This is a focus that God has chosen. He wants you to be firmly established in your walk with Him, but in order for that to happen, you must know that you are righteous.

At the time you accepted Jesus, God made you 100 percent righteous and 100 percent holy. He made you that way so His Holy Spirit could live in you and you could have a new nature. This new nature that God has given you is as righteous as Jesus is. You are 100 percent right with God!

As for this righteousness, He gave it to you as a gift. You didn’t earn it. This righteousness isn’t based on what you’ve done; it’s completely based on what Jesus has done. Now, why would He do this? Simply because He loves you. He wants to be as close to you as He can possibly be; He wants a relationship with you. Righteousness makes this closeness yours. Isn’t that awesome?

Another benefit of being established in righteousness is that you will no longer be oppressed or fearful. Do you struggle with oppression or fear? Knowing that you have right-standing with God brings tremendous faith and freedom. After all, Jesus said you would know the truth, and it would make you free (John 8:32). The truth does make you free. This is real, folks.

In order to be firmly established in righteousness, you must be properly taught the Word of God on this subject. It also must be heard often so that it sinks deep into your heart and soul. Andrew will be teaching on this subject all week on the Gospel Truth. When you hear Andrew’s amazing teaching Grace: The Power of the Gospel, you will begin to fully experience the benefits of actually being established in righteousness!

Written by W. Kent Smith

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.