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Competition in the Body By Dr. Larry Ollison

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Don't Observe the Wind

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How to Reconcile Financial Stewardship Through Grace 1 By Dr. Creflo Dollar Richard Roberts

DEVOTIONAL

Today's featured devotional...
I don't knock other religions about their ability to help people out sometimes. I've read some of their books. After all, I wanted to know what they had to say. And do you know what I found out? Many aren't that bad. Some offer wisdom and insight about mankind. Some teach moral principles that are not unlike Christianity's. Some stress peace; others stress love. Some offer techniques to calm you down if you're having a rough day and help you get through difficult mental situations.


The problem with the books and teachings of other religions is that, as good as they sound, they won't get you to heaven. You see, God won't allow anyone to discount His plan - Jesus - in favor of another and still get to heaven after death - not you, not me, not anybody! God bound Himself to His Word when He sent Jesus, so He won't put His stamp of approval on a book that deceives people into thinking that Jesus' blood doesn't count.

That is why some religious books, no matter how old and seemingly important, are just like other self-help books on the shelf at the bookstore. They have elements of truth, but they aren't the truth. I don't care if their principles date back before the time of Christ - that still doesn't make them the truth! And that's the big difference when it comes to getting in line with God.

After all, what is the point of adhering to a religion's code if you end up going to hell when you die anyway? If I'm going to hell, I don't want to do it sticking to some nice-sounding religion's rules! Do you? No way, that's crazy!

All Roads Do Not Lead to God
No matter what represents itself as truth, the only real truth is Jesus. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). This means that Jesus is the only way and the only truth. The only method of obtaining eternal life with God is by accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Some people refuse to accept that Jesus is the only way to God. They may say, "All roads lead to God." That sounds good to man, but God is pretty matter-of-fact about what He accepts. He didn't sacrifice His Son for nothing. What's true is true. And whether any of us choose to believe the truth or not doesn't change it.

People can make up whatever helps them sleep at night. They can pray to a tin can and make elaborate rituals of sacrifice to it for centuries, but in the end Philippians 2:9-11 assures us that every knee is going to bow and give honor to the true vine, Jesus Christ:

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

During this life or the afterlife, it's just a matter of time before everybody's knees hit the dirt. Yours, mine, everybody's!

So what happens if you try to create your own way around Jesus and His teachings? You lose, both in this life and the afterlife. First life becomes confusing and empty. You wonder why you have this "void," and you seek things in life to fill it. I've seen people try to fill that void with all sorts of things. Some shift from relationship to relationship, trying to fill their emptiness with emotional highs. Others try to fill the void by striving for success and accomplishment. Still others may try to fill the void with alcohol, drugs or even food and entertainment.

All that makes for a confusing and often miserable life. But the worst part is that after a life with no real purpose, people miss eternal life too. Now, that's a raw deal! But God doesn't negotiate: Jesus is everyone's ticket to a life of fulfillment on earth and an eternity in heaven.

Hell Is Hot - Try To Avoid It
Some people don't believe in hell, but that's probably because they either haven't read much of the Bible, or they've read it and simply chosen not to believe it. But Jesus talked about hell quite a bit. He didn't want anyone to go there. You can find remarks about hell throughout the Bible.

Just how many times is hell mentioned in the Bible? At least 40 times! Here are a few that you can check out for yourself: Matthew 3:12; 5:22; 5:29-30; 7:13-14; 8:11-12; 10:28; 11:23; 13:30,38-42,49-50; 16:18; 18:9,34-35; 22:13; 23:15,33; 25:28-30,41,46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 10:15; 12:5; 16:23-26; Acts 1:25; 2:27-31; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; James 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6-23; Revelation 1:18; 2:11; 6:8; 9:1-2; 11:7; 14:10-11; 19:20; 20:10,13-15; 21:8. Those are just some of the times hell is talked about in the New Testament.

Hell was never supposed to be for humans. It was created for the devil and his demons. But since the fall of man, those who choose to side against God in turn choose to share their eternal home with Satan. His home isn't nice. It's hot. It's miserable. And I don't care what anybody tells you - it's never, ever going to freeze over.

The best choice is to avoid it altogether by choosing to follow God's plan.

Salvation Is Easy
The good news is that making heaven your home is very, very easy. God didn't make it hard. All we have to do is accept His Son, Jesus, as our personal Lord and Savior, and wham! When we die, we immediately are ushered into God's home!

Romans 10:9-10 NKJV shows us how to make the transition and "get saved." Saved from what? Saved from confusion in life and from hell after death. The Bible gives us the instructions right here: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation."

This Scripture shows you how to start a new life with Jesus. I did it in 1974, and it completely changed my life.

How God Changed My Life
As you might have heard me say in some of my sermons, I was a rock musician in the late sixties and early seventies with a serious addiction to alcohol and drugs. I drank a bottle of whiskey every day - not for fun but just to start my day out. I'd do so many drugs that I'd break out in purple splotches all over my chest. I took many trips without leaving my hotel room.


One night I was flipping through the channels on TV before a gig, and I landed on a Billy Graham crusade. It was being televised in a stadium. My wife, Cathy, who had been saved a year and a half earlier, wanted to watch it. 

"I don't want to watch that garbage!" I said when she told me to leave it on. She didn't miss a beat. She said, "Why not? He pulls in more people than you do." Ouch. It was true, and I knew it. I didn't care, so I left it on just to kill some time before leaving for my show.

I won't go through all the emotions I felt that night, but I will say this - God touched my heart through that program. As an angry alcoholic and drug addict I was hanging on to some pretty heavy baggage. And by the time Billy Graham gave an altar call, I couldn't hold on to the bags anymore. God was working on me. Of course, I didn't want my wife to see my being affected by the program, so I did the only macho thing I could think of. I went to the bathroom. And it was there, in a hotel bathroom in Boston, Massachusetts, that I gave my life over to God. You could say that I met Jesus right at the throne!

I don't remember my exact words, but I know I said something like, "If there is a God, come into my life and change me." I wasn't playing around; I was sincere. My voice might have been a whisper, but my heart was crying out for something real. 

Suddenly something broke in my heart, and I began to cry - which I never, ever, and I mean ever, did. I was a "man." I'd been taught all my life that men just don't cry. Crying was for wimps and sissies. But when Jesus came in and touched my heart that night, I couldn't stop myself from crying out. The tears just started to fall down my face.

Do you know what happened to me? Jesus came into my heart that night. The One who created the universe came down and changed me! He touched my heart, and suddenly something changed in me. I went from being a drug-filled angry sinner to a clean, joyful, righteous man in one night - actually, in a couple of minutes!

I didn't know it right then, but He supernaturally delivered me from drug and alcohol addiction that night. I never went on another drug trip. I never got drunk as a skunk again. And that was a big deal because I'd been boozing it up for years. I put vodka in my cereal. Vodka and corn flakes - it was a good combo for me. But suddenly, I didn't want it.

Accepting Salvation - From Heart-Change to Life-Change
Jesus changed my heart, and because of the heart-change, I started to make some changes in my life. Accepting Jesus completely transformed my life, and I know He can do the same for you. Before you can receive anything from God - whether it's healing or anything else - you've got to make that heart-change. 

If you haven't accepted Jesus into your life, you'll find a prayer by clicking on the "My Destiny" tab on the CFAITH homepage. It'll help you get going when you approach God in prayer, but you can say it in your own words. Just remember this: It's sincerity that counts. God will meet you right where you are. Please turn there now, and give your heart to the Lord. 

The Bible-Your Welfare Book
If you die right after you get saved, salvation is all you really need to make heaven your eternal home. But if you have to live any amount of time at all on this planet, you will want to go beyond the salvation prayer and start using the rest of the Bible as your manual for living. I like to call it a "well fare" book - it is there for your welfare. And if you obey it, you'll fare well!

Salvation is the foundation for Christianity and undeniably the most important subject in the Bible. Although it may sound like a cliche, according to Romans 10:9-10, you really do have to believe before you can receive salvation. 

Now, most Christians understand that without faith in God's plan, Jesus Christ, salvation is impossible. They realize that faith is a must when it comes to salvation. But sometimes they can get stuck when it is applied to other things in the Bible - like healing. When it comes to healing, suddenly everything gets complicated and wishy-washy, and in the end, a lot of people don't really know what they believe.

I can understand that. There is a lot of confusing stuff out there about healing. But the bottom line is that God really didn't make healing complex. We might, but He didn't! He lumped it in there with everything else Jesus died to redeem us from, all of which come by a substance that a lot of Christians today have really misunderstood - faith.


Source: Breaking The Power Of Natural Law by Jesse Duplantis
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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