Accepted 11.28.20
Accepted 11.28.20

Bruce Goettsche • November 28, 2020

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body, God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. (Romans 8:1–3).

In a world filled with people who feel they do not measure up even to their expectations for themselves, these words breathe life into our souls.

The fact that there is "no condemnation" for those who are in Christ does not mean it doesn't matter what we do . . . it means we can be free from the shame and feelings of inadequacy and realize we are welcomed into God's family, clean and forgiven! We are free to live in the fullness of what God created us to be.

Don't stop here! Read on . . . the way we have been set free from our sin is Christ died in our place, paying the penalty for our sin, so we could be forgiven and delivered from the wrath of God which we so justly deserved!

You have received an unfathomable gift. The more you ponder it, the more grateful you will be and the more enthusiastically you will use this freedom, forgiveness, and acceptance to live joyfully for the One who gave His life for you.

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Black Friday 11.27.20
Black Friday 11.27.20

Bruce Goettsche • November 27, 2020

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

(Matthew 6:19–21).

Traditionally, today is called Black Friday. It is a monument to consumerism (shopping). This year, with Covid restrictions Black Friday has not been canceled. . . it has been spread out!

We are bombarded with ads that show us that "thing" we desperately need to "bring happiness" into the life of the one who receives the gift. I, for one, am a sucker for a good sales pitch.

Jesus calls us to see things differently. He says we should spend more time laying up treasures in Heaven than looking to fill our homes with stuff that will be out in our garbage in a few years (if we are lucky). In other words, He would have us find our satisfaction in Him. He wants us to cherish people more than stuff, and to crave for a deeper walk with Him rather than for the next temporary "high" of a new purchase.

For every ad we see, it would be prudent to view it as a prompt to "lay up treasures in Heaven." It should remind us to see beyond the temporary "fix" of the world, and instead pursue what lasts forever.

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Gratitude 11.26.20
Gratitude 11.26.20

Bruce Goettsche • November 26, 2020

In that day you will sing:

“I will praise you, O Lord!

You were angry with me, but not any more.

Now you comfort me.

See, God has come to save me.

I will trust in him and not be afraid.

The Lord God is my strength and my song;

he has given me victory.”

Isaiah 12:1–2.

It is tempting this Thanksgiving to focus on what we have lost or on how things are different. It would be better to focus on the blessings.

For the follower of Christ, we can say with Isaiah "you were angry with me but not any more." Wrath has been swallowed up by grace. Despair has been replaced with joy-filled anticipation. We are made new in Christ. This is a blessing we too often overlook but it is the greatest reason for thanks this holiday.

O Lord, you have changed our lives. You have taken all of the broken pieces and put them together into something more wonderful than words can express. Thank you for forgiveness, hope, rest, peace, the power of Your Spirit, the promise of life eternal, and the sweetness of your presence every moment of every day. Even in the midst of darkness, Your light shines bright. We praise You and give You our deepest thanks.

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Little Things 11.25.20
Little Things 11.25.20

Bruce Goettsche • November 25, 2020

“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.’ (Matthew 25:21).

We all would like to hear "Well done, my good and faithful servant" from the lips of our Lord. It will be the height of praise.

The thing we must remember is the importance of being faithful in little things. This is where it starts. It is the accurate expense report, declaring our true income for taxes, the way we talk about each other, whether we keep our promises, how we treat our family, the integrity of how we do our job, and being a good friend. Little things, in other words, ARE big things!

Honor the Lord in everything you do beginning with the little things.
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Small Enough 11.24.20
Small Enough 11.24.20

Bruce Goettsche • November 24, 2020

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
(Psalm 8:3–4).

It's an anecdote I quote often: One night Teddy Roosevelt was meeting with one of his advisors at the White House. As they discussed significant policy, Roosevelt and his advisor went outside to the back porch. Roosevelt started to talk about the stars above. He talked about constellations and the distance, life, and properties of the various stars. They discussed the astounding size of the universe. After 15 minutes or so, Roosevelt said, "I think we are now small enough and have the right perspective to discuss matters of government.

We need to remember, with wonder, that God has invited us to know Him personally . . . the God over all creation! This is no little invitation. It is the greatest of honors. It is a staggering honor. we are but a tiny piece of dust in this universe and yet God became a man to reach out to us for a relationship with Him! If you can start to wrap your brain around this, then you will be ready to face this day with humility, gratitude, and worship.
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Examining the Heart 11.23.20
Examining the Heart 11.23.20

Bruce Goettsche • November 23, 2020

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. (Matthew 23:25–26)

Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of His day and through the Bible, continues to teach and instruct us.

Jesus warned the Pharisees that God knows much more than they think. Though the Pharisees put on quite a show, the Lord was looking at their hearts.

We are too easily satisfied with looking good on the outside. We crave the approval of the crowd. And that's where we make our mistake. As long as our goal is to get others to like and affirm us we will never grow deep in the Lord. It is our thoughts and our "alone times" that are the real measure of a person.

Our goal should always be the "Well Done!" of the Lord. And when we start from the inside and work out (rather than the reverse) people will be drawn to you like a magnet. The world craves people of integrity. It is rarer than we think. Don't worry about "fixing others." Concentrate on your own walk with the Lord.
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First and Foremost 11.22.20
First and Foremost 11.22.20

Bruce Goettsche • November 22, 2020

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

 Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

(Matthew 22:36–40).

Most of us can quote these verses. But are we heeding them? We put a great deal of emphasis on part 2. Everyone wants us to love each other. But what happened to the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind?

The key word is ALL. We are happy to pay lip service to the Lord but to love Him FIRST and FOREMOST in our lives? We quickly move the Lord to a secondary place in our lives when our desires don't match up with His Word. We do the same if He asks us to do something difficult.

We say we would honor the Lord more if we had time. We DO have time . . . we are simply choosing to put something else before Him! The only person we are fooling is ourselves.

So, here is the challenge: of all the commands in the Bible the best place to start is with the first one.

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