Monthly Archives: October 2018

Soul Speak

The Gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus, is dynamic truth. It is living and active. In fact Romans 1:16 states that the gospel is the power to salvation:  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

The Gospel is Dynamite!
The word for “dunamis” in Romans 1:16 is translated  power. The origin of the word dynamite has its root in this Greek word.

“Dunamis” is defined as strength and power. This is no ordinary power, it is resurrection power. It is further defined as the power inherent in a thing or being by its very nature. Such as the power that is Jesus. The power of God is inherently in Jesus. Numerous scriptures reveal this truth.

  • Luke 6:19 – “And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them
  • Luke 8:46 – “But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.”
  • Luke 4:36 -“And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.”

The gospel has the power to break down the strongholds of sin and darkness, and to transform hearts, minds and lives. When we believe the truth of the gospel and obey it, this power causes us to rise up from spiritual death to life.

Tell It to Me Again! And Again!
The gospel is for all times. It is not something that we encounter at the beginning of our walk with God, but the gospel, the good news of our salvation in Jesus Christ,  sustains our faith every day. (If you are unsure of what the gospel is, the passages presented below will make it clear).

It is important for us who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ to refresh our souls daily with basic truths from the gospel of Jesus.

The many activities associated with our walk with God, as well as the difficulties of life can cause us to become confused as to where we stand with God and the basis of our relationship or friendship with God. We can easily begin putting our trust in our feelings or our performance rather than in the saving work of Jesus. This can lead to doubts about our salvation, and leave us feeling that we are “not enough.”

Therefore, it is good to review the basic gospel truths daily to re-set our hearts and re-focus our faith.

Make It Personal
Look through the scripture for the basic gospel truths, and then make them personal. Change the pronouns such as “we” to “me,” and insert your name in the verses as if the Holy Spirit was speaking to you through these words because –
He is!

Read through these passages. Personalize these truths between you and God, Let these truths strengthen your faith and help you honor God.

  •  “He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on my behalf, so that  I (insert your name) might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor. 5:21
  •  “… He himself bore my sins” in His body on the cross, so that I (insert your name) might die to sins and live for righteousness; for by His wounds I (insert your name) have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
  • “In Him, I (insert your name) have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of my trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7
  • “But He was pierced for my transgressions, He was crushed for my iniquities; the punishment that brought me (insert your name) peace was upon Him, and by His stripes I am healed.” Isaiah 53:5
  • “For I know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that I ( insert your name) was redeemed from the empty way of life I inherited from my forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
  • “For He (God) has rescued me (insert your name) from the dominion of darkness and brought me (Insert your name) into the kingdom of the Son He loves…” Colossians 1:13
  • “… don’t I know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  I (insert your name) was therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, I too may live a new life. Romans 6:3-5

Speak the Gospel Today
I encourage you to find other passages that tell the basic message of the gospel. Write the passage down and read them back to yourself with personal references to you. Speak the good news to others and speak the gospel to your soul. I want to suggest that you do this each day for a week and take note of the increase in your joy and your faith.

God: A Personal Friend-Part 2

While God is Almighty, all powerful, and the sovereign Lord, He does extend Himself to us as our intimate friend.

In Psalm 25:14 the scripture describes the God who creates and sustains all life as wanting to confide in us.

”The LORD confides in those who fear Him, He makes His covenant known to them.”
Ps. 25:14 (NIV)

In the previous entry, “God: Our Personal Friend,” we saw that this expression confides was translated from a Hebrew word having a primitive root meaning “couch.” This has the inference of a place where two people lean into each other and share intimate, personal conversations. Where they can open up their heart and share their inmost thoughts and feelings. God is welcoming us to do that.

It seems unbelievable, but it is true! If you are in any form a believer in God this is an astounding truth. I, for one, desire such a relationship with God. I want to go beyond the religious exterior of performance and be in close friendship with God.

God, the Initiator
God has been reaching out to man to have a very personal relationship since before creation. Eph. 1:4 states: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

God initiated setting us up to be able to have this close relationship with Him even before He created the world. This close relationship was always God’s intention, will and desire.

Let’s look at a few of these types of encounters with God.

More Snapshots on the Couch with God
As we flip through the album of God’s friends as written in the scriptures I see God’s overtures to man to indicate that God truly does welcome such closeness.

A Bold Conference with God
In Genesis 18, the LORD visits with Abraham to confirm the promise of a son. As the Lord is leaving He considers Sodom and Gomorrah and looks in the direction of those cities. He plans to destroy them for their wickedness and harm to others. His intent to have a close relationship, one in which includes Him revealing His heart and mind to man, is indicated in these words:

“When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” Gen. 18:16-17

After this comes a dialogue between Abraham and God in which God reveals to Abraham what He is about to do, and Abraham intercedes back and forth with God about this what God plans to do.

Abraham asks God in a series of dialogues if God would destroy these cities even if Abraham found 50 righteous people. God says, “No.” Abraham intercedes back and forth through 40, 30, 20 and 10 righteous people. (Genesis 18:16-33)

This is a true to life example of sitting on the couch with God.

Vulnerable Outpouring on the Couch
Have you ever been so frustrated and hurt by a situation or a person that you just had to sit down with your best friend and have a good cry, pouring all the hurt and confusion out? This is what we see in the next picture of Hannah and God.

In 1 Samuel 1:3-17, we see Hannah in a frenzied state talking to God. In verses 6 and 7 we read the background of Hannah’s soul talk with God. We see Hannah has been being harassed by her rival, Peninnah, the second wife of Elkanah.

We read hard words: provoked, irritated and rival. Some translations use the words provoke grievously and taunt severely to describe how Peninnah interacted with Hannah.

The scriptures relate that Hannah was in “deep anguish” when she confided in God, 1 Sam.1:10. The term “deep anguish” is translated as: in bitterness, anger, or discontent.  One older translation says in bitterness of soul she prayed to God.”

We might say Hannah was more than discouraged. This was not some simpering, prayer full of clichés and platitudes. She was frustrated and angry. She was honest and vulnerable before God. She prayed in such a distraught fashion that the priest who watched her as she spoke to God took her to be drunk, 1 Sam. 1:12-14.

What did God do? Ignore her? Recoil? No! God did not chastise her. He did not turn away from her. He listened to her and responded. He understood and answered her prayer. Infact, God had a mission for the son she would bear as a result of this talk with God.

You and God: Heart to Heart
God wants to have heart to heart talks with you also. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says,

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (NLT)

Jesus is talking to believing disciples in this passage. He is not speaking to non-believers; He has another invitation for them in His Gospel. He is addressing the church in Laodicea.

He is reminding these disciples that He wants a deep personal friendship with them. The imagery in this passage is of sitting down and sharing a meal and conversation with Jesus. It is a picture of a personal friendship.

God wants to have a heart to heart talk with me, every day. Do I want to have this with God? Do I trust Him and His love for me?

God made it possible to be close with Him. He set this up through the death of His Son. Do I come in openness, humility, and a willingness to be vulnerable with God? Am I sitting on the couch, leaning into Him? Am I sharing a meal with Him, or participating in a routine or a religious process.

Think about it. What is it like between you and God?


“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”
Psalm 42:1-2