Victory Vitamin Blog – Romans 3:28

“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”

-Romans 3:28 NIV

 

This Sunday we observe Reformation Day.  The day on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.  Those statements sparked debate, and an ultimate split in the church which resulted in the Lutheran Church, and many other Protestant churches we now have today.  One of the big issues Luther had with the Roman Catholic Church was their teaching on how sinners can be made right in the eyes of God.  How could they settle the score, right the wrong, balance the scales in terms of our sin, and God’s demand for perfection.  Luther protested the teaching that one could somehow buy, or earn forgiveness from God.  He read the words above in the Bible and it changed everything.  Luther realized we can’t “do” enough to earn forgiveness, it comes to us as a gift.  Faith in Jesus is the hand that reaches out to receive that gift from God.  You can be certain about your forgiveness.  You can be certain about eternal life.  It doesn’t depend on you.  It depended on Jesus who lived, died, and rose so that through faith in Him, you could spend eternity with your loving heavenly Father.  Happy Reformation Day!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Amos 5:6

“Seek the LORD and live.”

Amos 5:6 NIV 

 

These were God’s words to the Israelites through the prophet Amos.  To the Israelites these words literally meant, “if you don’t follow the LORD, you’ll die.”  Aren’t you glad you and I live under the New Covenant?  The one in which Jesus has paid the price for our sins and we are completely forgiven through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection? I’m really glad we live under THAT covenant!  However, these words from the book of Amos are still true for you and me.  It’s not that we’ll physically die, it’s that when we seek the LORD we will truly LIVE!  When we put the LORD first in our lives and make Him and His Word our highest priority, then we are really living.  We are living a half full life when we seek other things above God, because none of those things will satisfy like the love, forgiveness, and wisdom of God.   That doesn’t mean we can’t have other interests, other loves, other priorities.  But God is to come first.  What do you seek?  Seek the LORD above all else, and LIVE!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Genesis 2:18

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

-Genesis 2:18 NIV

 

God had a plan when He created Adam and Eve.  He intended that husband and wife work together.  Let’s call them “teammates”.  The plan is still in place today.  Way back in Genesis 2, God said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife”.  God still intends that a man and a woman live together in marriage with the purpose of working together, serving and loving each other so that the lives of each are enriched and more fulfilling.  It’s  not easy.  There are people and things in this world that love to destroy marriages.  Pride, porn, conflicts, careers.  The marriage relationship is so unique that Jesus uses it to illustrate His relationship with the church. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  -Ephesians 5:25 NIV Jesus gave His life to save His bride, the Church, and now we look forward to the marriage feast in heaven.  If you’re married, make your marriage a priority.  If you’re not married, please pray for those who are, and know that those who are, are praying for you.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Mark 9:33-35

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”  But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Mark 9:33-35 NIV

 

What a silly thing to argue about.  How would you determine which one of the disciples was the greatest?  The greatest at what, following Jesus around?  I guess it’s human nature.  We love to be recognized.  We care too much about our status.  It was pure genius for the creators to include “likes” in their social media apps.  We become addicted.  Jesus’ message to us today is this: life is about service, not status.  After His disciples argued about who was the greatest, Jesus told them that He was going to suffer, die and rise.  He was focused on service, they were focused on status.  Jesus’ act of service resulted in forgiveness and eternal life for those who believe in Him.  Status does nothing to help others.  Now that God has blessed us with the gift of faith, now that forgiveness and eternal life are ours, let’s lay our quest for status aside and focus on serving others by helping those in any need, and sharing the message of forgiveness and eternal life with them.  Then it doesn’t matter what others think, it’s the Lord Christ we’re serving.  😊

Victory Vitamin Blog – James 3:8

“but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” 

James 3:8 NIV

 

James focuses on the tongue because the tongue helps form words.  It’s not actually the tongue that needs taming, it’s our hearts and minds that motivate us to say things we shouldn’t.  I’ve noticed that the older I get, the less I have to say.  I’m finally taking my mom’s advice: “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.”  I’m now working on pointing out the good in people and talking about that.  Every day we have the option of using our words to hurt other people, or help them?  As children of God, is there really a choice?  Why would we ever say anything hurtful to someone, or about someone?  Why?  Jesus died because He loves not just you and me.  He loves ALL people, even the ones we speak evil about.  As Jesus hung on the cross He refrained from speaking evil about those who were killing him.   Isaiah 53:7 NIV “as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”  Fill your words with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”: -Galatians 4  Fill your words with the first 8 things in that list and if you can’t, then exercise the 9th thing in that list.  In other words, if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.