Green is the color of things that grow. Things that are fresh like grass and blooming like a tree.
Have you ever had a garden? Or maybe you’ve worked on a farm. If you have, you know the hard work required to help things grow. Flowers or crops don’t simply sprout and grow without labor. You plant and water and weed and water and weed and water and weed.
In the same way, growing in Christ isn’t something that occurs without hard work. When you become God's child, He wants you to grow.Jesus desires you get to know Him better.
Maybe you are new in your faith and you are excited to start growing in Jesus. Or maybe you have been a follower of Jesus for a long time and you haven’t grown as much as you desire? No matter where you are in your growth, there are some specific ways you can grow.
If you want to grow, you must be fed by God’s Word. Just like a garden plant needs to be fed, we must be fed spiritually. God’s Word is given to accomplish just that. Studying and considering the Bible is an invaluable habit that requires development.
Another way to ensure growth is by dealing with sin. Sin keeps growth from happening. However, God promises in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This means that when you sin you can to tell God and He will always forgive you. He will make you clean.
If you want to keep growing, you will find you advance much faster when you join with God’s people, the church. Understand the importance of surrounding yourself with people – people who can pour into your life. We believe strongly in the power of community, discipleship, and fellowship. When a follower of Jesus leans into community, they are protected, supported and encouraged in their growth.
What are some of the things that keep a follower of Jesus from growing?
When was a season of greatest spiritual growth in your life? Why was it so fruitful?
Father, I want to grow. Reveal to me the places that hinder my walk with You and forgive me for my sin. Remind me, through Your Word, of the truths and promises You have for me. Surround me with people who love You and show me ways to help them grow. I want to be different. I want to be changed. Make me more like Your son. You are the only One who can truly change me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Red is the color of roses. It’s the color of sunsets and strawberries. And it’s the shade of blood. It’s the complexion of love and life.
Red is the color of life-giving gift and life-ending loss. Red is the color of the sacrifice—Christ crucified on a cross.
Nowhere is the red more vivid than on the cross. Jesus, God's perfect Son, became man and lived a perfect life. Consider this: He was the only person in all of history to ever live His entire life without sinning. He was perfect. And yet this perfect God-man was murdered on a cross. His blood shed for us. It was because of us He died. It was for us He died.
The ancient law of God required a blood sacrifice if there was to be forgiveness of sins. So Jesus took the punishment for something He didn't even do. He willingly took our judgment for every sin. The punishment was death—the payment was His blood. And the Lord Jesus knew that the only way that our sin could be forgiven would be if He would die for us.
Jesus died for your sins.
As He died, the Lord Jesus cried out, "It is finished." Everything that needed to be done for your sins to be taken away had been done by Him on the cross.
This is the wonder-working power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Yet how often do we forget the value of His blood? Every white lie and every selfish thought, how much blood and pain and agony did that cost Him?
Every day we must return to the cross—in all its gruesomeness and gore. We must remember the cost of our sin, the debt we owed.
We owed a debt we could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.
So when you see red today, let it remind you of the blood. Let it remind you of Christ’s love.
1. Why is it important to regularly keep your eyes fixed on the cross?
2. How would a more cross-focused perspective influence your day?
Father, I am so grateful for your Son, Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice on the cross. Forgive me for when I take it for granted. Remind me again of the power of the blood of Jesus. Help me live in the power and freedom of the cross today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Black is the darkness of sin. It is dirt and it is of sin.
Sin is everything that breaks God’s law. It is anything we do or say or think or even feel that is against God’s desire. Sin shouldn’t have to be explained or defined—we should all know what sin is, though we might not admit it.
The Bible says that everyone has sinned—it plainly says, "for all have sinned" (Romans 3:23)
So the darkness of sin covers our world. Sin envelopes everything we see. It overshadows our relationships. It eclipses our desires. But it’s even more personal than this—sin darkens you.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and tried to find something in the dark? You stumble and trip over unseen obstacles. You search and search, feeling every object closely, trying to find it. Eventually, you realize the light must be turned on. Only when the lamp lights the room do you realize the hurdles you navigated in the dark.
Overcoming sin is much the same way. When we are living in sin, we stumble around in the dark looking for hope and freedom. How foolish we are to think we can navigate the obstacles in relationships and life while still in the dark. And as we search for peace we often create more harm.
In searching for purity, we deceive ourselves. In our bitterness, we hurt others. In our selfishness, we become greedy.
We don’t always realize how in the dark we really are. We want to believe we can overcome the hindrances on our own. And in the process, we are injured. We are wounded.
Where do you carry the wounds of stumbling in the darkness? Those black-and-blue wounds of sin don’t often heal quickly.
So what is it that turns on the light? What is it that illuminates our steps pushes back the blackness?
1. Why do we think we can overcome the darkness of sin on our own?
2. What wounds did you experience in the darkness of sin that are still healing today?
Heavenly Father, I want to live in the light. For too long I lived in the blackness of sin and I long to be free. Release me from the darkness in me. Give me grace to overcome the darkness that surrounds me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
When children play in the mud, it doesn’t just get on their hands. It gets everywhere.
In their hair. On their face. Between their toes. Kids get mud in places you didn’t think they could mud.
And every parent knows the rule for a muddy child—Go directly to the bathtub!
Only after a lengthy scrubbing does the mud and dirt finally come off. The muddy clothes are thrown in the hamper. A fresh warm towel is taken off the shelf. Is there any better feeling in the world than putting on fresh pajamas and jumping into bed with a fresh pair of sheets?
That is clean.
Wouldn’t it be nice if getting clean spiritually were that easy?
In truth it may be simpler to get that spiritually clean. God’s Word tells us, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Do you want to be clean? Are you ready to experience the washing work of Jesus? “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
White is the color of purity and newness. It is clean and fresh—immaculate and unblemished. When was the last time you felt that spiritually clean, wholly white?
This type of purity can only be offered through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. He suffered and died, but it did not end there. He overcame death and the grave, and His resurrection is our assurance—death is defeated, sin is overcome, we are victorious, you are clean!
So when you see white, let it remind you of the completed work of Christ. You can boldly say, ‘O Death where is your victory? ‘O Death where is your sting? He’s alive so we can live (1 Corinthians 15:55).
1. What keeps us from confessing our sin and finding cleansing in Jesus’ faithfulness?
2. How can you live more confidently in the finished work of Jesus’ resurrection today?
Father, I need Your cleansing. I want to white. I confess my sin and I fall on Your justice and faithfulness. You are gracious and You are good. Show me your mercy again. Make me pure. I am victorious because of Your victory. I want to live in your resurrection power today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Earth is Yours
Not A Word
No Turning Back
Man of Sorrows
Look who we Killed
Lift Your Head Weary Sinner
Good Friday 2015
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