God’s Grace

grace

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Timothy 1:9

Grace. It has become one of the words we sing about. We use the phrase as a part of our “Christianese.” But has it become just a word that we casually and haphazardly use without grasping its immensity or the depths of its richness in our lives? Welcome to this new week of Freedom Fighters. I am thankful today that you are part of our family. God’s family. A family blessed by and with the grace of God.

I recently read this powerful devotional that hones in on some of the richness of this word grace:

Salvation: You are saved by grace. The forgiveness of your sins, your justification before God, your redemption from the slavery of sin, your deliverance from evil, and your future home in heaven are yours today because of grace.

Sufficiency: Grace enables you to do all God calls you to do today. Success is not based today upon what you can accomplish, but upon what He will do through you. Grace is not about your strength, but about His mighty power working in you, even in the time of your greatest weakness.

Edification: Grace builds you up, lifts you up, and keeps you standing. Grace is heard in the sound of God’s voice speaking over and over into your ear, “I am for you today. I am with you today. I am the source of everything good, everything lovely, everything holy, and everything mighty.”

Hope: Grace assures you of a glorious future and an overwhelming inheritance that is yours in Jesus Christ. Grace leads you on, cheers you on, and moves you on into all that is in God’s heart for you.

Victory: Grace brings to you all that is yours in Christ. You are victorious today because Jesus is the triumphant One. You are more than a conqueror because He has conquered all. You are above all things because all things are under His feet. You reign in life because He reigns—King of kings and Lord of lords.

Abundance: Where sin once abounded, grace abounds even more. Where darkness ruled, grace overruled. Where death held you in cruel bondage, grace brought you into a glorious new freedom. Grace is never poured out to you like raindrops, but like a cascading waterfall.

Purity: Grace is the doorway into the beauty of God’s holiness. Grace is never a license to sin, a freedom to sin, or a cloak for sin. Grace brings us into a life that is greater than what sin could ever offer us. Grace extends the hand that lifts us out of the miry clay, throws the rope that pulls us from the deepest pit, and lights the flame that brings us out of the darkest cave.

Gifting: Gifts that come to you from God are grace gifts. His grace gifts to you will be different than the grace gifts He gives to others. Grace does not play favorites. The gifts that have been given to you from God are the perfect gifts that are needed for you to fulfill His will and His calling in your life. From Today is Your Best Day – Roy Lessin

This ought to leave us speechless! It should cause your heart to soar. It should bring tears to your eyes, and maybe make you fall to your knees in praise and adoration. God’s amazing grace! I trust that this reminder encouraged you today. Don’t take for granted the amazing grace of God.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Gen 24-27 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: God enables you to do all that God calls you to do today. – Roy Lessin

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, And my soul, which You have redeemed. Psalm 71:23

Twas the Day That Jesus Was Born Christ

Christmas gift

Twas the Day That Jesus Was Born

Twas the day that Jesus was born 2000 years ago The fulfillment of prophecies many years foretold. A day that would change the course of history A day that would make a change in our destiny.

The gifts are all unwrapped, just a temporary thrill, God’s Son, the best gift, would die on a hill. He was born to die to pay for our sin He rose from the grave so eternal life could begin.

The indescribable gift that Father has given Is something to celebrate for we are forgiven. His gift includes His mercy and grace – A guarantee that in heaven we will see His dear face.

I am thankful today that my kids and my grands Have believed and trusted in God’s greatest plan. For they have trusted in Christ Jesus, and in Him alone. We’ll worship Him forever together around His throne.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from America’s Keswick

Think About This: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (NIV)

Victory Over Temptation – Part #1

It happened again. It’s my second wake-up call in two months. Another ministry friend had to resign from his position because of poor choices. It is painful. It is heart-breaking. It could be you or me.

Yesterday I was the morning Bible teacher at the Colony of Mercy Chapel service and I was preaching as much to myself as to the men in the program as well as our guests.

Each week we do a theme for the men and ironically, and no coincidence, the theme of the week is Victory Over Temptation. It didn’t hit me until yesterday that the theme is not victory over SIN. But isn’t that the ultimate goal?

Victory over temptation is heading off sin at the pass. The implication is that you and I can take the necessary steps, plan a strategy to prevent and keep us from sin.

Charles Swindol shared these three principles that I believe we need to burn into the hard-drive of our hearts and minds:

1. Sin will ALWAYS TAKE you FURTHER than you want to GO.

2. Sin will ALWAYS COST you MORE than you are willing to PAY.

3. Sin will always KEEP you LONGER than you want to STAY.

If we are really honest, there is NO ONE who couldn’t give testimony that those three principles are not true. We are all at different places on the continuum, but if we don’t make a change or do as the Bible says, “Repent = turn and face a different direction” – we are heading for the cliff called destruction.

The Bible is filled with illustrations of men and women whose stories support the above principles. Knowing how NOT GO THERE is understanding temptation and knowing in advance HOW to overcome temptation and destroy the impact of our sin.

So for the next couple of weeks, I want to share with you what I shared with the men in my message: Preparing for Temptation – What IS Your Battle Plan?

Are you ready to dive in? We’ve all been there. So let’s explore it together. I have five points but there are probably more.

1. Identify your area of weakness. I am sure you already know it. But my guess is that part of the strategy by naming it helps you to put a face to it.

Your area of weakness will fall in one of the three categories that John wrote about. Check out 1 John 2:16-17 “For all that is in the world – the LUST OF THE FLESH, the LUST OF THE EYES, and the PRIDE OF LIFE – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

This isn’t new – it’s been the enemies plan since the Garden of Eden. Satan came at Adam and Eve with these three things.

The lust of the flesh can be summed up in the three words: I WANT IT and usually in reference to our passions. The lust of the eyes is summed up in the words: I SEE IT and often refers to possessions. The pride of life: I WANT TO BE and trips up men with their need for success and status.

Reminder: Satan went after Jesus with those same three issues when Jesus face him during the temptation. So let’s not think that WE are exempt. If he went after the Son of God, he must certainly wants YOU and ME.

The good news is that Jesus got it right. Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in ALL points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

What is the area where you already know you are weak? That is most likely the area where you will have the greatest level of temptation.

See you next week!

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 143; Proverbs 24

Daily Quote: Quote: Most people who fly from temptation usually leave a forwarding address.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. ~Philippians 3:7

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Praying Powerfully III

Join us tonight, October 13, 2016 for Men’s Fellowship Night with guest speaker, Dr. Joe Basile from Grace Bible Fellowship, Bayonne!  Call now and make your reservations, 800.453.7942!

Afro American businessman

“Now, O LORD, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. (2 Kings 20:3)

Isaiah the prophet informed King Hezekiah that his life has reached its end and encouraged him to tie up all his loose ends. Hezekiah was a man known for prayer and his obedience to the Lord. But like most of us, he had issues and at this point he was very sick. He prayed; and before Isaiah left his kingdom the Lord mentions, “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you.”

This raises a debate to whether God changed His mine or did He already want to deliver Hezekiah and was waiting for the king to line up with His will. Nevertheless, the focus is on how intensely he prayed or as describes he wept bitterly.

When was the last time you wept over your sin, or the condition of the saints, your country, your family? We have become too casual in our prayer life that we check it off our to-do-list, or we think that we need to sound spiritual, or use the right vernacular. Prayer is more than just communication with God; it’s our lifeline.

“In my deepest, darkest moments, what really got me through was a prayer. Sometimes my prayer was ‘Help me.’ Sometimes a prayer was ‘Thank you.’ What I’ve discovered is that intimate connection and communication with my creator will always get me through because I know my support, my help, is just a prayer away.” Iyanla Vanzant

There is so much more to prayer then what we discussed, but the Bible illustrates various ways in how we can approach it. You want true change? It starts and ends in prayer.

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 132; Proverbs 13

Daily Quote: “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Martin Luther

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. ~2 Corinthians 4:16

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The Art of Being Out-Gunned | Part One


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 130; Proverbs 11

Daily Quote: To the natural man, the very notion of loving his enemies is an intolerable offence, and quite beyond his capacity: it cuts right across his ideas of good and evil. More important still, to man under the law, the idea of loving his enemies is clean contrary to the law of God, which requires men to sever all connection with their enemies and to pass judgement on them. Jesus, however, takes the law of God in His own hands and expounds its true meaning. The will of God, to which the law gives expression, is that men should defeat their enemies by loving them.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. ~2 Corinthians 4:16

CLICK HERE to sign-up to receive this devotional via email each morning!