God Our Great Deliverer

Our heavenly Father is the giver of every good gift. His mercies are vast, powerful, and real. His love has the ability to completely overwhelm and satisfy every one of our needs. Everything he gives us satisfies, transforms, and leads us to abundant life. As we spend this week stirring up our affections toward God, allow your heart to become soft and open. Allow his loving character to draw you close and provide life to every dry and weary place in your soul.

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“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.”

Psalm 32:7

Our God, who delivered Daniel from the clutches of ferocious lions, David from countless pursuers, Israel from the entire nation of Egypt, and Lazarus from three days of death, promises to deliver us from whatever schemes the world has set against us. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 says, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”

When we call upon the Lord our God, he works in mighty, mysterious, and perfect ways. God is perfectly able to do any and every work it takes to deliver us. Whether you need deliverance from sin, affliction, lies, or sickness, God has the power and desire to deliver you. He is both mighty and loving. He is both mysterious and real. He is both servant and King. And he sees your need and longs to meet you exactly where you are.

What enemy comes against you today? What stress, circumstance, sickness, or sin seems to have entangled you? The Lord says to you, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16). Hold fast to the hand of your heavenly Father. Don’t just put your head down and muscle through whatever circumstance is before you. Instead, call on your Great Deliverer, place your hand in his, and allow him to guide you, equip you, and empower you for whatever stands in your way.

God loves to take the very circumstance that seemed insurmountable and use it to reveal to you the reality of his power and love. He loves to take the walls of Jericho that seem to stand between you and your dreams and cast down the enemy that you couldn’t defeat on your own.

Psalm 32:7 says, “You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” God is surrounding you with his shouts today. The question is, will you have the patience and faith to pause, open your ears, listen, and follow wherever he leads you?

Spend time in prayer allowing God to deliver you, protect you, comfort you, guide you, and give you peace.

Pastor Billy

 

Sanctification in the Holy Spirit

The word “sanctification” typically renders images of fire, struggle, pain, and toil in my mind. It makes me think of my own sin and wonder how I could ever be transformed into a sanctified child of God. I believe sanctification is one of those words commonly used within the church but often misunderstood. We might understand the definition of sanctification (the process of being made or becoming holy), but I don’t know if we have fully grasped God’s plan for the process. I don’t know if we’ve been taught on sanctification in light of God’s grace.

1 Peter 1 gives us wonderful insight into God’s heart for the process of sanctification:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:1-9).

The first thing we see in 1 Peter 1:2 is that sanctification is “of the Spirit.” Sanctification comes from God working in us, not from our own strength. In fact, Scripture is clear that righteousness is ours as the result of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” And 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” Sanctification comes from God’s work and power. In our own strength we can’t produce anything like sanctification because we have no holiness within ourselves. But in the Holy Spirit we have access to a vast, deep well of righteousness and godliness. Through Christ we’ve been made clean, and through the work of the Holy Spirit we are growing up into a life of holiness.

1 Peter 1 is most definitely clear that sanctification is a tough process. Dealing with our sin will never be easy. But it is a process full of the work of our merciful God (1 Peter 1:3), and it always results in rejoicing (1 Peter 1:8).

If you desire holiness, righteousness, and godliness, seek out relationship with the Holy Spirit. Open your heart and mind to his work. Allow him to reveal to you the dark places of your heart that have yet to be touched by the capable, loving hands of the God who formed you and knows you. Allow him to heal the wounds and brokenness that have tied you to the world, which you’ve been set free from through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Sanctification is ours by God’s grace and mercy. Spend time in prayer allowing God to deal with your sin and lead you to a life of rejoicing and joy where only sin and sorrow dwelled before.
Pastor Billy Sigudla

Our Righteousness in Jesus Christ

Living an unveiled lifestyle is the way in which we experience the fullness of what’s available to us in our restored relationship with God. It’s a powerful lifestyle of faith, direct encounters with our heavenly Father, and life transformation. It’s when we live our lives in light of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that we begin to experience all his death was purposed to bring us. God longs for his children to walk in intimacy with him directly connected to his wellspring of love for us. I trust that you enjoyed your church service this Sunday morning. May you experience a more tangible, loving, and powerful connection with your heavenly Father this coming week ahead.

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For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:21

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2 Corinthians 5:14-21 describes one of the most powerful outcomes of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross. Scripture says,For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus’ death on the cross defeated the power of sin and darkness and set us free to walk in the glorious light of righteousness. You and I have been transformed by the power of Jesus’ death. He took every sin we would ever commit and bore the entirety of their penalty. Through the death of Jesus, you and I are now free to live as new creations formed in the righteous and holy image of our heavenly Father.

When God tore the veil, he demonstrated that our sin and depravity couldn’t hold back his presence any longer. Thousands of years of pent-up longing for restored relationship burst forth proclaiming the newfound nature of God’s people who would choose to accept and follow Jesus.

There is no more important way to end this week of pursuing a greater connection to our heavenly Father than accepting our new standing before God. Even though Jesus defeated the power of sin in our lives, our great enemy continues to tempt us, lie to us, and steal from us the abundant life God intends. He continues to try to rob God of what he so fully deserves: unencumbered relationship with his children.

Satan lies to us and tells us that sin still causes God to withhold himself from us. We allow condemnation that is not of God to creep in and cause us to believe that our heavenly Father doesn’t want to be with us. But the truth is, God always wants to be with his children. God runs out to us, calls us his beloved, wraps us with honor and his righteousness, and leads us into his glorious embrace.

Take time and renew your mind to your righteousness in Jesus. Ask the Spirit for fresh revelation of your freedom from sin and allow your longings to be satisfied in God rather than the world today.

Pastor Billy Sigudla

Those Who Mourn