“Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to Me again…” Revelation 2:5 NLT

The two-year old had been sleeping beside her mother—safe and warm. But late one frigid February night she climbed out of the bed and wandered out the front door. When her mother found her the next morning Erika appeared to be frozen. Her legs and body were stiff and there were no signs of life.

Miraculously, doctors were able to revive little Erika and today she is completely healthy with no memory of her time in the frozen valley of the shadow of death. As followers of Jesus we have basked in the warm and secure presence of our Father. However, with the ignorance of children, we can stray from His loving arms and follow the allure of living on our terms rather than God’s. A sense of coldness, confusion and isolation are the inevitable results. God is still there but we don’t experience His presence, love, power and hope. Revelation 2:5 says, "Turn back to me again." The Bible calls this repentance. It’s more than simply feeling guilty. It means turning from going your own independent, self-centered way to embracing God's will for your life. You put one foot in front of the other, and go back to His waiting arms. This is the only way back to a vibrant relationship with Him. Repentance is the critical point, the defining moment in being restored to our first love with God. Sometimes we need to do it multiple times a day. That’s ok! God’s mercy and grace covers each and every one. His arms are wide open.

Your View of God Really Matters…

Have you wandered away from your first love? Turn around today and return to the loving embrace of your heavenly Father. Because of His mercy you can return. Repent and then live each moment knowing you are wrapped in His loving arms.

Read God’s Word Today…

Revelation 3:19 NLT “I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”

John 8:12 NLT “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

GOD, because You are Merciful I will repent of my sin.

Based on the writings of Bill Bright

©2020 Bright Media Foundation

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“…He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44b NLT

It’s hard to know what is true and what is “fake news.”

Because our secular society has rejected God’s holy inspired Word as the absolute standard for truth, we have lost our reference point for reality. Now our society often defines truth based on public opinion polls. We live in a media culture of sizzle and hype which influences public thinking. Advertising hucksters and spin-doctors are constantly at work to influence our thinking about events and issues. Educational institutions promote diversified views at the expense of truth. Even many journalists are no longer satisfied with reporting the facts. Instead, they slant the news to fit their own, often anti-God, interpretation.

This is the nature of the world system controlled by Satan who is the father of lies (John 8:44). These masters of deception, distortion, and manipulation take truth out of context or give only half-truths. Anyone who accepts this world system becomes bound up in deception, manipulation, lies and ignorance. Many Christians, sadly, have bought into these lies.

But God’s truth is a light that shows us the difference between falsehood and truth. Jesus taught, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12). Without His truth, we are left to grope about in spiritual darkness. But His light frees us to see and do what is right and good.

Your view of God really matters…

Satan was the first to manipulate the facts, distort the truth and make use of “fake” news in order to deceive. Never underestimate the power of a well told lie.

God’s people are called to be shrewd as snakes and yet innocent as doves. Knowing His Word helps us do both at the same time. Be sure you are reading the Bible every day and using it as the grid through which everything passes. It will shine the light on the lies and deception of the enemy and show you what the truth really is.

Read God’s Word Today…

John 8:31 NLT “Jesus said to the people who believed Him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

GOD, because You are absolute truth, I will believe what You say and live accordingly.

Based on the writings of Bill Bright

©2020 Bright Media Foundation

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“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:11 NLT

Have you ever wondered what went through the disciples' minds between Palm Sunday and Good Friday? The Bible doesn’t tell us.

One thing, however, does seem clear; eleven of the disciples had no idea what was coming on Friday and the twelfth was foolishly oblivious to what was coming for him on Saturday. They should have known. Jesus had told them. The Scriptures foretold it. But they focused on the wrong things and they missed it.

The disciples seemed to hear either what they wanted to hear or expected to hear, rather than what Jesus was really saying.

Are we falling into the same trap? Are we focusing on the wrong things and missing what God has done and continues to do?

Maybe God will use a pandemic to draw our focus back to Him; to His plan (not ours), to His power (not ours), to His faithfulness, mercy, love and holiness.

You and I know that Good Friday is coming.

Friday. The day Jesus voluntarily gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sin. Let’s enter into Good Friday by remembering why He had to do die in the first place. Let’s spend time confessing our sin and repenting (turning away from sin and toward God). Let’s confess our personal sins and the sins of our country. Let’s mourn the fact that Jesus had to suffer on our behalf. Let’s humble ourselves.

We cannot experience the powerful joy of Easter Sunday until we have faced the darkness of our sin. Good Friday should be a sober day, an unveiling day but it is also a day that holds hope. We know Friday is coming, but so is Sunday.

Your view of God really matters…

Some will say that because we are in the middle of a pandemic we should focus on happy things. The thing is, God doesn’t want us to settle for “happy”. He wants us to experience true, life-giving joy. We can’t know His joy when we are carrying the burden of sin.

Because God is Holy and Just He could not turn a blind eye to our sin. Because God is perfect Love He could not let the ravages of sin engulf us with no hope of victory. Because God is sovereign, He planned for Good Friday before He hung the stars in space and breathed life into mankind. Because God is all powerful, He broke the chains of sin and death and gave us a way to experience His love, joy and peace. Because God is God… Sunday is coming.

Read God’s Word Today…

James 4:7-10 NLT “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.”

James 5:1-4 NLT “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you.”

GOD, because You are Holy I will confess my sins and humble myself before You.

By Kathy Bright

©2020 Bright Media Foundation

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