Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
Galatians 3:26-29 "For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.
There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free,
there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.
And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise."
When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you were born again into the family of God. You are a child of God now, a son of God, Joint Heirs with Jesus.
-- American Standard
"but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. So that thou art no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God."
When you were born again - God’s spirit made you a new creature and we were adopted into the family of God.
Just as your natural family bears resemblance to each other. So too, should your spiritual family. You should bear a marked family resemblance to Jesus.
Others should look at you and see Jesus.
Remember, the old Hymn: "Let other’s see Jesus in you."
Think about your life.
Do others see Jesus in you? Do they see the love, peace, joy, longsuffering and compassion of Jesus?
Or do they see anger, bitterness, resentment, disinterest or a "not caring" attitude?
Father God expects us to show our spiritual family traits here on earth!
We are to be daily - hourly- minute by minute examples of Jesus’ family.
"How do I do that?" You say.
John 14:15 : " If ye love me, keep my commandments."
John 15:12: "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."
Isn’t that simple.
If we love God we will keep His commandments.
His commandment is - to love one another.
It can’t get much simpler than that!
We are to love one another. Not just our family, our husband or wives, our children, but one another. This includes your neighbor, your co-worker, you landlord, your boss, your in-laws. Everyone!
Sometime it is really hard to walk in love.
It is really hard when we think we have been done wrong.
It may be at work, someone talked ugly or rude to you, or you didn’t get the raise you thought you deserved, or the job you were promised.
It may be in your family, your husband/wife treats you bad, or he/she walked out
on you and the children. Or they spent money that should have been used for bills or food. They may be drinking too much or using drugs.
It could even be in church.
Someone criticized the way you dressed, or judged your actions or were rude or ugly to you.
Sometimes it is just as hard or harder to walk in love and appreciate a brother or sister in Christ that has hurt you, as it is to love someone not in your church.
Many time we have problems with other people. People are people. The have personalities. Some people are naturally nice, kind and considerate.
Others are brash, rude and bossy.
We will have misunderstandings in our spiritual family as well as our natural family.
But if we want to continue in close fellowship with the Father. To seek His face.
To walk with Him and talk with Him, then we cannot let anger and hurt rule in our lives.
Luke 6:27,31- "But I say unto you that hear, love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you. …. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise….And if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? for even sinners love those that love them. And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye? for even sinners do the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? even sinners lend to sinners, to receive again as much. But love your enemies, and do them good, and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.
Be ye merciful even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; "
Jesus is plainly telling us how to act here, how to act toward everyone, not just those that love us. If we love those who love us we are no better than any plain sinner. It is easy to love those who love us! But is our family resemblance to Jesus
is to show, we have to love those who hate us, love those who use us, love those who are rude and hateful to us. We have to forgive as God forgives us. And we cannot condemn others for their actions toward us. We must walk in love and forgiveness. Always! Always! Always!
So many time we are done wrong, at work, at home, at church but we have to forgive and make it right, so that our father can forgive us.
What do I mean by make it right?
We have to look at ourselves and recognize our problems , our sin, first and get forgiveness first. If we are angry and resentful, we have to ask forgiveness, If we are bitter and hurt, we have to ask forgiveness. If we have lost our temper, we have to ask forgiveness, if we talk rudely or abruptly to other, no matter how unintentional it was, we have to ask forgiveness.
Then we have to forgive them. We have to forgive their selfishness, rudeness, not caring attitude, we have to forgive their anger, bitterness and judgmental attitude.
We may need to go to that person and ask forgiveness, but we most certainly have to go to God and ask forgiveness.
I urge you today, look at your life- are there areas in it you need to change.
Do you really think you bear a strong family resemblance to Jesus.
If you don’t then pray the following prayer and get right with God and others.
Prayer of Forgiveness
Father, I ask you to forgive me of anger and bitterness.
I ask you to forgive me for judging others and criticizing those around me.
Father, I know that your spirit dwells in me, that I have your love deep inside of me and now, Father I ask that you help me let that love flow out of me, like a gushing river.
Let my family resemblance to you shine, Father.
Let others see Jesus in me.
Father, I forgive __________ , I know that they may or may not have meant to hurt me or do me wrong, but I forgive them Father and I ask that they forgive me, too.
Father, help me to have the courage to ask their forgiveness personally.
Father, I ask that your love, peace, joy and longsuffering fill me and I cast out anger, resentment, judgmental and critical behavior.
I thank you Father for your love and mercy, for your mercy endureth forever.
In Jesus’ name I pray:
If you want to know for sure that you are a child of God, then I would like to invite you to earnestly pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.