Seventh-Day Adventist Church

LIVING FOR HIM with CJ COUSINS

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Daily Devotional Journal

Give Him Your Trash

You know, I never used to like taking out the trash. I mean who likes taking out the trash anyway? It smells and you’re always amazed at how quickly it accumulates. And to make it even worse, if you forget one week to put the trash out for the garbage truck, you got to sit with that trash for an entire week. And by the time the garbage truck comes the following week to get your trash, you accumulated even more smelly trash. But oh the relief, when that garbage man takes all that trash away.

You know in life we accumulate a lot of trash, don’t we. The trash of lies, broken relationships, lust, guilt, shame and past mistakes that weigh us down. But my friend, the good news is that a little over 2000 years ago, the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Messiah, came to this earth and lived a life of perfect loving obedience to the will of His Father. And then He took your trash to a hill called Calvary. Did you know that Someone paid the supreme price for your sins? His name is Jesus. And He took the trash of your sins and laid it upon Himself and died the death that you and I deserved. But then three days latter He rose from the dead, victorious over sin and death.

Today, He offers you, in place of your trash, His free gift of grace and forgiveness. I accepted this gift when I was just 12 years old. And I’ve found that when you accept this gift, He begins to live out His righteous life in you and then you begin to experience peace and joy. So why don’t you give Him your trash?

 

 

The Eternally Loving Father

I remember when I was a child living in New York, my father would lift me up on top of his shoulders and run me around the apartment. As he would do this I would grab hold of his beard and hold on for dear life. As I think back, I know that must have been excruciatingly painful for him. Yet in those moments I just knew that my father loved me.

In the Bible, God is described as three co-eternal Persons. There’s God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and then there’s God the Father. Did you know that God is the eternal Father? Now I can already hear you saying to me, “How can I relate to God as Father? My father was never around? Or “My father was abusive.” Or “My father abandoned me when I was a child.” Or “I don’t even know who my father is.”

Please hear me. If that is you, then God says to you today, “No. I am not your earthly father. I am your Heavenly Father.” And when the Bible describes what your heavenly Father is like, it says in 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” He loved you so much that, the Bible says in John 3:16, He gave His only begotten Son, that if you believe in Him, you will have eternal life. He is your eternally loving Father and He will not abandon, abuse or leave you. God says to you today, “I am your Father.”

 

 

 

Love Letters

Do you remember when you were in school and you got one of these from someone you liked? Every day you would wait in anticipation to receive that love letter from that special someone. I remember getting them in middle school and high school. And I know this may sound a little sentimental, but I used to keep them all and put them in a binder. Hey, you know you probably did the same thing too. Today we get these kinds of letters through Facebook, an email or a text message. As I would read each letter, I got to know the person who wrote it and it was almost as if that person was right there, speaking to me. Did you know that God speaks to us through the Bible today? They are His collection of love letters written for us. The Holy Scriptures are 66 books written over a period of 1500 years. They are inspired by the Holy Spirit and through it God, Himself speaks directly to us. How do I know this? Because every morning I spend quality time with God listening to Him speak to me as I read the Bible. In these sacred love letters I get to know what God is like. I see in them His character of love and I discover the story of His wonderful plan of salvation. But the best thing of all about the Bible, God’s Love Letters, is I have come to know Jesus Christ personally. And friend, my prayer is that you will read the Bible and get to know Him too.

Join Me on a Journey with Jesus

As many of you may know, who are on our facebook group, I have been posting "Today's Bible Reading" just about everyday. What you may not know is that each one of these are what I am actually studying in the Bible everyday for my devotional time with Jesus. This has been an exciting journey with Jesus! I have read the Bible through in a year a few times now, but never like this. I want to share with you, briefly, how I spend my time with Jesus. I start by choicing a Bible reading program. I personally like reading from the New and the Old testament simultaniously. Then I choose a quiet place to reflect on God. I like to start by either singing or listening to a song that helps lift my heart and thoughts to Jesus. Then I pray. I read a portion of a Chapter from the New Testament in my time with Jesus in the morning and 2 to 3 Chapters from the Old Testament in the evening/before I go to bed. Here is the cool part that has revolutionized my walk with Jesus. Whether in the morning or the evening, I ask 4 questions of what I read. 1. What aspect of God's character of love do you see in today's reading? 1st John 4:8 says that God is love and so as I read the Bible I should see that demonstrated. 2. What does today's reading tell you about Jesus or the Gospel (Good News)? In Luke 24, Jesus gives a Bible study to the disciples on the raod to Emmaus and there Jesus shows that all Scripture is a revelation of Himself and the good news of the Gospel. 3. What words or verses are really speaking to you today? 4. What is God saying directly to you in today's reading? Everyday I journal the answers to these questions based on the portion of scripture I read for the day. It has been an amazing experience. I am seeing the love of God as revealed through Jesus in remarkable ways and He is speaking directly to me each day through His word. Friends, I want you to have the same experience. Lastly I write out my prayer/praise requests and a list of people I want to see saved. The blessing of writing it down is so you can go back and see how Jesus has been moving in your life and speaking to you. I want to invite you to join me in this journey with Jesus. As you do this, post on our facebook group what the experience has been like for you. Here is the format:

Song of Praise & Worship –

Pray

Today’s Bible Reading: Acts 15:1-21; Job 34,35

 

1. What aspect of God’s character of love do you see in today’s reading?

NT:

OT:

 

2. What does today’s reading tell you about Jesus or the Gospel (Good News)?

NT:

OT:

 

3. What words or verses are really speaking to you today?

NT:

OT:

 

4. What is God saying directly to you in today’s reading?

 

 

Write down prayer requests and/or answers to prayer.

  1.  

 

 

Write down names of people you want God to save.

  1.  

God's Plan For Your Life

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

In light of a recent conversation I had with one of my friends, I realized just how much God wants us to seek Him for His plan for our lives. His thoughts towards us are of peace. His desire is to give you a future and a hope. God has dreams for your life. He has wired you a certain way, to fulfill a specific and unique purpose. The Holy Spirit has gifted you with spiritual gifts that He wants you to use and own. My friend you are unique! You don't have to be like anyone else, because you are not like anyone else. God has raised you up for this time, this generation, for such a time as this. There are people He wants to reach through you and He has designed you the way you are for a reason. So rise up! Own who you are and who you are becoming. He has a future already laid out for you. Your career, your ministry, your passion that brings you the most fulfillment He has already dreamed up! He's preparing you for it now. Enjoy the journey and own it.

New Beginning...

I am so new to this blog thing. So here goes. This will be a blog on my thoughts on Jesus, love and life. Enjoy.