Monday, June 23, 2014

O What Love!

John 3:16 (NASB) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Sometimes we just need a reminder of what God sacrificed to reconcile us to Himself. He gave EVERYTHING He had to redeem us from eternal death. He gave His son; the son gave his life. There is no greater love than this. At our very best, we deserve eternal damnation. Mercy pitied us, and grace overlooked our many faults.

All of our past, present, and future transgressions were whipped into Jesus’ flesh when He was beaten and crucified. When I think about it, I can’t help but ask why. Why would He give Himself up for people who hated Him? He knew that we (humans) were going to mock, reject, and kill Him, and yet He came anyway! There was no other way for us to be redeemed. Blood had to be shed, but animal blood only offered temporary pardon. There was only one way to have permanent remission of sins.

Jesus Christ had to die. His blood had to be shed. He was the perfect, blameless Lamb of God, and the only sacrifice acceptable to God forever. FOREVER. FOREVER. FOREVER. It’s done, finished, complete. It will never have to be done again. It was the perfect plan for the perfect sacrifice made by a perfect God for very imperfect people. I am amazed that He would think so highly of someone as messed up as me. I am beyond grateful for His unfailing love, aren’t you?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Love Each Other Together

1 John 4:20 (NASB) If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

It seems so simple, yet we have a problem loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. Anyone who doesn’t agree with us or doesn’t do things the way we do is shunned, ridiculed, and ostracized. Denominational barriers have us confused on the true purpose of our lives. We are to be the salt of the earth, beacons of light in the darkness. Jesus Christ died for the whole world, and we need to be on a mission for the whole world.

The body of Christ (Christians) could be so much more effective if we weren’t fighting among ourselves over doctrine and traditions. I’m pretty sure that we agree that Jesus Christ gave us the commission to go into the entire world, teaching and baptizing. We need to step back from our traditions long enough to see the dying world and evangelize it. The plan of salvation is not as complicated as some of our faith groups would have people believe. Romans 10:9 says to confess and believe.

I am not advocating throwing in with religions that don’t believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. I am advocating throwing away barriers that don’t have a basis in obedience to God. Men have created a bunch of rules that God has not, and then hold people to those standards that they have created. We have too much work to do to get hung up on human traditions. Let’s go into the entire world TOGETHER, and show them God’s love.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Jesus Paid It All

Jesus paid it all; all to him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain;
He washed it white as snow.

Jesus Christ finished it on the cross. There is nothing else that we can do to earn our salvation. There is no laundry list of requirements for Christ to receive you. You just have to believe in Him, and make Him Lord of your life. His sacrifice allows you the privilege to come before a Holy God. If not for the blood of Christ, we would be banished from the presence of God forever.

God loved us just that much. He gave up His only son to reconcile us to Himself. Who does that? And furthermore, what kind of ingrate refuses that kind of love? We owe Him everything. He chose the nails; He chose the cross. He chose US. Even though we disappoint Him over and over again, He keeps choosing us. He keeps redeeming us. He keeps interceding for us. He insists on making us clean before the Father.

We have nothing to offer Him in return except ourselves. We can surrender our lives in allegiance to Him, but we have no way to repay the debt we owe. In the contemporary version of “Jesus Paid It All,” there is a refrain that goes: “Oh, praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead.” We were deader than dead, and yet Jesus Christ raised us to life in Him. There are no words that we can use to describe our deliverance from the grave. We were stained, and He cleansed us completely. There isn’t even the slightest residue of the stain remaining. He washed it white as snow.