I was thinking the other day about the love of God. As I was thinking some thoughts came to me so I wrote them down. I am going to take the next few days and share them with you.
John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
I want to look at the truth that God’s love is exceptional. The first word of our verse is “Greater”. The word “Greater” means larger (figuratively, specially, in age). taken from the Strong’s Concordance.
So, John is trying to tell us that God has loved us for a long time. In eternity past God looked down through time and saw that human beings would need a Saviour. He saw our sin problem.
As He looked at us He knew that He would have to provide that payment for our sin. That is where Jesus steps in and goes to the cross and dies as the Sinless Lamb of God. His sacrifice paid the debt of sin for each person who will receive Him as their Saviour.
I chose the word “exceptional” for a reason. It means far beyond what is usual in magnitude or degree, surpassing what is common, usual or expected (taken from the Word Web dictionary). It took just exactly this. It took someone who was sinless and perfect. Only Jesus could pay that sin.
So, how are you doing?
Today is Memorial Day 2015. This is the day set aside to honor the fallen men and women of our nation’s military. I hope you take the time or have taken the time to honor these brave men and women who have paid for our freedom with their lives.
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. It was a time where the graves of Civil War soldiers were decorated. It eventually came to be called Memorial Day and all soldiers that gave their lives were honored.
Our freedom was purchased by the blood of these men and women that answered the nation’s call. My greatest regret in life is that I never served my country in the military. If I had enlisted I would have been in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Needless to say I might not have been here to write this piece. This is a sobering thought.
There is a popular saying going around and it goes, “If you can read thank a teacher. If you can read in English thank a soldier.” There is a lot of truth there.
Yet, even the American soldier cannot provide the freedom that we have in Christ. He is the ultimate Freedom Giver. When you come to put your faith and trust in Jesus then you have the ultimate freedom. There is no earthly king that can provide that for you or I. Only Jesus can give true freedom to all who want it and are willing to receive it. All you must do is trust Him. Put your faith and trust in Jesus today and rest in the truth that you can know that when you die you will spend eternity in Heaven. John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Yesterday as I stood before the people gathered I challenged them with the thought that is today’s blog title. In other words, what is important to you.
To so many people in my life that suffer from COPD, air is a necessary thing. I mean, if you do not have air then you will eventually cease to have life.
Look at Matthew 6:19-20, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”
What it important to you? There are the necessities like air, water, food and the like. Now, think about this and think about it in relation to your relationship to the LORD Jesus Christ. Do you want Him more than necessary food? How about more than water or air?
I am seeing far too many people who come to the end of their lives. I wonder if they have made preparation or not. If Jesus is not important to you then I beg you to reconsider and make Him a priority in your life. Your first priority needs to be to trust Him as your Saviour. Then you can begin to lay up treasure in Heaven.
I am sure that while people watched the Super Bowl the other evening there was at least one banner containing John 3:16. There usually is at major sporting events. I am thankful for someone who would do this. They are doing what they can to get the message out.
I cannot think of any greater gift that God the Father could have given to fallen man. We have a problem. It is a sin problem. No matter how good we think we are. No matter how intellectual we think we are. No matter what, we cannot ensure that we will spend eternity based upon any thing we can do ourselves.
The words of John 3:16 are some of the most quoted words of all Scripture. They rank up there with Psalm 23 and “judge not that you be not judged”.
Look at John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” You want to talk about “A Gift From God”. There it is. There is the greatest Gift ever given in all of time and eternity. Jesus humbled Himself and became a man; in flesh, and lived so that you and I can live for eternity with Him. All we must do is be sorry for our sin and ask Him for forgiveness. It is so simple that people cannot “get it”. If you trust Him today then Heaven will be your eternal home.
Who does not like to receive gifts? If you don’t let me know and you can forward all of your gifts to our house. At Christmas my toys were always practically worn out by the time I got to play with them. My father would play and play with them. Such is life, I guess.
I like to give gifts. It is fun to see people’s reactions to their gifts. Why is it that people seem to reject the gift of God? Actually, there is more than just one Gift from God. Most people associate the Gift of God to be Jesus Christ. This is true.
You and I have a problem. Nobody wants to hear about problems. Here is the thing. If we bring up the problem then we can formulate a plan to solve the problem
Man’s biggest problem is sin. The great thing is that God formulated a plan before the foundation of the world. Look at Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The problem is sin. The plan is that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price of our sin. He did this for every man, woman, boy and girl that every was, is or ever will be born. He is the Plan to pay the debt we owe.
All you and I must do is realize that we are a sinner and we need a Saviour. Then we can put our faith and trust in Him and be saved. That is the greatest gift God has ever given.
As I was thinking about this experience today I thought about Aaron, Nadab and Abihu. It is not too long that we find Aaron falling. In Exodus 32 we find the chapter opening with Aaron commanding the men to take the earrings of their wives, sons and daughters and to bring them to him. He takes this gold and forms a golden calf and tells the children of Israel that this is now their god. What?
What happened to Exodus 24:1-2, “And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.”? Aaron was one of the chosen to approach the LORD. Moses was asked to come into His presence; but, Aaron was called up to a certain point.
It is no guarantee that we will always be obedient. We have a sin nature and sometimes we allow it to reign in our lives. Aaron experienced a huge failure. It not only cost him; but, it cost the children of Israel too.
When Moses came back down the mountain and found the deplorable, spiritual condition of the people he threw the ten commandments down in anger and broke them. Then in judgement the calf was ground up and the ashes mingled and the Israelites made to drink the mixture. God dealt harshly with His people after they failed in a major way.
Now, you and I have failed deeply too. Yet, if we know Christ as our Saviour He has taken our judgement. God dealt harshly with His Son on our behalf. He has take our judgement for us. In order to be exonerated we must put our faith and trust in Christ and receive Him as our Saviour.
If you need to trust Christ as your Saviour please contact me and let me show you how you can do just that.
On Christmas Eve I posted about king Herod. As I was looking over that post waiting for my computer to unfreeze and move on I noticed something I had written. Take a look at this:
“It all started when Herod received word of a King to be born in Bethlehem. Look at Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” This word “troubled” means to stir or agitate. Herod was an unhappy camper. He was the sitting king of that day and he would have nobody else dethrone him if at all possible. I don’t know too many rulers that want to be dethroned. It usually means death to the sitting king.”
What sent me off thinking was my last sentence. “It usually means death to the sitting king.” I began to think about the Christian life. We talk about Jesus being on the throne of our life. We talk a nice talk; but, when the rubber meets the road do we are really allow Jesus to be our King or is He some spiritual genie in a bottle to give us what we want, when we want? Only you can answer that question for yourself. Be honest because Jesus knows your heart.
We struggle in life because there is a battle raging inside of us. The flesh wars against the spirit. The one we feed will be the winner. For us to make Jesus our King then the flesh has to die. Remember the conquering king normally kills the king that is conquered. It is the same in the spiritual realm. When Jesus comes in He destroys the works of the flesh when we are totally yielded to Him. There is the problem. We must be totally yielded to Him.
A little boy wrote in a class assignment in a Christian school, “When the wise guys from the east side arrived they found Jesus and the manager.” I thought about this as I was contemplating all the Christmas parties different people are having. Mind you, my invitations must have been lost in the mail.
We spend countless hour and even dollars in an attempt to make everything perfect. I don’t know about you; but, I have never hosted “the perfect party” and I have never attended one either. So, why go to all of the pain and agony? We want to impress our friends and family. Plain and simple. We want them to have an enjoyable time and deep down inside we want our party to be the talk of the town in a good way.
This seems to me to be quite a contrast to our LORD. The King of kings and LORD of lords humbled Himself and became like us. He was in human flesh as He lived and walked on earth.
In stark contrast, His entrance into this world was humble and not the event of the year. It was truly the event of all time and eternity, truthfully. Look at Luke’s description in the book named for him in Luke 2:12, “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” There was no fanfare. This was His humble beginning as He was living life in obedience to His Father. He was moving toward the cross.
The day we live in is a dark day for sure. One thing that brings me much sadness is how America has forsaken God. We have forced Him out of our schools and there is a daily onslaught to remove Him from every aspect of American society.
Today I want to exhort you to “Hold Fast” to Christ. Look at Hebrews 3:6, “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” When disaster hits where do we go? We cry out to the LORD Jesus Christ. We cry out, “Oh God save me!” We must get back to that attitude before tragedy strikes.
Too many people are letting go of Christ. The great thing is that no matter if we let Him go, He will never let us go if we are His child. This makes me extremely thankful!
People have replaced Church attendance with entertainment both inside and outside the walls of Church buildings. We have replaced tithing with excessive spending. We have replaced the Holy Spirit of the Living God with feelings. In other words, we have replaced the real thing for the most counterfeit.
It is high time for you and I to get back to where the Word of God says we need to be and when we get there we need to “Hold Fast” to Christ.
In the past two days we have looked at Jesus is the man of Sorrow, the man of Sympathy. Today we will look at another attribute of Jesus.
Jesus is the Man of Salvation. If it were not for Jesus there would be no salvation. He is the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world (John:1:28). He is our sin bearer. Jesus took our sin to the cross and paid the ultimate price for my sin and your sin. We have to make it personal.
Too many people want to generalize things and by doing so they can avoid putting themselves in with all the others. It is like they think they are too good or something. Every person born since Adam is infected with sin and only Jesus has the cure for sin. He gave Himself to be sin for us. He never knew sin; but, became sin for us (II Corinthians 5:21).
The Bible tells us what Jesus did to cure this sin problem that we are all infected with. Look at John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Now, you and I are at a crossroad. We can choose to trust Jesus as our Saviour or we can choose to reject Him. The choice is your’s to make.