Tag Archives: redemption

A Moment of Praise

I was reading my MacArthur Daily Bible this morning for March 28. Moses prophesied concerning the coming Messiah, and Jesus told us that he is that one!

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst, ” Moses said in Deuteronomy 18. And in Luke 4, Jesus read from the book of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… to preach… to heal… to proclaim…” Then he said: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

The whole Bible is about Jesus, isn’t it? Every page, every verse points us to the Savior.

He is our priest, our prophet, our shepherd, the way, truth, and life, the sacrificial lamb, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is God in human form who went to the cross to buy me back. He is love. He is holy. He never leaves or forsakes us. Nothing can separate us from his love.

He died on that cross once and for all, that WHOSOEVER believes in him will have eternal life. He died and rose again. He went to heaven to prepare a place for us.

And one day, HE’S COMING BACK with the sound of a trumpet to take us home.

Praising God today!

There is Life in the Blood

As I was reading Numbers 27-29 this morning I was once again astounded at the amount of blood that was spilt, the great number of animals that were sacrificed in order for the purification of the people of Israel. Every day offerings were made. And once a year hundreds of animals were killed during their festivals. For me, that’s hard to imagine.

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Life is in the blood.

God requires a blood sacrifice. Looking at the Old Testament account makes me realize what a very big deal it is that Jesus shed his own blood once and for all. His sacrifice fulfilled the requirements of every animal sacrifice we would ever need according to Old Testament law. It is done.

He did what a thousand bulls could not do. We never have to kill a calf ever again in order to be forgiven. Jesus’ death covered the tab. And I just need to accept it. I was once dead in my sin. Now I am alive in Christ. And all because of Jesus’ blood.

Jesus’ blood washed away my sin. From the first little lie I told as a toddler, to the mean things I did as an adolescent, disobedience towards my parents, a multitude of sins committed as an adult, a sinful thought life, an unforgiving spirit, laziness, gluttony, pride and self-centeredness, to the most recent little lie I’ve told in my 60’s. I am forgiven because Jesus shed his blood.

Once again I am astounded. And so grateful to my Savior and Lord.

Dear Jesus, thank you doesn’t seem sufficient to express what I am feeling today. You paid the penalty for my sin when you died on the cross. Your blood met the Father’s requirement for my forgiveness. I am humbled. I am grateful. I am forgiven. May my life be lived in such a way that you are exalted, you are praised, and you are pleased to have given yourself for me. Thank you for the life I can enjoy because of your shed blood.

December 4

Romans 2-4

Did you know Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” is actually the middle of a sentence? Here is what that entire sentence says beginning with verse 22b:

There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

In the same breath Paul calls us sinners then points us to grace. I love the word “freely” in that sentence. We are all sinners and we have all been given a gift. Not a wage, like Paul explains in chapter 4. A costly gift, yes. It cost Jesus his life to pay the penalty for my sin.

But he offers it to me freely. The righteousness he bought is mine for the taking. He redeemed me through his precious blood. It’s  a righteousness I can’t earn. It’s forgiveness I don’t deserve.

Go back to 3:22: 
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to ALL WHO BELIEVE.

I am almost done with my Christmas shopping and in fact, have most of the presents already wrapped. I love buying for my loved ones and carefully pick out things I believe they will appreciate. They aren’t paying for those gifts. I don’t spend more on the ones who were nicest to me this year. These gifts are an expression of my love for them. And it would hurt me deeply if those gifts remained unopened after I gave them.

That’s kind of what happens when, faced with the truth of our sinful state, we walk away from God’s grace. He bought our forgiveness and is handing it to us with open arms. My prayer is that you won’t let that gift go unopened.

As I was writing this this morning the words from an old hymn kept running through my head. Some of the words are these:

Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin.

How can my tongue describe it? Where shall its praise begin?

Taking away my burdens, setting my spirit free.

For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me!

Gracious Jesus, thank you for going to the cross and paying the debt for my sin. Thank you for freely offering redemption to me, a sinner. I pray that each one who reads this today will accept your gift. And may we who know you as our Savior make you Lord of our lives. May we live today out of grateful hearts and serve you with love.

 

August 13

Ezekiel 14-16

When I was reading about how God adorned the nation of Israel with jewels and beautiful clothes, when he fed them with fine flour, honey, and olive oil, when he washed them and protected them, I thought, “Wow! That’s what he’s done for me!”

He washed me with his blood, clothed me with his righteousness, set a crown of life on my head, and protects me, too.

But then I read on. Israel took what God had given her and turned it into something detestable. She trusted in her own beauty, became comfortable in God’s provisions, and prostituted herself. Worse than a prostitute, she paid others to be with her.

I am convicted today. What have I done, really, with the things God has given me? How have I used his salvation? How do I wear his righteousness? Am I so comfortable in the knowledge of my redemption I think I can do what I want and still be ok? Have I convinced myself that God loves me so he must accept me for who I am?

If that describes me I am the vilest of prostitutes. And Ezekiel reminds us what God thinks about that.

Father in Heaven, forgive me when I take you for granted. Forgive me when I squander away your provisions. May I remember what it cost Jesus to provide me with cleansing, forgiveness, eternal life. May I hold those things dear, use them the way they were intended to be used, and may I be grateful for the privilege of being your child. May you be honored through my life today.

July 27

Jeremiah 16:1-17:27; 2 Kings 22:3-20; 2 Chronicles 34:8-33

I gave my heart to the Lord as a little girl. I grew up knowing I was a Christian and that God loved me. It wasn’t until I was  teenager, though, that I really heard and understood the seriousness of sin. I confessed my sin at the altar of our church, broken before a holy God. With tears I accepted his cleansing and it was at that moment I truly realized what it meant to be  Christian.

What is your response to God’s Word? When you read how God hates sin, when you recognize yourself as a sinner, when you realize your need to repent – what do you do?

Josiah tore his clothes when he heard God’s Word read to him. He was devastated, ashamed, broken. Josiah confessed his sin and accepted God’s forgiveness. Then he got up and began to live life a changed man.

I remember my altar experience of long ago. And I wish I could say I got up from there that day and lived a changed life myself. I have to admit there have been times when my walk with the Lord wasn’t a priority and when I allowed sin to get a grip on my heart. There have been other points in my life when God’s Word cut me like a knife, when I looked into the face of a holy God and recognized my sinful state. There have been other tears of repentance when I’ve allowed God to deal with the sin in my life.

And I hope there continues to be. May I always be sensitive to what God would say to me through his Word. May I read it with an open heart. May I recognize those things in my life that hurt my Lord. And may I, like Josiah, be quick to repent.

I pray the same for you.

July 24

Zephaniah 1:1-3:20; 2 Chronicles 34:4-7; Jeremiah 1:1-19

When was the last time you read the book of Zephaniah? Can you even find it in your Bible? It’s one of those books I have to stop and think where it even falls in the Old Testament.

But reading it today I was reminded that the God of love, of grace, and redemption is also the Mighty Judge. He has the power to destroy this life we know as easily as he created it. 

In our politically correct nation our churches have emphasized God’s loving attributes. But we don’t often hear about his anger. Read Zephaniah and you will see God’s anger toward sin.

God doesn’t take sin lightly and he certainly doesn’t laugh at sin. He never overlooks sin or excuses it on the basis of someone’s intentions. Like it or not, agree with it or not, God is clear about what sin is. Lying, infidelity, homosexuality, dishonesty, greed, gluttony, drunkenness are all sins as identified by God in his Word. 

Yes, all sin is forgivable when confessed. But no sin will go unpunished. That punishment will be paid either by the one who commits the sin or by Jesus on behalf of the sinner. 

The payment for sin is death. Eternal death. The Bible tells us Jesus not only paid that debt but he conquered death itself. We can either accept what he did or face him on our own. And facing him on our own will only turn out badly.

Let’s thank God for his love, for his grace, for redemption. But let’s not forget who we are dealing with here. He is Almighty God, Holy, Holy, Holy. 

And sin makes him really mad.

Holy God, we bow before you today and acknowledge that you take sin seriously. Forgive us when we don’t. I ask that you’ll reveal in each of us today those things in our lives that anger you. May we confess and repent of them and accept Jesus’ work on the cross on our behalf. I pray that none of us will hold on to sin or think for a minute that you will excuse that sin in us. May we view sin the same way you do and purge it from our lives. May we walk with you today in the righteousness that is ours through your Son.

June 2

Proverbs 19-21

20:9 says:

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?

The Bible tells us no one is righteous.  Not even one. It also says all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. 

We all sin. And just because we have a personal relationship with the Lord doesn’t mean we are immune from sinning. Satan doesn’t just write us off when we accept Jesus as our Savior. In fact, if we’re honest Satan often steps up his game a little in the lives of Christians.

Sometimes I think we can be too hard on ourselves about past sins. We might have committed what we consider to be some pretty awful sins or we might feel guilty about lying to someone. 

One thing I see in the Bible is that God doesn’t grade sins. He doesn’t consider murder more of an offense than gluttony. He didn’t die once for some sins and twice for others. He died once and for all.

Ok. So you’re a sinner. Welcome to the human race. Repent and move on. Jesus died for you. Your sins… all of them… are forgiven when you repent. If you carry the guilt of your sin, if you keep beating yourself up for past mistakes, if you allow those things to hold you back, that’s on you. It’s not from God. In fact, it just might be Satan’s weapon to keep you ineffective for the kingdom.

When we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. Did you get that? You can stand before God today whiter than snow because Jesus’ blood paid the price. 

If you have gone to God and asked him to forgive you, then trust him to do that. The guilt you hold on to just might be a sin you need to confess. Let him free you of that, too.

And remember, no one can say they have kept a pure heart or are clean and without sin. Don’t let Satan make you think your sins are too ugly for God to forgive. Or that you deserve this feeling of guilt. All of us are in the same boat. And we have a great God who wants us to accept what he has to offer: forgiveness, cleansing, freedom.

Letting go of guilt doesn’t mean we don’t remember. We should remember so we don’t repeat our sin. Letting go of guilt doesn’t mean we think we got away with something. The penalty for that sin cost Jesus his life. But he wanted to pay for it. He wanted to go to the cross to free us from that sin. My prayer is that we all will let him do that.

If you are feeling guilty about something, thank God for his grace and use the memory of that sin to remind you how really awesome his grace is to forgive even that. Don’t let Satan steal your joy. Let God turn Satan’s attack into a blessing.

Father in Heaven, I pray for hurting people today. I know there isn’t one person reading this today who hasn’t done something or said something that they regret. I know some are carrying the physical consequences of past sins. But, God, I also know you are faithful to forgive when we ask. Please help your people to forgive ourselves, too, so that we can be free to reach out to others. Defeat Satan in our lives when he would keep us captive to past sins. Thank you for Jesus and his work on the cross that allows us to live lives free of sin that would entangle us. Help us to walk free today.