There is a visible characteristic that is present amongst a majority of religious leaders: pride. The presence of this attribute is one of the reasons that so many people are turned off from church or religion. The pretense of many men and women who espouse religious principles, from their great arrogance, is a great obstacle for many people.
When we examine the words and manner of living for Jesus, we see something far different. Although we learn much later that He believes Himself to be God, in every area of His life in which He presents Himself to us, we see a deep and abiding sense of humility. Continue reading “Many god's, Only One Became Our Servant”
There is something resident within us that wants perfection. We see it in our mind as we observe things around us that are not perfect. We feel uncomfortable when entering a hotel room that is old, dirty, and unkempt. We feel displeasure when lied to. There is a righteous anger that mounts upon our heart when we see or hear about a child or elderly person that has been abused.
Perfection is an ideal that we all want, yet accept that we can never apprehend. Why is it that we earnestly desire perfection and feel disappointed, angry, or perplexed when every human being we meet is incapable of this perfection?
Continue reading “Why We Need A Savior”
David’s description of the Shepherd in the 23rd Psalm who cares for and loves His sheep, is a fitting illustration of the Messiah’s love and care for His sheep, who He came to redeem.
Sheep are undoubtably the dumbest and most helpless of all animals. Unable to care for themselves, they will soon perish without the attentive care of a good shepherd. Sheep cannot find food or water for themselves; they must be led to green pastures and cool waters. Very often sheep will fall and turn upside down with their hooves pointing into the air. Unless the Shepherd comes to their rescue and turns them right side up, they will die. David referred to this frequent event as being “cast down.”
Psalms 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
On four occasions, David asks of his own soul; why are you cast down?
Psalms 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
David had apparently seen the sheep many times in this precarious position with their feet pointed up into the air—hopeless, and helpless unless he came as their shepherd and turned them right side up. This reminded him of those times when his own heart was discourage—turned upside down, and God came as his Shepherd to give him hope and help. Continue reading “How Greatly You Are Loved”
The Book of Genesis contains an incredible story of the faithfulness of God. Joseph, who is hated by his brothers, is cast into a well and later picked up by Midian slave traders. He is sold to Potiphar in the Pharaoh of Egypt’s service and spends many years in great trials.
Back at home, Joseph’s father; Jacob, is told by the brothers who threw him into the well, that Joseph is dead; killed by a wild beast. Immediately Jacob begins to accept the worst and grieve for his son. Continue reading “The Danger of Believing the Worst”
Matthew 28:20 “…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Hebrews 13:5 …For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
We have a wonderful Savior who is also our Great High Priest. He ever lives to make intercession for us before the Father. His current role is that of a mighty intercessor who is actively involved in the personal lives of everyone who is trusting in Him.
Those who follow Jesus have a unique relationship with Him. Even in the most painful and difficult moments of life, Jesus is with us in all our distress. When the Lord suffered so greatly, as He was scourged and crucified, Isaiah wrote that it was for all of our afflictions that He was afflicted. It was by His own suffering for us that the Lord was able to remove our suffering forever. This will ultimately be accomplished at His return for us at the Rapture, when we are all taken from this world to be with Him forever. Until that day, Jesus is here with us in all our present suffering.
Continue reading “Jesus Will Never Leave You or Forsake You”
For just one sin–Jesus had to die. It was not the entire culmination of all human sin and suffering which compelled Jesus to leave heaven and die for us. It was the suffering of one person, one sin–which drove Jesus to become a sacrifice that would remove the judgement of God.
Isaiah 53:8d …For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
1 John 2:1-2 …Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation (payment) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
The plan of God has always been to remove the sins of the whole world. Known to God before the foundation of the world was the fall of Adam, which would result in the need for a Savior. In His wisdom, God planned for this contingency by the provision of His Son to redeem all creation back to His glorious ideal and perfection.
God will make this redemption possible by acts that originate and culminate with Himself. The burden for salvation resting upon God and His actions to save us, while the appropriation of salvation is contingent upon the decision of each individual person to hear and respond by faith.
Continue reading “For Just One Sin…”
When Jesus came to earth to inhabit the body of a man, it was for the purpose of becoming one of us, thereby qualifying Him to be the Savior of all people. Before Jesus offered His life, He counted the cost of the sacrifice that He was going to make. He knew ahead of time that it would involve the laying aside of many of His former rights and privileges as the God of the universe. All these things, He knew beforehand and He was willing to do, because He loves us all so very much.
For 33½ years, Jesus placed himself in total obedience to the Father on our behalf, as a man. It was necessary that He be tested in every area that all of us are tested. It was necessary that He would feel every pain and emotion which we all feel as human beings. We can have great confidence and comfort today in knowing that we have a Savior who understands us. He knows what it is like to be human and He is therefore able to help us in all our trials and difficulties.
If you have experienced difficult moments during your life, which caused you great despair and suffering, Jesus understands your pain. He is able to offer relief and comfort for your broken heart and tormented mind. If you have been tempted by sin and failed, Jesus understands—for He was tempted in all things, yet never sinned. He is able to exercise great compassion and tenderness towards us when we sin and fail over and over again. He does understand how you feel when the guilt and regrets of past mistakes take hold of your heart. Jesus will always show mercy and forgiveness to you when you come to Him humbly with your sin and are ready to repent and be forgiven. Even before the words are spoken: “I am sorry Lord,” He has already begun the healing process for your brokenness. Jesus will always receive you and is always ready to forgive you and set you back on a path of blessing, if you will only come to Him.
Jesus’ obedience to the Father allowed us to have the opportunity to be forgiven when we fail to be obedient. He marked out a path of righteousness for us to follow. He offers strength to the weary and guidance to the lost. His mercy is greater than all of your sins and His forgiveness stretches to the heavens.
Most of us as human beings, wish that we had the ability to know in advance–the results of our decisions. If we knew ahead of time, the consequences of our actions, we would all make better choices. Why then did God, knowing in advance that one specific action would result in His personal suffering and death–continue with that decision?
Jesus is spoken of as The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Simply stated, it was the purpose of God to send Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of all men, long before the earth was formed. Continue reading “Why Would God Create Man–Knowing that It Would Require the Death of His Son?”
Feeling overwhelmed by life? Tired of the demands of religion? Burdened by your own failures and inadequacies?
Jesus came to lighten your burdens and take away the useless and irrelevant parts of life. God has made knowing Him and having a relationship with Him–very simple. It is we who heap upon ourselves and others, great demands and priorities which God never intended. When we allow these things to crowd out a simple and joyful relationship with the Lord–we are robbed of our joy and lose sight of what is really important. Continue reading “Following Jesus is No Burden”
There are many people, who over the course of their life, meet an individual who has claimed to be a Christian—who has exhibited behavior that is contrary to their particular belief, and caused other people to discount God altogether.
An enduring fact of life is that one of the leading causes of atheism is Christianity. Not that Jesus is the point of stumbling, but rather those who claim to follow him. Many people attribute the behavior of a person to the character of the God they claim to believe in. Forgetting that the Christian Gospel clearly declares that Jesus came into the world to save “sinners,” not the righteous. It is the very worst of the world that Jesus is most appealing to. The Christian life in following Jesus is frequently imperfect and lacking the basic qualities of love, patience, humility, and forgiveness. Those who are trying to follow Jesus will never be perfect in this life, although they should endeavor, constantly, to be more like Jesus in all their behavior.
It should also be understood that many people who take the name of “Christian,” are frauds. For reasons of personal financial gain or to achieve a position of authority or power, many individuals will label themselves a follower of Christ, without this fact being true.
Continue reading “Religious Frauds and Pretenders”