God Sent His Son into the World

The world is a mess.  We see sin, suffering, death, and self indulgence everywhere.  No need to detail it. You know it is all around you. The gap between us sinful human beings and God is huge.

God sees the mess we are all in.  He did something about it.  He sees how we are all disobey the His laws.  The consequences of disobeying his laws is suffering, misery, and death.  But God is also merciful.  What wonderful good news, Galatians 4:4,5 : “Wen the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons:.

 

God can’t stand the mess, sin, suffering in our world either.  He did something about it. He sent his son to redeem us, buy us back, so that we could belong to him forever.  So that we could be his sons forever.

Redeemed! Adopted! Free from the condemnation of the Law!  Merry Christmas!

Overcoming Life’s Frustrations…

I am discovering something that no matter how carefully I plan or how hard I try, I cannot seem to make life turn out exactly the way I want it too.  Yes, hard work and planning does help. However, no guarantees. Some little thing or some big thing goes wrong every day or at least every week.  There is so much we do not control. Life never turns out exactly as we plan it.

When I have a frustrating day… I need to remind myself of Jesus prayer to his Heavenly Father right before he went to the cross: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent: (John 17:3).  Jesus came to give us life. Not just life after death… life in heaven.  A taste of life now… a taste of divine life now… eternal life, life from God in our souls now.  A taste of it. The full banquet, enjoying life everyday forever comes later.   But we can taste life now.

How do we taste this divine life?  Jesus said it… by knowing our heavenly Father.  Knowing him well.  Defining life not in how well things go for me today but in pursuing knowing God and his son Jesus better everyday.   Our 1st passion is not achieving our goals and wishes for today but in knowing God.  Our Prayer: “Father I want to know you, please show me who you are, I want to know you more than I want anything else”.

Searching for Peace…

PeaceDay-Logo-300x286The world is messed up. It is not the way it is supposed to be. It is not the way we want it to be. It is not the way we wish it was. Suffering, death, and sin is everywhere. WHY? WHY?

The pacifist organization, Peace Pledge Union in London reminds us how prevalent war is our world (WarandPeace).

“SINCE THE END of the Second World War in 1945 there have been some 250 major wars in which over 50 million people have been killed, tens of millions made homeless, and countless millions injured and bereaved.

In the history of warfare the twentieth century stands out as the bloodiest and most brutal – three times more people have been killed in wars in the last ninety years than in all the previous five hundred”.

More rumblings of war and conflict in the headlines recently. Russia & Ukraine (Ukraine&Russia); Gaza & Israel(Israel&Gaza); Isis & United States (USA&ISIS)

According to Romans 5:12-23 in the Scriptures sin and death entered our world when the first man Adam rebelled against God. He lived in a perfect paradise yet choose to live independently of God. The result: sin and death everywhere. Romans 5:12

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned–

We humans are kicked out of the garden of Eden. Paradise is Lost. Peace is Lost. We keep trying to find our way back in but it isn’t working. So now what?

Good news: God has given us a second Adam (I Cor 15:45). His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did something Adam never did… He obeyed God. His whole life. All the time. In every circumstance. Romans 5:19

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Jesus Christ was righteous. Yet he was condemned as a common criminal. God put our sin upon him, condemned him for our sin. When we trust in Christ God takes our sin and puts it on Christ. He also does something else. He takes Christ’s righteousness and places it on us.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Searching for peace? Trust in Jesus Christ for the gift of righteousness. How wonderful to go to bed at night with peace, knowing that you are right with God. How wonderful

Water for a Thirsty Soul

water_fallMatt Laurer recently interviewed Bill O’Reilly  on the Today Show concerning O’Reilly’s book, “The Last Days of Jesus”.  Matt Laurer was pushing back on the idea of teaching the historical facts about Jesus in the public schools.  At one point Matt Laurer says, “I grew up in a secular home…. so I didn’t get it there [the story of Jesus]. But I found a way to fill the void in other ways in my life.”  (http://www.today.com/books/bill-oreilly-revisits-last-days-jesus-younger-readers-2D79506022)

What amazed me is that Matt Laurer admitted to having a void and looking for ways to fill it.  All human beings are born with a void. Born with a thirsty soul. Not just our bodies, but also our souls get thirsty.  Thirsty for soul satisfaction.  Thirsty for a spiritual encounter. Thirsty for God.  David wrote in Psalm 42:1- 2:

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

The soul is thirsty. Thirsty for God.  No one else but Him can satisfy the soul.

Tempted to worship Idols!

American_idols_2By Syd McCrorey

The TV show “American Idol” has experienced some decline in popularity recently.  According to some media news reports, ratings for the show are down 25% per cent in 2014. (http://shar.es/TWTQ8)

Yet idols are alive and well.  We all have a tendency to have idols in our hearts.  Something or someone we depend on, cling to for life.

Martin Luther says: Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.

Until a couple of years ago, I could never figure out why the last verse in the book of I John closes with “My little children, keep yourselves from idols” (I john 5:21).  It seems like John is completely changing the subject with his last sentence about idols.  What do idols have to do with anything John talks about in his letter?

Then, with help, I looked a little closer.  Before John’s last sentence are many statements about how life is only found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life… We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

What is an idol?  Anything you are depending on to give you life and happiness. Depend  only on Jesus Christ for life. He is the one true God.  Nothing else. Isn’t it amazing how many things we easily cling to for life?  Whatever our heart says we must have in order to enjoy life is our idol.  It could be more money, success, or getting our own way in relationships.  Maybe discouragement happens because something we think we must have for life isn’t happening.

Martin Luther is right:  Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.

Little children, guard yourselves from idols.  What idols are alive and well in your heart?