Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Do we all realize just how much God loves us?
He loves us so much that, without any condition whatsoever, He held back nothing to get us. After Adam sinned, God knew the only way to reconcile man to Himself was to send His only Son in the likeness of a man to die for us. God's righteousness demanded a perfect sacrifice, and Jesus Christ executed His Father's plan perfectly. He became imperfect man, though He did not sin, so that we could become perfect children of God, even though we do sin.
Now, nothing stands in our way of reconciliation, not even our personal sins.
That's right! Because of what Christ did, God was completely satisfied this requirement was entirely met. Christ completely satisfied the Father in that He died for all sins, and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And now, the righteousness of Jesus is simply credited to the accounts of all who believe. All who believe are justified in God's eyes in this way, having done nothing but believe in the name, the person, of His only Son.
Do we realize God did all the work so that His offer could truly come to us as a gift?
There is nothing you have to do to be acceptable to God for salvation. Reconciliation is all based on the condition of your heart in a moment of time. If at any one time in your life you believed and trusted in Jesus for your soul salvation, it was done. You were saved at that moment. Even if you proceeded to screw everything up immediately after, you're still in God's family. If you have never trusted in Jesus for your soul salvation, you can be saved right now by believing and trusting in Jesus Christ in your heart.
There are no degrees of salvation. None!
Once saved, you cannot become more saved or less saved. Just like when you are born in the flesh, you cannot be more born or less born. You are saved by grace through faith in Christ. More than that, you are in the body of Christ, which is what the church really is. No one can take you from the Father's grasp! Nothing will separate you from the love of Christ! He is your Father for eternal life, and eternal life is all about knowing the Father and His Son.
Now that we are saved...
Let's take a little time to rest in Christ, and learn from Him. Let us soak in the assurance of salvation and our guaranteed glorious inheritance in the saints. Let Him tell us all the marvelous things He's done for us, to us and in us, to reconcile us to Himself. What wonderful New Creations He has made of us! And now God, who freely gave us His Spirit, let's us fellowship with Him, to discover what He's really about; again, He holds nothing back from letting us come to know the truth and to know Him. He already knows us, and He loves us just the same. Let us grow into the knowledge of the grace and truth that is in Christ and now imputed to us. Let us speak the truth in love so that we all grow into the fullness of Him who loved us from before the ages began.
When we understand His plan, we'll understand His plan for us. (Romans 12:2)
Love in Christ,
(Various Scripture verses are referenced above, including John 3:16; Ephesians 1:13-14, 18, 2:8-9; 1 John 2:2; Matthew 11:28-30; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:38-39; 1 Corinthians 2:7, 12; Philippians 2:5-8; John 17:3; Romans 8:3-4; Titus 3:4-7; Romans 4:4-5; Romans 5:6,8), Ephesians 4:13, 15-17, 2 Corinthians 5:17 etc.)
Monday, August 13, 2018
Monday, January 1, 2018
Live in Harmony with One Another.
Live in harmony with one another. If two singers sing the same notes at the same pitch, it is not harmony. If one sings melody while another sings bass, it is not quite harmony either. But, if each sings notes, even words, unique to themselves while complementary to the other, that is harmony.
I must sing as I am able, in my voice range and with tonal quality and dynamic volume, using meaningful and thoughtful lyrics that come from my heart.
Yet, if all the world's a stage, it is not my time to bellow a solo. Alas, the stage is quite populated. Nor am I the Director who decides who else is on the stage. To seek to harmonize, I must listen carefully to other voices as well. Music is the result of collaboration, be it duo, quartet, or orchestra.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:16-21)
I believe there is a reason Paul included this advice to the Christians and would-be Christians in Rome. It is simply this:
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Note to the reader:
To live in harmony with one another is just one of my many goals for 2018 and beyond. My other goals include living peaceably with all, and overcoming evil with good, phrases also found in the same passage above. I will write about those goals in later posts.
My hope and prayer for you are that God draws you to Himself, and then you diligently seek Him. For God so loved the world (John 3:16a), absolutely, and that includes you specifically.
If this devotional has touched your heart, please do not keep it for yourself. Share it. Leave a comment if you'd like. But most of all, thank God, the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.