Bought by the Blood

June 16, 2007

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, Hebrews 3:1

Filed under: cross,God's Glory,Hebrews — cubsfan1980 @ 4:36 pm

It is your heavenly calling to daily consider Jesus. He has made you holy and with the shedding of His blood bought you into the family of God. Consider Jesus because you are justified freely by His grace and the redemption that is in Him. Consider Jesus because it is because of His perfect sacrifice that God can still be just and the justifier. Jesus is to be considered because God set Him forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness. God’s holiness nature and patience in passing over previous sins can stand together because of what Christ did on the cross to exalt God and bring sinners to Himself. Consider that the privilege that you have to spend time with Jesus is greater then any earthly opportunity presented to you.

Consider Jesus whose name is more excellent then any other name because it was through Jesus that the Father choose to completely reveal Himself to the world. Consider Jesus that is the heir of all things and because He has made us co-heirs we shall receive all blessings from Him and live with Him in His eternal kingdom. In the word of Jesus all things are held together by His incomprehensible power. Consider Jesus who sacrificed Himself for the sins of many so and is sitting on the right hand of Majesty on high. Consider that it is worth it to forsake all sin for the name of Jesus.

Consider Jesus who found glory in being a servant and by the suffering of His death He was crowned with glory and honor. Because He humbled Himself the Father found it fit to lift Him to the highest place and exaly Him above all. Our High Priest has been counted worthy by the Father and one day everyone on earth, under the earth and above earth will bow to Him. Jesus is the resurrected king that is above all whose majesty and honor is unmatched. Consider Him who is the brightness of God’s glory and how all this world has to offer is a dying flame compared to His radiance.

Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Hebrews 3:6

Filed under: cross,Hebrews,perseverance of the saints — cubsfan1980 @ 4:35 pm

This verse provides crucial instructions on how to be considered one of the saints that perseveres to the end. You take part in persevering by a maintaining a fearless confession and joyful hope in what is unseen, holding fast unto your faith with full assurance that God won’t let go. God never promises that perseverance will come easy, it is a fight and a struggle, but you must remember that the victory has already been won by Christ. All that is left for us to do is to hold fast to Him who we believe because in Him we find our strength.

Persevering to the end is only possible by the grace of God, but it does not happen without you holding fast to the cross. Let your desire to persevere be fueled by the promises of God’s Word. He will never leave you nor forsake, there is no way to sin past the grips of His love. The work of grace that He has started He will be faithful to complete, His completion of the work will be because of your faithfulness and not your merit. If he has given you eternal life then you have no need to fear because you cannot perish and His grip is firmly on you and none can snatch you from His hand.

Your key task is to work out your salvation with fear and trembling to verify that you are indeed in God’s grip. There are many who initially claim Christ, but don’t hold fast. Instead of believing, they gradually drift into unbelief about God’s faithfulness and promises. The sin of unbelief rarely happens in a big leap, but it is always the result of a steady inching away from truth to lies and self-sufficiency. Fight the lies with confessing the gospel and self sufficiency with rejoicing in the hope founded on the truth that salvation is not dependent of yourself. He is the author and perfect of your faith, so look to outwards and upwards where your grip is and see that He will never let go of you.

June 14, 2007

Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. John 20:14

Filed under: God's Faithfulness,John — cubsfan1980 @ 1:45 am

Jesus is our continual comforter, even when we don’t sense His presence, we can be confident that He is near to the brokenhearted. On that glorious easter morning Mary had gone to the tomb to find her crucified Lord missing. Under the impression that His body had been stolen she was frantic for answers. She questioned the angles at the tomb and got no closer to the truth until the Truth came closer to her.

Hold tight to the truth that Jesus has promised to never leave you or forsake you. Your flesh is against and will do anything it can to make you deny Him. When your feelings tell you that He is not near then rebuke your feelings remember His promise. He is faithful, He is not like man and can not lie. When Jesus says that He will never leave you it does not matter if you do not feel or sense His nearness, but just believe He is there.

His promise to be near to you is not based on anything you do. Even when you are faithless, He remain faithful. Believer, know that your sin does grieve God, but His love has triumphed over your sin and He is waiting by your side for you to turn to Him and embrace the grace He gives out. Often times when we turn our back on God and it feels like He has left, He is still there, but we have closed our eyes to Him. He is great in patience and standing there eager to forgive. He comforts all His children the same.

“Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. John 20:19-20

Filed under: cross,John — cubsfan1980 @ 1:43 am

How magnificent is it that Jesus never treats us as our sins deserve. After the disciples deserted Him when he was crucified He approaches them with a message of “Peace be with you.” When Jesus comes to the disciples He does not remind them of their sin, but instead of the good news. Because of His atoning sacrifice there is no need to fear condemnation or disgrace from God. All of our sins have been laid on Jesus so that we can have peace with God.

Let us then follow the example of our Lord and be more quick to remind others of their peace with God instead of their sin. The greatest good that we can do for one another is to point them to the hands and sides that was pierced for them. For most Christians they do no need to be taught new truth or see what they lack, but the need they will always have until they reach home is to be reminded of the grace that God is eager to pour out on those that turn to Him.

We are called to be Christ ambassadors. That is our number one task. He who did not know sin became sin on our behalf so that we can show an unbelieving world that we have a Heavenly Father who loves unconditionally because He is glorious and we are nothing compared to Him. We cannot be Christ ambassadors without His peace that He has given to us to carry and show to all. True gladness and joy is not found apart from peace from God. Hearts cannot be satisfied without this trut

Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” John 21:22

Filed under: God's Wisdom,John — cubsfan1980 @ 1:42 am

There are two essential truths that every Christian needs to know. The first is who we are, which is sinners, weak and unable to do any good on our own, but by God’s grace we have been saved and called to be His children. As God’s children we are His followers, giving our lives away to Him and dieing to self so that He may be glorified and honored in all that we do. This is only possible by the blood of Christ that was offered in exchange for our sinfulness. The second truth is that God is all knowing and the source of all wisdom. His judgment and ways are unsearchable and past finding out.

Since the garden of Eden, before the fall of man, we have always had a desire for more knowledge. Eve’s desire for that which is above her is what led her to eat from the tree that God had forbidden. The flesh knows that all of humanity shares the Achilles heel of curiosity and aims for that weakness, whether it be through gossip about others, anxious thoughts about the future or seeking things above us. Ultimately, there is only on thing we need to know and be concerned with and that is Christ and Him crucified.

Only God is wise and only He knows the fate of all people. Instead of striving for knowledge that does not build up or lead us to God, let us rest in the fact that he knows all the details of tomorrow. In the cross God is shown as ultimately trustworthy as He saves sinners and satisfies His justice. The questions about sins of others and their consequences or envy of their fruitfulness mean nothing when seen in light of God’s perfectly wise plan and grace.

June 13, 2007

“ Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice. (Jonah 2:2)

Filed under: God's love,Jonah — cubsfan1980 @ 1:00 pm

What great hope for the lost that we find here. Jonah was inside this great fish, but yet God heard Him. Jonah had run from God, but God still heard Him. No one is past the grips of God’s grace. Paul was the chief of all sinners, but yet God loved Him. There is no one with a sin that Christ cannot redeem. His blood conquers all, there is no sin that His righteousness cannot wash away. Because of what Christ accomplished on the cross no one is beyond the point of redemption.

Let the truth of God’s unconditional love put in a place of awe and worship. The reason why God heard Jonah’s voice is the same reason He hears your voice. It’s not because of good things that you have done that God hears your prayers, but it is according to His mercy and grace. On no merit of our own are we able to come before His throne of grace. We are beggars sentenced to death and can never come before the King. The good news is that the Son of the King has provided a way for us to be considered children of the majestic One. Not because of what we have done, but because of what Christ accomplished on the cross is why God hears our voices.

Take note of God’s pursuing love. When God has His heart on someone then there is no way they can escape from Him. God never gave up on Jonah. When we see God’s compassion for the lost, how much more should fuel our passion for reaching out to those that don’t know Him. If God doesn’t give up on those that do not know His redeeming love, then we should not give up on praying for the lost. Let it not end at prayer, but let us be in persistent in showing Christ love. God is not like a spurned lover who sulks when people don’t show Him affection, but He pursues, so to we should pursue.

You Are Good (Psalm 119:68)

Filed under: God's Goodness,God's Wisdom,Psalms — cubsfan1980 @ 12:59 pm

Our standard of understanding should always be the truth of God. When trying to understand the circumstances of this life, we should always come back to His Word and character. The tendency of every person is to analyze every situation and to try to have our hands around it. People in the work place are praised for being detailed oriented, but as followers of Christ, the most important thing is not the details, but keeping in mind the big picture.

For a Christian, details are helpful, but the most important thing is to remember the big picture and that God is at work. No matter what is going on around us, we must remember that it’s not what is going on around us, but what is happening above us. Because our Father above is working all circumstances for our good, we must never forget the call to walk by faith and not by sight.

Before asking all of the what-if’s, remember that God is good and does good for His children. When tempted to question God, tell yourself the promise of God’s character that He is and does good. God doesn’t call us to know all the answers, but that He is the answer. With Him as the answer, we can walk in with confidence and trust in His goodness not matter the circumstances. At the cross we see the ultimate expression of God’s goodness toward us, so let us view all of life in light of the cross.

Woe to you who are at ease in Zion,

Filed under: Amos,Hope,Sanctification — cubsfan1980 @ 12:58 pm

Notice those that God is pronouncing “woe” to in the verse above. Desiring ease and comfort is a sin that is easy to attempt to justify. When we do desire ease and comfort, we are ultimately desiring for ourselves to be on the throne with an outlook of how we can be served. With a proper view of God we realize that He is on the throne and is to be served at all times, a life that is lived to constantly serve God will be a life that is rarely at ease in this world.

God has not called His children to be at ease in this world. Instead, He has called us to lift our eyes up and set our sights on things above. Everything in this life is worthless compared to the inheritance and hope that God has prepared for us in eternal life. He wants us to trust in Him and His promises instead of trusting in money, love or anything else that this world offers. Be assured that the ease in this world is only taking away from opportunities that God has given us to partake in His glory now and share in Christ sufferings.

When God is at the center of how we view everything in life then ease and comfort will still be our desire, but it is the ease and comfort that God has promised. As our hearts labor tirelessly for the Gospel we will be filled up and comforted with His Spirit. Making our ultimate goal to win souls for Him gives us an opportunity to present God as more glorious then any ease and comfort that can await us in this life. Therefore, let us run this race hard, know that at the finish line when we hear “well done good and faithful servant,” we will know that we have not missed anything.

Who has dealt wondrously with you (Joel 2:26)

Filed under: Christ Righteousness,God's love,Joel — cubsfan1980 @ 12:56 pm

In every circumstance, let this truth sink in, that the Lord your God has dealt wondrously with you. In both good and bad God has dealt wondrously with you. There is none like Him, nothing else can truly satisfy the cravings and desires of your heart. He is always near to you, even at your most wicked and sinful moments He is as close to you as when you pursue Him wholeheartedly. Our knowledge of the fact that He has dealt wondrously with us not be built on anything external, but on the fact that our sins are paid for and we are treated on the basis of mercy and not what we deserve.

Never forget the fact that you are a sinner. You were born with a sin nature, all mankind, because of Adam’s sin, has been conceived in sin. From day one you owed a debt to Him who sits on High. Yet He came down from high and assumed the lowly position of a servant and took on death on a cross in our place. God became man to pay the wages of sin that man could never pay on his own.

He has had mercy on us according to His kindness, it was nothing in us that merited it. The only proper response is that of praise. Daily to let our heart overflow with praise for what He has done. To continually let our lips sing of His mercy that gives us life and all blessings. By His grace we are called to make our lives acts of worship to His glorious character. Once we see how wondrously God has loved us, our life mission should be to do wonderful things for His kingdom.

And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, (Hosea 2:15)

Filed under: cross,Hope,Hosea,Sanctification — cubsfan1980 @ 12:55 pm

Turning the Valley of Achor into a door of hope is no small feat. Historically the valley of Achor has been viewed as a place of judgment and destruction. How can a place of judgment and destruction become a place of hope? Only at the cross where Christ was troubled as our sin became His so He could be judged for us so that we can be heirs of hope.
The door of hope I find at Calvary where Christ was walked through His own Valley of Achor is where I sing because that is where God declared Himself to no longer be my master, but my husband. By His righteousness and justice my sins were nailed to the cross. Through His mercy and lovingkindness I’ve been brought into relationship with Him. In His faithfulness I have been betrothed to Him for all eternity.
Oh believer, do life’s circumstances have you placed in a Valley of Achor? Know that Christ was troubled for your sake so that you can lie down safely and rest in Him. Let the Spirit open your eyes and realize that your Valley of Achor is a door of hope. Your troubles are meant to lead you to God for you are His bride that He cares for and has orchestrated all things for your good. Embrace His mercy as He has drawn near and ready to not only, but also answer. He has shed His blood to win you for Himself, so how can He not do all else.

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