Bought by the Blood

August 5, 2007

‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ (Haggai 2:5)

Filed under: Covenant,Haggai,Holy Spirit — cubsfan1980 @ 10:11 pm

‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ (Haggai 2:5)

It is an amazing thing that God would choose to make a covenant with you and I.  He has declared us to be His people and He is our God.  He did not choose us because of our worth.  We were completely helpless and dead, of no use at all to God.  God being full of compassion initiated an intimate relationship with us where He not only confirms the covenant, but also fulfills it because there was nothing that we could do.

We deserve condemnation and eternal punishment, we should be removed from God’s presence forever, but He has made a legal agreement on the basis of what Christ did on the cross that He will never leave us or forsake us.  He will not leave His people alone, but He will always come to their rescue.  When the Israelites were in bondage to the Egyptians and had no hope for freedom, God broke in and delivered them.  You and I were enslaved to sin and powerless to free ourselves, but God by the power of Christ blood freed us for Himself.  Not only did He free us, but He also gave us His Spirit as a guarantee that we His and will spend eternity with Him.

Let us constantly be aware of the gift of His Spirit that we now have.  His Spirit has freed from us from all anxiety and worry because if He is for us then who can be against us.  For those that have His Spirit there is no longer any cause for fear, but we now have the capability to share in God’s power and love.  Those that God has given His Spirit to can be bold and stand firm in a world that is against them.  Let us praise God for the gift of His Spirit that allows to live with discipline and seek His glory in all things.

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. (Haggai 1:5)

Filed under: God's Wisdom,Haggai — cubsfan1980 @ 9:49 pm

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. (Haggai 1:5)

Those who have been redeemed by Christ have more reason then anyone else to give careful thought to their ways.  Your life is no longer your own, but it was bought at a price.  Because your life was purchased with the blood of Christ, consider how you can use your life for His honor and glory.  Jesus Christ gave up His life for you, in response to that sacrifice, how can you give your life up for Him?  Today and everyday forward is a day that should be used for His purposes.

Where you are right now it might seem hard to live for God’s purposes?  God might be calling you to trust Him for tomorrow when nothing in your circumstances makes it seem feasible to trust God for the desire of your heart.  There might be a situation where you feel like you have been submissive to God’s plan for long enough and you see no reward for obedience.  Maybe you have waited on God longer then you expected for a particular blessing and you now want to make things happen on your own timing.  God’s ways are not ours that is why we need to give careful thought about how we can glorify God.

When the temptation pops up to not seek God’s glory and take the shortcut instead of giving careful thought to our ways let us place our hope in the wisdom of God.  The God we serve is all-wise, therefore we can press on with confidence knowing that, no matter what, all circumstances are working for our good.  In all of the situation that Joseph went through, instead of rebelling, he gave careful thought to his ways and knew that God was in control.  When Daniel and his friends faced the threat of being thrown in the lion’s den they gave careful thought about  the God they served and chose not to bow down to other gods.  Therefore, press forward with confidence knowing that God delights to have a good purpose for your life.

Unified for Christ glory (Zechariah 6:13)

Filed under: God's Glory,Mercy of God,Zechariah — cubsfan1980 @ 8:58 pm

Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’ (Zechariah 6:13)

There is nothing beyond the scope of the power of Christ blood.  His blood has not just brought me near to God, but also brought me near to others.  People of all nations, classes and ages are being unified for the common goal of God’s glory.  Lines and divisions are being abolished so that God’s kingdom can be built.  Differences no longer matter because of the unifying bond of Christ blood that makes all people in Him one.  That unifying bond is making people into dwellings for His presence.

As we are made suitable dwellings for Christ presence we are to reflect His glory more.  The task of reflecting God’s glory is what everyone was created to do.  The purpose of every single person is to know God’s glory and enjoy Him.  Non-believers do not strive for this task and believers continually fail at it.  Our only success at giving God glory comes by His grace and His Spirit at work in us.  This is the beauty of the gospel, not only does God save us, but He also gives the strength and everything we need to fulfill our calling if we are humble and depend on Him.

Take note of Christ perfection as our high priest and king.  He has been seated on His throne which means that His work of atonement is over.  All of God’s wrath was poured out on Him leaving no wrath left for us, but all that is left for us to receive is mercy.  He is also on His throne, He is the king who rules over all and completely deserving of our allegiance.  In Him contains all majesty and splendor, so we bow before His throne honored that we are called to be His.

Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” (Zechariah 3:4)

Filed under: cross,Zechariah — cubsfan1980 @ 5:54 pm

Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.” (Zechariah 3:4)

My greatest problem and the greatest problem of all humanity is that of our sinfulness.  Every evil and bad thing that is in this world is a result of sin.  The highest good that God has intended for all people to know Him and walk with Him, but sin prevents that.  God being great in mercy and because of the love with which He has loved us, has solved the problem of human sin.  He has removed my sin from me as far as the east is from the west.  This is something I could never do on my own, but God is the one who has saved me from my sin.

By the glorious means of the gospel I am made alive and free from the reign of sin and death.  God sent His only Son to live a perfect life and die in my place so that my sins could be placed upon Him.  Thanks to Christ sacrifice I am allowed to have life and joy through His blood.  Knowing and walking with the Father is now possible through what was accomplished on the cross.  My sin no longers hinders me from direct access to God, but I can freely know Him and receive all the blessings He has intended for me.

With this freedom from sin, comes a freedom from condemantion.  I do not have to fear death or ever paying the price for my sins because Christ has paid it all.  I am now justified and there is no longer a record of sin on my account because Christ took my place and punishment.  His sacrifice was complete and perfect, so along with my sins being taken away I have received His righteousness.  God now views me in light of Christ perfection and righteousness.  He truly is a praiseworthy savior!

Apple Of His Eye (Psalm 17:8)

Filed under: God's love,Psalms — cubsfan1980 @ 5:44 pm

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, (Psalm 17:8)

Without God’s grace, when I look in the mirror, I see a wretched and despicable sinner. On my own I have no merit that would allow me to come near to God and fellowship with Him. My works are nothing but filthy rags when compared to the standard of a holy God. Like the rest of humanity, in my natural state, I am child of wrath. Before God broke into my life I wanted nothing to do with Him, only pursuing my own selfish gain and the things of the world.

Because of the cross, all this has changed. His blood has brought me near by making atonement for my sin. Being a reconciled sinner I can now have communion and fellowship with God. Instead of being an enemy to the almighty God I am now not only His friend, but considered a son. This is not my of own merit or anything I have gained, but all of His grace.

With His grace, my identity has changed. I am the “Apple of His eye,” and being made more and more like Him everyday. God views me as precious in His sight because of the blood that was shed for me. He has promised to keep me safe until He brings me home to Him. This is without a doubt a wondrous love that I am unworthy of and owe all of my life too.

August 1, 2007

Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; (Psalm 127:1)

Filed under: faithfulness of God,grace,Psalms — cubsfan1980 @ 6:06 pm

Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it; (Psalm 127:1)

 

Imagine that a contractor comes to you and tells you that they want to build for you a house with unimaginable splendor and glory. Not only with this builder build the house for you He has promised to pay all of the cost. This house has come at no easy cost, but He sacrificed His own Son so that you may have every blessing. Although the builder will build the house, He has asked for your help, for you to come alongside Him and do His will. He will strengthen you to do His will and give you all that you need.

All this builder requires of you is obedience. Although obedience sounds like an easy task, your flesh will resist it. You will want to do good to satisfy the builder, but the good you will want to do, you won’t and the evil you desire to resist you will give into. Some of the complaints about the builder are His time schedule and how it is natural to wait on Him even though He is good and His plan is perfect. Another popular complaint about Him is that He is all glorious and humbles those that are lifted up, whereas in our natural state we love control and to be able to call the shots.

Despite our failure to wait on Him or submit humbly to His will, He is still faithful to build the house, not on any merit of our own, but because of what His Son has accomplished on our behalf. The Lord knows our weakness and insufficiency. He is a patient and loving Father whose mercy endures forever. Even though His children never deserve it, He always delights in blessing us. How much more that should motivate us to obedience and living lives of ceaseless worship.

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