Bought by the Blood

March 24, 2010

A Couple of Gems From Spurgeon

Filed under: Charles Spurgeon,Condemenation,cross,grace,heaven,Joy — cubsfan1980 @ 9:16 am

“All that God can demand of a believing sinner, Christ has already paid, and there is no voice in earth or heaven that can henceforth accuse a soul that believes in Jesus.” Read the rest at Because He Was Made A Curse For Us.

“Heaven is our portion, and the thoughts of its amazing bliss should cheer us on the road. Christ has given to us such large and wide domains of grace and glory, that it would be altogether unseemly that there should be a poverty of happiness where there is such an affluence of possession.” Read the rest at Why Shouldn’t We Praise The Lord

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February 22, 2010

Holiness Is The Means To Happiness

“Chosen – that we should be holy; not because he foresaw they would be holy, but because he determined to make them so.  All who are chosen to happines as the end are chose to holiness as the means.  Their sanctification, as well as their salvation, is the result of the counsels of divine love.” – Matthew Henry

December 24, 2009

God and Sinners Reconciled

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? Mark 8:35-37

In the beginning was God. He created all things and through Him all things were created.  He was eternally and infinitely blessed with there being nothing that could ever add to His happiness (John 1).  Despite all of this, God made Himself nothing and gave His all to save the souls of man.  He came down from His throne in Heaven and forfeited His perfect communion with the Father as well as all the attributes of the Godhead to rescue sinners.  By taking on flesh He was able to die our death and give up His righteousness so that our penalty could be His and we can have an inheritance greater than the whole world (2 Corinthians 5).

Although He was God, He took on the form of a helpless baby. His was a lowly status so that He could serve all mankind, to return to us the soul’s that we lost at the fall when sin and death took Adam’s helpless race into bondage.  Jesus embodied humility and this is evident by His life of obedience and submission to His Father’s will (Philippians 2).  He counted the cost and bore the scorn and shame of the cross to save sinners.  The Son of God gave up His life on the tree so that we could have it to the full.

Therefore how should we live?  The Christmas story calls us to be ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5). Our lives should be joyous ones because we have been given good news of great joy (Luke 2:10).  Every step we should take should be one of liberation because one who was fully God and fully man has broken the head of satan who enslaved us to unrighteousness and sin (Genesis 3).  Jesus lost His life so that we can gain ours, therefore we need to find our life in Him and be a people defined by His redeeming work.  Our greatest profit is the reward of being reconciled to God.   Christ was born in a manger on Christmas day, died on the cross in our place, raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so that we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

December 5, 2009

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, – 1 Timothy 6:15

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

For God to be blessed means that He is infinitely happy. He is sovereign and all that He purposes is accomplished (Isaiah 46:9-10).  All that God does is for His pleasure and delight (Psalm 115:3).  Even if something He ordains does not seem like it would please Him we have to remember we only have a limited perspective and the  ultimate end that He has in mind will glorify Him.  God does not need you or I for Him to blessed, we are not a blessing to God, He has all He needs in the Godhead to be supremely happy for all eternity (Isaiah 42:1).

We call God blessedness because He is the greatest blessing that we have.  The greatest joy that we can have is to be found in God, no other joy compares to knowing Him.  He is our great reward and His love is better than life (Psalm 63:1).  There is no human being that has lived who was happier than Jesus.  Jesus gave us the description of happiness in the beatitudes when he said who the blessed are and only He has perfectly lived out the beatitudes.

Only through Jesus can we have joy and have it to the full.  James Montgomery Boice once stated, “The blessing of God in an individual life begins with the forgiveness of sin.”  The Gospel is the good news that Christ has paid the penalty for our sins, there is no more striving or work that we must do to earn God’s blessing, but it is freely given to us  (Romans 9:16).  The Gospel opens our blinded eyes so that we can see God as the jewel of great worth (Matthew 13:45-46).  The greatest good and highest enjoyment we can have is knowing God and this is only possible through Christ death bringing us near to God by His blood (Ephesians 2:13).

October 23, 2009

Friday Are For Fathers

Filed under: Family,Joy,Psalms — cubsfan1980 @ 1:40 pm
Tags: , ,

The following is taken from a blog by an ob/gyn who occasionally write for World Magazine.  The article is a reflection Psalm 127 and talks about fallacies present when people talk about having “too many children.”  This Psalm is so counter cultural to what our world believes about kids and what is important, but so true about the blessing that kids are.  The quote below is his response to women who only want one child.

I tell them that when they get to my age, material things—cars, houses, bank accounts—dim in importance. But family, this gift of God, provides abundant, often indescribable, joy. Even with the sorrow of loss, family events like that are as close to heaven as I’ll ever get this side of glory. I tell her my desire for her to have children has nothing to do with my OB business, but everything to do with her joy. Don’t give up the joy! Don’t settle for “stuff”—money, cars, homes, travel, big retirement nest eggs—just stuff—when you can have family!

Read the rest at MDViews

July 8, 2009

Idol Factories

The Lord once called you ‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.’ But with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.” – Jeremiah 11:16-17

One of the greatest sins that we can commit is that of idolatry.  The first two sins listed in the ten commandment speak out against idolatry and the rest of the sins are listings of the overflow of an idolatrous heart. Idolatry is having something else as a functional god in our lives, that something else can be other things, other people, or even ourselves.  In Jeremiah’s time the primary idol of that time was Baal and Israel’s worship of Baal provoked God to anger.  No matter what idol we have in place of God, He views all idolatry as shocking, appalling and a cause for us to be utterly dismayed (Jeremiah 2:12).

Our glory is in having the one true and living God as our God.  If we turn from him to an idol, then we have no source of glory (Jeremiah 2:11).  All of our boasting and joy will be empty without Him.  God has made us beautiful, but because of sin that beauty has been marred and we need Christ imputed righteous to restore us to the beauty that God intends.  Our purpose is to bear good fruit for God, but no one does that without God.  If we are not fruit bearers, but instead weeds then God will set fire to us and we will burn up in the eternal torment of hell.

When we commit idolatry two evils are functioning in our lives.  First, we forsake the fountain of living waters and find no satisfaction in this life.  Idolatry is a slow and steady spiritual death as our souls cannot get the water that will nourish and refresh us.  Secondly, idolatry denies God glory and seeks to brings us to the point of a relentless pursuit after nothing.  The other gods that we worship besides the one true God are nothing, they have no worth and no value.  If you seek an idol, it will only leaving you wanting more and when you get to it you will never be filled up.  Going to an idol is similar to driving a car with an oil leak, it will eventually break and leave you stranded and in despair (Jeremiah 2:13).

June 11, 2009

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 7:22

There are many people who based on outward appearances act like Christians. They can prophesy, know the Scriptures, do healing and call Jesus “Lord,” but none of those things guarantee that a person is a Christian. A profession of faith or a baptism does not make a person a Christian. Jesus is not considered about our resume of deeds. What makes us Christians is how we abide, how we live as sinners who are continually reliant on God’s grace. Jesus isn’t looking for people who can do great things for the Kingdom, He is looking for those that seek him and count Him as their highest good.

Abiding isn’t about what we can do for God and what He can gain from us being in His service. If our goal in abiding is to gain God a more comfortable life then we miss the point of coming near to Him. The purpose of our abiding is to commune with God and grow in our relationship with Him. He needs nothing from this relationship and there is nothing we can give to Him that He doesn’t already have. We do not abide with God to make Him into our genie in a bottle that will take all of our troubles away. We abide with God because we love Him and our soul longs to see Him more and more.

In abiding with God we are made more like Him. Our act of abiding prepares us for Heaven where we will always see Him and never be separated from Him. We truly are the beneficiaries in this abiding relationship because we gain salvation and the hope of eternity. Through abiding, although we are weak, He makes us strong. By abiding we are brought closer and closer to the glorious state that we will day be made into. No greater is joy found except through abiding in Christ.

June 5, 2009

The Scarlet Cord

And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. – Joshua 2:21

We are all in the same boat as Rahab and need a scarlet cord tied to our window. Christ blood is that scarlet cord which binds us to God. The bond of His blood is stronger then satan, our sin, our flesh and any earthly powers that would detach us for God’s love. By identifying with Christ blood, we place our hope in Him for our righteous standing before God. It is our hope for life and joy.

Rahab’s people were an enemy of the jews, but she made peace with the jews and this was known because she had a scarlet cord. Through His blood we now have peace with God. Formerly we were enemies of God and at war with Him as we wanted to be on the throne. The scarlet cord has put an end to all strife and brought us near to God. When God sees us clinging to that scarlet cord he sees that we letting go of all we trust in and clinging to Christ finished work. The scarlet cord reconciles us to God as we denounce this world and everything we once held dear and pronounce our new allegiance.

Atonement has been made and there is no more striving to be done or works to earn God’s favor. We do not have atonement according to any goodness in us, but according to God’s Word. Rahab did not safety from the jews because she was a good person, she was an adulterer, but she found favor in fearing God. We find favor with God in our being justification by faith alone through grace alone. The source of grace and faith both come from the scarlet cord that God has given to all that will take hold of it and repent from sins.

June 2, 2009

Pleasure

Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 2:11

If I had all the pleasures that this world could offer, none of it would fulfill me.  In Ecclesiastes two, Solomon had everything that a man could ever hope for and he knew it was all pointless.  Solomon was the richest man ever and had mansions beyond belief, the choicest food and wine, many wives for his sexual fulfillment and anything else that we our hearts could ran after to find satisfaction.  None of this filled Solomon.  It all left him yearning for something more.  We are all made for a relationship with God and our lives will be lacking until we find fullness of joy in His presence.

If my life is about gaining stuff then I miss my God’s intention for me.  His  purpose in my life is to make me holy and set apart from this world.  If my hope is for a great life now, then my desires are too weak.  Instead I set my gaze for Christ return, when His kingdom comes and I am able to see Him face to face.  God does not want me to get comfortable in this world because it is not my home.  I am a sojourner in this world and I do not seek an earthly treasure, but an inheritance awaits in my Lord and Savior.

In this life I find myself through dieing, by losing my life I gain it.  The greatest gain is found in sacrifice for the Gospel and denying the pleasures of this world.  Jesus gave His life for me, so that I may live, in Him I am made complete.  He became a servant for my sake, so I become a servant so others may know Him.  For Jesus, joy was not found in the exaltation of this word, but at the cross where shame and wrath met so that the Father could exalt Him.

March 5, 2009

A Call to The Redeemed

Filed under: cross,God's love,Gospel,grace,Isaiah,Joy,Mercy of God — cubsfan1980 @ 12:21 pm
Tags: ,

A return to writing poetry.  It’s been long overdue, but here is a new one that I recently wrote on Isaiah 35.

A Call to The Redeemed

Life up your voice, all you who have been ransomed by the Lamb,
And sing praises to the One who His blood
To wash you clean and make you holy.

Put away all fretting and anxiety,
Be made strong and firm in your union with Christ
For He has called you to walk in the way
Without growing weary of doing good.

Let us lived changes as we are recreated in God’s image,
Because of the grace and mercy we’ve received.
Thanks to His unfailing love our souls are secure
Now sorrows and sighing shall be no more,
Therefore let us have gladness and joy from now until eternity.

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