Romans 4:25 (KJV) 25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Praise God; our precious Savior sacrificially died on the cross for our sins. Praise God; He didn’t stay dead and buried; He defeated grave, death, and hell; He rose from the dead so we may be reckoned as justified—just as if we haven’t sinned at all—made completely right before God.
I don’t even want to imagine what could have happened had He not incarnated, had He not lived a perfect life, had He not been willing to give His life for us, had He been unable to resurrect. We’re grateful He was a worthy, willing, and perfect sacrifice.
Our holy God lovingly provided a merciful yet just way out for us; our offences were placed upon our Lord; we need no longer be penalized and punished for them. Every need, every requirement for this hope and reality of eternal life has been met; we’re over-blessed; we’re overjoyed.
Matthew 26:28 (KJV) 28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Do we understand this? I pray I would understand the depths of these words. Death—it took the death of our precious Lord and Savior—it took spilling of His blood—for our sins to be forgiven.
It’s very possible to read these words and not even really understand the implications of what our Savior just said. We are enjoying this New Covenant—a covenant much better, more superior, and more glorious than the old. This came free to us; it didn’t come easy for our Savior. Three times, He prayed to the Father if it was possible for Him not to drink the cup of the cross. His sweat was like drops of blood. He was in deep anguish. An angel needed to minister to Him.
There was no other way. Our Lord needed to spill His blood, die on the cross. That was the ransom payment required. There was no easier compromise. He didn’t back down. He laid down His life. A New Covenant was ratified with His blood. We didn’t only find hope; we now live in hope. That’s what our Lord did for us. All honor, glory, and thanksgiving to Him.
Job 34:14-15 (KJV) 14If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.
Praise God, He keeps us alive. We’re absolutely dependent on God for our existence. Obviously, without His Spirit, and without breath, we can’t live. Not everyone recognizes this and admits to this. We do. Life wouldn’t be possible without Him. We’re totally and gratefully indebted to Him.
The very fact that we’re alive is more than enough reasons to acknowledge God’s greatness, His love, His grace. We didn’t ask for life; He just gave it, and oh what a precious gift it is. And He hasn’t stopped blessing us. We’re not only alive, but we keep on living. Moment after moment, He gives us all that’s needed to keep us so. Blessing upon blessing—that’s what He piles up on us.
We’re blessed beyond measure. We’ve probably heard: “What we do with His gifts to us is our gift to Him.” Taking the truth from it, it’s a joy for us to always “give” Him the best gift we can. We do well with the Spirit we’ve received. We do well with our every breath. We want to live life to its best because we want to offer Him the best. He deserves nothing less. Fact is: He deserves way much than our best.
As a father, I remember how touching it was when my daughter in her younger days would show me her drawings and give them to me. Some of them were hard to figure out, but she put her best efforts into them. I have way higher standards when it comes to art, but her gifts were way more than enough for me to be completely satisfied. I was always overjoyed. Now, think about our heavenly Father Who loves us way more and Who understands us way better.
Thank You Dad. Thank You for all Your gifts. We love You.
Luke 23:35 (KJV) 35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
Both the people and the leaders expected Jesus to save Himself as an unambiguous proof of Him being the Christ. They were amiss. God’s chosen Messiah came not to save Himself, but to seek and to save the seemingly helpless and hopeless lost. He did it not by saving Himself from death on the cross, but by the exact opposite—not saving Himself, by giving His life—shedding His most precious blood—as a ransom payment for our sins.
God said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). He often does things in ways that transcends our expectations and baffles our imaginations. But they always astonishingly yield the best results. It’s because of this that the saying “Let go and let God” isn’t just a good cliché to us; it’s our lifestyle.
Our only wise God and Savior, we humble ourselves before you. Please open our eyes, our hearts, and our understanding to the wonders of Your ways. Help us to never doubt You, but to always trust Who You are and how You do things. We won’t come to a point when we’ll understand all Your purposes in every turn of events, but we can always trust You in all of them. You have repeatedly shown us Your inexhaustible creativity. You have assured us of Your unquestionable and unending love. We depend on You and act on those things You’ve plainly revealed to us; we depend on You as well even in times when we don’t have a clue as to what’s going on.
Revelation 10:1 (KJV) 10And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire
An angel clothed with a cloud, rainbow over the head, face shining like the sun, feet like pillars of fire—this is definitely a different picture compared to the images of angels commonly portrayed.
We need to be ready to be pleasantly surprised by still so many things that will be revealed to us when our eyes are finally and completely opened to the supernatural world. We’ve seen angelic beings painted or drawn as babies, toddlers, warriors, some have two wings, some have six. But there have not been a lot of times when we’ve seen depictions of angels as majestic as the one we see here.
That’s an angel. When it comes to God, we’re already out of words to describe our infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, loving, holy, just God. As free as our imaginations are, they still fall short of grasping the glorious reality of our God and of the supernatural and eternal sphere. We’re already absolutely fascinated by the surface truths we know. Oh, what an indescribable and unimaginable delight it will be when we see Him face to face.
James 5:20 (KJV) 20Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
To bring back a believer who wanders from the faith is to save a soul from death. There is a possibility for Christians to err in their ways, to wander from the truth, to come to a point where their souls are in the state of death.
It’s of paramount importance that we don’t leave them without any help and any hope of restoration. They can be restored; they can be saved; their multitude of sins can again be forgiven.
We don’t give up that easily on those who turn away from God. We run after them with all our love. There are those who are obstinate for just a short time; they repent when they’re confronted about their errors. Some may take more time and effort. But we give it our best. Souls are incalculably precious to God; we won’t allow the devil to have them in his grip just like that. Each one is worth fighting for, and fight for our brothers and sisters, we will.
Joel 3:16 (KJV) 16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
The Day of the Lord will be an earth-shaking, heaven-altering event. To some it will be very dreadful. It will be a day of judgment and wars like no other. But to God’s people, there’s nothing to fear. As He always is, He will be His people’s hope, refuge, strength, and stronghold.
We live with no fear. We don’t fear any man, any situation, or anything. We only fear Him Who we love most and Who loves us most. Disasters are real—both man-caused and natural. They’re here and they will keep on increasing. This may not sound comforting. When face-to-face with such devastating events, it’s but natural to be shaken. But we know that our God can and will protect us. He can and will deliver us.
It’s not that we won’t share in the hardships. But the beauty of living as His children is that surroundings and situations don’t define us; they don’t dictate our joy or peace. How can wars, famines and plagues scare us when death itself no longer has dominion over us? Our Savior defeated death. Death to us is a transition—a doorway to the presence of our most Beloved—the greatest Being in existence, and to the most beautiful place there is.
We don’t look for trouble; we don’t pursue hardships; we don’t pray for disasters; if it’s at all possible, we’d rather not have any of them. But we don’t live in denial. We face reality and truth head on. And we do it humbly, gratefully, hopefully, peacefully, confidently, joyfully; knowing that the One in control of all things is our Dad Who only wills the best for us and orchestrates everything according to His will.