Died and Rose—for Us

Romans 4:25   (KJV)   25 Who 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 Romans 4.25 - Died and Rose--for Uswe 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.

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We’re Alive!!!

Job 34:14-15   (KJV)   14 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

Job 34.14-15 - We're AlivePraise 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.

Favor in All

Nehemiah 2:5   (KJV)   5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

For Nehemiah, the king’s pleasure mattered; him being pleasing to the king mattered; and the city of his fathers mattered.

8x10 LandscapeGod is concerned most about our eternal destiny, investments, and existence. And that’s absolutely appropriate because heavenly things are incalculably more valuable than any temporal matter. But the wonderful thing about our Lord is that His love and concern for us covers every area of our lives. He’s concerned about our attitudes not just toward Him but toward other people. He’s concerned about our relationship with others. He’s concerned about our heart of worship, our way of worship, and also our places of worship—including the bricks and concrete parts of it.

Our loving God and Father, you’ve created us; You have given us everything for life and godliness; You’ve given us everything for our enjoyment. We appreciate all of them. Help us Lord not to get our priorities wrongly. We set You far and high apart from everything else as our Lord and King Who sits on the throne of our hearts. We pray that we won’t be lured into having anything else ever coming close to occupying that position.

We also pray that we will appreciate and enjoy all your other blessings although they’re not as important as the Blesser and eternal things. You’ve given us loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, our church family, our church building, our houses, cars, clothes, food and drink. Thank You for all of them. To us, they are expressions of who You are—your generosity, and Your love.

Good News; Great Joy

Luke 2:10   (KJV)   10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Luke 2.10 - Good News - Great JoyJesus’ incarnation is good tidings. It’s good news, not bad; it’s good news of great joy, not of deep sadness; it’s offered to all people, not just a few.

When one realizes it, there really is no gift greater than Jesus; there’s no experience more valuable than being saved; there’s nothing that brings joy to hearts of people greater than having Jesus living in us, being 100% sure of spending eternal existence in the presence of the One Who loves us most and we love most in a perfect place.

Salvation is God’s free gift for all. We have received Him. We now enjoy all the wonderful blessings included in the saved life. No life compares to the life of the saved. No greater love, no greater joy, no greater peace. It’s a life of one blessing upon another. All sufferings, persecutions, and trials associated with godly living are dwarfed by the glorious favors God has for us—here, and even more so, in eternity.

Observing God

Psalm 107:43   (KJV)   43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.

People who are wise intentionally observe God’s nature, character, and works. And we don’t do it just for knowledge. We carve them deep in our hearts and our memory. When we do, the more and the clearer we see.

Psalm 107.43 - Observing GodWe are surrounded by wonders and beauty. Life is beautiful; this, considering even the fact that many suffer much. Others miss out on so many blessings just because either they see only bad things, or they’re just passive about everything. Let’s engage our minds and hearts, our eyes and the rest of our senses. We’ll see that our blessings are way much more than our trials and troubles.

God has given everything for our enjoyment. We have an almighty and ever-loving heavenly Father. Let’s appreciate Him. He fills our lives with good things. He redeems us, sustains us, and preserves us.  Let us as His redeemed tell others about it. He satisfies our hunger and thirst. He frees us from prison bars of misery and delivers us from all other bondage. He heals us and saves us in times of trouble. He gives us strength in times of weariness; He’s our shelter in times of storm; He’s our mighty fortress, our impenetrable shield, the immovable rock. We sleep at night and wake up in the morning because the Lord sustains us, giving us new strength to carry out all our day’s tasks…………………………..

God is good; God is great—and more. This we understand.

New Things Waiting

Isaiah 48:6   (KJV)   Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.

God isn’t finished with us yet. His callings are irrevocable; He doesn’t change His mind about them, but it doesn’t mean God is stuck with them when it comes to His dealings Isaiah 48.6 - New Things Awaitingwith us. He continues to show us new things—things we don’t have clues about.

We have a very creative God; He Is That He Is. He’s an ever present God. He’s not and will never be stuck in the past. He doesn’t disclose or pour out everything He has for us all at once; otherwise, we’ll be overwhelmed; we may break or explode. He reveals them, slowly, in His perfect timing.

King Solomon wrote: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). This may seem like a contradiction but it isn’t. What God slowly unveils to us may not be new “under the sun” but they may be new to us. I love the fact that our Father has got everything already covered. New discoveries and inventions may have people’s names attached to them, but the Lord really is the ultimate Source of everything. People discover what they discover because they are there to discover. People succeed in their inventions because working and consistent laws are already in place; God gives the ideas; God gives the understanding.

So we faithfully live out the truths we already know. We’re fully content. But contentment and stagnation aren’t the same. We keep walking—forward in our journey as His children—in contentment and rest, always expecting new things from the throne room of our God and Father. It doesn’t matter how old we are; we’re still alive. This means our heavenly Father still has new things awaiting us—one layer after the other. We’re excited.

Love and Power

Ephesians 3:19   (KJV)   19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

One of the ways we can be filled with all the fullness of God is by knowing the love of Christ. Although his love is beyond full comprehension, it isn’t beyond partial comprehension. And God has given us the wisdom we need so we can keep growing in Romans 3.19 - Love and Powerour knowledge and understanding of His love: in its width, length, height, and depth. God want us to live out His fullness; we want to live out the fullness of life and power that He gives us. Knowing, experiencing, living out and living in the love of our Lord Jesus has a direct correlation with living out God’s life and power.

Some believers often have “unspoken” preference between power and fruit of the Holy Spirit; they emphasize one over the other. Perish the thought that I’m implying what they’re doing is wrong. Personally, I conscientiously try my best to teach the importance of both. Both have its merits, both are important to God. Both are connected. God strengthens us with His Spirit and invites us to a greater understanding of His love so we can live in His strength and power, and do so with love as our motivation.

People, especially the lost, need to see the reality of God. In our particular generation, there are many who would no longer listen to reason. There are so many who are set in their beliefs—reasonable or unreasonable. Many are no longer open and willing to dialogue. Blindness is so prevalent. Lies are rampant, acceptable, and promoted in order to support and push their beliefs and agenda. It’s in this milieu that manifestations of unconditional love and miraculous power of God through us may have greater impact. Reason, love, power—all these are important; God has given and made them all available to us; we utilize all of them, and we grow in all of them.