For August 29, 2021
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and everything that comprises both. His is a perfect creation, flawless and pure in every way. The sun, moon, and stars—functioning light years away from the earth—serve to fulfill God’s intricate, harmonious plan for the earth to experience day and night; the four seasons; the heat, cold, wind, rain, and snow we often take for granted.
How we measure time in minutes, hours, days, months, and years is due to God’s perfect and reliable system of the earth’s rotation on its axis, and its rotation around the sun. The wonders of nature and our intricate human design all are undeniable witnesses to the wisdom of God in all its perfection. God does not create mistakes or blunders—even when He created you and me. His work is perfect and holy, as the Bible declares (my emphasis),
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. Genesis 1:31 (NKJV)
God created a sinless Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden with everything they could ever want or need. They would have had eternal fellowship with God as long as they followed His command not to eat the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”. Genesis 2:16-17 (NKJV)
The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit, they died spiritually and were forever separated from God. As a result, the entire world became sin-contaminated,
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Romans 5:12 (NLT)
It is not our evil deeds that make us sinners before God. It is in our fallen, internal, spiritual nature that makes us sinners before Him. For our internal condition influences how we think, speak, and act in ways that displease God, imperil others, and harm ourselves. Although we have the capacity to do good deeds, the external good we perform does not compensate for the internal sin blot that contaminates us. And this is what God finds so offensive. In our efforts, we have no remedy and must look to our holy God to overcome our plight.
God could have solved our sin problem by programming us to obey Him like robots, but He wants us to love Him freely and surrender to Him willingly. God chose the most effective remedy instead. He became a human being—Jesus Christ—so that He could pay the price for our sin Himself,
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (AKJV)
At the onset of His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ announced that He could resolve our sin problem with His sinless life and precious blood when He declared, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15 (AKJV)
His was the greatest proclamation in history because it heralded a New Testament Age for all people everywhere. Now we can have our sins forgiven, experience a complete, internal, spiritual transformation, and we can have our need for an intimate, eternal fellowship with God satisfied as Ephesians 2:14-18 (NKJV) teaches,
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
This new period in history also revoked all claims of neutrality toward God. In John 8:24, Jesus warned that those who did not believe in Him would die in their sins. Either we can choose to receive His gift of abundant life on earth and eternal life in Heaven, or we can reject it and face an empty, unfulfilled life on earth along with a tormented eternity in Hell as a result,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18 (NIV)
Of Jesus’ Disciples, Judas was the one who was so preoccupied with obtaining a worldly kingdom that he refused to trust in the Lord and forever changed his identity from Disciple to traitor with a single kiss. The allure of thirty pieces of silver was too much to resist, and without Christ as redeemer, Hell awaited him.
Our Lord knew that Judas was a godless degenerate when He chose him to be a Disciple. Even more amazing was how the Lord loved him and gave Him every opportunity to repent. For three years, He revealed His redemptive plan to Judas through His moral and spiritual excellence, His astonishing miracles, and His eternal truths like,
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13–14 (AKJV)
Although tragic, Judas’ example provides tremendous hope for everyone, including those who feel that God has forgotten them or that they are beyond redemption. In Judas, we see how patient, gracious, and loving Jesus is, as He extends Himself to the worst of us freely and willingly. Jesus gives rest to those who labor under heavy loads, with a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Simon, another Disciple, recognized and understood the importance of having a sincere, penitent, and reverent faith in Jesus Christ. When the Lord saw this impetuous yet rock-solid leader, He changed his name to Peter (Greek: petros, meaning “rock”).
This characteristic was evident during the unfolding of Jesus’ warning to Peter that Satan desired to sift him as wheat (Luke 22:31-32). Although he denied his Lord three times, he repented, was restored, and later became the leader of the Apostles, who fed his Lord’s precious Sheep.
As we swallow our pride by stop relying on our own sin-tarnished self-righteousness and invite the Lord Jesus Christ to be our righteousness before God, we fulfill His prophecy that we are “not of the world” and show that we are the recipients of God’s amazing grace and love. (John 15:19; 17:14, 16)
As living examples of God’s love and grace, we live out the undeniable fact that God can transform vile sinners into His holy people—from the inside out—even today. Moreover, as we surrender to His Holy Spirit; allowing Him to guide us daily, we can grow to be more like Christ and honor Him in everything we say, think, and do. Won’t you trust Him to resolve your sin problem today?
What a Wonderful Savior!