Jesus Christ Is Our Answer And Solution!

For July 25, 2021
Our obsession with wealth, power, and influence is baffling; especially when we covet and pursue them when they are ephemeral and short-lived. Our human existence is fleeting with a shelf-life—for most of us—of less than one hundred years at best.

Nevertheless, we dedicate our lives to the acquisition of the bigger, newer, better, faster, and best thing we can get…often at the expense of others, as if those things we “lie, cheat and steal for” will last forever. Self-serving, self-fulfillment has become our modern-day obsession. However, the irony is that even if we were to possess all the wealth, power, and influence in the world, we would yet experience disenchantment because our transcendent spiritual dimension was grossly ignored and/or overlooked in the process of aquisition.

We yearn for eternal happiness and fulfillment in a world where there is no pain, sorrow, or disease and where all our wants, needs, and desires are satisfied completely. There with loving friends and family, perfect innocence, peace, tranquility, and safety abound, yielding a lasting, unabated, and complete satisfaction.

Before sin contaminated our world and everything in it, a blissful eternity was ours forever. But our ancestors’ disobedience, (a trait that we yet practice today), precipitated sin’s universal domination over our thoughts, words, and actions. As a result we are spiritually dead; certain to experience physical death, and are forever separated from our holy God.

God created us to be without sin to live forever in His perfect world. But because of sin, our world is full of sadness, pain, disease, trouble, and death. In other words, it is our nature to sin and die. (See: Romans 3:23, 5:14, and 6:23)

This fallen spiritual condition influences toddlers to defy their parents, while tempting teenagers to commit brutal murder and encouraging adults to commit unconscionable atrocities. Those who perform good deeds might ask, “How can I be a sinner?” We are sinners not because of our evil deeds. Our evil deeds reflect the spiritually flawed inner nature at work inside us at all times.

In our efforts, we cannot obtain fellowship with our holy God because He never fell from perfection; we did, and our tarnished nature offends Him. God is very particular about whom He “hangs out” with. It should be no surprise that His “no riffraff” policy remains today.

In our strength alone, we are helplessly and hopelessly in need of a Savior who can restore our fellowship with God. Unlike every human before Him or after Him, Jesus Christ was without sin, fully aware that His death would redeem fallen humanity and restore our loving, fellowship with God forever,

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Romans 5:18-19 NKJV).

Here is how Jesus puts it,

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. (John 3:16-17 NIV)

All of us will have to account for our sinful behavior before our Creator. Why not stand before Him in total reliance on Jesus’ perfect righteousness instead of our flawed self-righteousness,

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  (Romans 8:1-4 NIV)

Jesus chose to redeem all of us, despite our sin nature, allowing us to embody His righteousness before God. He freely provides this for us not based on our sin-tainted “good deeds,” but by our faith in His perfect, redemptive deeds performed at Calvary’s Cross. Thus, to the Christian, our “good deeds” signify the presence of God’s Holy Spirit at work within us, after we’ve surrendered our lives to Christ; not our vain attempts to “earn” salvation.

Because of Jesus’ resurrection, God’s amazing grace, abundant mercy, and enduring, all-encompassing love remain available to all of us today,

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV).

Jesus Christ is the answer to our questions and the solution to our problems. Those of us who accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior will experience the abundant, spiritually fulfilling life He guarantees us today, as well as the blissful eternity He secures for us tomorrow. Won’t you trust in Him today?

What a Wonderful Savior!

We Have His Spirit Inside Us Forever

For June 20, 2021
Before leaving, the Lord Jesus Christ promised that His Spirit would abide with us and be inside us,

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you (John 14:16-18 NLT).

The Holy Spirit’s mission is to seal the redemptive work of Christ as He inhabits our hearts. While inside us, He molds our thoughts, words, and actions into Christ’s likeness so that we can be Christ-like before this dark and tasteless world—as light and salt,

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:14–16 AKJV).

Forgiven and restored to God through our faith in the death Jesus performed at Calvary, and in His resurrection, which signaled God’s approval of Jesus’ salvific, vicarious sacrifice performed for our benefit as well.

The Holy Spirit enables us to grow morally and spiritually in ways that honor Christ. The resulting works do not secure our salvation, Jesus does. Works are a byproduct of the Holy Spirit’s work within that produces godly, moral choices, and selfless, noble acts, as one writer attests,

That in this conflict the Holy Spirit enables the Christian, through increasing faith, more fully and consciously to appropriate Christ, and thus progressively to make a conquest of the remaining sinfulness of his [or her] nature.1

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is essential to the development of our progressive yearning for godly things like reading His Word, praying, worshipping, fellowshipping, and serving others. Simultaneously, He develops within us a growing disdain for worldly things that stunt our spiritual growth and hinder our fellowship with God.

Although we walk in the Spirit, we will never achieve perfection in this life. However, Jesus Christ yet makes intercession for us when we grieve the Holy Spirit by walking in sin and not in the Spirit. We can disobey or rebel against the Lord out of pride, selfishness, or spite like children having temper tantrums.

But like the Prodigal Son, eventually we “come to ourselves” by turning from our sin and returning to the Lord, mindful of what He did for us at Calvary. Then, we rely on the Spirit to help us not repeat the same sins. In essence, He reminds us that we cannot please the Lord by pursuing sin and selfishness.

The good news is that our imperfection does not signal our defeat. It only reminds us how far from Christ’s perfection we are and of how we must rely on Him to grow stronger each day. Jesus Christ was the only perfect example, and He can help us live a life of moral and spiritual excellence that contrasts our former life of sin.

As Jeremiah and the Apostle Paul observe, our boasting is never directed toward us and our feeble works. It always point toward the Lord who is at work inside us (Jeremiah 9:24, 1 Corinthians 1:31). Won’t you allow the Holy Spirit to work wonders in your life today?

What a Wonderful Savior!

Jesus Got Up From The Grave!

For April 4, 2021
All humanity was in spiritual peril. Sin and death bound us, where there was no escape. But, Jesus’ single magnificent act would change the course of our future once and for all.

Up to now, Jesus Christ was like any other person who has ever spouted lofty ideals, performing magical tricks, and leading a group of misfits and non-conformists. This behavior was seen before. (Although raising the widow’s son, Jairus’ daughter, and Lazarus from the dead were spectacular accomplishments.)

He was approximately thirty-three years old, give or take—a relatively young man—cut down in the prime of His life. His claim to be God in human flesh, (or the Son of God), along with His claim to be our only means of redemption were without validation to this point. Then, something happened that distinguishes Him from anyone who has ever lived.

Jesus Rose from the Dead!

Through His resurrection, God glorifies the Son and validates His authority over Satan, sin, and death, making Him the most significant person who has ever lived, and it ensures us that He will not disappoint those of us who put our faith in Him,

By any and all standards, Jesus Christ has always been regarded as the greatest figure in human history. On any list of the world’s greatest men, we always find at its head Jesus of Nazareth. Regardless of whether or not men acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord, they must pay tribute to Him as the world’s outstanding man. 1

Many refer to Jesus as a prophet or teacher. Some say He was a good man who died tragically. If death was all there was, we would be hopelessly lost. But, praise the Lord! Jesus’ death is not all that there was to know about Him. He also rose from the dead, and He left behind an empty tomb. Although some have tried, we cannot ignore the implications of this historical fact.

    •  The empty tomb validates the Lord’s claim to be the Son of God or God in human flesh and that He, the Helper, and the Father are one.

I and my Father are one…I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper…the Spirit of truth…I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (John 10:30, 14:16-18 NKJV)

    • It confirms God has approved Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sin and solidifies the new and abundant life we have in Him forever.

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).

    • It shows the Father answered His prayer to be glorified most emphatically.

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV).

    • It proves and assures we will also experience a glorious resurrection, just as He has,

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God (Job 19:26 AKJV).

    • It assures us we can pray, read/study His Word, abide by His commands, trust His promises, attend church, observe His ordinances, serve others, and strive toward spiritual growth knowing our actions are productive,

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV).

The foundation of our Christian faith is the actual bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of it, we sorrow not as others who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13),

This is but natural, as Christianity must stand or fall with the resurrection. Christ “rose from the dead,” has always been a cardinal article of faith in the Christian Church; for the defense of the faith and comfort to the Believers. The difficulties that beset denial are found in: (a) the impossibility of explaining the empty grave; (b) the attitude of the enemies of Christ after the resurrection, revealing their helpless confusion; (c) the Disciples’ sudden transition from hopelessness to triumphant faith; (d) the founding of Christianity in the world, which can be rationally accounted for only in view of the fact that Christ actually rose from the dead.2

Our Christian faith, history, and theology derive from the idea that Jesus Christ rose from the dead physically. Along with the Disciples we, His Followers today, universally accept this as fact. And despite the two thousand years of skeptics, our Christian faith has never been a product of “lies, fraud, hallucinations, and sick minds.” Courageous, clear-minded Saints of God continue to die for their faith in the Lord because they know Him to be authentic and eternal. Christian faith stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus.3

Our Lord willingly died to pay for our sins, and He triumphantly rose for our justification. He ascended into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of God, interceding for us. Soon, He will return for us, and we will be with Him forever in His peace and love. Won’t you trust Him today?

Jesus is risen…He is risen indeed!

What a Wonderful Savior!

Love In Action—Jesus Died For Our Sins!

For April 2, 2021
The word love has many meanings, although it defines our emotional attraction toward someone or something. For instance, we can love our jobs, houses, cars, classical music, pizza, and that old pair of comfortable jeans. Even the Ancient Greeks distinguished parental love (Greek: storge) from fraternal love (Greek: phileo) from the passion between lovers (Greek: eros).

However, Jesus Christ establishes a new love paradigm when He commanded us to love each other unselfishly and fervently, just as He loves us (Greek: agape). It is by this unselfish love, everyone will know we are His disciples (John 13:34—35). This is the highest form of selfless, pure love, which can only find its source in and expression through God. Jesus attests of this in John 15:13 (NKJV) when He states, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

God’s love is completely devoid of sin and selfishness. In our strength alone, we are incapable of such altruism because we are motivated by, “What’s in it for us?” before we consider responding lovingly.

Although difficult, Christians have the capacity to express His love as we yield to His Spirit, who instinctively responds to others through us in the ways that serve their best interests. The Spirit within us extends this unique, powerful, transforming love to all people everywhere—so that even our enemies can benefit greatly.

1 John 4:7—8 tells us that God is love. And He continues to express it as He has from the beginning. When there was nothing, He created the earth and all that is in it to make a perfect habitation for imperfect humans. Even after we fell and sin contaminated this world, He extended mercy to Adam and Eve by promising The Redeemer who would restore our lost fellowship.

Romans 6:23 tells us the payment for sin is death. In other words, someone has to die, and blood has to be shed to remediate our sin to restore our lost fellowship with God,

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11 NKJV).

God sustained our existence through Noah when sin was rampant, and He later produced a people of faith who would love Him and be a blessing to others through Abraham. Love delivered God’s people from Egyptian bondage, sustained them through the Red Sea, the desolate wilderness, and gave them a new identity in the land that He promised them.

God’s love foretold of One who would sit on David’s throne and rule God’s people with justice and mercy. He would also express God’s love completely by nullifying the curse and dominion of sin and by redeeming sin-cursed humanity in righteousness forever.

Only Jesus fulfills God’s enduring love for us. He left glory, inhabited human flesh, and walked on earth for thirty-three years; sharing His message of love, faith, and redemption. Unselfishly, He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, encouraged the downtrodden, and taught about His transforming, redeeming message.

Yet, on the last day of His earthly life, He demonstrated exceptional love. Knowing that one sitting with Him during the Passover Seder would betray Him shortly, He did not condemn him. Instead, Jesus shared a morsel of food with Judas and gave him permission to perform the despicable act he contemplated. Jesus could have exposed Judas to the other eleven disciples in the room, but He showed love by feeding Him and giving Him another chance to repent.

Later that evening, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had the opportunity to escape death on the cross. The disciples were asleep when the full weight of what was to happen in less than twelve hours hit Him like the proverbial “ton of bricks.” Jesus cried to His Heavenly Father and asked, if it were possible, to let the cup pass and excuse Him from the cruel death on the cross. Yet He was determined to fulfill God’s will, not His own.

After being beaten, spat upon, insulted, and crowned with thorns, our Lord still loved us so much that He was willing to be further disgraced and humiliated. Stripped of His clothing, Jesus was affixed to a wooden cross with metal spikes driven through His hands and feet. Then He was placed on a hill between two thieves before throngs of mocking people.

Instead of commanding legions of angels to destroy us, He surrendered His life for our sins and interceded on our behalf by asking His heavenly Father to forgive all those who were responsible—including you and me today.

Jesus died for you and I to prove His wonderful, matchless love for us. Won’t you receive His love today?

What a Wonderful Savior!

Hosanna To The King of Kings!

For March 28, 2021
During this week of consecration and celebration, Jews from around the world converged on Jerusalem to increase the city’s population exponentially as all Jewish males were required to attend the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles).1

Passover and Unleavened Bread hold critical historical significance to the Nation of Israel and to Jews around the world as these observances commemorate the Children of Israel’s release from four-hundred years of Egyptian slavery (Exodus 12:1-13:16, 23:17, 34:23).

Although festive revelers, musicians, and celebrators packed the streets with song, dance, and reverie, this day marks the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, which culminates with what we observe as Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter.

The week began on our Palm Sunday, with Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into His beloved Jerusalem.  He presents Himself as the long-awaited Messiah riding a donkey. Crowds gathered to lay palm branches and their outer clothing in His path shouting,

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven! (Matthew 21:9 NIV).

Jesus did not ride a horse, as would a conquering hero. Instead, He rides the donkey’s colt, a symbol of peace, to present Himself as God’s humble emissary sent to redeem a fallen humanity. His calculated actions fulfill these two Messianic prophesies,

Indeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him’ ” (Isaiah 62:11 NKJV).

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9 NKJV).

Humbly, our Lord presents Himself as the Messiah, our Conquering Hero who will not only establish His eternal Kingdom where righteousness, justice, and peace will reign forever. He also presents Himself as the Holy One of Israel—the Lamb of God—who ultimately defeats the plague of sin and death that has troubled humanity since shortly after the Creation.

No one but Jesus Christ loves us so deeply, gives of himself so freely, and keeps us so completely in this life and the next. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who delivers us from a life of sin and presents us before God in His role as our everlasting Advocate, Alpha and Omega, Bridegroom, Deliverer, Faithful and True Witness, Lord and God, Good Shepherd, Great God and Savior, Great High Priest, Hope of Glory, I Am, Eternal Judge, Friend, King of Glory, Lamb of God, Light of the World, Physician, Prince of Peace, Prophet, Ransom, Redeemer, Resurrection and Life, Righteous Judge, Rock, Ruler of Kings, Savior, True Vine, Truth, Way, and Word of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is, and shall forever be, our all in all.

What a Wonderful Savior!