Archive for August, 2013
“Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”” (Luke 5:31–32)
You see that sinner over there? You know, the drug dealer. The prostitute. The swindler. The thief. The adulterer. That person that you would never want to hang around with.
That’s who Jesus came for.
Not the good people. Not the perfect people. Not the clean-smelling, well-dressed ones. The sinners.
Like me. Like you.
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might recieve the promise of the Spirit. (Galatians 3:14)
The blessing of redemption is for everyone who believes in the gift of Jesus. And we all share in the promise of his Holy Spirit.
“So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”” (Exodus 32:24)
“And out came this calf!” Earlier in the chapter, we read exactly what happened: “He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool.” (Exodus 32:4) Now Aaron wants Moses to believe that he threw some gold in a fire and the statue of a calf came out.
I’m like that. When I do something wrong, it’s not my fault. It’s because I was rushed. Or someone made me mad. Or I was tired and not thinking clearly. Or…
I need to face my sin, confess it and repent of it. Not make excuses for it.
As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 9:13)
It is amazing how sin or poor judgment can overshadow the good and right things done. It seems that people really do remember the bad things much more than the good. So be wise today… and not foolish.
“Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” (Mark 15:15)
Do you know what Barabbas means? “Son of the father.” He may as well have been named Everyman. He represents each and every one of us. We deserved punishment, but got freedom. We were guilty, but it was the Innocent One who was punished instead. He should have gone free, yet died in our place.
Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 5:24)
It does matter what God says. We must read our Bible… and we must put what it says into practice in our lives.
I recently spent three days in the hospital listening to Doctors explain that my heart sometimes beats way to fast. They then described various ways to make it work the way it should. There is medicine you can take to slow it up, or you can actually do some surgery that involves cauterizing various places around the heart. They could even implant a device inside me that would regulate my heart rate. All of these options were for the purpose of “fixing” the heart. In my case, we are trying medicine.
I was amazed at the ways you can fix a heart. Evidently, there are lots of people who need help to make their physical heart work normally. And there are even more people in our world whose emotional heart does not work right. When people talk about following Jesus, they are often afraid that they will not get it right. They are not sure how to love God, or how to love others. They worry about being worthy enough to receive God’s love, or how to live in response to that love.
God knows we need some help with our spiritual hearts and he too has some treatment options that can fix our hearts:
- Baptism is much like heart surgery. Our old self is put to death and we come out the baptism water as a new person.
- The Holy Spirit lives in us. It is much like an implant to help us live our new lives in a way that pleases God.
- The Bible serves as medicine that instructs and guides us in how to live.
If you have wondered if you have the heart to follow Jesus, let me assure you that God knows the heart you have. He has ways to help you turn your heart to him and live the life he has planned for you. I would enjoy visiting with you about having a heart for God.
God can take away the life of anyone he chooses. But much more importantly, he can give life to any that he chooses, even those who are dead. And the life he gives, no one can take away.
He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth. (Psalm 104:14)
Do not take food for granted. God is the source of our physical food. Thank him for what he has given you to eat today.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
The fear of death can motivate us to do many things. But we need to recognize that leaving this earthly life isn’t that big of a deal, at least not compared with the thought of eternal death. We need to give much more importance to our eternal destiny.