Made right

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Today I am mulling over the incredible truths in Romans 5:1-17. Let us read the New Living Translation of these verses together.

5 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

There truly is no explaining or understanding the love of God for us. There is also no earning His love. There is no doing enough to make Him love us more or not doing enough that will make Him love us less. He loves us unconditionally and perfectly. He chose to love us and demonstrated His “great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (verse 8).

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ.

No more condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). That guilt and shame that haunts? Baseless. Total forgiveness is ours because of Christ Jesus, as is the grace to turn from sin.

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ.

And if that was not enough to praise God unceasingly for, we also have peace with God, and stand, “in a place of undeserved privilege” (verse 2).  These blessings enable us to know there is purpose to our trials and challenges.

We. Have. Been. Made. Right. In. God’s. Sight. By. The. Blood. Of. Christ. 

Thank You, Father. Thank You. Give us a fresh and true revelation of this truth so that we never again read, hear, sing, or speak of what You did for us without a sense of wonder, worship, and profound gratitude.  

 

 

Advent Week 4: Day 7 – LOVE

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It is Christmas Eve. What does a verse about the genealogy of Jesus have to do with Christmas Eve and what does it have to do with love? Everything.

Centuries passed after Adam and Eve believed the Serpent’s lie that God was lying to and defrauding them, and they made the choice to disobey Him. Centuries passed after He told them the consequences of their sin and He told the Serpent the consequences of his deception.

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15, NKJV)

Centuries passed from that moment to the time that the angel Gabriel spoke God’s words to Zechariah and to Mary and to Joseph. And Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem. And “the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”  (Luke 2:1-7, NKJV). And an angel said to the terrified shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2: 8-12, NKJV). Centuries passed and God kept loving us and kept executing His plan of redemption through generations of men until His plan of redemption was fully accomplished.

It is Christmas Eve. What does a verse about the genealogy of Jesus have to do with Christmas Eve and what does it have to do with love? Everything.

May you awake on Christmas Day full of anticipation and gratitude for God’s incomprehensible love for us. For you. Merry Christmas.

Advent Week 4: Day 4 – LOVE

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Prayer

El Elyon. El Channun (Gracious God). Father. Thank You for reminding us through this verse that the true proof of Your love for us is what You did to redeem us, not our circumstances. Help us love as You love us.

Advent Week 4: Day 3 – LOVE

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Lyrics for “Good, Good Father” can be found here.

Prayer

Adonai. El Shaddai. Father. You have lavished Your love on us. That You have done so because You chose to and adopted us into Your family, is beyond our understanding. Our true identity is found in You and this truth is the antidote to insecurity and despair. We are Your children and You are the Good Father. Thank You.

 

 

Advent Week 4: Day 2 – LOVE

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Prayer

Almighty God. Omnipresent One. Father. Thank You that we do not have to earn Your love because we never can. Thank You for loving us and sending Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Thank You, Father. Thank You.

 

Week 4 Advent 2016 – The Love of Advent

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“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

(Isaiah 9:6, NKJV)

 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17, AMP)

The full lyrics of this hymn can be found here.

Prayer

Elohim. Eternal God. Everlasting Father. Thank You. Thank You for Your love. Thank You.

 

 

 

 

Advent Week 3: Day 5 – JOY

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Prayer

Almighty God and Father, if there is ever a time for us to shout for joy to You, sing the glory of Your Name, and make Your praise glorious, the Advent season is definitely the time, as we focus on Your incomprehensible love for us.  Halleluiah!

Advent Week 3: Day 3 – JOY

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This song, “Noel,” sung by Lauren Daigle, fills me with wonder and joy, and I wanted to share it. “Noel. Come and see what God has done.” “This is His doing and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).

 

Prayer

Father, this Advent season, let us hear and read and experience this truth as if hearing and reading about and experiencing Your amazing love for the first time. Noel.

 

His Light. His Love.

 “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, Amplified Bible; emphasis added).

 ” Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5, Amplified Bible; emphasis added).

We are His light to the world and His love has been “abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

We are His light to the world and His love has been “abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

We are His light to the world and we have His love in abundance in our hearts. But sometimes, just as the brilliance of the light of a physical lantern can be dimmed when the globe of the lantern is dusty, I believe our ability to reflect His light can be dimmed (impaired) by the dust, or residue of sin, resentment, weariness, discouragement, etc. And although He has abundantly poured His love into our hearts, there are times when a “blockage” (for example, pain, disappointment, distrust, doubt, unbelief) can prevent His love in us from overflowing to others.

In every season of life, the world needs His love and His light. And this need is, perhaps, never more glaringly evident than during seasons of darkness and pain, ushered in by tragedies like the mass shootings which occurred in Orlando, FL, in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Father, cleanse us so that Your light in us can be clearly seen. Also, help us let go of everything we need to and allow You to remove that from which only You can free us, so that Your healing, transforming love in us can constantly overflow to others. In Jesus Name.

“In Remembrance of Me”

Last Monday, we celebrated Memorial Day, honoring those who sacrificed their lives to preserve the freedoms we enjoy. And I find myself thinking today of the necessity of remembering the One Who willingly paid the price to set us “free indeed.”

The Holy Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper, is a sacred sacrament instituted by Jesus and He tells us to participate in this sacrament, “in remembrance” of Him. The Apostle Paul describes the first Lord’s Supper, in 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26.

”… the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (NKJV).

 “In remembrance of Me.” Remember. Remember. Remember.

In his commentary, Matthew Henry highlights the multi-purposed nature of the sacrament of Holy Communion:

  1. “to keep fresh in our minds … his dying for us, as well as to remember an absent friend, even Christ interceding for us, in virtue of his death, at God’s right hand.”
  2. “to show forth Christ’s death, to declare and publish it.”

He further notes,

it is not barely in remembrance of Christ, of what he has done and suffered, that this ordinance was instituted; but to commemorate, to celebrate, his glorious condescension and grace in our redemption. We declare his death to be our life, the spring of all our comforts and hopes. And we glory in such a declaration; we show forth his death, and spread it before God, as our accepted sacrifice and ransom. We set it in view of our own faith, for our own comfort and quickening; and we own before the world, by this very service, that we are the disciples of Christ, who trust in him alone for salvation and acceptance with God.”

We do not have to take Holy Communion every day but may we remember every day what He did for us. May we remember Him every day and may our lives testify to the fact that we our remembering is more than a retention of information.

Remember. Remember. Remember.

Photo Credit

*Matthew Henry’s Commentary was accessed through biblegateway.com