Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Victory in Jesus

So many of us thank God for what he has done, "Thank you Lord for my promotion, for this new home..." .But deep down in our secret hiding places are we fully thanking God? How often do we give God the glory for winning the war but not the battles. We say things like "By Gods grace I survived --- so I could share this message with you today." did you catch that "I survived so I could share". Not "Gods grace pulled me through so HE could use me to share ...". It might sound the same and you might think it has the same meaning but one uses God as the instrument and one God uses you as the instrument. We forget we are HIS instrument to bring others to HIM.

On Sunday's our preacher often prays for God to hide him behind the cross so we will see only Gods message to us not his deliverance of it. Yet after church we shake his hand and say "Great sermon, you did really well today." or something similar. I've never thought to tell him "Thanks for being Gods instrument "He" blessed me with a wonderful message today." We have been greatly blessed with an awesome preacher, but every aspect about him that allows him to deliver a powerful, touching sermon is God given. His personality~God, skill of public speaking~God, ability to capture attention~ God, knowledge~God, all God. Now don't get me wrong I feel he not only knows this but acknowledges this as well. My question is do you know this? Do you realize that NOTHING you have, do or accomplish is through you. God brought you into this world and God gave you His only Son so you could join HIM when you leave it. He, He, He. Not me, me, me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What did my sins REALLY cost?

What did my sins REALLY cost? What did Jesus actually pay on that cross? I mean come on He knew at the end of it that He would be sitting beside God the Father. How bad was it REALLY?

We've all felt pain before. Some have felt pain as excruciating as Jesus felt being nailed to His cross. They have lost limbs, been beaten and tortured. There are those who know what real physical pain feels like.

We've all felt loneliness. Jesus had spent his life being around people. Loved by his family and for his last years followed and pursued by thousands, so much so He had to actively seek alone time. Yet when he died on the cross those closest to Him left him. Some people have felt this solitude. Children are abandoned daily, they live in orphanages that have no love for them. We can know His loneliness.

We've all experienced humiliation. Jesus suffered the humiliation of being stripped of all His garments, watching others play games to win His personal belongings, being ridiculed and laughed at, taunted and teased. These are all things that we here and now have felt some even to the extent that Jesus felt them.

We all carry some burden of responsibility. There are those that give their lives for others. They walk a path knowing that at the end of it they won't be walking back. They fight for our freedoms giving all not only for me and you but also for what they know is right. Just as Jesus carried this burden for us.

BUT NONE of us have felt the despair of having God the Father turn his eyes from us. He has never looked at us and been so saddened by what He saw that he looked away.
Jesus felt this.

As Jesus suffered through pain, loneliness, humiliation and the burden of His responsibility He also carried the complete and utter blackness, the vileness of our combined sins. When I think back to the sins I knowingly committed I feel shame, and sadness. Yet I know there are others who have committed sins far, far, far worse than me. Knowing how mine feel for me to carry, imagining how adding more and far worse sin would feel added to mine, I can barely comprehend how broken my Jesus must have felt. Just imagine your worse sin. Think how it makes you feel even now AFTER you've been forgiven and you've set it in your past. Now add murder, theft, rape, and child abuse to it. Feel that. That's how our Jesus felt, only he didn't have to imagine it He felt it.

Jesus was the lamb, the sacrifice for our sins. When God looks at you He doesn't see your sin after repentance. Only you covered by the blood of Jesus. As Jesus hung on the cross there was no others blood to cover him. No sacrifice to stand between Jesus and our sin. God saw every sin that we poured upon His Son. Jesus carried our sin and accepted the punishment for us. We all think that His death was that punishment but He accepted not death because He overcame death but He accepted Gods divine wrath upon Him for our sins. Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying. "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" Jesus then felt something we will never feel if we have accepted Jesus as our savior. He felt the lose of Gods joy,His wrath, and His rejection. For that one moment He felt what true pain, loneliness, humiliation, burden and rejection was like. Then it was finished.

You see God will never turn from us. We will never feel that rejection or wrath because Jesus took that for us too. He lived a sin free life only to die covered in our sin. We live sin filled lives only to die covered by His blood. It still amazes me.