Sunday 7/1 ~ Satan pays our wages for our sins

The scripture for today, July 1 (7/1), is Leviticus 7:1f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

“These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy. The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be sprinkled against the altar on all sides.”

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-ThumbnailRomans 3:23 says the wages of sin is death. The earnings are paid by Satan, the author of death.  The earnings for your sins were collected by substitute deaths of substitute perfect animals over and over in the Old Testament. But Jesus nailed the Old Law to the cross (Colossians 2:14), and with his one sacrifice made it so that no more blood sacrifices were necessary (Hebrews 8-9).

In a sense, Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, laid down on the altar of the world where his blood flowed from all sides of the cross to all sides of the earth. Why would anyone want to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and nullify that horribleness Jesus went through in our place?

Jesus collected your wages from Satan for your sins in your place. We can never, ever thank him enough.  Instead of temple ceremonies, he asked you to commemorate his death with the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Communion each week.  Do you?  On Sundays, the day he came back to life, do you?

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Saturday 6/30 ~ Must we rebuild the temple in Jerusalem?

The scripture for today, June 30 (6/30), is 1st Kings 6:30 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-lg-thumbnail“He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.”

About 40 years ago it was figured that Solomon put $3 trillion worth of gold in the temple to line the ceiling, walls, and floor. And that figure would probably be around $12 trillion today. Talk about streets of gold in heaven!

There are some people today asking for money to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Even if they accomplished it, what would it do for Christians? The book of Hebrews in the New Testament explains to the Hebrew (Jewish) Christians that they no longer need or want the temple. Why? Hebrews 8:13 says, “By calling this covenant (Testament) ‘new’ he has made the first one [Old Testament] obsolete.”

Let’s look at the temple in a spiritual sense through the eyes of a Christian ~ and of Jesus himself in Hebrews 9:1.

Now the FIRST COVENANT [TESTAMENT] had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 7 Only the High Priest entered the inner room [Most Holy Place]…and never without blood.…. 11When Christ came as High Priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle [temple] that is not man-made. 12. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood [He being the Lamb of God ~ John 1], having obtained eternal redemption. 24. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered HEAVEN ITSELF. For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a NEW COVENANT [TESTAMENT].

Why in the world would anyone want an imitation temple and holy of holies made with hands back in Jerusalem again, along with all the animal sacrifices on the altar, and priests who would have to be of the Tribe of Levi, and tithing and all the other over 600 laws of Moses? It makes no sense.

Thank God, we live in a more spiritual age ~ the age of Christ and the temple of heaven itself.

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Thursday 6/21 ~ Satan is just. God is merciful.

The scripture for today, June 21 (6/21), is Romans 6:21ff as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Inside-AUDIBLE-Hearts-Medium“What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Sometimes you do things you are ashamed of and decide God would be too ashamed of you to accept you as his child. But God can get rid of the shame, for he can forgive so completely that it is as though we never did those things.

Do you bristle at the phrase “slaves to God” or “slaves to Christianity” or even slavery at all? But we’re all slaves to something ~ a big car, high position, beauty, a hobby, chasing after the opposite gender, reading, eating, music, sports, etc.  What are you a slave to?

From the beginning of time, sin has always been rewarded with death. Death means “separation” and in the case of sin, it means separation from God. God allowed us in Old Testament times to kill a perfect animal in our place, but we had to keep doing it throughout life. Then Jesus came as our perfect Lamb of God and allowed himself to be killed in our place.

The wages were collected from Satan by Jesus.  Yes, Satan pays mankind our due.  He is for justice. God is for forgiveness.  Instead of paying us what we deserve, God pays us what is not just.  It is his love.

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Thursday 6/14 ~ Are you willing to collect the wages?

The scripture for today, June 14 (6/14), is Numbers 6:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“There he is to present his offerings to the Lord…a year-old ewe-lamb without defect for a sin offering… “

A lot of people don’t understand what Jesus dying on a cross has to do with going to heaven. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death” ~ both physical and soul death. It is Satan who pays us our wages.  In Old Testament times, God intervened and allowed people to kill a perfect animal in their place whenever they sinned. But it was only a temporary fix because it is impossible for us to be perfect.

Finally, God the Word came to earth as a human, and John the Baptist called him the Lamb of God (John 1:29). Jesus was perfect; that is, he never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Then he took the wages of sin from Satan and died as the perfect Lamb of God in our place ~ both physically (separation from people on earth) and spiritually (separation from God the Father). He even went a step further and miraculously came back to life!

Then God said, If you’ll believe and imitate Jesus, I will consider your debt paid in full and consider you perfect too (Romans 6). Then I’ll bring you back to life in heaven. How amazing! 

And, by the way, since he came back to life on Sunday, that’s what makes Sunday so special. It’s an I’m-sorry-you-had-to-die-for-my-sins Day.  It’s the “Do-this-in-remembrance-of-me” Lord’s Supper Day.  It’s a Gratitude Day.

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Sunday 6/3 ~ Baptism? What in the world for?

The scripture for today, June 3, is Romans 6:3f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life….because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

Oh! Baptism does all that? Some people say no, but God says yes. Indeed, in baptism we obtain a new life ~ are born again. And in baptism we are freed from sin ~ forgiven. Look at it this way: Just as Jesus died carrying our sins on himself, we die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we are buried into his death in our watery tomb. And just as Jesus came up out of his tomb the Savior, we come up our of our tomb the saved ~ with “a new life” and “freed from sin.

Everything works together beautifully ~ hearing, believing, confessing, dying to sin, being baptized into Christ Jesus. What an honor and privilege we have been given to imitate what he did for us!  

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Thursday 5/31 ~ Shall we rebuild the temple?

The scripture for today, May 31 (5/31), is Deuteronomy 5:31 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 5-FloodGates-Cover-Thumbnail-New“But you [Moses] may stay here [on the mountain] with me [God] so that I may give you all the commands, decrees, and laws you are to teach them to follow in the land I am giving them to possess.”

Many people believe that the “Law of Moses” consisted only of the Ten Commandments. But there was much more. It took Moses 40 days to write them all down. How many? Over 600 “commands, decrees and laws.”

Some people today want to dip back into the Law of Moses to get showy types of worship ~ candles, incense, stoning for adultery, instruments of music, choirs, animal sacrifices, separate priesthood, special clothing for priests, and tithing to pay for it all. Jesus nailed the old law to the cross (Colossians 2:14) and created a much simpler New Testament/Covenant!

Other people want to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.  Why? So they can revert to animal sacrifices and thus nullify the sacrifice Jesus made of himself?  James said that, if we keep part of the Law, we are obligated to keep it all (James 2:10).

By calling this covenant [testament] ‘new’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear’ “ (Hebrews 8:13). Not part of it. All of it. Hebrews goes on to say that the Holy of Holies is now in heaven, the curtain in the temple is now Jesus, etc.  Rebuilding the temple would mean going backward from grace to legalism.

Thank God we do not have to keep all those 600+ commandments in the Law of Moses. They were controlling and tedious, and some were impossible to keep. Why would God give a law impossible to keep? To help us understand that it is impossible for us to be perfect. Finally, understanding that, he was ready to send his Son to earth to be perfect for us.

 

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Monday 5/21 ~ What if I only sin sometimes?

The scripture for today, May 21 (5/21) is 2nd Corinthians 5:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-New“God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

A lot of people do not understand what Jesus’ death has to do with going to heaven. The key is in Romans 3:23 that says “The wages of sin is death.” When Adam and Eve sinned, immediately their souls died, and the bodies gradually died. That was the wages they collected for sinning.

It’s been happening to everyone since then. But, during Old Testament times, God allowed people to make a perfect animal take their wage, shed its blood and die in their place when they sinned.

This was only a temporary fix, however. Hebrews says the blood of animals cannot truly take away (take the substitute punishment for) sins; they are remembered again every year (Hebrews 10:3-4).

Finally, John the Baptist announced Jesus was “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). In order to forever stop all the sacrificial substitute dying, God prepared his own perfect Lamb ~ Jesus, who never sinned. For 33 years, God’s Word took human form in Jesus and became one of us. Then he had to shed his blood and die in our place. In so doing, he collected our wages forever.

Jesus did two things impossible for us to do: Live a perfect life without sin, and come back to life after he died ~ both physically and spiritually. Why? So we could do another thing that is impossible for us to do on our own: Enter heaven, the home of the perfect.

Heaven is not for people who do a lot of good works and only sin sometimes so that God will have no choice but to take them into his home. It only takes one sin to be a sinner.  God cannot exist with sin.

God invites us to his heaven if we will follow Jesus. We don’t even have to be perfect ~ just forgiven. Jesus was perfect for us. What amazing love.

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Monday 5/14 ~ Perfect love

The scripture for today, May 14 (5/14), is 2nd Corinthians 5:14a as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For Christ’s love compels us….”

On a distant hill a very long time ago, something unbelievable happened.

Jesus died both physically and spiritually in our place! (Remember when he said God had forsaken him?) He knew we couldn’t come back from either kind of death on our own, so he did it for us. Such terrible things he went through for us!

Love is powerful! It causes us to do things for someone we love that we never wanted to do and never dreamed we could do.

How powerful is your love for Christ? Do you share the love of Christ with others? 1st John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”

You must reach out to people who think Jesus will ruin their fun, or has too many rules, or could never forgive them, or wouldn’t stop a tragedy from happening to them. If not in person, tell them in a note, a phone call, email, even a song. There are ways. Reach out. You can and you will if you let Christ’s love compel you.

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Wednesday 5/10 ~ Are you a peacemaker?

The scripture for today, May 9 (5/9), is Matthew 5:9 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Joseph-Cover-Thumbnail“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.”

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God (Christians are adopted sons) was a peacemaker. He came to earth to help us make peace with God. After all, “all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It only takes one sin to be a sinner. And God cannot dwell with sin. What was the solution?

Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. In Old Testament times, God let people kill a perfect animal in their place and collect their death wage. But they kept having to do it. Finally, Jesus came to earth and lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live as the perfect Lamb of God. Then he allowed himself to take our punishment for our (not his) sins and collect the death wage in our place.

His was the final sacrifice. Now, by following Jesus, God adopts us and makes us his children. Jesus was a peacemaker between God and man.

You, too, can be a peacemaker. You can help people be at peace with themselves. You can help them be at peace with each other. And you can help them be at peace with God. Thereby, you can share in what God’s begotten Son was ~ a peacemaker.

Tuesday 5/1 ~ It stretches our mind, our heart, our soul

The scripture for today, May 1 (5/1), is Romans 5:1 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Of course, if we do not have faith in Jesus, we will not obey any of his commands. He said in John 15:14, “You are my friends IF you do what I command.”

How do we become his friends?  By obeying all his commands. But we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and the wages we earn with our sins is body and soul death (Romans 6:23).

That makes it impossible for us to live in heaven. Only the just can enter heaven. Otherwise, heaven wouldn’t be heaven. But how do we become just when the fact remains that we sin by actions, attitudes, and good things we leave undone?

Every time we sin, we come in the clutches of Satan, the originator of both body and soul death.  He holds us hostage. So, God came to us in flesh, paid our fine, our bail, and bought us out of the death prison of Satan. He got us out and declared us not guilty.

But we have to believe he did that for us.  What amazing God we have. We can barely comprehend it. It stretches our mind, our heart, our soul.

Yes, it is a beautiful thing what God did for us. That was his part. Our part is to believe it, accept it, and actively follow it.

That, too, is beautiful.

Monday 4/9 ~ I want to do this. Help me.

The scripture for today, April 9, is 1st John 4:9f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: Not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

How perplexing. We are stymied. There is no solution. We humans do not have the will to live perfect lives. We give in to sin. We can never get it right. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. In the Old Testament era, God let people kill an animal in their place whenever they sinned, but it had to be done over and over. But still, every time we sinned, our souls died a little more.

Then came our answer, our rescue our solution. But the cost.  It was so high.  God sent his Son to us for a while with a body so his Son’s body could be killed (collecting our wages, the cost of our sins) in our place.

Finally, God invited mankind to bring our souls back to life through him ~ that is, become Christ-ians. How do we become alive through Jesus? Of course, we know about believing Jesus was the Son of God and repenting of our sins. Also Romans 6:4 says when we are baptized and come forth out of the Spirit’s watery womb, our souls are born again and we now have a new life.

But it does not stop there. We must try the best we can to live as Jesus lived, speak as Jesus spoke, love as Jesus loved. With Jesus living in us, we are his mouth, his hands, his feet. It is then that we offer our own bodies as daily sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

Oh, Lord God.  I want to do this. Help me.  Help me.

Sunday 4/1 ~ Is the cost too high?

The scripture for today, April 1 (4/1), is Ephesians 4:1 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”

Paul, a prisoner for spreading the word about Jesus? Now he wants others to follow his example, even if they end up in prison like him?  Did Paul’s incarceration stop the Christians he was writing to?  More, did Jesus’ crucifixion stop them for fear they would be crucified too?

Did early Christians decide it was too dangerous to tell people the way to escape hell and go to heaven? Never. They loved people so much, they were willing to take insults and persecution and imprisonment and even death in the hopes that their persistent love would eventually lead to people becoming Christians and being saved from eternal hell. They knew their calling as Christians.

How about today? Do you live a life worthy of your calling as a Christian? Do you stand up for Jesus and reach out to the lost, regardless of the cost? Or do you cower and use the excuse, “Once people see my godly life, they will ask me how to be saved”?  How many times do the lost really do that?

Rise up!  Stand tall as a brave soldier of the Lord. Dare to march into enemy territory and do everything you can to snatch the lost out of the claws of Satan.

No matter what they do to you.

Wednesday 3/21 ~ The Cheerful Conscience

The scripture for today, March 21 (3/21), is 1st Peter 3:21 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also ~ not the removal of dirt from the body but the answer of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus’ part in saving us was to pay the wages of our sins to Satan through his terrible death. Our part is to believe he did. Then to confess it to others. Then to repent of the sins that he died for. Some people call this process (and it is a process) giving their heart to the Lord.

But many people go through life wondering if they were sincere enough when they gave their heart to the Lord. What is in one’s mind long ago sometimes becomes a fuzzy memory. So they re-give their heart to the Lord all over again periodically throughout their life.

Thank God, he has given us something we can do, an action to prove we were sincere enough, more than a long-ago state of mind. He gave us an action to reassure our conscience toward God ~ “baptism that now saves you”, the same baptism wherein you are reborn to live a new life (Romans 6: 4)

Friday 3/16 ~ Then God played a trick on Satan

The scripture for today, March 16 (3/16), is John 3:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“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.”

Guess what? Many people have heard there is such a scripture as John 3:16, but they do not know what it says. And among those who do know what it says, many have no idea what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with going to heaven.

It is important for us to read the entire Bible so we can understand the isolated scriptures we hear or read. There was a song written several years ago called, No Man Is An Island. No scripture is an island either. Just as every person influences other people in some way, every scripture influences other scriptures.

The meaning of John 3:16? Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” And Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is [spiritual] death.”

There are certain truths that cannot be broken. For example, it is impossible for God to lie.  Another truth is that both good and evil exist.  It is obvious both are in a battle to win.  Satan is the seat of evil.  God is the seat of good.  God is stronger than Satan.  How do we know? Whatever Satan does, God can undo. When Satan causes someone to be sick, God can heal them. When Satan causes someone to sin, God can forgive them. When Satan causes someone to die, God can bring them back to life.

Satan held mankind hostage because we all sin.  The ransom to free mankind was the death of someone who had never sinned. Only one being had never sinned ~ God.  But God was smarter than Satan. God sent his Word down to us in flesh (John 1:1f, 14) ~ Jesus ~ who lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live.  Then, the fleshly-part of God paid the terrible ransom: He died physically and spiritually on the cross. 

The ransom was now paid (Matthew 20:28 and I Peter 1:18-21). Then God played a trick on Satan. Only the flesh part of Jesus died. And even then, that body came back to life.

Today, we have a choice: Become a Christian or tell God the way we live is none of his business. Think.  Think about this.  Deeply.  “God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son.”  Understanding the price he paid to keep y out of hell, how can anyone walk away from him?

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Friday 3/9 ~ Open the door to the mystery and step inside

The scripture for today, March 9, is Ephesians 3:9f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

07-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonSmall“To make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ever wonder why God created the world? Here it is:  The “mystery”.  The” mystery” can be discovered by making a chart each time “mystery” appears in the Bible along with who understands it and who does not.

The “mystery” as expanded upon in this letter to the church in Ephesus, is Jesus paying the ransom for us sinners and setting us free from Satan.  It is complete and full forgiveness.

Who does God desire to explain this “mystery” to? Rulers and authorities in heavenly realms ~ angels, demons, and Satan. You see, angels don’t seem to get it, and Satan does not want anyone to be forgiven.

Satan spends a lot of time and energy convincing people good is bad and bad is good. He doesn’t want to be the only one going to hell. And he wants to prove he is stronger than God. But even when Satan is successful and we sin, God just negates it and forgives us. There is nothing that Satan can do that God cannot undo. That enrages Satan.

Oh, the grand “mystery”.  It is God’s love demonstrated by the death and resurrection of his Son so we can be set free. This “mystery” is revealed through the church who has believed it. Open the door to the “mystery” and step inside. God is there waiting for you.  And he is smiling.

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Monday 3/5 ~ God took care of the hard part

The scripture for today, March 5 (3/5), is Titus 3:5 in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

God is perfectly good and cannot dwell with imperfection. How, then, could we ever live with him in his heaven?  After all, as hard as we tried, we could not be perfect. Mankind was held hostage by Satan.

God loved us so much that he solved our dilemma. He sent his Son to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. Then, his perfect “Lamb of God” took our punishment for our sins by paying the ransom to get us out of the clutches of Satan.

Romans 3:23 says the earnings of sin is death ~ physical death (separation from this world) and spiritual death (separation from God). Jesus took it all for us. And that included being completely separated from God. At the worst of it, Jesus cried out to God, “Why have your FORSAKEN me?” That’s when Jesus died spiritually for a while. It was we who deserved to be forsaken by God.

Sin and its power now destroyed, God said if we go “through the washing of rebirth” we will be renewed by the Holy Spirit.  

But how? God did not leave us guessing, for in Acts 22:16 he said through Peter, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins” and in Romans 6:4 he said through Paul, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism in order that…we too may live a new life [rebirth].”  Then we could start over pure and washed.

God took care of the hard part. He gave us the easy part. And so we worship him.

Saturday 2/24 ~ I don’t do big sins, so I’m going to heaven

The scripture for today, February 24 (2/24), is 1st Peter 2:24 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

Many people do not understand what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with us going to heaven. After all, if we don’t murder, steal, abuse others and only lie a little, God has no choice but to take us into heaven.  But God is perfect, so cannot co-exist with imperfection ~ even one tiny sin.

Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. So, all through the Old Testament era, whenever we sinned, God allowed us to kill/sacrifice a perfect animal and spill its blood to collect the death wages in our place. Notice, the animal had to be perfect and this was a temporary fix.

Eventually, God sent his own Son to come to earth and live in a human body and be tempted in every way that we are (see Hebrews 4:15). Jesus resisted all temptations and lived his entire life sinless. He was perfect morally, just as the sacrificial animals were perfect physically.

Then as the perfect Lamb of God (John 1:29), Jesus became the final sacrifice. He took the blame for all our sins and died in our place. He took the terrible wages of death for our sins. On the cross, he died spiritually (forsaken by God) and physically with blood dripping from the wounds in his hands and feet. Then God basically told the world, “I will consider you perfect too; all you have to do is believe in and follow my Son.”

It is explained further in Romans 6:3-4. Just as Jesus died bearing our sins, we die to our sinful nature ~ the part of us that sins and doesn’t care. Then just as Jesus was buried in his tomb, we are buried in the watery tomb of baptism. And finally, just as Jesus rose up out of his tomb the Savior, we rise up out of our watery tomb the saved ~ born again to a new life.

He left heaven to do all this for you and me. Indeed, by Jesus’ wounds you and I can be healed. We fall at his feet and say, “I am a sinner and so unworthy. Thank you.”

 

Wednesday 2/14 ~ Thank God for the Old Testament

The scripture for today, February 14, is Colossians 2:14 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“[God] having canceled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would want the Law of Moses unless they don’t want to obey ALL 600 commands and want an excuse to justify the one they do want.

They want the part that says to tithe so they can get people’s money. (Actually, the good Jew gave one-third, not one-tenth.) Or they want a separate priesthood so they can feel important.  Or they want showy things in worship like candles, incense, musical instruments (though they were only allowed the harp, lyre, and cymbal) so they can enjoy themselves more. 

Hold on! If we obey one command we are required to keep the entire Law of Moses ~ all 600 commands. Galatians 5:3 and James 2:10 say so. Are you up to it?

Our verse for today says the Law was against us; that is, it was impossible for us to keep perfectly. Try wading through Leviticus in the Old Testament. That’s where most of the old Law (“the written code with its regulations”) is.

It’s tedious. It regulated nearly every part of everyone’s daily life. It involved what we could and couldn’t eat, having to kill animals to die in our place whenever we sinned, stoning adulterers to death, having a separate Levite priesthood, giving a third of our income, reporting to priests if we had an open sore, use of candles, having to go to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year, spreading blood on our doorposts, and on and on.

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament was written to help us understand that God’s new Law of Grace is much more spiritual. Read especially chapters 8 & 9. We have to make a choice: Old or New.

Hebrews was written about the time the Temple in Jerusalem was permanently destroyed, thus making it impossible to obey several things in the old Law. And a little time later the Jewish genealogies were destroyed, thus making it impossible to prove who was a Levite and eligible to be a priest.

But wait!  The Old Testament of the Bible is not the same as the Law of Moses. The Law is a small part of the Old Testament. The rest of it is wonderful praise, amazing wisdom, accounts of people who did or did not try to follow God, and those astounding prophecies of Jesus all through them.

Let us not neglect the Old Testament as so many people do. Thank God for the Old Testament.

 

Monday 2/5 ~ …all while the world raged at him

The scripture for today, February 5 (2/5), is Ephesians 2:5 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“[God] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions ~ it is by grace you have been saved.”

Every time we sin, our spirit ~ our soul ~ dies a little more. Every time we steal, cheat, torture, murder. We say we don’t do such things. Well, how about every time we stretch the truth (lie), go over the speed limit (disobey the laws of the land), close our eyes to someone we know is in need (selfishness), lose our temper, indulge in coarse talk, call someone names, refuse to forgive?

It is true that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and our wages every time we sin is death (Romans 6:23). That is what we earn. That is what we deserve. We certainly do not deserve to live with a sinless God. Nor can we. But by his grace, he made a way possible to consider us sinless.

In Old Testament times, people killed a perfect animal to die in their place, but it was only a temporary fix. Then God sent his perfect Son who never sinned ~ the Lamb of God ~ to lie down on the altar of the world at the cross. There he died spiritually and physically in our place for the things we in the world did wrong, all while the world raged at him.

Yes, while we were still enemies of God by sinning, while we were spiritually dead, Jesus died for us. That was his amazing part.  He can also make you spiritually alive. If you will actively seek and do what he asked you to do. That is your part  ~ the easy part.

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Link to ebook & discount paper: http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

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#wages, #earnings, #sin, #death

Tuesday 1/30 ~ Me, Lord? Sinful me?

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Thumbnail-NewThe scripture for today, January 30 (1/30), is 1st Corinthians 1:30 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us “wisdom” from God ~ that is, our…

  • …righteousness,
  • …holiness and,
  • …redemption.”


Me? Sinful me? Considered right and holy?  But I’m not right and holy. How can that be?

Let’s look at these words of reassurance backward. When we are redeemed (bought back from Satan, our accuser and punisher), we gain God’s holiness and God’s rightness. But I am not holy and right.  God, don’t you understand this?

“Yes, my child,” God answers. “But My Son knew how, and so became sinless for you.”

I cannot let what He did for me drift by. Jesus traded.  He took my sinfulness and gave me his sinlessness.  He took my punishment and gave me redemption. Now, at least in the eyes of God, I am holy.

I think on this and the more I do, the more amazed I become.  Me, Lord? Unworthy, sinful me? I am awed into silence and worship.

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link to ebook & discount paper:  http://bit.ly/TheyMetJesus

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#sin, #perfection, #crucifixion, #holy

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