Tag Archives: redemption

This Time

Something to think about.

 

This Time

Esther 4:14 New International Version (NIV)

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

The story of Esther is about being placed at a particular time in the history of Israel to deliver them from there enemies. It is a fascinating story. But what is the application to our lives?

In my lifetime in my country (USA) there have been significant changes. Abortion which was once a crime is now claimed as a right. Drugs which were once illegal have become legal. Virtually any sexual relationship being accepted as moral. Marriage has been stripped of its intended definition.   The list goes on and on.

We are living in this age.

Isaiah 5:20  (KJV)

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

It appears we are living out this verse. Our society is being turned upside down. One of the causes of this is we Christians bought into the ideology that separation of church and state meant we are to keep every vestige of Christian life out of public life. We bought into the idea that God should be kept out of public life. Then we allowed the secularist to dictate to us when and how we should express our beliefs, and by doing so, we have ushered in the apostasy we are experiencing in every area of public life.

For such a time as this, is why we are here. God chose to bring every one of us into this world at this time because he has specifically empowered us to take a stand against those who want to destroy and silence Christ.  We are the people God has chosen to be the soldiers who stand against the assaults of the enemy. If not us who? If not now when? We may be the final generations that can still change the course of the United States. It is up to us, not our children not the next generation or the one after that. It is now. It is here that we must make our stand. Just like Esther who had to put her life on the line to save her people, Israel, we are being to ask to put our lives on the line to save America.

I don’t see anyone on the horizon that will be able to take this charge if we don’t. Unlike Israel who may have had another deliverer if Esther failed. I don’t see salvation coming from any other place for this country at this time. I don’t see anyone coming to release the captives, to set free those in bondage, to bring light to the darkness. There isn’t anything on the horizon that shows the promise of redeeming this country back to God.

We are Esther we are the hope of America. We must stand up and take our place in the army of God, doing what we were designed and created to do.  We were designed and created to show the world who God is.

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Blessings of The Lord

Something to think about.

Blessing of The Lord

“The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.”
Proverbs 10:22 NKJV

When was the last time you received a blessing from the Lord? Was it costly? Did it require something from you? I receive blessings of God on a continual basis. Every day the Lord does something in my life for which I’m grateful. Never have I had to sacrifice anything to receive the blessing of the Lord. It has always been a gift.

Some of the blessings of God are conditional. Even salvation John 3:16 has the requirement of belief in Jesus.

The blessings of God are conditional and unconditional at the same time . The blessings of God are conditional in practice and unconditional in intent. The blessings of God come from the generosity of His heart. For example, redemption is a gift of God. It is something God does for us without condition. You might say that is not true you have to do XYZ to receive redemption. Which is true, however, God did not have to redeem us. There is nothing that required God to redeem us. Forgiveness is another of those unconditional blessings.  He did not have to forgive us. Salvation, restoration, grace, adoption and many other blessing are unconditional. They are unconditional because God is not required to bless us. God is complete and perfect without us. He choose to bless us He did not do it out of need.  A condition is usually in place to benefit the one who grants the benefit. If someone loans you money and the condition is that you pay interest, the interest benefits the one who made the loan. The conditions we must fulfill to receive the blessings of God do not benefit God. By fulfilling the condition in no way, do we add or benefit God.

All of the blessings of God provide us with riches. They may not be momentary but they are rich never the less. When God decided to restore me from my heart attack, it was a rich blessing. Not just because I lived but also because he allowed to serve him. That blessing has turned my life around in ways I didn’t know existed. That single blessing has eternal benefits for me my family and friends and even you a stranger.

Every blessing of God is rich because it is not singular in nature. It does not just bless you but everyone around you. It even extends to people you don’t know. All the blessings of God are positive in there outcome.

In Deuteronomy 28:1 1“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  

God’s blessings are intended to make your life rich spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially. Even though there are actual mechanisms for bringing these blessings to life they are from the heart of God. He offers them too us unconditionally because he wants too. He can’t be required to. He chooses to bless us out of his generosity.

Cornerstone

Something to think about.

Cornerstone

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Jesus is the name above any other name. Of course, it is not just the name but the man who possessed that name that empowers our salvation.  This is the cornerstone of our belief system without it we are irrelevant. 

Christianity is weird if you think about it. We believe in being born again. Of eternal life through the blood of one man. We believe in the unmerited redemption of mankind. We believe in a God we have never seen. We believe this same God is still active in the events of man.  We believe in the resurrection of a man who had been dead for three days. We believe He left earth by other means than death. We believe and wait for His return.  We believe in the Trinity. We believe there is an unmovable moral standard by which to live our lives.  All that we believe is dependant on this one man.  

Christianity does not exist if you remove Jesus from it.  If you make Him a man, the actual son of Joseph he becomes a byline of a ridiculous cult.  If you prove, He was never resurrected, again Christianity crumbles.  If you can find His remains, Christianity is a farce. If you can disprove any of essential claims we make about Him Christianity is a waste. The cornerstone on which Christianity exists is Jesus. In every aspect, Christianity depends on Jesus.

As everything about Christianity depends on Jesus, so does our salvation depend on Him.  He is the only one that can provide us with salvation. In Him resides the power of salvation, rebirth, redemption, forgiveness, and life and life eternal. Christianity is all about Jesus it is not about anything else. It is not a means to an end. It is not a social program, a political party. It is not a religious entity.  It is not the good we do for one another. Or the beautiful things by which we express Christ. Christianity is not a what it is a who. Christianity is Jesus. From Him flows everything else. He is the bedrock cornerstone of what we believe. Without him, precisely in the center of our lives and belief system, we will miss the mark.   

There is no other name.

Thankful

 
Something to think about.
Thankful
A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:1-5 ESV
It is not Thanksgiving it is not Christmas it is not Easter.  It’s October 24th. It is not a holiday, a miracle has not occurred. As a matter of fact, it is 6: 49 in the morning and the only other thing that has happened today is the dog is whining.
The word for today is thankful. I am thankful because God is. Just like He said in the old testament “I Am.” I am grateful for His plan and the fulfillment of His plan of salvation. I am thankful to Him for allowing me to serve Him. I am thankful I can come into His presence singing. I am thankful that He made me. I am thankful the He is my shepherd. I am thankful that I am allowed to praise Him. I am grateful that He allows me into His presence. I am grateful that He is good, that His love endures forever. I am thankful for His forgiveness, redemption, restoration, justification, and sanctification. I am thankful for all He has done. I am thankful that He is all-powerful and unassailable.  I am thankful that he is forgiving. I am thankful that He will never change. I am grateful that He loves me forever. I am thankful the He is faithful through all generations. I am thankful that He has given me the capacity to love Him. I am grateful he has prepared a place for me in heaven. Sometimes you just have to say thank you, God, just because he is worthy of our gratitude.

Your Redemption Draweth Near

Something to think about.

Your Redemption Draweth Near

11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and hunger, and pestilence, and fearful things, and great signs shall there be from heaven. Luke 21:11

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads: for your redemption draweth near. Luke 21:28

With the increased occurrence of natural disasters all over the world, these verses are being quoted more often. I will not address the prophetic implications of these verses.  I would like to discuss the excitement and gleeful anticipation of these verses.

I admit I am torn emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.  On the one hand, I am as is every other Christian joyfully anticipating the return of Christ. I can not wait to see Jesus face to face. How can a Christian have any other reaction than joy and utter contentment at seeing Jesus?

On the other hand, I fear it will be the most painful day of my existence. It will be the day when the opportunity of salvation is removed from the face of the earth. It means the day of judgment has arrived. Will it be a day of joy or a day of sorrow? It will be the day when the wheat is separated from the chaff. For me, it may mean some of my friend’s and family will not be part of God’s family. This prospect is not something I am looking forward to. It is selfish to ask God to advance this day. Is it not contrary to why we are here? We are here to offer the salvation of Christ to the world, Once he returns that offer will be rescinded. Humanity will have no one but themselves to stand before God. Should we not lament those who will be lost? This verse should bring us to conviction, to action.

On that day we will celebrate our reunion with Christ.  Will we, in the back of our minds know we should have done more for the call of Christ?

Rejected

Something to think about.
 
Rejected
 
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”John 6:66-70
 
Jesus was rejected to His face. In this verse, it says “many of his disciples.”  The inference or deduction I get is, much more rejected Him than the twelve that didn’t. It is imperative for us to realize that not everyone is going to respond to Jesus. If this verse is a sign of a broader reality, we must come to the understanding that many will reject Christ. There will be those that upon hearing the word and understanding the word will reject it. For those of us who believe that statement is incomprehensible. How could anyone in their right mind deny Christ? Since we know, there is nothing, no one better. We know and believe with total confidence and expectation the promises of salvation and eternal life. We believe in restoration, reconciliation, rebirth and new life. We believe in the grace, redemption, and forgiveness of God.  Furthermore, we accept and expect all Gods promises to be fulfilled. We know that the God of creation through His Son Jesus has provided for our eternal life with Him in heaven. We can’t understand how anyone can reject Him.
 
Jesus does something here we need to become aware of. He does not turn and chase those who reject Him. He turned to the twelve who recognized Him for who He was and changed the world with those twelve. As the family of God and as individuals we need to stop chasing rejects and embrace those who God has chosen.  We need to seek and find the chosen.
 
There are two important gems in this section of Scripture. One is your uniqueness in accepting and understanding the call of God. Many hearing and understanding will never accept the reality of Christ. You are special for you have heard and accepted His sacrifice for your life. Two and most importantly are, God chose you. As He chose the twelve, He chose you. You are the preferred of God. We need to start acting like it. You are exalted above the rest of humanity because He chose you. The rest of mankind will not sit at the wedding feast of the lamb.

For all Generations

Something to think about.

For all Generations

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
19 that he looked down from his holy height;
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die,
21 that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,
and in Jerusalem his praise, Psalms 102:18-21
 
From Genesis to Revelation the theme never changes. God is redeeming His people. His plan of redemption is expressed for all generations to see.  For all people and nations to come to freedom and life.  He’s never wavered, His redemption plan has never changed it has always been the same. He has heard your cry. He desires to set you free. He wants to save you. You will praise Him for your salvation.
 
The most unfortunate of prisoners is the one that does not know that he is a prisoner.  Daily people you know are groaning and moaning about their lives. They live lives of not so quiet desperation. Looking in all the wrong place for release of the bondage that is holding them. Not aware that they are in bondage. Freedom is knowing that the creator of all things is with you every step of the way. He will never leave you. He will be there with you for the battles of your life and the victories there in.  He will be your shield and deliverer. He will be your ever-present help in times of trouble, and He will not change. 

 

He Could Not Change

 

Something to think about.

He Could Not Change.

See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.
Hebrews 12:16‭-‬17

These are sobering verses. “He could not change what he had done.” We are taught in Christian circles that there is always redemption for our sin. That we can always return to God and he will accept us. I look at these scriptures and others and find this endless claim of redemption not to be so. I believe there is a point where God will not call or hear you. A time when he will say, I will leave you to your own devices. I will not intercede on your behalf. We do harm to those who have assimilated this belief from us. We need to inform them that the patience of God is not limitless. That there is a time in a person’s life when God will not hear their cry of repentance. We need to instill the reality of the fear of God back into our lives as well as the lives of those around us. I am not referring to the reverence of God I referring to bone shaking fear of God. The ultimate judgment of God is in deed something to be feared.

Sharper

Something to think about.

Sharper

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Have you ever wonder why the reaction to the Gospels is sometimes visceral?  Maybe because the word of God cannot be bargained with. It always brings you back to the truth. It is alive and relentless in its exposition of truth. It cuts through the layers of deception and exposes the lies we dilute ourselves with. It lays bare the inconsistencies of our thoughts and points to the one true God.  Maybe because it reveals to ourselves the shallowness of our selfish, sinful intent.

The word of God can also show you His redemptive, restorative grace. It shows you His longsuffering patience. It shows you His amazing love. It shows you the life He offers you. The word of God is the fork in the road with redemption, salvation, grace, love and joy on one side. The other road is the lost life you’ve chosen.

Goodness and Mercy

Something to think about.

Goodness and Mercy 

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”
Psalms 118:1 NKJV

I don’t want to take this for granted. For God is the creator of the universe and if He were to require repayment from me for my sins, I would be sorely inadequate to pay.  If I tried to earn salvation, an eternity of good works would not suffice. It is only through His goodness and His redemptive plan that I can attain forgiveness and restoration.  It is through His mercy that we even have a chance of redemption. Remember He did not have to have mercy on us. However, In His goodness He has.