Tag Archives: Grace

Foremost

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.  But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.        1 Timothy 1:15-16 (ESV)

Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to stop the teaching of “any different doctrine” v. 3.  What needed to be taught was sound doctrine that would lead to love from a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere faith v. 5.  This could only come about through the clear proclamation of the “glorious gospel of the blessed God” v. 11.

Paul then uses himself as the ultimate example of the power of this “glorious good news of the blessed God” to transform lives.  Saul, as Paul was also known, was a very religious man, but a man consumed with arrogant pride, blasphemy, and persecution of the true children of God.  He was going down the road to Damascus breathing threats and murder against those wretched Christians who were still insisting that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah who had risen from the dead after being crucified dead and buried.  His encounter with Jesus on that road transformed his life from the greatest persecutor of Jesus and His followers, to the greatest proclaimer of Jesus.

Paul gets to the bottom line in verse 15: “Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”  This trustworthy fact should give hope to every living person.  Hey, I’m a sinner.  Jesus came into the world to save me!  What glorious good news.  What a hope that we also can be transformed from our life in darkness apart from God, into a joyful walk of faith in the light.

Paul gives even more reason for hope.  He was formerly the “foremost sinner.” The absolute worst because all his energy was spent trying to keep anyone from believing in Jesus.  But he became the “foremost example” of Jesus’ perfect patience with sinners.  Jesus reached out to, and received, the worst sinner to show that no one is beyond hope.

Oh sinner, quit running.  Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Be reconciled to God.  Believe in Jesus for eternal life.  Amen.

Come to Jesus

There are times in our lives when things get real.  We can go through long periods of time when the distractions of day to day life, or the pursuit of our desires, can keep us from facing some momentous truths.  Sometimes we can go for months or years plowing on with our heads down ignoring the looming mountain in our path.   Fundamental truths cannot be ignored forever.  Ultimately there must come a time of reckoning.

We have a phrase in our culture called having a “come-to-Jesus” moment.  A “come to Jesus” moment has several definitions, but all refer to a point in time when things get real.  The mundane and superficial are stripped away and ultimate reality is exposed.  This could be a life-changing event, or a frank, often painful discussion about something that needs to be faced which has long been avoided.

The ultimate “come-to-Jesus” moment is when a person frankly considers the person of Jesus Christ and decides what they are going to do about Him.  A Christian would describe their “come-to-Jesus” moment as the time when they came to Jesus and believed in Him as the Son of God who died for their sins and was raised from the dead, and having thus believed, were saved.

The Book of Revelation describes the time when this world will have its own “come-to-Jesus” moment, as God pours out His wrath for sin in ever escalating horrendous judgments.  It is incomprehensible how bad things will be because God hates sin so much.

In the last chapter of Revelation Jesus tells us three times that He is coming quickly.  He wants us to totally get the point that He is coming again.  Revelation 22:12 is the second of the reminders that He is coming.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”  Revelation 22:12-13 (NKJV)

He is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the inclusion of every letter of every word.  There will be no avoiding the necessity of facing Him.  He is the ultimate mountain looming in every man’s path. When He comes will you be friend or foe?

Two positions: Two Destinies.

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  Revelation 22:14 (NKJV)

But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.  Revelation 22:15 (NKJV)

Inside the New Jerusalem are those who love and practice God’s righteous truth.  Outside are those who ignore or reject it.  Inside is blessing.  Outside is an awful place full of regret.

God is not hiding this truth.

He wants everyone to know it.  The problem is men hiding from it or ignoring it, not God hiding it from them.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”  Revelation 22:16 (NKJV)

Jesus wants every one of His servants to know what is coming.  He wants us to know it so that we know that He wins, and we win with Him.  He also wants us to know so that we are powerfully motivated to let everyone else know what is coming.  It will be awful for the many people who have ignored or rejected Jesus.  But God offers blessing to all who will embrace a “come-to-Jesus” moment and believe that He is the Annointed One sent by the Father to be the Savior of all who believe.

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.  Revelation 22:17 (NKJV)

STOP!

Put your life on hold for the time it takes for you to have your “come-to-Jesus” moment.  Please, Please, Please – Believe on Him today.

Come to Jesus!

Have You Made Your Bed?

There is an old expression: "You have made your bed, now lie in it." It means in effect that you will get what you deserve. For example, if you take your paycheck and go blow it at the bar or the casino, you are not going to have much to live on until the next paycheck. What’s more, you will be reaping exactly what you deserve for such a foolish action.

This principle is stated pretty explicitly in God’s word with the expression: "you will reap what you sow." If you sow to the flesh, you can expect to reap corruption. If you sow to the Spirit in seeking and serving God, you will reap peace and blessing. External circumstances may still be grim, but inwardly you will have a peace that is beyond comprehension.

Thankfully, there is one exception to the rule that if you have made your bed, you must lie in it. You may have served sin and self all you life and deserve an eternity in hell separated from God. However it is not too late to get into the other bed that God has made for you.

God’s Son, Jesus, died in your place on the cross. He paid the penalty for your sinful life. He rose from the dead to prove that He is the Son of God, and that the price for your salvation was fully paid. If you will change your mind about your sinful living and accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord, God will forgive your sins and change your life.

Which bed will you choose to lie in?