Tag Archives: Jesus

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!

He is Risen Indeed!

cross

Easter is a victory celebration. Death could not hold the only begotten Son of God. In reality, death could never rightfully claim Him in the first place. Since He was sinless, since He is the Son of God, there was no reason that He should die except one. The one reason that caused Jesus to lay down His life was love.

Make no mistake, Jesus did lay down His life. No one could take it from Him unless He willingly let them. He was willing. The reason was because He loved sinners. Sinners just like you and me. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many.

Having willingly laid down His life while paying the full penalty for our sin, the grave could not hold Him any longer. He rose from the dead just as He said He would, never to die again. Now He ever lives to make intercession for those who come to God the Father through Him. What a victory!

Let There Be Light

Darkness is not a thing.  It is actually the absence of a thing, that “thing” being light.  Oftentimes we are so accustomed to darkness or near darkness that it is quite startling when light is suddenly turned on.

Let There Be Light

Imagine how it was for the shepherds on the night that Jesus the Messiah was born.

Now there were … shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  Luke 2:8

To them it was a night like many that had stretched on before, and they assumed would be the same this night.  In the darkness they probably took turns watching and listening for threats to their flock while others slept.  Suddenly everything changed:

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Luke 2:9

What a startling contrast.  Suddenly the darkness that they were used to was no more.  In an instant everything changed.  No one now slept. The focus of everyone was riveted on a heavenly being as light of the glory of the Lord lit everything around them.

For these shepherds it was the first of several extraordinary events of that night.  The darkness that they had grown so used to was shown for the nothing that it was.  The fixation on things physical was eclipsed by the revelation of things spiritual.

Suddenly there was a messenger sent from God!  Suddenly there was heavenly light!  Suddenly there was great fear!

When we become too complacent in our physical lives, when we become too used to the dark, when we become too adept at rationalizing compromise with the world and sin, we need the light of the Lord shined into our world.

I love the word “behold” at the start of the sentence about the revelation of the angel and light and fear.  It is a signpost that tells us to not just read this, but to grad hold of this truth.  Put yourself there on that night going about your nightly routine when it is suddenly shattered by God revealing His Son.  Then take that truth and apply it to your life today.

Let there be light as God shines anew the revelation of His gift to the world this Christmas season.  Come out of the darkness into His glorious presence and gaze in awe at the majesty of the God who loved us and gave His Son for us.

Season for the Reason

We are not sure when Jesus Christ was born.  Scripture does not tell us.  Traditionally, Jesus’ birth is celebrated on December 25.  This may be the day He was born.  It may not be the day He was born.

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What we do know for sure, what Scripture is crystal clear about, is that Jesus was born.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

Are we sure that December 25 is the day of Jesus’ birth?  No we are not.  Is Jesus’ birth something that we should celebrate?  How could we not celebrate the greatest gift of God to mankind?

God’s gift of His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins is certainly to be celebrated.  December 25 is as good a day as any.  Let’s just make sure that we remember the reason that we set aside this season for celebration.