A Holy God

Our human penchant is to trust in our self-righteousness, natural talents and basic good heart to earn us a place in heaven, or at least to ensure that we are reincarnated to a higher life form.

The problem with this thinking is that our heart is deceitful and basically wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Even our best day falls short of God’s holiness and glory, which is the standard for residence in Heaven (Roman 3:23).

When we repent of our sin, ask for God’s forgiveness and surrender our life to Him, He gives us the righteousness, which can only come from Jesus Christ.

Jesus then abides within us by His Spirit (John 15:4). He raises our spirit, which is dead in sin, to walk in a whole new life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). This secures our place in Heaven.

That is why God sent the perfect Lamb, who never lived a moment in sin, to take on the sin of the whole world and to make us righteous like God through the sacrifice of His life (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus willingly laid down His life for us (Luke 4:29-30). He made the choice in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night before He was betrayed, to carry out God’s will (Luke 22:42).

He submitted to the excruciating scourging and death on the cross, not due to human weakness, but according to the spiritual strength He received while considering the glory that lay waiting for Him in Heaven (Hebrews 12:2).

The grace of God transforms us into a Temple made without hands, a dwelling place fit for a King (1 Corinthians 3:16). He uses what the world considers as foolishness to carry out the work of His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Our only honorable response to this is to submit to His will in our life, so that we will also be counted worthy to dwell with Him in His glorious Kingdom for eternity (Luke 21:36).

God created each one of us for a specific purpose (Ephesians 2:10) and will judge our works in this life in order to reward us in the next (1 Corinthians 3:13).

Prayer:
Father God, many people do not comprehend the elaborate tapestry You have woven over millennia of time in order to bring about the fulfillment of all things (Ephesians 1:10). They do not understand that You never send judgment without first sending warning.

The flood, the annihilation of generations of people and their possessions in Canaan, the crucifixion of Your own son and other judgments are puzzles and a stumbling block, which prevent people from surrendering their life to You. Yet, before all of these events, You gave mankind plenty of warning that You are a holy and righteous God and nothing unholy may dwell in Your presence.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus had no thought for Himself, but only love for a dying world lost in sin’s degradation.

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Our Great I AM

Many believe that Jesus was a man, a good man, but human and temporarily influential in this world. Jesus had a higher opinion of Himself, however (John 8:23). He shared God’s glory and considered Himself equal with God (John 10:30; 1 John 2:23). Jesus told us that the He is the physical manifestation of God (John 14:9). Reminding us that He is not of this world, He also mentioned that He existed eternally (John 6:62, 17:5,16).

The great I AM existed before Abraham (John 8:58). Jesus is Immanuel, the human manifestation of God (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He left behind His heavenly glory and came to earth as a humble servant (Philippians 2:6-8), giving His life to allow anyone, humble enough to repent a believe, a way to enjoy eternal life (John 14:6). He also gave us His example. The least shall be the greatest; the servant shall be chief (Matthew 20: 26-28).

We live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18), as far as it depends upon us, which includes forgiving them for any infractions they perpetrated on us. This way God can forgive us as well (Matthew 6:14-15). Living according to God’s standard for our life is the result of His Spirit conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). His grace makes us who we are (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Jesus never attempted to live by cultural norms during His life. He knew the status quo was as far from the Kingdom of God as it could get. He had nothing nice to say to or about the religious leaders and He never conformed to their image for Him. He left us this example as well…to please God rather than man (Matthew 23:33; Galatians 1:10). We abide as a living sacrifice and honor God (Romans 12:1).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for becoming a man and dying in our place. Knowing that You are our great I AM gives us so much peace, joy and confidence to live life according to Your perfect will for each of us. Conform us to the image of Your Son. Help us to follow Jesus’ example and to please You rather than people.

Thought for the Day:
Follow God’s will with total abandon.