The Cross

Mark 15:24 And they crucified Him

Being crucified is one of the harshest ways to die.  It certainly was not a humane way of dying.  They nailed the person to the cross.  The persons hands and feet were nailed.  Then they lifted the cross up and the person had to fight for every breath and fight the pain from the nails.  To get relief from the nails, the person would sink down, but then they could not breath.  To breath they had to pull themselves up, but then the intense pain from the nails would hurt.  All along they rubbing their back on a rough piece of wood.  A back, that most likely had been torn open by an intense whipping, that tore their back open and left it exposed.  Eventually the person would give up and die from suffocation.  It was not a nice way to die.

This is the death Jesus endured for us.  He was beaten and hung on the cross.  He was not there for anything He had done, for He never sinned.  He was there because of my sin and your sin.  He volunteered to die that death in order that we might be forgiven.  He could have chosen to come off at anytime and it would have been just, but He stayed out of love for you and me.  If you ever question His love for you, look at how wide His hands were on that cross.

As He hung on the cross, our sin was given to Him and God the Father could no longer look at God the Son.  He bore our sin and carried it to the grave.  When are saved, our sin is buried, gone forever.  We are forgiven.  We are cleansed.  To God, it looks like we have never sinned.  All because of what Jesus did on that cross.

Have you taken advantage of what happened on the cross?  Have your sins been wiped out?  What Jesus did, is our only hope for going to Heaven.  If you have not accepted what Jesus did for you on the cross, you will not go to Heaven, but instead you will spend eternity separated from God in Hell.  How foolish of a choice that is.  Cry out to Him right now.  Tell Him you want to accept what Jesus did on the cross and to accept Him as your Savior.  Ask Him to forgive you.  Believe in Him as the Holy Son of God, who is the only Savior you can have.  He will save you, because He loves you so much!

Dear Jesus, I thank you for enduring the cross.  I thank you for dying for my sins.  How foolish I am when I sin.  You are so amazing!  You are so loving!  Nobody is like You, Oh Lord.  Amen.

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Blood

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Blood represents life in the Bible.  The penalty of sin is death.  God’s grace and love made it possible for an animal’s blood to be shed for our forgiveness.  This was true from the beginning.  When Adam and Eve sinned, God slayed an animal to give them clothes to cover their shame.  Blood was shed to cover their sin.

While calling Israel out of Egypt, God sent plagues onto the people of Egypt.  The last plague instituted the Passover.  The Israelites were to eat a lamb without defect and put its blood on the doorpost of their homes.  The Angel of the Lord went that night killed the first-born son of every house which did not have the blood.  Having the blood of the lamb saved them.

When Israel was in the desert God instituted a sacrificial system.  Every day, priests would slay animals and intervene for the people.  Blood was shed every day because animal blood only lasts so long.  A perfect human needed to die and have their blood shed, which leads us to Jesus.

Jesus is the true Lamb of God.  His Holy perfect blood was shed on the cross for us.  We need to apply His blood to our lives to be saved.  Once and for all we can be forgiven.  All of our sins; past, present, and future sins.  All of ours sins are forgiven and cleansed when we accept Jesus and apply His blood to our lives.  We can only be saved by the blood of the Lamb, the blood of Jesus.

Have you applied the blood of the Lamb?  Have you accepted what Jesus did on the cross for you?  If not, today as good as any other day.  Call out to Him and tell Him you are a sinner in need to be saved.  Ask Him to apply His precious blood to your life.  Ask Him to save You.  Believe that only by His blood can you be saved.  And He will save you!

Dear Jesus, I thank you for shedding Your blood for me.  Thank you for dying for me.  You are my only hope.  You are my all in all.  You are the Lamb of God, who takes away our sin.  Thank you for Your sacrifice.  Amen.

A Substitute

Isaiah 53:4a Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried;

Jesus took our place, our punishment for us on the cross.  He is our substitute.  We deserve the punishment He endured and the death He died.  We deserve it because our sin.  Any sin is offense to a Holy God.  He cannot be around sin.  Sin is detestable to God.  There is no way for us to go to Heaven, while we are in our sins.

But God’s great love of you and me, caused Him to send Jesus.  Jesus lived a perfect life with no sin.  And because of that, He was able to take our sin upon Him when He died.  As He hung on the cross, our sin it was put on His shoulders.  He bore our sins.  He took them upon Himself and our sins were slayed on the cross.  Jesus paid the penalty for them.  So now, He can forgive us and wipe out our sins.  Which means, when Jesus forgives us, we are able to be in the presence of a Holy God, because we no longer have a sin stain us.  We are clean.  We are forgiven.  We are saved.

All because Jesus took our place and He was our substitute.

Dear Jesus, thank you for being my substitute.  Thank you for taking my place, my punishment.  I thank you for dying for me and then forgiving me.  You are so awesome and so worthy of my praise.  Amen.

Live Again

Job 14:14a “If a man dies, will he live again?

I was watching TV with my kids yesterday.  We were watching Daniel the Tiger.  Daniel was out picking strawberries and he noticed a plant with none on them.  He asked his mom what they could do to help the plant.  His mom said nothing, once something is dead it can live again.  I seized this moment and asked my kids if that was true.  Can something or someone dead live again?  The answer is of course.  For Jesus was dead and now lives again.  All humans who die, will live again, the only question is where.  Thanks to what Jesus did, the choice is ours to make.  Heaven or Hell?

Jesus’ purpose in life was to give us this choice.  He was born to die.  To die for my sins and your sins.  To take away the punishments our sins so rightly deserve.  I deserve eternal torment in Hell forever.  I do not deserve to stand before a Holy God for eternity.  But because of God’s great love, He made a way by sending Jesus.  Jesus died our death and by coming to life again 3 days later, He destroyed the power of death.  Jesus is the only way to Heaven.  His death is the only payment for our sins acceptable to God.  It costs us nothing.  We only have to believe in Him and accept His wonderful gift.

Have you?  If not, do so today.  Cry out to Him and ask Him to save you.  Ask Him to forgive you.  Confess you are a sinner in need of saving.  Accept His free gift of Salvation, knowing that there is no other way to Heaven.  By doing so, you are guaranteed to live again in Heaven forever and ever with Him!

Oh God, I thank you that You have power over life and death.  I thank you that because You live, I can live also.  Thank you for dying for me.  Thank for rising again 3 days later.  You alone have power over everything.  You alone are God.  You alone can save me.  Thank you, Oh God.  Amen.

Return to God

Deuteronomy 4:29-31

29 “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30 “When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. 31 “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

What a promise!  God says no matter what, if you return to Him, He will have compassion on you.  No matter what you’ve done.  No matter how vast your sins are, God will forgive you.  There is not a sin which God will not forgive.  Nothing you can do is to far for His reach.  No distance you travel is too far to return to Him.  For as along as you are alive, He is one step back.

His desire is for you to turn to Him.  He wishes that all are saved and forgiven.  He took the first step, by sending Jesus to die on the cross.  Jesus never sinned and because of that His sacrificial death is able pay the sin penalty we all owe.  For the cost of sin is blood.  We deserve to die and be eternally punished for our sins.  But God’s great love for you, caused Him to send His one and only Son.  Jesus’ work was finished on Easter.

Now the choice is yours.  He offers you a free gift of forgiveness and salvation from the  punishment you so rightly deserve.  It is your to accept or reject.  Not responding is a choice of rejection.  Every person must make their own choice.  It is a personal choice.  One you and you alone must make for you. Cry out to Him, tell Him you are a sinner in need of forgiveness.  Accept Him as your savior and believe in Him as your only hope for Heaven.  The Bible says that if we believe with our heart and confess with our mouth we will be saved (Romans 10:9).

Turn back to God, He is waiting for you!

Oh God, I thank you that You are a compassionate God and loving God.  I thank you that You are willing and able to forgive me.  I thank you for the work of Jesus on the cross.  I thank you that Your will is for all to be saved from Hell and to live in Heaven with You.  Please be with those who read this, who are not saved.  Work in their heart and call them to You and may they respond to You.  Amen.

God’s House

Psalm 73:17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end.

The Psalmist felt depressed and without hope, until he went back to God’s house.  When he went to church, He remembered all about God.  He remembered what God had promised.  He remembered that he was not alone, but there were others like him.  He remembered who he was before God and he remembered all that God had done for him.

It is important for us to go to church and get together with other believers.  We need to live connected lives with each other.  In order to pray for one another, to help carry each others burdens, and to keep each other grounded in the faith.  When we are a loner, we miss out on these things and it is easy for us to get depressed.  Loner Christians are easier for the devil to pick off, but when we are together, it is much harder.

Make sure you are going to church and worshiping God with other believers!

Dear God, I thank you for the church I am apart of.  I thank you for the other believers there.  I thank you for what You do through that church.  Help me to be in church, worshiping You and fellowshipping with others.  Amen.

Do Not Be Evious

Psalm 73:2-3

2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps had almost slipped.  3 For I was envious of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Sometimes it might be easy to envious of sinners.  Some people seem to get away with everything, without any consequence at all for it.  It seems that their evil deeds never seem to catch up to them.  Life seems so good for them and so hard for us.  Why?

God tells us not to be envious of the wicked.  Their end will most definitely come.  Their sin will eventually catch up to them.  God promises that the arrogant will not prosper for ever.  Judgement will come to them.  Do not be envious of them, instead be imitators of Christ.  His way is best and we need imitate Him and not the evildoers.

Dear God, help me not to be envious of sinners, but instead be an imitator of You.  Sin eventually catches up to people, but Your goodness will never run out.  Help me to cling to You and to Your ways.  Thank you for Your awesome blessings.  Amen.

Wisdom

Psalm 72:1 Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s son.

This should be part of our prayers to God.  Give me discernment, Oh God.  Help me to know what the right thing to do is.  Help me to know what is right and how to avoid doing what is wrong.  No matter our age or how long we have been saved, we still have the need for God’s wisdom.

Our  wisdom as humans is lacking, God’s is infinite.  No matter how much wisdom He shares, He will never run out.  There is always more wisdom He is willing to give.  And that is the truth.  He wants to give us wisdom.  He wants us to ask Him for it.  For us to learn to depend on Him for His wisdom.  We all need it.

Dear God, give me wisdom and discernment.  Help me to know what is right and what is wrong.  I am in total need of it from You.  Thank you for all of the wisdom You have given me.  Amen.

God is Always With You

Psalm 71:17-18

17 O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds. 18 And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.

From your birth to your death, God is with you.  He is with you as a child.  He teaches you as your grow.  He reveals His majesties to you.  He shows you the beauty of His creation.  He instructs You in His glorious ways.  We are born with intimate knowledge of God.

When you grow old, you will look back at how God has dealt faithfully with you.  You will be able to see that He never left you nor forsake you.  You will be able to testify to those around you and to the next generation of His great love.  You life will be a great testimony about Him.

God is always with you, both when you are young and as you get old.

God, You are faithful.  You have been faithful to me, my whole life.  You have never failed me, even when I have failed You.  Help me to be as faithful to You as You are to me.  Amen.

My Hope

Psalm 71:5 For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.

Who or what do you hope in?  If it is not in God, you have a false hope.  Hope in man is useless.  If you are hoping for a politician to bring you satisfaction, you will be waiting a long time.  If your hope is in money, you can never have enough.  All things fail, but God.

He alone is trustworthy.  He alone is faithful.  He alone comes through all of the time.  He alone keeps all of His promises.  He alone is worthy of our praise.  Our hope should only be in God.  He is the one that promises to save.  He is the one who can only save us.  He alone is the one who can forgive us.  He along will never fail us.

Keep placing your hope in God.

Dear God, help me to put my full faith into You.  Only You Oh God are worthy of my hope.  Only You are faithful,  I thank you for that.  Amen.