Salvation is the Centerpiece

That’s what our God has had planned for all of us – even before time began. Yet, even though the plan is in place, we all have an obstacle that we must hurdle to get it – that of being born into sin. Adam’s taint covers all of us; and as soon as we become aware of this, we must seek the grace of God’s salvation through Christ. 

In fact, God put an unction within us to seek Him out for this very thing:

“…it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times…This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they may grasp Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us.” Acts 17:25 – 27. AMP

“…He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old ways of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives], because He has set a day when He will judge the inhabited world in righteousness…” Acts 17:30, 31. AMP

At first, we are challenged, because we are used to seeking out the answers to life’s questions through our flesh; and as we do, our self-condemnation plagues us. Why? It’s because the Law that God impressed upon our hearts, reminds us of our shortcomings with regards to our misalignment with it. 

That Law, given to us by God through Moses, is impossible to obey with the 100% compliance that it demands. Yet, it is the subsequent brokenness in our spirit from our failure to do so, that God is counting on, to make us a receptive vessel for the gospel. 

When Christ helps us cross that chasm between who we were, to become who we were always meant to be, our sins are left behind, and we become reconciled with our Father.  

However, other than not having heard the gospel, we tend to build our own roadblocks against receiving it. The most common obstacle is our preoccupation with our past. This blinds us to God’s overtures, because we indulge ourselves in nurturing our old hurts.

We disadvantage ourselves even further when we then try to suppress them with distractions and addictions, which only fortify our walls. As a result, we feel irreparably separated from whomever we think God is. 

Only when we accept Christ and His gospel message, can we heal, drop the past (because we are forgiven), and live in His present loving bliss. Then, we can take this ‘good news’ to others. And it is in the telling of our redemption that we find the truth about salvation, i.e. it sells itself. It is God who does the work of conversion. We only plant the seed.

God is willing and waiting to bring everyone into His everlasting kingdom. Our charge, when we have received it, is to help those who haven’t yet entered, assisting them to understand their need for God’s mercy that was given on the cross:

My [only] sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart [broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent] such, O God, You will not despise. Ps. 51:17 AMP

The Law warns of death for the unrepentant, the gospel promises eternal life through salvation, i.e. we must be made aware of our ungodliness before we can embrace the reconciliation offered by Jehovah God, through His Son:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies… Ps. 103:3, 4. NKJV

Not by anything we have done to change, but by the grace of God:

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law]… Eph. 2:8, 9. AMP

Jesus gave His life for our redemption. Because of His virgin birth, He was spared from the damning contamination of Adam’s sin. Only Christ could make a sinless offering of Himself, shedding His blood so that we might gain eternity with Him.

God does not make mistakes, no flaws in His creations. His kingdom is for everyone. Jehovah accepts us all. What He cannot accept is sin in thoughts and / or deeds; but that’s where salvation does its wonder:

Therefore if any person is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 2 Cor. 5:17 AMP

If God accepts us as we are, there is no perfection that we must strive for; He’s done it already!

We no longer have to be afraid or hide from the truth. Now we can live in the present moment – knowing that moment is the beginning of an eternal stream of redemptive joy.

God is in control:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Pr. 3:5 – 7. NKJV

I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Ps. 34:4 NASB

“…there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.” Rv. 21:4 NKJV

The thing to remember regarding your salvation, as well as with all things relating to God, is they require faith to manifestYou need to have faith in salvation eternity. This life passes by like a heartbeat. If you think that is all there is, what is the point of salvation? The scripture immediately above shows God’s guarantee of an eternal blessed life.

You need faith in love because God is love, He does not change, and love is what drives God to do everything. (1 Jn. 4:8; Mal. 3:6; Ex. 20:6; Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 3:16,)

The awesome part is that God even provides you with the faith!

…God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Rm. 12:3 NASB

Lastly, the devil does not like you being saved. So, he will rain temptation upon you all the days of your life, hoping that you will fall away:

He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. 1 Jn. 3:8 NKJV

And we will fall:

“…there is no one who does not sin…” 2 Chr. 6:36 CSB

Unrepentant sin leads to death (Jas. 1:15), but those who have received the salvation of God through Christ, are blessed with an entirely different outcome when they confess and repent:

Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Rm. 7:24, 25. ESV

Amen. We will have this battle with our flesh until we transfer from this earth; but Jesus is our vanguard. Our part is to continue to cultivate our spirit by immersing ourselves in God’s word, living by it, and remembering the sacrifice of His Son on our behalf. Christ has set you free:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. Rm. 8:1, 2. NASB.

God has already accepted you. He pardons you with the gift of His love. Jehovah wants you to come to Him just as you are, so that He can wipe out your sin-debt forever and write you indelibly in His Book of Life.

Have faith and receive it with thanksgiving…

Goodnight and God bless. 

Remembering Our God – part 3

This is the third in our final wind-down series of YourGodMoments.com, as I continue working to finalize the preparation of its successor, GodCherishesYou.com, by composing a look back at what we have explored together…

Our spirit yearns to connect with God’s Spirit. Yet our human side wants to cling to what is familiar: anxiety, meaningless chatter, idolatry, negativity and empty busyness – all to satiate the desires of the flesh and bring glory to themselves.

We have to live in that flesh, but we can rise above being at the effect of it, by seeking out our Creator in solitude, away from the dizzying madness. It doesn’t matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done; our compassionate God is proffering His outstretched hand, waiting to connect with us, through Christ, initiated by our confession and repentance.

It is then that Jehovah takes on amnesia with regards to your past and takes into account your subsequent efforts to do better, even if you have a slip and fall, because you’re walking under His grace.

Jesus loves us, even in our sin. That’s what drove Him to the cross – to save us from ourselves. As we meditate on this, we can build compassion within us, for others who suffer from similar inward incongruities. The devil plays no favorites.

Thus, we strive not to condemn ourselves for our humanness. When we make mistakes, we come back to Jesus humbly in confession and repentance, and He clothes us with His righteousness again.

We are fractured children being healed and perfected:

Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Ps. 37:3 – 6. NKJV

That God placed you on this earth for His purposes should inspire you. And when you connect with Him, He lives within you, filling you with love and hope – despite your human side…

Sometimes, humanity fails severely, e.g. when we allow ourselves to be brought to the brink of war or the commission of it. All war is rooted in someone wanting what someone else has. It is blasphemy against God, as is production and sale of weapons of mass destruction to facilitate its manifestation. War is always a product of the degradation of our souls.

Our flesh houses fear, stimulated by anger, aggression, greed and insecurity. But we can give these traits and the chaos created by the exorcise of them, up to God:

For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Rm. 7:22 – 25. ESV

If we take up Christ, we can mirror His peace:

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give peace to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jn. 14:27 NKJV

Paying it forward…

To achieve this, and other forms of godly being, we must do our best to live a spiritual life, whereby we many enter the narrow gate of salvation and teach others why they should strive to do the same:

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Mt. 7:13, 14. ESV

The narrow way is Christ. In fact, it is the only way to a spiritual life of salvation. Once we cross that gate, we walk our best walk in God’s word, in faith, to keep transcending this world:

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. 1 Jn. 5:3, 4. ESV

Wherever you think you should be spiritually, it is where you already are. It’s a matter of faith, not sight. Just remain connected to and depend upon Jehovah God.

The struggle is when you fall back into the old habits of the flesh. Then those rotten fruits will begin showing up again, to convict you of your slip. Confess and repent! You are work in progress.

You can help yourself before you make any choice, by asking that person in the mirror, ‘Is this my will, of is it that of Jesus?’

And if you look upon your past failures, give thanks to your Father for how far He has brought you. Still, remain humble and teachable so you can keep bathing in His grace.You are already who God wanted you to be; (the devil would have you believe that you are not). God only wants you to let Him remove the stain that the world has covered your with; and then He would have you walk your best Christian walk:

…you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. Eph. 4:17, 18. ESV

When we deny the adversary, we can begin to step into our God-given birthright – as His spiritual sons and daughters. We enhance that realization by keeping our focus on the work of the cross, knowing that Christ’s sacrifice was more than enough:

“The deepest communication is not communication; it is communion. We are already one, but we imagine that we are not. What we have to be is what we already are.” Thomas Merton

To have a spiritual life, is a gift from God – available only by living in His love and going forth to show others how to do the same…

Goodnight and God bless. 

Remembering Our God – part 2

Last time, we began our final wind-down of this, our present platform for God, YourGodMoments.com, as I continue to prepare its successor, GodCherishesYou.com, by revisiting portions of what we explored in our travels through time. Let’s have a go at few more glances:

In this world, God calls us to be ‘godly correct’ rather than politically correct – to be the peculiar minority that sticks with Him and His ways:

…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the word of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Rm. 12:1, 2. ESV

Yet even though we are godly, we cannot pass judgment upon those whom we feel are not, because God keeps holding out for their salvation as well: 

For the grace of God has appeared to all people, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions… Titus 2:11, 12. ESV

We know the way to walk, but we owe it to others to help them find the same way, because God gave all people the potential for salvation. Why? Because the stakes are life and death:

“…you will die [unforgiven and condemned] in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am the One [I claim to be], you will die in your sins.” Jn. 8:24 AMP

It is up to us to shine the light of Love upon everyone, even if they are willful transgressors of God’s word; but we cannot condone what they do. It has nothing to do with being racist, bigoted, homophobic, or whatever lying label they want to attach to us, to justify themselves.

Our job is to remain a beacon for our Creator’s salvation…

Considering again, those who make forays in the world their way of life, we see people who run as far away from God as possible in their quest to be self-directed and self-satisfying. In the end, they fall into suffering – the consequences from their own actions. And it is in that suffering that God allows them to wallow, until they come to realize the futility of their rebellion against Him.

What great love and mercy God must have, to put up with their indulgence, in the hopes that they will return to their Creator.

The world itself is troubled because it reflects that nature of the sinful souls of the majority who populate it. However, doing battle with these unfortunate (but willful) people is not the solution. We cannot create a righteous world through unrighteous means.

Instead, we can teach them that if they would, in the moments of their transgressions, bend their will to God’s will and yield up their soul for His transformation, He would mercifully begin to extract their offending old self and its ways…

What God really wants is to have a relationship with us where we are dependent upon Him:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Pr. 3:5, 6. NKJV

We can look to God for love and strength, to better walk a spirit-filled path in a rebellious world. In addition, we are called to widen our relationship with the Godhead, to also include our brothers and sisters in Christ and look at all others as fertile ground for becoming the same.

Finally, in our relationship with God, we get our relationship with ourselves straightened out – seeing ourselves as a child of God, dispensing with that worldly conglomeration that we thought was us…

Let’s praise God for His mercy again. God wants us to be with Him in spite of ourselves, our sin nature. Throughout history, He has used imperfect people to advance His eternal plan. Moses was a murderer and a coward, yet God used Him to free His children from oppression, lead them to the promised land, and bring them the Law where there was none – all the while being a vessel for the Holy Spirit to write the first five books of the Bible.

King David was also used by the Holy Spirit to write the book of Psalms, so the we could learn how to relate to God. Yet he was an adulterer and murderer. His son, King Solomon, wrote the Holy Spirit- inspired book of Proverbs, yet he had times when he rebelled against God by indulging in the world.

God used the heathen King Cyrus, to free His children to return to Israel; and the infamous murderer of Christians, Saul of Tarsus, was chosen to be Christ’s greatest spokesman.

Jehovah can use anyone to advance His purposes; and if we are willing, He will advance us as well…

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18 ESV   

Goodnight and God bless.  

Remembering Our God

Two weeks ago, i announced that I was bringing this labor of love, YourGodMoments.com, to a close – soon to be replaced with our next journey: GodCherishesYou.com. I thought that now would be a good time to show my deep gratitude to my readers by bit of a dance through where we have trodden…

We began this journey in 2011, looking for the love of God, keeping this scripture as our anchor:

For I am persuaded that neither death no life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 8:38, 39. CSB

We spent a lot of years examining the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. We will soon do some of this again, but from a much greater perspective of personal application. So, I would like to revisit two major revelations – the first being about Christ’s return:

Now we do not want you to be uniformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life]. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [as in fact He did], even so God [in this same way – by raising them from the dead] will bring with Him those [believers] who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For we say this to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are still alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede [into His presence] those [believers] who have fallen asleep [in death]. 1 Thess. 4:13 – 15. AMP

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thess. 4:16, 17. NKJV

We don’t have to worry about the followers of Christ who die before He returns, because they will precede those who still live, as the first ones that Jesus raises bodily. And the living will join them in the air. 

Those who keep their faith in Christ and do their best to walk in His ways, need have no fear; but those who do not, face eternal darkness:

…destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains…and they will not escape. 1 Thess. 5:3 NASB

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should be together with Him. 1 Thess. 5:9, 10. NKJV

The apostle Paul continues by describing some of the events that precede the Day of the Lord:

Let no one deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, there great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed], who opposes and exalts himself [so proudly and so insolently] above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he [actually enters and]  takes his seat in the temple of God, publicly proclaiming that he himself is God. 2 Thess. 2:3, 4. AMP

Paul is speaking of the Antichrist, whom those who are lost will worship.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they have refused to love the truth and so be saved. 2. Thess. 2:9, 10. ESV

We don’t have to share this fate if we keep the faith:

…God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught… 2 Thess. 2:13 – 15. NKJV

The second revelation we will consider is what happened on the cross:

…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day… 1 Cor. 15:3, 4. NKJV

Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive…Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power…The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 1 Cor. 15:20 – 22 & 24 & 26. NKJV

Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him (God) who put all things under Him, (Jesus) that God may be all in all. 1 Cor. 15:28 NKJV

Christ was transformed into His new God-Man existence, becoming His Father’s agent of the resurrection of humankind – Jesus Himself being the first fruit of the ‘resurrection harvest’ of humanity, at the end of time. He is the guarantor of our resurrection because He did away with the spiritual death that was imputed to us by our Adamic sin nature. 

This cleansing is only available to those who cling to Jesus – those who shall be transformed:

The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15:42 – 44. NKJV

The first man was of the earth, made of dust, the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 1 Cor. 15:47 – 49. NKJV

…we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed…this mortal must put on immortality…then shall it be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:51 – 56. NKJV

Jesus’ work at the cross enables us to be resurrected as both righteous and transcendent of the Law. We get a new body, made in His image, which is immortal. Our physical sufferings are a forgotten memory, and we stand ready to enter into an eternity of the unimaginable. 

It’s all about the love of God. To be continued…

Goodnight and God bless.