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Showing posts from March, 2016

Jesus is Lord Over Zika...and Death

Every new season we see the signs up around town. Get your flu shots now while supplies last! If we manage to escape that terrible virus, we certainly cannot escape the relentless common cold. Everywhere we go there are bugs, germs, pathogens, bacteria, and viruses creeping and floating nearby. Recently the threat of the Zika virus has led many to fear mosquitos even more. Some diseases even grow from inside of us and have a life of their own. Cancer is so elusive at times that doctors cannot decipher its origins and don’t know a cure. If these diseases have never left us bedridden yet, we’ve at least sat beside the bed of a sick and dying person. Much worse, we’ve all stood beside more than one coffin bearing the lifeless corpse of a loved one. Why is it that after all our medical advances, this world is still a disease-ridden and life-threatening place? Why is there no safe place to hide from sickness and death? Maybe you’ve never thought about it, but the Bible gives us a very clea…

Faith in the Sacrifice Gets Us behind the Curtain

Scripture: Exodus 27, Proverbs 3, John 6, Galatians 2.

Gospel Summary: We are sinners who constantly turn away from God's wise commands and therefore are closed off from all access to him. No amount of good works can ever atone for our sins. The only hope for guilty sinners like us to regain access into God's presence is by faith in the sacrifice. The continual blood sacrifices of the Old Testament were necessary for God's people if they wished to know the God behind the curtain, yet they're only a shadow of the great sacrifice to come at Calvary. By faith in Christ's death and resurrection to atone for our sins, we enjoy fellowship with the holy God we've offended, for the curtain has been torn in two. God doesn't ask us to work for his favor, but instead has freely given it to us in Christ if we only believe. If we lean on our own understanding (that says we're ok), we'll remain separated from God, but if we trust in the Lord Jesus with all our h…

Riches for Poor Rebels

Scripture: Exodus 20, Job 38, Luke 23, 2 Corinthians 8

Gospel summary: The sovereign and majestic God over all creation allowed himself to be rejected, beaten, and crucified by rebellious sinners so that he might take their  place and bear God's wrath reserved for them in order to give them the riches of acceptance before God. We who are the recipients of such lavish grace ought to live out our days in obedient worship and give of ourselves to help others in need because this is how God has so treated us.

Prayer: Father in heaven, words cannot express a proper response from my heart to yours for the rich grace you have given to me in Christ. Every sin I have ever cherished was a sin Christ was punished for and yet he extended grace to me. Although I was a spiritually impoverished enemy of God, you came in Christ to credit me with all the riches of your righteousness and have brought me into a glorious fellowship with yourself both now and forevermore. Help me to see others in the…

An Unworthy Servant of A Worthy Savior

Scripture: Job 32, Luke 17, 2 Corinthians 2.

Gospel summary: For God not to punish sinners in hell is mercy. For God to redeem sinners at the cost of his Son's lifeblood is grace upon grace. Because of God's amazing grace to us in Christ, we ought to humbly serve him with grateful hearts that feel unworthy of any reward whatsoever, since we already have received the greatest reward possible.

A prayer: Father in heaven, glory to your great name! The fact that you allow my voice to reach into your holy heavens at all is nothing short of lavish grace. I am the lowest sinner worthy of the deepest pit of hell and yet you have poured out on me the fragrance of Christ and have clothed me in his righteousness and adopted me into your loving family. There is no greater grace that can be given than that which you have given me in Christ. He smelled the stench of death and your holy wrath for my sins so that I could smell the fragrance of your forgiveness and unending favor. Because of …