For Our Transgressions

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 3:34 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Tell Me the Story of Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 53 (Select vv. ESV).

Who Has Believed? (vv. 1-3; cf. Rom. 10:16)

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of Israel, our God and Lord, came to earth and took on human form, begotten of God the Father, and born as a baby to a human mother. He suffered as we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. There was nothing about his physical appearance that anyone should be attracted to him. He did have some true followers (disciples), though. And, crowds did follow him, for he healed many, he drove out evil spirits, he performed many miracles, and he fed the hungry. But, when he spoke of the cost of following him, many who had been following him deserted him, never to return.

Many of the religious leaders within the Jewish temple did not like Jesus, and they made it their mission to destroy him. They hated him because he dared to be different, because he did not follow their human rules and traditions, because he healed people on the Sabbath, and he claimed to be God; and because he confronted sinful humans with their sinful conditions, warned of divine judgment and called for repentance and faith in himself. They were jealous of him because of his temporary and short-lived popularity among the people, and because they felt their own positions of power were being threatened by him. So, they plotted his death, and he was crucified on a cross for our sins (See: Jn. 1:1-34; Jn. 6:35-66; Phil. 2:1-11; 1 Co. 5:21).

We Are Healed (vv. 4-6)

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

When Jesus died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. In his death, he put sin to death, and when he was resurrected from the grave, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death for our sake. By God’s grace, through faith in him, via death to sin and resurrection to new life in Christ, we can be forgiven our sins, released from the ultimate punishment of sin (eternal damnation), delivered out of slavery to sin, and released to walk in the Spirit and in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, and be given eternal life with God.

When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, separate from God and unable to attain God’s divine approval through human effort. So, that is why Jesus gave his life up for us, that we might be saved from our sins, walk in the Spirit, and have eternal life with God. Because he died, we are able to die to sin, and because he lives, we can live with him and for him for eternity. Yet, he did not come to earth, take on human flesh, and suffer for our sake just so we can escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. He died that we might live for him, and he suffered that he might be our compassionate and merciful high priest in taking our sorrows upon himself that he might also comfort us in our sorrows.

The Will of God (vv. 10-12)

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

It was God the Father’s will that his Son should suffer and die for our sins. This was planned for us even before the creation of the world, and that many of us would believe on him as our Savior and would become children of God, and followers of Christ. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are not only made righteous in God’s sight, but we are able to live righteously for Him and for his will for our lives, for this is why he died. Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Tit. 2:14).

So, we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God, and no longer according to our sinful flesh. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, even if we have made a profession of faith in Christ Jesus. If we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), for His sake, we will gain eternal life with God (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14). If we claim to have fellowship with God, but we still walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin), we are liars (1 Jn. 1:6). The true story of Jesus (the gospel) is not just that Jesus died to forgive us our sins, but he died to deliver us out of slavery to sin, and to give us new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23; Gal. 2:20). Amen!

Tell Me the Story of Jesus
Fanny J. Crosby / John R. Sweney

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth,
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”

Fasting alone in the desert,
Tell of the days that are past,
How for our sins He was tempted,
Yet was triumphant at last.
Tell of the years of His labor,
Tell of the sorrow He bore;
He was despised and afflicted,
Homeless, rejected and poor.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain;
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see;
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
“Love paid the ransom for me.”

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Who is He?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 8:30 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “More About Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 1:1-18 (Select vv. NASB).

The Word (vv. 1-5)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

As we read through this first chapter of John’s gospel, we soon realize that “The Word” is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He was in the beginning (of creation) with God, he is God, and he is our creator. He made us.

Jesus is the author of life (Acts 3:15). In Jesus is eternal life (1 Jn. 5:11). And, He is the eternal life (1 Jn. 1:2). This Life is the Light of mankind. He is truth and righteousness, and he reveals truth and righteousness to us. This truth (the light) shines (sheds light) in the darkness (sin, wickedness). He makes clear what is darkness (sin, lies, wickedness) and what is light (righteousness, truth, holiness). He exposes sin and lies for what they are, and he reveals truth and righteousness for what they are. Yet, many who are still in the darkness do not understand, because they do not receive or accept the truth, nor do they reject or deny the lies and the sin.

The Light (vv. 9-13)

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus Christ, the true Light, instructs and educates us in what is of God, in what is holy and righteous, and in what is true. And, he reveals to us what is false, what is not of God, and what is contrary to his Word. He exposes all that is called “light,” but which is false. But, we have to be listening to him, believing him, and applying what he teaches us to our lives, or else we may continue in the darkness, or we may find ourselves accepting false light as true light, and even rejecting the true light, as though it is false.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, became flesh, and made his dwelling among us. He suffered like we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. During his years of ministry on the earth, he healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, encouraged the timid, and delivered people from demons. He also preached repentance for salvation and for forgiveness of sin, death to sin for eternal life, and living to righteousness. And, he said that if we love him, we will obey him (we will keep his word). John said that the way we know we have come to know him, is if we keep (obey) his commandments (his Word, his instructions to us).

Yet, even though Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Lord and Messiah, and even though he created the world, and he came into the world, those who were of the world did not recognize (know) him. Even those of his own household, his hometown, and of his own faith did not receive him. They did not acknowledge that he was their Lord and Messiah, nor did they accept (welcome) him into their lives as their Savior and Lord (owner-master). Even many today, even among those who call themselves Christians, truly do not welcome him as Lord (owner-master) of their lives nor as the one who died that they might die to sin and live to righteousness. They are ok with him forgiving their sins and promising them heaven when they die as long as he doesn’t require anything of them – no commitment, no vows of allegiance, no submission or surrender, and no repentance or obedience.

Yet, for those who truly do receive (welcome) him into their lives as their owner-master, recognizing that they are now his servants, who have repented of their sins, and who are reborn (spiritually) of the Spirit of God, they are now children of God. We are not God’s children merely because he created us, or because we pray a prayer to receive him, or because we acknowledge his existence or accept his forgiveness for our sins. We are his children when we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23). We are his children, too, when we are being led by the Spirit, and when we practice doing what he says (1 Jn. 2:3-4; Ro. 8:14).

Jesus Christ (vv. 14-18)

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Jesus Christ is God, as well as he is the only begotten Son of God, so his glory (renown, honor, worth) is that of the Father. Jesus is full of both grace and truth. And, as his followers, we also should be full of grace and truth. Grace has to do with God’s favor (his kindness to us). And, the way in which he favored us is that Jesus gave himself up for us on a cross so that we could be delivered out of slavery to sin and have eternal life with God forevermore. And, we give up ourselves for others when we follow our Lord in obedience in being his servants and witnesses in telling others the gospel of Jesus, so that they can be saved from their sins, because we know that this could cost us our lives, our reputations, and people rejecting us.

Jesus was also full of truth, and so should we be. Truth is the opposite of lies. And, it is defined by God; by his standards, not by the world’s standards or values. The Word of God – Jesus, and his written Word – is truth. We should live the truth, believe the truth, promote the truth, and tell the truth, and we should not be liars and deceivers. So, in order to do this, we need to know the truth and be able to distinguish (discern) truth from lies. We can do this in the power of the Holy Spirit within us, but we have to be listening, and we must be willing to have him show us what is truth and what are lies. Many people, even those who call themselves Christians, hold on to the lies, because they like the lies better than the truth.

But, as followers of Jesus, we should be those who love the truth, who drink it in, search it out, follow it, and who share it with others.

More About Jesus / Hewitt / Sweney

More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.

More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.

More about Jesus; in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.

More about Jesus; on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.

No Attractiveness

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 4:17 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “He Lifted Our Burdens.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 53 (Select vv. ESV).

He Was Despised (vv. 1-3)

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

This is a good question for today: Who has believed what he has heard from us? That is to say, who has believed the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Who has understood that Jesus Christ wasn’t this do-gooder who everyone loved and admired, but that people despised and rejected him? They did not esteem him, but they hid their faces from him. He is not the model for today’s modern church movement here in America at all. He wasn’t attractive to the world so that the world should desire him. In fact, the world hated him, because he told them that what they did was evil. Even his own people of his own faith rejected him, and the religious leaders in the temple of his Father were the ones who had him put to death on a cross.

Yet, did he do good? Certainly! He healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, encouraged the timid, delivered people from demons, and fed the hungry, etc. But, along with this he also preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. He confronted people in their sins, and he didn’t mince words. He always told the truth, and never did he tell people just what they wanted to hear, or what would make them feel good about themselves, living in their sins.

He told them, instead, that if they wanted to come after him they must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow him. He told them that if they do not “eat his flesh and drink his blood” that they have no life in themselves, i.e. if they would not partake with him in death to sin, and in laying down their lives and in being willing to suffer for the sake of his name, and for the sake of the gospel, they had no part of him. If they put their hand to the plow, he said, but then looked back, meaning if they chose to follow him, but then they were not willing to let go of their former lives of living for sin and self, they were not fit for service in the kingdom of God (See: Lu. 9:23-25, 62; Jn. 6:35-66). This teaching does not jive with modern Christianity, at all. Jesus is rejected, even within the church today.

He Bore Our Griefs (vv. 4-6)

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God (and God) left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered as we suffer and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. Because he took on our humanity, he is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses. He became our compassionate and merciful high priest to whom we can go at any time with our griefs and sorrows, who will comfort us with his love and mercy, but who will also tell us the truth, and who will counsel us in the right way.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God. When he died, our sins died with him and were buried with him, but when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death on our behalf. When he died on that cross, he took upon himself not only our sins, but all our sicknesses, pain, sorrow and weaknesses so that by his stripes we are healed, not only spiritually, but emotionally, mentally and physically, according to his will, and in his own way, for healing comes in many ways.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, he died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He did not die merely so that he would take the punishment of our sin, and so that we could escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. He gave his life up for us that we might no longer live according to the flesh, but that we might walk in the Spirit, for if we live according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with him for eternity. When we believe in him with God-given faith, which persuades us as to his will for our lives. We, thus, are crucified with him in death to sin so that we might live to him to his righteousness. The old has gone. The new has come.

The Will of God (vv. 10-12)

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

It was God’s plan all along that Jesus Christ should suffer and die for our sins, because this was his plan to save us out of slavery to sin and to bring us into his eternal kingdom. Jesus, although he was fully God and fully man, learned obedience through the things which he suffered. And, it is God’s will that we should suffer, too, in order that we might learn obedience, humility, patience, endurance and perseverance, and in order to make us holy and to conform us to the image of Christ.

When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, with God-given faith, Jesus’ righteousness is now credited to our account. Our sins are forgiven, and we are set free from the control of sin over our lives. Although Jesus Christ was never married and never had children of his own in the natural sense, all of us who put our faith and trust in him are his offspring. We belong to him and him to us. He is our Savior, Lord, friend, and brother.

Not only are we saved from our old lives (of living for sin and self), but we are given new lives in him, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” We are given joy, peace, love, compassion, assurance, strength and power to live godly and holy lives while we wait for Christ’s return. He blesses our lives with so many spiritual blessings that it is beyond measure. We can go to him in prayer any time of day, he listens, and he cares. As well, we listen to him, and we follow him wherever he leads us, and we practice doing what his word says, because we are in him and him in us, and because we love, worship, honor and adore him.

He Lifted Our Burdens / An Original Work / February 15, 2014

Based off Isaiah 9:2-7

People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.

Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.

Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.

We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.

Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.

He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.

His Own Arm

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Oh, To Be Like Thee.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 63:1-6 (NASB).

Who is this who comes from Edom,
With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,
This One who is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?
“I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me.
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment.
“For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
And My year of redemption has come.
“I looked, and there was no one to help,
And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;
So My own arm brought salvation to Me,
And My wrath upheld Me.
“I trod down the peoples in My anger
And made them drunk in My wrath,
And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

History First

In the year 2017, this is our present situation. Well, let me give you some history first. When the United States of America was created, I believe it was created to serve to aid in the transition of the world into a one world totalitarian rule of the beast (On the subject of the beast, see: Rev. 13). This notion (idea) is evident (supported) by our national symbols, in particular by our Great Seal with the All-seeing eye of Horus and the incomplete pyramid.

Many Americans believe we are and have always been a Christian nation, but truly our nation has been syncretistic from our founding days. If you do any kind of research on the founding fathers, you will find that many of them were Freemasons. Some of our national symbols are based in freemasonry, as well. In addition to that, check out the layout of our capital city, and note that many of our national monuments, statues and buildings are modeled after Roman, Greek and Egyptian gods and goddesses.

Thus, I wonder if our present form of government, at least what is on paper, was always intended to be temporary, until it was time for the beast to rule the world. Yet, for some time now, though I am not certain exactly when this began, the US government has only been loosely in charge of our nation. The De facto government for the USA has been and still is a shadow government comprised of the elite (wealthy and powerful) of this world. Our government, that we believe is our government, truly has no real power of its own, for it is subject to this group of Elite (the shadow government). Our government serves more like slaves to the Elite of the world, like the woman (the harlot) who rides the beast (See: Rev. 17-19). They are kind of like the right-hand man who does the bidding of this “beast” in conquering peoples, nations and even Christians worldwide.

Yet, they are God’s divine instruments of judgment on the people of this world and on his church. He is using them to exact punishment on nations, peoples and on his church in order to bring people to Jesus Christ and to bring his adulterous people back into proper relationship with him. And, the US government (in partnership with the US church, though not all), i.e. this harlot, will come under judgment, too. The US, as a sovereign nation, will (is being) also be transitioned into the “beast” New World Order. And, that is what is presently happening in the USA and in other nations. So, don’t trust what the news media, alias “fake news” (Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, et al) are telling you, because they are all owned and operated by the Elite (N.W.O.).

When all nations are brought under the rule of this “beast” New World Order, i.e. when they are integrated into this global one world totalitarian rule, then the beast will be fully formed, I would imagine. What this means for each sovereign nation, including the USA, is that they (we) will no longer operate independently of other nations, for we will all serve the beast, if we do not put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It also means that people of all religions and all walks of life will be brought into unity, one with the other, and that there will also be a one-world all-inclusive religion, much of the likes of freemasonry. True believers in Jesus Christ will reject this, and thus they will be and are now being hunted down by this beast New World Order for either reprogramming or for extinction.

The Majestic One

As was already mentioned, God is using this New World Order “beast” of the Elite of the world and the Harlot as his divine instruments of judgment on the world. So, when this asks, “Who is this who comes from Edom?”, and the response back is that it is the Lord Jesus, God our Savior, it is because it is the Lord acting in judgment on the nations and the peoples, and these who are exacting his judgment are merely his instruments of judgment. So, when this also says that God looked, but there was no one to uphold with him (no man with him), it is not saying he does not use men, but that the nations did not uphold his righteousness, and they did not offer their support to his cause to lead their people to uphold his righteousness.

If they had, there would be no reason to judge the nations, at least not at this time, but they haven’t, and that is why God is bringing these judgments on the earth. So, God is acting alone, marching in the greatness of His strength, but not to obliterate us all, but in order to save, at least for now. The purpose of his judgments, at this time, is to save the people of the world, for through judgment many will turn their hearts to the Lord, and many who are already Christians, but who had strayed from him, will be brought back to a correct relationship with their God as their ONLY Lord.

Year of Redemption

Yet, I also see this in light of the gospel of our salvation. Jesus Christ is the one who took upon himself our punishment for our sins on a cross. God’s wrath was poured out on his Son, in our place, so that we might be redeemed (bought back for God with the blood of Christ). Jesus is the one who speaks in righteousness, mighty to save. He took our sins upon himself when he died on the cross. That was our lifeblood that stained his garments red. Yet, he did this that we might go free from eternal damnation. He did this so that we would have the hope of eternal life with God. Yet, he also did this that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us.

When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures in the image (likeness) of Adam. We are separate from God, without hope. And, we can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We can never be good enough. We will always come up short of attaining God’s divine approval (Ro. 3:23). The law was put into effect to lead us to Christ, but the law cannot save us, because not one of us can keep the law perfectly. So, through Jesus’ death on the cross, he destroyed that law of sin and death which condemned us to death so that we could go free. Yet, he did not do away with the law entirely. “Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law” (Ro. 3:31).

What this means, I believe, although God’s people are no longer under the Old Covenant requirements, such as ceremonial and purification laws, we are still subject to God’s moral laws, as they are repeated for us to follow in the New Testament. In other words, grace does not mean lawlessness. It just means we can’t be saved by keeping the law. No one could – ever! Jesus, thus, fulfilled the requirement of the law for sin, which is death, and he did this for us that the requirement of the law might be fully met in us who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. In other words, our salvation meant death to sin for Jesus on a cross, and it means death to sin in our lives, too, and living to righteousness (Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 1:6).

So, Jesus/God is not willing that any should perish (die in their sins), but that all should come to repentance. Repentance means “a change of mind,” and yet it is almost exclusively used in scripture in the context of leaving our lives of sin behind us, being transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and turning to God/Jesus to follow him in obedience and surrender. Yet, many people today are not teaching this, and so many are being given a false hope of salvation, thus the Lord is sending out messengers to give out the truth so that people will know the truth, and yet many are not listening, and they are following after the lies, instead.

And, that, I believe, is why God is judging the nations and peoples of the world right now, because it is his goal to bring people to Jesus and to his salvation, and to turn the hearts of his wayward children back to himself, with him as their ONLY God and Lord. So, where does this find you today? Is this song the prayer of your heart? If not, I pray it would be today.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Thomas O. Chisholm / W. J. Kirkpatrick

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

Restored to God

Sunday, April 2, 2017, 4:36 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Zeal for Your House.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 61:1-4 (NASB).

Freedom for Prisoners (v. 1)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;

Although this is a prophecy about Jesus Christ, we, as his body, also have the Spirit of God upon us, and we have been anointed of God (2 Co. 1:21-22), and chosen of God to be “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). We are to bring the Good News to people, too. We are to share with people how they can be turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified (purified) by faith in Jesus Christ (See: Acts 26:16-18).

Jesus Christ, God incarnate (in the flesh), died on a cross for our sins. He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21). He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15). When he died, our sins died with him and were buried with him. When God the Father resurrected him from the dead, Jesus rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death on our behalf. Yet, not everyone is saved from their sins. We must individually trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, be turned from our sin, and turn to God to walk in his light (truth, righteousness).

When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, separate from God, and without hope. We are enslaved to sin and bound to spend eternity in the fires of hell. There is nothing we can do, though, in our flesh, to be acceptable to God. We cannot earn or deserve his grace or our own salvation. We will always come up short of attaining his divine approval (Ro. 3:23). So, this is why Jesus gave his life for us on a cross so that, through faith in him, we might be set free of the punishment of sin (eternal damnation), be delivered out of bondage to sin and the control Satan had over our lives, and be given new (eternal) lives in Christ Jesus to be lived to his righteousness. He died, not just to forgive us our sins, but that we might no longer be slaves to sin, but rather be slaves to his righteousness (Ro. 6).

Grace and Justice (v. 2a)

To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;

God’s grace to us, though, is not free license to continue living in sin without guilt and without remorse. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See: Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23). “Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Ro. 6:6-7). Sin should no longer be our master.

Jesus said that, if we want to come after him, we must deny self and take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them for eternity (die in our sins). But, if we lose our lives for Christ (die with him to sin), we will gain eternal life (with God). Paul reiterated the same words when he said that if we walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14). As well, John said that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (conduct our lives) in the darkness (in sin), we don’t live by the truth (1 Jn. 1:6).

Comfort for the Contrite (vv. 2b-3)

To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

When we are enslaved to sin, without hope, we are controlled by Satan and by our flesh. We are free from the control of righteousness. We hurt and we hurt others. We destroy relationships and we injure those who have done us no harm. We are on a path of self-destruction, too. We make a practice of sinning with our lives, i.e. we lie, cheat, steal, gossip, hate, commit adultery or fornication, slander, rage, curse, are immoral, and/or we are unforgiving of others who sin just like us, etc. So, this is why Jesus gave his life for us, so that we might be delivered out of slavery (addiction) to sin, not just to free us from sin’s punishment or to promise us heaven when we die.

Faith in Jesus Christ is not something we generate in our own flesh. The faith needed to believe in Jesus and to be saved from our sins is a gift from God to us. It is God’s divine persuasion to us of his perfect will for our lives. When persuaded, we yield control of our lives over to Christ, we trust him to deliver us out of slavery to sin, and we submit to his will and purposes for our lives. We, in other words, repent of (turn from) our sins in all humility and sorrow of heart, and we turn to God to walk in his holiness and in his righteousness, to be who he wants us to be, and to go where he wants us to go. We choose to no longer live under the control of sin, but we choose, by the convincing of the Holy Spirit, to walk in the ways of the Lord.

Then, the Lord comforts us with his love, his grace, his mercy and his forgiveness. Where once we carried around this weight of sin on our shoulders, now he has removed that, and we have the peace of Christ in its place, and the joy of the Holy Spirit, and the encouragement of the Father. Where we once denied Jesus by our lifestyles, now our lives are to his praise and glory. Once we felt in despair and without hope. Now we have the healing power of God in our lives, and we are filled to overflowing with inexpressible joy. Once we floundered around having no purpose and direction, but now we are filled with purpose, value and direction. Once we had just a religion. Now we have a relationship with Almighty God.

Repairers and Rebuilders (v. 4)

Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
They will raise up the former devastations;
And they will repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, it does not mean that we are instantly perfect, or that we never sin again. Scripture is very clear, though, that if we willfully keep on sinning (make it our practice), there is no more sacrifice for sins; we don’t have the promise of eternal life; we don’t know God; and we don’t love God, although we may say that we do. There has to be a spiritual transformation which takes place in our hearts, of the Spirit of God. We must be born again of the Spirit. If there is no change of heart and mind, and we just keep trucking the way we did before, we don’t really know God. It is just that plain and simple.

On the other hand, scripture is also clear in showing us that it is possible for true believers in Jesus Christ to fall back into sin, and to come back under a yoke of slavery. It is possible for Christians to become lazy and complacent about their relationships with Jesus and to neglect time with him in prayer, in his word, and in following him in obedience. It is also likely that some will forget that they have been cleansed from their sins, and that they will begin following the ways of the world once again (See: Rev. 2-3, for example). So, although they don’t need to be “born again” again, they may need to be revived, renewed and restored to a proper relationship with their Lord.

So, if you have never repented of your sins, and if you have never had that change of heart and mind away from a life of sin to a life of living to God and to his righteousness, then I pray you will turn your life over to Jesus today. As well, if you did believe in Jesus to be your Savior, but at some point in your life since then, you have fallen back into sin or if you have become complacent and lazy about your spiritual walk of faith, I pray you will return to your Lord and that you will allow him to restore you to himself. I pray you will forsake all which you know is displeasing to God, and that you will choose to follow him in obedience from this day forward – all in the power, strength and working of His Holy Spirit now living within you, for the glory of God. Amen!

Zeal for Your House
An Original Work / August 1, 2016

Based off Jn. 2:17; Ps. 69:9

Zeal for Your house, it consumes me.
Lord, I love my times with You.
I love to worship You and sing Your praises.
Time in Your Word brings me closer to You,
List’ning to You speaking to me,
Gently guiding me in truth.

Lord, You are my life’s example,
Showing me how I should live.
I love to walk with You where’er You lead me.
No greater joy have I when serving You.
Loving, giving, resting in Your strength,
I’m yielding to Your will.

Zeal for Your house, it consumes me.
See the church turned upside down:
Marketing ventures taking place of worship,
Men of the gospel turning into clowns.
Gospel message made appealing,
So the world will feel at home.

Lord, we need a great revival.
Turn their hearts, Lord, back to You.
Open the blind eyes, turn them all from darkness,
Lord, to the light. May they return to You,
Turn from their sin, forsake idols,
Be restored to God again.

Gladness and Joy

Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:48 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “The King is Coming.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 51:1-11 (NASB).

Look to the Rock (vv. 1-3)

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
Who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn
And to the quarry from which you were dug.
“Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;
When he was but one I called him,
Then I blessed him and multiplied him.”
Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places.
And her wilderness He will make like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.”

Jesus Christ, our Messiah and Lord, is the promised seed of Abraham: “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ.” “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” “And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.” “It is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” (See: Gal. 3:16, 29; 4:22-31; Ro. 9:8). So, we who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives are Abraham’s offspring. We are the children of promise, of the free woman, not of the slave woman. We are the Jerusalem that is from above, not of the earth.

Through the promised seed of Abraham, who is Jesus Christ, ALL nations on the earth are blessed (See: Gen. 22:18). When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, he died for the sins of the whole world. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (Gal. 5:21). When he died, Jesus redeemed us, i.e. he bought us back for God with his blood. Through faith in Jesus Christ the law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the law of sin and death. Amen!

One of the things Jesus accomplished through his death is that he destroyed the barrier that stood between Jew and Gentile. Jesus’ “purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility… For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Eph. 2:14-18). What this means is that the Jewish nation is no longer the children of promise. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be heirs of the promise. The division is no longer Jew and Gentile, but it is Christian (saved) and non-Christian (lost). The Jewish nation is now no different from Arab nations in that they are both of Hagar (Gal. 4:25).

So, our Rock from which we were hewn (fashioned) is Jesus Christ, the promised seed of Abraham. If we seek after God, we are to look to Jesus and to his righteousness for our consolation. He is our only hope of salvation. Only through his death and resurrection, and through God-given faith in him, can we be delivered out of slavery to sin and enter into God’s eternal kingdom. We who believe in Jesus Christ are Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, his temple. He will comfort us with his mercy and grace. Whereas we were once dead in our sins without hope, God made us alive in Christ. He forgave us our sins, and gave us new birth unto a living hope. Through faith in him we now are filled with inexpressible joy.

Pay Attention (vv. 4-8)

“Pay attention to Me, O My people,
And give ear to Me, O My nation;
For a law will go forth from Me,
And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.
“My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait for Me,
And for My arm they will wait expectantly.
“Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not wane.
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”

God’s people now are those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, whether Jew or Gentile by physical birth. We are his nation: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9). We who believe in Jesus with God-given faith – which is persuaded as to God’s will for our lives – have been given the gift of salvation from sins. Yet, our salvation is not complete until Jesus Christ returns for us and he takes us to be with him forever.

While we live on this earth we will see much wickedness and we will experience much sorrow. We who follow Jesus Christ with our lives and who bear witness to his gospel of salvation, as taught by him and his NT apostles, will be hated, persecuted, ill-treated, falsely accused, rejected, despised and even killed for our faith in Jesus Christ and his gospel. Although it is our joy to serve our Lord as his ministers on this earth, our time here will have many trials and tribulations, and we will often long for our heavenly home, and for the time of our Lord’s return.

So, this is an encouragement to be faithful, and to be steadfast in faith and in hope, knowing that the time when our salvation will be complete is not that far off. There is a time coming when God will judge this earth, and he will put an end to sin and to suffering. What we are going through now is temporary. Also, we must understand that our Lord is absolutely sovereign and completely in control over all things. So, we should never fear humans or what they may do to us. They can kill the body, but they can’t kill the soul. And, one day God will put an end to their injustices and their rebellion against him. Yet, our Lord, His Word and His Salvation will be forever!

Arm of the Lord (vv. 9-11)

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
Was it not You who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

This is a call to the Lord to fulfill his promises, and to deliver his people out of this sin-sick world and to take us home to be with him. Yet, it is also a call for him to work miracles in our lives while we still live on the face of this earth. The call acknowledges that our God is the Almighty God, our creator, who is all powerful. It calls to remembrance all the many ways in which he delivered his people in times past, which includes all the many ways in which we, individually, have seen him work miracles of grace in our lives, too.

On the basis of what we know of God, and of his history with humankind, and on the basis of his promises given to us in His Word, we can pray for what we know is according to his will and his purposes for our lives. We can believe him for daily deliverance from the evil one, from giving into temptation to sin, and from the fear of opposition from sinful humans. And, we can trust him to be with us, to not forsake us, and to lead us through troubled waters while still filling us with his perfect peace and joy.

And, we can rely on the strength of the Lord and the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit within us, as well as his guidance, to lead us through every difficult circumstance and to make a way for us where there often seems to be no way. Nothing can touch us but what God allows it, and that he has a purpose for it, and that he will bring good out of it. We have to keep remembering that. We have to keep trusting, and not be afraid. One day he is going to return for us, and all the hardships we have gone through in this life will fade away, and will become no more. And, we will live in peace and safety with our Lord forever, and he will wipe every tear from our eyes.

The King is Coming
(Bill Gaither)

The King is coming, the King is coming
I just heard the trumpet sounding and soon His face I’ll see
The King is coming, the King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

I can hear the chariot’s rumble, I can see the marching throng
And the fury of God’s trumpet spells the end of sin and wrong
Regal rolls are now unfolded, heaven’s grandstands all in place
Heaven’s choir is now assembled, start to sing “Amazing Grace”…

The Broken Yoke

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 10:09 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Unless You Are Born Again.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 9 (Select vv. NASB).

Light and Darkness (vv. 2-7)

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian…

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, separate from God, and without hope, due to the fall of Adam in the garden (See: Ro. 3:23; 5:12-19; 1 Co. 15:21-22, 42-49). We are under a curse, and the law says we must pay the penalty of death (for eternity) for our sin. Yet, in our flesh we can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We will never be good enough. The law is powerless to save us. So, God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh to be our blood sacrifice to take away the sins of the world. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, God “condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (See: Ro. 8:1-14).

Jesus Christ is the Great Light which has shone and is still shining in the darkness. He died on the cross, not just to take our punishment for sin, and to free us from the punishment of sin, but to deliver us out of slavery to sin, i.e. to lift (break) that burden (yoke) of sin from our shoulders. He freed us from the control of Satan over our lives, and he freed us to now walk in his holiness and righteousness. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. For those who have believed in Jesus with God-given faith, who have died with Christ to sin, and who have been resurrected with Christ to newness of life, they rejoice in their newfound freedom. God has delivered them out of darkness, and he has brought them into his wonderful light.

Pride Before a Fall (vv. 8-12)

The Lord has sent a word against Jacob,
and it will fall on Israel;
and all the people will know,
Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria,
who say in pride and in arrogance of heart:
“The bricks have fallen,
but we will build with dressed stones;
the sycamores have been cut down,
but we will put cedars in their place.”
But the Lord raises the adversaries of Rezin against him,
and stirs up his enemies.
The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west
devour Israel with open mouth.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still.

Not everyone takes God and his Word seriously, though. Not everyone believes the truth of the gospel of our salvation. Many do not revere God and so they take matters into their own hands. If God disciplines them, for the purpose that they will turn from their sin, they, in pride, plot how they will go right back to what they were doing before. Maybe this time, though, they will do it a different way, thinking they will not get caught this time. They ignore all the warnings God gives them, and they act as though God does not see their wickedness, or as though he will do nothing about it. But, just because he hasn’t so far does not mean he won’t. He has held off, in many cases, because he is patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But, his Word will be fulfilled!

False Guides (vv. 13-17)

The people did not turn to him who struck them,
nor inquire of the Lord of hosts.
So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail,
palm branch and reed in one day—
the elder and honored man is the head,
and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;
for those who guide this people have been leading them astray,
and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.
Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men,
and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows;
for everyone is godless and an evildoer,
and every mouth speaks folly.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still.

There are many false guides of the people, many of whom profess to know God and who claim to be preachers of the Word of God. Yet, they have not been born again of the Spirit of God. They are still operating in the flesh, and they are leading others to follow the flesh of man, too, and to buy into the lies of Satan. They have not repented of their sins because they believe they don’t have to. They see God’s grace as a free license to continue in sin without guilt, without remorse, and absent of punishment. Yet, they don’t do this out of ignorance, or at least most of them don’t, I believe. They don’t ignore the truth because they don’t know the truth, but because the truth does not fit with their lifestyles, and with the lifestyles of the people they are hoping to gain as their followers. And, so they alter the truth to fit the flesh.

Thus we have many popular preachers today preaching a diluted half-truth gospel which appeals to the flesh, but which does not put sin to death in sinful human beings, but rather it entertains it. Some of them come close to preaching the truth, but they still make light of God’s gift of grace and mock the very reason for which Christ died, which is that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Still others are preaching a “gospel” which is hardly even recognizable as the gospel of Jesus at all. When a preacher tells you that Jesus died merely to take your punishment for sin, but he doesn’t tell you that he died that we might become the righteousness of God, then he is lying to you. If he sells God’s grace as “life insurance” against all sin, but he doesn’t tell you that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, he is lying.

God’s grace, which brings salvation, is not a get-out-of-jail-free card to anyone who merely “receives” his grace, whatever that is supposed to mean, but who thinks his grace is a free license to continue in sin without punishment. God’s grace teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for his return. His Word teaches us that is we walk according to the flesh, even after we say we have believed in Jesus or have received his grace, we will die in our sins. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity. Some people call this works-based salvation, but it is what Jesus, Paul and the other apostles taught (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; 1 Jn. 1:6).

One day we will all have to appear before God and to give an account of what we did with Jesus Christ and his gift of grace to us. If we think God’s grace gives us liberty to live however we want and still claim heaven as our eternal destiny, then we need to think again. If we claim to have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), we are liars (1 Jn. 1:6). Yet, we can’t please God in our own flesh. Grace is his gift to us, as is the faith to believe in Jesus, and thus faith is God’s divine persuasion to us of his will for our lives. It is spiritual, not fleshly. So, true faith turns from wickedness and turns to follow our Lord in obedience, because the faith comes from God and not from our own flesh. Even repentance is granted to us, and we are empowered of God to obey him.

When Paul (Saul) was called of Jesus to be his servant-witness, his commission was to open blinded eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:16-18). This is the essence of the gospel of our salvation. Believing in Jesus Christ involves surrendering our lives to him, yielding to the cross of Christ, dying with Christ to sin, and living with Christ to his righteousness – all in the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit now living within those of us who have been born again from above. So, if you have not done so, please give your hearts to Jesus today, and truly make him your Savior and your Lord (owner-master).

Unless You Are Born Again
An Original Work / November 3, 2013

Based off John 3:1-21

Nicodemus came to Jesus.
He acknowledged God was with Him.
Jesus said, “You can’t see heaven
Unless you are born again.”

“How can a man be born when he’s old?
Can he enter into his mother’s womb?”
Jesus answered, “Flesh is flesh,
So of the Spirit, you must be.”

Jesus said to Nicodemus,
“You’re a teacher, and yet you don’t
Understand of what I tell you,
Because you will not believe.

“For God so loved the world that He gave
His one and His only Son for your sin.
So, whoever believes in Him
Has eternal life in heav’n.

“Light has come into the world,
But human beings love the darkness,
Because their deeds are so evil,
So in truth, they stand condemned.

“Everyone who practices evil
Fears that the Light will expose his sin.
Yet, whoever lives his life by the Light
Does so through his God.”