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By His Stripes We Are Healed

April 15, 2019 1 comment

Jesus Christ in the holy cross

of black and blue and red
of gashes and slashes and stripes
of hits and harm and hurt

He stumbles and bows and falls
He crumbles and bends and kneels
He gasps and cries and moans

for healing and helping and teaching
for blessing and loving and keeping
for hoping and holding and saving

Isaiah 54:4-5
A Devotional Poem by Luana Ehrlich

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I Found A Reason To Celebrate This Week–Have You?

April 3, 2015 2 comments

CelebrateI believe God wants us to celebrate the milestones of our life.

In the Old Testament, he gave the Israelites seven festivals of celebration each year. That’s a lot of celebrating! However, each festival was also a means of remembering the awesomeness of God and an occasion for teaching about the holiness of God.

In the New Testament, Jesus told his followers to celebrate the meaning of the cross and to do so by using unleavened bread and wine to remember his broken body and his shed blood. Unlike the seven celebrations of the Old Testament festivals, Jesus gave no restrictions on the number of times we could celebrate this event–“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26.

I recently celebrated the day I was born. Although I didn’t feel any differently on March 31st, than I did on March 30th, I marked it as special and didn’t treat it as an ordinary day.

Christians and Jews alike mark this week as special, but for Christians, the most important day this week will be celebrated on Sunday. If this spectacular event—which took place on Sunday some 2,000 years ago—had not happened, then this week would mean nothing. There would be absolutely nothing about this week to mark it as special. Why celebrate the death of a man who claimed to be God? Disillusioned people die every single day.

But this man, this Jesus, who said he was God, who claimed that He and Jehovah were one and the same, backed up those claims by coming back to life. After being pronounced dead, wrapped in a shroud, and placed in a borrowed tomb, He showed himself alive to over 500 people.

While certainly spectacular, resurrections from the dead had occurred before Jesus’ death and even occurred afterward–by His hand and power. But, whereas others resurrected from the dead later died, never to be alive on this earth again, Jesus ever lives!

“Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).

More importantly—at least for me personally—is the reason behind his intercession for me. The death he died on the cross was the punishment I deserved, both for my sinful nature and for my own willful sins. By accepting Jesus as The One who died in my place, as The One willing to intercede for me before God, I too will be granted eternal life. “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Now, that’s a reason to celebrate!

 

 

Who’s Going To Take Out The Trash?

October 21, 2014 Leave a comment

TrashDo you remember any of the items you threw in the trash last week? Do you recall what you tied up in a plastic garbage sack, put inside a garbage can, and rolled to the curb a month ago? Probably not. They aren’t important now. That stuff is yesterday’s garbage.

That’s exactly how God treats the sins of His children. Those sins are yesterday’s garbage. Hebrews 8:12 “I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

Since God is . . . well,  God, it’s hard to believe He’s just going to forget this trash. As human beings, we remember our failures, our transgressions, our sins, our disobedience. Not so with God. Hebrews 10:17: “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

As  difficult it is for us to accept God’s forgetfulness, one look at Scripture proves that God is both a God of forgiveness and a God of forgetfulness. Were it not so, He would have crushed Adam and Eve from the moment they believed Satan’s lie, not bothering to go looking for them, inquiring, “Adam, Where are you?” Were it not so, He would never have given the Ceremonial Law, providing cleansing from sin or the Mercy Seat for the atoning of sins. Were it not so, He would never have sent His only Son who said he was going to die an excruciating death, “for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28.

Putting  away the sin in one’s own life, is just like getting rid of any other refuse.  First, it must be brought to the trash can. Bring your sins to God. Proverbs 28:15: “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

Second, it must be left there. Leave your sins with God. Hebrews 11:10-23: “. . . hold fast the confession of our faith, without wavering. . .”

Lastly, walk away. Walk away in God. 2 Peter 1:3: “His divine power has granted to us all that pertain to life and godliness.”

“I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake.” Isaiah 43:25. Why not allow Him take out the trash for you.

No one does a better job of it.

 

 

 

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