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Posts Tagged ‘Savior’

jesus and samaritan womanTo the woman who calls herself “broken:”

We are all broken because we live in a broken world. We are all broken because “in sin did my mother conceive me.” It is Jesus Christ, however, who covers hurting and repentant sinners in His robe of righteousness so that God sees not our wretchedness, but the glory of our Savior.

You can be sorry for mistakes and failures of the past. You can ask for forgiveness from God and those you hurt. But then you pick up your cross and follow Christ. You live with past mistakes, but they do not define you. You do not need to wallow in brokenness because what Jesus did for you makes you a new person.

You are the treasure for whom Jesus sacrificed all He had.

He has set you free to live as a daughter of God and heir of salvation.

 

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tornadoAll is not well.  The earth knows… and groans.

When God created the earth and every living thing, He designed an earth in harmony with those who dwell upon it.  Sin changed everything.  The tornado that stole away precious lives in Oklahoma was evidence of a sin-altered world.

I pray that we all mourn the loss of lives for whom Christ died.  More importantly, I pray that parents everywhere prepare their children for eternity.  In a blink of an eye, any one of us or our children or grandchildren might draw our last breath.  After death, where will we be?

The arms of Jesus are open for all who call upon His name.  May we parents and grandparents teach our children by word and example that Jesus is the only Savior.  He is the only way to perfect life… literally out of this world.

May we help children know their identity as God’s sons and daughters in Christ.  Why?  So that they grow in Wisdom… and, whenever their last day on this earth might come, we’ll know where we’ll see them again.

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“Calling homosexuality a sin is homophobic,” proclaimed the college student, “and no true, loving God would promote hatred against someone based on how he or she created them.”

But, what “true, loving God” would “create” a person to be homosexual?  What a cruel God that would be!  Would He think it amusing that body parts don’t fit?  Would He callously dunk biscotti in His coffee as He watched the health of men deteriorate and the hearts of women grow cold?

When people claim that homosexuals are “born that way,” I agree.  We are — each one of us — born with sin in us.  But, my choice is to embrace that sin or fight it; to do things that my body wasn’t made to do, or be on guard against harming myself and others; to be “lord and master” of my own life, or to trust that God knows best what I need and is good for me (as well as those affected by my choices).

The God of creation made Adam and Eve perfectly.  She was a “helper fit for him.”  (Literally: “like his opposite.”)  Their “fit,” in the intimacy of marriage, would be complementary and procreative.  The Creator said it was “good.”  God would be contrary to Himself if He created such masterpieces and then set them on a course of abuse and destruction. No, it was not God that brought confusion, struggle, and pain into our lives.  It is human sin — our own pride and disobedience — that makes this world a dark and troublesome place.

The God of reciprocal love did not force the first man and woman to be in a relationship with Him.  He invited them to trust Him and choose life.  The alternative was to trust themselves and choose death.  When Satan tempted Eve with his question, “Did God really say . . . ?” she and Adam both failed to trust God… and sinned.  Sin brought selfishness, deceit, abuse, difficult relationships, fear of children, weaknesses for all manner of harmful behavior (including unnatural sex), diseases, and death.

Can God tolerate sin and its consequences?  No.  But, the God who despises sin does not hate the person who sins.  Adam and Eve chose to disobey God so could no longer stay in the perfect garden, but before entering a now changed and harsh world, God promised One who would win victory over satan, sin, and death.

The promise was kept.  Jesus Christ came down into our dark and troublesome world.  He knew that, left to ourselves, sinful people are alienated from the Holy God… and there’s nothing we can do about it.  So, Jesus cried out,

Whoever believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me.  And whoever sees Me sees Him who sent Me.  I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness.  If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12:44-48).

Good Friday approaches.  I am drawn to the Cross where my Savior showed compassion for sinners.  Dare I cheapen His amazing grace or mock His victory over death by claiming that my sins matter not to the Holy God?

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What does God say to women?  His letter to us reads something like this:

Dear Daughter,

I loved you before I created you.  You are my masterpiece.  But, sin has distorted My perfect creation.  Sinful people are challenged by difficult choices.  You, My daughter, are tempted by feelings and emotions.  You can’t trust these emotions, but you can always trust Me.  Your life is of such value to Me that I came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ — the God become Man willing to rescue you from the consequences of sin.  I paid the highest price for you.

Because of this great price, your body is not your own — to do with as you please.  It was covered by the Robe of Righteousness when Jesus shed His blood on the Cross.  The sacrifice of Jesus, your Savior, made you a new creation.  You have the promise of heaven.  I don’t want you to be hurt.  I don’t want your heart to be broken or your body abused.  So please, daughter.  Guard your body, mind, and soul by making choices that glorify Me.

It’s o.k. to rebel.  Rebel against all that is sinful and wrong in this world.  Dare to be different from those who follow worldly opinions.  They chase after popularity and selfish ambitions.  When they do wrong, they want you to do wrong, too.  They say, “Follow your heart,” or “Do whatever feels right for you.”  But, a sinful heart cannot be trusted.  It is filled with all manner of bad things.  Your feelings and moods blow with the wind.  They are high and low like a rollercoaster.  Look to Me, My daughter.  I never change.  You can trust your life to Me.  I know you better than you know yourself.  I know your thoughts… your desires… your needs.  You are never alone in My world.

I didn’t create you to be sexy, but holy.  Practice modesty in the way you speak, act, and dress.  Call attention not to yourself, but to Me — the One who made you.  Show your beauty not by revealing your body, but revealing your love for Me.  Resist being a temptress and, instead, lead others away from sin with its ugly consequences.

Be alert to deception.  My daughter, if you acknowledge Me to be God, your Father, then you also acknowledge the evil one who opposes me and despises you.  He hates you because I love you so much.  He will try to deceive you.  He knows when you are vulnerable.  He will tempt you with one question, “Did your Father really say . . .?”  Then, when you doubt Me and fall to deception and sin, the tempter becomes your accuser, “Look at what you have done!  Can your Father ever forgive you?”

Oh, yes, My daughter.  I can and do forgive.  There is nothing you need to do but confess your sin.  In your sorrow, I reach down to lift you from despair and secure the Robe of Righteousness tighter around you.  Forgiven and set free, you are no longer captive to your past.   Satan may tempt you again and again, but I have given you dominion over the father of lies.

Don’t let anyone look down on you for being young.  Instead, let your speech, behavior, love, faith, and purity be an example for others.  Entrust your life to Me.  I’m not a god of chaos, but the God of order and beautiful design.  I made you to be a woman.  Live as a woman — My daughter — while you wait for Jesus to return for you.

Your identity is not found in your appearance or what you do.  Your identity is a creation of God and the treasure for whom Christ gave all He had.  No matter the circumstances in your life, that identity remains.

I am the King… the Lord of life.  Think of what that makes you, My daughter.

With the greatest love of all,

Your Heavenly Father

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