Thursday, June 11, 2009

Daily Digest #301

Put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness. —Colossians 3:5

I never knew my "adopted" status until I read about Jesus. I knew what He had gone through but never really cared to understand why He did them. But when I learned about His purpose of saving us, and actually making us His co-heirs in His Father's kingdom, I couldn't help but wonder how The King could sacrifice so much.

Allow me to share another article with you ("Why Did Christ Have To Die", pp. 9,10,27,29) to get a glimpse of Christ's life and purpose. I believe it can enlighten anybody -- believers and unbelievers alike. I really hope that you make time to read the attachment. No matter how many readings and chapters in the Bible any of us have read, this could open a fresh perspective in our faith and love for Christ and our Father. Here are some excerpts:

The Resolution of the Cross

When Adam and Eve sinned, God could have struck them dead instantly. And He would have been just in doing so, because His holy nature demands that disobedience be punished by death.

Yet, because God is love, He did not forsake our first parents dead. Instead, He sought them out, provided them with a covering of animal skins, and gave to them a wonderful promise (Gen. 3:15). At that point, God announced the good news. Yes, the good news is that God Himself resolved the dilemma -- His holiness is counter-balanced by His love! Love found a way. Love found another tree, the cross (Rom. 5:6). God is His wisdom provided a way to undo the terrible damage done to man at that first tree.

The tree in the Garden of Eden has now given way to the cross. And on that tree of humiliation, goodness triumphed over evil. Mercy triumphed over justice. The rescue completed. The mission was accomplished. The dilemma was resolved.

The Words of the Cross

Even in dying, Christ was teaching us how to live. The seven recorded statements from the cross give us seven profound lessons on life.

1 "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do" (Lk. 23:34). Forgiveness is better than revenge.

2 "Assurely, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Lk. 23:43). Faith is rewarded with promise.

3 "Woman, behold your son! ... Behold your mother!" (Jn. 19:26-27). Our own needs should not overshadow the needs of others.

4 "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mk. 15:34). Anything that could jeopardize our relatioship with God should produce anguish.

5 "I thirst" (Jn. 19:28). These words, spoken to fullfill prophecy, remind us of the authority of Scripture.

6 "It is finished" (Jn. 19:30). Do not let yourslef lose sight of your goal of doing God's will.

7 "Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit" (Lk. 23:26). In your suffering, entrust yourslef to God.

The Call of the Cross

Look again at the cross. Look at the One dying there. He never sinned, yet He is on the cross to bear the penalty for the sins of the whole world. He's dying there on your behalf. That should be you on that cross.

It's an ugly scene, isn't it? It shows us how terrible sin really is, and what a horrible price had to be paid to set us free from it. If you are a Chirstian, coming one more time to the cross should fill your heart with gratitude for what Christ did for you there. As your sacrifice and substitute, He made it possible for you to be forgiven and to be saved from your sin. Why don't you give Him your thanks right now? Then determine to walk in obedience to God.

If you are not a Christian, won't you trust Him as your Savior? Your sin is real. You cannot do anything at all about it -- except to trust in Jesus Christ. Don't wait. Tell Him that you believe in Him as your personal Savior. Ask Him to save you. He will, because it was for you that He died on that excruciating cross. He was your sacrifice. He paid the penalty for your sin. Trust Him now!

I wouldn't mind typing this long if I didn't believe it was worth reading. One thing we rarely realize is that we all have something in common -- sin. Like the article stated, there's nothing we can do about it. We're born that way. But we can die another way. A better way -- in Christ, and united with the Father. Let us ask ourselves, "Do I trust Jesus as my Savior?" Let us make the choice NOW.

Let us pray. Thank You, Father, for loving us this much. Thank You, Jesus, for saving us from our sins. And thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who guides our choices, and fills our hearts with love and joy. Please bless our workplaces, homes and our relationships. May we follow Your will today. Amen.

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