A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text.  – Martin Luther

It’s only because of Christ and all He’s done for us that we have eternal life.  His grace is the key to our salvation.

Adam’s sin resulted in death for all who are in him, but Jesus Christ’s obedience in going to the cross resulted in justification of life for all who are in Him. Adam’s sin was credited to all his descendants, but Christ’s righteousness is credited to all who are His descendants through faith in Him.  – Stephen J. Cole

We don’t earn eternal life – but we humble ourselves with grateful hearts before the cross of Christ.  We rely upon His grace and mercy in our lives and for our afterlives.  We can make Heaven our home forever if we believe and claim His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross.

Yes, Adam sank our spiritual ship, but God has thrown a life preserver to us. His name is Jesus! What Adam did was the worst thing that ever happened, but what Christ did was the best thing that ever happened.  – Keith Krell

Grace is free to us but very costly to God. – Keith Krell

Even at our worst God loves us.  – Jerry Cosper

God’s the only One who could possibly provide the perfect sacrifice for the horrific sin of man.  As much as we want to think that being a “good person” is enough to earn life in Heaven one day, it’s just not true.  Without the cleansing blood of Christ, we cannot be saved.

We’re not keen on being represented by Adam, but the truth is, if any of us had been the first man, we would not have done anything differently.  The fact is, sin is in this fallen world – but the good news is the gospel of Christ!  He died on Calvary’s cross and that is the only hope for fallen man.  Believe today on Him and you will be saved.  🙂

REVELATION 1:17 ON 1/17

TL REVELATION 1-17 ON 1-17

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.”  – Revelation 1:17

Sinful man cannot stand alive before God.  When mortals are facing God, the must bow in submission, with a deep consciousness of unworthiness.  Remember when Moses stood before the burning bush – shoes removed in reverence?  He couldn’t look on God’s face because His countenance was so bright.  When we stand before our God one day (and we all will), I believe we will be so overwhelmed with the majesty of His presence!  Human nature is unable to sustain such glory – we will bow before Him.

I cry when I read this because it says, “Then He placed His right hand on me…”  He touched him before telling him not to be afraid.  I think sometimes we think of our LORD as one who stands at arm’s reach from us – or maybe it’s just me.  Scriptures like this and the ones that talk about how He will wipe away all tears from our eyes – those passages remind me that He will be a truly loving LORD.

Some people go for days at a time and are never touched.  It’s good to know that it’s not going to be that way in heaven.  God loves us so much!  ❤

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (things) in heaven, and (things) in earth, and (things) under the earth;  – Philippians 2:10

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  – Romans 14:11

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.  – Isaiah 45:23

I'LL MEET YOU AT THE BANQUET

The takeaway for sinners is you should fear judgment day until you sincerely ask Christ Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your heart and life.  He’s waiting for your prayer right now.  He died on Calvary’s cross for your sins and wants to live in your heart.  Is your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life?  I hope so.

HEAVEN IS JOY WITH JESUSThe takeaway for saints is we should humble ourselves before God and ask Him to prepare our hearts for heaven.  Reverently rejoice because one day we will be making heaven our home for eternity because of the sacrifice Christ made for us on Calvary.

THE BANQUET FEAST

https://youtu.be/ZMbT2uOiE4c

Our time is short – we need to be sharing our faith.  This isn’t something we can just hug to ourselves.  Faith is meant to be shared.  Our faith is our hope for the future – we have this hope because our Lord Jesus Christ holds the keys!  🙂

 

 

PSALM 1:6 ON 1/6

PSALM 1-6 ON 1-6                                

For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.  – Psalm 1:6          

As I spend time in prayer for America, my mind goes back to this portion of Scripture.  When it comes to situations and circumstances beyond my control, I have to leave things in the very capable hands of God.  Sometimes it seems as though the wicked are winning in life, doesn’t it?  God says their way will perish, so I have to believe that my faith and trust in Him is not in vain.  I will gain heaven one day for eternity, and in my mind that’s a win.  The rest of the stuff on this earth will all pass away.  Eternity with Christ is the goal.

In 2016 I’m going to strive even more to be righteous and the person that God wants me to be.  I want all of God’s blessings.  I don’t want to be the chaff that blows from the grain when the wind blows.  I pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit in my daily life this year.

HEAVEN'S WAITING

The wicked have a choice to change, and I pray they will before it’s too late.  The blessings from God are only for the ones covered by the blood of Christ.  He died for everyone on Calvary.  My Salvation cost Him His life.

 The righteous.  They that endeavour righteous living in themselves and have Christ’s righteousness imputed to them.  – Thomas Wilcocks, 1586.

The world sees righteous living as a sort of lifestyle that implies that the righteous think they are “better than” others.  I’m not sure where that perception comes from, but I suspect it’s an impression that makes the enemy of our soul laugh with glee.  I assure you it’s a misconception.  As I said, Christ paid the ultimate price to save everyone.  It makes all who trust Him better by virtue of faith, but not better in the sense that we think we are superior in any way.  You can receive Him as your Savior today.  Just ask Him to come into your heart and life.  He loves you and has a great big heaven waiting for you!  🙂

      

              

HEBREWS 10:16 ON 10/16

HEBREWS 10 16 & 17 ON 10 16

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  – Hebrews 10:16-17

Before Christ, our high priest, shed His precious blood for us, there were many animal sacrifices made under the old law.  And, it couldn’t be just any ol’ scraggly critter either.  The animal offered for sacrifice had to be spotless.  Under the old law, sacrifices often had to be repeated.  It was a necessity – done out of a sense of duty.

Once Christ shed His blood for the sins of the world, it was enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the afterlife.  Christians are encouraged to persevere in their faith through Christ Jesus.  Now we live not under the law, but under grace.  We serve Christ from a sense of love.

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That is the new covenant and no human inventions can be put in the place of the ultimate sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  No other sacrifice will ever be needed.  By faith we embrace this precious gift from God.  It’s the best gift He ever gave us – if we will seek Christ and accept His sacrifice, God promises (the covenant) He will not remember our sins (iniquities).  We can go through life clean, forgiven and free.

Have you heard the age-old definition of JUSTIFICATION?  I heard this from Billy Graham many years ago.  Justification is just as if you had never sinned.  Once you know your sins are forgiven – they are forgiven forever.

 

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   – Jeremiah 31:33

What a difference it is to be free from the law and live a life of freedom under the gospel!  We no longer have to take a goat to the temple and sacrifice it in order for our sins to be forgiven.  Then later, have to take another goat to the temple and sacrifice it to have our sins forgiven.  The law represents duty – but then Christ willingly gave His life at Calvary.

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. – Jacqueline Winspear

Now we live under grace…  and I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful.  The grace of regeneration, which changes hearts and lives and gives us all we need for Christian service to others.  It’s not a cold law, rather a warm invitation wrapped in God’s love. 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (12)

I spent most of the day rummaging around estate sales yesterday!  If I can find some unusual item or collectible that looks lonely and forgotten in a corner, it’s my duty to rescue it and take it home where I can then nurse it back to health with love and care.

Each sale has its own unique ambience.  When you walk in the door you immediately get a sense of whether these things were taken care of and worth taking a look at, or used, abused and ultimately thrown aside when no longer needed.

If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better.  – Kristin Chenoweth

There were two sales that represent each of these scenarios.  The first was a collector’s paradise – filled with little treasures at every turn.  The second was filled with items that were obviously well used, a little abused and may not have many more miles left in them.

The odd thing I noticed was at the second sale.  It seemed every other item I saw had a large sign on it that said AS IS.  The price did not reflect the fact that there was a flaw or damage to the item.  There was a flawless price on flawed merchandise.  As I said, we expect to strike bargains, and the buyers expect us to bargain with them.

What of this sign – AS IS???  I know without a doubt that this physical body of mine has that sign on it – and maybe yours does too.  Does my soul have a sign hanging on it too?  Were any of us born without flaws of character and needing redemption?  No.  We have an AS IS sign on our souls too.

Why were we worth redeeming?  Have you ever asked yourself why God sent Jesus to save us?  Why didn’t He just let the flood wipe everything out?  He had a deep-down faith in His creation – that we would seek a relationship with Him.

He saw the AS IS sign on us but sent His only Son, Jesus, to suffer and die on Calvary’s cross.  Then rise again on the 3rd day.  We are not stuck in Saturday, weeping and mourning in our sorry state.  Once we accept Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, we are free and redeemed, washed clean by the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb of God.

Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.  – Psalm 105:4

Seek the Lord while He may be found.  He loves you so much He was willing to pay full price for you – AS IS.  He purchased your soul and wants to lovingly care for you throughout your life – and beyond.

I PRAYED FOR YOU

photo courtesy of S.G. Lutz

I’m going to take this thought a step further and submit that we should all look for the AS IS sign on each other?  I’m not suggesting that we prejudge anyone, but that we cut each other more slack.  I’m not suggesting that we whitewash over sin either; however, I would remind us that it’s not our job to change anyone.  That can only be accomplished by God’s Holy Spirit.  Here’s a great idea – let’s pray for one another, that our hearts and minds would be open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit!  Doesn’t that sound like a winner???  🙂

 

PARDON DAY

TL 9-8 PARDON DAY

On this day in 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard M. Nixon of all wrongdoing in the famous Watergate scandal. While a Presidential pardon is quite a big deal, an even more important and eternal pardon was made a very long time ago on a hill called Calvary by Christ Jesus.

The pardon offered to us by God’s own Son has eternal merit. It is not only offered to the rich and affluent, but it is offered to everyone regardless of race, background or social standing.

Christ paid the supreme sacrifice to forgive us of our sins. On this INTERNATIONAL PARDON DAY, won’t you accept the free gift given for you so long ago? As Christ forgave us, so we are to forgive each other.

If you are holding a grudge against those who have committed some offense against you, Pardon Day grants you a valid reason to check your feelings and the time that has passed, and to let that resentment and anger go.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mahatma Gandhi

If you refuse to forgive (even if not asked to) it will take a toll on your attitude, life and eventually your very health and well-being. Research has proven that people who make a choice to give up resentment toward others live longer and have better cardiovascular and nervous systems. To harbor a bitter feeling against someone is to allow them to take up residence in your mind rent-free. Forgiveness is an act that brings happiness to those who give it. To release the negative emotions held inside is a gift you give yourself. The one you harbor bad feelings toward has moved on – you need to do the same.

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
– Steve Maraboli

Today may be a good time to incorporate some “magic words” into your vocabulary. It’s great to hear someone say, “Excuse me” or “Pardon me” if they accidentally bump into you or run their shopping cart over your foot or something. Those simple words defuse anger and let you know the act was not done on purpose.

One misconception remains about extending a pardon. By no means do you have to fall back into the old trap you were in before with that person. Na na na na huh-uh! I’ve been guilty of it too. You forgive and then get back in the saddle, right? Then you end up having a similar problem. Sigh. I know. Sometimes you just have to cut the ties that strangle you.

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. – John F. Kennedy

Do everything in your power to pardon because Christ gave His all to pardon you. Trust me when I say it is not worth carrying a root of bitterness for one more day. Do what you have to do to rid yourself of it. You can write a letter, send an email, facebook message or call that person on the phone. Get it out and get over it so you can move on.

If the person you’re bitter towards is no longer living, you can write a letter to them with nothing held back – then take it to their grave, read it to them, light it on fire and burn it to set yourself free!

I want everything clear ‘tween me and thee so that all can be clear ‘tween my Lord and me.
– Linda Palmer

 

JOHN 3:16 ON 3/16

 JOHN 3 16 ON 3 16

FIND

I was looking around in an antique store not long ago and spotted a cute little sign that said SIMPLIFY. I smiled and thought about the simple life I live. I help when I can, back off when I should and try to stay tuned in to what my Lord wants me to do. Nothing is more simple than the Christian life.

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TL 3-16 JOHN 3-16

When I see atheists groups and other Christ haters and obstructionists talk about their rights for this and they need to be recognized for that, I wonder if they have any peace of mind. If they do have peace of mind, from what source? It’s not from God because they do not recognize there is a God. If they depend on themselves for peace of mind then it will not be a lasting peace, rather a fake peace, or a peace look-alike. It will crumble at the first sign of trouble.

There’s a famous line in the movie “Forrest Gump” when Forrest is asked if he has found Jesus and he replies, “I did not know He was lost, sir.” The first time I heard that it resonated with me. Is God lost? Well of course He’s not lost, but we sure are! It seems to me that finding the Lord would be of great benefit to we mere humans here on planet earth. Why do some fight the process so much?

Some of it has to do with the way we are raised, I think. Maybe some of it is because people still think that believing in a just and Holy God means you have to clean up your act. That’s backward thinking. You don’t clean up your act to approach God. You approach God and He helps you clean up your act. But let’s be honest; a lot of people don’t want their act messed with. They like the mud hole they’re rolling around in. It’s warm and cozy and familiar. They don’t want the God of the universe telling them what to do. They don’t want to hear what His Word, The Holy Bible has to say. They don’t want to find Him…

Then one day something bad happens. It’s amazing how quickly they find a Christian and ask for prayers. Don’t wait until that time to find Him. Begin seeking Him now. You will find Him.