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We were designed to live by the law before we fell in Adam. Had he kept it God would have given us eternal life. There would have been no sin and misery, only grace and approval.
After Adam’s fall we still want to keep the law, it’s the natural man’s default position, but now we can’t because of sin.
There is no way to be saved by the law. It has no life. It can only point the finger and denounce us for our sins.
It’s meant to do us in and draw us to Christ, who was the only man who kept the law after Adam.
He obeyed it perfectly.
He fulfilled it perfectly.
He earned salvation for us, in our place, because we couldn’t do it.
So it’s true we’re still saved by the law, but it’s Jesus’s obedience to it that saves us.
Now that is the best news you’ll ever receive. Today and forever.
You want freedom? Here it is.
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The bible teaches us everywhere that we are sinners and that we owe God our devotion. The truth is, not one of us has made good on our obligation. The main thing we owe God is to love him with all our hearts, souls and minds. This is our baseline responsibility. How are we doing with this? If you’re like me, not so good. In fact, most days my heart, soul and mind is riveted on me. My feelings. My expectations. My wants. Even at my best, which doesn’t exist, I have never loved the Lord this way. I break the first commandment every hour of every day.
What can be done for this kind of life? Never mind the really bad things we’ve done, but even the good things we’ve done, which aren’t really good enough. Our warmest and most heartfelt moment with the Lord falls short of the standard of perfection that God requires.
If we can’t even live up to our new year’s resolutions – in my case I don’t make them anymore because of past failures – what hope do we have to do better in the sight of God? Self-improvement won’t get us nearer to God. Despair isn’t the answer either.
The only solution is to run to Jesus who purchased our acceptance with God through his perfect life of obedience lived for us, and his death on the cross in payment for all our sins. Both have been credited to our account in God’s eyes.
Even if we can’t live up to our best intentions, Jesus has for us. He’s all we need!
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Jesus has removed your burden of striving for God’s approval. He has taken away your self-help attempts of winning God’s love. You don’t have to clean yourself up to be presentable and acceptable to God. The world wrestles with that. It battles guilt and shame and an over-burdened conscience of law keeping, whether it’s one of its own making, or the real list of moral commands from the bible.
There are really only two camps to be in: the one of self-effort, like a gymnasium, full of sweat and exertion, or the one of surrender because you can’t conform to any of it.
There is more hope of finding the gospel in the camp of the dejected than in the camp of the proud.
Today, if you find yourself feeling hopeless, you’re in a good place. It means you know you don’t have the answers or the strength for living life well.
None of us do. It just takes some of us longer to realize it than others.
Jesus lived life well for you.
He obeyed God for you.
He loved God with all his mind, heart, will and strength for you.
He served God perfectly for you.
He also paid the price for your sins on the cross.
He was the Perfect Man who was well pleasing to God.
And if you believe in him, then God has given you his Son’s perfect record as your own.
That means when God looks at you he sees you as never having sinned, ever, and as never having had a sin nature.
He only sees Jesus in you.
You need joy today? Read this post again!
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As we read the gospels we soon run into the parables of Jesus. Why did he teach that way? Even the disciples wondered about that.
Jesus said that parables were meant to hide the truth from those who didn’t want to hear it, but revealed to those who belong to God.
The most famous of the parables is the one about the seed and the four soils. It’s message is relevant for every generation.
Was Jesus really talking about soil that gets under your fingernails and green shoots poking out of the ground? No, these were pictures of spiritual truths. The seed was the gospel, the Good News about Jesus taking our place for us in order to bring us to God.
The sower was Jesus, the Son of Man, a king who shared in the humanity of his people and who carried the image of God.
Jesus with a bag of seeds.
What were those seeds producing? Wheat, lettuce, figs? Or some intellectual understanding or religious insight?
No, they were producing believers.
Of course the enemy was right there working his evil in people as they listened. But notice Jesus didn’t interrupt him. He let him be. Only the fourth soil produced good fruit. The other three soils were left in enemy hands.
Jesus knew the harvest would be gathered in in spite of the enemy’s tactics, that’s why we, like him, can go about spreading the Good News of Jesus knowing with confidence God will be at work producing believers.
Makes being a sower a joy, doesn’t it? And you’ll always be surprised at God’s work in people. It’s the best assignment on earth!
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If you think the bible is about good people doing wonderful things for God, you ought to read it sometime!
The fact is, the bible is about a wonderful God doing good things for bad people.
The only good guys in the bible are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Everybody else is bad.
That includes you and me.
“There is none righteous, no not one.” – Romans 3:10
The truth is not a single soul can stand before God and say, “I’ve done my best.”
We haven’t done our best, not even on our good days.
If God is going to save us and use us and make something of us, He’s going to have to do it in spite of ourselves. Not because we read the bible every day; not because we give thanks before every meal; not because we never miss church; and not because we try to be good parents, friends and neighbors.
We are promise breakers, we’re not people of integrity, and we don’t measure up to our own standards let alone God’s.
We need a God for failures.
And that’s exactly what we have.
Jesus Christ joined the human race so he could become our substitute.
He lived the life we should have lived, obeying every one of God’s commands from the heart.
That means he won God’s favor and secured a place in heaven for us.
His righteousness was charged to our accounts, so that we with all our sins and failures are declared righteous.
What happened to our sin?
God charged it to Jesus’s account, he absorbed the penalty, and died in our place on the cross.
It’s all paid for.
We stand forgiven and accepted because of the work of our Savior.
Talk to me.
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