Friday, July 16, 2021
When you were without Christ Jesus, you were separated from God, dead to him because of your sins. But what God did for those of you who have come to see that Christ is the way back to God, is God made you alive with Christ.
Friday, July 16, 2021
Welcome back for another Life Lifter! Our scripture that will give us a lift today is from Colossians 2:13-15. Here's how it reads, "God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross."
The picture here is that you were dead in your sins. When you were without Christ Jesus, you were separated from God, dead to him because of your sins. But what God did for those of you who have come to see that Christ is the way back to God, is God made you alive with Christ. You've gone from death to life in Christ. God forgave you all your sins. He forgave the ones that you just cringe at when you think about them, those things that you wish you could do over, the things where you go, "Oh, if only I could have done it over, I would have, or I could have, or I should have..." He has forgiven you all your sins. He canceled the charge of legal indebtedness. In other words, when you sin the wages of that sin was death, but God canceled that bill for you. That bill that stood against you, that bill that condemned you, that legal document that said because of your sin you deserve death, he canceled that. He took it away. When Christ died on the cross that document of legal indebtedness was cancelled, it was nailed to the cross with Christ.
Not only that, but he has disarmed Satan and all his evil hordes. They can no longer accuse you. In fact, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. This is what God has done for you in Christ Jesus. You've been made alive with him, your sins have been forgiven, your sins have been canceled, which means obliterated or destroyed. The charges against you have been taken away, he has disarmed all of those who would accuse, making a public spectacle of them. This means that in Christ Jesus you are free from all of those sins and from everything that could take you out of the loving embrace of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, who loves you. Friends, that should give you a lift for the day, and I hope and pray that it does.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
In this life, because of our sin and our evil behavior, we have actually become enemies of God. And what is so encouraging and lifting about this passage is all of the verbs that describe what it is that God has done for us in Christ Jesus.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Welcome back for another Life Lifter. I hope that this section of scripture from Colossians 1:21-23 will be a lift for your day. It reads like this, "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation - if you continue in your faith, established, and firm..."
What's clear about this is that we start estranged from God. In this life, because of our sin and our evil behavior, we have actually become enemies of his. And what is so encouraging and lifting about this passage is all of the verbs that describe what it is that God has done for us in Christ Jesus. Now in Christ, and because of his physical body and his death for us on the cross, we have been reconciled to God, the enmity is no longer there. We have been reconciled to him. In Christ and because of his physical body, through death, we have been presented holy in the sight of God. We were presented holy because he has made us holy in His sight. We are pure, we are clean, we are the holiness of God in Christ Jesus. In Christ, and because of his death, we are without blemish. There's no stain of sin on us. We are free from accusation. The evil one and all his hordes cannot accuse us, and if we love Christ we don't get to accuse ourselves either.
All of these things are true, not because we act properly all the time, not because we don't commit sins. These things are true because this is what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. We are reconciled to God, we are holy in His sight, we are without blemish. We are free from accusation because we are in Christ Jesus. I don't know about you, but I know this: when I think of that and I believe the truth that all of these things are true of me because I'm in Christ, that gives me the lift that I need to go into this day. I am thankful to be God's child, thankful for Jesus Christ, and thankful for what he's done for me.
Monday, May 24, 2021
Worshiping God is a lifestyle. Worshiping God is is how we conduct ourselves and what we're allowing God to do in our own lives.
Monday, May 24, 2021
Psalm 51:10, 12, 15-17
Today, I want to look at a psalm that I think really is a great starting point for how we are to worship God. It's written by David, it's Psalm 51. And I'm going to read some select verses from Psalm 51. Starting in verse 10, he says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." And then verse 12, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit." And then jumping ahead to verses 15-17, "Oh, Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare your praise. For you do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise, I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, Oh God, you will not despise."
David wrote this at a very difficult time in his life, when he was filled with grief. He was completely humbled and ashamed because he had just committed adultery, and he comes back to God, and he's begging through this prayer for forgiveness. He's doing a couple different things here. First, he says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, renew a steadfast spirit within me." He's like, God, I know, I screwed up. I know, I screwed up, God cleanse my heart, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Then, he says, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation, sustain me with a willing spirit." He is longing for what God's going to do in his life, how God is going to continue to pull him through. Then, he says, "Lord opened my lips, that my mouth may declare your praise. For you do not delight and sacrifice, otherwise, I would give it. You're not pleased in a burnt offering."
Let me pray for you. Father, thank you so much for the gift of your word, and just how clear it is that we don't need to be perfect. Lord, we just ask that you give us that clean spirit, the willing spirit, that we would recognize we are broken. We surrender to you, and pray that we would be obedient. Whoever's reading right now, whatever they're struggling with right now Lord, I pray that they would just have the courage to say, "God we know that we are broken and we give it to you." In Jesus' name, amen.
Monday, February 1, 2021
Our theme "Your identity in Jesus Christ". It's amazing to me that when people become a Christian they really fail to grasp who they are in Jesus. They've been transformed, translated, and they're new creations. And they don't understand how.
Monday, February 1, 2021
So we're looking at Ephisians 1, which is a fascinating, rich chapter that speaks more of our about our identity in Christ and different traits of that than any other chapter that I'm aware of in the Bible. And so far, we've looked at five of them, and I'll give you them by way of review from last week. And if they intrigue you can read, watch or listen to them. So far, we've learned that our new identity in Christ means that because of Jesus Christ, we are blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, and redeemed.
So today, I'm going to talk about the sixth, it's perhaps the most plain, but the most beautiful nonetheless, in Jesus Christ, our new identity is that we are forgiven. We are forgiven. It doesn't matter what somebody wants to hold over your head. You're forgiven. I had a friend, when I worked at RIT, we had desks next to each other in the office, where we were technical lab assistance. And he had a sticker on the wall behind our desk that said "Christians aren't perfect, we're just forgiven".
We're not perfect. We're just forgiven. But thank God that we're forgiven. I get that from Ephesians 1:7-9, it says "in Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,...". God forgave our sins, according to the riches of God's grace. And he lavished us in forgiveness.
What a thought -- lavished in grace and forgiveness. Forgiveness, the Christian bar of soap, it cleanses you, from everything in the past, everything in the present, everything in the future. Did you know that? That God has forgiven you of everything in your past? That's the most obvious. Do you know that because of his forgiveness, he's forgiving you of the sins you're struggling with in the present? Did you know that he's forgiving you of sins you haven't even dreamed of committing yet? That's how rich His grace is, forgiveness. I know this, when God has forgiven me of something, I can forget about it. It doesn't mean I don't learn from it. It doesn't mean I'm not warned to not do it again. Jesus said "go and sin no more" to the woman caught in adultery who he forgave, and didn't condemn. But forgiveness is a great feeling. When I know I'm forgiven, man, I feel good. Life has meaning. When you are a Christian, you are a forgiven person. Live the freedom that forgiveness provides. That's your identity in Jesus Christ.
Are you living free? You should because you're forgiven.
Let's pray. Father, thank you for forgiving us. We didn't deserve it. But your grace, determined that we would be forgiven and not only do forgive us, by grace you lavishly, graciously forgave us. Thank you for something we couldn't do, couldn't earn and it was all through your Son, Jesus Christ who shed his blood to forgive us. Help us live free, free not just to do what we want, but free to please you with our life, because that's our new identity. And we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.