Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Welcome to Day 213 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Isaiah 65 and 66 is God’s answer to Israel’s calling out to Him.
Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together…”
Isaiah 66:1, “This is what the Lord says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?”
Psalm 62:5, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
11 One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, 12 and that you, O Lord, are loving.”
John 3:3, “In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 5 “… born of water and the Spirit.”
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned,
… but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
John 3:16 gets all the attention, but I like verse 17! “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
God asks the question, “Where will my resting place be?”
“The Most High does not live in houses made by men.” Acts 7:48 (Then, Stephen went on to quote Isaiah 66 that we read today…)
Correct answer: My heart. Your heart. Our hearts.
God did not send his son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
I often hear people say something like, “A loving God would never send anyone to hell.” To which I reply, “Exactly!” He made a way for people to NOT go there… by sending his son to die in our place. To redeem us.
Hell was created for the devil and his angels… “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41.
I’m not big on talking about hell… I’d rather talk about the salvation God provides. I’d rather talk about having relationship with a God who loves me and sent his son for me. A God I can trust.
Trust in Christ and “eternal fire” is not an issue.
But I’m not selling fire insurance.
A relationship with God, through Christ, is not for that purpose. It’s to have a relationship with him, not to avoid “outer darkness” or “the lake of fire.”
Keep in mind, that eternal fire wasn’t prepared for you and me… or any other person.
God’s desire for us is found a few verses earlier in Matthew 25, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
His desire is for us to share in his happiness!
But it all comes down to what people do with Jesus.
Here’s the thing… people don’t like that. People think they can trust in “god.” Pick one. Any ol’ god will do.
Well… that sounds good, but once you read the Bible and understand how the Old and New Testaments fit together… when you understand, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” the requirement becomes much clearer.
All through the Old Testament God made it abundantly clear that His people were to not worship “foreign gods.” Baal, Asherah poles, High Places, Egyptian gods… the list goes on.
Remember Elijah and the 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel?
Remember when God wiped out 185,000 Philistines as they slept?
The first Commandment is, “I am the Lord your God… You will have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20.
I know the obvious reply of cynics… “Well, that’s only what the Bible says. Of course the god of the Bible would say that!”
What about Muhammad and all the Muslims? What about all those who are Buddhist or Hindu?
What about all those who have never heard, who live in deepest, darkest Africa. (That’s a whole different discussion…)
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6.
(And I really hate being labeled “narrow-minded.”) Jesus said the path is narrow and few find it.
But it’s NOT narrow in that it is for ALL PEOPLE! Not a select few. All are welcome who trust in him. All peoples, all nations.
It all comes down to what a person does with Jesus. It’s not how good we are, or how much good we do. It’s did we trust in Christ for our salvation?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No
Thank you Lord for making a way for me to have relationship with you. Thank you for sending your son to die for me! I receive that sacrifice!