Saturday, January 28, 2017

Beautiful, Part Five

What does this mean for us?

We could never earn His love or repay Him for what He’s done for us, and we are SO unworthy! Isn’t it astonishing that He would call us His own and be willing to pay such a high price for us? If we belong to Him, we are FREE from being a slave to sin and from our death sentence. So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:7 We are rich—heirs of the Kingdom—no matter what our circumstances in this life! This is cause for great rejoicing!! Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4 Our names are written in His Book in heaven. “...rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:16-18

Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:34-36

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6

He’s gone to prepare a place for us and will come back for us. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." John 14:3 We will live with Him forever. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

“The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5

But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"... 1 Corinthians 2:9

How shall we respond?

With all we have in us, that’s how! With complete surrender and devotion. Love Him back. Honor, obey and serve. He is worth it. Jesus provided us with an example of how we’re to live, what our priorities should be and how to serve God.

John's gospel tells us that Jesus carried His own cross and Matthew, Mark and Luke also tell us that Simon of Cyrene (Simon is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Simeon, meaning “hearing”) was compelled to carry Jesus' cross behind Him. We usually assume that was done only because He was unable to carry it any further in His condition at that point, but I think it’s also a picture of what WE (those who "have ears") are to do - to carry our cross, following Him. And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Mark 4:9 This life is NOT about us, it's about Him. Glorifying His name is absolutely the highest, most important, TOP priority. We will spend eternity worshiping Him. Start now by honoring Him with your entire life, not just a portion of it.

So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. John 19:16-17 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. Luke 23:26

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:32-38

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. ...For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:24, 26-27

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-27

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.  So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.  For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.  Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.  And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:12-16

This is Part Five of a series.  You may download the entire devotional in a "pretty" format here or in a basic, small file size format with highlighting here.

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