He Reigns!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Blood & The Cross

Do you remember this song? "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus, What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

It's one of my favorites and it always brings me to tears. The image of Jesus on the Cross fills my mind and it breaks my heart. Here is God Almighty, who came to earth in the flesh for one reason: to save us from a fate worse than death - an eternity in hell. He was beaten and nailed to a tree when He could've called angels to rescue Him.

The Bible says He became sin for us. But have you ever considered what that really means? Jesus, the perfect human, Jesus, the sinless among a world full of sin took on our sins. He never murdered anyone, yet while on the Cross, He became fully aware of what goes on in the mind of a murderer. He saw, felt and tasted the bitterness of taking a human life out of anger, spite, & jealousy. He took on each and every single sin the same way. He became a thief, an adulterer, a liar, a drunkard, a gambler, an abuser, and felt, saw, and tasted each and every single sin we've ever committed.

But He also took on the human condition - hatred, bitterness, gossip, loneliness, despair, anger, and every other negative emotion we ever experience.

It was during this time that God could not watch because God cannot look upon sin. The sky went dark for three hours (Mark 15), it took three hours for our sins to be piled on Jesus. One by one, Jesus was crushed by our sin. Look at the world around us, do you see the sins going on daily? Rape, murder, shootings, drug addiction, terrorism, homosexuality, abortion, divorce, living together without marriage, lawlessness, cops being shot, arson, bank robbery, drug smuggling, human trafficking, child abuse, pedophilia, and so much more. Things that make us angry, feel helpless to stop, and make us cringe at the thought.

Jesus took them all on, in His mind, heart, soul & body. And while He did, the world went dark.

He did that for you, for me, for all of humankind for all time. For every race, creed, and color. Jesus Christ became sin for us. His blood on the Cross is the only way we could ever be reconciled with God. Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb whose blood was required by God in order to save a lost world.

Look at the Cross. Look at Jesus. Remember the blood that ran down the Cross, the single drop that fell on you, that fell on me, that continues to fall on every sinner who calls out to Jesus in the realization that apart from Him, our lives are useless.

God has always required blood sacrifices and Jesus is the final sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice for this world. His life was required by God to save us from sin  and death. One day your life will be required by God, but it won't be to save anyone. It will be to stand before the Almighty and answer one question - Did you accept Christ as your Savior and let His blood redeem you?

Father, I come to you in Jesus’ name and I apply the blood of Jesus to my life, to all that belongs to me, to everything you have given me to steward. I put the blood of Jesus on my mind, my body, my emotions and my will. I put the blood on my family, my co-workers and my friends. Thank you for protecting me with your blood. Thank you for the drop of blood that fell from Calvary and landed on me. Lord, let everyone who reads this know and understand the power in the saving blood if Jesus. In the Name of Christ our Savior, I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Modern Idols - The Arts

Back before I wound up in a wheel chair due to a degenerative bone disease, I loved to dance. I think most of us do but when does the things we like to do, such as dancing, music, singing, painting, drawing, sculpting, writing, acting etc. become a modern idol? It's no secret that musicians, actors, and sports figures have fans who follow them on social media, buy tickets to their concerts, movies and events, and some even go so far as to stalk these entertainers.

The word "fan" comes from "fanatics". And when we turn from what is right, from our families, our jobs, and other important things in life, we become fanatics. It's not just following after the famous but it can be the things we like to do, including our jobs and the money we make.

Fanatic is defined as: excessive, single-minded, with zeal especially when it comes to religion and politics; enthusiastic devotee, ardent admirer. The 16th century French definition was used to describe possession by a demon. (Fantasque or Latin, Fanaticus).

An idol is a false god. Exodus 20:4 says we shall have no idols, no bowing or worshipping
Deuteronomy 27:15 says idols are cursed and detestable to the Lord
Isaiah 44:9, 15, 17, 19 says idols are foolish, worthless, show stupidity and ignorance, and makes one a "deluded fool."
Habakkuk 2:18 says idols are "deceptive, foolish"
Romans 1:23-24 says it's "utter foolishness to worship idols."
1 Corinthians 6:9 says those who worship idols "will not inherit the Kingdom."
1 Corinthians 8:4 says an idol is not a god, there is only One God!
Revelation 2:14 told the church at Pergamum their sin was that they tolerated teachings like Balaam, and that was teaching sin

Anything we follow after whether it be money, jobs, a person, or a pastime and it draws our focus away from God, it becomes an idol, and we are committing the sin of spiritual adultery. Focus on anything that takes our time, money, and thoughts away from God is a self-centered pursuit. If we are to have a life in Christ, our focus must be on Him, on His Word, and our time must be spent in pursuit of Him alone.

We must ask ourselves:
Who created me?
Who do I ultimately trust with my life, my finances, my future?
Who do I look to for ultimate truth in both the every day things of life and the grand scheme of things?
Who do I look to for security and happiness?
Who is in charge of my future?
Who is in charge of my life on earth and my life for eternity?

Idols are nothing more than figments of our imagination. They are false advertising and most of all, they are worthless. Idols may bring us a few moments of happiness, and we might think it's worth giving up everything else but in the long run, our idols will fail us and leave us in the ruin of reality.

Only a life in Christ Jesus is worth giving up everything in this life for. He is the only One who can bring us true joy and happiness, and give us an eternity with Him.