"Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above where Christ Himself is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are of the earth." - Colossians 3:1,2
I’m sure like me, your week has been busy, but what a wonderful time it has been to meditate again on last weekend’s Easter services and messages.
I, like many of you, have been pondering again the weighty sacrifice of Christ, and with that, the utter sinful despair I was in prior to Him saving me by His grace and mercy.
If you grew up in church, perhaps it is difficult to think of yourself as a wicked sinner prior to Christ. I used to have those thoughts as well, but trust me, (and trust what His Word says about us), we were all full of wickedness. Our righteousness was never based on church attendance, doing our best to help others, or comparing ourselves to someone else’s more sinful life, rather it is compared to a Holy God’s standard, and the state of our hearts. Before Christ saved anyone, we as humans were sick, desperately wicked, stubborn, and consumed by our own selfish desires. In fact, God goes as far as to say we were His enemies… yet He loved us, more than any love this world has ever known.
The entire sacrificial system in the Old Testament displays what was to come in Christ. The innocent pays the price for the guilty. And my how guilty we were. The payment for our sins was not merely someone dying peacefully in their sleep. The weight of our sin was matched with the utter torment of Christ’s physical beating, and tortuous death. No matter how many times we hear of it, it’s really quite unimaginable to consider what He went through, yet with the physical pain, the spiritual sense of God turning His back/ forsaking His son as the final display and act of God’s full wrath of sin being poured out on Jesus instead of you and I. The Bible says Jesus willingly gave up His life. It also says in Isaiah that it pleased God to crush Him – Christ, for our sake.
How can we ever doubt His love for us?
How can we question His Word, His faithfulness?
So much of life is so very hard and it’s tough to understand why devestating things happen, but in the midst of it, open your heart, and draw closer to your Savior, feast on His Word, and trust His love and trust that He is faithful to provide strength and grace and purpose for our good and for His glory.
May we never grow complacent to the great sacrifice He made in order to bring us to Himself.
The grave is empty, sin and death and the powers of darkness have no power if we are in Christ! We are not in bondage to sin! He loved us while we were sinners, but He does not keep us in the depths of our sins. He changes our priorities, our dreams, our lifestyles, our identity. His identity in us is true joy and has true purpose! We are living HIs life and His word out in our personal/family lives and in our business lives. We are not business men and women who love Jesus on the side, rather we are Jesus-lovers who happen to do business and use our gifts and whatever season of life we are in for His honor and glory. We can, with His strength walk in a manner worthy because of a new heart, a renewed mind and a God who never leaves us or forsakes us.
Think for a moment and fill in the blank: “Because He lives, I ________________”
There could be hundreds of answers. The gospel changes everything!! Take time today while in traffic on your way home from work, or wherever, to ponder on what you have in Christ and how He has changed/ is changing you and thank Him. Also ask Him to illuminate areas of your heart or your mind of things that are worrying you or consuming your thoughts that need to be surrendered once again. May He comfort you in this process!
As the songwriter wrote “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, I know He holds the future, and life is worth a living because He lives!” Praying for you all, knowing God is the giver of what you need in the moment you need it. Our Father, our Rock and our Redeemer – may He encourage you today!!
[typography font="Neuton" size="18" size_format="px"]I wrote this post for The Journey of Sisters Devotional. Please visit Journeyofsisters.org for more information![/typography]