What does it weigh? That’s a question often asked in the marketplace.
Your car has a recorded weight. Produce is sold by weight. And…good health demands that you watch your weight.
But…what is the collective weight of the sins of the world?
The Prophet Isaiah said: “…the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Every indiscretion…every foul imagination…every act of violence – the Lord laid it all on Jesus.
This is the agony of the cross. It’s the weight of sin that He bore.
When you stand beneath the cross…and look at the suffering Servant of the Lord…you will have one response – to worship the One who has done this for you.
Iniquity is a heavy load – but He bore it for you.
The price tag for peace. Countless white crosses tell the story.
Peace is never cheap.
And the peace that Jesus gives was purchased with His blood: “…the punishment that brought us peace was on him…”
Jesus nailed your anxieties to the cross when He died for you.
Satan is the author of anxiety…but at Calvary Jesus defeated him and destroyed his power to inflict anxiety on you.
This is why the Bible says that the peace that Jesus gives is not the peace the world gives. His peace is the result of His work on the cross.
Life is filled with anxieties…but they are powerless. Jesus has broken their power.
He says: “…my peace I give you.”
Receive it today.
Be sure. Those two words put urgency into a request.
Be sure to drive safely. Be sure to pay your bills on time. Be sure you watch your step.
God uses these words. “…be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.”
“Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do…”
“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully…”
Some things are optional – but some things are essential. Some things are arbitrary – but other things are mandatory.
Obedience to God’s commands are neither optional nor arbitrary. They are essential and mandatory.
Many decisions have built-in flexibility. You can use preference. The call is yours.
But…when it comes to obedience to God – be sure you obey.
Significance. Where do you find it?
In recognizable achievements? In positions of honor and power? In places of loud applause?
But…how long do all these things last? Who stays long at the top? How permanent is the recognition of honor?
The only place to find significance is in Christ.
This is why the Apostle Paul said: “For to me to live is Christ…” That’s it. There is no other place to find significance.
And further…the life in Jesus is not about you – it’s about Him. Significance is found in a life of surrender to Him. It’s in that surrender that significance is found.
Put differently…significance is found in grace – living in the favor of God.
So…you really are someone…as long as are you in Christ.
A common denominator. And…it’s not hard to find.
A family becomes dysfunctional…a young man gets involved with the police…a life of great potential is thrown to the wind.
What is the common denominator? People breaking God’s commands.
It was true for the nation of Israel. It was true for King Saul. It was true for Judas Iscariot.
Human assessments look for hidden reasons – and that can be revealing. But…in the final analysis the real cause lies on the surface – people disobeying the commands of God.
Sometimes people use alibis and excuses to camouflage the real reason for tragic mistakes. But…at the end of the day the true reason is easy to see — the breaking of the commands of God.
Which way? You can know…if you listen carefully.
The Prophet Isaiah explains: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”
Life is a series of intersections – each calling for a decision. Do I go straight…or make a turn?
You are now experiencing the results of your decisions – where you went to school…who you married…what job offer you accepted – and most importantly…whether or not you chose to follow Jesus.
But…how can you be sure you hear the voice of which Isaiah speaks? In another place he gives the answer: “…in quietness and trust is your strength.”
Quietness and trust. Then you can know: “This is the way; walk in it.”
Killed in action. That announces the death of a courageous soldier.
And…it carries with it a declaration of highest honor.
This reminds us that every follower of Jesus is a soldier in a war. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
With war comes casualties – and sometimes death.
And it may also include mockery…isolation…and ridicule.
The Apostle Paul said at the end of his life: “I have fought the good fight…” And he had scars to prove it.
Today…be a faithful soldier of Jesus Christ – and be willing to pay the price.
Halfhearted commitment. It doesn’t work.
Yet we see it all around – occasional church attendance…token acts of stewardship…prayers based on crises.
In striking contrast the Bible says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
Wholehearted…not halfhearted – that’s what God requires.
But…what underlies total devotion? Desire – that’s the key to the kind of devotion God requires.
Every Christian must take an honest look at the intensity of their desire. Is it comprehensive or occasional — is it flourishing or floundering – is it compelling or casual?
The psalmist said: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”
Let this kind of desire grip your heart today.
As you may recall from an earlier E-mail, we are planning a great trip to Israel and Greece March 5-20, 2020, and invite you to join us.
If you intend to go and have not yet sent us your reservation, it would be helpful for us to receive it as soon as possible – that assists us in maintaining our reservations with the travel agency.
And if you would like more information about this trip, we will E-mail it to you upon request. You can E-mail us at email@example.com.
Richard and Elnora Dresselhaus
Architect and Builder. These are roles assigned to Jesus.
John says: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
The universe…with all of its glory and majesty…is the work of His hands. All the distant stars and the smallest of creatures are evidences of His creative power.
But…His creative work is not yet finished. Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.”
But…you must make a reservation. Without it…there is no admittance.
Heaven is reserved only for those who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. That’s the only way in.
Jesus – Architect and Builder.