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In the past few weeks, we have heard about the sacrifices made by our military and law enforcement. Indeed, they have sacrificed much for our freedoms and safety. Many have given the ultimate sacrifice—their lives. We should be very grateful!
Today, I am pondering the sacrifice that we hear little about in these times. This is the greatest sacrifice given to mankind—the sacrifice of God the Father and Jesus, His only Son!
God sacrificed His Son when He planned from the beginning of time to send His one and only Son from Heaven to earth. I think of Hannah finally giving birth to Samuel after waiting a long time to bear a child. She sacrificed time and pleasure with her son by surrendering him back to the Lord as a thank offering to be used for His service. This is a foreshadow of what Father God did. He relinquished His fellowship with His only Son to send Him to earth so that ultimately we could be able to, in turn, have fellowship with both Father and Son.
Jesus also sacrificed greatly! He left the Presence of His Father to come to earth. While walking here, He did not have a place to lay His head; He was rejected and despised by His brethren, denied by those He poured His life’s message into for three years, and eventually was beaten and cruelly placed upon a cross for our sins! He did not consider Himself to be equal to God, but emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant and was born in the likeness of men. He then humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:6-8)
Consider this! Would you willingly give your only child to send him to a place knowing he would be abused, hated, and rejected by those around him—to be innocently accused and sentenced to death! And for what purpose? So that each one of us could be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life, and live a life of peace, joy, and hope while on earth.
I will be forever grateful for the greatest sacrifice given. If you have never considered this sacrifice, I would implore you to do so now! Today is the day of salvation—there may not be a tomorrow! Invite Jesus to be Savior and Lord of your life. He gave His all for you!
Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
The following Lighthouse Network Devotion from April 24, 2021 is shared with permission.
On What Do You Rely?
Accomplishments and Failures … or Jesus?
Wouldn’t you love to have a rewind button for your life? Think about it. What if you had the power to go back and change a few events in your life? The chance to correct a decision that moved your life down a wrong or painful path. The chance to achieve the peace and fulfillment that is just out of your grasp.
We’ve all done things we wish we could take back. Maybe we’ve lived a sinful lifestyle, been selfish and unkind, made parenting mistakes, said hurtful things to a loved one, or just experienced a lot of failure in life. Maybe we still struggle with relationships, anxieties, guilt, shame, and “what ifs.” On the other hand, maybe we’ve lived a pretty good life and achieved a high level of success. In fact, we really like defining ourselves by our victories. We like feeling satisfied about what we’ve done. The praise and admiration of others energizes us. Maybe we really love helping others.
But you know what? Our accomplishments aren’t really that impressive to God. He sees our hearts. He knows that they are not always pure. Praise God that He doesn’t define us by what we’ve done … regardless of how good or bad it’s been. He judges us by whether we accept what Christ did for us. He knows we need Jesus. But we need to know that, too.
I don’t know why Jesus gets such a bad rap or is so hated, but that’s another Devo. Jesus died on the cross so that the penalty for sin could be paid and our sins could be forgiven. And when we believe and accept the sacrifice he made for us, we are cleansed. Then God sees us as though we had never sinned! Our record is clean. We inherit Christ’s account. And that’s our new identity … a follower of Christ, clothed in His righteousness.
You see, we know we’ve made mistakes. But, since we’ve done some good things, and we can do even more, we underestimate the big gap between ourselves and HOLINESS. No matter how hard and long we try, we can never, absolutely never, make up the gap between ourselves and God. One zillion (an indescribably large number) good deeds will not fill that gap.
We can’t do enough to earn our way. That’s why we need Jesus. We are defined not by our accomplishments or failures, but by who we are in Christ. All the accomplishments in the world mean nothing when it comes to getting right with God and spending eternity with Him.
Today, if you are not a fully committed follower of Christ, you can make that decision right now. No matter what your past … no matter how good or bad your behavior … you need Jesus. He loves you and is reaching out to you right now. Do you want to meet Him? Just tell Him that you know you need Him … and that you want to follow Him. Why wouldn’t you want Jesus in your life? He is ready … are you? Whether you turn your life around now, or you are willing to settle for less is your decision, so choose well.
If you are a Christian, rejoice as you did the day you accepted Jesus in your life as your personal Savior. Send this to someone you love who needs Jesus and follow it with a phone call to discuss this blessing. Whether you make Him the Lord of your life, or you continue to exalt yourself as lord is your decision, so choose well.
My Father and my Lord, I believe that Your Son died for my sins. Please forgive me for all my past. I’m ready for a change. I want to follow You … and do life Your way. I know that I cannot undo my past through my own accomplishments. Thanks for sending Your Son to pay the ultimate price, to pay my penalty for me. I pray this and all prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, who died so that I may have eternity with the only God; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:23-24
The post On What Do You Rely? Accomplishments and Failures … or Jesus? appeared first on Lighthouse Network.
If you prayed to accept Yeshua as your Savior and made Him the Lord of your life or rededicated your life to Him, please contact me by replying to or commenting on this post.
Until next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
We sang “He Shall Reign” by Paul Wilbur in our 2.20.21 Shabbat service. I’ve heard this song many times, but what struck me this morning is the word shall. The song doesn’t say will, it says shall!
Shall is a legal word, used in legal regulations to express something mandatory. It is also used to express what is inevitable, determined, or absolute—it will happen without fail. Though usage in the English language varies, this usually has more force than the word will, which carries more of a meaning of desire, choice, or willingness, though it can express determination. However, although I’m not a lawyer, I think that you will find that shall is used in legal documents as opposed to will because it has a stronger meaning.
Regardless of which word you use, the point is that He, Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah and Savior of Jew and Gentile alike, will one day reign over the entire earth. This is promised by God in Scripture: Matt 16:28; 19:14; 25:34; Mark 9:1; 11:10; 1 Cor 15:24; Rev 12:10 and others.
So, who will be part of this Kingdom? Everyone who is a member of God’s family! Who is that? Everyone who has proclaimed that He is their Savior and who has made Him the Lord of their life!
When will He reign? When Father God says it is time for Him to do so. While Scripture doesn’t give us an exact time, I believe that it is closer than we may think. I don’t say that because of all the problems we see on earth today. There are always problems on earth. We just may not be as aware of them as we are now. But when isn’t important because you must be adopted into God’s family while you are alive here on earth.
So, are you a member of His family? Have you acknowledged Him as your Savior? That was the primary purpose that He came to proclaim the coming of His Kingdom, died on a cross, and was resurrected.
If you are a member of His family, you can rejoice today, and every day, that He is going to reign in the not-to-distance future, maybe in your lifetime!
If you are not a member of his family, you can be adopted today, right now! Simply tell Him that you are sorry for disobeying His instructions (sin), that you repent (turn around, change your direction), and want to be adopted into His family. And He will do it! He will immediately place His Holy Spirit inside of you to guide you as you study His instructions (the Bible) and allow Him to guide your life, instead of trying to guide it yourself. Does this take away your free will, your ability to do whatever you want? No, it doesn’t, but it takes away the real desire to do so.
When you do pray and ask Him into your life, please let me know by commenting on this post. There are no strings, I am not a ministry that is going to ask you for money, but I will pray for and with you as you start your fantastic journey.
Until next time…”May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
Musings on COVID-19 #2
Many have been looking to God during this pandemic; will they continue to do so afterward? Or will they slowly turn back away from Him as they slowly return to the old “normal”? We’ve heard testimony from pastors who are seeing a higher number of individuals attending their online services than attended in person. Some of these new attendees may be watching because their home congregation is not doing online services. However, will those who are truly new show up when in-person services are permitted again? Will they continue to attend online, if the congregation they are watching continues online services in conjunction with in-person services?
Only time will tell. I hope and pray that I am wrong, but my “Doubting-Thomas” side says, “No, they will disappear into the woodwork until another crisis occurs”. My question for them is “what if you don’t have the opportunity to turn to God before the next crisis occurs nationally or personally and it costs you your life? Don’t say that it isn’t possible. Unfortunately, many in this world pass suddenly who have said, “Tomorrow I’ll commit to Jesus.” I am confident that many who died from COVID-19, died without the Lord as their Savior because they delayed the decision, fully expecting to recover. Besides, it isn’t just about being His disciple when you pass; it is also about having Him in your life today, to help you through crises in your life, major and minor.
If you are reading this and you have never made a decision to accept Jesus as your Savior, or if you made such a decision once but have grown cold towards Him, don’t delay another moment. It is simple, you don’t have to say or do anything special. You only need to tell Him, in your own words, that you are sorry for how you have lived, how you have ignored Him (that is called “repentance”), and that you accept Him as your Savior and want to make Him the Lord of your life. Then, start reading your Bible, find a congregation that supports your decision, and start learning how He wants you to live. When you make this decision to turn your life over to Jesus, or if you even have any questions, contact me by commenting on this post via my blog site. Provide your contact information and I will get in touch. Your personal information will be kept confidential.
Until the next time…“May the LORD bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; May the LORD make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; May the LORD lift up His face toward you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).” (Numbers 6:24-26)