I’ve Come to Save Sinners

I have to come to peace with the fact that Jesus did not come to save me…

I mean as an older brother I have been in the house doing my duty all my life. And then when the prodigal son returns, what does my Father do? He throws a party!

Recently a comment from a reader mentioned 2 Samuel 19:6, “You love those who hate you and hate those who love you.”  The point was that it seems that God does not care for the faithful child as much as he does for the lost.

To be clear, this verse has nothing to do with God. It was Joab’s condemnation of King David. However, the sentiment is commonly felt toward God and seems to be born out in the parable of the Prodigal son and others parables like the the workmen’s wages and the lost sheep. Jesus himself seems to drive this point home in Mark 2:17 where Mark records Jesus saying…

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

What has God done for me lately?

I want the reader to understand this is about me. If you can relate to my own thoughts, and consequently my hard heart, I pray God will change your heart into a heart of clay as he is mine.

The very reason I created this blog is to document my transformation. I was/am the older brother. I was the Pharisees standing around condemning the crowds around Jesus. I even wondered how unfair it was for God to potentially save someone who lived a horrid life purely on a death bed confession. Not fair says I.

But I changed. Rather, God changed me. I read the whole parable. (Ok, there was a lot more to it than that but this started things rolling.) The end part and a light bulb went off.

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:31-32

You are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

I had forgot, like the older brother, I have been enjoying the Father’s blessings all my life. All of them. In fact, everything the Father has is mine to enjoy now. Let that sink in. Can it be possible Christians today have everything the Father has to offer now? YES! That’s the point. (I just did not appreciate the blessings.)

At the core is a heart issue. The older brother was very self-centered (selfish). He did not see the value in people that the Father sees. I would wager the Older brother did not even see his own sin or value. He had no care or love for his own brother. That was me. I had to understand God came to save me, a sinner.

Instead of being jealous for the good God does to the sinner, I began to wonder at the patience and mercy of God as he is trying to bring all peoples to the knowledge of Him. To show all people his Love. The Lord’s patience means salvation. (2 Peter 3:15)

I could go on. I know this oversimplifies a lot. Christians do suffer. There is trouble in the walk. Trials and hardship await all who take up the cross. However, we are in Christ and everything the Father has is ours. We just need to ask.

To not be discouraged. Take heart. The Kingdom is near. God bless.

Advertisements

A Prayer for Comfort

Righteous Father and Friend,

Holy living and true. Thank you for your love and tender mercy. Your love is so great You gave Your good Son for us your rebellious children.

Have mercy Lord.

In our lives we are painfully aware of loss. Our hearts are broken when friends and family pass; however, nothing compares to the lose of those who leave too soon. When a parent loses their grasp on a child…

We the living are left to go on. Those who have not lost a child cannot share this loss. However, You do understand. Father please reach out your loving hand and touch us. Comfort us. Let those who are suffering feel your warm embrace.

Father, with only the meager faith a parent has we commit our children into your hands. Take care of them there is so little we can do. You are God, you can do great things with them.

May your grace be on those who have already laid down and gone asleep in your pasture. For the living, Father, have mercy on us. Give us comfort beside quiet waters, courage in the darkest valley, and faith to keep walking in your light.

For it is in Your child’s name we lay our prayer. Amen.

What Was Jesus’ Purpose

Don’t we all just want to know why? Have you ever met some one who never asks why? They are the ones whose parents always answered the question, “Why is the sky blue?” with a loud “BECAUSE!”

Poor folks.

Okay, I am being silly. Everyone wants to know why Jesus. Right? Still silly? Well here is why Jesus did not come to earth…

  • To make people rich
  • To heal everyone
  • To get rid of all evil in the world
  • To create political movements
  • To develop a world religion that would spawn the crusades
  • To teach love and kindness
  • To be a great teacher
  • To free the Jewish nation from Roman rule
  • To be a great prophet
  • To associate with the “right” crowd

Nope, none of that stuff. Jesus did not come to earth for any of the reasons men have made up.He came for His Father’s personal agenda not for any man’s agenda. Because He did not come to this earth to fulfill preconceived notions of his purpose, He made a lot of people mad.

He made some people very happy though. Not everyone hated Jesus. They loved him because of his purpose. He gave people something they did not have. He met needs. He came with a mission.

The mission from the mouth of Jesus himself as recorded by John an eye witness.

“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”Father, glorify Your name ” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John 12:27-28

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” But He was saying this (AW)to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die. John 12:32-33

I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.John 12:46

Jesus said many other things about why he came. These sum up his mission well. He came for the hour of his death on the cross to draw all men to himself that they might believe in Him and ultimately the one who sent him. He came first and foremost to save humankind.

John would later write in 1 John,

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11

Propitiation is just a big word that means Jesus’ death satisfied the need for our punishment for our sins.

Jesus attracted huge crouds and followers because he took care of their needs. Not just their physical needs but the most important ones. He took care of their sin.

You know what? He still takes care of our sins. Even today.

God bless

What Does God Hate?

It is fair game to say that God loves me. He does. He loves his own. We want to believe God will accept us. And it is true that he does on one level; however, the problem is we want God to accept us on our terms not His. We want to make the rules of our relationship. We want to say, “God loves everyone so much he would not let anyone go to hell.” Or, “I just can’t give up ______________, God will just have to accept it.”

Well, there are some things God hates. We cannot lie to ourselves and say, “God loves everything.” Not true.

16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19

Unfortunately none of us are without flaw and imperfection. I can pick a few things of the list to claim my own. Can you? Think about it.

God bless.

God Must Love You

Would it be safe to say that all the world wants is to be loved? People remember fondly the love their mothers have or had for them. Does anyone love you? I know someone does.

Could God love you?

YES!

I know God loves you, He must love you. There is just no two ways about it. How do I know? Um, the bible tells me so.

Here is the deal. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Most of the time love is conditional. I will love you if ____________. That is the way love works. We do not love people who do not treat us nice or do as we wish them to. Except, I do love my children when they disobey. There are times when they are ugly, angry, and selfish but at no point do I think, “Oh, my, I just don’t love you anymore.”

Not so with God. Paul wrote to the Romans explaining that while we were still ugly, Christ died for us. Not after we had gotten our selves all cleaned up instead while we were still dirty.

Consider this, do you stop loving your kids when they are bad? NO!

You cannot stop loving your kids. Even when they are bad. We have all read articles in the news where a son is captured robing a store and later the mom is interviewed. She never says, “Yep that’s my boy.” She says, “Not my son, why was he there?”

Moms and Dads are imperfect. They love imperfectly. The worlds love is not like God’s. I think that is what makes God seem so unreal. Why love someone at their worst? Why love an enemy? Why?

God made us to love. Love one another and Love Him. He loved us first, just as we love out children before they can return love. He loved us so we can learn to love. He showed us what love IS so we could understand His kind of love.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

God does love you. God bless.

Does God Love Me?

Okay, I could have asked, “Does God love you?” But I thought I would just pick on myself here. You can pretend I am talking about you if you want.

Consider this…

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”- John 15:10

Do I obey Jesus’ commands? A lot of times we tell ourselves how full of grace and acceptance God has. He does have a lot. After all, look at the types of people Jesus reached out to in the New Testament.  However, Jesus said, “Obey my commands.” Actually he said, “if”, which indicates there might be a catch to God’s love?

Let me put it this way. Could Jesus be saying, If you do not obey my commands you will not remain in my love? This might be the negative view. But I think you get the picture. Jesus gave an example of his own too. He obeyed his Father and because of the obedience, remains in God’s love. Can we fall out of God’s love?

You think about it. I am not going to say any more right now.

God bless.

A Heart of Flesh for a Heart of Stone

“They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.” Ezekiel 11:18-21

Heart conditions are so important. The heart is the most important thing.  God tried so hard to teach the Israelites that what was most important is the heart.

Do you have a heart of stone? It was a heart like the idols the Israelites were following. Stone for stone. A heart far from God and unyielding, cold, callous, and hard. They did not follow God’s decrees. Their hearts were devoted to things, worldly things.

God longed to bring the Israelites home. To give them a heart of flesh. Soft, yielding, alive, and warm. A heart after God. One that would keep God’s laws and remove the things in their lives that distracted them from God.

Today?

God has paid the highest price for our heart. His own Son. Jesus came to teach us how to obey God. To show us what love means. To be the first born of many. He came to touch our hearts and turn them from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh.

God bless.