In order for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to be valid, He had to experience the full extent of suffering for the sins of all mankind. This meant being completely separated from God. To be separated from God is to be separated from all that is good. “Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him…” James 1:17
Jesus, by suffering the consequences of the sins of humanity, despite living a blameless sinless life, became the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. No other person or deed could have covered the cost. He took our damnation and turned it into salvation and the most amazing part of it all is that it is a free gift to each of us. “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
God is love, and He has shown us that, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
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“For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’But wisdom is proved right by all her children” (Luke 7:33-35).
Last night, my wife and I were talking about the religious leaders in the Gospels. She asked me, “How could they have had any doubts whatsoever concerning whether or not Jesus was who He said He was. With all the miracles He had done, the prophecies He had foretold, the things that He knew about that were done in secret, how could they not see?”
I looked at her and said, “I KNOW RIGHT!!!” The fact of the matter is people make themselves blind to truths that they do not want to or are not yet ready to accept. The Jewish leaders of that day were not looking for Jesus to be their Messiah. They were looking for an immediate deliverer and conqueror that would rescue them from Rome.
This is indeed what they received, they just did not understand that Jesus was rescuing them from something far more important than what they wanted deliverance from. The Jews in that day were looking for deliverance from Rome, but Jesus gave them deliverance from themselves. Jesus, in sacrificing Himself, rescued them from the bondage that their sin kept them in. If they thought the years that they served under the empire of Rome was bad, Hell is a lot worse. They received a Messiah greater than what they could have imagined. The only problem is, they did not accept the fact that they were unclean and they weren’t going to let Jesus tell them they were.
This is the problem with thinking highly of oneself. If you do not see a fault in what you are doing, you will not be willing to change your ways. The religious leaders did not want what Jesus was offering because they did not feel like they needed it. Moreover, the religious leaders enjoyed their roles within the church. They liked being thought highly of, setting the rules, wearing fancy robes and praying out loud for people to see how spiritual they were. Jesus condemned all of their actions and because they were not humble, they blinded themselves to the truth. How do we know this? In the verse I quoted above, Jesus states that the religious leaders thought John the baptist had a demon because he did not come eating bread and drinking wine, but Jesus came eating and drinking and they say He is a glutton and a drunkard. They were trying to remain blissfully ignorant because they refused to accept the truth.
It was clear as day who Jesus was, just like it is clear as day that there is a creator but many atheists just like the Pharisees, do not want to accept this truth. Instead, they offer flawed self-defeating arguments in an attempt to disprove God, just like the Pharisees. When those arguments do not work out for them they move to moral and philosophical arguments which neither prove or disprove the existence of a God. Today we deal with people who blind themselves willingly from the truth.
Jesus says, “wisdom is proved by all her children.” In order to be counted as wise one must exhibit humility. The ability to humble oneself leads to the acceptance of correction, putting others first, being quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath and a healthy fear of God. When someone displays these attributes they come to the understanding that there is a creator and that Jesus is the savior. When these conclusions are drawn, you prove that there is a source of wisdom. Without a creator, wisdom is just a concept of wishful thinking. How can anything be intelligent if there is no creator who defines what intelligence is?
Jesus, before He returns is already a conqueror! He conquered death and the grave so that it would no longer have a hold on us. He conquered sin so that it would no longer define us. He conquered the law so we would no longer be judged by it. He is a conqueror with an everlasting kingdom that will never fall and I accept this conqueror. I accept Him as my Lord and savior because He is the only one with the power to set me free from the shackles of sin. I choose to spread His truth and follow His instruction because it brings forth life, life everlasting!
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope (Romans 5:3-4)
In order to have a testimony, you must be put through a test. God prepares us throughout our lives to be vessels to be sent out into the world to be a blessing to other people. When you are in the midst of a trial rejoice knowing that God has already given you the victory. Once your prosperous, use your prosperity to guide others through their hardships. We win souls and maintain salvation with unselfish love and provide hope to the hopeless.
There is only room for one on the throne of our hearts. That seat should be filled by Jesus Christ. But sometimes we find ourselves on the throne of our own hearts. When we are the forefront and focus we find ourselves at odds with Christ. We need Him to be the forefront and center in our lives, as we step down and surrender the throne to Him. We must allow Him to be our all and remove ourselves from the scene. When the focus is on Christ and not on us, our lives are put back into order. All the chaos in our lives takes a backseat to prosperity, as we glorify God by allowing Him to have complete control over our lives. Only He holds the power to transform us, and in our weakness we are made strong, for “greater is He who is in you.”