Now this is eternal life

John 17.3

 And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

We are studying John in Bible study and this week’s lesson includes the verse above. Jesus prayed this verse before He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. God is using the verse to help prepare my heart for the Resurrection Celebration that is coming!

Only twenty words but enough to bring tears. As I read the verse, my heart and mind respond by saying, “this is why He came…that man [I] would know the Father and the Son [and the Holy Spirit].” Jesus desired that we would know the only True God and this is why When the days drew near for Him [Jesus] to be taken up, He set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:61).”

Jesus knew what lie ahead for Him in Jerusalem – the rejection, mocking, spitting, false trials, scourging,  nails hammered, separation from the Father, a borrowed tomb…and yet He knew what lie ahead for man and resolutely, He set His face to go, to finish the work the Father had given Him.

Why? That we would know the only true and living God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Not just know about Him, not a second-handed relationship, but know Him intimately and personally. The Amplified translates it like this:

“And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.”  John 17:3

And we [have seen and] know [by personal experience] that the Son of God has [actually] come [to this world], and has given us understanding and insight so that we may [progressively and personally] know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

I pray that you are included with me in 1 Peter 2:10, “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” My heart is fixed and my mind made up…the Lord is worthy of all praise, honor, glory, majesty, and honor! I bow at His feet in worship and cry holy, glory to the Son of God!

See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!”
1 John 3:1

Lavished Love from the heart of the Father!

1 John 3.1

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Glory, not wrath

Romans 5.9

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” Romans 5:9

I can remember the first time I heard the seasoned Deacon sing, “I’ve Got a Reason to Shout.” It so blessed my soul!

I’ve got a reason to shout.
I was in darkness but God brought me out.
I’m here to testify and tell you about my wonderful reason to shout.

Yes, I praise Jesus for He brought me out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9) by shedding His blood to cancel my guilt of not keeping the law. Yes, what a wonderful reason to shout! Jesus atoned my sins and now I am justified in God’s court of justice.

You have seen this: Justified – just as if I never sinned. The verdict is “case dismissed.” It is not that I have not sinned, but God sent a substitute who took my sentence upon Himself – Jesus, His Son and our Sacrificial Lamb who absorbed the wrath for all who trust in Him as Lord and Savior. He did this for whosoever will, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

It’s not that payment was not required. It was. Jesus absorbed the wrath that was due…love demonstrated in absolutely amazing grace and mercy! We deserve wrath but instead the True and Living God takes our sin upon Himself and calls those who trust in Him to share His glory! Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus! Certainly, this is a Selah moment and reason to shout, bow in worship, and give our all and all to Him. Selah!

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 4:25 -26

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:10

 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:14

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:16-18

Romans 8.18

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by His wounds you have been healed!

1 Peter 2.24

“He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Pete 2:24

Many of us have experienced some circumstance or situation that is so devastating or horrific for someone we love, perhaps a child or a parent, that we share with them and perhaps others that if we go through it in their stead, we would. But the truth is that no matter how much we may want to, we can’t because the circumstance or situation came to our love one.

As a I meditate of the Scripture above at this moment, I am ever mindful of being born with a sin nature and zillion sins I have committed in my lifetime. How my life was one of rebellion and transgression again the Holy, Pure and Perfect God. Ephesians 2:1, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” Verse 3, “All of us also lived  gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts, that we are by nature deserving of wrath.” I hear Habakkuk questioning God in 1:13, Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

Yeah, that would be me…dead, reveling in sin that separates me from the Holy God who created me for Himself, deceived and foolish! Foolish because sin demands a wage. It must receive payment and the One created man and the world has the right to set the wage. The due punishment is death, separation from the One I rebelled against and rejected. Even in my limited mind and understanding, I understand that this payment is just.

What am I to do for Hebrews 9:22 declares that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin? Every man is in need of a perfect, spotless, blemish free lamb to offer as a sacrifice for our sins and yet, no mere man would ever qualify because of our sin. God cannot leave my sin unpunished for it would go against His just, holy, pure and perfect nature.

But God!
But God! While I as a loving parent cannot take on my child’s circumstance, cannot change my son’s situation, our God can! “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” But God loves…But God is pure, perfect, and just…But God so loved!

“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life an offering for sin, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:10

“…Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2b

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:18-19

Heavenly Father, You are Holy, Righteous, Pure, and Perfect! There is none other like You! Truly, You are worthy of all our praise, honor, devotion, gratitude and all glory! We thank you today for giving your precious Son, Jesus, our Lord and Savior to die on our behalf so we could enjoy You as our greatest Treasure, soul satisfaction, and have eternal life in Your loving presence forever. There are not enough words to express our grateful hearts for Jesus suffering and dying as our Sacrificial Lamb so we could be made right with you and experience intimate, personal relationship. We are so very thankful that Jesus paid it all and all to Him we owe. Help us, teach us, anoint us as we meditate upon His finished work at the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and the difference it makes in our lives to love You and others, worship only You, and serve You as we serve others as oaks of righteous in a display of Your Glory!
In the Name of our Redeemer, Jesus the Christ, Amen!

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Why, oh why?

Genesis 50.20

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

Have you ever been present in a Bible Study, Sunday School class, or conversation as man tries to figure out, for certain, who is responsible for Jesus’ death? Was it the the Jews who cried out “crucify him, crucify him,” the Romans soldiers, Judas, Herod, Pilate, or the Sanhedrin?

The discussion/conversation usually ends with words that point us to the truth. The Word of God tells us and certainly His Spirit testifies to our spirit…we can have no doubt that it was human sin that caused Jesus to be on that cross. Certainly, the enemy was there and we cannot deny that man is responsible for the many horrible and sinful actions as Jesus was brutally mocked, suffered, bled and died at Calvary. I may not have been there in physical body but surely and most gratefully my sin nature and sins were present.

I am reminded that God so loved… that He gaveHis Son…for me. Jesus willingly suffered and gave His life…for the world, but for me. The intense suffering and death of Christ is called the Passion. Love so intense that what Satan meant for harm, God used for good that we would have eternal life.

I have always imagined that satan and his demons were dancing, having a party when Jesus said, “It is finished.” They thought that they had won when in reality God was saying, you meant it for harm but my purpose was for good. Peter preached it in Acts 4:

Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
Acts 4:27-28

The best commentary on the Word of God is the Word of God. This truth is confirmed:

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer…(Isaiah 53:10)”

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things (Romans 8:32)?”

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith (Romans 3:25).”

This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross (Acts 2:23).”

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father (John 10:17-18).”

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8).”

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:16).”

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10).”

John 12.27

Absolutely amazing grace!
Selah!

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God’s provision for sin

Romans 5.8

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

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father”
Galatians 1:3-4

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” Romans 3:21-22

 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding” Ephesians 1:7-8

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—” 1 Timothy 1:15a

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:18

“He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone! The new is here!  All this is from God. He brought us back to himself through Christ’s death on the cross. And He has given us the task of bringing others back to Him through Christ. God was bringing the world back to Himself through Christ. He did not hold people’s sins against them. God has trusted us with the message that people may be brought back to Him. So we are Christ’s official messengers. It is as if God were making His appeal through us. Here is what Christ wants us to beg you to do. Come back to God! Christ didn’t have any sin. But God made Him become sin for us. So we can be made right with God because of what Christ has done for us.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Salvation

Romans5.8

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Why do I need to be saved?

Isaiah 59.2

“but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden His face from you
so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. Romans 3:10-20

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
” Romans 6:23

Sin separates

John 3.16

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Getting my heart ready

John 11.25

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” John 11:35-26

There is a great celebration coming and I am preparing my heart day by day so the rocks will not cry out in my stead! Every day, every Sunday is Resurrection day in the live of a believer but if we were to look through every other day of the year, the one named Resurrection Sunday or Easter is my absolute favorite!

You see, I am know that I am not God. I also know He could tell me in even greater terms, but I know that I am a sinner saved by His grace through faith. Truly, it is amazing grace to “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are (1 John 3:1)!

I marvel that He chose me as His child, drew me to unto Himself, gave the measure of faith, and signed the adoption papers with His blood declaring my case dismissed! I can’t say ‘imagine that’ to this wonder for I don’t have to ‘imagine that’ for His Spirit testifies with my spirit and I have a deep, abiding assurance that it is true! Not only that but ‘He has rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).

Jesus has placed the seal of His Spirit on me and He lives in me and is always making intercession for me as He sits beside our Father! My Lord and Savior has began a good work in me and I know that He will bring it to completion as He transforms me into His image with ever-increasing glory!

One day I will be given the great, awesome, and humbling privilege of seeing my precious Redeemer face to face and bowing at His feet at His throne in the New Jerusalem in praise and worship. Now that I can only imagine!

Sssssooooo the celebration starts now, in preparation of what we call Resurrection Sunday, in preparation of the New Jerusalem, in preparation of seeing the King of kings and Lord of lords, my Deliverer, Rescuer, and Advocate face to face…I ask Him to prepare my heart day by day. I pray you will take this journey with me and most of all I pray to see you at His feet!

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

In a loud voice they said: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 13And I heard every creature in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever.” Revelation 5:12-13

Revelation 5.13

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Wisdom Wednesday – Holy is the Lord!

isaiah-6-3
Holy is the Lord – 1

Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday! Holy is the Lord!
Today, the Word of God only. God speaks, revealing His holiness to man.
Truly, a ‘selah’ and worship moment.

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Holy is the Lord – 2
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Holy is the Lord – 3
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Holy is the Lord – 4
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Holy is the Lord – 5
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Holy is the Lord – 6
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Holy is the Lord – 7
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Holy is the Lord – 8
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Holy is the Lord – 9
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Holy is the Lord – 10
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Holy is the Lord – 11
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Holy is the Lord – 12

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power
and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Revelation 7:12

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Worthy is the Lamb!

worthy

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:11-14

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,

who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God

    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
    nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”  Revelation 7:9-17

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Revelation 22

thank-you

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love, faith, mercy, and praise

jude-21

Jude

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

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