lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness,
your minds should be led astray
from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ …
And no wonder,
for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
2 Corinthians 11:3,14
The Story:(an adaptation of Genesis 1-3)
“They are beautiful, are they not?” The Son of God presented his Father with his final creation. “The Spirit of life and your goodness—your glory, fills them.”
The Father smiled as he surveyed all the beauty of the newly formed earth overflowing with light and life—overflowing with his fingerprints. A tear glistened in his eyes as his focus stopped with the final product of creation—the man, Adam and the woman, Eve.
“All before them is good, but they make it very good,” he paused, “and you have given them my single requirement to live forever with us—the one thing that proves their simple and pure love.”
The Son gazed at the man and woman. His heart filled with such love for them, he felt it would burst—he knew one day it would be broken.
Day melted into night and night into day. Each evening the Lord God came to Adam and Eve in the lush garden he had provided for them. Did he unfold the mysteries of heaven before time began? Did their eyes grow wide with the wonder of it all? Did they laugh with the Lord God? Whatever they shared, it was good, pure and simple, until—
the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness …
The couple strolled through the laughing field of daisies toward the fruitful orchard. As they approached a field of lush green grass waving to them in the gentle breeze, Adam stopped to caress the soft wild mane of a lion lying in wait for his touch. Eve walked on until she stopped to admire the two special trees in the garden. The one tree forbidden to her and Adam, the tree of knowledge of good and evil—she knew good. She glanced at the tree of life. She hadn’t yet tasted its fruit but why should she need to? She had life and it was good. She turned toward the forbidden tree and tilted her head to the side. It’s beautiful. I wonder what makes it so different? I wonder how it tastes? Eve stretched her hand toward the fruit.
“I see you have noticed how beautiful this tree is.”
Eve pulled her hand away, back to her side. The creature stood underneath the limbs laden with fruit. His skin glistened in shimmering shades of yellows, reds, and blues of the bow in the sky. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. He smiled and turned his face toward the fruit. “Such a shame God has said you cannot eat the fruit of the garden trees.”
Eve glanced at the fruit and back to the creature. “Oh, no. That is not what God said. He said, we could eat of the garden trees’ fruit—all but this one.” She pointed to the tree shaking her head, her eyes not looking away from the serpent dressed so beautifully. “This one we cannot eat from or touch it.” She hesitated. “Or we will die.” I’m not sure what die is? God told us it meant to be separated from him. But he loves us. He would not send us away from him.
The serpent shouted the woman back into his presence. “You will not die!” He leaned into her face. “But your eyes will be open with knowledge of both good and evil. You will be like God!”
Adam had heard the conversation as he approached his wife, and saw her eat of the forbidden fruit. A look he didn’t understand filled her eyes as she thrust the fruit toward him. He ate it from her hand, as the serpent turned and walked away with a smirk on his face. Eve glanced at the retreating figure. She blinked. Why did I think he was beautiful?
Innocence died as sin was born into the couple. The image of God in them became distorted. Life died that day and they were cast out of the garden and God’s presence. Somewhere in the distance a lion roared.
“Be of sober spirit,
be on the alert.
Your adversary, the devil,
prowls about like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
He comes to us disguised as an angel of light—dressed in his gospel of lies trimmed in a twisted cord of truth. His wardrobe is colored in shades of love hiding a marred heart of hate for all that’s godly. He preaches faith but encourages disobedience. He has always been a lying, murdering thief with one goal—destroy the godly. And he will use and destroy anyone who gives him an ear.
But don’t lose heart. We have the Lion of the tribe of Judah as our Savior and—
“You are from God, little children,
and have overcome them;
because greater is He who is in you
than he who is in the world …
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;
and this is the victory that has overcome the world—
our faith …
To him who overcomes,
I will grant to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the Paradise of God.”
1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4; Revelation 2:7, NASB
For Thought: What tree are you eating from?
Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, sin and death reigns in our heart until Jesus sits on the throne of our heart. His death and life is our victory. He is our strength. Help us walk in the simple pure gospel of Christ with a heart devoted to him above all else.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14(NASB)
I have a bit of a competitive nature when it comes to games—I like to win. But then who doesn’t? Actually, I like to play and have fun, winning just makes it more fun. I don’t think I’ve met a person who wants to lose. Knowing this, I don’t understand why more people don’t choose to follow God—
“Who always lead us in His triumph in Christ …”
Life is no game but a battle and the stakes are high. Apart from Christ we lose. In Christ we win. That is the,
“simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
(2 Corinthians 11:3)
God’s Promises to those who are In Christ:
“God … always leads us in His triumph in Christ.”
Even when the battle of life appears to bring defeat, we can stand strong in God’s word, knowing He will bring us to victory.
“Just as it is written,
‘FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG’ WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.’
But in all these things
we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other created things,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord…
For whatever is born of God
overcomes the world;
and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
And who is the one who overcomes the world,
but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
(Romans 8:36-39;1 John 5:4-5, NASB)
Our Praise to God:
“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
For the LORD most high is terrible;
he is a great King over all the earth.
He shall subdue the people under us
and the nations under our feet …
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
For God the King of all the earth:
sing ye praises with understanding.”
(Psalm 47: 1-3,6-7, KJV)
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying,
‘The kingdom of the world
has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ;
and He will reign forever and ever …
We give Thee thanks,
O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast,
because Thou hast taken Thy great power
and hast begun to reign.’”
(Revelation 11:15,17, NASB)
Right now, we look with eyes of faith to the fullness of Christ’s triumph. We have read the end of the book—He wins! And so do we who are His—Hallelujah! Until then—
We offer our sacrifice of thanksgiving, Our Prayer:
To Him who—“manifests through us the sweet aroma
of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
Heavenly Father, for all your wonderous works, we offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving, living out the sweet aroma—an acceptable sacrifice—of Christ in us through the giving of ourselves to you.
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,
acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual service of worship.”
Romans 12:1, NASB
May we, “Through Him then …
continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”
Hebrews 13:15, NASB
That wherever we go we will cause,
“They name to be remembered in all generations;
Therefore the peoples will give Thee thanks forever and ever.”
For Thought: Christ has won the war of life and death. Don’t be found fighting a lost cause. Stand in the victory He has already won. Where will you stand when the victory is fully realized?
Last Wednesday’s post, “Comfort” introduced you to a man who refused the sweet aroma of Christ. As far as I know, he perished in death’s stench. To him my words and life proved to be,
“a fragrance of Christ to God … an aroma from death to death …” (16)
But there is another who lived in his house.
The phone rang. “Donna?” A breathless pause filled the receiver before the laboring voice continued. “Can you come help me? My oxygen isn’t working.”
“Sure, I’ll be right over.” With a quick prayer I walked next door and entered being sure to breath through my mouth. It was better to taste the smell than breath it in. I only knew to call her Granny. At 67 years of age she lived in the body of one bearing 107 years. A hard life covered her flesh. And she lived with the burden of her son abusing her grandchildren and she was powerless to prevent it. The aroma of death surrounded her. But her story didn’t end there.
“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
to the one,
an aroma from death to death,
to the other,
an aroma from life to life.
And who is adequate for these things? “
2 Corinthians 2:14-16(NASB)
After 12 years of the children living in unimaginable circumstances, The Department of Children and Family Services removed them from the home and arrested their father. He dropped dead 2 months later and 30 minutes after being released. His release came because authorities failed to charge him. During that time Granny was hospitalized.
A stirring in my heart urged me to visit her in the hospital. I didn’t want to go. The Holy Spirit would not let go. Peace alluded me as I tried to ignore the prompting. Finally, I went.
The hospital bed swallowed the frail frame of a woman. A nurse stood to one side checking ivs. The figure lay lifeless, eyes shut, breaths labored.
“Can she hear me?”
The nurse nodded and said, “If you touch her hand she seems to respond to touch.”
I laid my hand over hers and prayed silently to know what to say. Then I began to tell her of God’s love and that’s when the Lord spoke to my heart. “It’s not about what you’re saying to her but what I’m saying to her.”
The Lord was with us and in that moment I knew this woman who was perishing, now had received the fragrance of Christ—the aroma from life to life. Through the Spirit’s witness to mine, I knew I could tell her grandchildren their Granny would be in heaven and how they could see her again.
And who is adequate for these things?
The apostle Paul tells us—
“Not that we are adequate in ourselves
to consider anything as coming from ourselves,
but our adequacy is from God,
who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant,
not of the letter, but of the Spirit;
for the letter kills,
but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:5-6
It was never about me but the fragrance of Christ, the aroma of life, He uses us to leave in another’s life.
Not everyone Paul went to received the fragrant word of the gospel to life, but they all had the opportunity. God has chosen us to carry the fragrance of Christ through the lives we live, and He makes us adequate for the task. Not everyone will receive the sweet aroma of life—but some will.
For Thought: Do you ever feel you are not enough for speaking the gospel to another? Or for a task the Lord has called you to? How can 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 help you?
Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, as you have given us life in Christ, may we carry the sweet fragrance of life to all who will hear. May others see Jesus in us. May they know we have been with Him, that our lives bring no discredit to the ministry of the gospel. Help us be bold in love for you have made us adequate for the calling.
All praise, glory, and honor to Christ Jesus the living Son of God who said –
”I am the way,
and the life;
no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.”
The apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:2 –
“(For the life was manifested,
and we have seen it,
and bear witness,
and shew unto you that eternal life,
which was with the Father,
and was manifested unto us.)”
Our Father God, you have shown us who you are through your Son, Jesus Christ. He came and he showed us your glory and goodness. He has given us life – eternal life.
“For the Father judgeth no man,
but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.
He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:22,23
Help us who have heard your word and received it into our hearts bear witness to the lost and dying of the Life. May we show them the Way to Life. May we speak the Truth concerning the Life. May we reflect the Life in us.
And to borrow from David Guzik in his commentary on John 14:6 remember when –
“I don’t know where I’m going, Jesus is the way;
When I am confused and don’t know what to think, Jesus is the truth;
When I am dead inside and don’t know if I can go on, Jesus is the life.”
Jesus gives us this promise:
“Verily, Verily, I say unto you,
He that heareth my word,
and believeth on him that sent me,
hath everlasting life,
and shall not come into condemnation;
but is passed from death unto life.”
May we today, and always honor Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life, who has loved us and suffered our death, to give us life now and for all eternity. He has made it possible for us to know him, the great “I Am”.
Praising the Great I Am:
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together …
Whom have I in heaven but thee?
And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee …
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light …
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof:
for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God
by thy blood
out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation;
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests:
and we shall reign on the earth …
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power, and riches, and wisdom,
and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing …
Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power,
be unto him that sitteth on the throne,
and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
And the four beasts said, Amen.
And the four and twenty elders
fell down and worshipped him
that liveth for ever and ever.”
Psalm 34:3; 73:25; 36:9; From Revelation 5:9-14
Jesus is the way – follow him.
Jesus is the truth – believe him.
Jesus is the life – receive him.
May we forever praise his name.
Jesus is the way – there is no other.
Jesus is the truth – hear him.
Jesus is the life – his victory over death is mine.
My little children, I am old now. I have seen and heard much in my lifetime. But nothing compares to walking with, seeing, touching, and hearing Jesus Christ. It is him my heart yearns for you to know, and be assured he is Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died and is alive to live forevermore. He cannot die ever again and death could not keep him. For he is Life and the giver of life to all who receive his testimony.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me begin with –
“That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes,
which we have looked upon,
and our hands have handled,
of the Word of life …”
The beginning. I have to shake my head and smile when I think on this for with God there is no beginning and Jesus is God the Son. Beginning is for our benefit. We are governed by time. So, in the beginning of time the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit brought their life into their created work. And through the Holy Spirit leading me in truth about Jesus the Christ, I wrote –
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
Today, I write to you, my beloved children –
“This is he that came by water and blood,
even Jesus Christ;
not by water only, but by water and blood.
And it is the Spirit that beareth witness,
because the Spirit is truth.”
Think on these things with me and be astonished. Life generated life out of nothing, breathed his breath of life into us, then after we messed up all that was good, he came as one of us – the Son of man. My friend, colleague, and brother in the Lord, Luke wrote much about Jesus, the Son of man. He, too, wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to read his account of the Son of man.
Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth born of a woman to bring his life back into those who would follow him. His journey came at a high cost. He tried to tell us, especially us 12, the cost, but we couldn’t understand. Maybe we wouldn’t let ourselves understand. Speaking for myself, I loved my Lord and couldn’t entertain the meaning behind his words as we celebrated that last Passover together. It was unlike any other.
“Jesus took the bread, and blessed it, and brake it,
and gave it to the disciples, and said,
Take, eat, this is my body.
And he took the cup, and gave thanks … saying,
Drink ye all of it;
For this is my blood of the new testament,
which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
He passed the cup to me. My heart clings to the love that filled his eyes as I received the cup from his hand – a hand to soon be pierced through with nails meant for me. At that instant I thought on his earlier teaching about drinking his blood and having eternal life. For it is also written –
“without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
Being a fisherman by trade I’m not trained in the law, but I do know enough to know a testament cannot be put into effect unless there is a death. No, I refused the thought. I couldn’t bear the pain in my spirit nor reflected in his face. Paul, my brother in the Lord, later would write –
“Being justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation
through faith in his blood,
to declare his righteousness
for the remission of sins that are past,
through the forbearance of God;”
We all left Jesus that horrible night to face his trial and judgment – wait that is not right. He faced our trial and our judgment. That is why he was found guilty and put to death. I apologize if tears stain my writing, but he did that for me. Oh, how he loved me. And he loves me still.
I like the rest, was slow in believing the women’s report 3 days later. Grief had clouded my mind. But slowly his words began to make sense, and then there he was – alive, standing before us. After spending many days with us preparing us for his departure to the Father, we watched him go. But he left us with a promise –
“Let not your heart be troubled:
ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Many years later, my resurrected Lord visited me when no one else could. His visit wasn’t for me alone, but for you who are reading today. This last word is –
“from Jesus Christ,
who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead,
and the prince of the kings of the earth.
Unto him that loved us,
and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father:
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Behold, he cometh with clouds;
and every eye shall see him,
and they also which pierced him:
and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.
Even so, Amen.
‘I am Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the ending,
saith the Lord,
which is, and which was, and which is to come,
You may already know all these things to be true, and you may not. But I am an old man and soon I will walk again with my Lord who loves me and whom I love. I could not leave this life without telling the story one more time.
For this I know –
“He that hath the Son hath life;
and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you
that believe on the name of the Son of God,
that ye may know that ye have eternal life,
and that ye may believe
on the name of the Son of God.”
By the way, I hope to see you one day and tell you of all the many other things my Lord did while on the earth.
Love one another,
John the Beloved Disciple
Scripture References: John 14:6; 1John 1:1; John 1:4; Matthew 26:-28; Hebrews 9:22; Romans 3:24,25; John 14:1-3; Revelation 1:5-8; 1John 5:12,13
This week brings us to the last “I Am” statement of John 14:6 –
“Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way, the truth,
and the life;
no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.”
Three previous posts deal with the life Jesus gives us opportunity to enter. They are “The Door of Opportunity”, “The Door to Abundant Life,” and the “Three ‘Ps’ of Abundant Life.” These show Jesus as the way to life. John says, Jesus is the life – not just the opportunity to life.
Moses reveals a necessary component of life in Leviticus 17:14 –
“For it is the life of all flesh;
the blood of it is for the life thereof:
therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh:
for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof:
whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”
I’m sure this is not shock to anyone – without blood we have no life. The Blue Letter Bible web site refers to this insight, we take so for granted, one of revelation and one that has been confirmed by anatomists’ experiments. Those are experiments I would not have volunteered for! Today, we know life bleeds out of the body in 2-5 minutes depending on which main artery is severed. Life is in the blood. If the blood is gone, so is the life.
Not too many years ago some people pushed to have the blood removed from the Bible. It was too offensive. Bottom line – remove the blood from the Bible and you remove its life giving message.
Life’s Passage and The Trade-Off:
Jesus gives us a picture of him being the life and the source of life being his blood –
“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,
hath eternal life:
and I will raise him up at the last day.”
“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many …
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace …
neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us …
and without the shedding of blood is no remission …
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many …
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12,22,28; 2 Corinthians 5:21
Under the law, a life taken required another life to be given. Satan robbed us, through his deceit and our disobedience, of the life God gave in the beginning. We died that day. But the Life came and took our death with the giving of his own blood that we could once again live. He has taken our blood tainted with sinful DNA and given us a life giving transfusion of his blood filled with pure DNA. He has made the unaccepted acceptable.
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children
by Jesus Christ to himself,
according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein
he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
It’s time to trade in the old life of death for the new life that never dies. It’s found in the blood of Jesus Christ – who is the life. He is the way to life. He is the life of the Father revealed in truth. And only through the holy blood of Christ can we possess the life he provides for us. What blood flows through your heart?
It’s been said two things are certain in this life – death and taxes. We’re not going to talk about taxes. Nobody likes taxes. Of course nobody really likes death either. But as the author of the Book of Hebrews writes –
“It is appointed unto men once to die,
but after this the judgment.”
You might evade taxes for a time, but death is a certainty. Only two men escaped death in this life, Enoch and Elijah. Personally, I believe they may have to face it in the tribulation days as the two witnesses. Every other person ever born has died or will die – unless Jesus returns before that day. Even Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, and Lazarus faced death a second time after Jesus raised them back to life. Of course, when He raised them from the dead, each were still clothed in a flesh and blood body with its weaknesses.
In our “I Am” passage this week Jesus says,
“I am the resurrection and the life:
he that believeth in me,
though he were dead,
yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me
shall never die.
Believest thou this?”
Those who witnessed and we who read the accounts of Jesus raising the dead have proof Jesus has power over life and death. Remember from last week’s posts concerning the Good Shepherd Jesus spoke of his own death and life when he said,
“No man taketh it from me,
but I lay it down of myself.
I have power to lay it down and
I have power to take it again…”
Jairus’ daughter had been dead for a very short time when Jesus raised her from the dead. The widow’s son had been dead long enough to have his body prepared for burial and be on the way to his tomb. Lazarus had been dead for four days. Decay surely had to be setting in as Martha remarked of the fact he would stink. Yet, Jesus spoke the word and he came out of the tomb. Jesus would be the only one to come out of the tomb with a new body, a glorified body. His resurrection proved his power over death. No one would ever have to suffer death again.
Our flesh must die in order to inherit the new body fit for our eternal soul. But the soul who believes in Jesus will never die. We step from this life into our eternal life where there will be no more death ever.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you,
He that heareth my word,
and believeth on him that sent me,
hath everlasting life,
and shall not come into condemnation:
but is passed from death unto life.” John 3:24
Jesus, who is the I Am the resurrection and the life, has bought our pass from death into life through his own death and resurrection. Because He lives, all who believe on him, live and never die. His word doesn’t say we will have everlasting life but that we have everlasting life.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
This week during our Day Camp for children, they heard about a few of the many good and perfect gifts our heavenly Father abundantly gives to those who will receive them. One of which was the abundant life available to all who come through the Door.
“Then Jesus said unto them … I am the door …”
John 10:7a, 9a
Jesus’ Promises to those who enter through the door: “If any man enter in,
he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9b
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Ephesians 2:18
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way: which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;” Hebrews 10:19,20 “
… These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH:I know thy works behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it … “ Revelation 3:7,8
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28
Praise to the Open Door:
For His abundance of –
Life: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, you are worthy of praise for in your death we have been made free from death. In your resurrection we receive the abundance of life now through your Holy Spirit living in us, and in the future when all things are made new.*
“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead,
much more the grace of God,
and the gift by grace,
which is by one man, Jesus Christ,
hath abounded unto many.”
All praise belongs to you for your gift of not just sufficiency of grace but to abounding grace which has brought abundant life to all who believe.
“And not as it was by one that sinned so is the gift:
for the judgment was by one to condemnation,
but the free gift
is of many offences unto justification.”
Your gift of abundant grace works the abundance of justification in us. As you look on us, you see our judgment placed on your holy Son, and we are declared just before you.
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one;
much more they which receive abundance of grace
and of the gift of righteousness
shall reign in life by one,
And your abundant grace extended to us the abundant righteousness of Christ as our clothing that we might stand before you unashamed and unafraid. You alone are worthy of praise.
Supply, including promise:
“But my God shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus …
For the LORD God is a sun and shield:
The LORD will give grace and glory;
no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
Philippians 4:19; Psalm 84:11
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee …
For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.”
Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,
and our bodies washed with pure water …
Heavenly Father, you have poured out your abundance on us through Jesus Christ, the door to abundant life. As we have walked through the door into your presence may we draw near to you. For you have cleansed us from all sin through the blood of Christ. May all who have not entered into a relationship with you come the only way they can – the door of Jesus Christ- and know the abundance of your grace.
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for he is faithful that promised:) …
Your strong hand and abundant love hold us. May we be diligent to know you more as you take us from faith to faith until you have completed the work of faith in us.
“And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:”
May the life of Christ you have poured into us overflow into all we meet and all we do to your praise and glory.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above
all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
May all who have entered through the Door, give praise for the salvation given through Jesus Christ. May those who do not know the abundant life found in Christ, be quick to enter.
*For more on the abundant life see my previous post, The Door to an Abundant Life.
Dawn awakened the earth. Light creeped into the sky with specks of gold overshadowed by the tallest trees standing above the rising sun. Puffy gray and white clouds clung to each other taking on shapes of their own. I smiled at the fire breathing dragon floating across the blue sky. I closed my eyes and began to pray. “Our Father which is in heaven …”
In a moment, my eyes searched the heavens again as if to catch a glimpse of the face of God. Being easily distracted, the dragon caught my attention. It’s form began to lose the fiery shape as the sun’s glory rose slowly above the trees. I smiled, closed my eyes, and continued praying until the final sentence.
“For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.” Beginning those words, I lifted my head towards the heavens a third time. I smiled. The bright and glorious glow of the sun had risen above the trees and obliterated the dragon-cloud. Only the glory of the sun remained.
The Lord’s Promises:
One day the only light to shine will be that of Jesus Christ who is the one who gave us these promises –
“I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life …
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
In thy name shall they rejoice all the day:
and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.
In thy name shall they rejoice all the day…” John 8:12; Psalm 89:15-17a;
We who have the Light of life dwelling in us have reason to rejoice and to praise the Lord’s name all the day.
“Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains:
thy judgments are a great deep:
O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men
put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house;
and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 36:5-10.
It’s easy to sit at my desk, put the world and its troubles aside for a moment, and praise the Lord. But then the time comes to walk in the world against that dragon of old, called satan, who pretends to be an angel of light but is actually, “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” And most of the time he doesn’t wait until we walk out the door but tries to overshadow the light of our Lord the moment our eyes open. That is why we need to be diligent in prayer to walk in the light of Christ until he returns.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed …
Each day is a gift from you taking us one step closer to the day our salvation by faith becomes sight. Knowing this, may we be on guard and not let our hearts be lulled to sleep by the world’s cares or satan’s lies. For –
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness … rioting, and drunkenness, not in chambering, and wantonness, not in strife, and envying…
Help us remember we are children of light. Fill us with your love and a love for you that keeps us from participating in the world of darkness – wild parties, drunkenness, sexual indiscretions, immoral living, quarreling, and jealousy, nor any other thing that would bring shame to your holy name. Each day –
Let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day… (and) put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (From Romans 13:11-14)
May we remember we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and sin has no more reign over us. Help us walk in the righteousness that is ours through Christ. May your Light of life shine through us to a dark world providing hope for those who still wander in darkness. Amen.
The day is coming when the saved of the Lord will see no darkness, and the sun’s brightness will pale in the light of the glory of the Father and the Son.
“And the city had no need of the sun,
neither of the moon, to shine in it:
for the glory of God did lighten it,
and the Lamb is the light thereof …
I am the root and the offspring of David,
and the bright and morning star.”
Today, while it is still day may we receive the admonition of the–
“Kings of the earth, and all people;
princes, and all judges of the earth:
Both young men, and maidens;
old men, and children:
Let them praise the name of the LORD:
for his name alone is excellent;
his glory is above the earth and the heaven.”
May your days be blessed as you walk in the Light of life. May we praise his name together.