A Life that Is Not Condemned

No one wants to be judged but the truth of the matter is that we will all be judged. However, not all will be condemned. There is no greater peace than to know for sure that you are going to heaven. Many religions offer “maybe the possibility of heaven” but they can not offer the assurance  of not being condemned to hell. Also, their “possibility” will always fall short because they are all based on what you do to earn heaven. Jesus Christ offers assurance “without a doubt” of not being condemned. He alone can make this offer.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Christ took the judgment and the punishment for the entire world. We were due the consequences of our sin but Jesus Christ took it for us. All of us are just as guilty as everyone else because we all have sinned.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

The Bible says that not only have all sinned but we are all equally guilty.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

Have you ever said a lie? Have you ever taken something that was not yours? Have you ever cheated? Have you ever lusted or been jealous or envious? If so, then you are guilty of all. However, the Lord offers you forgiveness if you will repent and turn to Him. Repenting means turning away from your sin and turning to the Lord. Jesus came to call us to repentance.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

There must be repentance for there to be forgiveness.

Luke 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

You will know when you have repented because you will feel clean on the inside and times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

You will be a new person and will no longer want to do the things you did before. The Lord wants there to be evidence of your repentance. If you are still hanging out with the same people and doing the same things that you know are wrong then you have not repented.

Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

Not only are you a new person in Christ and your old life has passed away but you have been set free from the condemnation that once would have come to you.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Jesus took your condemnation on the cross when He shed His blood for you so that now you are forgiven and given a new life in Christ.

Hebrews 9:22b all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The final judgment will not come from the deeds you have done, whether it was good or bad, but the final judgment that will condemn people to hell is whether they trusted in Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sins and to give them eternal life in Him.

John 3:17-19 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

God did not send His Son into the world to judge you but to save you from your sins. If you believe in Him then you will not be judged and you will not be condemned but if you do not come to Jesus Christ then it is because you want to continue in your sin because you love the darkness rather than the light. Come to Jesus so that your sins might be wiped away and forgiveness and eternal life will be given to you.

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

The Lord is kind and it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. He is rich in kindness and He is patient not wanting anyone to perish. Come to Him. He is calling all of us into a relationship with Him.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 

A Life that Knows Tender Mercy

Unless you know the heart of the Lord then it may be hard to understand that He has tender mercy and wants you to know His tender mercy towards you. Yes, He is a holy God and can not even look upon evil and yet He came to show us His tender mercy and bring us to Himself.

Luke 1:77-79 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

God sent Jesus into our dark and fallen world, because of our own sinful ways, to give to us the knowledge of salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. It is because of His tender mercy towards us that motivated Him to come visit us with salvation. He not only wants to save us and forgive us but He wants to guide our feet in the way of peace. The Lord comes and visits us but we need to recognize our time of visitation. Has He come to you? Jesus wept over the people in Jerusalem because they did not recognize their time of visitation.

Luke 19:41-44 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Has anyone ever come to you and spoken God’s Word to you? Consider that it may be the Lord who is coming to you. It may be your time of visitation if you have not yet come to receive Him and know Him.

Matthew 10:40 He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

If you have come to know Him and are a believer then keep your behavior excellent among others so that they will have no cause to slander you (but if they do let it be because of your good deeds that they misinterpret) and will on account of your life glorify the Lord in the day of their visitation.

I Peter 2:12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

The Lord loves you and it is His love and tender mercy that is calling you to Himself. He came so that He might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh for our sins and was made alive in the spirit.

I Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

Come to Him and experience His love and compassion. He is gracious and abundant in His love for you. For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is His love for those who will come to Him and honor Him as Lord and Savior.

Psalm 103:8-13 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

There is nothing greater than knowing the tender mercy and compassion of God. It is eternal life to know Jesus Christ and when we know Him then we will count all things to be worthless in comparison to the surpassing greatness of knowing Him. When we come to know Jesus Christ then we will want to press on to know Him more.

Romans 11:33a  Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

 

 

A Life that Knows God is Real

Can someone really know that God is real? God is probably the most discussed topic through the ages. Is God real and if He is then can a mere human know Him in a personal way? Yes, God is real and His ways are just as real as the law of gravity. You can not see the law of gravity but you can feel its effect on your life. The law of gravity does not change according to your opinion of it. It is a law and and it can be counted on to be true. Actually, knowing the law of gravity is what makes you feel secure. Since it is always true here on earth then you can count on it not changing. When you wake up in the morning you don’t have to wonder if your head will hit the ceiling. Your feet will stay on the ground because of the law of gravity. In the same way, God is real but you can not see Him. However, you can feel the effect of His laws. They are just as real. God is not mocked by whether someone believes or agrees with Him.

Galatians 6:7,8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Just like one of the best ways to experience the law of gravity is to test it and jump off of a high place. You will fall every time. If you want to know if God is real then take one of His laws and act on it and see the consequences. If you do what His law says then you will be blessed but if you don’t do what He says then you will experience the consequence. God is not mocked. We are the ones who are deceived. If you are hurting in some area then look in God’s Word, the Bible, and see what the Lord has to say about that certain area where you are experiencing pain or frustrated and do what He says. If you are hurting then you have nothing to lose if you seek the Lord for help. You have tried it already your way and it did not bring the desired result so try to live God’s way. He will help you if you are sincerely seeking to do the right thing.

Isaiah 64:5 You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. Behold, You were angry, for we sinned, We continued in them a long time; And shall we be saved?

The Lord will meet you and help you. He will save you from the error of your ways and show you His ways.

Psalm 25:8-10 Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

Being humble is bring honest with yourself and with God. Tell Him that you failed and ask Him if He will teach you His way. His ways are perfect and not only do they not bring any frustration or pain but they bring healing and restoration to your soul.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

Just as someone experiences pain when they go against the law of gravity so also a person will experience pain when they go against God’s ways. Just as the pain with the law of gravity is to teach you to go with the law, in the same way, you will experience pain when you go against God’s laws but it is to put in you a healthy respect for His laws and ways. The Lord wants you to get back on His path so that you will experience good. If you were to continue in the path of not doing right then you would only experience more pain. His wrath is poured out on unrighteousness to get your attention to seek Him and His ways. His love draws you to Himself and His wrath pushes you away from unrighteousness so that you will not continue in it.

Romans 1:18,19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

The Lord wants you to believe in Him and know His goodness. He is good and He is love. If you do not obey Him then you will experience His wrath, which is the pain of not doing life His way. It is not a personal thing just as the law of gravity shows no partiality to anyone. His ways are laws that are to be respected and obeyed.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Seek Him and His ways so that you might experience life indeed and flee from His wrath by learning to obey Him. It is the foolishness of man that thinks he knows better than God. It is the foolishness of man when he lives as if there is not God.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.

He who comes to Him and believes in Him receives life. He will experience and know that there is a God and that He is good. It is when you turn away from Him that you experience His wrath and then you will either try to not believe in God or you will be angry with God.

Proverbs 19:3 The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the Lord.

Seek Him while He can be found. Call upon Him while He is near. You will see that He is very real and that He is good.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.

As you learn to seek the Lord and walk in His ways then you will grow in your understanding of the Lord and you will understand more of His ways.

Proverbs 28:5b But those who seek the Lord understand all things.

 

 

A Life that Has Love

People can only love unconditionally to the degree that they have known unconditional love. People may love but apart from the Lord it is a selfish love. It is a “because” love. I love you because I want you to love me back. I love you because you are beautiful. I love you because of how you make me feel. It is all about me. It was not until Jesus Christ came into the world did we even see what an unconditional love looks like. God loves you because He is love and not because of anything that you have done or will ever do.

I John 3:16a We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;

God’s love was manifested by sending His only begotten Son to die on a cross for sinners who did not even care about Him.

I John 4:9 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.

The justice of God was satisfied through the death of Jesus Christ. We sinned and we deserve hell but Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and rose again so that we might have life and know His love. This is what propitiation means. God is satisfied. God is holy and our sin is offensive to Him and causes His wrath to be stored up. Now, God is not mad at us anymore because His wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ, who never sinned.

I John 4:10 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.

God demonstrated His love towards us in that while we were His enemies Jesus Christ died for us.

Romans 5:6-10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

We turned our back to the Lord and because of that we are responsible for the Father turning His back on Jesus. For this reason Jesus Christ cried out on the cross, “My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He was rejected so that we might be accepted. He was rejected and knows what it feels like when someone we love might turn their back on us.

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Not only have we turned our back on God when we have sinned but we have also at times turned our backs on others. We would not and could not love them with the same kind of love that Jesus Christ has loved us, that is, until we came to know Him as our Savior and Lord. We were helpless to love with an unselfish love until we came to know His love. It is only when God is in us that we can love with His love because He actually loves through us through the power of His Spirit.

I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

This is the mark of a true Christian. A true Christian will be known by their love.

I John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.

He showed us what true, unconditional love looks like so that others might see Christ in us. When you see this unconditional love in someone else then you will know that you have seen the Lord in the life of someone who has love, God’s love.

A Life that Has Comfort

We all need comfort and yet we often feel without comfort.

Isaiah 40:1 “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.

In the world we will not have comfort but the Lord said He would not leave us comfortless.

John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

The Lord knows that we need comfort and another name for the Holy Spirit is that He is a Comforter. Are you lonely? Do you need comfort? Come to the Lord and let Him wrap His arms around you and comfort you.

Matthew 11:28,29 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord is gentle with His children and He will come to them and comfort them. He is a Good Shepherd.

Isaiah 40:11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

He comforts us in our affliction and suffering so that we may be able to comfort others when they share in the same suffering.

II Corinthians 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

The Lord is near to you and will come to you as you call on Him. He saves those who are crushed in spirit and He does not leave you alone.

psalm 34:18,19 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

The Lord will never leave you or forsake you. He loves you. Come to Him and give Him your broken heart and your pain. He will comfort you and heal you. He will bind up your heart and He will carry you through your time of suffering.

Hebrews 13:5b,6a …for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.

 

A Life Whose Sin is Taken Away

We all know that we are not perfect and that we have messed up sometime during our lifetime. The longer we live the more sins we accumulate to our record. If we were honest then we would agree that yes, we want our sins taken away. There is only One who can take our sin away. Someone has to take the punishment for our sin. That someone who can, who lived the perfect life and never sinned, not even once, is Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb of God.

John 1:29,30 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’

John the Baptist was the first to recognize that Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus came to take away the sin of the world. The word is sin and not sins because our original sin was that we wanted to be our own God and run our own lives. We wanted to make the decisions rather than be under the Lordship of God and allow Him to be our Master. From the original “sin” all other sins came. For this reason we can not be saved from our many sins that ensnare us until our “sin” is taken away. When we repent of our “sin” and allow Him to take it away then He becomes our rightful Lord and Master and we become His child.

Matthew 1:21-23 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God becomes our Savior and it is He who saves us from our sins. He sets us free when He forgives us and cleanses us. His blood covers our sins and they are not remembered again by Him. Our sin is taken away and our sins are forgiven.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Jesus shed His blood for the world that He might take away the sin of the world. Jesus Christ went to the cross once for all. He does not need to die again nor do any more lambs need to be sacrificed. Before Jesus Christ came then an offering had to be made over and over again for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 10:11-18 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and was the perfect Lamb of God and took our sin upon Himself then He nailed to the cross all of the accusations against us. He paid our debt so that we might be set free from the penalty, power and one day the presence of sin.

Colossians 2:13,14 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Jesus Christ did it all and He did it once for all so that the gift of salvation might be available to all. However, it is a gift and we can never do anything to deserve it but we must receive it. When we receive the gift of salvation then we receive all that Christ did for us. He took the punishment that we all deserve.

Romans 5:6-10 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

When you have received this gift then you will know that Jesus Christ is God and that He loves you. You receive the gift of salvation through faith. Once you receive Him then you will want to spend the rest of your life thanking Him and living for Him. Your life will be a response to Him. The Christian life is a love relationship with Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

 

 

A Life Where Thou Art

The first question the Lord asked man was, “Where are thou?”.

Genesis 3:9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

The man and the woman were made to be with the Lord. He made them for them to have fellowship with Him and for them to enter into His joy.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Man disobeyed the Lord and for the first time fear entered into man. Man began his long and lonely journey of hiding from God.

Genesis 3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

God came to earth as a man and His name is Jesus Christ, so that He could restore us back into a right relationship with Himself. He took the penalty and the separation from God that we deserved so that we might be restored back into fellowship with Him. Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus was in the beginning with God and all things came into being through Him. Jesus Christ is God and has always been God.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Jesus, the Word, became flesh and dwelt among men. He is the only begotten Son of God, which means that He is the One and only Son of God. The Father gave His Son to restore us to Himself.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As many as receive Jesus Christ, to them He gives the right to become one of His children, adopted into His family and to live forever with Him. They are born again.

John 1:12,13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Since God’s love is unconditional and perfect, one of the first things He does after restoring us to Himself is that He casts out all fear.

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

What is the evidence of someone who has been restored into a relationship with God. They will love others and especially will love Christians.

I John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 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.

He is still asking, “Where art Thou?”.