Did Jesus Truly Show His Love?

Did Jesus Truly Show His Love?

Ponder this:  did Jesus truly show His love for mankind?  Do you have assurance of God the Father’s love for you?  Here are some Scriptures for you to consider:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (John 3:16)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:8)

. . . nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:39, underscoring added)

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20)

All of these Bible verses talk about the love of God for us and the love of Jesus for us.  It is very easy to understand it through these passages.

Jesus, our Savior, demonstrated His great love for mankind and for His Father by offering His own life and blood in order to reconcile all of mankind to our Father God.   Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  (Joh 15:13)  Jesus absolutely loved us—He gave His life for us!

With this understanding of Jesus’ love, which is a reflection of God the Father’s love, I believe it should seem like a reasonable service for us to put God in first place in our lives.

Creativity, Part 2

Creativity, Part 2

As we discussed in the last article, God has made mankind in His own image; He has made us to be creative even as He is creative. 

Every human being has a unique personality—we all understand that fact.  In the same way, we each have a wonderfully individual mixture of talents and abilities blended in a distinctive combination. 

Whatever our talents and giftings, God has not only given them to us but He has blessed us to serve Him and His kingdom through them.  Here are several passages of Scripture that demonstrate the talents that He has given to mankind, and also how those abilities are intended to bless everyone around us.

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.  (Ex 31:3-5)

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  (Rom 12:4-8)

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Pet 4:10-11)

In our creativity we live, walk and work by faith, trusting that God has blessed the work of our hands.  By faith, we also understand that the Lord uses our creative work to bless, help, and to inspire other people.

Keep on creating, friend!

The God of the Living

The God of the Living

But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?  (27) He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.  You are therefore greatly mistaken.  (Mk 12:26-27) 

Jesus is speaking with the Sadducees, who did not believe in resurrection from the dead.

In verse 27, the word mistaken correctly communicates deceived.  This indicates to me that there is an important point hidden in this verse that we need to investigate.

Jesus was discussing resurrection from the dead with the Sadducees, and the disciples were pleased with Jesus’ statement above in Mark 12:27, since they felt it was His verbal victory. 

We can see that the gospel of Luke echoes the main point:

 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.  (Lk 20:38)

This verse reminds us that “all live to Him,” meaning that to the Lord, no human being is ever dead or will be, but all mankind sustain an abiding conscious relation to Him. (Source of italicized, bold type material:   Jamieson, Faussett & Brown)

The “all” who live to Him mean “those accounted worthy to obtain that world.”  (see Lk 20:35)  They maintain a loving covenant relationship with the Lord which will never end.   

How helpful is this to us in the here and now?  The Bible states that God made mankind in His own image.  (Gen 1:26a; 27; 9:6)  Because we’re made in the image of God, once a human being has been born on this earth, it means that their soul [the essence of their identity and consciousness] will live for eternity.

For we know that if our earthly house [our body], this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  (2 Cor 5:1, bracketed comment added)

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.  (2 Cor 5:8, emphasis added)

That is why God provided our salvation through Jesus Christ, so that we could spend eternity with Him.  We live unto God while here in the flesh; and when we vacate our body, we go on to live with the Lord in Heaven. 

We serve the living God (1 Thes 1:9; Heb 9:14)—the God of the living.  Hallelujah!

Light or Darkness

Light or Darkness
  • Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa 5:20)
  • And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.  (Gen 1:4)
  • Then I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. (Ecc 2:13, emphasis added)

These passages from Scripture (shown above) remind us that God calls the light good, and He wants the life that’s within each one of us to emanate from the Light Who is Jesus Christ within us.  (Jo 1:4; 8:12)  Jesus Christ is the Light and He is good.  We must make the decision about whether we want to obey the Lord, and to allow His light within us to shine!

  • Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. (Lk 11:35)

Even as Jesus was sent into the world as a light for all of mankind, He wants us now to show forth His light so that more people may receive salvation through Jesus Christ.

  • For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  (2 Cor 4:6)

So how may we shine the light of salvation into the darkening world around us?  Yes, the Bible gives us answers to that as well!

  • If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.   The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  (Isa 58:10-11)

By doing good works, by sharing the Good News of the gospel with all people, and by living obediently to the Word of God, we shine the Light of Jesus Christ and His salvation into the darkness.