We Know Love, Thanks to Jesus

We Know Love, Thanks to Jesus

The Scriptures teach us that humanity knows love and is acquainted with love because Jesus gave up His own life to reconcile us back to our Father God.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  (1 Joh 3:16 NKJV)

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Rom 5:8 NIV)

 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it . . . (Eph 5:25 NCV)

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  (Eph 5:2 ESV)

All of these Bible passages refer to the fact that Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice was an ACT OF LOVE.  The Lord tells us through the Word that we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Husbands are admonished to love their wives even as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed Himself on behalf of the Church. Husbands should want to protect their wives and children even as the Lord did.

And we’re encouraged to follow the example of Christ, and to become (as He did) a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  This gives us a reason to examine ourselves and to ask ourselves if we are demonstrating our love in ways that are spiritually and relationally significant to our nearest and dearest.  God bless you as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you in showing love to everyone in your life!

The Word of Reconciliation

The Word of Reconciliation

Reconcile means ‘to restore friendly relations between’ one person or entity and another.  The concept of reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus came to reconcile man’s relationship to God.  In doing so, God reconciled Himself to all things through Jesus.  What an accomplishment!

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died . . . (2 Cor 5:14 NKJV)  Jesus Christ took the punishment for all sinners and died on the cross for all sinners in order to pay the debt that we could never pay.  Jesus’ sacrifice was meaningful because, as a human being, Jesus lived a holy, sin-free life.

By restoring our right relationship to God, Jesus also opened the door for us to live in right relationships with each other, with Creation, and with ourselves.  What an accomplishment!

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  (2 Cor 5:18-21 NKJV, emphasis added)

The ‘word of reconciliation’ referred to in 2 Corinthians 5:19 is the gospel of Jesus Christ which not only reconciles us to God, but also reconciles us to each other.  That is only possible as each one of us learns the Word of God and continually obeys it.  As we obey the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus Christ, we grow in grace and wisdom daily.

We can see from 2 Corinthians 5:19 that God has given to all believers the ministry of reconciliation.  But what, exactly, does that mean?

As 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, we’re ambassadors (representatives) of Jesus.  As such, our calling is to implore, plead . . . or to BEG unsaved people to be reconciled to God.  We’re asking them to restore friendly relations between themselves and God.  And we have the honor and privilege of explaining to them how easy it is to do that! 

By simply accepting the love of God that is the basis of salvation, and praying a simple prayer, an unsaved person will become reconciled to God.  In accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, such a person restores their right relationship with God the Father. 

In accepting Christ as Savior, all believers have had the seed of eternity placed within their hearts.  What a beautiful and honorable assignment that we have been given!  Glory to God in the highest!

Taught by God

Taught by God

As followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t forget that Jesus came, in obedience to His Father, in order to save people and to reconcile them back to our Heavenly Father.  God is constantly ready to forgive and to save all who believe in Jesus.

Today we’re concentrating on Scriptures that tell us that all of our children shall be taught by the Lord. 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  (Isa 54:13)  We are drawn closer to the Lord by submitting to His teachings.  Our relationship grows deeper and stronger the more we read, meditate upon, and study the teachings of the Bible.

It is written in the Prophets, and they will all be taught by God.  Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from Him comes to Me.  (Joh 6:45 CEB)  All who receive the internal, spiritual illumination concerning Jesus Christ, the Savior, is drawn to God and to the teaching that comes from God through His Word, His Spirit, and His ministers.

The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.  (Joh 16:14-15 CEV)  The Holy Spirit is our helper and our teacher.  He gives us wisdom, insight, and illumination into the teachings of the Bible.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another . . .  (1 Thes 4:9 ESV)  This is a confirmation by the Scriptures that those who belong to the Lord are taught by the Lord and are influenced daily by what they have learned.

All those who are taught by God (those who accept and act upon what they learn) will always turn to Jesus and receive Him as their Savior and Lord.  And once they have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, they will continue serving Him and obeying His leading and guiding through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.  We are not only the servants of God, but we are the children of God. All glory to God most High!

The Just for the Unjust

The Just for the Unjust

Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, suffered ONCE for the sins of mankind even though He was completely without sin.  His purpose in doing this was to reconcile us to His Father God, and Jesus completed the task that He was given.  (see Joh 19:30)  Praise God! 

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit . . .  (1 Pet 3:18, underscoring added)

Jesus was made alive by the Spirit because the Holy Spirit’s power raised Jesus from the dead.  (Rom 8:11)  And the same Spirit also dwells within each and every believer.  Think of it!  Resurrection power abides within every believer!

. . . so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.  (Heb 9:28)

As I mentioned above, Jesus completed His assignment when He lived a sinless life, suffered and bled and died, and was resurrected from the grave. Jesus was offered, by His Father even as Abraham offered his son, Isaac, on the altar in Genesis 22:9-13.  Since Jesus dealt with the sins of mankind already, He NEVER needs to have anything more to do with sin. 

God gave Jesus to die for our sins, and he raised him to life, so that we would be made acceptable to God.  (Rom 4:25 CEV)

Through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, all who accept Him as their own Savior and Lord have been justified and made acceptable to God.  Glory to God! Now, since we have been born again and made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ, we may joyously look forward to seeing Jesus face-to-face in heaven when our life on earth has been fulfilled.  Or a praiseworthy alternative to that will be when Jesus returns to earth to rapture His church.  (Dan 12:1-2; Mt 24:30-31; Mk 13:24-27; 1 Cor 15:51-53; 1 Thes 4:16-18; Rev 3:10)   Hallelujah!

Being Far Off

Being Far Off

All mankind was, at one time, far off from God.  We were far off from His presence, from His righteousness, and from His standards for living.  Occasionally, it’s beneficial for us to remember how very far we have come by God’s mercy and grace.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6) who brought all believers near to God through the reconciliation of the cross.   (2 Cor 5:18)

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  (Eph 2:13 ESV)

All who have made Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord have been brought near to God through the blood of the Lamb.  (1 Pet 1:19)  Jesus is the Lamb of God.  (Joh 1:29, 36)

For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.  (Ac 2:39)

The gift and promise of salvation is offered to every human being upon the earth—to every race, tribe and nation.  The Lord calls all people to salvation, but not everyone accepts His free gift.   

. . . and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.  (Eph 2:16-17)

Jesus, our Prince of Peace, has put to death every hostility, unfriendliness, and antagonism by preaching peace to all.  He has reconciled (reunited) us with our Father God.  What an awesome gift from God! 

We are no longer far off, but we have been made the children of God.  (Joh 1:12; Rom 8:16; 1 Joh 3:1-2)  All glory to God most High!

The Great Calm

The Great Calm

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (Mk 4:37-39)

When Jesus rebuked the wind, and commanded the sea to be still, the Bible says that there was a “great calm.”  This great calm . . . where did it originate? [Originate means begin, commence, or come from]

You may say, “It was the elements being obedient to the command of their Creator.”  And that is absolutely correct.  I believe that all of the animals and even the earth, itself, recognize the voice of their Creator and Lord.

Another way to answer this question is that the great calm originated within Jesus, Himself.  Jesus IS the Prince of Peace! (Isa 9:6)  He has peace within Himself, and that was why He could peacefully sleep in the boat in the midst of a storm.  He wasn’t frightened or threatened.  He wasn’t unsure of the outcome. 

Jesus is able to convey the peace that exists within Him to the people and/or the world or elements around Him!

Several Bible verses quote Jesus as saying, “Peace to you.”  (Lk 24:36; Joh 20:19, 21, 26)  The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of peace.  (Ac 10:36)  Jesus Christ came to reconcile mankind to our Father God—making peace between mankind and the Father.

We are promised that the peace of God, which is beyond all human understanding, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:7) 

Seek His peace now, dear friend.  Jesus loves to answer our prayers and to meet every need.  Most of all, He imparts His peace to our hearts and to our life circumstances if we will simply look to Him and expect Him to meet our needs.  God bless you.

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.