Tag Archives: cross

Justice and Love

“If God were not just, there would be no demand for his Son to suffer and die. And if God were not loving there would be no willingness for his Son to suffer and Die. But God is both just and loving. Therefore his love is willing to meet the demands of his justice.” John Piper – Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die (p. 20)

 We can not wrap our minds around God’s complete and awesome holiness. It is beyond all human knowledge and is infinitely great. To think that someone could of never done anything wrong, never had even thought a wrong thought is too much for our frail minds. Because of God’s amazing holiness, God is also a God of justice. When we do things that are contrary to God’s holiness (sin) it’s treason and because of how big and great God is we deserve to die. The issue isn’t that a sin is “small”, it’s that the one whom we commit the sin against is so huge. The slightest bad thought earns us a place on death row.

 Yet God is more than only just. He is also a God of mercy and love. He desires that we have life instead of the death we deserve and to be in an intimate relationship with Him. He desires that we glorify Him like He created us to do. He is filled with steadfast love for us. The extent of God’s love is also far beyond human logic and knowledge.

 Though God loves us and desires us greatly, because of His justice He can’t just ignore our sins. To do that would be against His holy and perfect nature. So God sent His son, whom He loved and was a perfect spotless lamb, to take all the wrath of God that we deserve. Jesus was God-man, the only human to not sin a single time. He was the only man to walk the earth that was good enough to be a worthy sacrifice for our sins.

 So God poured out all His wrath, that which should of been ours, onto Jesus. Jesus willingly drank the cup of God wrath and died so that we could have life. What marvelous love that God has for us! What wonderful sacrifice Jesus did by taking on God’s wrath!

“Surely he has borne our griefs
   and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
   smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
   and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4,5

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Where to Set Our Eyes

So many things are constantly vying for my precious time and attention. So many things that, even if they themselves are good, are pulling me away from Christ. So many sins that love to cling to me and temptations that are strong. We live in a world where it is not easy to live lives of true devotion to Jesus, but has it ever truly been?

Last week God convicted me or something in my life that I had not been doing a good job of doing and needed to change. I felt horrible for ever letting things get that way and I felt like I had failed. Then a verse I had memorized came to mind and hit me stronger then ever before. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I realized that it was setting my eyes on Christ that I needed to do. Not just become determined to not do it again or try to change on my own accord, but to focus on Christ. To rest in His arms and to be given the strength that I so desperately need from Him. Only through pouring myself out for Him and remembering the blood that He shed on my behalf, only then can there be any progress and holiness.

We can’t be setting our eyes on the sin that clings or to the temptations that surround us. We need to acknowledge them, yes. But we can’t be dwelling on them and we can’t be fixated on them. As my mom tells me, “We can’t always dwell on our problems, because when we do that we just keep spiraling down into a pit and we stay in that pit. What we have to do is deal with it and move on.”

Jesus Christ and the wonderful cross, which is our life and salvation, is what we need to be fixated with. We need to totally be caught up in Him, and that should overflow into every area of our life. As we seek the Lord with all of our hearts, our entire lives will be effected by that. The key to everything is the gospel. It is the answer to all our problems. I think that is just wonderful. That God gave us the blood of Christ and through Him we have not only salvation, but He has also given us the power to face anything through the cross! It’s such a wonderful reality!

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Destiny of the Manger

Something has been demanding my rapt attention in my mind lately in this Christmas season. I feel captivated by a single thought and amazed by it. It has a tight hold on my small brain and wont let go, but that is a good thing. I think this Christmas I have been struck by the true meaning of Christmas more than ever before.

Christmas is all about Christ coming down as a human to save our souls, even if we try to make it about Santa and warm feelings and such, we can’t change it. Without Jesus there would be no Christmas. Plain and simple. But I am being even more so by the destiny of the little babe in the manger.

Christmas is more than just celebrating the birth of Jesus, it’s celebrating that because he was born, and because someday he would die, we can have eternal life. For Christians, Christmas should be a celebration of salvation. We should be celebrating that we now have life. That Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died the death we deserved, rose from the dead three days later, and now sits in heaven at the right hand of the throne of God. Because of the death he died we can have a relationship with God and we have become his children. In reality, Christmas is all about the cross. Without that beautiful cross there would be no Christmas. Without the cross Jesus would of just been another good man. Without the cross there would be no reason to celebrate.

Have you ever noticed how the baby in the manger is not the one that offends people but it is the man hanging on a cross that does? It’s His claims that He is the only way to heaven. It’s His perfection and His deity that confuses and angers people. People like the baby in the manger, it’s not offensive. But the manger is not where the story ends.

I think these few lines from Relient K’s Christmas song “I Celebrate The Day” sums this all up the best.
“To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life”

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Why Me?

 That question is one that I ask frequently and it should be asked frequently by all Christians. I am not talking about questioning that God is sovereign or in control of a situation. God has his plans and he has them for a reason. What I am talking about is giving thanks to God for his blessings.

 No matter how hard your life is, you don’t deserve your life. The only think that any of us deserve is death. We are sinful, bad people, that deserve death in hell. But if you are a Christian God has chosen you to receive his mercy and grace, and his atoning sacrifice on the cross. He has give you life, freedom, peace that passes understanding, love, joy, hope for tomorrow, he removes our guilt. He has given us more then we could ever of dared to dream of.

 A holy God chose ME. A holy God loves ME. A holy God gave his only son for ME. ME. A dirty, filthy, sinner, without the ability to do right. It doesn’t seem possible. I don’t deserve him. You don’t deserve. No one that has ever lived has deserved God except Jesus. Because we are all born into sin.

 Why would he save us? Because he loves us. I don’t quite know why. I don’t understand that he could love us, even while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8) I don’t understand how he could let his perfect son die a painful death for me. I don’t understand how he could chose a wretch like me. I don’t think I will ever understand. Ever. Because it is just one of those things far beyond the reach of our small finite minds. It is something so mind blowing that I don’t think we can ever truly take hold of it.

 But in our messed up culture people, even those who claim to be Christians, don’t understand this. They don’t understand that they don’t deserve heaven. They don’t understand that the only thing they deserve is death and eternity in hell. I breaks my heart that in our churches religion is so strong. The belief that we can somehow reach up to God or that we can attain heaven by ourselves. Religion is man trying to reach up to God. I am not a religious person. I know I can never reach up to God. I can’t even try. But God reached down to me. He came down and lifted me up when I was dirty and filthy and depraved.

 Using Ezekiel 16 as an example, I was bloody and unwanted, cast out to die. Then he found me and had compassion on me. He took me in his arms and washed be and clothed me. He looked on me with love. Though I didn’t deserve it. Though no one wanted me. Though I was not worthy of the love of anyone. He rescued me.

 Why me? There is no logical answer that God chose me instead of the person next door. But I thank God every day that he chose me. He didn’t have to, but before I was born he predestined me to receive his grace. It is something that we are not even supposed to know. It is a mystery of God. I encourage you all to thank him for it everyday. If you have been saved by him, it is wrong not to thank him. At the risk of repeating myself, God is holy and we could never deserve him. We need to bow our knees and thank the God of earth and sky for rescuing us. We should constantly be amazed. We need to bask in the wonder of the cross. And let everyday reflect that he has saved us.

Love in Christ,

Olivia <><

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A Message To My New Brothers and Sisters (Gospel)

 Greetings! Welcome. I had a friend that was wondering about a post for you new believers out there to pass on to her friend so here I am. (Despite how often I tease you… you are still one of my close friends, even if you are short!!!)

 Well first I want to address what it means to be a Christian.

Being a Christian has nothing to do with you, or me. It has everything to do with the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. We are all horrid (I love that word and I don’t know why) sinners that have done something wrong. We have all committed high treason against a holy and perfect God so therefore we all deserve to die. That may seem harsh, but it’s the truth. I deserve to die and rot in hell, as do you.

 That leaves us pretty depressed right? I know it leaves me feeling empty and scarred and yicky. But there is good news, it’s called the gospel. The gospel is just what I said: good news. This good news is that someone paid your debt for you. Someone died your death for you, and his name is Jesus. 2,000 years ago Jesus died a horrible death and bared all your sins, just so that YOU could live. And or course, he didn’t just stay dead, he came back to life, then went into heaven.

 Now I want to be clear. You are not saved by ANYTHING you did. Not even praying a prayer saved you. ONLY the death of Jesus on the cross is what saved you and him choosing you to receive eternal life. ONLY! I can not stress this enough! I know plenty of people that have taken out “fire insurance” (get it, hell, fire, lol) yet they have not been impacted by the holy spirit. It is the holy spirit’s work in us (for those of you who don’t know, the holy spirit is the helper that Christ has sent to Christians. Part of the trinity, it is truly the spirit of God in us.) that allows us to accept Christ. If someone has been truly saved, if they truly understand that they needed to be forgiven and they were forgiven, a life can not stay the same.

 A Christian is no longer “Part of this world” (2 Corinthians 5:17). They now have Christ living inside them. I want to clarify something. The second you become a Christian, the second Christ lives in you, you are 100% saved and forgiven. (I talk about this on my post “Out of Goats”) There is nothing more you can do to make him love you more. NOTHING. That is truly amazing. We are loved totally by Christ. I know my love doesn’t work that way. I love my sister more when she actually closes the door after barging into my room without asking. Or when she leaves me alone. So thankfully I am not God. His love is FAR beyond human capabilities.

 I assume that most of you know what has been said. If not, please contact me! I would love to talk to you more about this! I am ALWAYS available!!! If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and would like to know more about Jesus’ death and about being a Christian, please talk to me. The next post will have some advice to new Christians. I’ll start that soon. And just to let you all know, I don’t know how much time I will have to post. I am working on writing a script and have some other story ideas waiting to get out. Also my grandma is coming for my baptism this weekend (I am going to be the first person my dad EVER baptises!!!). Also I am going to camp and so I will be posting, I just don’t know how frequently. Soli Deo Gloria

In Christ Alone,

Nobody <><

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