Whats Does Jesus’ Sacrifice Mean For Me? Acceptance

12th April

But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us, while we were still sinners.”

Romans 5:8

The Apostle Paul, in the book of Romans states that “…the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23). When we sin we deserve to be punished. Since God is our creator, anything we do against His will, is called a sin and is punishable. In fact, everyone one of us falls into that category. Yet when Jesus died on the cross, He paid the debt that our sin owed and in doing so, made us clean and right before God.

The Apostle Paul words it like this, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.” (Romans 3:23-24) We deserve death but instead we are given life and life in it’s fullness. Jesus didn’t wait for us to become good people or didn’t wait until we understood and accepted what He was going to do. Jesus died for us while we were still ‘sinners’. Jesus died for the very people who ordered His crucifixion. He died for the people who crucified Him. He died for all the religious priests who wanted Him dead. He died for us even in our lowest points.

So today, do not feel like you are distant from God because of your sin, or like you can’t talk to Him. Your debt has been paid, it has been paid in full. You are free and right in His sight. Accept His grace and love and let His view of YOU change your view of yourself. You are accepted!

 

The Act Of Forgiveness

4th November 

 “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”

Proverbs 17:9

There is a reason why the Bible encourages us to forgive quickly and to not let the sun go down on our wrath. Hurt, pain and anger only await those who hold on to bitterness. Un-forgiveness separates us from God, separates us from our own rational thinking and even separates us from our most loved ones. Anger does nothing but cause friction and bitterness.

However, the opposite is true when love prevails. A simple sorry can completely diffuse a situation, can heal wounds and release tensions. As this wise proverb states, ‘love prospers when a fault is forgiven’. There is nothing more liberating than knowing that we are forgiven, loved and accepted by Jesus and with that same love, forgiveness and acceptance, loving others too.

It is no easy task to forgive a fault, particularly when the wound is deep and greatly hurts. Indeed, in our strength we cannot. We can make a decision to forgive, however, true forgiveness is something only God can help us put into practice. May we today know the power of a ‘fault forgiven’, the danger of holding onto hurt and the joy of releasing the debt of bitterness. Furthermore, may our Lord Jesus, daily reveal just how much we have been forgiven and help us, with that same love, to love and forgive others. Let us rejoice in forgiven faults and restored friendships.

The Short Man With A Big Heart

3rd & 4th July

Weekend Edition

When Jesus came by, He looked up at the Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” He said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today!” Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.”

Luke 19:5-6

News of Jesus’ arrival in Jericho quickly reached the ears of the eager Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus had a reputation of being a shrewd and dishonest tax collector who had gained his wealth by cheating people on their taxes. He was not a very popular man, much like every other tax collector in Jesus’ time.

When Zacchaeus heard Jesus was coming to town, he made every effort to see Jesus, but due the large crowds and his short height, his vision was blocked. However, his desperation to see Jesus soon found him climbing a sycamore tree in hope of catching a glimpse of the Son of David. As Jesus neared the tree Zacchaeus had climbed, he called out to Zacchaeus by name and invited Himself to his house. Without hesitation and much to his delight, Zacchaeus climbed down the tree and took Jesus to his home.

While they were enjoying a meal together in the home of Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus convicted by the very presence and acceptance from Jesus, repented of his wrongdoing and promised to repay the evil he had done to the people he had cheated. Jesus applauded Zacchaeus’ noble actions and said that “salvation has come to this home today.”

Jesus’ agenda on this earth was always to “seek and save the lost.” He came for people like Zacchaeus. He came to show us that even sinful tax collectors can receive His grace. Jesus broke every cultural and religious rule by inviting Himself to eat with an unclean man, yet that didn’t bother Jesus at all. He was more interested in the heart of Zacchaeus and saw in him purpose, hope and a future. After Zacchaeus had experienced such tender loving care from Jesus, His life was completely changed. He realised his sinful actions, repented and set out to live a completely different lifestyle, a lifestyle that honoured God and brought glory to His name.

We too can know we are loved and accepted by a kind and gracious God despite of our sinful nature. He also wants to know us personally and wants to have an intimate relationship with us too. Will you accept Jesus’ invite into your heart? Has your life been transformed by meeting Jesus?