Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter 2014

On Easter Sunday, I shared about one of the things that the blood of Jesus provided for us – right standing before God. The work that He did for us at the cross and His victory over death are the greatest gifts given to mankind.  One of the most important things we need to take away from Easter is that what Jesus did is a GIFT to us. It is something we do not earn. We cannot earn it – never could and never will. It is, however, a gift that must be received. One must receive the gift that has been given. The gift must be acknowledged, and it needs to be appreciated.  There are many believers who have acknowledged Christ and have had their eternity changed but who have not truly appreciated all the gift entails. If we continue trying to be worthy of our standing before God by our works, we have not truly received that gift.

We earnestly seek to do good works and to not be ruled by sin, but we do so because we first know He loves us. When we begin to understand His love for us, we can’t help but reflect that love back to Him through our obedience.  We cannot allow ourselves to ever think that His love or blessing of us is conditional upon our obedience. Man’s love is generally conditional, but His is not!

He loved you so much he was willing to humble Himself and step down to earth in the form of a man to do what you could not – fully obey. Then, He went to the cross and suffered an excruciating death that we deserved. Finally, He rose again to utterly defeat death. There is nothing you can add to that equation. You cannot add to the work of Christ. You must humbly receive the gift and stop trying to earn it. Only then will you be empowered to defeat sin, sickness, disease, poverty and death – not because of YOUR works and righteousness, but because of HIS!

We must also know that, because of what Jesus did for us and not our own good works, we can boldly approach God’s throne. We are considered friends of God. You cannot boldly approach that throne if you think there is still a debt owed. Have you ever been in the room with a friend or relative that you knew you owed money to? It isn’t possible to feel comfortable in that situation. If you still feel you owe God for your sin and weakness, you will never “boldly” approach Him.

But pastor, who are we to boldly go before God? We are lowly sinners. EXACTLY! Guilty as charged. God knows that none of us is worthy, no matter how hard we try to not sin and be a good person. That situation was unacceptable to Him. He provided a way for us. It was HIS prerogative to do so. When we believe that we are not worthy, we are actually setting ourselves up as a higher authority that Him. We’re saying that He may think He made us worthy, but He didn’t and I will only be worthy by my own works. You may not have thought of it that way, but that’s the reality.  Let us take hold of the gift that has been given to us. Let us fully realize the power of that gift and appreciate that gift. God values His relationship with you so much and doesn’t want you to let your self-righteousness to get in the way.


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