How Many Times?

“Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26 NIV)

No matter how many times we commit sin, the ultimate blood sacrifice has already been made with Jesus on the cross.

Do we really understand the sacrifice He made for us–the love He has for us?

If we truly understood the role of the high priests under the law, then we would better appreciate the fulfillment of the law, with His appearance, death, burial, and resurrection.

But no one can force anyone to receive knowledge. We can speculate, refute, and ignore information, but acceptance is an individual choice and action. For those of us have received and accepted the knowledge that He has made sacrifice for our sins, we should not willing continue to sin–after all, exactly how many times, do we expect Him to sacrifice Himself for us?

Shall we expect Him to appear over and over again to be persecuted and misunderstood, lied upon, treated abominably, judged by sinners, scourged with whips designed to maim and kill, crucified, and died, buried and resurrected–over and over again–just to satisfy the skeptics and those who don’t want to live right? How many times, must we crucify Him in order for us to understood–ONCE was enough?

If we believe that ONCE was enough–then sin should no longer reign in our bodies–we have the ability to defeat the desire to sin–so why don’t we? How many times must we commit sin just to ask Him to forgive us?

When we repent of sin–turn away–run from–all the temptation to sin, we don’t actively, consciously sin any more. Perhaps, the real problems with us mere mortals is that we do not understand–repentance–if we did, we would not keep going back to the cross to gain understanding.

“Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee!” How many times do we submit? All day, every day, 24/7, 365 days of the year–that’s how many times and when we keep our bodies under the governing reign of Holy Spirit–we will not sin.

Sin is a choice like anything else we do. Now, how many times will it take for us to understand the one-time sacrifice so we would have power not to sin? How many times?

The only person who can make a decision about sin and choosing to live the life that Christ died for us to live–is us!

Stimulating Wholesome Thinking!

“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking” (2 Peter 3:1 NIV).

When I read this passage this morning, I was reminded of the reason I write. I don’t expect people to agree with everything I say; not even some of what I say, but I write to encourage and stimulate wholesome thinking especially in how we treat people.

We live in a society where are constantly bombarded with everyone’s thoughts through various types of media–online media, television, radio, blogs, all the social media, books, magazines, hand-bills, posters, bill-boards, and online news commentaries. Some of the thoughts we read can readily be dismissed when we recognize the influence behind the thoughts. Some of the thoughts, we may actually consider to be genuine from rational people, until we continue to read what they write. And some, thoughtful writers will actually challenge us to think.

How do we know when we see “wholesome writing” that will ignite “wholesome thinking?

If what someone says aligns with The Word, explains The Word, expounds on The Word, and is not judgmental, obscene, or profane, or full of hate; we can probably conclude that the writer is thinking wholesome thoughts.  If what someone says, denies or scoffs at The Word, is in opposition to The Word, then we know who is influencing the words they write. What they say will not lead to wholesome thinking, but to chaos and confusion designed to get people off track.

How far off track are we in our society today? Should not our thoughts be the same as the thoughts of Christ?  If we have the mind of Christ, should we not have the conduct of Christ? Should not our heart be as His–loving, full of compassion, and always forgiving?

Nothing in life is fair–God did not promise us fairness. He said, “the just shall live by faith.” So, don’t be bitter about things that didn’t “seem fair”, move forward and know that if we continue in The Word, we shall receive God’s many benefits and He is not slow to fulfill His promises to us! We are the “just” and “the righteousness of Christ” because He said so, not us.

Now, think on these things–whatsoever is pure, lovely, and of a good report–all leading to wholesome thinking. Remember to love and forget all the things that would cause you to hold onto bitterness and unforgiveness. Keep your focus on the prize ahead of you in Christ Jesus! Rational Thinking > Rational Decisions > Rational Behavior–towards all!

God Is Still Right!

“There is a way that seems right unto men, but that way leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25 Paraphrased)

No matter what men/women do or what office they hold, they are still–men–fallible human beings.

Those men/women are not God and God will not uphold those who proclaim what He has said is wrong to be right.

For anyone who can oppose God and see nothing wrong–be very afraid–of the chaos that is bound to reign. Men/women are fickle and are constantly changing their minds, but God is and always will be a constant in our lives and He shall have the final say.

“If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then would I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal the land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 Paraphrased).

 

Father, in the name of Jesus–hear the cries of those who know You and understand Your ways that are not the ways of man–speak to our hearts and cut away the hardness that we will hear You, and repent, while we yet have a chance. Amen!