BECAUSE OF HIS GIFT

The Son of Man will be handed over to people, and they will kill him. After three days, he will rise from the dead.” MARK 9:31

Trace the path of this Savior, the God who swapped heavenly royalty for earthly poverty. His bed became, at best, a borrowed pallet—and usually the hard earth. He was dependent on handouts for his income. He was sometimes so hungry he would eat raw grain or pick fruit off a tree. He knew what it meant to have no home. He was ridiculed. His neighbors tried to lynch him. Some called him a lunatic. His family tried to confine him to their house. His friends weren’t always faithful to him.

He was accused of a crime he never committed. Witnesses were hired to lie. The jury was rigged. A judge swayed by politics handed down the death penalty.

They killed him.

And why? Because of the gift that only he could give.

from THE APPLAUSE OF HEAVEN

The Cost of His Gift

Jesus was “not guilty, but he suffered for those who are guilty to bring you to God.” 1 PETER 3:18

Christ came to earth for one reason: to give his life as a ransom for you, for me, for all of us. He sacrificed himself to give us a second chance. He would have gone to any lengths to do so. And he did. He went to the cross, where man’s utter despair collided with God’s unbending grace. And in that moment when God’s great gift was complete, the compassionate Christ showed the world the cost of his gift.…

He who was perfect gave that perfect record to us, and our imperfect record was given to him.… As a result, God’s holiness is honored and his children are forgiven.

The Applause of Heaven

Living Truths

“He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.” (Mark 12:27)

Sin and death are grim realities in the world, but these are only temporary intruders, as it were. The God of creation is the living God; and “Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) is our living Savior, alive forevermore. It is appropriate, therefore, that the term “living” is applied over and over again to great truths of the Christian faith.

For example, the Holy Scriptures are called “the lively oracles” (Acts 7:38). “Lively” and “living” represent the same Greek word zao; thus the Bible is God’s “living word.” Jesus Christ called Himself “the living bread which came down from heaven,” sent down by “the living Father” (John 6:51, 57). He also promised that all who believe on Him would find “living water” flowing through their lives (John 7:38).

He has opened for us through His substitutionary death and justifying resurrection “a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:20). Furthermore, He has thereby “begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

The Lord Jesus is the foundation of the great house of the Lord into which we come through Him. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:4-5). In this holy temple we are therefore urged to “present |our| bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is |our| reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Our God is, indeed, the God of the living! HMM

We trusted

“We trusted.” (Luke 24:21.)

I HAVE always felt so sorry that in that walk to Emmaus the disciples had not said to Jesus,”We still trust”; instead of “We trusted.” That is so sad—something that is all over.

If they had only said, “Everything is against our hope; it looks as if our trust was vain, but we do not give up; we believe we shall see Him again.” But no, they walked by His side declaring their lost faith, and He had to say to them “O fools, and slow of heart to believe!” Are we not in the same danger of having these words said to us? We can afford to lose anything and everything if we do not lose our faith in the God of truth and love.

Let us never put our faith, as these disciples did, in a past tense—”We trusted.” But let us ever say, “I am trusting.”
—Crumbs.

The soft, sweet summer was warm and glowing,
Bright were the blossoms on every bough:
I trusted Him when the roses were blooming;
I trust Him now….

Small were my faith should it weakly falter
Now that the roses have ceased to blow;
Frail were the trust that now should alter,
Doubting His love when storm clouds grow.

—The Song of a Bird in a Winter Storm.