VIDEO By the Blood – Best explanation of Christianity

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the [heavenly] Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:12

Christianity has been called a ghastly religion because of its emphasis on the shedding of blood. Indeed, the writer to the Hebrews says, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins]” (Hebrews 9:22).

Here’s where our theology takes a serious turn. The image of blood is no more ghastly than what it corresponds to: the ghastliness of sin. We forget, at times, just how serious sin is in the face of a perfectly holy God. It was God’s plan to enjoy fellowship with His creation for eternity, and He ultimately will. But when man sinned—a ghastly offense in the sight of our holy God—it required a correspondingly serious solution. A perfectly sinless Man had to die—that’s what “shedding of blood” means—for a perfectly sinful mankind. So Jesus shed His blood instead of God shedding ours. And in doing so, He “obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12).

Contemplate today what God did to ensure eternal fellowship with us. He allowed His own Son to die that we might live.

Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood; sealed my pardon with His blood. Hallelujah! What a Savior! 

Philip P. Bliss, “Hallelujah, What a Savior!”

John Lennox gives the best explanation of Christianity I’ve ever heard

No one can hand you GOD, you must reach out to him for yourself. He’s waiting for you, He is LOVE. GOD BLESS!!!

Got Your Nose

I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. Exodus 12:12

“Why are the statues’ noses broken?” That’s the number one question visitors ask Edward Bleiberg, curator of Egyptian art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Bleiberg can’t blame it on normal wear and tear; even two-dimensional painted figures are missing noses. He surmises that such destruction must have been intentional. Enemies meant to kill Egypt’s gods. It’s as if they were playing a game of “got your nose” with them. Invading armies broke off the noses of these idols so they couldn’t breathe.

Really? That’s all it took? With gods like these, Pharaoh should have known he was in trouble. Yes, he had an army and the allegiance of a whole nation. The Hebrews were weary slaves led by a timid fugitive named Moses. But Israel had the living God, and Pharaoh’s gods were pretenders. Ten plagues later, their imaginary lives were snuffed out.

Israel celebrated their victory with the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when they ate bread without yeast for a week (Exodus 12:17; 13:7–9). Yeast symbolizes sin, and God wanted His people to remember their rescued lives belong entirely to Him.

Our Father says to idols, “Got your nose,” and to His children, “Got your life.” Serve the God who gives you breath, and rest in His loving arms.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

What false god is suffocating your life? How might you show God you’re trusting only in Him?

Father of life, I give You my life. Help me recognize that any perceived “enemies” in my life are nothing compared to Your power.

God’s Will and Prayer

Nehemiah 1

Certain aspects of God are beyond our full understanding, and one of them is how He uses our prayers to work out His will. Although He is the sovereign, omnipotent, all-knowing God who needs no one’s help, He has chosen to allow us to participate in the achievement of His divine plans through our prayers. 

Nehemiah was moved to pray after hearing about the hardships of the Jews who’d returned to Jerusalem following Babylonian captivity. At the time, he was doing his job as the cupbearer to the King of Persia. But the Lord quickly answered Nehemiah’s prayer by paving the way and providing the resources that would allow him to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.

Although we may not see answers as dramatic and obvious when we pray, the Lord still wants us to present our needs and believe that He’ll respond in a way that furthers His will for our life. There will be times when we can’t perceive any change, but that doesn’t mean God is not working everything for our good. And remember, even when we don’t pray as we should, the Holy Spirit helps our weakness by interceding for us according to God’s will (Rom. 8:26-28).

The Transfiguration

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” (Matthew 17:1-2)

This remarkable transfiguration of Christ was shown to the three disciples so that they could actually “see [Him] coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:28), as He will do someday when He returns to Earth “in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). This would ever afterward be an unforgettable experience that would strengthen the disciples for their critical future ministry.

James would become the first martyr, but his brother, John, would survive to bear the testimony far and wide for almost 70 more years. “And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Peter also wrote of the amazing event: “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:17-18).

It is therefore very significant that the word “transfigured” (Greek metamorphoo) is also applied to Christian believers in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed [read ‘transfigured’] into the same image from glory to glory.” That is, as we behold the glory of Christ in the mirror of the Scriptures, we ourselves are spiritually being metamorphosed into His own image. The marvelous transformation will be completed when He does come again and “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). HMM

Humble Service

Thou therefore endure hard—ness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. —2 Timothy 2:3-4

Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet—not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ….

And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.   GTM105-106

Enable me by your Holy Spirit to make this prayer genuinely mine. Amen.

Problems! Problems!

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. —1 John 4:7

What…is the conclusion of the matter? That problems are the price of progress, that friction is the concomitant of motion, that a live and expanding church will have a certain quota of difficulties as a result of its life and activity. A Spirit-filled church will invite the anger of the enemy.

How then shall we deal with our problems? First, expect them so you will not be taken off guard. Second, realize that every live body of Christians has its troubles, from Christ and His apostles to the present day, so yours are not unique. Third, pour in copious amounts of love, the best lubricant in the world. Love will reduce friction to a minimum and keep the whole body working smoothly and without injury to its parts.

Where does this love come from? The love of God bursts forth from the Holy Spirit in our hearts. TWP113

The same bond which unites believers to Christ, binds them to each other….Those who love Christ, love those who are like Him and those who are beloved by Him….There is unity of design, a common interest in the objects of their pursuits. DTC167-168

Three Crosses—Three Results

2 Corinthians 5:19

That barren hill outside Jerusalem’s wall will not be forgotten. Its name, Golgotha, will always bring a shudder to our mind and heart. There were three crosses on that ugly hill; three lives ended on those cruel instruments of torture and death. One was the Son of God.

The attitude of the one malefactor on the right of Jesus seems portentous and the foreshadowing of the position taken by skeptics through the ages. The word that might well have been mounted on the cross above this man is “rejection.”

The Scripture records: “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t You the Christ? Save Yourself and us!'” (Luke 23:39). Men of this character find it hard to accept anything but the material world. Accept only the things that are tangible and sensate, live for today.

The attitude and demeanor of the criminal to the left of Jesus differed significantly. He shouted above the din, “We receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing amiss.” And then to Jesus he said: “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The word that might well have been mounted on the cross above this man is “realization.”

This man’s values and activities may have been quite like that of the other thief. He makes no boast of goodness but expresses regret and shame. How lovingly the Master replies. His words convey the message of forgiveness and acceptance. Even for those who have lived shamefully, rejected Him openly, there is forgiveness. The realization that Christ was and is the Son of God makes a tremendous difference, not only for the world that is yet to be, but in this present world as well.

On the center cross, in agony and shame, hung our blessed Lord. The sign that might have been placed above this cross is the word “redemption.” This was the atoning Christ who suffered death for every man. By this perfect sacrifice upon the cross, Jesus abolished death for every believer. The Scripture states, “God was reconciling the world to Himself through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:19). That was the purpose for His ignominious suffering and death—it was for our redemption, to atone for our sins and set us free from guilt and death.

May our attitude toward Christ’s suffering and death, be that of the realization of sins forgiven, and faith in a living Lord whose death and resurrection brings us the assurance of redemption and life abundant.

George Nelting, The War Cry