Jesus Christ

Where Did You Meet…

We all have a story of how we met our closest friend, our significant other, a distant relative, or maybe even a favorite pet. Do you remember the details? Can you still picture it as though it happened just yesterday?

Did you see them several times before you actually met? Did you hear someone else say their name? Or maybe you read their name on an office door, maybe even on a name tag or badge. Thinking back on that day, do you remember their clothing, their cologne or perfume? Did you meet them by chance or did you purposely start a conversation?

These are just a few of the details and questions that come to my own mind. Whether you remember the smallest details or not, you usually remember the place or setting in which you met. In an office, on the street, in the market, at work, or at church? These are common places to many meetings.

My question for you is this: Do you remember where in scripture you met Jesus? Do you remember the sermon, the message, the song, or the teaching? Where in His Word did you meet Him? Now, let us go back to the second paragraph and ask some very similar questions with Christ as the subject. Did you see Him in others a few times before you met Him yourself? Did you hear others speak His name? Did you read His name and wonder? Did you purposely meet Him? Maybe you just meant to get some information on Him and ended up meeting Him unexpectedly.

I met Jesus in the twenty fourth chapter of Matthew. I had heard about Him and learned about Him from the time I was a small child. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I met Him for myself. When I met Him in His word, He was at the Mount of Olives telling His disciples what would happen at the time of the end. He gave a detailed, passionate prophecy. It sounded so much like the world I live in. I then thought “how wonderful that Jesus was seeing a place and time where He would meet me, and probably many others, in His word”. Since then I have realized the place, time, setting, details, or circumstance did not hold as much value as the simple fact that we met and I accepted Him as my Savior.

It does not matter which sermon led you to the Savior, Jesus Christ, as long as you accept Him. The songs that were sang are now of little consequence, a minor detail in a major event. I am not trying to downplay sermons or songs or words or prayers, they all play a very important, vital part. Yet, nothing compares to the moment of salvation, the perfect work of Christ being made manifest in the life of a believer. It is of little importance where each of us met Jesus, me in the book of Matthew, another in the book of John, one in the book of second Peter, and another in the book of the Revelation, as long as we met Him and accepted Him as Savior. The one common ground we have is this, we all meet Him at the cross.

Ga:2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

There was a time, as a sinner, we drove those spikes into His flesh. The sin of man put Christ on the cross. His work defeated sin once and for all, for everyone that will accept Him as Savior. Once you come to the cross by His blood, our old man is crucified to the cross with Him. No longer are we guilty, for it is not we who live from the moment we are saved, it is He that lives within us! There at the cross, it was He who loved me, it was He that loved you. He gave himself for us. If you have not yet met Jesus, He can be found anytime, anyplace. You can arrange that meeting at once, just simply reach out to Him in prayer, in faith believing, confess your sin and ask Him into your heart, accept His atoning blood to cover your sin, and you too can have a time and place, where you met the Savior. Glory to His name!

Down at the cross where my Savior died,
Down where for cleansing from sin I cried,
There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His Name!

Glory to His Name,
Glory to His Name:
There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His Name!

Love without rejection

If you have spent any amount of time reading and understanding the Bible, is there any doubt the most important theme is love? Not our love, but His love. Too often we think carnally, we think worldly, we think about ourselves first. We consider our love.

Our love is secondary. His love is first, His love is greatest. It is His love that surpasses our understanding, exceeds our expectations, and gives more abundantly than we can reason. His love stretches the span of time, generation after generation, reaching from the beginning of time throughout eternity.

The love we have to offer is measured by our time, which is not infinite. Our love reaches, but within bounds. When we offer love, it is sometimes with measure or restriction. Often, we love with condition. Unfortunately, we also fail to offer love out of fear or rejection. It is here where the love of God shines brightest. His love knows no fear. His love was given, poured out from the cross at Calvary.

Today His love is still calling out to “whosoever will”, any who will accept it. His love still beckons to show its strength, breaking the strongholds of sin, mending the broken-hearted, cleansing away all unrighteousness. There is no love like God’s love. No other love can do, and no other love will do, what God’s love can.

Why do I love God? I love Him because He first loved me.

1st John:4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.

He loved me when I was not worthy of His love. He loved me when there was no reason to love me. He loved me despite who I was, and all that I had done. Here is a small nugget of truth: Because He loved me first, there was no fear of being rejected by Him, because He died for me there was no doubt of how much He loves me. He has shown His love for me through Jesus, because He loved me first, all that was needed on my part was to accept His love.

It is because of His love that I submit myself to Him, His Word, and His Spirit. All that I am or will be, all that I do or will accomplish is only because of His love.

He has not only done this for me, He has done this for all who came before me and after me. The best news is this: He has also done this for you! If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, His love is there and all it takes is your acceptance. The greater your sin, the greater His grace, and the greater His love is. It is my sincere hope and prayer, if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, that you will not let this day pass without considering and accepting His love for you. Today is the day of salvation, there is no promise of tomorrow. Let the love of God give you life, eternally. He is calling, will you answer?

Author and Finisher

It is a certainty that we will have trials and tribulations in this life. The unfortunate consequence is they are not easy to endure and often vary in length and difficulty. The upside is that, by our faith in Jesus Christ, through these times of trouble we are able to obtain reward far greater than gold, an everlasting reward. There is a saying: “No one said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it”, which is a perfect analogy.

Are you easily persuaded the fight is not worth it? Do you stand strong even when it seems to be only you standing? Do you grow stronger with each battle? Do you look back upon past trials which became victories for strength, confidence, and better understanding? Why must we encounter these times and situations that seem impossible, insurmountable, and so unfair?

We endure such things so that God is glorified. One of the greatest things we can do is sing the praises of God. Only by Him are we able to overcome. He wants to show that His grace is more than sufficient, His power is greater, His love is stronger than any adversity or adversary we may face.

Hebrews:12:2: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus is the author of our faith. In Him is our beginning. Jesus knows what you need before you ask, He has set your path before you. He knows your struggles. Not only is He the author of your faith, He is the finisher! He has not started something that He will not finish. What seems to be a great struggle to us has already been declared a victory by Him. Our paths in this world will not be tread by us alone, for He is the Friend that is closer than a brother. He will not leave nor forsake us. He does not know defeat. His death at Calvary appeared to be a defeat, but worked a victory that will never be quenched, an everlasting victory. We too must take up our burdens, endure our trials, and look forward with joy, for we too, as children of the living God, have been assured the same victory. When the trials come, and they will, smile knowing they are temporary, yet the reward is eternal and He is with you every step of the way. To Jesus be the glory, for He is truly worthy!

Sufficient

The following verse has been on my mind for several days and is my favorite verse. The verse is found in 2nd Corinthians 12:9: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. This verse was a topic in one of the daily devotionals I read, which led to this writing.

The first part really finds a home in my and every other Christian’s heart. “My grace is sufficient for thee”. These words spoken to Paul about two thousand years ago have echoed through the ages and are as strong today as the time they were spoken. His grace is sufficient for me, for you, and for all those who will call upon Jesus to be their Savior. That is grace on a scale our frail minds cannot fully understand. I know how much sin His grace covered and still covers for me and it has been multiplied by all those who know Jesus as Lord. Amazing grace indeed!

Then we see the next part which says “for My strength is made perfect in weakness”. Do we think about His strength? We as humans are weak. When we, in our weakness, find ways to quit, give up, or give in, He gives us strength, hope, peace, love, joy, and determination. When we find ourselves at the brink of defeat, He declares we are “more than conquerors”. We do not do that of ourselves, we should not take credit for what He does. It is Jesus that has allowed us the strength to accomplish all things to His glory. Even in, what we perceive as, the weakness which is death, His victory is made perfect in that we move from this life to eternal life. How perfect is His strength!

This life is full of trouble. This world is full of distress and worry. Everyone comes to a point, more than once, where going on seems too hard. According to this verse we should begin to glory in these things. In this kind of weakness, Jesus shows up and with His strength we move on. We do not move on of ourselves, we move on that He be glorified. What we cannot do ourselves He will do for us. Let us glorify Him, for He is the way. It is during these times the power of Christ is upon us. As we accomplish those things we thought we could not, as we do those things we do not want to do, it is His power that is upon us. He is always showing us that His grace, strength, and power are more than sufficient, not only for me but all those who call Jesus Christ their Lord.  To Jesus be the glory, for He is worthy!