All it took was a cross.

Who Am I? That question will likely be repeated many times this year. I will try to answer that question with my posting. This blog, in essence, is my journal.

journal

As I discover my identity in Christ, I will write in my journal (this blog).

You, as the reader, will hopefully be challenged, enlightened, or whatever God gives you, when you read each post. I also want to encourage you to comment. There might be something you write about that another reader might be thinking.

Above all, it is my hope and prayer that this post will bring glory to God. Sure, I like when people “like”, comment, or even follow me but all of that is icing on the cake.

God gets all the praise and honor. After all, He did say that if “I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me,” John 12:32


Remember 2017? My posts all had the same format.

The Word. The Worth. The Work.

This structure helped me to explain my thoughts and hopefully, communicate them clearly. I will use the same organization for the Who Am I? posts.


The Word – Colossians 2:13-15

hammer and nails

The Worth – I am alive because of Christ and all it took was the cross.

I was dead in sins. There was no life because of my sinful nature.

But God made me alive! He forgave my sins! Even more, he took the power away from my enemy and nailed it to that cross!!! It is finished!!!

The Work – Who Am I? I am alive! I know that based on what I read in Colossians.

So now, because I am alive, I can start living. No more dead man walking stuff.

I guess this means Jesus nailed it!

 

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Bacon and Eggs

A chicken and a pig were talking one day. They were expressing their joy of living on the farm. Specifically, Farmer Joe’s farm. Having Farmer Joe take care of them was really a joy for these animals. So much so, they decided to throw a big breakfast in the farmer’s honor. Upon reviewing menu options, it was decided that Bacon and Eggs would be served. The chicken said that he was in support of this idea. After realizing what this breakfast would mean, the pig replied to the chicken saying, “You may be involved but I am committed!”

bacon-and-eggs

 

The Word – Committed

The Worth – Does this word scare anybody? People say men are afraid of commitment. As a minister, I talk with couples about marital commitment. My dad told me a long time ago that commitment is the most important aspect of a marriage. Are you committed to your family, your job, your passions?

Did you know that God is committed? How many times does the Bible talk about His grace, forgiveness, mercy, and unfailing love? This blog would take hours to read if I put all those verses in the post. So I am going to narrow it down to two verses.

Click on the verse to read the whole chapter.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God did not do salvation half way. He didn’t just provide enough to barely pass. He was committed! So much that His own son hung on a cross for you and for me. Our sins were paid for by the blood of Jesus. Everything you and I need for life (and even abundant life!) is found in the cross.

God loves us too much to be less than anything other than 100% committed!

The Work – So how is it even possible for me to live for God in return knowing I cannot repay Him?

You can’t. Accept the gift and live for God. Do your best for Him. Daily apply grace and mercy to your situation and keep moving forward. The Holy Spirit is right along side of you. Even after Jesus left this earth, the Holy Spirit was sent so we would not be alone.

God is fully committed. Are you?

commitment-quotes

 

 

It is Finished!!!

It is finished! Frankly, I am glad to be rid of the negative commercials and all the hateful stuff that seemed to surround this election. 

The American people have spoken. We have elected a new president. I hope all you fellow Americans got out to vote. It feels good to vote. I played my part. Freedom is wonderful.

This blog is not about to get political so don’t be concerned. I did, however, have a thought when I saw this map.

2016-electoral-map

***This map is not accurate***

For instance, I live in Wisconsin. After some checking, I found that Wisconsin should be red on a map like this.

So please don’t get picky about certain states. I want you to look at the whole picture.

You see mostly the color red. Red is the color of the Republican candidate. In past elections, there may have been more blue states.


Here is the thought that passed through my brain when I saw this map.

What color does God see when he looks at America? 

No, I am not talking about a certain candidate. I am speaking about a far greater and much more important issue.

Sin. 

In the Old Testament, we have a vivid picture of what God sees when it comes to sin.

Here is a summary from Exodus 12:12-13, 21-23:

12“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord13The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

21Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” Bold emphasis is mine.

passover-door

The Israelites needed the blood to survive that night. If God saw the blood, they were spared. 

Jesus shed his blood on the cross. He cried out “It is finished!”

You and I can now have a covering of blood. We can be washed of our sin!

Again, What color does God see when he looks at you?

On a personal note: Has Jesus covered you with his blood? Are you forgiven by Him?

On a public note: Can we pray for our country to be covered by the blood of Jesus? In fact, not just the United States of America but all the countries of the world. Jesus died once and for all!

 

Divine Transfusion

Yesterday was Yom Kippur. Actually, it started yesterday at sundown and goes through sundown today. There are many details about this Jewish holiday but I won’t (mainly because I don’t know them) explain them here.

Here is the one main thing I want to relay to you today regarding Yom Kippur:

7. During biblical times, Yom Kippur was the only day that a high priest was allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, known as the Holy of Holies.

The reason it is listed as number 7 is because it comes from a list on this website.

This practice of the high priest being allowed into the Holy of Holies originated with Moses and Aaron in the Old Testament. Leviticus 16 describes the process of how Aaron, the high priest, was to enter the Holy of Holies.

tabernacle-diagram

This diagram show the tabernacle that Moses and Aaron would have been using. Between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies is a curtain. It ran from ceiling to floor and was thick. No light would pass through it. Here is one artist’s rendition.

tabernacle-colored

That little room that housed the Ark of the Covenant was completely dark and no one entered into it, ever. Except the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement, which is Yom Kippur. God told Moses that Aaron would die if he entered whenever he wanted to. Now there was a process.

Read Leviticus 16 to get the full picture. I will sum it up for you.

One time a year, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies to receive forgiveness for the sins of the people of Israel. He could only do this if he sprinkles the blood of the sacrifice on the Ark before he comes into the room. Only after the blood was applied could the priest seek God.

Without the blood, he would die. Literally.

Now transition with me to the present. Here is the state we are in right now.

Without the blood, we would die. Figuratively. Our sin has separated us from God. It is like that huge thick curtain is blocking our way to God. And if not dealt with, we are dead. Our spirits are dead to God without the blood and our bodies will die someday as well.

What we need is a Divine Transfusion. Our blood is tainted. It is sick, corrupt. We need the blood of Jesus to flow in our veins.

One of my favorite verses come from Hebrews 9. Verse 12 states the following truth;

“He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

I am going to write more about this next week so I leave you with this tidbit:

Today can be your Day of Atonement. You can receive your Divine Transfusion.

his-blood

If you already have been cleansed by His blood, rejoice and be thankful for His grace and mercy in your life today.

See you next week!

AB+ and 44

Today is my birthday. It was a pretty decent day. I had some great family time. Work was enjoyable. Had lunch with my wife which is rare so that was pretty awesome.

happy-birthday-meme

Now I am writing this blog. I have not written since late July. Taking time off was planned but not this much time. This blog has been good for me. It helps me to process what I read in God’s word and what I hear God telling me.

Back to the birthday. I am 44 today. Is that middle-age? Whatever 44 is called, so be it.

My life began 44 years ago. At some point, I became born again. For me, there is not a specific date that I can call my “spiritual” birthday. But I know it has happened. On that day, the blood of Jesus washed my sins away.

The blood of Jesus is an interesting thing. Somewhat morbid if you ask me. And then the bible says that though my sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. How can blood do this? What is so important about the blood that Jesus spilled while hanging on the cross? How can I be forgiven? More about this in upcoming blogs.

My blood type is AB+. In my adulthood, I have donated about 3 gallons. Take a look at this chart.

blood-types-red1

According to the chart, only AB+ people can receive my blood. On the other hand, I can receive from any type. Good deal for me.

Again, according to the chart, Jesus must have been O- because anyone can receive His blood.

He is the universal donor. Because today is my birthday, I have been thinking a lot about my life and all the it encompasses.

Of this I am sure: Jesus is my life. His blood purifies me from sin. His blood gives me victory over sin. His blood empowers to live like He wants me to live.

As I stated, I will explore the Blood over the next few posts.

Can I leave you with two questions though?

Do you remember your spiritual birthday?

If not, would you like to have one?