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!

 

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What’s in the box?

One of my favorite things to do is to open a new board game. Just taking the lid off the box is fun! All the pieces, bits, dice, cards, tiles, etc. are just so cool! This unveiling does not happen a whole lot but when I can, I thoroughly enjoy it.

game-shelf

P.S. That is not my game library! =-(

Dive in with me now as I unbox Divine Transfusion. Click here to read the full post.


Recap:

In the Old Testament, the high priest could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year. To do so, he had to sacrifice an animal and sprinkle the blood before him. He would die without the blood.

Jesus, as we read in Hebrews, used his own blood and entered the Holy of Holies. He was both high priest and sacrifice. This he did once and never has it been needed to be done again. See Hebrews 4-10.

As I have asked myself and also in my blogs…

So what? What does this mean for me, right now, in 2016?

To answer that all-encompassing question, we need to open the box.

I will begin by citing a verse from Matthew 27. Verse 51 reads,

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split.” NIV

The context is that Jesus has been crucified. He is hanging on a cross just outside Jerusalem. It is about 3:00 in the afternoon. After some final words, he finally dies. Matthew records that at that same time, the curtain was torn. I add the King James Version just because I like the language better for this verse.

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” KJV

Behold! The curtain was ripped, torn, rent so we could now see God.

So we could now see God. Yep, the box has been opened.

I don’t really know what it looked like but who cares because now we can see God. Yes, God has opened the way for us. Notice how the veil was rent from top to bottom?

God did it because we could not. All this is possible because of the blood. No, not animal blood but the Blood of Jesus.

We now have access to God. Don’t bother with second best. Go directly to God with your life. All your problems and issues can be covered in the blood. You life won’t instantly turn perfect and peachy but you won’t walk alone. This is a greatly encouraging fact.

One more verse to rock your world. Hebrews again. Hebrews is a fantastic book.

Chapter 4, verses 14-16:

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Underline is mine.

So be bold today and go directly to God. No worries, he will welcome you with open arms.

And that box is better than any board game I will ever play.

board-game-box

Something familiar yet strange again.

So I was thinking…pondering something today. A certain verse came to my mind this morning and it has been bouncing around all day.

But I don’t really understand it. It boggles my mind. I made scrambled eggs for my kids this morning. It feels like my mind is just like those eggs, all scrambled.

This verse is one that I have known for as long as I can remember. But today, I felt like it was a new verse, one I had never heard before. It seemed to be so full of promise and hope.

All I need is for God to open my eyes (Psalm 119) to the depth and richness of His words. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide me into all truth (John 16).

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Words so engrained yet they barely register. If I am ‘in’ Christ, I am new. I didn’t feel old. Maybe not old but dead.

Yes, that’s it. Dead. No purpose. No sense or reason to live. Sin had it’s way with me. I was dead but now I alive, new!

All because of Christ. Everything is a result of what He has done. Everything. He is the vine and I am a branch.

I can’t do anything without Him.

I don’t own anything without Him.

I am nothing. Old.

BUT WITH HIM…I can do anything.

I have anything and everything I need. He is my all and everything.

 

Wow…”The old has gone, the new is here!”

Exiled! part 4

Have you ever broken a promise? I have. And other people have as well. In a word, it is disappointing.

God never breaks His promises. And that is awesome.

  • The last three weeks have seen the Israelites being exiled, commanded to stay and settle in Babylon all because God has a plan for them.
  • You can click here to read Exiled! part 3. It might be good to catch up. =-)

So now, in the last post of this series, we will see the best part about the Israelites being exiled.

Let’s look at a couple of verses to start things rolling. Jeremiah 29:12-14 reads, 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares theLord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

God is making some promises in these verses. In fact, I will copy these verses again but I will add some underlines this time.

12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.b I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares theLord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

When I read this, it seems very obvious to me that God has a plan. I feel like He always has a plan. But in that plan, there is always our part. We have to obey God in order for His plan to succeed. Even though God is all-powerful and could do anything He wants to, He has chosen for us to be a vital portion of His plan.

He needs us.

He set it up so we could play our part and both of us win. A true win-win situation.

Just for fun, here are those verses one more time. This time, however, I have put our part in bold letters.

12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.b I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares theLord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

  1. Call
  2. Pray
  3. Seek
  4. Find

God wants us to give Him everything. Our whole heart. Jesus said the same thing in the New Testament.

If we call, pray, and seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.

And that is just one of the many promises that God has never broken.

Divine Deluge!

“Oh the weather outside is frightful…” Actually, it has been raining a lot here in Green Bay. We are truly wondering if we will have a white Christmas.

Monday morning, I was driving to work. At a particular stop light, I normally turn left. However, I could not turn left because the road was closed. There was a police car and some orange barricades. As I drove straight, I looked to see why the road was shut down. Flooding. There was a 40-foot section of road that was covered in water. I just had to go a few extra blocks out of my way to get to the Olive Garden.

Here is the ironic part. I was listening to the worship song, “Open Up the Heavens.” One of the lines in the song says, “Open up the floodgates. A mighty river. Flowing from your heart…”

So that song is playing and I am seeing some flooding happening right before my eyes. That whole scenario got my brain thinking.

flash_floods

Historically, floods have always been associated with destruction. Noah and the ark ring a bell? I lived in Minneapolis, MN during the flooding of 1993. I still recall some of those images. In 2013, my wife and I were in New Orleans. On a tour of the city, we saw flood damage from Hurricane Katrina. You can probably recall some flooding in the recent past as well. Here is a funny picture from Alberta, Canada.

CALGARY, ALBERTA.:  JUNE 21, 2013 --  Blake Wartenbe catches his wife Desiree as she jumps over flowing water in a flooded downtown Calgary, Alberta on June 21, 2013. For City story by ? (Leah Hennel/Calgary Herald)

CALGARY, ALBERTA.: JUNE 21, 2013 — Blake Wartenbe catches his wife Desiree as she jumps over flowing water in a flooded downtown Calgary, Alberta on June 21, 2013. For City story by ? (Leah Hennel/Calgary Herald)

Here are two observations of mine:

  1. Flooding will cause diversion. You may have to travel a different path due to road conditions.
  2. Flooding will cause destruction.  There is always cleanup after a flood.

 

Let’s look at a flood from a different perspective now, not a historical one.

Flooding can be a good thing when a spiritual perspective is adopted. Think about God’s heart for a moment. Can you fathom how much love it contains? Is there a limit to the grace and mercy of the Almighty? What levy is going to hold it all back? When God decides to pour out His spirit, nothing can stop. It will go where it pleases and do what it wants. Spiritual flooding is a good thing. Let’s look at those two items again.

  1. Flooding will cause diversion. In my sin, I need to be diverted now and then. Sometimes, I don’t see the end result but God does. He loves me too much for me to go down that road. A flooding of God’s spirit can divert me from sin. I like that.
  2. Flooding will cause destruction. Every time I choose something other than God, I am building my own kingdom. Ultimately, my kingdom will end in ruin. A great crash is coming. God’s flooding can destroy the works that I am trying to do. This is a good thing. Now, with my ugly excuses for a kingdom cleared away, God can begin building HIS Kingdom in my life. The destruction was necessary. Rebuilding the new requires destruction of the old.

 

If you like a challenge, let me set one out for you.

For the next week, ask God to flood your life.

Ask Him to fill your heart with extra compassion during this particular season.

Ask Him to break your heart for the lost souls around you.

Ask Him to cleanse your heart from all sin.

Ask Him to prepare your heart for great and mighty things to come.

Go ahead and ask for a flood. But be careful because He may just do it.