Do you believe in magic?

When my kids were young (think 4 or 5 years old), I could do magic tricks easily. Pulling quarters out of ears or making a penny disappear were standard. Throw in a few cards tricks and they would be amazed.

magic-tricks

As an adult, I enjoy a good magic show. It amazes me how these magicians can make big things disappear! How does a helicopter vanish into thin air!?!?

But all of that is just slight-of-hand or misdirection. The helicopter does not really vanish.

The Word – Magic

The Worth – God is magic. No, not Harry Potter magic or Gandalf the Grey type stuff. He really can make stuff disappear!

magician

If you have not read the post “What do you want?”, please click here. It will give you a context that will make more sense when reading this post.

In that post, I had written a line near the end;

He took action so we can take action.

Let me unpack that a little more.

2 Corinthians 5:21 states, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

John 1 tells us to “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

This is God doing magic! He took away the sin of the world. He made it disappear! The action that God took was to make it possible for us to be sinless. We now can become the righteousness of God!

He loved us so much and was longing to be connected with us again. He wanted us so much that he took His son and used Him to take away our sin.

When I was 16, I got my first speeding ticket. This was 1989 so it probably was not too much of a fine. It was more embarrassing because I had three friends in the car with me!

I broke the law and deserved to pay the fine. But then my dad performed a magic trick.

He told that he would pay for the first one. He paid my ticket. That was both merciful and gracious all in one simple act.

God did a magic trick 2000 years ago. Jesus became our sin. See Isaiah 53:6

cross bridge

The Work – This part takes faith.

Understand that Jesus is the way back to God.

Jesus also took our sin upon Him.

Our part is to accept that payment. Just like my dad paying my speeding fine, we can accept this gift.

We can now live our life because of what has already been done.

Stop trying to earn salvation and enjoy the magic that God has performed!

Live to reflect your righteousness!

After all, God is not going to bring back your sin.

You are free. Go out and live it!

 

Advertisements

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

 

 

Another aspect of Faith

Quick summary of last week:

We all have faith in something. We can choose to put that faith into anything we desire. Jesus, being the Ultimate of Everything, is the highest location for our faith. Our Altitude of Faith should be in Jesus.

Jesus. Isn’t He awesome? Because he is above all else, he rightly deserves our honor, trust, respect, love and yes, our faith. We may know that in our heads but how does that faith translate to our hands? How does having faith in Jesus play out in everyday life? Back to I John 5. I copied the first three verses here.

1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,”

We can see the Altitude of Faith in the first verse, “that Jesus is the Christ.”

The last part of verse 1 and verses 2-3 give us the Attitude of Faith.

Attitude

“manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind”

What is your disposition towards faith in Jesus? Do I have positive tendencies with regards to faith? My manner is evident of my faith, right?

The word love is used 5 times in these 3 verses. Let that be a clue as to what our attitude should be. Here is a little example.

When I went to North Central University, it was actually called North Central Bible College. Among my friends, there was one in particular that I remember. He was rather intense. We would be talking about a subject and he would often times use the phrase, “Chapter and verse.” He was asking for proof for my ideas. It was one thing to talk about something we had heard in class or Chapel. This guy always wanted to know what the Bible said. He wanted proof.

Remember, love is a clue since the author used it so many times in a short span.

While the object of our faith (altitude) is Jesus, the proof of that faith (attitude) is our action or love.

My dad often said to me, “You will always have time to do what you want to do.”

I have faith in Jesus. He was a perfect man. He was killed, buried and then raised from the dead. His sacrifice is enough to wash me from my sins. My life is now completely in His hands. I am free in Christ!

All of that is my Altitude of Faith.

I put others before myself. I serve at home and at church. I refrain from swearing or crude language. Drunkenness is not an issue. When the gossip starts, I leave the room. I smile even when I am having a bad day. I invite people to church. I sing on the worship team. I try to be the best version of me that I can.

All of this is my Attitude of Faith.

Go back and read those three verses again. Our actions stem from God doing something that we could not. I DO NOT do good things to get something from God. I do these things because He has already done something for me.

This post is not about doing good works to get saved. But rather, it is about doing good works because you are saved.