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Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 5:21’

Freed To Be Free

November 15th, 2018

Freedom is both gift and destiny.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“Freed to Be Free.”

Freedom is precious. Across centuries, men have been willing to sacrifice their possessions, positions, and even risk their lives to secure and defend the love of freedom that the Creator placed in our eternal spirit.

America, my native country, was birthed by the courage and sacrifice of people willing to cross oceans for liberty and religious freedom. They released their history and risked their lives in a treacherous journey across oceans to the new world. Such freedom is beyond price. But true liberty always comes at a precious cost. They sought religious freedom. What I write about today is an even greater liberty, spiritual freedom in Christ.

The simplest and most beloved Bible verse is, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV. Familiarity with that verse must not diminish the revolutionary truth of why Jesus died for you and me, as well as all the world. For yours and my disobedience, a sinless sacrifice was required for God to forgive sin and provide lasting redemption.

Jesus alone is sinless; therefore, He alone could become the Father’s acceptable sacrifice. The Apostle Paul’s confident assertion to the Galatians Christians was “You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 NIV. Rejoice that, “Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1 NIV. No ifs, ands, or maybes. Spectacular Truth. But that is only the “what” of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. The more significant truth is “why” Jesus died on Golgotha’s hill. What Jesus did on the Cross is wonderful. Why Jesus chose to die is even more glorious!

The purpose of Calvary is clear – redemption from your past and the promise of a grand and eternal future. “For God made Jesus, Who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV. In the excitement of celebrating such a consequential truth, it is easy to overlook an even more glorious truth. In Christ, spiritual freedom is both gift and destiny.

One aspect of God’s gift redeems your past, and another assures your ongoing spiritual freedom. The liberating truth is this: “It is for freedomthat Christ has set us free.” Paul reminds and warns that freedom does not allow you to live as you please. “You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 NIV

In Christ, you were freed to be free. Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.” John 8:36 MSG. The liberty Jesus purchased on the cross is all encompassing – yesterday, today, and in every tomorrow. But the Bible promises and warns, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be entangled again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 NIV. Selling your freedom and future for the pleasure of a moment is a fool’s deal.

Today I pray for you to be a proponent of Godliness, grace, and liberty.

Christian Communications 2018

Website and archives: allenrandolph.com

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God Makes Life Make Sense

September 11th, 2013

“Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV.

The hurt you feel is not apart from the hope you have and healing you need.

My thoughts and comments today are that “God makes life make sense”

Life isn’t fair; serious disappointment waits for those who expect it to be. Today, September 11, is a stained date on America’s calendar when our stunned nation puzzled how crazed jihadists would rob hearts and homes of more than three thousand lives, guilty of nothing more than going to work that morning. Everything in our national grief cried, “Unfair!”

Unfair; everyone feels that way sometimes. Jesus told a parable about workers in a vineyard who agreed to a proper day’s wage for a full day’s work. Read Matthew 20:1-16 NLT. As the day progressed, other workers were needed and hired. But at the end of the day, the owner of the vineyard said, “I wanted to pay this last man the same as you . . should you be angry because I am kind?” Matthew 20:14 NKJV. “Unfair,” seemed a legitimate complaint! Read Vs. 8-12. See Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT. With which worker did you first identify – the ones who got what they agreed to receive or the ones who received a grace they could not earn? We have more likely and more frequently been the latter. See 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV.

Probably one of the important questions of everyday life is: do you trust God to be fair? When he interceded for God to spare Sodom, Abraham affirmed his trust by a rhetorical question whose answer assumed to be obvious, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV. Of course, God will! He is righteous and cannot do less. And He will always do right by you.

“Unfair!” That’s a familiar exclamation or emotion anyone might say or feel.From a child’s earliest years there seems to be an innate sense of fairness, not so much in evidence when you are the one getting the best deal but certainly when someone else is and you are not. People never seem to outgrow the need to be first, have the most, the best, or the biggest; do we? When you don’t and someone else does – that you think deserves it less than you – your feelings scream, “Unfair!”

In their pain and tears, I have heard many good people say, “Life isn’t fair.” And they had every right to feel that way. The hurt you feel is not apart from the hope you have and the healing you need. A good person struggles with hardships, while a lesser person lives carefree. A hard working person seems not to get a break; another stumbles into unbelievably good fortuneLife isn’t fair. But God is just – every time, all the time. See 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV.

The Psalmist anguished over the incongruity that the wicked prospered yet the righteous suffered. The inequities bewildered him; “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold . . when I saw the prosperity of the wicked . . Till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” Read Psalm 73:1-28 NIV. There is a sanctuary for you where God makes life make sense. One day, the scales of justice are balanced, the wrongs made right, the innocent vindicated, the guilty punished.

My prayer for you today is that you trust in the goodness of a righteous God.

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Love and Forgiveness

March 29th, 2013

“We have redemption through His blood, [and] the forgiveness of sins.” Ephesians 1:7 NKJV.

Without a selfless act of forgiveness, you are imprisoned by an inescapable past.

My thoughts and comments today are about “love and forgiveness.”

Who has not been wronged, whether slightly or severely? And who has not done wrong against God or man? Life is not livable without forgiveness and forgiving; the burden of your wrong, or the wrong of another, eventually becomes too great to bear apart from forgiveness. Without a selfless act of forgiveness, you become imprisoned by an inescapable past. See Mark 11:25 NIV/Colossians 3:13-15 NIV/ Matthew 6:14-15 NIV.

It is not forgiveness with which we struggle; it is love that is our challenge. Love demands more from you. Love keeps no score of wrongs . . bears all things . . endures all things . . love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. With love, sacrifice is less burdensome; inconvenience not worth mention. Forgiveness comes without measurement of wrong or deservedness. The one who chooses to forgive accepts the price and pain of the errors of another.

Good Friday is about immeasurable love. Jesus, who had done no wrong (See 2 Corinthians 5:21), took your sins, accepted your place before the righteousness of God, paid the awful price of your sin, and felt the pain for every sin and wrong you committed or will commit (Matthew 27:46). The worst of which every person is capable was embraced on a cross, the instrument of our Savior’s death.

His cross represents the worst of sins but also the greatest of loves. He forgave you there because of love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17 NIV.

On that cross, your history and destiny were forever changed. “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us . . that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” Read Ephesians 1:7-12 NKJV. No one has to remain as they have been.

It was a Good Friday indeed, because hope was born there for anyone who would believe. Read 1 John 1:9-10 NIV. Author Max Lucado wrote, “Jesus would rather go to Hell for you, than to go to Heaven without you.” What do you do with a God like that? You can’t just dismiss Him. Instead, you humbly bow before Him, accept His forgiveness, and live your life for Him.

“[Christ] presented Himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready . . We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” Romans 5:7-8 MSG. Imagine; God put His life on the line for you!

Recipients of such grace and love, why do we struggle to forgive? Here is the application. You cannot leave the wrongs of another unforgiven, when yours have been so freely and fully forgiven. The Bible says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God in Christ forgave you.” See Ephesians 4:29-32 NKJV. Love is at its best when forgiving.

My prayer for you this day is that you know God’s immeasurable and wondrous love.

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