I love to drink “Krystal Lite.” I love the way it tastes. I will, at times, take a tube of Krystal lite with me when I leave the house.
Krystal lite tastes good… BUT, it can be TOUGH to clean up. I don’t know what is in the stuff, but it can be tough to clean.
Have you ever had a stain that was tough to clean? Maybe even you had something that nothing would clean up? It does happen.
The same can happen in our lives. There are times that we can think that we simply cannot be forgiven of a certain sin. But, the Bible says otherwise. In Hebrews 9, the Bible says, “For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleanings of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Think about that verse…. the writer is speaking of the power that is in the blood of Christ. He’s referring to the Old Testament sacrificial system when he talks about cleansing things with the blood of goats and bulls. In the Old Testament, the great High Priest would slay a lamb every year and he would take the blood of that lamb and sprinkle it on the mercy seat in the temple and in doing so, he made atonement for the sins of the people for one more year.
The writer is saying that if the blood of goats and lambs can do that, how much more can the blood of Christ do?
There is NOTHING the blood of Christ won’t clean.
It doesn’t matter what sin you have committed, the blood of Christ will cover it. The blood of Christ will clean it. You CAN be forgiven.
There is an old hymn we sing that goes;
“Would you be free from the burden of sin,
There’s power in the blood.
Power in the blood.
Would you ‘o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood!”
That old song speaks of the power of the blood of Christ to forgive us our sins. There is NOTHING the blood of Christ can’t cleanse.
Today, whatever sin is in your heart… whatever sin you’ve been reluctant to confess… thinking God can’t possibly forgive you for that sin… confess it to the Lord and Jesus WILL forgive you.
“That’s not fair!”
Or, “it’s not my fault!”
We hear those expressions often today. Fewer and fewer people are willing to take responsibility for their actions. It’s easier to blame someone else.
Years ago, I was Coaching girls softball. They were like 5th and 6th graders. After a game one night,I over-heard a Parent from the other team trying to console her daughter for an error she made that night. She said, “That’s ok baby; you were not mentally prepared to play tonight.”
Not “mentally prepared?”… Come on.. this isn’t the World Series or the Final Four… it’s girls softball. The kid made an error… tell her to do better next time but don’t blame it on not being “mentally prepared.”
In Ezekiel 18:4, the Lord says, “The soul who sins will die.” In other words, if a person sins… we aren’t going to blame their parents or their environment etc…. they are responsible… they made the mistake… they sinned.. we can’t point fingers at someone else to deflect responsibility… The soul who sins is the one who will die.
Do you have a tendency to want blame your parents or your environment or maybe your ex-husband or ex-wife for your mistakes? Friend, each one of us is responsible for our lives. We made the mistake, not someone else. We must ake responsibility.
It may be that you are going through some adversity… some tough times… you can find all kinds of people to blame but that does no good. Take responsibility.
Someone has said that, “We all, ultimately, sit down to a banquet of consequences.” We are reach responsible for our decisions.
As Ezekiel said, “The soul who sins is the one who will die.”
Why should a person serve Jesus Christ? Why should a person live for the Lord? Lots of people are asking that question. When you talk with them or try to witness to them, they may well ask, “Why should I serve Jesus?”
The reason is because Jesus Christ died for the sins of mankind and is superior to any other person and religious group. The writer of Hebrews affirms that.
The book of Hebrews is about the superiority of Jesus. Jesus is greater than anyone or anything. Jesus is even greater than Moses or the Great High Priest in the Old Testament. Hebrews 8:1 affirms this. The text reads, “Now the main point of what has been said is this; we have such a high priest who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.”
The writer is saying that Jesus is greater than the High Priest in the Old Testament. Jesus has taken His seat at the right hand of God.
Think about that… It may be that you feel like you know some people with some pretty good connections… You may feel like you could make one phone call and get some things done. And, it’s nice to know that we know some people on earth in influential places.
But Jesus is at the right hand of God… You can’t get any more influential than that. Jesus is at the right hand of God. And, you and I are free to talk to Him any time. That is why we should serve Christ.
Today, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior is seated at the right hand of God and the Bible says he makes intercession for us. So, whatever is on your heart… whatever you need guidance about.. ask Jesus… He is available 24/7/365 and He is sitting right beside Jehovah God, maker of heaven and earth.
Have you ever been jealous of someone? Most of us have, at some point in our lives, been jealous. In school, maybe we were jealous because a boy was dating a girl that we liked or vice-versa. Or, maybe we were jealous of a school’s football team or basketball team etc… because they were more successful than our team.
As adults, we may be jealous of the way someone lives… perhaps they make more money than we do and have a nicer home etc… We can be jealous of that.
The dictionary defines jealousy as “resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage.”
Proverbs 27:4 says, “Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, But who can stand before jealousy?”
The idea behind that verse is that although anger and wrath are STRONG emotions, jealousy may be stronger. Often, jealousy grows out of insecurity. We are not personally content… we are unhappy with our lot in life… and we see someone doing better than us and we are jealous. The cure for jealousy is to be content and satisfied in who we are in Jesus.
Do you struggle with jealousy? Maybe you are dealing with it right now… maybe there is a neighbor or someone at work that we are jealous of. Jealousy is a strong emotion… and when we experience it, the only way we can whip it is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ask the Lord to help you be content with what you have and not be consumed with jealousy.
In Genesis 22 there is a story about a time when God told Abraham, to take his son, his only son, Isaac and he was to go to Mt. Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. This was a test to see if Abraham loved God or Isaac more. So, Abraham and Isaac set out for Mt. Moriah. Abraham put Isaac on the altar and was about to take his life when God spoke to Him. God told him to look and there… not from the altar… was a ram. God had provided a ram at Abraham’s altar.
Many times I have prayed, “Lord, I need a ram for my altar…” And, some times at the last minute, God provides a ram for our altar.
When money is tight… when we’ve been praying but seemingly no answers are coming… we can begin to question God.
“God, are you there?”
“God, do you hear my prayers?”
“God, it’s me… you know my car note is coming up… Lord I need help.”
I’ve been through those times and many of you have as well. And there are times when you wonder where the ram is going to come from on Abraham’s altar. And when those times comes, the Lord has prompted me to look back and see and remember how God has provided.
Psalm 107 does that. The Psalmist goes back and remembers how God took care of Israel. He says; “He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered. Egypt was glad when they left, because dread of Israel had fallen on them.He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night. They asked, and he brought them quail; he fed them well with the bread of heaven….”
The Psalmist is reminding Himself that God was faithful to Israel. In the past, God had provided and just as He had in the past, God would continue to provide.
Are you going through a time when your money is tight? Are you trying to believe but at times you doubt? I understand and I’ve been there.
But look back and remember how God has provided. God does provide for us. That doesn’t mean a trip around the world… but basic provision.
In the past, when we’ve had a need, God had a plan. When I’ve needed a job, something opened up. And if you look back on your past, I’m sure God’s done the same. Or, if he hasn’t given you a job, he’s provided for you in some other way.
If you are struggling… anxious about the future… look back and you can see how God has provided in the past and He will it today and in the future.
God always provides a ram for Abraham’s altar.
There is a story about a man who had worked for a company for thirty years. A job came open that would be a promotion for him. He applied but the job was given to a guy who had been with the company less time.
The man was furious! He went to see the man who made the decision and said, lI have thirty years of experience! The guy you hired as less experience than me!”
The man who made the hire said, “You don’t have thirty years experience. You have three years of experience ten times over.”
The man was saying that the guy hadn’t grown as an employee. What about you? Are you growing as a Christian?
In Hebrews 5:12, the writer says to his readers, “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.”
These people had been Christians long enough that they should have matured to the point of being teachers. Instead they needed someone to teach them. The same can happen with us.
Are you growing? Are you reading your Bible? Are you learning more about God’s word? If you love something or someone you want to learn about it or spend time with that person. If we love the Lord we will want to spend time in His word and spend time with the Lord.
If you aren’t reading your Bible, I encourage you to start today and grow in the Lord.
Have you ever needed a second chance Have you ever needed one more try at something? Most of us have… and when we do, we come be apprehensive to ask for a second chance. If we messed up the first time, we aren’t sure we will get another chance.
At times, maybe we don’t. We are dealing with people and people are not always forgiving.
But, the Lord is. Our Lord is always willing to forgive us.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”
Notice the writer says, “Let us therefore draw near with CONFIDENCE to the throne of grace.” When you are asking for a second chance, do you approach someone with confidence or, do we approach someone apprehensively? Most of the time, we are uncertain. We aren’t sure if this person will grant us a second chance. So, we may be timid.
But this verse says we can approach the Lord confidently… And when we do, we receive mercy and grace.
Today, if have you messed up… if you have flopped in life… made a bad decision… you can approach the Lord confidently knowing you will receive grace and mercy. Jesus is willing to forgive us… If we will confess our sins.
You may say, “Does it matter what we’ve done?”
No it doesn’t. Jesus forgives. Humans may not forgive but Jesus does. If we approach Him humbly and confess our sins, He will forgive us.
“Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of the grace that we may find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus will and does forgive!