Do you ever think no one loves you? Do you ever think no one cares? This world can be a cold place and at times, it may feel like no one cares but, Jesus Christ does. Jesus justified us before the Lord. Let me explain how Jesus did it.
We are all sinners. The Bible says we come into the world as sinners (Rom. 3:23). Because of our sin, we are separated from God. And, because we are separated from God, man is not happy… man is searching for meaning.
So, how can man be right with God? Throughout history, man has tried to build altars and make sacrifices to God. But that doesn’t work.
Man has tried to live a good, moral life. But that doesn’t work. Man simply can’t be good enough to be right with God.
So, how can man be right with God? From man’s side, there is nothing he can do. Our loving heavenly Father knew that. God knew that man is a sinner and a sacrifice needed to be made. So, from the beginning of time, God planned to send His Son into the world to make a sacrifice for man’s sin. So, God sent Jesus and Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Romans 3:28 says, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” “Man is justified by faith…” That means that Jesus took the punishment that we should have received. All of our sins were placed on His body and paid the debt we couldn’t pay.
When man accepts by faith, what Jesus did on the cross, man’s sins are forgiven. At that point, man is now justified before God. The word “justified” gives us the doctrine of “justification” which means we are now right with God.
We couldn’t justify ourselves. There was nothing we could do to be right before God. But Jesus’ death on the cross, justified us before the Lord.
Today, give praise to God and give thanks for Jesus who justified us before God!
Last night I had the privilege of officiating a wedding ceremony in Ball Ground, Ga. The wedding went well and I hung around to do the blessing at the reception. I was seated with a man who played football in the NFL and his wife. They had been married three years. We talked about his playing days, etc.
At some point, the subject of religion came up and the man said he was raised Roman Catholic. I asked his wife what church she attended and she said, “Well, I was Catholic. But now I attend Northpoint.” Northpoint is a non-denominational church founded by Andy Stanley. It’s located in Alpharetta, Ga.
I commended both of them on attending and then the man said, “It’s not about religion… it’s about (and with his hand he made a vertical motion meaning up and down).” I agreed with him.
Then he said, “I tell my kids to go somewhere. I don’t care where… just go..”
Think about his statement… “it’s not about religion…” He’s right; it’s not about religion.. it’s about a relationship with Christ.
What about you? Where do you attend worship?
You may reply, “Well, I’m a believer but I’m not into religion.” I hear you… I’m not into religion either. But I am into Jesus.
Someone else may say, “Well… I believe… but I got hurt in church and I don’t attend anymore.”
Again, I hear you and I share your pain. I’ve gotten hurt before.. but, Holli and I are attending another church that has allowed us to heal.
Today is Sunday… a day of worship. I encourage you, to find a church and worship. You need to worship. You need to take an hour out of the one-hundred-and-sixty-eight the Lord gives us and slow your heart-rate down and worship.
God made us… God knows our needs.
Don’t get hung up on religion. It’s not about religion… It’s about a relationship with Jesus Christ, Savior of the World.
Worship Jesus today
An atheist is a person who doesn’t believe that God exists. I’ve had conversations via the internet and face-to-face with a few people who are atheists. When I ask them why they don’t believe in God, some will say that science can’t prove God exists. For the atheist, science is God.
Ok, I will grant that as far as I know, science cannot prove that God exists. There is no scientific formula that can be used to explain God. But, just because no scientific formula exists to explain God, doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist.
Romans 1:20 says, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
Paul is saying that since the beginning of time, people have been able to see that God exists. Paul says, “…people have seen the earth and sky… Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
Paul is saying that a person can know God exists simply by looking at nature.
If you have ever seen a sunrise over the gulf or over a lake, it is beautiful and tells us of the glory of God.
If you’ve seen fall foliage, it is a beautiful reminder of the glory of God.
I’m not a hunter but, I can imagine that if you are sitting in a deer stand and watch the sun-rise, you can see the glory of God.
If you love flowers, you can see the glory of God in a rose or an azalea or other flowers.
I grew up on a farm… a few years ago, Holli and I were driving down a road and saw a pasture of beautiful green grass and holstein cows were lying in it. I stopped and took a picture. It was a pretty scene.
If you are a baseball coach, you can look at your field that is freshly striped and ready for a game.. and it can be a beautiful site.
So, all of creation is a reminder that God exists. Today, as you observe God’s creation, give praise to God. You may have questions about faith… but there shouldn’t be any questions about the fact that God exists. There is too much evidence in nature to ignore it.
In our local paper, there is a section known as the “truth ‘o meter.” The purpose of the “truth ‘o meter” is to take statements maid by politicians and analyze them. You are putting that statement through the “truth ‘o meter” to determine if it is accurate. It is sad that the need for a “truth ‘o meter” even exists.
Trust… it is a core character value. If you can’t trust someone, you will have a difficult time doing business with them. In marriage, we must be able to trust our spouse. In business, we must be able to trust our employees and partners. In church, we must be able to trust our staff and our fellow members.
Proverbs 19:5 says, “A false witness will not go unpunished, nor will a liar escape.”
This verse speaks to the importance of honesty. I VALUE honesty. Growing up, it was drilled into me to be honest or “straight” with people.
But honesty and integrity are sorely lacking today. We watch the news and a politician can be asked a question and… they don’t answer it. They “pivot” to something else. Or, if they do answer it, they will “spin” it to make it sound better.
One of the Ten Commandments states, “Thou shall not lie.”
We should be people of honesty and integrity.
When someone takes the stand as a “witness” in a court case, they are told to place their hand on the Bible and they repeat the oath, “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me God.” If they fail to do that, they are guilty of perjury.
Today, let’s not be guilty of perjury. Let’s be honest.
(This is another installment in the “bare my soul” posts… Hopefully the Lord uses this to help someone.)
In the last fourteen years, I’ve had a few tough situations occur. In each of those, there were people involved who I’ve felt for some time, mistreated me. And for fourteen years, I would gladly tell someone how I had been mistreated.
But in recent weeks, the Lord has convicted me. Yes, some things happened and yes, some people were part of those things. But, I am responsible for my mistakes… not someone else. I made some bad choices.
But it’s easy to blame others. It’s easy to say “if so and so hadn’t hurt me…” That makes you feel better but, it does no good. I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that Gregg Potts make some mistakes.
Proverbs 19:3 says, “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry a the Lord.”
Think about that verse… “People ruin their lives by THEIR own foolishness.” Have you been blaming others for your misfortune? Have you been throwing yourself a pity party for what has happened to you? It’s easy to do. I did it.
But it does no good. I encourage you, to look yourself in the mirror and admit your mistakes. I encourage you to confess them before God. It’s not like God doesn’t know.
Admit that you made a mistake and ask God for forgive you. Once you’ve done that, by God’s grace, move forward. Don’t stay there. It’s done. Learn from the mistake.
There is an old saying that goes; “Every tub has to sit on it’s own bottom.” That means that each of us are responsible for our own choices. Not our parents. Not our siblings… Not some friends of ours… We (me) are responsible for our choices.
Again, you may have had some bad things happen to you.. you were mistreated… lied to you… overlooked… and that may not have been a result of a choice you made… but stay there.. but don’t dwell on it. It happened… now learn from it and move forward.
“People ruin their lives by their own foolishness…” I have chosen foolishly at times… I can’t do anything about that now.. it’s done… but I can learn from it and move forward.
Many of you remember the TV sitcom “Cheers.” It was set in a Boston pub. Every day, the same customers came in and talked about their problems. But what you may remember more than the show, was the opening song. It went like this;
“Making your way in the world today takes everything you got
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows Your name.”
You wanna go “where everybody knows your name…” The people in the sitcom were friends and everyone needs a friend.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “There are friends who destroy each other but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”
Think about that… a real friend…. that is someone who is with us when things are tough. Someone has said that a “real friend walks in when everyone else walks out.”
Jesus is our best friend. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
There is an old hymn that goes;”What a friend we have in Jesus; All our griefs and sorrows bear…
What a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer..”
In addition to the Lord, hopefully you have at least one close friend. A good friend… a real friend… sticks closer than a brother.
What is your life built on? Is it something solid or, will it cave in when things get tough?
Yesterday, Holli and I went to Piedmont Park in Atlanta. We had never been there and we were taking a Sunday afternoon stroll on a beautiful day so, we drove to Piedmont park. The park has a walking track around it so we took a walk.
We came to a spot where a lady was sitting in front of table. We stopped and I began to chat with her. Holli had to step away for a minute so, I asked if I could sit down on her bench? She agreed so I sat down.. and I crashed! Fell to the ground! Knocked my Yeti over and Holli’s tea over.
The lady quickly said, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” Then she added, “the bench wasn’t locked in on that end, I guess.”
No it wasn’t. 🙂 And I was the one who discovered it.
So, I wanted to sit down… there was an opening in a bench that I thought was solid… but when my weight hit the bench, it was not locked in and couldn’t support me.
What are you resting on today? What is your life built on? Whatever it is, make sure it’s locked in underneath.
This bench looked perfectly fine. There was plenty of room for me to sit on and I assumed it was sturdy… but it wasn’t.
Life can be like that. What is important to you? What is your life built on?
For some, their life is built on making money. And there is nothing wrong with working hard and making money unless, that becomes your god.
For some, it’s leisure. Some people love to play golf. Some love to travel. Some love their family. Some love their job.
There is nothing wrong with any of those as long as they don’t become our god.
The only thing that will never fail you is Jesus. Build your life on Christ.
Today, make sure that what you are about to sit on is sturdy…. Make sure your life is built on something that will hold you up when life gets tough.