Thursday, March 27, 2014

What's So Great About Jesus?

"He was despised and forsaken of men..."
Isaiah 53:3a

 If you were told, "I can't stand you...just seeing you, I am repulsed by you", how would you feel?  Not so good, right?  This verse is telling us that for some people, Jesus gives them a feeling of repulsion.  But maybe it's not repulsion you feel.  Maybe it's just, indifference.  Here's the issue.  Indifference toward Jesus is just as sinful as despising Him, or feeling repulsed by Him.  Both are forms of rebellion and call for justice - and the justice is eternal separation from God's presence and His grace, in hell.  Every person born experiences the grace of God, as soon as they draw their first breath and until they take their last.  The fact that we can even draw a breath is only by God's grace, and reason enough to give Him our complete, utter, devotion and worship.  Can you create a flower by calling it into existence with your voice?  Can you make the winds and waves obey you?  As the created, we can't, but as Creator, Jesus can and does.  Jesus, who is God, gives life and rules over His creation.   This makes Him The Greatest, and worthy of our worship.

There are other reasons why we should worship and adore Christ.  Isaiah continues with this...

"He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities..."
Isaiah 53:4a

Have you ever gotten angry and wanted to hurt someone?  Ever lied?  Lusted?  Gossiped?  I have.  Not one of us can say we are perfect, and without sin.  The greatness of Jesus in this verse is that He took the punishment we deserve for our sin.  Justice fell on Him, and mercy and grace falls on us.  For our anger, for our lust, for our lying, for our gossiping, we deserve death.  To no longer draw breath.  To no longer experience the grace and power of God in living on this earth.  None of us can make others righteous by standing in their place and paying the price for sin.  Only Jesus can.  And did.  He did that, for you, and me.  And this is why to be indifferent toward Him, or to despise Him, should cause us great pain and grief in our hearts.  

See the greatness of Jesus.  See His love for you.  It's why He went to the cross.  Repulsion for Him and indifference toward Him, He forgives...He forgives!  When we confess and repent - when we mourn over this sin, and then He replaces our despising, indifferent hearts toward Him with a heart that treasures and loves and adores Him.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Established Sovereignty

"The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
and His sovereignty rules over all."
Psalm 103:19

establish - to put ( someone or something) in a position, 
role, etc., that will last for a long time

sovereignty - supreme power or authority

I love this verse and its truth.  It's one of my favorites.  It tells us that God is in control of everything.  He is above all things, and in control of all things.  When you know the character of God, that He is good, and holy, and hates evil, and that He is working out His plan, this verse lifts faith and alleviates fear.  Do not fear the news today, or tomorrow - God is ruling and in control of everything.  

Trust God.  

He is Lord over all, and His good and righteous rule will never end.  

Pray for the Gustafsons - Updated

Some of you may have seen my first post regarding the Gustafsons, missionaries that Tim and I know who are serving in Kiev.  The report is not as dire as I first learned.  They are not trying to flee, but are planning to evacuate by the end of the month.  They can still use your prayers.  Here is Mike's status update as of this morning...

How about some GOOD NEWS FROM KYIV?  We are expecting our fourth child in September! 
PLEASE PRAY: Ultrasounds show that Rachel has subchorionic hematoma and needs bed rest. (Try that with 3 young kids.) But help is on the way by way of Rachel's mom who is planning to arrive tomorrow and help us get ready to evacuate by the end of the month. We will head directly to Seattle and stay in the US until January 2015. Our leaving earlier than we had planned has little to do with the Russian invasion or the political turmoil but it raises stress levels. Pray for spiritual answers for Ukraine in the midst of so many questions.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Praise & Petition

Give us a greater glimpse of You, Jesus!
All we want and all we need, is found in You.
Every victory is found in You!
Guard our hearts from routine, and tradition, 
when we gather to worship You.
Our hope is in Your name - in all that You are.
We call upon Your name!
There is no greater name, than Your name, Jesus.
You reign forever.
You are the Everlasting God!
We lay our sins at the foot of the cross...
By Your sacrifice, Jesus, we are forgiven, 
and set free...
You are strong to save!
No pen can capture the greatness of Your love or name.
Holy, holy, holy are You!
Worthy, worthy is Your name!