Friday, January 25, 2008

The Mercy and Grace of God

This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. We have much to rejoice about, but on this Friday, let me give you the number one reason that we have to rejoice.

God loves you just as you are, but He loves you too much to let you stay that way! Do you think God's love for you would be stronger, if your faith was stronger? No. You're confusing God's love with human love. Human love increases with performance and decreases with mistakes. But not God's love; He loves you just as you are right now.

Do you have trouble accepting that? Listen to how God introduces himself, "I am the Lord, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness" (Exodus 34:6 NLT). Awesome!

In spite of his terrible failures, David could say, "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. With my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 89). And if you need more to convince you, Paul writes, "God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8 NLT).

You were redeemed… with the precious blood of Christ. (I Peter 1:18-10 NIV)

Your Bible has a crimson core. It begins with God Himself, shedding the blood of the first sacrificial lamb to cover Adam's sin, and ends with a multi-national chorus singing, "You… have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every… nation" (Revelation 5:9 NKJV). At Calvary you see two things:

(1) The cost of your sin. Rolled on His shoulders was the weight of your every misdeed from the womb to the tomb. Next time you're tempted to break God's law and do your own thing, keep that in mind.
(2) The cure for your sin. Your salvation wasn't a joint-effort. You didn't contribute a cent, because you were spiritually bankrupt. The truth is, you were redeemed (bought out of slavery) by the crimson cash of Jesus' blood. (1 Peter 1:18-19).

The blood will always offend those with sins to hide, a rebellious will to protect or a Gospel that offers salvation through good works or social evolution. The blood not only saves the repentant, it condemns the defiant, for "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (Hebrews 9:22 NIV).

Plagues and apocalyptic hail could not redeem God's people from the enemy's iron grip. What did? The blood. Nothing but the blood!

The blood of Jesus can: (a) heal your painful memories; (b) cleanse the sin you dare not speak of; (c) put a canopy of protection over you and your loved ones; (d) draw a line in the sand over which the enemy dare not step. Today, thank God for the blood!

I love you guys, and hope you have a GRACE-filled weekend! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

This weekend's "Through the Bible in a Year" Bible Reading:

Friday January 25, 2008: Leviticus 11:1-17:16
Saturday January 26, 2008: Leviticus 18:1-22:33
Sunday January 27, 2008: Leviticus 23:1-25:55

This week's "Hide in your heart" memory verse:

2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJVR) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

(MSG) So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good," says God. "Don't link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself.