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…..In this shockingly unequal exchange, He gave His life to wed an unworthy, sinful bride. But He miraculously renders us spotless. All that was ours is now His – the sin, the pain, the shame – and all that is His falls to us – the righteousness, peace, and freedom (Ephesians 5:25-27). By betrothal to Christ, we are legally transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). We are baptized into His name, united with the perfect Bridegroom (Matthew 28:19, Galatians 3:27), and we wait for Him to take us home. In the words of Sinclair Ferguson, “It isn’t Adam’s life and your past that now determine your life. It’s Christ’s life, and Christ’s past, that determine your life.” What a blessing to be called by His name!….
…….How can you keep from being caught up in hurrying? It starts with letting the Lord set the boundaries of your life and of the load you need to carry. He says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30, NLT). If your daily to-do list leaves you with no rest for your soul, chances are that some of that list doesn’t belong to you. His yoke is easy!…..
….After twelve years of sickness and isolation, she heard that there was a divine Healer in town. She was done grasping for practical cures, and now she reached for the hem of His garment. We don’t know how much she had already prayed and sought the Lord’s help, but we do know that this turned out to be her day. She was instantly healed, and in place of reproach for her touch that would have made a rabbi ceremonially unclean, she received the honor of being the only woman in Scripture whom Jesus named “Daughter.” (See Luke 8:43-48.)…..
…..After a talk with Him, you’ll find yourself ready again to extend empathy to others. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God,” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4, NIV). I pray that you will find and then echo His comfort today…..
………What does it mean that He is the faithful witness? We can always trust Him to speak the truth to us, and to reveal the nature of the Father to us perfectly. In His own words, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you,” (John 15:15, NIV)……..
…….When Jesus went meekly to the cross, He was not allowing injustice to rule. He was allowing justice to take time, and mercy to triumph, as He resisted the distraction of offense and pursued His purpose. He did not leave sins unpunished, but took the punishment on Himself. “He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed,” (1 Peter 2:22-24, NLT).
It is His to mete out justice and mercy, and it is mine to follow, awestruck by the depths of His grace to me…..
……One look at Him and I can say again with all my heart: “Whatever was gain to me I count as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him,” (Philippians 3:7-9a, BSB)……
……In Christ I haven’t just taken a few steps away from my old ways – I have died to them. That is the measure of finality with which He has set me free from Satan, the cruelest of all slave masters. When Satan returns to prod me into service again, he should find only a corpse. So why do I still struggle? One who has lived her whole life as a slave and is suddenly freed, still carries all the habits of a slave. All my former attempts to resist my master ended in bitter defeat, and it will take a rewiring of my mind to believe that my resistance is now backed by the limitless power of Christ. It will take a series of daily decisions to leave the old me in her grave and walk on with Jesus, the most gracious and loving of all Lords……
……In stressful times, you may experience a bitter sort of deja vu – a new relationship triggering old fears, a bad day bringing the return of a bad habit, or loneliness making a past sin tempting again. You find yourself back in the fight with an enemy you thought you’d conquered. Like an old sports injury flaring up, it reminds you that you aren’t as strong and whole as you thought.
God is not surprised in these moments. “There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love for me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me,” wrote J.I. Packer. Indeed, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust,” (Psalm 103:13,14, NIV)……
……..When I need a reset, I speak these words: Travel is not my dream. Career is not my dream. Family is not my dream. Ministry is not my dream. JESUS is my dream.
He is carrying me even as He carries the world, for “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together,” (Colossians 1:17, NIV). And He assures me that “When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm,” (Psalm 75:3, NIV). I can rest my soul in His steady hands……