Where Is the Glory? – Part 1

It’s time the church gave serious consideration to the glory it has received.

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John 1:14 – And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

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Take a close look at our Text for Today.  It is so powerful.  The Word, Jesus Christ, was made flesh.  He stepped into this world as a human being, being tempted in all points like we are, yet without sin.  That’s what it meant for the Word to become flesh. 

The Word, Jesus Christ, dwelled among men.  He walked with and among other human beings.  He lived by faith for His daily provision in every arena just as He taught His disciples to pray.  He touched and healed, He walked on water to reach them.  He spoke and demons left them.  He blessed small portions and they became feasts.  He turned water to wine.  He did all these things, and more, while dwelling among men. 

And in it all, His glory was beheld.  Please take a few minutes of your time and read the entirety of John 17.  Every mention of the word “glory,” and all its derivatives (glorifiedglorify) all come from the same Greek root word, “doxa,” and it is the same word used in our Text for Today speaking of “His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.”  We MUST NEVER diminish that glory, its power, its brilliance, its ability, its person.  We are speaking of the GLORY of GOD.

And ending our Text for Today we see five amazing words.  This glory that Father gave to Jesus was “full of grace and truth.”  Think on this; when something is full, that means nothing more can be added.  And when we think of the glory of God being “full of grace and truth,” we should understand that “grace and truth” are the complete content of God’s glory.  When you experience, witness, or are engulfed by the glory of God, what you have experienced, witnessed, or being engulfed by is “grace and truth.”

I realize that what I’ve shared thus far is but a minor precursor to all the glory of God entails, how it was manifest in, upon, and through Jesus, the impact it has on the believer, and what we should be doing with it.  But while my opening words only scratch the surface, and that lightly, I have set the stage for a probing question that demands to be asked, especially at this point in time.  Here is that question.

WHERE IS THE GLORY!

Sadly, and that deeply so, I perceive that, by and large, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ is greatly lacking in that glory; in the manifestation of that glory; in the witness of that glory; in the engulfing presence of that glory.  I ask you to think on these things.

Manna for Today – John 1:1-14; John 17

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Recognizing Temptation – Part 4

Only through chosen weakness will a believer be defeated to disown God.

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Matthew 4:10 – Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

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So far, we have looked at the first two temptations Satan used against Jesus after His 40 day fast.  They were the temptations to DISTRUST the Father and to DISOBEY the Father.  Both temptations, when acted upon, are sin.  One sin is not greater than another.  All sin is a willful transgression of God’s Word.  All sin breaks fellowship with Father.  All sin opens a door for the enemy that he has always attempted to breech.  All sin does is allow Satan to walk through without hindrance.  But there are differences in the degree of temptations.  If one falls prey to the lower levels, it only encourages the enemy to keep destroying.  But in all we’ve discussed, there is still a third temptation Satan brings.  And that is the temptation to DISOWN the heavenly Father. 

In this temptation, Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  I can only imagine the enormous riches, power, and possessions Satan paraded through our Lord’s mind.  The imagery had to be staggeringly vivid.  He then told Jesus that if He would bow down and worship him, he would give Jesus all those kingdoms and their glory, for they were his to give (Luke 4:6).  All Satan was attempting to do was entice Jesus with immediate gratification.  But Jesus already knew Father’s plan.  The day would come when every knee would bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  Jesus was willing to put of immediate gratification of lesser in order to receive total gratification of it all.  Oh, how sad it is when Christians sell themselves out for immediate gratification, rather than standing strong in faith and ultimately receiving victory and rewards beyond their ability to calculate them.

When a Christian sells out for immediate gratification of that which is not rightly their own possession instead of standing in faith until they can legally possess all Father has for them, it is so sad.  They have, by that action, disowned God, and bowed their knee to the god of this world.  You see, when Jesus was tempted, Satan still owned the world because of Adam’s fall.  But glory to God, it did not remain that way.  After Jesus’ resurrection, He took possession of all Adam lost.  Now the earth is the Lord’s, and fullness thereof; the world, and all they that dwell in it (Psalm 24:1).  Could it be that the bread the disciples found on the fire, along with the fish, after Jesus was resurrected, was bread made from stones?  Just a thought.  Anything God offers to you is always worth more than that Satan would use to tempt you.  Stand strong in faith.  Don’t DISTRUSTDISOBEY, or DISOWN our great God, Jehovah.  You can overcome the enemy at every turn, regardless of the battle he brings against you.

Manna for Today – Matthew 4:1-11; Galatians 5:16; James 1:2-27; 1 John 2:15-17; Mark 4:1-20;            2 Peter 1:1-4; John 17:12-16; Matthew 6:13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Recognizing Temptation – Part 3

Temptations will never diminish.  They only escalate.

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Matthew 4:7 – Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

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After 40 days of fasting, Satan came to tempt Jesus.  His first temptation was to DISTRUST the heavenly Father.  Jesus was hungry, and Satan tried to move Jesus to taking care of His Own needs in His Own power and ability.  Jesus defeated Him soundly with, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.”

When Satan stalked Jesus the second time, the temptation he brought was escalated far beyond the first.  On his second attempt, Satan attempted to draw Jesus into a place of DISOBEYING the heavenly Father.  Still, once again, Jesus rose well above the circumstances to overcome such a scathing device as Satan attempted to wield against Him.  Jesus’ response began in the same manner as His first.  Jesus took His defense and coming offense directly from the Word of God.  He said, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” 

The first temptation was in a private setting.  No one else would likely have known about it but Jesus Himself.  But the second temptation was a public one.  The eyes of many onlookers would have seen such an action as someone throwing themselves from the pinnacle of the temple.  To do such a thing and walk away would have drawn grand attention to Himself, dishonoring Father by tempting Him to save Him from the fall.  But once again, Jesus stood His ground, standing surely upon the Word, refusing to be turned from it, and being fully determined to obey and honor Father and His Word, and thus stand steadfastly in the love of God (see 1 John 5:3).

Sadly, all too many believers fall to Satan’s first level of temptation attack.  When symptoms come, they go first to the medicine cabinet or the doctor.  There is nothing wrong with the use of medicine or going to a doctor.  But for the believer, all else comes second to going to Father, yielding to their Redeemer, leaning on Holy Spirit, and allowing a loving body of Christ to help them stand.  When a financial attack come, the first thought is what they can do for themselves to alleviate the pressure.  From whom can they borrow the money?  How can they escape the debt on their own?  If Satan defeats the child of God on the first attempt, he need not escalate the attack.  Stand strong, dear one.  Put on the whole armor of God.  Don’t fall prey to the first attack, and stand ready to defeat Satan at the second.  And when you do, rest assured, level three will come.  You can win there, too.

Manna for Today – Matthew 4:1-11; Galatians 5:16; James 1:2-27; 1 John 2:15-17; Mark 4:1-20;            2 Peter 1:1-4; John 17:12-16; Matthew 6:13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Recognizing Temptation – Part 2


The believer needs to recognize Satan’s strategies (devices).

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Matthew 4:4 – But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

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It is keenly important for every believer to recognize Satan’s strategies (devices).  One need not know about it intimately, but must be able to recognize it.  What every believer definitely NEEDS TO KNOW is the Word of God.  The weapons we have in Christ are not carnal, but might through God.  Our weapons are supernatural.  The thing the believer MUST know is what those weapons are and how to use them masterfully.  Temptations come in three categories, each with a specific intent.  Today we examine the first temptation of Christ – turn stones to bread.

Jesus had just come through a 40 day fast.  The Scriptures state clearly that He was hungry.  Have you ever fasted?  Hunger is a major issue in the early days, but in the closing days of a 40 day fast, hunger returns.  It is the body warning you that it is time to put nourishment into the body, for it about to begin consuming itself.  Continuing to fast, knowing that, would be a sin in itself, as you would be harming the temple of Holy Spirit.  Jesus knew this, but though He was hungry indeed, He did not fall prey to Satan’s temptation to turn stones to bread to eat.  After a protracted fast, one does not break the fast immediately by eating meats, breads, and other heavy food items.  A protracted fast is broken by gradual reintroduction of food, beginning with juices, often diluted, and that in smaller portions. 

Jesus understood these things, and so recognized Satan’s strategy.  Satan was trying to use Jesus’ physical needs and desires to draw Him away from trusting God to meet His needs, especially at this time in His fast.  Jesus COULD have turned the stones to bread, but He refused to DISTRUST His Father.  His Father cared for the sparrows, and Jesus knew He certainly cared for Him, so He would take no thought for tomorrow, what He would eat, drink, or wear.  

My friend, put your trust in the Lord, fully and completely.  He, and He alone is able to save.  What looks like salvation in the natural is never more than temporary reprieve.  Allow nothing to remain before you that attempts to attract your trust from the Lord to anything less than Jehovah God.  No title, position, power, financial gain, fame, notoriety, or fortune is worth that which belongs to you in Christ.  And to DISTRUST the Lord puts your relationship with Christ in danger.  In Him you have all things that pertain to life and godliness.  In Him you are assured of victory.  Nothing can be worth the loss of all that, and especially your relationship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Manna for Today – Matthew 4:1-11; Galatians 5:16; James 1:2-27; 1 John 2:15-17; Mark 4:1-20;            2 Peter 1:1-4; John 17:12-16; Matthew 6:13’ 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Recognizing Temptation


Temptation awaits us in the world, but we are not of the world.

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Matthew 4:1 – Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

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When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting, those temptations were real.  They were not just word pictures or images to create ideas for us.  Jesus, as a man, was tempted.  The Scriptures declare it.  Yet Jesus, the Son of God, though tempted, overcame that temptation using the same tools, weapons, and patterns that are available to us as sons and daughters of God.  Think of it!  If you think you’ve faced difficult temptations, think of Jesus.  How great must the temptations the perfect Lamb of God have been?  Still, He overcame with a simple, yet profound truth every believer should firmly grasp.  At every point of temptation Satan brought against Jesus, His response was of the same pattern.  “It is written” was the lead into His defense against Satan.  And following “it is written,” Jesus quoted the Word, inflicting serious injury to the enemy of His soul.  That action indicates a rich knowledge of God’s Word which He quoted.  At that point, Satan left Him for a more convenient time, which by the way, he never found.  Jesus ALWAYS stood firmly on the Word of God in every situation He faced.

In closing, consider the three temptations Jesus faced so victoriously.  The first, turn stones to bread.  Remember, Jesus had not eaten in 40 days, and the Scriptures declare that He was hungry.  This first temptation was to DISTRUST God in meeting His needs.  The second, cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple, that is, DISOBEY God’s Word by tempting God.  The third, bow down and worship Satan to gain personal glory, that is, DISOWN God by bowing to Satan as god.  Child of God, please understand the importance of my words.  NEVER will a temptation come upon you too great for you to bear.  Father sees to that personally.  EVERY temptation that comes upon you is common to man; it is not supernatural.  Yet you have the supernatural weapons to overcome it.  DON’T go after any temptation.  If you do, you may step beyond that which you are equipped to handle.  That would not be Father’s fault.  Learn from Jesus’ response to temptation – IMITATE HIM.

Manna for Today – Matthew 4:1-11; Galatians 5:16; James 1:2-27; 1 John 2:15-17; Mark 4:1-20;            2 Peter 1:1-4; John 17:12-16; Matthew 6:13’ 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 5:1

Fearless Strength and Courage – Part 3

Ah, to be absolutely fearless.  Now there’s a dream worthy of pursuit.

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Deuteronomy 31:6  Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

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In our Text for Today we see three promises that will be fully manifest in our lives when we fulfill the three commands in the same passage.  God has already set the promises in motion, but if the believer fails to keep these three commands, though God is ever-present, the manifestation of His presence will not happen.  Father will never leave, fail, or forsake us, but when we walk in disobedience to His commands, we take ourselves out of position to receive.  Obedience is ALWAYS the optimal position in which to receive the manifest promises of Father.  Let’s examine the third command today.

FEAR NOT, NOR BE AFRAID – Fear is a spiritual force.  It is the opposite of faith.  Faith comes by hearing, but that hearing is the hearing of the Word of God.  So, fear comes by hearing, but that hearing comes by the word of deception, darkness, lies, distraction, and anything based upon sense knowledge that rises against the Word of God.  Put another way, fear rises from a lack of truthful knowledge.  The knowledge of which I speak is not simply having some data, but having data that is understood and proven functional.  Let me give you an example.  How many people would experience fear if they were tasked with walking a high-wire thirty floors high over a 100-foot-wide intersection, and that without a safety net?  I think almost anyone.  I know it can be done.  I’ve seen such feats completed.  I can walk, and I’m not afraid of heights.  But knowing I don’t have the skills, tools, or functional knowledge to do it would cause fear to rise if I believed I would fall to my death.

To live fear-free, never being afraid, one must live with the knowledge that he will be successful, regardless of what he faces or endeavors to accomplish.  That can only happen when one lives by faith, and does not step outside the bounds of that faith.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  Just because I know something CAN happen does not mean it will happen for me.  Just because I have witnessed a feat does not mean I can do it.  To attempt what I know can be done or what I’ve witnessed being done without the requisite knowledge and applicable skill or assistance to do it is dangerous.  It’s called presumption, and that can be deadly.  But if I fully believe the Word of God that is proven to be faithful and true, and abide in the calling to which I am called, being obedient to the Word given to me. I can live fear-free, never being afraid.  And so can you. 

Manna for Today – Deuteronomy 31:1-8; Joshua 1:6-9; Proverbs 4:20-23; Ephesians 6:10-18

Fearless Strength and Courage – Part 2


Let’s learn something valuable about courage.

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Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

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Can you imagine being a child of God with absolutely FEARLESS STRENGTH AND COURAGE?  That is quite a combination of elements serving as foundational on one’s character.  Once again, we see three promises from the Lord, preceded by three prerequisites stated as commands.  The word “be” has an implied subject which is “you.”  It’s a command, and it’s your choice to obey that command.  Let’s carry out our examination.

BE…OF A GOOD COURAGE – Courage is the quality of character that allows one to meet danger without fear.  This is a word, like many words today, that is thrown about in conversation without true understanding of what it is.  Please don’t be offended by my next statement.  People have been said to be courageous because they acted in a selfless manner, but had no real knowledge of what they were facing.  Love without knowledge will act in just such a manner.  It can be properly stated that courage is taking loves action while being knowledgeable of the circumstances.  Have you ever heard someone say after doing something that appeared courageous, “I would not have done that if I had given thought to the possible outcome.”?  That is a demonstration of loving someone or something.  In reality, it is courage is the action was carried out with reasonably complete understanding of the outcome. 

In Joshua 1:7, we read the words, “Only be thou strong and very courageous…”  I find the phrase, “very courageous,” intriguing.  If one can be “very courageous,” then one can be simply “courageous,” or “somewhat courageous.”  Think of the word, “perfect.”  You cannot be “more perfect,” or “most perfect,” for perfect is perfect.  But you CAN BE “very courageous.”  That gives clear indication that courage is not a spur-of-the-moment reaction, but is a conditioned response.  I recently saw a report of a professional surfer who saved a woman’s life in very dangerous surf.  He was trained on how to survive in rough surf.  He knew what to do ahead of time.  He entered the water with that knowledge and a clear expectation of what would happen.  Though someone may have attempted to help that woman because of a deep human love for her, without proper knowledge and preparation, knowing potential outcomes, the result would likely have been two deaths.  While many would have called that a courageous act, in reality, it would not have been.  Even the deepest of human love stepping into the unknown is not courage. 

So, how does one develop courage?  Through knowledge, and that knowledge begins with knowing the Word of God, having the mind of Christ, and being circumspect concerning the circumstances all about them.  To “be very courageous,” or “of good courage,” one must accept the responsibility to be so, gain the knowledge to be so, and determine in one’s heart and mind to be so.  It’s your choice.  BE VERY COURAGEOUS!

Manna for Today – Deuteronomy 31:1-8; Joshua 1:6-9; Proverbs 4:20-23; Ephesians 6:10-18

Fearless Strength and Courage – Part 1

Great character is built.  It does not occur naturally.  Follow God’s plan.

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Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

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Take a moment to read our Text for Today again.  There are three things the Lord commands, and three things He promises.  The promises are that He would (1) go with them, (2) not fail them, and (3) not forsake them.  His commands were (1) be strong, (2) be of good courage, and (3) fear not.  Never have a moment’s doubt that our God will ever fail to keep any of His promises or to fulfill one jot or tittle of His Word.  He will not!  It is you and I who need all the help we can have to walk according to His Word.  The three commands He gives in our Text for Today are the three paramount elements to our living a life of the Word.  Today I share with you concerning the Lord’s first command in our Text for Today

BE STRONG – In the natural world, strength is a matter of muscular power and endurance.  Those factors are a result of genetics, diet, and exercise.  Some people have a genetic predisposition to being strong.  I have seen that manifest in men of small stature with less muscle mass than their companions, but with the ability to demonstrate great strength.  Diet is an important part of being strong.  One needs proper nutrition to feed and maintain muscular strength, as well as to feed muscles the necessary protein for growth, thus adding to the strength base.  And one needs exercise.  Failure to exercise muscles allow them to weaken, and even atrophy.  But when one exercises muscles properly, especially with what is called resistance training, muscles are not only strengthened, but developed as well.

But how about the spiritual realm.  The same truths apply.  The three key elements in developing spiritual muscular power and endurance come into play.  When one is born again, the spiritual DNA of the Lord takes hold in the human spirit.  One now has the spiritually genetic predisposition to be like his elder Brother, Jesus, for the seen of the Father is in him.  But we must also include diet and exercise.  The muscle of the spirit man is faith, and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  Therefore, to have strong spiritual muscle, one must maintain a strong, steady, consistent diet of the Word of God which provides the nutrition for maintenance and development of faith, the spiritual muscle.  Then comes exercise; spiritual exercise, especially resistance training.  When you apply your faith against the mountain that needs to bee moved, you engage in resistance training.  Whatever that mountain may be, it will always resist.  Sickness, poverty, pressures, cares of life, deceitfulness of riches, lusts of other things, and temptation are all resistance elements to your faith.  When you use your faith to stand for Christ, you are engaged in resistance training, and if your diet is proper, along with your genetic predisposition from your heavenly Father.  You WILL BE STRONG.

Manna for Today – Deuteronomy 31:1-8; Joshua 1:6-9; Proverbs 4:20-23; Ephesians 6:10-18

Who You Are Is Exciting


When science discovers a new species never before known, they really get excited.

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2 Corinthians 5:17-18a – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God . . .

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When a famous person of some particular renown, such as Queen Elizabeth, the President of the United States, a famous athlete or movie star, visits a town or country, crowds turn out to see them, to hear them speak, and if possible, perhaps get their autograph, or attain an audience with them.  This has been the historic behavior of human beings.  I can understand that.  There are some people I would like to meet, people who have achieved great things in a field that interests me.  There is nothing inherently wrong with such a desire.  There will, however, be problems when such recognition is given to men while leaving recognition and honor to Jehovah God and those He appoints to lead His church.  Yet this seems to be the general pattern of mankind, especially in the hour in which we live.

Before anything else, one must come to the Lord in faith, honoring Him, worshipping Him, obeying Him, and pleasing Him.  Then one must come to a clear realization of one’s identity in Christ, and relationship with Jesus.  Sadly, I believe that most Christians do NOT have a clear understanding of who they are in Christ.  When I hear how low-minded Christians are, how they fail to recognize and accept by faith what the Word of God says about them, and observe Christians living beneath the calling and privilege of the life to which God has called them, my heart is saddened.  But I will NOT bow to such feelings, for I still believe in the integrity of the Word of God, and the truth that if God said it, that settles it

My dear reader friend, if you truly will honor God, we must honor what He says, and that begins by accepting and living up to that which He has spoken about His people.  You ARE the righteousness of God in Christ.  In Christ, you ARE redeemed, sanctified, righteous, and wise.  You ARE His ambassador.  You ARE redeemed from the curse of the law.  You ARE saved in the full sense of the word – born again in the spirit, having access to the mind of Christ, completely healed in your body, delivered from every temporal evil, and fully provided for in every arena of life.  You ARE the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath, a lender to many and not a borrower.  You CAN DO all things that God anoints you to do, and that without exception and failure.  You ARE who God says you are, and that without exception.

Who you ARE in Christ is truly exciting.  Enjoy it and live it by faith in Him.

Manna for Today – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 John 4:17; Romans 8:17; Ephesians 6:1

Fiery Gratitude

How does the fire of your love for God burn?

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Luke 7:47 – Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

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Sin is sin.  Regardless of how big one considers it, the payment for it is still the shed blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  The only sin that separates the unbeliever from Christ and eternal life is the failure to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord.  Paul wrote that the Lord is not imputing the trespasses of the world against them.  He further wrote that to be born again, one must confess Jesus as Lord.  He did NOT say one must confess his sins to be saved.  The confession of sins is necessary for the believer who sins, for that sin separates the believer from fellowship with Father.

What I want you to see is my opening statement; “Sin is sin.”  Sin separates one from the Father.  In our Text for Today, Jesus examined thankfulness for the forgiveness from sin from what one sees from the earthly perspective.  He spoke of those forgiven of great sins as comparted to those forgiven from what we consider “little” sins.  His conclusion is that the person who saw themselves as being forgiven great sins would naturally be more thankful than those who saw themselves as being forgiven small sins.  However, we must keep in mind that Jesus was speaking from the position of the Old Covenant.  Now, in the New Covenant, God is not imputing trespasses against the lost, having already reconciled the world to Himself through Christ Jesus.  What is necessary now is the new birth.  “You must be born again,” are the words of Jesus.

For every human being, regardless of the sins he has committed, regardless of his lost condition, Jesus died for you, and it is only by His blood that you can be cleansed.  For every believer, whether you have completely backslidden into a life of drunkenness or debauchery, or if you have grown a little slack in your prayer life, or if all you did was tell “a little white” lie (there is no such thing), the price for your cleansing is the same for the salvation of a serial murderer or leading abortionist.  It is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from sin. 

The blood of Jesus was shed in His redemptive work.  It was His blood, and the manner in which He shed it that is the price for every sin, every healing, every deliverance, and every provision.  Regardless of who you are, your estate in life, or your outlook on life, it is the shed blood of Jesus that pays for your redemption.  That, dear reader, is the greatest price that could be exacted or paid.  And Jesus paid it all.  His work was “once and for all.”  We were all the greatest depths of depravity, and Jesus bought us.  We owe Him our love with the greatest passion, with a fiery gratitude that cannot be quenched.  Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Keep His commandments.  Live by faith.

Manna for Today – Luke 7:36-50; Galatians 4:19; Luke 12:48; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:6-17;    1 John 1:7-9