Tag Archives: sacrifice

Still Listening

Thank You so much for being with us yesterday, Father. Your comforting presence made all the difference at the funeral, graveside service and the meal and fellowship afterward. I would pray that Your love would permeate the hearts and minds of all present – both Your followers and those who have yet chosen to do so. Amen

In my praying this morning, Lord, You have led me back to a journal entry from October 2015. I believe it bears repeating for it is still my prayer today. (Oh, and this is still the best picture!)

As I sit here in contemplation, young Samuel’s response comes to mind as he answered Your call, Lord, in the Israelite tabernacle of old. “Speak, your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 Help me to be receptive to Your call on me this day. I, Your servant, am listening.

It’s hard to wrap my mind around it but I cling to the fact that You chose and loved me even before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) And You chose me to be holy and blameless. You saved me not because I deserved it but to make Your grace known. You “broke the power of death and illuminated the way of life and immortality through the Good News.” 2 Timothy 1:10

We like to think that we got to where we are all on our own but there is no truth in that. At least in our culture, it’s all about “me”. “I” got me to where I am, “I” don’t need anyone else. Me, myself and I will get through just fine. But if we really, down deep, look at it, we realize it’s the farthest thing from the truth.

My only means of fulfillment on this speck of dust in the universe, my only means of security in the fact that there is life beyond the threshold of death, is found solely in You. Because of Your unfathomable sacrifice, I have true life, now and for all eternity.

Lord, You love me and You have my best interests in mind. Help me, every moment of every day, to strive for holiness – to become more like You with every breath I take. Fill me with Your presence. Use me to shine Your light into the darkness of this world. May I be attentive to You. “Speak, your servant is listening.”

Oct 23rd, 2015, Fri, 6:42 am

Apr 30th, 2017, Sun, 6:09 am

Forgiven – Past, Present, and Future

Father, I would pray that You would corral my thoughts, they seem to be scattered all around. Help me to focus on You and what You have for me this day. Amen.

1 John 1:8-10 (<<click here)

Lord, as I have read these verses and have read the notes in my study Bible* it has given me reason to pause and think. I have believed the different elements but have not really put them together this way. First, when You gave Your life on the cross it was a once and for all sacrifice

“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.” Hebrews 10:10

Every sin committed against you in all of time as been atoned for- they are forgiven. That includes every person from Adam to the last person that will be born before the final judgment at the end of time. But it is fuller than even that, and I guess I had never thought it out this way before but it also includes every sin I have ever committed, as well as, every sin I will commit in the future. All my sins have been forgiven! Praise Your Holy Name!

Secondly, then, the forgiveness is awesomely wonderful but John very clearly here in verses 8-9 states,

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

So all of my sins have been forgiven – past, present, and future – but just because I’ve been forgiven doesn’t mean I don’t still need to repent and seek forgiveness. Here is how my study Bible* puts it,

“This kind of confession is not offered to gain God’s acceptance but to remove the barrier to fellowship that [my] sin has put between [myself] and him.”

The barriers we erect must be taken eradicated and only Christ can do that! Lord, there is empowerment in knowing that my sins are forgiven. Knowing that You have forgiven every sin I have committed or ever will commit is…well, it’s stunning! You did it all for me! You believe in me! You want me to succeed in serving You. Lord, help me to be more and more like You. Empower me to overcome temptation when it comes my way. Help me to live victoriously because You have made it possible! Amen – so bet it!

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Mar 29th, Wed, 6:46 am

Which Path Will You Take?

Father, thank you so much for the wonderful day yesterday. It was a blessing have Daniel and Renita sharing their talents in ministry. Once again we were shown that Your Word is not stagnant and dead but is truly vibrant and living! The Bible is just as applicable today as it ever has been.

2 Peter 2:4-22 (<<click here)

Most assuredly, Lord, You are a God of Love and you have done marvelous things and sacrificed greatly so that we can be victorious over the sin that wants to trip us up and take us down. All praise to You, our Lord and Savior!

Yes, You are the personification of love itself and we know that, as Peter earlier proclaimed, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8  You are love but You are also holy and just. While we still have breath and until we stand before You at the great judgment, there is always the possibility of forgiveness for our disobedience against you. But once we pass that point of no return our lot is cast. We will have chosen where we stand. If we’ve accepted Christ’s forgiveness and love, and repented of our sins, then we will join him for all eternity. But…if we rejected Christ’s forgiveness and not repented of our sins, then we will be eternally separated from him. We will bring God’s judgment upon ourselves.

2 Peter 2 clearly shows that You extend forgiveness to all but it also shows your judgment if we turn our backs on You. It is totally our choice.

Lord, help us to respond to Your love. Help us to generously share Your love. Help us to diligently proclaim Your love so that all may hear and turn to You. Amen!

Mar 20th, Mon, 6:30 am

Sacrifice of Praise

It’s one of those hard to focus mornings, Father. My mind is going every whichaway – thunder is booming, the rain is pouring. I can’t seem to get comfortable. Help me to reel it all in. Help me to give You the attention You deserve.

Hebrews 13: 15-16 (<<click here)

“… through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God…”

Lord, trying to wrap my brain around this passage is a bit of a challenge this morning. One thing I need to be reminded of is that the term sacrifice in the Old Testament didn’t always have connections to sin and forgiveness. Burnt offerings, grain offerings, and peace offerings were all voluntary acts of worship. They could express devotion and surrender to God. They could be intended to recognize Your goodness and provision.

Throughout every day, Lord, I should become more and more aware of the importance of giving You praise. Time and time again You are there for me. Your Holy Spirit within me helps me to pause before I speak, to quickly turn the other way the moment temptations present themselves, to be slow to judge and quick to love, to be diligent in my labors and not frivolous with my time. These things and many, many others should bring praise to You from my lips.

Even when the going gets tough and trials come upon me I am still compelled to praise. You are with me all the way, even though the storms may howl about me. When I do so those around me can see who I am in You and I can testify all that You do for me.

Lord, help me this day to keep my focus on You. Help me to offer “a continual sacrifice of praise to” You throughout each and every day. Amen!

July 18th, Mon, 6:26 am

More than Conquerors

As we come together this morning, Father, may I be focused on you and attentive to Your words…and may that be the case not just here and now but throughout our day together. Amen.

Hebrews 9:1-15 (<<click here)

Lord, for my mind to wrap itself around this passage I need to go back to the very beginning. Adam and Eve were very clearly told, in fact it explicitly states in Genesis 2:16-17,

“But the Lord God warned him, ‘You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden – except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.’”

They disobeyed and sin entered the world and according to God’s word, being irrevocably true, with sin came death. Paul’s statement in Romans 6:23 makes it clear. “For the wages of sin is death…” So for Adam and Eve’s sin to be forgiven death was required. Their death was not instantaneous but blood had to be shed. To cover their new found nakedness blood was shed – a life was sacrificed – and so it began.

So for thousands of years because sin was inevitable (and will be until Christ returns) life – blood – was forfeit for forgiveness. And that was the case still when Jesus first came to live amongst us.

Over time God set up a structured system by which sins could be forgiven. It may have provided the necessary forgiveness but it dealt basically in the realm of the physical and ceremonial. By its very nature it could not get to the core of the problem – the conscience. And there was no permanence to it – every time they sinned another sacrifice was needed. In addition every year it was necessary to offer a sacrifice for the community as a whole.

But in God’s timing Jesus came to live amongst us. He became the perfect, once and for all, sacrifice. And His sacrifice went way beyond the ceremonial and physical – it went to the very core of our being. His blood not only covers us but His very presence fills us. The conscience can be brought under control.

Lord Jesus, thank You for all You do. We no longer need live defeated lives. In You we are victorious, “In You we are more than conquerors. Romans 8:37 NIV

Apr 5th, Tue, 6:45am

A band that I really like is Rend Collective – here’s a great song by them if you’d like to check it out!