Indeed, LIFE is meaningless without CHRIST.
Originally posted on Inspirational Christian Blogs:
1 Timothy 6:9
View original 220 more words
Indeed, LIFE is meaningless without CHRIST.
Originally posted on Inspirational Christian Blogs:
1 Timothy 6:9
View original 220 more words
The Jellyfish begin life as larvae, “that look like swimming, fuzzy Tic Tac candies,” says Chad Widmer, a Fullbright scholar studying jellyfish at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Soon they settle on the ocean floor and resemble mini macaroni. These eventually generate baby jellyfish that grow into adults, produce more larvae that turn back into polyps then (again) into adult jellyfish and the cycle continues. Thus, the Turritopsis nutricula (Jellyfish) is immortal. Scientists believe they can yo-yo back and forth ad infinitum. “If one species of jellyfish can live forever, why can’t we?”, wrote Karen Ravn in an article in the Reader’s Digest, March 2011 issue.
I am almost certain that everyone has heard that scientists have already reversed aging in some experiments. In fact, we can now find drugs, medical procedures, food supplements and cosmetics that can make people look and feel many years younger. The latest of which is the stem-cell regenerative health technology that according to experts, “can repair cells by itself and thus prolongs life”. Apparently still not contented, building on these age-reversing discoveries, there’s the latest news that Google’s newest company wants to defeat death this time. Many would ask, can it be done?
“Nobody can tell at this point, but it may be within reach,” the company claims. In fact, according to them, “some life extension scientists think it may happen in about 20 years. But adding, “For now, however, it’s all experiments and theories – nothing truly applicable to humans.”
If immortality indeed arrives in 20 years, as some experts say, I believe the potential consequences of this path could have numerous adverse effects. If there is an unforeseen breakthrough that will make the “fountain of youth” available for everyone on Earth, I am very certain that Earth will not be a paradise. Just imagine if everyone becomes immortal, just think about the consequences of denying ourselves the possibility of having new people on Earth. On the other hand, imagine how everyone could survive in this small world if there are 273 babies born every minute across the world as the statistics say, and there is no single person who dies?
For now, however, this is all speculation. We can only look at what has been done so far and have nightmares about what lies ahead.
While some people are trying to play God by defeating death and defying God’s creation, the real Christian treasures life for it is his most precious gift from God. Just as the Christian treasures Life, he also values death, for he believes that it is only through dying that one can attain eternal life. The Bible says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life.” What a wonderful, inspiring offer from our Creator – to freely give eternal life to anyone who believes in His Son.
God promises eternal life to all who believe in and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. But do we have any responsibility beyond believing? or simply put, does God require anything of us to receive eternal life? And is that all there is to it?
We find the answer to these questions in Matthew 7:21 when Jesus made a striking statement: “Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord Lord” – shall inherit the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Jesus made it clear that merely acknowledging Him as Lord and Master saying “Lord, Lord” – is not sufficient. To inherit the kingdom of heaven, we must do something. We must do the will of the Father as clearly stated. Christians therefore should demonstrate their faith by obediently doing the will of the Father. On the other hand, refusal to obey demonstrates a lack of faith and will result in condemnation.
Therefore, eternal life is free and obedience is a requirement. At first those two statements may seem contradictory. Yet, as Jesus Christ Himself clearly taught, there are things we must do if we want to inherit eternal life. He specifically mentioned God’s commandments in this regard. He will proclaim a stern message for those who have believed in Him, but whose belief never translated into loving submission to God’s law: “And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” - Matthew 7:23
Thus, the true Christian is focused on “preparing himself” by doing the will of the Father so that when he dies, he will have eternal life just as Jesus has promised.
Friend, listen to this, two thousand years ago, God considered mankind including you and I so important that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to die for us. He looked at our helplessness and our inability to create eternal life., and said, “I’ll send my Son to provide eternal life, I’ll do for you what you can never do.”
The passage of physical life to physical death is the natural transition that all mortal creatures undergo. For the followers of Christ, we do not wait to undergo the transformation from death to life at that final moment. We seek to live it out in response to the Gospel, in a life informed by Faith and enlivened by Obedience and Charity. We do this through a transformed mind and heart in the face of inevitable sufferings on earth.
What is the worth of the human soul? In God’s eyes, it was worth the death of His only Son. In light of this gift, here is Christ’s invitation to us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
Thus, we pray for the grace to prepare for death, to see all of life by obediently doing God’s will as a preparation for that day that the early Christians did not call one’s “death day”, but rather dies natalis, one’s birth day: the day one springs from this so-called earthly life into the life of the world to come.
“When it comes to immortality vs. eternity, nothing of physical value is as important as making sure we have eternal life.”
And so we pray, “May the Lord Jesus Christ help us to merit eternal life through faith and obedience to God, our Father. And may this be our guideline for living. From an unprepared and sudden death, O Lord save us.”
The Hubble space telescope, the most powerful telescope man has ever invented, clearly sees objects that are thirty to fifty times fainter than what conventional telescopes can detect. Already the Hubble telescope is letting scientists see things never seen before. A nagging question I have is: On a clear night, is it possible for astronomers to focus on heaven itself?
The individual who waits until the Hubble sends back a good picture of heaven may have to wait a long, long time. Yet to me, we have a glimpse of heaven every time we see a person who bends his knees in worship. Heaven is reflected in the face of a servant who washes the feet of his brother. Heaven is mirrored in the doctors, nurses and other health workers who continually and devotedly do their job and risk their lives while treating ebola-stricken patients. And yes! To most of us, even simple things can get us to see a bit of heaven here on earth.
How? By doing good deeds, even simple ones. The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:13 ESV “But according to His promise, we are waiting for new Heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” Clearly it tells us that heaven is the place where righteousness dwells. Therefore, we get a “heaven-like” experience every time we do good deeds.
There are simple ways you can do everyday to “create” heaven on earth. Good deeds make you feel good, and usually make the person that you do them for feels good as well.
What is a good deed? Well, it’s the simple act of doing good for someone else. Once you have started doing these simple things, they will soon become “random good habits” and more good deeds would just come out naturally.
But think of it like this, if someone is trying to get ahead of you, then they may have a real good reason like:
Letting people go ahead is a good deed that becomes addictive, because not only do you give others a chance to get on with their day, you also feel more relaxed because you are not in such a hurry with yours.
Chances are that if you are walking through a door, then someone else will not be too far behind you. Take a second to be aware of the people around you and hold the door open for all people who are coming in.
Same goes for the elevator. If you are the person who hits the “door close” button over and over while someone is running towards the door, then you had been making someone’s day. And this can make you feel better about yourself too. It is such a simple good deed.
If we do good deeds we get ourselves a glimpse of heaven, for in heaven there is ONLY Kindness. Generosity. Love. In Heaven there is nothing but goodness and righteousness.
While the astronomers are trying to see the universe and the galaxies, the scientists who believe in God have wisely focused on heaven. For them, it is not necessary to see an image or picture of heaven to accept its reality. They have read the blueprint found in the Bible and are certain that it is there. Meantime, let us have a glimpse of heaven by doing good deeds while living temporarily on earth.
The Bible also says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I would go to prepare a place for you?” – John 14:2 How’s that for a reward for your good deeds?
Finally, here’s another good deed, don’t hide all the good things for yourself or deny people your approval share the love and spread the word - Even articles (such as this) can benefit greatly from the share buttons – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest provide. If I like something, I share it because I also want others to be informed and get some ideas or they may even greatly benefit from it.
So, have someone take a “glimpse of heaven”, do good deeds today!
When the teacher asked the students what an evangelist is, one of them answered, “Someone who plays the evangelo.” “This actual student answer illustrates why teachers need summers off”, says Reader’s Digest in its @work column.
Ah yes! Evangelization. This is where a Christian’s mettle is tested. And looking back several years ago, that had been my problem. You see, whenever this word was mentioned, I usually got goose bumps all over me and I would start looking for ways to evade the issue.
I so thought now, that it was because I had that great fear of being rejected, ridiculed, reviled or even persecuted as people may see me as not-the-deeply-religious type because of my outgoing personality. I confess, that had been my “secret” dilemma for years.
Not until I’ve read Steve Sjoren’s book entitled “Conspiracy of Kindness” and Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”. They made me realize that I could start evangelizing by merely showing kindness to others and helping those in need. And that kindness should start right in my own home.
Truly, our actions are the ones that are more likely to be recognized than the many things we say. Thus, I realized that every time I hesitate to helping out someone, I am not helping resolve the fast dwindling number of laborers for the harvest. On the other hand, each time I offer a hand to someone, I join with those who are harvesting souls for the Kingdom. Such actions however small, enable God to be seen in me concretely.
Kindness instead of eloquence. Low risks, high gains. How’s that for a new way of evangelization?
“Lord, above all the words that I speak…I pray that my actions maybe an effective witness to Your love to those who are living in the dark today….”
She had that glassy look in her eyes. I could almost sense the tone of despair in her voice as she helped me with the registration forms of some students and walk-in visitors. I would catch her staring blankly at nothing, oblivious of the sense of urgency that all of us in the registration committee had.
I was there to help with the three-day Food Expo that the association where I am a member had organized. She was assigned at the same committee where I was. Little did I knew that God would bring her to me that He may bring her comfort and assurance through me.
As we talked, she started sharing her life to me, her struggles, her hardships and the many trials that seem to overwhelm her in that point in her life. She recounted how difficult it was for her to juggle her work and her duty in taking care of her two special children who were both afflicted with cerebral palsy.
She suffered even more when she found out that her husband was cheating on her. and even got another woman pregnant. What was even worse was when she and the other woman delivered their babies on the same year.
“It was like living in hell”, she uttered in a cracked voice as she tried to hold back her tears. “I nearly lost my sanity when my two special children aged 9 and 11 died one after the other”, she said, now tears rolling down her cheeks. It was then that she decided to leave her husband for good.
I could only listen and hold her hand for comfort, telling her to hold onto God for guidance and strength, that God will never abandon her and He is always there to help her. And that she should continue to pray, for God always listens to her supplications.
Our conversation goes on and off as we process registration forms from time to time. When I went to bed that night, I asked the Lord to grant her peace amidst the storms in her life.
She is just one of the many people whom God has brought to me for comfort – some of them, I’ve known for a long time while some I barely knew. And I would be amazed from time to time, there are also others who are complete strangers, those I’ve met for the first time. Each one had told me their own sad story. And I would just listen intently and literally and figuratively be their “crying shoulder”. I have since included them in my prayers.
Lately, I got to see her and she told me that she is slowly recovering emotionally and has since counted her bountiful blessings instead. She said she’s now focused on the only child that is left of her – her daughter, aged 6.
Yes, that was how I spent my weekend. It was a weekend full of tears and laughters. On the overall, we enjoyed the work and more so, we enjoyed each other’s company. We went home tired but everyone was happy for the new friendship that we all shared.
I thank the Lord for making me an instrument once more and for answering our prayers. Had I not been a willing instrument of God, I would have not been so blessed to witness God’s saving grace.
Indeed, through His Spirit’s power, He had enabled me to be a servant of the Gospel once again.
And so, I have since made this a part of my daily prayer, “Use me today, Lord…to bring others closer to You. Lead me and Guide me today…as I share Your Light to others…Amen.”
The dream is almost real, I could have sworn I was really a mountain biker travelling through uncharted territory. I saw myself trying to negotiate my way through rough and rocky roads. Then I became tired, I got off and pushed my bike trying to cut thorny bushes and stubborn weeds that got in the way.
“This is quite an adventure”, I said to myself as I put in all my efforts, but then I realized that the harder I tried, the more lost I became. I only grew more and more exhausted and consequently, more unable to continue my climb.
I told myself that If I succeeded and reached the top of the mountain, I would name the trail after myself. That way, maybe others who wished to climb the mountain could just follow “The Mayrose Trail”.
Suddenly, an old man appeared. He said, “There already is a trail for you to follow. One greater than what you have prepared. You might have passed by it already. It’s called “Repentance Trail”
Fellow Christians, the way to the mountain of the Lord is not hidden. In fact, John the Baptist proclaimed it. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must accept the sad fact that we are all sinners. Only a liar would deny that he never sins or has never committed any sin. In the family alone, there would be times when our children would do us wrong. As Christian parents, we have taught them the righteous way of amending their faults by admitting them, apologizing and not doing them again. And as loving and understanding parents, we forgive our children over and over again. We do the same when at times we also hurt our children in some ways.
To be truly Christian, we need to repent, confess and pray before we can ask forgiveness from the Father.
Biblically, repentance means to turn away from sin with a heartfelt desire to change and not to succumb to it again. We Christians, often fail in our battle against sin. We may have remorse over it and honestly desire not to commit sin again, but because of our fallen nature and our profound weakness, we often fail to carry out our repentance.
Nevertheless, by the grace of God, we are able to turn to Him yet again and receive the cleansing that is guaranteed through Christ.
This, however, does not mean that it is okay to go out and seek to commit sin again then try to repent of it later. Repentance is and should be “a change of heart that brings a change in action.” John the Baptist told the people to “bear fruits worthy of repentance”. Therefore, repentance involves restitution and the amendment of life.
Confession of sins is also required before Christians can be forgiven, for John said,”If we confess our sins., He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
The word confess means “to confess by way of admitting oneself guilty of what one is accused of, the result of inward conviction.”
Then Christians should also pray. A prayer that comes from the heart – a sincere, heartfelt prayer is a natural extension of repentance and confession.
Isn’t it life’s so wonderful when our sins are forgiven? Here are some of the most beautiful and poetic passages in the Bible that deal with the manner in which God forgives His repentant children.
The great prophet Micah said, “God will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19)
When God forgives us our sins will be removed, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psa. 103:12)
“God will blot out our sins and remember them against us no more.” (Psa. 15:9)
Our sins are wiped out of His memory, never to be brought up again!
Let us all then see the enormity of sin and the willingness of our Father to forgive. God has set conditions for forgiveness of His erring children. When a Christian sins, he must repent, confess and pray.
For Non-Christians – those who can not call upon God as their “Father”, you must “repent, and let everyone of you baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
John the Baptist preached a baptism of repentance for he knew that those who heeded him would clear the path to their hearts., and they would not even Go to God. God Himself would enter their hearts.
Friend, have you passed by Repentance Trail? This, I tell you… It’s not just an exciting adventure but is TRULY a rewarding one.
GOD comes in and tells you, “I will rebuild you, I will make you great, bigger, sturdier.” You rejoice, filled with anticipation. God’s words run over and over in your mind. “I will rebuild you, I will make you great…”
The renovation begins. The rebuilding is underway. At first, everything that God does makes sense. He’s unclogging drains. He takes care of the leaks in the roof, checks the electric wiring. You’re happy, you’re satisfied with how the construction is going. No questions.
But then God started making changes you don’t expect. He starts knocking the house that hurts. At this point, questions like, “Do you know what You are doing?” begins to come to mind.
Many people hurt themselves and those they love by resisting God’s “renovation”, life’s transformation, that is. Holding onto the past will tear a person and family apart during a time of change. Such is the case of a person who is stuck into an immoral relationship or activities. It may hurt the person to let go of a lover, in order to restore his broken family. At the same time, his spouse and children are also hurt by his unfaithfulness and infidelity.
The same is true for someone who is living a “devil-may-care” life and has to give up gambling and indecent businesses if he is to follow God’s way.
We must remember, the goal of the Christian life is transformation in the likeness of Christ. Transformation is the process of the Sanctification in which the Holy Spirit takes all of our degradations and turns them into glory, all of our deserts into gardens and all of our weaknesses into strengths.
Transformation entails sacrifices. It is important to understand, in transformation, resides the loss of old comforts and support. Oftentimes, painful moments have to be embraced, experienced and accepted. And these are the times when God’s “renovation” does hurt.
Moreover, Life Transformation does not erase a memory or change our personal history. Rather, it enables us to cherish even the worst moments in our lives, for through them God has inscribed eternal lessons onto our hearts and prepared us to minister to all who have suffered in the same way.
Believe it or not, you will bless someone one day with what you have experienced if you allow God to heal you, I am a living witness to that.
Every person has issues and has experienced hurts and pains. God always gives us the grace to obtain healing.
When you allow God to heal you, your mess becomes a message, your test becomes a testimony.
So though at times when you feel that what God is doing seems contrary to what you expect, don’t panic! For God is leading you to a better life – the life of a true Christian.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” - Romans 12:2
If you allow God to transform you, then you have to renew your mind and to renew your mind is to get rid of your negative thoughts. Here are some ways:
You see, before the truth can change our lives, we must reject those false beliefs (lies from the enemy). The more we stand on God’s word the more His word will become truth. But it takes action from us to apply God’s word.
When we transform our minds, the result is peace because God’s truth always brings peace. It also brings healing and deliverance of our mind, will and emotions. When our mind, will and emotions are healed, then our behavior changes as well. Not only that, how we think about God, others and ourselves is also transformed.
Here is the reward of allowing the truth of God’s word to change our belief system: “It may not alter our past but it will transform our lives and gives us hope and wisdom for the future.”
Many times the only thing that is holding us back from the fullness of changing our lives is our inability to forgive others and ourselves. Unforgiveness is the super glue that holds us in bondage of our past and we’re not able to move forward in the high callings of God and His purposes.
By taking God”s Word as truth, we will be free from living in anger, hatred and unforgiveness. We must realize that a spirit of unforgiveness complicates and compromises our daily walk with God.
This is then a good time to ask the Lord to search your heart of anyone you have not forgiven. You see, forgiveness separates you from God and others.
Remember, God is always present, full of compassion and grace, and willing to heal our broken hearts and lives from the past. He desires more than we do to fill our lives with His hope, joy and peace.
Remember too, that transformation begins with LOVE. We have two choices: we can love ourselves through the transformation or continue to beat ourselves up…The choice is ours.
So if at times, you feel that God is renovating you in ways that hurt. Relax. God hasn’t suddenly gone berserk. Let Him be. Yes, He knows what He is doing. In fact, before he built you the first time (remember this is just a renovation), He already knew which part in your “living house” will decay. As a matter of fact, He is the only One who knows how long your “living house” will last.
So, stop whining….let me tell you a secret…He is not only rebuilding you into a sturdier, bigger bungalow, He is making a MANSION out of you! NO KIDDING!
“It was dark when it happened. A couple were traveling back to the city after a relaxing day on the beach,” the news reporter said. The couple recounted in the interview that before them was a long stretch of highway broken by occasional overpasses by pedestrians. They further recalled, “as we rounded a corner, we saw a brightly lit sign which read “BLIND CORNER, DO NOT CROSS, USE OVERPASS’. Then they heard a thud and a muffled cry. The driver quickly stepped on the brakes. A glance at the front of the car told them all. They could just make out the outline of a woman’s body under the tires. She was dead.
Many mishaps before this have happened and many more, followed. But why?…Why didn’t those people use the overpass?
We must admit, it is easier and faster to take the shortcuts. As Richard Hendrix said, “Second only to suffering…waiting may be the greatest teacher and training… in godliness, maturity and genuine spirituality which most of us encounter.”
If Hendrix is correct, and I believe he is, then the general rule should be, “If we want to grow in godliness, we must grow in patience.” Unfortunately, the virtue of patience is slowly fading away. The emergence of advanced technology to make life easier is a factor, waiting has now become almost a thing of the past. No more standing in line to withdraw in the bank, use the ATM. Everything is instant – noodles, coffee, fast foods to name a few. Quick and easy business? Create online shop.
Today’s world offers us shortcuts to almost everything. People have taken shortcuts to getting wealth. There are reports of high officials and ordinary persons who have resorted to corruption, gambling, drug trade and other downright immoral and illegal acts in order to amass more and more wealth.
We also know of individuals who took shortcuts to justice and killed, putting the law into their own hands.
There are government officials who took the shortcut to power through bribery and cheating during elections.
In our current world, we find people who have brought ruin to themselves and their families through attempts to take shortcuts. And those who will stop at nothing to get what they want, whatever the cost.
Michelle Obama said, “We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters…that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules…and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.”
Honesty and integrity does matter for the Christian. Men have their own set of rules but it is only by following God’s law that we can enter God’s kingdom. But have we forgotten that there are no shortcuts to enter the kingdom of God? Have we forgotten that there are no short-cuts to receiving His power?
God has written His instructions in one book: The Bible. In it He warns us against laziness, against pride, against lust. The Bible also tells us that the only way to come to God is thru Jesus Christ, and the only way to be able to receive and use the power of God is through receiving the Holy Spirit and through faith in Jesus Christ.
It is in and by the power of the name of Jesus Christ that we are being saved and there is no other way by which we can be saved except through His name.
Likewise, we say “AMEN” through the name of Jesus so that we will receive the things we ask from God. The power to receive all the gifts and promises of God come through faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. – Matthew 7:13 (The Message)
So then, there are no shortcuts in our walk with Christ. There are no easy ways out by which we can skip certain things and jump straight to where we want to be.
We must all walk the path He sets before us and seek the truth through faith and the workings of the Holy Spirit. Certainly, there are no shortcuts to Heaven…
However, if you have taken the short-cuts and have broken any rules…There is still a chance for you, my friend…Ask God for forgiveness and you’ll find Him ever ready to bail you out.
But most of us don’t fit neatly in one box because our feelings change and our moods shift. At times, we are confident and exuberant, fully in control as though we’re on top of the world. At other times, we are cautious, hesitant and fearful of the unknown.
One of the most comforting truths about the Bible is that God knows and loves us just the way we are.
With Him we do not have to “play games” and pretend to be somebody we are not. We do not have to make a show that we are on “top of things” when we are really down and fearful in the inside.
The truth is, each one is distinct and unique in the eyes of God. No one is a carbon copy of you. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no one else in all the world is exactly like you. Whether you’re a vibrant extrovert or a shy introvert, you are unique, one of a kind!
In the eyes of God, therefore, each one is special. You were created to fulfill a specific “mission”. The “mission”, He intends just for you. Thus, no one can replace you in the role that you were assigned by God. You maybe a medical practitioner, a nurse, therapist, artist, carpenter, laborer, a plain housewife, a struggling employee, retiree or whatever you do in life, – that is your role.
You are most necessary and indispensable for that particular role. Therefore, rejoice and be grateful to the Lord that He has given you a purpose to fulfill – a divine mission to accomplish.
Whether you perform your role perfectly and in a meaningful manner or not, is irrelevant, because God expects each one to do, what one is capable of. He knows your limits, where you are weak and where you are good at. God does not expect ants to carry great loads of timber. Nor does God expects the elephant to fly in the air as do butterflies and doves.
He expects the birds and butterflies to fly and He love them for what they do. He expects elephants to fulfill their role in the forest. And He expects man to live as man. Each one in his own place, in his own sphere, can fulfill a task and gladden the heart of the Maker and contribute something to His plan on earth.
You may feel insignificant, but in the eyes of God, no one is indispensable. No one is useless. No one is lesser. And so, never compare and contrast , because there is no comparing and contrasting in unique things.
Hence, rejoice that you are special to God in His infinite love.
Rejoice that you have your own special place and role to perform in the creation of God.
Rejoice that His love is immediately available to you.
Rejoice that God made you just as you are and His love for you is unchanging and unqualified.
Rejoice that within you is the peace of God.
And most of all, rejoice that God has called you to a mission, a very special duty to perform, that is, to live the Word, spread the Word and to spread peace to one and all.
Fulfill that mission NOW!
Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper” tells the tale of two young boys, who were approximately the same age and were almost identical in appearance. One boy was the son of a King while the other was the son of a pauper. The two boys met and decided to exchange roles and stations in life. But underneath the story lies a truth of vastly greater significance than the boys’ trading lives.
In similar fashion, Jesus came to earth leaving His position at the right hand of the Father. He temporarily exchanged His heavenly position as He came to earth and lived with the reality of sickness, poverty and suffering.
It is because of His great love for us that Jesus came to earth. He came to deliver the truth in a world of false beliefs. Because we are sinful, in a spiritually wrecked condition, we are in need of redemption but we could not redeem ourselves.
And so, Christ came into this world to be a final sacrifice for our sins, and this is the main reason why He came down to live with His creatures, men.
What is so amazing about Christ is how He, our Creator, God who is perfect, with all His glory, power and might, righteousness and holiness, came to live with men who are unrighteous and unholy.
He came down to do the will of the Father. For the Scriptures say, “For I have come not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me.” As a servant, He, the Son of God came to obey and fulfill His Father’s will.
“Jesus came for all”, as the Bible says, “The grace of God has appeared to all men.” Christianity is for everyone but not everyone responds to His call, only those who acknowledge they are sinful.
And for us to know this, we only have to look at God’s standards, His commands and His law, to find that we have not perfectly obeyed them and we have fallen short of keeping them.
Nothing compares to God’s love for us. It is beyond measure of any kind. God’s love is unconditional and infinite.
Jesus describes the depth of His love for us, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands, and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)
He loves us no matter what–even when we disobey. But we will live in His love, enjoy His love, as we obey Him.
When Jesus died on the cross, He defeated the devil and the power of sin. His shed of blood atoned for the sins of the whole world and satisfied the justice of God, once and for all.
No longer would people be powerless against sin and the devil’s schemes. No longer would they have to be separated from God.
As a physical reminder of that, at the moment when Jesus died on the cross, an earthquake shook Jerusalem.
In the holiest part of the temple, the huge, thick curtain separating the people of God tore in from the top to bottom. It was as though God was saying to us, “Now you may come to Me, because my Son have opened the gates.”
This way is open for us now if we put Jesus into our hearts. Accepting Christ as the center of our life means giving Him all that we are, both the good and the bad, asking Him to help us live for Him. If we believe in Him, we will be saved.
When Jesus hung on the cross dying, He suffered for our sins, not because He had to, but because He wanted to.
As Isaiah puts it;
“Surely, He has borne our griefs and carries our sorrows, yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced by our transgressions, He was crushed by our inequities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–everyone–to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all .” (Isaiah 53:4-6)
Yes my friend, the Lord Jesus exchanged His life and place for us. He was the sacrificial lamb to save mankind and He brought the gift of eternal life by virtue of His death.
Christ was a Prince who came down as a pauper. What a paradox!
When God gave us a new life, it didn’t come on a silver platter or trimmed in lace and smelling of sweet perfume. Jesus, began His life as a pauper in a smelly, damp stable. He tasted real life, and that will be the flavor of your journey with Christ-no magic, just the promise that He will be with you and He will not abandon you.
And so, isn’t it wonderful that You and I were once a pauper but are now children not just of a King, but children of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? This is because of God’s eternal love for us.