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Posts Tagged ‘eternal life’

The Sabbath was a day of rest instituted by God to continually remind His people about Him.  By taking a whole day to totally stop what you’re usually doing and focus on God is much more impactful than just taking an hour out to go to church on Sunday.  God wanted them to always be mindful of who He was and what He had done for them.  He gave them six day of the week to do their own thing, but the Sabbath was His.  A constant reminder of His provision and protection.

As the Israelites became consumed with other things on the Sabbath, they eventually began ignoring God.  Oh, they still “practiced” the Sabbath rituals, but their hearts were far from the activities.  They had a “form” of religion, but denied its power (2 Timothy 3:5).    This caused them to drift into idol worship and away from the true God of the universe. 

We today as gentile believers have done our own “drifting”.   We may go to church on Sunday, but it may be more for “form” than for “substance”.  Our afternoons and evenings are planned with activities that rarely give a thought to God and His wonderful provisions for us.  As the Israelites became unbelieving and ungrateful, so has today’s Church.  We acknowledge the “form”, but “deny the power” of God in our lives or in the world today.  Ours is so often a mere formality with no true heart belief.  No wonder we have lost the awe of God in our lives.

God wants to be remembered.  He wants us to remember that He is the one who gave us life, the ability to work and provide for our families.  He gives us wisdom, health, healing, and protection.  Most importantly, He wants to be remembered for giving us eternal life through belief in His son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus said “My Father is always working and so am I” (John 5:17).  It seems the only day God took off was the seventh day of creation.  Looks like He’s been busy ever since.  Perhaps now would be a good time to step back and pick a day to honor Him each week for what He has done and is continuing to do for us.  May God grant us the ability to return to the meaning of the Sabbath.

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One cold, winter night, a farmer heard an irregular thumping sound against the kitchen storm door. He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the warmth inside, beat in vain against the glass. Touched, the farmer bundled up and walked through the fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling birds. He turned on the lights and tossed some hay in a corner. But the sparrows had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house and hid in the darkness, afraid.

The farmer tried various tactics to get them into the barn. He laid down a trail of Saltine cracker crumbs to direct them. He tried circling behind the birds to drive them toward the barn. Nothing worked. The birds couldn’t comprehend that the farmer, a huge alien creature, desired to help them. The farmer withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window. As he stared, a thought hit him like lightning from a clear blue sky: If only I could become a bird, one of them, just for a moment, then I wouldn’t frighten them so. I could show them the way to warmth and safety.

The farmer then recalled the greatest story he had ever read. The book began being edited around 1400 BC, was written by a number of men from different countries who had never seen, nor in any way communicated with one another. Each of these men were given a piece of the story from what the shivering sparrows would relate to as a huge alien creature. Each piece of information related to a future event that would show them the way to warmth and safety. This future event was the arrival of Jesus.

God didn’t want to scare man like the farmer scared the sparrows, so He told us in advance what was going to happen. Some of the hints of His arrival were:

He would be of the Tribe of Judah:  Genesis 49:10.   The exact time of His Coming:  Daniel 9:24-26.  He was to be born of a Virgin: Isaiah 7:14, in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2-5.  He would live in Galilee:  Isaiah 9:1-2.   He would work miracles of healing: Isaiah 29:18 and speak in parables: Psalm 78:2. He would enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey: Zechariah 9:9.   He would be betrayed by a friend: Psalm 41:9, for thirty pieces of silver that would be thrown into the church and be used for the purchase of the Potter’s field: Zechariah 11:12-13.  He would be rejected by his own people: Isaiah 53:3.   He would be led as a lamb to the slaughter:  Isaiah 53:7.  He would be pierced through His hands and feet:  Psalm 22:16.  He would be crucified with criminals: Isaiah 53:12.  They would cast lots for His garments: Psalm 22:18.  His side would be pierced:  Zechariah 12:10.   Darkness would come over the land: Amos 8:9.  He would be buried by a rich man:  Isaiah 53:9.  He would not decay and would rise from the dead on the third day:  Psalm 16:10, Hosea 6:2.                     

There are many other prophecies of the arrival and life of Jesus in this great story. This pre-written story, recorded centuries before Jesus came is so astonishing in detail that it reads like an eye-witness account of His life and Work. But Why?

Why? Remember the farmer and the sparrows. We are the sparrows. We have all seen in past years where warnings were given to the residents along the coastlines of approaching hurricanes. Warnings that the people should evacuate for safer areas or evacuation shelters, only later to hear of the lives that the storm took and pictures of people standing on their roofs in disbelief. If only they had listened.

The Bible carries such a message to escape a coming storm. What storm you ask? One that you will not be able to evacuate from. We will all stand before God’s Judgment Seat and give account of ourselves ( Romans 14:10-12 ). Without Jesus, we will be left without a way into God’s house, Heaven. As you can see, God gave us the clues of the coming Savior long before His arrival. But most important, He gave us the teachings of Jesus, which would show us how to avoid the storm and a way to come in for the warmth and safety. The Bible says that Heaven will be so great that it is beyond our wildest imagination ( I Corinthians 2:9 ). Jesus said He had come so that you may have life more abundantly ( John 10:10 ). How can you become a Christian and know with certainty that you are going to Heaven? This is what the Bible says:

(1) Romans 3:10, 23  = We have all sinned. Adam introduced sin into the world. We do not start life with even the possibility of living it sinlessly (Romans 5:12-14).    (2) Romans 5:8 = God loves us anyway. (3) Romans 6:23  = Sin results in death and hell, but God offers the gift of eternal life through Jesus. (4) John 3:16 = God loves you so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, so that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved. (5)  John 14:6, Acts 4:12 = Jesus said that He is the only Way to Heaven. (6) Hebrews 9:22 = Jesus shed His blood as the only acceptable payment for our sin. (7) Romans 10:9-10 = Confess Jesus as Lord of your life and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. (8) Romans 10:13 = Call upon the name of the Lord. (9) Romans 10:17  = Accept the free gift of faith in Christ that comes by hearing the Word of God. (10) Acts 3:19 = Repent. Change direction. Turn away from sin and turn to Christ.

Will you pray to receive Christ and His forgiveness? “Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that You died for my sins and that God raised You from the dead. I admit that I am a sinner, and the best I know how, I’ll turn away from my sins and turn to You. I ask You to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving and forgiving me. With Your help, I will never be ashamed of You, and I will live for You the rest of my life. All of this I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.” What should you do next? Study and obey God’s Word, the Bible, and attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. May God Bless you and smile upon you all your days.

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