Holy Week 2018 | Monday of Holy Week: Salvation

God, as a manifestation of who he is, sought a way to save that which deserved damnation.

God’s glorious grace is seen in the Cross of Calvary. On that instrument of suffering and death, the Son of God purchased the salvation of all who would believe. In a moment of pure love, the blood of Christ dripped and redeemed that which was thought lost for all time.

The remarkable mystery of salvation is that any of us is saved at all. God was not obligated to save. But he was compelled to do it. There is a difference. And obligation is imposed upon us by an outside force. But that is not what God did. God is good. He is gracious. He is loving. In all that he does, he is just. What this means is that God, as a manifestation of who he is, sought a way to save that which deserved damnation. That is a paradox. These two seemingly contradictory realities find their resolution in Jesus.

As we look forward to Resurrection Sunday, I am stunned yet again at the wonderful grace of God. God is so much better than we could ever fathom. He is more glorious than we could ever describe. He is kinder than we could ever deserve. But, I am so thankful that he is who he is in spite of who I am.

Video spotlight | “Good, Good Father”

I have heard this song before but, this time I found myself really listening. Have you ever done that? Something just hits you differently than it had before. When this happens to me, I realize that there is truth unheard that I am now ready to receive.

It can be so easy to forget who HE is and who that, in turn, makes us. I need as many reminders of who I am as I can get.

I hope you find it as much a blessing as I did.

God’s Love Through Paul’s Eyes

First Corinthians 13 has been called the chapter of love. It contains beautiful and poetic language regarding the nature of love. As I have read it this week, I found myself struck by the opening verses of that passage. There is something in the way that Paul instructs the Corinthian church that deeds without proper motive are vacuous and utterly worthless efforts.

At first it is difficult to understand why Paul takes such a hard stance on our need to love in all we do. Sure, it makes sense that we should be kind and generous to others. We should not see to do harm to those who have wronged us. But, there is something else at work in Paul’s examples. He reminds us that we must take care not to get lost in our own spiritual endeavors that we forget our companions on the way.

Paul highlights that the possession and exercise of spiritual gifts does not give us license to do as we wish. The examples Paul uses are spectacular. These are not small or insignificant gifts. She are big, visible, in-your-face gifts, but if it’s about the individual then it is nothing more than a charade. It seems that the temptation to take advantage of spiritual gifts was something that had become common place in that church. The struggle to remain humble had given way to personal gain and influence.

Paul ends the chapter by telling us that of all the gifts that will abide faith, hope, and love will remain forever. These three are given prominence among all of God’s gifts to the saints because they are different from the all the others. All the spiritual gifts discussed in chapter 12 are to be used by the believer for the benefit of those in the church. Faith, hope, and love are not like this. These three are given to the believer as a means of confirming the presence of God within us. The fact that faith, hope, and love will abide forever, is an indication that what God has done was intended to produce these three things from the start.

The question that rolls around in my mind is why love is the greatest. What is it about the nature of love that make it rise above the other two? I think it is greatest because it is a reflection of God’s own character. Love, while it resides within us, must be expressed sacrificially. I can speak in tongues, move mountains, and give everything away and it not really be a burden or a struggle to do so. It makes us feel good to do those thing most of the time. But, when the task required is costly; when it calls for a deeper level of commitment; when there is no inherent benefit to me, love must be present for me to act.

Love is sacrificial. When we love the way God does, it forces us to not consider the ramifications to ourselves. We see the one in need and we are compelled to act. Love is more than just an emotion. A true act of love engages us to the very core of our being.

I think Paul understood this better than most. After all he had done, God loved him and taught him how to love others. As I read this famous chapter, I read it as an acknowledgement by Paul of what he experienced when God loved him and saved him. This is Paul’s description of God’s love toward him, the chief of sinners. A magnificent one at that.

Word to the Wise | “God is Crazy About Us”

There are many reasons God saves us.  He does it for His own glory.  God takes pleasure in loving the highest order of His creation.  He also saves us to satisfy His justice.  God cannot declare the guilty innocent.  That would violate the integrity of His character.  The guilty must pay the penalty.  Since God loves us, He sent His Son to pay the penalty.  When Jesus volunteered to pay our penalty, God’s love found full expression—He was free to save us.  And His justice is satisfied—the penalty was paid in full.

But, do you know the sweetest reason of all?  God loves us unconditionally.  He likes having us around.  He wants to visit and fellowship with us.  God is simply crazy about us.  If we need to talk, He will listen.  If we are hurt, He will comfort us.  He can live anywhere in the universe, and yet, He chose to live in our hearts.

Pastor Luis Scott
Ambassadors of Christ Fellowship

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