Don’t you hate it when you’re looking for something on the internet, and you get the screen “Error 404—Page not found”? But there are times in my life when I’m glad for “page not found”—like when I start to dig up those sins which have been confessed, forgiven, and forgotten by God. (See 1 John 1:9, Isaiah 43:25, and Hebrews 10:17)
Psalm 103:12 makes a great promise: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” And Jesus makes it true for all of us who trust in Him (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Thank You, Father, for removing my sins so far from me. I can forget the past except for the lessons I’ve learned. I cannot meet up with those transgressions again. If a person travels east, they can go around the globe 100 times and still be going east. Also, if we travel west, we’ll still be going west no matter how far we go. So east and west have no meeting point, no “page” where my sin could be found.
I can’t thank You enough, O Lord my God.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Isaiah 43:25 “It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more.”
Hebrews 10:17 “I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts.”
2 Corinthians 1:20 “For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in Him. Therefore the “Amen” is also through Him for God’s glory through us.”
(Scriptures are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.)
God gave us good gifts on Good Friday, such as the forgiveness of our sins through the death of Jesus on the cross, direct access to God when the temple curtain in front of the Most Holy Place was torn in two, and most important, the proof of His astounding love for us.
Today I want to remember what it cost the Triune God to give these gifts to us. Jesus laid aside His glory, honor, and equality with God to become a lowly human baby and experience temptation, rejection and other struggles as a man. Finally He suffered the agony of Gethsemane and the humiliation and excruciating pain of betrayal, abandonment, mockery, beating, the torturous death of the cross, and the separation of the “Tri-unity” when our sin was laid on Him. The Almighty Father could have said, “These humans aren’t worth letting my beloved Son go through all this,” and then sent His angels to the rescue. But He didn’t. He watched it all.
And God did it all for us when we were still sinners, rebellious and determined to go our own way (Romans 5:8). Incredible love! Yet true. I’m reminded of an old hymn that includes the lines, “Why should my Savior to Calvary go? Why should He love me so?” (“Why Should He Love Me So?”—words and music by Robert Harkness.) I also think of the chorus of another hymn, “Lest I forget Gethsemane, lest I forget Thine agony, lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.” (“Lead Me to Calvary”—words by Jennie E. Hussey.)
Yes, God gave us wonderful things on Good Friday. May I never forget or take for granted the great love He showed at such great cost.
I failed; no, messed up; no, blew it—well, actually I sinned.
Nevertheless, I can go boldly to God’s throne of grace to receive mercy and help at the time I need it (Hebrews 4:16). I can receive mercy from God because of Jesus Christ.
When I repent and confess my sin to my Father, He casts my sin behind His back (Isaiah 38:17). Then He doesn’t turn around and look at it, so He doesn’t see it anymore. I can’t see it either because He is too big for me to see around Him.
Father, I’m so grateful, I think I’ll dance.
“‘All things are ready,’ come to the feast! Come for the table now is spread;
Ye famishing, ye weary come, and [you shall] be richly fed.”
“Hear the invitation, ‘Come whosoever will.’ Praise God for full salvation,
For whosoever will.”
(First verse and chorus of hymn “All Things Are Ready” by Charlotte G. Homer and W. A. Ogden)
I recalled this song from my youth after I’d read Pastor Tom’s sermon on Matthew 22:1-14 (You’re Invited to the Feast! ). The sermon helped me understand the part of the parable in which the man without the proper wedding clothes was thrown out. From the parable and the sermon, I see that even though everyone is invited to God’s wedding feast for His Son Jesus Christ and His bride the church, we can’t come on our own terms. We have to come on His terms.
My own goodness (even if I were “practically perfect in every way,” which I’m not) wouldn’t be proper attire for the feast. I can’t come smeared with the filth of my sin. I must repent and turn from my sin to Christ.
It’s not about saying a prayer and getting a ticket to heaven and living as I please. Accepting the invitation means that daily I lay down my own way (die to self, take up my cross) and go God’s way (follow Jesus, seek God’s kingdom). When I live this way, I will experience real life and joy now. And when I am called to enter the banquet hall, I’ll be properly dressed and ready.
Thought provoking excellent sermon by Pastor Tom.
To hear many churches, the message of the gospel is this: “Jesus loves you. Now you are free to do whatever you want, as long as admit that you are a sinner, counting on Jesus to forgive you.” Brothers and sisters, that is not the message of the Gospel of Grace. That is not what Jesus preached, and it not what the apostles preached. Jesus and the apostles preached repentance and faith.
To listen to the sermon, click the play button:
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Download Matthew Part 76
Matthew #76 Matthew 21:28-45
I want to remind all of you that we most certainly depend upon your prayers for us, in very real and practical ways. Right now we could use prayers for guidance, encouragement and for the Lord to continue to use…
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Jesus is the giver of living, life-giving water. It is free to all who will come to Him. There’s no discrimination—everyone who wants to can come. His life is real, fulfilling and satisfying—vibrant, wonderful life now and forever. Jesus offers, but He doesn’t force us to accept. Each one of us must choose. Will we go His way or our own way?
Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”
John 4:14 “But those who drink the water I [Jesus] give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
I’ll come God’s way, through the blood of Jesus, following and obeying Him. That is real life. Nothing else comes close.
(Both Scriptures New Living Translation)
Mark 6:53, 55-56 Amplified Bkible “And when they had crossed over, they reached the land of Gennesaret…. and they ran about the whole countryside, and began to carry around sick people on their sleeping pads or mats to any place where they heard that He was. and wherever He came into villages or cities or the country, they would lay the sick in the marketplaces and beg Him that they might touch even the fringe of His outer garment, and as many as touched Him were restored to health.”
I wonder how many today come to Jesus and receive healing for themselves or someone else and go away. They’re content with healing and don’t go on to become His disciples. Following Jesus instead of our own interests requires laying down the lordship over our own lives, but the rewards are worth the price. Jesus offers healing because He is good and merciful, but He offers so much more as well. He offers forgiveness of sins, peace of mind, joy, fulfillment, strength, and on and on. The most important thing He gives, though, is relationship with the living, triune God—in this life and the next.
Dear Lord, please don’t let me ever settle for anything less, but remind me to take up my cross and follow You so You can give me the greatest gift—You, Yourself. Amen.