The blood of Jesus, God's Son, cleanses us from every sin. 1 John1:7
John tells us, "We are being cleansed from every sin by the blood of Jesus." In other words, we are always being cleansed. The cleansing is not a promise for the future but a reality in the present. Let a speck of dust fall on the soul of a saint, and it is washed away. Let a spot of filth land on the heart of God's child, and the filth is wiped away…
Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, "I can clean that if you want." And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes away our sin.
But that's not all he does. Because he lives in us, you and I can do the same. Because he has forgiven us, we can forgive others.
Just Like Jesus (Max Lucado)
We are incarcerated by our past. We have been found guilty! Our executioner’s footsteps echo against the stone walls. We sit on the floor of the dusty cell, awaiting our final moment. We don’t look up as he opens the door. We know what he’s going to say. “Time to pay for your sins.” But we hear something else! “You’re free to go. They took Jesus instead of you!”
The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out!” And we find ourselves shackles gone, crimes pardoned, wondering, what just happened? Grace just happened! Christ took away your sins.
Romans 3 says that God, in his gracious kindness, declares us not guilty. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.
What happened? Grace happened!
Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. Isa 46:4
Growing old can be dangerous. The trail is treacherous and the pitfalls are many. One is wise to be prepared. You know it's coming. It's not like God kept the process a secret. It's not like you are blazing a trail as you grow older. It's not as if no one has ever done it before. Look around you. You have ample opportunity to prepare and ample case studies to consider. If growing old catches you by surprise, don't blame God. He gave you plenty of warning. He also gave you plenty of advice.
Your last chapters can be your best. Your final song can be your greatest. It could be that all of your life has prepared you for a grand exit. God's oldest have always been among his choicest.
He Still Moves Stones (Max Lucado)
If you don't want to serve the LORD, you must choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. Jos 24:15
[God's] invitation is clear and nonnegotiable. He gives all and we give him all. Simple and absolute. He is clear in what he asks and clear in what he offers. The choice is up to us. Isn't it incredible that God leaves the choice to us? Think about it. There are many things in life we can't choose. We can't, for example, choose the weather. We can't control the economy.
We can't choose whether or not we are born with a big nose or blue eyes or a lot of hair. We can't even choose how people respond to us.
But we can choose where we spend eternity. The big choice, God leaves to us. The critical decision is ours.
That is the only decision which really matters.
And the Angels Were Silent (Max Lucado)
John said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" Joh 1:29
Jesus was born crucified. Whenever he became conscious of who he was, he also became conscious of what he had to do. The cross-shaped shadow could always be seen. And the screams of hell's imprisoned could always be heard.
This explains the glint of determination on his face as he turned to go to Jerusalem for the last time. He was on his death march (Luk 9:51 ).
This explains the resoluteness in the words, "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord" (Joh 10:17-18 NIV)…
So call it what you wish: An act of grace. A plan of redemption. A martyr's sacrifice. But whatever you call it, don't call it an accident. It was anything but that.
God Came Near (Max Lucado)
Though your sins are like scarlet, they can be as white as snow. Though your sins are deep red, they can be white like wool. Isa 1:18
When Jesus told us to pray for forgiveness of our debts as we forgive our own debtors, he knew who would be the one to pay the debt. As he would hang on the cross he would say, "It is finished"… the debt is paid!
There are some facts that will never change. One fact is that you are forgiven. If you are in Christ, when he sees you, your sins are covered—he doesn't see them. He sees you better than you see yourself. And that is a glorious fact of your life.
Walking with the Savior (Max Lucado)
Then Jesus went about a stone's throw away from them. He kneeled down and prayed. Luk 22:41
The final prayer of Jesus was about you. His final pain was for you. His final passion was for you. Before he went to the cross, Jesus went to the garden. And when he spoke with his Father, you were in his prayers…
And God couldn't turn his back on you. He couldn't because he saw you, and one look at you was all it took to convince him. Right there in the middle of a world which isn't fair. He saw you cast into a river of life you didn't request. He saw you betrayed by those you love. He saw you with a body which gets sick and a heart which grows weak…
On the eve of the cross, Jesus made his decision. He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you.
And the Angels Were Silent (Max Lucado)
Come, let's worship him and bow down. Let's kneel before the LORD who made us. Psa 95:6
Worship. In two thousand years we haven't worked out the kinks. We still struggle for the right words in prayer. We still fumble over Scripture. We don't know when to kneel. We don't know when to stand. We don't know how to pray.
Worship is a daunting task.
For that reason, God gave us the Psalms—a praise book for God's people… This collection of hymns and petitions are strung together by one thread—a heart hungry for God.
Some are defiant. Others are reverent. Some are to be sung. Others are to be prayed. Some are intensely personal. Others are written as if the whole world would use them …
The very variety should remind us that worship is personal. No secret formula exists. What moves you may stymie another. Each worships differently. But each should worship.
The Inspirational Study Bible (Max Lucado)
You have been saved by God's grace. Ephesians 2:5
Read slowly and carefully Paul's description of what God has done for you: "When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins. He cancelled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross. God stripped the spiritual rulers and powers of their authority. With the cross, he won the victory and showed the world that they were powerless" (Colossians 2:13-15).
As you look at the words above, answer this question. Who is doing the work? You or God? Who is active? You or God? Who is doing the saving? You or God?
He Still Moves Stones (Max Lucado)
God calls us in a real world. He doesn’t communicate by performing tricks. He’s not a genie, a magician, a good luck charm, or the man upstairs. He is the Creator of the universe who is right here in the thick of our day-to-day world.
And God speaks in our world. We just have to learn to hear him. Listen for him amidst the ordinary. Do you need affirmation of his care? Let the daily sunrise proclaim his loyalty. Could you use an example of his power? Spend an evening reading how your body works. Are you wondering if his Word is reliable? Make a list of the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible and
promises in your life.
Don’t they say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes? Knowing God, he may speak through something as common as the second to give you the answer for the first!