Friday, June 21, 2019

Our Substitute

Our Substitute
Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The name Isaiah means Salvation of the Lord. Isaiah 53 is prophecy, a vision given to Isaiah 700 years before Jesus came. There have been many visions in the Bible, but none surpass the vision God gave Isaiah depicting the cross and all that would follow.

He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free!  For, O my God it found out me!

The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a blasphemer claiming to be equal with God and that God killed Him for His blasphemies. Surely, He didn’t die for His own sin, for His own iniquities, or His own transgressions? It was our griefs, our sorrows, that He suffered and died for. He took our place and is our substitution for sin. 

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray–– I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing love, How can it be That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

     “And Can It Be, That I Should Gain?”  by Charles Wesley

We as Christians are so deeply moved by the amazing realities of this prophecy. The details revealed hundreds of years before they came to pass point to Christ and no other. We know that there is salvation in no other name but Jesus (Philippians 2:9-10). One day when we enter into eternity, there’ll be no more sin, for He took away the sin that belonged to us and put it on Himself.

Lord, thank You for such amazing love, that You died for me.





Friday, June 14, 2019

Forgive Them

 Forgive Them

                                               Luke 23:34
. . . Father, forgive them . . .

On December 7, 1941, Mitsuo Fuchida of the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force led a mission of surprise to destroy the United States’ Pacific Fleet on the islands of Hawaii. Mitsuo, with 179 fighter planes behind him cried, “Tora, Tora, Tora!” as they attacked the mighty fleet of American ships. In less than two hours, over 3,077 American Navy personnel lost their lives or were missing and 150 planes were destroyed.

Mitsuo would live through two narrow escapes. An emergency appendectomy put him in the ship’s hospital where he was ordered to stay. Disobeying this order, Mitsuo walked out of the ship’s hospital to the top deck. The Battle of Midway was unfolding before his eyes. Within seconds, the enemy planes blew a hole in the hospital side of the ship. All were lost. On August 5, 1945, Mitsuo left Hiroshima for a military conference. Several hours after his departure, America dropped the atomic bomb on this city. Devastation and bitterness filled Mitsuo’s heart.

After the war, Mitsuo was handed a tract that read, “I Was a Prisoner of Japan.” The pamphlet was written about a man named Jake DeShazer, who in the revenge of what had happened at Pearl Harbor, participated in an attack on Tokyo. He was captured in battle, put into a prisoner of war camp and brutally mistreated. He began to hate everything and everyone Japanese. While in captivity, he was given a Bible. As he read the Bible, he realized that Jesus Christ was his only hope. Jake DeShazer had gone from hating the Japanese to becoming a missionary in Japan. 

Mitsuo, now filled with hatred for America would experience God’s amazing Grace. He was given a Bible and soon would trust in Christ. Through the providence of God, Jake DeShazer and Mitsuo Fuchida would meet. They lovingly forgave one another, as God in Christ had forgiven them and became friends (Ephesians 4:32). Only God can mend the heart of man and create in him the joy and peace of forgiveness.

Lord, forgive me as I forgive them.

Friday, June 7, 2019

God's Purpose

God’s Purpose 
Ruth 4:1-10

God’s plan for Ruth and Boaz is in full bloom. A public sale is being held in the marketplace at the gate of the city of Bethlehem. Is the property that belonged to Naomi and Ruth going to the highest bidder? According to the law, lost property could be redeemed by a near kinsman or relative, providing that he could meet the demands of the debt. The widow too could be redeemed if the near relative was able and willing to take her as his wife. These two things were on the action block––Naomi’s property and Ruth’s widowhood––were up for sale and in need of a redeemer. 

What a long night, it must have been for poor Ruth waiting for the one who would redeem her. Imagine the fears, the questions that came to her mind, and the overwhelming debt that was on her. Boaz met Ruth’s nearer Kinsman face to face and asked, “Can you redeem Ruth, and will you do so?” The nearer kinsman said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance.” He was unwilling or unable to redeem her––how Ruth’s heart must have sung out in joy to know that the one that loved her would redeem her. Boaz called a public meeting and counted out the money to pay the debt, receiving the title to the property and immediately wedding bells were ringing for the poor servant girl, Ruth.

The love story of Ruth is a wonderful picture of Christ and His redemptive purpose. As Christians, we have so many fears about life and death that our hearts become overwhelmed at times. What about the debt we owe to God for our great sin? Who is our “nearer kinsman?” Who will pay the debt we owe for the countless sins charged to our account? Only Jesus Christ can fulfill all the requirements as our kinsman-redeemer in His finished work on the Cross. The debt is paid, all our sin is forgiven. Oh, praise His glorious name!

Lord, Your gift of salvation is wondrous.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Telling God's Story

Telling God’s Story

The greatest hope of Christian parents is to see their child one day come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Most parents would climb the highest mountain or fight the fiercest giant if it would assure their child’s salvation. As parents, we have the awesome privilege of being able to tell our children of the powerful life-changing message of the gospel. The Bible tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto Salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

The gospel story is filled with breathtaking adventure, suspense, and drama. Every young child loves a story that is filled with excitement and anticipation. Recall with me the story of Jesus after spending much time ministering to the multitudes become weary and tired. Being fully God but fully man, He withdrew Himself to the stern of the boat to sleep. While He was sleeping, there arose an immense storm and the disciples became fearful that they might perish. The wind and waves were most likely reaching gale storm proportions. (A gale is a strong wind not a hurricane but forceful. A storm may include rain, thunder, and lightning, hail, sleet, snow, or wind-––or a combination of them all). If this storm was not of such enormous magnitude, why were the disciples, who were experienced fishermen, so afraid?

We understand that the storm was to try the faith of the disciples and cause them to cry out to God. Their confidence was appearing weak and our Lord was assuring them that He had the power to calm any storm that they may find themselves in. His words to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” They were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” God’s wonderful, mighty power was made obvious to them that storm filled day. 

We, too, can share with our children the magnificent power of Christ found in the gospel.

Lord, thank You for Your incredible story.



Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Given His Name

Given His Name
While working in a Pregnancy Resource Center,  I discovered that there were three possible decisions that every woman must make. Will the client carry the baby, adopt, or abort? The decision to adopt seems to be the hardest concept for some women to accept. The statements I personally have heard are: “I could never do that!” “No, I have heard such terrible stories about children that have been adopted.” “No, I don’t want anyone to know that I was pregnant.” “My parents will disown me.” “No, I would rather abort than adopt, I have things I want to do with my life.”

Life or death is the final option here. What will the young woman’s verdict be for this innocent human life? Why is adoption viewed as a stigma with dishonor, disgrace, and reproach credited to it?  The definition for the word adoption: “the giving to anyone the name and place and privileges of a son/daughter who is not a son/daughter by birth.”  There is no stigma in adoption. It is the banner of love over their life. Adoption means that they were loved with a special love that few people will ever experience.

To those of you who have been adopted, your mom and dad cherished the idea of having a baby and loved, you before they knew you existed. If there is any shame in the word “adopted” – it has been covered in the gift of giving you their name. 

SPIRITUAL ADOPTION: An act of God's grace by which He brings men into the number of His redeemed family, and makes them partakers of all the blessings He has provided for them. He has granted to them His precious promises, and through them, they may become partakers of the divine nature––having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3,4). Clearly, adoption is conveyed in a favorable light through God’s Word. Those that have been adopted physically have received a tremendous blessing, a privilege exemplified by our adoption into God’s family.


Lord, thank You for giving me Your name.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Is Parenting Easy?

Is Parenting Easy?
Proverbs 23:26 
My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

When you received the news that you were expecting your first child, your heart was most likely giddy with excitement. Your enthusiasm grew more and more with each day and a multitude of questions fill your mind. Can I be a good parent to this child that God has so graciously given me? Will I be someone my child can and will trust? How will I ever do this? God, will You please help me?

To set your mind at ease, there are no perfect parents that have ever existed or will at any time exist. If you think you must be that perfect parent, then you won’t need a perfect Savior to redeem you from your sins. As a parent, you will make plenty of mistakes in pursuing the role of Mother or Father. You must remember that you have the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and comfort you through this life long journey. 

Living the Gospel daily as you “parent,” will encourage you and strengthen your faith in Christ. The power of the Gospel is not to be set aside after salvation, but to be lived out daily before young eyes to see and follow. The Gospel is the “good news” that you do not have to earn your salvation. God’s work of redemption has already been completed through the shedding of Christ’s precious blood and death on the cross. He was buried and rose again the third day ascending into Heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. 

Gospel parenting is preparing your child to believe in what Jesus has done for them and to put their faith and trust in Christ, and in Christ alone. Effective parents do not center their lives around their children but center their children around God’s dear Son. You, as a parent, must realize that you are utterly dependent upon God for parenting and responsible to Him as a parent.


Lord, may I center my life around You.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs
 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

Throughout the Word of God, accounting terms are used to describe the forgiving work of Christ. When you were saved He did not impute, count, reckon, or consider your sins against you.  “How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity. . .” (Psalm 32:2).  The pardoning work of God doesn’t credit or assign sin to you. It doesn’t produce long-term resentment but rather, it produces love and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

In I Corinthians 13, Paul is showing the model for love. Love doesn’t hold others accountable for wrong deeds or keep any kind of record. It doesn’t recite all the sinful things done because love never makes memories out of offenses. It never rehearses the injustices executed until they’re so embedded that you can’t live your life in freedom. Love is unable to do this.

To think no evil (I Corinthians 13:5 KJV) means we don’t take into account wrong or evil we have suffered at the hands of someone or hold it against them indefinitely. While suffering on the cross, Jesus spoke these words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Holding no grudges and keeping no record of wrong is what Paul is trying to encourage believers to do.

“. . . Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and. . . God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (I Corinthians 5:17-19).  As God has forgiven us and does not count our sins against us, we too, are to forgive and be reconciled to those who have sinned against us.


Lord, thank You for the love that reconciles sinners to God and keeps no record of wrongs.