Tag Archive for salvation

Jesus: The Generous Gift Giver

Friend, are you alive inside? I know you are breathing, but is your soul truly alive and satisfied? Or are you more of an empty shell, numb, searching, and desperate for answers?

Are you searching for the one gift you think will make you happy?

Presents under tree

Jesus promises us life and tries to discourage us from seeking happiness in all the wrong places. He encourages us to come to Him and really understand what it means to be spiritually alive and satisfied.

I always think of Isaiah 55 during the Christmas season when I am frantically shopping for Christmas gifts for my kids.

Isaiah 55 pictures a coastal community and a merchant on the dock of a busy port, calling to passersby and anyone who would listen to come and “buy” his product. There are qualifications: you must be thirsty and poor. Upon closer inspection we see that this person is not a merchant at all because he’s not taking money. The goods are free because they were already paid for by another. He’s offering them free for the taking because it’s in his nature as a grace-giver to do so. He knows what will eternally satisfy us because he made us.

Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
    hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.

The offer is made to all, and the gospel excludes none, except for those who would exclude themselves.

There are other merchants selling their goods, vying for your attention. The noise. It’s all around us. Blaring advertisements. Promises. Voices. “If you use this product, you’ll be beautiful, or popular, or relevant, or successful.” They offer satisfaction, but the Lord knows that these thing won’t satisfy in the end.

God reasons with us: “Why are you spending your money on things that will never satisfy? Why are you working so hard to get things that will never fill that void?

He’s calling.

He’s saying, “Listen to me. Come to me. Heed, and when you know me, you’ll truly LIVE.”

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there are so many people who are unhappy and unsatisfied around us. Men and women who are seeking anything to make them happy. They need this message. We all need this message. We are not just flesh. We are spirit. And our spirits were created to be in fellowship with the Creator. Sin separates us from God, but the best news of all is that grace is for sinners, and Jesus makes a way back to Him by offering us the free gift of salvation. He died for you. He was buried and rose again the third day.

That’s it. That’s everything. And when you realize the impact of this, it truly is everything! No hoops, no penance, no working at all. Just faith. You can’t buy it by good works, friends, because it’s not for sale.

Why can’t you work or pay for salvation?

Because the gift has already been bought and paid for with the precious blood of Christ Jesus on the cross. It was enough. “It is finished.”

Do you fall into the category of looking for something to satisfy that ache in your being?

Are you working tirelessly to earn a good standing with God?

Are you the thirsty and the soul-sick person in these verses?

Perhaps Jesus is calling to you today?

He’s offering you a GIFT. Salvation from sin, wholeness of soul, and eternity with him in heaven. And it’s because of Christ.

Reach out and take hold of the gift by faith.

 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2: 8,9

Free Gift: Grace

Sometimes when life gets hard, here we forget that the same gospel that rescued us is the gospel that makes living for God’s glory possible.

We were once under the curse of sin, and headed for destruction. But God intervened, rescued us and is now restoring us to look like his son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ and to make us useful for His kingdom.

Sin had done a number on us. We chose it, loved it and were  under its curse. Our  sin separated us from God. And we sought it. Knowingly.

Romans 1 tells us that we all start out with a knowledge of God. Then we digress. We become unthankful, unwise– though we think we are enlightened– and we become fools.

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools,  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”

We dreamed up a God of our own liking. Something that would fit what we wanted. This is different for every person. Some worship the earth, rocks, idols made of wood, money, etc. Whatever you are pursuing in your life wholeheartedly is your god.

And the scary thing is that God lets us make our own choice.

Pretty miserable place to be…

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” intervened.

Jesus came to save us because we could not save ourselves.

No amount of good works, church attendance, feeding the poor, helping the homeless is going to help. Why? Because God makes the rules, and He said that grace is what saves us. Through faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

Jesus said , “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

If God made all things, he has the final say. Period.

You may think this post unloving, but it is actually the epitome of love.

Imagine a friend who was dying of cancer, and she really believed that by sucking on a rock, she would be healed. Would you hem and haw and say “She really believesthat what she is doing is right. Who am I to say that chemotherapy is the way to go?”

No, that would be absurd. That would be living a fantasy. No matter how earnestly she believed that sucking a rock would help her, she would be wrong. And you could at least tell her about chemotherapy and hope she listened. The point is, you would warn someone you cared about if you believed that they were believing a lie.

It is the same with the gospel. It is a free gift. It is because of the amazing grace of God. It is ours because he loved us. That is just the way God is. But it is your choice. You can accept it or reject it. But, realize that your choices have eternal consequences.

Once you have trusted your soul to Christ for safekeeping, he will enable you to live for him. The same grace that saves you is available to help you to live each day for His glory. If your life is a mess of sin and despair, look to him for grace. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you ALWAYS having all sufficiency can abound to every good work.

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