Subject To A Despot

Nero Julius Caesar Son of Germanicus

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. (Romans 13:1-7)

Subject To A Despot

Every generation is impacted by the leaders of the nations that fill the earth. There are times of great peace and there are tyrants who fill the world with anarchy, hatred and death such as in the days of the World Wars. Nations long ago were ruled by cruel kings who destroyed vast areas of the populous to gain their glory in the killing of the innocent. Empires like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians and Greeks marched upon nations engulfing the landscape in the stench of death as they expanded the borders of the nation. The Roman Empire was unlike any nation before them. Ruled by autocratic rulers called Caesars the known world was ruled by the iron fist of a mighty nation. Men named Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius filled the time of the early New Testament story as Jesus was born, fulfilled His ministry and the church began to spread throughout the world. The apostle Paul was on his third missionary journey working in Corinth when he penned a letter to the saints at Rome. Among the many doctrines set forth by the Holy Spirit came an astonishing admonition to the people who lived in the center of Roman politics and intrigue. They saw firsthand the desperate actions of ungodliness by their leaders through assassinations, plotting, deception and corruption. Immorality was rampant in the Roman city.

Near the end of his letter to the Christians Paul instructed them to be subject to the Roman government. The authority that resided on the seat of power in Rome was appointed by God. To resist the Roman authority was to resist the will of the Lord. A few years before Paul penned the Roman letter Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus came to power. He became infamous for his personal debaucheries and extravagances. The ruler of Rome was Nero and all the people of God were commanded to be obedient to his rule. This would be tempered by the words of Peter and the other apostles some years before when they declared they must obey God rather than men but in all other matters – subjection to the rule of the Roman Empire was commanded by God. It is remarkable the Holy Spirit would use terms like rulers are not a terror to good works but evil. The Lord was not accepting of the character of Nero himself but the establishment of law and order. For much of the population of the Roman Empire, the debauchery of Nero did not impact them. They lived their lives in the simplicity of their station of life and paid their taxes dutifully. Paul directed the saints to look upon authority not with disdain but with the respect established by God in creating nations and law. Christians were to be subject to the laws of the land and not rebel. Excepting in the matters that conflict with the will of the Lord, no citizen of Rome who bore the name of Christ could act in any way to subvert authority. Whatever was due the nation it was rendered. Taxes would be paid, customs given and most importantly the child of God was to shine as a light and example of Jesus Christ in showing fearful reverence for the office of authority – including Nero.

There may be a lot of things disliked about government, officials, politics and the President of the United States (regardless of which administration). The truth mandated by the Holy Spirit is that no Christian should ever take on the role of disrespecting, dishonoring or disallowing the office of authority that is established by God. Whether we like what happens in Washington D. C., state or local government there is no place for a Christian to demean those in authority. Paul would teach that prayers be made for those in places of authority. Peter would later use the term to honor the ones in authority. These are not suggestions that can be put aside because of the red-white-and-blue of patriotic heroism. Children of God act in a manner that is in keeping with the honor given to God. Casting dispersion upon the President is sinful because God demands respect is given to those in authority. What is remarkable about Paul’s letter to Rome is the instructions of being subject to those in authority were direct commands about honoring the office of Nero. There may be a lot of things that make us unhappy today about government but let us be thankful we live in a time when Nero is not the ruler. And yet Paul strongly urged the people in Rome to be subject to the Roman government.

It is easy to confuse American democracy with the laws of Christ. They are not the same. God instilled in His people a higher plane of character to show respect to authority regardless who that authority may be. Choosing a time when a man like Nero is in authority to proclaim that all must be in subjection to government impresses upon the heart of the righteous God is not a respecter of persons. Paul’s letter to Rome is just as pertinent to the saints of God today as it was two thousand years ago. Let the people of God be seen as righteous followers of a noble character that will be in subjection to the government – whoever and whatever that is. All Christians serve FIRST the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus was subject to the Caesars Augustus and Tiberius. Can we do any less? Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

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The Help Of Man Is Useless

power of God

A Song. A Psalm of David. O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your mercy is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth; that Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and hear me. God has spoken in His holiness: “I will rejoice; I will divide Shechem and measure out the Valley of Succoth. Gilead is Mine; Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet for My head; Judah is My lawgiver. Moab is My washpot; over Edom I will cast My shoe; over Philistia I will triumph.” Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom? Is it not You, O God, who cast us off? And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies. (Psalm 108)

The Help Of Man Is Useless

Songs of worship in the days of King David are different than what the saints of the New Testament might sing. Israel was a sovereign nation guided by the Law given by God to His special people. They subdued nations around them exalting the glory of the Lord through armed conflict against their enemies. Moab, Edom and Philistia were always troubling for the people of God. David would write a song of the deliverance from all the enemies of Israel praising the Lord for His power in giving him victory. He wanted to sing of the promises of God showing His mercy and truth. There was honor to be given to the Lord who brought about the power to overcome those nations that stood against Israel. The right hand of God had brought swift destruction to those opposed to His will. All of the strong cities will be brought low and Edom will be punished. What David realized was the only way this could be done was by the will of God. Man could not do this by his wisdom. Any help to be given in times of trouble would come from the Lord. There was nothing man could do to effect overpowering the great powers that stood against them. The help of man was useless and David acknowledged that only through God would His people valiantly gain the victory. Treading down the enemies would be accomplished by the power of the Lord. In this assurance, the heart of David was secure.

The nation of the Lord is no longer a physical entity but a spiritual host of godly people fighting the good fight against all that stands against truth and righteousness. There has been no change in the tactics of how victory is gained as David sang so many years ago. Enemies abound that stand against the church of the Lord. Materialism is the insidious disease that destroys the hearts of godliness. Oppression will come from the quarters of society that seek to restrict, bind and hinder the work of God. Satan is behind it all as he uses his wiles to create disharmony and discord among the people of God. There are many enemies that stand against the kingdom of God but victory will come by the same hand as sung by David. Resolute hearts must trust in the Lord to gain the victory of all that opposes truth. God is to be praised for His power is mighty in defeating the forces of evil that seek to destroy the faith of His saints. The mercy of God is great above the heavens and His truth reaches to the clouds. Deliverance can only come from the right hand of the Lord and answered prayer. The help of man is useless in defeating the passions of the flesh, pride of life and lusts of the eye. Jesus brought the gospel to free man from the burden of sin. With valiant hearts men will rise that will call upon the name of the Lord to tread down the enemies that oppose truth. This is reason to rejoice and sing a song of David.

Sin is a powerful enemy. Man could not remove its stain. God sent His Son to redeem man by the blood shed on a wooden cross. Salvation came by the power of God and deliverance was through His mercy, truth and grace. All that man could do made it worse. The help of man was useless. Jesus came to bring life and lift man from the mire of darkness that veiled his soul. Satan could not be destroyed through the power of man and only by the sacrifice of the Son of God was the sting of death removed and Hades conquered. Victory came through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is something to sing about. David knew the victory of God over his enemies because he saw the mercy of God. Man was helpless. Help could only come from the One who divided Shechem, measured out the valley of Succoth and possessed Gilead, Manasseh and Ephraim. This same God rules today and can dispossess all that stands against the gospel of His Son. The temptations of the flesh will fall when the soul trusts in the Lord. Overcoming sin can be seen through the might and power of the Lord God of Hosts. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.

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Learning To Pray The Garden Prayer

praying hands

Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:38-39)

Learning To Pray The Garden Prayer

Prayer can be a difficult step of faith to accept. There is a need to see tangible results mixed with an acceptance of the will of God to carry out what He desires. It is easy to be selfish in prayer to almost demand things from the Lord without actually using those words. Many give up on prayer because they seldom get what they want or see positive results of their prayers. Having a prayerful heart requires courageous faith and unlimited trust. It is not for the faint of heart. There are many reasons why prayers fail and the reasons all rest upon the misunderstanding of the heart who forgets what the nature of speaking to God must be. The Lord is not a vending machine where we can put in our quarter and expect to get what we want as if the Lord must answer us. The first lesson about prayer is there is one God and man is not God. It should come as a complete shock that the Lord God Creator would take the time to consider hearing the petitions of man. What is man that He would be mindful of him? Knowing the Father is willing to listen to the petitions of His children is an amazing and humbling experience by itself. He allows His creation to come into His presence and seek His blessings. Astonishing. Incredible. Amazing. Prayer is not requirement of God to permit man to speak to Him. Only by His grace can man approach Him and His grace allows prayer.

The question that challenges prayer is whether God answers prayer. Nothing is more basic to understanding prayer because it suggests there is a desire for an answer from the Lord as supplications are offered. Jesus is the perfect example about the nature of prayer when He found Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane. He leaves His disciples and taking Peter, James and John goes a short distance to pray. Going about a stone’s throw from the three disciples, Jesus prostrates Himself and prays earnestly to His Father. He prays two things: first, He prays that if possible, the cup He is about to bear will be taken away. Second, He prays that the Father’s will be done. God answer His prayer but He answered it with two conclusions. Jesus prayed the cup be removed and the Father said no. The Son of God petitioned the Father’s will to be done and the Father said yes. God answered the prayer of Jesus but His answer contained a yes and a no. Jesus prayed the same prayer three times and the answers were always the same. The Father would not take away the cup but His will would be done.

Prayer is pleading the promises of God. How the Lord answers prayer is in His mind alone. The great leap of faith required in prayer is knowing that because God knows so much more than man, His answers are always right. There is never a time when the Lord does not answer a prayer with the best answer. Could God have allowed the Son to find another way instead of the cup or cross He was about to bear? Yes but that was not His will. The reason the Father could not take away the cup (telling Jesus no) is found in the realization the will of the Father required the Son to die on a cross (telling Jesus yes). Prayer must be approached with the courage to know that there will be times when God will say no to our petitions and supplications so that His will can be accomplished. He always answers our prayers. The answer may be no or it could be yes and it can be yes and no depending on His will. When has God ever failed to answer a prayer? He has always answered the prayers of His saints. The questions about prayer are not about prayer but how or why God answers prayer. Faith is the evidence of things we cannot see in the will of the Father.

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The Folly Of Amaziah

loyalty (1)

Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart. (2 Chronicles 25:1-2)

The Folly Of Amaziah

It had been a little over 140 years since Solomon died and the nation of Israel was divided with ten tribes to the north and the remaining two in the south. The northern tribes of Israel would be served by wicked kings who turned their hearts away from the Lord. Judah would enjoy a few good kings who followed in the path of their father David but many kings would be like their northern counterparts. Amaziah was the ninth king of Judah following four decades of rule by a good king, Joash. The reign of Amaziah would be twenty-five years and he would do right in the sight of the Lord. While his rule is characterized as a time of the good kings, he was not fully devoted to the Lord. He was a good king but his heart was not loyal to the word of God. When he became king, his first order of business was to execute all those who conspired and killed his father Joash. However he refrained from killing the children of the conspirators as the Law of Moses forbade such action. He was a noble king to restrain from doing what so many other kings would have done. His army was quite large. Three hundred thousand choice men, able to go to war were at his disposal. These men were proficient in the use of the spear and shield making a formidable army. Amaziah also hired one hundred thousand mighty men of valor from Israel to fight for him.

When Amaziah amassed his great army, a man of God came to him and warned him against hiring soldiers from the northern nation of Israel. He was told to rely upon the strength of the Lord and to send the mercenaries home. The men from Ephraim were discharged with their payments and told to return to their homes which they did reluctantly. Going to battle against the people of Seir, Amaziah’s army killed ten thousand in the Valley of Salt. Taking captive another ten thousand, they took them to the top of a rock and cast them down to their deaths. The army of the Lord achieved a great victory that day. By the power of God triumph was given to Amaziah and the people of Judah over the Edomites. And then the king of Judah did a remarkable thing. Returning from the battle with the Edomites Amaziah brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods and bowed down before them and burned incense to them. He had just shown the world what an army can do with the power of Jehovah God and then shows the same world what happens to a man of God who is not loyal in his heart to the Lord.

The folly of Amaziah is seen in destroying twenty thousand people by the power of the Lord and instead of returning home to worship the glory of God, Amaziah brings home the gods of the people of Seir. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord but his heart was not loyal. Doing righteousness is an important part of serving the Lord. Worship has always required doing the right things in the right way according to the right pattern. Sadly what is lost on the minds of many of God’s children is that doing what is right also requires having a heart that is faithful. Loyalty of heart is having the fidelity of spirit to devote the mind, soul and body fully to the purpose of the Lord. Paul would remind the saints at Corinth that taking the supper of the Lord required more than eating some bread and drinking some juice. If the heart is not loyal to examine deeply the meaning of the supper, sin lies at the door. Singing praises to God can sound as harmonious and grand as the ear can enjoy but if the heart is lost the praise is empty. Saying the right words and expressing in literary platitudes a prayer to the Father will fall short of its glory when the heart is cast with hypocrisy. Walking through the doors of a building to have a name checked off a list to show attendance is serving a god of denial. Amaziah did what was right but his heart was not loyal.

Bringing the gods of the people of Seir back, Amaziah exemplified the problem that challenges the hearts of the people of God. It is easy to do right but to have a loyal heart requires purpose and devotion. What a person lives outside the confines of the building defines the heart of the individual. Being loyal in heart is a daily exercise in communing with the word of God, imbibing the Spirit of God and setting forth an example of light in a community of darkness. The Lord knows the loyal hearts. He does not look on the outside to see what men see as right. Only from His eternal eye can the Lord see the heart of man whether he truly believes, accepts and challenges the soul to trust him. Amaziah trusted God to win the victory but turned his heart away from his Deliverer. That was the folly of Amaziah.

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Acknowledge The Lord

proverbs 356

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Acknowledge The Lord

Words have powerful meaning and the Holy Spirit did not mince His use of words when He inscribed the Holy book. Throughout the writings of the sixty-six books called ‘The Bible,’ the nature and character of God is lifted from page after page for man to see who the Lord God and Creator of the world is and to honor that name. Repeatedly the Holy Spirit pleads with the readers to trust in the Lord refusing to rely upon human wisdom for guidance. The calamities of men have all come from seeking the failed philosophies of the carnal man. There has always been a standard of right and wrong established by the will of the Lord. Following the law of God will always bring blessing, peace, contentment and enjoyment in this life and the life to come. Godliness is the character of seeking to mold the heart after the precepts of righteousness and truth. Trusting in the voice of the Father will always keep the heart of the child safe. Putting these truths to the test is the ability of man to acknowledge God in every part of life.

God has always required first place. From the days of the Garden of Eden to the giving of the Law of Moses and the coming of Jesus Christ, the only place the Lord wanted His people to be was in an abiding relationship of trust with Him. Belief was not a casual experience. It was a constant acknowledgment of God’s place in every part of life. The wisdom passage exhorts the spirit to recognize God alone has the power and might to bless man. Acknowledging the Lord in all the ways of life is the only place He wants to be. God created the heavens and earth and man is dependent upon every factor of creation. The sun rises according to the will of the Creator; not man. Life comes when God puts the breath in the body and forms it according to His divine pattern. Seasons come and go as it has done from the beginning of time because God created the cycle of life. Death is real because the hand of the Lord expelled man from the garden refusing him entrance again. Until man acknowledges the realities of his place in creation he is doomed.

Death is the consequence of rebellion against God. Adam and Eve disobeyed the law of God and suffered the penalties of sin. There was no hope apart from the grace of God and His plan to save all men. Sin destroyed the world in the days of Noah and continues to cast the world with a blanket of darkness from its evil allurements. Salvation cannot come from the hand of man because he is incapable of saving himself. God loved the world so much He sent His only Begotten Son to die for all men. The Light of the world shone in the hearts of men and hope reigned eternal through the sacrifice of Jesus. Man did not bring this grace about. Only by the mercy and love of God is man now able to come boldly before the throne of God and find redemption from sin. Until man acknowledges the truth of the sacrifice of Jesus he remains doomed in the mire of sin.

When man acknowledges God in all His ways, he releases the selfish desires to worship himself as a god. Nothing in this world came by the hand of man. Eternal salvation did not come from the goodness of men. The stark reality is that man has done nothing to give himself life whether physical or spiritual. God created man and God recreated man through the death of His Son. Acknowledging the power of the Father in every way admits the dependency upon the grace of God as the only means of salvation. God saved man; men did not save God. Trusting in the word of God and allowing His word to guide the heart will show man that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and by His power the world stands. Coming to know the power of sin can only be dismissed by the loving kindness of the Father who sent His Son to die on a cross and through His blood redeem all men who come to Him. Man must acknowledge the truth found in the word of God. Without conceding the heart to the will of the Father, there can be no hope. He requires all of the heart, soul, mind and body. Anything less will not be accepted to the Lord.

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Running On Empty

SunRise2

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. (1 Corinthians 15:14)

Running On Empty

There is one fundamental belief necessary for the child of God to live a life of fullness in the glory of God. It does not simply believe there is a God because the demons believe this and they tremble at the thought. Accepting the Bible as the divine word of God is important but this alone is not the hope that resides within the heart. Going to church services and worshiping the Lord in the authorized manner with the approved examples is vital to obedience and yet again this is not sufficient to bring the greater joy to life. Being a good person validates the character of the individual, remaining pure illustrates the devotion to righteous principles and working diligently to ward off the wiles of the devil will prove fruitful. If the child of God does not live every day with the unmovable faith that death is nothing and that eternal life exists beyond the vale; life is empty. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the crown jewel of everything a person must believe to have a full life of hope, joy, and peace.

The early disciples struggled with the concept of life after death and some denied that Jesus rose from the dead. It is extraordinary for those living within the lifespan of Jesus they could deny His existence or the many witnesses that saw Him after His death. They were not removed nearly two thousand years and told to believe in the impossible. These disciples lived in the period of the revelation of God as man with innumerable examples of the proof of His life, death and the glory of His resurrection. And yet many denied Jesus rose from the dead. Paul’s admonishing of the saints in Corinth dealt with the realities of denying the resurrection. He declared there was ample proof Jesus was seen alive after His death. More importantly there was a far-reaching consequence to denying the resurrection of the Son of God. If Christ did not rise from the dead, what was the purpose of living a life of service to a cause based upon a lie? Thousands gave their lives for a man who did not rise from the dead invalidating all the preaching that had been done and lives sacrificed for the cause of Christ. There was no value to faith. Why devote a life to a cause that had no realization of truth if Jesus did not rise from the dead? Faith would be empty and life would be worthless. Everything hinged upon whether the Christ rose from the dead or not.

More than two millennia have passed since Jesus rose from the dead and no one remains who saw Him alive. Faith is the assurance of things not seen and believing Jesus rose from the dead requires that kind of faith that accepts the impossible. It is not without question to believe a man lived a long time ago and was a good man. Accepting the fact He was unjustly put to death is also easy to admit because the story tells how that came about. What is the most denied fact in the life of Jesus is to believe He rose from the dead and lives today. There are many who deny this outright with no reservations. This requires believing in the most incredible miracle known to man. It also means that a person must accept that Jesus was God. Denying His resurrection gives man the ability to make himself a god and live in his own fashion. Satan has done his work well in convincing most men that Jesus is not the Son of God and He never rose from the dead. Why would Satan do this? Because he knows that everything hinges upon that single fact. Believe that Jesus is real but do not believe He came out of the grave is what the accuser wants us to believe.

The devil has convinced many of God’s children to live in such a way they really do not believe in the resurrection. This may be his more sinister accomplishment in impacting the hearts of the saints of God. There is a peripheral view of the resurrection of Jesus as a Christian will acknowledge they believe Jesus is risen but their life will deny the facts. Everything about living is about the here and now. The child of God spends himself fully on keeping treasures here on the earth and living for the moment. Death is feared with incredible anxiety. Uncertainty rests within the heart of the Christian as they build their faith upon the useless trinkets of life. Many wonder why their lives are so empty when they attend services, read their Bibles and pray but never really accept the fact there is life after death. Facing death is a horrible reality instead of a joyous transition. Believing in the resurrection of Jesus is not just a Biblical fact we must believe but the reality of what will happen to the soul of the child of God. If Christ is risen then there is a resurrection of the righteous. Death is not a horror but an acceptance that what is real is what is coming. What is important is not about this life but the life that is to come.

Jesus Christ arose from the dead and we will rise from the dead. Breathing our last on the dust of this earth will give us the breath of eternal life on the shores of Heaven. Faith will be vibrant and full of joy when we acknowledge that because He lives – we live. When our lives are running on empty it is because we have lost sight of the resurrection. Nothing can compare to what awaits the child of God in the eternal glory of God’s grace. Our citizenship is not upon the fading memories of a world growing dark but the image of the Son of God shining deep in our hearts. Believing in the resurrection and living with that hope will assure the heart that God loves us and we are saved. Jesus rose from dead. Thank God for His love.

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Salvation’s Wondrous Plan Was Done

cross of Christ

Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)

Salvation’s Wondrous Plan Was Done

Ray Overholt penned a beautiful song when he wrote “Ten Thousand Angels.” Taken from the statement of Jesus rebuking Peter for drawing a sword against those arresting Him, the song describes the power of the Lord to protect Himself if it was the will of God. A legion was a division of the Roman army amounting to more than 6,000 men. Jesus was telling Peter and all those who came to arrest Him that He had at His disposal upwards of 72,000 angels to defend Him if needed. Considering the story from 2 Kings of 185,000 Assyrians slain in one night by one angel it could easily be calculated Jesus could immediately wipe out thirteen billion, three hundred twenty million men people; or the whole population of the world. Admittedly the song has a more poetic prose to sing ‘ten thousand’ than ‘seventy-two thousand’ but the lesson is still the same. God would provide His Son with an army of angels that would destroy the world – but He did not – and Jesus did not invoke that power. There was something larger that had to be accomplished.

Jesus allowed the band of soldiers and Jewish leaders to arrest Him. He permitted the mocking, beating and crucifixion because it was the will of His Father. The Lord gave His life on the cross so that all men could find salvation in His blood. His sacrifice was necessary for the redemption of man from the pains of sin. There was no greater love shown to man than He who was God coming in the flesh to die a horrible death. This was the plan of salvation. It was first promised moments after man turned his back on God. Immediately when man fell God provided hope in a resurrection. A Seed would come that would bring man back to communion with the Lord. Planned before time began, the plan of salvation unfolded over the centuries to find its fulfillment in the death, burial and resurrection of God’s Son. He could have called legions of angels but He did not. The Lord prayed to His Father of another way to save man but there was no way but the cross. Jesus fully accepted the plan of His Father and courageously faced the horrible but momentary suffering of the cross. When He cried out “It is finished” and He died – salvation’s wondrous plan was done. Three days later God raised His Son from the dead and the dawn of redemption spread across the world.

The work of saving man is the most wondrous thought man can ever believe. It is amazing that God would love man so much to give His Son to die for him. Incredible describes the amount of love given to a rebellious creature but the Father allowed His only begotten Son to be sacrificed for the sins of all men. Jesus could have done a lot of things but He chose to save you and to save me. Seventy-two thousand angels were ready to answer the call of the Lord but it never came. There was something bigger to be done. Jesus had to die. His death would save man. He humbled Himself and died on a cruel piece of wood in a place called Golgotha. His restraint unleashed the grace of God to all the world. Salvation’s wondrous work was done. Thank you Father. Thank you Jesus.

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