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Chuck Kralik

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Everything posted by Chuck Kralik

  1. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” (Ephesians 1:4-6, NIV). Picture a younger version of yourself on a school playground. One of the older kids is choosing participants for his team. You hear the names of your friends being called and you wonder if you will be chosen to play. Soon, your anxiety is relieved as you hear your name announced. You have been chosen, and to your surprise, so has everyone else. Now it’s up to you. Will you participate? The above scenario is meant to get us thinking about this idea of predestination, that God has chosen us in Christ. So many people struggle with the notion that they could ever be good enough to be chosen by God. The simple fact is that we are not good enough, but that God has chosen us anyway. That is what grace is, that God looks at us, not based on our own goodness, but on the merits of Jesus and his demonstration of love for us on the cross. Yes, you are chosen by God, just like the example from the playground. Still, it is up to you as to whether you want to participate in God’s goodness and grace. I can hardly imagine a scenario where anyone would choose to walk away from the forgiveness that God offers through Jesus, but it happens. May we desire to live lives worthy of our calling, for we are chosen.
  2. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” (Ephesians 1:4-6, NIV). The above passage, written by the Apostle Paul, was meant to provide comfort and a strong sense of spiritual security to the young Church in Ephesus. It is meant to do the same for us today. Paul states that we were chosen, even before the world began, to be righteous in the sight of God. This is certainly a righteousness not of own making but rather a gift of God’s grace expressed through the cross of Jesus. Paul further states that we are adopted as sons and daughters, members of God’s holy family. In Part 1 of my look at predestination, I examined the doctrine of double predestination, the idea that God has chosen some individuals to be saved and others to be condemned. I argued that this is a false doctrine and damaging to the faith of salvation-concerned Christians. Still, I don’t want to dismiss one view of predestination without providing an alternative way of thinking about this topic. So, following is my attempt at providing an analogy that will hopefully help us think about this difficult doctrine. Picture a younger version of yourself on a school playground. One of the older kids is choosing participants for his team. You hear the names of your friends being called and you wonder if you will be chosen to play. Soon, your anxiety is relieved as you hear your name announced. You have been chosen, and to your surprise, so has everyone else. Now it’s up to you. Will you participate? In my next post, we’ll break down this simple analogy. In the meantime, know that you are in fact chosen by God. Until next time, live in God’s grace and peace as a true child of the King.
  3. “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:11-12, NIV). With any of the big words of the faith, there is often disagreement among the various denominations and individual theologians. Such is the case with the doctrine of predestination. As I share my particular viewpoint on this issue, my prayer is that the diversity of our thoughts and ideas would only add to the richness of our understanding. Predestination is the idea that God wills or ordains that certain people will come to faith in Christ and therefore be saved. The logical conclusion, then, is that God chooses other people who will be condemned. This is often referred to as double predestination. In my opinion, this view is lacking in Scriptural support and can be quite dangerous to the faith of Christians. Scripture is quite clear that God “…wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus himself remarked concerning the hard-hearted Pharisees, “ ‘…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing’ ” (Matthew 23:37, NIV). From these and so many other passages we come to understand that the ultimate desire of God is for all individuals to attain salvation through faith in Christ. (To Be Continued)
  4. Chuck Kralik

    chuckkralik.com

    This is my Christian devotional blog.
  5. “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24, NIV). “Justification” is another big word in the Christian faith. It is a judicial term meaning that someone who has done something wrong is suddenly declared innocent. In Christian theology the term “justified” means that we, as guilty sinners, are proclaimed righteous before a God who is perfect and just. Justification can be discussed in a couple of different ways. We can say that universally Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross bought forgiveness for all people. In this regard, every sin of every person has been paid for by the shed blood of Christ. This truth, however, does not mean that all people are eventually saved. Only through faith in what Jesus has done does a person lay hold of this precious gift of God’s grace. Simply put, Jesus died to remove the soul-staining sin of each of us. But this gift must be received by faith. May God lead each of us to believe this truth and so receive the gift he freely offers.
  6. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…” (John 1:1,14, NIV). “Incarnation” is one of the big words of the Christian faith. It simply means that God, in Jesus Christ, took on human flesh and lived among us. This is a precious mystery, that we would witness both God and man, divinity and humanity, simultaneously in the Christ, a mystery that means everything concerning God’s redemptive act and our subsequent salvation. Like any of the big theological words, however, there is danger in misrepresenting the doctrine of the Incarnation. This is not some mere mathematical formula, cold and calculated. Rather, the Incarnation is one of the sweetest truths of the Christian faith. It is God’s unconditional love wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger. It is God’s mercy and grace put on display on the cruel device of a cross. It is God’s power bursting forth from a vacated tomb. The Incarnation of Jesus is the realization that the Creator cares for his creation so much that he chose to become one of them.
  7. Christian theologians use some pretty big words to describe God and the work he does in the lives of people. Terms such as “incarnation”, “justification”, and “sanctification” are all meant to make sense of a God whose ways are higher than our ways and whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:10). Mere words, no matter how big they are, will always come up short in describing the Divine. Still, these big words bear considering. In my upcoming series of writings aptly entitled “Big Words”, we’ll look at some of the theological terms used to describe God. Together we’ll study the meanings of such words and what they have to offer toward our understanding of God. I hope you’ll join me in considering these “big words” of the faith. Thanks, as always, for reading!
  8. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV). Contemporary science teaches that the human heart is made-up of muscular tissue. Like other muscles of the body, the cardiac (heart) muscle stretches and contracts, reacts to outside stimuli, and can be exercised. Throughout much of history the heart has been further portrayed as the center of human emotion. Love and passion, therefore, are said to spring forth from the well that is the heart. The author of this third chapter of Proverbs, most likely Solomon, tells us to trust in God with all our heart. Such trust is faith, which the Bible defines as “…confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV). As we confidently trust in God and his promises, we have hope and assurance, not in what we can see, but in the divine mysteries of our LORD expressed most accurately through Christ. The Christian cannot rely on his own limited understanding concerning the character and promises of God. God, however, reveals himself to us through Scripture. The Holy Spirit informs, enlightens, and makes our paths straight.
  9. “ ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ ” (John 3:16, NIV). John 3:16 has rightly been called “the Gospel in a nutshell”. It is truly the meat of the good news message of what God has done for us in Christ. We are told here that God loves the world, meaning all the people in the world. Too often we minimize the impact of these words. We can accept that God loves most people. But all people? This means that God loves the vilest of human beings, that God is passionately in love with murderers and sex traffickers, that God loves even those who will never love him back, that God loves someone like you and someone like me. Yes, God loves the world. Try this exercise. Put your name in place of the word “world” in the verse. Also insert your name where it says “whoever believes in him”. In my case, the verse now reads “For God so loved Chuck that he gave his one and only Son, that Chuck shall not perish but have eternal life. This little exercise personalizes the meaning of this powerful verse. Don’t ever think that God’s love doesn’t extend to you. God loves you so much that he was willing to give his very best to save you. Jesus faced the cruel agony of the cross so that you could have a crown of life. Believe what John 3:16 says, and share it with someone today!
  10. “ ‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’ ” (Micah 6:8, NIV). God spoke to his chosen people of Israel through a series of prophets. Micah is often referred to as one of the twelve minor prophets, not because he is any less important than the major prophets, but because his writing is less voluminous and intended for a more specific audience. God used Micah to command the Israelites to do three things: “ ‘…To act justly…’ ”, “ ‘…to love mercy…’ ”, and “ ‘…to walk humbly…’ ” (Micah 6:8, NIV), and he expects the same from us. God knows that, when we practice justice and mercy and walk in humility, we model God’s very own heart as we live with one another before a world that is watching. Like the often rebellious Israelites, we, by nature, are not always just, merciful, or humble. Still, God equips us to be more like him, and he forgives us when we fail. In fact, Jesus lived, in complete obedience, up to each of the Heavenly Father’s righteous commands and died to free us from our sinful disobedience. He satisfied justice for us, taking our sins to the cross. Time and again, Jesus chose mercy in dealing with each of us. And Jesus was the ultimate example of humility, becoming like us in order to save us (Philippians 2:5-8). So, “ ‘…act justly…’ ”, “ ‘…love mercy…’ ”, and “ ‘…walk humbly…’ ” (Micah 6:8, NIV), and live into the heart of God.
  11. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NIV). Echoing the words found in the Genesis Creation account, the Gospel writer John declares that Jesus was present “In the beginning…” (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1, NIV). Long before the man, Jesus, took his first steps upon the planet, he existed. In fact, Jesus’ existence is eternal. He is, “ ‘…the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End’ ” (Revelation 22:13, NIV). Still, Jesus did not view his deity as some sort of divinely appointed privilege, nor did he employ it in the form of a holy power trip. Instead, Jesus lowered his standing and took on the bodily form of a man (Philippians 2:6-7). John uses the name, “the Word”, to describe Jesus and his mission. Truly, Jesus is the incarnation of God’s announcement of grace to mankind. Jesus is mercy personified. Two-thousand years ago, our Heavenly Father took the great message of his love for us and placed it in a manger. Jesus, “the Word made flesh” (John 1:14), lived a perfect existence as a man and died upon a cross to take away our sins. God’s “Word” for us today is that we are forgiven and free.
  12. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18, NIV). Suffering is often synonymous with sacrifice. The sacrificial systems of the Old Testament involved the slaughter of animals as a way of atonement for the sins of the people. The offering-up of one’s livestock was not only emotionally burdensome, but a financial sacrifice. The limitation to these sacrifices was that they had to be repeated time and again, because people continued to sin. The author of Hebrews makes a statement similar to that found in the verse above, that “…Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many…” (Hebrews 9:28, NIV). “Many” doesn’t imply that Jesus’ sacrifice atoned for the sins of some, or even most, people. Rather, “many” means that Jesus’ death paid for the sins of all people. Further, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was a “…once for all…” sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27, NIV). It doesn’t need to be repeated again and again. Jesus died, “…the righteous for the unrighteous…” (1 Peter 3:18, NIV), so that we as sinners would live eternally. We are declared just and stand redeemed before him. What great news this is for each of us!
  13. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, NIV). There’s an old adage that says, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions” (author unknown). The inverse of this statement, then, might be “The road to Heaven is paved with sorrows and troubles.” The passage above, from Paul’s second letter to the Church at Corinth, would seem to support such a statement concerning the connection between Earthly sorrows and Heavenly rewards. For Paul and other Christians, “…light and momentary troubles…” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV) could mean a variety of things. Certainly, the Christian must navigate the day-to-day struggles that all people deal with. But, the Christian must also face persecutions of all kinds. Throughout the ages, Christians around the world have paid the ultimate price for their faith, giving up their temporal lives for their eternal destiny. Don’t misunderstand. The Christian doesn’t gain Heaven because he has lived a good life or even because he has faced a valiant death. Our salvation is entirely based upon Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Still, the Christian life is one marked by trouble. I want to leave you today with two verses that speak to the issue of Earthly sorrows and Heavenly rewards. Jesus told his disciples, “ ‘…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ ”(John 16:33, NIV). Paul shared a similar sentiment when he stated, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18, NIV). We live, and we die, in Christ. Glory awaits.
  14. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13, 17, NIV). In this series of writings, we have looked at what Paul refers to as the “...armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:13, NIV). We’ve discussed “…the belt of truth… (v. 14)”, “…the breastplate of righteousness…” (v. 14), “…feet fitted with the gospel…”(v. 15), “…the shield of faith…” (v. 16), and “…the helmet of salvation (v. 17). The Christian stands equipped and opposed to the Enemy with each of these powerful pieces of equipment. Today’s piece of armor is “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17). We are not meant to be only on the defensive side of things. Filled with the very Spirit of God and armed with God’s holy Word, we not only stand against the Devil, but we attack him. We cut to the heart of injustice. We strike where there is poverty and need. We stand tall with the weak and marginalized people in our society. We seek to destroy all that is evil. God’s Spirit, who lives in us, is alive and potent. Paul once shared that “…the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power…’ (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV). Further, God gives us his Word which will constantly keep Satan reeling. We have the truth on our side which includes the Gospel message of God’s love for us. We are declared righteous and are saved because of what Christ has done for us. Our faith makes us strong. We stand already victorious in the face of Satan and evil. So, battle on, protected by and armed with the armor of our God.
  15. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Take the helmet of salvation…” (Ephesians 6:13, 17, NIV). In Ephesians Chapter Six, the Apostle Paul reminds us that the Christian life is one of continual warfare against our enemy, the Devil. Paul stresses the need to equip ourselves with several strategic pieces of spiritual armor. These include “…the belt of truth… (v. 14)”, “…the breastplate of righteousness…” (v. 14), our “…feet fitted with the gospel…”(v. 15), and “…the shield of faith…” (v. 16). Each of these is meant to protect us from the relentless attacks of Satan. In today’s passage of Scripture, Paul continues his inventory of spiritual armor with what he calls “…the helmet of salvation…” (Ephesians 6:17, NIV). The very thoughts of our mind must be guarded against the harassing accusations of the Devil, for Satan would love to convince us that he stands a fighting chance in the on-going battle between good and evil. The fact, however, is that Jesus has already won this age-old conflict, and we are the beneficiaries of the salvation Christ gained for us on the cross. We stand victorious through the shed blood of Jesus, while Satan is crushed in defeat. The helmet of salvation, then, is not merely a piece of battle equipment, but our constant reminder of victory. Satan, I’m certain, hates the look of the Christian in his spiritual attire. So, let’s buckle up, cover up, lace up, take up our shield, and stand up in the knowledge of our salvation. The Devil doesn’t have a chance!
  16. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:13, 16, NIV). So far in this “Armor of God” series, we’ve looked at what Paul refers to as “the belt of truth”, “the breastplate of righteousness”, and “feet fitted with the readiness” of the gospel (Ephesians 6:14-15, NIV). Today we are discussing another piece of battle equipment, namely “the shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16, NIV). As Christians, we are under the continual assault of Satan. He is relentless in his barrage of attacks. Without faith in Christ, we stand no chance against this ancient marksman as he fires the arrows of temptation and deception with deadly accuracy. Still, God does not leave us defenseless. We stand equipped for this spiritual onslaught, protected by “the shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:15, NIV). Ultimately, Jesus has already won the battle against the Devil, and Satan’s attempts to destroy us are futile. Through faith in what Jesus has already done for us at the cross, we are ready for the enemy’s advance. So, lift-up your shield, and believe that you hold the victory. Evil is no match when faith and God are on your side!
  17. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:13-15, NIV). In Ephesians Chapter Six, the Apostle Paul continues his discussion of the armor of God by making special mention of the footwear worn by the Christian. It would be foolish for anyone to march into battle without protection for his feet. And Satan would like nothing more than to trip us up with his lies and deceit. So, Paul reminds us to have our “…feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15, NIV). “Feet fitted” implies that someone else is getting us dressed for battle. Indeed, God equips us with all that we need to stand our ground against evil. Further, “readiness” suggests preparation and intentionality on our part. We must approach our spiritual battle with a divine plan for victory. Finally, we stride into combat with the good news gospel message of God’s love and mercy through Christ. Our greatest weapon against Satan is the message that Jesus has already won the battle, evidenced in a barren cross and an empty tomb. I’d like to close today with Paul’s words to the Church at Rome: “..‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ ” (Romans 10:13-15, NIV). As bearers of the gospel, we have the most beautiful feet on the planet. Let’s protect them, fitted properly and ready to move!
  18. Hey, everyone! I've been a part of this writing community for just a few weeks. My site is chuckkralik.com. Feel free to check it out!

  19. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…with the breastplate of righteousness in place… (Ephesians 6:13-14, NIV). In my last post, I discussed what might be considered the first line of defense in the Christian’s stand against Satan and his attacks: “…the belt of truth…” (Ephesians 6:14, NIV). By and through the truth of God’s Word, we can stand in victory against Satan, a.k.a. “…the father of lies…” (John 8:44, NIV). Today, we’re looking at what Paul refers to as “…the breastplate of righteousness…” (Ephesians 6:14, NIV). When Satan attacks, he strikes at the very heart of the Christian. Therefore, we must remain guarded if we are to continue to stand. Fortunately, we are covered in Christ’s righteousness. The Prophet Isaiah states it this way: “… (God has) arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10, NIV). The Apostle Paul adapts Isaiah’s language of “a robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10, NIV) to “the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14, NIV). Paul knew that we would be fighting nothing short of a spiritual war. So, just what is righteousness? Paul puts it this way: “God made (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). In other words, God made an exchange at the cross, taking our sin and trading it for Christ’s “right-ness” before him. Because of this one act on the part of Jesus, we are declared forgiven and free. We now stand against Satan protected by “the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14, NIV), the victory already won!
  20. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” (Ephesians 6:13-14, NIV). In Ephesians Chapter 6, the Apostle Paul tells the Christian to arm himself for spiritual warfare. Our chief enemy, the Devil, stands in opposition to us and would like nothing more than to destroy us, both in the present and for all of eternity. Here’s what Jesus, the self-acclaimed “ ‘…way and the truth and the life…’ ” (John 14:6, NIV) said about Satan: “ ‘(He is) …a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies’ ” (John 8:44, NIV). With this description, it’s no surprise that Paul tells us to get ready for battle, to buckle-up with the belt of truth. Satan will continually lie. It’s his nature. He deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden. He twisted the Word as he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Deception and falsehood are two of Satan’s primary weapons and he wields them with mastery. Even today, he belittles and berates. He accuses and harasses. Satan continually barrages the Christian with lies such as these: “You’ll never be good enough!”, “You’re unlovable, unforgiveable, unworthy, unredeemable!” But, Jesus once said that “ ‘…the truth will set you free’ ”(John 8:32, NIV). And when we listen to the truth of Christ, we can stand against the Devil’s scheming attacks. So, let’s buckle up for warfare “…with the belt of truth…” (Ephesians 6:14, NIV). It’s our one-size-fits-all defense!
  21. Chuck Kralik

    Armor Of God

    “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17, NIV). In this new series of blogs, I will be looking at what the Apostle Paul calls the “…armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:13, NIV). With battles against temptation, sin, Satan, and the like, the Christian is to be prepared for nothing short of spiritual warfare. So, just what does that look like? God equips us with things like truth, righteousness, the message of the gospel, faith, the assurance of our salvation, and the Holy Spirit himself. We’ll look at each of these in this series. So, check back regularly. And thanks, as always, for reading!
  22. I remember when my daughter was three years old. Each night I would tuck her small frame into bed and we would share a brief conversation. I would ask her softly, “Where do you want to meet in our dreams tonight?” She would contemplate the question and then offer her answer. Sometimes the place of our midnight meeting would be Grandma’s house. Other times it would be the amusement park or the playground, in outer space or some far away land. With a yawn and a twinkle in her eye, with excitement in her heart and wonder in her spirit, my little girl would close her eyes in restful sleep, awakening to the adventure held in her dreams. The truth is that bedtime was sometimes difficult for my daughter. There were fears found in the darkness of night, noises that frightened and shadows that looked like monsters. That is why I had designed our bedtime ritual, an attempt to help my child go to sleep. I liked to imagine that, in her dreams, she was chasing butterflies, flying high on a swing, touching rainbows, and exploring distant lands, all while holding my hand and smiling. The Apostle Paul wrote about those who have fallen asleep in Christ. Going to sleep was a metaphor employed by Paul to describe death. The moment our eyes close in death, we are awakened to new life in eternity. Death has no power over us and we have no need to fear it. In the words of Isaiah, death has lost its sting. So relax. Dream on. And rest in Jesus.
  23. Chuck Kralik

    East From West

    “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:11-12, NIV). Let me begin by addressing the word “fear” in this passage. Are we really meant to fear God? Part of this answer, I think, lies in how we understand the word “fear”. God is perfectly holy and just, and because of our sin, we can never, on our own, live up to the perfect standard he sets. Scripture says that even our most “…righteous acts are like filthy rags…” (Isaiah 64:6, NIV). People in Old Testament times “feared” God to such an extent that they refused to even speak his name. This, however, is the same God who knows each of us by our name. And what we could not do to earn our favor with God, he sent his Son Jesus to earn for us. By Jesus’ death on the cross, we are forgiven. We are declared righteous, made right, before our Heavenly Father. As followers of Jesus, we do not need to fear God because of what Jesus has done for us through his death at Calvary. The rest of this passage of Scripture further clarifies our unafraid response to God. I’m reminded of my school days and the lessons I learned in geometry. I remember that a line extends infinitely in opposite directions. By its very definition, a line is without end. This is what I think about when I look at the above passage from the Book of Psalms. The beginning point of our forgiveness is found at the cross where Jesus died. He took our many sins into his flesh and removed them from us “…as far as the east is from the west…” (Psalm 103:12, NIV). Our forgiven sins could not be more distant from us than how they are described by the Psalmist. At the same time, God is with us. By his Spirit, he lives within us. He loves us. He forgives our all of our wrongs. Believe that. Live today as someone who is truly forgiven and free. Because you are. Thank God.
  24. Thanks, Joeli, for reading my blog and responding!
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