It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

Archive for December, 2022

Christ – The Gift of Forgiveness

The greatest gift ever given was God’s gift to mankind, whichis Jesus, the Son of God, who brought the peace of God through forgiveness of sin. The totality of the Christmas message is that Jesus is the gift God gave but it was for the forgiveness of sin. Christmas is not just about a baby being born, but He was thesacrificial offering, being given so that mankind can make peace with their God and their Creator.

Luke 2:9-12 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.   For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.   And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

In the Old Testament, the blood of lambs and bulls could only cover sin for a while and when the sins of the people could no longer be covered, the Holiness and Justice of God required the payment for sin, which was death. Mankind was afraid to approach a Holy and Righteous God, and rightly so. Prior to Christ’s birth, His death and resurrection, God dealt with humanity based on their sins and His righteous judgement.Jesus came and made a New Covenant, giving us an opportunity to receive the payment that Christ gave for our sins, in full. We would never need another sacrifice because He gave us the forgiveness of sin through His blood atonement. 

The first salutation and announcement of Christ’s birth by the angel was telling mankind to not be afraid. Because Christ was bringing good tidings, good news and a good report that would bring great joy to all people everywhere. Born that day was the Savior and God who would die for all mankind and could take away their sin, their treason and their rebellious acts.  Through faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior, He will pay the sin debt required by a Holy and Just God for all who trusted and believed in Him.  

Jesus was born in the humblest of circumstances, though we glamorize His birth with decorated words, like laying in a manger, but in actuality it was a feeding box for animals. The Creator of the universe, chose to be born in a lowly place where the animals were kept, so that we may know He can identify with our circumstances, however low they may be.

Though it was God’s love and compassion that stirred His heart for mankind, it was the gift of Christ’s life and death that allowed Him to forgive all humanity.  The shed blood of Christ opened the way for us to have forgiveness, salvation and to be eternally with God. Jesus came to bring the goodwill of God to humanity so that they would no longer have to be judged asrebellious traitors before their God. 

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” NKJ

The celebration of Christmas is not just the celebration of the birth of Jesus. It is also the celebration of God’s forgiveness, peace and goodwill that is extended to all mankind. Jesus is the gift of God’s grace, and it is through our faith in the blood of Jesus as our Savior, that we acknowledge Him as our Lord. The Lord who has every right to direct, lead and shape our lives in every situation for the advancement of the kingdom of God on earth.

Ephesians 2:7-8 That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Beatitudes Matthew 5:11

To be persecuted, despised and being evilly or falsely spoken of because of, the righteousness and the light of Christ that is in you, Jesus says you are blessed. You are divinely favored of God, highly exalted of God and have awesome access to God’s kingdom and His divine goodness on earth. This is a hard saying and it is difficult to bear it without the Holy Spirit and the understanding of God’s kingdom on earth.

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  NKJ

Our natural being is full of pride and wants to be overly indulged and admired because our fallen nature is self-focusedand wants others to respect, revere and highly esteem us in this life. When people fail to receive this recognition, respect and admiration, that they believe is due them, it can lead to a lack of restraint, violence and debauchery. It is the love of self that causes people to hate, despise and even murder others for an act that appears to be disrespectful, insolent or is an insult to them.  Pride is the prevailing character of Satan. It was pride that caused him to rise up against his God and Creator and to try to esteem himself above the Most-High God, but caused him to becast out of heaven and destined for the pit of hell.

Isaiah 14:12-14 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregationOn the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. NKJ

Those who think more highly of themselves than they should,tend to be more inclined to respond in pride, hate and violence. Whether it be a person, a nation or a race of people, when they begin to exalt themselves over others they are walking in the character of Satan. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy those who are in the likeness of God, those who reflect His light, His image, His humility and His love. 

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Jesus calls us blessed and highly exalted when the enemy comes to abuse, scorn us or to harass and bully us because the life of Christ is being reflected in us to a dark world. It may not feel as though we are highly esteemed or blessed when we are going through these problems in the natural, but in the spiritual kingdom we are making advancements for God’s kingdom to progress and spread throughout the earth.

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

When we view life from God’s kingdom principles on earth we will understand our life is not just about us living comfortably. God is molding us into the image of Christ and at the same time He is advancing His kingdom of light in a dark world. Violence,hostility and cruelty is allowed to take place in this world,because it is the outcome of mankind’s choice. It is a direct consequence of the decision they made to disobey God and follow Satan. Though God does not interfere with our bad choices or disobedience, He will use them and work through them for our betterment. 

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 

God is not responsible for the chaos and violence that is taking place in this world, it is the result of mankind’s action at the fall when they gave over dominion of the earth to Satan. Satan is the ruler of darkness and comes to persecute and revile those created in God’s image. God did not leave us without hope even though we all have made bad choices but God will use those mistakes and rebellious acts for our good.  

All our troubles and problems may not be directly caused by us,but we live in a fallen world where Satan is destroying all he can. We learn through our experiences to be like Christ. It isour Christ like responses and actions that will reflect God’slight in dark places, which may be the very tool used or the seed sown in someone’s life that may bring them and others to Christ. 

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 

It takes the Holy Spirit to give us God’s kingdom perspective and for us to understand that we are in warfare with an enemy. Satan is attacking, persecuting, oppressing and causing violence against God’s kingdom and His people. It is faith in the love of God and His faithfulness toward us that permits us to perseverethrough difficult times and situations. This will allow the loveof God and the forgiveness of God to be seen in us. In this, we will show a dying world how-to walk-in love and how to lovethe unlovely and forgive the unforgiveable. 

2 Corinthians 4:1,17-18 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

It is when we understand, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that whatever the injustice, persecution or abuse, we are to see it as God’s opportunity to reconcile a lost soul to Himself. Just as Christ reconciled the whole world through the injustice and violence He experienced, we too can choose to trust God and pray for those who have misused and abused us. We then are giving God the legal right and access to intervene and intercede in that person’s life in our behalf.

2 Corinthians5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, NKJ

Because of God’s divine goodness and mercy, we are able to bring reconciliation to the people on earth. Those who are persecuted for Christ’s sake are blessed, divinely favored and highly exalted of God. They are also the ones who have access to God’s kingdom.

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