What is a Christian? part 4

What is a Christian? part 4

Sometime or other, between the cradle and the grave, all who would be saved must be made alive. The words which good old Berridge had engraven on his tombstone are faithful and true: ‘Reader! Art thou born again? Remember! No salvation without a new birth.’

The Christian then is a person who has been radically changed by the supernatural power of God. This wonderful work of God is usually carried on in connection with the preaching of the Bible. I Peter 1:23, 25 reads, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.” James 1:18 declares, “Of his own will begat he (God) us with the word of truth.” Ephesians 1: 13 reads, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” Romans 10:17 testifies, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” I Corinthians 1:21 says, “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” As the word of God is proclaimed, the Holy Spirit wings those words like arrows into the hearts of sinners. The word breaks through the high walls of sin and creates new life at the center of the sinner’s personality. He then begins to think differently. He begins to think God’s thoughts after Him. He feels differently. His likes and dislikes change so that he loves the things of God. His will works differently. He decides to break with sin, believe on the Lord, and follow Jesus Christ. He now begins to pattern his life according to the truth of God instead of according to his own opinions or the opinions of other men. All of this is the result, not of man’s own efforts, but of the supernatural power of God, who is at work in that person’s life.

Secondly the Bible declares that a Christian is a person who has become and is becoming increasingly aware of his own unworthiness in the sight of God. He realizes that he is a sinner by practice. He realizes that he has broken the laws of God and thus deserves to be condemned by God. The Christian reads of the prodigal son who wandered away from his father and wasted his substance in riotous living and he says, “I am that prodigal son who wandered away from my heavenly Father and wasted all that God has given me in riotous living.” He reads of the prodigal coming to himself and recognizing how he has grieved his father and says, “I am that prodigal who has come to the realization of how I have sinned against my heavenly Father and grieved him.” He reads of the prodigal coming to the father and saying, “I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight and am no more worthy to be called thy son,” and says, “I need to confess my sins to my heavenly Father.” He reads the declaration of John “that whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4) and he says, “I have sinned because I have transgressed the law of God. I have broken God’s commandments. I am a sinner by practice.”

But the Christian is a person who is not only aware that he is a sinner by practice; he also is becoming increasingly aware that he is a sinner by nature. He recognizes that the nature with which he was born is a nature that is in rebellion against God and which if unrestrained is capable of the worst of sins. He reads of Paul saying in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of death?” and he says, “I know what Paul is talking about, “for when I would do good evil is present with me. I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind” (Romans 7:21-23).

A Christian is a person who comes to God as David in Psalm 51 and says, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” He is concerned not only about sinful actions but sinful attitudes. He is concerned not only about sinful deeds but sinful thoughts. He believes that Jeremiah was describing his heart when Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Christian accepts God’s statements about the depths, the potential, and the dessert of his sins. The Christian doesn’t know fully the depth of his guilt but he knows and senses that God would be perfectly just in condemning him to hell. Thus he comes to God not to bargain or barter but to plead as the publican in Luke 18:13, “God be merciful to me the sinner.” The Christian doesn’t know fully the depth of his corruption, but he is aware that his “old nature” (the nature with which he was born) is incurably wicked and capable of great wickedness. He is aware that his carnal mind was enmity against God and could not be subject to the law of God (Romans 8:7, 8). He is aware of his need for a new heart, for a new nature. He is in full agreement with Jesus Christ who said, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). The Christian then is a person who recognizes that “it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed.” He revels and rejoices in the fact that salvation is all of grace. He has no confidence in the flesh to save or to keep himself saved. He is cast completely on the Lord and upon His mercy. (Other verses which teach that we are sinners by practice and nature are: Romans 3:9-19; 3:23; 8:7, 8; Psalm l0:4; 53:l-3; 58:3; 143:2; II Chronicles 6:36; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 22:15; Jeremiah 13:23; Mark 7:21-23; John 3: 19; 8:44, 34; Ephesians 2:2, 3; II Timothy 3:4; I John 1:10.)

Thirdly, the Christian is a person who believes that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh and the only Savior and substitute of sinners. In Matthew 21:10 when Jesus came riding into the City of Jerusalem on the day that we celebrate as Palm Sunday, the whole city was stirred and began to ask the question, “Who is this?” This is a tremendously important question because there has never been another person who has affected the history of the world or the individual lives of people as has the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible unmistakably tells us who Jesus Christ is. Any person who is uncertain about the identity of Jesus Christ is uncertain either because he has never studied the Bible or because he is not willing to accept what the Bible has to say about this person Jesus Christ.

Watch for part 5 soon!

Find answers and truth throughout our site at The Stand Project

 

Michael’s Monday Meditations

MICHAEL’S MONDAY MEDITATIONS, MON., 8/24/2015

There was a time when communications lines, beginning with the telegraph, morphing into telephone, criss-crossed our nation in all directions. If you’re my age and older, anywhere you traveled in your car, these telegraph and telephone lines seemed to accompany every railroad track and every highway and bi-way. Crossarms filled with colorful insulators and laden with iron wire accompanied us on every journey, stretching for miles and miles, as far as the eye could see.

Today, those telegraph and telephone lines are mostly gone, except for electrical power distribution, as our communications have mostly gone wireless. Not many people today have a land-line connection as the cell phone has become the new way to communicate and young and old alike have embraced this new technology.

The other day, my wife shared a humorous story with me. She told me she has gotten into the habit of praying to our Lord Jesus each morning on her way to work. Most days, she is going to work when I’m completing my night shift and heading home and we make it a point to talk with each other as we travel in opposite directions. We both have the “bluetooth” feature in our cars which enable us to talk while we’re driving without holding on to a cell phone. When completing a call, Sandra uses the display feature on the screen on the console to hang up the phone. Well, the other day, she told me she had been praying, completed her time with The Lord, then pressed the display on the screen to hang up! We both had a good laugh over that, as we’re both a bit goofy at times.

Why do I share this story with you? While most times we conclude our conversations with friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers around us, there is one communication line that we, as believers, need to keep open at all times. And it’s wireless! That line is our communication with our Father in heaven. God desires us to be in relationship with Him each and every moment of each and every day as we live out our lives. He implores us to, as 1 Peter 5:7 states, “cast all your worries and cares on Him because He cares for you.” James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” And God has promised all believers, in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me.” There are literally dozens, if not hundreds of verses of scripture that allude to this desire on God’s part to have relationship with mankind; not just any relationship, but one of intimacy. In fact the entire Bible, besides being about Jesus, is the story about how God pursues man in this great desire.

As a Jesus follower, I implore you, invite Jesus into every aspect of your life. Leave nothing untouched by Him. It is incredible what God will do and how much more full your life is if you keep that communication channel open with Jesus. And when communications are open, we are much less apt to be headstrong and fall short of God’s glory in sin, as we walk in trust and obedience to Him. It’s when we purposefully hang up the phone on God that we get into trouble. So Christian, once you establish this private line, keep the line open, and talk to God, and, dare I say it, listen as well? In fact, maybe listening more than speaking pleases God more than anything!

If you are not a Christian, won’t you make that “phone call” to our Lord and ask Him to save you? There’s no long-distance charge; in fact, you don’t have to even insert a dime or quarter into the God’s phone as God has the most incredible wireless system that’s been utilized for thousands of years. He loves you, friend, and He desires to come in and dine with you and you with Him. Won’t you make that call, the most important call you could ever make during your lifetime, today?

John A. Rudich's photo.
Michael Swanson

What is a Christian? part 3

If you missed any of the past posts, please go back and check each one out.

Let’s go ahead and pick up where we left off.

What is a Christian? part 3

First of all the Bible declares that a Christian is a person who has been radically changed by the power of God. Many different Bible phrases enunciate this truth about a Christian. Some verses assert that a Christian is a person who has been created anew in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:9, 10; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 6:15). Other Bible verses aver that a Christian is a person who has become a partaker of the Divine nature (II Peter 1:2-4). This means that when a person becomes a Christian he receives a new nature from God. It Is divine In two senses. It is created and put within us by God (James 1:17); it is divine in that it is a holy nature even as God’s nature is holy (I John 2:29; 3:7; I Peter 1:15, 16). Still other Bible verses testify that a Christian is a person who has been begotten or born of God (James 1:18; I John 5:1; John 1:12, 13). Then too, the Bible states that a Christian is a person who has been regenerated or made to live again (Titus 3: 5) In addition to this, the Scriptures affirm that a Christian is a person who has passed from death unto life and been quickened from the dead (John 5:24, 25; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; Luke 15:24, 32).

These various Biblical phrases describing a Christian abundantly testify to the fact that a Christian is a person who has been radically changed by the power of God. Becoming a Christian is a supernatural operation of God upon the spirit of man. Becoming a Christian is not merely a matter of outward reformation; it is not merely a matter of turning over a new leaf and endeavoring to live a new life; it is not merely a matter of education or of religion. Nature may be educated to the highest standard attainable but it cannot be developed into something of a totally different order. There is no process by which a man may be developed out of a horse nor a beast out of a bird. Likewise, there is no process by which a spiritual man can be developed out of a sinful man by education. I may gather some weeds out of a field and transplant them into my garden; I may fertilize and irrigate them, but no amount of attention will transform them into rose bushes. Education and religion cannot change man’s sinful nature. They can only refine it.

Becoming a Christian is the implanting of an entirely new nature within man. It is being born again, being born from above, being made a new creation, being remade and reoriented at the center of being. J. C. Ryle described the change that takes place when a person becomes a Christian like this:

Once he could see no beauty or excellence in the Lord Jesus Christ, he could not understand some minister speaking so much about Him. Now he would tell you that Christ is the pearl of great price, the chiefest among ten thousand, his Redeemer, his Advocate, his Priest, his King, his Physician, his Shepherd, his Friend, his All.

Once he found no pleasure in the means of grace. The Bible was neglected. His prayers, if he had any, were a mere form. Sunday was a tiresome day. Sermons were a weariness, and often sent him to sleep. Now all this is altered. These things are the food, the comfort, the delight of his soul.

Once he disliked earnest-minded Christians. He shunned them as melancholy, low-spirited, weak people, now they are the excellent of the earth, of whom he cannot see too much. He is never so happy as he is in their company. He feels that if all men and women were saints, it would be heaven upon earth.

Once he cared only for this world, its pleasures, its business its occupations, Its rewards. Now he looks upon it as an empty, unsatisfying place, an inn, a lodging, a training school for the life to come. His treasure is in heaven. His home is beyond the grave.

See what an amazing gulf there is between the man who is a Christian in name and form; and the one who is a Christian in deed and truth. It Is not the difference of one being a little better, and the other a little worse than his neighbor; it is the difference between a state of life and a state of death. The meanest blade of grass that growest upon a highland mountain is a more noble object than the fairest waxed flower that was ever formed, for it has that which no science of man can impart—it has life. The most splendid marble statue In Greece or Italy is nothing by the side of a poor, sickly child that crawls over the cottage floor, for with all its beauty, it Is dead. And the weakest member of the family of Christ Is far higher and more precious in God’s eyes than the most gifted man of the world. The one lives unto God, and shall live forever; the other, with all his intellect, is still dead in sins.

I do not hold that all must have exactly the same experience. I allow most fully that the change is different, in degree, extent, and Intensity, in different persons. Grace may be weak, and yet true; life may be feeble, and yet real. But I do confidently affirm we must all go through something of this kind, if ever we are to be saved. Till this sort of change has taken place, there is no life in us at all. We may be living church men, but we are not Christians.

Watch for our next post which will be a video and then keep your eyes out for part 4 of “What is a Christian?”.

Find answers and truth throughout our site here at The Stand Project.

Till the next time,

John Rudich

 

 

What is a Christian? part 2

What is a Christian? part 2

Since one of the purposes for which God gave the Bible was to tell us the way of salvation, let us test the six common opinions which were stated previously against the standard of the Bible. What do the Scriptures say about the six common answers given to the question, “What is a Christian?”

Common answer number one—Salvation is by good works. Scripture—“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). From a positive point of view these verses state that salvation is by grace. The word “grace” means unmerited favor. Positively speaking, salvation is the free gift of God. From a negative point of view these verses teach that salvation is not of works lest any man should boast. Again the Scriptures state that it is “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5, 6). Similarly the Bible affirms that “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” (Romans 3:20).

Common answer number two—Salvation is by heredity. Scripture—“But as many as received him (Jesus Christ), to them God gave the authority to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12, 13). This latter verse affirms that physical heritage, blood lineage, family connections or any other such factors, do not have anything to do with whether or not a person is a Christian. Another passage of Scripture which teaches the same truth is Philippians 3:4, 5.

Common answer number three—Salvation is by religious activity. Scripture—“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out demons? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me” (Matthew 7:22, 23). Other Scriptures which demonstrate that a Christian is not simply one who is active in religious matters are Mark 7:1-7; John 3:1-8; Luke 18: 9-14; Philippians 3:6, 7; Galatians 1:14, 15; Psalm 51:16, 17.

Common answer number four—Salvation is by profession of faith or by mere mechanical actions such as walking an aisle in an evangelistic crusade or praying a certain prayer. Scripture—“Now when he (Jesus) was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25). These people made a profession of faith but our Lord would not trust himself unto them because he knew that their profession of faith was not real. Other Scripture passages which teach that merely professing faith or going through certain mechanical actions does not ensure that a person is a Christian are Acts 8: 12-24; John 3:36; James 2:14-26; II Corinthians 5:17.

Common answer number five—you just can’t know whether or not you are saved. Scripture—“For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (II Timothy 1: 12). “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5: 13). Other Scriptures which teach that a person can know that he is truly a Christian are John 5:24; Romans 8:1; II Peter 1:4-11.

Common answer number six—Every human being is a Christian and will most certainly go to heaven. Scripture—“He that believeth on him (Jesus Christ) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3: 18). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44). Other Scriptures which teach that not everyone will go to heaven are John 8:3:44 Revelation 20:11-15; Ephesians 2:2, 3; Colossians 3:6.

When tested by the standard of God’s Word these six common answers to the question, “What is a Christian?” are proved to be inadequate and false. All of them are contrary to the Word of God. According to the Bible if your answer to the question “What is a Christian?” is any one of the six opinions that we have just considered, you are wrong. According to the Bible if the basis for your hope of heaven is founded upon any one of these opinions, your hope is based upon a wrong foundation and you are not a Christian. Why? Because a Christian is not simply a person who performs good works; or a person who has been born of Godly parents; or a person who is active in religious matters; or a person who has made a profession of faith; or a person who has been baptized; or a person who has responded to an invitation.

Well, if these answers are not the correct answers to the question, “What is a Christian?” How does the Bible answer this question? Let us notice four things that the Bible says about a person who is a Christian.

Next up, part 3 of “What is a Christian?”

Find answers and truth throughout this site The Stand Project.

John Rudich

 

 

Michael’s Monday Meditations

MICHAEL’S MONDAY MEDITATIONS

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
-Isaiah 53:6

My bicycle commute between home and work is wonderful, enabling me to view farms, forests, and marshes as I pedal. One of the farms is a sheep farm, and I always enjoy watching the sheep grazing as I whiz by. Well, one day last week, I noticed one of the sheep had escaped the fenced enclosed area and was grazing between the fence and the bicycle path. I could only surmise that he saw that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence and he decided to partake. Obviously, the sheep’s owner was unaware of his wandering sheep.

This immediately set me to thinking, are WE not unlike that sheep? And it brought to mind the scripture from Isaiah. God, through His actions and through His Word, sets up a parameter for those He loves and He does so not because He wants to be a killjoy, but for our own protection. Since God created us, He knows us better than even those in our lives with whom we are intimate. Obviously, this calls to mind The Ten Commandments, but I think this thought extends even further to the desires of the flesh vs. the fruit of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians 5.

However, one thing does differentiate us from this lone sheep in relationship to his master, and that is, Jesus, The Good Shepherd, always knows where we are, unlike an earthly master. He loves us when we remain inside the fence and loves us when we are outside the fence, but He loves us too much to allow us to remain outside the fence and He reels us in. I love the story in Luke 15:3-5, “So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing….,” for have we not all, at one time or another, been that sheep that needed rescue? This parable summarizes nicely just how much God the Father loves each and every one of us and why it was that Jesus so willingly went to the cross on our behalf in order to save us. Each is precious.

Sometimes He simply retrieves us from danger and we are consumed by His loving kindness. But sometimes he disciplines us, and let us not take that lightly. Hebrews 12:6 says, “and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?…”

Whether reproved or lavished with love, each of us needs to fall on our knees in worship and gratitude as we see just how deep the Father’s love for us is. This loving kindness, or discipline, makes me realize I am one of His and it further reduces any desire to sin I might have and induces me to live life exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit outlined in Galatians. How about you? Do you, too, experience this love from relationship with the Father? Do you know Him? If you do, REJOICE! If you do not, won’t you take a moment to come to Him today, just as you are, and lay your sin down at the foot of the cross, and let Him begin the cleansing and healing process in your life? He’s promised he’ll do it and He always keeps His promises. And He always knows where you are. What a marvelous God we have!

Michael Swanson

Stand Project

John A. Rudich's photo.

What is a Christian? part 1

What is a Christian?

No other question is so surrounded with confusion or answered so variously. Ask ten different people this question and you will get five or six different answers. Here are six opinions which are commonly held about the essence of Christianity.

1. “Well, I certainly am a Christian; I’m doing the best I can. I try to live by the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount.”

2. “Most assuredly, I’m a Christian. If I’m not, I don’t know who is. My mother and father are very religious. I have an uncle who is a minister.”

3. “Indeed I am. I have always gone to church and Sunday School. I have been baptized and confirmed. I joined the church when I was fourteen.”

4. “I know I’m a Christian because when the evangelist gave the invitation I went to the front and made a decision for Christ. My counselor showed me that if I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, I would never be lost again. I didn’t want to be lost—hell is a terrible place—so I accepted Jesus, and I know now that no matter what happens, God will never reject me. I know it because I went to the altar and professed faith in Jesus Christ.”

5. I don’t don’t know if I am, and I don’t see how anyone can really know for sure in this life. I guess I’ll just have to wait until I die to find out.”

6. “Sure, I’m a Christian. Isn’t everybody? Isn’t God the Father of all men? We may be going by different roads, but all of these roads lead to the same place. It doesn’t really matter what you believe, just so you are sincere—everyone who is sincere in his own religion is a Christian.”

These and many other answers have all been given to the question, “What is a Christian?” Who is right? Are any of these answers right? Can we know what it means to be a Christian, or must we be forever uncertain? Well, if we look to the human mind, to human opinion for the answer we will flounder in a sea of uncertainty. One man has as much right to his opinion as another. But, if we look to and are willing to submit to God’s Word, our confusion may be dispersed.

In the Bible you will find many statements such as these: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119: 105). “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. . . the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalm 19:7, 8). “The Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (to teach us what is true), for reproof (to make us realize what is wrong in our lives), for correction (to straighten out our errors), for instruction in righteousness (to teach us and train us in what is right)” (II Timothy 3:15, 16).

These Scriptures tell us that God has given us the Bible to make us wise in spiritual matters. Therefore, it only makes sense that we should turn to the Bible to find an answer to the question “What is a Christian?” If we want to travel to a certain city, we get a map and discover the best way to go. We don’t turn to some person who has never been there for directions because he doesn’t know any more about it than we do. Nor do we turn to a philosophy or science book for directions. No, we turn to a map of the area in which that city is located because that map was made to give us directions. So it is with the Bible. It was produced by the inspiration and superintendence of Almighty God that we might be made wise concerning the way of salvation.

Look for part 2 soon! And, look through the entire site (standproject.org) for answers!

John Rudich

Stand Project

 

 

What is a Christian?

What is a Christian?

We are going to start today with a loaded question, “What is a Christian?”, or maybe I should say what is a true Christian?  Today and in the days to follow we will take a look at this and I will post this in a multi part post along with a few videos.

Well let’s get started!

Today let’s get started with a video!  Join us on the next post to continue this lesson.

Join us next time as we start the written part of our post on this subject.

John Rudich

Stand Project

 

Michael’s Monday Meditations

MICHAEL’S MONDAY MEDITATIONS
WRACKED BY SIN, REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD!
When I examine my life, I see how wracked by sin my life has been. I think if all of us take an honest inventory of our lives, we can see the effects of sin before we met Jesus, but even after. And surely, we see the detrimental effects of sin in our lost world as we look around us. Even though we are new creatures once we invite Jesus in, because we are human, we still err, and impose sin upon others as well as have sin imposed upon us. Through Jesus, we must fight that sin nature our entire lives. But, not only did Jesus set the perfect example for us as a guide to live our lives, He actually overcame sin and death by the shedding of His blood on the Cross — for He bore the punishment we deserved from a Holy God, enabling all of us who invite Him into our lives in a small step of faith, to live life in godly abundance here on earth and with the Father in eternity. Jesus said to Peter in Matthew: “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.…” Because we have wronged others, let us be quick to forgive those who have wronged us, for it is simply part of the human condition. Dear Lord, help us to always remember our weakness and to depend upon you each moment so that we avoid the pitfalls of sin so that we might bless others and be blessed ourselves. Help us to realize just how blessed it is to walk obediently and to trust you, Lord, for the very lives we live and to further your kingdom here on earth! Help us also to be quick to forgive others when we have been wronged, knowing that we have inflicted that same pain onto others — none of us are guiltless — so that our Father in heaven might forgive us as well for how we have wronged Him. Thank you dear Jesus for the precious blood you shed upon Calvary’s tree, that we might be redeemed unto the Father! Thank you for your sacrifice and your provision, and may each of our lives reflect the gratitude we ought to have for your love, kindness, mercy, patience and justice!


Michael Swanson

Stand Project