My Redeemer Lives!

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.” -Job 19: 25 (NIV)

Job’s assertion is powerful when taken in the context of what he had recently gone through. Every horrible thing that could possibly happen to aGoogle+Photo man happened to Job, and in relentless succession. His abundant wealth was stripped away. His beloved children were dead. Disease afflicted his body and darkness was his closest friend. To twist the knife further into him, the men who came to supposedly comfort Job in his hour of need did exactly the opposite! They accused him of bringing this destruction upon himself through his deliberate decision to sin against God; even though Job knew very well in his heart that he had done nothing wrong. Job had every reason to do as his wife said; to curse God and die. But despite the severity of the suffering he was undergoing, he refused to abandon God. As long as His Redeemer lives, he had faith that God, in His love and justice, would ultimately stand triumphant.

When suffering seems to suffocate us and anguish torments our soul we often tend to ask where God is in the midst of it all. Does He see our suffering? Does He care? The wonderful truth is that He does! He knows our pain and sees each tear that falls. Suffering was never meant to be a part of His perfect Creation for how can God, who is by nature good, create evil? Though we were the ones who brought sin, and therefore misery, into the world, it grieves Him to see us, His beloved creations made in His image, suffer under its yoke. He is our Redeemer. It is His desire to see us delivered from sin and suffering; working tirelessly towards the salvation of every single person on this Earth. We as His children can take assurance in the fact that as long as God remains eternal, He will work everything together for His good and perfect will. But the question remains, will we allow ourselves to abandon our imperfect will and surrender ourselves to His? When we allow Christ to reign in our hearts through our personal acceptance of His redemptive work on the cross and His glorious resurrection, we will be able to face the trials of this life knowing that God will always be faithful to His wonderful plan for us; that life is worth living just because He lives!

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

The Beauty of Christ

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” -Psalm 27:4 (NIV)

Have you ever met someone who instantly made a good impression on you? There was something about their demeanor, their speech, or their outlook on life, which attracted you towards them. Although there is always the fear that they could be putting up an act, those fears are quickly quieted when we realize that they are truly genuine and sincere in their conduct. Such magnetism compels us to say of them, “I can trust this person”, or “I want to model my life after this person’s example”. We enjoy their company and want to spend time with them not only because they have won our admiration, but because they have also won our love and loyalty.

There is something irresistible about Christ. Why else would His disciples instantly abandon everything they knew to follow Him? When they gazed upon Christ, they knew that He was no ordinary man; that He was someone much more than all the exalted men of the world put together. However, if we really want to see for ourselves His beauty, we must put aside what others say about Him and allow Him to speak about Himself through His Word. Who would pass final judgment on a person based solely on what someone else has said about them? Today, we would label that as being prejudiced because we have not actively sought out the whole truth. When we come to His Word with an open-heart and mind, we will be in awe of what we discover. We will be humbled by His holiness and perfection in wisdom, reassured by His faithfulness and providence, assured by His stance on justice and integrity, and comforted by His never-failing love and redemptive mission for humanity.

What will our response be? Will we ignore the beauty of Christ, or will we accept Him? He gives the freedom to choose the path that we want to take. If we live our lives knowing the truth about Christ as revealed through His Word, but not making that personal commitment to Him, we deprive ourselves. It won’t be long before we realize that His claims about the destructive power of sin and the futility of living morally on our own wisdom are indeed true. When we allow Christ to invade our lives, we will find true peace, security, and joy. We will desire to gaze upon His beauty and seek Him in His temple because of what He has done for us through His redemptive sacrifice on the cross and His promise of life everlasting to all who believe in Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Total Depravity, Total Solution

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” -Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

One only needs to crack open a history book to see the depravity of man. Even the most noble of ideologies, the most benevolent of movements, fall prey to the corruptive force that is human nature. Throughout history, man has tried to wrestle with the problem of human depravity by proposing ideas and methods that would eventually take man to a perfect society where their corruption will cease to persist. However man, in his finite understanding, can and will continue to only come up with solutions that may address and solve part of the problem, but never the whole. The unfortunate result is that the part which was not dealt with festers and grows until it completely destroys every noble aspect of the movement or ideology. Why does this happen? The reason is that man constantly applies small bandages to gaping gashes. Man’s depravity is total. It is inherent and affects every single person born into this world. It does not discriminate against race, gender, or socio-economic status. As long as human beings exist, depravity will exist.

What then is the solution? Total depravity deserves a total solution. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross had as its intent to deal with the root of human nature; its inherent wickedness. God knew that man could not save himself because all have fallen short of His standards. Since God is holy and just, He cannot tolerate sin and by His standards, all who sin face death. Yet, God in His love did not want to send His creation to such a fate and thus sent His Son to die in place of humanity. If an individual only believes that Christ came to die in order that the penalty of their sin may be satisfied, then they are completely forgiven. Christ’s act of redemption through His death and burial is complete and final. It had to be so in order that each and every sinful desire of man would hold him back no more. Through an acceptance of this fact, man can be elevated out of his corruption. Not by his own hands, but by those of Christ working through him. Total depravity is a problem bigger than humanity itself, and it needs a person bigger than humanity and its depravity to solve it.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.