April 8, 2012
He is Risen!
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 6:23 NLT
As we celebrate this day, we are encouraged to consider the price that God paid -- sending His Only Son to Earth to die on a cross for our sins. In doing so, we are given liberty -- forgiveness from our sins, and through that gift, we receive adoption as sons and daughters of the King. We are brought into the family of God, and are given the spiritual gift of being a joint-heir with Jesus. In short, our sins are forgiven, we are assured eternal security, and we are delivered from the power of sin and the penalty of death and eternal separation from God.
This is the Good News of Jesus Christ!
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. ~Ephesians 1:13 NLT
It is the Good News that I celebrate today, believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who died to save me from my sins. I have been a Christian for a very long time. I have lived a life that was not always pleasing and in alignment with the Word of God. Even though I believed this Good News, I didn't always live as though I did. I lived a worldly and selfish life, a life very much tied to the pleasures of sin.
I only came into a true saving knowledge of the Good News about six years ago. It is hard to believe it, but I walked as a Christian for almost 30 years prior -- doing all the things Christian's do. I went to church every Sunday, never missed. I served in Children's and Family ministries, teaching Bible school and Sunday school to grade school children. I served others, especially the elderly, and I gave of my time and talents whenever there was a call for help. I walked the walk, and I talked the talk. In all ways, I appeared to be loving God, serving God, and loving others in His Name.
Inside, though, I was not living a life that mirrored my speech and conduct. I was living in sin, surrounded by sin, and hiding from sin. I was sick, I was desperate, and I was in need of healing. I prayed. I cried. I confessed. I lived a life racked by guilt, and I hid my sin and my sorrow from the world around me.
I found freedom and deliverance when I fell on my face before the Lord and confessed my sins to Him. I had done this before, hundreds of times before, but this one time, I really meant what I said. I was tired. I wanted to be free, and I knew that my only hope was in a deeper relationship with God.
My mind was set free that day, and my body was healed. I became a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17 NLT) through the simple act of confession and repentance. I turned from my ways, and I placed my damaged and sinfilled life in His Hands. He changed me. He cleansed me, and He gave me new purpose.
Over the past six years, so much has changed for me. I have experienced the Ressurection on a daily basis. I have come to know God in deeper and more fulfilling ways. I am now living His Way, walking and talking according to His Word. I am contented. I am filled with His Peace. I am alive today because the Good Shepherd cared enough for me to save me -- not once -- but Once for All. He saved me at the cross 2500 years ago, and today He continues to save me. I am saved. I am loved. I am whole, and I thank my God for His Grace and His Provision of a Blessed Savior.
May God be Praised this day and forever more. Amen. Alleluia, Amen.