Hebrews 9:26 ” Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

No matter how many animal sacrifices were made in the Temple…they never fully removed the people’s sin.  It wasn’t until Jesus Christ gave Himself up as the unblemished Lamb of God that humankind was finally delivered from the guilt and punishment of sin.  Hebrews 9:12 says, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.”  God offered His only son, Jesus, to take our place on that Cross.  He died as an atonement for our sins…His blood being shed once for all.  Which means He only had to died one time, not over and over again like the Temple sacrifices.  For it was Jesus that took upon Himself the sins of the entire world that you and I might be redeemed and set free.

John 1:48 ” Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Phillip called you.’ “

You were on the Lord’s mind long before you had ever heard of Him.  He saw you saved and made whole when you were at the very lowest point in your life.  He saw you doing great things for Him way before you had the confidence to step out in the abilities He had given you.  For the Lord not only knew your name… He saw the person you would become through Him.

Psalm 112:5 ” Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.”

Jesus summed up best how we should conduct ourselves when it comes to the people in our lives that are unappreciative, ungrateful, and just plain mean.   In Luke 6:35-36 Jesus tells us, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  Doing the right thing for someone who is critical and inconsiderate goes against everything we’re made of…but Christ reminds us that He shows mercy to all, and we should also.

Philippians 3:12 ” Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus to hold of me.”

The Apostle Paul readily admits here that he’s not yet arrived at perfection in his spiritual life.   So how come we think as soon as we become a Christian we’re  a mature Believer that can’t fail?  I Timothy 6:12 tells us to, “Fight the good fight of faith.”   The journey of our Christian walk is going to be a struggle…it’s going to be a battle between good and evil,  with us sometimes coming out of the skirmish bruised and battered.  But we need to get back up and not allow failures to define who we are in God.  Failures simply mean we’re still trying…and still fighting the good fight of faith.

John 1:38-39 ” They said, ‘Rabbi (which means teacher), where are You staying?’ ‘Come,’ He replied, ‘and you will see.’ “

“Come and see”…the Lord’s invitation still stands true for you today.  He beckons you to draw near and discover who He  really is.  He challenges you to put aside self and begin a quest for all things holy.  “Come and see” is His call to the depths of your soul to scrutinize, probe, and delve deeply into what it means to be a Believer…for in the end, old beliefs, falsehoods, and biases will be turned upside down in the light of His truth.    “Come and see.”

Colossians 2:2 ” My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love…”

As people waited in the crowded lobby, I over-heard a kind looking elderly gentleman ask the young lady seated  next to him a rather probing question.  She was bent over her phone, oblivious to anything or one around her, when he asked, “What would you be doing right now if you weren’t on your phone?”  His tone of voice was gentle and reflective, which completely caught the young lady off guard and rendered her speechless.  His question though got my mind whirling!  How can we  show the agape love of Christ to others when we’re folded up like a flower over our phones?  How can we be Jesus to those around us when we totally disengaged from our surroundings…detached and indifferent?  This verse says we are to be united in love which takes dedicated  involvement and connection…not self-isolation and selfishness.

Psalm 18:30 ” As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.”

Deuteronomy 32:4 tells us, ” He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just.  A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.”  So let’s ponder the word “perfect” in both these Scriptures  for a moment.  Everything the Lord does is complete, truthful, and faultless.  His manner and means will always be sincere and pure, for there is no deception  found in Him.  In a very imperfect world,  He is our shield and refuge and the Rock we can run to in times of fear and confusion.