Sunday, February 23, 2020

Pastor Loren Eder

Journeys in Faith

Celebrating a risen Savior

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17

Yes, John 3:16, perhaps the most recognized scripture verse in all the world. Most everyone, including atheists and others, have probably heard it recited many times and may even be able to recite it themselves. Now whether they believe these words or understand them is another story!
God [Jesus] came into the world because of His love for humanity! And to lay down His life for all who would believe! “This is how we know what love is: Jesus laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” 1 John 3:16 And let’s not forget this oft-repeated verse we always hear at Christmas time, “And they will call Him ‘Immanuel’, which means God with us.” Matt 1:23 Jesus [God in the flesh] did not come to condemn but to save…me…and you…and those who would dare to believe! Now that is love, an unconditional love! Thank You Jesus, for laying down your life for a wretch like me!!
Yes, when God created the heavens, the earth, and everything else, He called it good. But that was ‘in the beginning’ before sin entered the world. And sin has been a problem for us ever since. Another problem, God hates sin and cannot look upon our sin because He is a HOLY GOD. Yet we are sinners with no way to rid ourselves of it in our own power. God says blood has to be shed for the forgiveness of sin, but the only blood adequate to forgive the sins of the world is His own blood. Animal sacrifices do not cover and forgive our sins. Hence the ‘reason for the season’ and for the ‘death, burial, and resurrection’ of Christ!
God is not just a Holy God, but He is also a JUST GOD. I think that is something we in this world do not want to acknowledge in any way or have totally forgotten. It’s our way of justifying our sin instead of repenting and turning away from the damaging effects of it. The attitude in the world is to be whomever and do whatever you want because we say it is ok, we make the rules. Yet God does not say it is ok to sin. There is a cost for sin. God tells us in the Bible, what is good and what is not. It is the original ‘How To’ book. I guess it comes down to whether you believe the Word of God to be truth or if you believe it to be filled with errors and inaccuracies. I believe the Bible to be true and accurate…that’s why it’s called FAITH.
And because I believe in the Word of God, I believe what it says in 1 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” Again, we often follow our own beliefs, our own morals, our own lusts and desires, instead of our Creators. Our problems stem from the wickedness of our hearts!
This Easter, may we turn to the biblical truth, that God loves you so much, He gave His only begotten Son – JESUS – to die for our sins. Allow your hearts to be changed by this truth and celebrate a Risen Savior!
He who has ears to hear, let him hear!