October 2016 Words of Life (Week 4)

The below devotion was in this week’s White House newspaper:

You Were Bought at a Price

          Imagine yourself in a courtroom before the judge.  You are being charged with all the crimes you have committed in life; stealing, lying, gossiping, adultery, unforgiveness, etc…  The judge tells you that you must spend the rest of your days in prison or you can pay $5 million dollars to be released.  Your response is that you do not have $5 million dollars.  Then a man walks up to the judge and talks with him for a moment.  The judge then grabs his stamp, marks “Paid in Full” in red ink on your paper, and says you are free to go.  Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Jesus died for you and me!  We are now justified and redeemed by His blood.  Jesus paid our penalty with His blood to the death.  1 Peter 2:24 says, “[Jesus] bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed.”

          R. Alan Streett shares another example in his book The Effective Invitation. Picture a boy who has just made a small wooden boat.  He crafted every detail of the boat.  One day he took his boat to the river and let it sail.  Everything was good until a storm came.  A current swept his boat down river.  The boat was now lost.  A week later the boy was walking through town and saw his little boat in a storefront window!  He ran home to get his money.  He went back to the store and purchased his boat.  He hugged it tight and said, “You are twice mine.  First I made you, and then I bought you!”  God created man, but due to sin we were all separated from God (Romans 3:23).  However, through Christ’s blood He gave us the opportunity to be bought back; John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life” and 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “You were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”.  We have the opportunity to be God’s again. Through His blood we are cleansed to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14).

          If you have already accepted Christ as your Savior, but have not been living for Him or if you have never accepted Him as your Savior, today is the day to return to Him.  Hebrews 3:15 says “…Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in your rebellion”. No matter how far downstream you have drifted away from God, Nehemiah 1:9 says, “if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.”  No matter what you have done, you are not too far gone.  You may ask, what about 1 Corinthians 6:9-10?  “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”  Do these scriptures contradict each other?  Absolutely not.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  If you are guilty of the sins above, you will not inherit the kingdom of God.  However, if you repent and turn from your evil ways you will be innocent in God’s eyes.  God “will gather you from there, and bring you to the place which He has chosen as a dwelling for you” (Nehemiah 1:9b)

          As long as you have breath in you there is opportunity to repent.  However, once you take your last breath it is over (Hebrews 9:27).  If you have never asked God to come into your life, all you have to do is confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10).  Ask God to forgive you of your sins and make a commitment that you are going to follow Him.   Get a Bible and commit to reading 1 chapter a day.  He promises to reveal Himself to you through His Word, the Bible (John 8:31-32 and John 14:21). Ask God to lead you to a church that will teach you how to apply the Word of God to your life and walk with Him the way He intended (Hebrews 11:6 and Proverbs 3:5-6).

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