It has been said that, in the Gospel of Luke, we see Jesus as “the Friend of the friendless” (William Barclay, The Men, The Meaning, The Message Of The Books, p. 17). This is wonderful. Jesus is our Friend. We rejoice in this great when we sing, “What a Friend we have in Jesus.” Jesus […]
My heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski, who appears to have died from suicide on Tuesday. Although I didn’t know Tyler personally, he’s remembered on campus for his sunny disposition. Tyler was the presumptive starting quarterback going into next season. He made some key contributions in eight games this past season, including leading his team from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Boise State University 47-44 in triple overtime.
I don’t know anymore about Tyler’s situation, but it’s disturbing to hear of anyone taking his/her life. According to National Data on Campus Suicide and Depression, one out of every 12 college students makes a suicide plan and 7.5 students per 100,000 kill themselves.
This incident is a wake up call for me to be more aware of those I encounter and be more intentional to connect with people. Although I’m a proponent of social media, it shouldn’t replace personal relationships. I admit, I cherish “likes” and thumb’s up, but we all need face-to- face time.
For believers, it’s also a good reminder to always be prepared to share the hope we have in Christ Jesus. A hope that can’t—or shouldn’t—be shaken when we’re grounded in Him. It’s the only hope I held onto when I experienced an episode of depression throughout my college years. I don’t want to make this post about me, as I know many people fight this battle, but if it helps someone better understand depression you can find my story here: My Lifeboat.
I feel that some Christians think believers should be immune to this struggle. I know at the time that I felt guilty for even having this struggle. But as none of us are immune to physical ailments, why would there be an exception to mental ailments?
Moving on to a lighter note and following last week’s theme, “God Interruptions”, I bring you Heisman Trophy winner and professional athlete, Tim Tebow. Although most of us aren’t called to be platform athletes or speakers, God still uses us in ways beyond our comprehension when we yield to His promptings, however small they may seem. Although Tim could have easily dismissed what God laid on his heart, he chose to yield to God’s prompting instead. I really enjoyed his story of how God blessed his seemingly small act of faith and trust you will too!
“The light of the righteous rejoices” (Proverbs 13:9). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Light. He’s “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). In Him, we rejoice (Romans 5:11) – “the blood Of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We thank You that, through Jesus, You have “called […]
The word atonement carries with it the idea of the just, holy, righteous side of God’s nature being satisfied. God’s law required death as the penalty for sin. When God saw the death of the innocent sacrifice, he was satisfied that the demands of his law had been carried out. Sacrificing an animal on an altar did not take away the sin. Man was still sinful. The sacrifice only pictured what was necessary for sin to be forgiven—death and shedding of blood. The blood provided an atonement or covering for sin.” –The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus by John R. Cross
Out of the tabernacle’s six pieces of furniture, so far we’ve looked at the ark of the covenant, the table of “presence bread”, the golden lampstand, and the incense altar. We now come to the fifth piece of furniture where animal sacrifices were burned: the brazen altar.
One Way to God
There was only one way to get to the altar of God because there was only one entrance gate to this enclosure. Likewise, there is only one entrance to God. The “gate” is Jesus Christ (John 14:6; 10:9). Many think that every way is acceptable to God in our pluralistic society, but Scripture teaches otherwise (Prov. 14:12; Matt. 7:13-27). Forgiveness from sin and fellowship with God can only be attained through His Son.
Below is a summary of the significance and symbolism of the brazen altar.
For more on the significance of the tabernacle sacrifices and how they point to Jesus Christ, I found the following post from the Tabernacle Place helpful: The Brazen Altar. Also, The Bronze Altar from Bible History Online offers a more detailed post. Blessings!
For many, Easter stirs memories of family gatherings, chocolate bunnies, egg hunts and the traditional church visit.
But the roots of Easter form the core of Christianity. Easter is a celebration of God’s unconditional love.
God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life:
- “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16
- In regards to a full and meaningful life, Jesus said: “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” –John 10:10
First the Bad News
Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, we have all inherited the sin nature. Because of our stubborn self-will our fellowship with God has been broken. Our sins—both active rebellion and passive indifference— have separated us from God: his love and plan for our lives.
- “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” –Romans 3:23
- Because God is holy and just He will punish sinners: “The wages of sin is death,” [spiritual separation from God]. –Romans 6:23
But God doesn’t want to leave us in our wretched sinful state. From Genesis to Revelation, His sovereign plan enfolds.
- Jesus died in our place: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8
- Jesus rose from the dead: “Christ died for our sins. . . He was buried. . . He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures . . . He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred.” -1 Corinthians 15:3-6
Jesus Is the Only Way to God
Jesus bridged the gulf that separates us from Him when He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
- Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” -John 14:6
But it’s not enough just to know these truths.
We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Then we can know and experience God’s love and purpose for our lives. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” -John 17:3
God’s offer of salvation and fellowship is a free gift that we receive in Christ through faith: “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.” –Ephesians 2:8-9
- “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” -John 1:12
- We experience a new birth when we receive Christ. (See John 3:1-8.)
Salvation is not dependent upon our emotions, nor does it stand alone on intellectual agreement. Receiving Christ is as an act of the will through faith. Repentance involves removing self from the throne to placing God on the throne of one’s life. When we place Christ on the throne of our heart, He offers peace and joy, even when circumstances would dictate otherwise.
My prayer for you—if you have never entered into a relationship with God—is that you would seize this moment. The following is a suggested prayer, (although God isn’t as concerned about your words as He is with your heart’s attitude): “Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross in my place. Please come into my life as my Lord and Savior. Thank you for giving me eternal life and forgiving my sins. Help me to be the person you desire.”
For those of us who have already placed our trust in Christ, may we continue to grow in Him, be thankful for Christ’s sacrifice, and share the reason for our hope with others.