He Died So You Won’t Perish

Ezekiel 33: 11 

Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!…..
The Lord has no pleasure in seeing the wicked perish in their sins. He does not wish for them to be destroyed in their ways. And that’s probably why He has time and again given warnings for all to return to Him, to forsake their evil ways and return to God. There is always a second chance. You are never too far from His grace and forgiveness, if only you would return to Him. 
The most quoted and well know Bible verse has to be John 3:16. 
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
There is no distinction or demarcation mentioned here. He died for all. He died so that “whoever” believes in Him will be given eternal life. He died for you and me. He has no desire for any of His children to go astray. I say, children, because we are all His children and we belong to Him. But the Word is specific. As much as He doesn’t desire for anyone to perish, there is also the clause that you need to believe in Him and live for Him in order to get hold of the eternal life He has in store for you and me. 
As I stated earlier, you are not too late or too far out of reach from His grace. Turn to Him, focus on Him alone in your journey on this earth. Everything else you see in this world will fade away. Only His Word remains. 

But the Greatest of these is: Love

Revelation 2:2-4
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
The above passage speaks of the church of Ephesus. The former portion of the verses speak about the good works of the church, of the mighty deeds with which they perform for the Lord. Yet, as the portion ends, we see God judging them for a grave mistake – they have forsaken their first love. An often quoted verse from the Bible but how much thought have we actually given to it. As we read more from the Word, we realize the way God sees and the way we see things are so different. It’s no wonder that He says in Isaiah 55: 8, 9, that His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours.

As a Christian, we consider works, labor, patience, spirit of discernment to be of so much importance, we would never have thought anything was lacking. But the Lord who sees and knows everything does not make judgments based on the outward appearance alone. He knew the heart and soul of the church and found them lacking in their first love.

God has placed so much importance to love that an entire chapter in the Bible is dedicated to this topic alone (1 Corinthians 13). This chapter goes on to speak about the different manifestations of the Holy Spirit – speaking in tongues, prophesying and so on. But it ends on an astounding note.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

It’s almost difficult to comprehend that you can have all these spiritual gifts and yet not have love. You can prophesy without love, you can speak in tongues without having love, you can give to the poor without having any love – the list goes on. But God sees the intentions of the hearts, He sees us for who we are. There can be nothing fake before him, a counterfeit Christian is not not who He needs. He needs His child to act out of love. Are you that one? Do you feel you have been running behind the wrong things and missed out on one of the most importance characteristic which God desires? Ask Him to fill you with love for Him and others.  

Don’t Take God’s Grace for Granted

Your life is a door – to a house that only you have access to. You have the  liberty to open or close your door – no one else. As every door comes with a keyhole, so does yours. It’s ironic you’d blame your situations and folks or wonder how you ended up in sin, because every time satan knocks, you have that keyhole to know exactly what and whom you’re opening your door to. Every time you let him in, you inevitably let someone out – Jesus.

You give sin an edge to grow up the walls of your house. The more it stays, the worse. Listen carefully, Jesus is knocking too, but you’re so indulged in the sound of satan’s music, those knocks never reach your ears. Yet His knocking never ceases. You see, He paid a heavy price for you. Though you may forget, Jesus never does. And then, there comes that point when you’re snapped back to reality. Realise your visitor has overstayed his welcome. You shouldn’t have let him in to begin with. But how do you do away with one who doesn’t want to be done away with? How do you make someone who doesn’t want to leave, leave? You need help. You call security to forcefully push him out of your house. Yes, you finally remember the One whose knocks you never heard.

Now you need Jesus. You rely on His strength to get him out. You can’t try alone. Your efforts are all in vain. As unrealistic as wanting a building to budge on your push. Jesus comes to your rescue, drags the intruder out. Your door is shut again. Now turn around, my friend. Look at your house. Your intruder has gone and there’s no trace of him, but look what he’s left behind. He’s damaged your precious house. Yes, Jesus will turn your scarlet-stained house back to snow-white. But wait, you knew that all along didn’t you? While you were dancing to Satan’s tunes, you knew it was a wrong song to play, you knew what you were entertaining was not of God, but you thought you’d stop at your own pace, cause Jesus is always there to clean up your mess, isn’t He?

If this is your mentality today, you’re taking the grace of God in vain. Do not bring upon yourself a time when He’s not going to be there to knock your door anymore. Every time you open your door to the devil, you give away part of your house. Were you actually that naive to think those glittery wrapped packages he held were gifts for you? Or did he have to remove the disguise and reveal those guns and swords for you, to not open your door? Sin is like a microbe. Feed it with less than a drop of inoculum and you’ll have enough to replicate over an entire area.

Next time he knocks, run to your phone, dial your security and say, “Lord, I have an unwanted visitor at my door.” Or else, let him in. After he’s gone and the damage is done, turn around again and look. Do you like what you see? Was it worth it? How different would things have been, if you had peeped through that keyhole and just stepped away?

For God took the sinless Christ and poured into Him our sins. Then, in exchange, He poured God’s goodness into us! As God’s partners, we beg you not to toss aside this marvelous message of God’s great kindness. For God says, “Your cry came to Me at a favorable time, when the doors of welcome were wide open. I helped you on a day when salvation was being offered.” Right now God is ready to welcome you. Today He is ready to save you.

  • – 2 Corinthians 5:21, 6:1-2

Come Home My Child

Luke 15 has three parables in it – parable of the lost sheep, lost coin and the lost son. Each speaks of how something precious was lost for a little while and the joy that followed in finding them again. 
We too were once lost, but Jesus found us and saved us and gave us new life. How precious we are to Him can be seen in these verses. If anyone reading  this has somehow strayed away from Him and if your life feels meaningless, look to the lost son in the parable (verse 11-32). He went away and got lost in the pleasures of the world but he realised his mistake and came back (verse 18-19). Instead of being angry and showing any form of hatred, the father welcomed him with open arms (verse 20). 
Our Father too is compassionate toward His children and ready to welcome you with open arms if only you will turn back to Him. Don’t wait for another day for it’s not ours. Do it today and enjoy the peace which only He can give you.

Only a Prayer Away

Ezekiel 33: 12-16
“Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.”

The above passage speaks about the difference between righteous and wicked men. And how God deals with them if they turn from their ways. Here it says that a person who led a holy life all throughout but leads an unholy life later on, the good done by him will not be remembered. Though it may seem to be a bit unfair or cruel, that’s how serious God is when it comes to sin. We can view that with an example. Say, a runner is competing in a 400m race, is it of any use if he runs fast and steady for the first 300m and then stops? No, it isn’t, because the prize is for the runner who finished the the entire race. When we look at the above verses from this light, it begins to make more sense. We may also read 1 Corinthians 9: 24-26 to highlight this further.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.”

Whereas, for the wicked person too God has kept this matter in mind. If the wicked turns from his evil ways, hears the Word and turns to the Lord, the evil done by him will not be remembered. This is not to say that there are no consequences for wrongdoing. There is. Because God is righteous, there will certainly be consequences for the wrong done. But more importantly, a soul will be saved. During Jesus’ crucifixion, we read about 2 robbers flanking Him on the Cross. One repented from his ways. Luke 23: 40-43 is as below

“But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

True repentance began the moment the robber realized he had done wrong and he accepted the punishment he was given. Did Jesus send His angels to rescue him? No. The repentant robber died but there was an eternal life kept for him because Jesus saw and knew his repentance was real.

If you had been walking through the right path but somehow lost your way in between, please turn back to Him. If you have been walking the sinful path all your life but you’ve heard the message of Jesus and you are convicted of your sins, repent and turn to Him. It is never too late to repent and put aside the ways of the world for He is indeed only a prayer away.