Why Did Jesus Come?

“For [GOD] did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. But one has testified somewhere, saying, “What is man, that You remember him? or the Son of Man, that you are concerned about Him? You have made Him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with Glory and Honor, and have appointed Him over the Works of Your Hands; You have put all things in subjection under His feet.” (Psalms 8) For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him. But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, JESUS, because of the suffering of death crowned with Glory and Honor, so that by the Grace of GOD He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author [the pioneer, the trailblazer] of their salvation through sufferings. For both He Who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim your name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in Him.” And again,”Behold, I and the children whom GOD has given Me.” Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining to GOD, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:5-‬18 NASB
(For more on angels, go to Hebrew 1, 10, and Revelations 4-22)

Why did God become man?
*To Restore Man’s Dominion Over the Earth: Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

*To Taste Death: His death was a Crown of Glory and Honor – God cannot die, nor can the angels, so Jesus became man in order to experience death for us so that we – man – wouldn’t have to. His Grace was His motivation: His death was for EVERYONE. We are so dearly loved, He died for us.

*To Bring Many Sons to Glory – Ephesians 5:2b “….. love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” 

John Donne (1572–1631), an Anglican minister, in a sermon on Psalm 2:10-12, asserting that the One who with the Father and the Holy Spirit creates and sustains all things has become our brother; the inconceivably transcendent God is present among us.

There is no person so near of kin to you as Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus your father created you; he is your brother because he took your nature. He is your father because he provided an inheritance for you; he is your brother because he divided this inheritance with you. And because he died to give you possession of that inheritance, he is the Nourishing One, your foster father who has nursed you in his house, in the Christian church. He is your twin brother, so similar to you that his Father and yours in him, will not know you from one another but will mingle your conditions: he finds your sins in him and his righteousness in you. “Kiss this Son” as your kinsman.


*To Disarm Satan and Deliver Us From Death – JESUS came to save us; therefore He had to defeat satan and render him inoperative. 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”  We have no reason to be afraid of death…. we are delivered from satan’s control!

*To Make Propitiation For Our Sins – JESUS became a Jew – the most hated race – in order to become a high priest who would perform sacrifices, and to become the ultimate, final sacrifice. Christ was born and He died to turn around God’s wrath. Hebrews 2:17 “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining to GOD, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

*To Help Those Who Are Tempted – God isn’t angry with me, because I believe in Jesus Who died to cover my sins. The angels can’t relate because they cannot die, cannot be tempted. That’s why Jesus became man, so that He could experience life as a man and suffer as a man. He has been tempted, lonely, broke, abandoned, hurt – to BE with us …. and He understands what we are going through. Jesus is “God with skin on.” Since sin comes into the world through the man, Jesus was conceived without man to keep His human body pure. Adrian Rogers: “JESUS is all God and all man; man to be able to die, God to pay the ultimate price for our sin.”Once and for All. AMEN!

Greater Good

“But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:11 NASB

As I skim through social media, it occurs to me that the “greatest” among us today are about as far from being servants as we could imagine. Spoiled, cosseted, and overpaid celebrities from Hollywood, sport venues, and certain financial and political arenas are being toasted and held up for worship as the experts on life. It’s as if they are the gods we should look up to, and that we should follow without question. Many of them certainly act like they are above all human laws and morals. It’s all about lust. Lust for control, for sex, for the almighty dollar; it’s all about power. As Christians, our guide, our Law Book, is the Bible. It is very clear on idolatry, lust, and temptation.

“You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” Exodus 20:3‭-‬4, Deuteronomy 5:6-7 NASB

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15‭-‬17 NASB

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” James 1:13‭-‬14‭, ‬16 NASB

So, Greater Good. Servanthood. It’s different for every person. How does it look for you; on you? It’s not for everyone to wash the feet of others (figuratively at least, if not actually), although I believe that unless you’ve done it, you’ll never understand true servanthood.

We Will Be Persecuted

“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.” John 16:1‭-‬4 NKJV

Just a little bit scary, and yet, looking through history, Christians have been persecuted since the beginning. I don’t think I would be very brave in the face of real, physical persecution; I’m afraid I would be like Peter when he denied knowing Jesus. Every day, Christians face persecution from the enemy in the form of illness, job loss, failed relationships, financial hardships, and more, but we know that we share these difficulties with the world. See, I think the enemy wants us and the world think that we are all the same; that we are deluding ourselves and them by thinking we are different. In one very important way, and the only one that makes a difference is the reality that we have accepted Jesus as our LORD and Saviour. That single difference sets us up in the eyes of the enemy as targets. He hates to see people accept Christ! His goal is to fool as many people as possible to him as the superior over Jesus, and in doing so, sets us up for persecution and – he hopes – defeat.

He can’t do it. Defeat belongs to the enemy, not to the LORD.

Are you prepared for persecution? Have you thought about being physically persecuted, like Peter, Paul, or Stephen, or like countless of our contemporaries in other, non Christian nations? Even here, in a country founded on Christian values, we are daily facing attacks, mostly nonphysical (for now), but there are starting to be more and more incidents of physically targeting Christians. What do you think these church shootings are about?

I believe in a strong response whenever possible, but I concede that the time is coming where we will be put into situations of having to choose between defending Christianity, or giving in to the enemy.

“It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:7‭-‬10 NASB

Where is your name written?

Something To Look Forward To!

“Then he showed me a river of the Water of Life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of GOD and of the LAMB, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the Tree of Life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of GOD and of the LAMB will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His Face, and His Name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the LORD GOD will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.” And JESUS said: “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:1‭-‬5‭, ‬12‭-‬13 NASB

I love reading the books of the Revelations of John.  To have been honored to see the future of all man was probably both the most exciting and the most terrifying thing in his entire life. Whenever I get too upset about the current world affairs, I can refer back to Revelations. Everything – everything and everyone will face the end of time as we know it, together and with no defense.

Does that frighten you? It should! Unless you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, bypassing any of man’s requirements, and acknowledging that He is the One and Only way to salvation, the description of heaven that John wrote about in the above passage won’t exist for you. Eternity will go one of two ways. Those who accept Jesus spend eternity with Him, and those who reject Him will spend eternity in agony.  Too simple? Need more structure? Think you need an earthly advocate in the form of a priest to intercede for you, or that you have to be a “good” person? Are you too “bad”; you’ve done unforgivable things? No one is too bad, just as no one is good enough to get there on their own.

One thing, and only one thing will ensure your eternity with Him. Read this carefully:

Jesus said to him, “I AM the WAY, and the TRUTH, and the LIFE; NO ONE comes to the Father but through ME. John 14:6 NASB

Father, I pray that the one who needs You reads this, and accepts Your Own Son today as their Saviour.  Amen.

Living On The Incline

“Christianity is lived on an incline, and if you’re not moving forward, you’re slipping backwards.” – Tauren Wells, God’s Not Done With You, a 10-day devotional on Bible.com.

“Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.” Matthew 26:69‭-‬74 NASB

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17 NASB

It’s a slippery slope we live on; so easy to fall into envy, greed, jealousy, lust, gluttony, pride, anger, laziness…..

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He [Jesus] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8‭-‬9 NASB

Now is a good time to concentrate on the positive. It’s also a time when many of us make resolutions for the new year. I quit making them, at least publicly, because I never kept them. Actually, there is one that I have made, and it is the same one as this year comes to an end and we go into a new year. Spend as much time as possible in study, prayer, and meditation. I believe that when we put God first, everything else will fall into place. Not always how we want, or think it should be, but according to God’s Will.

“The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:17‭-‬18 NASB

Pray always. Whether in your quiet place, or a church building, or walking down the street, it’s simply having a conversation with the LORD. He always hears us.

“But JESUS Kept Silent …”

“… And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the Living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the Right Hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” ” – Matthew 26:63‭-‬64 NASB

What a powerful statement!

Jesus never bragged about Who He was. He stood silent when He was accused of being seditious against the government, and in fact, He never called on His followers to overthrow the government. He was tried and convicted on hearsay, so that He could stand before us, and die for us, on the cross. Could you – can you – stand by and be accused of crimes and keep silent? Do you? At work or school, at home, how many times have we defended ourselves, rightfully or wrongly? Especially when working around kids, a very common phrase we hear is “but I didn’t do anything!” I have defended myself many times (right or wrong), and I’m sure I will many more times in the future.

But Jesus kept silent….. The only truly innocent person to ever live, when accused, kept silent. The God of the Universe, Creator, Son, Living LORD Who calls Heaven home, showed us how to live and how to turn the other cheek. He was born for that moment. No argument, no grandstanding, no yelling. What a wonderful example for us to follow as we move into a new year.

Heroes

I had a lot of heroes while growing up. Gene Autry, Roy and Dale Evans, Zorro, Superman ….. the Black Stallion, RinTinTin, Flicka, Lassie (yes, animals were among my heroes!) ….. just to name a few. Later in life, I began to understand how difficult life can be. As I witnessed them coping with all that life threw at them, I realized that my Mom and Dad, and my Grandma Thomas were my real life heroes. Ultimately, I have come to see that there are truly many heroes in the world. Every day, countless people – police, firefighters, service members, emergency responders, and more – put their own lives on the line over and over for us, people they don’t know. There is no way to adequately express our gratitude for these heroes! However, the biggest, greatest, most important hero of all time gets skipped over.

Here are the Words of Jesus, God the Son, to the Father God, before Jesus was even conceived and born, from Psalms 40:6-8 (quoted in the book of Hebrews).


“Therefore, when He [JESUS] comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, But a body You [the Father] have prepared for Me; In whole burnt offerings and  sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the Book [Old Testament] it is written of Me) To do Your will, O God.’ ”  After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and  sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them ” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold , I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first [animal sacrifice] in order to establish the second [sacrifice – Jesus]. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:5‭-‬10 NASB


To paraphrase the Rev. John Flavel from a sermon in 1754, “All the OT saints were saved on credit, Jesus’ sacrifice paid the bill”. His blood to cover our sins. My sins. Your sins. Have you accepted the payment Jesus made for our sins? Mary’s little Lamb, the final sacrifice, once and for all. He is the Lamb to be sacrificed, and the Shepherd to protect us. He is the only One Who can save you.

“Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow…..”

Who is your Hero?