Our story never changes. It is the old, old story that is new every morning. It is our anthem, our song, our strength and our hope. Jesus voluntarily gave up His glory in heaven temporarily. He was born into the world, He was fully man and fully God. He went about doing good and God performed miracles, wonders and signs through Him. Not everyone believed the story then and not everyone believes the story now. But God, knowing what would happen, already had a plan in place. Jesus came to this earth to redeem a fallen people from their sins and nothing, no one, nor any force of any kind would prevent that from happening. Over and over, the religious leaders conspired to kill Jesus before His time and in a manner that would not be sufficient for redemption. God would not allow it. Jesus was the perfect man, God had the perfect plan and now we are redeemed. Just as God had a plan for Jesus, He has a plan for each of us to participate in the redemption story. We are not perfect, God already knows that, so when we fail, He understands. But His plan for each of us takes our weaknesses and failures into account. He is never surprised by our failures and He never gives up on us. We are chosen, we are called and we will succeed in the plan Jesus has for each of us. So, when satan, the father of lies, comes to shame us with all of our failures, we just need to tell him to take it up with Jesus, stand up. let God clean us up and press on. The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s and He won the war years ago at the cross. We may suffer losses and temporary setbacks, but we cannot be defeated.
Each of us needs to pause each day and meditate on what an amazing God we serve. He has every right to be angry with us and punish us accordingly. Instead, He put all of our sins on His only Son and allowed Him to be crucified on a cross for our salvation. Jesus was all man and all God, so God Himself hung on that cross and He has become our salvation. He is our strength and our song. We can trust Him to complete the work He started in each of us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, No matter the situation, we can turn to Him and draw water from the springs of salvation and they will fill us with joy. Every moment of every day, we should “rejoice and be glad.”
8-9 For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing.
We, as Christians should always remain humble realizing that we did not do anything to earn our salvation. It is impossible to earn or pay for a free gift. God loved us so much that He became as a man and died for us paying our sin debt in full. And that is just the beginning of the story. If we follow His teachings and become a disciple, there is much more that we can enjoy here on earth. God is all about the present and eternity. We are told in John 10:10, that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. And we can do nothing to earn those gifts, either. He gives them to us of His own free will. We receive peace, security, and joy from the same benevolence that brought us salvation. This was mentioned as far back as Isaiah in Chapter 12, Verse 2: Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yahweh, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” And He freely gives us all things that pertain to life and Godliness.
No matter whether we are new Christians or have served God most of our lives, we still have faults and weaknesses. Not one of us has a corner on the depths of the meaning of the Holy Scriptures. We need to always have a teachable spirit and attitude. When pride leads us to the point that we think we can’t be tempted, watch out, we are about to fall. When we think “oh, I would never get to that point”, be very careful that you are so proud of your discernment. The evil one knows our weaknesses and exploits them with amazing dexterity and cleverness. The sly old fox is always lurking around us waiting for that moment of weakness when he can shoot an arrow through the chink in our Spiritual armor. One of his favorite tactics is compromise. A little of this, just this time, won’t hurt and anyway, who’s going to know? The devil is very adept at showing us beautiful things that turn out to be nothing but illusions. “It’s just a little lie, it’s just a little sin” is a big lie that he wants us to believe.
Be very careful, it is “the little foxes that spoil the vines” – Song of Solomon 2:15
9 But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.”–Jonah 2:9 (NASB)
1 Then you will say on that day, “I will give thanks to You, O Lord; for although You were angry with me, your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2 “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” — Isaiah 12:1-2 (NASB)
Living a Holy life is impossible on a human level. Just as the people in the Old Testament could not fulfill every point of the law, we cannot live a sinless life. Jesus was and is the only perfect man. There will be times that we fail (and sometimes we will fail miserably) but Jesus has already paid the price for our forgiveness. So, if you have sinned (intentionally or unintentionally), you are already forgiven. Do we need to confess those sins? Yes, forgiveness is free, but you have to ask for it. When Jesus was hanging on the cross and He said, “It is finished”. All of His redemptive work for all times was complete. Jesus is not going to die on the cross again. So, if satan is beating you up over a mistake you made, quote him a Word of Scripture and/or sing Him a good old hymn. Just tell him, “God is my salvation, He is my strength and my song. The point is this, we cannot live perfect lives, but God forgives and restores. Don’t let satan trick you into thinking that now you are useless to God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God still has a plan and a purpose for each of us. God sees each of us as a finished project while we can only see the work in progress. Just remember, it is impossible to surprise God. Before He saved us, He already knew the mistakes we would make, but He saved us anyway. So rejoice and sing praises to Him because He is always faithful.