What Kind of Dead Man Are You?

Suppose you were a dirty, illiterate, sickly criminal justly charged with a violent crime, awaiting your execution.

Then, to your amazement, a man said he’d die in your place, give you his inheritance, and make you part of his loving family.

A fantasy, right?

No, this is the true story of God's love for us. 

Spiritually, we're on death row, deserving punishment, totally unworthy - dead men walking(1):

“All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”  Romans 3:12

"The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

In addition to dying in our place, God gives us a family and inheritance we don't deserve:

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 

He has given us "an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade....kept in heaven" (1 Peter 1:3-4).

We were dead men walking. Now we are dead men living (John 11:25).(2)
(1) Term used to describe a condemned man walking to his execution.
(2) We are dead men living in two ways: We are condemned men given life in Christ and we are men who have died to self to live for Christ (Luke 17:33).
You might also enjoy: We're No Longer Dead Men

3 Benefits of Sacrifice

3 Benefits of Sacrifice

I wrote about missing my grandchildren (here), and a reader asked why I don't live closer to them. 

We used to live ten minutes away. 

Then in 2015, we felt the Lord directing us to move to another state so my husband could volunteer with a ministry during his retirement years.

Sometimes God's loving plans involve sacrifice.

Throughout history missionaries have given their lives for the Gospel (Danger, Death, Devotion, Saint's Life). In some countries, Christians suffer for their faith daily (Worth the Risk).

Our sacrifice is small comparatively.

But God's children have these rewards:
1. Purposeful, specific work prepared by God for us (Ephesians 2:10).
2. Peace in trouble (John 16:33).
3. Future rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

“Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29

3 Benefits of Sacrifice

God's Love Never Fails

God's Love Never Fails

There are so many wonderful aspects of God’s love.

For example, His love never fails:

"He loves us with unfailing love; the LORD's faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD!" Psalm 117:2

Have you ever loved someone deeply and they said they loved you deeply only to find out that their love was temporary? 

It’s devastating, isn’t it?

Reminder of God's Love that will bless your socks off!
As Proverbs 20:6 says, “Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?”

Faithful friends are there when we’re sick as well as when we’re healthy, when we’re sad as well as when we’re happy, when we need their help as well as when we’re giving help.

These are the friends who lovingly tell us when we’re wrong, but don’t give up on us. 

They never quit communicating and never shut us out.

And that’s the kind of love God has for His children.

His love isn’t temporary, fickle, selfish, or weak.

For those of us who become His children, it’s eternal…that means unending, forever, for always.

What a wonderful love!
To enjoy another wonderful truth about God's love, read Incomprehensible

God is Not Like Us

A Serious Error when Man puts himself on the same level as God

Idolatry has always been popular. 

Uncivilized man sculpted gods from wood and stone. Now we sculpt gods in our minds - gods who are easier to understand and less offensive to our modern culture. 

These gods approve popular sins, worldly values and situational ethics. They never send anyone to Hell.

Like gods of wood and stone, they're limited by the knowledge, understanding, and perspective of the men who create them. 

Psalm 50:16-21 records God's response to people who customize truth and create gods in their own image:

“What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you...you thought I was exactly like you.”

Our fallen human nature prefers gods of our own making. They're easier to understand and manipulate.

But they cannot save or give life.

It's a great comfort to serve the God who created us instead of a god whom we've created.
Check out the Be Prepared Series, 14 questions commonly asked about our Christian faith.

Dangerous Definitions

The world is unwilling to call sin "sin."

Instead, sins are excused, blame-shifted, and redefined. 

We’re told that arrogant people, criminals, and selfish narcissists are victims of heredity, environment, poor self-esteem, and the hurtful acts of others.

You won’t find these excuses in Scripture.(1)

God doesn’t excuse the proud. He opposes them (James 4:6).

God calls criminals wicked (Proverbs 6:16-19).

God calls selfish people unworthy (Matthew 10:37-39).

Scripture says we’re sinners, not victims.

Christ-followers acknowledge this truth because we know a clean conscience is a non-negotiable part of our walk with the Lord (1 John 1:8-10).

Our repentance enables us to identify and repent of our own sins before judging what others have done to us (Matthew 7:1-5). And it gives us access to Christ's power to overcome bad elements of our lives (Philippians 4:13). 

Which will you be? Hopeless victim or hope-filled victor?
(1) While Scripture speaks of generational curses, the sins of the fathers “visited” upon the children, e.g Deuteronomy 5:9, it also makes it very clear that people are punished for their sins, not their parent’s (Ezekiel 18). When a parent is sinful, his offspring often follow his ways. That is the generational curse. But each man can choose to do what is right. People raised in ungodly families can choose to live godly lives, and people raised in godly families can choose to follow the world and reject their upbringing. Ezekiel 18 confirms that truth. Don’t be confused by Proverbs 22:6.
More resources on this subject:
Are You a Victim or Victor?
Errors Regarding Proverbs 22:6
What Does the Bible Say About Generational Curses?

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