31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
2 I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise Your name for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth and faithfulness; for You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and You have magnified Your word above all Your name!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
20 I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
In Christian circles we hear a great deal about dying to self, living unto Christ, counting the cost (as in giving our lives up, even mortally, if God sees fit to martyr us), YET if you make a “Christian” mad you can see just how alive THEY are! Suddenly we hear words like, “I had every right to the way I felt, I had a right to be mad, I had every right to be offended”! But the truth is, no you don’t if you are truly born again.
You gave up the natural for the supernatural when you got saved. In the natural, you deserved hell, you deserved to live a life of penance for your sins, you deserved to be sentenced for every wrong you ever thought of doing, for to think it is the same as doing it! When we heard the message of grace, forgiveness, no longer being under the curse but under the blessing, we were all to eager to leave our natural lives behind and step into the supernatural things of God…until someone ruffled our feathers, so to speak! Suddenly we are all to eager to grab hold of the natural things, the very things we wanted and knew we needed to be saved from. Suddenly the words “count the cost, die to self” are words of yesterday…today is TODAY!
I am amazed at people who are all too quick to pull out the scriptures about blessings and living in health and healing, protection, victory, but are so quick to live a life that is not much different from those who have little to nothing to do with God. They have RIGHTS, and you better not violate them!! They have no concept that when they reached back into “fallen living” they placed themselves in a place where God CANNOT bless them, no matter how badly He wants to do just that!
When God says, “Keep your lips from speaking guile and long life will be yours”, we grab “long life will be yours, but forget there is a condition to that long life! Let us take a good, hard look at Psalm 34!
12 What man is he who desires life and longs for many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it!
15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly] righteous and His ears are open to their cry.
Suddenly, when we have been made “rightfully” mad or “offended” we forget the Bible says to seek peace, not vengeance! We want to see them get theirs and then we don’t want to see them at all! They deserve to be “unfriended” from Facebook, they deserve to not be spoken to, they deserve the cold shoulder, they deserve for others to know what was done by them, they deserve to PAY for upsetting us! Oh, yeah we know Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” right down to an undeserved crucifixion and slow agonizing death, but He was deity! God certainly cannot expect that of a “Christ Ambassador” or a “Christian” or someone who stepped down to an altar and said, “Use me God!! I’ll count the cost! Unless, it isn’t comfortable…then the cost may be just a little too much. I mean we are only human! We live in the natural, but God don’t disappointment me by not giving me the supernatural moves and blessings You promised! We don’t want YOU to look bad!”
We are quick to forget the part where He says, “The eyes of the Lord are toward the UNCOMPROMISINGLY righteous and His ears are open to their cry.” What is ‘compromising’? It is where one gives a little and the other gives a little, but neither fully have their way. Compromising with God instead of being uncompromising will get you “little”. You will have little grace, little blessings, and little power. It is not worth it to live to ourselves! In the end, the short-term pleasure of flesh unleashed is incomprehensible to all we could and would have gained by choosing to live (as hard as the choice was, it was still a choice) unto Christ and His way of doing and being!
“Choose ye this day whom you will serve” doesn’t just mean decide if you are going to choose salvation over hell. It means are you going to choose to do things God’s way as His Word commands (not suggest!) or live as seems good to you. Leaders, you are judged at a higher standard, so choose wisely and cautiously what realm you want to live and function in! (James 3:1)
Have I fallen short of the glory of God? Yes, I have and for that I ask forgiveness of my Father and of others. Will I remember next time I am tempted to exercise the ‘rights’ I gave up when I asked Jesus to live in me and through me so that I no longer live for myself, but for Him…I certainly will, because the One Who truly lives (Jesus) in me doesn’t forget, either!
She [Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God. And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. John 1:1-2, 14 AMP