Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 92: It's Not About The Bunny...

I posted this a few years ago, but it's so good, I felt I should share it again. Especially since Easter, or what I call Resurrection Day, is coming up. Enjoy and I hope you are blessed by this beautiful message.

Dear Friends,
This Easter, I don't want bunnies, I want Jesus. I don't want to merely know "about" God, I want to actually "know" God. Who is He, this King of glory, who by His resurrection from the cross saved a wretched soul like me? "Who is He, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty— He is the King of glory." Psalm 24:10 As a people and nation we are good at knowing "about" God, but poor in actually knowing God. Moses said to God, "If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people." The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:13-14 I'm convicted as I write this because I realize it's easier to merely know about God, than to know Him personally. How often do I want His rest, and yet make little time to be in His presence. Did you know that to have His presence is to have His rest? Will you seek His rest by giving Him your presence through prayer, the reading His Word, worship and/or quiet times with Him alone?

ENTER HIS THRONE ROOM OF GRACE When we spend time with Him, we get to know Him. Spending time with Him through prayer and reading the Bible is more important and beneficial than doing things for Him. God invites us to spend time with Him and gives us access to Him by our faith in Jesus. "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16 Imagine that, not a throne of condemnation, not a throne of punishment, but an approachable throne of mercy and grace to help us in our times of need! If you need closeness with God right now and already know Jesus by faith, then enter His throne room with confidence, not scared like a stranger, but with confidence like a child of God. Wow...what a great God!

IT'S WHO YOU KNOW, NOT WHAT YOU KNOW OR WHAT YOU DO Will people remember you for the things you did for God? Or, will you be remembered for God's mercy displayed through the grace of Jesus Christ working in you and through you? Will they say you knew the Lord in an intimate way because you believed, trusted and obeyed God? Will they say that even though you made a lot of mistakes in life, you knew God’s grace and believed in Him? "Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:29 Do you spend time listening to God and therefore know God (know His small voice), or do you merely do things for God? Do you sometimes identify with Martha who knew Jesus as a friend, but did not know Jesus? "She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said...She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better..." Luke 10:39-42 Imagine if after all the distractions and busyness of life, when it's all said and done, God said, "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" Matthew 7:22-23 What a sobering verse for all of us who label ourselves "Christians".

GOD SEES THE LIGHT IN YOU Believer, you may be feeling condemned, beat down, exhausted, and even mourning over your countless sins. But know with certainty that the Lord Jesus sees the "light" in you, the light of His grace working in you that He placed in you. "God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness." Genesis 1:4 You may be convicted by mistakes in your life and feel apart from God; or you may be asking "what light working in me?" But stand firm knowing that God sees His light and that is what matters most (not what we see, but what He sees). Why? Because God is our judge! While we may feel unworthy in our standing with Christ, know that Jesus never loses hope in us because He sees the light that He has placed in us. God sees us as unstained children by our faith in His Son Jesus Christ. "…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 Once in His grip, we are always in His grip. Through our faith in Jesus, sinners like you and I are atoned for, made right, forgiven 100%. When we repent, turn to Him and believe in Him, we are saved forever! That is how powerful, perfect, righteous, and majestic His sacrifice on the cross was for our sins. We sinned but He paid our debt--that's His wonderful grace.

REST EASY You may already know Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, and yet at times feel at war with God. Take heart--you are not alone. Please know it doesn't matter whether you feel like you are innocent or not, what matters is that your judge (God) sees your innocence through His Son Jesus. The truth is that through Jesus we have peace with God whether we feel like it or not. Jesus said at the cross "…"It is finished"..." John 19:30 meaning His job had been completed for those who would believe in Him. Jesus was the perfect man for the perfect sacrifice because He was God in the flesh--sinless. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand..." Romans 5:1-2 All of us go through dry times in which we feel apart from God, but rest easy knowing our faith in Jesus gives us the "justified" and permanent standing that God requires. We can rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus because our past, present and future sins have been paid for by His blood. Will you now take the time to look towards Him in prayer and receive His grace? If you need to repent from your sins before God, then do it right now. Cast your cares upon Him and ask Him to help you; He will do it! "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

REJOICE, I SAY IT AGAIN REJOICE This Easter, will you turn from your self-sufficiency and look to the Lord Almighty, our King of Glory? Will you turn your face to God in all humility and allow the grace of Jesus to give you rest and peace? "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26 Turn your attention to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the One who took our place on the cross for our sins, and rejoice in Him. If you already know Jesus by faith, take the time to reflect on the cost of your salvation and celebrate it with gladness and a grateful heart. Will you go out of your comfort zone and share the "Good News" of your salvation with others? Will you share the love and grace of the risen Lord Jesus with those who do not deserve it? If you do, God will be glorified in your life :-)

The message above was written by Aurelio Barreto...  
Aurelio Barreto is the founder and CEO of C28 and Not of this World. If you have never heard of C28, it is a Christian retail store chain, offering an alternative to the mainstream mall stores. The Christian clothing, music, jewelry and accessories reflect a clean and positive Christian lifestyle. C28 stands for Colossians 2:8, Not Of This World (NOTW), and all about Jesus! Every now and then Aurelio Barreto sends a heart felt news letter. Please check out his wonderful store/site and sign up for his newsletters and updates. 

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