Crucified with Christ
Reflections from Galatians 2
by Todd Moore
Jesus gave His life to give us life. But before we can take hold of His gift of life, we must die to our belief that our good efforts or religion can make us worthy of heaven. This death is our path to life & freedom!
The Apostle Paul was Jewish to his core. Born a “Jew of Jews” he says. Educated in & committed to Jewish religious practice. Yet he acknowledged that “a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ…”(Galatians 2:16).
While our efforts may show our faith, they do not make us worthy of heaven. That comes by our faith in Christ who was crucified in our place. Jesus Christ has made us worthy of heaven by His sacrifice & righteousness.
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…”(Galatians 3:13)
The curse of the law was that it could not make a person righteous, but, rather, pointed out all of one’s unrighteousness; the very thing that keeps us from heaven. So Christ, who was truly righteous, paid our debt of sin with His blood so that we could be worthy of heaven by His righteousness.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin & death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.”(Romans 8:1-3)
Christ has freed us from the pointless task of attempting to earn our way to God. Believe in Christ & do good out of your gratitude, faith, & love for God; no longer from your fear that you may not be good enough! Jesus Christ has made you more than good enough! Live with joy & freedom!
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”(John 8:36).
Solitude Purifies & Prepares!
Reflections from Matthew 4
by Todd Moore
When God brings you to a place of solitude or isolation, prepare to be purified, strengthened, & equipped for what He's about to do through you!
Before Jesus began healing with a word, feeding multitudes with a sack lunch, & teaching people about the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit led Him into forty days of solitude with no food & lots of temptation (Matthew 4).
There were many other godly people from scripture that were also led into periods & types of solitude or isolation before greater trials or assignments. Consider: Adam in the garden (Genesis 2); Joseph’s unjust imprisonment (Genesis 39-41); Moses on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19); Elijah during a severe drought (I Kings 17); David in the wilderness shepherding sheep (I Samuel 17); & Jonah in the belly of the giant fish (Jonah 1), just to name a few. The LORD led them into periods of isolation to reveal His power & nearness, purify their faith in Him, & equip them for the tasks ahead.
Isolation can be a tool of the enemy to weaken & disarm believers in Christ, but God often uses times of solitude to deepen our walk with Him, tune our hearts to Him, & strengthen us in ways that are needed for the coming days.
In our solitude, whether voluntary or involuntary, let us be courageous to deal with our past, be faithful stewards with the present, & prepare for what the LORD has next! For as Christ was not alone in the wilderness, neither are we!
...and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.
And behold, I [Jesus] am with you always, to the end of the age.
Are we hopeless? Absolutely NOT!
Reflections on Psalm 106
by Todd Moore
As we are confronted with an invisible enemy who moves like a tidal wave (named Corona Virus) we are reminded that the things of earth will fail us when it counts, but the LORD will not.
Our wealth? In a matter of days, our vibrant economy was turned on its head.
Our medical system? The news is daily about how it may quickly become overwhelmed & undersized.
Our innovation & ability to organize? In a flash we found ourselves ill-prepared & isolated from one another.
Our military? Powerless to protect against this enemy.
So are we hopeless in this "crisis"? Absolutely NOT!
Like God's people of old, nations blessed by God have too often forgotten Him & even despised His blessings.
Here in America, we have learned to trust in our own wealth instead of our Jehovah Jireh (The Lord our Provider). We trust in our superior medical system instead of our Jehovah Rapha (The Lord who Heals). We trust in innovation & our ability to organize instead of our Jehovah Rohi (The Lord My Shepherd). We trust in our powerful military capabilities instead of our Jehovah Tsaba (The Lord Our Warrior).
Let us learn from Psalm 106. This is exactly the time to:
- Recount the LORD's faithfulness (v.1-2)
- Repent of our misplaced trust in earthly possessions, systems, & people (v.6-43)
- Call upon the LORD in faith (v.44-47).
Let all the people say, "Amen!" Praise the LORD! (v.48)