God So Loved

by Sylvia Bambola March 11, 2013 10:33 AM

Jesus was always making radical pronouncements. Here in John 3:13-15 He proclaims He has come from heaven, and not only that, but proclaims His future death. The Amplified says it best, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert on a pole, so must the Son of Man be lifted up (on the cross).”  And then comes verse 16, the verse we all love, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

What a pronouncement! Jesus knew His destiny, His purpose. And boldly states it here. His crucifixion was no accident. It was planned from the foundation of the world. And it was to be no small accomplishment, either. It would accomplish nothing less than the salvation of perishing mankind!

Though Jesus couldn’t be any clearer in His statements in John, His disciples just didn’t get it. Not really. Not then anyway. That came much later. In the same way, so many people still don’t get it. They don’t understand who Jesus is and why He came. They say He’s a good man, a good teacher, nothing more. But then how do they explain Jesus’ statement in John 3:17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might find salvation through Him”? No “good” man would ever declare such a thing because no man, no teacher, no matter how good can save the world. Only God Himself coming down in the flesh could accomplish that.

So why doesn’t the world love Jesus? After He gave so much? After He did so much for us? The Bible gives us that answer too. It tells us that Satan has blinded mankind. “In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

So next time you witness to someone you love, bath it in prayer first, and be patient and kind because, just like we were once blinded, they are still blinded by Satan, and he  will fight tooth and nail to keep them from coming into the Truth. But the one thing Satan keeps underestimating is that the kind of love God offers is more than able to pierce the darkness Satan tries to create.

Until next time,

Sylvia

Category: Spirituality

So Great a Salvation

by Sylvia Bambola September 26, 2011 11:33 AM

When bursitis in one shoulder made me see stars and take several doses of Motrin just to make the pain bearable, I was thanking God I had at least one good arm to use while I healed. That’s when I began thinking about Jesus on the cross. It made me consider the terrible suffering He must have gone through, and how much our salvation cost Him.

 

I imagine both His shoulders were out of joint from hanging on that cross.  And what of those thorns jammed into his head? The pain must have been excruciating.  And consider the torn flesh on his back that he had to keep scraping against that wooden beam whenever he pushed up to try to catch his breath, as he slowly suffocated. And oh, what the nails must have done, pounded into his hands and feet, ripping flesh, tendons, muscles and bone! And there were flies too.  Swarming and landing on the bloody wounds, irritating and tormenting, and no means of swatting them away. And the salt from His sweat surely had to burn as it seeped into His open sores.

 

And if that wasn’t terrible enough, what about Jesus’ emotional and mental state? As each one of our sins was laid on Him, the enormity of the grief and guilt and shame and sadness caused by sin was laid on Him too. Oh, the blackness of soul, the utter hopelessness He must have felt! Surely, our sins broke His heart.

 

But the worst part of all had to be separation from Abba, Daddy. “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” conveys the isolation and despair Jesus must have felt; Jesus Who once declared “I and my Father are one,” (John 10:30) and “the Father is in me and I in him.” (John 10:38) What mind can truly understand the trinity? But since we are also a triune being—spirit, soul (mind and emotions) and body (I Thessalonians 5:23)—perhaps it would be like being separated from one of our parts: foreign, lonely, desperately unsettling. But it was necessary for Jesus to become separated from God so we could become reconciled.

 

I don’t know if all eternity will be enough for those who love Jesus and have come to know Him to properly thank and honor Him for what He did and for what He saved us from. But considering the enormity of His sacrifice, is it any wonder that Scripture goes on to say, “How shall we escape appropriate retribution if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3 Amplified Bible)

 

Until next week,

Sylvia

Category: Spirituality

Freedom Isn't Free

by Sylvia Bambola July 5, 2010 13:47 PM

Yesterday, across America, people celebrated Independence Day.  In essence it was the celebration of freedom.  And oh, what a great thing that is!  And what a great country we live in!  Though in some ways I see our freedoms eroding, I believe we still live in a land where we are free to dream and then make those dreams come true; where we are equal in the eyes of the law regardless of our race or social position; where we are free to practice the religion of our choice. But it all came with a price.  And someone else had to pay it.  It wasn’t free at all.  People died, blood was shed, families were separated, and hardships endured, and on July 4th our nation remembers that.

 

But there’s another freedom, even more precious, that also was paid by blood and separation and hardship.  It’s the freedom from sin and death that Jesus purchased for us at the cross.  And oh, how costly that freedom was!  But how willingly Jesus paid it!  Those of us who are called by His name know the freedom of which I speak.  It is the freedom that a clear conscience brings after knowing you are forgiven from every wretched thing you’ve ever done; the freedom from fear of the future, for our future is in His hands; the freedom that comes in knowing that our eternal destiny is sealed.

 

I love my country and value it greatly.  But our life on this planet is so brief—a passing vapor the Bible calls it—so the freedom we should seek, the freedom we should prize about all others is that which is found in Christ, for it is the freedom we will enjoy throughout eternity.

 

I hope you all had a happy 4th!  God bless America!

 

Until next week,

Sylvia   

Category: General | Spirituality