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Posts Tagged ‘love for Jesus’

Lord’s Supper Devotional

We are celebrating the Lord’s supper today. And as we do we see a picture of Jesus’ death: the bread is broken and the cup is poured out. This is a representation to us of how his body was broken and his blood was poured out on the cross.

So as we remember Jesus’ death this morning I want us to focus in on a question – ‘Where would I be if Jesus hadn’t died for me?’ or ‘Where would you be if Jesus hadn’t died for you?’

For some of us, this is kind of hard – at least to be specific. For instance I began walking with the Lord when I was 14 – that’s when I was baptized and really began to take God seriously. What would my life have been like without this?

Others of us lived long enough in sin to have good idea of what our life would be like without Jesus. So perhaps it’s a bit easier.

This is how we will go about it. First I want us to look at Paul’s life before Christ. Then I want to say a few words about myself. And finally I will invite you to share briefly as well on the question – ‘Where would I be if Jesus hadn’t died for me?’

Paul

Paul was a proud Israelite, a religious scholar and a devoted zealot for the cause of Judaism. In Philippians 3:5-6 he speaks of how he was “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness, under the law blameless.”

In Galatians 1:13-14 he said, “For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.”

We see in these verses that he was a person of exquisite credentials with regard to Judaism. He was zealous, so much so that since he felt Jewish Christians were apostates to Judaism he persecuted them. And he was righteous, at least according to one standard.

But even with all this, his credentials, zeal and right behavior, he was going in the wrong direction. So wrong in fact that he found himself opposing God. He was sinning against God.

In 1 Timothy 1:13 he says, “. . . formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent.” This is now looking back at his life from God’s point of view. And then in v. 15  he says, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” And I believe he is specifically talking about himself.

Just like so many people today, he was successful and hard working – but he was working toward the wrong goal.

Without Jesus’ love and death for him he would still have been in this life – zealously going in the wrong direction; fighting God. But Jesus took him and made him an apostle among apostles – and one who did a great work for God.

Myself

Let me say a few words about my own life. If Jesus hadn’t died for me I would still be under the guilt and shame of all my evil deeds. Carrying around this burden or living in denial. I was not a particularly “bad” person outwardly, but I was under the sway of that twisted self-centeredness that all of us are born with, that leads us to sin.

If it wasn’t for Jesus I would be stuck in the brokenness of my flesh; stuck with all of my weaknesses. The Spirit of God wouldn’t have come into my heart and changed me and help me to be different. A specific example would be anger. I was angry  growing up – ready to fight with anyone verbally or otherwise

If Jesus hadn’t died for me, I wouldn’t know God. I wouldn’t have a relationship with God. I don’t know what life would be like without being able to come to God in prayer; without God speaking to me, comforting me and helping me.

If it weren’t for Jesus I would have no hope for the future; that is for a life beyond this one where what God always intended for us will actually come to pass. And not the suffering and evil of this world.

If Jesus’ hadn’t given his life for me, I wouldn’t have a sense of life direction and purpose. This is a big one for me. For instance, if it wasn’t for Jesus calling me, I wouldn’t be up in front of people all the time. If you think I am shy now, you should have seen me before. If I didn’t think this was God’s will, and that God wouldn’t help me, I wouldn’t do it.

Also, if it wasn’t for Jesus, I would never have gone through the schooling that I did – college, seminary and graduate school. I was an average student in high school. I didn’t really care about school. But I did all this, more than I thought I could, because I felt that Jesus wanted me to.

And also, if it wasn’t for Jesus I would not have moved all over the country following after his calling on my life.

I have purpose now. I know what my life is about. And it brings be contentment and joy. And it has eternal value. Without Jesus I wouldn’t have any of this.

Others

And now I invite you to share – ‘Where would you be if Jesus hadn’t died for you?’

William Higgins

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