Looking to Jesus

The Only Savior Delivers

Our lives are so often marked by frustration, failing, a deep sense of inadequacy, and even discouragement. I know the feelings. Our best efforts aren't always effective. And a fresh look at our own depravity can be so overwhelming. It reminds us all of our need for Christ's cleansing blood. Life is messy, we are needy, and oh how we need a Savior.

Our sin nature reminds us so often. The accuser hates anything humble and scorns our feeble attempts to trust Jesus. We are not fair-weathered fans but are often tempted to give up or give in. We are instructed to do battle in the Lord's strength but we are so weak and we easily stray.

Ands there's more. Add into the mix of internal struggles the external pressure of persecution and it looks like a lethal cocktail of complete defeat. But you know what? Instead of the utter destruction the enemy desires, the sovereign plan of God ushers in great growth instead of calamity. That's right, Christ's Church has always grown the most in persecution. Once again, what looks to mankind like the worst is used of God to bring about the best.

We are hard-wired to seek the path of least resistance. We are predisposed to avoid pain. We are drawn to seek relief like cows in cold rain are drawn to a warm barn. But suffering and persecution are a part of life; and ours is a suffering Savior. And I am so glad He suffered in my place. This should comfort us. It should renew our strength and increase our hope. Jesus is a powerful, present, authoritative, effective, suffering Savior.

On Sunday we get to take a look at the first persecution of Christ's Church (Acts 4:1-12) and how that pain was a springboard for preaching the Gospel and spotlighting Jesus as the only Savior. May it serve once again to point us who get so hung up on our sin and especially that of others, to the cross where Jesus was hung up to die such an excruciating death so we could live such an incredible life for Jesus and the Gospel. 

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