Glimpse of the Cross Day 3; Over Zealous Peter Cuts off an Ear

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. John 18:10 NLT

Have you ever been so zealous of defending what you believed to be right, that you hurt someone? Or has someone ever hurt you? Unfortunately Peter is not the only disciple who has misrepresented Jesus through the ages. I think we all have caused needless pain, thinking we were defending the truth, and I think we all have been hurt a time or two by some else who thought they were defending truth. That is why I am so glad we have a healing Jesus! Look what Jesus does.

 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:51 NLT

I know when I am needlessly hurt by one of Jesus’ disciples that Jesus can heal me and take away the hurt. Meanwhile I pray for Jesus to heal those I have needlessly hurt also by my miss-directed zeal.

Glimpses of Grace; Oblivian

I am writing this morning from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, [so] shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.  Obadiah 1:16 

On the cross, Jesus loved you so much, that He faced going into total oblivion to save you. To save the wicked He must die the death of the wicked. He did not die the death that the righteous die, which has a hope of a resurrection, as the righteous still  die that death themselves.  Jesus calls the death with a hope of a resurrection “sleep.” See John 11:11-14. The death with no hope of a resurrection is called “death” indeed. See Hebrews 2:9.  In order for Jesus to save the wicked He must face the death of the wicked. 

When Jesus cried out, “My God My God, Why hast Thou Forsaken me” He was not asking why God had forsaken Him till Sunday morning. If that were the case Jesus would not have felt forsaken. He would have felt secure knowing the Father would resurrect Him on the first day of the week. You don’t forsake someone when you leave them for the weekend. You forsake them when you leave them forever.  

“Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” {Desire of Ages, p 753} 

There was no sense of self preservation when Jesus went to the cross for you. Tonight, January 6, at 7pm we will be having a special agape feast and communion service, led by Pastor Brad Cassell, to celebrate this agape love at the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church. I would like to invite you if you are in the area. If not, here you can find a church in your area of the world to celebrate God’s great grace.

Glimpses Of Grace; Forgive Our Enemies

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV

Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.”  {Desire of Ages 25

What I need to remember, is not only did Christ become sin for me, He also became sin for those who have hurt me. Not only was Christ treated the way I deserved to be treated, so that I can be treated the way He deserves to be treated, but He was also treated the way my enemy deserved to be treated, so I can now treat my enemy the way Christ deserves to be treated.

If the cross is good enough to cover my enemy’s sin, it will also be good enough to cover my sin. If all the terrible things that happened to Jesus on the Christ are not enough to cover my enemy’s sin, then it won’t be enough to cover my sin either.  Forgiving my enemy is not saying what they did was okay. When I forgive my enemy, I am saying that I recognize Jesus’ sacrifice as a suitable payment for sin. When I refuse to forgive my enemy, I am insulting Jesus and telling Him His sacrifice meant nothing to me and is not a valid payment for sin.

If you are in the Tampa Bay area this Friday, January 6, at 7pm, I would like to personally invite you to an agape feast and communion service, at the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church, where we will be celebrating God’s agape love.

If you are not in the Tampa Bay area, then please click here to discover God’s agape live near you, anywhere in the world.

Glimpses of Grace; Hope For The Hopeless

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. Matthew 9:12

Its the sick who need a doctor. It is the sinner who needs a Savior, and it is the hopeless who need hope. Often we are inclined to help those in whom we see potential, or who at least show us some promise. If we think they can make it then we will help them. But isn’t it the hopeless who need hope? Isn’t it those who are lost who need a guide? This year, ask God to send all the hopeless people your way. Ask God to send your church all the rebel youth that nobody else wants at their church. Tell God to send them all over to your church! You’ll love and care for them and give them hope. Ask God to send you the winos, the drug addicts that nobdoy else wants to deal with. You will love them.

Jesus did not die to give hope to those with potential. No, He died to give hope to the hopeless!

 “Often He met those who had drifted under Satan’s control, and who had no power to break from his snare. To such a one, discouraged, sick, tempted, and fallen, Jesus would speak words of tenderest pity, words that were needed and could be understood. Others He met who were fighting a hand-to-hand battle with the adversary of souls. These He encouraged to persevere, assuring them that they would win; for angels of God were on their side, and would give them the victory. –The Desire of Ages, p. 91.”

If you are in need of hope, please contact us at the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church. God loves you and so do we!

Find a caring church anywhere in the world by clicking here!

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