- On April 4, 2023
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Saved From What?
As I contemplate the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I hear the common refrain of, “Jesus saves.” I’ve been on my faith journey for a while now, so it is easy to say, “Yes! Hallelujah!” and then move on. But, recently, I have been feeling a tug to go deeper. Saved from what?
Looking at the Old Testament prophecies has been such a blessing in the pursuit of an answer. All of the prophets had the same message. God is Just. God is Merciful. God is Love. Turn your eyes back to Him.
When we ignore that plea and turn our eyes and hearts away from God, we lose sight of what is true. We try to redefine key concepts, such justice, mercy, and love.
Attempting to redefine concepts that God has already defined is not new. Humans have been doing this for a long time, and God has told us, through the scriptures, the consequences of doing so. Redefining God’s creation and purpose leads to idolatry and poor treatment of others, which increases suffering for entire communities and puts a barrier between you and God. The history of Israel and Judah remind us that God does not leave injustices alone. In His sovereign will, motivated by compassion towards the oppressed, God will act against oppression and injustice. And no one can stand against God when that time comes.
In addition to a warning, the Old Testament prophecies are also filled with God’s gracious invitation to turn back to Him. Every act of justice we see has one purpose. Every act of Mercy has the same purpose. Jesus has one purpose: Make God known – invite people to know, love, enjoy, and glorify God.
“Turn your eyes to me! Let me protect you! Let me bless you! Let me provide for you! Let me love you! Let me save you. ”
Save me from what?
God offers us salvation from the eternal consequences of sin. He saves us from the just wrath our sins deserveand makes a way for us to live eternal life, free of suffering, with Him! That in and of itself is glorious, but there is even more good news! He saves us from the effects of sin TODAY too! Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are saved from the need to define ourselves, control our circumstances, understand what is happening around us, plan our futures, and so much more.
God does all of these things for us! He carries the weight and heavy burdens of these things because He is infinite. He created us as finite beings. He knows we can not do His job, and He doesn’t expect us to. In fact, the Psalms tell us over and over that He delights in us when we humbly accept our finite nature and His infinite and eternal nature. Let a few of them sink into your heart today.
Psalm 149:4, NIV For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
Psalm 147:11, ESV …but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Psalm 37:23-24, NLT The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Jesus frees us from the need to define. He offers us freedom to thrive in HIS definition.
What are you struggling to define in your own wisdom?
Truth? Goodness? Purpose? Self-worth? Justice? Healthy relationships? Boundaries? Healing? Your Future? Life after death? Safety?
Turn your eyes to Jesus. Look to God for those definitions. Surround yourself with people who will draw your attention to God’s definitions when your heart and mind are stuck on feelings, circumstances, grief, and pain.
My prayer is that you are washed with a fresh sense of hope as you reflect on the truth that you are free to relinquish the anguish of trying to define and control everything.
Grace and Peace.
|May you know the joy and peace of resting in God’s definition of your value and|
purpose! And may that joy and peace permeate every aspect of your life
as you learn to trust in His definitions.
Peace and Grace to you.