As we read the Scriptures, we see that the cross symbolizes …
Salvation. Jesus bore our sins upon the cross and died in our place so we could be reconciled to God and receive eternal life.
Sacrifice. Christ, who was “in very nature God” (Phil. 2:6 niv), chose to leave the perfection of heaven and live among sinful people. Laying aside His divine authority, He was born a helpless baby, completely dependent upon others. His first 30 years were spent in obscurity, without recognition of His Messiahship. During His public ministry, He faithfully carried out God’s plan all the way to His death on the cross. Jesus’ days on earth are an example to us of the sacrificial life (Rom. 12:1-2).
Service. Jesus said He “did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Christ’s supreme act of service was dying on the cross so we might have eternal life. Our Savior calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him through sacrificial service to others (Luke 9:23). As we embrace a lifestyle of humility and servanthood, we will bring glory to our heavenly Father.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26, NIV)
In life, we all have negative things happen to us. We go through situations that are unfair. I know people who were raised in an unhealthy environment. Their parents had issues, and now it’s making it much more difficult on them.
But here is what I’ve learned: when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, He gives you a new heart. In other words, your blood line changes. No longer are you subject to your earthly heritage, you become subject to your heavenly heritage! His spiritual blessing always overrides the curse in the natural realm. When you understand who you are and what God has already done, then no matter what someone else has done, no matter how unfair it was, no matter how you were raised, you won’t get bitter. You won’t live with a chip on your shoulder. You realize that nothing can stop you from fulfilling your God-given destiny!
Today, remember you came from Almighty God. He gave you life. When you choose Him, you are choosing your heavenly heritage of blessing and eternal, abundant life!
A Prayer for Today
God in heaven, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus so that I may be saved. Today I surrender every area of my life to You. Have Your way in me; let Your will be done in my life. Thank You for making me new in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
Psalm 100:4, NKJV.
As believers, we have the honor and privilege to enter boldly into God’s presence. Scripture says that we can come to His throne of grace and receive His mercy. Because He loves us, He has given us unlimited access to Himself 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But notice that today’s verse tells us that we shouldn’t just come any old way to God. We shouldn’t come empty-handed to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. What can we bring? What do we have that’s worthy of Almighty God? Our praise. Our thanksgiving. Our worship. We are to enter His gates with an offering from our hearts of adoration because He is worthy!
We have to understand, praise isn’t just about singing songs on Sunday mornings. Praise is the expression of gratefulness to Father God for Who He is and all that He has done. Praise gets God’s attention. Praise is a powerful tool in the life of the believer because God inhabits our praises! When we enter His presence the right way, He enters our circumstances, and when God shows up, the enemy must flee! Today, enter into His gates with thanksgiving and open the door for Him to move on your behalf!