Posted in My Journey

His Blood Covers All

The closer I draw to God, the sadder I feel from knowing just how much sin remains in me. When I was young in the faith, I could not see it. I could not understand it. Only after sharing intimate moments with God did he show me how fleshly-minded I still am. And I had to admit of the iniquity that has not left me. But I have hope:

“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)

We cannot continue to allow sin to rule over our bodies. Once we receive the Holy Spirit, God will lead us to further repentance, which will encourage us to put away the transgression that so easily ensnares us. Our lives become his and our nature becomes his. For his spirit transforms us into new beings with the discernment to see right from wrong. Is it a surprise when we ache inside because we see how sin so masterfully enslaves us? Yet, our hope lies in our Savior Jesus. As wretched as I am, his blood covers all.

I may feel broken and ashamed for having sinned;
His blood covers all.
I may feel the sting of defeat for not having overcome;
His blood covers all.
My lips may preach his word, but my actions may say otherwise;
His blood covers all.
My feet may carry me away from him who saved me;
His blood covers all.
My hands may become tools of iniquity;
His blood covers all.
My eyes may drift to the lust of the flesh;
His blood covers all.
I may feel my sins are greater than he could ever forgive;
His blood covers all.

Posted in My Journey

Salvation Is Ours Now

Jesus is the only answer to eternal life. For those wishing to live forever, he is the way, the truth and the light. God purposed Jesus to come to earth when he did to take away the sin of the world. What many do not realize, though, is that God had foretold Jesus’ coming way back in the Garden of Eden:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

God spoke these words to the serpent as a curse for the deception under which he had caused humanity to fall (Genesis 3:4); that by taking from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which God had forbidden (Genesis 2:17), Adam and Eve would not surely die. The serpent implied they already had eternal life within them and did not need God to live forever.

The last part of that curse, however, is the true hope for humanity. It bears repeating, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” In other words, Jesus will ultimately overcome Satan (Romans 16:20) by becoming the perfect sacrifice by which God will redeem us; a promise he fulfilled when he died on the cross for us (Ephesians 2:13).

Satan can bring charges against us to the high courts in heaven (Job 1:9-11). He can tempt us to commit sin (Matthew 4:5-6). He can attempt to corrupt us (Galatians 6:7-8). But what he cannot do is make us do anything against our will (James 1:14-15). And when our will aligns to God’s will, there is nothing he can do to render us useless (Luke 22:42).

God will provide the help we need to overcome Satan. As it says in the Gospel of John, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). Once we accept Jesus as our savior, through grace, God saves us.

What a wonderful and powerful message that Jesus brought to his very elect. No circumstance is too great, no power is too strong, and no force is too overwhelming that God could not overcome. His glorious message of salvation guarantees us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. And if we do struggle with our days, let us take heart, for God is our strength, as it says in Psalms, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1).

Therefore, let us encourage one another, help one another and grow in the knowledge of Christ our Lord, for eternal life is ours now, and the days are short until his return.

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Hell

Dante Alighieri had an idea that hell was a place where the devil frolicked in flames and tormented the souls of those who had lived as the worst of the worst in the world. In some ways, Alighieri’s vision of hell seeped into modern thought to become the standard belief of many religions.

The lake of fire
The lake of fire

The trouble with Alighieri’s truth is that there is no truth to his vision. Dante Alighieri wrote The Devine Comedy, a poem not based on anything true or factual.

In other words, hell does not exist, at least, not the way everyone might imagine.

Today’s Monday Mayhem post is all about hell. What is it? Where is it?

Hell has different meanings to different people.

To Catholics, much like Dante’s poem, it is a place of eternal damnation where demons, under the rulership of Satan the devil, torture those who were the absolute wretched of the earth. According to their beliefs, Satan, the fallen angel of light formerly known as Lucifer, roams back and forth through fire and brimstone, delivering pain to the unjust.

To Buddhists, hell is more of a practical concept. Karma, the essence of balance in the universe, repays evil for evil and good for good. If something bad happens to a person, Karma has exacted vengeance for a past act of wrong. Karma sets things straight by restoring balance to where there once was unbalance.

Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri

To many, hell is a lake of fire, which will one day consume the unrepentant.

Then, to others, however, hell is more real than anyone could know. To these people, hell has become substance addiction, pornography, the psychological prison of mental illness, such as depression. To these people, their minds have become their jail cells where light does not penetrate the darkness surrounding them.

Hell follows them wherever they go.

The point being, whether your belief is that of a devil tormenting the wicked in a place reserved especially for them, or your belief is that of universal balance where Karma deals with the unjust with the same brush they use to judge, or your belief is that of a lake of fire waiting for the fulfillment of days to consume the evil ones among the righteous, or you suffer from the psychological prison of mental disease, everyone has a concept of hell and what it encompasses.

It is the view of this writer that hell, however defined, is the worst thing that could happen to a person either before or after death.

That is why this writer asks: what is your idea of hell?

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What is your concept of hell?