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My post today is really simple. Here are ten things I love about the Lord Jesus:

  1. Jesus holds everything in existence. Therefore he holds me in existence.
    • “and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrew 1:3)
  2. Jesus is the promised one who fulfills the Old Testament’s promises. He is the “Christ.”
    • “The Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this… her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.’” (Genesis 3:14-15)
    • “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
  3. Jesus is holy. His purity and spotlessness make him beautiful beyond anything in creation.
    • “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God’” (Luke 1:35)
  4. Jesus is patient with my sin.
    • “The Lord is… patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
  5. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away my sin.
    • “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
  6. Jesus is meek and humble in his Lordship.
    • “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
  7. Jesus is my life. He has brought me out of spiritual death to life.
    • “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”(John 14:6)
  8. Jesus is alive. Therefore I can trust him as the One with power over my life and death.
    • “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18)
  9. Jesus is ever present with his people. He knows our trials and keeps us under his care.
    • “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
  10. Jesus is coming again. He has not left this world to forever endure the effects of sin.
    • “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
    • (Revelation 22:12-13) “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’” (Revelation 22:20)

They are many, many more things to love about Jesus than just these ten. What things do you love about him?

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Israel 186I need the Gospel. I need it. I need it every day and my heart dies to God without it.

There are times in life when it seems that God chooses to build a theological truth into your life. I believe over the past year God has been showing me my daily need for a dose of the Gospel.

If I do not daily consider the Gospel – the truth that God through Christ has undeservingly provided for my righteousness and the forgiveness of my sins, and not because of anything I have done – then my heart begins to wander. I act as if I have to earn my salvation. Having daily evidence that I could never earn my salvation I begin to lose joy in my Savior. Scripture becomes a chore to read. I become attracted to worship music because of its catchy tune and not because of the truth contained in its lyrics. My patience with others wears thin. I am overly critical. My humor begins to sting and I am not gracious to others. Instead of my conversations being about Christ they are about ministry and church related issues. When I am presented with opportunities to tell others about Christ I don’t.

This is why I need the Gospel. I need to hear over and over again about the grace of Christ – that I do not deserve forgiveness but yet the Father had mercy on me. I was bankrupt in all things but God gave me everything in his Son. I am not smart enough to know Christ on my own but God gave us the Scriptures to know his Son. – I need to hear the Gospel daily because it shows me the mercy of God. It breaks my self reliance. It fills my heart with worship for my Savior. It glorifies God by my dependence. And it proves him to be exceedingly precious.

I need the Gospel preached to me every day if I am to live as a Christian. Those who do not know Christ need the Gospel and Christians need the Gospel.

This morning I was trying to picture what my foot would look like dead. This is not because I have some sick fascination with death. Yes, it may be true that I enjoy walking in the cemetery but that is because it reminds me; first, that death is a reality and my life will be short; second, that Christ is a reality and I need him; third, that people are dying and there is an urgency for them to hear the Gospel; and fourth, that wealth, fame, and comfort do not matter in the end but only what is done for Christ. So, yes, one day soon I too will die and my foot, along with the rest of me will lie lifelessly in a grave.

But on that day of my final breath I can think of no greater joy than these words: “’Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” These words from 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 are a reference to Isaiah 25:8-9: “He[God] will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’”

My joy in thinking about these verses is not that I will one day my soul will be floating around “in a better place” as we often picture but that one day God will restore life to my physical body. My body will be made new and joined to my soul. I will physically step out of my grave and the sting of death which is my sin will be no more. Sin and death will be swallowed up by my God. I, who was once a sinner and under the power of death, will be transformed in the twinkling of an eye. And I, along with everyone else who knew Christ, will step out of our graves and worship Him. We will all say, “Behold!” This is our Savior! This is our Christ! This is the one who is perfect! This is the one who died for us! This is the one who took our sin! This is the one who has forgiven us! This is the one who has made death no more! “This is our God!”

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