Word 4 Today May 26, 2011

GRACE, OUR DECISION

In the Old Testament, only the high priest could be in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, which symbolized God’s presence.  Thousands of people stood outside, unable to get anywhere near to Him personally.  Instead their whole concept of relating to God involved living up to laws and achieving their acceptance on the basis of performance.  Forgiveness of sin was based on literal animal sacrifice and obedience to the Ten Commandments.

In contrast, in the New Testament Jesus came in order to die for our sins and be a permanent, one-time substitutionary sacrifice.  Forgiveness was only part of the plan; He came also to establish a different covenant than the people of God had been experiencing.  On the day of His crucifixion, the veil hiding the Ark of the Covenant was split from top to bottom, symbolizing that God opened the door to an intimate relationship with Him.  He made it possible for us to speak to him directly and know that we would be heard.  This relationship is the difference between Grace and Law.

Jesus’ death settled the issue of our acceptance once and for all.  Though our conduct is sometimes not what it should be, we are nonetheless embraced as children of God.  In order to enjoy the Christian life, we must see ourselves the way God sees us, we can never experience freedom, joy, and peace nor have any contentment by living a life by rules and regulations.

PRAYER 4 TODAY

Lord with all the insight the Bible gives us why are we so confused? It clearly shows You as one way, and the world portrays You in another.  Allow me to leave my life in Your very capable hands and trust You to do for me what I could never do for myself.

THOUGHT 4 TODAY

Religion or a relationship, which do you prefer?

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