Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Proclamation of Deliverance from Sin
Hebrews 9:23-28
Anil Chacko
Long Island MTC, NY
26....But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.

We have been granted grace by God in that He would allow His one and only Son to be a sacrifice for our sins—once and for all. Simply, there is nothing that we have, can call upon, or work towards that can provide us deliverance from sin aside from the personal belief that Jesus Christ died for our sins. This is simply amazing grace, through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, to be received as a gift from God.
However, what, beyond the cross, did sacrifice mean and look like for Jesus and what does this teach us about sacrifice in our own lives and our response to and proclamation of deliverance from sin? It is easy to consider Jesus’ sacrifice simply as just the act on the cross- but that would diminish the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. In contemplating the life of Jesus, beyond the sacrifice on the cross, we see Jesus living a sacrificial life as a man through seeking God, self-reflection, and serving others. We, as His followers, while ultimately redeemed by His sacrifice on the cross, must not forget the daily sacrifices that Jesus made while living on earth. In these daily acts we see a sacrificial path that we should emulate.

In considering sacrifice, we often reflect upon Philippians 2:12 “… continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his purpose” and Philippians 3:13 “…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” God’s sacrifice calls upon us to “work out….strain and press on”. God is asking us to sacrifice ourselves daily, as Christ did, to aligning who and what we are to God’s purpose in our lives. This is a daily, difficult process of looking upward to God for guidance, inward to understand and align our own motivations with God, and outward through service to God’s people.  Importantly, our acts are not a substitute for our deliverance from sin through Jesus’ sacrifice, but is our response to it, if not our own proclamation of it!

PRAYER

Lord, thank You for the cross. Thank You for Your sacrifice for us and for what it has meant for us and the world. Help us reflect upon what Your sacrifice means everyday as long as we live. Help us proclaim our deliverance from sin through how we live our lives. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Find the time to look upward, inward and outward today in response to our salvation”