Good morning my friends.
There are a great many people on the face of this earth but only a small percentage understand how much we are indebted to Yahweh. For one, he has given all of us life through his creation. For another, he has provided the things we need to sustain us; the air we breathe belongs to him as does the food and water we need to stay alive. Yet another thing, he has given his creation is laws, which gives us a fighting chance in this huge creation. Also, he has knit into us a desire for beauty, companionship and a desire for worship. The list of our indebtedness to Yahweh is long indeed. However, for those of us who follow Jesus, the greatest debt we owe is the debt to Jesus for his courageous act of love which rescued us from our own foolishness and doom.
We need to face the fact that, as wonderful as Yahweh had made creation, we messed it up by introducing disobedience. That was like throwing mud on the Mona Lisa; introducing a foreign material that took away from God's perfect creation. It sent us hurtling toward our doom and destruction, not because God is mean, but because our holy God cannot have anything to do with sin. He designed us for eternal fellowship with him but we made ourselves incapable of fellowship with our Creator. I do not think most of us realize how bad it was. We actually thought of ourselves as our Creator's enemy:
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. (Colossians 1:21)
We now need to recognize what our Creator did to rescue us from this. You and I might have thrown the whole project in the trash and started all over again. Instead our God mounted a rescue plan that would take a lot of years to bring to the right moment in time. He needed to rescue us from the dark path we had chosen for ourselves and bring us back to the light of his fellowship. He decided to make the greatest effort to save us from our eminent destruction by throwing himself in the path of that destruction, taking the consequences of our actions on himself:
But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. (Colossians 1:22)
Now we need to recognize the price of this reconciliation because it cost God more than we can imagine. We realize the torture he faced for us. We recognize the physical pain of this torture; the beatings, whips, the nails, the slow death of the cross. We may even recognize the emotional and mental pain of the abandonment he felt from his friends, the taunts of the soldiers, the rejection of his people as they cried out for his death. The Roman soldiers we can understand but the crowds were made up of the people to whom he had spent three years ministering with love. We can recognize these things however I doubt many people realize the greatest cost to Jesus. This cost was the feeling of separation from the Father Jesus would have felt as the sin of the world was placed upon him. What an incredible cost to bear for us. So what did it cost us?
The cost to us is nothing compared to what it cost Yahweh, yet there is a cost for us. The cost is different from what it cost to have fellowship with God in the beginning. In the beginning we only needed obedience. This is what Paul writes:
But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. (vs. 22-23)
You notice the "if" right? We are holy in God's sight, without blemish, free from accusation, able to have fellowship with God, IF, we continue in our faith. We need something beyond obedience, we need faith. Faith allows for God's grace to be applied to us in daily dosages. Yahweh is not dumb. The work of our salvation will not be complete until Jesus returns for us. This means the flaw we introduced in ourselves is still there trying to wreck havoc for us, making obedience a difficult thing. So God requires faith from us; faith to believe that Jesus' sacrifice is enough for us. This faith causes us to trust that when we ask for forgiveness it is freely given. It is also the faith to believe that Jesus' work on the cross was enough to strengthen us to live lives that honour and please our Creator. It is this faith that believes that fellowship with our God is possible every day because Jesus made it possible by his act of reconciliation,
Yes, we are indebted to our Creator this morning for a great many things but none greater than for his rescue plan. What are you going to do with it this morning? Will you allow it to encourage you and cause you to be resolved in your faith to honour and please him with all you do and say today? Or will you just reject the whole thing and continue on your course to doom and destruction. Personally I am going to celebrate my rescuer and rejoice throughout the day because I have an awesome Father who did not give up on me. Truth is, he has never given up on any of us.