Monday, August 06, 2012

A Crown of Thorns

Hebrews 9:14 (NKJV) how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 

The other day I was doing some yard work and had to trim some thorny bush. I really should have worn gloves but, I only had a few branches to trim. I poked myself several times and really regretted not having used gloves.

I watched as the wounds began bleeding and I thought of Jesus having a crown of thorns put on His head (John 19:2). I could picture Jesus with blood running down His face. The Bible says in the Scripture above, His blood will purge our conscience of dead works. I believe the crown of thorns was brought to light by the Scripture above.

If you are like me, you have been challenged by bad thoughts and perhaps even a few addictions. After many years of trying to honor God by being good, I finally concluded---it wasn't in my power to do, no matter how much I wanted to please Him.

A great example is when I quit smoking. When I was born-again in 1989, one of the first things on my list was to quit smoking. I had been smoking since 1975. People told me that I was now the temple of God and it was wrong not to take good care of myself. It seemed to make sense to me.

In April of 2009, I accepted the fact; I was never going to be able to quit smoking. I began to realize that God still loved me even if I was a smoker. In fact, it did not change His love for me at all. I decided I was not going to worry about it any more and began to enjoy His presence even if I had a cigarette going. Then one day, I considered how much I would like to quit smoking for me.

A revelation of God's love taught me---if I wanted to quit smoking for myself, God would be there to help. In May of 2009, I became a non-smoker. This was a demonstration of His love for me. I have no desire to smoke, it does not bother me if someone else smokes. My desire has been changed!

God was able to change my thoughts. A revelation of His love for me has made it possible for God to change my desires. The greatest damage caused by Adam's fall was losing companionship with God. When man became sinful in nature, God could not have close fellowship with him anymore. The Bible tells us in Exodus 33:20, ""He [God] said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."" Animal sacrifice permitted some opportunity for God to connect with man, but it still fell short. The sacrifice of Jesus broke all barriers of sinfulness.

Jesus suffered in many ways---all of it was necessary. It made it possible for Him to fellowship with us, then He can purge our conscience. This is important; He loved us while we were sinners. He wants to change us for us---not for Him!

Discover His love for you. Talk to Him all the time. He shed His blood so we can have fellowship. That fellowship will change your bad thoughts and desires.

Be Blessed!

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