Advent 2016: Christ Was Born For This: Day 12

Christ the Perfect Priest

by

Today's Text: Isaiah 53:7-12, Matthew 20:25-28, John 3:16-17, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 9:11

Text: Isaiah 53:7-12, Matthew 20:25-28, John 3:16-17, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Hebrews 9:11

Christ came as the perfect Priest. He was both the One who stood in the presence of God and the perfect sacrifice the Father accepted. To call His people to worship, Christ humbled Himself by taking the form of a man and was exalted to the highest place. To care for the spiritual lives of His people, He gave the Holy Spirit. To intercede for them, He took their sin upon Himself.

We did spontaneous jumping jacks at work today. I’d been sitting at my desk for six hours, trying in vain to shrink my ever-growing list of to-dos, staring at my laptop and typing and clicking and working like mad to catch up on All The Stuff. Six hours of sitting, and it was all I could do to not lay my head down and go to sleep right there in my office. So, I stood up.

That’s how the jumping jacks started.

I was pacing the office, making the rounds (which is what I call it when I’m having trouble being productive, so I walk around to everyone else’s desk and interrupt their productivity), but that wasn’t enough. So, naturally, I started punching the air. Then kicking, then jumping up and down. Before I knew it, there were four of us standing in a circle, trying to learn some kind of fancy “coordinated” jumping jacks from Cymone.

Don’t worry. We documented this on video.

As I read today’s Scripture, on jumping jack day, it occurs to me how very weak we are. We struggle at every turn—struggle to do more, struggle to do less, struggle to speed up or slow down, to save up or pare down. Sometimes I think we aren’t even sure what we’re doing, to be honest. We have fickle hearts with good intentions. We have ambitious minds that think too hard and hard-working hands that mean well. And still, we miss the mark. The bullseye is perfection, and we miss it by a mile.

Scripture uses another, better word for perfection: holiness. The word “holy” means “consecrated” or “set apart.” God is holy, and we are not. He is set apart from us, and we cannot reach Him on our own; our sin makes it impossible for us to know and commune with our Creator-God the way we were created to. That’s why the priests of the Old Testament made sacrifices so religiously and meticulously: they were atoning for the sins of the people—and for their own sins, too. They were making a way for the people to be in God’s presence, by offering the blood of bulls and goats and doves. The priests never sat down in the temple because their work of intercession—or mediation—on behalf of the people was never done.

But then came Christ, the perfect Priest who ministered to God’s people in a perfect way. Jesus led God’s people in worshiping God, by first humbling Himself and wrapping His divinity in flesh (John 1:14). He cared for their souls by offering them grace, mercy, and love in real-time, and by giving the Holy Spirit to be with them forever (John 14:16). He interceded for them by taking on their sin and dying in their stead (Isaiah 53:11). The perfect Priest was also the perfect sacrifice—given once for all time, for all who believe.

And then He sat down.

“After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). The sacrifice was done. It was—and is still—finished (John 19:30).

Meanwhile, we just can’t seem to sit still. We think there is always more to do.

In these sacred days of Advent, we remember that the ultimate task has already been accomplished. Our perfect Priest has come, and has become the perfect sacrifice to make purification for all our sins—past, present, and future.

Our God is still and forever holy, set apart like a fire. But “because of His great love for us we are not consumed” (Lamentations 3:22). Jesus has made a way to the Father. Christ was born for this. Hallelujah!

SRT-Advent16-Instagram11s

  • Becca Bailey

    “But when Christ appeared…” that is the moment that everything began to change.

  • This post made me think so much of Martha & Mary… Martha busy, busy, busy…. doing, doing, doing… while Mary was sitting, sitting, sitting and resting, resting, resting….at His feet!! Mary was right where she needed to be, and Jesus even said so. So, why do I find myself always so busy doing when I know it’s right to be sitting and resting at His feet??? I really so desperately want to be that perfect balance of Mary and Martha. I want to give Him times of quiet rest, so I can learn from Him and hear His voice… and then, once I’ve spent time in His presence, I can remain in His presence while I get busy doing. Yep, that’s what I’m striving for during this hectic Christmas season. We’re a little behind on our Christmas “doing”… It’s different this year. We’re empty nesters for the first time, and we weren’t sure hubby was going to have a job after the end of the month (don’t you just love surplusing?), so we’ve been very slow to get moving. But, you know, I think it has served its purpose well. I have slowed down!! I’m doing this Advent Bible Study!! And I’m hearing and listening more!! Now and then I find myself a little stressed about all that I still have to “do”, and hubby keeps reminding me that it’s all OK, and we’ll get “done” what we can, and it’s really not that important. I’m thankful that Father has slowed me down this year… Thinking back to Day 3, I’ve just realized that, this year my idea of a “perfect” Christmas if finally changing… and I’m OK with that.

  • I’m the type-A to-do-lister that never stops going, never stops trying. Sometimes when I take a break, I feel like I’m doing something wrong. Junior year is the most difficult I’ve been through, and I’ve been so stressed for so long, but THIS reminded me- I don’t have to be stressed or worried or constantly trying, trying, trying. Jesus already tried for me- AND He succeeded! Thank you, God.

    • Allie

      SAME!!! I’m so glad that you brought that up because I didn’t
      even think about that. <3

  • “Wrapping His divinity in flesh…” A perfect word picture for this Christmas season, reminding us of the perfect gift He gave us, of His own free will.

  • Today’s commentary was so well written . Amanda says “we struggle at every turn ” and we’re so weak. When my pastor first defined sin for me as ‘missing the mark’ it absolutely explained the frailty of man. Despite our striving and doing, we miss, and therefore will never be holy on our own. Our holiness comes from receiving the finished work of the cross and resting or sitting in that. The idea of the priests not having a seat because their work of intercession on behalf of the children of God was never done- it couldn’t be , gives great meaning to the fact that Ephesians 1:20 says that God has seat Christ at His right hand…. for the first time, the Priests work of making sacrifice was done, once and for all!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

  • Ellie Shepherd

    Every time something happens I think, “UGH. What next?”

    Then there’s always a small and subtle reminder from God. That, “I gotchu girl” moment that I see and have to rest in. Even when it’s hard. Even when I want to complain. I know he’s already got it under control. I don’t have to be perfect because his plan is.

  • Thank you for the gift of intrigue. My spark and love of scripture is back. Thank you for outlining all of these incredible verses from the OT that show us JESUS! Jesus is throughout the entire Bible, not just the NT.

  • Wow. Thank you ladies. Every comment was so good. I didn’t read the comments until now –9:30 pm in Okla. so probably not many will see my post. But I too am a list maker– gotta do everything right type person. I’ve struggled with anxiety most of my life. I am a forgiven sinner that needs to learn to rest in the Lord.

  • This probably seems a little silly but I am single and lately I have felt somewhat consumed with pursuing my Mr. Right (wherever he is)! My mom asks me about it a lot, and as I started this advent study I felt so much peace about life. I crave my time where I am still and can be God’s presence. I told my mom that my only care right now is to be present and focus on what matters most to me: God, family and friends. So today’s reading really stuck out to me! It is a great reminder to to “Be still” (Psalm 46:10) this Christmas season and be present. I LOVE knowing that Jesus has completed our task for us once and for all so we can take time to be still and worship Him.

    • Christine Marie

      In our society it’s easy to be deceived by the lie that finding a husband will complete us and satisfy us. I’m learning that my true satisfaction, joy, and comfort come from God, and that He satisfies the longing I have for love. He placed it there in fact; that desire to be loved and to love, but it was always meant for Him. The more I spend time with God, the more I realize how much I need Him, and when I don’t give Him the time He deserves, I truly miss Him. God is longing for our hearts women, single or married, He wants us to pursue Him and to be content in His love. It is enough!

  • Ugh….today is one of those days where I most certainly deserve to be consumed. The to-do list is getting me down and sin is taking hold. I need forgiveness. So thankful for His perfect sacrifice, for His great love and for new mercies. The grace of God is stunning!!

  • Lamentations 3:22-23 does not seem to be the correct reference? Can anyone help?

    • CSylvester

      I believe it is the correct reference. In the NIV translation:
      “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion a never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

      Hope this helps.

  • I just burned my lengthy and meaningless Christmas “to-do” list.
    Here’s my new shorter — and more satisfying — list:
    Done: The Ultimate Gift, given. The Ultimate Task, completed.
    To do: Focus on loving others and pointing people to Jesus and His message of mercy and grace.

  • Keri McCue

    “we remember that the ultimate task has already been accomplished.” – I need to meditate on this today. I am a list-maker too and my “to-do” list is ever-growing. Sometimes I need to remember that being too busy can be a distraction that Satan uses. And he uses it often.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • He entered it once and for all. I love that thought. One and done!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • I owe thousands of dollars on my car. If someone paid it off for me I would feel immense relief… until I felt the disappointment of not having earned it myself. Of being “robbed” of an opportunity to achieve on my own.
    So it is with what Christ did for me. Because of Christ I am relieved. His grace, mercy, and generosity are beautiful and unfathomable. And yet I fuss and fidget and I stay busy–wanting to believe that “I” am good–and that “I” do good. That I can work hard and earn something for myself.
    But Christ did it all. Everything comes from Him. All I am and all I do is because of Him.
    I pray for the humility to surrender myself and my busyness and my desire to be independent and successful–and to instead accept Christ’s sacrifice and the plethora of goodness he has to offer.
    Forgive my proud heart!

    • Rebekah

      Thank you for this. I struggle with what “I” do as well. Christ did it all for us and if we are working, He is not. We have to let Him take care of it all. I pray for humility and the ability to place my trust in God. He knows what He’s doing. He will not lead me astray.

    • Colleen

      I hear you!!

    • CSylvester

      Thank you so much for posting this! It is definitely something I struggle with everyday.

  • I am awed today by little words in the scripture that carry so much meaning- conjunctions. /Yet/, /but/, and /and/. “He was oppressed and afflicted YET He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7) “YET He bore the sins of many.” (Isaiah 53:12) “BUT the Messiah had appeared.” (Hebrews 9:11) There are so many more to list!

    What awes me about these grammatical words is that the sentence, the Story, could’ve ended before the conjunction. It could’ve ended with sin. BUT THE MESSIAH HAS APPEARED!!! The Story doesn’t end with death, but life. Jesus doesn’t just come, He adds on to His grace AND sacrifices Himself AND mediates us to God AND carries our sins. He isn’t a limited God. There is no sin He cannot add a “But God moment” to, and there is no inadequacy He cannot add an “and God” to. He is the Perfect Priest, writing the Story of glory in His world and in our hearts, hearts that are changed because of the “but God” moments.

  • Today’s scripture reading is so rich ..
    … He poured out His soul to death
    … and bore the sins of many
    … and makes intercession for the transgressors!
    Is 53:12
    … came to give His life as ransom! Matt 20:27
    … not to condemn the world
    … but that the world through Him might be saved! John 3:17
    … our mediator who gave Himself as ransom for all!
    1 Tim 2:5
    Oh praise God! Jesus! Our perfect Priest!

    • Hannah

      Yes, these scriptures are poignant with the saving power of Jesus! This compilation is beautiful!

  • I have let my perfectionist lifestyle keep me from seeing my need of a Savior. I really encounter Jesus in that deep sigh that comes after a long day of trying too hard. I wish everyone could feel the overwhelming freedom and acceptance of the Gospel. The pressure is off of me and you and all of us. Jesus paid it all! Hallelujah.

    • Emily

      I can totally relate to what you said, “I really encounter Jesus in that deep sigh that comes after a long day of trying too hard.” I strive for perfection all day as I check things off my list, and sometimes my need for Jesus is not apparent until I fall into bed at night completely exhausted from all my “doing.” Seeking Him FIRST this morning, so tonight I can rest in His peace.

  • Wow! This study has been AMAZING!! The way the OT and NT is intertwined is mind-boggling: with the OT priests never sitting because their work was never done, but once Christ came and completed this work through His sacrifice He can now sit. It. Is. Finished!! I have never heard of it explained like this. My entire life I’ve always heard “He sits at the right hand of His Father” and to read the comparison in this devotion today and put it all together….totally neat!!

    • Hannah

      THE BIBLE IS SO STINKING COOL!!!! Discoveries like this, I’m convinced, make God smile too. He DID IT! He saved us and revolved His entire Story around Jesus. Did I mention it is mind-blowing?

  • The perfect Prophet…He is both the message and the messenger! The perfect Priest…unlike the old testament priests whose work was never done, Christ has accomplished His mission and now sits at the right hand of God the Father!! The perfect sacrifice, the perfect Messiah!!

  • This was great teaching as well as encouragement today. I struggle with this fickle life sometimes. It seems as if everything I do is hard work and I am constantly questioning what I am doing! Why can’t I fall into the loving arms of my Lord and just be and do what He wants and has called me to do? Why is it always a constant battle of the mind and will ? I think it’s because I forget , I can not achieve perfection, nor to I have to . I am so busy and have cluttered my mind with all of my checklists and wondering if I’m doing the right things, I can not even hear God’ still , quiet voice. Besides, Christ has paid the price , I do not have to be perfect or get it right all of the time. This is freedom and peace. Now, if I would just grasp this and claim it and live by this.

    • Hannah

      I feel you, Deborah. We forget to rest in the completed salvation of Jesus. Let’s rest in that together today, okay? Jesus, guide our hearts to receive Your grace with peace, love, and joy today.

    • Kristin

      Wow, I can relate to this SO much. Thank you for sharing! I’m tired of “trying” SO hard to get things right or perfect! “Trying” so hard to stay in control. These are unattainable goals! I pray that we can surrender our lives to the “perfect priest” who is always in control. Bless you Deborah for your vulnerability :)

  • I too love the fact that He sat down unlike the priest of old who were continually working out our salvation. I sometimes feel like I need to workout my salvation, I have to remind myself it is done, I cant do anything more or less. Since I have started this study freedom has rang in my ears. Excpecially at a time of so much “don’t do this” in my life I have felt Gods love and freedom through all these scriptures.

  • LuvinEden

    Even as I was reading this my mind kept darting between the scriptures and my “to do” list. Then I read Matthew 20:26 about being a servant and quickly thought “am I serving enough this season? How does my service look different at Christmas versus the rest of the year?”. So I loved what you said about how we struggle-to do more, to do less- struggling, struggling, struggling and always missing the mark. I need the reminder everyday that the ultimate task has been accomplished and to find my rest in that truth. Then I can “do” and serve with a heart of gratitude rather than from a desire to be worthy or enough. He is enough.

    • Hannah

      I really loved what you said about serving with gratitude rather than a desire to be enough. I struggle with the concept of “don’t try to busy yourself so much with to-do lists,” because the Kingdom of God is WORK, and I think work might be undervalued when we say “just rest.” But how you said it makes a lot of sense in my soul. If I’m working for my worth, then my effort are fruitless. I must rest in the worth Christ gives me abundantly. Then I can work in His kingdom with a grateful heart, not one of stress and obligation.

      He is enough.

  • “We have fickle hearts with good intentions.” Yes, the hardest part about being human is always falling short even with having good intentions. Always straying away thinking we’ve got it covered only to discover we don’t.

  • Ladies, Please pray for my sons grandma in law, her name is Julia, she was just diagnosed with stage 4 bladder cancer! Please lift up her daughter Marlene and her family that will be caring for her. Thank you sisters in Christ

  • churchmouse

    Jesus sat down. It is finished. He is still seated. But one day He will stand and when He does it is because it is the time for His second coming. May I rest til then in the security of my salvation, yet be active in sharing the good news with all who come my way. Rest. Action. Both. I act for Him best when I have first rested in Him.

  • Beautiful!!! I am really enjoying this Advent series ❣❣❣❣

  • We busy ourselves with the Holiday “stuff” when we should be still. Jesus said it was finished on the cross, we should take this time to be still in Him.

  • I’m soaking in her very last phrase throughout today ‘Christ was born for this’…. the magnitude, the beauty, the grace…how much God loves us so…to send his son…to create the way to Him.

  • When we read that there was no chair in the temple because the work was never done, it hit me hard, but in a different way then I think was intended. I felt guilty because I “sit” a lot, there is always ” work” to be done, yet here I sit. Then this morning ” Jesus sat down” the ” work ” is finished. The priests worked to please God and meet his requirements of sacrifice for sin. How exhausting their work must have been. All this to point to Christ and his finished work. I do not need to work to please God. He requires faith. All the work is completed in Jesus. What freedom! Thank you Jesus! Good morning from Arizona ☀️

    • DebbieinAZ

      I love that. I kind of responded the same way, (only didn’t realize it until reading your words). I always feel guilty about not doing enough, about not doing things right, about doing things wrong. Thanks for this reminder that Jesus completed the work and all we need is faith. Hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings ladies, also from Arizona.

  • Hallelujah! He sat down. For many, many years the priests busily worked to atone for the people’s sin, and their work was never done. The atonement for sins is done in Christ! He is SEATED at the right hand of the Father. Amen.

  • IT IS FINISHED…So why are we still doing???

  • Kasey Summers

    So today’s devotional was literally so perfect and exactly what I needed this morning. Thankful God is sovereignly in control of even the smallest things. So this week has been a tougher one for me because I have a final and paper due by Friday but have been so incredibly busy with work and different things to do in my personal life I thought I’d be done with my test by now and into my paper…. but I’m still studying. And I have not felt good at all…. sorry for the depressing soap box… this week has still been so fun and good because of the different fun events going on but with the stress of school and exhaustion of being sick I have been on the SERIOUS struggle bus this week. This morning was such a beautiful reminder to me. It’s okay to struggle. I’m weak. Weaker than I could ever understand. I miss the mark more often then I’d like to admit. But it’s okay…

    **“because of His great love for us we are not consumed” (Lamentations 3:22).**

    I am not consumed. Jesus is my strength. He has done everything for me. My job is to rest in Him. Clinging to Him. Praying he’ll work through me and get everything done that needs to be done before the deadline! Going to stop relying on myself and rely on Him!!

    1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
    2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:1-2

  • This word spoke to me directly this morning. Thank you, Amanda. How I needed to hear this message to be still. It’s funny because earlier in the week I even told someone that it felt like I was being guided to stillness. But have I been still? No. Not completely. Thank you for lamentations 3:22. It gives me great comfort. Will try to make a phone screensaver with it as a reminder of God’s love and his awesome hand in my life. Here’s to not stressing out about work and instead enjoying the holidays and the Christmas message! Thanks again SRT family. I love and appreciate y’all so much.

  • Lindsay Sterchi

    Something God has been speaking to me a lot lately is about embracing my weakness, so this study went right along with that today. We are so very weak and in need of what only Jesus can provide. We work so hard, like it’s up to us, and Jesus has already accomplished what really matters. He makes us enough. Thank you for this wonderful reminder today.

    • Skigranny1

      I agree. We have to remember it’s not up to us and how hard we work. He has accomplished it all because of His great love. Hard to comprehend sometimes, but so wonderful to know under His care.

  • Sarah Jenik

    “We have fickle hearts with good intentions”… oh how this struck a chord deep within me. I have been trying to trust in the Lord in a certain situation in my life yet I find it so very difficult. It is an area that I deeply desire to use to serve Him but an area that is covered and tangled by my own expectations- it’s hard to let God have complete control of the area. My fickle heart with good intention…

  • These words are lovely! We are not consumed! I will meditate on those four words today! Thank you! Also I emailed you wonderful ladies a Christmas gift. Did you receive it? It is from Truly Kernea. I sent it from my personal email. I will send it again from my business email at [email protected]. I hope you like it. Merry Christmas! Truly

  • “Finished”.
    “Sat down”.
    What a concept in this season of long to-do lists and imperfect preparations.
    Huge.

  • susan dexter

    I am deeply humbled at His love for His people, and to think that means me. Help me Father, at this time to slow down, sit down and breath it all in.

  • I’m watching the sun rise this morning and thinking about Jesus, our perfect priest, sitting at the right hand of the Father. Thank you Father God for the beauty of your creation and thank you Lord Jesus for interceding on my behalf so that I can rest in you.

  • In gentleness, I disagree with the author on the point of holiness. Yes, apart from Jesus, we are in sin and cannot be holy. But once the Holy Spirit is in us, we are set apart by God as his own. We are Holy. We are not perfect holiness; sin is still in us, but we are no longer slaves to it. That sets us apart, and through that we are to be growing more like Jesus.

  • So powerful-and then He sat down at the right hand of the Father! Hallelujah!

  • Such love is overwhelming! It is beyond what my mind can even try to imagine. But His love surpasses all of my questions and all of my fears and leaves me in His peace, His comfort, His love. That is the beauty of it all: it’s all Him and none of me. In that I am grateful.

  • Over the past few days, the readings from Hebrews have really stood out to me. I love that Jesus is our great high priest and because of him we are atoned! Are there any plans for us to study Hebrews in the near future?

  • Today I’m thankful that the deed is done. The sacrifice is made. Now our Priest can finally sit down, and at the right hand of the Father, still interceding on our behalf.

  • “And then He sat down.” Bam… Immediate tears. God’s Word to ME… :) Thank you ladies.

  • After salvation was complete, He sat down … but we can’t seem to sit still. That’s what has hit me today. It’s time for me to sit still and that is a hard thing for me to do. Help me rest, Jesus.

  • Amen, amen! I love that the point was driven home with “And then He sat down”. So powerful!

    On another note, thank you all for praying for my mom and family. We received the best news possible when it comes to the word, cancer, yesterday. It’s the very treatable kind and my mom’s symptoms as just that, treatable symptoms. Chemo is scary but we have hope and faith that Jesus who interceded for us on the cross will be known through this whole process- no matter what happens. Thank you again, sisters!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Prayers of praise lifted! May you continue to feel His hand with you all along this journey.

    • Lana

      Woooooo!!! Made my morning, Stacey. So happy to hear this news. Will continue to pray for you and your family! Thank you for the update.

    • candacejo

      Praise God! So thankful and know that He will help your mother through the chemo…He walks us THROUGH the valley ♥

  • this is truly what I need to hear today… thank you!!! I’ve been feeling guilty lately. because of sin. continuous repentance

  • At the very moment of our salvation we are sealed with the Holy Spirit and kept in the palm of God’s hand, never to be plucked out. Our sins are removed from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalms). God knows we aren’t perfect. He loves us anyway and just expects us to walk daily with Him, not perfectly but faithfully. Staying in the Word daily and spending time in prayer is essential to growing in your walk with God. Knowing our eternal destiny (heaven) is secure frees us to stop worrying about ourselves and focusing on ourselves so we can do what we are called to do -be salt and light in this world. Trust God to keep his Word. He will never leave you or forsake you. If you ask the Holy Spirit to seal that truth to your heart, he will be faithful. His track record is perfect! Rejoice in your salvation! It is God’s greatest gift to you.

    • Brandi

      Thank you for sharing! My ❤️ is hurting and these words were soothing. Trusting the Father to keep His Word today!

  • What a beautiful message. I get confused about the “for all time” thing. I want to believe that our past, present, and future sins are already paid for, but I have such a feeling of doubt, like if I sin or fall back into a certain sin my salvation is gone or I never had it in the first place. To fall back into a state of sin is certainly not what I want to do… but I know I’m weak and I fear it might happen sometime. I have seen other christians struggle with going from living godly lives to being sucked back into bad ways. Doesn’t the Bible say that such people who “fall away cannot be brought back into repentance” and those who continue to sin after being saved never knew God in the first place? This brings me so much anxiety.

    • Deb

      Lexi, we are all human and sin, even Christians. That is why Jesus died for the redemption of all those sins. God knew we would be messy from the start! I looked up your question on GotQuestions.org. Here is a link to what they wrote. They use scripture to back up what they are staying. Hopefully, this helps explain things a little more! I pray for understanding, wisdom, and strength for you.

      https://gotquestions.org/Christian-lose-salvation.html
      Question: Can a Christian lose salvation?

    • Sarah

      Oh girl- you are already in a state of sin…nothing to fall back into! We constantly live in a state of sin, no matter how “godly” we feel we may be living. Our hearts and the world are broken, and no means of “living godly” changes that. I think that’s the freedom of His message- we continually fall back but grace continues to bring us back. Praying for you!!

    • Teresa

      The Bible says we are in His hand and nothing can take us from His hand. We think we need to be perfect, but God knows we are in process. That is why Jesus died, so after we come into relationship with Him, when God looks at us He doesn’t see the sin, He sees Jesus’ righteousness. We are His. I know it is hard to wrap our heads around. I try to tell myself, I have to know it the way I know the world is round, etc. it just is. We are going to stumble and fail, but the beauty of it is now, you are not alone, Jesus is right there. He is not far off judging. He is right there with you. He is your pursuer.

    • Lexi

      Doesn’t Jesus say that we can’t be his followers unless we are willing to sacrifice anything? I have such a hard time with this. It brings to me tears every time I think about it. How will he possibly accept me if I have such a hard time putting him in front of my loved ones? I feel so defeated and heartbroken

      • Diana

        Our pastor was just talking about this last Sunday. He reminded us that we’ll fall so much in love with Christ that everything else will seem secondary. Trust the Father’s love for you. It’s so much greater than you can imagine. He made angels sing the day he sent his son to earth, knowing even how much pain was ahead.

      • Lauren

        Lexi, Jesus wants you to have relationships with your loved ones but He also wants His glory. He wants to be first in your life because this is what will bring you the most fulfillment in your life! When thinking about putting Christ first, you shouldn’t think of it as every hour of the day being in the Word or praying or being at church, rather it should be the way you live as a whole. In Genesis 22, God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son Issac. Abraham trusted the Lord completely and was about to sacrifice his son. However the Lord says: “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” (v.12). So when you say followers will be willing to sacrifice anything, He is more or less saying to trust Him completely, that His will be done. Whatever is good in your life, it’s because of the Lord but he also takes away. He is sovereign and knows what’s best for each of us. By putting him first in your life, everything else falls right where it’s meant to be. If you don’t have one already, I would highly recommend getting an ESV study bible – it explains pretty much every verse. May God bless you Lexi!

      • Anna

        know Him, Lexi. His yoke is easy and His burden is light; His commands are not burdensome. He insists we love Him most because it is the only way for us to thrive. the life He offers is abundant- He loves you. Know Him. Know Him, and these things will not seem harsh or unloving or scary to you. I suffered from scrupulosity for years and obsessed over whether or not my salvation was going to be lost, until He healed me and helped me see it’s not about being in or out- it’s about knowing and being known by Him. this love is unbreakable by all our weakness and sin, because it’s a relationship. i pray you find comfort today.

        • Lexi

          Anna I struggle with scrupulously too and every day is a battle. Today my feelings have gotten the best of my and I can’t seem to stop the tears from falling. Thank you for your wisdom.

          • Anna

            if you’ve never read “when the darkness will not lift”, by john piper, I recommend it. it spoke to me when I was in my deep, dark season. if you ever want to talk, my e mail is [email protected]. praying much for you, Lexi. <3

          • jessiechatchat

            Touched by love between sisters here. Thanks for letting us eavesdrop and pray for you and praise God for you.

    • Stefanie

      Lexi….while reading this scripture, after reading the comments here, I felt inclined to share. I pray this scripture offers you comfort.
      Psalm 37:23-24
      The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast head-long, for the Lord upholds his hand.

    • mixmemeg

      I lived the first 30 years of my life knowing that salvation came by faith, but I somehow thought I had to work really hard to keep it. I believe this is one of the enemy’s greatest ploys: to get us “busy” working, earning, striving. Because on the surface we think we are doing what we ought. Satan keeps us distracted with doing busywork for God, lying to us that we must add to our salvation that is absolutely FINISHED. But in reality if we are working to earn or keep our salvation, we are cheapening the work done on the cross. Despite being raised in a Christian home, it wasn’t until I was 31 when it finally clicked: Jesus got what I deserved and I get what He deserves. While I was His enemy, He cancelled my debt. I owe Him everything, yet I pay nothing! Jesus took the punishment that I deserve and instead gave me His perfect righteousness to wear as my everyday clothes. Ah, the great exchange. Not saved BY works. But ah, yes, saved FOR works! Out of my love and gratitude I long to obey the One to whom I owe all. Prayers and love from Canada ❤️

    • Ginger

      Lexi I can relate to your feelings. There is a verse I like to go to that I think is comforting…I John 3:7-9. It says that no one born of God makes a practice of sinning because he has been born of God. This doesn’t mean we never sin. But if we make a practice of sinning willfully and without repentance that is when there would not be forgiveness. Paul said “shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” Lean on God and the Holy Spirit. As long as you don’t have a complete mindset of rebellion (like a child that says I’m going to do this even though I know it’s wrong without caring or feeling sorry) then you are good. And God will help you. You will never be tempted beyond what you can bear. He is always there.

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