February 15, 2017

One way to be like Jesus

A priest goes into a sanctuary to pray for his parish. A pastor might pray in his office for his congregation. The people of God (who are the dwelling place themselves of the Holy Spirit) pray in their closets, or at work, or on a walking path, or in front of the kitchen sink for their friends and neighbors. Our Savior prays in eternity and before the throne of God for His people . . .

“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” (Hebrews 9:24)

The Bible says that the offspring of David (who is often spoken of as pointing to Jesus Christ) and those who believe in Him “shall endure forever” like “his throne as long as the sun before me.” (Psalm 89:36)

Jesus is my Substitute, my Surety, my Ransom, my Righteousness. God saved me and called me to a holy calling, not because of my works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave me in Christ Jesus before the ages began. (2 Timothy 1:9)

Jesus died under the penalty of God’s law, bearing my sin, shame, guilt and the wrath due me so that I will never be required to die. “Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for me . . . (Galatians 3:13) and for my sake, “God made Him sin who knew no sin, so that in Him I might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

This is past tense and already done, but Christ also takes care of today, tomorrow, and all time to come. How does He do that?

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1–2)

Jesus stands in my place today as my Advocate in heaven. Jesus Christ lives forever. His prayers are prayed forever.

“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Jesus Christ saves — thoroughly saves. And how must I respond to this? I cannot die for the sins of others, or equip God’s people for righteousness. I cannot do much of anything yet God is at work in me to transform me into the image of His Son. One powerful way that I CAN be like Jesus is this:

“Stand strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God . . .  and stand against the schemes of the devil . . . praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also  . . . that words may be given to (me) in opening (my) mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel . . . that (I) may declare it boldly, as (I) ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10–20)

Lord Jesus, what a privilege to be enlisted in Your army of warriors who stand against the evil one on behalf of Your work and Your people. Thank You for such good news to share, and for equipping me to fight the good fight and pray for others as You pray for me.

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