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Thursday, March 24, 2016

God Becomes Personal

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NIV).

It was at Easter God became personal for you and for me. In the person of His son, Jesus Christ, God became human when He was born into this world, but it was at Calvary He became intensely personal. You can’t get much more personal than when you die for someone else. When He gave His life on Calvary, He took sin that separated us from God, and defeated it once and for all. In His death and Resurrection He conquered hell and the grave. When we accept Him into our heart, we have the assurance of abundant life now, and eternal life forever. When our soul belongs to Him, the wounds He suffered on Calvary bring healing of body, mind, and spirit. God who created you and me, with no restraint and no hesitation, laid down His life and became a living sacrifice so we might have peace with Him and peace within our own heart.

There is a difference between God becoming personal and us experiencing it. The gift of His life at Calvary is what offers us a personal God, but it is our “yes” in absolute surrender that gives us a personal relationship with Him. It is the only thing really makes God personal. He, who knew no sin, became sin in order that each person could be set free from sin's control. God laid on Jesus Christ all of our sins, and He took them to the cross for you and for me. He absolutely surrendered himself for mankind. He gave His life and bore our sins so we might be healed and made whole. He surrendered his life for us. Such love calls for a response from you and me. We can't ignore such a sacrifice. We either accept it or reject it. If we accept it and surrender to Him, we discover the incredible depth and power of His love that gave all for us. If we reject it, we lose the greatest love ever offered.

What is your response? What is mine?  Do we allow Him just a little of ourselves, and reserve our total commitment?  We want to approach Him. We want to come boldly before Him in our time of need, but we don’t want to obediently give Him our own surrender and sacrifice. Perhaps we want to hold on to a gift or even a calling, but He asks us to lay everything down for His sake—just as He laid all down for ours. Sometimes we must lose the gift or the calling or whatever is important to us to understand that those things are not what really matter. He is what really matters.  He is what is important. His love is all that matters.

No one demonstrates a greater love than when he gives his life for another. If we reject the offering of His love and say “no”, we lose everything. But if we say “yes” and lay down all that we have and all that we are, and place Him above everything else, we discover a personal God beyond human imagination. When we surrender to the omnipotent God who created us and gave His life so that we might be free, we respond to His sacrifice with an obedient heart and life. He becomes more than personal to us. He becomes life.

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