Two boys grew up together as the closest of friends. As they grew older, however, they went in different directions. For years they did not see one another. One day they met again – in tragic circumstances. One was a CRIMINAL, the other the JUDGE in a courtroom. The case was heard and the criminal was clearly guilty....
What could the judge do? Could he DISMISS the matter because the criminal was his friend? Justice would not permit that course of action. However, the judge did AN AMAZING THING! He pronounced the criminal GUILTY! He stated the heavy fine that the convicted man had to pay – a fine that the judge knew his old friend would
not be able to pay. Then the judge arose from his bench, removed his judicial robe, stepped down and stood beside his friend and said, "I’ll pay the fine for you." So the judge paid the fine that he himself had imposed, and the criminal was set free.
YOU and I are a lot like that criminal!
"For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
We are GUILTY, and we deserve the punishment: "the wages [heavy fine] of sin is DEATH" (Romans 6:23).
JESUS, the One who will judge ALL mankind on the last day (Acts 17:30-31), because of His GREAT love for us, temporarily removed His heavenly "robe" and took for himself a "robe" of human flesh. He then came and stood in OUR place, and paid the debt of OUR sins with His own life.
"He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree [i.e., the cross], that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24)
Those who accept this incredible gift are set free from their sins. Jesus pays the debt of those who:
- place their trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6),
- repent of their sins (2 Corinthians 7:9-10),
- confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10),
- and are baptized (immersed) in His name (Acts 2:38).
His payment will CONTINUE to be sufficient for those who CONTINUE to follow Him. (1 John 1:7)
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)
Jesus demonstrated THIS LOVE for you and for me.
How will YOU respond to His AMAZING love?
The following men will be filling in for Ted while he is in Ghana ...
- July 11: Jim Beltz, Kissimmee
- July 18: Chris Steele, New Port Richey
- July 25: Tim Simmons, Clearwater
Waste Not a Single Hour
Yesterday is a reminder
of days both good and bad,
The trials that taught us lessons
and good times we have had.
The future still is waiting
as a dream awaits the night
To become a reality
before the morning light.
The past may bring us memories
to treasure through the years,
And the future keeps the dream alive
despite our doubts and fears.
But, oh, my friend, we have today
to live, and laugh and cry...
A day our Lord has given
that soon will pass us by.