Archive for September, 2012

The Lord Remembers Us and Will Bless Us

September 30, 2012

In the post Remember When, the video’s point was to pass memories along to one another. Reflecting, reminiscing, remembering with pleasure, casting one’s mind back to, looking back on, being nostalgic about the past are things that we do naturally. We all like to reflect on those things that were pleasurable. Unfortunately, there are some memories that I do not spend enough time reflecting upon. Those memories are of God and His involvement in my life.

As a matter of application yesterday, I bought that the song “Remember When” by Alan Jackson. Played it on iTunes over and over asking God to bring to my remembrance what He had done in my life. In no time at all, I was taken to a number of places. I cried a lot; praised Him a lot, and was grateful to see my wife when she returned from the store. You see, she went about 3 a.m., so she could get it out-of-the-way before the hustle and bustle of the day. Funny thing though, once the day got started, I soon forgot how appreciative I was of having her back. I soon forgot that I told God I wanted to honor Him in all I do.

The old set in. I was fussing a little bit. Got mad quickly. Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of what I had just cried, praised and prayed about. It was a wake up call to The Lord Remembers Us and Will Bless Us found in Psalm 115:11-13

11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord—
he is their help and shield.

12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord—
small and great alike.

According to commentators from the Reformation Study Bible, Memory plays a key role in the psalms especially (Ps. 77). When in distress, it brings healing to remember God’s gracious acts in the past. I can tell you that it brought healing to my purpose of living. Some times, we can become jaded to seeing life’s changes and challenges through the lense of God. We do not interpret hardships as pure joy as we are told in James 1. In Psalm 115:11-13, who is it that God will remember? It is him who fears the Lord and trusts the Lord. If we want the benefits of God’s influence in our lives, we must abide by the conditions that God sets. He wants us to respect and honor Him. When we do, it leads to us trusting Him rather than ourselves or something else which is idolatry. God hates idolatry because it replaces Him in our lives for something counterfeit.

The Lord Remembers Us and Will Bless Us when we fear and trust in Him. This should be our prayer daily. God, please help me and everyone who reads this post to fear and trust you today and any day that we read or remember this point from you. May you be blessed in the process God Almighty.

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Remember When

September 29, 2012

A picture, a song, a smell, a letter from the attic…can unlock a memory that will seem as fresh as the day it all happened. “Remember When,” performed by the GRAMMY winning artist, Alan Jackson, will open doors to the past that we hope will bring great memories back for a moment. This message encourages us to pass those memories along. Remember When was made into a television commercial that causes us to think about building a strong family and being able to reflect on our lives especially those high moments contrasting our challenging moments.

Likewise, the Word of God calls us to remember the the LORD God and all of His works.

Deuteronomy 4:9

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Deuteronomy 4:23

23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden.

Deuteronomy 6:12

12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

2 Kings 17:38

38 Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods.

Psalm 44:17

17 All this happened to us,
though we had not forgotten you
or been false to your covenant.

Psalm 77:11

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

Psalm 78:7

Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.

Psalm 103:2

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

There are a wealth of verses that call for us to Remember When the Lord did something. Psalm 103 is a classic though. We are called to Praise the Lord and forget not (remember) all his benefits. The rest of the Psalm goes on to list many benefits we receive from the Lord. Please take the time today to Remember When the Lord …

Jesus is Wonderful

September 25, 2012

In our daily expressions, we often reduce the significance of words. Some of those words lose the fullness of their intended meanings. Awesome is one word where our over use has degraded the intensity of the word. We might say that our favorite meal was awesome, or we might say that our washed car looks awesome. This totally changes the context of the meaning of the word.

Likewise, we have changed the meaning of the word wonderful. According to dictionary.com wonderful is defined as excellent; great; marvelous, or of a sort that causes or arouses wonder which is to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel; to think or speculate curiously. In the original text, the word used for wonderful is pele which means to wonder at the extraordinary, hard to understand thing and/or at the wonder of God’s acts of judgment and redemption.

We gain insight from Isaiah 9:6. Listen.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Pundits of the Reformation Study Bible wrote “the good news is the birth of Jesus Christ. The four royal names(Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace) express His divine and human qualities, giving assurance that He is indeed “Immanuel”” (7:14) The first wonder or matter to admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel is that God became human or man. This is worth eternal worship and praise of discussion let alone a simple writing that is submitted on one day.  In other texts, wonderful is separated from counselor. The glory of who He is and what He has done for us should fill us with wonder. You can never really look at Jesus, really know Him, and be bored. He is Wonderful, and will fill your heart and mind with amazement!

Look and know that Jesus is Wonderful.

Live a Life Worthy of the Lord

September 24, 2012

In Jesus Describes a Worthy FollowerMatthew  records what Jesus says, “37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” We see the standard.

In Colossians 1, we see further practical expressions of what it means to Live a Life Worthy of the Lord. The Apostle Paul wrote “10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

First, we must live in a way to please Him in every way. In order to do that, Paul had prayed the key to that in verse 9 where he says, “God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” To live a life worthy, we must know what it is God expects of us. We must have the knowledge of God permeating our lives. Moreover, Paul further clarifies what it means to please God that is to live a life worthy of God. We are to please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Two ways to please God is listed: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.

In order to bear fruit, we must yield our wills to the Holy Spirit, so He can lead and guide us in the way of God. In addition to surrendering our will to God, we must also grow in our knowledge of God. This means we must be actively engaged in learning about God through our intake of the Word. This means we must read, hear, study, memorize and meditate on the Word of God. When was the last time that you sat down to read the Word of God more than 10 minutes? When was the last time that you sat and listened to the Word of God outside of the time you sat in church? What and when was the last verse that you learned from the Word of God? How have you meditated on the Word of God over the past week? If you do not have definitive answers to those questions, you have not grown in the knowledge of God. If you have not grown in your knowledge of God, then you limit the Spirit’s influence in your life. There are principles in which you will not surrender to Him if you have not read them in the Word. God allows us to share in the responsibility of our salvation. Surrendering our wills and growing in the knowledge of God is our responsibility.

Just so we would not feel that this was too lofty, Paul provided an example. The essence of  a Life Worthy of the Lord is exemplified by Epaphras. He credited by Paul as exemplifying the by-product of the gospel in the life of man: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God in Colossians 1:6. I am over simplifying this matter in order to be brief. There is so much more to this matter, but the main components of what it means to Live a Life Worthy of the Lord is to bear fruit and grown in knowledge of God. Where are you with those things?

 

Jesus Describes a Worthy Follower

September 22, 2012

In Matthew 10:37-38, Jesus says, “37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

It is clear from this passage that Jesus’ criteria for determining our worthiness is rooted in our prioritization of Him and His principles. Jesus goes to the heart of who we love the most in this world. We love our parents and our children the most. Well, at least, most of us do. Jesus says that we can’t put our parents or our children before Him. NOTE: He did not say that we should not highly value them, but He DID SAY if one loves them more than Him that he is not worthy of Him. The operative word is love which in the Greek is phileōDo you love anyone more than you love Jesus? We can assess our love by obedience and the amount of time and resources that we commit to either. Judge for yourself; however, God has already told you where He stands with you.

The second criteria is taking up your cross. The parallel drawn is of Christ and His cross. The implication lies far beyond merely bearing some burden or enduring some hardship even for a long time. It extends to being obedient in the day-to-day rudiments of life and even unto the end of life itself. Our entire concept of self must be established in our identity in Christ. This means that we must willingly accept the consequences of being identified with Him. For almost all of us in these United States of America, we have yet to be tested to the point of physical and financial harm for identifying with Christ, but I am sure greater consequences are on the way. When right and wrong are argued, ultimately someone’s definition of right will supersede the other’s.

Take the issue of heterosexual marriage for example. For years when the vast majority of people in this country valued the Word of God, there was never a challenge as to the definition of marriage. I am in no way condoning mistreatment of people; however, I am also not aligning human sexual preferences with God established differences like race. God never condemns a race for race sake. It always is connected with rejecting Him. Likewise, those that reject His ways reject Him. John 3:36 tells us “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” John 12:48

Whether it is a person or a position philosophically, Jesus establishes the criteria for determining whether one is worthy of Him. You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to agree with Jesus, but you will be held accountable for not following Jesus. God’s wrath will remain on you. Choose wisely whom you will follow.

Are You Worthy of Him?

September 21, 2012

We all like to think that we are somebody. We all like to think that we are valuable. If you ask a parent, I am sure that he/she would tell you that their child is most valuable to them. Value connotes worth. Dictionary.com defines worthy as having adequate or great merit, character, or value; a person of eminent worth, merit, or position. While we may be worthy in our parent’s, spouse’s, or children’s eyes, the only significant question is Are You Worthy of Him?

Just to be clear, HIM is Jehovah, the triune God. Let me clarify the matter further. There is no humanly possible means for us to be Worthy of Him. How could fallen sinful man be of high, reputable or distinguishable worth to Almighty God? Listen in the conversation we had Matthew 26.

66 What do you think?”

“He is worthy of death,” they answered.

67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him

The created counted the creator worthy of death despite His perfection. As you see above, they spat on Him and slapped Him. Those whom He loved and walked with betrayed and disowned Him. We should not even begin to think that we are worthy of anything from the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but it the question at hand is not for any of us to determine. Jesus begins to answer that question in the negative for us. In Matthew 10:37-38, Jesus says, “37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

There it is. Jesus qualifies the condition(s) that answers the question Are You Worthy of Him. Furthermore, listen to what Jesus says in Luke 20. “34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”

We will continue to be judged on our worthiness. There our worth dictates whether we participate in heaven being united with God for eternity, being risen from the dead to spend eternity with God. We are worthy if we forsake ourselves – our hopes, dreams, desires and wants in exchange for what God desires for our lives. In Ephesians 4, Paul says “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” If you have given your life to Christ, that is what we are to do.

We know that “the Lamb is worthy”, but Are You Worthy of Him?

 

Praying for those who bring us Suffering

September 19, 2012

This is a post that I wrote on Saturday, December 12, 2009 7:50 AM. One coworker sent it back to me earlier this summer. I thought it was time to repost the response to what I had read on Today in the Word.

Okay, I am not sure that the Lord is leading this note or not, but I am sure that I have spoken with many of you over the past three weeks.  With a variety of words, the same question has surfaced.  You have not sent out an email lately.  Those messages were not contrived but influenced by the Lord’s leading.  After my devotion yesterday, I spoke with several friends at a meeting yesterday.  What the Lord said to me that morning was repeated in my conversation with them.  Here I am this morning, the same message is hammered away. Before I get to that, I hear my Pastor’s words reverberating in my ear, “When you surrender your life to Christ, you have not rights.  It’s not about you anymore; it’s about God as it always had been, you just did not know it.  Now that you know it, you must respond accordingly.”  Now, the text,(1 Peter 2:18-24), for the devotion is below.  Verses 13-17 were yesterday’s focus.

While at this meeting yesterday, a friend told me something that I have never heard.  I was baffled and waned about my bewilderment for a good moment until the Spirit said that it is commendable for suffering for doing good.  The best was yet to come.  Verse 13 tells me to submit myself to those in authority.  I spoke with another friend who informed me of the news that would be later shared by one in authority over me.  After hearing the news, my first response was, “I am not doing it.”  The Spirit said to me instantly, “this is what I told you this morning.”  I had to tell that friend that submission to authority of my devotion that morning.

We all hear news that is not flattering, compelling or motivating.  Our first response is to reflect over and hold to our opposing views.  I realized that I had not represented the Lord well in my comment about not doing what a supervisor was going to share with me.  I had to repent.  Later on, one in authority over me vocationally shared something that I am not in agreement with.  In fact, I had spoken to that power the previous month where I voiced my concern and preference for my action.  With my repented mind and the Pastor’s words dancing in my head, I sat there and accepted what I was told to do.  I can’t worry about what I think is best.  The directive does not violate any of God’s precepts, so I have no choice in the matter.  I must do what I am told even if I don’t like.  I must trust the Lord that He will work everything out (Romans 8:28) not only for my good but for those whom I serve.

I know that you are like me.  You are in a situation where someone is telling you to do something that you do not like or agree with; however, we, based on the Word of God, do not have a voice in the matter.   This is counter cultural and natural, but it is the way of the Lord.  Self wants to be contentious at best and down right defiant at its worst.  We can’t allow that if we want to reflect the character of Christ which yields glory to God.  That is our purpose.  Here I am again sharing with you another indiscretion, but I am also sharing how we are restored to health and a right position with God.  Whatever your struggle is with one in authority over you, give it to God and remember the Lord who committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth.  When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.  Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.  We, who claim Christ, must do the same.   Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be dismayed for the Lord our God is with us.

Read: 1 Peter 2:18-25

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example. – 1 Peter 2:21

TODAY IN THE WORD
In the 1982 blockbuster film, Rambo: First Blood, Vietnam War veteran John Rambo wandered into a town where he was mistreated by local authorities. Tension escalated when Rambo escaped and armed with military weapons and Green-Beret smarts, showed the full force of his anger and retaliation at the injustice he experienced. When asked to turn himself in, Rambo refused saying, “They drew first blood.”

For the thousands of viewers that made Rambo such a popular film, something felt satisfying about seeing a man exact revenge in the face of clear injustice. But today’s reading calls us to consider a different response. Continuing yesterday’s theme of submission, Scripture teaches us what submission in an unjust world may cost: suffering (vv. 18-19). However, not only is suffering for doing good “commendable before God,” Peter tells us that this is part of the Christian calling (vv. 19-21). If we are Christ-followers, then we should expect to follow Christ’s suffering.

Look then at Christ’s example. Quoting or alluding to Isaiah 53, Scripture presents Christ’s response to the injustice He experienced. Without sin or deceit, Christ did not retaliate or hurl threats. Instead, He maintained a quiet confidence in the One who judges justly, God the Father (vv. 22-23). Confidence in a just Father is key! Christian suffering is more than grinning and bearing it; we take our suffering to God, trusting that His perfect justice will prevail in the end.

Scripture presents the salvific purpose of Christ’s suffering. Through Christ’s pain, we die to sin, live for righteousness, are made whole again, and are restored to our loving Shepherd (vv. 24-25). In other words, Peter reminds us that all injustice is a demonstration of our fallen world’s need of Christ’s redemptive healing. Rather than focus on the injustice we experience, we are called to see those who harm us as sinners in need of Christ’s redemption. Only He can bring true healing and justice to our world.

 


TODAY ALONG THE WAY
Today’s passage is challenging if taken seriously. We have all experienced suffering, injustice, and the temptation to seek personal vengeance in some way. What situations do you face this week—in your workplace, neighborhood, or among family members—where you experience suffering and injustice, perhaps even because you’re a Christian? Ask God’s Spirit to let the focus of today’s passage change the way you view your situation, that you may entrust your suffering to the just Judge and pray for those who harm you.

 Submission to Rulers and Masters

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

18Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22“He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[e] 23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

God Will Pour Out His Wrath

September 17, 2012

Who cares what we think? Who cares what we say? Nobody! Despite that, we are always blaming God for the hardships in our lives or even in our world. We often think or say if God was so loving why this or why that? We act like God created our problems. Truth be told man created man’s problems. God is holy, pure, and true; yet, we want to blame Him. All of us who assassinate God’s character will be shown. YES, God is loving, but He is also just. He will exact His justice on those who have ignored His means for their sins to be atoned – for those who failed to trust in Jesus Christ.  We saw that in God is Just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.

For those who do not believe it, let me give you a bit more evidence.

Psalm 79:6

Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name;

Isaiah 66:15

15 See, the Lord is coming with fire,
and his chariots are like a whirlwind;
he will bring down his anger with fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.

Jeremiah 10:25

25 Pour out your wrath on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
on the peoples who do not call on your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
they have devoured him completely
and destroyed his homeland.

Whether we are well read in the Word of God or not, most of us have heard of the Exodus. You, more than likely, have seen the 10 Commandments on television. In my case, that was the extent of my knowledge of God growing up. I was aware that God had done great things for the Israelites as they were exiting Egypt. Egypt is symbolic of sin which holds His people captive. God, like He did with Israel, set you free from the bondage of sin. The deliverer in that case was Moses. Now, the deliverer is Jesus Christ. People have and continue to reject Him. Listen to Stephen’s commentary in Acts 752 Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”

You can get mad. You can kill as they did Stephen when he told them the truth about the condition of their hearts and their spiritual destiny. You can also humble yourself and believe in the Holy One of God who takes away your sins. If not, He will “Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you [Him], on the peoples who do not call on your [His] name.”

You don’t have to believe me. Just wait and see. You “betta” call on His name, Jesus, to save you from His wrath.

God is Just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you

September 15, 2012

Revenge is a very common emotion and desire. It is common to all men. Revenge arises when we feel we have been done wrong, and we want to repay the person for what they did to us. Romans 12:18-19 tell us how we should respond to people doing us wrong. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Vengeance is mine says the Lord.

While we want to repay people for saying or doing things to us, God’s sense of justice is pure in contrast to our perverted sense of justice. God is holy and pure. He is sinless and has never done wrong. We have. We have not only offended one another, but we have also offended God. Each time we sin, we violate the law of God and evoke the consequences of God upon those who have sinned and ignored His grace.

The apostle Paul makes this clear in 2 Thessalonians 1. “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord JesusThey will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you not because of you but because you are fighting against Him. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Do you know God? Are you obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus? If not, God will punish you for not taking advantage of the means He provided to absolve the consequences of your sin. He will punish you for not believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

September 14, 2012

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is an American live-action children’s television series about teenagers with super-powers. The Power Rangers is based on an installment of a Japanese Super Sentai series. When the wise sage Zordon becomes aware of the release of the evil alien sorceress which he was responsible for capturing, he orders his robotic assistant Alpha 5 to select five “teenagers with attitude” to defend the Earth from sorceress’ attacks. Zordon gives the teens the ability to transform into a fighting force known as the Power Rangers. Zordon also provides the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with an arsenal of weapons at their disposal, as well as their colossal assault machines called Zords, which can combine into the Megazord. (Wikipedia)

In the world of fantasy, the created reality always mimics some portion of reality. This too is true of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In reality, God the Father enables those with child-like faith in Him to be transformed into a fighting force which He uses to fight evil. In Romans 12:1-2  God inspires Paul to tell us “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Furthermore, Paul goes on to tell us “17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Why does God want man to be transformed? 2 Corinthians 5:14-18explains it plainly to us. “14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

Through the love of Christ and the Spirit of Christ, believers in Jesus Christ are transformed into God’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. While a stretch to compare God’s plan to that popular series, it is of consequence that God transforms us to fight evil in using us in His ministry of reconciliation. Because of sin, man is estranged in his original intended relationship with God. Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). God uses us as agents to bridge that separation for the purpose of “reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

I am proud to call myself one of God’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Yes, God uses our collective efforts with the power and weapons He has given us to fight His battle against evil. On whose side are you fighting?