Jesus is the World’s Savior

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Jesus is the World’s Savior

Have you ever loved someone so much that you would have done anything for them? You wanted what was best for them, even if it meant sacrificing what was best for you. Their happiness and joy was your chief concern.

That type of self-sacrificing love inspires us. It is featured in many of the novels we like to read and the movies we like to watch. How would you feel to have someone love you like that? How would it feel to have someone who is so head-over-heels in love with you, that they would do anything, anything at all, to keep you safe?

That’s exactly how Jesus describes the love of God. Jesus tells us that the heart of God beats for you! He loves you so much that he was willing to do everything necessary to keep you safe for all eternity.

From beginning to end, the Bible traces God’s plan to rescue the world from eternal danger. His Word demonstrates just how far God was willing to go to save you, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.”

God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, to suffer the punishment for the sins of the entire world. Why would God do that? Why would he allow his Son to endure the tortures of the cross? Why would Jesus voluntarily go through with his Father’s plan? Why was Jesus willing to suffer the agony of hell itself?

God didn’t sit back and watch the people he loved so dearly perish forever. He cared too much to see that happen to you. So Jesus stepped into human history and suffered the punishment that was meant for you.

He didn’t want anything to stand in the way of spending an eternity with you in heaven. He wants you to know just how deeply he loves you. With a God who is willing to sacrifice himself for your rescue, is there any reason to doubt his love? “Whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” You can live confidently knowing that your God loves you and through faith in Jesus you have a place in heaven your Savior has prepared for you. His love truly is inspiring! He is the world’s Savior. He is your Savior.

Jesus is My Savior from Fear

The angel said to [the shepherds], “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11

Isn’t it interesting that God’s angelic announcement of Christmas begins with, “Do not be afraid”? What do fear and Christmas have in common? Based on people’s Christmas anxieties, plenty!

December fills many with depression. Some are overwhelmed by what their Christmas celebration should feel like, look like, even sound like. Thoughts of creating the perfect Christmas celebration fill many with stress.

Some dread Christmas due to money issues and the pressure to spend more than they can afford. Other have lost loved ones, making Christmas a painful trigger of past memories and missed loved ones. There is pressure to attend Christmas gatherings. As anxieties grow, so do shame, guilt and the gaping hole of depression.

If you’ve ever been fearful or anxious at Christmas, you’re in good company. Mary, Joseph and the shepherds all felt fears.

No warm, safe, sterile birthing suite or medical team would help Mary give birth to her first child. Instead she faced the stress of childbirth with only Joseph to help her. No room at Bethlehem’s inn meant a barn was the best shelter Joseph could find for Jesus’ birth. Imagine the anxiety this couple faced when Jesus was born.

The shepherds were filled with fears too. “Terrified” described their reaction to a sky full of angels. They might have wondered, “Did God send the angels to punish us?”

God knows your fears. That’s why the announcement of Christmas begins with an amazing command, “Do not be afraid!” This is good news for you! God has come in the flesh to erase all your fears!

Ever fear not measuring up? Jesus came to forgive you from all your past faults or present failures. Anxious over a life situation? God says, “Do not be afraid!” You don’t have to do life on your own. God came at Christmas to prove his love and to assure you, “Never will I leave you or forsake you!”

Peace comes from a life free from fears. God’s Christmas comfort is, “Do not be afraid!” Rescue has come. A Savior has been born for you!

Jesus is my Savior from the World

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Do you struggle in life? Are there days when it seems like you’re under siege on all sides? Do you wish someone would save you from your family problems? From your health issues? From mistakes you’ve made and events you regret but can’t change? In this world, everyone needs a savior from something. What, or who, do you need a savior from?

Jesus tells us that he is the Savior: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Maybe at first glance that seems like a somewhat simplistic thing for Jesus to say. How could he possibly hope to cover all the potential issues that could come up in the lives of his disciples in their world, to say nothing of ours today? How can people today trust a promise that was made 2,000 years ago? The world has really changed since then!

But Jesus wasn’t talking about overcoming the world by healing diseases or mending broken relationships, although there were times in his ministry when he did just that. He was talking about something far more timeless than health issues, relationship problems, or regrets from the past. Jesus was talking about breaking the cause of all the suffering and wickedness we have in our world. Jesus was talking about his victory over sin. And whether it’s a sin you committed, a sin I’ve committed, or the sin of those in Bible times, Jesus defeated it. He accomplished a timeless victory, because sin is the root cause behind all pain and heartache, whether caused directly by human activities or indirectly as a consequence of the broken world we live in.

Jesus overcame all of that sin when he lived the perfect and sinless life that God demands. Jesus overcame all that sin when he laid down his perfect life at the cross and died—even though he didn’t deserve it. Now you and I can overcome the world too by putting ourselves aside and placing our trust and reliance in Jesus. He leads us through the hardest of times and finally will take us home to his world—the kingdom of heaven he has prepared for all who believe in him.

Jesus is my Savior from Myself

By grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

“I can do it all by myself!” If you have children, you have heard these words. You want them to learn how to do things on their own, but usually they pick times to try when it is least convenient for you. Walking out the door, already late is the time they want to tie their shoes for the first time.

Have you ever thought, “I can do it all by myself?” Doing a project at work by yourself may result in a raise or promotion. However, trying to get into heaven by yourself will never work.

Think about this question: “If you were standing outside of heaven’s gates and God asked you, ‘Why should I let you in?’ what would you say?” Would you answer?: “I was a good dad/mom.” “I was faithful at work.” “I never (fill in the blank).”

If you answered that way, can you hear it? It is the sound of silence; the sound of heaven’s gates NOT opening. God requires us to be perfect like him. That means that if we want to go to heaven we can never do any wrong…ever!

The truth is that no matter how hard we try, no matter how much good we do, we will never be perfect. Even just one wrongdoing disqualifies us from heaven. Honestly, we commit many, many wrongs in life. So for the prospect of heaven, each of us has to admit, “I CAN’T do it by myself!”

But we don’t have to do it ourselves! God tells us in his Word that we have been saved BY GRACE! Though we are undeserving, God deeply loved us. He sent his Son, Jesus, to open the way to heaven for us. Jesus did this by sacrificing his innocent life in our place for all of our wrongdoing. Now, through Jesus we are perfectly right before God, all because we didn’t do it ourselves. Jesus did it for us!

Why should God let you into heaven? You can point to Jesus and say, “Because of him.” Jesus is the one who opens heaven.

Thank Jesus for this wonderful gift! He is your Savior who did it all for you!

Jesus is my Savior from Satan

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. – 1 John 3:8

Is the devil real? He doesn’t really exist, right? WRONG! The devil is a fallen angel. He is called Satan, which means “adversary.” He has one goal. He wants to literally “give you hell.” Picture him as a prosecutor standing before the judgment seat of God. He talks about your character flaws like pride, anger, and your evil desires of greed and lust. He’s very convincing. And that “father of lies” is not lying. You can’t deny what he says about you. It appears his case work will bring about an eternal sentence of hell for you.

But wait, Satan doesn’t have the last word. Jesus Christ has come to our defense. He set out to defeat the devil and put an end to his evil work. Jesus came to earth not to just hinder, slow down or frustrate the devil and his dealings with you. He came to destroy him. That is exactly what Jesus did by his death on the cross. Jesus’ death on the cross in your place is the devil’s destruction. All of the devil’s accusation about you before God are stopped because on the cross Jesus won the forgiveness for all of your sins. The devil can no longer successfully accuse you before God.

So what does the devil do now if he can’t speak to God about your sins? He seeks to influence you! The devil reminds you of your sins and tries to convince you that God won’t forgive you. This is his last resort. He tries day and night to tempt you to sin and then push you to despair over your condition.

But the victory is already won! The victory belongs to Jesus and by faith it belongs to you. Resist the devil’s temptations and he will flee from you. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who died for you, and your enemy the devil can’t have his wicked way with you. The truth is that the devil’s evil work has been destroyed by the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is your Savior from Satan.

Jesus is my Savior from Death

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

There is a reason that people don’t like to talk about death. Death is scary. Despite all of our medical advances, it is still inevitable. Death doesn’t discriminate in any way. It gets the rich and the poor, the fit and the unfit, the mean and the nice. Death always comes.

Why does death come for us all? It is because of one fatal condition that we share. We are sinful. Our sins make us death’s target. Our sins are not something that we can just ignore. Sin can’t fit in with who God is or with his plan for all things. Instead, sin brings death. Death is the consequence of sin.

Death is a great enemy against us. In our eyes that enemy looks bigger and tougher than we could ever defeat. But there is hope.

The Bible teaches, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God loves us. Even though we don’t deserve it because we are sinners, God loves us. All of our solutions for death come up short. But God did not abandon us to death’s destruction. In his great love for us, God provides a solution that really works. His solution is Jesus.

Jesus, the Son of God, came to save us from death. He defeated that powerful enemy. Jesus defeated death by taking all of our sins on himself. He suffered the punishment we deserved for our sins; he died on the cross of Calvary to pay the “wages of sin.” By sacrificing his holy life for us, Jesus defeated death. He proved it by his resurrection from the dead.

Now “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” Trusting in Jesus as our Savior, the fear of death is taken away. For Jesus promises that we will live, even though we die (John 11:25). When we close our eyes in death, he will open them to eternal life. We will wake up from death to life with God in heaven where there will be none of the hurts, disappointments, and fears that we experience now.

Jesus is your Savior from death. Trust him for freedom from the fear of death’s destruction and the hope and joy of eternal life!

Jesus is my Risen Savior

“Because I live, you also will live.” – John 14:19

EMPTY

Finding something empty can leave you feeling a wide variety of emotions. When you have a craving for something sweet, you reach into the cookie jar to satisfy yourself. However, when all you find are crumbs, you feel ________. When you let your teenager use the car for the weekend and on Monday morning, when you are late for work and you see the fuel gauge on empty, you feel ________! When you prepare to pay bills and find your saving account is empty, you feel ________! When death has emptied your life of mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, child or best friend, you feel ________!

Perhaps you filled in the blanks with words such as devastated, disappointed, frustrated, angry. Finding something empty is usually never good. I do not think anyone has ever been happy finding an empty treasure chest. I do not think anyone working in the hot sun has felt overjoyed having an empty water bottle. I do not think waitressing for a table of six and find the tip tray empty has ever caused anyone to cry tears of happiness. To be honest, finding something empty is all of these—devastating, disappointing, frustrating, anger provoking!

That is until we are led to Jesus’ tomb. It is here at Jesus’ tomb where we hear the angel proclaim, “He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:6). From reading the Bible, what do we find when we look into the tomb? We find it EMPTY!

Finding Jesus’ tomb empty can leave you feeling a wide variety of emotions. When your conscience condemns you because of your sins, knowing Jesus’ tomb is empty makes you feel ________! When you are bothered by the thought of dying and being placed in the ground, knowing Jesus’ tomb is empty gives you a feeling of ________! When you know that someday you will meet your Maker, knowing Jesus’ tomb is empty makes you feel ________!

Did you fill in those blanks with words such as at peace, comforted, content, reassured, overjoyed, jubilant, relieved?

To be honest, finding Jesus’ tomb empty brings to me all of the above! May Jesus’ empty tomb fill your heart with the same!

 

Jesus is my Savior by Faith

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” – Mark 15:16

In many places, June ushers in warmer weather. Summer begins in earnest, and that means people like to be outside and enjoy the warm temperatures. One activity that many enjoy is swimming. It might be a backyard pool, a community pool or beach, or even a lawn sprinkler. Whatever the method, people love to get wet.

Followers of Jesus get wet too, when they are baptized. Baptism is a wonderful gift of God where water is applied and the words are spoken as Jesus commanded, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). When those words and the water are combined like this, according to Jesus’ promise, baptisms take place. Through this special means, God creates faith in people—infant or adult. Sins are washed away, and by faith in Jesus God makes them members of his family.

After baptism, learning continues so that people grow in their faith and grow closer to God for the confidence and joy of life with God both now and forever. There is much to learn and know in the Bible. It guides us. It refreshes us. And its message saves us! It is the “living water” (John 4:10) that Jesus gives us. Much more refreshing than any pool or beach or sprinkler! It quenches our thirst for belonging to God, for truth about God, and for true peace with God. The Word of God creates and strengthens faith in Jesus as our Savior.

Without faith in Jesus, people will be “condemned,” that is, lost forever in hell when they die. As Christians, we seek to invite everyone to hear Jesus’ message and be baptized, so hell is not their destiny. This is because Jesus told us to baptize and teach, so that people can have saving faith and will enjoy heaven when they die.

Many people think of summer as a gift, when we have rest and relaxation. But the real gift that lasts forever—no matter the weather—is the gift of faith in Jesus that comes through baptism and God’s Word!

Jesus is the Suffering Savior

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. … 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 53:3,5

Greeting cards contain words that are chosen very carefully. They are meaningful words of love and affection. Sometimes when we are sending a card to someone, we might even agonize over which one to select. We want to choose the right words that express the love we have.

How about the words printed above by the prophet Isaiah? Would you include any of his words in a card to your loved one? At first thought you would say, “Absolutely not!” Words like “despised…rejected…sorrows…suffering…punishment” would be the last choices for a such a card! But the Bible surprises us. These words from God are really a wonderful expression of his true love for people.

The first thing to understand is that Isaiah was writing about Jesus. Jesus, God’s Son, was sent to earth to be the world’s Savior. The Bible tells us that because of sin there was punishment looming for all people. But Jesus took that punishment on himself. Jesus is our Savior who suffered for sinners. He took all this suffering on himself, including death on a cross, so that people wouldn’t suffer eternally.

The second thing to remember is that we are talking about something very personal to all of us. We were the ones Jesus came to suffer for. We were the ones who were headed to the punishment of eternal separation from God. Our sinful thoughts, words, and actions condemned us. But as the prophet wrote, “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.”

Jesus’ love for us is deep and long-lasting. It’s much more than the love that we might receive from others, or a love that is here today and gone tomorrow. Jesus’ love is eternal. He promises that since he suffered and gave up his life for us, he will continue to love us each and every day.

Every time you open the Bible it’s like receiving a card from One who loves you very much. These are God’s words of love for you.

Jesus is the One and Only Savior

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

People commonly set goals to lose weight and improve fitness. There are various ways they seek to reach that goal. Some strive to improve their diet, either eating smaller portions or switching to healthier foods. Others focus more on exercise, building up their strength or following a cardio workout plan. Picking any or all of those options can help a person reach a weight loss and fitness goal.

There is a certain goal, however, that has only one way to reach it. If the goal that you want to obtain is eternal life in heaven, the one and only way to reach that goal is through Jesus. Jesus is the world’s one and only Savior.

Many people disagree with that. The common thought is that there are many ways to reach the goal of heaven and eternal life. Many consider Jesus to be one option of many.

But Jesus didn’t come to be a path; he came to be the path. Jesus didn’t come to show us how we could obtain heaven by ourselves; he came to show us his glory and to be our Savior.

Goals for reaching a healthier lifestyle are often abandoned. We know how weak we can be. But Jesus is true God who came from heaven. Yes, he became human like us, yet he was without our weaknesses and he was without our sin. His great love caused him to leave heaven and dwell among us. He came to take away our sins by giving his own life as the payment for our sins. Calling us to be his followers by trusting him as our Savior, he freely gives us the gift of heaven and eternal life.

Following Jesus isn’t like so many other goals that we abandon after a brief period of time. To follow him is a goal for our lifetime. Having seen the true beauty and glory of the world’s one and only Savior, we can’t help but want to learn more and grow in the knowledge of Jesus, the world’s one and only Savior.