“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” — Isaiah 53:5
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Teams are like buildings. Each member influences whether the bond is sturdy and lasting, or the foundation crumbles. We draw closer together by positivity, encouraging words and helpful actions. In contrast, we separate from each other with negativity, uncaring words and careless actions. If we take a teammate for granted, don’t listen to them and ignore them, he or she will probably want to leave and we may miss out on an opportunity.
The sunshine, rain, vegetation and animals demonstrate God’s abiding love for us. The sacrifice of Christ at Calvary is the greatest demonstration of love. After Jesus died on the cross, we should never doubt His commitment to love us forever. However, our love for Christ is sometimes as flimsy as a Styrofoam cup. If we correctly survey the cross, then we agonize, because it was our sin that nailed Jesus to those wooden beams. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
If we love Jesus, then we want to please Him, and we honor Christ by serving others. If we use God’s grace like an unlimited credit card, then we take God for granted and we behave like an unbeliever. It is much better to appreciate the Lord’s mercy and live for Jesus daily. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Galatians 5:13-14).
When the apostle Paul spoke about cherishing the cross, he turned his back on his old way of life. Jesus turned him around and helped him live by a higher standard. As Paul got closer and closer to Heaven, he lived more and more for Christ, he resisted the devil and he called on others to join him in following Jesus. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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