The Final Sacrifice for Which Without God’s Grace we would be in a heap of mess!

There are so many things in our lives that we should be and are thankful for, daily…not just when the occasion arises. But if we should be thankful for anything, we should be thankful for the final sacrifice…the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world! 

Last night, I finished reading through the book of Ezekial. It is a most interesting, yet very difficult book to read. As I read through the book, difficult as it was, the Lord managed to show me a few things. The first lesson was that from the OT to the NT, God has not changed. He says as much in Malachi 3:6.

“I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”

He did not change, but something changed. What changed was the processes that it took for His children to approach the throne of grace.  No doubt, much has been written on the God of the OT. Forgiveness of sins, atonement and such, was an extremely sophisticated process, with no detail left to chance. Anytime that God gave His prophets a message, whether to warn, to build, to destroy, to cleanse, God was very specific. Then, came His Son, Jesus Christ who also came to do the will of His Father, again with very specific details.

John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) the ultimate and final sacrifice.

Before Jesus, some sacrifices were to give thanks to God. Some sacrifices were to make atonement.  And only after atonement could God forgive their sin (Lev. 4-26). As I read, I was ever so thankful for the ultimate sacrifice, His Son. Can you imagine conducting such sacrifices in this 21st century? God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, that we should no longer have to offer up burnt sacrifices or sin offerings and other such sacrifices.

John 3:16 “For 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.”

Hebrews 10: 8-18

“First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”

17 Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.”[c]

18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

The second lesson was the idea of the tower of Babel. I can’t recall exactly how this message came through Ezekial, but it had to do with modern day “Christians.” At first listen, it “appears” as if we are all speaking the same message. Then, it’s as if … we are all clawing our way up the tower to reach God, but we can’t work together because we can’t understand each other. Thus, we try to find our own way to heaven after realizing there’s only one way into the Holy of holies. And all these so-called prophets, pastors, bible teachers, apostles…etc. are for the most part deceiving, divisive, destructive spirits.

A good example: I have known one family, they’re all Christians. Some are pastors, others bible teachers, but they have one rule when they get together – they do not discuss politics, or religion/beliefs. Amos 3:3 “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” 

Gen. 11:1-9 “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a namefor ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 TheLord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Another quick lesson, as “Christians” We’ve all become like Jonah…running from the mission God prepared for us to accomplish. Some people don’t deserve salvation.

We are all like John and James, who were brothers, and asked Jesus if they could sit one on each side of him, as an honor. It’s all about status.

We are all like Martha doing works to please God and we get upset, and lay a guilt trip on others, because they do not follow suit, or we gripe and complain about being used, or exploited. There’s something wrong with such a heart.

Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has become so distorted that everything sounds like truth, but truly it is just the ramblings of men, and women. It takes a spiritually discerning spirit to know the difference.

Finally, the last lesson. My bedroom window faces east. It’s always been a nuisance because of the brightness of the morning sun, especially when I worked overnights. Well, in reading Ezekiel 43, I finally realized that every sunrise, every bright and morning sun was a reminder from the living God that He calls me by name every morning. He calls me to the window to behold His glory. I was left speechless.

“Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, 2 and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. 3 The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he[a]came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. 4 The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. 5 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

As a Christian, or as I like to refer to myself…a believer in Jesus Christ…my transformation into the likeness of Christ is oftened hindered by the carnal Christian that sincerely believes that “he, or she” has the ultimate, fail proof recipe for a total transformation into the image of Christ. A recipe that yields no less than 100% of God’s blessings (The true focus of transformation). I heard it on Christian radio, “If you are going to trust God for “____” you might as well dream big. Trust Him for exactly what you want.” God is more than able, was the sum of it. And not to say that God isn’t. However, this radio personality forgot Prov. 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Transformation is more than positive thinking. That’s only a superficial transformation. Transforming into the likeness of Christ requires a change of heart, a newness of mind.

God is able to do all He promised, but Christians forget that although God wants to bless us in every way, He wants to use us in every way. He doesn’t have to. He doesn’t even have to bless us. Because of Jesus, He does.

God is faithful. We are not. We are tossed about by every emotional and physical whim.

These Days…Great lyrics by Rich Mullins

There’s a song down in my heart
Nobody there to sing it
Like a vision asleep in the dark
With no one around to dream it
We just all sit back and watch all
That we love sinking away
When we got to where we was going
We forgot just where it was
The next thing that you know is
All we found was we was lost
And the blame, oh the blame
Comes down on all of us these days
These days we got nothing left to find
These days oh it’s the blind leading the blind
These days I need more than just a line about Jesus
Oh I need to see His love these days
We got sophistication
In the wake of the fall
Now we got this Civilization
And it’s got us all involved in nothing
Oh, nothing at all but atomic waste
And we got too many people
Who are too easily disposed of
Well, you can make it all legal
But in the end you know that it ain’t right
You were just doing your job
And your job did you in these days
These days we got nothing left to find
These days oh it’s the blind leading the blind
These days I need more than just a line about Jesus
Oh I need to see His love these days
These days I need more than just a line about Jesus
Oh I need to see His love these days

Thankful – Grateful – Helpless – Humbled

Today is my baby sister’s birthday. She is 53 today, which makes me old. This year I turn the big 55…older than I ever age 12, when I truly believed I would not live past the age of 18, but I did, because God had plans for my life. But that’s a story for another day. IMG_0004

Anyway, the last couple of days, I was in Austin to help celebrate her birthday. She wanted us (her older sisters) to join her on a trip to Fredericksburg, a quaint little town, touristy, in the beautiful Texas hill country. Anyway, we were driving there from Austin, where my sister lives. Well, we took of early Wednesday morning from Austin. The wind was piercing. The temperature was not at freezing, but it sure felt like it!!! That arctic blast brought with it some harsh winds. Burrr!

Austin, bring out the heavy gear. It’s cold!

Before heading on to Fredricksburg, we made a stop in Blanco to pick up our older sister.  She had driven up from Pearsall to visit her daughter in Blanco, so we planned to pick her up there instead of her driving to Austin. She’s an older driver, yup…74. 

Before heading out of Austin we had to make a couple of stops. So we’re driving on I 35, traffic is horrible, typical for Austin, that we almost missed our exit to Slaughter Creek. 


Now, we are on the access road, traffic is just as bad. We are coming up to the light and we’re all chanting “Stay green, stay green.” As we are driving across the light I notice this young man, Anglo, sitting, just huddled up on the pavement, covering his face with his hands and rubbing his forehead with his fingers. It looked like he was crying. I imagine he was one of many homeless in Austin. On the next corner I saw a couple more homeless guys holding their signs asking for help, but they did not move my spirit as this young man had. It was a quick glimpse at frustration and desperation over uncontrollable circumstances, so dismayed, that he couldn’t even bring himself to show his face, much less beg for help. Being homeless, perhaps he thought no one would even notice, but God saw him.

He wasn’t holding any visible cardboard sign. Maybe he wasn’t even homeless, just a desperate soul that could not walk another foot. I can’t really say. Nevertheless, my heart went out to this man and I started praying for him. We were on the far right lane of a one way street, so even if he had been begging for help, we would have been unable to stop. At quick glance I thought..”Dear Jesus, what could have transpired in this young man’s life to bring him to this street corner on such a cold morning, with only a light jacket to keep him warm?” I could feel the tears starting to fall, but I just kept praying for the young man. If my sisters noticed this man, neither one said anything, but then again… I didn’t either. I just took my concern to the Lord.

As I was praying for this man I was reminded of my own circumstances. And I thought…”Lord, these days…it doesn’t take much to send individuals and families spiraling into the abyss of despair.” It’s tragic. I was ever so thankful for God’s mercy. My economic circumstances could have left me in much the same dire circumstances, and in all reality they have, but God is merciful.  I was grateful for the people the Lord had placed around me to sustain me in my difficult times. Only the living God can do that. 


I was helpless to help this man, but I was confident that if God had brought me here to see this man in his desperation, that He had a plan for that man and He just needed someone to stand in the gap for him, which is all I could do. Helpless as I am…God is always able. We never know when God is going to use us, or in what capacity, so we always have to be prepared.

Sometimes God just wants someone to stand in the gap. Rich Mullins sang about holding himself accountable as his brother’s keeper. Give a listen. Be blessed. As one humbly resting in the arms of the Savior, give thanks.