Monday, June 16, 2008

Focus on Him 3 Our Savior

This is the third in our “Focus On Him” devotional series. In the first we looked at what is meant by Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, for he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
Peace – Shalom in the Hebrew– means wholeness. connectedness with God . nothing missing, nothing broken. When we keep our mind focused on God, He is able to keep us in perfect peace, make us perfectly whole.

Last week we focused on God as Father, the One who gave us new life and wants to give us everything else. Our heavenly Abba, Daddy of our new creation lives, sees us as beloved children. We need to study the life of Jesus as written in the Gospels for our understanding of God because He said “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” John 13:9

This week we are focusing on God as Savior. The very name Jesus means ‘the Salvation of Jehovah’. Christ means ‘the anointed'. Jesus Christ is the salvation available from the Father, the One anointed to bring salvation to mankind. We are told in Isaiah 59:16 "His own arm worked salvation for Him."

Jesus, the arm of God to bring salvation to you, bore the punishment of our sins on the cross of Calvary but He did much more than that. He bore the sins themselves. I like to think of Him taking that sin nature into Himself like a magnet. He has done the job but when I release the sins instead of clinging on to them, they fly to the cross and leave me, so I can walk as the new creation child of God that I am.

The word salvation is ‘soteria’ in the Greek and literally means, according to Strong’s Greek Dictionary, ‘material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension’ ‘spiritual and eternal deliverance” “present experience of God’s power to deliver from the bondage of sin”,” maintenance of peace and harmony”.

We often think of salvation or the answer to the question “Are you saved?” in terms of going to heaven instead of hell when we die. But as you can see from the above definitions, that is only one aspect of what God has made available to you in salvation.

One of my favorite Old Testament Stories is in II Chronicles, Chapter 20. Three armies have come against Israel, and King Jehoshaphat seeks the Lord, freely admitting that they have no power against their enemies. After studying the names of those enemy armies, I realized that they represent our genetic heritage, our cultural environment, and the forces of the devil. God’s people are told “You will not need to fight. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” Instead of fighting, they appointed singers who went out in front of their army. What they sang was “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” When they focused on the mercy of God, He caused their enemies to defeat each other and Israel prospered from the situation.

How we need to learn that lesson! We wear ourselves out trying to fight evil, within and without. But all the time God has made provision for every deliverance from danger and fear - physically, in the present, and spiritually, forever. He bore your sicknesses and diseases on the cross as well as your sins. When we release those, they too can fly to the cross and leave us to walk in newness of life. “If the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you, He will give life to your mortal body.” Romans 8:11.

Paul tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not physical but spiritual. We fight by casting down from our mind every thought that would go against the knowledge of God as revealed through Jesus Christ, the Savior, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Praise Him for His aways available, always present mercy as He saves you from all danger - spirit, soul, and body.
He keeps us in perfect peace and harmony when we focus on Him as Savior, here and now.

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