Strange Way to Save the World

Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.      Romans 3:19-26 (NLT)

The more I read and think about the Scriptures that speak of God’s love and His desire to have His children with Him, the more I have to shake my head in wonder and puzzlement. God, Creator of all, all power is His, and His plan to save His children from sin seems so – words just fail me!

Born to a girl. Mary was just a girl. She wasn’t royal. She was poor. And if that alone didn’t seem like sending the extraordinary to the ordinary, Mary was a virgin and yet, to her community, she was pregnant before the marriage!

But if there is someone reading this who has been described as “just ______” and yet knows that God has whispered a mission in your ears to make an impact in your world, then look at Mary and know that God uses just people. And if you have ever made mistakes in your life and had people ridicule you and look down on you, then keep your eyes on Jesus and your head up because with Him in your corner, you have all you need.

Lived among us. I’ve often wondered about what Jesus did for 30 years and why we have no account of that time in the Bible. If Luke interviewed Mary and others, why wasn’t age 12-29 mentioned? Maybe that time is known through the historical literature that tells us what children and young men did in those days. Maybe the point is that I know that Jesus’ life here on earth was ordinary, just like mine. We know that He was obedient to His earthly parents (Luke 2:51). So Jesus did what kids do: chores, work in the family carpentry shop, go to Temple, and have meals together including weddings and funerals. The Gospel accounts seem to continue that thread. Jesus shows me how to live in the everyday as His follower.

Chose twelve guys. I use the word “guys” as a way to note that they were ordinary, not extraordinary. They weren’t highly educated, popular among their peers, or wealthy. They were just guys who were maybe even seen as just guys. Like Mary, the men that Jesus chose to entrust His message were no more than me. Jesus entrusts His message to me. Am I going to share what He has taught me or bottle it inside me where it will die in the darkness. “Let your light shine before people …” (Matthew 5:16).

Died not gloriously. Jesus did not die in a glorious war with Rome with His sword in His hand. He died like a criminal on a cross. And so many might see this cross as a foolish symbol of a just another life. But I know different because this Jesus, 2000 years after dying on a cross, saved me from a life of hopelessness. He made me brand new by the Blood He shed on that cross. That was a glorious night in my life!

God’s plan to save the world may seem strange to many. But God sees beyond the primary objective. God saw beyond salvation. He saw our broken hearts. He saw our struggles. He saw our need for a Friend that would always be there. He saw our need for His Spirit to speak to our spirit beyond the words we can physically utter. He saw the whole of His children and His love for each one is both unique and complete. His plan was – is – perfect.

A Strange Way to Save the World Written by Dave Clark, Mark Harris & Don Koch, sung by 4Him

 

 

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