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Monday, April 10, 2017

Our Best Friend

So here we are in the 2nd week of April as we start this New Week here are some words of wisdom to help us ALL reflect on the Goodness of God Read: Hebrews 10:19–23 Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 15–16; Luke 10:25–42 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.—John 1:12 When I was twelve years old our family moved to a town in the desert. After gym classes in the hot air at my new school, we rushed for the drinking fountain. Being skinny and young for my grade, I sometimes got pushed out of the way while waiting in line. One day my friend Jose, who was big and strong for his age, saw this happening. He stepped in and stuck out a strong arm to clear my way. “Hey!” he exclaimed, “You let Banks get a drink first!” I never had trouble at the drinking fountain again. Jesus understood what it was like to face the ultimate unkindness of others. The Bible tells us, “He was despised and rejected by mankind” (Isa. 53:3). But Jesus was not just a victim of suffering, He also became our advocate. By giving His life, Jesus opened a “new and living way” for us to enter into a relationship with God (Heb. 10:20). He did for us what we could never do for ourselves, offering us the free gift of salvation when we repent of our sins and trust in Him. Jesus is the best friend we could ever have. He said, “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). Others may hold us at arm’s length or even push us away, but God has opened His arms to us through the cross. How strong is our Savior! —James Banks Love’s redeeming work is done, fought the fight, the battle won. Death in vain forbids him rise; Christ has opened paradise. Charles Wesley God’s free gift to us cost Him dearly. INSIGHT: Do you ever wonder whether Jesus knows too much about you to stand up for you the way your best friend would? If such a question gives us pause, could the problem be that we know ourselves too well?The letter to the Hebrews was an open letter to first-century Jewish readers raised under a system of law and sacrifice that taught them to know their own heart—and to acknowledge their personal wrongs. This letter reminded them that God knew their hearts well enough to see their inclination to slide back into their old religious ways of trying to resolve their sense of sin, shame, and guilty conscience.So over and over this letter reminds its first readers, and us, of what the Son of God suffered once and for all for all of our sin. Showing His willingness to bear the worst we could do to Him, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Then to a repentant criminal dying at His side, He said, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (v. 43).It was one intervention and one sacrifice—for all of us—and for all of our sin. Mart DeHaan

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