Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 5:22

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”

-Matthew 5:22 NIV

 

Jesus does a scary thing in this verse.  He equates thoughts with actions.  He’s saying, “If you’re angry, you’re guilty of murder.”  Later He says, “If you look at someone lustfully, you’ve committed adultery.”  As if we weren’t guilty before, now our thoughts condemn us!  We’re sinners, and the wages of sin is death.  If we learn one thing from this verse, it’s that there is no chance of us getting into heaven based on the quality of our actions.  We’re sunk.  Thank God for grace!  Grace means God gives us something we don’t deserve.  What we don’t deserve is forgiveness and eternal life.  We get both however, because Jesus lived a perfect life and offered it on the cross as payment for our sins.  The wages of sin is death, and Jesus paid it.  The good news is this: “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV  Jesus died and rose so that you and I could have what we don’t deserve.  You are forgiven.  Eternal life is yours through faith in Jesus.  Live in God’s grace.  Live in peace.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” 

-Matthew 5:14 NIV

 

During these long winter months, we’re reminded just how important the sun is.  It provides much needed warmth, and though the hours are shortened where we live, it sheds welcome light on the earth.  It’s no small thing that Jesus says, “YOU are the light of the world.”  That’s right, YOU.  Elsewhere Jesus tells us that HE is the light of the world (John 8:12) but that light is given to us through faith and as one of His followers, you are now the light of the world.  How can you brighten the lives of the people you encounter each day?  How can you bring warmth and kindness into a world that is increasingly cold and bitter?  Jesus showed His love by paying the debt for our all our sins.  As a believer, you have the comfort and assurance of eternal life in heaven.  As a believer, you have the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Display them every day, and shine everywhere you go.  This dark world desperately needs it.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 5:7

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

-Matthew 5:7 NIV

 

In our current national/political climate, there isn’t a lot of mercy being shown.  I’m talking about you and me as citizens.  We’ve drawn our lines and are now arguing our positions.  We need to be merciful.  All of us.  Mercy involves sympathy, empathy, and compassion.  Many of us do very little to try to understand where others are coming from.  We seem to care very little why they feel the way they do.  Mercy moves us to better understand these things.  It doesn’t mean we need to alter our beliefs or convictions, but mercy causes us to better understand.  Where there is understanding, there can be empathy and compassion.  Mercy means we afford others the same treatment we have received from God Himself.  God is love, and His action in Jesus proves it.  Jesus became human to understand first-hand what it is to be human.  We deserved punishment for our sin, Jesus took it on Himself.  As children of God, our words and actions are a billboard to the world.  Others form their opinions of God based on what we say and do.  What will others see in you?  Harshness and hostility, or empathy and understanding?   Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Corinthians 1:9

“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”

-1 Corinthians 1:9 NIV

 

God has called you into fellowship with Jesus.  What does that mean?  Some think of fellowship as a time for coffee and cookies after church.  Fair enough, but biblical fellowship goes much deeper than that.  It’s Christian closeness, sharing, participation, and intimacy.  Do you spend intentional time with Jesus?  You can.  Read His Word.  Jesus talks to you in the words of the Bible.  Talk to Him through prayer.  Prayer is simply talking to God with words or thoughts.  That simple exchange, reading the Bible and praying, is fellowship with Jesus.  It creates unity and participation between you and your Savior.  Worship regularly and receive Jesus’ body and blood in the Lord’s Supper.  It doesn’t get much more personal than that.  There Jesus forgives your sins, and reminds you that He is with you always, even to the end of the age.  Schedule some time today for Bible reading and prayer.  You’ll reap the benefits of peace, confidence, and joy.  Fellowship is a verb.  Fellowship with Jesus today!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Romans 6:4

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

– Romans 6:4 NIV

 

Looks can be deceiving.  Yes, Jesus became human, but in reality, we are not like Jesus.  We’re human, Jesus is human and divine.  We’re sinners, Jesus has never sinned.  Jesus forgives perfectly, our forgiveness is imperfect.  Anyway, the verse above reminds us that even though we’re not like Jesus in so many ways, we will be treated like Jesus and receive what Jesus received.  It says that  we were buried with Jesus through baptism.  And as a result, “JUST AS” Jesus was raised from the dead, we will live a new life.  JUST AS!  Not sort of, kind of, or similar, JUST AS.  Imperfect new life now on earth, and perfect new life in eternity.  The great thing about faith is that it gives us what Jesus has.  We may not experience it perfectly here in this sinful world, but we will when we pass from this vale of tears to the perfection of heaven.  Though we’re not perfect like Jesus, through faith we get His perfection.  Though we’re not holy, we’re clothed in the holiness of Christ and welcomed into the perfection and holiness of heaven.  It doesn’t seem fair.  Jesus never sinned, but took our sin on himself to the cross.  We’ve never been holy, but because He died and rose, we are clothed in His holiness.  An unfair exchange, but one we can be grateful for.  Thank God that He gives us what Jesus earned!