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Simple, Powerful, Count on it! - Monday, January 20, 2020

WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, JANUARY 20, 2020

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is John 1:29, where the Bible says,   

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Our verse for today comes from the events surrounding the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry on earth. Before Jesus started His ministry, He had a “forerunner” named John who went ahead of Him and prepared the people’s hearts and minds to receive Jesus as the Messiah. John was to announce that this Jesus was the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to save people, all the way back to Adam and Eve in the garden (see Genesis 3:15). Wow! John, the forerunner, said it about as plainly as possible when he tells the people to look to Jesus, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

If that’s the message, then why do people say that Christianity is like every other religion? Why do people say that the heart of the Bible’s message is, “Be nice, try to be faithful to God, and love others,” when the message of the Bible is first and foremost about what God has done for us so that we might have life in His Name? I’m not sure why we humans muddle things up and create confusion, but we do it all the time. Maybe we don’t think that we need God’s forgiveness. Maybe we don’t think that rules from back then still apply to us today. Maybe we don’t think we need a savior at all. Maybe we think that, for the first time in human history, we are going to be able to solve all of our problems through our wisdom, wealth, and technology. You and I might be tempted to believe that, but we would be wrong, just like all the cultures and peoples before us. Today John’s simple words still summon us to “look” to Jesus! He’s the Lamb of God who will save the world. Look anywhere else and you will be disappointed and left in despair in the end. Look! Learn! Trust! Believe! Then count on Him amidst the challenges of life.

One of my favorite shows on TV is “Bluebloods.” It’s a great “Law and Order” show. It talks about loving one’s family, the difficulty of having standards and maintaining them in this world, protecting people who may not appreciate it, and keeping things safe in a very dangerous world. I also love that it is one of the shows on TV that tries to show the power of faith for daily life. Who doesn’t love the prayers around the table at family dinner on Sunday after going to church? Here’s my beef: I’ve watched every show of every season and never once have I heard the simplicity of the faith that virtually every Christian has, namely, faith in Jesus as the one “who takes away the sin of the world.” Sadly, never once on this wonderful show have I heard the simple, powerful invitation of the Christian faith, “Trust in Christ my friend, for He has already taken your sin away.” And don’t tell me hard-nosed policemen don’t need that. In my life and in my ministry, I’ve counseled cops. I’ve seen up close and personal the tough jobs they have to do. Sometimes they have to do something which is the “lesser of two wrongs.” There are times when they might have to take a life so that other lives are protected. There are times, even when they do the “right” thing, that they feel guilt, pain, and remorse nonetheless. There’s only one who can overcome that pain and struggle, the Lamb of God. Real sins, real Savior, real cross, real resurrection, real solution, real offer -- those are simple, powerful, biblical truths. You can count on it because you can count on Jesus.

So, as you go about your day to day activities, don’t forget to keep it simple. The Lord Jesus came into this world to save sinners. We are sinners like everyone else and we have a great Savior who brings life and salvation to our lives. He gives purpose and power to live life boldly in all we do.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to keep it simple and never forget who You are in my life. I need a savior and in You, I have one. Give me strength to live in that truth in all I do. AMEN.

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