|God Loves You|
"Open to me the gates of righteousness I will enter and give thanks to the Lord." Psalm 118:19, NIV.
We cannot of ourselves open up the way of righteousness. We need another to do it for us. We look for one who is able to make the way of righteousness open to us and we find it in the person and work of Jesus. Jesus opens the way of righteousness by living a holy and perfect life which he gives as an atoning sacrifice on our behalf to pay for our sins. The empty tomb is a testimony that the work of Jesus satisfies the requirement of judgment and the need in our lives. He makes it clear that this is his purpose when Jesus said, "I am the gate to the sheepfold." We cannot open the gate so Jesus became the opening for us.
Gates are in walls and walls keep things either in or out. There is a wall between man and God, the sin of man cannot approach God and the holiness of God forbids sin's admission. The picture of a gate is a picture of hope since a gate is the place of admission. Jesus said, "strive to enter by the narrow gate." He offers the one way of salvation.
I WILL ENTER...
Entry is not automatic, but entry is available to any who will come. The death of Jesus paid for all sin and all sinners may come, but they must each decide to come. We must admit our need and call on his offer of salvation. We must decide, we each must say I will accept the gift of salvation. I will accept the gift of this new life of worship and service. God established that salvation comes through a personal act of faith and this makes it possible for any to come.
We who come have much to be thankful for. We have salvation, new life, sonship, fellowship blessings eternal life and no fear of judgment. Giving thanks is the logical and moral response for the gift of admittance into the blessings of God's promise, it is also a foundation of worship, service, and obedience.
TO THE LORD...
When we come to God we come to one who is Lord. We must understand he is not just Jesus the baby in a manger but he is the one St. John calls the beginning and the end. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. St. Paul said before him every knee will bow and every tongue confesses that he is Lord.
We give thanks to the Lord not as an exercise or ritual but as worship; as an act of praise and adoration to the one who is the King and Ruler Of All who pardons sin and give eternal life. But to call him Lord is also to call him one who we will obey and serve.
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