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IEA FBNotes Devo 24 Historys Greatest Friday • Becoming a Disciple-Maker

History’s Greatest Friday – The Disciple-Maker’s Devotional

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:8

God and His eternal Word have at all times existed. Expressed another way, far beyond our finite human capacity to comprehend, our Creator has always been. However, in the fullness of time, when He ordained mankind’s existence, we were uniquely made in His image (See Genesis 1:26). His image is what separates us – from the rest of the animal kingdom. Our mental capacity and combined triune – body, soul, and spirit are like nothing else that He decided to make (See Genesis 2:7; 2:15).

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) When the earth was formed, grace was not yet needed because the impact of human sin had not yet taken place. Sin remained unknown upon the earth until Adam and Eve abused their high privilege of freewill. Their failure to believe what God had told them – cost them the pure and ideal lives which they could have enjoyed as long as they honored His protective guidance (See Genesis 3:6). Physically, and spiritually, due to their knowledge of good and evil, they became responsible for their decisions. Because they chose to sin, they forfeited the abundant beauty and privilege of living in Eden.

In the eternal foreknowledge of God, He pre-visualized what mankind’s greatest need would be, and that was – forgiveness! He foresaw what would happen as the result of Eve’s disobedience followed by Adam’s. Both of their sins emanated from unwisely relying on Satin’s deceitful counsel. Their consequences came as the result of not believing their Creator. That original – willful act of sin brought spiritual death into the world. Sin created the necessity for God’s first advent into our history! To meet our spiritual need, our loving Creator planned to personally visit the world which He had made (See John 1:10-12). This became the most significant 33 ½ years – since the dawn of earthly time!

The Lord Jesus explained, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life…” then He continued, “…and I will raise Him up at the last day.” (John 6:40) This is why our Savior left heaven and took upon Himself the eternal spiritual penalty of mankind’s collective sin. On the cross, He literally exchanged His holy sinless life for our greatly sinful lives! He did this so we could receive His Father’s pardon and experience eternal life (See 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). He publicly announced this when He said, “…Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to Me …” He went on to emphasize the role of faith in what was openly being accomplished on our behalf. He then declared, “…he who believes has everlasting life.” (John 6:45b-47)

God’s selfless love powerfully demonstrated His patience and divine mercy. His eternal attributes remain forever beyond our ability to comprehend. He showed us His grace by willingly suffering at the rebellious hands of the same men and women who were created for the high privilege of His fellowship (See 1 Corinthians 1:9). He knowingly and intentionally chose to die in their place and ours – realizing that we might never appreciate or comprehend why He did it! The enormous depth of His sacrificial love exceeds man’s ability to grasp! It is only through our faith in His divine character and self-revealed nature that we are emboldened to call upon His name! On history’s darkest day of anguish “…He was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53:5) and as that sacrifice was taking place He painfully prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do!” (Luke 23:34)

Knowing that God created the universe will not redeem a single person, nor will realizing that He has always been. The Bible clearly explains that such general knowledge is no better than what the demons believe themselves (See Luke 8:28-34; James 2:19). In contrast, redeeming faith requires a chosen act of one’s – freewill. As James says, “… I will show you my faith by what I do.” (James 2:18) Above all else, authentic faith in heaven’s Savior is neither naive nor superstitious. God’s greatest – gift is personally conveyed to us by His Spirit the moment that we believe the truth (See John 14:6). This Easter Sunday, remind your family and friends that God’s redeeming grace is readily available through – our own ability to – trust in Him. The Bible says, “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Today, let’s stop and humbly kneel in gratitude before our living Lord and Savior!

In the Joy of Easter,

Billie Hanks Jr.

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