There were moments when the wickedness of the world had become too much for those with contrite hearts. At that point, God chose to provide them with an escape (translating them into glory). I understand my father’s death this way. He had endured so much wickedness with those around him that God chose to give him peace.
But there are also times when the believer must live and be a witness of Jesus’ humility and strength. They are enabled with the power of God to endure for a time.
Those who are lowly, He will revive their spirit. Those who are of a contrite heart, He dwells with them.
When God dwells with man, the curse of sin has ended. (Sin leads to eternal separation from God, aka spiritual death- Romans 6:23).
John the Baptist sounded the warning that prepared the way for Messiah (Anointed One and Savior). He told the people “repent for the kingdom of heaven is near”. Repentance requires a lowly and contrite heart. It means a change in our heart’s allegiance from being self- centered to seeing it God’s way (180 degree turn about). This usually happens after a tremendous revelation of His love.
The people in Jerusalem that day may not have recognized in the moment the outpouring of love Jesus offered for us. He endured the punishment of the cross, not because He was a criminal but because it was God’s plan to satisfy the requirement for salvation (to buy us back from sin to God =redemption). He understood the cost and took on the task. Why? He was the only one able to bear the sin of the whole world (and was without sin). He conquered sin’s curse (aka death and ended eternal separation from God) when he rose again from the grave. In that moment He offered mankind a tremendous gift. The gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
Receive His gift today (with a lowly and contrite heart). – Teresa (listen to the song “Who am I”) #tobelovedbyYOU #NEEDTOBREATHE
Isaiah 57:15 ((ESV)
15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Isaiah 57:1,2 (NET)
1 The godly perish,
but no one cares.
Honest people disappear,
when no one minds
that the godly disappear because of evil. 2 Those who live uprightly enter a place of peace;
they rest on their bed
Romans 6: 19-23 (NET)
19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. 21
So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 23 For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Matthew 3:1-11 (NET)
1 In those days John the Baptist came into the wilderness of Judea proclaiming, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3 For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken:
“The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’” 4
Now John wore clothing made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. 5 Then people from Jerusalem, as well as all Judea and all the region around the Jordan, were going out to him, 6 and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. 7
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, 9 and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11
“I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am – I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Revelation 22:1-3 (NET)
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life – water as clear as crystal – pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 flowing down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. 3 And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him, 4 and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.