Jesus Paid It All

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There is something innate in the human spirit that demands justice and acquittal.  We need to be made right.  Most often we try to be made right through our actions.  Actions that condemn us require, instinctively, actions that acquit us.  That's why the common religion of today is, "I'm a pretty good person."  In their minds, they have been acquitted because their actions aren't as bad as the guy next to them.

Growing up, I was always very hard on myself.  I was very critical and even self-abusive, of no fault to my parents.  I knew that what I did was never good enough and that drove me to self-loathing.  I hated myself because I could never remove the guilt my wrong actions brought with them.  A spanking was justly given - and many did I rightly receive - but my spirit knew better: I was guilty.  So, I tried harder.  But when continual failure met even my best efforts, I became even more self-loathsome.

When I began to trust Jesus at the age of six, I became indebted to Him.  At times I loved Him, but usually I feared Him.  I was unsure of His love for me, though everywhere I turned I heard that "God loves you."  I had a lot for which to pay Him back; how could God love me when I still did wrong?

What Does God Require of Man?

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"Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.  Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.  If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth f the LORD has spoken" (Isaiah 1:16-20). 
"Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, He it is who loves Me.  And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21). 
"Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  For this, 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:8-10).

Why?

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There are a few key components to remember when sharing the Good News of God with others.  First, it is important to state that God is the Creator of all things; thus, He is the ruler of all things since He made them.  But man rebelled against the rule of God and sinned against Him.  What will a good ruler do to those who rebel?  He will most certainly not let their rebellion go unpunished, but will justly punish them.  This is who man is: a rebel.  Additionally, we have nothing good in us to cause us to return to Him.  On the contrary, man is afraid of God because we all know that rebellion must be justly punished.  And we don't want to be punished.

Fostering an Attitude of Thanksgiving

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 "Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things" (Psalm 107:8-9). 
"Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: 'Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
'But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own'" (1 Chronicles 29:10-16).