Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

“Thank You, Jesus…For What You Have Done On My Behalf!”

  Revelation 1:4-8

4 …Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

            On this Sunday before Thanksgiving, I want to finish our November series with this thought: “Thank You Jesus…For What You Have Done On My Behalf.”

            If someone were to ask you, “What does Jesus Christ mean to you? What has Jesus done for you?” how would you answer?

            The heart of Christianity is that Jesus Christ has done things for humanity that we could never do for ourselves.

            Before we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, let’s take a few moments and look at what Jesus has done for us.

            First, we can say,

1) Thank You, Jesus For What You Do For Me In The Present: You Love Me.

Revelation 1:5

5 …Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth…loves us…

            When we were small children we learned to sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.”

            I’m not sure we can ever improve on that theology. That’s as clear as it gets!

            Do you know that Jesus loves you?

            When the Bible says that Jesus loves us, the tense used there is continuous. Jesus has loved us in the past, He loves us right now, and He will love us through all eternity.

            Jesus will never stop loving us. No matter what we do, He never will!

            God says to us in Jeremiah 31:3

“ … I have loved you with an everlasting love…”

            What have we done to earn everlasting love from God?

            Nothing.

            Jesus loves us not because we deserve that kind of love, but because we need that kind of love.

            The love that Jesus has for us, not only lasts forever, but it seeks the best for our lives. Sometimes our love is self-centered. We love others for what we get out of the relationship. When we stop getting what we want, we often stop loving. But Jesus’ love is not self-centered. He does not love us for what He can get out of it. Jesus loves us for what He can give to us.

            He wants only God’s best for each of us, and will give that love to us, even to the point of giving His life for us.

            How does it feel to be loved like that?

            Does it make you thankful to Jesus for what He has done on our behalf?

            Secondly, we can say,

2) Thank You, Jesus For What You Have Done For Me In The Past: You Have Freed Me From My Sins.

Revelation 1:5-6

5 …Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth…freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father.

            There are three key words in this passage that tell us what Jesus has done for us—“freed,” “kingdom,” and “priests.”

            First, Jesus has freed us from our sins.

            The power of sin has been broken in our lives by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While we once were in bondage to our sins; through the cross and the empty tomb of Jesus we are now set free.

            It is a great feeling to be free.

            To get free from our sins, Jesus paid a high cost.

            Jesus “freed us from our sins by His blood,” the Bible says. To free us from sin, Jesus gave His life for us.

            The tense of this is past. It is a done deal. It is finished. The power of sin is broken by Jesus on the cross. The prison doors are open. We are allowed to walk out free.

            The second word in this passage is “kingdom.”

            Not only are we set free from our sins, but we are invited to become part of God’s kingdom.

            We are not set free to wander through life lonely and isolated, but to belong to God and God’s people.

            Colossians 1:13-14 says that God has

13 …rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

            Not only are we loved by Jesus Christ, but we are wanted by Him as well. He died for us, so that we will live with Him in His kingdom.

            The third word in this passage is “priests.”

            A priest is a person with a calling and a mission in life.

            In the Kingdom of God we are given a role. The Bible says we are “priests.” When Jesus Christ frees us from our sins, we are set free to serve. A priest in the Old Testament was given the responsibility of standing before God, to pray for other people. They were also given the job of standing on behalf of the people to worship God. And they were called to lead the people of God in the worship of God.

            Still today, God is freeing us from our sins so that we will be people of worship, who lead others in worship, and who pray to God on behalf of those who are still living far from God.

            We are called to stand before God on behalf of the people, and we are called to stand before other people on behalf of God.

            We are to be worshipers and witnesses.

            How does it feel to know you are freed from your sins by the blood of Jesus? How does it feel to know you belong to God’s Kingdom? How does feel to know that God has chosen you to serve Him with your life?

            Does it make you thankful to Jesus for what He has done on our behalf?

            Third, we can say,

3) Thank You, Jesus For What You Will Do For Me In The Future: You Will Come Again.

Revelation 1:7-8

7 Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him… 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

            Jesus promises us that we have something to look forward to in the future. His work on our behalf did not end of the cross or Easter Sunday. His love for us is not just for today. He has a plan for our future!

            Jesus tells us that we are to be on the look out because one day He will come with the clouds.

            Throughout the Bible, the cloud has been a symbol of the presence of God. When God led the nation of Israel out of bondage in Egypt, He led them with a cloud. When Jesus ascended into glory He left on the clouds. And when He comes again, He will come with the clouds.

            Jesus also says that we will see Him when He comes. In fact, He says that “every eye will see Him” when He returns.

            Jesus says that many people will “wail” when He comes back. Why weeping and wailing instead of joy and celebration? Because those who wail will be the ones who were not ready for Jesus to return. Those who wail will be those who have ignored Jesus, or rejected Him.

            How does it feel to know that Jesus Christ loves you enough, not only to give His life for you, but to come back for you and take you home?

            Does it make you thankful to Jesus for what He has done on our behalf?

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