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May 2017
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“Pillars of Creation”

 

Good morning!  It’s in my heart this morning to share a few thoughts with you before I head off on my trip
to California.

By the way, did you notice that God has blessed us with another beautiful day! Did you
see the wonderful cloud formations over the past couple of days? Some of them looked
like massive pillars extending up to the sky! In some respects, this awesome beauty
above us reminds me of the famous Hubble Space Telescope image called “The Pillars of
Creation”.

Back on Earth… I really love the seasonal changes and “micro-climates” we experience
here in Las Cruces. Each year the weather is slightly different as our seasonal
perceptions are challenged. I think it’s God’s way of nudging our senses — not letting us
get too comfortable in a particular setting — climate or otherwise. That’s good, because
God does not want to settle into this world — He has a better plan! The questions then,
for each of us to ponder: What is God’s plan for my life? How can I bring God’s plan for
my life into focus?

Coming to terms with these questions are vitally important for our life, because it largely
determines how we live our life, and the impact to our eternal destiny. More importantly,
understanding the answers to these questions are life-saving, in fact, they have eternal
consequences!

I have always found, that the best approach to answering any question, is to carefully
assess what is known about the truth that surrounds the question. The questions before us
being: “What is God’s plan for my Life; and how can I bring God’s plan for my life into
focus?” (Some of you quickly recognize where this is headed, but that’s good, as it tends
to re-sharpen our understanding — keep reading.)
First of all, we need to know that God loves us and offers a wonderful plan for our lives.
Do you really believe this?

We know of this love, because it says in God’s Word, John 3:16, “God so loved the
world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish
but have eternal life”. Not only that, but, we also have knowledge of God’s plan as stated
by Jesus, as written in John 10:10, “I came that they might have life, and might have it
abundantly.”

Why is it that most people are not experiencing that abundant life? This is because man
is sinful and separated from God. Thererfore, man cannot know and experience God’s
love and plan for his life. This state is spoken of in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God.”.

You see… Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own
stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was
broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive
indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin. This results in man being
separated fron God. as it says in Romans 6:33, “The wages of sin is death”. Can you
imagine the devastating nature of this — our being separated by a great gulf and never
being able to “reach God” by his our own efforts? How then can we or anyone, be able to
bridge this gulf?

Fortunately, God’s love is so amazing that He made a provision for us. In fact, Jesus
Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him (that is Jesus) you can know
and experience God’s love and plan for your life. He Died In Our Place, for as it says in
Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.”.

Further… He rose from the dead! As it is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, “Christ died
for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day, according to the
Scriptures… He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more
than five hundred…”

In addition, He is the only way to God, for it says in John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am
the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.’ ”
Now… carefully reflect on what has happened here. As you just read, this amazing,
loving, omni-present God we have has made a “special provision” for those that are
separated from God. The eternal gulf that separated us from God is bridged by His Son,
Jesus Christ, who died on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. Just
imaging a “Cross” that serves as a bridge across the gulf between man and God. Now we
are starting to understand… But… it is not enough just to know God’s provision from the
above. Read on…

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know
and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. What does this encompass?
We Must Receive Christ. Listen to John 1:12, “As many as received Him, to them He
gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
We Receive Christ Through Faith. For as it says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “By grace you
have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as
result of works that no one should boast”.

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth.
Take some time and read what is says in John 3:1-8.
We Receive Christ Through Personal Invitation.

As it says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My
voice and opens the door, I will come in to him”. This receiving Christ really involves
truning to God, repenting of our sins, asking Christ to come into our lives to forgive our
sins and to make us what He wants us to be.

This is not an intellectual or emotional experience, but one of Faith — that is, we receive
Jesus Christ by Faith, as an act of our own free will. Having done that, true repentance
and true acceptance by faith, we can now experience what it means to leave the “selfdirected
life” we were once living, to that of living a “Christ-Directed Life”. Which kind
of life to you want to live?

Fortunately, we can receive Christ in our lives through prayer. God knows our heart, and
He knows our attitude — that is, the attitude of our heart. Let’s pray to God…
Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the
door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving
my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me
the kind of person You want me to be.

We can know that if this prayer expresses the desire of our heart, then Christ has come
into your life, and you can begin experiencing God’s plan for your life — just as He
promised.

OK… many of you recognize this as the Four Spiritual Laws described by the Campus
Crusade for Christ. If you got this far, then good — for it is always a nice refresher to
know how we can be saved. The best part is, the above is a good way to share the Good
News of Jesus and help someone know the Truth, and bring them into a new life —
eternally saved the loveing Grace of God, and through their faith in Jesus as their Lord
and Savior.

Here’s a challenge for you… Would you like to make God smile, and the Angels in
Heaven rejoice? Then go out this week, and make it a point to share God’s Plan of
salvation with someone — they will be eternally grateful you did. For as it says in Luke
15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

In closing, here is a wide-field of the Pillars of Creation image taken from my observatory here in Las
Cruces.   It’s interesting to see a different perspective of this object, expressing the awesome
and expansive nature of God’s Creation as revealed in each image. “The heavens declare the Glory of the
Lord.” Psalm 19:1 Just imagine what we will see when we get to Heaven !

So my prayer for you today is for God to place someone in your path that you can share
the Good News of Jesus. Praise the Name of Jesus! Amen! 

 Have a great week!

Your Brother in Christ,
Mike Sherick

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