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"2 I have loved you, says the LORD. But you say, “How have you loved us?” Is not Esau Jacob’s brother? says the LORD. Yet I have loved Jacob 3 but I have hated Esau; I have made his hill country a desolation and his heritage a desert for jackals."

Malachi 1:2-5 (NRSV)

What in the world is going on in this prophetic word from Malachi as he is speaking to Israel? On the surface, it looks like a conversation that seems fragmented and is talking something about God loving Jacob better than He loved Esau. On the surface, that is what we see; but beneath the surface what is God really trying to communicate? In short, He is reminding Israel that they are His chosen. He is letting them know that it wasn’t anything they did that caused Him to choose them. He simply chose them because that is what He wanted to do. God is obviously a supreme being and the creator of the universe, but He is also a Father. He is reminding Israel that He is their Father and for no other reason except that He chose to be. Whatever does this have to do with me?

The answer to that question is this…EVERYTHING! You see, as we read this Old Testament prophetic Word, it reminds us of something incredibly amazing. It reminds me that God has also chosen me. He chose me to be His child. He chose me to receive His mercies and grace. He chose me for an eternal existence. He chose me when I was lost to find His salvation. He chose me when I was broken to receive His healing. He chose me when I was filthy to receive His cleansing. He chooses me every time. Why? For no other reason except that He loves me. WOW!

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Justified By Jesus

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Justified [ˈjəstəˌfīd] - declared or made righteous in the sight of God.

I just love to do word studies in the Word of God. The word that I couldn’t get my mind off this week is the word JUSTIFIED. As we celebrate the resurrec- tion of our Savior, it is a good thing to remember exactly what His resurrec- tion actually means to us. You see, we were lost and without a hope or excuse for our sin failures. God saw us in this state of hopelessness and sent His one and only Son to rescue and redeem us. In doing so, He has made righteous a possibility for all of humanity. He didn’t name us among the right-eous because we really were righteous.

By definition, the word righteous is an action word. It means “one who acts rightly.” Our problem was this: according to the mandate of His law, one who actually was righteous would be one who got everything right; one who was obedient to all of the statutes and requirements of His Word. None of us had that capacity. None of us could ever get it all right. None of us were capable of doing the “right” things enough to be considered righteous.

When God saw our dilemma, He decided that it would be necessary for Him to intervene on our behalf to make right- eousness for us a possibility. So, He sent His Perfect Son to live life perfectly and eventually die in our place. He didn’t die a death He deserved, He died “the” death that we deserved. He didn’t die on His cross, He died on mine.

"And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many of- fenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life."
Romans 5:16-18 (NKJV)
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