Ep. 27 - On The Cross, with You in Mind
Feel far from God? Feel like your past is too dark for God to love you? In this episode, Angel covers how much God loves you, and how He knew every sin you'd commit when He went on the cross.
Welcome to The Message Podcast with yours truly Angel. This month’s episode is called “On The Cross with You in Mind.” Originally the title of this episode was going to be called “You Were Worth Dying For.” The truth is, God didn’t die for us because we were worth dying for per se. In reality we deserved to be on the cross instead of Christ. Rather He died for us because, that’s just how loving He is. I would much rather empathize on His never-ending love for us, rather than our worthiness for salvation. Let’s be real, we all fall short in some form every single day and there’s nothing we’ll ever do that will allow us to deserve to spend eternity with God. The only way, is through Jesus, and that’s what I want to focus on. God.
Can you guys believe it is already September? I don’t know about you guys but, these last couple of months have flown by like crazy! As I was writing this, the temperature here in New York has already cooled down to where I don’t think I’d be judged for having a hoodie on. It’s been an interesting season and I’m not referring to the summer, although I will say the summer has been one of the most eventful I’ve had in years. I’ve done a lot and seen a lot of places. Spent a lot of times with family and friends and I’m all for quality time with people in my circle. So that part has been great. What hasn’t been so great although I do try and remain positive, is the season I am personally in. I know a couple of episodes ago back in Ep. 24, I had discussed how life isn’t easy as a Christian. It really isn’t. I’ve been feeling like life has been hitting me from different directions and it’s like I’m backed up on a wall with three people trying to fight me at the same time. It’s been exhausting but I can honestly say I have never leaned on God like this before.
While my life currently is not by any means easy, I know nevertheless that what I go through will serve me well in life whether that be by making my faith stronger, learning lessons to never repeat again, or serving as a testimony for others who may be going through a similar situation. Life as a Christian is not easy. Sometimes we fall short in some way. Sometimes, one feels distant from God. Desperate to hear His voice but He feels so far away. Sometimes we feel unworthy and allow our guilt in whatever it may be, to draw us further from God. Christianity isn’t easy. While I myself have been really close to God and that’s cool and all, I really want to talk to those who don’t feel so close. It happens, but may this podcast be of an encouragement as to how much God truly loves you, and wants you nearby. No matter what you’ve done in life, you’re never too much for God. He’s always there waiting for us, with arms open.
God Unconditionally Loves You (3:08)
First off whether you’ve distanced yourself from God, or you have never accepted Christ as your personal Lord and savior, it’s important to try and get an understanding of God’s love for you. The reason for that is, I feel once we begin to somewhat understand how much He loves us, much of our worship and obedience in our lives, will come from that understanding how boundless is the love of God for you.
So let’s start. God loves you. You sinned today? Hmm. God loves you anyway. You feel like the Christian walk is pointless? God loves you anyway. You don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the messiah? Well guess what? Yup! He still loves you. While in this lifetime we will never truly be able to in words explain the love of God, I think the closest word there is to it is: unconditional. God has unconditional love for you.
What does unconditional love mean? Well conditional love is love that is earned. In other words you do something in order to be loved. There are conditions to it. Unconditional love is love that is given freely, without any conditions. This means you do nothing in order to be unconditionally loved. There isn’t tiny ink at the bottom that says “only if.” Nothing. To be loved unconditionally means you’re loved and there’s nothing you can or cannot do, that will change the fact that you are unconditionally loved by God. How insane is that? Try wrapping your head around the idea that the creator of the entire universe, loves you more than you can ever imagine? Go hiking one day or see nature whether that be a beach or a mountaintop and look at the world around you. The same God that created all of that, loves you. He loves you so much, despite all the times you fall short.
They say the closest thing on earth to the love of God, is the love of your parents. Before you were even born, you were loved! I think one of the best examples illustrating God’s unconditional love is the parable of the prodigal son. If we look at the book of Luke 15:11-24 it says,
'To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
Notice how his father did not care about what the prodigal son did with the money or the fact that he left them. He was more concerned with the fact that his son had returned! The father actually saw his son and he, was the one who ran to him and kissed him. The father actually asked for the finest robe of the house to be placed on him with a feast to be made now that his son has returned. How much happier is the Lord when He sees us come back to him! It’s a beautiful testament to His unconditional love for us. Of course, we cannot forget His greatest act of love either: His death and resurrection.
Now most people know the following verse but how many of us fully grasp its significance? John 3:16 says,
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
God literally sacrificed His only son to take your, yes your place, on the cross, when you and I deserved to be crucified for the sins we commit daily. Think about that for a second. God literally allowed Himself to feel physical pain as we do, and to die on our behalf so that we didn’t have to suffer the same consequence. Now, if we believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and savior that died and rose from the grave, we can have the free gift of eternal life. It’s by His love, that motivates me to be more like Him daily.
God Knew Everything About You (8:47)
Now living for God isn’t easy. Even with knowing the significance of what He did, sometimes it makes us feel even worse about ourselves. God has done so much in my life. God has taken me out of this dark place and I repay Him with sin? Ever had that thought before? Yeah, I have too. It sucks. It hurts us when we have God in our hearts, that we have fallen short, despite us knowing what He’s done. Logically you’d think that after knowing what He did it’d be so easy to live righteous. It’s not. As long as we physically live on this earth, we will always fall short. We are not perfect. The only human being that walked the earth who can claim the title of perfect, is Jesus Christ.
While we may recognize we’re not perfect, sometimes that realization is discouraging in some ways. We want to so badly glorify God through our lives but we may be suffering from doubt, a cycle of sin, resentment, and other possible things just to name a few. Some of us may think, what’s the use? What’s the use of following God when I’m just going to mess up again in something in the future? Well remember this, God didn’t die for just your past sins. No, He died for all sins. This means your past sins, and any sin you’ll commit in the future. God knowing all of this, still took your place on the cross. Sit on that even after this podcast ends. God died for you, even knowing all of your sins. To God, it doesn’t matter what sin you’ve committed or will commit. God loves you so much, that He still got on the cross and took your place. Beautiful isn’t it?
In Hebrews 9:26 it says,
“If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.”
Notice how it says, “once for all time.” It is finished. God already has won the victory over sin. All you have to do, is believe that. Believe that through God, you can do overcome the temptations of this world. Much easier said than done I know, but for the amount of love and mercy God shows us daily, we should be encouraged to walk more like Him daily.
God Wants to Use You (11:18)
Now the enemy will use shame to try and draw us further away from God. The enemy wants you to believe you’re not good enough. Your past is too filthy. You’re not of any use to God. But I want you to know this: that is a lie. God can use anyone and your past changes nothing of how God feels about you. That is the power of His Love.
Don’t believe me? Don’t think God wants to use you, despite your past? You may or may not know Paul from the Bible. Paul was a pharisee who was responsible for the death of many Christians. Meaning that Christians who believed and followed Christ, were being killed for their beliefs. That’s pretty serious and most people may think that if God has a limit, that would be it. Paul is hopeless right? God would want nothing to do with him right? Actually, that’s not true. Christ showed up to Him which caused Paul to renounce from His ways, and lived the rest of life for Christ.
In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul says,
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.
God wants to use you. If God could use Paul, then God can use you too. After all, I truly doubt you did something as bad as helping the persecution of Christians. Even so, you were created with value, and purpose. Please understand that you do not walk the earth for no reason whatsoever. You were created with gifts and talents that God wants you to cultivate to help spread the Kingdom here on Earth. In order to do that however, we need to turn away from what the world offers. If we have our foot in the door and the other outside, we will delay blessings and it will take that much longer to fulfill our calling here on earth.
So how do we make sure we’re always going the right direction? If we look in the book of Hebrews 12:1-2 it says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
What I want to emphasize here is when it says to strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. This may mean cutting off friends who will lead you into temptation in some way. Doesn’t mean you can’t pray for them, just means to keep your distance because those people are putting you in harm’s way and your calling and life is too important to be in dangerous situations like that. This may also mean staying away yourself from triggers that may lead you to sin. For example someone addicted to pornography would be wise to stay away from computers when they’re by themselves. It makes the temptation that much more difficult to overcome if they’re already on the computer when temptation strikes. It’s not about proving how strong we are to God. God rather would want us to stay away from fighting battles we should not be fighting in the first place.
Words of Encouragement (14:49)
As we’re near the close of the podcast, I want to give you some encouragement before you go on with your day. God loves you! He really does and I need you to believe that. It may hard sometimes to grasp His love, but the more you get to know Christ, the better you will be at understanding it. God created you. God didn’t make you because He was bored and just decided to make you. Nope, you were made with purpose.
You were made already loved by the Lord. You do not get your value from anything else in this world, but God. You do not need to prove yourself to anyone because God knows who you are. You are valuable. You are important. You are precious to God. You have gifts and talents that God wants to use to spread the kingdom here on Earth. Please believe this. Too many people spend countless years trying to figure out why they’re here, when The Bible has the answers. You are not here by mistake or accident! You are crucial to the grand plan of God. Will you accept it?
Will you accept that God cares about you? Will you accept that God wants to protect you? Will you accept that the world offers nothing better than what you will obtain through a relationship with God? Will you accept that there is only one way, through Christ? Will you accept that God has the best possible plan for your life, and all you have to do is remain faithful and obedient? God has already traveled the road you’re on, so I hope you do accept it and begin trusting HIm.
If you feel like you’ve strayed way from God for whatever reason, then allow me to pray that you may drawn closer to God and hear him more than you have recently, because the Lord is always speaking, it’s just we’re not always listening.
Dear Father in Heaven, Lord I thank you for the life of whoever is listening at this moment. I thank you Lord because I know for a fact that you made them with purpose. I know that you love them and have the possible plan for their lives. Lord this life is hard, and sometimes our faith in you goes through peaks and valleys. Lord may you forgive us for falling short in life. Forgive us for the moments where we may know better, but we don’t do better. God I pray Lord that you may strengthen whoever is listening right now. Strengthen their heart, their mind, and their soul. May they experience your love Lord and understand that there is nothing in existence that can separate us from your love. Remind us Lord that you’re always nearby, but it is through our doing there is any distance between us. Help guide us Lord. Help us be patient and trust the process that you have us all in. Help us remember that You are our sole provider. You are more than everything we need. You walk before us. You protect us from harm. You comfort us when we’re alone crying. You love us more than we can even begin to grasp. Thank you Lord for who you are. Thank you for being such a loving God, that you sent your son Jesus Christ, to take our place on the cross. We don’t deserve salvation, yet you give it freely to those who by faith believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thank you for showing us mercy Lord. Thank you for giving us a way, when there was no way. Lord may what you did encourage us to be like you more daily. Let what you did motivate us to get to know you more by studying the scriptures, through prayer, fellowship, and worshipping you through music. Lord I know you have a plan for us all and we thank you for that. We thank you for all you’ve done, for what you’re currently doing that we may not see yet, and for what you will do. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Well you guys, that brings up to the end of this episode. I truly, truly hope that I was able to lift your spirits and encourage you to press forward. Just like a father encourages his child to keep crawling towards Him, is how God is with us. God delights in seeing us get back up and going towards Him. Do not allow the enemy to shame you into turning away from God. God loves you and there is not a sin dark enough that will cause Him to turn away from you. Please believe that.
Remember that to love God more, is to know Him more! This means making a consistent habit os prayer, studying the Word of God, and worshipping Him. You neglect that, and you allow the enemy to come in and distract you from getting closer to God. I believe in you though. Through God, we’re more than conquerors.
I truly do hope you did enjoy this podcast! Feel free to share it with a friend who may need this encouragement. I care more about helping others than views and downloads trust me. Again I know I say this everybody episode, but thank you. Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for giving me your time. I know you could’ve been watching a TV show, on the phone with a friend, or even watching prank videos on YouTube I don’t know haha. In all seriousness it means so much to be able to have your attention and allow me to a part of your day even if it is for 15-20 minutes. If you rock with The Message Podcast, please do not forget to subscribe! You’ll receive notifications the moment new episodes drop.
Also if you guys ever need prayer, encouragement, or just want to reach out, feel free to hit me up either on my Instagram which is currently @OfficialAngelTV no spaces, or through my website mynameisangel.com. There’s a contact form you can fill out of course, and contact me. I answer very fast and it’s surreal some of you guys get surprised I even reply back. I’m not that type of person at all and my phone is pretty much always on me so haha. Always I love you. God loves you as well and He’s got big plans for you. Just trust in Him and seek Him always. Make him your number one priority and life will go will for you. Trust me. God bless you, and until next time. This has been The Message.