Ransom Money

And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves. - Exodus 30:16 NKJV

Have you ever thought of what price in dollars God would have you pay to get into heaven?  Another way to look at this would be that this payment would be ransom money to get us out of the hell we deserve because of our inherent sin nature.   Since the beginning of God's relationship with man, that relationship has cost someone something.  Please stay with me here. 

It struck me in Exodus 30:12 that God spoke to Moses telling him that "every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD ... that there may be no plague among them when you number them."   The "ransom" here was a mere half shekel, equating to 33 cents.  Sounds like a small price to pay for security with God, huh?  But what would that 33 cents equate to today?  We all know about inflation, don't we?  I do have somewhat of a financial background so I thought I'd look into this a little further.  However, I couldn't find a calculator that would give me the future value of 33 cents invested 3500 years ago! 

But I was able to calculate what 33 cents would equate to in 1000 years at a 3% inflation rate (this is a good historical average rate for the U.S.).  Drumroll please.... the answer is a mere $2,268,499,276,285.98.  Over two trillion dollars.  The point here is to see that there is no way we could possibly give atonement to God with our own efforts.  We can't afford our own ransom money.

However, Jesus bought us with the price of His sinless life.  He paid our ransom when he gave his life for us through the death of a Roman crucifixion.  Don't forget that He not only suffered that agonizing death, but he came from a throne in heaven to live on earth with us.   And I don't even like staying in a cheap motel!  I can't even fathom what he did for me.   Because of Him, because I've believed on Him, my ransom has been paid.  I owe Him my life.  What about you?

For further thought:

1) Whose atonement money am I relying on to achieve a right standing with God, to gain entrance into heaven?  My good works or Jesus' sacrifice?

2) How can I repay God for what He has done for me?  How should knowing what I "cost" Him, change the way and quantity of my service to Him?


Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.

A New Creation in Christ

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. 1 Cor 5:17 NKJV

The power of God unto salvation (Ro 1:16) is a fantastic thing to behold.  Not only does it protect or save us from the active wrath of God by keeping us from an eternal life in a hell made for Satan and his clan, the fallen angels, but the gospel's power can also "save" us from ourselves in this life on earth.  However, the act of accepting Jesus Christ as our savior still does not do away with the truth that we are still human beings and thus naturally prone to choose our way (sin) over God's way (holy living).  After we receive Christ we must still actively seek to do what God wants us to do.  Keep in mind that the debauchery going on in Paul's day as he wrote his letter to the church in Rome was being committed by believers and nonbelievers alike.

The situation is no different today.  Because Christians are still living amongst unbelievers, as we should be to be a witness to them of God's love, we are impacted by what is going on around us and must take extra precautions to protect ourselves from partaking in the activities of the world that God abhors.  We need to protect ourselves so that we don't give God a bad name. 

Fortunately, through Christ, all things - our old habits & thoughts - can be made new through the power of Christ working in us.  We are new creations, after all, as the truth of God's word says.  We can access this truth and power by a daily discipline of reading God's word and applying it to our lives.  This discipline will renew our minds each day.  When we see a passage that tells us how to rightly live, we can ask God to help us live that way and not our own.  He will change us.  He makes us that new creation when we personally ask Jesus into our lives and He will finish his masterpiece in us.  God promises us that.   He will save us from ourselves. 

Dear Father,

I pray for myself and for your church, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, from Colossians 1:9-11, that we may be filled with the knowledge of your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding so that we make walk worthy of You, fully pleasing you.  Allow us to be fruitful in every good work so that we can show the world your glory and power to change us from the inside out, making us new.  Give us the desire to know your Word and to see it as the only way of life.  Strengthen us according to your glorious power and make us become the men and women you want us to be.  Amen.

Why Salvation?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.  Romans 1:18 NKJV

From my last post, we learned that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Ro 1:16)to everyone who believes.  However, unless we understand what salvation means and what we are to be saved from, we might say to ourselves "Who cares about that, anyway?".  The word "salvation" as it appears in Romans 1:16 is derived from the Greek word "soteria" which means "rescue" or "safety" according to the Strong's Concordance.  Hence, we must be rescued from something by this Gospel.  We are rescued from the wrath of God in both His active judgment (condemnation of the unbeliever to hell) and His passive judgment (repurcussions of sin in our lives) due to the power of the Gospel. 

But God is love, right? Why would we need to be saved from Him? The short answer is because He is perfectly holy and we are "perfectly" not.  The pattern was set long ago with God "residing" in the Israelites' tabernacle and temple.  God dwelt in the inner courts - the Holy of Holies - where no one could enter in because God could not and cannot be in the presence of sin (sinful man).  It is only through Jesus that we can enter into God's presence today through holy living and tomorrow in heaven by being born again into His kingdom. 

I believe that God's wrath stems not only from His extreme distaste for all that is impure and unholy in this world (i.e. sin) but also for His passionate love for His creation.  As I watch the rain pouring down today and think of the rain the past few days, I'm saddened as I picture God weeping over His fallen creation who has ignored Him to pursue the very things that repulse Him -- the very things that He knows will cause our demise both on this earth and in the life to come.   Could the rain be God's tears over our obsession with sex, violence, greed and other acts of rebellion toward God that are plastered all over the TV, radio, magazines and internet?  Think about what destroyed the world back in the days of Noah and the Great Flood.  40 days and nights of rain.  God doesn't want to judge us, He has to.  And I think that breaks His heart.

Heart Breakers:

1) What activities do I participate in that break God's heart?

2) How am I rationalizing my behavior - which I know might be wrong - so it is "okay"?

3) What truth of scripture am I suppressing so that I can continue in my current lifestyle?

4) What one change am I going to make in my life starting today?

God's Power to Salvation

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also to the Greek.  - Romans 1:16 NKJV

I'm glad that I've started reading in the New Testament again.  Not that there is anything wrong with the Old Testament, but I've been longing to write about and consider the richness of the doctrine presented in the New Testament writings.  Now that I'm here, I'm feeling like really taking my time through the book of Romans.

Many scholars say that Paul's letter to the Church of Rome was his signature letter.  It is truly a masterpiece.  I love Paul's candidness and logic as he presents our need for a Saviour, Jesus, to escape the wrath of God's judgment.  Paul is also straightforward in this letter to tell us of our duty to God to live our lives for Him as well as making sure we know that we can never do anything to be separated from God's love.  Yes, the book of Romans is really a complete guide to get started in the Christian faith.

So what about this gospel, anyway?  After all, it is the verse I've chosen to head this page and to consider today.  Not only is Paul not ashamed of the gospel, I believe he is proud of the gospel and the priviledge to share it with others.  The gospel  - the good news story of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection for the salvation of all mankind who believe on Him - when embraced as truth for our lives, is the most powerful source of life change any of us can ever possess.  Yet, as Christians, we are timid about sharing this good news with those who don't believe.

Why are we timid?  Because this Gospel is threatening to Satan's plans, that's why.  Ever since Satan/Lucifer was cast down out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15) he's been hard at work here on earth to thwart God's plans.  He wants us to live powerless lives of fear in hopes of messing up God's plans.  With the gospel comes power and Satan doesn't want us to have that power.  Let's not let that deceiving serpent have any victory over our lives.  Let's get grounded in the truth of scripture so that we can overcome our fears and frustrations, our hurts and our hangups.  We all can have that power, if we would only just believe.

Next post: More on the power of salvation.

Power thoughts:

1) Do I have the "power" of salvation?  (If you want to know more about what it means to believe on Jesus Christ for salvation, click here)

2) What is salvation to me?

3) What can I do to become less "ashamed" of the gospel?

4) What step do I need to take today to become more grounded in God's Word of truth?


"This email account is no longer accessible by your BlackBerry handheld.  This issue is likely caused by a recent change to the password used to access the account.

To resume receiving email from this address, login to your Blackberry Internet Serivce account and verify the password is correct for this email account."

AAAAggggghhhh!!! That is all I really have to say about the matter.  Okay, I lied.  There is nothing that irritates me more than computer problems.  You see, I'm pretty connected to life and others with my computer and my blackberry.  I have this blog, my Blackberry, my email (which I can access through my blackberry) and I love it -- until I get messages like the above for no apparent reason.  I tried their advice by signing on and verifying the account to no avail.  You see, my password had not changed.  I was relying on my password and settings that had been working for months now.  So what happened sometime last night?  Who knows. 

So this morning, inspired by my hot shower as I tried to "cool off" about the whole disconnection thing, I thought that their must be a lesson here that I could blog about.  And there is ... the eternal security of salvation to those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ for their eternal destiny.  Can you see the connection?   You see, God will not change our "settings" to stay connected with him some random night while we are sleeping.  God will not change our password to gain entrance into heaven.  Praise the Lord!!!  Once we have truly been born again into His kingdom we cannot be "unborn" out of it.  Because we have done no good deed to gain entrance into heaven we can do no bad deed to cause us to be cast out. 

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels,nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The triple witness of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father seals the "deal" we made with God (our confession of sin, repentance and personal acceptance of Jesus' work on the cross) until the day that Christ comes back to this earth and establishes His Kingdom forever. 

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:12-14

How great it is to have these and so many other bible verses in writing to assure me that I am forever a child of the King once I've taken the initial steps.    Hmmm....Too bad that apparently isn't the same situation with my blackberry handheld device.  Rats.