The Lesson of Our Mortality

In the past few days, I’ve had a lot of tragic reminders that life is short and that it is often filled with pain and sorrow. Our lives are more fragile than we care to admit. Our position in the world, which seems to us to be so fixed, is far more precarious than we are willing to believe. We suppress this truth. We deceive ourselves into believing that we have always been and we will always be, but this is folly. We imagine ourselves to be great and enduring when, in reality, we are small and fleeting.
“The ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—that he should live on forever and not see decay. For all can see that wise men die; the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. But man, despite his riches does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:7-13).

Thus, it is good, even vital, for us to ponder the transience of our own existence, to stare our mortality in the face and make sense of it. “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). I urge you then, take it to heart. Of course, it’s easier to ignore. Our mortality makes us uneasy. It makes us afraid. We could be snatched from this world at any moment. Our loved ones might be taken. How then, do we live? How may we walk in hope and not in an ever-present, all-consuming fear of our fixed fate?

We hope in Jesus, not in ourselves. We fix our eye on the resurrected One who put death to shame. We invest, not in this world, which is susceptible to decay, but in the heavenly “city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10). We bear up under the stings of a broken world and walk the path of death because we know that death will not win the day, but it will be swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54). Death, our greatest enemy, “has failed to be found equal to the life of Him who saves.” Jesus is risen. He has conquered. He has atoned. He will make all things new.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ (Reveleation 21:1-5).

8 Things I Learned in My First Year of Motherhood

This is definitely a departure from my normal type of post. Since my son just turned one, I thought I’d take a break from more serious topics and do something a little more light and hopefully humorous. I’ve only got one year under my belt so I am by no means a motherhood expert, but thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned. Hopefully, current moms and those about to become moms can laugh, relate, and maybe be a little bit scared.

1.  An epidural is your friend .

First thing’s first. you have to actually have the child, right? As you may have heard, this involves some pain that we women have to endure because, well, Eve really wanted some fruit. I’m not sure where an epidural fits into the whole curse thing, but I like to think it’s an expression of God’s mercy and forgiveness to us.

Let me be clear that I have nothing against those women who choose to do without or even give birth at home. These women amaze me and I actually wonder sometimes if I could be one of them. Buuut I’m pretty sure I was born without that level of pain tolerance and I’ve got nothing to prove so as for me and my house, we shall be anasthetized.

2. Projectile poop is a thing.

Your newborn comes with fully loaded bladder and bowels which they have absolutely zero control over. And since their stomach is the size of a pea and all they eat is milk, it can pretty much shoot out of them in any form at any given moment. There is no conclusive scientific evidence that these miniature people plot to wait to relieve themselves until the diaper has been removed, but in my experience, there does seem to be an indication of premeditated peeing and pooping. Advice: keep carpet cleaner on hand.

3. Your body is capable of operating (okay, semi-operating) on way less sleep than you thought.

As aforementioned, when your baby is born, their stomach is the size of a pea and they are not much bigger so they are eating constantly in order to stay full and put on weight. This means you are now a milk cow. A full-time milk cow. Your baby does not know or care that you are so tired you can’t see straight. Daytime and nighttime mean nothing to them. You might wonder if you will ever sleep again. You will. Though you think you might actually just fall over and die from sleep-deprivation, you won’t (probably).

4. Your wardrobe choices will totally depend on your ability to breastfeed.

Gone are the days when you picked your clothes based on weather, fashion, and if they actually look good on you. Say goodbye to that cute dress with the high neck or tight straps. Remember, you are now a milk cow. If you won’t be able to halfway undress yourself at any given moment, then it isn’t going to fly.

5. You will breastfeed in the strangest places.

Basically, all of these points center around the fact that you are now a milk cow. If you actually want to have a life and go anywhere or do anything the first year of your baby’s life, you’re going to have to get over your self-consciousness of breastfeeding in public. Your baby will get hungry at the restaurant in the car and you will simply just have to make it work. Probably the funniest for me was pumping behind a blanket in a (private) karaoke room at my sister’s bachelorette. Mom’s know how to party. And if I’m really being honest, I may have breastfed my son in the car, in his carseat on on desperate occasion. That may have happened…

6. Poop will monopolize your thoughts more than you ever thought possible.

Maybe there was once a time when your thoughts were filled with deep, meaningful things, but not anymore. Now, what will you think about? What your baby eats, when your baby eats, and when your baby poops. You keep track of it.  You assess it. You ask your baby if they pooped as if they can answer you. You find yourself telling your husband about it when he gets home frome work. “He’s only pooped once” or “Oh my gosh, he had a doozy today.” Poop, it’s proper makeup and disposal, is your new field of expertise. Those are the moments when you will think “I’m so glad got that college degree…”

7. Motherhood kills brain cells.  

This is the real killer. Somewhere between using your body’s energy to create another human being, birthing that human being, and then the sleepless nights spent caring for that human being, your brain cells start to die or maybe they kill themselves off. Maybe they stage a mutiny and jump ship. Not only do you not have room for those deep, meaningful thoughts anymore, you can’t remember basic things. You can’t do math in your head anymore (although, maybe it was questionable if you ever could). You mess up your words and walk into rooms without knowing why and find your phone in the refrigerator and the ketchup in your diaper bag. Again, this is when you think, “I’m so glad I got that college degree…”

8. It’s all worth it.

To sum it all up? Motherhood can be tiring. It’s not glamorous. It’s humorously and sometimes, not so humorously, undignified. It’s thankless work and sometimes, it can feel like you’re basically a glorified maid/butler/chauffeur. But the truth? You get to be their favorite person in the world for a few, short years. You get to be there the first time your baby smiles, the first time they belly laugh, the first time they roll over or crawl or clap their hands;  You get a front row seat to their lives, to see them become who God made them to be, slowly, but surely, day by day. You get to see it all and it makes it all so worth it.

Planned Parenthood, Abortion, and The God of Self

planned-parenthood

“An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked. There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. Even on his bed he plots evil; he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong.” Psalm 36:1-4

A new video was released today, a new video of stomach-turning callousness and cruelty. As I watched it, I wept. I don’t really want to argue about what is and isn’t legal because, frankly, none of this should be legal at all. I don’t even really want to argue pro-life vs. pro-choice. I want to get to the heart of the issue. What is the real issue behind abortion? I don’t think it’s merely a question of when personhood begins or whose rights trump whose. No, it is deeper than that. The real issue is that mankind is in reckless rebellion against God and we refuse to bend our knee to Him and the authority of His word.

In our day, we are obsessed with our rights. We take them to be ultimate. Personal autonomy is our God. The right to whatever makes us happy is our moral absolute. The issue of abortion then, is that we throw off any claims of authority that God makes over our lives. He tells us life in the womb is sacred (Psalm 139:14-16)? We tell Him it is nothing but unwanted tissue. He tells us we are guilty of murder? We spit in His face and tell Him it is our right to choose. To hell with Him and His law. You see, at the heart of abortion is that we refuse to worship God and instead, insist on worshiping ourselves.

The first problem here is a logical one. I find it interesting how adamantly we insist on our right to disobey God when, without Him, we cannot possibly have any rights at all. The American claim to liberty and autonomy was founded on the basis that “we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights.” But if we reject the authority of the Creator, how can we still lay claim to the rights He gives us? And if there is no Creator, how can we have rights at all? The truth is that if there is no God, we have no rights. There is no truth. There is no justice. There is only “get what you can, while you can because tomorrow, you will be gone.” We can’t have our cake and eat it too. We can’t have the rights given to us by God without also submitting them to the authority of God.

The second problem is more serious. No matter how much we insist that we are our own God and authority, it doesn’t change the fact that we are not. God is God. We can pretend that is not true, but it always will be. We can say with the wicked man, “‘God has forgotten; he covers his face and never sees” (Psalm 10:11), but nevertheless, God has not forgotten and He does see. No matter how happily we make thrones for ourselves and dispense judgments that suit our own desires, we will one day stand before His throne and face His judgment. And that is a day we should all fear.

“All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations–a people who continually provoke me to my face” (Isaiah 65:2-3).

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you..But when we continued to sin against [you], you were angry. How then can we be saved?” (Isaiah 64:4-5).

We are an obstinate people.  We believe that we can live wantonly and willfully free ourselves from the authority of the Almighty God, but we are “pursuing our own imaginations.” There is no God besides Him and one way or another, we will all bow before Him (Romans 14:11). We can choose to do it now or forever in an eternity of judgment and wrath. We all are guilty. There is no one who is righteous before God (Romans 3:10). No, not one.

But despite our rejection of Him, God made a way for us to be saved through Jesus. The wonder of the Gospel is that God refuses to let us refuse Him. He pursues us even as we run from Him. He holds out His hands to those who spit in His face. Even now, He is holding out his hands to the woman who mourns what she did to her child. He is holding out His hands to the victim of sexual abuse. He is holding out His hands to the doctor aborting babies and even those selling them. He is holding out His hands to all of us. How then can we be saved? “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus” (Acts 3:19).

If You’re Pro-Choice, the Selling of Baby Body Parts Shouldn’t Bother You

When I write, I generally try to put my emotions aside. I strive to be calm and reasoned, but right now, I am filled with many emotions. I am angry. I am disgusted. I am filled with sorrow. This is not to say that I have abandoned reason or reality, in fact, I think it is because I am a rational human being with a conscience that I am, and all of us should be, disgusted. We should be disgusted because, as this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jIoOY2n9kw showed, babies are being murdered and their body parts are being sold for money.

We all know, despite the fanciest arguments and talk of bodily autonomy, that babies in the womb are just as much babies as babies outside the womb. We know it. It just isn’t very convenient to know it. We don’t like that we know it. It’s easier not to know it so we pretend that we don’t until a video like this one comes along and reminds us of the truth we’ve suppressed: that abortion is murder and the people who do it are callous, ruthless people who will do just about anything for money, such as dismembering babies and selling the leftovers to the highest bidder.

How have we gotten to a place in our nation where it is a cardinal sin to even disagree with the practice of homosexuality, but the murder of babies is business as usual? How is it a legal offense to decline someone a cake, but the slaughter of unborn children is a legally protected practice? Are our consciences so calloused? Yes, they are. We should be outraged, but we’re not. Why? Because if you sit in the pig pen long enough, what you thought smelled like crap eventually starts to smell like roses.

I’m not even going to try to go through all the pro-life arguments. I’m not going to try to reason because reason and truth and moral sensitivity have clearly been thrown out the window. As the scripture says, we have traded the truth of God for a lie and so, our thinking has become futile and our foolish hearts have been darkened (Romans 1:21). Reason and truth don’t do much for a darkened heart and a seared conscience.

But I will make one point. If you’re pro-choice, this video of this lady nonchalantly talking about the strategic dismemberment and selling of baby bodies, shouldn’t upset you. The logic of abortion treats unborn children as products to be rejected and disposed of at will. This lady is doing nothing more than living that out. Why not make a little extra cash, right? If, however, the bartering of murdered babies does make you, say, a little uncomfortable, you might want to rethink being pro-choice. Because if it’s not a baby, if it’s just tissue, you shouldn’t be repulsed at all. What’s left of your conscience shouldn’t be troubled. You shouldn’t really care. Unless it was a bald eagle egg. Then this would be truly horrific. Because those are endangered and precious and legally protected. But unborn children? Eh, they’re a dime a dozen. Or $30-$100 a head as this lady obviously knows so well. After all, they probably paid for her salad.

How Should We Respond to Gay Marriage? Like Jesus.

A few days ago the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that gay marriage will now be legalized in all fifty states. I think this was surprising to no one. We all knew it was coming, but the announcement revealed just how polarized our nation has become. Some celebrate it as a great victory for civil rights while others lament it as a sign of our nation’s moral depravity. For bible-believing Christians, the question is, what do we do now? How do we respond and how do we do it like Jesus?

Why We Must Speak

Some argue that we shouldn’t care at all, that we shouldn’t speak. Some think this ruling will not affect us and so we should just be silent and go about our business, keeping our opinions to ourselves but this most certainly does affect us. It is not just that our nation does not hold to biblical Christian values. It is that it is becoming increasingly anti-Christian and hostile to those who hold biblical world views. Already, Christian bakeries have been forced to go out of business because they did not want to participate in a gay wedding. So, it is naive to think that gay marriage will exist in some kind of a vacuum and have no effect on religious rights.

But how it will affect us is not the main reason we must speak about gay marriage. None of this is ultimately about us. Sin is ultimately about God. Marriage is ultimately about God. If our choices only had horizontal results, how they affect others, then I suppose the general rule of thumb would be as long as it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s fine. Indeed, this seems to be the general moral philosophy of our day. However, I would say that the other and more important aspect of our choices is a vertical one. Our sin is against God. It dishonors the holiness of God and that is why Christians simply cannot be silent.

Jesus held to every word of scripture. Jesus zealously defended the holiness of God. Jesus never altered His views or message to make it more culturally palatable. Jesus did not fear the scorn and derision of man. He had one authority. He lived to please one Person and so should we (Galatians 1:10).

Why We Must Grieve

To see sin embraced and celebrated this way should break our hearts because we know what sin does and where it leads. Satan is a master deceiver. He promises joy, happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, peace, but he ultimately comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Many are blinded. Many are in bondage.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because it was not willing to turn to Him and find peace. Just as he said to Jerusalem, Jesus says to America, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Luke 13:34). Our nation is in reckless rebellion against God. It grieves the heart of Christ and it should grieve our hearts too.

Why We Must Not Fear

I think a lot of Christians now feel a sense of panic and fear. We fear persecution. We fear for our children and the world they will grow up in, but let’s be reminded of the God we serve. He is not surprised. He is not worried. He didn’t wait for the Supreme Court decision and then think, “Darn, what do I do now?” Our God is sovereign over all. The Lord is in His heaven. Jesus is on His throne.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless (Isaiah 40:21-23).”

Let us lift our gaze to our mighty God. Let us “lift up our voice with strength, lift it up and be not afraid (Isaiah 40:9)” and say to the people, “Behold your God!” He is greater than any ruler. We should not fear man or circumstances, but look to the God who is more powerful and supreme than any supreme court here on earth.

Persecution may come, but if it does, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Peter 4:12). We must remember that nothing happens to us outside of the will of the loving and sovereign God who works all things for His glory and our good(Romans 8:28). This should also cause us to remember that this world is not our home, but we are “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Why We Must Preach the Gospel

In many ways, nothing has really changed. The world is still the world. We are still the Church and our calling is still the same, to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15). I think we must resolve along with Paul, “to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). We must be careful not to proclaim our own self-righteousness, but Christ’s righteousness. We must fight having an “us and them” mentality, but remember the only thing that distinguishes us from them is the grace of God. We have to cling to the Gospel, the whole Gospel, and be sure that it is the message we send to the world. If we declare sin, let us also be sure to declare grace for “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Romans 5:20).” Sin is abounding in our nation, but there is more than enough grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have been recipients of this amazing grace and now we are called to be “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:20). To preach this Gospel is our one task (Acts 20:24) and to be like Christ as we do it should be our greatest ambition. And how did He do it? Think of how He spoke to the woman at the well. He boldly told her her sins without fear of giving offense and also lovingly and freely offered her living water so that she would never thirst again (John 4:6-14). To the woman caught in adultery, He cast no stones, but He did commission her, not to go and keep on sinning, but to “go and sin no more (John 8:11).”

Jesus loved even when it was offensive. He loved when it was costly. He loved when it hurt. He loved perfectly and effectively. On our own, we fall so short of this perfect love, but He lives in us and He will love through us. What an opportunity we now have to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to be light in the darkness. What an opportunity we have to love as He loves and not as the world does. So, let’s do it. Let’s cling fiercely to the truth of His word and proclaim boldly the grace of His Gospel.

Lessons of Motherhood: Identity Crisis

As women, we feel a lot of pressure to do it all and have it all. Really though,I think this pressure might come more from within ourselves than from without. We feel like we need to be the perfect mom, wife, homemaker, career woman whatever. Our house needs to look like a Pinterest board. It needs to be clean all the time even though, hello! People live here. We need to come up with awesome, innovative ways to help our kids learn and grow so you know, they’ll be reading by the time they’re two. We need to make DIY furniture, laundry detergent, and anything else we could possibly “do ourselves.” Oh, and we need to look fabulous while doing it.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, it’s all just a little overwhelming. Sometimes, okay a lot of times, I feel discouraged because that is just so not how my life looks. I was wallowing in this tonight. Here’s a brief sound byte of what was going through my head. Oh my gosh this place is a mess. I just picked up. How is it already this big of a disaster? How come everywhere I turn, I see something I need to clean? It’s like impossible to keep things clean. I have one kid. What am I going to do when I have a whole bunch? Other women seem to be able to do it…Gideon’s face is covered in snot…and now so is my shirt. I always told myself I wouldn’t let my kids walk around with snotty faces, but there you have it…He still hasn’t started waving or clapping. I’m probably not doing enough to teach him and aid his development. He’s probably going to be slow because I didn’t teach him to wave…I haven’t showered and my hair is a mess. I used to have good hair, but now it’s kind of blah. I haven’t put make up on in days and I live in t-shirts and athletic shorts. That’s it. I’ve let myself go. I’m frumpy mom…

So there I was, wallowing and feeling just generally kind of depressed when God, as He sometimes does, opened my eyes and let me see. He showed me that I was doing it again. I was finding my identity in my “job performance.” Being a mother, wife, homemaker is currently my primary job, but it shouldn’t be my primary identity.

The story of Mary and Martha came to mind. Most of us are familiar with the story. Jesus comes to visit Mary and Martha. Martha is busy serving and trying to be a good hostess and she gets upset that her sister, Mary, isn’t helping, but is sitting at Jesus’s feet. I’ve never felt like I related much to Martha. I’m a thinker. not a doer. Just the word “multitask” gives me anxiety, but I think maybe now I understand her more. I think maybe Martha was letting her performance as a hostess and as a woman define her in ways that it shouldn’t. Maybe Martha was so upset because her identity was too tied up in it all. I think Jesus saw that. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. {Luke 18:41).

It got me thinking about what I want my son and hopefully, other children to remember me by. What do I want them to learn from me? Do I want them to remember that I was always stressed about having it all together or that I always sat at the feet of Jesus? Do I want them to learn that our worth is in our performance and image or that our worth is in Christ?

I want to choose the good portion. I want to be like Mary, who felt free to not strive, but rest in the presence of her Lord. I want my children to know from my words and my life that one thing is necessary. One thing, one person, Jesus, is our peace, our hope, “the sure foundation for our souls.” I want them to know and so I need to know that Jesus is enough and we more than enough in Him.

Hope for the Weary Soul

“There is something rotten in the state of Denmark” and not just Denmark, but the entire world. While we disagree on so many things, there seems to be one subject on which we are all in almost complete agreement. There is something terribly wrong with this place. We all sense that this world is so much less than it should be.

Do you ever look at the world and just feel a sense of despair? Our culture becomes more and more alienated from God. There seems to be no limit the evil and depravity of this world. Sometimes, it’s just too overwhelming. Sometimes, we just can’t understand why God allows some things and how He will ever work good from them. Sometimes, it just seems like this world is just beyond repair. Sometimes, it just seems hopeless and all I want to do is find a place to hide.

I felt this way this morning and it made me turn to something I wrote back in college after going on a mission trip. As I witnessed evidence of the “rottenness” of this world, God reminded me of a few things and He is reminding me of them again today. First, this is not what He originally intended. This is not the good and perfect plan He had for His creation. Secondly, we are the sources of the rottenness. It is because of our trespasses against Him and not the other way around. The irony of it is that we often use the result of our own folly to cast judgment on or deny the existence of Him who created us. Finally, and most important, we do not need to despair because He has a plan to restore His creation which has already reached its climax in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I think we can all feel hopelessness and despair at times, so I wanted to share this with the hope that it will be encouraging to any who need it. Essentially, it is a compilation of scripture that helped puts things into focus. I think it is a good reminder of the full story of the Gospel. Here it is:

“I am the LORD and there is no other. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Before there was man, I AM. With wisdom, I laid the earth’s foundations. I placed the stars in the sky and I call them out by name. At my command, the sun rides forth on its fiery chariot. By my word, the rain falls and the sky lets drop the dew.

With love, I created man. I made him in my image. Each one I knew before there was time. I fashioned them in their mothers’ wombs and their frames were not hidden from me when I wove them together in the secret place. Even now I am acquainted with all their ways and I call them by name.

I have good plans for them, plans of hope and purpose. Yet, they rejected me. They did not honor me as God and so, sin has come in the world and with it, death. My beautiful sons and daughters which I designed and wove together with care, are now marred. My creation lays in ruin. It is like a diseased prostitute. She continues to choose not life, but death and offer herself up to idols. At every turn, there is death and despair. There is no beauty that is not tinged with brokenness, no joy that is not intermingled with sorrow.

Yet even now, amidst all this Death and Destruction, man does not turn back to me. They survey the works of their own hands, the wickedness, the corruption and tragedy, but they do not take up the blame that is their own. Instead, they raise up their fists to me. They charge me with their crimes. They cry out against the evil and injustice that has sunk its teeth and left its poison.

But what of my cry? Do I, the holy and righteous God, not disdain the evil of the hearts of men? These wayward people moan and wail, but is it not I who have been offended by their sin? Yes, and justice will be ever wrought by my hands for the transgressions of men have induced me to righteous wrath.

Yet, I am as merciful as I am just. Mercy and Justice, I weave together in a tapestry that tells of my glory. This is not what I intended. This was not my desire for those I formed with loving care. By their sin, I am as grieved as I am angered. Each one is precious. Each I want to reclaim as my own. And so, I have interposed my blood. I became the sacrifice to pay the price for their sin. I have done this to restore my creation, to redeem my beloved. I have loved with an everlasting love. In me, there is hope and truth. I offer grace. Have I not portrayed my goodness and love in every facet of my creation? Indeed, I have engraved it upon my very palms. There, the story of my love and mercy has been written.

So now, there is another power at work on the earth, not only sin, but grace. Is it not greater? Will it not achieve the work for which I have purposed it? Is it not powerful enough to destroy sin and vanquish evil? The world will be restored. I have spoken and it will stand firm for my Word cannot be moved. I am calling my sheep back to me. I am healing. I am renewing. I am cleansing with my blood and it will atone. I do all this for my name’s sake. I am the LORD and there is no other. All glory in heaven and earth is my due.

So you, my beloved, who have been redeemed, do not despair at what you see here. I have defeated sin and death. I will have the ultimate victory. Take heart, for I have overcome the world. And surely, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”

So, I hope if you are reading this, that it is a reminder of God’s sovereignty and the future hope that we who are redeemed have, not only for ourselves, but for the world as well.  The world may, at times, seem hopeless and beyond repair, but it is not and in fact, the battle for it has already been won. We may not be able to see it, but God is, even now, in the process of redeeming this world. Remember the infinite reach of the Cross. There is no place that it can’t touch, no wound that it can’t heal, no wrong that it can’t right, and no darkness it can’t dispel. God has spoken and He will have the final word.