Seeing the devastation and the pain caused by the storms that ripped through our state on April 27th is heart wrenching. It is such an immense amount of suffering and loss that it is more than difficult for my limited human self to process. As we love, serve, give, and pray together, we must "weep with those who weep" and grieve over the great losses they suffer. And we must rejoice with those who are rejoicing at the miracle of survival and grace of being spared.
This brings me to my knees, asking God to renew in me each day a passion for Him and His word, for people and the Gospel, for His will in my life and His glory to be known and shown to the nations. Life is truly fleeting, and so much of the "stuff" that we waste our energy and time upon is insignificant.
What matters today and every day is this. Our hope lies in Jesus Christ, His Resurrection, and the grace of salvation offered to us. What will we do with this great gift of grace? God does not need us, but we desperately need Him for every beat of our hearts, for every step we take, for every moment we are breathing. Our hope is a living hope, and the gift of salvation is offered to us.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." --1 Peter 1:3-9
I pray you have trusted in Jesus Christ alone by God's grace alone through faith alone for the salvation of your soul, for your redemption from the punishment we all deserve as sinners. It is real, it is true, and it is not living a set of rules, going to church every time the doors are open, being a deacon's child, or performing good deeds to outweigh our bad ones. Nothing we can do will ever make us good enough to become the children of a holy God whose very nature rejects any darkness or sin. But in His great mercy, He provides a way for us to be justified--made right with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus, who knew no sin but became sin for us! PRAISE BE TO GOD!
I've done the church "thing", I've been the rule follower, and I've lost myself in religion. But I am so thankful that God continued to speak to me and show me the redeeming power of His grace that only comes through trusting in and knowing Him. It is his work in me, and I could never be more grateful or filled with peace (even in the midst of figurative and literal storms) at knowing He is my Lord and has given me an inheritance as his child that will never fade, spoil, or be taken away. I echo another friend's recent post when I say that I would love to talk more with anyone who would like to hear the redeeming story of God's work in my life or has questions for me about my faith. Email me if you are searching, skeptical, or just curious. Grace and Peace to you as you face the storms in your life.
Loving and Learning,
- I love Jesus Christ, am a seeker of beauty, and am a grateful child of God who would be lost and hopeless were it not for His grace. I am learning to walk in love, see interruptions as divine appointments, and value people and relationships above agendas and results. I pray my life is grace-filled, and brings joy and encouragement to everyone I know and meet. We are a family of 6, built by God through love, birth, and adoption, living in the beauty and the struggle that accompanies parenting kids from hard places. Got questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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