Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Hope Rings Crystal Clear from the Empty Tomb

There is something we all need more than the breath of life that fills our lungs.

Even today, as war ravages nations and families, and bombs tear apart lands and lives, as some sit in comfortable safety and others flee from war-scarred countries, as disease disfigures and disables; there is a glorious message of hope, but it is not found in the absence of battles.

It is not a popular message, it is not a political message, it is not a prosperity message, but it has the power to change. It is a message of hope that rings crystal clear from the empty tomb that Christ is risen and reigns.

We are to proclaim this message of hope to those who are perishing in war and to those who are lost in their safety and everyone caught in between.

And we have good work to do. It will wear us right out, leave us weary to the bone. It will even cost us our lives. It is fitting that we should die, that there be a new and beautiful harvest.

There’s this paradox that unless we are made alive, we will be forever dead in our sins, and unless we die, we will not be made alive.

There is nothing we could gain in this world, and there is nothing that we could lose in this world that will compare to the hope of what we have for eternity.

Because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, we have “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading”.

Death has lost its sting. Sin has lost its power. Death was swallowed up in victory on the cross of Christ. The grave could not hold him because Christ had taken out the sting of death on the cross.

I can tell you how much I need this hope as I fight through all my battles. It is the glorious message this world needs—the same message it needed on the third day after Jesus died.

Early, on the first day of the week, women went to his tomb and found the large stone, which had been placed at the entrance of the tomb, rolled away. They entered, but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were perplexed and did not know what to do. They had prepared spices and had come to anoint his body. But, they could not find his body.

Suddenly, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. They said to the women: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

At that, the women remembered that Jesus had said those words. They fled from the tomb with fear and yet were filled with great joy and ran to tell his disciples the news. But, the women’s words sounded like nonsense and silly talk to them and they didn’t believe them.

Jesus had been raised from the dead. The tomb was empty. Only the linen cloths that he had been wrapped in were still lying there.

Jesus had taught many times during his ministry that he would die and on the third day be raised again. Now it has happened, and they still did not understand that He must rise from the dead.

All of Jesus’s life was a prelude to his death, His cross was the victorious climax and His resurrection was the resounding “yes” to the perfect plan of God.

For the forty days following his resurrection, Jesus presented Himself to His disciples and apostles to prove He was alive. He opened their eyes in understanding and many believed.

To Thomas he said, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

If Christ was not raised then Christians are the biggest fools of all. For we have believed a message of foolishness. Instead of a “hall of faith”, it has been said, we would end up with a “hall of fools”.

You can find many proofs of the resurrection of Jesus from history. But, it requires faith to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.

The resurrection was essential to confirm that the work Christ accomplished on the cross satisfied God, as the incarnation was essential to make it possible.

The resurrection:

proclaims with power that Jesus is the Son of God 
publicly declares that his substitutionary sacrifice for sins satisfied the wrath of God.
provides forgiven sinners with a living hope
produces in us life-giving power
proves there is victory over death

In laying out the truth that the gospel includes the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul zooms in on practical application. He exhorts the believers in Corinth to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

As we abide in Christ, we will bear this fruit in our lives as well. Since Christ has been raised, we are to be steadfast. We are to be ‘well-seated’, firm in the faith of the gospel. The gospel of Christ that we have received and believed, we hold on to it, study it, preach it to ourselves, it is our firm foundation—rest on it. There is much opinion today and little conviction. Be fixed firmly in your own conviction.

We are to be immovable — without movement or change of status. Because of the hope we have we will be firmly persistent and not swayed by others from without. Whatever trials may come upon us, though we will be tested and tried by fire we are to stand firm. We will not be shaken when we stand secure on the foundation of our faith--Jesus Christ.

Because of the living hope of the resurrection, we are to be always going above and beyond, engaged in promoting the glory of God to further the gospel. Always abounding, increasing in excellence in our work for the Lord. This labour involves weariness, toil and deep fatigue, but it will not be in vain or worthless.

To many it sounds like utter nonsense, as the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. It is strange and extraordinary, but we should, like the women, with fear and filled with great joy, proclaim what we have heard: That Jesus Christ has died for our sins, was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

The steadfast love of God transforms lives and the surpassing greatness of his power raises the dead unto newness of life.

The empty grave proves the living Christ is the bright hope this world needs today.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Standing Near the Cross of Jesus {Mary's Soliloquy ~ A Good Friday Monologue}

This blackness . . . it’s frightening. I can’t see. It’s midday. What’s happening? What was that thunderous roar? The ground shook.

I was watching him. My son bowed his head and breathed his last, when the sunlight had failed and the mid-day sky has been swallowed up and the land has been veiled in this dreadful darkness. There is something horrendous happening. I can’t explain it.

Standing at the cross, I cannot recognize him by his appearance. At every lash that shredded his flesh, my heart frayed. But, as they stripped him down and twisted together a crown of thorns for his head, and mocked him and spit on him, in His eyes I recognized him by his love. As he called to his beloved disciple to take care of me now in his stead, I treasured his faithful obedience.

My heart aches like the soldiers have taken the spear that they pierced into his side and plunged it into my soul.

Righteous and devout Simeon told me it would come to this. I am shrouded in darkness in the middle of the day and my mind recalls the night when a dazzling light broke through the midnight darkness.

That night I gave birth to my firstborn son, and the glory of the Lord shone brightly. And the heavenly host praised God and sang: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” {Luke 2:14}

Forty days later, we came to Jerusalem for our purification with my firstborn son. We had named him “Jesus”--as the angel told us to for he would save his people from their sins. And we came to present him to the Lord--as was written in the law of the Lord--with our two turtledoves.

That was when old Simeon took my baby up in his arms and blessed God and said:

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.” {Luke 2:29-32}

Joseph and I marveled that day at what Simeon said about Jesus. Then his words pricked my heart as he told me that a sword would pierce my soul.

I didn’t grasp what he was saying, but I tucked it away in my heart. I have pondered many of these mysteries. As the shadow of this cross has fallen on Jesus, so too has the promise of life.

How many times have reminded my soul that with God nothing is impossible? When I’ve been prone to flee in fear, my prayer has been: “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” {Luke 1:38}

It’s been over thirty years and my grief-stricken heart is again yielding and as I do, I am seeing.

This is why he came. This cross. He knew all along. When he was twelve we were in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover and we left him behind without realizing and we lost him. How could I lose my son? After three frantic days we found him and he said to us, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” I did not understand, but I stored it in my heart. He submitted to us, and he “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

As he worked with Joseph in the shop, his hands sawing, sanding, shaping, smoothing, crafting wood into useful and beautiful creations, he knew this was the work he was living for. All of his living was for dying. He came to serve. He came to save.

I have lost my son again. His hands now nailed on a crude crossbeam of wood, his blood is pouring out as a sacrifice. He came to die. There is a mystery here. Greater than I can comprehend right now.

My heart is wrenched at his suffering. The inner turmoil in my mother’s heart is too great to bear. As the soldiers cast lots for his garments, leaving him exposed and humiliated in his nakedness, I cast down my eyes.

I wonder if my breath is being extinguished from me even as my son, my Lord, my Saviour hangs now, cursed, in this wretched darkness.

As Jesus cried out with a loud voice and yielded his spirit, a centurion close by exclaimed, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Yes! Yes, this is the Son of God. Like Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s John said in the wilderness, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”John testified, “And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

When he turned water into good wine at the wedding in Cana and his glory was displayed, was that not to prove that he is the Son of God?

I am not to lower the power of God to the level of my senses. Once again, as I fail to see all that God is doing, I sing:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.”{Luke 1:46-50}

Oh, that people would turn their eyes to fear my Lord.

In a week, the fickle crowd has changed their tune. Days ago, they sang: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Then, they urgently raised their voices and demanded Pilate to “Crucify Him!” and yelled in unison, “His blood be on us and on our children!”

And now astonishment and dread fills this darkness and the crowd has run home beating their breasts--themselves filled with confusion, sorrow, and fear. Their dancing has turned to mourning.

This penetrating darkness is blinding.

Can it be that many are blinded to the Light of the world and this darkness is for us to consider that there is something astonishing to behold? When we have lost our way in the dark, can anything but the light bring us home?

Jesus declared, after he had been anointed and rode into Jerusalem on the donkey’s colt, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”

In my grief, I see him hanging there – becoming a curse on this cross. A cross! The most shameful and humiliating way to die. It is too much! He has been betrayed by Judas, falsely accused by the chief priests, delivered over by Pilate, denied and deserted by his disciples, mocked and crucified by the soldiers, scorned by sinners.

Yet, I watched him willingly, silently, carrying his cross out of Jerusalem, outside the city like the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement bearing the sin of the people.

My heart is pierced. The Son of God is the only one worthy to take this sin upon Himself and become sin to appease the righteous wrath of our holy God.

Yes, he called me his mother, but truly He is the Messiah, my Lord and Savior.

He was conceived in my womb by the power of the Most High, and I bore a Son, but He has born my sin and delivered me from the wrath of God.

I will not rush away from the cross of Jesus. God’s mercies never cease. I stand astonished at the steadfast love of God, mourning my Son, magnifying my Lord, and rejoicing in my Saviour. My Lord turns my mourning into joy.

He cried out in victory: “It is finished!” I believe as he said, he has come to give us life. He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

Did not the prophet Isaiah say:

“ . . . he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all . . .
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.” {Isaiah 53:5-7}

I stand at the foot of the cross of Jesus, flooded with crushing sorrow. But, in his victorious cry there is a whisper of hope. I will anchor my soul to the God of Hope.

He has poured out his soul to death according to the will of His Father. I saw how he gave up His life. His glory shines in this darkness. His death is leading to life, bringing me back to my God.

This darkness will not last. As the prophet Malachi spoke, “for you who fear his name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.”

My soul will wait in silence for God alone, for nothing will be impossible with God.

Friday, April 7, 2017

What Motherhood Has Taught Me: Joy, Peace and Hope in the Journey

April 13, 2001 I woke in the murky darkness of a new day hours before the sun rose like a beacon of hope. I was alone the moment I saw the first sign that the baby I had carried in my womb for 38 weeks would soon be in my arms.

I had done nearly everything I could do to prepare for this new life, but, in that moment, I sat in stunned uncertainty and curious expectation.

I was still sitting dumbstruck when I heard the front door creak open and Jon, getting home from a long day of work, found me wide-eyed with anticipation. I told him that I was possibly going to have our baby on that very day.

You know what he did?

He decided since I was still early I was probably in false labour and we should get some rest. The instant he flopped in to bed sleep stole him far away from the raging storm of emotions and escalating groans beside him.

So, you know what I did?

I called my mom at two in the morning to see if I really was about to have a baby.

Still not sure if this was the real deal, I shuffled my way upstairs, turned the computer on, waited as the old fashioned dial-up screeched in the silence and lazily connected to the world wide web so Google could confirm that I was absolutely for sure, going to have a baby.

I became a mother on Good Friday.

There are times when it looks like hope has been tucked away in a tomb only to rise again and bring forth joy and peace.

At 7:02 pm after 18 hours of intense laboring, my firstborn sucked in her first breath of air and let out a lusty shriek that took my breath away.

I held new life in my arms, completely unsure of what to do next.

My body had split open and life slipped out and love burst forth from my wildly beating heart. Cries of anguish turned to tears of joy as I recognized God’s abounding grace in that moment.

A mother’s heart holds these cherished memories. From the moment of those first butterfly flutters, first suckle, first smiles, first steps, to the sleepless nights, scraped knees, shattered dreams, relentless sorrow.

We cultivate and nourish deep roots so our children will mount up with wings and soar.

A mother’s heart knows hope.

A mother’s heart can break over a thousand sorrows and by God’s steady stream of grace, pulse with joy and peace.

On August 28, 2014 I watched my children bravely walk out of a hospital, leaving their mother behind fully aware a doctor was going to do his best to help fix my broken heart.

What they didn’t know was how my wildly beating heart shattered to a million pieces as they walked out that door. No doctor could fix this heartache. My husband couldn’t fix this. Calling my mom or dad couldn’t fix this. Google couldn’t help me at all.

For fourteen years I had been a mother.

Once again I sat in uncertainty and again I had to let go and surrender them entirely to the Lord.

I had one thing I could do. One thing.

Trust the God of hope.

I didn’t know what would happen when the surgeon held my stilled heart in his hands, but I trusted the God who holds all things.

The God of hope picks up all the shattered pieces and makes us whole and causes joy and peace to overflow as we trust in Him.

So even as we daily lay ourselves down in the crucible, we are filled with all joy and peace and hope rises to overflowing.

Even in the shattering you shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace.

Consider Paul’s prayer in Romans 15:13:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
First we will ask:

How do we get this surest joy and truest peace?

We are filled with all joy and peace by trusting in the God of Hope. God is the source of joy and peace. The faith that God plants in us reaps joy and peace.

God will fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in Him.

This faith comes from God.

As we take our eyes off of ourselves and trust Jesus Christ, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, we are filled with all joy and peace.

The next thing we should ask is:

What exactly is joy and peace?

Joy is God’s grace recognized.

Faith looks to Jesus Christ and sees all of God’s promises in Him. He is our eternal hope of glory.

When we see all of God’s grace poured out in Christ to us we are filled with an inner delight in God. Our soul will find complete satisfaction in Him – this is joy!

Peace is God’s gift of joining together into wholeness. He takes our sinful brokenness and makes us right with God. Christ came to bring us back to God. He heals the brokenhearted.

Charles Spurgeon said, “Peace is joy resting and joy is peace dancing.”

Finally, we will ask:

What is the result of being filled with joy and peace?

Notice the “so that”. There is an end goal of this joy and peace. “so that you may overflow with hope”

We start with the God of hope. Everything starts with God. God is the author and object of hope. God produces hope.

He works faith in us and in believing in Christ Jesus and his atoning work on the cross we are filled with all joy and peace.

And this leads to us overflowing in hope -- a lively expectation of what is certain.

Hope leads to joy and peace with leads to more hope! An eternal hope.

Christ is our anchor of hope. He holds us steadfast and strong and in Him we abound in hope.

This is not willing ourselves to grasp passing pleasures or pin down illusive peace, but a prayer that the joy and peace that come from faith in God will fill the heart that keeps on trusting the God of hope.

Now we come to the end of the prayer: “by the power of the Holy Spirit.” We are not alone in this journey.

Whatever we face, by God’s grace we can be sure that we can be filled with all joy and peace in believing by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As we cling to this promise, let us give thanks for this triad of graces God tenderly cultivates in the soil of our souls – full joy and peace, and abounding with hope.

Friday, March 31, 2017

What Motherhood Has Taught Me: Hunched Over Dirt

I spot tulips poking through the ground the afternoon seven children are whooping and hollering in the fresh spring air. Those tender little shoots make me want to whoop and holler just like the children.

In my excitement I call the children to come look at the new shoots. Most of them glance carelessly as they dart past. The four year old pauses, bends down and true to his age and character, asks ‘why?’ and bolts off to catch up with his big cousin before I can even attempt to give him an answer.

I linger for another moment in the garden, hunched over dirt and marveling at new life as the sunlight slips into the western sky.

The yard is full of promise and life and laughter is falling from high in the tree and delighted squeals ring out by the bunny hutch and beauty is breaking through the humus in the garden.

The next morning we wake up to freezing rain and fraying tempers. Words whip around like the howling wind and sting like sleet across the face. I ask “why?” and run along to catch up with pressing obligations and ordinary tasks.

My son comes to me to recite his memory work, the little one dances to the hoedown that my oldest pounds on the piano and all day the house is filled with active learning, boisterous living, and dissonant sounds ringing loud while I listen to the bird song floating in from the treetops. Some days I wonder how on earth I got to the long end of it.

Motherhood has taught me many things about life.

I could write memos in the layer of dust across the top of the piano, dressers and bookshelves reminding myself to walk in humility.

The English word ‘humble’ is derived from the Latin word ‘humus’ meaning earth.

Humility always brings us down closer to the dirt and substance of life. Right down to where it all really matters.

This is what God requires of us: to walk humbly with God.

Because, really? Could we walk with God without humility? Without going lower and seeing who we really are? Without seeing ourselves as nothing but dust and dirt raised to new life by the sheer astonishing grace of God?

Walking in humility is not comfortable. In a world where everyone is clamouring to be seen, humility means stooping to go low.

Never has it been so easy to be seen or heard or give your opinion or fight for your perceived right or slam someone you don’t like.

We are hurt and we lash with words full of spite that pierce deep like the sharp scalpel that cut right down into my heart. We are wounded and we nurse our annoyance. We are judged and we respond with cruel, cunning revenge.

We rip others apart because of the pride that misplaces our sense of worth.

Pride keeps us caged up, rattling the bars and baring our teeth, determined to bite and devour one another, but in the end it destroys the soul that is imprisoned by its own raging self-preservation.

It’s as old as dirt. Well, almost.

God took dirt and formed the man, Adam and then took one of Adam’s ribs and fashioned woman out of man.

The Almighty Creator molded his body like a potter shaping a lump of clay into whatever he pleases, and He breathed life into his nostrils making a formed man into a living soul.

Man came from the dust of the earth and to dust we all return. We are all going the same way. Back down to dust.

We are all human, bearing the same image of God.

God made man to be fully satisfied in Him. But man has turned from God and tried to satisfy his soul with everything but God. Man is always trying to make a name for himself and always falling short of the glory of God.

The Son of God stooped down to walk on the very earth he created, and took on the likeness of mankind he had formed to bring us back to God.

He stooped to the lowest of low and died the most shameful and humiliating death.

How should we not walk in humility?

What is it that keeps us from bearing with one? What is it that prefers to protect our hearts instead of being tenderhearted towards one another? What is it that prevents us from getting our hands dirty from laying ourselves down low?

Going low hurts our self, but it's good for our souls.

Jesus laid it out clearly this way:
“‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?’” (Mark 8:34-37)
Following Jesus means to stoop down and carry our cross even when it is going to kill us. Because in dying to ourselves we are raised to new life in Jesus Christ.

A life to love and serve and bear with one another, to be kind to one another and compassionately tender-hearted to those who are hurting and forgiving to those who hurt us.

We convince ourselves to step away from stooping low. We pamper the desire to exalt self and satisfy the lust of our souls with the idols of our hearts. We whoop and holler in childish ways keen to make our selves look superior. We trust in our righteousness and look down on and treat everyone else with contempt.

But this is not the way of humility. This is the way that forfeits a soul.

We are called to walk in humility with the same attitude as Jesus Christ. We are to consider others above ourselves. We are to only let words flow from our lips that are good for building up so that what comes out may give grace to those who hear.

In humility, we will put a guard over our mouth -- or refrain from typing -- and speak – or type -- words that are kind and true, that strengthen and bring forth life, and are full of grace.

If you say you are a Christian, then you will walk in humility and follow after the One who gives grace to the humble.

And right now as spring flowers break through the earth, linger a little longer and give thanks for the astonishing grace of God in your life.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pistachios, Manna and Starving Souls

Jon cracked pistachio nuts and sucked on sour keys while I begged for ice chips in that grim ICU room. With a tracheotomy stuck in my neck, I couldn’t eat or drink and I was desperate for cool water on my tongue. I snuck sips of water, teased my thirst like a few cruel drops of rain in a long drought, held it greedily on my tongue and spewed it out before it slid down the wrong pipe. Drinking water had become dangerous.

I couldn’t smell the food that I couldn’t eat, but I imagined how it would make my taste buds dance. In my mind I savoured delicious spreads, but I wondered if I would ever eat again.

Weeks passed and the stash of pistachios dwindled and the last of the sour keys got stuck in my children’s teeth. When finally a nurse yanked that feed tube out of my stomach, the stress of the calorie count and a sluggish digestive system made eating difficult. Eating became an onerous task.

I started craving the craziest things. In the middle of the night I was no longer calling out for ice chips, but pleading for a cold can of Coke. I don’t even like Coke!

Our minds can easily fixate on things we cannot or should not have.

When we don’t get what we think we need or want we grumble.

After the Lord led the Israelites across the Red Sea on dry ground they came to the wilderness and they couldn’t find any water. When they came to Marah, they found water, but it was bitter. The Lord then caused the bitter water to become sweet. Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and they camped there for a while.

In the second month after leaving Egypt, the people of Israel set out from Elim and settled in the Wilderness of Sin. This was a vast wilderness and the barrenness of their surroundings increased their grumblings.

You get comfortable in sin and you will never be satisfied. You will fixate on what you don’t have, can’t have, shouldn’t have and grumbling will increase.

The gathering of people in the wilderness grumbled against the Lord, and in His mercy, He heard them and promised to send them bread from heaven.

They had been dreaming of meat pots and all the bread they could eat back in Egypt, but God had something better for them. 

They had settled so comfortable in the sin of ingratitude, all they could think of was perishing in the wilderness when God was offering life from heaven.

“They said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them: ‘It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.’”

Grumbling focuses on that which we don’t have and blinds us to the goodness of God. When we spend our days grumbling, we miss out on seeing the gifts God graciously bestows.

The people of Israel called this bread from heaven, this grace that fell like rain: ‘manna’. For forty years they gathered what they didn’t understand and ate this gift from heaven. God faithfully provided for them and they acknowledged it was a gift, but they didn’t fully grasp what He had given them.

God intends for our hearts to be fully satisfied in Him. God has purposed that we trust that He will satisfy our need completely in Himself.

We were never meant to be satisfied with mere bread or meat. Nothing in this world will ever satisfy. We keep snacking on pistachios and dreaming of rich banquets at which to feast and we yearn for something, anything to gratify our emptiness.

God always acts to glorify himself. So He brings us to these barren places where our soul hungers and thirsts for Him.

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

He opens the eyes of our hearts to see that the Bread of Heaven, the Son of God, Jesus Christ has come and those who believe in Him will receive eternal life and taste of the goodness of God. The gifts He bestows are meant to turn our hearts to the Giver.

He continually and graciously gives us all things, not merely to satisfy us with these things, but to demonstrate to us that He is good and only in Him will our hearts truly find rest.

So even when we can’t understand why He will bring certain things into our lives, we will know that it is ultimately for our good and for His glory.

Go on, see the gifts he graciously rains from heaven, gather them, give thanks for them, but don’t be satisfied with anything but the Giver Himself.
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