Every Lucid Moment

Hazy. That’s  the best word I could think of to describe many of the hours in my average day. I’m not sure what all I did or how much I enjoyed it. During the day I tend to slip into a mode: doing what I do. And at the end of the day I find myself wondering: what have I even been doing?

See, when I think about it, there is quite a bit I’d like to change about my life. I’d like to spend less time on the computer doing mostly nothing and more time enjoying the family God has entrusted to me. I’d like to pray more, and spend more time reading Scripture. While I read lots of random articles and blog posts online, I know I would benefit from reading more real books. 

Beyond habits and time management, I have character issues and virtues to work on. I want to become less self-centered and more aware of others. In my relationships I want to be more genuinely interested in what other people say, do, and care about. I’m too arrogant in my knowledge and could use some humility. Perhaps my most practically difficult flaw is my grand introspection, where I inflate my every last mistake into a life-scale issue by tracing out all the flaws in my heart and worrying about my ability to fix them into the future.

All of this deserves my effort and careful attention as I live out my day. I can only make progress if I actually try to. But alas, I don’t usually think about these things until the hour that they become painful problems. After that’s over, I remember my lesson for a while and then forget as I get back into the groove of everyday life. Next thing I know I’m making the same mistakes again. And so the circle goes on.

What I have come to realize is how very necessary it is that I capitalize on the moments when I am thinking and genuinely concerned. During the times in which I am aware of my flaws, I have to make what progress I can before life sweeps away my focus. This is what I usually fear to do, sometimes out of the fear of what might happen if I do change, and sometimes out of the fear that I won’t be able to keep up whatever I wish to accomplish. I find myself too often paralyzed by the awareness of my impending forgetfulness. So then I lose the moment, and the pain which brought me clarify becomes vain.

Obviously, what I ought to do is very different. The lucidity which fills me with fear for my future ability to do right ought to take one more step. When I think even more clearly, I see that any progress I hope to make must start with the moments that I can see that I need it. This means taking the first act, doing whatever I can to grow, instead of doing like I normally will and waste the time fretting over my lack of willpower. I have to capitalize on the times God opens my eyes before they fall shut again.

The best way to do this is to pray. While other actions are also necessary, I must take every lucid moment to pray. After all, there is no way for me to grow apart from the Holy Spirit. My flesh can only do so much, and its fruits are always full of worms. So when I know I am nothing and in need, my immediate response must be to call on the Lord, who gives to all generously and without criticizing. He promises to be my healer, the one who sanctified me and will sanctify me. If I don’t do this, if I wait or let my apprehension keep me from moving, what hope will I have? If I don’t take the opportunity to ask, seek, and knock before I forget what I am looking for, I will only come away empty-handed.

Father, you are my only hope. In Jesus you have created the perfect human life that I so desperately need. So by your Spirit living inside me, uniting me with your holy Son, let me become the man you call me to be. Every time you open my eyes, let me make the move I must make, and pray so you can continue to move me. Then when I am back in the normal course of life, I can trust you to work behind the scenes. In the name of my only Lord Jesus, Amen.

So I find that this law is at work: when I want to do what is good, what is evil is the only choice I have. My inner being delights in the law of God. But I see a different law at work in my body—a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body. What an unhappy man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Romans 7:21-25a

Every Lucid Moment

My Dog Ate My Prayerbook

If there’s one thing people are good at, it’s making excuses. I imagine we don’t even realize how many excuses we make for ourselves (and others!) in the average day.

If you’re a Christian, you probably see this most clearly and painfully in your prayer life. Well, I guess you could be one of those rare giants who prays for two hours a day in solitude plus quickly and quietly throughout your day, and if so kudos to you. But most of us are not like that. At all.

The number of excuses we use for not praying is truly impressive. We do it all the time, because we in all honesty spend a lot of time not praying when we could/should be. And the funny thing is that we don’t usually make these excuses to use on other people: we usually just tell them to ourselves!

Some of the excuses we make are downright lame and we know it. “I was just so sleepy this morning…” Really? Come on, son. “I was too busy.” Yes, those four episodes of The Waking Dead you watched on Netflix after supper were pretty urgent, weren’t they? And let’s be real, your prayers are never so long you couldn’t fit them into your 15 work break.

Some of our excuses are more sanctified, though. “I’ve messed up too bad, today, so I can’t face Him.” But that’s exactly why you need Him. “If I pray right this second, I’ll be too distracted by what’s going on for it to be any good.” Good thing your prayers depend on Jesus and not your own performance. “I can’t pray this late; I’ll fall asleep.” Where better to fall asleep then the arms of your heavenly Father?

The truth is that we know even these spiritual-sounding excuses are bunk, but we use them anyway. For whatever reason, we often put more effort into not praying than we would ever exert by praying. It’s wrong, though. We need to pray. Somewhere in our hearts as believers we do even want to pray.

So what do we do? What do I do as the worst offender? Well, the first step to solving a problem is to recognize it, so let’s call ourselves out. When you excuse yourself from praying, give yourself the look the teacher gives the “my dog ate my homework” kid. If necessary, get someone else to help hold you accountable so they can give you that look for your lane excuses. And above all, let’s position ourselves within God’s people, doing God’s work, so that we will be driven to pray. Amen.

My Dog Ate My Prayerbook

I Don’t Believe in Hell

So, I don’t really believe in Hell. That’s right. I do not believe that Hell exists. And I sincerely doubt most of you do, either.

Now, before you scream “heretic” and start gathering a mob, I should clarify that, if you were to ask me if Hell exists, I would certainly say “yes.” If you asked me to define “Hell,” I would tell you that it’s a place of eternal suffering for those who reject Jesus.

So what on earth do I mean when I say that I don’t believe in Hell? In truth, it’s not my orthodoxy that is the issue but my lifestyle. Sure, I say that I believe there is a Hell for the unrepentant, but do I live out that belief? Do I tremble for the millions of souls to be lost? Forget love, am I even compelled by common human decency to do my part in bringing about their salvation.

All this shows my major lack: faith, not in Hell but in Christ. The only reason I even affirm Hell’s existence is that Jesus Himself seems to have taught it, and I’ve never seen a convincing interpretation otherwise. So if I really do believe in Jesus and trust what He reveals of God to be true, I ought to be consistently living a life that reflects His teaching. I should be seeing and treating people like they’re about to fall off a cliff and I have a chance to bring them to safety in the Savior.

I doubt very much that I am alone, indeed I am certain I am not. Many of you reading this probably feel what I’m saying. You know there’s a Hell, but you still act like there’s not. You see possible opportunities to tell about the Way and the Life, but make an excuse not to as if the only thing in danger were your dignity instead of a life.

Why do we do this? Why don’t we really believe in Hell? Plenty of reasons, I’m sure. Hell is so remote from our daily affairs; it’s easy to forget or ignore in the midst of everything else we can see, stuff with immediate, visible impact. Maybe on some level we don’t take Hell seriously because we subconsciously think God’s love really does mean no Hell. Maybe starting to preach during an important job interview actually would hurt not only your chances of a job but the chances of them taking your message seriously. But even a good excuse is really no excuse when lives are on the line.

So what’s the point of my rambling? Hell is hard, not just to swallow but to live in recognition of. This plagues me and probably you. What can we do? Pray for perspective, faith, and a bit of ridiculous boldness, I guess. Who knows who may be saved if we do?

I Don’t Believe in Hell

I Feel Robbed of the Psalms

The heavens declare the glory of God;
 the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
 night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
 no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
 their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
 like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
 and makes its circuit to the other;
 nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Psalm 19:1-6

As you’ve just read, the psalms are amazing. Truly, out of all the history of world literature, there is no collection of poems so impressive. Besides merely its size, impressive as that is, the psalms record for us hundreds of years of praise, lament, and prayer inspired by the Spirit and written by the people of Israel to their God, who is our God, now known to us in Jesus.

Yet I feel robbed of them.

What do I mean? I recently read a book by Tom Wright called The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential. In this book he discusses the tragic neglect of the psalms in the life and worship of much of the modern Church.

I have to agree, and at the end of his book I felt like I had been missing out for years. Wright, an Anglican, grew up praying and singing the psalms in the Anglican churches he attended. They’ve always been in his life, sustaining him like breakfast and shaping his prayer and worship life. But I, along with many others who grew up in American evangelical churches, do not share that story. While we certainly include the psalms in our Bible reading, we do not generally make use of them as a prayerbook and hymnbook the way some other Christian traditions (and Jesus Himself!) have.

We don’t use the psalms, at least not like Jesus and the early Christians.

This really saddens me. Jesus grew up, as every good Jew did, reading, singing, and praying the psalms in both His private life and public worship. So did the early Christians. And it made a profound impact on them. A quick glance at the New Testament shows dozens and dozens of quotes, references, and allusions to the psalms. In depth study reveals even more of these. So the psalms even greatly influenced our uniquely Christian Scriptures in an incomparable way.

What’s my point? My issue is that we don’t use the psalms, at least not like this. Sure, we’ll have our AWANA kids memorize a few verses, and we have a handful of hymns and Chris Tomlin songs based on them, but overall they get little attention. Yet the psalms are magical. The Holy Spirit brought them to life when they were first written and continues to do so today. They are filled with all the emotions and reflections that all people, especially all of God’s people, live with every day. They are equally filled with God’s hope, promises, and majesty. 

All this means we need the psalms to function in our lives like they were originally written to function for the people of Israel. We need them to lead our prayers and worship, both in corporate life, in the middle of our actual church services on Sunday mornings as a congregation, and in personal life, in our closets and bedrooms as we spend time in fellowship with God.

Like I said, I feel robbed when I hear of Tom Wright’s story, in which he grew up around the psalms used this way. They are written in his heart and mind now, affecting the way he prays, worships, hopes, and sees the world (including his approach to Christianity overall). That’s not my story. The psalms were always just a peripheral part of Scripture, some nice poems that we might include verses of in memorization or stick into a reading plan. We were never taught to pray them, or to sing them, or to really even understand them. At any of the churches I’ve been to (mostly Baptist, but also some Pentecostal and nondenominational, not counting the Episcopal church I went to a Christmas service at), this has been the same. I feel let down by evangelical American churches.

If I could go back in time, I would read, pray, and sing the psalms more.

If I could go back in time, I would read the psalms more. I would pray them and relate them to my own life and our world. I would find music to use so I could sing them. And I believe they would transform the way I think and feel about God, people, and everything else. As it is, I can’t go back and try again, so I’m trying to start doing these things now. I’m only 20, so I guess I still have time (Lord willing!) to be molded like this, but I still feel like I’ve missed out on a lot.

Does anyone agree with or relate to me on this? If so, leave a comment or even email me. I might want to start posting some thoughts on individual psalms and relating them to our lives and prayers, maybe even finding good song versions. Who knows? Well, God does, and to Him be the glory!

I Feel Robbed of the Psalms

The Real Problem

As much as I read and write about theology and Christian living, I find myself in a place of wishing I could live up to half of what I find in Scripture. Every time I find a truth about the Holy Spirit, I feel woefully unable to walk in step with Him more. When I perceive the wondrous grace of what Jesus has done for us, I seem too weak to reorient my living and loving to reflect His life. And whenever I hear a convicting message on pray, I despair that I will ever get my prayer life in order.

What is this? Surely the point of God’s Word is not to make us feel trapped in the patterns we’ve been bound to? No, it should be liberating and empowering, bringing life with the power of the Spirit. So why so often doesn’t this change things? I’m not altogether sure, but I know one thing.

The problem is me.

I am the one who, upon being convicted to read Scripture more, instead pulls his smartphone out of his pocket all day. I am the one who, upon realizing he is in desperate need of more prayer with his Father, instead wastes time refreshing websites hoping for new content. And I am the one who, finding that he ought to take more mind of the interests of others, devotes himself to his own interests.

I imagine there are many of you who can relate, who get this. Really, it’s easier to admit behind a keyboard than to someone’s face. I don’t follow through. I quench the Spirit, neglect the Word, and hold back my love. Why? Why? Why? I don’t know, and I wonder. But I know that sin dwells in me, in my flesh, waging war with the Christ-conforming work of the Holy Spirit in me. Sin is remarkably powerful, but I also know that Christ is more powerful still. So why do things work as they do? I don’t know.

But what I do know is Christ. So that I am the real problem, He is the real solution, and since He has redeemed me and made me new, I trust confidently that His Spirit will make my life into His, and His life into mine. After all, what other hope is there?

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.

Romans 7:24-25

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians 1:6

The Real Problem

Does God Want Me Sick?

Nobody likes to be sick. Whether it’s as basic as coughing and sneezing or as severe as an aggressive cancer, we hate sickness. And naturally, whenever we hate something, but it exists, we wonder how it relates to God. A good God always leaves us with questions about bad stuff. So what about sickness? What does God have to do with illness and disease?

I think this is a very relevant question, because these problems affect millions and millions of people every day. It is not as though this question is about some far off speculative matter, but about a basic struggle of human existence. Therefore I say we search the Scriptures for how God relates to sickness.

As I see it, there are a few valuable case studies in Scripture about God and sickness. The first one is Job.

In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.

On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

Job 1:1-3, 2:1-8

Before I elaborate on what happens here, I will go ahead and bring up the second case. This one is a blind man Jesus met.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

John 9:1-7

And I finally would like to mention the story of Miriam and Aaron’s opposition towards Moses.

Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.

“Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.

When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”

So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!”

Numbers 12:1-13

From these three examples I think we can get a general idea of the different ways God relates to sickness. I will make a particular point from each one.

Miriam: Sickness from Judgment

This appears frequently in the Old Testament. It is quite clear that sometimes God sends sickness on people as judgment for their sins. In this case, because Miriam and Aaron pridefully challenged the position God gave Moses, Miriam was struck with leprosy. Fortunately, Moses prayed for her, and in the end God healed her. So how does this relate to sickness as we experience it? Well, it goes to show that God may send disease into someone’s life because of sin. The point of this generally seems to be to lead them to repentance, but sometimes it may simply be punishment. Examples of this in the nation of Israel and their history abound. God sent plagues when His people were rebellious and healed them afterwards. I should also point out that in this case, God’s people were always healed. Everyone who was not healed, as far as my memory goes, was someone outside of or cut off from Israel.

So should we, when sick, expect that God is punishing us for some sin? Most of the time, I would say “no.” Why? Because there was a shift in how God relates to His people with the coming of the New Covenant. In this age, in this covenant, God does not work so explicitly to communicate spiritual reality with physical happenings. The only examples I can think of in the New Testament in which God physically judged people were with Ananias and Sapphira, and with the messed up people taking the Lord’s Supper in the Corinthian church. Besides these, we have no other examples of sin being judged physically in the now. This, I believe, is because we are now living in view of Christ’s sacrifice, which is the sufficient atonement for sin. We no longer need to see God execute judgment visibly on sin, because the full expression of His wrath has already been revealed. Moreover, we are clothed in Christ now, and so I do not expect we should generally receive punishments in the same way that Israel did. We currently live in an age of mercy and pardon. There will be a time again for physical, visible judgment, but this will be at Christ’s return, when the final order of things will all be set right. Now, might God still on occasion punish and send sickness as judgment? Quite possibly. But this is not, I would think both by theology and experience, to be the norm.

Job: Sickness for Growth

Next up: Job. Job’s story is quite interesting. Satan is roaming the earth, presumably looking for someone to devour, and approaches God. So what does God do? He actually suggests to Satan that he go after Job, though forbids him from taking Job’s life. Why? It seems that there are two reasons in view. In the original dialogue, it seems as though God is seeking to prove something to Satan, namely that in Job He has a truly devout follower. Yet by the end of the story, we also see that Job has grown from this ordeal. His faith has been both vindicated before Satan and deepened before God. At this point he has learned to trust in God and His justice no matter what happens. His questions are not answered, but He learns that God is truly there, even in his pain. He comes to understand that God is just even when He doesn’t simply bless the righteous and punish the wicked in this life.

From this I derive that God had two purposes in mind for giving Job into Satan’s hand. One was to show to Satan than he cannot break the faith of those who truly love God, and another was to strengthen and mature Job himself. By the end of this ordeal, Job has a stronger connection with God than he did before, and that is truly the sweetest thing that anyone can acquire. He became more wise and more content. 

These purposes, I believe, also apply to many of the sicknesses and troubles in the life of the believer. As with Job, it seems Biblical to say that God gives Satan the permission to afflict us within certain limits. The reason for many of these trials are to refine us, to make our faith better and stronger, and to prepare us for greater reward (as Job received everything back double plus better knowledge of God). We see this kind of thing in James 1:2-4, 1:12, Heb. 12:11, and Rom. 5:3-5 among many other places. When we endure suffering, God works it to our good, and sometimes what we need is suffering to reach certain good.

I should also point out in this case that God doesn’t seem to usually be the active agent of our suffering in these cases. Unlike in punishment, assuming Job is a rather normal case we would find instead that God permits secondary causes and agents to be the cause of our sickness, not directly afflicting us Himself.

The Blind Man: Sickness for Healing

The most interesting case of the three I chose to analyze is that of the blind man Jesus healed, because Jesus’ disciples in this case actually asked Jesus why this man was born blind. After all, most of the Jews of the time believed that, with very few exceptions, sin brought all kinds of suffering and righteousness brought all kinds of blessings. So in the case of a man born blind, most people would assume that either he himself sinned in the womb somehow or that he is cursed by his parents’ sin. Since we know that God does sometimes send afflictions as punishment for sin, this doesn’t seem unreasonable. But this is not what Jesus says. Instead, He tells them this: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

This is quite a response. Jesus said that this man was born blind basically just so God could heal him through Jesus. Why would God choose this? Well, while we are not told explicitly, I gather from the usual themes of Scripture three possibilities, all of which probably have something to do with it:

  • This was to bring glory to God. This man was born blind so that in healing him, God would exalt His Son and Himself. Since Scripture often speaks of God doing great acts of mercy for His glory, this certainly seems plausible.
  • This was to bring about the man’s salvation. It may also be the case that God intended from the beginning that this blind man’s healing would be the means by which he came to faith in Jesus Christ.
  • This was to give the man a testimony for others. It is probably also true that God intended this event to be a way that the blind man could come to tell others of what God has done and so further glorify God and procure the salvation of others.

Also, in this case we see no indication of who/what was the immediate cause of this man’s blindness. While God’s purpose is shown in it, we are left not knowing if God sent the blindness Himself, if it came through Satan’s works, or if it was perhaps entirely natural means under the control of God’s providence. All we know for sure is that God had a plan for this man’s suffering, and in the end it brought great joy.

In application to us, we should also look in our own suffering and sickness for opportunities to advance the glory of God and salvation of people. Your illness may very well be a piece of God’s plan to save someone else, or to strengthen someone’s faith through a miracle. All sorts of things are possible, so keep an eye on Jesus no matter what happens.

Wrapping Up

There are other cases in Scripture, I am sure, that could bring out even more useful points about God’s relation to sickness and disease, but I think most of what we need to know has been covered in these. We see that sometimes God sends sickness directly, sometimes indirectly, and sometimes naturally. It may be for judgment, growth, healing, or another purpose. But I think we can say rather confidently that there is also some purpose, even if it is nothing that we could so easily comprehend. We have a strong and wise God, a God who will not permit us to suffer a moment needlessly. Rest assured that if you or a loved one is suffering that God knows what He is doing. Yet also know, just like in these texts, that we will probably never know all the answers. Job never knew why he suffered, after all, and his trouble was probably the worst here. Sometimes even if we were told the reasons we probably wouldn’t be able to actually follow along and get it all. The only time I am confident we will know is if God sends punishment, in which case He will almost certainly make the sin plain. Yet this also seems to be the least likely reason for sickness. So trust God, and know He’s got us in His hands.

Does God Want Me Sick?

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus

It’s really hard to stay focused in this world. There are so many things out there competing to occupy our minds. There are worries, hobbies, jobs, fears, entertainment, people, and all sorts of other concerns, many of which are truly important. Yet somehow, through this all, we are supposed to stay focused. Not just focused on any old goal, but on a person whom we cannot see. In fact, we can’t see Him, hear Him, or touch Him like we can the other people, projects, and pleasures in our lives. Yes, He’s here with us in the Spirit, but during the daily stuff of life that can easily be missed. 

If that were not yet enough to test us thoroughly, we cannot simply relegate Him to a certain block of time. He is too much to be, like work or lunch, a part of our mind for only certain parts of the day. Instead His position demands that He be on our minds, in our sights, through all times in all days. Such a life seems nearly impossible.

“But God” has made a way. In giving His Son the preeminence, He did not also make us incapable of living that out in our lives. He knows what we have need of as material creatures. So we do have ways to keep our eyes on Jesus. Paul told us to pray without ceasing, and when we make prayer a continuous part of our lives, not just some quick chats but an ongoing conversation, we are reminded all day of our new life in our Father and His Son. When we fellowship with other faithful believers, we see the life of the Spirit becoming tangible in their love and faith.  If we listen in faith to the preaching of the Scriptures, we learn how to connect the spiritual truth of life in Christ with the daily tasks of plain life. Reflecting on the physical event of our baptism reminds us how we are made one with the Lord in His death and resurrection. As we partake in the food and drink of the Lord’s Supper, we perceive with our senses a sign of the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice. Studying the Scriptures diligently gives us the opportunity to find parallels between the teachings of the prophets and apostles who did marvelous deeds in faith, and the activities of our own lives.

So let us all embrace the means of grace God has given us and enjoy them, for Jesus Christ is truly worth the effort. There is nothing as wonderful as finding true union with God’s only Son. From the inside out, we are changed and renewed. Our spirits are refreshed, our faith is strengthened, our love is expanded, and our good deeds are multiplied. Just doing what it takes to focus on Jesus is how to truly find life.

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus