Our lives are probably a lot alike in many ways. We have good days and bad days, and we probably like + prefer the good days over the bad. Some days feel like a roller coaster where some parts of the day seem like you'e on top of the world, and then at a moment's notice, you're in the pits. Some of us are planners, needing every second of every hour planned out, while others of us run from any form of organization. We probably have a family we're thankful for, whether by blood of by common ground, and stillness + quiet is probably appreciated a lot after a gathering. We all have a job, whether it's in an office, classroom, car, or at home. Some of us work for money, and others of us work for fun and money just happens to come along with it. Some of us are fortunate enough to have never known disappointment and failure, and others are fortunate to have known both yet still courageously embrace each new day. Some of you, I may know quite well, and others I may not know at all. Regardless of our relationship, I know something about each of you; it is a truth that I know + believe about myself, as well. We are LOVED + FORGIVEN + INVITED to share in ETERNITY with our Creator. The Lover of our souls. Our sweet Hope. You may be tempted to stop reading now that my thesis has been delivered, but I hope you won't. Be encouraged to keep scrolling as I tell you about my God, the One who granted me freedom from the bondage of sin.
There are many people I am inspired by, but none so much as David. The Creator of Heaven and Earth acknowledged him as a man after His own heart, which tells of his devotion to his God. I often wonder what the Lord would say about me, and I pray that I would wake up every day and live like David did. When there was no one to trust, he didn't give up; he trusted in his Father knowing full well that He was the only One worthy of trust. David praised the Lord as he was being hunted by King Saul, and his heart broke when he realized he had broken the heart of his God. He wrote psalms of praise and danced in the presence of the Lord, and even the psalms he wrote in anguish still concluded with giving God glory. I want that. I want to look right into the face of evil and proclaim the faithfulness and sovereignty of my God. I want to tell the world of His strength and love (Psalm 62:11).
Like David, I mess up. A lot. The cool part? The grace of God covers it all. Everything I have every done and will do is covered by the grace granted to me by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 8 tells us that Jesus freed us from condemnation and brought us from death to life with Him. So if he died for all, you may be wondering, we're all good, right? Skip ahead to Romans 10: Paul tells us that we must confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God raised Him from the dead. He goes on to say that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Saying you believe and truly believing are two different things, and only one leads to life. In 1 Samuel 16:7, God says that He looks at the heart of man, not how we appear to the eye. With belief come repentance, as both John the Baptist + Jesus Christ proclaimed throughout their ministry (Matthew 3:2 + Mark 1:14). He loves us, extends His grace out to us, and offers us life eternal in His presence; He leaves it in our hands though. His offer is up for grabs, but so few lay claim to the victory over death He gives.
Every time I read Matthew 7:15-23, my heart aches and my stomach gets queasy. Most of us don't realize the weight of the truth in those verses. Do we really care about the fruit we bear? Many times, we spend more time comparing our fruit to the fruit of others rather than trying to better the quality of our own. We say "Well, my sin + struggle isn't as bad as that person's," and we continue is what entangles us. Right before Jesus speaks about fruit, He tells of the narrow gate + the wide gate. Coincidence? Absolutely not. The fruit we bear determines the path we're on. Too often we choose shame over forgiveness. Paul writes on 2 Corinthians 5:20 that "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Those who are hidden with Christ are made righteous in the presence of the Father because of His love for us.
My prayer is simple. That we would embrace the love poured out on us and proclaim, with joy, this beautiful truth in 1 John 3:1: "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" That we would become a people after God's own heart.
What will your response be to His call?