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Thanksgiving

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” – Col. 2:6-7

 

When you think of Thanksgiving Day, what are the thoughts that come most readily to your mind? For most, it would be all the food, or the time spent with loved ones; or maybe even the hassle of cooking all that food and then cleaning up the mess that is always left by all those loved ones. But how often, I wonder, do we stop to actually consider the meaning of the day of Thanksgiving? After all, it was initiated as a feast to celebrate one’s appreciation and thanks unto God for the blessings He bestows upon us. So the question is, I suppose, how much thanks do you give God on Thanksgiving?

 

“Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High,” (Psa. 50:14). Because, in reality, every day needs to be a day of thanksgiving; every day should be a day to glorify God for His greatness and mercy, because every day God blesses each and every one of us. Do you have salvation? If so, you are the most blessed of the blessed, for you have eternal life bought with the blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Do you have a roof over your head? If so, then you are blessed, for there are so many unfortunate ones who lack this profound comfort we take for granted. Do you have clothes on your back? Food on your table? Breath in your lungs? Two arms, two legs? A tongue to speak, eyes to see, and ears to hear? If so, then you have been blessed! Take a moment to realize the extent of these blessings, and how much they enable you to do; and then ask yourself how much we do for God with them. Because that is what these wonderful gifts have been given to us for: to serve God’s purpose!

 

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”  (II Cor. 9:8, 11) That ‘sufficiency’, and that ‘grace that abounds towards us’, is a gift to use for His kingdom – to use for His good works. That is the first thing, I believe, that we need to realize: that what is given to us, like the servants with the talents, is to be used for God’s glory – not hoarded or kept only for ourselves. The second is that, until we are truly thankful for what we’ve already been given, we’re probably not going to receive any more. So, if we want to ask for more, than we need to use what we have for the Lord without hesitation, and be thankful that we have it to use in the first place. Or, as Paul says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6)

 

“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” (Psa. 95:2-3) And also, truth be told – and all self-interest aside – it just feels good to praise our Lord: for He is a great God, and more than worthy to praised every moment of every day. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and His worship should be shouted from the highest mountain with the loudest voice. It feels right and proper to sing His praise; we will never feel as whole and complete as we do when we are on our knees before His presence to glorify His name.

 

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” (Psa. 69:30). So today, I would ask that you turn every day into a day of Thanksgiving: let every day be your day of celebration for God’s blessings in your life; your day of gratitude for all that He has done for you. Sing and shout His praise without ending, and rejoice in His presence in your life, for there is nothing greater than the love and peace of the Lord. And if you lack these things, then find them by giving your heart to God and asking Jesus Christ to come into your life: because you honestly just don’t know what you’re missing out on. Today, and every day, I thank God for His Spirit which lives inside of me, and the incalculable blessings He has bestowed upon me throughout my life…and for all those yet to come. “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 7:12)

 

“And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.” – Jeremiah 30:19

 

Be blessed,

Joshua

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Revival

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me.” – Psalm 138:7

 

At the end of the day, after you sort through all the demoninations, doctrines, personal opinion, and bias, there are only two distinctions in this life that matter – only two types of people in all of the world: the saved, and the lost. Plain and simple. Because of Adam’s legacy, we are each of us born into a world of sin – and born as a part of that world and its nature. The truth that we all must accept, is that to transcend this world – to be sanctified and set apart from it – we must first be reborn: covered by the precious blood of the Lamb and filled with God‘s Holy Spirit. However, even after you’ve accepted Christ into your heart, there is still work to be done; there is still growing to do and strength to gain. Sanctification is an ongoing process: from the moment of your salvation to the drawing of your very last breath, we should never stop learning of God and striving to grow closer to Him. And the one thing those two groups of people have in common – both Christian and lost – is this: that, no matter who, where, or when, we are all in need of revival.

 

‘Revival’, defined as “restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.”, is equally applicable to all, saved or not. For those without God, you need to accept Him: to be washed in the Son’s blood and to be born again in His name. For those of us who have our salvation, we still need that restoration of strength, and of vigor. We need to be renewed constantly and consistently, allowing God to “revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15) We need to reach back to that moment when we first accepted Him into our hearts; that moment when we first felt so new, so committed, and so determined to live and work for Him. Too often, we allow the Enemy to rob us of that sense of renewal and determination: it begins to wane as we are steadily worn down by time and the world around us. But we can always find our strength and renewal in our God – anytime, anywhere – for He is the God who tells us, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)

 

“Wilt Thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in Thee? Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.” (Psalm 85:6-7) This is a prayer we all need to pray: to have our hearts revived, so that we might rejoice in the Lord; to take joy in our salvation and in the awesome covenant we share with our God. If we could all be filled with His fire, His victory, and His Spirit, what things we could accomplish! Nothing can stand against us!

 

So, today – whoever you are and whatever the state of your soul – come looking for rebirth and renewal; come looking for a revival, and be made over again by the power and grace of Christ Jesus. Because in Him, nothing ever grows old, diminishes, dies, or fades away: in Jesus, all things are made eternally glorious, eternally righteous, and eternally new. “So will not we go back from Thee: quicken us, and we will call upon Thy name. Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.” (Psalm 80:18-19) Today, I pray that we each might be quickened all over again by His grace; that we be filled to the brim by His Spirit; and that we be sustained for all eternity by His peace. And if you don’t know Him today, I pray that you accept Jesus Christ into your heart for the ultimate revival: because when you are made new by His blood you feel new in a way you’ve never, ever dreamed. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  (II Cor. 5:17)

 

“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in His holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.” – Ezra 9:8

Be blessed,

Joshua

The Judgement Seat

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, ‘As I live’, saith the Lord, ‘every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God‘. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” – Rom. 14:10-12

 

In many cities of Ancient Greece like Athens and Corinth, from Classical times and on throughout the Roman Imperial era, one of the fixtures of Grecian daily law was that of the judgment seat. Called the ‘bema‘ (Greek: βαίνω, meaning to”step [or move] forward”, or to “step [or move] up”), the judgment seat was merely a raised platform of stone reserved for orators addressing assemblies, lawyers disputing their cases, magisters judging those cases, and the champions of athletic competitions whom would step upon it to receive their rewards. But for most Christians, the term ‘Judgment Seat’ has come to represent the final judgment of Christ upon humanity in the last days. And yet, despite knowing this – and despite us knowing all those scriptures that urge us to do otherwise – we still find ourselves trying to sit in His seat and do His job for Him on occasions.

 

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matt. 7:1-2) Basically, in plain language, this well-known yet oft-ignored verse says this: don’t throw any stones, because what goes around comes around; be careful of the standard you hold others to, for you will then be held to that same standard yourself. Because at the end of the day, the truth is that we are all hypocrites: its just up to us to decide how much so. We all hold ourselves and others to varying degrees of standards that shift with the situation and circumstance – and if you claim otherwise, then you’re probably not being completely honest with yourself. We’ve all been guilty of judging another person – usually someone we don’t think much of to start with, or someone we tend to be harder on – and then making excuses for ourselves – or perhaps for someone we’re partial to, or easier on – for doing the very same things. What we might condemn in one person we find acceptable for another; then we come up with all sorts of faux justifications for our rationalizations. For those without salvation, particularly, this is unavoidable: because people by themselves will always be controlled by passion, bias, and prejudice for (or sometimes even against!) those we love. Let’s face it: humanity is the furthest thing from fair. What we need – what everyone needs – is the guiding power of the Holy Spirit, so that we all might have discernment and the ability to look upon others with Christ’s clear, fair, compassionate, and loving eyes.

 

“I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” (John 5:30) The only One who has been rightfully appointed to sit in the Judgment Seat is Jesus Christ, who Himself even states that is the Father’s will that judges through Him. And His judgment – unlike our own – is right and true because it is just. Can we say the same? When our judgments are based upon opinions, prejudice, personal bias…or sometimes plain downright stubborn contrariness? There is a reason we are told not to judge: and that reason is that we are too limited – too lacking in wisdom, compassion, understanding, and justice…and we simply don’t have the qualifications for doing so. Even if you are the most sinless, most sainted human being alive, you still have no right – no authority – to render judgment upon another. That is Christ’s job, and His alone.

 

“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Rom. 13:14) Because we should be more concerned with the souls of those people we might look judgmentally upon, rather than our disapproval of their conduct. Our hard-heartedness and sense of moral superiority can drive people away from God: we can do irreparable damage with our condemnation. Now, let me pause to say that there is also a very distinct difference between discerning right from wrong…and casting judgment upon it. We can recognize a sinner without condemning them for being one. Or, if you prefer it this way: we can hate the sin but still love the sinner. The bottom line is that we are not here to play arbiters to the lost; we are meant to be their ministers, teachers, and guides. After all – if you are saved – then someone must have once ministered and guided you. Christ said unto the Jews intending to stone the prostitute, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” (John 8:7). There must be a remarkable number of sinless people in the world, then, since the stones I’ve seen cast in my lifetime – having thrown many myself – could build the Great Wall of China thrice over.

 

“For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” (John 5:26-27) Again: Christ has the right of judgment because He is the Son. Obviously, none of us meet that particular requirement: which means none of us have the right to pass judgment on another. So, I ask that you consider this: when you come across that person whom you might scorn or condemn or judge, remember that at one time in your life, you too were scorned and condemned and judged. Remember that Christ Himself was scorned and condemned and judged…for you: and yet, He was innocent where we were always guilty; He was spotless where we – without His blood to cleanse us – were always stained. He was perfect where we were always flawed…and He was broken so that we could share in that perfection by His grace. Remember that He suffered these things so that we would never have to – so that, rather than fearing a Seat of Judgment, we might be able to anticipate a Seat of Mercy, as well: “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more,” (John 8:11). Let us show that mercy to each other – let us love as He loved, live as He lived, and see as His eyes saw; remembering also that one day, we will face the true Judgment Seat ourselves: accountable for our actions, and judged as we once judged. Be careful of the measuring stick you use for right and wrong, ’cause that same stick will be used at your trial. Mostly, though, remember this: on the Judgment Seat, there’s only room for One…and its not you or me.

 

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (II Cor. 5:10)

The Comforter

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” – John 14:16-17

 

You know, so many people view God as this distant, uncaring deity: as a God who is as far away as the stars and as cold and remote as far-flung galaxies. It’s difficult, I know, to believe that such an immense, all-powerful Being could possibly care about our day-to-day welfare, or be interested in the happenings of our lives; rationally, it would be like one of us showing love, interest, and devotion to a colony of ants. But the truth is that God does not operate on our rationale: it is even written that the wisdom of men is foolishness to God. Because, the truth is that God is only as near or as far away as as you put Him: He can be as distant as the constellations, or He can live within your own heart – all depending on where you wish Him to be.

 

Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless,” (John 14:18); because God is not human, just as we are not ants: we are His children, and co-heirs to His kingdom. He does love us – unconditionally, and it is His will that we find happiness, contentment, and salvation in this life, as it also His will is for us to find eternal victory in the next. The very same God who sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross at Calvary for our sins also sent to us the blessed comfort of His Holy Spirit; He sent Him so that we might overcome, endure, and be victorious over all this world of sin can throw at us! How could a God who gave such things to His children not love them beyond comprehension?

 

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth in Christ,” (II Cor. 1:5). For whatever we might suffer, Christ has suffered first and worse; and as He was victorious, so shall we be, also…if we can but put our trust in Him, and let the Holy Spirit lead us to that victory. Remember that our God knows what it is to be a man: to suffer trials, temptations, and pain…and more importantly, to overcome them all. The Spirit we share is the same Spirit that upheld Him through those times: if we allow Him, He can do the same for us.

 

For, as it so often is, it is a time of trouble: of want, of lack, of suffering and worry. Yet despite all this, the victory and glory of God remains in our lives; and if we can fight our way through the darkness, to press in through the crowd to touch the hem of His robe, we will see His grace working overtime. The comfort of His Holy Spirit will never abandon us, never flee, never dwindle: He is as constant and steadfast as God Himself. Let us cling to that comfort, and “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved,” (Psa. 55:22).

 

Remember today that “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?” (I John 5:4-5), and that “he that endureth to the end shall be saved!” (Matt. 10:22). Remember also, that the endurance we need comes not from our own inner strength, but from the strength and truth that the comforting Spirit of God will reveal to us: for, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you unto all truth.” (John 16:13)

 

So, for this day and every day hereafter, let us each find comfort and surcease from the trials of our life in the Spirit that our Lord has given us for that very purpose; and so that we, in turn, might comfort others in His name. Let Him guide us, protect us, and bless us as He was meant to do. Because God is not distant, or uncaring: He is right there with each of us – through the thick and the thin, the good and the bad – and He will never forsake us…though we may, at times, forsake Him. So, keep His Spirit close, and we will have all the comfort we will ever need.

 

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” – II Cor. 1:3-4

Standing Ready

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,” – Titus 2:13

 

You know, you hear so many people speak of the end times, and their theories of when, where, and how it will happen. The thing is, that at the end of the day – after all the speculation, guesswork, and educated hypotheses – that there is only one thing that is absolutely certain: that it will, in fact, happen. Christ said, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh,” (Matt. 24:42,44). So, the question today – the question we should ask every day – is this: “Do I stand ready to meet my God today?”

 

There is nothing more important in this life than that answer: for the ability to answer yes or no determines whether we face an eternity of joy and victory…or one of despair, pain, and humiliation. And truthfully – even for Christians who are assured of their salvation – that question is one that should merit deep consideration: meaning that, when we face our Lord in Judgment, will we be able to tell Him that we did the very best of our ability to spread His Word and to expand His Kingdom? Or did we fall asleep on the job, leaving others to do the work for us: letting opportunities slip by us without ever making an effort. “He that gathereth in the summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame,” (Prov. 10:5). So, child of God or not, we should ask: do we shamefully sleep through the harvest? Imagine standing upon the bank of a river, watching the currents drag men and women past you, and knowing that they are being pulled to their deaths; do you stand there and watch them drift by? Do you wait and hope that someone else comes along to do the saving for you? Or, do you do everything in your power to save all those that you can, throwing them a lifeline and praying they can pull themselves out? It’s the exact same principle as a Christian with the lost – except that its much worse than death we try to save them from: it’s the torments of an eternity in hell. True, all we can do is throw them that lifeline, the blood and word of Jesus Christ, and pray they pull themselves free of the currents of sin…but do we do all we can to cast those lines out there in the first place? Because whether the end comes today or in a hundred years, we’re still running out of time.

 

“Behold, I come quickly,” (Rev. 22:7). We have no concept of what Time is to God: we are told that a day is a thousand years and a thousand years a day; how then, can we comprehend how God measures Time? But, however much time this old world has, your time could come in the next instant: this is why we have to be ready…for, “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.” (Matt. 24:46)

 

So today, if you’re not ready, I pray that you get that way for the sake of your eternal soul, so that you might find the peace, freedom, and joy that only Christ can give. And for those of us who have that blessed assurance, let us consider how much more we could be doing in and for our Lord’s great name: let us not bring shame upon ourselves for sleeping during the harvest. I pray that we can all work together in Christ to make this world a better place, and that we might all look forward with hopeful anticipation to the glorious appearing of our Savior.

Be blessed,

Joshua

Saints of God

“Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ…beloved of God, called to be saints.” – Romans 1:6-7

 

The definition of the word ‘apostle’, which comes from the Ancient Greek apostolos, is ‘one who is sent forth’; alternately, the word ‘disciple‘, from the Latin discipulus, means ‘a learner or student’. When thinking about our roles as Christians, and as His saints, I can’t help but wonder just how well we fulfill those definitions. See, while many of us believe that these definitions are limited to the original Twelve and to Paul, the fact is that – as His children – we too are expected to be both disciples and apostles: we are expected both to learn and to go forth, teaching what we have learned about Him in His name. We are meant to take what He gives us and go out into the world, so that we  might give it to others in turn. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20)

And, also: “…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost will come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). Because a disciple or apostle is not just those few men that lived 2,000 years ago: no, every man or woman who has ever accepted Christ into their heart has worn that mantle – including us.

But do we wear it well? How committed are we to learning about our Lord, or to going forth in His name to take His word to the world around us? I’m rather certain we could all do much better. When you consider those men – the early church fathers like Peter, Paul, James, Luke, Timothy, and so on – you see a strength of character and determination that is lacking in most people today. Yet when you look at their pasts, and the lives they led before their conversions, you see ordinary men full of faults and flaws and weaknesses; and yet, with God’s Spirit guiding them, they achieved such feats, such miracles, as we can only read about and wonder at. Or can we? I believe we can accomplish such miracles ourselves: because the same Spirit that guided and protected them, guides and protects us. Why should it be any different for us? We could do such great works if we only would step out in faith and make that commitment.

And honestly, the world needs such works…as well as the workers to do them.  “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (I Cor. 3:9). We are the elect, and we are the called: as such we are meant to step out and serve those we’ve been charged with saving. Yet most of us are content to sit back, and allow others to do the serving for us. Yet, Christ said, “For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as He that serveth.” (Luke 22:27). So, if our Lord – righteous and holy as He was – came to serve, I ask this: how can we as His church do any less?

So today, I ask everyone to consider what it is to be a true disciple to, and a true apostle of Christ: let us remember that as we are His saints, we should conduct ourselves that way. Let us consider how hard we strive to learn of Him as His disciples, and work for Him as His apostles, and how – as His saints – we could be so much more committed to serving His great purpose…as He once served us.

“…That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God,” – Col. 1:10

Be blessed,

Joshua

Forgiveness

“Then came Peter to him, and said, ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?’ Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven’.” – Matt. 18:21-22

 

In his Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope wrote, “To err is human; to forgive is divine”. Why? Why is it all too easy to err – to fail, to fall, and to sin – and yet, still be so difficult to forgive? After all, since we all know how easy it is to mess up and to do wrong, why do we have such a hard time forgiving others when we perceive them as doing wrong themselves? Part of it, I believe, is just plain bitter self-loathing: we see ourselves in the flaws of another and we tend to hold it against them. But the main reason, I think, is that its one of the enemy’s top priorities to manipulate us into withholding our forgiveness, which we often allow him to do; see, there’s nothing he can do to stop God’s forgiveness, which is given freely and unto all…but he sure can trick us into holding it back if we let him.

 

Because to forgive is divine: it is one of the most powerful forms of Christian love, and one of the most effective means of healing broken hearts and torn spirits; in fact, I’ve come to believe that forgiveness does far more for the one giving than receiving it. Still, it is so hard to do; and trust me, no one knows this better than me: I struggle every day to forgive those I feel have hurt me and/or those I love. Because saying ‘I forgive them’ and actually forgiving them in your heart is two very different things: honestly, there are some people I’ve had to forgive with my mouth a thousand times before my heart started getting in on the whole process…just like there are people that my heart still needs convincing on, as well. But hey, to err is human.

 

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matt. 6:14)….because there is an even better reason to forgive than the damage that unforgiveness does to you: if you expect to receive it, you’d better give it. Christians, especially, should understand this: I mean, after all, those who have been born again in Christ know what it is to feel His grace and His mercy holding you up and putting the broken pieces of your life back together. That is the power of healing that forgiveness can give…that is why to forgive is divine. It is that portion of God’s power in which we can partake, and its the greatest characteristic we can share with our Lord and Savior – for if we would be His brethren, then we must share in His will…and His will is to forgive. “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve needed an awful lot of forgiveness in my life: and glory to God, I’ve received it.  Like the servant in Matthew 18, if I cannot forgive those who owe me a hundred pence – a paltry sum – while my Lord has forgiven me a fortune, then I shall be made to pay. Because that’s what it comes down to, people: we’re in the plus column when it comes to forgiveness – we have a surplus and have plenty to spare. And if you’re like me, you’ve no doubt at one time thought to yourself, “some people don’t deserve forgiveness; some people aren’t worthy of grace.” And you’d be absolutely right: some people aren’t. Just like the crowd shouting for Christ’s crucifixion didn’t deserve His pity as He hung upon that Cross looking down on His tormentors; and yet, almost His last words beseeched the Father to forgiven them, anyways.

 

We are not worthy or deserving of the blood shed upon that Cross: and yet, it was shed and given freely regardless. We are not worthy of having all our stains washed away, or our sins cast into a sea of forgetfulness…and yet, they are cast there all the same. So, as difficult as it can sometimes be, let us remember to celebrate His forgiveness – His mercy and His grace – by showing the world our own: regardless of worth, regardless of difficulty; regardless of our own pain and sacrifice, let us instead honor His. For, to share His righteousness we must also share His love, His grace, and His mercy.

 

And in so doing, we assure our place in His kingdom, praising Him “in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Eph. 1:7)

 

Be blessed,

Joshua