Weights are things which “mar communion with Christ,” and we enter into communion with our Savior through contentment and obedience. As tempted as I may be to get rid of unpleasant people, projects or situations, they are often the very thing that I need to learn contentment and obedience and to progress in holiness.
This is the divine recipe for the bride’s beauty treatment: otherworldly love that compelled a King to sacrifice himself on her behalf.
We need to preach the gospel of freedom in Christ to ourselves. We need to remind ourselves daily, hourly, moment by moment, how merciful and patient the Lord is with us.
Opportunities come and go in our lives. Most poignantly, they happen in small slices of time. A moment’s hesitation and a job prospect is gone. One second more and that car would have sideswiped you. The phone sounds its last ring and you grab it in time to hear the apology you’ve been praying for. You crest the hill at exactly the same moment the sunset sky reaches its most glorious and spectacular release of color and light.
That hole I want to dive into when this world’s failures — when my failures — press in upon me? I can’t go there. It’s already occupied — by my burden. It tumbled off my shoulders and into that Tomb when Jesus set His mark on me and sealed me for heaven. That glorious, empty tomb was vacated when He rose to conquer the terror and finality of death that loomed over me when I resided in the City of Destruction. That hole once housed His body crushed for me under the weight of my sin, and now it buries instead for eternity my burden and those of all who believe in Him. It’s a bottomless pit.
Here is the shared experience of those who travel Christian’s road, whether new or old in the faith: wrestling with “right” decisions, fighting doubts, putting off behavior and thoughts of the old man that do not honor Christ, grappling with understanding theology and God’s commands. These struggles threaten to steal any joy from living this life, and they don’t even come close to the battles that thousands upon thousands of worthy Pilgrims fight every single day for the sake of the gospel.
Maybe —just maybe—the goal in parenting is only partly about how the kids turn out, and perhaps a lot about what happens to my soul during and by the end of the journey.
As we weep for Paris and mourn the deaths of innocents who were caught in the crossfire of a brutal attempt to achieve acceptance with a non-existent god, let us also pray for the Sauls of Islam.
God’s remembrances in this life work out as His best providences for us. They transform us into the likeness of Christ in our individual circumstances, and His remembrances echo eternal promises and benefits, reflecting His character.
In the days following 9/11, there was story after story about heroes.
Here’s mine of my failure.