Tag Archive: Christianity



On Mondays, I have been blogging excerpts from one of the books I’m writing, called “Found Wanting”, exploring a God who loves us and relentlessly pursues a deep and engaging relationship with us. We have looked at the first portion of the book which discusses a position of inward bankruptcy in our souls as a result of sin and it’s consequences. Why do bad things happen in the world? Not because God doesn’t care and doesn’t want to do anything, for sure… But because sin separated us from a position of trusting in, and having intimate connection with God. Because we were sinners, separated from God by our own move away from him, refusing to trust his good intentions toward us, we decided we needed to look out for ourselves, instead of allowing him to protect, defend and care for us. With this newfound independence from God in place in our lives, ample room for self centeredness brought about lawlessness. Every one did as they saw fit. This allowing sin to enter the world. Instead of allowing God to be judge, and decide fairly on the outcome of situations in our lives, we took matters into our own hands. You see it today. From the simplest example of trusting ourselves and questioning the character and goodness of God… Simply because we ask the question, “Why does a ‘good’ God allow suffering in the world?” the very question itself questions the character of God, proving our suspicion of his goodness or concern or involvement in human affairs. Now I could answer that God delights in freedom for us, which is why He gave us free will, and that out of that free will he longs for us to connect to him, because he knows love cannot exist where there is no choice… And maybe you buy it and maybe you don’t. But the example still stands that there is something blocking our ability to believe in God. Free will presents another side to it as well, sadly. Just as we can freely choose to love God and each other, we can also choose to not love. Or to love selfishly… Loving what suits us best. Why is it that we desperately want to take justice in our own hands? An eye for an eye, that sort of thing. When someone has been wronged, and the authorities do not satisfy the hunger for justice, sometimes people take matters into their own hands. Why do people murder each other? Because they have taken matters into their own hands, not because God does not love us. Bad things happen to good people, because free will exists. On the one hand, it is a brilliant plan when it is used for good and not for evil, but free will backfires when we are serving our own interests above all else.

In the second half of the book, I discuss the incredible state of being ‘found wanting’ as in desiring after God as a result of recognizing His great love for us, and once we have felt it, experienced it, embraced the love of God, we are now enabled to love as He does -putting the needs of other’s above our own, or at least not exalting ourselves above another, as a good place to start! When we have truly been loved by God, received his live, tasted and seen that He really IS a good God, we experience the desire to give back. Not out of compulsion, but out of joy!! So how do we give back what we have freely received from God? The forgiveness of sins, and the invitation back to intimate fellowship with him… Then what?

“We were designed to respond to God’s love. We were designed to love. It is our first nature. But what does this nature look like? What does it involve? What does it entail? It is the nature of love to be ever expanding, not to horde love to itself, but to feel the warmth of the embrace of real and genuine love and to desire to give it away, knowing ‘there is more where that came from!’ When you hear of some really incredible sale at your favorite store, do you want to keep it to yourself or tell all your friends so they can find a great deal to? If you were on your death bed and suddenly were completely made whole and are perfectly well, would you not be so excited and bursting at the seams to tell everyone you know about your sudden, miraculous healing? Or would you keep it to yourself? When you are having the best day in the world, and feel like celebrating, do you not want to call as many of your friends as possible to go out and paint the town red and do something exciting to celebrate the moment, or a big victory? Love is like this too! When we are in love, we want to tell everyone of our newfound love. Why? Because love was created to express it, and to bring joy to those around you. That is the purpose of love- to expand, to spread the news! To share something wonderful!

Those who have come to know and understand and receive the love of God participate in the mission of God, by spreading the greatest news imaginable – that God is love! That God DOES indeed love us! We are not alone here, left to fend for ourselves, lurking in the dark, grasping the wind, struggling to find a purpose in life or for the meaning of why we are here. Those who have understood his love, KNOW. They know that the mission of God is to spread his love to everyone, because his heart grieves for all of us who have wavered in our confidence in his goodness, those of us who were disillusioned, or gave up hope in God because of some travesty we experienced in life that we thought was God’s fault, when in reality, was the result of free will and sin nature expressing itself in independence and rebellion against God, all because we believed the biggest lie of all: “God’s heart for us is not good!” So sad this reality of our condition, such incredible news when we believe again… God’s heart for you is good! God loves you. God is love! Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend. He has called us his friends and invites us to be friends of God, believing on his kindness, his goodness, his plans for us to give us hope and a future, and vision, and purpose in life. Do you want to join this incredible adventure? If you know and have experienced the love of God for you, do you want to participate in the mission of God? To remind people of his great love for them, to tell them of his goodness, and that he wants to be their friend too? He wants them to ecstatically experience the incredible love of God! If you have not experienced the love of God in your own life, you can! It is the easiest and hardest thing you will ever do! Believe. Believe in his goodness. Receive his love. Confess your independence from him and ask for him to help you depend on him and trust in him. He will empower you to do this. He loves you so much!

The mission of God has always been the same: to pursue mankind relentlessly and passionately with his love to draw us into a fulfilling and meaningful relationship with him, and to love each other as we love ourselves, preferring each other above our own interests, and enjoying the community of oneness that is experienced among the triune God. We are invited to be part of this family, to be sons and daughters to a good king, the King over all the world!”

I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my book! There is so much to be excited about when we truly understand and come to believe and trust in the goodness of His heart toward us!

Have a great day!

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It is not really until we come to understand the meaning of the bible as a grand narrative, a love story of God’s pursuit of mankind -the first love, the evil intruder attempting to destroy love and woo the heart of God’s beloved away from him towards anything else, and the lies that were believed of the goodness of God, the turning away, and His radical love to pursue a wayward wife that we can even begin to understand the love of God.

If we merely see the bible as a religious book of bedtime fairy tales, or the Christian religion as rote rituals and spiritual disciplines than we are likely to miss the point. We are likely to gloss over the whole point to the story:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him, might be saved.” John 3:16

God loved us, and when we wandered off from him questioning his goodness, bandaging our wounds, believing the lie that God had indeed forsaken us and left us to our own devices, oblivious to the true fact of his never ending love for us, he still sought us out to repair the relationship torn apart because true love cannot exist without trust. And we thought God was holding out on us, keeping secrets from us, not to be trusted, when all this time, he has merely been pursuing us with his love to win back our hearts to him, hearts that were broken because his love was called into question.

He had to do something radical to show us his unconditional love, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, taking all of our sin and shame on himself, so we could live free, and that our eyes may be opened to believe that he loves us.

“I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…” Ephesians 3:17-19

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

“God IS love” 1 John 4:8b

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neighbor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is on Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

These are only a few of the many passages of scripture that present the great unfailing love of God for us… Yet, unless we open our minds to see it, and our ears to hearing the truth of His love for us, we sadly stay locked away in a prison we created for ourselves, and miss the point: God is love. God IS love. Love comes from God, it abides in us, and we are able to love others because he has first loved us! He is the one that imparted within us the ability to love each other, and the insatiable hunger for it. We all need to be loved!

Understanding God’s love is a lifelong pursuit as he corrects our distorted thinking and beliefs about him. When we get those ‘aha’ moments, where we sense his divine presence… And we just ‘know’ God is good, it is in those moments where he is inviting us to know and encounter and experience the great love of God, a love that fills like no other can!

Unconditional Love


 

 

I mentioned on Monday that I would talk a little more today about unconditional love today.

Since I am going to unpack what God’s love for us looks like on Monday, excerpts out of my book ‘Found Wanting’, I thought today, I might just pass on some good stuff I’ve read from Joyce Meyer on the subject of unselfish, or unconditional love. Some quotes I have read from her book ‘The Love Revolution’ that have really inspired me over the past couple of years.

Helpful tips from Joyce Meyer on learning what unselfish love is, and how to apply it:

 

“One way to love others is to help them not feel worse about the things they already feel bad about.”

I admit, I often find this challenging especially when I have been seriously offended! I am still working on exhibiting more grace toward others, and am personally working on empathizing with where they are coming from so that I can become better at this kind of grace filled compassionate love.

I read this from the book ‘Caring Enough To Confront’ by David Ausberger about caring and confronting which I am working on utilizing in my own life:

Caring

I care about you and about our relationship

I want to hear your view

I want to fully respect your insights

I trust you to be able to handle my honest feelings

I promise to stay with the discussion until we’ve reached an understanding

I will not pressure, manipulate, or distort the differences

I give you my loving, honest respect.

Confronting

I feel deeply about the issues and interests at stake

I want to clearly express my view

I want authentic respect for my insights

I want you to trust me with your honest feelings, knowing that i can handle them fairly

I want you to keep working with me until we’ve reached a new understanding

I want your unpressured, clear, undistorted view of our differences

I want your caring-confronting response.

I am finding these tools as well as others beneficial personally to empathize when someone has wronged me, and I need to remind myself of Joyce Meyer’s advice to not make the person feel worse than they already do! Sometimes… Keeping your mouth shut is the only option if you are not yet able to find the grace to empathize and try to see things from the other person’s perspective, until your own emotions cool!

More tips on unconditional love from Joyce Meyer:

“humility serves and always does what lifts others up.”

“Jesus never made people feel badly because they were not on his level, but instead he stooped to their level.”

“Man’s love fails, but God’s does not. Man’s love comes to an end but God’s love does not. Sometimes I find that although I cannot love a person in my own human strength, I am able to love them with God’s love.”

“Human love depends on feelings. We love people because they have been good to us, or they loved us first. They make us feel good about ourselves, or make life easier, so we say we love them. Or we love them because we want them to love us. But that type of love is based on what they are doing, and if they stop doing it, we will probably stop loving them. God’s love is totally different. When human love ends, God’s love is still available to finish what needs to be done.”

“The true love of God doesn’t depend on feelings it is based on decision. Help anyone who needs help, unless helping them would ultimately hurt them. They don’t have to deserve it. As a matter of fact, sometimes I think the less they deserve it, the more impacting it is.”

“Mercy helps those who don’t deserve help, but unconditional love is not intended to allow people to be irresponsible while we pay the bill. Mercy gives many opportunities, and unconditional love never gives up. It… moves out of the shadows and helps when doing so will really make a difference.”

Perhaps my favorite definition of unconditional love is this:

Agape, from the Greek, translated as unconditional love, or benevolent love, refers to charity. It’s benevolence however, is not shown by doing necessarily what the person loved desires, but what the one who loves deems as necessary or needed by the one being loved.

For example, God gave us not what we wanted, as perceived by God (the one loving), but rather God’s love for man is based on God doing what he knows is best for man and not what man desires. It is God’s willful direction toward mankind. For us to love God, we must first appropriate God’s ‘agape’ love, for only God has such an unselfish love.

I will divulge more into this unconditional love and how it pertains to us on Monday next week! Stay tuned!

Unconditional love has been the single greatest feat for me to accomplish! I long to love this way to the best of my human ability! I am continually humbled by my circumstances when I realize how far I yet have to go to love more and more like God loves! I know I will never be perfect at it, but I greatly admire this kind of love and desire to emulate it to the best of my ability. I am grateful both for my successes and failures in this task, as I learn from each experience how to greater facilitate the ability to love in this way. Sigh. A long ways to go I’m sure. I am thankful for the grace God shows me, as I grapple with learning to extend this same grace to other’s as I try to model my life after the life of Christ. I am a work in progress!


Part 2

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be crrtainly wrung and possibly
broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it careful with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless- it will change. It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable… The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves).

And yet, the solution to the inhumanity and sinful condition is love. Perfect love.

As I closed the end of part 1 of this blog I mentioned that God is love. That God sent his son that whoever would believe in him, would have eternal life. That love does no wrong to it’s neighbor. That love is the fulfillment of the law.

But back we come to our problem. If you go back several blogs you will see the problem we wrestle with the ten commandments. We cannot fulfill them. As I quoted Erwin McManus in an earlier blog, he suggests this on the 10 commandments:

“The ten commandments are not heaven’s standards… They are not God’s attempt to pull us up beyond the human into the spiritual. The Ten Commandments are the lowest possible standard of humane living. Stop and consider what they demand of us. Maybe it would help if we just rephrased them in everyday language. Here goes: ‘hey could you stop killing each other? Oh, yeah, and by the way, could you not steal each other’s stuff? And it would be really helpful if you wouldn’t lie to each other and here’s a thought, could you not take other people’s husbands and sort of, like, keep your own? Upon reflection, these are unreasonable right? How could anyone be expected to live up to those? Only God could do that, right? Why don’t we get it? Anything below these standards is choosing to live like an animal, a barbarian. The Ten Commandments don’t call us to extraordinary life; they call us to stop dehumanizing each other. The law is the minimum of what it means to be human.”.

And yet, when we read it, we still find ourselves disqualifying from being able to love perfectly, and fulfill the law by loving perfectly.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear., because fear has to do with punishment, the one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:17-19

Who can love this perfectly? And unconditionally? God alone.

So where is our help?

Let me unpack this great love God has for us, and how Christ became the willing perfectly human, perfectly god in the flesh, able to love sinlessly and flawlessly to rescue us from our fallen state by taking on the consequences for all of our sins onto himself, (perfect justice placed on Christ’s sacrifice on The cross) allowing us to go free and receive the benefits of the good news of grace and unmerited favor of God. We go free. If we believe on what Jesus did, who he was, and receive it, there is now no more condemnation for our sins and offenses. Jesus paid it all. It is a simple message that we complicate so much. We go free. All we have to do, is believe, by faith, that Jezus is who he said he was.

Check this out, to understand the love of God and the concepts of mercy and justice a little more. Often hearing about the simple message of the good news: I go free because of what he did… No more guilt, no more striving, no more consequence for failure, because he took it all, is to mind boggling to believe. It just can’t be that simple. And yet, despite it’s simplicity, what we wrestle with internally is the sin nature within us, vying for complete control of one’s own self, independence, and distrust of the character and goodness of God and we often find ourselves stuck here:
“The mind set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so. And those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” So again we find ourselves stuck.

The solution is faith, not works.

“if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord (God), and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead, we shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-10.

If we believe in Him and place our faith in him that he is the messiah prophesied to come and redeem his people, and can understand that God loves ALL of us, and desires none of us to be outside of fellowship with him, our faith saves us, and we are born again. Symbolically, we die to our old sinful nature with his death on the cross where he takes all of our sin and shame, and even our sickness and infirmities onto himself on the cross, dying in our place – as death is the natural requirement to pay the consequences of sin – and in his resurrection, symbolically, we are raised to life with him, having the power and spirit of God now indwelling us to use that power of the new nature to exhibit self-control and resist the sinful temptations we face, and by his strength at work in us, we are given the power to overcome the sin nature still at war within us. His spirit gives us strength to choose or live according to the nature of Christ, and love when we thought we couldn’t, to really genuinely forgive when we felt incapable, to resist yielding to independence and
Ride, and the people pleasing, performance trap, and accept and receive God’s grace and unmerited favor towards us. We must only believe.

There is so much more to unpack about this simple, and yet so difficult concept to believe, about the love of God to plan a way to bring our wayward independent hearts back to a trusting relationship in the God who created us, loved us, grieved at our independence, pursued us with al, his heart and made a way for us to have a perfectly restored relationship with him. All our sins he remembers no more. When we believe in Jesus, all God sees is the blood that Jesus shed on our behalf, taking all our sin, shame and imperfections upon himself, and he just sees us as his creation, dearly loved by God.

I have much more to say on the subject but not enough time today! Stay tuned. I may unpack this unconditional love further in my Wednesday blog! And again next Monday, on understanding God’s love!

Stay tuned this Friday as well, as I discuss sexual abuse in my series on abuse on Fridays.

Take care, and God bless!


What is the gospel? Why is the message of Jesus good news? Why is it that his death and resurrection are so important in the christian message of God’s love and grace? And how does it help us, if we are locked away, stuck in a sinful condition, unable to help ourselves be sinless and perfect? Why is it important that Jesus rose from the dead to make the Christian religion credible? I believe the Christian message of God being perfectly loving and merciful and perfectly just to be fundamentally flawed without Jesus’ claim that he is God, and without his resurrection from the dead, and his sacrifice on the cross for sinful mankind, it is impossible for God to be both perfectly just and perfectly merciful. If he were perfectly just, he would have to punish every sin, making no one eligible on the basis of ‘works of righteousness’ to earn his favor, for everyone sins and fails and is flawed. But to compromise that justice, he would no longer be perfectly just. The same is true of his perfect mercy. If he were perfectly merciful, he would have to dismiss every single human sin and flaw, and compromise his standard of justice for the oppressed. How does he then remedy this problem? We continually make assaults against the character of God when some moral code is broken… Someone takes an innocent life and we are fuming inside at the injustice if it all, daring even to blame the God of heaven as to why he allowed this injustice to occur, standing idly by, appearing uncaring to our cause. Do we not see from this example alone that we are made in the image of God, sharing with him the same value of both mercy and justice? How then does this dilemma get resolved? What is the perfect solution to the mercy/judgment problem? I believe the answer lies in the person of Jesus Christ. If he is who he says he is -the son of God, (the second person of the triune Godhead), and if his claim, and the claims of the many witnesses who testified to the fact that he was indeed resurrected from the grave are indeed completely true, then Christ MUST be the messiah, sent to redeem mankind from something far more than the Jewish believers of his time period could see. He was after something so much more important than rescuing his people from the Roman occupation of the nation of Israel. He had a much greater mandate, a free gift offer to all who would receive his message, and was living out the grand narrative of the mission of God -to redeem the hearts of his creation back to himself!

We will circle back to that mission in a few minutes. Let’s explore a bit further. What is it in us that desires perfection so much, that we strive for it in every area of our life? What is it in us that if we fail, we lose all hope and believe we are a complete failure? What is it that causes us to want to earn favor, recognition, love, appreciation, affirmation, success? Is it not the very nature of the divine, indicating we were created in his image, his image that is perfect, and unflawed, unconditional, and unending? Why do we have trouble accepting death? As if innately, we knew death was never meant to be the natural condition of mankind? Why do we believe we have good within us and fight so hard against ‘the bad’ or ‘imperfect parts’ of our being? Because somewhere inside of us, we know. We know we were meant for more. Romans 1:19 suggests ‘that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them, for since the creation of the world his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature, having been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse”. The evidence is in. We have inherited qualities that God himself possesses, we long for (often unaware) that which was lost to us because of sin, independence and separation from God. For instance, the longing for love that completes us, that is fulfilling, and that never ends, we long for freedom, and mercy and justice and to be perfect. And I could go on and on. But we cannot earn perfection, and the human love we seek after is fundamentally flawed, it ends, it fails us, eludes us. The purpose we seek in life, we try and fill with lesser loves, like success in a career, and we are often still left unfulfilled. As if we were made for something more substantial to sustain the largeness of our hearts. We grieve and cry out against injustice, often unaware that the name for injustice comes from the root issue of sin. Someone’s sin and evil mistreatment of another. What is the solution to this madness? To the cycle we spend our lives on trying to live for ourselves and make ourselves happy, and work toward being perfect… For what? For who? Why?

And love… The pursuit that leaves us so often in so much pain…. I want to share this quote with you, before I delve into the solution that the godhead came up with that the early believers that Jesus was messiah simply called ‘the good news.’ Today, we will find out why. But first, let me share this quote with you, from C.S. Lewis:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be certainly wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it careful with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -safe, dark, motionless, airless -it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable… The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.”
(The four loves)

And yet the solution to the inhumanity of man, is love.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

God is love.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever would believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Love does no wrong to a neighbor, love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“greater love has no one than this; to lay his own life down for his friends.” john 15:13

Stay tuned…. Part 2 of ‘Good news – what is the gospel’ will be coming later this afternoon.


According to Christian theology, the Old Testament is rich with glimpses of a promised Messiah. In fact, many Jewish people believe that there is still a messiah to come. The main difference is that the Jewish population for the most part, (excluding Messianic Jews), believe a Messiah has not yet come, and a few have departed altogether from the belief in an actual messiah as a man or ruler to come about, but other experts rather interpret the messianic prophecies through ideas such as a Eutopian society or other ways to explain the passages that seem to indicate a messiah will come. Some modern day Jewish people are completely unaware of anything to do with a Messiah at all. Christians, on the other hand, believe the Messiah has already come, only that he came in a way that the Jewish people of Jesus Christ’s era did not recognize him, perhaps because they were expecting him to come in the same fashion as all the other Jewish heroes -someone who would sit on the throne of David and break off the tyranny of their Roman oppressors of the day.

But to really unpack the glimpses of the Messiah to come, we must examine the Old Testament to watch the stunning unfolding of Jewish prophecy foreshadowing a Messiah that seems to fit the portrait of Jesus.

The prophet Isaiah revealed the manner of his birth – born of a virgin.
The prophet Micah pinpointed his place of birth -Bethlehem.
Both the book of Genesis and the prophet Jeremiah described that he would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the tribe of Judah, the lineage of King David.
The Book of poetry known as the Psalms foretold his betrayal, his accusation by false witnesses, his manner of death, (crucifixion -pierced in his hands and feet -even though crucifixion was not even a part of Jewish law at the time of this old testament writing as it still wasn’t part of their judicial system in the time of Jesus.) The book of Psalms even predicted he would not decay but would be resurrected.
There are even scriptures suggesting that he would be called a Nazarene (someone who lived in Nazereth).

Perhaps the most stunning scripture in the Old testament as a prophecy foreshadowing the messiah comes out of Isaiah 53:3-9, 12.

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we were healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth, he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away, and who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence nor was any deceit in his mouth. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Ok, let’s try and unpack this a little, as there is so much more symbolism and prophecy in the old testament that points to Jesus as Messiah.

Re: the virgin birth, see Luke 1:26-35 for confirmation in the new testament of the old testament prophecy.
As for his birth in Bethlehem, Jesus should not have been born in Nazareth since his family lived in Galilee. But guess what? There happened to be a census that required every man and his family to register in the town of his birth. Since Joseph (Mary’s husband) was a descendant of king David, he was required to take the long trip to Bethlehem to register for the census. Mary was with child as they set out on the journey to register for the census in Bethlehem. While they were there, she gave birth to Jesus in a manger. (Luke 2:1-7)

As for the lineage, there are 2 found in the new testament, one found in Matthew 1:1-17, and the other in Luke 3:23-38, indicating Jesus was descended from what was prophesied.

Jesus’ betrayal was foretold and fulfilled in Matthew 26:47-50, and again in Mark 14:43-49, Luke 22:47-53, and John 18:2-8. Judas, the one betraying Jesus, was filled with remorse after making a deal for 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus into the hands of the officials who would bring him to trial. Judas’s story is found in Matthew 26:14-19, and again in Matthew 27:1-10. This particular passage also is a fulfillment of a prophecy found in Zechariah 11:13 that Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. ( I encourage you to read the scriptures for further insight as I do not have enough time or room to unveil all of this in one blog! )

As for the false witnesses, while Jesus was on trial, the chief priests of the day had incited false witnesses to come forward and testify against him (Matthew 26:59-63), also fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus remained silent before his accusers, from the prophecy in Isaiah 53 above.

As for the nail scarred hands, and the death by crucifixion, the fact that the Jewish people of the day were under Roman occupation, they appealed to the Roman governor, asking that he be crucified under Roman law which allowed crucifixion as a form of punishment, thereby allowing the prophecy of his death by crucifixion to be possible. Without believing, and without knowing, they had a hand in fulfilling Scripture! Pilate, the roman governor, consented to the cries and wishes of the people begging for his crucifixion even though he himself, saw that Jesus was not worthy of such a punishment. But in an effort to gain the people’s favor, he released Jesus to be flogged and then executed by means of crucifixion.

Where it suggests that Jesus was assigned the death of the wicked (crucifixion) he was hung on a cross between two thieves (Matt. 27:38). Where it talks of him being despised and rejected, the very next verse, Matthew 27:39 says that those passing by ‘were hurling abuse at him’ and it goes on for several verses afterwards with their taunting and rejection and accusations, and mocking words.

Familiar with suffering? Not only was he flogged with whips with chunks of bone in them, and had a crown of thorns placed on his head, but he had spent the evening prior to his arrest in a garden, weeping with such turmoil at what he knew he was about to endure and experiencing the burden of carrying the weight of the sin of the world upon his shoulders… So much so did he experience this sorrow that he endured a rare condition that causes the human body to sweat drops of blood due to excessive stress and anxiety. (Luke 22:42-44).

The disciples had even arranged a place of burial for the body of Jesus after his death, not believing he would literally rise from the dead and return to them 3 days later fully alive! But ironically, they arranged a burial site from a rich man named Joseph, a member of the council, who had been waiting for the messiah, who allowed them to bury the body of Jesus in his family burial site!

Coincidence???

There are so many more signs and prophecies from the Old testament that give sufficient evidence that not only was Jesus the Messiah, but that he is part of the triune God, another point of contention between the Jewish belief and the christian. The Jewish people do bit claim to believe in the trinity, whereas Christians, believe along with Jesus when he claimed to be the son of God and that he and the Father were one, but also suggested another would come, the holy spirit, the third person of the trinity, sent as the comforter for those who believe that Jesus not only is Messiah, but the son of God.

Sadly I do not have enough time to give away the whole chapter of this book, indicating signs and customs performed in the old testament, and even today that are meant to be symbols pointing to a messiah.

Why don’t the Jewish people believe that Jesus is Messiah if there is so much evidence to support that he fulfills the old testament prophecies? Again, as I mentioned at the beginning, the Jewish people of his day, though ripe with anticipation for a messiah to come, expected him to come to deliver them from the Roman occupation, when God, through the Messiah who was to deliver not only Israel, but the whole world, was up to something bigger… A far larger plan was in place than what they expected, and their hearts could not embrace the grander narrative of what was beginning to unfold. I absolutely mean no disrespect whatsoever to the Jewish people! On the contrary, I am grateful to them for the introduction to the God of the Jews, the God that I worship, but along with Messianic Jews, who embrace Christ as the Jewish messiah and savior of all mankind, I embrace Christ as my messiah & savior as well! I would be happy to discuss this further with anyone interested! But sadly and unfortunately I cannot give away everything in one blog!!

Until next Monday, where I will unveil the mission of Jesus and the good news he was bringing to all mankind, you will simply have to stay tuned!!

A Look At Idolatry


Two weeks ago on April 9th, we looked at a deep inward bankruptcy and our attempts to earn our way to God. We touched a little on the idol worship the nation of Israel was involved in that grieved God’s heart as it pulled away their faith and confidence and trust in him, shifting it to idols made out of stone, rather than dependence on the living God.

Today we are going to take a look at what kinds of idols Israel worshipped in the time of the writing of the Hebrew scriptures of the Old Testament, as well as taking a look at the idols of the New Testament era, and if we have time, perhaps I’ll give a few examples of modern day idols we worship today rather than God.

To understand idol worship a little more and how it was such an offense to God, we first should take a closer look at what happened when the nation of Israel was given the ten commandments by God.

What happened that day as Moses received the 10 commandments from the God of Israel, the creator of the universe, the God Christians believe in as well? The Israelites had agreed to enter a covenant with God, a contract, as it were, that consisted of blessings for obedience, and curses for disobedience. You can take a closer look at these blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 11 in the Old Testament. If we de-construct this to a modern day comparison, we can view this as a contract. If the two parties participating in the terms of the agreement are satisfied with the terms they will sign a contract including the consequences involved for breaking the agreement of the terms stated. we see a similar contract developing with God and the people of Israel. The people agreed wholeheartedly, wanting the blessings offered in this contract, and the terms seemed reasonable enough. As the 10 commandments state:

1.Don’t have any other gods before Me. (this is God speaking to Moses as he is giving the law he expects Israel to follow).
2.Don’t make any idols, in the image of anything in heaven, or on earth, or under the earth. Don’t worship them or serve them.
3.Don’t take the name of the Lord God in vain.
4.Remember the Sabbath (a day of rest) and keep it holy. You shall not do any work on this day.
5.Honor your father and mother that your days will be prolonged in the land which God gives to you.
6.You shall not murder.
7.You shall not commit adultery.
8.You shall not steal.
9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10.You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

I read a quote once, that I absolutely love, on the subject of the ten commandments that I will share with you now, which at first, may seem to contradict everything that I am suggesting about some ‘standard’ that God has set, that we cannot attain to. But bear with me; I am taking you on a journey with me to discover what the heart of God for man is. Here is what Erwin McManus suggests on the subject of the Ten Commandments:

“The ten commandments are not heaven’s standards… They are not God’s attempt to pull us up beyond the human into the spiritual. The Ten Commandments are the lowest possible standard of humane living. Stop and consider what they demand of us. Maybe it would help if we just rephrased them in everyday language. Here goes: ‘hey could you stop killing each other? Oh, yeah, and by the way, could you not steal each other’s stuff? And it would be really helpful if you wouldn’t lie to each other and here’s a thought, could you not take other people’s husbands and sort of, like, keep your own? Upon reflection, these are unreasonable right? How could anyone be expected to live up to those? Only God could do that, right? Why don’t we get it? Anything below these standards is choosing to live like an animal, a barbarian. The Ten Commandments don’t call us to extraordinary life; they call us to stop dehumanizing each other. The law is the minimum of what it means to be human.”

When you look at it the way Erwin McManus puts it, it makes sense. Sounds like some good rules to live by to keep everybody happy and inherit massive blessings on top of it! Israel was IN! They agreed to the terms of the contract, little realizing how difficult it would be to follow. Little realizing that to God, this was more than a contract, this was His heart of love wanting to bless his people and have a close relationship with them. But as I mentioned in my blog two weeks ago, Israel strayed their commitment and affection from God to other things.

Some of the major idols in the BC (before Christ) era that Israel served were the gods of the Caananite people who controlled all the fertile valleys of the region at the time. The Caananites worshipped Baal and other deities that were known to be gods of fertility. It was natural to pray to these gods to hope for one’s crops to be good each year, as well as the very sexual content involved in the worship of these gods.

The erection of two golden calves in cult centers were also idols that were forbidden to be worshipped. These forms of worship were introduced from Assyrian and Babylonian worship that influenced Israel while they were in exile to foreign rulers.

“Israel’s calling was to the worship of the one true God. God’s election separated the people from unholiness and to himself as his special possession… God had chosen Israel and they were to worship and serve him only…the first commandment is to have no gods before God (Exodus 20:3). In addition, the construction of any images or the mention of other gods was forbidden” (taken from biblestudytools.com. )

Baal, according to the Caananite religion of the time, was considered to be the god of the rain, thunder, fertility and agriculture, and lord of heaven. In an arid land were agriculture was a thing of difficulty, it is no wonder people would turn to whatever God ‘specialized’ in the need at the present moment. Fast forwarding to the Roman and Greek culture that we are more familiar with in history, the same applies: pray to Aries the god of love, or to Aphrodite, the female sex goddess, or for peaceful journeys at sea, pray to Poseidon the god of the seas. Or Zeus, or Hades, god of the underworld. You prayed to whom you needed the most at the time.

Going back to Baal worship for a moment, back in the day, Baal worship consisted of child sacrifice, indecent sexual acts, and the reverence of creation over the creator. It would look a little like a bunch of people standing around the alter to Baal and burning a child on the altar, and then having a massive sex orgy, in the attempt to bribe Baal to bring rain and fertility to the land.

The goddess associated with Baal is Anat, like the goddess Ishtar, of love and war. She is believed to aid & support him in his conflicts and vindicating him in his losses. According to tradition, Caananites centered their worship around the male creator god, El, and his wife Asherah. Baal was the son of their union. Asherah was the chief female deity worshipped. Baal’s appearance was mostly in the form of a man with horns of a bull, carrying thunderbolts in his hand like his father. He would also appear in the form of a serpent. Asherah appeared mostly as an Asherah pole, a wooden figure depicting sexuality.

The problem the Living God of Creation had with these pagan idols was multi-fold. First of all, these idols were treated like household gods, in an attempt to get what they wanted, they would pray to the appropriate god, thus, treating all gods as a means to an end, out of selfish ambition. Second, these idols had turned Israel’s dependence and trust in God to other images of stone that were not gods at all, but mere idols and myth. God wanted his people to recognize that he was God over all, that HE in fact, was the God of creation, not El. That HE was the God of the rain, and the thunder and the water and all creation itself. Thirdly, creation itself was exalted higher than the God who created all things!! And finally, and most important, God loved his creation and wanted them to know his love, rather than exert their independence and trust in their own strength, or in fantasy rather than reality. He wanted them to know, according to Him, all other gods are no gods at all and have no strength or might or ability.

He alone is God. So here we have it… God is still trying to teach them (and us) to get it: He alone is God. “all other cisterns are broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

No other god, or created thing can fill us as He does. We were designed on purpose to connect to God, to be loved by God, to love him in return, to enjoy the community of oneness between us and the godhead, and to pass it on in the communities of our lives, our family, our friends, our community, our neighbors… Even our enemies, to extend compassion & love towards them.

Briefly, on idols today: anything we put our faith, confidence and assurance in MORE than God, is considered an idol. He wants us to rely on Him. After all, he is known as the Exer Kenegdo: “The One who comes through for”.

Katie Meilleur
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Waiting. Anticipation high. The air of expectancy of a Messiah to come and rescue the Jewish people from captivity. But the time of the Messiah was not quite ready. First we see the dreadful and terrible effects of the law working to expose sinful deeds.

As a generation, the Jewish people were turning their hearts away from the one true God, and looking to other false god’s, lesser gods that could not save them.

“…They did not stop worshipping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk.” Revelation 9:20

“Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.” Lev. 19:4

“Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.” Lev. 26:1

“you have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made for yourselves other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger and turned your back on me.” 1 Kings 14:9

“They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshipped Baal.” 2 Kings 17:16

“They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols.” Psalm 78:58

“Our God is in heaven, he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.” Psalm 115:3-5

“Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of idols, they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.” Isaiah 2:7-9

And the above passages are just a sampling of the turning away from the one true God, turning to lesser gods, the god’s of the people surrounding the nation of Israel.

So in turn, as a result of their turning away, the Lord allowed the nation of Israel to be taken into captivity in order to humble their hearts, that they would turn back and remember all the glorious ways the God of Israel had rescued them in the past, hoping they would turn back to Him with their whole heart so that He could cause a hero to rise among them and bring about their deliverance, so they might see that the God of Israel was not a mere idol, carved of wood and stone, but a living God, with great power beyond human ability. But over and over He would reveal this power, and over and over the love of God in the hearts of his people would turn cold as they would run after their lesser gods.

“My people have committed two sins; they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13

The worst was about to come. The kingdom of Israel would be ripped in two, and both kingdoms, the north and south, were inevitably doomed to be taken into captivity, first by the Assyrians, and finally, the Babylonians. Their temple destroyed, the worship that primarily had to do with the temple needed a new expression in a foreign land with no temple. The Israelites would need to come up with ways to renew their commitment to God and turn their hearts back to him. They came up with their own attempts to earn their way back to God, by coming up with new rules and laws, and ways of interpreting the scriptures. This of course would eventually become a stumbling block to them.

But here we are, at the turning point. The attempts of earning the favor of the living God, just as the surrounding nations have done for thousands of years, making sacrifices to appease their gods and seek to earn favor. The Jewish nation adopted this method by the laws they created for themselves to discipline themselves to follow God. But this was never what the God of the bible had intended. A God hungry for the love of his creation, whose primary objective was to love them and be loved and have the people experience and receive the love of God, they had now turned their faith into a list of do’s and don’ts, just as Christians have done as well. There is something about fallen sinful nature that is wired to “earn our way.”

This was never the plan. A radical shift of thinking would need to occur to understand God’s grand narrative -his remarkable plan of salvation. But when would it come? How long would they need to wait?

Stay tuned next week and the week after, as I dig a little deeper about what idolatry is defined as, and a look at the kinds of idols the Israelites worshipped thousands of years ago. And then there are the whispers of a savior, one like King David in the Old Testament, who would be the one to deliver the people of God from slavery. But would it look quite like the Jewish people were looking for, or would it possibly be fashioned in a different mould than was expected?

No Greater Love


So today I was going to pick up where I left off from last Monday, writing more about attempts we use to ‘earn’ salvation, or God’s love, or access to eternal life, but instead, this morning, I woke up with a poem in my head, ready to get written down. I think it is a fitting place to include it in today’s blog for a couple of reasons.
1) Because it has to do with writing, which my Monday blogs are about, and
2) Because Easter weekend is coming up and that is what this poem has to do with. The real meaning of Easter. Not the chocolate bunnies, and the candy, and the Easter egg hunts, but rather an event that took place around 2000 years ago. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and what I felt God revealed to me this morning about God’s love, and how difficult it is for us to love others as God has loved us. Hope you enjoy:

No greater Love

Don’t tell me that love is a simple choice
He gave his life for mine.
His body broken so mine could be whole,
My sin and my shame
He took on himself
No thought for his own reputation,
I was on his mind.
He did it for me
So I could be free.
He bore my burden, my sin, my shame
And rescued me from the pit.
This is what love is.
What a lesson to learn
To follow this example
To love those who harm us
Betray us and forgive them.
To love an enemy as much as a friend.
To humble myself just as he did,
And take on the effects and consequences of another’s shame
And pour out love, tenderness and mercy.
What a difficult lesson to learn.
When your heart trembles inside
Seeking revenge,
Wanting to stay angry and not to forgive.
Feeling the humiliation of bearing
Another’s shame.
Trying to retain your own reputation
And thinking how unfair this could possibly be.
They get their freedom
You feel the brunt of their fall.
And carry the consequences in yourself.
Is this love if you can do this well?
Is it simply a reminder
That no one is good, no not one.
That we all have gone our own way
Turned aside from following His path?
Is it a reminder of his great unfailing love for us, and how perfectly
he loves? And how imperfect I am?
Thank you Lord for what you have done…
The resurrection of your son from the grave,
After dying alone on a cross
Bearing the full weight of the world.
Our sins and our shame,
And offering in its place,
Freedom, new life, forgiveness and grace.
Teach me this grace.
Help me to love as you do.
There is no greater love than to lay own’s one life down for his friends.
Thank you Jesus, for what you have done.

For those of you celebrating Easter this coming weekend, I hope you have a great Easter and spend some time contemplating what Easter is about, and be thankful for the great love of God, who brought about the way for our freedom through Jesus Christ. Have a great Easter! God bless!


Last week I started this two part series on God’s grief and love for us. This is the part two of last weeks’s blog. Another excerpt from the book I’m writing.

” ‘For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.” Romans 11:32

God intends to show us mercy. God has envisioned a plan for our redemption. But before we see this plan unfold, we must take a painful look at God’s side of the story. The anguish and grief, the sorrow and anger that burns within him at our wayward condition, and his desperation to renew a right standing between God and mankind once again.

Let’s take a look at a few more passages so that we have a fuller understanding of this love story unfolding, a love story with a wounded lover, who has lost his wife to her unfaithfulness towards him.

“I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, the love of your betrothals, your following after me in the wilderness, through a land not sown… what injustice did your fathers find in me, that they went far from me and walked after emptiness and became empty?…Has a nation changed gods when they were not gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, o heavens, at this, and shudder, be very desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water… you are a swift she-camel running here and there sniffing the wind in her craving – in her heat, who can restrain her? Should I not punish them for this? Should I not avenge myself?” Jeremiah 2:2,5,11-13, 23; 5:9

And again the Lord expresses his frustration:

“You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill, there you went to offer your sacrifices. Behind your doors and doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide and made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.” Isaiah 57:7-8

“This is your lot, the portion measured to you from me, declares the Lord, because you have forgotten me and trusted in falsehood. So I myself have also stripped your skirts off over your face, that your shame may be seen. As for your adulteries, and your lustful neighing, the lewdness of your prostitution, on the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations…How long will you remain unclean?” Jer. 13:25-27

Perhaps the most passionate look at how God feels at our idolatry and turning away from him is found in Ezekiel 16:4-26:

“As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing, you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths. No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you. Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born. When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’… I made you numerous like plants of the field. Then you grew up, became tall and reached the age for fine ornaments; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare. Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold you were at the time for love; so I spread my skirt over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that became mine, declares the Lord God. Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you, and anointed you with oil. I also clothed you with embroidered cloth, and put sandals on your feet; and I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dres was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey, and oil, so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. Then your fame went forth from among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of my splendor which I bestowed upon you, declares the lord. But you trusted in your beauty and you played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing. And you took some of your clothes, made for yourself high places of various colors, and played the harlot on them, which should never come about nor happen. You also took your beautiful jewels made of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that might play the harlot with them. Then you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered my oil and my incense before them. Also, my bread which I gave for you, fine flour, oil and honey, with which I fed you and you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened, declares the lord. Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to me, and you sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? You slaughtered my children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire. And besides all of your abominations, and harlotries, you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare and squirming in your blood. Then it came about after all your wickedness, that you built yourself a shrine and made yourself a high place in every square. You built yourself a high place at the top of every street and made your beauty abominable, and you spread your legs to every passer by to multiply your harlotry… to make me angry.”

In his anger, he rose up a prophet to experience what He himself experienced concerning our waywardness. The prophet Hosea. The Lord instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute and bring her into his home. Hosea experienced this same rejection as his wife left him after bearing two sons for him, and returned to her harlotry. The Lord instructed Hosea to go after his wife, and bring her back to live with him again, as the Lord has done repeatedly for us, pursuing us each time we are wayward and run off to serve lesser gods, the idols in our lives that replace him in our hearts.

Let’s listen to a little of the imagery once again, of God’s anger and his plan and intention to woo his wayward bride back to himself:

“Contend with your mother, contend, For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. And let her put her harlotry away from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts, lest I strip her naked and expose her as on the day when she was born. I will also make her like a wilderness, make her like desert land, and slay her with thirst. Also I will have no compassion on her children, because they are children of harlotry. For their mother has played the harlot; she who conceived them acted shamefully. For she said, “I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. And she will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; and she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now… therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her… and she will sing there as in the days of her youth…and it will come about in that day, declares the Lord, that she will call me Ishi (husband) and will no longer call me baali (master).”

Hosea 2:2-7, 14, 16

Despite all of this painful imagery of a lover who has lost his loved one to her adulterous behavior in walking away from a beautiful relationship with her beloved, we hear him saying things such as this:

“Return to me, and I will return to you. Yet you have said harsh things about me. You have said, ‘there’s no pay off in this relationship. It’s not worth loving God.”

We also hear him say, ‘return faithless sons, and I will heal your faithlessness.” Jer. 3:22

“for I the lord, do not change… return to me, and I will return to you.” Malachi 3:6,7

“For I will not contend forever, neither will I always be angry, for their spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of those whom I have made.” Isaiah 58:16

And again; “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

We see a God desperately in pursuit of redeeming a lost relationship, and willing to relent on his anger, seeking to find a way to close the ever widening gap between man and God. But do we see what is going on beneath the surface? Behind the scenes, there is a war going on. This same serpent, the devil, who we were introduced to in the preceding chapter, is on a mission… to woo our hearts away from the Living God. He is the one enticing us into our harlotries, by deceiving us and telling us that what he has to offer is better than what God would offer. We are still under his spell, the one that questions the goodness of the heart of God, which draws us away to lesser loves, and independence, and confidence in our own strengths and abilities. All the while, the real story happening here, is that this enemy is merely playing with us, like the pieces on a chessboard, discarding us when he no longer has need of us, all in the attempt to break the heart of God, because he lost the battle, because he could not overpower God. And we are blissfully unaware of this ongoing assault of the heart of God, nor are we aware of our part in breaking God’s heart. Until now.

At this point, in the divine timeline of a grand narrative underway, God is alone, on a mission to pursue a way to bring us back to his heart, to trust that his heart toward us is good, once again.

But there is hope coming:

“We hope for justice, but there is none, for salvation but it is far from us. For our transgressions have multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us. We know our iniquities, denying the Lord, and turning away from our God… Now the Lord saw and it was displeasing in his sight that there was no justice. And he saw that there was no man and astonished that there was no one to intercede…then his own arm brought salvation.” Isaiah 59:11-13,15,16

And there we have it, in the midst of a situation that looked hopeless, a people shut up in disobedience, unable to even turn to God on their own efforts, we hear the vague sound of a plan unfolding in the heavens… the sound of hope: ‘then his own arm brought salvation.’

As a result of this plan of salvation unfolding to restore mankind to right relationship with their god, we can foreshadow what this salvation would bring: the ability for God to say this to us and forever end the wrath of God toward his creation, because salvation would come in such an extraordinary way. When salvation would come, He would say to us once and for all:

“Their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more” Hebrews 10:17″

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