Because of Israel’s repeated unfaithfulness to God throughout the Old Testament, we might expect to find a revenge story revealing God’s anger and punishment. Instead, in the book of Ruth, we find a story of God’s unfailing love. Throughout Ruth’s story, God continues to remain loyal and He displays His love in unexpected ways.
One morning, before the sun whispered its way into the horizon, the sky was clear and I could see the stars in all their glory. Yet, it wasn’t the stars that I focused on. It was the darkness that holds them all together.
I tend to enter each space with a performance mindset: the items on my grocery list I need to buy, the emails I must respond to, or the projects I need to complete. Yet, the instruction Jesus gives is less about our performance and more about being completely present: with God, with the spaces we enter, and with the people we meet.
Communion is a reverberating cymbal which floods our memory with the sacrificial love of Jesus toward us. The Lord’s Supper is more than a modest meal: it is a celebration.
Does it ever feel like you’re just going through the motions in your faith? You go to church, pray, read the Bible, but it feels as if God is hiding away somewhere. The good news is God is closer than you think. He may even be right in front you, just waiting for you to notice.
We can get caught up doing a lot of things for God, or asking him to do things for us, and neglect simply being with God. Enjoying Him, losing ourselves in the pleasure of His goodness, is what will sustain us for everything else.
Over time, almost imperceptibly, we can get stuck in the trance of constructing our role in the world, building our identity, and completely miss what God is doing around us. We can spend a lot of time and energy protecting this Self we’ve created at all costs. As counterintuitive as it may seem, it’s when we surrender this Self that we get what we were trying to build all along: our life.
There is often enormous pressure to keep up with the non-stop noise and activity of our modern world. Jesus offers us an alternative to this frantic pace but following Him and resisting the pressure around us will require a simple act: kindness toward ourselves.
Sadly, some people are taught they have to change before God could love them. But that’s completely backwards. Instead, it’s God’s love that changes us. It’s not perfection that allows us entry into His presence, but rather it’s by sitting in His presence He perfects us. And it’s by encountering His love we learn how to love.
The journey of the cross was a nightmare for those who witnessed it first-hand, but one they couldn’t wake up from. As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we reorient ourselves to our eternal reality – the grave has been defeated, death has lost its sting. When we feel lost, when the world feels too large and uncertain, Easter serves as a resounding alarm in which we reawaken to our King who is seated on His throne with glory and power.