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Even Christians can behave badly. And the Bible acknowledges that a believer can walk away from Jesus all together. To treat God with this kind of contempt is a terrible act of defiance. In the fourth of five warnings in the book of Hebrews, the author tells us about the dangers of willful sin and the consequences we can expect. We must diligently seek to draw near to God to prevent our turning away.
Salvation is guaranteed the moment one believes Jesus for it. But becoming a Christian never guarantees that we’ll live like one. Spiritual maturity is not automatic. It requires diligent engagement with Jesus if we hope to change and grow.
Even Christians can be people of unbelief. Given tempting circumstances, we might cave under pressure and cease to follow God wholeheartedly.
While few of life’s journeys are as rewarding as motherhood, those rewards are hard earned. In every up and down on that journey, God sees you.He sees you, just like He saw His own mother loving Him, teaching Him, worrying about Him, and crying when she couldn’t fix all of the pain and suffering He went through so that He could call you His forever.
He sees you, He knows you, and He loves you.
I had walked over that stick countless times and only ever seen a nuisance, Yet, right there on the other side of a 2×8 was something far more glorious and beautiful than clean steps: a home, a labor of love, and the miracle of new life. I have often thought of that stick and the poignant reminder that things aren’t always what they seem.
The only thing that is needed is to believe. So simple, yet I almost missed it. It saddens me to know that our very human compulsion to add “things” to God’s promise of salvation happens because we think it can’t be as easy as it sounds. But it is that easy. And I love our great God for that.
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.
As Joseph of Arimathea carefully took Jesus’ broken body down from the cross and reverently wrapped it in the linen shroud, I can imagine his stunned disbelief. He had invested time following Jesus, seeking answers, hoping that He truly was the Messiah, the Savior of Israel. And now it was over.
I imagine Joseph had been waiting all afternoon, holding his breath, for Jesus to throw off death as easily as He’d done it for Lazarus. As the finality of His last breath sunk in, he must have been so devastated, so confused. Wait, what?
On a spring day in the early first century, the entire universe experienced this moment. The light of the noonday sun was overcome as the darkest moment in all of history occurred. But it is in the darkness that the new day begins. In the Bible, the new day begins not at sunrise, but at sunset – and there was evening and morning the first day (Gen 1:5). The Sabbath, the rest of God, begins at sunset on Friday. The gateway to God’s rest opens in the darkness.