Will I Remember?

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As I scroll through my newsfeed this afternoon, I wonder if my life will ever be the same. Will I remember 20 years from now that I was reading Billy Graham Library surveys and doing laundry on a Friday afternoon when I saw a post from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association about Paris?
Will this day be as significant as the day 14 years ago when I was in first grade, and my teacher turned on the TV-cart so we could see what was happening in New York? Will this be one of the formative moments for my generation?

No one knows the answer; it will probably work itself out of the shadows over the next several weeks. But one thing I do know: my God has promised me something that can never be blown apart by this world – even if World War III has begun.

In a promise named “The Eternal Covenant of Peace” my God says,

For the mountains may depart
    and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed.”  Isaiah 54:10

When I cling to this promise, even World War III doesn’t seem detrimental. God has placed me here, in this time for a reason, and you are here for a reason too.

Let’s stand bravely upon the Word of the sovereign God. Let’s bathe our every moment in prayer. Let’s live in the quiet direction of the Holy Spirit upon our lives. Let’s love the people around us with the love He has lavished upon us. Let’s be the best representatives of Jesus this world has ever seen.

God has more for us than average lives. God has more for us than natural lives. God has supernatural purposes for us. We can only fulfill God’s supernatural purpose through His supernatural power. With His arms wrapped tight around us, He whispers,

“Don’t panic. I’m with you.
    There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
    I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
That’s right. Because I, your God,
    have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
    I’m right here to help you.’”  Isaiah 41:10,13 THE MESSAGE

When we give Jesus what we have, as inadequate as it is, His blessing performs miracles. Jesus fed the 5000 with the five loaves and two fish that a boy gave.

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

God is in the business of taking our mess and making it His message.

He is enough.

We have the perfection of heaven to look forward to, but until God calls us home, it is our privilege to be His ambassadors to the world. In eternity we won’t get to suffer for Jesus anymore. It is our privilege to suffer for the Kingdom of the God who gave His life for us.

“But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”  1 Peter 4:13-14

Let the joy of the Lord fill your spirit today. Be encouraged in His sufficiency.

To learn more about peace with God, visit peacewithgod.net.

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Photo art by Rachel Hollis

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But God

“Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:13-22

Jesus is peace between His children. In Jesus’ blood, the Church is united. In Jesus, the Church is brought together. In Jesus, hostility dies. We will always have our differences, but God’s love conquers them. In the light of what He has done for us, none of the differences matter anymore because of the common denominator of His redemption.

In Jesus, we are fellow citizens. In Jesus, we are saints. In Jesus, we are members of God’s household. In Jesus, the Church is being built into a holy temple for God – a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. We are God’s redeemed children, and He is building us into a headquarters from which He conducts His work in the world.

In Christ, there is no race or caste. We are all part of the family of the highest God.

So let’s treat our family like family. Let’s be mirrors of God’s love to one another. Let’s share our struggles, burdens and pain. Let’s build each other up with the love of Jesus. This world is a dark place. We need each other. Be aware of your brothers and sisters around you. Take care of your family. Let God use you to multiply His love and peace in His Church. We will only overcome hate by the work of God through Jesus in us. But God is sufficient.

Jesus has united the city of Charleston since the tragedy at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Through the work of God, beauty is rising from the ashes. It has been my privilege to see a glimpse of the love of God in Charleston over the past few weeks.

“……………….. But God.”

Be encouraged.

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Our Base

Since we’re forever strained and long distressed,
We need repose and stillness for ourselves.
We never take a moment for our rest,
But people need to sink and lose themselves.
We have no breaks in life and are undone –
We can’t relent beyond the slightest breath.
To rouse us from our ways we need the One,
Or we will live on in a breathing death.
The God of all discerns us in our dust
And offers His relief as our support.
We’re saved to sink within the Lord and trust.
In Jesus we will never come up short
Because he wraps his love above our will:
God is a base that holds us peaceful, still.
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