Tuesday, November 4, 2014

For He HImself is Our Peace

Peace. It's the moment when you look out across the water at sunset. When you catch a glimpse of blue sky in the midst of a cloud. It's the moment when you look into your lover's eyes, or see your child for the first time, or just finally sit down to close your eyes and embrace the silence after a long haul of constant noise. Peace is quite elusive in this world and it seems to only ever amount to glimpses and moments that pass by before we can hold on to them. Is there a peace that lasts?

I believe so.

Firstly, the Problem.

Paul writes to the Ephesian church composed primarily of Gentiles, which is the Jewish term for those Greeks, Syrians, Romans, non-jews etc. that are Far from God, and he tells them they were once without hope and without God in the world (2:12). Furthermore he expresses to them that a wall of hostility existed between them and God because of the law. God's holy and righteous law separates them from Him because they are unholy and unrighteous (2:14-15). As we see from his statement that they were dead in there sins and trespasses [of the law] (2:1). Even the Jews were under hostility for he writes that hostilty was to those both near and far (2:17). Furthermore they were children of Wrath (hence the hostility) just like the rest of mankind (2:1-3). So not only are those Gentiles and Jews under the hostility, but all of mankind. And so we too are under this hostility.

No wonder we cannot find Peace here and now, we are under the hostilty of the God of the universe. But that hostility is specifically what? A dividing wall, paul says. The hostility, the restlessness, the lack of peace, is found outside the presence of God. and so we are without hope, BECAUSE we are without God.

Now, to the Peace.

BUT paul says. You were ONCE without hope and God BUT NOW we have been brought near IN CHRIST.  Because HE. HIMSELF. IS. OUR. PEACE.

There was hostility, a dividing wall, raised and set by God's law separating us from God, but Jesus came and he abolished the law, bringing us near to God, BY HIS BLOOD (2:13). Yes Jesus abolished the hostility by embracing the hostility, the wrath, of God, on our behalf. THEREFORE, when we place faith Christ, we are united with him and becoming one with him, we are at peace with God (2:15).

TO give this a little bit more imagery to understand that we were once separated but now through faith we are one with him and at peace with God. There is in the Jewish temple at the time, a VEIL, a seven layer thick veil separating the holy place form the most holy place, which is where the Spirit, aka the Presence of God, dwelt. Anyone who passed this veil, DIED. So now, consider Matthew 27:50,51 when Jesus was on the cross suffering the hostility of God.
"Jesus yielded up his spirit. and the CURTAIN (veil) was TORN in two. from TOP TO BOTTOM."
I.E. no longer a separation between the holy and the most holy. No longer a separation between God and Man.

This is what Jesus has done for those who believe in his Salvation. He has removed the wall of God's hostility and opened the door for us to enter in to PEACE. because HE himself IS OUR PEACE. God is our peace. How can we hope to hold onto the glimpses and the moments which fleetingly escape us, if we are not at PEACE with GOD.

The BEST Part of it is this: JESUS has done it. I don't need to strive for a minute, I don't need to lift a finger for a second. Because all that wouldn't help anyway. Nope, this peace, is offered freely to all who would believe. And knowing that Jesus has graciously done so for me, that brings TRUE peace. My soul is finally quiet, my heart beats steady, and my mind is at rest, because God almighty is my PEACE.

Scripture Reminds us how hopeless we are apart from God. It opens our eyes to the weary and tiring and exhausting lie that we can find peace here on earth. We CANNOT. BUT those brief glimpses, the short sweet moments, they are also a reminder, a reminder that Peace does exist. And God has given us Jesus, a present and everlasting hope because HE HIMSELF IS OUR PEACE.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Gospel NOT Lost in Translation

Spurred on by the deep grace of God and wealth of truth and encouragement wrapped up in Scripture, I have set out to learn the language of ancient Greek(biblical: Koine). To read and see the truth of the gospel in it's original language as it's authors first penned the New Testament.

Now, If you are a Pastor, seminary student, or just a Greek enthusiast, you know the labors of learning not only a new language but a new alphabet and much more. IF you haven't really any experience with Greek, then perhaps you can relate to the experience of trying to communicate with someone who speaks another language. Not only is there a disconnect of vocabulary, but even word for word translation does not always give the connection you are looking for. The task of bridging that communication barrier, is wearisome.

My experience thus far in learning biblical Greek has been an exciting endeavor into the world of the first century culture as much as it has into their language. Lot's of memorization and grammatical theory have certainly played there part. However, in the midst of my study there has been a great source of encouragement to me.

The encouragement I have received and the point of this blog is Two-fold: Firstly that I have grown increasingly appreciative of the English translation of the Bible. Secondly that God in his wisdom chose a time in history through which the Gospel of Christ was enabled to spread victoriously.

God sent Jesus to live and die and rise again during a time when the Greek language was spoken universally across the known world of the middle east. Communication between ethnicities was easy because every one knew how to talk with other. Even greater, God used the Koine dialect of Greek, the common, everyday, down-to-earth, and not the superior or lofty, languages of Latin or even the more refined Dialects of Greek. In doing so, God proclaimed a central gospel truth: That Salvation in Christ is for everyone!

Armed with this knowledge I am eager to study and appreciate the first language of the New Testament, but also I am thankful and encouraged to make use of the English translation of the Bible. Hundreds of years separate us from the first century language and culture but by God's grace we can know the Truth and Christ himself! Do not take for granted the work by which the Church in history has labored to bring you the gospel in your own language. Read your Bible, plumb the depths of God's grace and glory in the face of Christ.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

United by our Forgiveness

“Indeed what I have forgiven if I have forgiven anything, is for your sake in the presence of Christ, that we would not be outwitted by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs.” 2Cor2:10-11

There is a lot going on these few verses from Paul in 2Corinthians, but the main point in view is forgiveness. The question is, what exactly is Paul saying about forgiveness. Well, we can see three things clearly: First, there is a situation amongst the Church requiring Forgiveness. Second, Paul and the Church's mutual forgiveness in this situation is for the sake of the Church in Christ’s presence. Third, Satan is scheming against the Church, and we are not to be ignorant of his plans; namely in this case unforgiveness. 

Paul says, if someone causes pain to one person of the church, so he causes pain to all, in some way. This is because we are one in the body of Christ. This is why Paul encourages the Church to forgive one particular individual(unnamed) who has caused pain to the whole Chrurch. If we are one in the body of Christ , then we must act as one in the body. If one is caused pain, we are all caused pain, if we must forgive someone, all must forgive him. The unnamed individual in this case has been subject to punishment by the majority(2Cor2:6). We call this excommunication, and it is not meant to forever remove people from the Church but comes with the hope of repentance and restoration (1tim1:17-18). Paul says the punishment of excommunication is sufficient and thus Paul urges that the repentant sinner then be forgiven and re-accepted into the community.  Paul does not want the unity of the body to be broken by the unforgiveness of the majority, causing sorrow in the unforgiven. Rather, Paul wants the unity of the body to result in the joy of the forgiven.

Paul explains how his willingness to forgive this individual is equally as important as the whole church’s forgiveness. When Paul says “for your sake in the presence of Christ” he means that his cooperative forgiveness is for the sake of their right standing before God and Jesus our judge. If we are unified in forgiveness we are all unified in right standing before God. If we are not all unified in forgive we are not functioning as a church in right standing. It is much like the time that Jesus tells of the debtor who when forgiven still holds a debt against another. When we as the church represent the forgiven people of God, we must all be equally as forgiving. 

Lastly, Paul notes that the purpose of being unified in forgiveness is to not be outwitted by Satan. Satan has plans and designs against the church and against the right standing of the church before God. Much like Job once stood in right standing before God and Satan schemed to ruin it (Job1:6-12) so Satan loves to ruin the unity of Christ's church. Satan loves broken relationships and nothing would please him more than to ruin the unity of the body that Christ died for. Paul wants us to understand how important it is to be unified in Christ, and at the heart of that unity there is a necessity to forgive one another. If we let Satan create unforgiveness amongst the body then we are not functioning in unity.

What God is doing through Christ in this world is “reconciling all things to himself” (Col1:20). The hope we have in the Gospel of Jesus is one that “breaks down the dividing wall of hostility”(Eph2:14) between all people groups, and makes us together one family in Christ’s forgiveness on the Cross. So when we partake in forgiveness and seek the unity of the church both locally in our city and globally on this earth, we are taking part in the great work of Christ. Do not be ignorant of Satan’s designs to ruin the unity of your church body. Who do you need to forgive? Has anyone wronged you? Then we all must forgive, has anyone wronged someone you know? You also must forgive them. Surely as God has forgiven us so also we should forgive others. When we place our ultimate hope in Jesus, we are resting in the forgiveness of all sin, how then can we not seek to be people of forgiveness? 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Chief of Sinners

"The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners of whom I am the foremost." 1Tim1:15

Sin is what we Christians call the bad news. We believe that since the first of humanity rejected God we have all been subject to sin and thus separated from a holy God who deserves obedience. Sin steals away our hope of living in joyful service of our creator God, and robs us of our  hopes for vibrant community with one another. It's the ultimate hope killer. It takes away what makes life, well life. But, here in Paul's letter to Timothy, I believe that by embracing one's sinfulness is actually the basis from which the Gospel brings us the greatest of hopes. Paul radically redefines viewing oneself as sinful in light of the depth of God's transforming Grace.

You see Paul is writing to TImothy about a group of false teachers who wandered form grace, opposing God and teaching what is not true. They were using the law as a means of earning God's approval, when the law was always meant to show us just how sinful we all really are. Paul says the law is for the lawless and sinners (1Tim1:9). So while Paul is explaining this purpose of the law, he remembers his own great sins, he remembers when he was lost and was a persecutor, blasphemer, and opponent to the gospel, and his reaction is to break into glorious thanks to God! (1Tim1:12-13) Paul continues to rejoice in his salvation speaking highly of the "overflowing grace" of God. Paul wants Timothy to embrace the reality of his own sinful depth so that Timothy can express the same patience of Christ towards sinners.

When we embrace this trustworhty saying of Paul's: "That Christ came... to save sinners of which I am the foremost" we too can overflow with grace for others. When we understand that Jesus had enough grace for us, the foremost of sinners, we realize that he certainly has enough for everyone else. Suddenly we do not look around us at a world of sin and lose hope but we gain hope because we know that God is more than able to save the lost and sinful. We gain hope that we too are able to embrace sinners into the community of the gospel because we too were accepted as sinners by God. When we see ourselves as sinners, and we know Jesus came to save sinners, We have assured hope in salvation.

Sin destroys hope, but Jesus brings hope back to sinners by his overflowing grace. He gives faith to the unbelievers and strength to the weak in heart. Jesus gives hope to a world void of hope because he fixes the one problem we cannot. So as Christians we must embrace our faultiness and Jesus' graciousness so that we too may abound in patience and grace for the lost. If you are not yet a Christian, I encourage you to see, if you do not believe in God or Jesus as savior, that you too like us are sinful but you are not beyond the power of God's overflowing grace to give you faith and to save you from your sin to restore you to life with your Creator and community with the fellow believers.

I hope that God continues to humble me to always see the depth of my sin so that I may enjoy his even deeper grace and extend that same grace to all others.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hope Rising

I realized I have been blogging for two years now, with little direction as to what I am actually hoping to accomplish with this blog. The more thoughts I type out, the more I realize I have so much to learn and so little time to share it all. I guess this is me realizing that my goal for this blog cannot be to just pass along knowledge for that is useless unless that knowledge grows into to something more. It is useless unless any of the thoughts or encouragements or scriptures that I post settle themselves elsewhere than just in your mind. I don't want to just fill your head with useless information, with my opinions of the things of God.

I want to stir up hope in your soul for the God of the universe who sets all things in motion and brings all things to completion. The God who stepped into time and set out to fix the brokenness of our world by dying for the punishment of our spiritual atrocities and to give us a Hope of life eternal. I want to encourage you to seek out the character and nature of your Creator God so that you can live in the peace that comes from hope. I want you to find rest for your weary soul in this tiring wrestle with life. If you are living in ignorance to God and the fate of those who reject Him, I do not aim to condemn you but to see your eyes opened to the glory of a life spent enjoying and loving and serving God and to promise you that it is truly better and ultimately more satisfying than anything this world can offer.

I consider myself a theologian under these terms: I am a man who seeks to study the things of God. I hope that this blog encourages you to become a theologian as well; to become so enamored and so intrigued by God that you also long to know Him. God became a man, Jesus Christ, that we should relate to him on a level even deeper than Creator and Creature. Jesus died on the cross so that we would be free from the bondage of sin that keeps us from Him. Finally, He has risen from death so that we have hope beyond even this life to know and enjoy Him and no longer must we fear death as the end, but embrace it as the beginning of this great hope realized.

May my words, as a fellow created being of God, speak to your soul. May my words magnify the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior God to cosmic and fantastic size of his glory. May they encourage conversation with the Christians in your life, may they encourage you to seek out the church, or perhaps even to ask me questions. May my words give rise to Hope; the Hope of forgiveness, Hope of joy, Hope of eternal peace, Hope of life, Hope of belonging, Hope of community, Hope of redemption and restoration and reconciliation between us and reconciliation with God.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. - Roman 15:13

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Created In His Likeness

In the Beginning, God created. The First note of importance is that God alone created. In fact the Beginning itself He created, as time is also part of His creation. God created all things, and by creating all things, all things to some degree or another bear some witness to their Creator. Most of God's creation bears witness to God in that they demonstrate microcosms of His Nature. However things also bear witness to God antithetically, like Satan who being created by God was made to defy and rebel against God, yet he by contrast bears witness to God's goodness, rightness, and justice. Yet only one thing that God created, did he see fit to give the stamp of "bearing his likeness" being created "in his Image." Us.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." - Genesis 1:27

We alone as humans share likeness to God, not only do we as created beings bear witness, but more than that we share in likeness. What a precious thing it is to not only be a part of a world where we have purpose in bearing witness to an Awesome Creator, but to share in His Likeness. What a gift this life is, to be the pinnacle of God's creation. Now the question is: what does it mean to be made in God's image? What purpose is there for us being created in His likeness?"

From here, I intend merely to speculate upon what I think that purpose is as seen in scripture, and I hope to see us, not just Christians but us humans, as created being in the likeness of God, striving for.

 Yup that one cheesy thing all Christians say: "It's not religion, it's a relationship." Well, the truth is, it's both, but our story begins with relationship. God created beings in His image, capable of knowing and contemplating and beholding, so that we would know, contemplate and behold His wonder and glory and honor and power. More than that, God wants to share Himself with more than just Himself amidst the trinity. Why? God in His outpouring of love desired more beings who could enjoy His wonder, glory, honor, and power.

God did not need to create humans, "as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything" (acts17:25). Yet, God's love is great and His desire to share that love great, and so He did, He just did. God is delighted in making humans to share in His community, to share in relationship.

Yet God went further still to have relationship with us. We rebelled we turned from God, likeness became not enough for our proud hearts and we wanted not God's likeness but all of God's glory. We wanted it all for ourselves. And God, who was and is still loving, sent Jesus to repair the damaged relationship. Christ came to fix the hurt and to bury the hatchet so that we could again as God's created beings enjoy, delight in, and live in loving relationship with God.

Everyone loves the idea of an all-loving God who wants relationship, but most people assume that means He loves us no matter what we do, and thus we do whatever we want. But God loves us in spite of what we do(1John4:7-12). You see in creating us His likeness, God had a purpose in seeing us live out life, in His likeness. And that likeness doesn't just mean receiving His love, it means  giving His love as well. It means living out all of God's characteristics that should make us "like" Him.

This is idea of living rightly in accordance with God's created purpose, we call it righteousness in Christian circles. Most non-christian circles call it just plain 'doing good stuff.' Some people call it religion, whether or not they mean good or bad by it. I hope that you will see it as righteousness, and that you will see there is no disconnect between having a relationship with God and living righteously.

See the Bible again shows us that God had a plan for us to act both rightly and relationally with Him and each other. We see this through the traverse effects of the story in Genesis3, where both righteousness and relationship are cast aside by Adam and Eve in pursuit of there own private benefits. Eve longed to be God and drags Adam into the mix as both disobey God and betray His trust. Righteousness was forsaken in their disobedience and relationship destroyed in their betrayal of trust. Everything broken. And we are still making their same mistakes today... daily.

Yet again, God does not stop in creating us to be righteous, just a He did not stop in creating us for relationship. Jesus doesn't just mend the bleeding hearts and bring two long embittered friends back together. Jesus restores the rightful relationship of creature to its creator and son to his Father. Jesus dies on the cross as the punishment for we all have done: disobeyed God and betrayed God. God being the full essence of righteousness, as the psalmist says "the Lord knows the way of the righteous" psalm1:6, He thus cannot stand for wicked and unrighteousness to continue, He must wipe it out, He must punish it. Yet in His love He sent Jesus to forgive and take punishment on our behalf to restore us to a righteous state before Him.

Maybe I have not spent enough time developing this and maybe its still not fitting properly together for you. But know this: God who created us in His likeness, went the distance to ensure that even when we said "I don't want to be like you," we would still have the chance to trust God in Christ, that we can live like Him again. God has done what He didn't need to do, to give us what we should always have been.

As I have been reading more of the Psalms from the Bible, I am struck by the Psalmist's love of righteousness. He pleads with God to bring justice, to wipe out the wicked, and to bring judgment to the earth. I realize that a lot of this blog stems from one thing that psalmist proclaimed to God in the midst of a plea for justice and judgment: "As for me I shall behold your face in righteousness, when I awake I shall be satisfied with your likeness."  (psalm17:15) I look out and I see the still broke world where relationship between man and God is still lost in many lives, and righteousness is a long forgotten virtue. I wish that we as created beings, who have seen God go the eternal distance of time and the gap of divinity and humanity to bring us back to Him, that we should find satisfaction in knowing that we were made in likeness of God, created to be like Him.

Alright, one more thought on God's purposes for us. I believe that God being creator of time has long since known the course history would take. Which means that He knew we would turn from him and yet created us in His likeness and willingly took on the hurt of rejection and insubordination. I believe that God's purpose in still creating us knowing this all, was because He longed to show one even greater aspect of his nature: His Redemption.

God is God, and I don't mean to use that as a cop out answer for his amazing and unfathomable characteristics but rather to enforce how amazing he really is. God's redemption is amazing because as God the ultimate judge he can take anything broken and make it new make it reborn and bring it to newness of life declaring it Redeemed. And in Christ, God is doing just that. Relationships are being restored and the righteousness of man is being renewed. We rejected His love and disobeyed His authority and still He gives us the richness of his redemption and restoration.

Being created in His likeness He has made us capable of all three of these things: relationship, righteousness, and redemption. What a glorious world we would live in if we all valued these things God has given us in His likeness! May we find satisfaction in the likeness of God, may we turn to Jesus and realize that we need his redemption to once again find a right standing and right relationship with our creator.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Thoughts of the Wicked

Reading through the psalms this week, I have been peculiarly drawn to the psalmist's many musings and contemplations of both righteousness and wickedness. In particular this morning, I found myself intrigued by the psalmist's portrayal of the reasoning of the wicked.

In the tenth psalm, we see the psalmist call out to God, pleading to know why he has hidden himself in a time of trouble. He continues to describe a time of persecution of the poor and the greed and pride of the wicked. The psalmist is fearful that none shall come to rescue from the hand of evildoers.

Yet as he continues, even in the midst of a perilous time, the folly of the wicked is made plain to us by their thoughts. Four times does the psalmist specifically address what the wicked man thinks or says to himself and each one is indicative of the heart of a wicked man. Each one will hopefully shows us how we ourselves fall into sin, and give us knowledge and wisdom with which to turn to God.


The psalmist describes the wicked saying "in the pride of his face the wicked does not seek [the Lord] all his thoughts are 'there is no God.'"(ps10:4)

The path of the wicked is to take up pride in one's self and to turn away from trusting God, by denying him. In essence to disbelief in God's existence is to disbelief in his worth. You see when we are in unbelief, denying that there is a God, we reject God's good purpose because we do not believe that he is worth following. The greatest sin is unbelief. All other sin is founded on it.  Even when we as Christian's sin, it begins with unbelief. It begins in a lack of trust that God has really come as Jesus and died on the cross to forgive us, and granted us his Spirit to make us capable of living righteously.

All unbelief stems from a heart of pride that cannot see beyond self. Yet all pride comes from a heart that refuses to believe God's way above one's own way. And so the beginning of sin is wrapped up in both pride and disbelief.


Yet there is an injustice under the sun. The wicked man, in his pride and greed and disbelief, prospers in wealth and evil for a time on this earth. The psalmist says that God's "judgments are on high, they are out of his sight." Thus the wicked man is ignorant of God's judgment and proud of his isin he "says in his heart, 'I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.'" (ps10:6)

There is a sad truth: the wicked will find prosperity for a time. However we take heart knowing that God's judgments from on high will one day bring to account all the evil deeds of men.

The wicked man, however, in his pride and disbelief, convinces himself of his steadfastness and his own rightness. The lack of adversity in the present causes him to scoff at God and say, I shall not be moved by you. Pride and disbelief, rejection of God, causes us to hold a pitiful trust in our own sin. We become blind to the judgments of God, both on high and yet to come. We scoff at the mere thought of God. We are confident in our earthly power.

Sin has the power to destroy us by blinding us to the truth of Judgment. May we recognize pride and disbelief before it blinds us to God.


The wicked man continues in sin, his perversity and evil oppression become him. He sets himself against the powerless for his own gain and he says in his heart concerning all his ways "'God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.'" (ps10:11)

As the wicked man continues to submit to sin, his life festers and become increasingly diseased from their hearts outward. The one who lives by "the pride of his face" has no love for others found in him, but only hate and oppression.

HOWEVER, even those who are blind to their wrong deeds face their own conscience eventually. The conviction of the Lord, the created conscience in the heart of man, makes known our sin to us, and the wicked says "God will not see it."

Pride and unbelief can only let us live in ignorant bliss for so long. God has put in all of us a conscience with which we are held accountable. We must face the fact that God sees our sin and knows our vile hearts. The wicked man sees this, feels this, and knows this, yet still denies God to his face. Sin makes us relentless fighters against God. Sin makes us willfully ignorant and Romans1 calls it suppressing the truth. We refuse to accept our wrong doings and we refuse to admit that God is righteous and deserves obedience, we refuse to acknowledge that he will judge.

May our sin not blind us to God and may he grant us grace to see through the fog of lies and know that he sees all sin. May we be humbled to know that we must give account.


The last folly of wicked is that he denies to the end that God will call all his sin to the court room of heaven to be judged. He says in his heart "you will not call to account" (ps10:12,13). The unbelief of the wicked is persistent to the very end of time. No longer does he reject that God is present or even that God sees his sin and is ready to oppose. The Wicked man now calls out to God in utter rejection, that He will not really judge him.

Sin enslaves us so that even when we have been convicted in heart we refuse to believe there is judgment.  The world helps this along as we tell ourselves we are really 'good' people after all. We downplay sin and we neglect God his proper place as "King forever" (ps10:16) and sin drags us down to the very end.  Until all there is left to do is look up to heaven and in one last rebellious challenge of God's authority, dare him to judge us, as though he wouldn't. Not only does the wicked man refuse the coming judgment but he denies that God has such authority at all.


From the pride of unbelief, to self righteousness, to denial, to utter, rebellious, rejection of God, the wicked find themselves on a path of destruction. We all walk this path. Even when we live by a moral code of kindness, if we do not follow God as Lord, we have rejected his authority, and denied his judgments. A few prosperous moments upon this earth are enough to keep us indifferent towards God and blind to sin, but it cannot continue forever. We can read the psalmists words and reject the truth he speaks regarding our wicked hearts, but we cannot reject it forever. You can read this blog and reject my words, but you cannot reject it forever. God will bring to account all our sin.

Is it hopeless? Are we toiling away our lives under the wrath of an angry Judge? Are we all just lost fools who deny the obvious truth until the day we die? NO! There is HOPE, there is GRACE and MERCY and FREEDOM, and there is the manifold WISDOM of God come to us in Christ Jesus.

Yes we are all the wicked man of Psalm10, every man, woman and child, but Christ has come to suffer the judgment of God on our behalf. Christ has come so that we would have hearts that no longer reject God and disbelieve in him, but trust him, love him and obey him. Jesus came to forgive our wickedness, our rejecting God's Lordship, and our pride to think that we are the authority of our lives. Jesus came to change us from wicked people to lovely, loving people, loved by God and who love others.

I pray that we would all look into our hearts, whether we are Christians or not, and see the folly of our wickedness and turn to the everlasting goodness of God in Jesus.