But Jesus Rose From The Dead!

For April 17, 2022
It was the first day of the week, and like any other Sunday morning, just before dawn, in Jerusalem, it was peaceful and quiet. Those who were not sleeping, or just rising, were preparing for a normal day.

There were Roman soldiers guarding a brand new tomb that was sealed with a Roman seal. Tampering with the seal meant death at the hands of trained, war-hardened, fighting men. The tomb was sealed, and the soldiers were prepared to defend it with their lives. Yet, their morning was interrupted by the voices of women who were coming to the tomb to embalm their Savior and Lord.

Then it happened (my emphasis),

Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. Matthew 28:1-8 (NIV)

Unbelievers have futilely tried to dispute the resurrection speculating that the Disciples stole Jesus’ body, or the women went to the wrong tomb, or people hallucinated, or our Christ somehow escaped the tomb. Yet no one has yet to refute or discredit the New Testament account of the resurrection as one author attests,

The empty tomb is that silent testimony to the resurrection of Christ, which has never been refuted. The Romans and Jews could not produce Christ’s body or explain where it went, but nonetheless, they refused to believe. Not because of the insufficiency of evidence but in spite of its sufficiency do men still reject the resurrection.1

In addition, two-thousand years later, and we still cannot refute the testimonies of those who like you and me, have met Him, trusted Him, and accepted Him personally into our hearts and lives; we who have also experienced the Spirit-changed, God-transformed life He freely gives to all who would come to Him by faith.

As Jesus says in John 20:29 (NKJV), “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Amen!

Jesus died; He was buried, and He rose from the dead, just as He predicted. No other person in human history ever successfully predicted his death, and promised to rise from the dead, as our Lord did.

The Old Testament predicted the resurrection:

For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.    Psalm 16:10 (NLT)

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10 (NIV)

His resurrection is the hallmark of the New Testament Church and is the core of our Gospel message,

Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Romans 5:25 (NKJV)

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures… And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 17-19 (NKJV)

Because Jesus Christ is risen:

    • He proved He is Lord, Savior, Redeemer and God.
    • We know that there is life beyond the grave, and that God is The God of the living.
    • He is the only Mediator between us and God.
    • We have victory over sin, death and the Enemy (Satan) because of His victory.
    • Our eternal fellowship with God is assured, as His Spirit keeps us until He returns for us.

Jesus  Christ is alive and well. He lives in Heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God. But He also lives as He occupies the hearts and lives of those of us who love Him even today, as this song reminds us,

He Lives2
Alfred H. Ackley

I serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today; I know that He is living, whatever men may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, And just the time I need Him He’s always near.

In all the world around me I see His loving care; And though my heart grows weary I never will despair; I know that He is leading, thro’ all the stormy blast; The day of His appearing will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice O Christian, lift up your voice and sing; Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the king! The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find, None other is so loving, so good and kind.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

Christ the Lord is risen today…Yes! He is risen indeed! Won’t you trust in Him and receive the new, abundant life He promises?

What a wonderful Savior!

But Jesus Had To Die!

For April 15, 2022
It was early Friday morning, and Jesus had not yet slept. Thursday evening, He celebrated the Passover Seder with His Disciples and spoke of His death and glorious return. During the meal, He instituted what would become a commemorative Lord’s Supper, which symbolizes His death and suffering for all humans everywhere.

While praying in the Garden of Gethsemane with His beloved Disciples, Judas would lead a band of corrupt religious zealots to capture the Lord—for thirty pieces of silver. Those zealots would later that evening condemn the Lord to death because He affirmed His deity as the Only Begotten Son of God.

They hastened Him before Pontius Pilate, who sent Him to Herod Antipas, who returned Him to Pilate again to be condemned to death; but not before the blood-thirsty Roman soldiers mercilessly beat Him.

Then, shortly after sunrise, the Roman soldiers made Simon the Cyrenian carry Jesus’ heavy wooden cross to the place of execution, Golgotha (or Calvary); also referred to as the Place of the Skull, because our Lord was too exhausted from the beating He sustained and the loss of blood. There, they crucified Him between two thieves.

Although He was a sinless, guiltless, innocent victim of egregious injustice, our Lord had to die as this familiar hymn attests,

The Old Rugged Cross1
George Bennard

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,  The emblem of suff’ring and shame; And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, Has a wondrous attraction for me; For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above To bear it to dark Calvary.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, A wondrous beauty I see; For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died To pardon and sanctify me.

To that old rugged cross I will ever be true, its shame and reproach gladly bear; then he’ll call me some day to my home far away, where his glory forever I’ll share.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown.

Ezekiel 18:4 tells us that everyone who sins will die, and Romans 6:23 affirms that the wages of sin is death. To remedy sin’s curse, God sanctioned blood sacrifices to atone for human sin in Leviticus 17:11. In other words, sin requires death as its penalty, but blood atones for sin.

As the Son of Man, Jesus accurately predicted His vicarious death and suffering when He said:

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.   John 3:14-18 (NIV)

John the Baptist rightly proclaimed: “Behold the Lamb of God!” when he introduced Jesus to others in John 1:35. For He who knew no sin became sin for us as, so that we may become the righteousness of God through His vicarious death, as 2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches.

Jesus loved us with such a great love that He willingly paid the price for our past, present, and future sins with His precious blood at Calvary. In other words, someone had to shed blood and die to pay for our sins, and Jesus alone chose to pay this enormous price for us—we could never pay ourselves.

Jesus Christ could have escaped death on the cross, but He sought to fulfill God’s will instead of His own, as Isaiah 53:5-6 (NKJV) tells us,

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Beaten all night, spat upon, degraded, insulted, ridiculed, and insulted, our Lord chose to be hung on a wooden cross. He had the power—and every right—to command legions of angels to destroy us. But He did not. Lovingly, He gave His life for our sins, and became our Perfect Intercessor as this song tells us,

Love Lifted Me2
James Rowe and Howard Smith

I was sinking deep in sin, Far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, Sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea Heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, Now safe am I.

All my heart to Him I give, Ever to Him I’ll cling, In His blessed presence live, Ever His praises sing. Love so mighty and so true Merits my soul’s best songs; Faithful, loving service, too, To Him belongs.

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves; He will lift you by His love Out of the angry waves. He’s the Master of the sea, Billows His will obey; He your Savior wants to be, Be saved today.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me. Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.

Yes! Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ chose to be the innocent victim so that we could experience eternal love, joy, peace and fellowship with God that continues through this life into the next. Jesus had to die for us so that we can have the gift of eternal life through Him. Won’t you consider receiving His wonderful, sacrificial gift to pay for your sins?

What a wonderful Savior!

The Week Started Normally

For April 10, 2022
It would come to be known as the Passion Week, but it started with the normal fanfare associated with Unleavened Bread and Passover, two major Jewish feasts where male attendance was mandated.1

Unleavened Bread and Passover celebrated the Children of Israel’s deliverance from four-hundred years of Egyptian bondage (Exodus 12:1-13:16, 23:17, 34:23). During that week of jubilant celebration, festive revelers, musicians, and celebrators from around the world converged on Jerusalem and increased the city’s population exponentially to well over a million persons, or several times its normal size, with song, dance, and reverie.

It was the first day of the week, then it happens; Jesus enters Jerusalem as the long-awaited Messiah riding a donkey. Crowds gathered to lay palm branches and their outer clothing in His path shouting,

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven! (Matthew 21:9 NIV)

Jesus did not ride a horse, as would a conquering hero. Instead, He rides the donkey’s colt, a symbol of peace, to present Himself as God’s humble emissary sent to redeem a fallen humanity. His calculated actions fulfilled the Messianic prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 (NKJV),

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

That day, Jesus visits the Jerusalem Temple where He heals the blind and lame. Then, He and the Disciples retire to nearby Bethany.

Several months have passed since Jesus’ last visit to the Samaritan village, where He “set His face” to complete His earthly ministry on a wooden cross at Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51) On that occasion, He sought to surrender His life for the lives of fallen humans everywhere.

The ideas of mercy, redemption, and atonement are foreign to the self-centered, post-modern, millennial mind. But to those of us who have experienced His salvation—personally—through faith, can experience deep and lasting joy, fulfillment, and peace; knowing that He gave Himself freely, willingly, and completely to take away the sins of every man, woman, boy, and girl, past, present, and future.

Our noble human nature allows for the saving of a loved one when our love for them or our desire to protect them is what motivates us. However, saving a stranger, or known enemy, or even someone who hates us, is extremely hard to envision.

Not so with Jesus Christ. He was sin-less, yet He became sin for us in order for us to be righteous before God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Moreover, He was God and became our human Redeemer. (John 1:14)

Because of His great love for us, Jesus presented Himself to the world—on that blessed Palm Sunday—fully aware that His death would redeem us from sin and restore us to a loving, eternal relationship with God,

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19 (NKJV)

It is truly remarkable how our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ freely redeemed the Jew, Gentile, rich, poor, believer and non-believer. All of us can vicariously receive the full benefit of His perfect sacrifice—without preference or distinction. Now, no longer can Satan, sin, and death bind us, because our faith in His perfect work determines our righteousness (or lack thereof) before our Heavenly Father.

Jesus rode through the streets of Jerusalem, because He would redeem those who love Him, those who hate Him, those who believe in Him, and those who do not believe in Him. Won’t you accept Jesus as your Personal Savior today, so that you can have His great gift of eternal redemption?

What a Wonderful Savior!

The Mercy of God

For April 3, 2022
Mercy is when gracious favor is extended towards a person when judgment is expected and required. The Bible teaches how God extends mercy to a fallen humanity by extending life and grace when death and punishment are warranted (my emphasis),

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10 (NKJV)

Instead of experiencing God’s righteous justice and judgement, for the sins we’ve committed, He pardons us and sets us free—forever. Through faith in Christ, our sin nature is canceled, let go, sent away, pardoned, and forgotten forever. Our sins no longer define us. In addition, the Holy Spirit inhabits us—bringing us to life—to give us a new start… Born Again, and totally free from the guilt and shame associated with our sinful past, as one author explains,

Through his life, death, resurrection, and exaltation, come deliverance from the guilt and power of sin and the gift of new life through the indwelling Holy Spirit. So the believer is saved by Christ’s work on the cross (Acts 4:12); he is being saved now by the work of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier (Philippians 2:12) and he looks forward to completed salvation in the life of the age to come (1 Thessalonians 5:9, 1 Peter 1:5).1

God also looks beyond our past to extend His mercy to us, as people in need of restoration. Much like in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32), our Heavenly Father no longer sees us as “dead and lost.” Instead, He sees us as “alive and found.”

Our normal human reaction is to demand retribution, or keep mental and emotional records of wrongs. But, God does not. Although our fallen nature and sin offends Him far more than we could ever offend another person, He keeps no record of our past. Neither does He impose a probation period until we “earn” His good graces. Psalm 103:12 informs us that, “He has removed our sins as far as the east is separated from the west.”

God is holy and cannot abide sin, thus we are bound to spend eternity outside His presence in Hell; a place that burns forever with a fire that can never be quenched, reserved for sinners, demons, and the Devil himself. Yet, prompted by His great love, God restores us to full access to His Kingdom without restriction through Christ.

Thus, when we think on the mercy of God, we see something wonderful. We were convicted to eternal separation, “but God, who is rich in His mercy, with His great love with which He loved us,” offered Himself as a sacrifice for all humanity.

He gives us all the opportunity to become New Creatures by faith. We can be miraculously changed from sin-filled creatures to Spirit-filled creatures by His Holy Spirit. Then He offers justification or a “righteous standing” forever. No longer does God see our sin. Instead, He sees the righteousness of Christ.

God’s mercy sanctifies us as His Spirit works within us to shape us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. Through this great blessing of sanctification, His Spirit changes, guides, and teaches us how to fully experience the Abundant Life Jesus tells about in John 10:10.

God will come for us and glorify us so that we can abide in His presence and share His glory forever in Heaven—after we have truly overcome the world. Won’t you give your heart to Jesus Christ and experience the mercy of God today?

What a Wonderful Savior!

A Portrait of Faith Living

For March 27, 2022
We attribute this Psalm to King David, the son of Jesse, a man well acquainted with facing and overcoming adversity—by faith living. This declaration of faith has inspired God’s people for over three-thousand years, as he writes in these  seven verses,

1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:1-7 (AKJV)

Sometime around one thousand years before the birth of Jesus Christ, David was the revered king of Ancient Israel for 40 years. Yet, his was an arduous journey.

    • He was born in Bethlehem, from the tribe of Judah as the youngest son of Jesse; the great-grandson of Boaz and Ruth and the ancestor of Jesus Christ.
    • He defeated the giant Goliath and the Philistine army with a stone and sling. But this notoriety made him a fugitive from King Saul’s wrath for about 8-10 years.
    • The men of Judah made him king at Hebron after Saul and Jonathan died in battle. Seven and a half years later, David becomes Israel’s king with Jerusalem, the City of David, as its political and religious center.
    • He has adulterous relations with Bathsheba and arranges her husband Uriah’s death in battle. (Solomon will be born later from this union.) Another son, Absalom, instigates a coup to overthrow him, but he dies in a skirmish.
    • He brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and desires to build a temple on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Nathan the prophet tells him that Solomon would do so. Yet God promises to establish his kingdom forever. (Fulfilled through Christ.)

Despite the adversities, poor choices, and character flaws, we regard David as a “man after God’s own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) This because:

    • He had total faith in God.
    • He sought the Lord and lived by God’s Word, and
    • He didn’t excuse his sin but repented of them.

Today, we face our share of challenges. Personal tragedies coupled with the recent pandemic hysteria have altered how we view the world and each other, and what we consider “normal.”

For example, I can remember when our society, and our rule of law, preserved a contrast between right and wrong. We respected and welcomed prayer, the Ten Commandments, and Judeo-Christian values in the public discourse. Now, we condemn the righteous and praise the wicked to our own peril, just as the Bible warns,

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34 (AKJV)

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20 (AKJV)

Sin surrounds us daily with increased hatred and hostility when, as a “civilized society,” we should show compassion and courtesy. We have a sacred trust to preserve public civility, decency, and goodwill wherever we are. We share this world with other human beings—made in God’s image. So it is in our best interest to spread goodwill. Otherwise, we will have more exploitation, discord, and violence.

Yet, as we face adversity, we have the comforting promise of God’s Word,

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10, 16-18 (NKJV)

Here is David’s Portrait for Faith Living:

Fret Not
The Hebrew word for fret is charah (Strong – H2734), to burn or be kindled with anger. Other uses of the word are to become angry or furious, burn, be distressed, rage, or get very angry. Do not become heated with anger or become inflamed by the wicked exploits of godless degenerates. Do not let what others say or do shake your faith in God’s sovereign government, or be swept away with anxiety and fear because of what is happening around you. Anger will not resolve the issue. It can only produce ulcers, anxiety, and ill will.

The wicked’s success is of a very short duration. God sees, knows, and judges everyone and everything perfectly in this life and in the next. To many of us live for the here and now—“three-score and ten, and the most toys win!”—and forget that there is a vast eternity beyond the grave, and that we must acknowledge Him rightly to avoid eternal peril,

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  Matthew 16:26 (AKJV)

As one writer puts it,

[We] have every reason to strengthen and exercise ourselves in faith in the holy government of God and in obedience to God’s holy will, in order that we may live to see the end and wait patiently for the result.1

In due time, God will avenge His own and remedy every transgression on earth. We may not see retribution in our lifetime, but God has promised final and complete vindication of His eternal righteousness,

It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them. Deuteronomy 32:35 (NIV)

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.      Galatians 6:7-8 (NLT)

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  Revelation 20:12 (NKJV)

God’s in full control. Our focus should always be on the Lord; confident that He will handle the matter decisively. Thus, we can trust Him implicitly,

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD God is the eternal Rock. He humbles the proud and brings down the arrogant city. He brings it down to the dust. The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot, and the needy walk all over it. But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. Isaiah 26:3-7 (NLT)

The Hebrew word for trust is batach (Strong – H982), to trust. Other uses of the word are: confident, feel secure, have confidence, put one’s trust, to rely, or secure. As another author observes,

It exhorts us to trust in the protection of God, the righteous Judge, and to persevere in doing good, with the assurance of the final and often very sudden ruin of the wicked, and the sure deliverance and manifold blessings of the righteous.”2

Our faith is in God’s sovereignty and providence. Despite what is happening around us, the Lord wants us to trust in Him. And, He wants us to conduct ourselves in a manner that honors Jesus Christ—simultaneously,

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12: 1-2, 14-18 (NLT)

We trust in the Lord and by His Spirit working in us, we maintain our Christ-like character and behavior. The Lord has promised to show His faithfulness towards His precious children,

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.  2 Chronicles 16:9 (AKJV)

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

While we bask in His faithfulness, we can also delight in Him.

The Hebrew word for delight is anog (Strong H6026), to make soft, pliable, delicate, or dainty, to live or spend in enjoyment. Other uses of the word are to be dainty or delicate, to take delight, to live or spend in enjoyment. The heart that delights in God will find its truest pleasure and satisfaction in being well and at ease. Here, expectation and fulfillment are realized as our desires for Him fulfill themselves.

It is easy to delight when we love the Lord. Jesus tells us that this is the greatest of all the Commandments,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 (NIV)

The Lord is and has all that can delight us perfectly. To delight in God is to find our most fulfilled wishes and deeply abiding joys. As we delight in Him, and we desire His perfect will, His abiding peace, joy, and tranquility can fill our souls. When we delight in the Lord, we can then commit all of our ways to Him.

The Hebrew word for commit is galal (Strong H1556), to roll or roll away. Other uses of the word are to roll down, to roll away, or to take away. When we “commit our way unto Him,” or “roll our concerns upon Him,” we are trusting in His ability to accomplish something on our behalf, because we know He will do it—completely and perfectly. To roll our way upon the Lord also implies our subordination to His perfect will and judgment in everything. In other words, we are confident in His ability to solve every problem and answer every question,

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen! 1 Peter 5:6-7, 10-11 (NKJV)

As we commit and trust, He will vindicate us and cause His righteousness to shine like the noonday sun. Then we can find complete rest and peace in Him.

The Hebrew word for rest is damam (Strong H1826), to cease or to be or grow dumb, silent or still. Other uses of the word are to cease or forbear, to hold one’s peace, to quiet one’s self, rest, to be silent, keep (or put to) silence, be (or stand) still, tarry, or wait. Resting in the Lord and waiting patiently for Him shows confidence that He will perform what He promised—in the fullness of time. It is not up to us to understand the mysteries of God or the timing of His actions. However, it is up to us to rest in Him, and trust that His timing has been, is now, and will always be perfect; accomplishing His perfect outcome,

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:13-14 (AKJV)

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.   Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NLT)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)

Ours is an everlasting, faith relationship with a living Savior, who will never leave us or forsake us. We have an exceptional fellowship with the King of Kings, and Lord or Lords, as this hymnist attests,

What A Fellowship

Anthony Johnson Showalter (1858-1924)

What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way, Leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear, Leaning on the everlasting arms; I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; Leaning, leaning, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

We cannot trust when we are fretting; we cannot commit if we do not delight, and without our commitment, we will never find rest in Him. Won’t you give your heart to Jesus and perform His portrait of faith living today?

What a Wonderful Savior!