Who's accusing who?

There have been moments in my life when I’ve been accused of something I did not do. Of course, there have also been moments I was accused and stood guilty. Like the time in fifth grade on Signal Mountain, TN when it had iced and snowed. At school, we were told NOT to run and slide on the ice but several of us did so anyway. When we lined up after recess, the principal asked who had been sliding. Several came forward but I was not saying a word until the class bully, Andy, pointed me out and said, “Tim was sliding!”. I got a spanking that day at school…I stood guilty.

You know, that’s what Satan does to you and me. He stands before God and accuses us of the guilt of sin in our lives. The sad thing is, we are guilty.

Satan whispers in our ear and lies to us about sin, encouraging us to give in to our carnal nature and do things our way. “God will understand.” “He would want you to have a good life and this (fill in your sin) will make it good.” But after we sin, we tells us we are worthless, pitiful, unlovable, unforgivable. While that is true, we are also loved beyond measure!

The apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:1, “…if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.” What an exciting realization!! Yes, we’ve made some poor choices but Jesus loves us so much that he gave his life for us. We have forgiveness and a relationship with God because of our advocate, Jesus.

So the next time you hear the voice of the enemy whispering you’re unlovable and unforgivable, remind him that he’s wrong. God loved us so much that while we were sinners, Jesus died for us. We have every reason to rejoice. We are brand new in God’s eyes, no longer guilty but his sons and daughters. Blessings on your journey.

The Death of Death

Death: the topic of conversation we are taught to avoid. Labels like ‘glum’ or ‘morbid’ or ‘dark’ are dismissively applied to someone who even brings up the topic. Nevertheless, through the plethora of these labels, I can hear the stifling of a revelation.

My curiosity with our greatest enemy has led me to at least one conclusion: the depths of God can only be approached when we are comfortable with the fragility of our own existence.

Death is a massive creature that swallows young and old, rich and poor, powerful and weak. The more I read God’s Word and other non-canonical writings, the mystery of our indescribable God renders death nothing more than ordinary.

Through my story death has surfaced with varying intensity: when I was 16, my grandfather died of a massive heart attack; when I was 21, my friend died in a motorcycle accident; when I was 26, my mom received her first diagnosis of breast cancer and the scare of the unthinkable but she conquered it.

In different ways and with varying intensity, death has made an appearance in my life. And you have experienced it as well. It seems like death has been a central piece of all of us.

In our fallen state, ‘Time’ is accurately defined by the master we submit ourselves to: but if death is our master, then time is merely a measurement of death’s invasion into our individual lives; However, if God is our master, then time and indeed eternal life, is a miraculous gift by which we receive him and influence others around us.

So, who is our God?

Our God…is a God who weeps. Incredibly, our God is a God who weeps. At the tomb of Lazarus in John 11, as Jesus stares into the eyes of death, he reveals to us a God who weeps.

He already knew what was about to happen; he already knew that he would call Lazarus’s name, the stone would be rolled away, and the dead would raise to life. He already knew how the story would end, and yet, we see Jesus, God in the flesh, confronting our brokenness with tears. For our God is a God who weeps.

We serve a God who is not satisfied with the pain that we feel; He is not satisfied with the sting of death; he is not satisfied with the taste of what is. Our God is a God who sobs over broken creation, who mourns over lives cut too short, who cries when we, his beloved children, cry. Our God is a God who weeps…but our God is not a God who sits idly by.

He does not sit and allow death to claim the ultimate victory. For even now his Spirit is moving, even now his love is growing, and even as the enemy is raging, our God gives life. Our God gives hope. Our God is a God of resurrection. Our God is a God who keeps hope tucked into our hearts.

For the sole desire of our king is to destroy the victories of our enemy and to embrace us in his arms for all eternity. As Revelation 21:4-5 promises: “He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’”

Indeed, Our God is a God who will set all of the wrongs right. This moment included. For our God is a good father. And good Fathers do not allow wrongs to go unaddressed, good Fathers instill hope in the most difficult of times, good Fathers stop at nothing to provide for their children. Rejoice that we have a good Father…one who will make all things new!

Blessings on your journey.