Woven throughout Scripture are these two simple, yet powerful words — But God. It wells inside of me such anticipation and hope when I read these words, because I know God is about to demonstrate who He is, and what He is capable of. It is an introduction to His character and one of His most profound attributes — His great love.
I’ve listed below just a portion of the many examples found in the Old and New Testament:
“And Joseph said to his brethren, ‘I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.’” -Genesis 50:24
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved.” -Ephesians 2:4-5
“And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him” -Acts 7:9
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalm 73:26
“But God raised Him from the dead.” -Acts 13:30
This is the gospel.
In the beginning, God created us, this world and all its inhabitants, and He said it was good, naming us as very good. But we messed up. Through Adam and Eve’s disobedience sin entered our world. Looking back at the previous passages we hear of darkness, illness, sin and even death — all products of the Fall.
God Himself, being the stark contrast of all this worldly mess, steps in to intervene. It is the foretelling of hope. It is the promise of restoration that despite all of this darkness, despite our sin, He saw us as worth restoring. Not as some failed experiment to disregard and start over again, but rather, providing us with a remedy. John 3:16 says it all: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
“And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” -Romans 5:11
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” -2 Corinthians 3:18
We, made in His image — meditate on that for just a moment; the image of God Almighty. Just, wow! Who despite our brokenness, our disobedience and despite the times we even willfully have pulled away from Him, He sees us as worth restoring. Through the perfect sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. What perfect love! He extends it to us, granting us the free will to partake in His covenant. Look at Ezekiel 34:16:
“I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.”
From the beginning of time, God has pursued us. From Genesis to Revelation we read of how again and again, He has sought His children. Remember the Israelites and how often they strayed? Yet God pursued them, just as He continues to do so in our own lives.
Jesus is calling, friends! And He is prepared to meet us where we’re at, even when we are struggling in the muck in mire, with dirty faces and tattered clothes. Yes, with all of our imperfections and baggage. He’s prepared to walk hand in hand with us and see us through to the other side. Not to abandon us there in that state of darkness, but to draw us out, redeem us and to transform us. To invite us into something so much better, not just a mediocre life, but an abundant life!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10
The very gift of being alive is proof that God has a divine purpose for you, and He wants you to receive the abundant life He has in store for you. You, being made in His image and in His likeness — that in itself shows how unique we are to God! And when we accept that perfect gift, He begins that perfect work of sanctification, chipping away at what is old and decayed. Image bearer, He is ready to begin that work to make you whole.
Now, we know living on this earth is a struggle, yet He promises to never leave or forsake us. We have a Helper — His Holy Spirit and Christ Jesus ever interceding on our behalf. We’re not meant take on life’s battles in our own strength, but through His strength and power by which all things are possible. In this life, we are all just pilgrims treading the dusty roads of earth, our temporary home, but life in Christ means we will one day walk streets of gold.
Where do you find yourself spiritually today? Are you:
Do these resonate with you?
Perhaps, you’ve felt so bogged down with life it has been hard to look up. Maybe you’re ashamed of the state you’re in or maybe hard circumstances have altered the way you view the Lord and His goodness.
Friend, I do not have all the answers to the weights you carry, but I can point you to the One who carried the burdens of the whole world outstretched on a cross, none other than Christ Jesus. That is love beyond any love. Jesus desires a relationship with you! He wants to create in you a new life, free from the bondage of sin, free from shame and enrobed in His righteousness. If you haven’t yet received the gift of His Son, allow me to encourage you to do so today, do not wait. Jesus is calling!
And while as we walk this ever winding, and sometimes difficult road of faith, let me encourage you to hold fast, turn to His Word, read of His promises and remember,
Join us any Sunday!
Whatever your week was like, you’re welcome here at Christ Chapel. Gather with us on Sundays for community, worship and truth for your everyday life.
Fort Worth Campus: 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
West Campus: 9:30 and 11 a.m.
South Campus: 11 a.m.
Topics in Parenting Conference
Saturday, Jan. 26
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fort Worth Campus
Cost: $10 per person
Who doesn’t want to reach the hearts of their children? Spend an amazing Saturday morning with talks and breakout sessions geared towards learning to do just that. You’ll join other parents in learning practical ways to relate to and make a difference in the lives of your children and family.