Savoring Summer #28: In the Daisy Field

IMG_2152 edit.jpgMemory verse: “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

The fourth step on the Romans Road is about our needed response to the solution to our problem.

P.S. See this post if you’re unfamiliar with the Romans Road!  Also, see this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #10: Evening Mists

IMG_0935 edit“For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10)

When we talk about God forgiving us, it’s helpful to remember that we’re not talking about him forgiving us for some “minor” offense.  It’s not just some condescending little, “Oh, fine, I guess I can let it slide that you didn’t make it to church last week.”

There is no one against whom we have committed greater sin than God.  Think about that for a minute.  Think about the nastiest, most evil person in all of history, the one who you would personally have the very hardest time forgiving—and that is YOU before God.  You were literally God’s ENEMY.

Perhaps you did not deliberately set out to be God’s enemy, but the fact is that you were His enemy by association, just as all soldiers in war fall on one side or another based on which leader they are taking orders from.

And this is precisely why God’s forgiveness is so mind-boggling.  Under the circumstances (which He could justly declare unforgivable), really the most we could hope for would be something like: “Because of my great mercy, I’ll let you get by without the death sentence, but you’ve offended me so much I’m still going to exile you to an island for the rest of your life.” 

But instead, it’s this magnificent: “You were my enemy; now become my heir!”

He offers reconciliation that is full, complete, without caveat.  He wipes our record clean, and calls us up to the place of honor reserved for beloved children.

I think that reconciliation must be one of the most beautiful words in all the English language.

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Night Sounds

IMG_0152The night was bright with a million stars, each one pulsating distinct and three-dimensional against deep black velvet of the sky.  The aurora was dancing low but visible on the horizon.  Across the lake, a monkey owl laughed, and in the distant forest echoed the drum roll of a grouse.  Just above the treetops, a slender waxing crescent of reflected sunlight rimmed the lower curve of dark round moon.  It dangled, then dropped out of sight.  One meteorite fell, and then another.  It was a good night to go walking without a flashlight, and so we did.

Then, we heard an odd sound that we couldn’t identify.  It was like the sound of tinkling, shattering glass, with a sort of grunting and squeaking.  There was also splashing, which narrowed down the location to the lake.  But what sort of creature was busy on the lake at this time of the night—and what were they doing?

It remained a mystery, until morning, when daylight revealed the guilty culprits.IMG_0275-1IMG_0257-1.jpgThe otters had been playing not on but in the ice while the northern lights rippled softly green, enjoying the effects of the steadily aging and honeycombing lake ice.  I didn’t realize how rotten the ice was until I stood on the shore and watched their game for a good hour.  They were literally running all over the lake breaking holes in all the thin places and diving in and out of them, which explained the mysterious tinkling and shattering sounds of the previous night.

And so the mysteries of the darkness were made evident by the light and things that were unknown became known—just as it always must be, even in the case of much deeper things.

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that not will be made known. (Luke 12:2)

“Therefore judge nothing before the proper time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” (1 Cor. 4:5)

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