Following the Lamb

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”  Matthew 16:24

If anyone desires to come after Me…  This is about longing to go after the One.

Let him deny himself…  This is the same word Jesus used when He told Peter he would deny Him three times (Luke 22:24, Mark 14:30, Matthew 26:34- G533, aparneomai).  To deny in this form of Greek means to “affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with” (  To deny oneself is to refuse to know ourselves or have a connection with ourselves.

Take up his cross rather than taking up one’s own desires, we are to take up an implement that will serve to bring us to death.

And follow Me… Following the Lamb comes after we are already on our way to our own death.  We cannot follow Him without first posturing ourselves to be led to death.


This is such an intimidating verse, and yet in it we find the potency of the Christian life.  It’s really challenging me right now, making me re-evaluate my beliefs, the choices I make on a day to day level, and what I tell myself is true about faith, God, and about how I’m supposed to live life.

God is a loving Father who loves, comforts, and cares for His children.  In His love, we receive great freedom to live, discover, and be.  But it’s in the freedom of understanding His love that He invites us into the zeal of His heart, which I believe is the lost (Matthew 9:36-37).

It was Jesus’ zeal for the lost sheep of Israel, and ultimately every nation (Isaiah 49:6), that propelled Him to leave the heights of heaven, the fullness of light and beauty, to come down to a dust-filled earth of darkness and decay.  And it was His continual infilling of love from the Father above that led Him not to seek His own life on earth, but deny Himself over and over again until it crescendoed into taking up His cross to die on behalf of those He loved.

Yes, God is a good Father, a loving Father, one who gives good gifts and utmost freedom.  But I’d have to say, I can get confused and begin to bask in the comfort of His love so much that I forget to enter into His zeal for people that propels me to take up my own crucifixion implement.  Denying myself becomes arduous, and at that point I have to ask myself…am I truly following the Lamb who was led to the slaughter?  He willfully went on to be tortured, and He calls us to the same fate.

Right now, there are areas of my life I feel the Lord calling me to deny myself in– areas that to give them up feel like torture.  They are small denials of self, small sacrifices, and yet I know if I want to grow in the Messiah-like love that lays down its life for others, these sacrifices are necessary.  I’m mindful that Jesus Himself was not looking forward to the cross but rather prayed, “Father, not My will, but Yours be done.”  Though it was torture, on some level Jesus knew the “joy set before Him,” (Hebrews 12:2), and so endured the cross.  We have to grow in our understanding of what denying ourselves produces, because the end result is of great worth; greater than anything this world has to offer.  Sometimes my– our– priorities get mixed up, and we begin to follow the world and seek it more than we seek the Lamb.  He still offers this to us, “If anyone desires to come after Me…”  If we desire to come after Him, let us go after Him the way He has told us to, by denying ourselves.

While God is love, He is leading me, and you, our flesh and our love for the things of this world– to death.  It’s not to torture us or make us suffer just to suffer.   It is to lead us to a death we do not think possible, only to find new life– true life– again. Jesus found glory and renewed life after being led to death.  Often we preemptively feel the pains of denying ourselves and taking up our cross and turn the other way.  I don’t know about you, but I want to follow the Lamb, and He was led to death; He beckons us to follow Him there.


“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleshipp. 44


The Same Access Yesterday, Today, and Forever

I woke up at 2am, ridiculously hungry, so I decided to get something to eat. Reflecting on it, my hunger was not just for physical food, it was also for the presence of the Lord.  The last few days had been full of heart gymnastics (if I were at the Rio Olympics, I would have won the gold, silver, and bronze medals), and in the pain I felt I began to shut my heart down to the Lord.  Rather than going to Him to receive the wisdom, strength, love and encouragement He always offers, I turned to worldly comforts– talking things through with others (we like to call it venting), watching movies, sleeping through my quiet time.  None of these things are bad or sinful, but we know when we, in a sense, avoid God in an attempt to ease our pain and receive comfort from something other than Him.  That’s what I was doing, and the outcome was a distance I could tangibly feel and a growing hunger for His presence.

The distance I felt was not because He was distant, but because I distanced myself… but it felt like He was distant.  This phenomena is observable in our earthly marriages and in our relationships with other believers because of the bond of covenant we share.  If I intentionally avoid my husband in subtle ways because my heart is in pain, he is going to be affected; our relationship will be affected.  What can happen is rather than owning up to our own deficiency and realizing the walls we put up, we feel others are distant and it further removes us from wanting to be with them because we feel they don’t want to be around us.  And that is exactly what had crept into my life the last few days.  I could feel a distance in my heart I created, began to feel as if God was not available, and thus continued to remove myself from being near Him.

Despite the state of my heart, the Lord, in all His patience, began to speak to me about “access” in the middle of the night while my stomach was growling and my spirit longing. The distance I created in the relationship was not the only issue.  When we draw away from the Lord, it is perpetrated by something: shame, guilt, anger–we hide away from Him for a reason.  And while there may be compounded reasons and layers of why we hide, He continues to call out to us in the same way He did with Adam and Eve, “Where are you?”  Genesis 3:9.  Despite the things we do to affect our relationship with God, He is the constant One, always loving, always persevering, always reaching out to us.

The access to the Father’s presence, though at times we feel is closed off, is always open.  It’s always open because Christ forever lives in God’s presence, opening up the way for us to come in.  He is the One who prayed, “Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may be with Me where I am.”  John 17:24 (emphasis mine).  The longing of Jesus’ heart is for us to be with Him, always.  The access we have been given to the presence of God and to His love is absolute, never ending, never changing, though we may wander at times.

And there is no person on earth who has been given anything different than we have.  It’s the same access, for every person, from every culture– we have access to God through Jesus Christ.  It’s the same access for you as it is for me, and it’s the same access today as it was yesterday, and it will be the same access in the future.  In the quiet of the night, my hunger quelled, this word He spoke to my heart about having “the same access” to Him as always, began to penetrate down into me to break down the distance I felt.  He was there all along, had never left.  He was watching the gymnastics my heart was going through and was waiting for me to come closer to Him.

This is obviously not a new revelation by any means.  However, in the midst of walking through life and encountering all the things that press upon us and seeing the ways our hearts respond (sometimes not for the good), He continually comes to remind us, “I am here, I’ve always been here, and I’ll always be here.”  What comfort He gives us.  What assurance we have in this covenant.  Imperfect as we are, His perfection and enduring love will never fail us if we keep saying yes to Him.  I went to sleep with warmth in my heart knowing despite my reactions over the last few days, God was not closing Himself off or putting up a wall between us, He was doing the exact opposite– assuring me of the access I had and will always have to Him.

On Saturday mornings I go to the prayer room, and on my way today, more of my walls came down. Tears filled my eyes and I was finally able to declare to Him once again my desire to be near Him.  I had avoided Him, had distance myself, but I didn’t want to anymore. To top it all off, I turned on a devotional set at the prayer room that ended up expressing my heart perfectly.  You can listen to it by going to this link: Marshall Kirkman  (fast forward to 1 hour and 2 minutes).

Here are excerpts from this set:

“I still love You, despite all my failures.  I know I need You, first in my heart.  I still want You, more than I want this world, these bones You have broken will be my song to You… Come awaken my heart, all over again… Awaken my heart like when we first met, Lord draw me away… Let us stop running, stop hiding from You, and quiet our souls, and run to You, because only a holy God can quench the thirst that’s inside.”

Once again, the knowledge of His love has flooded me.  It’s a love I never want to be without…though sometimes choose to go without. He’s reminded me we were never meant to live without His love, He made us for it and has given us constant access to it now and forevermore.  May you run into it again.


The Father Fully Forgives


The Father fully forgives.  Today as I encountered a frustrating situation, I was fully aware of my own propensity to harbor bitterness and anger in my heart rather than forgiving my “offender,” and the Lord softened my heart with this revelation.  It wasn’t even a huge circumstance, but I write this because we all have those things that bother or irk us about others.

I sat to be with the Lord while the negative emotions about the situation brewed inside of me.  They were not overwhelming negative emotions, but I was very aware of them.  In that moment, I chose to say, “Father, I forgive them.”  And He whispered right back to me, “I fully forgive.”  He was looking down at me, wondering if I would choose to do the same.  I realized that if I fully forgave this person, that the next time I saw them I would have no negative emotions towards them, I would not hold back a smile, I would not speak with an altered tone of voice. Rather,  I would be free to openly receive and give to them.  While I was saying, “I forgive them,” I was also faced with a choice to relinquish holding any of myself back from them.  Wow- that is hard!

But then pictures came into my mind, scenes from the story found in Luke 15 of the Prodigal Son.  We all know the story.  Sometimes we read over it so fast because we do know it.  But there are moments when we have to really receive the type of forgiveness the father expresses in this story, because it is the very forgiveness the Father extends towards us, and desires us to extend towards others (Matthew 6:14-15).

Turning to Luke 15:  As the son returned, all he wanted, and all he thought the father would be willing to give, was a roof over his head and bread in his bowl (15:17-19).  He wanted to be a servant.  He understood that he had given up his rights as a son by taking his inheritance, leaving home and wasting it all.  But the heart of the father was full of compassion, full of the desire to forgive his son of all offense.  And it was offensive what the son did.  Historically, sons were  given their inheritance only once their father passed away.  Asking for his inheritance before his father died, this son was saying, “I’d rather have your money than you.”  He didn’t have a shred of discipline, care, or regard for his father, nor did he have thoughts about preparing for the future.  He was completely an utterly irresponsible, wasting all of his inheritance.

Yet as the son returns home and the father sees him in the distance, without a moment’s hesitation, he goes to the son with a heart full of compassion.  More than being ecstatic, I believe the father was resolute to have compassion because as his son returned, he understood the hardship he must have faced.  In a sense, the father knew this would happen.  Yet not wanting his son’s heart to be broken and forever shattered, he was resolute in embracing his son again–he desired restoration.  Not once did he allow the son to dwell on the horrible things he did.  I think the father could see the humiliation the son went through to get back home.

Without any hint of “I told you so,” or “I can’t believe what you did,” the father, in that moment, fully forgave his son.  He fully forgave in that he let go of any frustration, any thoughts that ran through his mind about his son’s irresponsibility, his impulsiveness; he let all those thoughts be washed away and he chose to embrace.  What mattered now was his son’s heart, and he wanted his son to know that he was fully accepted back into this household.  Even more astonishing, the father continued to give to this son by throwing a massive feast, all for the one who wasted so much.  The father never shut down his heart but continued to open it and give him the very fruit of his labor.

As I look upon the forgiveness this father displayed, knowing its the very forgiveness my Father has upon me and that which I am called to give, I sit in awe.  There is no other love like this love.  And now I can forgive this person who offended me, though it was a MUCH smaller offense!



Subtle Shakings From the Father’s Hand

There is promised a time coming when the Lord will shake everything that can be shaken.  Hebrews 12:25-29 lays it out very clearly, and In Isaiah 2 and 24 the Lord reveals the purpose for this shaking:  to exalt the lowly, to bring down the lofty; that He and He alone will be seen in all His glory amongst all flesh.  He wants us to see what only heaven can see right now, how beautiful His Son is.  That will take a bit of shaking things up so that we (all the earth) can come into a proper understanding of who Jesus truly is and how much the Father truly adores Him.  And that is not to our condemnation, it’s to our glory.  For as the Father loves Jesus, so Jesus loves us (John 15:9).  The more fully we understand how much the Father glories in the Son, the more fully we will understand how much we are accepted in the Beloved.  And thus this great shaking that is upon us is a thing of glory.

In small ways now, our lives are being shaken.  There are seasons where the Lord deals with areas of sin in our life, and He does so to legitimize our sonship.  Only sons are “chastised,” or taught in the ways of righteousness (Hebrews 12:5-11).  Though painful, the Father’s goodness towards us in these times are to remove from us whatever bit of righteousness we hold on to as our own.  He wants us to  once again know that our only saving grace is that 2,000 years ago the Son of God put on garments of flesh, dwelt amongst us and died a criminal’s death.  As we turn from our sin and receive His blood that was shed, it becomes the only thing that makes us worthy to enter into the heavenly tabernacle to be brought near the Father of glory.  Truly, there is not one good act, one great part of our personality, or even our own good intentions that make us worthy to stand upon that crystal-like sea of sapphire, gazing upon the uncreated, eternal God who is attended by thousands upon thousands of angelic hosts.

I think that sometimes the Lord unveils our sin to bring us to reality:  that without God we have nothing, that without God we have no goodness.  Yet rather than being condemning, that is a heart-warming and glorious reality. Why?  Because with this revelation, we can stand before God with hearts fully open, hands readily receiving all of His goodness and glory knowing that our reception is entirely based upon His willingness to give.  And He is always willing to give to a heart turned towards Him.  At the same time we can be fully aware that the only reason we can stand before Him is because of the desire of love found in His heart.  He wants us with Him, not because of anything we have done good or bad, but just because He wants us.  None can glory in His sight, because its only by His goodness that any of us can appear before Him (1 Cor. 1:28-31).  And if our appearing before Him is based upon His goodness, I’d say we are in pretty good hands.  

So if you are being shaken by the Father’s hand and He is exposing something in your life that deems you unworthy, rejoice.  Deal with that which is hindering your walk of righteousness biblically (1 John 1:9).  But rejoice because you have been brought to a humbling reality:  that even if you lived perfectly, it still would not usher you onto that sea of glass to be reconciled with the Father.  Only the blood of Jesus can do that.  Rather be like Paul, who contended to not have his own righteousness but a righteousness that comes only from God- the righteousness that has been freely given and in which there is no boasting.  Count all things rubbish, the good you have done, the bad you have done and suffered, and be found in Him today (Philippians 3:8-9).  In the shaking of our lives, and in the coming shaking of heaven and earth, it is only safe to be found in He who is doing the shaking.  He offers that place to us everyday.  May we all find greater peace and rest in His hands that both embrace and shake, only to bring us closer to Him.

He remembers…

One thing I love about the Lord is that He remembers all things.  The sin we repent of He chooses to remember no more, casting them into the depths of the sea.  But He also remembers all of the good that we do for the sake of His name, He remembers the small prayers that we pray when no one else is watching, He hears the desire of our hearts that churn within us when we are in deep pain.  I’m so thankful He hears, and that He remembers.

I remember some of the things that I prayed when He was first awakening my heart to pursue Him with greater fervor, spending more time in prayer and getting rid of movies and music that did not glorify Him.  Years have past, and many things have happened good and bad, and yet He keeps comforting me with this:  “I remember. ”  He remembers, And just like with Israel, as God affectionately remembers the first stirrings of love, He beckons us to return to Him with our whole heart, that He might fulfill those longings we cried out for.  To Israel He said,

“I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness…you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return to Me…return backsliding Israel, I will not cause My anger to fall on you.  For I am merciful, I will not remain angry forever.  Only acknowledge your iniquity…”   Jeremiah 2:2; 3:1, 12-13a

Battered and bruised though we may be, the faint cries of longing for more ascend through the heavens into the holy of holies, straight to our Maker’s heart.  As painful as things may be at times, the word reveals that this life is a mere shadow, a vapor, a fading flower.  The things we do in this life and the things done to us will all be a faint memory in the age to come, if we find our lives covered and hidden in the blood of Jesus.  That is what I long for, to be completely covered in His blood.  He said that He created us to be without blame, without shame, and before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4).  That means we can be completely exposed, all our thoughts, motives, actions, and words, and have no shame in them because we have hidden our life, especially our hurts and failures, in the covering of His suffering.  He merely wants us to come back to Him.  Who has ever heard of a God like this?!

I’m so thankful He is merciful, that He calls us back, because it is for eternity that He is longing for.  This life will fade away, but we will spend eternity with Him where life truly abounds as all things in heaven and earth are joined together in Christ.   I look forward to this day, but today, I seek to be covered.  And today, I thank Him for remembering my prayers that I sometimes don’t even remember.

Our Good Father Has Made One Way

You may be familiar with this bumper sticker.  It’s the idea that no matter our religious beliefs, we are to live with one another and not impose on each other’s beliefs.  It’s the idea that if we each just stick to our own and accept each other, there will be peace.  I’ll admit, this sounds great.  The problem is that while this is the world’s solution to peace and love, is not true love or peace.

Most of the world denounces Christianity because we say there is one way to God.  Right now there are many religious lines being crossed and many are crying out that a loving God would not make only one way to get to Him- that’s too restrictive, that’s too limited.  Thus the idea has emerged and is very popular now that no matter the religion you are in, you can get to God.

Reflecting on my past and the place I am in now, I’m learning that this is so contrary to what the true cry of the human heart is.  God’s commandments, or what I like to call boundaries, are not restrictive, they are the loving guidelines given from a Father who knows what is truly good for His children.  God’s insistence that there be only one way to get to Him is not single-mindedness, it equals the playing field and allows for anyone to come to Him no matter who or where they are.  Like any father who has a house with a door to enter in to his house, God has a home- it’s His tabernacle as seen in Revelation 4, and the one way to be there in His presence is through His door- Jesus. And like any good father who has an inheritance to give to his son, the father will train and bring his child up in the right way so that he will be able to rightly steward and enjoy his inheritance once he is of age to receive it.  We too, as believers in Jesus, have a great inheritance, but we are being trained in His ways that we may receive it in fullness when the time comes (1 Peter 1).  The older I get, the more I realize that I love God’s commandments, because as I walk in them, I am more free, have more joy and peace!  The world screams that we want our own way to be free and to choose whatever way they want to get to God, but that is not an option unfortunately,  and it’s because God is a God of love that this is so.

God’s  commands are not restrictive, they are liberating:

God, as our Creator, knows how He made us and how we are to live in light of the way He made us.  If we made a pitcher to use for watering, and yet the pitcher wanted to be nothing but a cereal bowl, would that not be ridiculous?  The pitcher was made to hold water and water plants, not be a wide open vessel to hold cereal that is easy to eat out of.  That is a silly example, but the analogy has some truth in it. God created us to be in relationship with Him and to have a tender heart that loves and worships Him and others.  His commandments, as seen in Exodus 20 and Matthew 5-7 reveal the boundary lines He has given our lives.  His ways bring forth life, and His desire is that we have abundant life (John 10).  As we live in the understanding that God created us, He sent His Son to cover our sins, and now we are to live our lives in agreement with Him, this is what gives us true freedom and joy. The world says that life is found when we have freedom to choose whatever we feel is best for us.  But how can this be true?  Would a good earthly father allow his child to do whatever he wants, even at a young age, never disciplining or correcting him?  Would a good, loving parent, allow their child to stay up all hours of the night, do drugs, look at pornography, beat and bully his friends?  Is that what love looks like to us?  Unfortunately, many in our society have grown up in these circumstances.  I did not, but because of my own rebellion, I incurred a lot of unnecessary suffering by not heeding the boundary lines my parents gave me.

My parents raised me to understand certain things were wrong and right- drinking was wrong, any pre-marital contact of the opposite sex was wrong.  In my disobedience, I rebelled and did not listen to how they raised me.  My assumption is that  most of us have had a similar experience with some of the things our parents tried to instill in us and yet we turned away, wanting to make our own way and do our own thing.  The cost I incurred from not listening to my parents was years of dating and going to parties that did not benefit me in any way.  I definitely did not go crazy, but some have.  Even what I did do though, brought much pain and shame into my life.  Had I carefully heeded my parents at a young age, I would have not experienced much of the self-inflicted suffering from my own decisions that I wanted to do because I was “independent.”  My parents, as loving, good parents, were not putting restrictions on me to control me, they were doing it to train me in what is good for me.  I see now that what they were doing was good for me- showing me one way to live, in order to help me, not hurt me.  My earthly parents are men just like me, and yet they still wanted to help protect me by showing me a good way to live.  If I were going to go off a cliff and destroy myself, I would think that my parents would scream at me and push me away from the cliff to keep me from going over.  I would get hurt in the process, but they would save my life.  Isn’t that what love does?  No matter how much it will hurt the other for a moment, love will save another’s life if destruction is seen?

God has revealed Himself as a Father, and as such, He does the exact same thing to us.   Our sin brings forth death in our life- the wages of our sinful actions and thoughts produces death in us.  And a lifestyle of living in sin results in the eternal death of hell.  His commandments are our guard to teach us what not to do!  It’s like He’s telling us what will burn us if we touch it.  There is so much pain in our world today, and it is manifested in people’s addictions to food, video games, drugs, sex, pornography, shopping- its all a result of having a need in our heart that we are filling with a temporary solution.  That is not what God has destined or desired for us.  He wants us to have freedom, and He wants us to live in the ways He created us to live in.  This takes breaking agreement with the world that says His commands are restrictive, and choosing to obey them, no matter how bad it hurts.

Psalm 2:1-2 reveals that humanity would be at a place of “casting off restraint” at the end of the age.  The nations will be raging against God and against His Anointed, or His Son.  They cast off the “restraints,” or the boundaries that God has placed upon them.  This is seen as the nations refuse Jesus as God’s Son as the way of salvation, and especially in our own nation as the definition of marriage is sought to be redefined and the value of life from conception to death is refuted.  It’s God who first revealed what marriage is between one man and one woman (Genesis2, Matthew 19), and it’s also God who makes life in the womb (Psalm 139).  In our own dullness and desire for our own way, our nation and the nations of the earth have cast these restraints as we believe they are too restrictive.  As our Creator however, He knows what and how we were made.

One way is good!

He is an Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9), meaning that He always existed and will always exist.  He is limitless, eternal, all powerful and all knowing.  He is holy, and He is true.  Yet we are quite the opposite and have been separated from Him.  He has resolved this predicament however- first revealing what His commands are, and then giving us His Son as a sacrifice to cover our sins and forgive us, all the while giving us His Spirit to empower us to walk in agreement with His ways.

The testimony of Scripture is that all humans have gone their own way against God (Isaiah 53:6).  We all have the disobedience in us that goes against His ways.  Again, how many of us have rebelled against our earthly fathers?  How much more have we rebelled against the perfect, holy God whom we have not seen!  We are in desperate need of a new heart and a new spirit, which is given to us through the repentance of our sins and believing that Jesus is God who came and died and reaped the wages of our sin- death.  He died under God’s wrath so we would not have to.  God, as a good Father, has told us how to live, yet He also saw that we were not capable of living in His ways.  So, what did He do?  He allowed His Son to walk on the earth without sin, and after allowing Him to die in our place, gave us His Spirit so that we have a new spirit in us that actually wants to be obedient.  Apart from God’s Spirit in us, no man wants to follow God.

In other religions, there is always some sort of penance, a list of prayers one must pray, a pilgrimage one must take, in order to be saved.  But even in these religions, most do not have a solution for sin.  Many still do not even know if they are saved!  They are practicing their religion, hoping that if they do enough of their religion now they will be saved.  But God has made one way for all men to not only be forgiven assuredly of their sins, and given a new heart to begin to be His child and walk in His ways so that they can receive an inheritance.  Our assurance is that Jesus did die, that He did rise again, and when we confess, we are filled with His Spirit and receive an internal witness of our salvation.

He has made a covering for us by the blood of Jesus, and then invites us to walk according to His ways.    He disciplines us and reveals to us how we are to live. As our Father who made our hearts, He knows what is best for us.  It’s His love that gives us boundaries, and freedom comes when we come under His covering and in His house, listening to Him to guide us in our life.

We are to love, honor, and respect all persons.  Jesus says to pray for all men (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45).  But we have to ask the question, does love speak the truth or just allow another to continue in life in their current situation even when there are eternal consequences for their choices?   It’s not just that through Jesus we are saved from an eternal death in hell, we are being trained to be like Him and to receive an inheritance in His kingdom (1 Peter 1).  That is glorious, and He allows for any man to partake in this kingdom.

My heart is not to denounce other people, prove them wrong, or argue, but I do believe the Lord has allowed me to see that in His love He really does have an amazing future in the next age for those who believe in His Son and through their life chose daily to live for Him.  I also believe that for those who do not there is an eternal damnation in hell.  He is a Father, and He not only is limitless in His mercy, but He states that He will not acquit the  guilty (Exodus 33).  We only receive mercy through one way, through His Son.  There is no other recompense for sin.  And while all the other religions in the world, and even parts of Christianity  these days, want humanity to believe this is so, it completely goes against God’s self revelation in His word.  He is a loving Father, He has made a way, a perfect way.  His ways are good, His commandments bring true freedom and peace.

In this hour our nation is choosing ideas that are quite contrary to this.  My burden is that we all wrestle with what true love is.  God has promised great deception to those who do not receive a love for the truth (2 Thessalonians 2).  We thus must ask God for a love for truth, labor in His word and prayer, and continue to be a voice of what God has revealed about Himself even when the world is contrary to this.  The world does not like that God has made one way, but that is His love and mercy, and it is what He has stated in His word.  Our minds and hearts must be renewed to understand this, because the voice that says there are many paths to God is very strong in the earth right now.  If there is any place in our hearts that is tugged by thinking that may be true, we need merely to go to our Father in repentance and have Him show us the truth.  Coexisting and allowing everyone to live in their own ways sounds nice, but the Father has made one recompense for sins- His Son.  He has made one way to love- obeying His commands (John 15).  This is what a good father does, and the limitless God who created us has done the same thing.

Here are some amazing quotes from Spirit of Truth by Art Katz- I highly recommend reading it, and you can download it for free online.

“Everyone who has driven a car has had the experience of approaching an intersection, slowing down, glancing both ways, and then choosing either to stop or to slowly slide through. The sign says “full stop,” but…that is only a guide, a warning; it does not really mean “full stop.” After all, stopping is so inconvenient, so time-consuming and wasteful of gas and brake linings. It requires going against the momentum of a vehicle already in motion, of a set of well-practiced attitudes and choices in favor of self-assurance, ease and convenience. Therefore, we do not stop. We make truth relative to our own judgment, our own needs, and our own subjectivity…As long as it is convenient and serves our interests, truth, like a stop sign, is obeyed ” page 26

“The world celebrates tolerance as a cardinal virtue and is prepared to tolerate everything 3⁄4 except absolute values and absolute truth. To the wisdom and enlightenment of the world, nothing is more offensive than what it calls “dogmatism.” However, beneath the world’s professed concern for the complexity of circumstances, there lies a rejection of any and all absolutes. In its zeal against “dogmatism,” the world exalts toleration above righteousness, and degrades truth thereby.” page 27

“The world’s wisdom is always trying to undo God’s eternal, absolute distinctions, always trying to blur the boundary between truth and lies, always seeking to create a gray haze in which to redefine and justify what we desire to be and to do. Relativism is appealing because, unlike truth, it is so convenient!” page 27

“The relief of loneliness justifies adultery; the relief of stress and inconvenience justifies abortion; the perfecting of the race justifies genocide. The world is simply fulfilling its spiritual nature when it denies absolute truth.” page 27

May this encourage your faith in our loving heavenly Father.  Blessings,