Musings

Renewing Your Mind

By Marissa Briones

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)

One of my favorite movies is the musical romantic comedy “Singin’ in The Rain” that stars Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. Just for context, let me tell you a little about the movie. In the film, Debbie Reynolds plays Kathy who was hired to be the voice of Jean Hagen (Lina), a movie star who has a shrill voice. It wasn’t a problem in silent movies, but it becomes a real dilemma when the studio launches into talking pictures. So Kathy becomes the singing and talking voice of Lina. Everything that Lina spoke and sang was re-dubbed with Kathy’s voice. 

I learned a life lesson from this movie when I recently searched the city library database looking for music CDs of Debbie Reynolds. I was confused as to how a woman with such a nice voice and a hit movie did not have a single music recording in her name. After searching online, I found out the truth, and it made me shake my head because I had believed something that wasn’t true for such a long time up to that point. As it turns out, Debbie Reynolds was the one lip-synching the whole time! Her singing voice was dubbed by Betty Noyes, a singer who was uncredited in the film. Then at one point in the movie, Debbie Reynolds is portrayed dubbing over Jean Hagen’s lines, but it was actually Jean’s beautiful voice that is heard. So it was a case of Debbie dubbing Jean who dubbed Debbie. How bizarre!

Have you believed something that is not true? Sometimes, for one reason or another, we have started to believe error and falsehood. More painfully stated, we have believed something that is unbiblical. Whether we have been taught about it when we were starting out, or someone told us something and we readily believed without checking it for accuracy, or that we found it easier to believe rather than to look for answers or clarification, no excuse is acceptable for believing untruth. Ultimately, we believe because we want to regardless of our motivation. 

It’s time that we renew our minds. To renew is to completely change our minds for the better. The problem is that the world wants us to conform and be like one that belongs to it. But having been born again, we now have a new nature. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Our newness involves the way that we think. Thankfully, God works in us to change us – no, to transform us and make us more like Christ (Romans 8:29). The word transform conveys a dramatic and complete change. The Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines it as “to change radically in inner character, condition, or nature.” Butterflies are an excellent example of a transformation as they take on a completely different form, from a caterpillar to a butterfly.

This transforming work is something that only God can accomplish, but we were given some work to do. This is the reason why we’re told to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” He has given the instructions and has also supplied the tool we need: His Word.

John Robbins said that “the Bible claims to have a monopoly on truth.” And that is a true statement based on what Jesus said in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” Because God revealed this to us, we can know that the Bible is trustworthy and true. We can confidently have our mind shaped by Scripture and replace wrong thinking with biblical thinking.

The Bereans that Paul commended in Acts 17:11 model this for us. “Now the Berean Jews…received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (NIV) They used the Bible to verify what Paul preached. The Bible was for them, and still is for us, the standard of truth. To quote Jay E. Adams, he said “There is no standard apart from God’s divinely imposed objective Standard, the Bible.” The Scriptures stand the test of time, generation after generation for we are told that “…the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:25)

R. C. Sproul summarized it well: “Christian thinking is to be molded by the entire Bible….” ❤️

Musings

Your Worth

By Marissa Briones

If you’ve lived long enough like I have, you know that as people we intuitively use certain standards to judge a person’s importance. 

The question is who or what determines your value? 

Is it your looks? The famous line “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” lacks consistency. However, not only is this criteria changeable, but our looks are too. Whether it’s a new hairstyle or a different fashion sense, we too alter our looks for one reason or another.

Is it your title or the work that you do? In fast-changing times and an unstable economy, people who are experts in their field have made career moves. Whether it’s to a less stressful job, or to a promotion with better perks, or due to a company reorganization, your title can disappear at a moment’s notice. And the truth is that you are not what you do. To the family and friends who love you, you’re just you – the person whom they accept and enjoy.

Is it your economic status in life? Your income can change in a heartbeat. Companies make business decisions that are good for their bottom line – but not necessarily for yours. And your economic standing can change overnight. 

We can add many other criteria to this and come up with a longer list. The point is that we want others to know of our value. In the same way, we also want to see it in others to help us judge that they are worthy of our trust. However, every basis we use is all man-made and temporary. 

There is a standard by which to measure one’s value. And we always go to the Bible, the Word of God, which claims to have a monopoly on truth as aptly stated by John W. Robbins of The Trinity Foundation.

The Bible tells us that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Here, we have a firsthand account from the Maker Himself. Here is what He says:

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV)

Your value is attached to your Maker. God created each and every person in His likeness; we were modeled after His image – and that fact is unchangeable. Every human being’s value and worth is intrinsic because of his or her Creator. “The image is passed on to every human, giving each person dignity” (R.C. Sproul).

Let me say it again: Man was created by God and made in His image. 

Gordon Clark said this: “Man was created on the sixth day as God’s crowning creational act.” Indeed, God created man after He had made all the other creatures. The animals were created after their kind, but man was created after God’s likeness and was even tasked with overseeing God’s earthly creation. Man is unique in that He receives his value from God and is given worth by Him. Man also enjoys a special relationship with the Creator God as detailed in Genesis 2.

In another passage, the words “image of God” is mentioned. It is so weighty that it says:

Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” (Genesis 9:6)

It is time for you to know that your value is not in anything temporal, but in the eternal truth that God created you in His image.

Let the Apostle Paul’s words renew your mind as he succinctly expressed the truth of God’s word:

God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth….And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth…so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being….” (Acts 17:24, 26-28) ❤️

Musings

God’s Goodness

By Marissa Briones

God is good all the time. However, this truth gets challenged as we live in a fallen world marred by sin – especially when we experience the pain caused by the brokenness around us. In our frailty, we are prone to be troubled, broken-hearted, and find our strength diminished.

What do we do? Where do we go? 

In the midst of heartache and pain, it is sometimes hard to think straight. Thankfully, God comforts and instructs us in His Word.

PRAY to the Lord. Like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, we can come and pour out our hearts to God. The Apostle Peter said “cast your burdens to the Lord because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). And how heavy those burdens are that sometimes they are simply unbearable! Along with the gift of prayer, we are invited to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

WAIT on the Lord. Rely on Him to provide the strength and wisdom needed during difficult times. The everlasting God gives power to the weak and gives renewed strength just as He said in Isaiah 40:28-31. And not just for strength, but we rely on “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” to comfort us in all our troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

READ Scripture. It is important to read the Bible everyday. God’s Word is what He will bring to mind. Oh, and how much more we need them especially during those burdensome days! “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26) I once heard a fitting analogy from a wise woman: “Dig your well before you need the water.” God’s Word is what will cut through the fog of tangled thoughts and emotions. He will order our thoughts and guide us.

Be THANKFUL. This is God’s will for us. “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God….” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) There are many things we can thank God for. Yes, there are losses that we grieve and matters that pain us, but we ultimately have the best blessing – God is with us. Author Michael Horton said, “in grace, God gives nothing less than Himself.” We should not allow the seed of ungratefulness to take root in our hearts. And think of this: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, because His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-24).

Lastly, REMEMBER God is working something that our earthly eyes cannot see. Recall His goodness and trust in His character. And 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 reminds us that: “…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.” This also points to the way that we are to live as believers: “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

As children of God, we are under His constant care and receive His goodness every moment of our lives. “From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” (John 1:16) Let God’s amazing goodness encourage and strengthen you today. ❤

Musings

Read Through The Bible

By Marissa Briones

When we are born into God’s family, like a newborn baby, the Lord creates in us a hunger for spiritual milk. His Word is what nourishes our new life in Christ. The Bible becomes our necessary daily food to help us grow and remain strong.

When I became a Christian in my teen years, I started reading the Bible. And although I had the complete Bible, I spent most of my time reading in the New Testament as it seemed to me more current and more relevant. And whenever I read parts of the Old Testament, I read only the accounts that had obvious lessons and practical application for my life as a new believer.

However, the more I read God’s Word, the more curious I became about why we have the whole Bible in our possession. And if the Old Testament is vitally important so that it was part of the Bible, it definitely deserved as much time being read and studied. I desired to learn ALL that is revealed about God recorded in the whole of Scripture.

So two years into my Christian life, I set a goal to read through the whole Bible. My plan was to read a chapter a day beginning in Genesis 1. Everything was going well until I hit a roadblock – Leviticus! It took me three days of skipping, shuffling, and delaying when I remembered my goal to get to know the God of the Bible. Not only did that desire motivate me to continue, but it helped me push through the parts that I did not understand. And the Lord, in His goodness, rewarded me with joy. The more I read, the more I understood as the other parts shone the light on earlier passages that were not clear to me.

Having now read, studied, and feasted on three Bibles, I am deeply grateful to God for helping me persevere. Most importantly, I have learned that the Old Testament is foundational to understanding the truths recorded in the New Testament. Having both Testaments is like having all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle — one gets the whole picture! Having examined and learned from the whole Bible helped me understand the significance of the teaching on the holiness of God, the atonement, justice, mercy, and righteousness, just to name a few. The first eleven chapters alone (Genesis 1-11) reveal foundational truths on key issues of life like who our Creator God is; why we were created; the value of human life; the blessed marriage union; the value of work, and so on.

Pointing to the importance of the whole Bible, Augustine said this: “The new is in the old concealed; the old is in the new revealed.” Pastor and theologian R. C. Sproul explains: “The key to understanding the New Testament in its fullest is to see in it the fulfillment of those things that were revealed in the background of the Old Testament. The Old Testament points forward in time, preparing God’s people for the work of Christ in the New Testament.

A friend once said this about reading the Bible: “You’ve read it once and that should be enough.” However, the Bible is unlike any other book. Yes, it requires that you spend time in it. Yes, it is hard work. In fact, it is important for a Christian to make this a goal (to read through the whole Bible) because it is how God revealed Himself and His will. To quote Augustine again, he said: “The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.

If you take on this challenge, the rewards will be immeasurable. The confident trust, the inner strength, the divine wisdom, the sweet fellowship and intimacy with God are just some of the blessings that come to mind. In Jeremiah 9:24, God says this:

But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the LORD.

I leave you with this true statement from Pastor Charles Spurgeon: “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” ❤️

Musings

Are You Suffering?

By Marissa Briones

The Oxford Dictionary defines suffering as “the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.” The Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines it as “agony, affliction, or distress; intense pain or sorrow.”

There are different degrees of suffering. We know this from personal experience and from other people’s stories.

Scripture records the suffering experienced by those who put their faith in God. In Hebrews 11: 36-37, we get a sampling of what they went through: “Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented….

And there are, I believe, two kinds of suffering.

There is the transformative suffering meant to mature and refine us (see James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7). If it’s up to us, we would choose not to go through them. But God ordains them in our lives to transform us and make us more like Christ. (Romans 8:29)

Then there is elective suffering. It is the kind that could have been avoided if we chose to do what was right. In other words, it is suffering caused by sin, whether ours or someone else’s. Some examples are King David’s pride that propelled him to take a census, the lie of Ananias & Sapphira, and Zechariah temporarily unable to speak for his unbelief.

Suffering is a very real part of life. We hurt and grieve as we experience pain, loss, and hardships regardless of the kind of suffering we go through.

Sometimes, there are circumstances that overwhelm us to the point that we think it is more than we can bear. But did you know that even the Son of Man, Jesus Himself, before He was to be crucified, was grieved so much that He said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”? Yet in this passage in Matthew 26:38-39, He also displayed an example for us to follow – He prayed to the Father.

In Christ, we have received every spiritual blessing, including the gift of prayer. Because of all that Jesus has done for us, we too can now come and pray to God our Father. We can pour out our hearts to God, and make our requests known to Him, whether they are minor concerns or serious ones.

And what do we receive? Something so overwhelmingly wonderful! The Eternal God, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent One hears us. He cares about His children. The Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:7 said this: “casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.

Here is the message: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) ❤️

Musings

Deciding What’s Right

By Marissa Briones

How does one decide what is right and wrong? What standard do Christians use to help them decide?

Sometimes, it is easy to spot wrong when it’s presented in a black-and-white manner. If someone takes your purse or your phone, you clearly see that that is wrong and unacceptable.

However, what if sin is veiled in psychological terms so that instead of correcting a sinful habit we excuse it because it’s labeled as an “illness”? And what if sin is legalized, so that it is commonly acceptable in the country that you live in? And what if someone you respect, like an authority figure in your life, subtly suggests that a certain sin is okay.

When wrong is right and bad is good, how do we decide?

As Christians, we have God’s Word. The Bible is the standard of truth for believers. Jesus Himself declared in John 17:17 that God’s word is truth. And 2 Timothy 3:16 says: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

In Matthew 22:29, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for their willful ignorance: “But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.’” If any Christian relies on any standard other than the Scriptures, the same can be said about us.

Let us filter everything through God’s Word. With biblical discernment, we can confidently separate the truth from the lies. ❤️

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
Musings

Obeying God

By Marissa Briones

How can fallen human beings obey a holy God? And why must we obey Him?

Anyone who’s been a Christian for any length of time knows that obeying God is not always easy. Our old sinful nature remains with us for as long as we live on this Earth. And to aggravate the situation, the road to godly obedience goes in the opposite direction of the world’s way. This is why we are commanded in Galatians 5:16-18 to “walk in the Spirit….”

And why must we obey? As our Creator, God has authority over us. He sets the standard for life and the standard by which He will judge us all. He revealed Himself and His will in Scripture for our benefit, and so that we can know and understand what He requires of us.

To go against the will of God is to sin. And when we sin, we also complicate matters for ourselves, making a mess of things and making it hard to see or think clearly. A painful example of this is the first account of disobedience recorded in the Bible. Yet for a Christian, Psalm 37:23-24 offers us this comfort: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” (NKJV)

So who can obey God? And how can we obey Him?

First, only those who have been born again can obey God. Just as a dead man is unable to do anything, man in his natural state is spiritually dead and unable to follow God’s will. Jesus has to give us new life in order to be spiritually alive, as Ephesians 2:1 says: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”

For those who are still alienated from Christ, Jesus commands them to “repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). And “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved … for ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” (Romans 10:9-13)

Second, only when you become a child of God will He give you the ability to live the Christian life by the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells each believer. As 1 Corinthians 3:16 declares, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Third, it’s important to read the Bible daily so that we can learn what God desires for us to know. Jesus once posed a question to some religious leaders in Mark 12:24: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?‘” Like our daily food that nourishes our body, the Word of God is the spiritual food that will grow and mature us in our Christian life.

Fourth, a life of prayer is a must. God has now given us the right to call Him our Father (John 1:12) and invites us to confidently come before His throne of grace. Hebrews 4:16 records this invitation: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” This earthly life is so unpredictably volatile and we are prone to inconsistency. What a blessing it is to receive from the Lord all that we need to live a life that pleases Him!

When we obey God, not only are we filled with joy and peace, but we avoid needless suffering or as someone has put it, “elective suffering.” Besides, if we call Him “Lord,” then obedience is not optional.❤️

Musings

Where to Find Comfort

By Marissa Briones

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

God is the author and giver of comfort. Comfort comes from Him, including the comfort we receive from others.

To know that our good and loving God leads us, provides for us, and comforts us, helps us live confidently in His care. Whether it’s provision, protection, or direction that He knows we need, God faithfully sees us through. King David was so confident in God’s goodness and care that he said: “Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me….” (Psalm 23:4)

God’s sovereignty is truth revealed for our comfort so that we may know that He is in complete control. Yes, even when things seem to be out-of-control. I’ve seen #GodsGotThis in social media posts. That is true, but not just this but that and you and me and them and everything else.

If you are a Christian, there is no need to have fear of what is happening today, nor of what will happen tomorrow. The greatest truth that we know is more important than the details that we don’t know. The future-unknown-to-us is in the hand of God who ordains it. And as we trust Him, our faith in Him pleases God (Hebrews 11:6).

God has everything under control down to even the tiniest detail. Matthew 10:29-31 tells us: “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” The sparrows that were of little value were in God’s complete care that He ordains their existence – and even their end. You, who have been adopted into God’s family through Jesus Christ, are of more value to the Lord.

Lastly, remember that He is God. The all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present God is LORD over all and is accomplishing everything according to His will. In Isaiah 46:9-11, He declares: “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure…. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.’”

Knowing God and who He is brings true and immeasurable comfort to the Christian. Time invested in knowing God, who revealed Himself in the Holy Scriptures, is a priceless blessing in more ways than anyone can enumerate.

Let us live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Be comforted by God and His Word. ❤️

Musings

A True Unity

By Marissa Briones

United in Christ, Christians enjoy a true unity here on earth and in heaven.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’” (Revelation 7:9-12)

I was in a Christian bookstore recently and grabbed a few items to check before I sat at a big table in the middle of the store. After a short while, a Hispanic mother and daughter joined me at the table. They were checking out different Bible translations and trying to decide which one to buy.

After they left, I looked up to observe my surroundings. I was very glad to see that a quarter of the bookstore space had been allocated for Spanish materials. I was even more grateful to see that so many have browsed there. I praise God for His goodness towards all of us who have come to believe and put our faith in His Son, and for creating a hunger in our hearts to know Him more.

My heart rejoices when I think of the Scripture verses mentioned above. Can you picture that scene in heaven? Countless wayward individuals, from different people groups, speaking different tongues, forgiven, brought near to God, redeemed, transformed, loved by Him, and because of Jesus, will spend all eternity in His presence. Amen, indeed!

I also rejoice over the truth of how the Bible sets us free from the “problem of race.” There is none. God tells us we all belong to one race, the human race. In Acts 17:26, the Lord reveals: “And He has made from ONE BLOOD every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings….”

Let the truth of God’s Word renew our minds and set our hearts free, so we can love one another, and look forward to the day when believers from every nation will be with the Lord forever. ❤️

Musings

God’s Unfailing Love

By Marissa Briones

God loves us with an unfailing love.

“The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” (Psalm 145:8-9)

My son and I went to the park one day. My then 13-year old went on his usual hike on the exciting trails in this hilly park with beautiful lakes. I’ve joined him on those hikes before and always enjoyed our adventures! The trails felt safe and are well-maintained.

On this day, I decided to do some brisk walking around the football field that is adjacent to the park. Besides having done this a few times before, we also carried two-way radios to help us check on each other. So I didn’t think much about it and assumed that it was going to be another normal day. Except on this particular day, he did not respond when I radioed him. I tried several times to no avail. With our communication broken and my heart pounding, I went on the trails to find him. I had no idea where to look and feared that he may have gotten hurt. There are steep parts in some wooded area of the park that I was afraid he might have dared to explore. Asking God for help, I started to look for him. I didn’t even think of getting mad at him once I found him. I just wanted to find him and help him if necessary. And I did find him – still hiking and having a great time. It turned out that his radio’s battery was low so he didn’t receive my calls. I was just so gratified to see him! Together, we hiked our way back to the park’s entrance.

It got me thinking of how similar this experience is to God’s love towards us. The Lord desires that we keep the lines of communication open between Him and us. Yet sometimes, when we mess up or some challenging situation gets the best of us, our tendency is to pull away from God. We start to think that maybe He has had enough of our habitual stumbles or that we’ve gone too far this time. Our sin and the weight of our guilt blurs our thinking and our reaction is to do the exact opposite of what the Lord desires.

The truth is that God wants to restore us to Himself and bring us back to an unhindered relationship with Him. In the past, God sent prophets, judges, and kings to His people, the Israelites, in order to redirect them back to Him. And ultimately, God showed His unfailing love when He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to give us the righteousness we could never obtain on our own. As a result, we have peace with God and are restored to Him for all eternity. In Christ, we were brought back and reconciled to God. And forever, He will be our faithful Father God and nothing can separate us from His love as expressed in Romans 8:38-39.

In the Christian life, the focus is never on us, but always on God. ❤️