Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Isaiah Days 171 to 180

Isaiah Day 171 - Breath

52:12 For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

Yesterday we talked about the call out of Satan's kingdom. Today we get a glimpse into what that exit looks like. Notice it's a calm, slow, deliberate departure. Why?

Have you ever noted or thought about the fact Jesus was never in a panic? He was never frantic, never rushed, never frazzled or hurried. He was always calm, always in control. Even when He did big things like drive the money changers out of the temple it was not an out of control tantrum. He explained what He was doing and why He was doing it.

When He met Zacchaeus for the first time, there is a sense of urgency but not of panic. "Zacchaeus hurry and come down for I must go to your house today."

Why is it important to understand the difference between urgency and frantic behaviour and to understand that the latter is never good? Panic is a cousin of fear. It shows a lack of control. Jesus was never out of control. There were times like we have mentioned where things were vitally important and had to be done. The people needed to understand the true nature and role of the temple because it had a direct impact on their picture of God. It was not an issue that Jesus could just let slide. However as important as it was, He didn't lose His mind over it. He was always in full control of His emotions and actions.

Now note what Isaiah says about leaving Satan's kingdom. "You will not go out in haste nor go by flight..."

Again why? Well it's simple really. We are following Jesus and He doesn't operate in that mode. People who make hasty decisions rarely hold to them. They jump from one "new thing" to another, one fad to another, one big idea to another". The Bible describes them as being as unstable as water.

Any idea, movement, church, philosophy, etc... that puts you into a panic is not from God. Remember He wants your heart. Marriage should never be rushed into and neither should our journey with Jesus be rushed. His grace more than covers us as we grow into our relationship with Him. At the beginning Peter was following and fishing and that was ok. Then He left fishing and followed full time. The transition was not rushed. It was not an emotional frenzy. Jesus provided him with an exit strategy. When Peter did speak or act in haste it never went well.

Why can we relax and not have to worry that we haven't arrived yet or aren't good enough yet or aren't in the right place or the ideal situation? Because Jesus has gone before us and is behind us. He will not abandon us. He will point the way, prepare the way, and be right with us and behind us as we take the next step. It may even be an urgent step but never let it be a panicked step. Jesus never panicked, and we don't need to either.

Isaiah Day 172 - Mission Impossible?


Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.
14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people,
So His appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of men.
15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.

For the past two days we've been talking about coming out of Satan's kingdom and joining God's kingdom. The latter is the Kingdom of love, mercy, compassion, and justice. The former is a kingdom of selfishness. In order to choose to leave the former one must see and understand there is a better alternative. This is the message God has been trying to communicate to humanity from the start. The nation God built from Abraham's offspring through Isaac and Jacob was supposed to help the world see the benefit of joining His kingdom. Under Moses the world took notice that the God of Israel was certainly powerful. Under David and Solomon the world got a taste of the blessings that come from choosing Him. After that the wheels fell off and the world saw a once mighty nation disintegrate before their eyes.

What neither they nor Israel/Judah understood is their their journey as a nation  was a foreshadowing of the life of the One promised since time began. The only difference is that He would succeed where they failed.

Like Moses leading the people out of Egypt by mighty miracles, so the birth of Jesus was marked with angel visits, a new moving star in the night sky, and the visit of distant cousins from the East. His arrival matched the words of the prophets yet inspite of all this His arrival was resisted and/or flat out ignored, much like ancient Israel was resisted and ignored by the rest of the world. For a time things got quiet as Jesus grew up in Nazareth. Then He burst on the scene with miracles and teachings that revolutionized Judah and set the religious leaders against Him. He crossed borders that Jews didn't cross. He helped people that Jews had no dealings with. The world was taking notice. Then as quickly as He came He was gone, betrayed, beaten, and crucified by His own like so many of the prophets before Him.

The nation of Israel failed by their own doing and choices. Jesus appeared to fail again by the poor choices of Israel, but did He?

And what about today? Jesus isn't getting much air time. It seems we're drifting further from Him, not closer to Him. The issues of racism and prejudice that plagued Judah are on the rise again. The tensions between nations are increasing, not decreasing. Where are we headed? Will the Kingdom message be heard again? 

Consider verse 15 again:

"Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand."

Turns out His Kingdom message won't fade out with a whimper of defeat. Think about it. The Jews were supposed to show and tell the world of His kingdom of love, mercy, compassion, justice, equality, etc... but they did not. Instead they perpetuated the kingdom of Satan, built higher walls, and we're anything but true witnesses. Then Jesus came and turned everything upside down, or truthfully right side up.

Today Christianity is supposed to be doing what the Jews failed to do. Are we? No matter how we answer that question Isaiah has good news for us. Somehow God will get the message of His Kingdom to the world. What we failed to show them, they will see and what we failed to tell them, they will hear and understand.

Breathe. There is no pressure on us. We need not be frantic. We can choose to work with Him or against Him, but either way His mission will succeed. The guilt trips and religious manipulation need to stop. God is not burdening us with an insurmountable task. He is inviting us to join Him in a mission that is guaranteed to succeed.

Love and justice or more oppression and dysfunction? You choose. Love wins.

Isaiah Day 173 - Not Hard To Find Waldo Today

Like the children's book series "Where Is Waldo", the Old Testament is like searching for Jesus amid the human chaos. But there is no searching today. This is the most powerful and obvious revealing of Jesus in the entire Old Testament. For today I just encourage you to read it. Tomorrow we'll start digging into the treasures about the Treasure. :)

53:1 Who has believed our message?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Isaiah Day 174 - Ellen White and the arm of God.

53:1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

Can you guess which word God brought you my attention? I have never noticed it until yesterday when I was reading and rereading this chapter. It's not 'believed' although it is a very significant word. It isn't 'our' although we will talk about that. It isn't 'message' either even though that word is closely related to it. The word is 'arm'. Arm? What's the big deal? It's just a body part right?

Clearly that isn't the meaning here. This chapter is all about Jesus and not just Him in a superficial way, but Him as the highest and deepest revelation of God.

Who (that's us) has believed(embraced on the deepest level) our (that's God - Father, Son, Spirit) message? (What's the message? We're about to find out) And to whom (that's us) has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

So the message and the arm of the Lord are one and the same. The second word of the next verse reveals the answer - He. The He is Jesus and the rest of the chapter reveals both Him and His mission to earth in stunning detail. No where else in the Old Testament is there such an in-depth view given of the identity, character, and mission of the One promised to Eve that would crush the head of the Serpent. So Jesus is God's message to us. That makes sense. John introduces Him as the Word made flesh. He is God expressed in human form. Jesus plainly told His disciples "If you have seen Me, you have seen God".

When Jesus was born in less than ideal circumstances to poor parents from a dead end town He was sending a message from heaven: "We're not in this for Ourselves. We will go anywhere and stop at nothing to save you."

When Jesus refused the praise of men and refused to modify His mission to match the expectations of the people They we're sending a message: "We will not compromise who We are or the integrity of our Kingdom to give you what you think you want. That would destroy all hope. The journey back might be confusing and even painful for you but it's the only way and we love you too much to compromise."

Everything Jesus said and did was a message. Fairly simple. But what about this arm business? Why does God call Jesus His arm? Why does He equate message with arm? What are we supposed to see or get from this symbolism?

Are you sitting down?

We don't have the time or space here to go into exhaustive detail but when God announced through Moses and Aaron that He was going to rescue Israel from Egyptian slavery, He said His arm would do it. When they crossed the Red Sea and the army of Egypt was held back until they were safe on the other side, the Scriptures say that His arm did that. When God gave Moses the second set of "commandments" (promises) He reframed the Sabbath one. He declared "For you were slaves in Egypt and I brought you out by My mighty hand and an outstretched arm."

Jesus is the outstretched arm of God. He has been since the beginning. We Seventh-day Adventists have a prophet in our history named Ellen White. She has been the source of much controversy both within and outside our church. She has been ignored by many and misused by others. Some quote her more than the Bible and others act as if she never existed. I have to give that background to come to this point. She has written many details in her books that many claim just aren't in the Bible. That she essentially adds to Scripture. However she herself once held up the Bible at one of our General Conference sessions and told the leaders there that they needed to study the Bible more and if they did they would have no need of her, her writings, or her prophecies. That's a bold statement!

I grew up as one of those who ignored her. I had my reasons. However when I finally gave her books a chance in my late teens I was amazed. They were nothing like I imagined they would be. However I do admit I found many things that "weren't in the Bible". For example, when writing about the Exodus from Egypt she wrote that it was Jesus who lead them out, that He was in the cloud that went ahead of them, and He was in the pillar of fire that both guided and lighted the way before them. How could she know that? How could she be so certain? The Bible never said so...
Well it turns out the Bible did tells us that, just not in an obvious way. Jesus is the "arm of God" and it was 'God's arm' that delivered them from Egypt. It takes more than a casual surface reading to discover that and isn't that what she said to our leaders?

God in His mercy sent a frail uneducated woman to show us what the Bible has been saying all along.

Safe in the arms of God is to be safe in Jesus, the Lamb promised and slain from the very beginning. Who will believe this message? Who will recognize God's arm and cling to it?

That is up to us...

Isaiah Day 175 - God's Arm Part 2
53:1 "Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?"

Here are just a few of the references to God's arm. Literally it is a few of them. In fact we already passed a some right here in Isaiah and I never noticed. Do you know what that means? It means His Word, His Story, His presence in our past, and His plans for our future are so much better than we think or can take in. Last night I was explaining to my son what I found out about God's arm. In fact I gave him the clues and let him make the discovery. When it clicked his eyes lit up and sparkled! Then he paused as his wheels kept turning and he asked "Why didn't God just tell us that Jesus is His arm from the start?"

Good question. "You will search for Me and you will find Me when you search with all your heart" - God

He doesn't want us to just know information about Him. He wants us to find Him and know Him. He designed His book like a treasure hunt and the Treasure is Jesus.

The Message is not just information, it's Jesus. God's arm is not a thing, not a body part, it's a Person. This journey is not religion, it is relationship. When I wake up in the morning my desire and goal is to pursue Him and see what He has in store for me. Yesterday He added a new dimension I never saw before but will now never forget. I am safe in the Arms of God. His Arm is not short that it cannot save. His Arm is outstretched still. His Arm is Jesus. How can I ever doubt their Oneness again? How can I ever think that perhaps Jesus loves me more than God does? An arm can only work for the purpose the body tells it to. "Without My Father I can do nothing". - Jesus

The arm is attached. When the stretched out arm of God reaches us what does "it" do? It pulls us close to "the body". We never again have to question how God feels about us. His heart is revealed through the actions of His arm. "If you have seen Me, you have seen God" - Jesus

Exodus 6:6 Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

Exodus 15:16 “Terror and dread fall upon them; By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O Lord, Until the people pass over whom You have purchased.

Deut. 4:34 Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

Deut. 5:15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

Deut. 7:19 ...the great trials which your eyes saw and the signs and the wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which the Lord your God brought you out. So shall the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.

Deut. 9:29 Yet they are Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have brought out by Your great power and Your outstretched arm.’

Deut. 11:2  Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the Lord your God—His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm...

Deut. 26:8  ...and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders...

Isaiah Day 176 - No Externals

53:1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

Many religions try and control what women wear. Think about it. From Muslims to certain Christian groups and many other religions, women are controlled when it come to their wardrobe. The reason/justification for this is most often of a sexual nature. Women need to dress modestly and hide their beauty so as not to lead men astray.

The ironic part of all this, is that you won't find any such teaching in the Bible. The closest thing you will find is the counsel to dress modestly, but the reason for doing so is not sexual. The Bible says Lucifer, one of the closest angels to God was very beautiful and that his beauty corrupted him. He became self obsessed.

Then Isaiah announced the arrival of Jesus, the promised one who would crush the head of the deceiver, (the self-obsessed one, the leader of the rebellion against God's kingdom) and Isaiah described Jesus as having no external beauty. You could pass Him on the street and not look twice. He would have no hope of being chosen as the most eligible bachelor. He was just plain and ordinary. The Creator of the most stunning beauty would be Himself unremarkable. Why?

Was it to not lead women into sexual desire? Hardly.

Jesus was on a very specific mission and that mission was to reveal God and win us back to the Kingdom of love and life. The nature of that Kingdom is not superficial beauty. It is beauty of character. The fact Jesus had no external drawing power yet drew huge crowds is proof of the incredible person He was on the inside.

Guess what? When the Bible recommends dressing simply and modestly that is exactly the reason given. Our beauty is to be of the inward variety. We are to draw others by our character, not our looks, our jewels, our cash, our position. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but they can never be our identity or misery will follow.

Jesus was attractive. Jesus is attractive. Attractive where it matters most.

Isaiah Day 177 - He Can't Be...

53:1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Here are the main issues that made it seem impossible that Jesus could be the long awaited Messiah:

1, He was from Nazareth
2, He was conceived out of wedlock
3, Father unknown
4, He was not physically attractive
5, He wasn't tall or physically imposing
6, He was a misfit within His own family
7, He was a misfit in His town
8, He was a misfit in His nation
9, He was a peacemaker, not a warrior
10, He seemed to reject all that the people expected and hoped for

Was Jesus bullied growing up? In a rough town like Nazareth it's almost a guarantee. Was He misjudged by almost everyone? Absolutely. His own mother began to question what/who He was. His siblings thought He was nuts. It seems His "father" died before His public ministry even began so he certainly knew grief. He knew loneliness because the only One who truly understood Him was God. Everyone else was either confused by Him or outright rejected Him.

To summarize Him in a single word: He was a misfit. Worse than just an awkward kid that didn't fit in, He had high and definite expectations placed on Him from birth that He was never going to meet. He wasn't going to be a giant killer like David. He wasn't going to build a flourishing Empire like Solomon. He was going to free them from Roman occupation like Moses delivered them from Egypt.

He was plain. He was boring. He was nearly invisible. Messiah material He was not.

Whatever pain or alienation you are going through, He understands. His time spent here was less than kind. We were not exactly supportive. He was truly a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

Isaiah Day 178 - Group Think

53:3  He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

When I was in grade 5 or 6 a new kid joined our school. It was an English elementary school in a small town in a province that was predominantly French. There were seven grades and only 108 students. It was a big deal when a new kid showed up. He was skinny, pale, had a funny accent, and didn't play sports. He looked like he'd snap in two if he got tackled playing football or British Bulldog. "We" decided "we" didn't like him. I felt bad about it but not bad enough to do anything about it, not bad enough to stand up for him, not bad enough to be his friend even if it was unpopular to do so.

I would like to think that if I could do it over again I would do differently, better, but I'm not so sure. Group think is rampant. "We" don't like that politician. "We" don't like that leader. "We" don't like that pastor, that teacher, that parent, that co-worker, that boss etc... A few influential people decide where they stand and the rest of the sheeple agree. "We" all think the same way.

I know a guy who is a leader type and he has a saying "Show me two people who agree on everything and I will show you at least one idiot".

Group think is very real and it happens either because some in the group aren't thinking (idiots) or worse they are but are afraid or embarrassed, too intimidated, or too insecure to stand behind their own thoughts.

Nicodemus came to visit Jesus alone at night because he was part of a "we" group that despised Him. Isaiah tells us that when it came to Jesus, group think was powerful. The prevailing opinion, especially in Jerusalem and eventually Nazareth was that He was a dud, a fraud, a fake, a loser. It makes me wonder how many people in those two places especially felt bad about that, knew in their hearts it wasn't true, but didn't say anything or do anything about it.

Eventually the group think got so strong that His own disciples denied Him.

God gave each of us our own mind for a reason. Let's use it. Let's do what we believe is right when the herd, the mob, the majority is against us.

Isaiah Day 179 - Unimaginably Heavy

53:4  Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

This morning I was reminded that three years ago I wrote about the silent work of pastors with people who are hurting for various reasons that the larger community never knows about. Was it a coincidence that that reminder coincided with Isaiah's words this morning? I can't imagine the pain of Jesus' life here. I don't even like to attempt to try. Last week a mother told me that parenting is the worst kind of agony. She has two children. God has billions. That is not a statement to minimize her experience as a mom, but to magnify His. Our foolishness and the painful consequences they create He carries. Our poor decisions He carries. Our arrogance He carries. Our harsh treatment of others He carries. Every act, thought, motive, failure to act, hurtful word, helpful words left unspoken, He carries it all. He was carrying the pain of Peter's denial long before it actually happened. He carried the pain not only that it caused Himself but that it caused Peter.

I know what it's like to not sleep carrying the burden of others and compassion is not even a strong aspect of my character. Jesus never separates Himself from our pain. He will never leave us or forsake us. Even when we leave Him He lets us, but He never is far from us.

Now imagine what that was like for Jesus here. He knew what was coming for Him and the false expectations everyone had. He knew His own mother didn't understand His mission. He carried all that. Daily. Others saw the pain in His eyes and they judged Him. It was the belief of that time that all pain, suffering, sadness, disease, etc... was deserved punishment from God for sin of some sort. So in addition to the pain we caused Him by our own mess, we added to that by seeing Him as smitten by God. God was punishing Him they thought. His sadness was self-inflicted in their eyes.

I have observed that often it is the innocent who suffer most in this life. Parents divorce but who suffers most? The children. Powerful men decide to go to war but who suffers most? The innocent population.

When the great war between good and evil, between God and Satan is over and this world is rescued and restored who will have suffered the most? God. And He never did anything wrong.

The book of Job portrays a man who was perfect, innocent, and at the hands of satanic attacks loses everything including all His children. In the end God sets things right and Job gets everything back double including more children. My wife hates that part of the story. She correctly observes that having more children can never replace those that were lost.

I personally believe Job is a metaphor for Jesus. A perfect man who intercedes daily for His children. A man under constant demonic attack though innocent. A man who has everything and everyone taken from Him. A man who in the end is vindicated and everything is set right. Sort of.

You see Jesus will lose many of us. We won't come back. Many will fall for the delusions and lies of Satan hook, line, and sinker. And when the universe is restored many of His children won't be there to see it.

In my sister's home there is an empty bedroom. She could have ten more children and nothing would bring back the son who should be in that bed. At least we have the hope we will see him again. Jesus knows there are many He won't be able to save from their own choices.

A man of sorrows indeed. The most innocent One has, does, and will forever suffer the most. Knowing this how can I make even one choice that adds to His pain?

"Father help me not to place a drop more pain on the shoulders of Jesus. Restore me as quickly as is possible. I want to be part of the solution, not a tool of misery in the hands of the enemy."

Isaiah Day 180 - Deep Water

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

Loud rushing water is like a small barking dog - lots of noise but little substance. Deep Water doesn't rush or make noise and big dogs don't need to try and compensate for their lack of size by barking incessantly.

Strange opening right? The words from Isaiah above are like deep water. There is no screaming, no exclamation points, no fanfare. They aren't loud but they run deep. Recently I found myself in a discussion between fellow pastors discussing why Jesus had to die. Isaiah here says it was because of our brokenness. There is something about what He did through suffering and dying that will heal us.

Like all discussions it nearly fell into the trap of sifting through the possibilities to isolate one definitive answer. This trap should almost always be avoided. It is possible and often the case that there are multiple correct answers to one question. Watch this:

Did Jesus die to pay the penalty (death) for sin? Yes

Did Jesus die to demonstrate our worth? Yes

Did Jesus die to demonstrate His unfailing character of love? Yes

Did Jesus die to make it possible for us to live forever and return to live with Him? Yes

I'm sure you can think of more reasons. Some will select one reason and say "This is THE reason!" at the expense of or exclusion of all the others. Don't fall for it. Just as the beauty of a diamond increases with the number of cuts and angles for light to reflect from, so the live of God and the beauty and awe of the Story increases as we explore the depths.

Some say the Bible is boring. I used to be one of them. Like deep water it doesn't seem like much is there sometimes, but it is the still water that runs deep, it's the person who speaks little that is worth listening to when they do speak, and the Bible comes alive when we explore the depths, look from every angle we can conceive of, and find new veins of truth, new expressions of His grace where before there was just ink on a page.

Think about this: How much punishment would you take for the crimes of someone else? Would you do it even if they weren't grateful? What about if they cursed you to your face while you were taking the pain and consequences they earned?

If you ever doubt the love of God or your value in His eyes, go to the cross and swim in the deep waters of His amazing grace.

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