Do you want the bad news or the good news?

I’m new to wearing glasses. After the first day of trying to adjust, I was convinced they made my vision worse rather than better. It seemed everything was actually blurrier than before. I pulled the glasses off my face and held them to the light. That’s when I noticed the problem. The lenses were plastered with smudges. After giving them a thorough wipe down, I felt like I was seeing with perfect clarity. It was amazing. Now I’m slightly addicted to cleaning the lenses. The smallest smudge brings out the spray and cloth. After realizing the small shift required in seeing better, why would I ever choose to look through dirty lenses?

There are points in our spiritual walks where we encounter that moment where we see something with a new perspective or greater clarity. From that moment forward, it’s hard to look at circumstances through old perspectives.

A friend and I discussed the issue of hate we see in the world. Both of us are Christians, so naturally our hearts break because God is love. He hates hate because He is love. We are His image bearers. Therefore, our hearts are broken over what we see happening in the world. As it should be.

She and I discussed the Atlanta murders in the Asian massage parlors. While some of the media portrayed a race hate crime, the murderer actually said he targeted the parlors because what they represent to him – his sexual addiction. His sin caused him to murder.

 “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:21-25

Before any of us come to Christ, we are slaves to the sin nature that lives inside of us. It looks different for everyone. Not everyone will go murder out of their sin natured self. But all of us have a sin problem. The good news is the answer is with us if we are willing.

As my friend and I discussed the issue of hate, she was bothered about this issue close to her heart she feels no one is talking about. My initial response is that our world is so weighed down right now with so much that we can’t possibly talk about all of it. The world is weighted heavy these days. We all feel it.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22

I continued pondering our conversation long after it ended.

Not all will come to Him, we know this. But His heart is that everyone will. So we see His patience, kindness, and mercy.

Why aren’t we shouting this from the rooftops?

“My mouth will tell about Your righteousness and Your salvation all day long, though I cannot sum them up.” Psalm 71:15

The world needs to hear about His love. The media is out to get a reaction out of you. They want you to feel angry and outraged. They want to scare you. The media loves to tell a bad story. But God tells a good story. A very good story.

Let’s tell His story to all who will listen. This is how to combat hate. This is how to fight evil. With love and truth.






Conspiracy Captive to Prisoner of Hope

As a young girl, I could often be found curled up on the front porch swing with a Nancy Drew mystery. I can’t say I was always patient waiting for the truth to unfold. I’d sneak a few chapters forward for clues to help me solve the mystery before it was time to be solved. I simply had to know. I love a good mystery, and admittedly, a good conspiracy as well.

The last year has provided multiple real-life situations leaving many of us confused and feeling as if we are living inside complete mysteries. A global pandemic, shut-downs, election year drama, and riots have wearied us to the point of seeking understanding and answers.

We are people who want to see truth prevail, justice win, and mercy reign. When layer upon layer of events leave us confused, we naturally set out to solve the mysteries. At the same time, in an age of information overload and experts presenting conflicting information, we are left wondering where the truth lies.

Conspiracies abound.

The era is upon us where anyone can make a video or post of anything they want. Many of these claim a special knowledge from God or a secret insider knowledge they want to enlighten the world with. This knowledge becomes both captivating and addictive. Thus, we must fine tune our discernment radars.

After the inauguration, I began to see videos circulating claiming “It’s not over yet.” Looking back over the past several months, I noticed a similar theme running through social media threads. Conspiracies and internet rumors about the pandemic, child pornography rings, child sacrifices, political party coups, and the list goes on. My intrigue was piqued because I saw something within the human heart worth exploring.

Hope Cravers

Many of these conspiracies continue to escalate and hold people captive as they promise a false hope. A hope that the mysteries will be solved, a cure will be found, the bad guys caught and punished. As hope cravers, we continue watching because we want to see all the mysteries solved. This isn’t a bad thing, but possibly an area which needs a realignment.

As believers, our hope is in Christ, yet we see this desperation for earthly hope ramping up. This is nothing new to human history. Jesus brought a heavenly kingdom to earth, but the people demanded earthly solutions to their heavenly problems. They desired immediate relief.

Secret insider knowledge

Eve ate from the tree that promised a secret knowledge, one she believed had been withheld from her. Today we are seeing a hunger for secret knowledge which culture is believing has been withheld. The enemy is crafty but not creative.

The serpent appealed to Eve’s curiosity for wisdom and knowledge while casting doubt about God’s goodness. Did God really say? No, you won’t die. (Gen 3:1,4) “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen3:5)

Once Eve considered the lie that knowledge had been withheld from her, she saw the tree, which God had instructed Adam to leave alone, differently. “Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom….” (Gen 3:6)

God wanted to protect Adam and Eve, and He wants to protect us. We don’t need to see all there is to see about good and evil. Only God can carry that type of load. Yet, we continue reaching for the internet of knowledge that will not feed us what God desires for us.

We are hope hungry with appetites for knowledge, answers, and wisdom. How do we filter through the conflicting messages and conspiracies flooding our world?

Doesn’t God actually reveal secret things to some? Yes, He does, but not to all who claim it. As discerning humans, we recognize that viewers equal profits, and many of these video creators and platform builders are making enormous profits off our consumption. So, we must become greater discerners in an age of growing deception and confusion, realizing our God is not a God of confusion.

Let’s pray for discernment in greater measures.

3 Principles for navigating conspiracies, secret knowledge, and information overload

In the book of Zechariah we see themes we can apply today as we discern what do with the onslaught of conspiracy-laced information.

  • Speak truth“These are the things you must do: Speak truth to one another; make true decisions within your gates.”Zechariah 8:16.

Hitting the share button is easy. Much of what we read or watch in regard to modern day conspiracies is full of lies. Since we simply don’t know what is true and what is false, maybe we should slow the spread of potentially false information.

Stop and pray. Is the information speaking truth? If in doubt, don’t spread.

  • Do not plot evil“Do not plot evil in your hearts against your neighbor.” Zechariah 8:17

Many of these conspiracies are stirring anger and bitterness in hearts not normally prone to such. They strike at the core of us that seeks justice and mercy. While most of us don’t go around “plotting evil”, we can harbor evil thoughts in our heart. Above all we should guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).

  • Love truth and peace – “…Therefore, love truth and peace.” Zechariah 8:19

Truth and peace go together. The truth sets us free (John 8:32). We are to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). We love truth and peace (Zech 8:19). Some of the swirling conspiracy chaos claims truth but lacks peace. Even as a consumer rather than a sharer of this information, it robs us of our own personal peace. Within our own hearts we lack peace. And we certainly see in the current cultural climate true love is waning.

Desperate times calls for desperate hope

In this addiction for secret knowledge, this clinging to conspiracies, is a desperation for hope. Hope that truth will prevail. Hope that justice will rule. Hope that evil will be dispelled. We are surrounded by people desperately desperate for hope. Many are digging for anything to offer some sense of the chaos. They’ve placed their hopes in the ones pumping out videos and posts.

From Hope Craver to Hope Bringer

We can bring the change the world desperately needs. The world needs hope, love, and peace in larger doses. My pastor often says, “Be a bringer,” when he encourages us to invite. Let’s be bringers of what the world needs.

Hope. We all want it, all need it. And it has already come.

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9

Our king came. And He is coming again. We don’t need to fix our eyes so intently on this world and what is swirling about. Let’s lift up our eyes to our King and share the true truth with the hope-starved world.

We’ve been set free to become prisoners of hope.

“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.” Zechariah 9:12






Get Specific With God

Embarrassed, and feeling rather silly, I had no answer for her simple question, “So what do you want to do with your writing?” At the time, the only thing I knew is that I wanted to use my gifts for His glory. Beyond that, what did I want? And what did that look like? Was I afraid to voice specifics to God fearing a no would lead to disappointment?

“There were two blind men sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” Matthew 20:30

“Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord,” they said to Him, “open our eyes!” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed Him.” Matthew 20:32-34

The blind men brought their broad need forward, but Jesus asked them to narrow their desire. When they saw the miracle of Jesus, how could they not follow Him? When we see God move in our lives in areas we’ve trusted to Him, our desire to follow Him strengthens.

While Jesus knows every thought, hope, and desire, He is a kind companion who wants us to get specific with Him because when we see Him perform the miracle, there is no denying His power and glory, which fills us with awe and wonder.

Dear God, help us trust You enough to boldly and specifically place our needs in Your compassionate hands. We want to see your miraculous work all around us. Amen.

On Forgiveness and Integrity

Today I share posts I’ve shared on social media this week.

On Forgiveness

The enemy, the accuser, stands to remind us of all our past sins so that we bow down under the weight of shame and guilt. But God, full of full send forgiveness, stands on our behalf and says, “Forgiven. Forgiven because of me. I remember those sins no more.”

The enemy, the great liar and deceiver, stands to bring to mind the hurt that person caused us, what that one stole from us, how that one intentionally inflicted wounds on us. He tells us it’s ok to “forgive but hold onto never forgetting.” But Jesus stretched his arms out for the very ones who literally murdered Him and cried out for the Father to forgive them.

Who am I to hold sins over anyone’s head? If even JESUS didn’t do that, dare I?

Lord, the knowledge of this is overwhelming. May I not stand as judge over anyone and refuse to offer full send forgiveness as you have given to me. When I’m tempted to let the enemy take me back to remembering hurts and telling me I need humans to make it right, may I remember that you gave your blood to set me free. May I walk freely forgiving because I’m freely forgiven. Jesus, make us like you more and more everyday. Amen.

On Integrity

I wish I could remember where I read this thought, but in one of the 100 books I read last year, I came across this idea that a person who practices keeping their word, even to their own self, develops into a person of integrity.

It’s caused me to pay attention to what I tell myself I plan to do. If I plan to write, I need to stick to the promise I made myself. If I said I planned to exercise, I need to hold myself to the promise I made to me and my health.

I’ve watched Steve do this really well over the last 2 years as he’s routinely gone to the gym 3 days a week. If he chose to sleep in, no one would be let down. But he’s keeping his promise to himself to care for his physical health.

Psalm 51:6 reminds me how much God desires we grow into people of integrity ready to receive His wisdom deep inside our hearts. His wisdom leads us toward being a person who does what is “right” even when no one is looking.


Prisoners of Hope

Ready to quit

That’s it. I quit. I simply can’t do this anymore. Maybe homeschooling teen boys isn’t the best idea.

Closing the door behind me, I allowed the churning washing machine to drown out the noise throughout the rest of the house.

Seriously??? Who tossed detergent all over the walls and sides of the machine?

 Scrubbing furiously the mess off the wall, I longed to clean the fury staining my heart.

Screaming at my kids left me exhausted, filled with guilt and shame. This opened a door for a thought-waged war.

  • You should’ve put them in school.
  • They are regressing.
  • You are holding them back.
  • Their attitude is from yours.
  • You’re ruining your family.
  • You should quit.
  • You can’t control them.
  • You can’t write to encourage people; look at your own mess.
  • You are trapped.

Prisoner of circumstance

I confess I’m prone to feeling a victim, a prisoner, of circumstances at times. As I escaped to the laundry room, all my thoughts were condemning messages lacking all hope.

My husband called to check on me. He offered his best effort at encouragement. “There’s hope.”

“There’s no hope. Well, yes, there’s hope in Jesus, but there is no hope for this situation. I’m stuck.” Why couldn’t I simply shut my mouth? Every time I opened it, words flew out that filled me with regret. I knew they weren’t true.

Prisoner of hope.

These were the words I saw in my notes app hours after my tantrum. Prisoner of Hope. I’d typed it exactly one month ago when I read Zechariah.

“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.” Zechariah 9:12

We aren’t prisoners of our circumstances. We are prisoners of hope. And He calls out to us, “Return to your stronghold.”

Return to your stronghold

I’d abandoned my stronghold while allowing the enemy to build his own.

A stronghold by definition is a well-fortified place. Scripture grants insights to both sides of strongholds.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

I was allowing my fears to run as wild as a toddler drunk on red food coloring.

War Well

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Cor 10:3-4

“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9

Back to Him I flee. Back to the safety of His embrace.

Return, O prisoner of hope.

We don’t let ourselves become prisoners of the enemy because we’ve been set free. We are redeemed. We are His prisoners of hope.

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9

You are a daughter (or son) of the King. He comes to you.

I’d felt a raging monster, yet here He comes to me. Gentle. And I melt in His tenderness.

“Tell Daughter Zion, “Look, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” Matthew 21:5

Our burden bearing King came toward us riding on a burden bearing animal. We need not carry the burdens, entrapping ourselves under the back-breaking weight.

What burdens do you carry? Your King is coming to you. He came. He is here. He is coming again.

You are His beloved, His prisoner of hope. Don’t let the enemy lie to you. You don’t belong to him. You aren’t his prisoner. You are a prisoner of hope.






What the Christian Response Reveals in Tumultuous Times

“Stop your fighting–and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” Psalm 46:10

We win!

“We win!” These are the words I continue to hear from the mouths and fingertips of christians in this volatile political and social season.

What does that mean?

  • If your preferred candidate wins office who most closely represents Biblical values?
  • If justice prevails in the courts?
  • If corruption is exposed and justice meted?

I’ve been baffled by these statements. Haven’t christians already won? Was the cross not enough of a victory? Did we forget God showed us the ending? Or have we misapplied His words and promises to fit our desires?

Exposing Idols

We have an idolatry problem. We have placed our rights, our comforts, and our freedoms on the altar. We’ve decided we will do anything and everything to keep what we want. In our desperation to protect our idols, we attack, we fight, and we demand.

We’ve idolized understanding, believing it is our right to know and understand all that is taking place. “Wisdom and strength belong to God; counsel and understanding are His.” Job 12:13

Please don’t misunderstand me. I love my life, my rights, and my comforts. I desire to stay informed. But are we desiring these in the name of justice and righteousness to the point we stopped caring about the watching world observing our fight?

Have we bitten the apple which bites back? Eve bit the apple, which she believed would give her wisdom and understanding of good and evil. We follow in her footsteps desiring to know more than God has unveiled for us to know. As it turns out we live in an age of more information than a soul or mind can handle. May we consume with great caution.

Information is “uncovered” and shared, and believers claim God is unveiling. Friends, satan appears as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14) A friend posted the most dangerous tool we’ve used in the last year is the share button. I tend to agree with her.

What have we won? We can be right and lose.

Steve’s words echo in my mind, “You can be right and still lose.” More than being right is communicating the message. God has tasked us as His ambassadors to tell the world about all the corruption and demand justice. Oh, wait. No He hasn’t.

We can be absolutely right about much going on in the world, but how we communicate to a hopeless world is the difference between life and death for eternity.

Here’s our actual assignments:

  • Go and make disciples“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19
    • In our fighting, demanding, and posting, we are losing disciples. We are absolutely pushing away those God desires come to Him.
  • Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. – “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44
    • The christian culture is slaying the enemies with words and posts and calls to rise up.
    • The American church doesn’t understand persecution, so when our fears become a potential threat, we fight. The majority of the world on the other side of the globe lives under true persecution.
    • We are different. We can love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
  • Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
    • I don’t interpret act justly as demand justice. Yes, God is a just God. He demands justice. But He brings it. Some of us are used in our vocations or callings to do just that. But others of us are taking scripture and modifying it to give us permission to act out of our idolatrous desires.
    • Act. Love. Walk. These are all what we do, not demand of those around us. We act justly to all. We love mercy and show it. We walk humbly, not as one who is right and knows all.

Don’t be surprised by trouble.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Our peace isn’t in this world. It’s in Him. Christians we’ve veered off course and it’s time to come back. The world needs peace. It’s not found in a political system. Doesn’t history reveal this?

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12

“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” 1 Peter 4:19

Silence the world to hear God

God directed me off social media several weeks ago. He didn’t say why. He didn’t say it was temporary or permeant. I’ve stopped asking God to give me explanations and understanding and have found the freedom in simply saying yes to Him.

Everything has changed in my heart as it relates to what is happening in our country right now.

I’ve been sad, mad, and scared. I started 2020 quite vocal in my thoughts and opinions. Some of those may be right, but my love began to grow cold. I was becoming cynical, self-righteous, and prideful.

I began seeing people through the lens of social media posts, narrowing them down to judgements based on 100 words they shared.

God called me out of it into a time of resting in His embrace.

Expect persecution and prepare now. How should christians respond?

It’s only in America we feel surprised by persecution. In his book, The Blessing of Humility, Jerry Bridges writes, “I predict the various types of nonphysical persecution will become more widespread and intense.”

“So we need to be prepared to respond in ways that honor God.”

This is what is weighing down my heart. How are we responding to the idea or threat of coming persecution?

Bridges continues, “I suspect that our own court system will eventually fail us, as more and more judges are appointed who have been trained in law schools that at best are indifferent to biblical righteousness and at worst are openly hostile to it.”

“It is quite apparent that the Bible no longer has moral authority in society as a whole. So we should expect increasing marginalization of Christians, and in some instances curtailment of our religious freedom. How should we respond? Certainly not in a combative cultural-warfare attitude. Rather, it should be based on the principle Jesus taught in Matthew 5:44: “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

“As I observe the response of so many Christians to the eroding of what have been called “traditional values,” I am concerned that we are acting no differently than many nonbelievers who may care nothing about the Bible but who want to defend those values. Instead of loving those whose actions and lifestyles we oppose, we seem to engage in some form of action that is inconsistent with Jesus’ admonition to love our enemies.” 

Persecution brings blessing

In the following quote, Bridges sums up what has been stirring in my heart during my social media absence.

“Another important question is, How will we respond if our religious freedom is curtailed and our court protection fails us? Will we consider ourselves to be blessed because of being reviled or persecuted for righteousness’ sake? When push comes to shove, will we really believe that God is sovereign over all the affairs of humanity?”

“Will we believe that, despite many appearances to the contrary, Jesus is building His church and ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18)?”

Bridges states he asks these questions because he himself doesn’t know how he would respond when that day should come.

I’m realizing about myself that my eternal mindset needs to be sharpened. It’s time to live what we claim to believe. It’s time to smash our idols and be willing to love our enemies and pray for them. It’s time to see that it’s an honor to join Christ in His sufferings.

The American church, the American political system were never promised in the Bible. I love America. But we are not of this world. (John 17:16) Maybe we should live that way.

What do I want Jesus to say to me?

I don’t imagine Jesus will say to me, “Great political posts that incited your friends and enemies.” He likely won’t say, “Great job in turning the eyes of all who watched back onto world events and leading a crusade to protect your rights.” It’s unlikely He will say, “Great job using your wisdom to seek out all the mysteries I had hidden for your protection.”

You know what I want to hear Him say? Something along these lines:

  • “You joined in my sufferings well. Well done, faithful servant.”
  • “Well done, faithful servant, you kept your eyes fixed on me, what was unseen rather than seen.”
  • “Good job, child of Mine, you trusted in My righteousness and justice to prevail rather than fighting for your own.”
  • “Thank you for praying for those who persecuted my church. Many of them have joined you here today because of those prayers.”
  • “Well done waiting for my timing. It was but a mist. Here is your reward.”


Friends, I’m repenting. I’ve fought God in my heart as I claimed to fight for His ways. I’ve been wrong in many ways as I’ve navigated this unsettling season. But God is good, patient, and kind.

It’s our responsibility as the church to represent the truth of who He is. Jesus is the only answer. The only solution. The only way to true peace.

Peace will not be found here apart from Christ.

I encourage you to read Isaiah 41 as you ponder these words and seek God for your next steps in this season.

He will return for His church. We will stand in eternity and realize our time on earth was quite short. We have work to do to bring souls with us. Let’s be careful and wise as we move forward.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12


Does God Love the Righteous or the Riotous?

The Riotous on the move

Enough. My soul could handle no more. I turned my phone off.

Images of angry rioters chanting in streets, storming the Capitol, vowing for “justice” filled my news feed. This is nothing new to human history, but it does feel the last year has revealed the riotous heart of humans more than we’ve ever seen. I thanked the Lord He’d already led me to break from social media. I knew my soul would wilt under the weight of opinions and information overload.

God’s Heart for the Riotous

The Lord gave me two words: riotous and righteous, which I wrote in my journal. These are the whispers of God. He will give me words and phrases, but He will speak to me directly through His Word.

Following my Bible in a year reading guide, I opened to Matthew 9. My desire is to read familiar stories this year with fresh eyes.

God’s heart jumped off the page. “….For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13

What I heard was, “….For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but the riotous.”

When the Righteous Repent

How like the Pharisees my heart can lead. My righteous indignation flares at the violence and anger swirling our nation into turmoil. I can cry out to the Lord to end the anger, deal justice where justice is due. Seeing my goodness in the face of flagrant sin is easy. Oh how Pharisaical we become.

May we “righteous” repent.

May we thank God Jesus has imparted His righteousness to us, without which we remain riotous in heart if not externally.

One of my boys borrowed a bar of soap from my shower. I keep it in a plastic container so it maintains its hard shape. The borrower of my soap failed to put the soap in the protective case, exposing it to a steady stream of rinsing water. Later when I tried to take the soap from the case, it molded into my hands like soft putty ready to take new shape and form.

Repentance softens our heart. A repentant heart gives itself over to the loving, shaping hands of the Father, effectively saying, “I’m sorry. I don’t need to place myself in my own protective case. I trust You, Lord.”

Riotous vs Righteous

What I see in culture is the “righteous” taking a stand against the “riotous.” The stand needed today is from our knees. Jesus came for the sinner, the rioter, the idolator, the drunkard, the adulterer. His heart is for the ones who don’t know Him.

Yet, I forget this everyday my righteous anger breaks out in my heart. As I read in Matthew 9 when Jesus called Matthew to be His disciple, my heart began to soften. The heart of Jesus breaks me.

“When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when He heard this, He said, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:11-13

Go and learn

Jesus gives us an instruction for today as much as He did to the Pharisees. Go and learn.

Am I willing to learn what His heart desires over what my human heart decides is right?

He desires mercy.

The definition of mercy is this:

  • the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty
  • compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence
  • something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing:

This is what He desires for us over our sacrifice. That our hearts be merciful, full of compassion toward the one who doesn’t yet know the heart of the Father.

What is Right? Where do we go from here?

Justice is vital in a safe society. I’m not saying rioters must be excused from their behaviors. But these are the ones Jesus came and died for. He came that all would know Him.

So what if the righteous effectively prayed for the riotous? Would this not form a more powerful weapon in our hands than the anger and judgement desiring to control our hearts?

What if we assumed a new position? On our knees.

We’ve lived many years in America where hearts lived under the cover of being fine. Circumstances are pressing on us revealing the truth of what hides in the heart, exposing the ones who thought they knew God but don’t yet, exposing the depth of our fears.

Does God love the righteous or the riotous? Both. May we remember.

Is God Who He Says He is?

He is good, King, eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere always. He is still on His throne.

Join me in thanking Him for His merciful heart, without which we’d all live hopeless. That merciful heart given to us is given for all, the righteous and riotous alike. May we repent of our arrogance and pride and humbly plead on behalf of those resisting the loving hands of the Father. There is not a hard heart, He can’t soften with His rinsing love.

Thank you, Jesus.