Why I Keep On Praying

How is your prayer life? Sometimes we wonder about the effectiveness of prayer. For instance, a fellow named Randy who tells the story about praying for his mother when she was dying. He asked God to give her eighteen more years of life. He remembered a prayer that King Hezekiah in the Old Testament had prayed when he found out he was dying and asked for more years. The king wept bitterly before the Lord and asked for fifteen more years. And the Lord granted his request.

So Randy began to pray for his mother. “Eighteen more years, Lord.” But God didn’t give her eighteen more years. Not even eighteen more months or even eighteen days. Within eighteen hours his mother had passed away. “I asked myself the question,” Randy said, “Does God not love me? Have I not served him like Hezekiah did? Did he not see my tears when I turned my face to the wall and wept? Why did God come through for Hezekiah, but not for me?”

Many of you may know the story of Gracia and Martin Burnam, missinaries who were held captive by terrorists in the Philippines. A few years ago they were taken captive and, during their rescue, Martin was killed. In her book, In the Presence of My Enemies, Gracia wrote, “Sometimes I wonder, ÔWhy did Martin die when everyone was praying he wouldn’t? Why did the scriptures lead you to believe that if you pray in a certain way, you’ll get what you pray for? People all over the world were praying that we both would get out alive, but we didn’t.'”

Listen to this father as he prayed for his fourteen-year-old son battling leukemia. As he prayed day after day, a song written about his prayer time goes like this: “Can you hear me? Am I getting through tonight? Can you see him? Can you make him feel alright? See, he’s not just anyone; he’s my son.”

Have you ever felt that way? “Can you hear me, God? Am I getting through to you?” That, sometimes, can be very discouraging when we feel that he’s not hearing us. We wonder if we should just give up.

I came across a story about a journalist who was assigned to the Jerusalem bureau and took an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. Everyday, as she looked out her window, she would see an old Jewish man praying vigorously. So one day the journalist introduced herself to the old man. She said, “You come here everyday to the wall, I noticed. How long have you done that, and what are you praying for?”

The old man replied, “I have come here everyday for twenty-five years. In the morning I pray for world peace and the brotherhood of man. I go home, I have lunch, and I come back to pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth.”

The journalist is amazed. Twenty-five years! “How does it make you feel to come here everyday and pray for these things?”

The old man looked at her sadly and said, “Some days it’s like I’m talk to a wall.”

Sometimes, when we are really honest with ourselves, we walk away from prayer time feeling like we have just been talking to a wall. Have you ever wondered, “Can you hear me, God? Am I getting through?” Questioning, wondering, thinking, Why bother? Maybe I should just give up.

Let me assure you, you are in good company when you feel that way. We have biblical examples of that fact. We look at the Book of Job. Job was a fellow who had lost his health, wealth, family, and everything else any person could possibly lose. He had several prayers throughout the book of Job and one of them has this line, “Why do you hide your face and count me as your enemy, God?”

Remember King David. He was a Psalm writer and a man who was called “a man after God’s own heart.” Listen to his prayer in Psalm 13: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me; forever?”

Jesus knew there would be moments like that in the lives of his followers. We all face bumps, glitches, and disappointments in our lives as we await his return. So He told his disciples a parable about their need to pray always and not lose heart. It is the parable of the unfeeling judge and the widow. He told about a judge who had no fear of God, and, therefore, no respect for God’s word of judgment. Because he didn’t fear God, there were no absolutes except his own. He did not care for people and held no accountability to anyone. He was a hard-hearted individual, looking out for number one and what others could do for him. Jesus referred to him as an unjust judge, which meant that he was not fair in his dealings with people. Perhaps he was easily bribed and ruled in whatever way would help him the most.

The widow in this parable was different from widows in modern day United States. This widow was at the bottom of the social ladder back in those days. She had no job, no education, nobody to provide for her unless she had a husband, a son, or a son-in-law. She was fairly helpless, and if she didn’t have any of those three persons in her life, she could possibly end up in the street like a bag lady.

But there is something else we see in her; she was scrappy, and determined. She went to the judge and asked for help. “There’s someone harassing me, and I need your help.” The judge threw her out the door. But she was bound and determined to have the judge rule in her favor, so she began to show up all the time and kept bothering him. “Judge, help me!” she’d cry out to him. She became a real pest in his life.

One day the judge said, “She’s wearing me out. I’m going to give her what she wants.” Jesus used this parable to teach his disciples a study in opposites.

Keep in mind that this story is a parable and not an allegory. God is not the unjust judge in this story; we are not the widow. Jesus had been teaching his disciples for many chapters before you get to Luke 18 that God who is a Heavenly Father to whom we can turn and know he cares for us. We don’t have to pester him like an obnoxious person in order to get his attention. We are not that widow in God’s sight. Jesus said, “You are his chosen ones, his children.” God loves his children. So, of course, Jesus says we can expect that our Heavenly Father will answer our cries. Unlike the judge, He loves us and wants us to call upon him. Sometimes, though, we learn his answers are not always what we expect or what we want. Sometimes God says no, or bad idea, wrong request.

Think about it. If you are a parent, what if you gave your child everything that child ever asked for? What kind of parent would you be? There are some things that your child just should not have or that would be bad for people around your child.

Sometimes God says, Let’s take it slow; not yet, not yet; you’re not ready for the answer you’re looking for. Perhaps the petition needs some shaping in order to more reflect the mind of Christ instead of the mind of a human being, which is very self-centered. Sometimes God says, Grow. I’m not going to answer this prayer the way you want me to answer it, because you’re not in a right place right now with me or with the right people around you ,and you need to do some growing. Maybe we first need an attitude change or to ask for forgiveness. God says, You need to grow.

Sometimes God says Go! He answers the prayer the way we ask.

But the truth is in all of this is that God hears our prayers. God loves it when we turn to him. We don’t have to pester him in order to get his attention; God answers our cries. We can trust that, Jesus said.

Jesus goes on to say then, “When the Son of Man returns (talking about himself), at the Day of Judgment, will he find faith?” Prayer is a faith exercise. Will he find faith in this world?

Let’s get back to the original question: How is your prayer life these days? Maybe you are losing heart and starting to shut down your time in prayer. It’s becoming less and less a priority, because, perhaps, you are discouraged. Maybe you’ve shut down your prayer life altogether and you think, If it’s to be, it’s up to me. I’m going to run my own life and take care of myself.

This story that Jesus told is a word of encouragement for you. Keep on praying. Keep the faith. Be constant in prayer, for when you’re constant in prayer, there are wonderful surprises in store for you. One of the most wonderful surprises that is in store for us as we live a life of prayer is a promise that Jesus gives in Luke 11. He’s telling his disciples to, ask, seek, and knock. He says that the end of his little talk, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” What’s the surprise he’s promising? God himself, the Holy Spirit! You soon learn that your relationship is growing, and you experience His presence in your life.

I’m reminded of a little story I heard a few years ago about a little boy who won a raffle to go into a local toy store and pick out any toy he wanted. As he walked around the aisles of the store that day, the owner of the store tagged along side of him saying, “Do you want this, do you want this?” The boy each time would shake his head. Finally, when it appeared he’d looked the whole store over, he took the owner by the hand and said, “I want you.”

The owner said, “What?”

“I want you,” the little boy said, “Because if I get you, I’ve got everything.”

It’s the same way in our relationship with the Lord. When we’ve got Him, we get the ultimate, we get everything.

As you are constant in prayer, you discover in looking back, that, though you may not have felt it, you never were alone. God was there to carry you all along. It’s like that old story about the footprints in the sand. Looking back, we see only one set of prints. But God reminds us, “Those were the days when you weren’t alone; I was carrying you.”

Sometimes, when we are constantly in prayer, God not only can change things, but change us in some wonderful ways. Mother Theresa said one time, “Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself.”

Keep on praying. Keep on praying.

Maybe you are wondering if you can trust God on this. Let me fast forward us to the cross. Jesus is nailed to it. He’s suffering and dying. Hear his prayer: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Who is praying that prayer?

Jesus the Son of God! He’s carrying out his Father’s plan of salvation. He came to die for your sins and mine so that we could come home to the loving care of our Father who cares for each of us and desires to have a personal relationship with us.

Dear friend, if you are struggling, wondering, and feeling tempted to quit bringing yourself and your cares to God, the Word of God is appealing to you today: Don’t quit!

And if you have already given up, there is good news. The door is still open. He is waiting for you to turn around and come home. He loves you, he hears you, and he sees you. He is ready to spend some quiet time with you.

You’re in God’s Hands, My Child

Maturing Christians take God’s Word seriously.

They read their Bibles regularly and hear the Word preached weekly. Because church is a time to be fed spiritually, they want to hear a pastor who consistently preaches biblical sermons with a strong evangelical appeal. They memorize Scripture and put these inspired truths into their spiritual computer. These messages from God are recalled to guide the believers in a particular time of need.

Our text for this sermon is in my spiritual computer and used often. Listen! “As your days, so shall your strength be. . . . The eternal God is your resting place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:25-27).

Moses spoke these words to the people of Israel in his farewell address. God’s people were going on to the promised land with Joshua and Caleb as their leaders. Moses was not going to go with them, because of his disobedience to the Lord’s word. This story is told in Numbers 20. God shows in this account that he expects complete obedience of his leaders.

The people of Israel were complaining because they did not have water for themselves and their cattle. They came to Moses saying, “Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here?”

Moses brought their complaints to the Lord, and He promised relief from their thirst. “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink” (Num. 20:8).

So Moses gathered the people. Then he struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron that because they did not trust God enough to honor him as holy in the sight of the Israelites, they would not bring the community into the promised land.

Now, the day of departure had arrived. God took Moses to the top of Mount Nebo to die and showed Moses the promised land. Then, at the age of 120 years, when “his eyes were not weak, nor his strength gone,” Moses died. His work had been completed.

Israel would face difficult days. There were wars to be fought and a rebellious people to lead. So God, through his servant Moses, spoke these words: “As your day is, so your strength will be. The eternal God is your resting place, and underneath are his everlasting arms.” He would lift them up in the times of discouragement, and he would give them strength when their human strength failed. I wonder how often Joshua and Caleb recalled God’s promise to them.

Our Lord Jesus delivered this same message to his disciples as he was ascending into heaven. Remember his words? “Lo, I am with you always to the end of the age.” I wonder how often the disciples recalled his promise and experienced his saving grace.

It is the same comfort and security He wants us to have. Therefore, it is well for us to put these words into our spiritual computers so we can recall them when life is overwhelming for us.

Let’s look at what life can be like. My wife and I live in a beautiful retirement center, constructed for people who can live independently. It is for those who do not need outside assistance with daily personal needs.

Right beside our building another large structure will soon be ready for occupancy. This is just as beautiful as ours, but its purpose is different. It will house people who need assistance to meet the needs of their lives. One section of this building is for people suffering from dementia. They cannot make their own decisions and could do harm to themselves if not cared for properly. For those who need this type of care, no nicer place for them to live exists in our community. However, as pleasant as it is for the resident, it is a difficult decision for the family member who must sign the necessary papers to make that person a resident of this building.

Can’t you hear a wife saying something like this: This tears me apart. We have lived together for fifty-three years. I prayed that it would be possible for me to care for him until God took him home, but I can’t. Why, why, why?

It is then that the Lord Jesus puts his arms around the wife and says, “As your day is, my child, so your strength will be. The eternal God is your resting place, and underneath are his everlasting arms.”

The recall of those words of promise makes it possible for the wife to wipe away her tears and make the best of a very difficult circumstance. This is facing the tough times of life with Jesus by our side.

It was my wife who introduced me to this portion of God’s Word. Those were the words of comfort that brought her strength when she lay in a semiconscious state unable to speak. They were in her spiritual computer ready to serve her. God’s promise was true. As her day was, so was her strength.

What a word as you say goodby to a loved one going off to war.

What a word for us to speak from our deathbed one day to those loved ones who gather around our beds with broken hearts and wet eyes not knowing what to say. Minister to them. Be a Moses to them.

Don’t you think it is a good idea to put these words from God into our minds and let the Holy Spirit move them to our souls that they can be words from our Lord just when we need them the most?

Friend, You Are a Part of the Mission

The more we study the Bible, the more it becomes abundantly clear that God wants to have a strong personal relationship with us. Listen to these words: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I call you friends, for everything I have learned from the Father, I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit Ð fruit that will last.”

When the Holy Spirit helps us to understand the meaning of these words, we hear God saying, I want you for my friends. I have big plans for you. Together we are going to build an eternal kingdom, and you will have a major role in serving as my ambassadors. You are far more than servants. Servants don’t know their master’s business, but I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from my Father. I have kept nothing from you. We have no secrets. You may not understand all these revelations that have come from the Father, but in faith, you know they are true. You will have many opportunities and challenges in life, but none will be as great as this one. Always remember that you did not choose me, but I chose you to live with me in this Father-child relationship.

In this text, Jesus tells us that he wants his children to be a part of building the Kingdom of God. Let’s try to humanize the story.

I have a friend who immigrated to this country following World War II. He came with few earthly possessions, but he did have a trade. He soon found a job with only two responsibilities. First, he had to be a competent worker who could satisfy the needs of the customers. Second, he was to report to the job faithfully each working day. He knew his trade and related well to people with whom he worked. Soon the officers in the company received reports saying this man was a keeper. “Don’t let him get away from our company; we need him!”

It was not long before he became a part of management and then vice-president of the company. Later he retired as the president of the company.

As an ordinary employee, he knew little about the inner workings of the company; management shared few of their confidences with him. However, when he became an executive, there were no secrets. He had a major role in building the company. This man had come a long way from being a part of Hitler’s youth movement to the president of a prestigious business. I am always thrilled to hear him tell the story of the opportunities that awaited him in the United States and how he loves this country.

This friend is also a very committed Christian. He knows Jesus is his friend and has called him to build an even larger kingdom. No secrets exist between the Savior and him. Everything the Father revealed to Jesus, Jesus revealed to my friend. He does not understand many of these revelations recorded in the Bible, nor will he until he arrives in his heavenly home. They are nevertheless divine truths.

Similarities and differences exist in my friend’s role as the president of a company and as a friend of Jesus. As president, he aimed to deliver good service to his customer and a profit to the stock holders. As a friend of Jesus, he was involved in building the Kingdom of God.

In the secular world, he applied for his job. In building God’s kingdom, God Himself chose him.

As a craftsman, he impressed the firm’s officers, and as a result they labeled him a keeper. However, God never wondered what my friend’s potentials were, and the Holy Spirit made him a powerful witness in reaching out to people with the good news of the Gospel.

In the business world, he worked his way up the ladder until he had become president of the company at retirement. God’s army of friends has no presidents. Each friend is a precious and important part of Christ’s church telling the story of Jesus to one person or preaching the Word of God to millions of people.

At the company, he was selling good service and a reliable product. In God’s Kingdom, he deals with the eternal destiny of people’s souls who will live for all eternity.

Many similarities Ð but huge differences Ð that in reality make the two challenges incomparable.

Jesus tells us in the text that whatever the Father made known to him, he has made known to us. There are no secrets. We may not understand the revelation, but a truth has been spoken to us from our Heavenly Father. For example, Paul writes, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Paul did not know all the details about the heavenly home. However, he did know a heavenly home awaited him. He also knew this home was far better than anything he could experience here. That was the message the apostle proclaimed wherever he went as a friend of Jesus.

We also know from Jesus’ teachings, which he received from the Father and has delivered to us, that there is a hell. And we sometimes wonder what hell is like. He has revealed to us that it is a place where we are eternally separated from God. That is to be proclaimed by the friends of Jesus.

David Gregory, in his book, Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, gives an interesting picture of hell. “For those who choose to be separated from God, there is an existence. What is it like? If you remove all sources of good from life, you know what it’s like. God is the source of all good. For those who choose separation from him, there is no good. You cannot even comprehend how bad that would be. People go to hell because they choose separation from God. He respects what they choose. God’s love does not force relationships.”

Christ’s Church must proclaim this message. It’s a part of building the Kingdom.

Jesus’ army has no vice-presidents. Nevertheless, let me tell you about a faithful friend for whom I conducted a funeral recently. She was ninety-three years old, and had been a friend of Jesus for a long time. Her life was a mixture of good and bad days. She worked in a grocery store and cared for her husband, a cardiac cripple for twenty-five years. Those were years that had to tax her energy in many ways, but it was always a delight to visit the family.

Our daughter was a good friend of one of the lady’s daughters, and so she often visited the family. Often, when she came home from a visit to their home, our daughter would say, “It is so much fun to go there. Everyone seems so happy, even her dad who seldom gets out of the house.”

Well, at ninety-three years of age, my friend heard Jesus say that it was time to graduate to her heavenly home. In my remarks to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in the funeral sermon, I asked them, “How many hours do you think your mother spent praying for her family? There were tough days, and she did not have the answers. However, God did have those answers, and he equipped his friend to raise her family.” She had told them the truths of God’s Word and left them in his care. Whether they all believed what she delivered to them, we do not know. But one thing is certain: she was faithful.

This Bible verse is good to put in your memory and pull up often. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his father’s business. I call you friends for everything that I learned from my Father, I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

Apart From Me You Can Do Nothing

My parents left me with many words of wisdom that have had a great influence on my life. One evening, while visiting with my mother, I complained about a pain in my back. She listened, and then counseled sympathetically, “As you grow older, and you are now nearly fifty, you will have more aches and pains than you have had. Your body is beginning to wear out. But don’t talk about your health problems and operations. It makes for a boring conversation. Your friends can’t do anything about your pains, and they probably have plenty of their own.”

How often I recall this bit of advice, and how true it is in most cases.

Through the years we have accumulated many words of wisdom. The greatest of these have come from God’s Word, which directly or indirectly speak to most situations confronting us in life. For the next few weeks, I will share some inspired words that need to be imbedded in our thinking to be recalled just when we need them the most. They are truths that can change and enrich our lives. Here we find many of the answers to life.

One of my favorite scripture verses is, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” John 15:5.

Jesus draws the picture that the branch produces fruit when it is attached to the vine. The Christian’s life is vital and dynamic when it is related to Jesus. But then Jesus adds these words of warning: “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

This was my confirmation verse. However, at age fourteen it didn’t impress me a great deal. Three years later, when feeling that nothing was adding up in my life, this word spoke to me. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Was I trying to make too many important decisions that would affect my life for many years on my own? Would they be the right decisions? Shouldn’t I ask God to guide me in choosing my life’s work? It was then that I found the truth of Jesus’ statement, and it has been called up many, many times in my life.

William Barclay tells us in his commentary that this parable of the vine and the branches is never used as a picture in the Old Testament apart from the idea of degeneration. Separate your life from Jesus, and it will be fruitless.

Isaiah, the prophet, describes a fertile vineyard on a hillside. The soil had been prepared for a great crop, but it yielded only bad fruit. The branches had detached themselves from the vine. Because it bore no fruit, it was turned into wasteland. The prophet then told Israel that, because they had separated themselves from the Lord, His blessings had been withdrawn from them as a nation (Isaiah 5:1-7).

What are the good fruits that Jesus is talking about in the text? What does He look for in the church? He looks for conversions, spiritual awakenings, and spiritual growth. A church with a love for His Word is packed with people who come to be fed on its truths. It possesses an evangelical spirit that reaches out to the lost with the Gospel.

Dare we ask ourselves if we are detached from the vine if few of these great experiences are happening in our congregations? What is your congregation known for in the community? Is your church known for its fall dinners, new building, or magnificent organ and music? Nothing is wrong with any of these things, but Jesus is looking for more from us. He wants changed lives.

Are we at times discouraged with what is happening in our congregations? People move away. Our towns are getting smaller. We have tried to interest the unchurched with shorter services and informal dress. They come for a few Sundays, then we don’t see them in church any longer. Soon the young pastor is discouraged. He receives a call from a larger congregation and moves away.

I recently preached in such a congregation. This community has eight hundred fifty citizens. Less than seventy-five of these citizens belong to this congregation. It appears that several hundred unchurched people are in their midst, but no one has helped the congregation share the Gospel with their neighbors. The Lord is concerned about this community. If Christians would turn to Jesus Christ for help, he will direct them. Congregations with a trained evangelist could find this a challenge. A retired engineer in a nearby town could be a blessing to these people. He not only could teach them how to lead a person to Christ, but could preach to them on a Sunday morning. Maybe it is time to shake off some of our traditions and let the Lord lead us. It all depends on how closely we are related to the Savior.

I urge you to put this verse in your memory and pull it up for recall when you need God to lead you in trying circumstances.

The Joy of Knowing Him Personally

When we look at creation, we do not have to be very inquisitive to ask how it happened. This usually is an academic question that continues to be answered in many ways. These answers are based on scientific research, which produces facts that have given great insights into God’s creative work. The greatest of the scientists have said, “We know so little, but we are learning every day what a fabulous creation this is.”

We, as lay people in this world of science, rejoice over the good things our scientists have brought to our day. We are thankful for the organ transplants, heart surgeries, cancer treatments, antibiotics, and many other discoveries that give victims added years or even cures for their illnesses. We look forward to other medical breakthroughs. Will it not be a great day when Parkinson’s, dementia, diabetes, and other serious illnesses have been conquered?

But there is another way of knowing more about who this Creator is. This knowledge could be labeled experiential learning. It comes to us not from science, but from revelation. When we are in contact with God’s Word, the Holy Spirit is revealing to us who God is, and what he wants for our lives. Listen to these words:

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you” (John 16:12-15).

One of Christ’s purposes for coming to earth was to reveal who God is. Can you imagine how Nicodemus, a Pharisee who came to Jesus one night to have a heart-to-heart talk with the Lord, and heard Jesus say, “God loves you”? It was in this conversation that Jesus spoke these words: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Nicodemus was hearing Jesus tell him that God loves the world so much that He gave his Son to die as a payment for their sins. What a revelation! He did not accept that truth the first time he heard it. Only when he stood beneath the cross where Jesus was dying did Nicodemus know what the Lord was talking about when they met that first night to talk about salvation. This is learning what God’s redemptive love is. This is learning that God the Creator is also God the Redeemer who loves us and wants to save us.

Even though the twelve disciples had the privilege of being with Jesus for three years, they were not clear about what salvation meant and how people were saved. But then came Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit made the Way clear to them. Now Peter and John could say to the rulers and elders of the people, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved.”

This is the message that the Holy Spirit announced to us as the Church proclaimed the gospel, and faith in Christ was created in our hearts. It is the message the Holy Spirit can bring to others through us as we share God’s Word with our world.

It is a joy to know God personally through Jesus, for our past is forgiven, the present is being revealed to us, and we can look forward to a glorious eternity with Him. What a revelation it is to learn through the message recorded in the book of Revelation, chapter seven that in our heavenly home we will live among the heavenly host from every nation. Christ has cleansed all of us. There is no more sorrow, suffering, or death. And listen to this: “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” When we have the assurance of this eternal home with a God who loves us, life here on earth is different, even though it can be very difficult at times.

On Tuesday of this week we will celebrate Independence Day. Political freedom is a great blessing, but we can still live in this free land and be captives until Jesus Christ has set us free. It is a joy to know him personally and hear him say, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

This is spiritual freedom. Our souls are free. It is a joy to know this freedom each day of our lives. We love this life, but we look forward to another life when we will be able to sing “Free at last.”

We can and have learned much about God the Creator in the laboratories of our world. But the real understanding of God the Redeemer is discovered in the Scriptures when Jesus is revealed as the only Savior who can bring us into a personal relationship with God.