The View From Here

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The Fruit of the Spirit (Pt. 8): Faith

It is hard to imagine the night terror of the German blitz—the bombing of London—in World War 2. A story of a dad and his son is often retold.  They sought shelter as bombs exploded and buildings burned around them. The best refuge was the black circle of a bomb crater. Dad disappeared into the crater, but the son hesitated, unable to see his dad.  “I cannot see you,” he cried. 

 His dad reached out his hand, but the boy could not make it out against the darkness of the hole in the ground.  The dad was able to see the boy, a black silhouette against the glow of burning London.  He encouraged his son, “You might not be able to see me, but I can see you.” 

That was what the boy needed to hear. He jumped and soon felt the unseen arms of his dad.

German bombs no longer fall on London, but this story of faith has been used a hundred times since. It encourages us to leap into the safety of God’s unseen, yet loving arms.  You might find yourself in situations like this boy, unable to see where the next step, or leap, will take you. God calls us to trust in Him because trusting in Him is the only way we can be saved from sin and death.  God then uses life as his school of faith, using everything to teach us that He is trustworthy.

It might not feel good at times.  You may not see where the next step leads, but faith rests in the fact that God sees your story from start to finish.  You may not see God, but He sees you. 

Faith in Christ results in salvation, but it is also part of the fruit, the character quality that God will grow in you. God uses difficult times, people, and situations to stretch your faith.  Recount the experiences in your life that required you to trust in God.  He always see you, and He is teaching you to see Him with the eyes of faith.

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The Greatest Gift

What is the greatest thing you have ever given?  Some give money, others give their time and you find the generous soul who is quick to volunteer their spouse.  But there have been a few who, with one act, give everything. Memorial Day is a day when we remember those who gave a greater gift than most, and yet it still pales in comparison with the greatest gift that could be given.  Read on to learn more about that gift.

Memorial Day in the U.S. began as "Decoration Day."  It was celebrated after the Civil War with veterans of the Union Army decorating graves of their comrades who had fallen in battle.  It spread through the North and the South, and eventually, it morphed into what it is today.  It is different than Veteran's day, which is for recognizing all who have served in the military.  Memorial day is for remembering those who gave the one thing that could not be replaced: one's life. 

Today, we thank God for those who were willing to sacrifice their lives so the rest of us can live in freedom and peace.  Freedom and peace do not happen on their own--they must be fought for and protected.  There is a tremendous price to be paid.

Every life laid down in service of our country points to the greatest gift ever given.  Jesus Christ set his freedom aside and his the peace that existed between Him and God, the Father.  He was bound, beaten and butchered on a cross, that cruel instrument of crucifixion.  He became your substitute.  He had no sin, but God took your sin and laid in on Jesus.  When this happened, that perfect Father-Son relationship was broken for the first time, and Jesus cried out to his Father, "Why have you forsaken me?" 

Reflect on this, the greatest gift, today, as you remember the lives laid low for your freedom.  Jesus died to set sinners free.  He rose again, conquered death, and if you believe in Him, you will have forgiveness--freedom from sin--and peace with God.

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