My favorite word in the Bible

My favorite word in the Bible is probably "but". The hope that is contained within those 3 little letters is causes me to break into joy and praise.

Imagine Romans 6:23 without it – or Isa 42:24-25 without Isa 43:1.

I’m a unlovable rebellious sinner that deserves to be separated forever from Love…. BUT God.

“ But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Eph 2:4-6

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” Romans 5:8-10

I don’t know where you are at or what you are facing but I can tell you that there is a living God and he is in the “but” business.

He is a way-maker when the path is impossible. He is a joy-giver in the depth of suffering. He is a healer when things are broken beyond repair. He is a miracle maker. He is life giver.

Friend, do what you came to do

Jesus has been praying for hours in the Garden of Gethsemane wrestling with what was ahead. Imagine the loneliness. His closest disciples were sleeping and even if they’d been awake they could not conceive what the next days would bring. Judas and the soldiers arrive and after the betrayal kiss Jesus says,

“Friend, do what you came to do.” –Matthew 26:50

Of all the things Christ could have justly called Judas he chooses the word Friend.judas-iscariot

Can you imagine standing there knowing you sold out this man for 30 coins and he calls you friend? Even in this time of ultimate betrayal I hear the compassion in Christ’s voice.

What’s more astounding is to consider that Christ was not surprised by the betrayal but knew it before he ever formed Judas in his mother’s womb. Years of walking with Judas, teaching him, breaking bread together all the while knowing this man would hand you over.

It’s compassion beyond comprehension.

Who will betray?

A few hours before at the Last Supper Christ told the disciples, “one of you will betray me”. As my Pastor pointed out this evening each began introspection asking Christ, “Is it I, Lord?”

Who will betray him? The difficult answer is every one of us.

I will bring shame to Him, sin against Him, despise Him, and betray Him.

I will be disloyal, defiant, and ungrateful.

But God…

Hallelujah let me tell you about this “but God”

“But God shows his love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Christ knowing all this chose to die in my place and pay for my sins so I might be reconciled to a Holy God.

He chose to call me friend.

I choose to call Him Lord.