Your Rest is Waiting

Hebrews 4:9-10 “There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”

Anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work. I have known people who try to get more out of their physical exercise by using small weights that they can strap to their wrists or ankles or carry in their hands while they walk or run. This will certainly make your body work harder, but you have to be careful. The extra weight can also cause damage to joints and lead to injuries.

I have known people who have strapped the spiritual weight of saving themselves to living their daily lives. This is not a small weight. It is huge. It presents more than a risk of spiritual injury. Carried to the end of life it is eternally fatal. Under this load there is no peace. Life is driven by a desperate pursuit of saving sinlessness. Life is haunted by an ever-growing burden of guilt to carry. God is resented and dreaded for his impossible and unending demands.

But those who enter God’s rest also rest from the work of saving themselves. Jesus has carried all our sins for us when he took them to the cross. He has not left us with so much as a little ankle weight of the work to carry ourselves. Everything has been forgiven–sins past, present, and future. Everything about God’s regard for us has been repaired and restored. He sees us only as loving and holy. We can live and rest in knowing that all of his demands have been fully met. We are spiritually safe and secure with him.

And no discussion of God’s rest would be complete without mention of his ultimate rest in heaven. Those who enter God’s rest can rest from all their scurrying around trying to build a counterfeit heaven on earth. They can rest from all the frustration of seeing the little utopias they attempted to construct destroyed by financial crisis, failing health, or shattered relationships.

In Jesus, our Lord has provided a better and perfect heaven. There we will rest from all the spiritual attacks that try to disturb and remove the peace and rest Jesus provides. There we will know the perfect rest of enjoying God and God enjoying us face to face, like the perfect rest God and man once knew on the first day after creation was done.

Many people today suffer from a chronic lack of sleep. This does more than make us tired. It affects the way we digest our food. It makes it more difficult to think and interferes with our ability to remember things. It weakens our immune system and makes us vulnerable to disease and sickness. Proper rest is an important part of maintaining our health.

The consequences of missing the spiritual rest God gives us are eternal. Trust his gospel. Live in his grace. Let him take your load, and find your rest in him.

Still Invited

Hebrews 4:3-9 “Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, ‘So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.’ And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: ‘And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.’ And again in the passage above he says, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’ For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;”

Israel didn’t miss the opportunity to enter God’s rest because it wasn’t available to them. The Lord genuinely wanted them to have it. That is why he was so angry he took this oath here. He had done so much for them, preached so much to them, yet they wouldn’t have it.

This was in spite of the fact that he had prepared his spiritual rest from the time he created the world. When God himself established a day of rest at the end of his week of creation, he was setting down a day that was more than a day free from work. It was a day for God to enjoy his creation, and for creation to enjoy its God. Though mankind fell into sin, God had established this relationship of peace and enjoyment of his presence on the seventh day. By the forgiveness of sins he continued to invite people back to him to rest in the love and friendship of God that marked the very first seventh day. Every Sabbath that followed was a special day for offering that invitation. The opportunity had been there for Israel at the time of Moses, and throughout their history. But many, if not most, let the opportunity pass and were lost.

There was another reason many in Israel failed to enter God’s rest. Some misunderstood what God’s rest was. They believed it was Joshua giving them rest from the hard life out in the wilderness when he led them into the promised land. But finding an easier life here on earth is not God’s rest. If that were so, the opportunity would have applied only to a time and circumstance long past. It would no longer apply to us today. Entering the Promised Land may have served as a picture of God’s spiritual rest, but the historical event was not the thing itself.

Is it hard to understand how many of God’s Old Testament people could misunderstand God’s promise of rest? People still try to satisfy their inner longing for peace and spiritual rest by looking in wrong places. It can’t be found in money, a lover’s arms, a favorite place to live, entertainment, a successful career, political power, or even a life of service and volunteerism.

And that’s a good thing, because if the promise is not attached to a specific time, place, or circumstance, the opportunity remains for us to enter God’s rest. Today we still hear God’s voice in the Gospel. Today he is still inviting us, still drawing us, to possess this rest for our souls, and live in it, and know its blessings.

Don’t Miss the Invitation

Hebrews 4:1-2 “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”

If we want to enter the rest that God provides, the first thing we need is to hear the gospel. That gospel is an invitation describing God’s rest, just as any invitation makes some description of the event it advertises. An invitation describes the reason for the event, any cost, the time, the place, and what you can expect to enjoy at the event. So it is with the gospel. The reason for God’s rest is that the burden for our sins is too heavy for us to bear. We need relief. The cost: Jesus has paid our admission to this rest by giving his life for us and removing our sins. Time and place: God is offering us this rest from our guilt and sin right now and right here. What we enjoy: Peace with God and forgiveness of all our sins now and eternal life forever. The difference between this gospel invitation to enter God’s rest and any other is the miraculous power this invitation has to draw those who hear it to receive what is offered.

            Because our Lord so wants us to enter his rest, he has made sure that we hear this gospel invitation to enter his rest often. You should hear it every Sunday from the pulpit in your church. But there is a feature of fallen human nature that gets in the way of God’s invitation to enter his rest. When I was in high school there were railroad tracks that ran past the dormitory where I lived. The first few weeks I was often awakened by passing trains. Eventually, however, I was able to tune the repeated noise of the trains out and sleep through the night. Their great noise and clatter didn’t affect me anymore.

            Unfortunately, we become guilty of doing the same thing with God’s invitation to enter his rest. As we hear the gospel repeated, we tune it out. We let it become spiritual background noise, and we turn our attention to other things. So long as we tune the gospel out, its powerful message won’t affect us anymore.

            That is why the holy writer also warns us not to neglect this second feature of the way to enter God’s rest: Combine it with faith. “For we have also had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.” Out of all the peoples of the world, God chose Israel to receive his special revelation. And yet so many of them would not believe what they heard. During their forty years in the wilderness many stopped believing that God was their loving deliverer. Some accused him of trying to ruin them instead. Instead of believing what he had to say about right and wrong, they either ignored his commandments or tried to redefine them to suit their own lusts.

Where faith in what God has to say about right and wrong falls, faith in God as Savior is right behind. God’s promise of rest from guilt and sin has little appeal or makes little sense to those who no longer believe they have any. When the gospel is not combined with faith, it has no value to those who hear it. So, much or most of Israel lost the heavenly rest that should have been theirs.

            Most of you aren’t about to believe that the God of the Bible is evil, or that he is a fake, or that he is a namby-pamby God you can safely choose to ignore. No, for us the greater danger is that we take the gospel for granted, and tune it out. Then a sense of apathy begins to settle in. We won’t forget that Jesus died for us and forgives us. But our trust in him loosens and fades. God and Jesus and faith just don’t seem to be very important anymore. Finally, faith flickers and fails, and those who once found their way into God’s rest find their way back out again.

May God spare us and keep us on the way by which we first entered his rest: Hear his gospel and believe it.

Resurrection Bodies

Luke 24:36-43 “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ They have him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.”

Jesus’ disciples were startled and frightened. Certainty that Jesus had risen from the dead still had not sunk in, even though his living body was now standing in their presence.

Of course, there were reasons that Jesus’ presence did not have its immediate, intended effect. His entrance was more than unusual. We don’t hear, “All of a sudden, there was a knock at the door, and there was Jesus, waiting for someone to let him in.” Luke doesn’t write, “While they were still talking about this, Jesus came walking into the room” or “climbed in through an open window.”

No, all of a sudden, there was Jesus, standing in the middle of the group. His body simply materialized in the room, as though Scotty had just beamed him down from the Enterprise. I don’t have to tell you that’s not normal.

Add the fact that Jesus was supposed to be dead, in spite of the reports that these men had heard, and they can come up with just one conclusion: They aren’t dealing with a resurrection, but a haunting. They thought they were seeing a ghost. They were filled with fear and doubt, but I want you to know that today even their doubts contribute to our Easter certainty.

You see, these men were not gullible half-wits ready to believe any fantasy someone could dream up. They understood that dead is dead, and that any exception to that rule is a miracle of the highest order, at least this side of Judgment Day. They had seen Jesus raise three people from the dead, but after Jesus died, who was left to raise him? Certainly not one of them. Their doubts, their uncertainty, led to even greater proofs for you and me, and the Easter certainty of seeing Jesus’ living body.

The proofs Jesus offers that this was his living body are not hard to understand. “Look at my hands and feet.” See the scars from the nails of my crucifixion on my hands and my feet. Who else would fit this description today? “Touch me and see.” Your hands don’t pass through the image in front of your eyes. They meet resistance and are stopped by my real human flesh and my real human bones. This is not just smoke or vapor you are seeing. Still not convinced? Okay, “Do you have anything here to eat?” Watch it go into my mouth–munch, munch, munch, swallow. Okay, where did it go? The same place it goes when you have something to eat, Mr. I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Actually-Him. This is my body! I am alive! Stop doubting and believe!

So Jesus’ body gives us certainty to go with our joy. Jesus lives, not just as a fond memory, nor the wispy, bodiless remains of one more of death’s sad victims. He is the living, flesh and blood conqueror of sin and death. He is the Almighty Lord whose power and love continue to save and serve and guide and guard his people today.

That certainty and joy don’t stop at his body. They apply to our bodies as well. Paul writes the Philippians, “..the Lord Jesus Christ…by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Our bodies will live again like his, and what glorious bodies they will be! They will be real, living bodies with hearts that beat, eyes that see, finger tips that feel, ears that hear, tongues that taste, noses that smell, and all the wonderful senses we enjoy, but perfected and purified. They will be whole and healthy bodies free from pain or death, ageless and changeless. You can forget your glasses, your hair-coloring, your knee brace, your pill bottles, your diet restrictions, your hearing aids, and how to dial 911, because the resurrection will make that stuff obsolete. The new bodies Jesus will give to us contribute to our Easter joy.

Tried and True

Romans 1:1-4 “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God– the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We are familiar with the many, many details of the good news about Jesus we find promised by the prophets in the Old Testament. The manner of his conception, the place of his birth, the threats to his early life, the place of his boyhood, the message of his ministry, the kinds of miracles he would perform, all the minute details of his trial, suffering and death– all of this was prophesied hundreds and even thousands of years before Jesus’ came.

Even his resurrection was promised by those prophets. Isaiah wrote, “…though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul he will see the light of life and be satisfied.” People were looking forward to Jesus’ resurrection centuries before he lived or died.

But how do the prophets’ words contribute to making the message about Jesus “good news”? Why is this a notable feature of the gospel we hear and share? It inspires confidence in that message, doesn’t it? We live in a culture that glorifies the new and trendy as much or more than people in any other era. People are constantly running after new styles in clothing, furniture, food, or recreation. I’ll admit that I’m not sure whether the trendy clothes today are the ones that fit so tightly you can hardly breath or fit so loosely you have to hold on with both hands to keep them from falling off. But the trends constantly change, and we want to keep up.

At the same time, there are still areas in which we prefer tried and true to new and improved. If you are going to invest money for the future, there are fortunes to be made investing in some start-up technology company or cryptocurrency. There are also fortunes to be lost that way. If someone knocks on your door, are you more likely to open the door for the old friend you’ve known for years or the stranger you’ve never seen before?

Isn’t our eternal welfare and relationship with God something we want to keep in the “safe” area rather than the “trendy” one? Isn’t that one of the effects that the promises of the Old Testament prophets have upon the gospel about Jesus? The good news about Jesus had a long history behind it. Prophets had been talking about it for centuries. He’s like the old friend who shows up at the door and we already know him, so he can come in. He’s like a company with a proven track record that we can trust with our treasure. By speaking through his prophets, God has given us a gospel we can trust.

The Path of Life

Psalm 16:11 “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

The path of life isn’t some road we travel by our own power to get to heaven, as though Jesus gave us a map with all the turns we must take, but then left us to make the journey alone. The path of life is his own saving work: his death for our sins and his resurrection to promise us life. He does not merely show us the way. He tells us that he is “the way, the truth and the life.” He is a miraculous path or way that takes us up in his own arms and transports us to our heavenly destination by his own power. This is why we are certain that God will bless us there.

There, just like Jesus, we find joy in God’s presence and eternal pleasures at his right hand. Does that description sound a little vague to you and me? If the psalmist seems short on the details, at least appreciate the blessedness he does make clear. Look at the quality of those blessings:  joy and pleasures in God’s presence, direct communion with God, our immediate experience of his love. These will be an experience that at one and the same time lifts our hearts and delights our senses.

Then take note of the quantity of those blessings. Here we sometimes find life tolerable. But wouldn’t you agree with me that joy tends to be in short supply, that pleasure is a rare diversion? David promises that we will be filled with joy and pleasures in God’s presence. These blessings aren’t just an occasional experience of heavenly existence. They are features of every part of it.

Finally, don’t miss the duration of what God has prepared. He promises these pleasures are eternal. Now there is always that bittersweet end to the times that we have enjoyed. We must leave the gathering of friends, or finish the game, or put down the book, or turn off the music. There the blessings God has prepared are so enduring that they will go on and on without end.

Peanuts cartoon character Linus dragged his blanket with him wherever he went. It made him feel safe and comfortable. A blanket, a flimsy piece of cloth, may seem like a silly thing to give someone peace. Yet God once wrapped the only true and lasting source of peace in flimsy pieces of cloth and placed him in a tomb. On Easter morning those pieces of cloth scattered around an empty tomb promise us safety, blessing, and peace. They tell us Jesus is alive again, waiting at God’s right hand to give us joy and pleasure that never end.

You Will Not Abandon Me, Either

Psalm 16:9-10 “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”

Why could Jesus have such joy, even in the face of death? Why didn’t he worry about the fate of his flesh-and-blood body? It is because he knew his Father would not leave his body in the grave to rot. At least three times before his crucifixion he told his disciples that he would rise again on the third day. Even his enemies understood that he predicted a return to life for his dead body. That is why they had the tomb sealed and guarded it with soldiers.

Peter preached this to the crowds on Pentecost day: “David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact” (Acts 2:31-32).

This is the central message of Easter. This is what the holiday celebrates. Jesus’ immortality is not merely the immortality celebrities hope to achieve: to live on in people’s memories forever. There is a book entitled Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave. It includes the stories of men who have had some of the greatest impact upon our society, men like Charles Darwin or Sigmund Freud. There is a sense in which they live on through their life-changing ideas. They “rule the world” through the influence they have had on the way that people think and act.

But that is not what we mean when we say that Jesus lives. Jesus truly rules the world, but he doesn’t rule it from the grave. He does more than change people’s lives. Jesus is alive. His real human body did not stay in the grave. His real human body is full of life once again, no less than yours or mine–in fact, infinitely more than yours or mine.

Because Jesus is alive, we are secure that God will raise us, too. We can make the words of the psalm our very own confession: “…you will not abandon me to the grave.” We have all been to enough funerals to know that this does not mean that Christians will never die. On those rare occasions when we make our way out to the cemetery, maybe it looks like a rather abandoned and forsaken place. Unless it’s Memorial Day weekend, cemeteries are often vacant of any living bodies, except for the occasional grounds-keepers or burial services. Row after row of silent stones mark the places where bodies seem to have been abandoned to the grave. Saints of the past have surrendered to the forces of decomposition and decay.

But Jesus promises, “Because I live, you also will live.” When God first made man, he created him from the dust of the ground. Even if our bodies have decayed to the point that they are nothing more than piles of dust, even if wild animals have consumed our bodies and dragged their parts in several directions, even if our ashes have been scattered to the winds or the seas, this presents no challenge to the one who made us and rose from death to life himself. In whatever form he finds them, “by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, (he) will transform our lowly bodies, so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).

Security Now

Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

What is it that makes you feel secure about your future? Is it your investment portfolio or your 401K plan? Maybe not after the high inflation and economic uncertainty this past year. Is it your healthy diet, your faithful exercise regimen? Perhaps we should remember people like Jim Fixx, author of The Book of Running, who died of a heart attack at the age of 45, or Olympic record holder Florence Griffith Joyner, who died of a seizure at the age of 38. Maybe exciting advances in medical science give you hope. But as soon as we find a way to control one disease, something new like COVID 19 comes along. It is difficult–no, it is impossible–to find that kind of settled security in this world we all long to have. And the Lord has good reason for making sure that it is so. C.S. Lewis remind us, “The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God….Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but he will not encourage us to mistake them for home” (The Problem of Pain, p. 115).

David wrote the words of Psalm 16, but the Apostle Peter revealed in his Pentecost Day sermon that he was really speaking for and about Jesus when he said, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” The truth that God is always with us, that he is present in every place at all times, is familiar to us all. Even a large number of non-Christians believe that God, whoever he is, is present all the time.

Unfortunately, we let that truth devolve into a religious theory. We say we agree with it, but in practice we tend to forget it. This is why we fall apart, we quiver like Jell-O, when life doesn’t go our way. This is why pandemics, runaway inflation, and an increasing number of crimes fill us with fear.

It’s not as though God has abandoned us. Our worry and anxiety are self-inflicted wounds. In our weak faith we act as though we didn’t even have a God, much less one who is with us at all times. The fault is all our own.

For Jesus, this truth was never merely a theory. It was what enabled him to go ahead with the sacrifice for our salvation in spite of all he suffered, in spite of all the opportunities he would have had to avoid it. Jesus set the Lord always before him. He was always, always conscious of the fact that his heavenly Father was at his right hand. Remember how the author of Hebrews describes it? “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). No one had to tell Jesus to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane when the dread of the sufferings ahead of him weighed on his heart. He always set the Lord before him. He was assured that the Father was at his right hand, and that he would return to the right hand of his Father. He was not shaken from his mission to sacrifice himself for our sins.

That Jesus not only died, but also rose three days later, only increases our security that God is with us. Paul tells us that Jesus was raised to life for our justification. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is a sprawling banner shouting that we are no longer guilty of our sins. His payment on the cross was acceptable and successful.

Do you know what that means for us? It means that when we set the Lord before our eyes, we aren’t looking at an angry and offended giant getting ready to squish me. The God who is with us is the One who so loves us that he gave everything to save us from our sins, and he isn’t going to let our present troubles separate us from him.

Jesus’ resurrection means that when we fix our eyes on Jesus, we aren’t just bringing up memories of another dead hero from the past. He is the living Savior. He is genuinely present with supernatural, divine power. He promises to be with us always, even to the end of the age. That is reason to feel genuine security right now.

Children of God

1 John 3:2 “Dear friends, now we are the children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.”

Now we are the children of God. Jesus’ death and resurrection promise even better things to come. But just this, “children of God,” is not so bad when you consider what we were. You know Paul’s words from Romans 5: “When we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son…” Really? Enemies? That seems a bit strong. Enemies? Yes! There is no other way to describe people who have taken their own Maker’s instructions, thrown them aside, and like a defiantly told him, “It’s my life. I’m going to do what I want. I don’t care what you say about sharing. I don’t care what you say about how I use my body. I don’t care if you don’t like my potty-mouth.” Active little rebels–we were God’s enemies!

Another of Paul’s picture from Ephesians isn’t any better: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…” Dead! A spiritual corpse! From God’s point of view, in our sin, without real love for anyone but ourselves, we were lifeless, hopeless, useless–done!

And that is what we were. It is hard to say which is worse, enemies or corpses, but we don’t have to make a choice. The Bible calls us both.

Jesus’ resurrection marks the change of all of that. On Good Friday Jesus gave up his life to remove our guilt and forgive all our sins. Look at the end of the quote from Romans 5, “When we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son.” We are reconciled, not enemies.

By his resurrection from the dead Jesus conquered our death. As much as that means new life for our bodies, it also brings new life to our souls. “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ,” Paul wrote the Colossians. Now we have faith, we have hope, we have life.

It’s harder to say which is better, Good Friday or Easter, but Jesus gives us both. His salvation doesn’t leave us hard choices. It gives it all together as one beautiful gift.

That is why John can say, “Dear friends, now we are the children of God.” Now we are children! Do you know what that means? Children are not the same thing as employees–cheap labor for God because they are “part of the family.” His main interest is not what we can do for him.

Nor are children the adult sons and daughters who stand independently and alongside God as his equals. We are in no position to advise our Lord about how he runs the universe. One Christian writer compares our relationship with him to the relationship between a parent with an IQ like Einstein, and a little child who is only two. To make a relationship possible, the father will accommodate himself to the toddler he loves. The child will know her daddy, but she won’t completely comprehend him. What the father reveals to the daughter will be true, so far as it goes. But there will always be more.

You see, we are the children of God, and that means that we are dear, we are loved. God treasures us as his own.

As God’s children, we are cared for. “As a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13). Do you have pictures of this kind of thing from your own childhood? I picture my wife keeping vigil at the side of one son when he was hospitalized with RSV as a 6 month old, or at another son’s side when he had cancer. Our heavenly Father keeps his vigil over us, always ready to take care of our every need.

We are protected. Have you ever watched protective parents at a child’s soccer game? If another player is too pushy with their budding star, or the referee isn’t making good calls, woe to the person who dares to threaten their little athlete. The mama bear or papa bear inside comes out. You don’t want to be on the other end of that fight.

If something threatens the souls of our heavenly Father’s children, woe to the demon or tempter who dares to do so. Be assured that he will protect them. You don’t want to be on the wrong end of that fight!

As God’s children, we are simply enjoyed by him. He is pleased to laugh and play with his little ones. A beautiful picture in the last chapter of Isaiah depicts God enjoying his children like a parent bouncing a child on his knees. I can’t help but think of the Christian character in the movie “Chariots of Fire,” Scottish runner Eric Liddell. He tells his sister that when he runs he “feels God’s pleasure.” God’s children are people in whom he takes delight.

“Now we are the children of God.” Our world has many problems. Our lives have many crosses. But “children of God” isn’t a bad position to be in. Jesus’ death and resurrection make it so.