“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
~ Romans 5:1-8
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.
~ Ecclesiastes 6:14
“As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
~ Colossians 3:12
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
~ 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 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. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
~ Hebrews 12:1-3
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
~ Matthew 11:28
It is a wicked world we live in. But this world is not our home, it is our punishment. Never forget that. When times are evil, the wise stay quiet. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that our flesh is what matters. Always point at Jesus, not at others’ sin. Be patient in learning the Word, persistent in putting into practice what you believe, and show perseverance even unto death, for the name of Jesus — the only name by which we are saved.
Note: Today’s paintings are: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s “Christ the Man of Sorrows”, (17th century); Jeff Hein’s “Christ Heals the Sick” (2012); Eduard Carl Friedrich Holbein’s “The Accomplished Pilgrimage” (1835); and a detail of Carl Heinrich Bloch’s “Christ at Gethsemane”. The header image is a detail from Corbert Gauthier’s “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” (2009).