Saturday, May 30, 2009

Where Is the Wise?

‘Tis the season for graduations.

When people graduate, they receive diplomas or degrees that indicate they’ve acquired a measure of knowledge or wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are certainly useful. We encourage young and old to seek them. And when people graduate, we applaud their achievement.

The Bible instructs people to study and to seek both knowledge and wisdom. Various leaders throughout the Bible emphasized learning. Moses knew how to read and write, Samuel started a school, David’s court was a learned court. Jewish children during Jesus’ time studied in the synagogues.

But the wisdom of Scripture is not necessarily the same as the wisdom of a society or culture. They might agree, but not always. Sometimes they even oppose each other and sometimes Christians must choose between them. Paul said, Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (I Cor. 1:20 NKJV)

Paul was an educated man himself. His writings are respected by Christians and non-Christians alike. Yet he espoused something greater than wisdom as it is normally understood. He desired the wisdom of God.

Originally published May 29, 1992.
Picture: Apple blossoms, West Fargo, 2009. Photo by Solveig.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cut to the Heart

Of the many world religions, only Christianity teaches that repentance removes guilt. Other religions either deny sinful human nature—claim people are basically good—or they teach that people can pay the penalty for sin with a sacrifice or with good deeds.

But Christianity teaches that people can do nothing by themselves to save themselves from sin. Our only hope is to repent from sin (change our direction) and to receive Jesus Christ. When we repent, we can trust that His death paid—and still pays—the penalty for sin because He shed His blood on the cross. His sacrifice covers any penalty we might incur.

On Pentecost, the day the Christian church came into being, Peter preached a sermon centered on Jesus. Then he confronted people with their sin, and the people were cut to the heart. They said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? (Acts 2:37b NKJV)

Peter replied, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. . . . (v. 38b)

Originally published March 16, 1990.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Holy Spirit Descended

When Jesus left His home in heaven, he came disguised as a seemingly ordinary person with no unusual characteristics. Hidden with His family in Nazareth, he lived and absorbed the human experience with its many joys and sorrows. Paul says of this period that Jesus made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant. . . . (Phil 2:7a NKJV)

But during Jesus’ baptism, John the Baptist saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him [Jesus]. (Mt. 3:16b) The Son of God was hidden no longer. Armed with the Spirit of God, He battled Satan in the Wilderness and then began His ministry. He preached the message of the Kingdom of God and performed miracles—and many believed He was the Son of God.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus sent His disciples out to share the good news of the kingdom on two occasions. But after the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost, Peter, the rest of the disciples, and the other Christians were different. The Spirit of the Son of God had been poured out and was no longer hidden. Like Jesus, the disciples preached the Kingdom of God, they performed miracles—and the church grew exponentially as people began to believe in Jesus as the Son of God. (Acts 2)

Originally June 5, 1992.
Picture: Tulips, Fargo, 2009. Photo by Solveig.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

God Sent His Spirit

Pentecost is the day on the Christian church calendar that celebrates the birth of the Christian Church. On that day Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit upon His followers. In fact, the church became the Church—a supernaturally-connected group of believers—when the Holy Spirit arrived.

He didn’t come quietly. We read, And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they [the disciples] were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4 KJV)

People in the area gathered and were confounded, because every man heard them speak in his own language. (v. 6b) Then Peter preached to a large crowd and about three thousand souls joined the disciples by accepting Jesus. (v. 41)

Originally published May 28, 1993.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Have Redeemed You

It seems strange that God would have to redeem or buy back His people. After all, He is our Creator. In a real sense, everything He created—including people—belongs to Him. He’s the One who designed and made us.

But as individual people we consistently reject our Creator. We go our own way because we choose our will over His will. That’s the same as denying His ownership.

When we reject God’s ownership, we separate ourselves from Him. But from the beginning, God foreknew our human nature and inclination to sin. Before we turned away from Him, He had a plan to buy us back. He had a plan to redeem His people.

God didn’t keep His plan a secret. He shared it with the people of the Old Testament. We read in Isaiah, I have formed you . . . you will not be forgotten by Me! I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you. (Is. 44:21b,22 NKJV)

Originally published August 4, 1989.
Picture: Tulips, Fargo, 2009. Photo by Solveig.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Because I Live . . ."

When Jesus prepared the disciples for His death, He tried to tell them about the Resurrection: [T]he world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live you also will live. (Jn. 14:19 NIV)

The disciples did not understand—just as we so often fail to understand God’s Word. But the promises are available nevertheless. They’re available to all who come to Him. We will see Jesus and we will rise from the dead.

Jesus’ promises can be especially helpful and comforting when observing occasions such as Memorial Day. Many people will visit graves of family members or beloved friends. We are reminded of death as the final foe—our point of separation from this world. Then we remember the promise of life after death from Jesus.

The Apostle Paul claimed life after death when he quoted Hosea, Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? (I Cor. 15:55)

Originally published May 27, 1983.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Work of God

After Jesus fed five thousand people with five small loaves of bread and two fish, the people wanted more. They waited until morning and then they followed Him across Lake Capernaeum. We would assume they were eager to seek God and wanted to hear more of His teaching—or that they were impressed by the miracles.

Jesus knew their hearts. He said, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. (Jn. 6:26b NIV)

Apparently, miracles do not persuade people to seek God or teach them to trust Him. In fact, almost all of Jesus’ contemporaries were aware of His ministry and the many miracles He performed, yet many did not believe in Him. Miracles even seemed to harden the hearts of the Pharisees and Saducees.

God meets physical needs, but He especially desires to fill spiritual needs because they are the foundation for life with Him. Jesus said, Do not work for food that spoils . . . The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent. (v. 27a,29)

Originally published August 9, 1985.
Picture: Tulips, Fargo, 2009. Photo by Solveig.

Friday, May 22, 2009

In the Shadow

When playing outside on hot days, children look for cool, shady spots because shade provides protection from the sun. A Psalmist used that image when he wrote, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will aide in the shadow of the Almighty.”(Ps. 91:1 ASB)

Imagine the heat of the day in Palestine. The psalmist says that when the struggles of life are overwhelming—like the relentless heat of a hot noonday sun—God offers a place of rest.

Then the Psalmist offers more images. There’s the eagle who shelters her young under her wings. And the angels who carry people across rocky canyons so they receive no injury.

The images offer great comfort because they remind us of the times He’s been with us in the past. Then we remember that He’ll be with us now and in the future, offering His shade, providing His shelter, and carrying us when we’re prone to stumble.

Originally published August 19, 1983.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

He Is the Savior

Our minds have trouble comprehending the many facets of our God. He has attributes that don’t always seem to agree. The Bible tells us He’s a God of love; it also tells us He’s a God justice. God says in Isaiah, For the day of vengeance is in my heart. . . . (Is. 63:4a NKJV) A few verses further Isaiah responds with, I will mention the lovingkindness of the Lord. . . . (v. 7a)

How do we reconcile these Scriptures? One commentator said God hastens over the work of His judgment but lengthens out his plan of salvation. I like that idea.

Other verses in Isaiah offers insight that helps: He became their Savior, in all their affliction He was afflicted . . . He redeems them. . . . (v. 8b,9a)

We can’t define our God, but He reveals Himself to meet our needs. If we need justice, He’s ready to show us what is right. If we need lovingkindness, He’s there to offer redemption. Our condition means that we need both. Thankfully, His ability to meet our need is unlimited. He is the Savior.

Originally published February 5, 1993.
Picture: Flowers, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2008. Photo by Solveig.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Divine Help - God's Grace

On the matter of proclaiming God’s Word, Paul wrote to the Colossians, Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Col;. 4:6 NKJV)

We don’t always know what to say when we talk to people about God—or even when we try live the life God wants us to live. Sometimes our ability to think vanishes. We need divine help—God’s grace—the very kind of grace the verse above talks about. But we can’t speak with grace unless God gives us grace.

Jesus always spoke with grace. He communicated with His Father and submitted to Him in all things. Everything He said originated from the Father.

Paul knew he was called to the same dependence. That’s why he asked the Colossians to pray for him as he reached out “to speak the mystery of Christ . . .” (v. 3b) He desired that I might make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”(v. 4)

We are in good company if we ask for grace.

Originally published June 25, 1993.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

While Earth Remains

At this time of the year, people are acutely aware of the rhythm God built into the part of His creation we call earth. Especially people living in agricultural areas. Whether or not they respond to God, farmers plants their crops based on God’s promise to Noah: While earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. (Gen. 8:22 RSV)

God gave Noah and his family a rainbow as a sign—as promise to His creation on earth. And although everything from their former life was gone when they left the ark, the face of the ground was dry. (Gen. 8:13b)

It was a time of devastation and a time beginnings, but God gave them the promise of a future. While earth remains, they could enjoy and participate in God’s rhythm.

Originally published April 2, 1982.
Picture: Bleeding hearts, Patty's garden, 2009. Photo by Solveig.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Picture of Salvation

The people of Noah’s time were wicked. So wicked the Bible says, the Lord was sorry that He made men on the earth. . . . (Gen 6:6a NKJV)

There was an exception. One man, the fellow named Noah, found grace . . . Noah walked with God. (Gen. 6:8a,9b) His story, found in the book of Genesis, provides an illustration of God’s salvation and protection.

Because Noah found grace, God provided a way of escape for him and his family. God directed Noah to build a houseboat of sorts, an ark that would be a place of refuge during a huge flood. And because Noah believed and obeyed God, he and his family were safe while the rest of the world experienced God’s judgment.

The family spent many days waiting inside the ark while it rained and then waiting inside even longer while the earth slowly dried. After the flood, when they finally emerged, Noah built an altar to the Lord. And God promised, I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake. . . . (Gen. 8:21b)

Originally published April 12, 1991.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

God's Ability to Do

Faith is essential. The book of Hebrews says, without faith it is impossible to please [God]. (Heb. 11:6a NKJV)

But the concept of faith is hard to understand. By itself, faith saves no one unless it’s grounded in God’s grace. In fact, faith—believing—in the wrong thing is useless, vain, and harmful. By ourselves, we can’t come to the right type of faith. Our sin nature keeps interfering. Our reality is that we can’t even come to God and talk with Him unless we have faith.

That’s why we need grace. And grace isn’t easy to understand, either.

A common definition—one ‘oft repeated—is, Grace is God’s ability to do in us what we can’t do by ourselves. And because God desires faith, He gives people who come to Him the ability to receive faith. He sent the Holy Spirit to create the miracle of faith in our hearts.

Paul said, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God . . . . (Eph. 2:8) God’s gift of faith and God’s many other gifts are His grace.

Originally published August 17, 1990.
Picture: Daffodils, Patty's garden. Photo by Solveig.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Focus Upon Him

We cannot enter God’s presence through our own efforts. If we think we can, we deceive ourselves. We’re like the early Babylonians.

These people found a plain in Shinar and settled there. (Gen. 11: 1b NIV) Because there were no stones on the plain that they could use for building homes, they became inventive and learned to make bricks. Their achievement filled their hearts with pride and they said, Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered. . . . (v. 4a)

If we focus on our achievements, we’ll have no time for God. We won’t recognize our problems or our sin, and we won’t focus upon Him.

When the people of Babylon became proud, they no longer recognized their human limitations and they no longer humbled themselves before God. They focused upon themselves and what they could do. Eventually, the thing they tried to avoid happened to them. They were scattered. And their tower did not reach heaven.

Originally published July 1, 1988.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pierced Ears

Since Cain and Abel, people have tried to find favor with God by offering sacrifices. But God desires obedience. He accepts sacrifices when they come through acts of obedience.

Sacrifices were in line with God’s established practices in the Old Testament, and they’re still around. In today’s society, sacrifices might include monetary gifts, abstaining from something, good deeds, or an act of self-surrender. One of the things they accomplish is helping us recognize our vulnerable, weak nature.

A psalmist used a vivid image to portray the ultimate sacrifice: Sacrifices and offerings you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced. . . . (Ps. 40:6a NIV)

The image is based on the Old Testament practice of temporarily selling yourself into slavery to cover debts or some other need. When the time of service was done, a man could volunteer to remain a slave permanently. If he did, the owner would pierce his ear as a mark of his permanent status. (Ex. 21:4-6)

The point is the total commitment of an unending sacrifice. God's great desire is not merely temporary gifts or sacrificial offerings; He wants us to give the sacrifice of ourselves.

Originally published September 17, 1982.
Picture: Lindenwood Park, Fargo, 2008. Photo by Solveig.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Opportunity

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they hid from the presence of God. “God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? (Gen. 3:9 NKJV)

Adam did not understand the implications of his sin, and he did not realize the futility of trying to cover it up. So he threw away an opportunity to confess. I heard your voice in the garden,” he said, “and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. (v. 10)

But God doesn’t stop with one opportunity. He provides another. And the next time God was more direct with Adam: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree . . . ? (v. 11a)

This time, realizing he had exposed himself and that he could not deny the fact, he tried to blame it on his wife Eve—and missed another opportunity to confess.

Confessing sin doesn’t mean we will not suffer the consequences of our actions. After all, nothing could change the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin and subsequent Fall. But confessing sin before God brings forgiveness--brings us back into God’s Presence. What a shame to miss those opportunities.

Originally published January 31, 1992.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Focus on the Heart

Jesus said, If any one chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (Jn. 7:17 NIV)

Some people quickly identify Jesus as the source of salvation. Peter boldly confessed, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt. 16:16) But there are others who have difficulty accepting Jesus as God’s ultimate revelation.

Jesus understands the human dilemma. While we might try to convince someone of truth, Jesus does not answer on an intellectual basis. Jesus’ method for changing an opinion is to bring about spiritual insight. He asks people to consider if they desire to do God’s will. The heart—not the mind--either leads a person toward or away from truth.

The focus must be on the heart. Our thought processes will rationalize whatever the heart wants to believe.

Originally published March 11, 1983.
Picture: Flowers, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2008. Photo by Solveig.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Knowing by Revelation

Paul said, For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Rom. 8:19 NKJV)

The word revealing in this verse refers to a specific type of knowing—knowing or understanding with a spiritual heart.

This isn’t the same as knowing through memorization—or even knowing through using the ability to reason. Even though the ability to reason is a wonderful and useful gift, it is limited. Reasoning does not move us to love. It does not encourage forgiving when we have been hurt. In fact, a life directed totally by reason is impossible because we cannot deny our feelings.

Although all types of knowing are gifts from God, when reason fails, we long for another type of knowledge. If we do not have it, we are susceptible to emotionalism.

So let us seek all of God’s knowledge. Let use our gift of reason—try to develop it fully to God’s glory. And let us seek spiritual revelation or knowing as well. Only spiritual revelation has power to bring life from the heart.

Originally published December 28, 1990.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Virtue Without Love?

Paul put the emphasis on love as the motivation for all other virtues. After providing a long list of desirable qualities—including virtues such as mercy, humility, helping each other, forgiving, etc.—he said, But above all these things put on love. . . . (Col 3:14a NKJV)

Paul understood that false virtues can be self-serving. Acts of mercy and kindness can be done because we’re proud. If that happens, are they still acts of mercy or kindness? Humility without love becomes ingratiating. Meekness without love becomes weakness. Longsuffering without love becomes bitterness. And so it goes with virtue stemming from distorted motives.

Love purifies motives. Because God is love, He is our source for genuine love—and our source for genuine virtue. If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above . . . And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. (3:1a,17a)

When we look to Jesus with our spiritual eyes, we see His love, His virtue. When we walk with Jesus, we walk in His love and His virtue.

Originally published March 20, 1987.
Picture: Flowers in Puerto Rico, 2002. Photo by Patty.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Type of War

When we decide to follow God, many aspects of our lives change because our desires and goals change. Nevertheless, deposits of the former life remain hidden deep in our hearts. Although we might try to forget them, those former desires and goals will hang around to trouble us.

God knows all about holdovers from our past. He can arrange circumstances to remind us of hidden motives—bring them to our conscious minds. When this happens, we experience a type of war. Paul described it this way: For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do . . . What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (Rom. 7:15,24 NKJV)

Every Christian is acquainted with the struggle. But just as God knows how to expose hidden motives, He knows how to help us deal with them. When we walk with Him, we know we’re forgiven and acceptable in His eyes. This gives us courage, and it causes us to respond to Him. Then He somehow works to bring about internal change.

Through the struggle, we can rest because we know His promise. [T]here is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [who] set me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 8:1,2b)

Originally published July 21, 1989.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Continue Steadfastly

In times of crisis, we instinctively reach beyond our own limited resources. Even those who don’t consider themselves religious turn to the one who can help. Human instincts exert themselves and we all cry out, OH! GOD!

How marvelous when we cry out to God. And how marvelous when God answers those prayers—when He reveals Himself through them. The sad thing is how, after answered prayer and a revelation of God’s goodness, we revert to our old attitudes. That’s when we need to approach life differently.

Daily prayer—not the quick emergency type but the conversational prayer of daily relationship—is the key. Daily prayer nurtures our relationship with God. Paul wrote, Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. . . . (Col. 4:2 RSV)

Steadfast indicates constancy or resolution. It means not vacillating or wavering. We have trouble being steadfast on our own, and that’s when we need to ask God for a different attitude. Because prayer is our means of communicating with a personal God—of tapping into His presence—and we don’t want to miss Him. Through prayer we learn the God who responds to OH! GOD! responds to daily prayers, too. He helps us continue steadfastly when we can’t do it on our own.

Originally published November 13, 1981.
Picture: Flowers in Puerto Rico, 2002. Photo by Patty.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Spiritual Goad

Ecclesiastes tells us, The words of the wise are like goads. . . . (Ecc. 12:11a NKJV)

Goads are sharp pointed sticks used to drive oxen. They look similar to javelins. So here Scripture compares words spoke by wise leaders to sharp or pointed instruments that push willful but slow-witted creatures in the right direction. When we extend the analogy, we realize we’re the slow-witted creatures! Oxen, to be specific!

Who can be excited about an analogy that compares people to oxen. However, if we recognize God as the source of truth, then wisdom makes sense. God’s Word does serve as a goad—and it does, on many occasions, reveal our sin. It jabs against our willful opinions and desires. It performs spiritual surgery by supernaturally identifying and removing offense.

Perhaps we’re not so different from oxen after all.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piecing even to the division of soul and spirit. . . . (Heb. 4:12a) This kind of penetration can cause pain. Wisdom might even cause a measure of suffering. But wisdom brings us to God.

Originally published June 12, 1987.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Perfectly Trained

Jesus said, A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. (Lk. 6:40 NKJV)

The reality of human experience is that although we might be trained, we aren’t perfectly trained in our walk as Christians. Training requires obedience, discipline, industry. We all fall short because we don’t have it in us to fulfill those requirements or to follow our Him perfectly. And so, none of us becomes perfectly trained.

Jesus was the one exception. Of all the people who have ever lived, only He was totally obedient, totally disciplined, totally industrious. Only He did not fall short, because He followed His Father perfectly. He understood training.

The writer of Hebrews says, though He [Jesus] was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Heb. 5:8,9)

Because he was perfectly trained, Jesus revealed the nature of His Teacher. He was not above His Teacher; rather, He was like His Teacher. And He revealed His Father in Heaven.

Originally published June 19, 1987.
Picture: Flowers, Las Vegas, 2008. Photo by Solveig

Monday, May 4, 2009

Our Hope of Glory

Forces are all around, and they influence us. We’re tempted to conform to social standards. We desire the products and lifestyles we see on television. In fact, we can be so overwhelmed by the forces around us that we hardly respond to the personality within. The personality within might even seem unimportant.

Paul understood this when he prayed the Colossians would walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him. . . . (Col. 1:10b NKJV) For although God has a standard—a rigid moral law—His standard never overwhelms a personality.

God requires obedience, discipline. But when we yield to His discipline, we discover rather than lose our identity. Discipline helps us tune out external forces—so we can tune in to the God of infinite variety. When we tune into God, we learn He wants to express His variety through us.

Truly, it is Christ in you, the hope of glory! (v. 27b) He values the unique person within.

Originally published October 24, 1986.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

According to His Lovingkindness

Some people are prone to wake up early during the spring season. When the sun rises and light comes through the windows, their inner clock tells them it’s time for another day.

The psalmist of Psalm 119 woke to a different inner clock. He woke and then rose in the Spirit and he looked forward to both a new day and a time of spiritual renewal. It was time to seek God. I rise before the dawning of the morning . . . revive me according to Your justice. (Psalm 119:147a,148a NKJV)

Rising with the concept of justice could be frightening. But if we know in our hearts that God is both just and loving, we are eager to rise early—before dawn. During those quiet morning hours we can seek Him without fear.

When the psalmist rose early, he also prayed, Revive me, O Lord, according to Your loving kindness. (v. 159b) Lovingkindness and Justice—together.

God’s judgments don’t match people’s concept of justice. We can turn to God—put ourselves in God’s hand—submit to His justice and trust in His lovingkindness.

Originally published April 23, 1993.
Picture: Flowers in Hawaii, 2004. Photo by Patty.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Shower, O Heavens

May! In our part of the world, everything comes to life before our eyes at this time of the year! It’s good to remember that Springtime in God’s physical creation is a picture of the Springtime He brings to people’s hearts.

Isaiah gave us a beautiful picture: Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may sprout forth, and let it cause righteousness to spring up also . . . . (Is. 45:8a RSV)

Yes, Jesus created our earth and fashioned it for seasons and the renewal of seasons. He created spring in the physical realm so new life comes out of the seemingly dead world of winter.

Jesus also created spring in the spiritual realm. He brings new life out of spiritual slumber and death. Seeds of spiritual awareness—seeds buried deep within the heart—are waiting to come forth in the knowledge of His grace. He sends His righteousness to open hearts where they produce more righteousness. He sends a shower of His love.

Originally published May 7, 1982.