Oh, what Grace! Oh, what Joy!

On Friday, I watched the Passion of the Christ for the first time ever. Expectedly, my friend and I ended up with swollen & red eyes, stuffed noses, as we sobbed over the death, pain, agony & suffering of Jesus Christ. What grace has bestowed upon us, that it should have been us – all of us who should have endured that suffering. And yet in the midst of His suffering, he continued to love, he continued to heal, even asking forgiveness for those who did not know Him. What a Lord & what a saviour! I was overwhelmed by grace on Friday and the grave depravity of my own heart and flesh. It mourns me that I feel like I am constantly battling to choose Christ over my own fleshly desires – because even though I want Christ to win, sometimes flesh wins and Christ takes second place. Oh what Grace!

BUT TODAY – Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday! Oh what Joy! To know that Sin has been defeated and that death has no victory and no sting! There was so much joy in worship today, so much thankfulness in the sanctuary, my cheeks hurt a little from smiling so much. There was an older lady sitting on one side of me today. She did not respond when I greeted her, only to find out later that she was listening to the Spanish translation of the service. There was so much joy in her worship, so much love for her Lord, and as strangers, we worshipped together. I couldn’t stop smiling during worship today, and I looked as I saw tears of joy stream down her face, which simply brought more joy to my worship. Seated, I reached and patted her leg (surprised to feel valour pants), she took my hand and held it. Our hands in a tight embrace – such a simple gesture and yet such a meaningful one.  We were strangers, who didn’t even speak the same language, yet only Christ – His love for us and our love for Him could have united us in that way. What a joy to have worshipped alongside her today!

Today, I heard the testimony of a previously conservative muslim man who wanted to use Allah to argue against Christianity, only to find himself believing in the gospel, and finding Love and salvation in Jesus Christ instead through the use of the Move In Ministry. Only the Lord can change hearts!

Oh what Grace, oh what JOY! So overwhelmed by the character of Christ today!

Death is swallowed up in victory
Oh, death! where is your victory?
Oh, death! where is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ! Therefore my brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord you labour is not in vain.
– 1 Corinthians 15:55-58

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