“THE HEART OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH: GOD SEES A PRINCESS IN EVERY SCRUBGIRL, A FREEMAN IN EVERY SLAVE, A SON IN EVERY STRANGER.”
~ Grady Nutt, 1934-1982
The letter “P” inspired these words for my post: PEACE, PICTURE, PRAISE, PRAYER, PRINCESS, PRISONER, PROMISES. One of my favorite quotations is the one above by Grady Nutt, which I’ve also included in the text of the Tagxedo heart below. Growing up, I was pretty much the “scrubgirl” dreaming of one day becoming the princess in fairytales. Imagine my delight when I stumbled on Mr Nutt’s inspired notion…that indeed, God looks on me and sees His princess.
Among my treasured Bible verses* is one from Zechariah, in which he speaks of the “prisoners of hope”. We who’ve reached sufficient maturity are aware that there are various kinds of prison, not just those which house people convicted of crimes. Many people are imprisoned by illness which wracks the body with paralysis and/or pain. Some of us are prisoners of our own minds…thoughts, memories, beliefs which torment us, leaving us desperate to be set free.
The Bible—God’s Word, filled with His promises—tells us there is true freedom in Christ Jesus, that He is the fortress and refuge we can run into. If we choose His path, we then become “prisoners of hope” …and “prison” has new meaning, we are bound in the hope of Christ. Zechariah announced a promise of God: as prisoners of hope return to the fortress of God, HE will restore double what we’ve lost.
Through prayer and praise to God, we find our peace…our fortress and freedom. And as the prophet Isaiah says, if we’ll trust in God and keep our mind steadfastly focused on Him, God will keep our minds in His perfect peace, the peace which surpasses human understanding of it.
Finally, “P” is for “picture”. As those in the Christian Church observe Passion Week/Holy Week, we see the picture of God’s love for mankind. It is a raw and powerful portrait, the agony of Jesus Christ’s willing sacrifice on the Cross.
I can recall, as many do, the “excruciating” feelings of first love…love which consumes our every moment and thought, love we’re certain no one has experienced before. Recently I learned the word “excruciating” has its roots in “crucifixion”…believed by experts to be the harshest form of death man ever designed. Personally, I can’t imagine a passion so great that I would volunteer for such a death…particularly on behalf of people who don’t love me back. But that’s what Jesus did.
Adam and Eve’s disobedience broke the covenant relationship they had with God, and ever afterward humans were tainted by that sin. God so loved everyone He created† that His mercy ran riot, if I may say. Jesus would be “the Lamb of God”, the perfect blood sacrifice to replace the Jewish tradition of an annual animal sacrifice.
On Good Friday, Christ bled and suffered a torturous physical death…and mental, emotional torment in His brief sense of separation from God the Father. He knew what He was in for, yet He died for the cause of rescuing, restoring and reconciling all of us to God…and for the unsurpassable, infinite glory of resurrection to Life Eternal.
As Christians who’ve accepted the Risen King and received His salvation, we celebrate His resurrection on Sunday. We are grateful, joy-filled…and confident that we now have the High Priest seated at God’s right hand—Jesus, Who always intercedes for us with the greatest love’s grace and mercy, when we’ve sinned and seek forgiveness. We have the blessed certainty that one day we’ll join Him in Heaven…the blood, sweat and tears of earthly life over, just as His last words on the cross proclaimed, “IT IS FINISHED” (John 19:30).
†“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17, Berean Study Bible
*“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.” 2nd Corinth 1:20, NLT
*‘May the LORD bless you and keep you; may the LORD cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the LORD lift up His countenance toward you and give you peace.’ Numbers 6:24-26, Berean Study Bible
*“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8
More scripture verses below!
*“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” Zechariah 9:12
*“LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” Isaiah 26:12, KJB
*“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3, KJB
*“I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:19, KJB
©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.
Bible Verses: biblehub.com