Worshipful Wednesday: Our Guiding God

God Guides Us

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Following God’s guidance will never lead us astray.

Scripture of the Day:

Psalm 25:12-14

“The LORD shows his faithful followers the way they should live. 13 They experience his favor; their descendants inherit the land. 14 The LORD’s loyal followers receive his guidance, and he reveals his covenantal demands to them.”

I thank God for my GPS, even though it often can lead me astray.  It is hard to remember a time without a GPS.  Our fast-paced world is navigable by this small device which guides us to our destination without a lot of planning.

My husband thinks I can be too dependent upon it, though.  He is probably right.  Perhaps it feels easier on the intellect to not have to exert a lot of effort to determine which way is right.

So it is with our lives.  Often arriving at forks in the road of life, it can be difficult to discern the LORD’s will and to do what is right.

We can gauge man’s opinion, circumstances, our own desires or follow someone else’s direction, but ultimately we are daily faced with the fact that we have to choose a path.

More like we GET to choose.  We are given free will and are responsible for the choices we make.  But the awesome thing about knowing God is that He has not left us without directions.  Internally we hear His voice, like a GPS, guiding us.  Reading His Word further shows us which way is pleasing to Him.

World religions point us to a list of rules given by an absentee god or a statue of a “god”. These requirements remove relationship from the equation and make us slaves to a law we could never fully keep.  But God, rich in mercy and understanding, reveals His will and purpose to us.  Out flesh might not want to follow His precepts, but we find life and joy in resisting our flesh and seeing the wisdom in God’s plans.

Sometimes the road is hard and the boundaries uncomfortable, though comfort as our aim causes us to become disoriented and get lost.  We may have to tarry long and wait on Him, putting patience to the test, but the peace that comes from abiding in His will far surpasses going my own way.

Lord, thank You for showing us how to live and for Your precious favor and promises given to those who seek to obey You.  Thank You that You have not abandoned us and will never forsaken us.

Worshipful Wednesday: Our Security

Security

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Security is not found in what we think we own or deserve, but in Christ alone.

Sctiptures:

Psalm 16:1-2 (NIV)

1 “A miktam of David. Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 

Psalm 16:5 (Net bible)

5 “LORD, you give me stability and prosperity; you make my future secure. 7 I will praise the LORD who guides me; yes, during the night I reflect and learn. 8 I constantly trust in the LORD; because he is at my right hand, I will not be upended. 9 So my heart rejoices and I am happy; My life is safe. 10 You will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful follower to see the Pit. 11 You lead me in the path of life; I experience absolute joy in your presence; you always give me sheer delight.”

Security.  Something everyone wants deep in their soul, yet something not found on this earth.  We live in an insecure world that alters at a frantic pace.  We cannot count on anything or anyone around us fully, for everything is temporal and subject to change.  But in all the confusion of constant metamorphoses around us and a high influx of ever-increasing knowledge, we can be still, know our God and be confident in Him.

It is not until we are in a place of having nearly lost everything that we recognize all that He had given to us.  In that place of sorrow over losing what we thought was ours, we gain a new perspective.  The temporary gifts were not meant to be owned, but to be cherished and shared, praising and thanking God for the time we had them.

Any position, status, relation – all are not something we have a right to.  Humbly, we are the recipients of His grace and gifts for His glory.  We get off track when we are in pursuit of comfort and security or getting back what was ours before, instead of pursuing God.

We are each born with different circumstances we think we own or wish we didn’t.  Yet all, whether born privileged or underprivileged, can have this seemingly evasive security – in Christ.

God has good plans for us – but our hope is not in those good plans, but in Him – our living hope and security.

Oh Lord, You are my fortress, my refuge and place of joy!  I do not want to run to anything or anyone before You!  Thank you for the security You have provided in Your Word and in knowing You.  When the world screams insecurity, You hold us and speak Your promises.  I love you, Lord!

Truthful Tuesday: Prevention or Provision of Blessing

Blessings prevented

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

The prevention of blessing in our lives is either caused by God’s sovereign grace or our disobedience.

Scriptures:

Genesis 16:2 ESV

“And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.”

Genesis 17:1-2

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”

Walking in the Spirit means sometimes God prevents or leads in a way that does not make sense.  We want the typical blessings of life and do not understand that God’s timing is best.  So it was with Sarah.  God made a promise and she was going to make sure it happened.  Whenever we have to strive to produce God’s promise, we are probably missing the leading of the LORD.

I do not blame Sarah.  I’ve done the same thing myself.  She did not want something wrong, she just went about it the wrong way.  Compromise is like that.  It happens when we follow our own inclinations instead of waiting on the LORD and trusting His timing.

What did God want Abraham and Sarah to do?  To walk before Him blamelessly.  What is intriguing about this requirement is the word “that” which follows God’s command. Waiting on God is all about relationship.  He makes a covenant with us and WE can prevent God’s blessings in our lives when we simply do not walk with Him in obedience.

We can be like a toddler, wanting what we want and all the while God is saying, “come and fellowship with me.  I want to bless you.”  Those who would seek Him would receive the blessings and the greatest of blessings which is Himself.  Those who would seek the blessings miss out entirely on the purpose of the covenant.

If we break His covenant He is still faithful, but we might not see the promise fulfilled or see it massively delayed.

Remember the Israelites in the desert?  That trip should have taken eleven days, but instead it took forty years.  BUMMER.

Even if the journey becomes difficult, walking in the Spirit and trusting in God’s plan and timing is far better than veering off course.  God might prevent us from something, but He is always leading us to another.

Obtaining blessing apart from God’s perfect will feels empty, but the peace of Christ that comes from abiding in God and walking in His ways is unsurpassed to any blessing we were seeking in the first place.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness, trustworthiness and promises.  Help us to wait upon You, knowing Your plans and ways are perfect.

Truthful Tuesday: Whose Lead Do You Follow?

Whose lead do you follow

Romans 8:5

“For  those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.”

We’d all like to think that we are led by the Spirit and are making decisions that are wise, but often we do not see the spiritual realm all around us, affecting our thoughts and actions.  The impact of flesh versus spirit affects our lives and those around us.

The choices we make moment by moment are filtered by our mindset which is impacted by many factors in our environment.  Evident in our choices about what we eat (ugh . . . chocoholic confessions here for me), to the clothing we wear, the words we say and the attitudes we have toward other people, we have impressions or feelings that bombard us constantly.  If we are not careful and discerning, we can allow our perception or someone else’s opinion to affect our own behavior.

One main way this flesh is played out is how we treat one another.  Rejection of others who aren’t like us is common in the world, but unfortunately, it also happens at church. People shun others or just plain old don’t like other people who are made in the image of God.  Where does this come from?  If it is not from God, then the answer is obvious, but all too often we do not stop to consider why we don’t like someone.  We might all have different personalities, but we ought to love one another so the world can see that body of Christ is indeed different.

The truth is we are more apt to be carnal than spiritual beings and when we are spiritual, we often get in the flesh and think it is us who are righteous, when Christ alone is our righteousness.

While this is a humbling truth, maybe it can provoke us to be aware of our thoughts and behaviors.  Do they honor God?  Are they of the Spirit or of the flesh?  If we could grab a hold of this reality, Christians would turn this world upside down with godly lives and choices that no longer appear hypocritical, unconditional acceptance and love instead of judgment and forming cliques.

Pleasing self or others and seeking acceptance from God’s creation does not compare with living for the audience of One.  Like Paul, we will have to battle the flesh, but staying in the battle is far better than not recognizing the battle of the flesh versus spirit in the first place.

Lord, may You increase and may we decrease.  Help us to recognize the things that are from You and the things that are not and to walk in the Spirit.

 

Funny Friday: Faith Sometimes Looks Silly

Radical faith

Isaiah 20:2

“At that time the LORD announced through Isaiah son of Amoz: “Go, remove the sackcloth from your waist and take your sandals off your feet.” He did as instructed and walked around in undergarments and barefoot. 3 Later the LORD explained, “In the same way that my servant Isaiah has walked around in undergarments and barefoot for the past three years, as an object lesson and omen pertaining to Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, both young and old. They will be in undergarments and barefoot, with the buttocks exposed; the Egyptians will be publicly humiliated.”

I don’t know about you, but walking around barefoot in underwear has not typically been what comes to mind when I think about what it means to be a prophet of the LORD.

But God goes through great lengths

to reach His people

and He often calls His followers to do the same.

But why?

Sometimes God calls us to do strange things or allows us to go through difficult times so we will have a passion and an understanding to live fully for Him and to communicate His heart and message to His people.

Noah had to build a boat amidst mockers in a dry land. Joshua had to march around a city and blow a trumpet.  Abraham was told to sacrifice his one heir, his precious son.  Moses was told to go back and demand from the king of the greatest land that their slaves be let go. Jeremiah bought a linen belt God told him to buy, hid it in a crevice then dug it up when it was ruined.   A prophet named Agabus came down from Judea and took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands to prophesy about what Paul would suffer. 

Sometimes we need object lessons to be warned or to wake us up to walk uprightly before God.  While it might seem futile for Jeremiah to bury a belt, the ruined article of clothing demonstrated how the people of God would be ruined if they did not repent and seek God.

While building a boat with no water or rain in sight was possibly embarrassing, it meant the salvation of Noah’s family and ultimately the continuation of the existence of mankind and all of the creatures God created.

Sometimes man can also come up with crazy radical ideologies that have nothing to do with God, but they claim it does, anyway.  The fruit of our behavior identifies where the calling originated from.  Does it bring life or death?

The words of the famous missionary, Jim Elliot, which were echoed by Twila Paris many years later, have been precious to me since I first came to know the LORD in 1988.  “He is no fool if he should choose to give the thing he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose. To see a treasure in one soul that far outshines the brightest gold; he is no fool.”

If God calls us to do something that is not popular or seems foolish to man, perhaps that makes it all the more reason to do it.  To live for Jesus, really live – is to seek to do His will in everything we do.  Sometimes it just won’t make sense.  But that’s ok.  He who chose to come and be born as a baby; King, Creator over all, humbling Himself to be at our level, conquered every heart with the most radical action of all.

Lord, help us to trust You when things don’t make sense.  Every trial we go through has a purpose – we can comfort others when we come out on the other side and bring You glory. May we be sensitive to Your calling and never doubt Your goodness.  Love You, Lord!

Thoughtful Thursday: The God in the Pit

The Pit

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Don’t imagine the future without God.

Scripture:

Job 3:25-26

“For the very thing I dreaded has happened to me; and what I feared has come upon me. 26 I have no ease, I have no quietness; I cannot rest; turmoil has come upon me.”

When I was a child, I feared death; I guess most people do.  As I grew up, more things were added to my list of things that I “hoped I never had to go through”.  I even made a deal with God on a few of them.  Just a tip – don’t ever do that.

To fear or be anxious is human, but the person of faith need not remain there.

The shock of going from such tremendous blessing like Job had to the complete opposite is difficult to bear.  Our expectations are dashed because we somehow tied God’s goodness to our blessing.  The unknown provokes a humility in us all when we are not sure how we could handle whatever might come our way.  Couple that with the thought that pain or suffering might be attached to a potential unknown and fear can quickly be apparent in us all.

This is where the gift of faith comes in.  Imagining my future apart from God’s grace to escort me through all of life’s valleys and mountains is like imagining myself apart from my very life and hope.

If I had known all that I would walk through almost eight years ago now, I would not have believed it and possibly would have tried to avoid it, yet God had me walk through it, anyway.

The verse above is palpable to me – it almost hurts to read it.  I am brought back to the moment when I lost twenty pounds from dread and anxiety and fear gripped me like cement, heavy upon my heart.  My vision was affected, there was no feeling in my feet or hands, people shunned us, we lived with a stigma where dread and sorrow were pervasive. The thing I had asked the LORD to not ever allow me or my children to experience was upon me and my household.  Where was God?  Right there beside me.

Passionately crying out to God from a fragile, broken heart was part of what set me free from all that had bound me before.

My happiness was no longer tied to a shallow faith based on perfect surroundings.  It was hidden in Him.

When we feel forgotten because this life is not Heaven and the corruption of sin and its consequences vanquishes us, in that lonely place is One Who chose that suffering we sought to avoid.

Turmoil is a dark pit that seems insurmountable, but within that pit is a closeness to God that we would likely not find in all the blessings the world offers.  For it is in that crucible that we hold on tightly to the promises of God and realize the perfect comfortable life we wanted before was never a worthy goal in the first place.

Lord, thank You for revealing our need of You.  Help us to cling to You in blessings and hardships and to trust you with what lies ahead.  You are faithful.  Always.

Mundane Monday: Unruly Rulers

Steward What You Do Have - unruly ruler

Inspirational Thought of the day:

God has given us everything from provisions to positions, yet still owns and rules it all.  

Scriptures:

Genesis 1:26-27

“Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.’ 27 God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.”

Genesis 2:18

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.'”

No one likes to be told they have to follow someone else’s rules. Ugh. Our flesh in this culture cries out, “no one can be the boss of me”. That’s our nature. God made us to rule, after all. But in what manner?

Man and woman were both made to rule over God’s creation according to His boundaries, but the tendency of mankind is to add or subtract rules to define our own boundaries to suit our desires.

We were to be stewards of all He had given, and within that work was a blessing – our enjoyment. But we can easily forget that it all belongs to Him. The One Who gives us the right to rule is still the owner of it all.

Something innate within us wants to own things, but in God’s economy, He shares it all with us freely.  While He was demonstrating love and generosity to Adam and Eve, they were pursuing their own glory and wants instead of His.  Their rulership became all about them and was no longer blessed.

He knew all that they needed, provided food and even provided for their need for fellowship – woman was made as a companion for man.  With such blessings, why would they ever want for more?

Both of them were present when they chose to violate God’s law.  Both confused the purpose of the role of dominion and what they ruled over was therefore cursed.  Even their fellowship would never be the same.  A sad ending, if that were the end of the story.

In Christ, we can see the impact of the curse in our own lives and resist evil, but it is a battle we will have to fight our entire lives.  Our flesh gets wearied by this continual internal and external conflict, but it is a battle worth fighting.  Even though the curse is evident all around us, God uses even curses for good in our lives.

When things are not perfect, the curses in our lives can be a catalyst for seeking God and seeing our need of Him.  The initial punishment meted out by a Holy, righteous, perfect Judge ends up as a blessing to those who die to self and seek God’s glory and not their own.  What an amazing God.

It is ironic that the pursuit of wisdom would lead to their demise.  A pursuit of wisdom for our own glory bears cursed fruit, but loving wisdom in order to glorify God bears eternal fruit.  If we can see our rule over what God has given us as a position of servitude instead of a position of power, we begin to see the wisdom in God’s plan and reverse the curse.

Lord, thank You for Your kind provision.  You have blessed us beyond measure and we still always want for more.  Help us to be faithful stewards and to care for everything You have placed in our hands.  May we be content and grateful, never forgetting that everything we have is Yours and for Your glory. 

A Season of Thankfulness: Day 12 – Our Wise Counselor

Photo Credits: www/pixabay.com

Photo Credits:
www/pixabay.com

Ecclesiastes 7:10-12

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these days?” for it is not wise to ask that.  11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing; it benefits those who see the light of day. 12 For wisdom provides protection, just as money provides protection. But the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner.

James 1:5

“But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.”

When I am tempted to give in to emotion or make a rash decision, it is to God that I run.  What a precious gift that we can come to Him and seek His wisdom in all things.

Recently I was reminded of this privilege when I was trying to understand the best course of action in a situation.  “Why are you trying to figure it out on your own?” ran through my head.  I guess that is my natural disposition – to try and come up with my own solution, but the foundation of that decision should be to seek wisdom from God above all else.

Wisdom, likened to an inheritance, can only be given by God.  Man can hand out down insight and knowledge, but any wisdom he has was given to him and comes from above.

Wisdom from God looks markedly different from the wisdom of this world.  It is not self-glorifying, it does not boast. It serves and glorifies God as the giver of it all.  The wisdom God gives is pure and peaceful, opposite what our flesh would offer as a solution.

Contained within all 66 books of the Bible are page after page of wisdom and folly fleshed out.  Few have truly found wisdom and to those who have found it, it is a never-ceasing pursuit.  Wisdom is not a once and done possession.  It is part of the beauty of being in relationship with the most amazing genius in all the world, our God.  He gives it freely, to those who ask . . . again and again.

Solomon pleased God by asking for wisdom above all else, yet He did not utilize that wisdom in one area of his life, in particular.  Did he know better?  I think so.  His heart was turned away by his unwise decisions regarding women, and I daresay that the brief satisfaction from choosing folly instead of the wisdom he had at his disposal could not compare to the joy he could have had from walking in wisdom.

This priceless gift of wisdom is continually given to those who would humble themselves and see their need of godly wisdom.  Available to all.  That’s the all-wise God we serve – generous and perfect in all He does; available to give us counsel when we need it.

Lord, thank You for never leaving or forsaking us.  You provide wisdom when we need it and are faithful to give us grace to seek You for it in the first place.  We praise Your Name, Sovereign King!

 

Worshipful Wednesday: The Context of God’s Purposes

Abundantblessings

Abundantblessings

Jeremiah 29:10 – 14

10 “For the LORD says, ‘Only when the seventy years of Babylonian rule are over will I again take up consideration for you. Then I will fulfill my gracious promise to you and restore you to your homeland. 11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the LORD. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. 12 When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. 13 When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, 14 I will make myself available to you,’ says the LORD. ‘Then I will reverse your plight and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,’ says the LORD. ‘I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’

Jeremiah 30:11, 15-17, 24

11 “For I, the LORD, affirm that I will be with you and will rescue you. I will completely destroy all the nations where I scattered you. But I will not completely destroy you. I will indeed discipline you, but only in due measure. I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished. 15 Why do you complain about your injuries, that your pain is incurable? I have done all this to you because your wickedness is so great and your sin is so much 16 But all who destroyed you will be destroyed. All your enemies will go into exile. Those who plundered you will be plundered. I will cause those who pillaged you to be pillaged. 17 Yes, I will restore you to health. I will heal your wounds. I, the LORD, affirm it! For you have been called an outcast, Zion, whom no one cares for. 24 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has fully carried out his intended purposes. In days to come you will come to understand this.”

 

Possibly one of the most well-known promises of God is found in Jeremiah 29:11.  This promise is perhaps popular because we want to believe that our good is God’s goal.  But there is a higher purpose than our comfort and blessing.  God’s glory and a right relationship with Him far exceeds the value of our lives being perfect on this earth.

Rarely have I heard this precious promise considered in the context in which it was made.  It was a promise of restoration and healing in the midst of impending doom being spoken to Jeremiah for God’s people.  God was preparing to discipline His children in captivity to Babylon for seventy years, but gave them hope that He was going to use that captivity to ultimately set them free.   God’s purposes are always good, but the processes we go through in those purposes are not often valued in the eyes of man.

If relief from suffering is our goal, we miss the jewel in the midst of suffering and what it can produce.  From a place of suffering some of the most sincere worship is found.  It is in the dark places that we finally cease to rely on self and cry out to our heavenly Father.  Our eyes are opened to our need for God’s cleansing in our lives and suddenly our focus becomes clearer.  We see Him as our life; nothing in this life could ever satisfy us more than Himself.

We are easily deceived during times of blessing and of trial.  Blessing lulls us into a state of being lukewarm and God loves us enough to wake us up and show us what really matters.  The enemy uses hardship as an opportunity to create doubt in our hearts about God’s character.  

Within our Christian culture there can be lies of prosperity being all that God has planned for His people.  But we do not want to be guilty of what the false prophets were in Jeremiah’s day.  They counseled rebellion against the LORD by insisting that the hardship Jeremiah prophesied was not from God.  If we ascribe to the philosophy of only blessings for God’s people, we become spoiled children only wanting what we perceive as good gifts from our God. 

Accepting hardship as discipline from our loving God and praising Him in the midst is where our greatest gift really lies.  His purposes truly are only good, all the time.  How truly marvelous that our God would go to such lengths to convey His plan and hope to us.  In His mercy, God exposes our hearts and reveals that we have worshiped at the god of comfort and of self.  We are set free when we trust God in all seasons and worship Him in the fire as well as in the times off peace.

Even though it can be difficult to understand why God allows suffering in, God promises we will understand His purposes when we seek Him with all our heart.  His purposes are often hidden deep within our circumstances, a gift to be discovered by those who are willing to lay down their own agenda and seek His will.  It is in our fervent worship that we begin to see His purposes far surpass our understanding.  It is in laying down our desire for a problem-free life and yielding to His plan rather than fighting it or merely surviving that we begin to see through the eyes of eternity.

What a good God to inject hope when His people were under siege.  God knows we are fragile and tend to see only what is right in front of us.  His promises are amazing, but not meant to be our joy – He is our ultimate joy and satisfaction in this life.

Lord, help us to find our real purpose and joy in this life – You.  Help us to worship You through every purpose and plan You have for this life.

Mundane Monday: Beautiful Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colossians 2:6-10

“Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness 8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, 10  and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”

Colossians 3:3-6

3 “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 5  So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. “

When we hear the words philosophy and tradition, what is our first reaction?  *Yawn*.  Well, to be honest, I confess I love to discuss deep thoughts and perspectives and to analyze why we do what we do.  Isn’t it a blessing to know, though, that being in Christ is not contingent upon recitations of sayings or following a set of rules?  No, our relationship with Christ is vibrant and full of life.

This invitation to the greatest adventure known at first blush does not sound very appealing.  Come, die.   Die to self, die to your former ways.  Until you discover the beauty in this death.  The freedom to walk away from sin and to invite God Himself to indwell us and to enable us to live for His glory.  Unparalleled joy, beyond comparison.

When we first die to our flesh, our flesh cries out, complaining about having to do so.  The argument about the Christian life being boring begins to try to tempt our souls that it is unbearable to have to discipline our flesh.  But wisdom reveals that our flesh is not our friend.

All the time wasted listening to our flesh crying out about what it wants, when the inner man longs for what is really our joy – time with Christ.  What joy was found in disobedience?  What grief and sorrow have been born from choosing to walk after the things of this world?  Seems hardly worth it now.

But time with Jesus is sweeter than any other vocation on this earth and satisfies our souls long after the temporary satisfaction of pleasing the flesh does.  This God of the universe chose to live in us!  That, my friend, is far more exhilarating than anything else this world has to offer.

Lord, help us to be filled with your joy when the world makes us feel like fools.  Whatever sacrifice we have offered pales in comparison to Your sacrifice and the greatness and privilege of walking with You.