There I was sitting in a gathering for RUF (Reformed University Fellowship, an on campus ministry here at Vandy), listening to the messages that always are rich with the transformative power of the Bible. Richie began talking about allowing the beauty of the cross to drip down into the darkest parts of our hearts.

My first thought was, wow, how beautiful it would be to have the time to enjoy that truth and allow it to do its work in my heart, but yet another thought quickly overtook it: I do not have time to cry and come to the feet of Jesus because I have so much work I have to finish and concentrate on.

It is a marvel that God has given me a hope and the greatest gift of all, and yet I turn away from receiving it in full every day, distracted by the business of life. May I take the time to stop, slow down, and simply listen and ask Jesus to quiet my heart to hear His voice and to hear Him say what is true of me.

Richie said two things that really resonated with me tonight: because He is risen, we have a hope no matter what comes in this life. No matter how deeply I fail, how much I mess up in every aspect of my life, there is still hope in Jesus Christ and for a perfect eternity with the Lord, all because Jesus rose from the dead.

Number two: God takes delight in me. Like the way a groom looks at his bride as she walks down the wedding aisle is the way that God looks at me. He looks at me with joy and is well-pleased with me, and it gives him great pleasure to see me. He thinks that I am absolutely beautiful and loves me with all of His heart. When He sees me, He sees the righteousness and perfection of Christ. He really loves me and my hope is in His resurrection, His sweet sacrifice of love on the cross. All for me, all for you, all because of love.

May we never lose the wonder of this sacrifice of grace and great love.

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