CHALLENGES TO PEACE
Love. Harmony. Perfection. Once, all creation sang the same glorious song.
Disharmony erupted when a once-perfect being abused his God-given freedom. Satan “the accuser” chose self-centeredness and slander over truth and love. Satan claimed that God is not fair, that He’s harsh and controlling, depriving others of what they deserve.
Satan’s deception convinced a third of heaven’s angels, whom God expelled from heaven. Satan claimed rulership of our planet when he swindled its first couple, Adam and Eve, making them doubt God’s trustworthiness and love. That first sin distorted God’s image in us, twisting the world in on itself and threatening its self-destruction. The universe watched to see God’s response to Satan’s accusations.
The “great controversy” between good and evil over God’s character continues to rage, but Jesus, God’s own Son, settled its central question two thousand years ago when He died for humanity.
How strong is God’s love? Jesus’ self-sacrificing death showed that God is willing to pay the incalculable cost of our sins. His sacrifice unmasked the true horror of sin and made clear that God can be trusted. Why did Jesus’ death make such a difference? Because Jesus lived the perfect life that we’ve each failed to achieve and he died the death we each deserve.
The result: We can live for Him, now and forever. Jesus’ sacrifice reconciles us to a perfect God while transforming our hearts. The Holy Spirit shows us our need for God and assures us that we are saved and forgiven. The Spirit writes a new script in our hearts, empowering us to live in freedom, service and joy. God treats us as if we had never sinned, never doubted, never gone our own way.
The same Jesus who subdued demons during His life declared victory over all evil powers at His death. Jesus’ resurrection guarantees that death itself will die. Our new life in Jesus frees us from the fear of death and the shame of our past.
As we connect with Jesus, the Holy Spirit calms our hearts and transforms our outlook. Our spiritual life grows as we talk with God, ponder His Word, share our faith and worship through music and fellowship.