“As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.’” Matt. 24:3-12
Jesus is sweeter than life. There is nothing and no one that is His equal. He is freedom, peace, truth, and the longing of our souls, and I’m learning that nothing really seems to matter compared to knowing Him. As Paul said, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:7-8a).
When we place our faith in Jesus, all our sin is washed away, our debt having been nailed to His cross and paid in full. The Lord in His grace and love promises that we are a new creation, reconciled at last to Him. He takes away our heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh, one that is free to beat in sync with His, one that is transformed “to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). A miracle has taken place.