The other day as I was grocery shopping, a lady stepped in front of me. I smiled to smooth the situation, then, all of a sudden, I realized I had my face mask on and she couldn’t see my smile. I exclaimed, “Oh, you can’t see I’m smiling!” She replied, “I can see you’re smiling by the crinkle in your eye!” And we both crinkled our eyes.
The song “Hallelujah to the Lamb,” by Don Moen, helps express what is in my heart today. This song speaks of standing in the midst of a multitude from every tribe and tongue, people and land—all of us, as God’s people, “redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb,” giving thanks to the Lord for what He has done in our lives.
In this song, a commitment is made that, with all our strength, we will continue to give thanks and praise to the Lord all our days. Then the song becomes a prayer, asking the Lord to release His power to work in us and through us, making us more Christ-like so that others will see His glory and worship Him too.
Some years ago, I was in a place where men and women of all ages—from different places in the United States and different countries around the world—from the depths of their hearts, and with all their strength, were singing this song over and over. It was powerful as the presence of the Lord bore witness to the oneness being expressed in the room. How the Lord loves us and delights in our coming together in Him! This is the Lord’s desire for mankind.
Yet we live in a fallen world where not everyone is living by Christ’s standards. We see hate and injustice, and its often heart-breaking. How are we to respond?
Our Example of Forgiveness
One of the most powerful wars we will ever win is when we act contrary to a prevailing spirit. My role model for this has always been Corrie ten Boom. She did not give in to the hate all around her in the concentration camps but continued to believe in God’s Word and pray for others, even praying for those who were persecuting her. As I saw what she endured, yet the impact she had in the midst of suffering, I said to myself, “If she could forgive them, there is no one I can’t forgive.” The day came when Corrie was released from the cruel oppression of the prison guards. She then went around the world speaking about God’s love.
We see this same example in Jesus on the Cross. He committed His own spirit to His heavenly Father as He prayed for the very ones who nailed Him to the Cross. What He endured never changed who He was or marred His spirit. In spotless perfection, He paid the price for our sin, that we might have new life in Him; that together, every nation, tongue, tribe, and people might become one in Christ Jesus.
During our daily Bible reading, my husband Allen has been reading from the Epistles of John, first in one translation, then in another. I’ve highlighted a few of the Scriptures here:
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” (1 John 2:9)
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:10)
“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” (1 John 2:10)
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” (1 John 4:7)
Smiling “Crinkled” Eyes
As I write this, I again think of my encounter in the grocery store. Perhaps we had different backgrounds, or even different colors of skin. We both wore face masks, yet we both had “smiling eyes.” When I smiled and she smiled back, rather than conflict, peace and goodwill were generated, which brightened my day, and I believe it did hers too.
May we “crinkle our eyes” every time opportunity comes! Just as Corrie ten Boom’s life shone through the darkness, may something different be seen in us during those times when someone “cuts in front of us.” May we always be part of the solution, a witness that will draw others to Christ, that others may find peace and forgiveness in Him, as Christ is seen and glorified in and through our lives.
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Revelation 5:9)
The world did not give us this new song! Nor can the world take it away! It is who we are in Christ Jesus. His love binds us together. May His love be seen through us in the earth today. We are being made ready to be joined together for all eternity.
We have a new song! Let this be our testimony!
“And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:3)
Together, let us worship the Lord with our lives and with all our hearts. He is worthy to be praised! May many come to know the Lord—His peace, His presence, and His love—because of what they see in us, the redeemed of the Lord. May our lives speak and stand for truth!
We are one in Christ Jesus because of what He did for us on the Cross.
“O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.” (Psalm 96:1)
“Go ahead—sing your new song to the Lord! Let everyone in every language sing Him a new song.” (Psalm 96:1 TPT)
My prayer is that you increasingly prosper, both spiritually and in your life circumstances, beyond all that you have experienced in the past, and also, may you be blessed in life, in health, and in all that is before you.
Nancy Taylor Tate