The resurrection is the greatest turnabout in time, a reversal of such epic scope that all our yesterdays have been reshaped and all tomorrows made anew. From Friday sundown’s grinding grief to Sunday morning’s glorious light, the balance of the world tipped.   We were the people sitting in darkness.  Now we greet His rising day. Death and dying lost their grip:  life and hope came springing up—out of the ground, within the tomb, above our loss, beyond our sin. Because Christ lives, the world’s dirge will die away;  a song of love and grace will be the anthem of the future. Join in the song that never dies:  “The Lord has risen—so shall I.”   And stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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Fear builds around us prisons only we can see. We peer out through the bars of damaged memories and foolish choices—walled in by concrete years of dark regrets. And we assume the sentence is for life. But then one day there is a rattling at the door; keys open up a rusty lock. The cell in which we kept ourselves more rigidly than any jail is opened by a word of grace. “Your sins are forgiven you,” says the Lord who vowed to open every prison door. The sentence is commuted, and yes, the record is expunged. “As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:12). We walk out in the light of grace—amazed at freedom we have never known, and breathing in the oxygen of hope. This is the genius of the gospel, and why this story always liberates. Walk out of fear, but stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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Gerald Klingbeil is an associate editor of the Adventist Review magazine who has recently started to consciously pray "Thy Kingdom Come."

The Bible doesn’t say, “By grit you have been saved through effort: this is your part. It is your gift to God.”But tragically, many who say they believe in Jesus hold this old falsehood closer than they grasp the truth: “By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”(Eph 2:8-9). We strain to earn what Jesus freely gives, all unaware He wants to change our attitudes even more than our behavior. Grace teaches us to trust, and “trust” is yet another word for “faith.” What we give up when we rely on Christ is much more than our taste for fatty foods or hours wasted on the Web: we give up fantasies that sweat and intelligent self-will will ever make us worthy of eternity. The One who cannot lie says “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer 31:3). With such affection, broad and deep, we are encircled and enabled. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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When we’ve been wounded by the spitefulness of others, it’s grace that quiets our reactive hearts and calms our angry tongues. We remember being forgiven, and so we can imagine offering forgiveness. The grace that reconciled us to God becomes the opening that makes new reconciliations thinkable.  The foolish cycle of retaliation need not take another turn, for Jesus has absorbed the weight of all our anger, sin and pain. A new day dawns in which forgiveness warms and brightens all we know. Grateful for love that changed our lives, we pray that others also change, find peace, experience forgiveness. So forgiving comes to be our way of living, and grace leads on to grace.  So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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The great illusion at the heart of our unhappiness is the fantasy that we can solve our brokenness and foolishness. A hundred self-help manuals urge us to discover new, untapped potential; find our core of optimism, rise above the litter of past choices. If even one of these vain remedies really worked, the bookstores would be empty, and people everywhere would be living warm, productive, joyful lives. But we continue fumbling in the bargain bin of last year’s over-hyped, self-centered strategies, while Jesus offers just one word. “Come,” He says. “Come away and rest awhile.” “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow.” “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.” There are no better promises than these. There is no answer for our pain that heals us like God’s word of grace. Our rescue always comes from outside and above. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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The mind in which grace lights a flame becomes, in time, a different mind. By nature and by nurture, we’re self-absorbed and focused on what brings us gain, what brings us fame. The path of least resistance leads us to our touted rights, and often—yes—our touted righteousness. We are the measure of all things: we sort and filter for what gives us points, what gives us power, what adds to our advantage. But when the grace of a supremely other-centered God breathes through the “heats of our desire,” the self-absorption starts to wane, and we begin to be the kinder, wiser souls we’ve sometimes ached to be. We hear the broken, and remember we were broken, too. We see the wounded, and we search for bandages of love. We touch the hurting with a gentleness learned from the Healer who never, ever hurries. Grace turns us from unhelpful fools into new humans, wise and warm. The grace that saves us also makes us gracious. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste is the editorial assessment coordinator for Adventist Review.

"Journeys with Jesus" is an intimate, personal look at the walk we all have with our Savior. Inspirational, heart-tugging, thought-provoking vignettes of life's journey and life's decisions. Most of all, it points us to our Father, our Friend, as the Source of all wisdom, comfort, and peace. www.adventistreview.org

Fast-forward, if you can, to scenes our hearts are aching to be in. Redeemed at last from all the brokenness, the pettiness, the pain of earthly life, we stand before the throne with those from every nation, tribe, and people, breathing in the air of heaven and singing at the top of our lungs, “Salvation belongs to our God” (Rev 7:10). Does even one hand go up to get the Lord’s attention? — “I need to be sure my good deeds are recorded, that my sacrifice is written down somewhere.” “Preposterous,” you say—and right you are. It’s simply unimaginable that anyone who’s covered by the blood of Jesus would take some credit for a rescue owing just to Him. So why is it we now persist in counting up our virtues? Isn’t it evidence enough that we too often fail to grasp the overwhelming, undergirding goodness of our God? Grace is better than we first believed, more sweeping than we now believe, more joyous than we’ll ever believe. Put down your hand. Lift up your voice. The grace will always be amazing. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott

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