March 28, 2023

            The word “refuge” can mean many things to many people.  Synonyms can include sanctuary, safe-haven, safe-harbor and shelter.  The Bible tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).  We often think of God as our refuge when we are hurting, sorrowful or confused.  Those who suffer the loss of loved ones turn to God as their refuge.  There is no safer place to be than beneath the sheltering protection of God and securely wrapped in His sufficient arms and grace. 
            You may find it surprising that God intentionally told Israel to set aside “cities of refuge” for those who had shed blood without malice or intention.  God said to Joshua, “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses,  so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood” (Joshua 20:2-3).  God provided a place of safety for those who might be targeted for revenge or retaliation for something that they had accidentally or involuntarily done.  In this command or directive to Joshua, we find some glimpses and indications of the cross and grace.
            To be sure, we have all sinned willfully and intentionally.  We have turned from the Lord and embraced our whims and wishes more than His will and ways.  Romans 3:10 reminds us that there is no one righteous; and says a second time, “no not one.”  Our sins are not always accidental, unintentional and attributable to mere human absent-mindedness.  Yet even more powerfully, God provides us with refuge, hope, forgiveness and a second chance at the cross.  His grace is sufficient to forgive.  The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover our sins.  We can be renewed, redeemed and restored when we take our refuge in Him.
            We cannot forgive our sins.  No one else can either.  There is no government program or college class we can take to make us innocent, righteous and good.  Simply trying harder does not make the cut.  But God graciously makes a way.  He calls us to see and to take a place in the refuge that He alone can promise and provide.  Romans 8:1 brings us some of the best news we could ever hear—news that speaks to us personally and directly.  We read, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  NO condemnation.  We have found forgiveness, peace and contentment in Him. 
            Perhaps your life needs a refuge.  Maybe you find yourself battling trials and temptation, struggles and strains and sorrow and suffering.  The Lord is not only our refuge from sin’s penalty and price, He is also our refuge from the weariness of life that we often confront and encounter.  We can rest in Him.  David knew this peace firsthand and wrote about it in Psalm 23.  Paul wrote that the peace of God that passes all understanding guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Hearts can be slower.  Minds can be at ease.  To know God as our refuge is a blessing.  To walk with Him in trust and dependence is the key to abundant life.  We give thanks today that God is our refuge.  Have a great Tuesday.  Remember worship is accessible for you to share with others at

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