This question has always plagued mankind. It seems incongruous that a loving father would ever permit his child to perish, much less a Holy Father, His child. The primary fact to take into consideration when anyone dies, who is “in Christ” and especially a child, is that they must leave a temporary “testing ground” in order to enter into a permanent state of peace and joy. They in effect, “go to their reward.” They give up the transient for the permanent. They leave temptation behind. They inherit eternal life. They are comforted in a way that we who are still bound to this physical earth can not understand.
One could go on and on in contrasting heaven with earth, but our understanding of heaven is far too dim for us to do so with any accuracy. Certainty, yes, but grasping the “feel” of being in heaven will require us to be there, before we can fully understand. Let’s just agree that the person that is there would not have us mourn for them. It is proper and expected that we would mourn, on this side, for one who has left us behind. But it is we who are left behind. We live with uncertainty.
What is certainty? I think we would agree that it is something you can prove, something that is not up for debate. Is the “reality” of God a certainty? Listen.
Habakkuk 2:1-4 (NKJ)
1 I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.
2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
4 “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.”
When Habakkuk wrote this prophecy, God told him, the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it will speak and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it. Then, Habakkuk’s visions are of various sins and as is true throughout the scriptures, pride is a signal of a soul that is not upright. What then is the signal of an upright soul? It is one who lives by faith. And what is faith but hope.
Noah’s faith in God saved him and his family when God declared that Noah had found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Genesis 6:5-8 (NKJ)
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Then Abraham exhibited the “faith” that was counted unto him as righteousness. Listen to God’s promise to Abraham.
Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJ)
1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
What is faith? What is the Presence “behind the veil” that drives a believer to obedience?
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJ)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 6:19 (NKJ)
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil…
Faith, an anchor of the soul, is that which enters the Presence “behind the veil.” Notice that the “P” is capitalized. Our hope centers on God. Faith is the “substance” of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. These words are so clear in their meaning. Listen as Paul further explains how faith, the hope within us, is our link to the Holy Spirit, our Counselor, our personal guiding Light.
Romans 8:24-31 (NKJ)
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Paul introduces the word “predestination.” It is not my intent to thoroughly treat that subject here, but you might consider a couple of key issues. God knows the Alpha from the Omega, the beginning from the end. That means God stands outside the human dimensions of time and space. We are here, given the restrictions of time and space, making choices and making decisions. We feel our decisions are not “ordained” because we exercise volition. As we exercise volition, “our will,” we create a record. But God “saw” the record and “sees” the record before you decide. Yet, you are given choices. What you choose to do is foreknown to God and your thoughts this moment not only are known, but they were known before you thought them.
Listen as God speaks through Ezekiel and explains how righteousness and sin are choices that create results. Not results that surprise God, but results that are just and fair.
Ezekiel 18:20-32 (NKJ)
20 “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
22 “None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.
23 “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?
24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
26 “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
27 “Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.
28 “Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
29 “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?
30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.
31 “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”
Remember that when God spoke through Ezekiel, the Messiah had not yet been sent. Obedience to the Law was what God expected of His people. Repentance was linked to an Israelite getting a new heart and a new spirit, just as it is now, but now the Great Enabler, the Holy Spirit, the Messiah in you has been sent. If Israel was to repent, turn from their transgressions and get a new heart, God says they would not die. Then God clarifies, as a Father to His child, “I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies. Turn and live.”
These verses also make it very clear that “finishing well” is what God expects. I am sure it would please the Father if we had never sinned and that we both started well and finished well, but that can never be the case. Read verses 27 and 28 above, again. We must “finish well.” Then consider verse 24. Clearly, moving into God’s presence and accepting His Grace and then turning your back on Him is a very serious error. This important topic is discussed more carefully in the topic, The Unpardonable Sin.
The fact that God knows what you are going to do does not relieve you from choosing. God knows who will respond to His love and His call. Those whom He “knew,” He predestined, even before you were formed in the womb. You have either responded to His call or not. It is God’s stated will that you answer His call and live. But what kind of human existence is this, if we have no volition? Would you rather your child be forced to love you or choose to love you?
In the Letter to the Romans, Paul teaches a point about God’s omnipotence, His “control,” while responding to a question concerning man’s volition. Listen.
Romans 9:15-33 (NKJ)
15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”
16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”
18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”
20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”
21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,
24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved.”
26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there they shall be called sons of the living God.”
27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved.
28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”
29 And as Isaiah said before: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.”
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;
31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.
33 As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Here we see that God’s choice to extend “mercy” to those who love Him, is in effect, a promised action on His part to those who He knew from the beginning, would love Him. Not only does our love of God not surprise Him but also our love of God does not “earn” us anything. It is His mercy, derived from our faith in a Messiah that redeems, that saves us. The stumbling stone referred to in verse 31 is the Messiah who allows any of God’s children to “attain righteousness,” not of themselves, but that of a risen Messiah. Re-read verses 31 and 32. You can not attain righteousness by works of the Law.
Now listen to the following teaching. In essence you will find that wisdom, accomplishments and pride in your “sense of control” are anchors, not launching pads. Christ in you is the launching pad! What is required is simple faith in the One who is able to redeem you, to empower you and to preserve your soul and spirit for eternity.
1 Corinthians 1:17-31 (NKJ)
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God– and righteousness and sanctification and redemption–
31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
Get this point. No flesh shall “glory” in His presence. Read verse 31 again. If you are “righteous,” it is “in the Lord.” If you are without continuing sin, it is because you are “in the Lord.” If you are forgiven, it is because you are “in the Lord.” Our lives either glorify Him or not. Some have asked, “Why were we created?” I believe the right answer is to glorify God. In how many ways does your daily existence glorify God? Can your flesh glorify God? No, your flesh and mine represents a side of our existence that will perish. Our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and we should take care of it but don’t spend a lifetime trying to preserve the flesh (exercise, beauty treatments, diets), while ignoring His Spirit in you.
You might want to respond to that point as some did when Paul taught the concept of life being transitory. Listen.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJ)
16 Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The following quotation is of pivotal significance to anyone who is seeking to be saved by faith. Listen.
Galatians 3:22-29 (NKJ)
22 …the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
You must not miss this point. Faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who was present with God in the beginning, who did come and will come again, is your only hope for salvation. If the scriptures permitted any slack in this regard, one might hope that their allegiance to the Law, their prayers and their good deeds, would save them. There is no slack because if there was, the Messiah suffered for nothing and your sins are still with you. No atonement, by the only One who can present you blameless before the Holy Father, no salvation.
Such language must make my sincere Jewish friends, who dearly love God and who seek to obey the Torah, shrink from such assertions. I pray earnestly that this is not the case. Jesus came as the sinless Lamb of God, to save you and your faith in Him will bring you to a renewal, a rebirth reserved for those whose hearts have been changed, forever. Listen.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJ)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
To be “born again” is how one becomes a “new creation.” The invitation is to you who would exchange a heart of flesh for one in which the Spirit of God resides. Our flesh is at war with our spirit and the Holy Spirit wants to release you from that tug of war. Jesus came to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. It is His righteousness in us that we seek.
One might ask, why did you go into that topic when the header says “How Could a Loving God Allow His Children to Die?” First, it is because you and I are going to die and we are His children. Can you see that it is not the will of God that your flesh goes to the grave, unredeemed? He sent His Son to die for your sin and mine. Yet, do you not believe that volition remains yours? You make choices, including the choice to live eternally or to die eternally. How else could it be? What kind of a father wants his child to love him by edict? The compassion of Jesus shines through time and again.
The shortest verse in the Bible is, “Jesus wept.” What was the occasion? It was when the sisters of Lazarus were crying and mourning at the death of their brother, a man that Jesus loved. We properly mourn at the death of our loved ones, just as Jesus mourned. On this occasion he mourned because the sisters of Lazarus were so distressed over their loss. Since Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, was He mourning for any other reason other than out of compassion? No, the mourning of His children touches His heart over their sense of loss. He knows the trauma of separation by death. It was He who spent 3 days, separate from the Father, suffering for our sins. His disciples properly mourned at the death of Jesus, but just as the sisters of Lazarus rejoiced as their brother was brought back to life, so we rejoice because our Savior rose from the dead.
First, let’s be certain that we understand that God does not let any person’s spirit “die,” who is “unaccountable.” That includes one who is a youngster too young to grasp the meaning of God’s existence or one who is so oppressed by his or her physical and mental condition that they too are unaccountable. God’s love of the children is made perfectly clear. Listen.
Mark 10:13-16 (NKJ)
13 …they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
16 And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.
I am so glad that Jesus said this next verse, not only because it reinforces my understanding of His protective hand upon His children here on earth, but if Jesus protects them here, how much more will he embrace them for eternity. Our joy in Christ is tempered by our knowledge of our unworthiness. A child’s joy in Christ is unbridled, open and pure, undefiled by the flesh.
The next time you look at an infant, especially, know that the innocence of that baby is the kind of innocence you possess before the Father for one solitary reason. You are presented “blameless” because Jesus Christ has borne your sins and mine. How else could we “receive the kingdom of God as a little child?”
Matthew 18:10 (NKJ)
10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
As to those who abuse children one way or another, a very special form of retribution from Jesus Christ awaits them. Listen.
Luke 17:1-2 (NKJ)
1 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
2 “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
The faith of a child is a wonderful thing to observe. They trust you to love and protect them. Their trust in you often raises your level of “dependability” to levels higher than your normal level. That is, parents and others will go to great lengths to protect and nurture a child, where they sometimes are wary of adults and their motives, probably for good reason. God would have us be pure, holy and dependent on Him, in the same way a child depends on those who care for him. Our trust in Him can be as that of a child trusting his father.
One of the more interesting things to notice as you read the letters of John, written when he was very old, is his use of the term children. Listen.
1 John 2:1-2 (NKJ)
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
1 John 3:2-3 (NKJ)
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
As to the fact that God constantly refers to all of us as His children, listen to a glimpse of “age” as it relates to eternity.
Isaiah 65:17-20 (NKJ)
17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
Infants and old men here, shall be neither, there. How else could it be? Would God have old men be old for an eternity or children remain infants forever? Even though we can not grasp the full understanding that we would like to grasp, these kind of “revelations” are throughout God’s Word.
Back to the primary point. You and I and the infants, and the others, who are unaccountable, will all be judged based on what we knew, when we knew it and what we did with that knowledge. What are you doing with the knowledge of His presence? Listen.
Luke 12:47-48 (NKJ)
47 “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 “But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
A friend of mine asked, “Would I have been better off if I did not understand all of this?” Perhaps, but God knew you would read this and God knows how much Light is within you. What you do with that Light is up to you. You just read that “to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” I capitalize Light because of the following verse, a theme amplified many times in the Bible.
Romans 1:18-22 (NKJ)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.se, they became fools,
I love the way Moses expressed it. Listen.
Deuteronomy 30:9-14 (NKJ)
9 “The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,
10 “if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11 “For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
12 “It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
13 “Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
14 “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
Where is the truth, where is the wisdom of God? Moses just told you! Read verse 14 and rejoice. There is a single verse in James that says something you must not miss. Listen.
James 1:21 (NKJ)
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Receive the “implanted” word. Don’t you see how much God loves you. His presence is not a mystery nor is His love dispensed with “partiality.” He has revealed His Spirit to your spirit. To the Jew, there is a very special promise. Listen.
Hebrews 8:10-11 (NKJ)
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11 “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
The New Covenant is upon you. Deliverance is at hand! You do not need to be taught. God says: “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” The “New Covenant” is a great gift. It replaces the Old Covenant. Be certain that the Scriptures, which teach that fact, are perfectly clear to you. It is the basis of an entirely new relationship with the Father. What a glorious promise He has given us. Now think with me about the following parable.
Luke 13:6-9 (NKJ)
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
7 “Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’
8 “But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
9 ‘And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ “
Have you ever thought of yourself as a person taking up space, consuming the resources around you but not bearing fruit? Think on the matter a bit and the meaning of the parable will become very clear. You are one of God’s resources. You have fruit bearing capability. The kind of fruit referred to here endures and does not perish.
Luke 21:1-4 (NKJ)
1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,
2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.
3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;
4 “for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
The Messiah, who will judge all men, judges the heart. He knows our thoughts and our actions as though the thoughts were actions and we will be judged by both. But this topic is about “How could a loving God allow His children to die.” The child will be judged by his or her degree of accountability, just as will the retarded, the mentally ill and the oppressed. The widow gave two mites and it was counted unto her as greater than the gifts of those who gave from their abundance.
God knows what we do with the amount of life and Light we have been given. The “unaccountable” are His and your personal degree of accountability is known to you, right now, and is known to God. Do something with what He has given you. Be a vessel in His Hand. Bear fruit!