Mrs. Meyer is a wife and mother in Hope Protestant Reformed Church of Walker, Michigan.

Come, children, let’s take a walk together. There is something we want to show you. It is because of our great love for you that we want to show you this. Not that you are our first love, though. No, there is an object of our love that we love even more than you. Does that scare you? It ought not. In fact, if we did not have this “first love,” our love for you would be worthless. It would do you no good at all. So what is this “first love”? That is what we want to show you. Come. Come with us and see this wonderful thing.

There it is, over there on the mountain. Do you see it? It is beautiful for situation, is it not? See how it reflects the light of the sun. It almost looks like a castle, but it is more glorious than that. It is a mighty fortress with towers that cannot be moved. As we come closer to it, you can see how very large it is. It’s much bigger and stronger than any castle you have ever seen before. Come. We are very near to it now.Look up. Look way up high and see how the towers reach up into the clouds. They are higher than you can imagine! They are strong, too. They are of such strength and magnitude that no weapon known to man can put one scratch upon them, much less knock them down. The walls surrounding the towers are just as strong. They are impenetrable. No enemy can touch you when you are inside these walls. When foes come and see this mighty fortress on the mount, they haste away in fear! This is a place of refuge where you are absolutely safe. Not a hair can fall from you head.

But there is more. This fortress is not only mighty, it is as beautiful as it is strong. Come, let us enter the gates. What glory is inside! The bulwarks are embedded with diamonds and rubies and all sorts of precious stones, stones not measured in carats but in pounds. Gold is the mortar that cements the ramparts in place, reinforced with platinum and pearls. In the courtyard, palm trees flourish near a sparkling fountain that bubbles up with purest, life-giving water. There is nothing but peace and joy and prosperity within the walls of this magnificent citadel!

Now this is the wonderful thing: to love the truth is to be inside this glorious haven and refuge. But where are the gold and rubies, you ask? Where are the palms and pearls? Well, this isn’t a castle of the earth. It’s heavenly gold and pearls that you must see. It is under the shadow of these heavenly towers that you must abide. It is only from behind these magnificent walls that God will keep you safe and use you to guard and defend, and to gather the rest of the holy nation inside. Let us walk around the palace yard now and see these wonderful things.

Look at the center tower of the fortress first. It is firm, foundational, and constructed of purest gold. It is one, lone tower with several glistening spires soaring up into the sky. It is the sure and glorious truth that is the foundation of all we believe: salvation by grace alone. But this tower includes other pinnacles of the Reformation as well: Christ alone, Scripture alone, and faith alone.

Do you know these truths? Do you know what they stand for? Do you love them? Do you understand by them that we have perfect peace, perfect rest, and perfect safety in Jesus Christ our Savior? It’s true! It’s true for you.

Also built onto this central tower are formidable ramparts and walls, with bulwarks ascending just as gloriously high. There is the perseverance of the saints—we cannot lose our salvation! There is irresistible grace—God’s work of grace is sovereign and particular, and we surely will receive it! There is limited atonement—Christ paid for the sins of only His people, and that payment is certain and complete! There is unconditional election—from all eternity God chose us to be His people and appointed others to be reprobate, and His choosing had nothing to do with what our actions would be! And, yes, there is total depravity.

Total depravity? That we by nature are dead in trespasses and sins, unable to do, or even want to do, the very least act of goodness or faith, and only evil continually in all our thoughts, words, and deeds—this is a glorious truth? Oh, dear child, it is not only one of the precious towers of which we speak, it is also the very floor on which these towers stand! Look at it! Look down at the floor. In the polished stone and crystal of the pavement, do you see a reflection of yourself? You must see the true reflection! Do not hide from it. Do not run away. There you are, and you are ugly. You are ugly as sin. But now look up. Look up and see the perfect, righteous, holy towers that could not possibly exist without this distinct and solid ground of truth. Look up and see that you are not responsible for your salvation in any way or in any part. You can’t be! If you ever doubt that tower of truth, just take a glance down at the ground and you will remember and know that this would be impossible. It all depends on Christ. It all gives the glory to Him and no other.

But look up once more. See those tall spires, how they ascend up even into the clouds? Take note of those clouds. It is on the clouds of glory that our Savior will return. Keep looking up and watching those clouds. There are clouds of wars and earthquakes, disease and pestilence, persecution and death. But there is one cloud that overshadows them all—the gospel will go forth conquering and to conquer. Do not fear. The gospel is that same glorious truth in which we hide. It is that mighty fortress in which God gathers His own and keeps them to the end. Do not fear. You are safe, even in these last evil days, even unto death.

It is by this same grace of God that we walk together and dwell together in these wonderful, glorious truths.

Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.

Let Zion now rejoice, and all her children sing;

Let them with thankfulness proclaim the judgments of their King.

Mount Zion’s walls behold, about her ramparts go,

And number ye the lofty tow’rs that guard her from the foe.

Observe her palaces, mark her defenses well,

That to the sons that follow you her glories you may tell;

For God as our own God forever will abide,

And till life’s journey close in death will be our faithful guide.