Saturday, April 30, 2011

We Must Wait


My husband and I grew up singing this song:

We must wait,
wait,
wait on the Lord
We must wait,
wait,
wait on the Lord
Learn our lessons well
And in His timing He will tell us
What to do
Where to go
What to say

Learning to wait on the Lord is uncomfortable. Other people press you to know what you're going to do. And you don't always know. But He does answer. And we are always better off waiting on Him than going on without Him. Because the Bible says He waits on high for those who will wait on Him.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It Was Necessary

"Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary
for the Christ to suffer
and to rise from the dead the third day,
and that repentance
and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem."
Without His suffering, all our repentance could never bring about remission of sins, because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. 
But because of His suffering, remission of sins is free to the repentant. 
Thank You, Jesus.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sons of Your Father

Do you ever wonder about whether you are growing as you should?
I have a tendency to think evangelism is the yardstick to measure by.
(Probably as a result of faulty something.)
I was thinking about it this morning -- asking the Lord about fruit.
Do I have any?
Am I healthy?

My mind drifted here:

'Love your enemies, 
bless those who curse you, 
do good to those who hate you, 
and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven...'

'...And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors...
For if you forgive men their trespasses, 
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses...'

'Now the fruit of the Spirit is
love,
joy,
peace,
longsuffering,
kindness,
goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness,
self-control.'
The mark of sonship is love.

Will I exact revenge on my persecutors?
Will I demand payment of all I am owed by trespassers?
Can I pray for those who abuse me?

Jesus, hanging in agony on the cross,
used His breath to pray, "Father, forgive them."
He pitied His tormentors.

There is a precious promise in there.
If I forgive, He'll forgive me, too.
Because I am a debtor.
I have offended.
I have stepped on people.
I have looked past their pain and blamed them for their grimace.
I have forgotten them when I should have remembered.
I have been calloused when I should have been crying.
I have pointed my finger when I should have applied salve.
And I can't pay it back.

But I can forgive when it's done to me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

To Meet Every


A song came to mind this morning as I listened to the birds while I read and prayed. The song is from Lamentations, and I learned it when I was small.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never shall come to an end
They are new every morning
New every morning
Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord --
Great is Thy faithfulness

I turned to Lamentations because I intended to just share that verse. I looked it up on eSword to pick a version to share. And my attention was arrested as I looked a little earlier in the passage. I did not intend to say anything on this subject, but it's in the text, and it astounds me. Look at this:

"And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.
And I said, My strength and my hope hath perished from the LORD:
Remembering my affliction and my misery, 

the wormwood and the gall.
My soul hath them still in remembrance, 

and is humbled in me.
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, 

because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; 

therefore will I hope in him.
The LORD is good to them that wait for him, 

to the soul that seeketh him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait 

for the salvation of the LORD."

He says he had no strength and no hope.
One of the versions I read said 'my hope in the Lord is gone'.
It seems almost blasphemous.
But this man could remember only his affliction, his misery,
wormwood and gall.
His lot was bitter and poisonous and painful.
It was so horrible he lost all hope.
And in that place, the Lord's mercy reached him.
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning.
To meet every bitter expectation,
Every painful affliction,
Every miserable grief.
He is faithful.
If He is my portion, there is hope.
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him --
To the soul that seeks Him.

And I can't help but remember this:

"All these died in faith,
not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off
were assured of them,
embraced them
and confessed that they were strangers 
and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such things
declare plainly that they seek a homeland."
~Hebrews 11:13

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

His Unchanging Grace


We were singing an old hymn last night. As has so often happened, the words of a brother long gone from this world remind me of my Hope.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain:
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain

That second verse (after the refrain) is so... real
Darkness does seem to hide His face. 
But His grace is unchanging, and we must rest in it. 
We do get beaten on by high and stormy gales (think 'hurricane force winds'), but our Anchor holds.  
Christ is our anchor
And He is within the veil -- in the very Presence of the Father making intercession for us. 
Our Advocate. 
Our Propitiation.

His oath, His covenant, His blood 
support me in the whelming flood.
Not my oaths,  
my covenants,  
my blood. 
My oaths make me a liar. 
My covenants make me a failure.
My blood is stained with sin.

When all around my soul gives way 
He then is all my Hope and Stay
Here is no delusion of grandeur: my soul gives way. 
I do not stand the flood. 
But my Jesus does. 
My Anchor. 
My Rock of salvation. 
My High Tower. 
My Shield. 
My Hope and my Stay.

When He shall come... 
let me be found in His Righteousness, and in nothing else. 
Not in my self-righteousness.
Not in my own garments. 
I want to be wearing Him.
Dressed in Him, I'm faultless. 
Before even the throne of God. 
In Him.
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