I'm sitting out in my sunroom with the windows open, listening to the gentle rains that are falling on the metal roof. I don't know why, but the the sounds that surround it are comforting and peaceful.
Things are accelerating lately Father and this morning I was pondering a few things and noticing that inspite of the fact that I continue to fall hard at times, Your purpose, Your destiny, Your will continues to move forward in my life, as well as all our lives.
I was feeling a little bad when I looked at the times I've fallen lately, for some reason thinking that those times had the power or influence to destroy that, which You have willed in my life. And then something began to dawn on me as I thought about that. It's as if Your Spirit began to pull my eyes off myself and those supposed facts and lifted them up to You, my Holy, Heavenly Father and I couldn't help but feel a little awe as I began to realize that inspite of "me", You still are greater. Your love is greater, Your grace is sufficient. That seems to be the theme that You keep playing in my heart these days.
Yes, I'm still responsible for my actions and choices and the above fact does not give free license for me to run helter skelter in my own will. But for those times when I genuinely fall short, the above truly is true.
Your love is greater than my sin and Your grace is sufficient to bridge the gap between my human failings and limitations, and Your will for my life.
Do You know how much that moves my heart? Do You know how that cradles me and causes me to feel safe and protected? Do You know how it surprises me that the pressure isn't so much on me to perform, as it is critical that I simply trust You, and that You will orchestrate all that needs to be done?
Of course You know for You alone are God. The scripture that comes to mind as I write that is, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and You will find rest for your souls".
I'm just stuck on the 'even though when I look at myself, what I see doesn't measure up enough...doesn't deserve...', it ain't about me. I was talking with a girlfriend the other day and telling her how my heart is suprised, shocked, awed, that You have, inspite of me (lol), worked the changes that You have thus far, in my life. I'm really, really impressed Father. *I* could never do it myself, and yet You have. I don't think that my girlfriend meant to say this, but she couldn't help but comment that You were still wiping Your holy brow from the hard work You had to do, in me.
Surely she doesn't know what she's talking about.
You and I both know she's a brat anyway.
Thank You. I sit here and wonder how to convey through the written word an accurate picture of how my heart feels right now. You bring to mind a song I heard for the first time a couple of days ago that, as I listened to the lyrics, brought tears to my eyes. That's because I over understand the message in the lyrics...I've been there, I've lived it.
The name of the song is "Better than a hallelujah" and it talks about the heart of those who, when totally and completely stripped of everything, broken beyond hope or repair, cries out what seems to be a pitiful, tortured and desperate cry to You.
You however, when You hear that cry, do not view it as something that is painful or difficult to hear. To You, it's a beautiful melody that rises from our broken hearts and causes Your heart to embrace it with Your love and compassion. And sometimes, those desperate, pitiful cries are better than a worshipful hallelujah raised before You.
I've always looked back on that moment in my life when the most pitiful cry I've ever prayed, was lifted up from my heart to You, and feel a weight in my heart as I remember that moment. "Oh how close I came, how far I fell, how completely I devestated my life that culminated in me being brought so low that my cry was that pitiful", is the weight that I feel.
But to look at it from Your eyes instead of my own...to see that my cry, that I feel ashamed and embarassed about, was in fact a beautiful melody to You, just shocks me...stuns me.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD", is what comes to mind as I write that.
What can I say Father? I feel void of words as I contemplate all that, yet my heart swells with gratitude, humility and awe. I love You so much and often feel a desperation to make sure that I never lose You.
Once again, it is You, and You alone, that will never leave nor forsake me, or us.
I may often feel that I cannot trust myself, but I need You to know how much it means that I can always, always, always trust You. That's one of the reasons I so desperately need You because You are all I have that I can trust.
Bless this Romans study today Father because it is Your Word and it is a powerful gift You have provided us.
In Jesus Name I pray,
13. No longer, therefore, let us [Christians] be judging one another. But do judge ye this, rather, that no man put an obstacle in his brother's way, or a snare.
14. I [personally] know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself: save that to him who reckoneth anything to be unclean, to that one it is unclean.
15. For if because of thy food thy brother is grieved, thou walkest no longer in love. Destroy not with thy food that one for whom Christ died!
The rvbv writes in verse 13: "How now is indeed a field for judging! and it is ourselves, not our brother, who we are to judge! And it is ours to see to it that no one of us is, or is doing, aught that hinders or stumbles any brother. If these comments persuade any Christian to stop judging others and begin to judge himself, it will indeed be a fruit unto God! A stumbling-block is something in us that grieves a weaker brother; an occasion of falling, signifies that which we may freely do, but which another, undertaking, may in doing act against his own conscience, and therefore sin. Literally, the word means "snare," or "trap".
Paul states in verse 14 his own knowledge and liberty, - which is our pattern. Note carefully that knowledge comes first: "I know." "Persuasion in the Lord Jesus," that is, full heart liberty, or freedom of conscience, is second. There must be both, - not only knowledge of the Christian's freedom, but heart and conscience persuasion, if we would walk in the liberty that belongs to the Christian. To such a one, nothing is unclean "of itself." Distinction of meats (as under Judaism) is entirely gone; distinction of days (as under Judaism) is entirely gone. It is only to those whose lack of knowledge or weakness of conscience "accounts" or holds a thing to be unclean, - or, as we say, "wrong," that it is so. What a glorious deliverance! No place is left for "religious fussing." Christ, and the freedom that is in Him, fills all heaven, our whole horizon, at every moment: "To me, to live is Christ".
But to the conscience not yet delivered (and real freedom of conscience is more rare than we think!) many things seem to be "unclean" in themselves: that is, Christians feel it is "wrong" to do them. You and I may have full light to the contrary: yea, these also may see the written Word that "nothing is unclean in itself" in this dispensation. But the conscience cannot be commanded. It must be persuaded, by the blessed Spirit - in the Lord Jesus. When one is thus set free, his walk is not forced, but happy and natural.
Verse 15: "For if because of meat thy brother is grieved, thou are no longer walking according to love. Do not with thy meat destroy that one for whom Christ died." (Two stages are noted in the words 'grieved' and 'destroy'. When one man sees another do that which his own conscience condemns, it causes him pain (he is grieved); but when he is further led on from this to do himself what his conscience condemns, he is in danger of a worse fate; he is morally ruined and undone (destroyed). The work of redemption that Christ has wrought for him is cancelled, and all that great and beneficient scheme is hindered of its operation by an act of thoughtlessness or want of consideration on the part of a fellow-Christian" - Sanday). "If Christ so loved as to die for him, how base in you or me not to submit to the smallest self-denial for his welfare!" This verse often occasions the question, How could a "brother" be in danger of destruction? Let me quote on this passage from Charles Hodge, one of the greatest Calvinistic writers: "Believers (the elect) are constantly spoken of (in Scripture) as in danger of perdition. They are saved only if they continue stedfast (in faith). If they apostatize, they perish. If the Scriptures tell the people of God what is the tendency of their sins as to themselves, they may tell them what is the tendency of such sins as to others. Saints are preserved not in spite of apostasy, but from apostasy." To this agree Paul's words: "Ye are saved if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you" (I Cor. 15:2). "If so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Col. 1:23). Before us, in verse 15, lies the awful fact that the destruction of one who is called a brother lies within the power of our use of our liberty - if it causes him to "stumble."
This does not touch the security of those born of God and "sealed to the day of redemption." God says even of the carnal Corinthians, that "God was faithful, through whom they were called," "who would confirm them unto the end" (I Cor. 1:8,9). But we are not saved as automations! God gives us a gospel to be believed, and a walk to be walked, corresponding to that gospel. That God can (and often does) rescue those whose walk is a failure is seen in the stern, but saving dealing with the brother of I Corinthians 5:1-5. But this same epistle records the solemn warning quoted above: "Ye are saved if ye hold fast the words." Modernists, like all infidels, make light of "holding fast the pattern of sound words" (II Tim. 1:13). But God told earnest, praying Cornelius to send for Peter, who should "speak unto him words, by which he should be saved" (Acts 11:13,14). Faith begins and lives by God's words only!"
My heart is burdened to pray for a few friends today for some reason, so I lift them up before You, asking that Your perfect will for their lives unfold...all the while knowing that You are God and You will be faithful to each of them.
You're moving Father...I can sense, and also see, Your Spirit moving over this earth as this spiritual battle rages. He moves with gentleness and power, with the foreknowledge that You are in control of all things.
I don't know why I felt the need to write that, but I did, and it's true. As the evil seems to permeate all things on this earth, to the point where I can barely listen to the details, I sense Your powerful Holy Spirit moving stronger, in a holy manner, preparing, securing, orchestrating and sealing Your children.
It's interesting. My heart just wants to say "Abba, Father".
And then, Your Word comes to mind where You say in Romans 8:15, "...but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father". I find it interesting the tiny word "by". It's Your Spirit 'by whom' we cry out, "Abba, Father".
It's deep to try to think and grasp that it's Your Spirit, by whom. It's His prompting, as He resides in our hearts, that causes that phrase to arise. It's Him, guiding and leading us into a deeper, more intimiate relationship with You, where we come to know You as our Holy, Heavenly 'daddy'. I know that I call my earthly father "daddy" all the time. I know how that feels and what that means to me. To call You "daddy" feels a little awkward because You are so holy, but Your Word states that it is Your desire that we know You on that level. So ok, Father...
In Jesus Name I pray,
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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:46 AM
"One day, we’re going to stand before the gates of Heaven. Some of us want to be able to walk up there in a white robe and we want to sing Abba Father and Amazing Grace and we want to say to the Lord, “I worshiped You.” But I want you to think about this: Heres the way I want to enter the gates of Heaven. I want to come skidding in there on all fours. I want to be slipping and sliding and I want to hit the gates of heaven with a bang. And when I stand up and I stand before Christ, I want there to be blood on my knees and my elbows. I want to be covered with mud. And I want to be standing there with a ragged breast plate of righteousness. And a spear in my hand. And I want to say, “Look at me, Jesus. I’ve been in the battle. I’ve been fighting for you.” Ladies and gentlemen, put your armor on and get into battle. God bless you." ~ General William G. Boykin, U.S. Army (ret.)
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