December 29, 2013

Just as I AM

Both Peter *AND* Judas walked with Jesus. They BOTH experienced Him. They BOTH came to KNOW Him. They both saw the miracles and heard His teachings.

....And they *BOTH* turned away. They BOTH betrayed him.

One returned with a repentant heart. One became consumed by guilt and hung himself. The other returned to follow Jesus. Jesus died for BOTH of them. 



We can either accept the EXTRAVAGANT and expensive price He paid for our life and return to the Lord with repentant hearts or refuse it. 

The sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

 2 Corinthians 7:10
Judas' sin led him to the grave. Peter's sin led him to the feet of Jesus.
We can either run FROM Him or run TO Him....just as we are. And we will find whatever it is that we are in NEED of. He died for YOU. He died for ME. He died for Peter. He died for Judas.


This is the beauty of God's grace:
He can take a mess that I'VE made...a hurt that was self-inflicted.....
whether through disobedience, misjudgements, or mistakes.....and redeem it ALL.

It's what we DO with this incredible GRACE that will determine our freedom.



"I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I'm welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am."


 

December 28, 2013

The Brokenhearted


No matter how I look at it pain is simply a place where my own will has been broken.  Whether I'm hurt or angry ....it all comes from the same place.  I have had to surrender my own will to something else.  Whether things didn't go the way I thought they should, things didn't go MY way, or I didn't get what I thought I needed or wanted. 
.....and I. Am. Brokenhearted.





NEVERTHELESS not MY will but YOURS be done.  

You will find no greater example of a fixed determination to chase after the will of God than that of JESUS. He sought after, chased after ....all the way to the finish..... the will of His Father.  Do you think it was EASY for Jesus to surrender His will in that final moment?  The GREATEST test of all.  Laying down His life....because the Father willed it.  "Father if it be possible...let this cup pass from me.  NEVERTHELESS not MY will but YOURS be done."  As much as He was in a war with His own flesh He traded up.  His will for His Father's.
............................and in His death PROVED a very RELEVANT Truth.  (Matthew 16:25)


....."HE WHO GIVES HIS LIFE WILL FIND IT." 


They didn't TAKE His life.  He surrendered it.  (John 10:18)  ......and on the other side of His surrender He found life.  

In every believer's life there will come that defining moment when obedience will overrule your own personal desires.  When the SPIRIT will become more important than the FLESH.  And when the GLORY of GOD displayed is more important than our own GLORY, our own DESIRES and our own short sighted will.  

He became obedient to death......................

 



Nevertheless not MY will....but yours be done.  When all of US that's not of HIM is put to death and our own will is broken in place of The Father's will.  On the other side of our brokenness we will find LIFE. That place where your own will is surrendered is where you will find His will bringing you into something MORE redemptive and something FAR GREATER than you could have ever imagined.

It's a BRILLIANT trade off!

The THRILL of HOPE

The THRILL of *HOPE*.....the *WEARY* world rejoices."
How we NEEDED Him to come. And we need His HOPE now more than ever. Kingdom came to earth with PURPOSE. To bring GOOD news to the oppressed. To heal the brokenhearted. To declare FREEDOM to the captives. To proclaim the Lord's favor. To comfort those who MOURN. To ROBE us with thankful PRAISE instead of crushed spirits. He came.........with PURPOSE. He knew with what purpose He came....and still......He came. The THRILL of HOPE.......have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS----FULL of HOPE. He came for *YOU*

December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas and Here's to Many More......

This year has been a year of incredible heartache.  The kind of heartache that interrupts life, knocks you off your feet and leaves your head spinning.  But it's also been one of incredible GRACE.  Tremendous peace and clarity.  I see how many ways God prepared us for this season of our lives.  How He's taken me (and my children) under His wings and given us the GRACE to not just ENDURE this season but to EMBRACE it. 

I heard a Christmas song by Reliant K. It was God's gift to me. I'd never heard it before and as I was listening to the lyrics I was overwhelmed by GRACE...and HOPE.
"I made it through the year and I did not even collapse. Gotta say "Thank God for that."-----that was the first sentence of the whole song.

I *KNOW* this....whatever we face.....no matter how deep the grief it cannot consume us. There is no heartache so deep that the Grace of God cannot reach it. "What would have become of me if I were not convinced I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living." (Psalms 27:13) And His goodness----I have SEEN. In countless ways.

The entire song was MY heart....
And I came to this phrase:
"It's Christmas and I'm finally home....and the closest friends I've ever known are all inside singing together....Singing merry Christmas, here's to many more."
I thought of all of the beautiful people God has placed in my life. I am COVERED. Surrounded. People who were there at a moment's notice. For WHATever. And I say "Thank you" to those of you who have stuck it out with me through so many seasons. My darkest and my brightest. Who have never given up on me.
"Living out my days alone had been my deepest fear but You promised You won't leave" ..........And so I am grateful for HOPE. For PROMISE. For GRACE. And most of all that I have His WORD that He would never leave me nor forsake me. Grateful to God who is FAITHFUL....and for His love that never fails me.
"I look towards the east and see a star
Jesus Christ, has blessed my life to know just who You are
You are my hope"
*****Strike up the band and play the tune
'Cause Christmas will be hear and soon......
You'll hear our song in every room" :):):)
I will be singing again one day....a NEW song. And you will hear it in every room of my home.
I am grateful for what lies behind me and look forward to 2014 and what is in store for me and my family.


Years ago the Lord gave me *THIS* verse for my family
"Our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with songs of JOY....and it was said among the people, "Look at what the Lord has done for them!"
and to that I say "Yes...the LORD has done GREAT things for us and we are filled with JOY." Psalm 126:2-3

December 17, 2013

It's All in Your Perspective.....

I truly believe:
that no matter how great life's disappointments are, no matter how deep the heartache, no matter how grave the mistakes, no matter how difficult the circumstance....if you are ANCHORED in the Truth of God's word.....you will find HOPE and PEACE. 

PERSPECTIVE is EVERYTHING. 
If your perspective is governed by TRUTH then you will begin to see things from HIS perspective.
                       TRUST Him.
                              TRUST His word.

He has a flawless track record and has your BEST interests at the very center of His heart. Even in the heartache.....He's looking ahead. He's laid up GOOD things for you and if you'll *WAIT* on HIM........you'll begin to see things through HIS eyes. While He understands your grief....while He understands your heartache.....He sees things you cannot. He understands things you do not. He's already two steps ahead.....and hasn't abandoned you. TRUST. HIM. Trust His Word. Trust Him with your yesterday. Your today. Your tomorrow. Your heartaches and tears. Your hopes and dreams. Your struggles and mistakes. You'll leave them in NO better hands than the ONE who created you and purposed GREAT things for YOU.