Tune me Lord, again and again . . .

“Tune it up. It’s flat.”

When an instrument’s out of tune, it  brings about a stop. Before moving on, it’s got to be tuned.

So, with a turn of a peg, or a bit more complicated maneuver, an instrument is brought back to position, that harmony may once again be brought to the ear.

If it were only that easy for the human race.

Our hearts go out of tune. Sometimes by our own hard strums, but also by outward bumps and hits.

But who can tune a heart?

We try, and we fail. The task is too hard.

Words were penned way back in 1757. Robert Robinson wrote a familiar hymn. A turning of the head, can prove to any stubborn heart—remedy and hope for today.

Read aloud, or sung alone, there’s something supernatural when we desperately need a new tune.

Let it go, and let the sound out.  Speak with me old words, that perhaps they are our help to turn our head and tune our heart.

Come Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace

Streams of mercy, never ceasing/Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet/Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it

Mount of Thy unchanging love

A battle rages.  Our eyes haven’t been fixed upon the mount. We forgot that with God, streams of mercy never cease. Our eyes haven’t sung melodious psalms. We forgot that unlike any man, God’s has unchanging love.

 Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” Luke 22:31,32. Were these words written today of our reality?

The hymn. The hymn. Let’s remind ourselves of God’s faithful presence and peace:

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

When we look back, we can see His faithful hand. We’ve been carried to this place. He will lead us safely home.

How can we become strangers again to the One who watches us so.  But He waits and loves, though we’ve chosen to be separate for a time. He knows.

Our hearts can’t believe in any love like this. The hymn. This hymn, our remedy, God’s bliss:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

God, help us!  Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.

Here is the turn that will bring back the harmony again:

“Here’s my heart Lord,

take,

and seal it,

seal it for Thy courts above.”

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” Luke 22:31,32. 

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Not just poetry. This is my story.

Could it be that man can’t see, until he (or she) find himself in a pit to be?Then in desperation, weakness, and shame He calls out that all-powerful Name.

And, power in the Name of Jesus is found – to restore, remake, and let salvation abound. The search for peace, joy, and rest is discovered – when we finally choose to lay our (destructive) “self” down.

This isn’t me “preaching” or being “holier than thou.” This is my story. I was destroying myself in my thoughts, and in my actions, somehow. “I can do this my self.”  But I was only heading . . .

d-

o-

w-

n.

– but God! With a Holy Book I was given years before, I read and I wept. God was turning me around.

He allowed all the hardship. My stubborn “self” was blind. But God. Yes, “but God,” He was, (and is still) here by my side.

Not with condemnation, did Jesus come. He met me and received me, bringing  s-a-l-v-a-t-i-o-n!

“If any man come after me, let him deny himself . . .” (1) I needed to deny my-self  my self-destructive choices. And instead hear God’s Word, instead of the critical voices.

“God is love.” (2) Did I even know what love is? Man’s best rendition seems at best, a big miss.

Could I even comprehend Love that reaches higher than the heavens? Man’s love, separated from the Source, reveals, (quite honestly), No positive connection!

“Change me!” was, (and remains to be) my cry. God hears. God is able. But first, I must “lose my life.”

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”(3) My ears were finally hearing, without restraint, God’s H-o-l-y Spirit.

The past is gone. All things are new. (4) God’s promises bring hope that I proclaim to you. Why is it important that I tell you my story? Because, you, me, and all of creation were created by God to give Him glory.

But Satan, he lies, and steals and destroys. He distracts, and confuses and fills our lives with noise. Sin entered in, by his deception back then. But God sent deliverance. God’s perfect love “never fails.”(5) He gave us His Son to allow sweet redemption.

Faith is what’s needed for God’s Spirit to breathe through our sails.

Believe in God? Then Jesus you’ll discover. He is the Word expressed from cover to cover. From Genesis to the Book of Revelation. The Alpha Omega, the Beginning and End.(6)

Perfect forgiveness offered by the blood of the Lamb.

Are you walking in the light of His great love today? Choose to let your “self” go and trust and follow His way.

This will not prove easy, but it will bring power and life. God’s word is the comfort through the world’s stress and strife.

His grace is sufficient. His love will never cease. Simply choose to turn to Jesus. Your eyes will see, and your heart will too proclaim, He is my Prince of Peace.

(1) Matthew 16:24,25, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

(2) 1 John 4:8, Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

(3) Matthew 16:35

(4)1 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

(5) 1 Corinthians 13, (Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;

(6) Revelation 21:1-5,6, He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

 

Give fears to God. He shall lift up our head

“Give to the winds thy fears; Hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.” (Words by Paul Gerhardt from Germany in 1656, translated to English by John Wesley, 1737).

Time and again, I read these words aloud. My thoughts seek refuge and I find it in psalms and hymns. I don’t have to come up with words. They’ve been written. The psalms speak my heart,

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy? Psalm 43:2

At times we believe God has rejected us. We must seek His face with words given to us,
 Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
 Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God. Psalm 43:3-4

Have I praised God for His goodness today? Forget about yesterday. It’s gone. But today is what I have.

Today, I choose to praise and speak aloud. To read an old hymn from centuries ago, and believe that remedy comes.

Remedy arrives in the changing of my mind.

God abides in praise. He rescues us and changes us in the very act of praise to Him. Do we make that choice?

Let us read aloud. And be changed from the inside out.

“Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.”

“Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way; Wait thou His time; So shall this night soon end in joyous day.”

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah  

But You. O LORD are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.    Selah  (Psalm 3:3,4).

“Leave to God’s sov’reign sway to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4. 

Psalm 46, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

If the Lord Almighty is with us, our dismay, changes to  hope.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

“Let us in life, in death, Thy steadfast truth declare, And publish with our latest breath Thy love and guardian care.”

“Far, far above thy thought, His counsel shall appear, When fully He the work hath wrought that caused thy needless fear.” 

Leave to God’s sov’reign sway, to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8,9). 

Do not fret…trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness…commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass…rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm. (Psalm 37:1-8).

This is my choosing today, and prayerfully, everyday:

“Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments], making melody with all your heart to the Lord.” (Eph.5:19, Amplified).

Let all the children say, “Amen!”

Receive the gift of Jesus today. We must,
A: Admit our  fall.
B: Believe in His provision of forgiveness.
C: Confess and Call out to Him.

Starting over

 

There is a time for “starting over.”

Even when a house is torn down, the foundation is left to build upon.

The foundation old and solid, the building all new. Gloriously new.

The past is the seasoned instruction manual. Not for dwelling deep, but for gleaning wisdom in the forward motions of hope and joy.

Starting over. With revelation of the preciousness of each breath.

I will write for my kids. Because the Lord told me so. Just as He said to Jeremiah so many years ago, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. Jeremiah 30:2.

I frame words already written, tucked away under black leather covers. I bring out to light words in the old song books that are living through the ages of time.

I’m starting over, yet in reality, I’m continuing ahead.

So, I will write with each new day, what the Lord has shown me in His book. I will leave it at that and pray that God draws you near to Him with each moment of each day.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on Jeremiah 30:1-11 writes what I believe God wants to show me, and you, and all the children who take the time in God’s word and take note of what’s been heard:

Matthew Henry Commentary

30:1-11 Jeremiah is to write what God had spoken to him. The very words are such as the Holy Ghost teaches. These are the words God ordered to be written; and promises written by his order, are truly his word. He must write a description of the trouble the people were now in, and were likely to be in. A happy end should be put to these calamities . . .”

How glorious are the old words written! Does this not make our appetites yearn to taste and see the promises within?  Matthew Henry continues in his writings on Jeremiah 30, which encourage us today in the trials we endure:

“Though the afflictions of the church may last long, they shall not last always. The Jews shall be restored again. They shall obey, or hearken to the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David, their King. The deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, is pointed out in the prophecy, but the restoration and happy state of Israel and Judah, when converted to Christ their King, are foretold; also the miseries of the nations before the coming of Christ. All men must honour the Son as they honour the Father, and come into the service and worship of God by him. Our gracious Lord pardons the sins of the believer, and breaks off the yoke of sin and Satan, that he may serve God without fear, in righteousness and true holiness before him all the remainder of his days, as the redeemed subject of Christ our King.”Jeremiah 30:2 Commentaries

This is it. This is why I write. I write for myself and perhaps someone else will benefit and grow in discovering treasured words under dusty covers.

I’m starting over, but I’m really just persevering on.

May we be faithful to take time to hear His voice. May we be faithful to talk to Him, to wrestle with Him. To seek Him evermore. Start over we will, with each new day.  Let us live the life He has for us.

God’s given us breath. Let us take the next breath He has given and read aloud God’s inspired wisdom:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-17.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

Read these words aloud. They are living: This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life. (Psalm 119:50, Amplified).

 

Fact, not feelings: “As thy day, thy strength shall be”

Feelings aren’t facts. But they are very real.

Feelings can whirl with tornado-type style. They make havoc of the present moments and solid things even fly wild.

Based on facts of circumstances and realities in this life, our hearts become ripped up in the midst of overwhelming feelings.

But all the while, one thing remains, though we can’t feel Him,

Jesus Christ stays.

We leave.

We mis-perceive.

But He’s present. God doesn’t change.

“Afflicted soul, to Jesus dear, Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee That, “as thy day, thy strength shall be.” 

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  (Poem found in CH Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible, p.142, based on Deuteronomy 22:35).

“Why should I continue to read,”some will say in the midst of the storm, “Why do you state that Jesus is God? Why does Jesus have to be in the mix? I can do fine with just God in all this.”

Others will say, “I need a lot more than Jesus right now. Get out! I really don’t want to hear you right now!”

The fact remains, God stays the same. Whether we believe or not – Jesus loves, period. You are precious, period. Yesterday this was true. Today this fact stands. Forever, He is God.

God is love.

Can we come close to understand?

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. Words breathed from God in the Old Testament persuading, but not only that, these living words provide peace that’s alive. Living bread for a hungry soul.

Comfort true. Comfort whole.

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  

“Your bars shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be.” These are verses from the Living Word. When the Book is open to Deuteronomy. Chapter 33:25, and by chance one will open the dull looking Book, only to discover precious breath within each word.

For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.“Deuteronomy 32:47.

As thy day, thy strength shall be . . .”  Will you believe?

Abide in Me.

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,

 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom;

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6.

Who was it that came down and rebuked the winds and the sea became sound?

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him! (Matthew 8:23-27).

“Afflicted soul, to Jesus dear, Thy Savior’s gracious promise hear; His faithful word declares to thee That, “as thy day, thy strength shall be.” 

“Let not thy heart despond, and say, How shall I stand the trying day? He has engaged, by firm decree, That, “as thy day; thy strength shall be.”  

 

I’m Changed, Daily

“The garment [expressive] of praise instead of a disheartened spirit.” Isaiah 61:3, Amplified.

Changes are necessary.

A change of clothes is a natural occurrence, for everyone, hopefully, at least once a day.

We begin clean and fresh but through the course of time, we can acquire smells.

My fragrance changes from healthy to pale when words arise in my ears and eyes. In a moments time a report can bring down great amounts of torrential rains.  Be it news, an assignment, the correction, the debt owed.  The diagnosis, the prognosis, the dropped ball, the “no show.

How sudden everything bright can be enveloped by sighs.

How quickly anxiety and fretfulness wrap around like a weed and there’s no clarity of thought – only thoughts reckless and headstrong. Yielding no peace.

I’m guilty of fear, which brings on regret. I speak unkind words that I can’t retract.

Escape I must, so I run to a place, . . .

of hiding and silence and God’s quietness. He waits for me and makes me lie down on pastures of green, so familiar in sound.

And God speaks to my soul: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (1). For the “spirit of heaviness,” let Me change your clothing and help you put on a  “garment of praise.” (2).

Lord, I cry, in my weariness, I’m weak. I have no strength. I can’t find a thankful thought. Trouble has clouded my eyes. There’s pain of blood dripping from my heart, and the only language I seem to speak, brings confusion to the ones closest to me.

“Don’t try to figure it all out. Don’t worry about all the “stuff.” That’s an unknown future that you can trust Me with, you know. Let Me take this garment of heaviness from your mind and your heart. Let me remind you that each past failure, has been a teacher bringing about great growth. Let Me help you put a robe of “thankfulness” on. Let Me remind you of good things with amplified reports.

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” (3)

“Read aloud My word, Amplified, in whom, the Son that I did send opened the Book and read aloud in the hearing of man:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me
To bring good news to the humble and afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted,
To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives
And freedom to prisoners,
 
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance and retribution of our God,
To comfort all who mourn,
 
To grant to those who mourn in Zion the following:
To give them a turban instead of dust [on their heads, a sign of mourning],
The oil of joy instead of mourning,

The garment [expressive] of praise instead of a disheartened spirit.
So they will be called the trees of righteousness [strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God],
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Remember Me. Let me lift your heavy heart. Sing a hymn, I will change your garments to Praise.”

The garment of Doxology will be my starting point. Thank you God, that You know my name.

 “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. (The Doxology).

(1) Romans 12:2.

(2) Isaiah 61:3.

(3) Hebrews 12:12.

 

 

 

The prayer in the hymn. The answer within: “Just from Jesus, simply taking …

Deep inside, tired. Deep within, weary. Like a wilted plant longing for reviving water. We hold out our hands, and our spirits seek God. In our weakness of faith, we cry out to Him.

And He hears our silent voices. He sees our seeking hearts. He breathes upon our frame mysterious peace though nothing changes.

Personally, as for me, deep inside my heart, I write what the Living God, through His glorious Spirit does, as I long for so much, time and time again. My morning prayer is written – from an age old hymn.

Not the first part, nor the middle – but the last thought becomes my prayer: “… O for grace to trust Thee more … O for grace to trust You more.” Silent words repeated over and again, but with wholehearted meaning and truthfulness: “O for grace, to trust You more.”

The next thing I know is a resurrection takes place. My eyes lift up and my whole countenance has change. “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.” This is the Spirit of God speaking: “Trust Me.”

“Trust, … Me.

I know the old words. What a treasure store. The Spirit brings them to my mind to answer and restore:“Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.”

Simply take from Jesus: life and rest, and joy and peace?

Then the realization is brought to mind, in my weariness, I’m not taking from Jesus – anything. Like stagnant waters with no movement and sound. But to my rescue at my soundless call, the Spirit woos me to remember His Song.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

The next thing I know, my heart responds. Being reminded of my Love who is mine, evermore. And the song, though silent, stirs in my heart and revives me and prays the words I longed for:

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Then those words, almost hidden, they are. Words that could be so easily missed – become highlighted to me and repeated again …

“Just from Jesus simply taking, life and rest. Joy and peace.” 

“Take from Me. Take from Me.” I feel my Jesus answer.

“I offer life. I offer rest. I offer joy and peace.”

What do we say, to the old hymn’s reminder? What is our response this day, this hour?

Let’s respond with the old words that are written, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds once again. Let us rejoice in the Lord, always – no matter the mess we’re in.

Let us sing, even aloud with our voices today,

“Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You. How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh, for grace to trust You more!”

“O for grace to trust You more.”

So, today I will go, knowing I will fail Him often. Especially in my trust in Him along the way. But there will be a day, when He calls me to meet Him, and I will finally be able to truthfully say:

“I’m so glad I learned to trust Him, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend”

but today, I will believe with all my heart the hymn:

“And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.”

Let us sing with rejoicing and be ignited with praise:

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood
And in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

 

Where is love?

Here is love: The Man was taken. Condemned. The people’s cry, “Crucify!” Wrists tied.

The hands that fed. The hands that healed, served, and prayed. The hands that lifted as His Word proclaimed, and “it was so.” As the story goes.

From long ago. And the song is sung, “Jesus loves me this I know.”

Do I know? Do I consider? Do we even think of the rejection, the pain? And yet, He was w-i-l-l-i-n-g?

If we become confused, and forget where to find love. We must stop looking outward, we must “set our eyes above.”

A purple robe, a crown of thorns. The mocking, the laughing. It all could be heard. Stripped, then whipped. And this was only the beginning …

I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

 “For the Lord God will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.”  The prophet Isaiah proclaims in chapter 50. Who is the Me? Can you and I see?  “Jesus loves me.” Do I even come close to knowing?

Obedience to His Father who sent Him to die, on the cross that the Lamb of God might make complete sacrifice, for you and I. Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. (1)

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah the prophet in chapter 53:6. 

The Scriptures proclaim. The Good Word speaks. How could we want to put the Truth out on the street? If God was waiting for me to get it right, He would still be waiting, because I fail every time.

We love Him because He first … loved us. (2)

” ... He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” These are the words the prophet reveals. (3)

God loves the sinner. The guilty. The lost.

We don’t.  Naturally, we don’t (period.)We love “justice.” The human race doesn’t love the “unloveable.” But God does.

God is just. And God is also grace. How can we even think to turn our back to His face? Do we really love God? What is love anyway?

God demonstrates: He laid down His life for all of the human race. Whoever turns from the world’s disgrace, to look and seek for the Savior’s face will find forgiveness poured out. Guilt departs. Peace floods the broken heart. A new day dawns.

There is rest on green lawns. The sound of bird’s singing can be heard once again. Fluffy clouds in the sky abound in joy to our eye. “Today” is all that matters in this moment of time.

He’ll take the sin, the ugliness.  And He gives – His love and His righteousness. We do one thing, turn and trust. He does it all, that we might know …

Love.

Lo! glad I come; and thou, blest Lamb, Shalt take me to thee, as I am: Nothing but sin have I to give; Nothing but love shall I receive.” C.H. Spurgeon.

(1) Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

(2) 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.”

(3) Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”

 

Not just a Teacher

Not just a Teacher with impossible commands, “Be holy, be blameless, let love rule your heart. Trust Me with your life, take hold of My hand.” So much of His Word, we simply don’t understand.

Impossible with man, His commands prove to be. For example, “Love  – your – enemy.” But Jesus is more than a Teacher – He is. He’s Redeemer. He takes from us weakness, and gives His power in return. He takes from us doubt and reason of thought, and gives us hope and faith beyond what we are.

He’s not a rule-book, or judge, yet He is both of these. But first and foremost, He’s Redeemer and puts His very nature in me. Who wants to hear, “Blessed be the poor in spirit,” ? Jesus’ words exactly.

So the book is closed, because it brings about a storm, in the heart of man as we walk out our paths. And, step by step, our feet  become worn, and in our own strength, we become defeated and torn.

But, His Book is the main event. His Book is the main Story. Not about man and how he messed it all up, but about Jesus who was given to bring life back from death, to restore man’s weak breath, to open blind eyes to see, and give to ‘the poor in spirit’ the power of God’s glory.

The Book, the Bible, God’s Holy Word is a love letter to His Bride, His Redemptive Story. There is no understanding at all for a man, until he’s poor in spirit, then God fills his heart and his mind to understand.

Then a complete change in the spirit so poor, filled with the love of God that just wasn’t there before. Power to overcome, to hope, to believe. Resurrection power, not once and for all, but step by step, by the Spirit within. The Spirit of God, beyond our comprehension.

He’s not just a Teacher. He’s the Son of God. He’s been sent to be Savior, Savior of the whole world.  And He died, but He rose – that we might receive, all that He is at work now, in me. The very nature of God empowers a surrendered heart, forgets all that’s lost and brings a new start.

The Holy Spirit Comforts and guides and helps us at best. He reminds us, Jesus is not just a Teacher – He is Peace, He is Love, He is Hope, He is Life, He is Bread, He is Shepherd, He is Patient, He is Kind, – the whole entire Book, the whole of the Story is about the Redeemer, that we might presently, and eternally – have rest.

______________

Matthew 5:

1One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes
3“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
7God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
9God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
10God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:1-10.
These are the words of Jesus. New Living Translation, simple, not sweet. But written for life’s transformation.

 

 

 

The Gift Giver

Freedom to choose. Freedom to love. These are given to man from God, our Creator above.

The Author of life, with an eye for design, gained pleasure with color and sound, shape, and line.

But His greatest joy, I believe I have learned, is when we choose to believe, receive and love Him back in return.

Then a song develops deep in our heart, and abiding in Him, strengthened by Him, joy returns with each day’s new start.

He’s a gift giver, our Father in heaven, reaches out His great hand. He sees, He knows, He is able … and He waits … ’till we reach out to Him.

If we don’t, we won’t see – that our Father in heaven sent Jesus to save us and the Holy Spirit of promise to keep, comfort, and help us.

The gift of God is gloriously expressed in heavenly sunsets, and sunrises. He is the Master Artist, the Author of life, and patient as He waits … for us to call Him beside us.

He’s the Creator of all that we see. He is Great. He is God. And we all have a choice. To live in the Spirit in fellowship with Him, or walk away from Him and follow the lead of our own voice.

Freedom to choose. God, the greatest gift giver.  Freedom to love. When we choose Jesus, we bring God complete pleasure.

Revelation 3:20, Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

John 1:12,  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—