Tell me the truth…and make it stick

Tell me the truth,
Lord,
and set me free
from every allegiance
my heart
holds to what is not.

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A different class of royalty with a different set of rules–Oh, heavens!

4 All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord,
When they hear the words of Your mouth.
Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
For great is the glory of the Lord.
Though the Lord is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar.

Psalm 138:4-6

I don’t know about you, but it’s more realistic for me to be thinking thinking that I’m the “king” of the world than for me to be praising the Lord as though He were; it is also more likely for me to be believing that I’m “on high” than for me to be touched by the fact that God regards the lowly from where He sits.

Yeah, I am pretty much the proud person that verse 6 ends with; which, according to what it says, would mean I am the one He knows from afar. Can you relate? Does your own power and position consume more of your attention and delight than God’s power and position? Do you look more to increasing your own influence than to being influenced by God?

If so, we’re treading similar territory. Unfortunately, the end of these pursuits doesn’t look too pleasant as spelled out by the 55 italicized words above. Is there any hope for us if we want to know God despite our pride problem? Only if the cross covers it. Only if pride can be included in the sins that Christ put to death on our behalf. Only if we’re willing to count God as our Savior from pride and not pride as our savior from God.

By placing our trust completely in Christ, we will be covered with His blood and pronounced righteous before God. Through power we do not possess, we shall be born of a new spirit that worships God. We shall no more be cast out because of the folly of our own efforts, but be reconciled to God because of the wisdom of Christ’s efforts on our behalf. Though sin continues to be present within us, its penalty has been overruled because Christ accepted it for us and its power is being diminished in us through the Holy Spirit. Now that’s something to make us love and celebrate our King!

 

 

Wikipedia: T is the 20th letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Evil is my greatest witness to Christ

Is your God big enough to handle the evil in your life?

Is your Redeemer righteous enough to work all those difficulties you face into a marvelous backdrop for the work He is doing in you?

When your closest family, friends and coworkers disappoint you, and there is no immediate success to lift your spirits, can the Master of your soul be trusted to harvest an abundance of virtue in you even if He chooses to do it with the help of these frustrations?

Can your God be good and unsurpassed in blessing and honor even when your life and dreams are falling apart all around you?

Is your God worthy of the same praise in the storm as in the calm?

To be honest, I think the answer to all of these questions is yes. But in regard to the last one (on the appropriateness of praise in life’s moments of storm and calm), I think a mere affirmation is insufficient. I believe it is absolutely true to say yes, but lets not stop there; this scenario represents such struggle for our souls that we need to clarify the substance of this position more so.

We rejoice in trial for one reason: When the night is darkest He shines brightest. All of our once-lovely-but-insufficient hopes are easily extinguished in a black-out like this, but the Light who once seemed dispensable has become our only remaining beacon.

It is then that we rise up with the Psalmist to boast that He has become our salvation. He was our Lord before this; we knew Him as Friend from our birth; but today — against the backdrop of our undeniable weakness — something has taken place that will forever change our life and relationship with Him: Today we have seen Him who rescues the distressed; the One whose praises the universe shouts from end to end: “Our God — Oh, how blessed we are! — He is mighty to save.”

You Call This Beautiful?

I have become convinced that my life will never be pretty — at least not according to the guidelines that I believe make something beautiful. Too many things have been broken — including my pride — and through it all God is making me understand that so much of what I would like to hold onto really doesn’t matter.

I don’t have to be the most popular person among the people I know, I don’t have to have the most enviable life, family, friends, or social engagements. I can just be grateful for and enjoy what specific blessings God has given me, and not charge Him with wrong, for the ones that seem to yet elude me.

I wasn’t born with a picture-perfect package, but I am not a picture-perfect person. I need the life- and family-package that God has given me to mold me into a person who does not cling to outward displays of perfection, but one who is able to accept trials from the Lord and still bless His name.

I need to have tribulations that make me long for heaven so much it hurts and tests that make me question why and for whom I live. I need to have pressures that teach me what to let go of and Who I must hold onto.

In life there really is no either/or propositions when it comes to experiencing true, abounding life. I must abide in Christ. I must choose to cling to Him no matter what He allows to come my way. Why? Because I have no other choice — to live I must choose Life.