Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Measure up. Almost sounds like cowboy up. I can almost hear Christ saying those very words. Cowboy up. I seriously doubt Christ intended His church - His Bride - to be a bunch of pansies. Yet everytime I give into my flesh and commit sin I feel just like one. A pansy. Is that what the Lord of Lords sees when He looks at me? I know He is able to look past all of my insufficiencies, but where does one draw the line? Paul completely opposed the idea of giving into the power of sin even though God's grace is sufficient. He also said that he is a victim of "pansification". He did the things that he did not need to do. I am frustrated with myself for loosing sight. I lack discipline and focus. The Word notes that if we truly love our God then we must obey Him. No if's, and's, or but's. Do I lack a true love for Jesus? I think not. But I am a victim of selfishness. And of that I am ashamed. Sin is a very shameful thing. That's what I hate most about it. It makes me ashamed to call myself a Christian. To bare the name of the One who defeated sin once and for all. Why can't I? I have His power, His love, His name. I have His strength and courage to do battle against the enemy. Why do I make excuses? Do I further annoy the Lord by dwelling on mistakes? I feel as though I should let go of my inadequacies completely unto Him so that He can free me from the burden of sin. His love endures forever. Love is an action, not an emotion. I must focus on His grace and not my failure as a follower. True, I hate sin. I hate the results of it. I hate its ability to discourage. Nothing good can come from sin. Jesus I thank You for your victory over the power of sin. You fought brilliantly for an entire life to prove that by leaning on God the Father we can be set free. I pray that You would light an eternal flame inside my soul that can never be extinguished. Let this flame burn only for You for You are worthy of my praise. Only You can make atonement for my sin and only You can bridge the way from me to the Father. Thank You God for sending Jesus as a sacrifice. I may never understand how rich your love is for me. I can see Your love exemplified in the life of Jesus and I can never ask for anything more than the sacrifice you made for me. Thank You for offering me a chance to have abundant Life. I don't think I have even begun to tap into the wellspring of life that You promise to those that love You. I desire more than the oridinary, more than the status quo, more than just enough to get by. God, I desire to be like You. Not in the sense of power and majesty, but in the sense of holiness. You declared for us to be holy as You are holy. I suppose that holiness is only accessible through deep communion with You. That is the heart of my prayer. To be closer to you than I could possibly imagine at this moment. I don't have any idea of what a deep friendship with you is like. I want it so bad. God thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you for your love. I am very unworthy of all that you offer and I am sincerely grateful.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Holiness is by no means something to be taken lightly. Purity is achieved through obedience to the Word. God calls us to be different, set apart, uncomformed to the world. Charles Stanley says that being a Christian in the world is like kind of like asking an elegant lady in a white dress to to work in the coal mines - the soot will stain her and leave its mark. For sure God's plan and role is to intervene for us and provide a way of escape from the habits and lifestyles that often surround us. The world screams for ungodliness. Selfishness, materialism, pride, ungratefulness, dishonesty, and lust are characteristics that seem to define our culture. Do these things rub off? Do they leave their mark on me? For sure. I hate conforming to the world. I hate being rubbed off onto by the world. I hate knowing in my heart that I made the wrong choice, ventured down the wrong path, said the wrong words - conformed. All conformity to world does in my life is create a barrier between Jesus and me. No doubt His forgiveness abounds and His love endures through my sin, but I want more. I will never "deserve" His love. I can never "earn" His acceptance. But what I desire is please my Lord. He has done so much for me that I desire for Him to look upon me with favor and peace. I want Him to see in me a faithful follower who will journey to the end without waivering to one side or the other. When Jesus sees me I want to bring a smile to His heart. Indeed, I may not understand His love. Perhaps His mercy is so great that He never stops smiling, never stops finding favor with me, never stops viewing me as a faithful servant. But I know I can do better. It is written in James that faith alone is dead. Faith should be accompanied with works. I want to show Jesus my faith in Him by what I do - by the life that I live. It can be hard. He came to serve and I often feel put out to serve others. He came to minister to the needy and I rarely stop for the homeless. He came to be a light and I feel like all I do sometimes is cast a shadow on the light of others. I'm fed up with being stained by the world. I have no excuse. I know the truth. For a man to know the way to live and live a contrary life is a shame. Shame no more. I am a fighter. I desire to fight the good fight. Satan, the world, and my flesh are on a mission to destroy, but I need only God to defeat all my enemies. As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. He will empower to victory. He will comfort, protect, provide, shelter, and strengthen those whose hope is in Him. God knows no fear. He does not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power. Living for Him may not be the world's way, nor is it easy. Living for God may be stressful and frustrating. But living for God is the only real form of living - period. Everything else is dying early. He came to give life and give it more abundantly. I pray that I will fully grasp this concept. I need Jesus more than I need this life. Without Him life is an impossible misery. Forgive me, Jesus, for my shortsightedness and selfishness. Please help me keep my eyes and my heart fully focused on You. Give me the strength to follow Your example for life. Give me the ability to forsake myself. Bless me with a vision to see doorways to overcome temptation and the courage to walk through them. Remove any sin from my life so that I may be filled with righteousness. I truly want us to become closer. I want to know You. Yes, I want to know You.