Friday, December 26, 2014

Thinking It Through...

Okay... hmmm...
I believe in the Bible and it says that God created the world.
So that requires a lot of foresight, like omniscient foresight..., to figure out how to establish the world so that it continues through the millenniums.
And it would also require a lot of power as well, like as in omnipotent power in order to create the world...
And so, seriously... Is there anything about my sin that He doesn't know about or see? Past? Present? Future? As in - is there something about my sin that I've managed to hide from Him?
To the point that when the Bible says that all of my sin was paid for at the cross... there's a loophole in there somewhere, like as in a tax code several miles thick ...
Or like as in maybe the Bible actually reads: when Jesus died at the cross all my known sins were nailed to the cross but the hidden ones weren't? Or my future ones weren't... (Oh! Wait! All my sins were future back then, right? Because I hadn't been born yet...).
Or maybe He paid for this sin but not that one - the one I still cringe over when I remember it, even years later? Because doesn't He have a sliding scale - a list of various sins and how much forgiveness each requires as well as a list of my righteous deeds and how much each one earns? (Or am I confusing that with drill team and football, where you have merits and demerits? I forget...)
I mean murder can't be forgiven, right? Except Christ forgave His executors while He hung on the cross... And then there's David... But the Bible says God loved Him... So maybe God can forgive one murder but not two?
But then there's Paul who actively sought the imprisonment and execution of a bunch of people ... Oh, but he has to be okay because he wrote about 2/3rds of the New Testament... Well, maybe adultery... that's a really tough one... But not as bad as murder... And there's a prostitute in the lineage of Jesus... And then there's the woman at the well...

When God forgives, He forgives completely, fully knowing every sin you will ever commit before you even drew your first breath.
Forgiveness is not based on what you do. It is based on what He did.
When the guilt and shame of sin has been lifted from your shoulders for-ever, you can't help but love and adore the one who set you free.
If He has forgiven you... who are you to withhold forgiveness from yourself? He's unlocked the door; all you have to do is believe in Him and accept the freedom and purity that He and He alone can give.
2 Corinthians 5:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Poem

Thank You, Spirit of God - I AM-
For stooping to live in me.
For strengthening my inner man, 
For revealing Christ to me.
Thank You for making Christ so real,
Breathing life into my death.
The power of your love I feel,
Tenderly gracing each breath.
I celebrate that this is true:
In Christ’s death, my own is found.
This day I live by faith in You,
Who wrestled sin to the ground.
These miracles we have believed:
Raised to live in Holy God,
All things new we have received.
For this and more, thank You, God.
Ephesians 3:16-19
Galatians 2:20
II Corinthians 5:17

Three Days Before Christmas...

I feel like I celebrated Christmas today... We took some more Christmas baggies around the neighborhood - hope to finish tomorrow. For some reason I was really tired and as David and I headed out the door this afternoon, I just really didn't feel up to it. On top of that, it was drizzling rain. But we've already made up the baggies and I want to distribute them before Christmas is over. So I told myself we could at least finish the trailer park area. We prayed and then headed out.
There is something energizing about meeting people. I love seeing their startled looks when they realize we aren't trying to get them to spend their money on something. And I love how their expressions go from wary to pleasantly surprised. ANd I love it when kid's faces light up and they yell, "Merry Christmas!!"
And I am grateful that God transcends language and culture. One lady opened the door and I could see she was crying. I didn't know if she was in pain or upset. Via pantomime and pigeon English, she indicated she was sad. That was the extent of our verbal communication - we could go no further. I felt helpless - because I was... I didn't even know what was wrong.
And then I put my hands together as if praying and asked her if I could pray with her. She looked at my hands, said, "Yes", and grabbed one of my hands. The prayer was very, very short and very general in nature. She thanked me and I went back to my car.
I hated to leave her like that so I got another baggie, wrote my name on the Christmas letter in it as well as the name of a couple of churches in this area. I also hated to turn right around and knock on her door again, like an idiot. But I did and when she understood that my name was in the second baggie, she thanked me.
But this is the deal: when she opened the door the first time, she looked upset and was crying. When she opened it the second time, she wasn't crying and she looked happy. And I thought, "Okay... God just answered that prayer!"
God did something good for both of us today by letting us meet for a short time and showing us how He can cut through language and culture to go straight to the heart. And I am grateful because He could have met her need without ever letting us meet at all.