Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Ungodly One.

I am a sinner. I am one of the selfish, prideful ones.

Had I been there, the day of Christ's Crucifixion, I would've been one of the ignorant by-standers yelling "crucify Him!" 

I was one of those wicked ones yelling for the sinless One, to die. 

I can't claim much as being just me. But this I can claim for myself, I am one of the chief sinners. 

I am one of the ungodly.

I am a stubborn, habitual sinner. 

The perfect lamb of God suffered unimaginable horrors. He was beaten, mocked, despised. His body of flesh was destroyed as He hung on the cross, gasping for air. His Spirit was alone, separated from His Father because of the world's sin placed on Him. 

Christ did this for the ungodly. For the wretched sinners. For the ones who, by all standards couldn't be salvaged.  

I nod my head, raising my hands above my head. I step forward. That's me. 

Yes. I'm guilty.

I am undone.

I am confronted with the stark reality of my unworthiness. All my ugly sin is all I can carry to the foot of the cross. And yet, He still says, "come." 
I see Christ's hands torn and bleeding, pierced by the thick nails. I sob out loud. 

He suffered and died, for my ungodliness. He suffered and died, for yours.

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die, but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life."
Romans 5:6-10

"Jesus did not die for our righteousness, but he died for our sins. He did not come to save us because we were worth the saving, but because we were utterly worthless, ruined, and undone. He came not to earth out of any reason that was in us, but solely and only out of reasons which he fetched from the depths of His own divine love.
"In due time Christ died for the ungodly." Fix your mind on that, and rest there. Let this one great, gracious, glorious fact lie in your spirit till it perfumes all your thoughts, and makes you rejoice even though you are without strength, seeing the Lord Jesus has become your strength and your song, yea, He has become your salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)"
~Charles Spurgeon "All of Grace"

What a glorious truth! That He died for me! Me. 

He knows I'm empty; He calls me to come and drink of Him, to be filled. He knows I come stained crimson with sin, but He says come to be washed whiter than snow. He knows I'm without wisdom, He says come ask Him for His wisdom. He knows all I can bring is my great need for Him, He says come and He will satisfy

"Since then we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Hebrews 4: 14-16

And Christ says to come to Him with confidence. Because He knows, and opens me to know, that I'm one of the ungodly. 

Praise God that, that's exactly who He died and rose again to save!

The ungodly one. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dusty Gold.

There is only room for One King on the throne of our heart.

One Savior. One Master. Only one Precious One.

Job 22: 24-26
If you lay gold in the dust, and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent bed, 
then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver. 
For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.

I must lay my gold in the dust. Drop it in the dirt. Surrender it among the stones. The gold I hang onto so tight can take many different forms. It can be an old habit, or some part of my old nature raising it's ugly head. Or it can be something. Or it can be an idea of mine, or a desire of mine. Our ways always seem right in our own eyes, but it's God who judges the heart. 

But there is one thing that all my gold has in common: it's of this earth. 

When I lay it down in the dirt where it belongs I can see it for what it is. It's not gold at all! 

And when I stop looking at the dusty ground, then I can lift up my face to God. Then the Almighty will be my delight.

When I stop holding tight to the dusty things of this earth, then I can reach out and hold tight onto Christ. 

I desire Christ to be my most Precious Treasure.

I want Him to be the One King on my throne. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The first day of 2014

The new year. It's here.

Half of me says, already?
The other half says, finally.

I love the feeling of a fresh, new, start. The confidence that comes from knowing that He who began a good work in me, is just and faithful to complete it.

I look back at this past year, chalk-full of so much. Like shelves packed tight with books. I'm glad we have a New Years Day. It makes me take a moment to pause, to remember, to look forward.

This last year looms full of mountain tops, valleys and plateaus where I was not on the mountain or in the valley. It's full of things I never thought would happen. Mistakes I never thought I'd make, victories I never thought I'd have.
Through all the ups and downs, all my inconsistency, my doubts, my expectations there is One who has been faithful.


He's the grace that's held my last year together. Looking to this new year I expect to see even more of His abundant grace.

My hope for this new year; my heart's desire, is to earnestly seek and truly know my Lord, my Savior and His grace, like I never have before. I want the nearness, the close intimacy that comes when we draw near to HIM and He draws near to us.

While I don't have a list of resolutions, I do have a few things I hope to do with regularity in the new year. They are:
memorizing, writing, reading, praying, listening, loving, and breathing.

I need to memorize more of God's words! I can easily remember quotes from a movie or book, but my repertoire of God's living words is shamefully small. This needs to change.  

I need to write more! Much more than I did this last year. I'm starting with a goal of posting on this blog and our business blog once a week, on Monday. {clearly, I'm working over-time with this post.} And then I have dreams of a cookbook and possibly a novel. Probably neither of those will be completed with the close of 2014, but they most certainly won't be if I never work on them.

I want to be in God's word every day. I want to daily be renewed and transformed by words that come from the breath of God.
I also just want to read more books this year. I allowed myself dry times of little reading material last year. This was a mistake, {as it always is} I need the creativity of other writers to inspire and feed my own creativity as I write; I need to be inspired and challenged by tales, old and young.

I need to pray more. I need to pray constantly. Every moment of any day I can approach the throne of a perfect, Holy God, and I can talk with Him. It's an incredible gift! But often, I neglect it. I want set times of prayer throughout my day, like a monk who shapes his day around the bell that rings for prayer.

I need to listen more. I'm so quick to talk; to spout my ideas and opinions. In my haste to say something how often to I do I trample over someone else? If I'm honest, often.

I need to love with Christ's love. I so often love people with my love that is small, temperamental, selfish, and really not love at all. I need to love the way God loves me which is faithfully, abundantly, selflessly.

I need to take more moments to just breath. In. Out. I need to be still and know that He is God. I need to revel in His presence. His peace. I need to just breath. Breath deep, long, slow. Grab hold of the moments, don't let them just run by.

I pray that you reach out and grab hold of this new year; that you revel in its gifts, large and small. Most of all I pray that you taste, feel, and know GOD like you never have before.