Sunday, February 17, 2013

to be a used vessel.

{please click play on the music player}

The fact that God Himself is wooing me... to be His pure and spotless bride... unfathomable.  I am so imperfect, so far from His standard. Yet He wants me.  He sees what men don't. He sees the beauty inside, the light that has been so diminished because of sin.  And He woos me.  The word "woo" literally means 'to pursue; to seek to win.'  Jesus is pursuing my heart.  He is wrapping His gentle, loving arms around me and asking me to lay it all at His feet.  That's just it. To fall in love with my Lord I must leave everything. "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house." (Ps. 45:10)  Nothing else has any value once you have found the one whom your soul loves.  The odd thing is, I'm not completely in love with Him myself.  I'm still in a process.  I'm learning that as you give up yourself to find Him, He fills you with what really matters - Him.  I am so ready to be rid of me, but it is such a struggle to give up all my fleshly desires to seek His face!  But He does keep His promises, and one of them is that those who seek will find!  I know and am fully assured that my God will keep His promises! He has filled me with a faith from Heaven. What my God says was not said in vain.  The words of God Almighty are the words of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is faithful, always, to forgive me and welcome me back into the circle of blessing. To be inside of His arms, protected and cherished, is such an amazing thing!  To know that my choice to give up myself, and my decision to let His blood cover me, is allowing me a place in His heart, and a spot to worship in Heaven!  To know that my life could end this minute,  but I'll still be His.  Because at the throne of God, I ca point to Jesus and say, "He is all I have to say.  He is everything. My Lord died for me."  And to see my Beloved speak in my defense, on my behalf!  What kind of love is this?  It is a love that is so perfect, so righteous, so blindingly right, that it demands my very life. But for a Man who gave His best-his life-for me, how can I do anything less than give my insignificant life for His purposes, and His holy, righteous desire?  To be a used vessel for Jesus is counted a privilege!     

Saturday, February 16, 2013

i can't help but love.

{please click play on the music player}

He just wants me.  Simply asks me to give my life.  Life for life. It's that simple. I don't have to put on an act for Him.  He sees all, knows all, feels all my joy and pain with me.  What a blessing it is to know that He is not at all like other humans! He is, infinite in His wisdom, sovereign beyond our comprehension, and totally unstoppable.  He created the heavens and the earth, everything in it and everything out there in space.  He's the Victor who will take me home to be with Him forever. Me. He desires to take me home. His home.  The place that will forever be His, regardless of our choices.  With a billion angles singing His praises, He should be content up there.  But my God is a jealous God. He wants me. and you.  He walked these dusty, earthen roads and pointed to humans like us. "Follow me."  It's crazy! The God of the universe, of heaven, wants us to follow Him.  To join Him in paradise - a place that is perfect because He is. He sees the heart.  Not the mistakes. He can push those aside with a whisper of a breath - He already did.  On the cross, His longing for His bride spilled out in the form of death. And He died so that we wouldn't have to.  Love at it's zenith.  He is the ultimate sacrifice!  Not because He felt obligated to die, but out of love. Love.  Everything He is.  He died to defeat death.  Death begets life!

I sit here in awe, overwhelmed. I can hardly fathom what He's done!  And all He asks is for me to follow Him! Of course I will accept His offer. Why should I care what everyone else thinks?

Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, [that] someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."  And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air [have] nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay [His] head." The He said to another "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."  Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the Kingdom of God." And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9: 57-62

But not only did Jesus die and ask us to follow Him, He asks us to give up - to lay down - our very lives.  And if we do follow Him- I can't look back. My old man is gone. Dead. Forget to say goodbye; follow Jesus with reckless abandon! Let the dead bury their own dead - Jesus died so that we may live and have eternal life!  NOTHING ELSE MATTERS NOW. No one who begins to work, and looks back, is fit for the kingdom of God.  I have to keep the prize always before my eyes! Keep my heart focused on Jesus.  No looking back.  I can't. My old man is long dead and gone. Even a quick backward glance could cause me to stumble.  I want to win this race, and will keep the Lord's sacrifice and unending love before my eyes.

Because when you're in love, you're not distracted with the other lovers of the world. You can't help but give your all.

Friday, February 1, 2013

only what's done for Christ will last.

There are just times when I am so frustrated.  I get so conscious of other's mistakes and mess ups.  All I can see is what is wrong with them.  There are the times when I can't simply understand what made a person say that to me, or why they would say that.  There are times when I simply want to throw a temper tantrum or throw something up against the wall. There are those times when I want to do the right thing, but can't help but be blinded by the Flesh. Until I cry out.

I've been going through the above lately, just wondering why some things bother me or why people say what they say.  I try to make them perfect. But I can't.  I want to force my convictions on someone, make them see the way I see on a matter. A friend I have doesn't see eye to eye on the topic of dating. Does that give me the right to force the 'no dating' thing down her throat so she can be 'more like Jesus'?  Am I in control here, or is He?  I don't control people. They have choices. People choose to believe what they believe.  I can't force my beliefs on them. People choose to say what they say. I can't control that. They have choices.  But so do I.

I can choose to return a snide remark with one of life or death.  I can choose to stay silent and pray my life lives out what I say when someone doesn't see my way.  I can choose to show Love. I can choose to show Jesus.  He is always waiting to be chosen, to be sought after.  I can choose to seek His face in prayer, in study.  If I say I believe all this, then I'd better be living it out.

"But wilt thou know... that faith without works is dead?" 
James 2:20

"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?"
James 3:11

I tell others about my faith. Let my life be the proof that Jesus is alive! Do I live out what I advise my friends to do? Am I giving them the talk, but not backing it up?  I can choose to be the one that people say lives what she says.  Others may not agree with me, but I know that their opinion can't sway mine!  Jesus is my God, and what He says goes! Jesus is in me.  He's the captain of this ship. I lighten the load when He orders me to.  I can't be the ship and the captain at the same time. I would crash; everything would be a mess.  So my life is either fully devoted to Him or not.  I cannot be bearing bad fruit saying I am of His vine. I need sweet waters to back up the words! Words without action is nothing. Just filling empty space.  Everything I say must be backed up by actions.  Always.