Thursday, September 24, 2009

He Restores

The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. Ezek 39:23

The picture in my mind of God hiding His face from his children is so heartbreaking. Like a loving parent who had no choice but to punish... He grieves. But, His love is not diminished.
It is with great passion that He restores His own to a right relationship with Him.

I am so glad that Israel is not forgotten. No one has taken her place as the apple of God's eye. I love that! This wonderful example of God's great love is a comfort. I too have gone astray. I too have caused God to hide His face from me. I am so grateful for His grace and mercy.

Lord, help me live with a grateful heart and to please you in all that I think, say and do. Thank you for restoration!


Photo is: Golden Jerusalem (google re-use)


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fear










fear eats faith

words are unsaid because of it
tears are shed too

fear is subtle
insidious

fear creates more fear
it squeezes
it mocks
it steals

fear causes confusion
regret

brings depression
makes flight

starve it!



For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7


Photo is: Crazy Heart (google re-use)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Andrew's Farewell

I think the following poem has been with me a lifetime. It was first whispered in my ear about 6 years ago. For some reason, until now, I have been unwilling to release it.

If you've read Foxe's Book of Martyrs you will recall the account of the apostle Andrew's death, or rather, his demeanor as he approached it.

"Andrew, going toward the place, and seeing afar off the cross prepared, did change neither countenance nor colour, neither did his blood shrink, neither did he fail in his speech, his body fainted not, neither was his mind molested, nor did his understanding fail him, as it is the manner of men to do..."

Though Andrew was not in my mind as I wrote the poem, I find that I often think of him when I read it. I marvel at the Grace and Peace that was with him as he was delivered into eternity.





Andrew's Farewell


If the palms of wickedness
rub hot with hostility
and strategy
or if we see love turn to wax
before our breaking eyes

O wounded soul
look away

If the guillotine’s bladed thirst
be unquenched by martyr’s blood
or if fires bellow for fagots
a crowd to witness
and a melancholy wind

O miry clay
rejoice in the terrible hour

See beyond the storm
of this great stage
and nestle beneath His wings
where He lifts our chin to see His face
and we let go of fear forever

O how beautiful
the gates of Glory





Photo is: Martyr's Stake (google re-use)

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Beware My Love

We all want our loved ones to be happy, healthy and wise. Typically, we overlook the bad and magnify the good; we forgive and defend them passionately. This is a good love.

But what happens when a loved one becomes devoted to a false religion, life style or belief system and refuses to be persuaded about their error?

Sometimes we come to conclusions…or we rationalize -

“Well, I believe that God is love. There is no way that God’s going to send them to hell...I just don’t believe that!"

"Everyone always thinks they’re right and that their way is the only way!”

Suddenly our love for the person manifests by defending their error.
We can’t accept or tolerate the adverse consequences indicated by the choices they’ve made. It’s too painful. This is a bad love.

It seems to me that this rationale not only validates and condones their error but is also an insidious mar upon our own consciences; a subtle wedge of deception. If not careful we will find ourselves in the grasp of a false belief system too.

A shift from biblical truths for the sake of our loved ones does nothing to save them. In a real sense, it’s checkmate for the devil. We’ve become deceived ourselves and rendered ineffective witnesses of truth in the loved ones life. We’re no longer full of faith and hope. We’re no longer praying for the person’s salvation!

Instead, we become full of defensive pride, fear and even resentment for anyone who would be so philosophically and mystically deprived as to suggest that there is but one narrow way to God and heaven. We have declared the loved one and ourselves acceptable.

God Word says –

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.


If we, as believers surrender and exchange the truth for a lie then perhaps our neighbors will. After all, they have loved ones too. Over time, this ‘bad love’ becomes a vortex for the whole of society. Everyone is right in their own eyes, truth is suppressed, churches are politically correct, governments oppress and on it goes.

I’m not suggesting that we harden our hearts and shun our misled loved ones. Au contraire! We are to love them even more by holding fast to the truth we know, praying and being good examples. Let the Holy Spirit lead us.

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Remember the old adage… “if you can’t beat them join them?” Well, we’re not trying to beat them. We are trying to win them! Selah



Photo is "lost souls" (google re-use)