April 22, 2010

"Sinking Fast"

Verse 1:
You drowned your Son in our pool of sin.
Time after time we dive back in.
Send your Spirit and throw us a line.
Most gracious Father hear our cry.

Holy, Holy, is your name.
Only Your kingdom will still remain.
Let your will be done in our lives./ 3x through - Let your glory be our lives.
This is our heart; Lord hear its cries.

Verse 2:
Show us how deep the water goes.
How many times will we dip our toes.
It feels so nice and it's hot outside.
I think I'm going in just one last time.


Verse 3:
I'm in the water now and I'm sinking fast.
I dove right in; I'm taking a bath.
But it's okay; the water has changed.
I'm swimming now in a pool of grace.


April 18, 2010

"Godly Gravitational Force"

The cross of Jesus Christ is a magnet for souls. Everyone knows that positive and negative attract, so the positive in this case is the cross and the negative are God's elect. By God's sovereign will he draws us to the center of human history, which is the cross. Through this process we rebel against God and try to fight his pull on our hearts, but God's pursuit of his bride is in his sovereign hands and he will not and cannot fall short.
We fail to see the glory of the cross at times, and turn from it and act like it never happen so then we can go on sinning. But if the cross is at the forefront of our minds then why would we ever want to sin. At that moment, we see our Savior bearing our pain and suffering, we see our hope for eternal joy. Let's not forget about the resurrection though. Through that we now have a living Savior who is interceding for us, sin and death have no power over us anymore, Jesus has made a way to get to his Father. As Christians this is what we should be looking towards, running towards, and building our lives around. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul talks about the Resurrection of the dead. If Christ wasn't raised from the dead then our faith is in vain, but since he has been raised from the dead it proves that he is God and our work , if done for God, is not done in vain.
Back to the magnet analogy... Once we get to the cross and surrender ourselves through faith, the "positive" charge of Christ (his righteousness) is imputed to us and we have a new charge (identity). Now in one sense we have the same charge as Christ, so we take the good news of salvation we have received, and pursue the other negative charged elect that have yet to hear of the gospel. In another sense we still have a negative charge of our own, and need to continually be brought back to the cross ourselves. Basically justification and sanctification. We are fully given a positive charge (100% righteous), but we still have a negative charge as well (because of our depravity we won't be fully glorified until we reach heaven).
I know it's not a perfect analogy but the main thing I'm trying to say is that God calls people and grants us the grace to put saving faith in his perfect Son, and from the love, grace, and mercy that was shown to us we should be compelled to share it will others. That's the basis of the analogy. It's just a way to show God as the Good Shepherd of his sheep and the Bridegroom of his church.

April 2, 2010

"Good Friday Meditations"

- We welcome him (Jesus) in with the loudest praises of Hosanna, and we send him out with the loudest cries of crucify.
- He accepted both pleas with humility and made a plea of his own, which he prayed that his Father would be glorified.
- The most evil scheme of the devil was used for the greatest good by God.
- The sin that put our Savior on the cross was also paid for that same day.
- The darkest hours in all of history are the most glorious as well.
- The hands and feet that received the nails should have been mine.
- Jesus should mock us in our sin but he loves us instead. We mocked Jesus in his sin on the cross and shouted false
accusations, but he loved us through that as well.
- Christ can glorify God through the worst event in history and I forget to glorify God through the best times in my life.

God turned his back and poured out all his wrath on his own Son, and I will never have to experience that because of what Jesus has done, and the faith that he grants to me. Let's not forget that he did this evil to someone he loved. What about an enemy with God? What is he going to do to them? I was an enemy of God's at one time, and what did he do to me? He welcomed me into his family and allowed me to dine at his table. He called me a son and heir with Christ. I am a part of God's holy family. I am pure and righteous in the sight of God.
Let's see how I got to this point in my life. Well I go to church every week, God likes that. I went on a mission trip last summer, God must be all smiles after that. I read my Bible and pray sometimes, bonus points. I haven't done anything majorly wrong to anyone. I listen to the best Christian artists, and read only the holiest of books. I'd say I'm doing pretty well, wouldn't you... Hell No! What good is any of that to God? Why would I try to add onto the perfect atoning sacrifice of Christ? Jesus was mocked, ridiculed, shouted at, spit upon, scourged and flogged with whips that had pieces of glass, bone, and metal on the ends of them. He was beaten with rods, and had his beard plucked. He was stripped down to his flesh, which there wasn't much left of, and had a "crown" of thorns forced onto his head. He hiked up a hill in the blistering sun with a large cross-beam on his bone-piercing flesh. He basically had railroad spikes driven into his healing hands and faithful feet. He was hoisted into the air so everyone could see and scoff some more, they placed bets on his clothes. The soldiers probably placed a wooden block under his feet, so he could use it to push off with and catch a breath, but nonetheless it prolonged his life, so his crucifixion would be as long and excruciating as possible. With every struggling breath he took, his tender back was naggingly scrapping against the thorns from the wood.
This is no slap on the butt you get from your parents when you are in trouble, and it stings for a bit then the next moment it's gone, but our creator hung there bearing the weight of our sin for hours. Saying the Father crushed his Son is true but I feel like the word crushed just doesn't do justice, and I hope you now feel the same way.
Did Jesus go through all this so that one day ________ (insert your name) could try and gain, earn, or attain salvation through my own pathetic works. My greatest and awesome deeds are mere ashes under God's feet.
Did Jesus go through all this just so I could have a chance to go to Heaven one day, and live my life wondering, "Am I good enough? Will I get there?"
Jesus went through all this to glorify his Father and satisfy all the Father's wrath. He paid for our sins (actions, thoughts, and words). God cancelled the ransom that was placed on our lives by the fall of Adam, and it was paid in full by Jesus' death on the cross. Now I don't have to question and wonder if I will be good enough to make it to Heaven one day. The debt has been paid, and his sacrifice was sufficient. Stop trying to do something in order to stand righteous before God. If your foundation of getting to Heaven is the good deeds you have done, then what good is it if it falls to pieces with every sin you comment. If you're trying to outweigh the bad with the good then that is impossible. Even if you only sinned one time in your whole life, no amount of good deeds could ever make up for that one fall. This is why Jesus' atoning sacrifice is so important because without it we are still dead in our sin, but with it we are made alive with Christ and we can stand righteous before a Holy, Holy, Holy God.
When I say there is nothing left for us to do in order to obtain salvation, I mean there is nothing left for us to do. If your hope for salvation is found only in Jesus' perfect life, atoning death, and bodily resurrection, then rejoice with me today on this Good Friday.