6.28.2008

sing truth

"As Christians, we know that our greatest problem--separation from God--has been solved. Jesus Christ, the only Savior, has taken our sin upon himself, enduring God's wrath in our place and rising from the dead to assure us of our forgiveness.
But all our problems don't end when we turn to Christ. We still get sick. Marriages end. Children die. Our plans, great or small, are disrupted. We grow weary in the battle.
Scripture assures us that God is sovereignly using our difficulties as tools to make us more like his Son. "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love as been into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5). While we know these things are true, in the midst of our hardships we can lose perspective. Problems can loom large, and our hopes can grow dim.
Come Weary Saints is an invitation to redirect your focus to the God whose love has been forever demonstrated at the cross of Calvary. As you listen to these songs, may your faith and joy in the Savior be strengthened for the challenges you face, now or in the future. "
{stolen from the liner notes of SGMmusic's "Come Weary Saints"}.

This is among my favorite weapons right now in the battle for joy and trust. So I'm doing a little advertising...Buy this cd. It doesn't matter what season you're in. If life is rough {read: if your circumstances ever feel parallel to 'rounding the Cape of Good Hope during one of it's infamous storms, in a dinghy, without oars.} buy it. If life is smooth {read: circumstances feel parallel to cruising the Mediterranean in a yacht.} still buy it. It will lay a foundation of truth. God is good. Sing about it.
That's all. Commercial over.

6.23.2008

ephesians 1

"In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."
ephesians 1.11-14

6.11.2008

promises.


“God’s promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper. He intended that they should be used. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation. He loves to see His children bring them up to Him, and say, ‘Lord, do as you promised.’ We glorify God when we please His promises. Do you think that God will be any the poorer for giving you the riches He has promised? Do you dream that He will be any less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine He will be any less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said, ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are red as crimson they shall be like wool.’ Faith embraces the promise of pardon. It doesn’t delay, saying, ‘This is a precious promise, I wonder if it is true?’ but goes straight to the throne with it, and pleads, ‘Lord, here is the promise. Do as you promised.’ Our Lord replies, ‘Be it to you even as you will.’ When a Christian grasps a promise but doesn’t take it to God, then God is dishonored; but when one hastens to the throne of grace, and cries, ‘Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, You have said it;’ then the desire shall be granted. Our heavenly banker delights to cash His own notes. Never let the promise rust. Draw the word of promise out of its scabbard, and use it with holy violence. Don’t think that God will be troubled by your importunately reminding Him of His promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to give favors. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. It is God’s nature to keep His promises. Therefore, go at once to the throne with, ‘Do as You promised..’” {Charles Spurgeon}

This quote is from CJ Mahaney's NA message "The Troubled Soul" from Psalm 42. The entire message greatly encouraged my soul. Specifically, God keeps bringing me back to this quote. Wielding promises of God like a sword is not my strength. I believe them in a sense of "this is God's word; God speaks truth; therefore this is true and will happen someday." But I'm hesitant to take them to God and apply them to myself. It feels proud and presumptuous. The sinful human going to the Holy God of the Universe and repeating His words? It almost seems like I'm accusing God of being forgetful! {i'm sure, with the sin that resides in my heart, these attitudes are there often} But as Spurgeon shows, there is a way to claim God's promises in humility. Hebrews 4.14-16--we can approach the throne covered in the righteousness of Christ and in faith plead "do as You promised."
I'm using the promise of Philippians 1.6 with holy violence to believe He will give grace.

6.09.2008

i heard you sing that you'd come back here...

welcome home little sister. can't wait to hear about your crazy adventures with mira in the mountians of NC. I'm sure grassy lane will never be the same again...