Sunday, April 29, 2012

Forgiven Much

I do not have one of those super-cool, tear-jerker, emotional testimonies. Mine is rather… well, boring. I came to Christ at the age of 6. No “big” sin to turn from. No dramatic change, just a young heart answering God’s call on a cold wintry night.
I have always rather envied those with exciting, dramatic stories of leaving a life of sin and clinging to the hope of a Risen Savior. They love Him much, you can see it in their teary eyes as they share their story. According to Matthew 7:27, they love much because they have been forgiven much.

Does this mean that I have no hope of loving God much? Does it mean I will never know the passion that intense love brings? Sadly, this is what I assumed for years. I believed that that kind of love was just something I would never have.
But as I reflect on sin and forgiveness and more specifically my own sin and need of forgiveness, I realize it is really not about the amount or depth of sin but more of a matter of understanding how filthy our sin really is. Just one little “white lie” is dark enough to separate me from the God of the Universe for all eternity. Sin is sin and no matter the amount, it leaves us in a condition of hopelessness.

Do I realize just how priceless God’s forgiveness is? Do I realize the depth to which I do not deserve it? Do I realize the extent that I deserve hell? Do I realize how my sin is a direct affront to God?  Wrapping my mind around this truth can only leave me in one posture. On my knees. Loving Him, praising Him, thanking Him. This love is in direct proportion to the amount we feel indebted to Christ. It doesn’t come from the amount of sin forgiven, but the knowledge of the ramifications of that sin.
He did not leave me as I was- a sinner in need of a Savior. Christ, my Knight in Shining Armor, rescued me by taking the blame, the shame, the pain for me. I am a sinner saved by grace, left with a heart of gratitude. What a blissful place to be. Loving my Lord, the Savior of my soul.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Inspiration

The tune streaming from the radio station sent me into an 80’s flashback. Blending in perfect harmony, the lyrics took on a different meaning for me than when I was 15, wearing neon and sporting a poodle perm.

"You should know everywhere I go
You're always on my mind, in my heart, in my soul.
You're the meaning in my life, You're the inspiration.
You bring feeling to my lkife, You're the inspiration.
I wanna have You near me, I wanna have You hear me sayin'
No one needs You more than I need You.
When you love somebody, through the end of time,
When you love somebody, always on my mind...."
(“You’re the Inspiration”  sung by the band “Chicago” in 1984)

As my hands gripped the steering wheel at 10 and 2, my heart soared with the lyrics. “YOU are the meaning in my life – without YOU, there is no meaning, this life would be nothing….YOU are the inspiration that keeps me loving others…..I want to have YOU near me, I need YOU, Lord. May YOU always be on my mind and praise to YOU always be on my lips. This world calls my heart to love things, to love self, to love life here and now, but YOU call my heart to so much more, to a love divine and true and through the end of time.”

Psalm 73:25-26
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Psalm 63:1-5
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
 Psalm 42:1-2
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

Psalm 139:17-18
How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 119:20,47,97,131
My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.

for I delight in your commands
because I love them.

Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.

I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.

Psalm 77:12
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

My prayer for you and me today is this: "Lord, don't let our hearts be distracted by things and desires, only let me be fulfilled with YOU."