I must say that I enjoyed Rob Rufus' version more than the original. But I still like the original as well.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
"Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you."
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
English Standard Version
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I write the depressing posts because they usually help me identify the problem.
I see a lot of things wrong with even the "good" things I do. They things that seem good probably are not even good. Sometimes it seems like I'm doing it for the very religion I speak against so often. You know..when someone wants you to do something yet you really don't feel like it, but you figure "well..I want to be good to this person." It's easy for someone with a religious mindset to make something so simple and good as friendship into a job. I hate it. But then again, I don't know how to consistently do things from my heart! AH!
On top of this, I don't understand how I am suppose to bear fruit. The theology is clear as crystal, but the application is not so easy. I see a lot of sinfulness and selfishness in what I do. Then I'll read things in 2nd Timothy where Paul talks about how people in the last times will be lovers of self, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, etc, etc. And so when I see these sins in me I immediately start fearing that maybe I'm just not sincere about my faith or maybe I'm just not one of the elect.
I just don't see the fruit of the Spirit in my life when I try living the Grace Walk. When fruit or signs or changes don't appear soon, I get restless and afraid. So then I figure "Well...Maybe I didn't really receive the Holy Spirit..Maybe I didn't believe right or really believe at all."
Of course I know in my head all these are lies from the enemy, trying to make me heavy with condemnation so I will cower from My God. But the actual experience of it is much more difficult to deal with. The devil is just trying to make me doubt my Fathers love. Christ loves me freely in Himself. But then what about all my sins? Aren't they signs that I'm one of those lovers of the world who are disqualified concerning the faith? Or are they just signs of me not abiding in Christ? When I rest, it seems things get worse. Such as my temper. I flipped my lid just the other day and turned over chairs and things in the kitchen when mom and I had an argument. Of course I felt terrible afterwards...Maybe thats it. The true lover of the world would have no problem doing these things. The true children of satan don't have any problems sinning.
Monday, April 21, 2008
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
It was really short but made me slap my head and say "duh!" ;)
He made the point that sinners, born in Adam, can do nothing "good" in order to bring them out of their sin in Adam. Sinners can't do anything good enough to make them right with God.
And so in the same way, people born in Second Adam (Jesus) cannot do anything bad in order to bring them out of their righteousness in Christ. There is nothing that they can do that will make them sinners, just like there nothing a sinner can do can make themselves righteous.
That, my friend, is why exactly why there is Eternal Security for us who trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus has put away sin forever by the sacrifice of Himself! There is no other sacrifice to be made, so if He didn't do it all, then you, my friend are screwed because Scripture does not say, "without confession there is no forgiveness of sins." It also does not say, "without repentance there is no forgiveness of sins." The scripture says: "Without the shedding of Blood, there is no forgiveness of sins."
You either accept this or you reject it.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The grace Jesus provides for me is so very sufficient. Sometimes I wonder how can I possibly just pick up my Bible and learn more about Jesus. It seems as if I don't punish or chasten myself then I'll simply keep on in my sinful behavior. But the Law stirs up sin in our bodies. It doesn't give us power over sin. Those who receive the abundance of Grace and the Free Gift of Righteousness (Jesus) reign in life. Abundance means more than enough. God has given us more than enough grace in His Son, Jesus!
I have been feeling a little weak and lacking in energy lately. Possibly because I eat chocolate poptarts for breakfast and fried foods for dinner? ;) The coffee usually gives me a jumpstart, but I gotta lay off the greasy foods. It's too much. Besides..I'm probably at my ideal weight and I don't want to weigh anymore.
I've been reading the Gospels lately, approaching all of Jesus' words with a new covenant mentality. That is, from a perspective of God's grace and not the Law. When you do that, it takes a bit of digging, but then everything "clicks." I understand more why Jesus said He spoke in parables. The scripture can only be unlocked when viewed through the lens of the Gospel. "When one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed."
The majority of people don't understand! Grace is too good to be true to the majority! We don't understand who God is!
"This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:
"You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never
For this people's heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.'
But brothers and sisters who know the Grace of God in Jesus, He says to you:
"But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."
And Peter says:
"Set your hope fully upon the Grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Trust only in Jesus' finished work!
Friday, April 18, 2008
I've come to love this song. I didn't care much for it at first. It was a little too Mariah Carry for me. But I woke up this morning and "bleeding love" made me think of our Jesus. I just pictured Him dancing over us, loving us.
He gave Himself to buy us. He loves us so much He actually says He did it with joy.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a Man found and covered up. Then in His joy, He goes and sells all that He has and buys that field."
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a Merchant in search of fine pearls, Who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that He had and bought it."
He is saying that even if it was just one pearl. Even if you were the only one He could save, He would have still went through what He did to buy you back.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I had to post this again. It takes me to last summer when I first gave into the Grace of God. Thank you Brian (Only Look) and Joel. I fed off of your blogs like a nursing baby lol. You both inspired me to continue in the Grace of God that comes through His Son, Jesus.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Submitting to God's righteousness doesn't always feel like the right thing to do. There are times when all my understanding tells me that I need to do righteous things in order to be righteous. I must love perfectly, I must work on my behavior, I must, I must, I must! Besides...I know how much I irritate myself, so how much more irritated is God!? How can He possibly love me or even like me when I fail constantly? It doesn't make sense to me. Why does He like me and want to be with me? I don't understand it. I really don't. I know theologically that God loves me unconditionally and that He loves me not because I am lovely but because He is love. That still doesn't register with my brain. It fails to compute. "System failure."
Perhaps what hinders us from receiving God's love and favor for us in Christ Jesus comes from a constant focus on behavior? Am I changing here? What am I doing now? What will I be doing tomorrow? Wheres the fruit of the Spirit? That wasn't so hospitable and kind...Constant nagging at myself hinders me from enjoying God's love for me. Forgetting that my righteousness and my loveliness doesn't come from myself but from Christ. I am His beloved son because Christ is His beloved Son and gave me His own belovedness. This tends not to sit well with my flesh.
Brothers and sisters...You are righteous and lovable because Jesus has blessed you with His very own loveliness. "But how can I possibly be made righteous when I don't do anything righteous!?" Well, how can Jesus, who never sinned be made sin for us? God is just, but He isn't fair. Grace is a scandal. Get over it.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
You know, I had hit points in my Grace Walk where I accept the Grace of God in theory but deny it in practice. There are times when I am impatient and do not want to wait for the natural, spiritual, real, genuine fruit of the Spirit. It's sort of like when Abraham waited so long for his promised son and after awhile started to probably reason within himself, "God promised me a son, but maybe I have to initiate the process. After all, don't I have to do my part?"
Yet Romans 4 says: "He didn't weaken in faith even when he considered his own body, which was a good as dead (since he was about 100 years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised."
There are times when I feel SURELY I must do SOMETHING. I must get this thing to fly. I must initiate the fruit producing process or I will simply prove myself not to be serious about my faith and am a false believer.
But Jesus, who cannot lie, told us that a healthy tree bears good fruit. He said, and cannot lie, that a diseased tree cannot bear good fruit. If you are healthy (having the Spirit of God) then you will bear fruit because from the Spirit comes good fruit. Yet we cannot be led by Him if we are under the Law. So Jesus commands us to "Take away the stone". The stone represents the Ten Commandments. But the crowd yells to Him "Lord, there will be a stench!" But what they don't know is that Jesus will raise Lazarus from the dead and once the stone is removed, resurrection Life comes walking out!!