Eternally Grateful

Have you ever just gone up to someone who hurt you and given her a hug? What about you when someone was cussing you out, did you just walk up and give her a great big bear hug? Or what about the time someone punched you or slapped you? Did you smile, put your arm around him and tell him you forgave him?

Do you realize, Christ did this for us AND more? He made an eternal decision for an eternal life. We were guilty. We were condemned. We were on our way to an eternity of death and destruction, without any care or concern for Him. We were destined to bust hell wide open; yet, He decided to leave His glory, come to earth as a man and die for us! He didn’t do this, because we deserved it. He didn’t do this, because we were worthy. In fact, we caused this destiny of death to even exist; yet, He made the decision to change it all. 

Why did He do this? Because, He loves us and longs to be with us. Can you imagine a greater King? Can you imagine walking away from a love like this? He offers it freely to you today. Not one cost involved. Not one cent. Not one sacrifice. It’s all been paid. Paid in full

…ps. And by the way, He’s not still dead. When you decide to serve Him, you’re not serving a dead god, a statue or some inate object that has no connection or life. He’s a risen King who cares about and loves you in real time! 😉 He’s just awesome that way!

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Trapped Again!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Gal. 5:1

This Scripture came up today in my Youverse app, and even though, I’ve read it many times before, it seemed to settle in a little deeper this time. Have you ever had that happen? You’re re-reading a scripture that you’ve read for years, but that next time, it’s like reading it for the very first time all over again, because God seems to speak to your heart in that very moment.

That’s how it was today. I’ve been doing this bible study on the power of our words, and it has really been strengthening my faith, challenging my flesh and transforming my words. This past week, we were studying the lesson on gentle words and memorizing the Scripture in Provers 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” …You would know, the one week when the stress loads of life are heavy on our boys and me, schedules are tight, tension is heightened, and words are short and snappy every day, that this is our memory verse and the lesson I’ve got to study and share with the class! …geez! Talk about feeling like a hypocrite! 😑

Regardless of the feelings, I kept studying, and God kept convicting my heart, reshaping my responses and working the repentance out of my mouth. By the day class time rolled around, I had made my mistakes and my confesssions and worked out a plan for us all to do things better this coming week. Amazing how, sometimes,  we have learn how to “adult better” alongside our children. 😉… I guess, if we were perfect, we’d be in heaven already; so, I’m all for the learning.

What struck me about this verse in Galatians is how, too often, we realize those sins of which we need to repent, we ask for forgiveness, and we think we’ve move beyond them; yet, somewhere along the way, we find ourselves trapped again by the very things that tripped us up in the beginning! How does that even happen?

Thinking over this, I was led to another well known scripture in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil is always seeking to destroy us. His search for our weak spots, and his schemes to bring us down never stop! He is relentless in His strategy to take us out!

However, I believe, our daily struggle to crucify our flesh (or die to selfishness) and feed our spirit (or live more like Christ) isn’t always so relentless. We get distracted by the cares of this world. We become negligent in the studying of His Word and in the seeking of His face. We allow “the little foxes to spoil the vine,” so to speak, and the battle (for our freedom from sin) becomes lost as we stop being vigilant in our fight. We start lowering our shield of faith and raising our selfish ambitions and outlooks. We start laying down our sword of the spirit to rather pick up those things from which we have been freed, as we become more “me” focused and so much less “Christ” focused. Before too long, we find ourselves ensnared with the very things He freed us from years before.

This is not what Jesus plans for us! This is not what He desires. Let us fight this good fight of faith. Let us not return to those sins for which He died. Let us live freely in the freedom (from sin) He has given us, and let us finish this race well! … There is a generation, of both young people and young Christians, coming behind us. They need for us to remain free and to finish well. Then, we might be able to share our story with them on how it’s done and allow our legacy of faith to be passed on. Live free today!

The Battle Rages

There is a war down deep within.
It is a battlefield of purity and sin.
A struggle for what can be and what forever has been.
The one we feed the most is the one who will always win.

Everyday, this battle rages.
It has continued throughout the ages.
Through sin it has promised, death, its only wages.
Proven again and again throughout history’s pages.

A flesh-filled life gives in to every whim
It holds you in its grasp as your light slowly dims.
The lamp of salvation burns, the wick is always trim.
Hope fills the void, joy overflows the life that once was grim.

A life of peace, to you, He longs to bring.
Hope, love and joy in abundance, He has these things.
He takes away the pain. He heals those life stings.
Your name is called, throughout eternity it rings.

Away from heartache and brokenness it is you He tries to lure.
To the end, he wants to take you if, faithfully, you’ll endure.
Every ill thought and lifeless promise, he longs to allure.
Your precious heart, when freely given, always, He makes pure.

Choices to choose come like a tidal wave.
The easy and popular, the flesh always craves
To choose long-lasting peace, your heart must be brave.
It is your soul He wants, for eternity, to save.

Penned – MG – 1/23/15

You Still Love Me

I fail You time and time again
I bite
I claw
I fight my way to the win
And I continue to fail to see
What it is You’re showing me

You still love me

I nail you there over and over again
I hate
I lust
I struggle to succeed in the sin
And I constantly miss the target
What You’re urging me to forget

You still love me

I crucify the very One who gives me life
I deny the Son who has broken my strife
I refuse comfort, protection, a guide
For the very sake of my own pride

You still love me

You loved me before time began
You will love me still until time stands
Your grace finds me in the depths
Your mercy reaches me in the rock clef

You still love me

Why?

My soul cries

You are My child

My heart cannot deny

You still love me

Penned – MG – 1/15/15

The Chains

I pass you on the street and gasp at what I see

I ask if I can help, but you tell me to let you be

My heart is grieved by what you have become

You hiss at the wisdom, saying you just wanna have some fun

In your own thoughts, you think we’ve all lost our way

You say that you hear; yet, you are deaf to all we say

Focused only on your own, you ignore His beckoning call

Pride goes out before you, guaranteed to let you fall

My prayer is for your return and not for your demise

I pray this path of destruction, you quickly will despise

You continue to walk on by, stating everything is fine

Oblivious to the fact, their mission is you to bind

You keep laughing and attempting to be bold

You cannot see that they are tightening their hold

You keep trying to dance and ignoring the pain

Yet, you open your eyes to finally see all the chains

Rude Awakening

I kneel here before You, humbled by Your call

My heart is heavy as I realize my own fault

I ask Your forgiveness for my neglecting to pray

I’ve become so busy in all the day to day

 

Oh God, forgive us for our wickedness and pride

We’ve searched others so deeply while our own failings we’ve denied

We’ve ignored Your desire to intently know our own hearts

I pray we’ve not been from You too long apart

 

Cleanse and purify this vessel from within

Strip this body of the wretchedness that it has been

Refine this heart of all the filth and the sin

Empty this mind of all the thoughts that would offend

 

Take this wayward tongue, bind and transform its desires

Wash these eyes of their sinful vision and all the mire

Purge these ears of the malicious slander they try to conceal

Chasten this soul eternally and conform me to Your will

 

Penned – MG – 7/01/02