Category Archives: Holidays

The Paradox of Freedom

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The Paradox of Freedom

Surrounded by a sea of people celebrating liberty

Little could they see that they are bound in slavery.

In the light of the day

The darkness was still their way.

Decked in red, white, and blue

Holding their favorite brew,

They are enslaved

Not knowing that they need to be saved.

Their bodies are unshackled

Their souls are chained.

Yet they don’t understand.

In the land of the brave and the free

So many are living in captivity.

Those of us who have been released,

Will we stay silent while our brothers decease?

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Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Holidays, Monthly Monday Poetry, Slavery, The Gospel

“How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”

 Today, Good Friday, I have had a lot of different songs running through my head. Songs reflecting that wonderful cross where blood was shed and my soul was saved. Songs like “In Christ Alone”, “How Beautiful the Blood”, “Above All”, “Glories of Calvary”, “The Wonderful Cross”, and especially “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”. The songs fits perfectly as we meditate on the amazing grace of Jesus and all He has done for us.

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son

And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain
of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts
, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

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Our Sins on His Shoulders

Surely he has borne our griefs

   and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.”

 Isaiah 53 is one of my all time favorite chapter in the entire Bible. This vibrant phrophesy about the coming Massiah who will taken on the wrath of God and the sin of the world in order to reconsile men to Christ is beautiful. I could read this chapter a million times, over and over again. I especially love the verses I mentioned above, they show how Jesus took on our sins. To think that Jesus, who was perfect and holy, took on all our aweful wrong doings is so horendeous and it’s beyond our understanding. Yesterday I found a brilliant fiction article published by Next (formerly known as New Attitude) Webzine on Jesus’ death and His taking on of our sins. You can read the whole thing here but this is my favorite part: 

“The Father speaks: “Son of Man! Why have you sinned against me and heaped scorn on my great glory? You are self-sufficient and self-righteous—consumed with yourself and puffed up and selfishly ambitious. You rob me of my glory and worship what’s inside of you instead of looking out to the One who created you. You are a greedy, lazy, gluttonous slanderer and gossip. You are a lying, conceited, ungrateful, cruel adulterer. You practice sexual immorality; you make pornography, and fill you mind with vulgarity. You exchange my truth for a lie and worship the creature instead of the Creator. And so you are given up to your homosexual passions, dressing immodestly, and lusting after what is forbidden. With all your heart you love perverse pleasure. You hate your brother and murder him with the bullets of anger fired from your own heart. You kill babies for your convenience. You oppress the poor and deal slaves and ignore the needy. You persecute my people. You love money and prestige and honor. You put on a cloak of outward piety, but inside you are filled with dead men’s bones—you hypocrite! You are lukewarm and easily enticed by the world. You covet and can’t have so you murder.  You are filled with envy and rage and bitterness and unforgiveness. You blame others for your sin and are too proud to even call it sin. You are never slow to speak. And you have a razor tongue that lashes and cuts with its criticism and sinful judgment. Your words do not impart grace. Instead your mouth is a fountain of condemnation and guilt and obscene talk. You are a false prophet leading people astray. You mock your parents. You have no self-control. You are a betrayer who stirs up division and factions. You’re a drunkard and a thief. You’re an anxious coward. You do not trust me. You blaspheme against me. You are an unsubmissive wife. And you are a lazy, disengage husband. You file for divorce and crush the parable of my love for the church. You’re a pimp and a drug dealer. You practice divination and worship demons. The list of your sins goes on and on and on and on. And I hate these things inside of you. I’m filled with  disgust, and indignation for your sin consumes me. Now, drink my cup! “

 Isn’t it sobering that Jesus, who knew no sin, became our sin in order to make a sacrifice for our sins?! This is the Jesus that deserves our praise, honor, glory, love, devotion, servitude, and adoration forever!  So amazing this is! We all are guilty of many of those things listed, yet God no longer looks at us and sees these sins because Jesus came and took these sins from our shoulders and onto His. What wondrous news is that! We have such a great and wonderful God that would come down in flesh and bare our sins!

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Alas! How My Savior Did Bleed!

 I was sitting down to have a snack and my mom was watching TV and we found a show on the History Channel about Crucifixion. The horrors of crucifixion are gut wrenching and horrid and to think that this was how my precious Jesus died, and He died for me! It was my sins that held Him there and my sins that brought Him to His death. I deserved that cross. I deserved that death. But Jesus took it for me. He bled on that cross so that I could have life, so that I could live, so that I could be forgiven. What wondrous love that is!!! Amazing! When thinking of this, a hymn popped into my head, “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed”. Here are the beautiful lyrics to it:

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
[originally, For such a worm as I?]

Refrain:

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

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A Different Kind of King

 “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel!” was the loud shout from the people as Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey. The had made a path for their king with their cloaks and others were waving palm branches in the air. I’m sure that the thoughts of many minds in the crowd were thinking, “finally we have our Messiah! Freedom from the Romans is here!” Israel had waited so long, God had been silent and nation after nation had taken over the country. They had hoped and prayed for a king, and now, with everything Jesus had done, this must be the king that would bring them out from under oppression.

 Little did he know that in a matter of days this great and mighty king would be hanging lifeless on a bloody Roman cross. That this king would suffer and die for our sins. That He would endure God’s pure wrath that was supposed to be ours. Jesus didn’t come as a political king and redeemer like the Jews thought he would. Jesus came to die and His kingdom was not on earth, it was in heaven.

 Jesus was different than all other kings that ever walked the earth. He didn’t seek His own power, pleasure, and luxury but He left His throne up in heaven to humble himself, become a man, and to die. He knew that His glory and His kingdom was heavenly, one that could never be destroyed. Here are a few of the great verses about the kingdom of God.

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;” (Psalms 45:6)

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,and your dominion endures throughout all generations.” (Psalms 145:13)

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” (Col 1:13)

 I love that last one. We are no longer under the kingdom of darkness but we are now in the glorious kingdom of Jesus! Isn’t that amazing to think about?! Jesus may not of come as a political saviour or an earthly king, but He is the king of Kings and lord of Lords and He will come again and victoriously reign over the entire earth.

~_~_~_~_~

 On a different note, I’m sorry for my lack of posting. I’ve had a super busy week and I got sick on top of it! I was hoping to be posting more for my Easter series but it hasn’t worked out that way. I will try to post more in the upcoming week though. Remember that tomorrow is the monthly poetry and I’m looking forward to that! I need to get my poetry written! God bless you guys and I’ll post again tomorrow!

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Justice and Love

“If God were not just, there would be no demand for his Son to suffer and die. And if God were not loving there would be no willingness for his Son to suffer and Die. But God is both just and loving. Therefore his love is willing to meet the demands of his justice.” John Piper – Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die (p. 20)

 We can not wrap our minds around God’s complete and awesome holiness. It is beyond all human knowledge and is infinitely great. To think that someone could of never done anything wrong, never had even thought a wrong thought is too much for our frail minds. Because of God’s amazing holiness, God is also a God of justice. When we do things that are contrary to God’s holiness (sin) it’s treason and because of how big and great God is we deserve to die. The issue isn’t that a sin is “small”, it’s that the one whom we commit the sin against is so huge. The slightest bad thought earns us a place on death row.

 Yet God is more than only just. He is also a God of mercy and love. He desires that we have life instead of the death we deserve and to be in an intimate relationship with Him. He desires that we glorify Him like He created us to do. He is filled with steadfast love for us. The extent of God’s love is also far beyond human logic and knowledge.

 Though God loves us and desires us greatly, because of His justice He can’t just ignore our sins. To do that would be against His holy and perfect nature. So God sent His son, whom He loved and was a perfect spotless lamb, to take all the wrath of God that we deserve. Jesus was God-man, the only human to not sin a single time. He was the only man to walk the earth that was good enough to be a worthy sacrifice for our sins.

 So God poured out all His wrath, that which should of been ours, onto Jesus. Jesus willingly drank the cup of God wrath and died so that we could have life. What marvelous love that God has for us! What wonderful sacrifice Jesus did by taking on God’s wrath!

“Surely he has borne our griefs
   and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
   smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
   and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4,5

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Easter Series (Introduction)

Easter Lily   Easter is right around the corner. The day that has been hidden by candy and fluffy bunnies still manages to shine through all of that to show the Truth, the Way, and the Light. It’s so easy to forget the reason behind the best day in history by the show that the world puts on to try to distract us. We are all busy with Easter plans, services, activities and such going on that we forget to take a deep breath, slow down, and meditate on the glory of this day where we celebrate the gospel, our salvation, and all that Christ has done for us.

 Easter was when Jesus conquered death and sin. Easter was when the whole world was turned upside down. Easter is when the most miraculous event in history happened, Jesus rose from the dead. Easter was when God saved us. There has been no better day since the dawn of time than Easter.

 This year I’m going to do a series of blog posts for the purpose of preparing my own heart and also help you as well. I’m also going to try to read Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die (also known as The Passion of Jesus Christ) by John Piper in the next two weeks so I’m sure a lot of my posts will be influenced by this book (not to mention quotes galore!). I hope you all enjoy this series and the Lord will work through them to help your hearts be ready for Easter. God bless!

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Filed under Christianity, Easter Series, Faith, Holidays, Jesus, The Gospel