Tag Archives: Holiness

April Poetry: Untitled Musings

monthlymondaypoetrysmaller-1

 Here is my poetry for this month. I wrote this in early March after being inspired by this article by Leslie Ludy (Note: this article is very blunt about sexual sins in men so use discretion before reading.) May God bless you all and I have some posts that are formulating in my mind right now so come back soon! (Also, I’m horrible at naming poems and such so if you have any ideas let me know!)

Purity mocked,

Holiness scoffed,

They shout us lies

Telling us to compromise

 

 

“Freedom in Christ” they proclaim

And so trample His perfect name

Don’t they know we are to sin no more?

If they do the don’t care and after their gods they whore

 

 

They say that to Him they belong

But yet they worship their own gods

The flattery from pagan

Is joy in their hearts

Their selfish desires

Do not want to part

The horrible perversion

They bring to the holy place

The have totally forgotten

The true meaning of grace.

 

 

Yahweh has called us

We must obey

To live different than this fallen world

To live holy everyday.

 

 

God’s standards are high

For those whom with Him identify

If He has saved us from the pits of hell

Let us rise up and serve Him well

If we are set apart spirit and soul

Then He can begin to make us whole.

 

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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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Joy in Trials

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 (ESV) 

 

 I find so much comfort in this verse. Earlier this week I took a brake from my normal devotions to just take a look at the great promises that the Bible has about suffering, giving thanks and praise to God through everything, and the like. I found such encouragement from the words of the Bible, it is my very strength. As I write this I am pressing on through my current trial of pain in my joints. But I am reminded to count it ALL joy, not just a little bit of joy, not just taking it for what it is or just accepting it. No, it goes far beyond that. It’s taking joy in the fact that the trials God puts in our lives are merely tools for our holiness.

 The tough things are only momentary, even though everyone can tell you they don’t seem that way at the time. They seem hard. We ask God with raised fists, “Are you a fool? I can serve you better with this, I thought it was a gift that was good!” When we should be having the spirit of the author of Laminations, who when faced with the destruction of his beloved city, the death of his people as well as their rebellion, and his own health in a sorry state along with other horrible things, yet he rejoiced in the Lord! He uttered the words, “Therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.””(Lamentations 3:21b-24)

 I am in amazement over what God has already done with the trial of my joint pain. He is teaching me so much through it and I have this deep, deep peace that I am not sure I have ever experienced before. Though my body is falling apart right now my soul is being gently comforted and clothed by the grace and mercy of my King! It’s just wonderful! The joy that you receive when you let go of those trials is so much better than having the trials go away. I am not specifically praying for healing anymore, I am praying that God will do HIS will, not mine and that my will shall be conformed to His perfect one.

 I know that God is using this for my good, to conform me to His holiness, and to make me lacking in nothing. I can’t say too much how great this is. This is true joy, knowing that God is faithful even when it doesn’t look that way, truly knowing that “in faithfulness He afflicted me”. (Psalms 119:75) Words don’t even begin to describe this, I believe that’s because the language of joy is a foreign tongue that is learned as instructed and it’s truly belonging to heaven. Perfect, complete joy will only be found when we are in the wonderful arms of our Savior. He is good and He is faithful!

“Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God’s hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, in
awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember a trial or a pain he did
not recycle to bring me gain. I can’t
remember one single regret in serving
God only and trusting his hand”

(Sara Groves, He’s Always Been Faithful)

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Set Apart Strangers

“We profess to be strangers and pilgrims, seeking after a country of our own, yet we settle down in the most un-stranger-like fashion, exactly as if we were quite at home and meant to stay as long as we could. I don’t wonder apostolic miracles have died. Apostolic living certainly has.” ~ Amy Carmichael

Need I say anymore, truly? I think this simple quote wraps it all up. My prayer tonight is that I will truly become a stranger and pilgrim, seeking after a country of my own. That I will live like an apostle day in and day out. That with the Lord’s help I will slay giants with a single stone and walk through the fires unburnt. For I am not of this world, I am a heavenly priesthood and therefore need to be living my life in set apart devotion to the Lord. Not because it makes me look more religious or puffs up my vain ego, but because I have a God that rescued me from the pits of hell and I want to make my every moment into a living sacrifice to Him. The hard part about living sacrifices opposed to dead ones is that the living one keep crawling off the altar. So I need to keep placing it back on.

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Hebrews 12 Part 1

I am going to do something that I haven’t done before. I have been reading through Hebrews lately and I decided to take chapter 12 and blog through it. I was in my room tonight and reading it and was struck by how it is such a great chapter of scripture. So I hope you guys will like my study on Hebrews 12 for the next few posts. J

 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”

Hebrews 12:1

This is a very wonderful verse, and one that most are familiar with. I want to start by pointing out the first part of this verse, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,”. We are being looked at the see if we are living lives that are holy and worthy of respect. Non Christians and Christians alike are looking to us to see if we are living what we are preaching and following Jesus, whom we claim to love and serve. Also, in my (awesome) study Bible it says in it’s footnotes, “The readers are in effect running a race before a great cloud of people who have already finished the race with honors. Their example encourages the readers, and admonishes them if they stumble.” According to this, it means that the Christians in heaven are cheering us on! That is such an encouraging and uplifting thought. They know that life is tough and they know how hard it is to stay faithful to God until the end, so they are rooting for us to finish the race. It is such a wonderful thought!

 

“let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,” We are commanded by the Bible to live holy and blameless lives. God says to be “Holy as I am holy”. To do that we must rip off our sin and remove it from us. At fall retreat at camp last year, our devotions one day were on this passage. My counselor used the this illustration: she had this big, long, heavy cape/cloak that she had made. It would be not only hard, but foolish, to run a race with her huge cloak on. She would be tripping and falling and getting all tangled up in it. In order to run a race she would have to take off the cloak and the weight that it had. That is probably one of the best metaphors of this concept I have ever heard.

 

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” This life is going to be a long, hard road. To live life in our fallen world takes endurance and strength. There are so many times, even in the course of one day, that we just want to give up. But DON’T LOSE HEART. We have a prize that is at the finish line that is beyond our wildest dreams and hopes! We have Jesus waiting for us as it says in the very next verse! (Which we wont get into yet.) The prize is well worth the hard work, much more so than an Olympic medal is worth all the long years of training.

 

So remember that we are surrounded by not only people who are looking at us to see if we are doing a good job, but also people that are up in heaven cheering us on. Also, we are to fling off any and all sin that is in our lives so that we may run the race, for which we will get the most glorious prize in the end! I want to just encourage those of you who are already running this wonderful race by putting your faith in Jesus Christ, to not give up and to “keep on keeping on”. Those of you who have not put your faith in Jesus, please talk to me. Soli Deo Gloria!

 

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Can We “Figure out” God?

It is totally mind blowing and earth shaking how holy and glorious God is. Perfect, pure, without ANY sin, the maker of the entire universe, yet care enough about us to send his song to die, it is beyond human minds to comprehend. Sadly though, we live a time where people fail to see how holy God is. They think of God as this big guy that sits in the clouds and tells us what to do. Or maybe people just associate God with “good feelings” and think that he is sort of flaky. Most people make one of the wort assumptions ever; that God is “simple”. Most people think they have God totally figured out.  Even more so Christians.

 We have heard the Bible stories. We know that God is good, loving, he hates sin, he is our comforter, he sent his son to die for us, he does amazing things, yada, yada, yada. But how well do we truly know God? Our small, simple, finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend a God so amazing, so awe inspiring. And a lot of people don’t even try to. They make a huge mistake.

 When we seek to know God and to understand him, we are truly blown away. No one that truly understands God can not just want to worship and fall down at his feet in adoration. When we went to Montana I was blown away by seeing the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Looking at God’s creation and knowing that he is bigger than all of this, blew me away. I tried to capture my feelings in a song, but there really wasn’t a way to do that. It was just so beyond me. Especially being on top on a mountain, just looking out over miles and miles and miles of land. Seeing all these other mountains around me… it was amazing!

 A great song on this subject is What Do I know Of Holy, by Addison Road. It is a wonderful pop-hymn about the holiness and glory of God. I wrote down my thoughts on this song and I will share them with anyone who wants them. Really take some time to explore God’s amazingness and holiness. It will bring us to our knees.

In Christ, who is glorious and praiseworthy,

Olivia

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