Sunday, April 24, 2011

Glorious Day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Saturday, April 16, 2011

When All the Ducks are in a Row

I read this wonderful post by Jasmine Baucham on Ladies Against Feminism last week.  It addresses something we Christians don't think about very often.


Once upon a time, there were two women attending a conference.
After one of the sessions, the speaker called all of the women in attendance to bow their heads and pray. One of the women bowed her covered head, lowered her unpainted eyes, and clasped her work-worn hands in front of her:
“God, I thank you that I am not like other women, who pursued college educations, worked outside of their homes, delayed marriage or children, and walk around in power suits instead of floral dresses. I homeschool my children. I submit to my husband. I go to a family integrated church every week.”
Sound familiar?
It’s a version of one of my favorite passages of Scripture, and, yes, I took a bit of creative license. It’s much better this way:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ {Luke 18:10-12}

Here’s what I’m learning:

It’s so easy to sound like that Pharisee.

It’s so easy to feel like that Pharisee.

This article is for you, fellow Pharisee. You know who you are.

There is a reason why I live my life the way that I do. There is a reason why I am a homeschool advocate, why I live at home with my family, why I make it a point to embrace and promote biblical femininity, why I have chosen to walk the path that I have…

I want to bring glory to God in my every decision. I want to take every thought and action captive for his glory (2 Corinthians 10:5).

None of the things that Pharisee mentioned were necessarily bad things. In fact, they were very right and good things. But that Pharisee wasn’t thinking about God’s glory, and, so many times, neither am I. I’m thinking. “Whew! Thank goodness I’m not out there in the rat race like those girls.” “Thank goodness I’m not wrapped up in a bad relationship likethat woman.” “Thank goodness I am not like other men…”

What I’m learning lately is not that the decisions we make are not important. They are. But I’m learning that they mean nothing when they are not offered up to the Lord as humbly as the prayer of that second man:
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ {Luke 18:13}
If our convictions do not flow from a heart that realizes daily that it is only by God’s grace that we evendesire to please him… if the choices we make come from a prideful need to exalt ourselves above others… if we cannot reach out to others with the glorious news of the gospel because we somehow feel they are beneath us… if our gospel begins to include steps that will make the hearers look more like us than like Christ…

In essence our righteousness does not exceed those empty works of the Pharisee (Matthew 5:20), and unless our hope is solely in the righteousness of Christ Jesus (Romans 3:20, 1 John 2:2)…

We are no longer walking in grace. We are offering filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We are loveless, whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

And we are not blessed, as that second man:
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. {Luke 18:14}
The good news? Well, the good news is the Good News.

We all fall woefully short in this area. The answer is neither to try to walk by the letter of the law, trusting in our own righteousness to save us… nor is it to cast aside all morals in a hedonistic free-for-all.

The answer is to proclaim and apply the gospel that quickens dead hearts and transforms lives instead of the behavior modification that turns virtue into an idol and whitewashes open tombs.

The answer is to lean on the finished work of Jesus Christ, and not on our own exertions. 

The answer is in our motive. Because all of the trappings of biblical womanhood are meaningless when the woman claiming to believe in “biblical” womanhood is more concerned with her own glory than that of the Author of the Word. A heart satisfied in Christ and fully applied to following him? That’s the goal.

Oh, what a sigh of relief, and, oh, what a balm for the soul! Oh, what sweet, sweet rest we find when our joy and purpose comes from seeking Christ and his will for our lives, and sharing our love for him with others… and nothing else.

Because what else do we really need?

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Man Named Andrew

I was reading a book about Brother Andrew,  a missionary to countries beind the iron curtain. He smuggled hundreds of Bibles to people who had never had one before.  Many years before he was a missionary, he was in college, and really short on money.  He was practicing obedience to God by trusting Him for his expenses. 

One time in particular, he needed to renew his visa, since he was studying in England.  The cost of sending a letter was a schilling, and he had no money.  Day after day, he waited for God to supply, but nothing came. 

Then on the day he had to mail the letter, he saw a friend coming toward him.   At last! But no.  This friend was coming to ask for money, not to give it.

 During their conversation, Andrew saw a schilling among some stones at his feet.  Carefully, he picked up the schilling with the stones and put it in his pocket.  Andrew debated with his conscience for several minutes, and finally gave the schilling to his friend.

One hour later, Andrew checked his mail and found a letter from his sister with thirty-two pounds—more than enough for all he needed!

God is an awesome provider!  He tells us over and over in his word that he will provide, but how often do we trust him? 

It says in Matthew 6: 25-32
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
   28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Last weekend, my youth group did 30 hour famine to raise money to build a well in Africa.  30 hour is an event that you raise money for, and then fast for 30 hours to feel a little of what it is like to live in poverty.  At 30 hour famine, the parents were counting the money.  When they counted it all, we were about $40 from our goal. The parents were disappointed, but prayed for the Lord to provide. 

Soon after, one boy who was late came in with his money, bringing the total to just $6 over the goal! 
Our God is an amazing God!

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.