Tuesday, February 28, 2012

You Reach for Me


You hold the weight of the world
Still I don't slip through Your hands
Your love is bigger than just an ocean built by man
I fall again and again but You whisper, "You're still mine"
You feel the pain of the world but You never push mine aside

And You reach for me with a love that quiets all my fears
And You reach for me like a Father wipes away the tears
So many people in this world, but I hear You calling out my name
You reach for me, now I'm never gonna be the same

You know all of my fears, there's nothing Your eyes can't see
When I tried to give up, Lord, You never gave up on me
I give You all of my hopes and dreams, I lay them down
Of all the places I've looked Your the one truth I have found

You reach for me
You hold the weight of the world
Still I don't slip through Your hands
You put the stars in the sky
You know every grain of sand

Peter Furler

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Secure in Christ, Part 10 - We Are the Righteousness of God in Christ

It is wonderful to think how secure we are in Christ, all because of His finished work.  His finished work not only took away all my sin, so that I am never seen as a sinner anymore, and therefore never judged, condemned, or punished - but His finished work also made me the righteousness of God in Christ!  Now THAT'S righteous! That's a righteousness that can never fade or be marred or stained.  That's perfect righteousness!  That's unchanging righteousness!  That's eternal righteousness!

This perfect righteousness is based on a perfect sacrifice as part of a perfect covenant made and upheld by God and Jesus (and not up to me to uphold or keep it)!

So it's a secure and unchangeable righteousness because it isn't based on me and my working and ability to keep things going but based on Christ and His doings and His ability to keep things going.  He ever lives to intercede for me and that means the righteousness He has given me will last forever!

Christ's sacrifice was once-for-all and lasts for all time.  By one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.  By His sacrifice we are perfected once for all time!  And since His sacrifice perfected me once for all, for all time, I am righteous before God for all time!

This righteousness isn't just a mask that I wear to cover up my ugly self that still exists underneath - no, I have been made the righteousness of God!  I have been reborn as a righteous person!  I have been infused with His righteousness at the very core of my being through being regenerated/recreated as a new creations with the Holy Spirit as my very life!  My spirit has been recreated in union with His Spirit - they are one.  All that He is has been infused into my spiritual DNA.  I have the very holiness of the Holy Spirit at my core, in my new nature.  I have been made a partaker of the divine nature!  Now that's holy!  Set apart for Him, beautiful, clean and pure, good and lovely and new!  Innocent and also perfect before Him - a saint (holy one, consecrated one).  I'm never a sinner again but always a saint in Christ Jesus!  That's what has happened and is now forever true of my reborn spirit!  That's a wonderful righteousness!

And another beautiful way to look at it is this: righteousness just means a state of rightness, being in right relationship with God.  So for us to have been made the righteousness of God in Christ means that we have been put in perfect and right relationship with God, as perfect a relationship as God the Father and His Son have!  We have been brought into the midst of that very relationship and have been made to partake of it, enjoying the same fellowship and love.  Jesus said that as the Father has loved Him, He has loved us.  He prayed that the very love of the Father that was in Him would be in us, and that is what He has accomplished through His death to take away sins and through the resurrection and new birth, putting His very Spirit in us.  We have been brought into the family love circle of the Trinity!

We are safe and secure in His eternal hug!  The Father won't ever stop loving Jesus, and because we've been brought into that same right relationship that Jesus has with the Father, the Father won't ever stop loving us!  We now have this perfect love relationship with Him, which is what He wanted all along for us!  And we have it irrevocably and permanently because we have been made the unchangeable, perfect righteousness of Christ!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Already Accepted, Already Worth Knowing

Sometimes I feel I'm not worth knowing.  I wonder why other people would be my friend or want to hang around me.  I don't see anything special in me; instead, I see myself as a little bit of a weirdo, a little quirky around the edges.  I see faults.  I see hangups and insecurities.

Case in point:  I have these two really good friends who have never met each other, and I even have this fear that if they ever met, they would see how goofy and less special I am compared to each other, and they would just drop me and go off and be best friends themselves!  It seems so childish (and it is), yet where does this silly fear come from?  It comes from a lie!  A lie of Satan!  He lies to me and tells me that I'm no good, not special, weird, not worth knowing, a nobody.

But God says the opposite, and what God says is TRUE!

I got the picture of God holding out something - a gift - and of Him putting this gift into my hands.  It is the gift of ACCEPTANCE.  He has already (ALREADY!) given me this gift.  This gift is already mine for free, freely given through Jesus!  If a gift is already yours, what do you do?  You don't keep trying to get it or act like it isn't yours.  NO!  You enjoy it!  You enjoy what is already yours for free!  You smile, and relax, and rejoice, and say "Thank You, Daddy!"  So I don't have to struggle to get this acceptance or specialness or worthiness or chosenness.  It's already mine in Christ!

I am not trying to be worthy or worthwhile.  He has already made me worthy!
I am not trying to become special.  He already says I'm special, special to Him, the One who really counts!
I am not trying to get picked or chosen.  I am already chosen, picked, called out, significant, important, valued!
I am not trying to get love.  I already have love, the best and purest love in the universe!  I am loved, right now, as I am!
I am not trying to get acceptance.  I already am accepted forever by Him, which means I'm an acceptable person, and I can even accept myself!  I can look in the mirror in the morning and LIKE the person I see there!  Even with all the personality quirks and failings!

We are in the already with God!

We are already loved, known, cared about, chosen, precious and special.

You and I are worth knowing!  We are wanted!  We are accepted!  We are welcomed in!

Thank You, Father, for loving and caring about us!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Secure in Christ, Part 9 - Sins Are Remembered NO MORE

One of my favorite New Covenant truths is that our sins are really GONE!  This is something I did not realize for years as a Christian.  I always felt my sins were weighing down on me, always felt guilty, always felt I needed to confess and repent all the time to try to "get right" with God again and again, always felt "out of fellowship" with Him, just felt unacceptable to Him so often.  What I didn't yet understand was that when Jesus died on the cross He literally TOOK AWAY my sins and they just aren't there on me or in me any longer!  Ever since the day I had first believed, I had been right with God and acceptable to Him, not ever guilty, not ever "out of fellowship" or anything.  This wasn't because of me keeping my life free from any failure, no, it was because of Jesus' perfect sacrifice for me and the wonderful New Covenant, by which He became my sin on the cross and I became His righteousness!  So my sins are truly gone, they got killed off at the cross, went into the grave, were buried, and stayed buried!  They are gone, gone, gone!

God says as part of the New Covenant, "Their sins and iniquities I will remember NO MORE!"  My children and I have memorized this verse together, and I always like to really emphasize the NO MORE part!  Those sins are gone!  Past, present, and future, all sins that I ever have or ever will commit are gone!  God says He will remember them NO MORE!  He has cast them behind His back, thrown them into the sea of forgetfulness, removed them from me as far as the east is from the west!  God isn't thinking about my sins!  So I shouldn't be dwelling on them and thinking about them either!

Well, this has great implications for me - especially, it means I am soooo secure in Christ!  My salvation cannot be lost because I can never be damned, never!  Why? Because the thing that could condemn or damn me to hell - sin - has been eradicated from my life, taken away forever by Jesus on the cross!  "My sin, not in part, but the whole, has been nailed to the cross and I bear it no more - praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul!"

In the New Covenant, sins are remembered no more, so there' no need to pay for, deal with, or be punished for sin.  There is eternal redemption from the law of sin and death.  I've been lifted up out of that law (that says, if you sin, you die), and have bee put in the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (that says, if you have Christ's Spirit, you live!).  There's eternal redemption from the curse of the law - death.

My sin has been taken away and removed, so there's no sin in me to be judged a sinner/lawbreaker.  Because I am not judged a sinner, there is no way I can be condemned to death.  Because there is no condemnation or death sentence, there is no way I can be punished with eternal death.  There is no punishment for me! (God even  promises that not only will I not be punished, but He won't even get angry with me or rebuke me!  There is nothing to get angry about or to rebuke, even!) Because there is no punishment for me, there is no way I can end up in hell!  Wow, because my sin has been taken away by Jesus and God promises to remember it NO MORE, there is NO judgment, no condemnation, no punishment, no hell for me!  And since He promised to never ever remember my sin - that's forever - then the benefit of escaping condemnation and punishment is FOREVER as well!

Wow, what a Savior, what a God, what a Redemption!  And what security in Him!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Strong Enough to Save by Tenth Avenue North

This song has come to mind lately, and I believe that God has brought it to mind to encourage me.  I wanted to share it here.  I love that it doesn't matter if we are weak, because HE is strong enough to save, no matter what our problem or crisis or issue!  I love that we're never too far from grace - in fact, His grace is all over us because of what Christ has done to make us right with God forever!  I love that He answers every prayer and never, ever fails to help us!  Love never fails...His love will never fail us!

Strong Enough To Save

You fought, but you were just too weak

So you lost, all the things you tried to keep

Now you’re on your knees

(Now you’re on your knees)
You’re on your knees
(You’re on your knees)

But wait
Yeah everything can change
In a moment’s time
You don’t have to be afraid
Cause fear is just a lie
Open up your eyes

And He’ll break open the skies
To save, those who cry out His name
The One the wind and waves obey
It’s strong enough to save you

Look, now is not too late
Lift up your head
Let the rain fall on your face
You’re not far from grace

And He’ll break open the skies
To save, those who cry out His name
The One the wind and waves obey
It’s strong enough to save you
Break open the skies
To save, those who cry out his name
The One the wind and waves obey
It’s strong enough to save you

I know the weight of this world
Can take you down like gravity
Yeah I know the current of yourself
Can take you out
Out to sea
But hold on, hold on
You’re not too far from grace

And He’ll break open the skies
To save, those who cry out His name
The One the wind and waves obey
It’s strong enough to save you
Break open the skies
To save, those who cry out his name
The One the wind and waves obey
It’s strong enough to save you

Tenth Avenue North

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Secure in Christ, Part 8 - We're Benefactors in a Perfect Covenant That Cannot Fail

I love our security in Christ, and how it is not based on me and my flimsy willpower or fluctuating strength.  It is made and kept going, formed and sustained by the mighty will and power of God Himself!  Thus, it is an unbreakable and perfect covenant!  This covenant, the New Covenant, is eternal.  It is held together by God and won't ever fail.

This covenant wasn't even made between me and God - it was made between God and Jesus, His Son!  They made this agreement, and with two perfect, unchangeable, unfailing, totally trustworthy, completely able parties making this covenant, we can be sure it will never be broken, fade, change, or be revoked!  It is sure and settled, as sure as any of God's Words, which are forever settled in heaven!

Because the covenant wasn't between us and God but between Jesus and the Father, we ourselves can't mess it up or break it!  Once we have believed, we enter into the covenant as benefactors of all its blessings through Jesus and His priestly work on our behalf.  We get all the benefits of the covenant without doing anything; we simply receive them by grace through faith.  This blessing of receiving all the benefits (like the inheritance set up in a will) is the gift of God, based on His promises, not our promise to 'do' anything to earn or keep earning the benefits.  And God's gifts are irrevocable:  we experience the full benefits of this covenant irrevocably!

This covenant is based on perfect things.  It is based on better and perfect promises, that God, who cannot lie and who is perfectly faithful, will be sure to keep for us.  It is inaugurated by a better priest/mediator, Christ Himself.  It is set up through a better, perfect sacrifice, the sacrificial death of Christ Himself, the perfect and spotless lamb slain from the foundation of the world!  It is written in His own precious blood, the blood that speaks better than any sacrificial blood and which doesn't just cover our sin but actually takes away our sin!  This blood sacrifice is so perfect and so sufficient that it needed to be offered only once, once for all it did the job of making us perfect before God forever!

This covenant is an eternal covenant that is in place forever!  It lasts for as long as Christ's perfect sacrifice lasts - Forever!  It lasts for as long as His intercession for us lasts - Forever!  It lasts for as long as His perfect righteousness given to us lasts - Forever!  It lasts for as long as God is faithful - Forever!  It lasts for as long as God's Word endures - Forever!  It lasts for as long as God Himself lasts - Forever!

That means we are secure forever in this perfect and beautiful NEW covenant!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More Thoughts on How We are Special, Chosen, Valued by God

I was pondering more on being chosen by God, cared about, valuable to Him, special, worth something, accepted..

Think about it:

You weren't an accident.  You didn't just 'arrive' on the scene.  God the Father wanted you!  He loved you into existence!

He cares about you and wants you around.  You matter to Him more than you'll ever know.  He moved heaven and earth, literally setting aside the old creation on the cross through Jesus' supreme sacrifice, and opening up a whole new creation, in order to get you into His family.  His Son was willing to give up His life to see you welcomed into the family.

You are precious and valuable.  You are important and special.  You are chosen and picked by God!

We can say with our heads held high, "I am chosen and dearly loved by my Father.  I am precious and honored in His sight."

We can all rejoice that each of us is God's first pick, His favorite, the apple of His eye, since He would have sent Jesus to die just for us if you or I were the only one that needed rescue!  He still would have done it.  He still would have died, and that makes it so personal.

We are so special to Him!  He planned our lives before we were even born, He thought about us and planned our adoption into His family even before the creation of the world!  Wow!

And this plan that He's set in place He will surely complete!  God has accepted us and loved us forever, no turning back.  He has committed Himself to us and freely given us the gift of His eternal life to be inside us as our very life.  He has linked Himself to us forever.  His plan is perfect and He'll finish what He started in us, wrapping things up one day with the redemption of our body.  Our destiny is secure and set in the spiritual concrete of the finished work of Jesus in the New (and Eternal) Covenant!

Chosen, special, dearly loved, wanted, desired, delighted in by the Father..that's you and I!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Secure in Christ, Part 7 - We Are Chosen by God

It is wonderful to think that before I was even born, I was chosen by God to be His!  He wanted me in His family.  He cared about me way back in eternity, when I was just a dream in His heart.  He already had His eye on me then, He already had wonderful plans for me, to bring me into His family and make me His child through both adoption as a 'son' and being born again of the Spirit by His own will!  What a love plan!

We aren't accidents.  We didn't just stumble into God's house.  We didn't just find ourselves their by some lucky circumstance or even ultimately by our own doing.  God planned for us to be His!  We are important and valuable and He MEANT for us to come into His family!

I look back on my conversion and see lots of things that happened that God used to bring me to the end of myself, to the point of looking to Him.  I look back at my decisions and at the things that happened that led to my trust in Him, and I see His hand all over things, and all over me!  So many of the things that I decided, I see that He led me to the point of deciding.

I am not saying that as clearly as I want, but I think what I mean is: I made the choice to believe, but when I look back I see His hand and purpose led me to that choice.  I believed, but I see how He gave me that faith and motivation to believe.  I changed my mind (repented), but I see how He worked in His kindness and opened my mind to lead me to that repentance.  In the end, I see with relief that I chose Him, yet, I ultimately really didn't - He chose me!

I chose Him because He chose me first!  I loved Him because He loved me first!  I believed in Him because He believed in me, believed I could be something, could be His child, first!  I made my free decision with my will, yet His Spirit was behind the scenes working and bringing me to that point of decision!  I think of Jesus saying to the disciples, "You did not chose Me, but I chose you.."  He had a plan all along, had a purpose for my life that He brought about!

That is beautiful to me.  It means it isn't ultimately up to me to get this Christian life going or to keep it going.  I know if He chose me to be here with Him, He will keep me here with Him!  I don't have to keep myself!  I am chosen!  God chose us, that means He'll keep us!  We don't have to worry about "deciding" to be lost or losing this salvation.  God chose us and brought us in, appointed us to eternal life, granted us repentance that leads to life, gave us like precious faith, leading us to repentance with His kindness, working out His will that He had before time, having predestined us to adoption as His sons:  He foreknew us, He predestined us, He called us, He justified us, He glorified us!  Done deal!

We are the elect, which just means we're chosen of God!  Wanted, cared about, special, chosen!  It isn't possible for us to be un-chosen, since the gifts of God are irrevocable!  We have been given this gift of being chosen by God.  We are elect, dearly loved children and He meant for us to be His all along!  We aren't unimportant, we are of infinite value to Him!  He has been thinking of us since before time began!  He has been loving us all that time, marking us out, planning for us to know Him and to find ourselves in that love!  In love He planned for us to be in His family always, held in His arms, enjoying His grace forever and radiating that His grace and love and glory and presence to the world, to bring more and more children into the family!  What a wonderful God!  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"I Adore You" by Jesus Culture

I love this song by Jesus Culture!

We adore You, Jesus!  We will sing it for all our days!

Thank You for being so loving and good to us!

Thank You for giving up Your all so we could be welcomed into Your arms!

Thank You for Your perfect, finished work that makes us right with God, accepted and acceptable, clean and beautiful, free and perfect and Yours forever!

Thank You for Your heart of love and grace!

Thank You for looking at me with tender eyes of love and understanding me as I am!

Thank You for never leaving or forsaking me, never giving up on me!

Thank You for always delighting in me and always having a word of hope for me!

Thank You for rescuing me from my depression and fear and for driving away the darkness I have felt!

Thank You, dear Jesus, I adore You!

May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14