Category Archives: sin

past sins

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What do you do with the person who says, “I’ve asked God to forgive me about this, but I still feel guilty”?  I hear that statement over and over again.  I usually say to these people, “If you still feel guilty, then pray to God again.  But this time don’t ask Him to forgive you for the sin that is haunting you.  Rather, ask Him to forgive you for insulting His integrity by refusing to accept His forgiveness.  Who are you to refuse to forgive yourself when God has forgiven you?  When God promises to forgive His people when they repent, He is not playing games.  If He says He will forgive you, then He will forgive you.  And if God forgives you, you are forgiven.”   R.C. Sproul

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the answer for sorrow, regret, and pain

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there are many feelings going through my head right now. feelings of loss. feelings of regret. feelings of deep and unexplanable sadness.

today is not a special day. its not an anniversary of some sad event. it’s nothing really. its just merely another day.

but my heart is heavy.

my heart is grieved at the sin in the world and at the suffering we experience here as a result. i heard of a friend of a friend who just began suffering with severe migraines. i hate that there’s another one added to our little “club.” i found out today of a new friend of mine who lost a son a few years back and left behind 2 sweet girls. my heart breaks for their loss. i know of another dear child of God who was sexually abused and my emotions oscillate from extreme anger to deep sorrow. i know of countless unemployed. countless unhealthy and sick. countless discouraged folks feeling lost and like life is on hold.

and in my heart, i just want to cry. cry for the hurt in the world. cry for the hopeless state of God’s creation. cry that the power of sin is so rapant and pervasive in what was once a beautiful and holy place.

i wonder if this is how the writer of Lamentations felt as he looked and saw the destruction of Jerusalem.

“for your ruin is as vast as the sea… who can heal you?”

Who can heal the effect of sin? Who can heal sorrow? Who can heal loneliness and broken hearts and confusion and pain and despair?

When viewing the magnitude of sin and sorrow, it almost seems trite to say “look to Jesus.” it seems like there should be another answer.

But that IS the answer. Jesus is the answer. His steadfast love and faithfulness carry the sorrowful mother through yet another miscarriage. His compassion and tenderness comfort the grieving widow, spouse, father, mother, child and friend. This friend of sorrows understands the cry of the barren or single who simply longs for a home and a family. His mercies truly never do come to an end. His goodness is true. Look to Jesus… He’s the One who paid for your sin. Look to Jesus… He is the great Physiciain. Look to Jesus… He is acquainted with grief and sorrow and is near to you in your need.

“I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit; you heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ear to my cry for help!’ You came near when I called on you; you said ‘Do not fear!’ You have taken up my cause, O Lord, you have redeemed my life. You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord, judge my cause.”

what part?

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over at the New Attitude website, they have posted a portion of my testimony.  In that testimony, I mentioned a spontaneous song sung by Bob Kauflin… here is a link where you can listen to the version I heard that day.

 

Lyrics:

What part of your sin did I not cover?
What part of your guilt did I not take?
You have broken my commandments again and again
But I suffered in your place.

What part of your guilt have I not removed?
And what part of your soul did I not make clean?
Through my once and for all sacrifice
I wholly reconciled you to me.

And don’t let the temporary pleasures of sin
Keep you from what I created you for.
Neverending joy and lasting treasure
In the presence of your Lord.

And I’m the One you were created for.
I made you for myself.
My plans are perfect, my timing’s perfect
I know just where you should be and go
So why would you give yourself to anything else?

For my blood has set you free
Free to worship me
Free to resist the power of sin
That seeks to own your life

My blood has set you free
For you were made for Me.
So live in the good of all that I paid for
Live in the good of what you were made for
Live in the good of the blood shed for you.

epic failure

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this week has just been one of “those weeks.”

you know the ones I mean, right?  the one where everything seems to be a mess.  and when it can’t get messier, it some how does?  yup. one of those.

 if i had to pick a theme for this week, it would be “epic failure.”  my mistakes this week for some reason have not seemed like “little” ones, rather “heroic” mistakes.  ha.  :) 

tuesday night I came home from work to make homemade spagetti sauce with tomatoes from the garden.  lo and behold, the tomatoes had simmered for too long and were hopelessly beyond hope.  after trying for 2 hours or so to doctor it up, we ended up dumping it out and saving the veggies to use with some new tomatoes. 

i cried. 

thanks Sarah, for once again, faithfully pointing me to the cross… pointing me to to the humor and hope found in that silly situation and for making me smile as you shared your story of the chocolate cake that catapulted off the counter.  :D

its been a good week at work, just long.  we are running out the production of a vehicle at the manufacturing plant where I work and I am in charge of all the planning details for the runout.  Needless to say, there’s lots to remember. lots of details to coordinate and lots of miscellaneous things that can fall through the cracks.  There was a major computer error today, and, I had no clue how to fix it.  I spent about 3 hours trying and thing just kept getting worse.  Praise God for a helpful IT support guy in Germany that was willing to stay at work late to fix the issue and reset the program!

Despite my feelings, despite my failures and despite my countless sins, my God has proven Himself faithful to me yet again through these past few days.  there seems to be nothing to cling to this week as I look around and see all my fruit in ruins on the ground, but the Master Gardener seems to still be lovingly (albeit painfully) tending the branches still.  He has surrounded me with people who have patiently loved me in spite of my sins, people who have loved me as necessary and corrected me as necessary.  Praise God for both, as they are both a valuable asset to our Christian walk (and praise God for friends He’s given me that are “friend” enough to do both!!)! 

He has given me department managers that despite my lack of experience in my new job, are thankful for me and make an effort to mention that (on almost a daily basis).  Wow.  I don’t want to forget the gift that is.  I’m very aware their thankfulness is not a result of my “great” ability to do my job (because I mess up daily) but rather is a gift from God – an instrument used by my Savior to encourage and bless me.  I’m thankful for my health.  I was able to go to the gym last night for the first time in a few weeks (just finished the body detox program that I was on for the last few weeks). 

I can see God working.  I know He will continue.  He is faithful.  He will not forsake.  I can trust in that.  When I look around and as a result of my “tree,” I see fruit that keeps falling off and lying on the ground in what seems to be a useless way, I can still thank my God for the fruit that He produces in my life.  That fruit, even the fruit that in my mind is not as “perfect” as it should be, can still bring glory to Him.  I long for my life to bring Him glory, whether that is a life of successes or a life of epic failures.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I would much rather have a life of successes.  

But I long for the song we sang last Friday in care group to be the cry of my heart:  “shall I take from your hand the blessings, yet not welcome any pain?  shall I thank you for days of sunshine, yet grumble in days of rain?  you are good when I’m poor and needy.  you are true when I’m parched and dry.  You still reign in the deepest valley.  You’re still God in the darkest night.  Oh, let your will be done in me. In your love I will abide.  oh, I long for nothing else as long as you are glorified.”

over-analyzing the pea…

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so apparently i over-analyze. guess it goes back to my fix-it mentality. wow. sneaking my glory into my works. how blind I am to my own depravity. how grateful i am for my friend.

need to stop looking at the peas and enjoy the feast…
trust and obey… for there’s no other way.

you have longed for sweet peace
and for faith to increase
and have earnestly, fervently prayed
but you cannot have rest
or be perfectly blest
until all on the altar is laid.
is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
your heart does the Spirit contro-o-l?
you can only have rest
and be perfectly blest
as you yield Him your body and soul

Cry

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Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Ps. 43:3-5

Father, I am painfully aware of my curent state of sin. My heart seeks satisfaction in shallowness and ignores the depths of your love and power. I am blind to the path You desire for me to take. I see my sin working so powerfully, holding a firm grasp on my weak heart. That sin that has become so dear to me is sqeezing, Lord. I try to release its graps, but I cannot. I try to strip myself of my dragonish layers of flesh, but to no avail. I am uncomfortably aware of my shortcomings in my past, my current helpless state to change and my complete ignorance for my future. I cannot guide and direct my own steps – I was created to be dependent on Your holy guidance, Your loving direction, Your sustaining leading, Your wisdom, power, and light. This is a supernatural work that I cannot create in my own will.

I need your power. I will not change unless you lovingly reach down to me in my helpless state and change me. Lovingly work once again to transform this darkness into a life that is led by Your light. Let your truth be that which guides me along this path. Let that leadership never fail to be all-sufficient. Without it Lord, I am helpless. When I turn to my own way, Lord, I find myself only further from the Light. Turn my heart. Batter my heart. My own heart betrays me so often. My own desires leave me enslaved – there’s no freedom there. My own pride turns me from your all-powerful and all-sufficient Cross. I am a Pharasee who has not ever made a right step without your guidance. So, it is in helpless abandonment to my own ability to guide myself that I come to you. I plead for your ever-abundant guidance for the next and every following step of the way. I ask for your light.

Loving Father, I thank you that I can come to you – confidently calling you both “loving” and “Father.” What abundant Grace you have given me. You are not reluctant as I shyly approach because of my sin. You view me through the cross. So, though my emotions tell me to approach with a fearful dread, You command a hopeful confidence as I approach your Holy throne. So, it is with that confidence, hid beneath the shadow of the cross, covered by the blood that removed all my impurities, all my shortcomings, all my weakness and ever-abundant idolatries… with that confidence I come to you now. Confident in the sufficiency of Jesus’ cross yet again to not only cover, but to remove my sin. To remove my fault and present me spotless before the Throne. I come not to a throne of judgment, but rather to a throne of Grace.

Sweet Jesus, you took that judgment and now I stand clothed in your perfect righteousness. You paid the debt I owed and took the punishment I deserved. You did what I would never in my own will, have desired or asked. Yet, willingly, You took. Lovingly, You gave. Submissively, You obeyed. And perfectly, You magnified Your Father’s greatness. An eternity of thanks is insufficient. But that’s the point. Your glory is amazing. Your grace is overwhelming.

Holy Spirit, I thank you that You take these random musings and incoherent thoughts and present them wholly perfect and coherent before that Throne of Grace. You guide me now. You lead me through those dark paths by the ever-present help available to me. You draw my heart to desire intimacy with You. As I look back and see what You have accomplised, I am confident that you will never fail to continue to draw my sin-filled heart. I am grateful that my right standing with You has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel. It has everything to do with the words uttered from the cross: “It is finished.”

Those three words are the sole reason for my hope. That is what I cling to when every emotion tells me to despair. That is my hope for change. It’s a rooted and grounded hope in You. It’s a thread of desire to draw to you, confident that my puny thread is not what is truly holding me. You are holding me. You are my fortress and my mighty God. You are amazing and that you would lavish your patience on me is truly overwhelming. It’s an overwhelming truth, not simply an overwhelming feeling. How great is Your love. How unsearcheable are Your ways. And to think, these are but the fringes…

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Ps. 43:3-5