As long as I live there will be something worth fighting for, worth writing for, and worth dying for.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ephesians 1:3-12

This was a delightful mistake. I accidentally flipped a page in my Bible and ended up in Ephesians instead of Galatians. I was reading through the verses and found them strikingly relevant and became confused. I thought, "How did I miss this when I was studying this chapter? How could I look over this." No, it isn't Galatians, but I want to touch on it just the same.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance , being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

First off, do you realize how focused this chapter is on God. Over and over again it mentions what He has done, what He has given us. It speaks of all of the actions God takes on our behalf.

But wait. Is it on our behalf? Yes, He bestows blessing upon blessing upon us. We have salvation. We have forgiveness. We have grace, but why? For Him. It was according to His good pleasure for His glory.

Newsflash to us: our lives are not for us! The fact that He even chooses to tolerate us should be enough to humble us, yet we waltz around acting like He owes us something. Like we deserve grace or glory. We certainly deserve none. He is working in our lives. He has bestowed grace on us so that we can glorify Him. That blows my mind. Think of a potter planning his next masterpiece. Think of how you would react if he reached out and grabbed a broken, dirty, discarded pot to use. It certainly wouldn't be my first choice, but that is exactly what He does. He has a plan for every single one of us. A plan that He has had since the beginning of time. A plan that does not and will not change. A plan that involves pulling us out of the trash heap and placing us on His wheel. After hours of turning and twisting, He will make us what He has always intended us to be- vessels for His glory and grace.

Yet, we feel we deserve it. When we are all fixed up, we march up to the highest shelf in the shop and say "AH HA! Look at me, I'm so amazing!" We 'church it up' and do all the motions, and chip away. Forget the fact that were it not for grace we would still be in that trash heap. Were it not for Calvary, were it not for grace, you my friend, would still be broken, and worthless lying in that heap of trash. But He has bigger plans for you. Not so you can be glorified, but so HE can be glorified, through you. What a wonderful Maker.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I'll get back to Galatians.
I've been thinking alot lately. Thinking is a good thing. What I've been thinking about has puzzled me but has driven the roots of my faith deeper into the soil. Again, I find myself fumbling through the recesses, attempting to connect these dots into the picture that God is trying to show me. They are related...somehow.


This is a fun one. Lessons are evidencing themselves in various ways. I have myself tangled up in a debate over the gift of singleness. The debate starter is convinced that being single is better than being married. I do not agree.

My beloved youth leaders are attempting to "hook me up." :-p People at work are trying to 'hook me up.' My brothers and sister are trying to hook me up. I am trying not to scream ;-)

I recently finished a book about marriage, absolutely revolutionary ideas.

When it all boils down to it though, our ultimate fulfillment is found in Christ. The times in my life when I feel most discontent I realize that I have 'forgotten' to love Christ. Love is a choice, a selfless choice made by my selfish heart to pour out my adoration and affection on someone or something. I wish that all of the time that were poured on Christ. Truth is, most of the time, it is poured out elsewhere.

The love that God has shown to us is absolutely revolutionary. There can be no comparison found here on earth. Doesn't matter how amazing he is, my 'knight' will still have chinks in his armor but never my Savior. An undying, sacrificial, unconditional love. Love that pierces the deepest parts of my being, that knows all, sees all and still chose to love me and continues to love me. That's probably what makes this next thing so hard.


In general, we hate failing. Messing up is not on the top 10 list of things to do today, but it can be fairly certain it will be done unless we hide under the covers all day with no access to the outside world. At some point today, I will let someone down. When that someone is someone I care about, that hurts.

I know it discourages me when I fail, especially when I fail God. I've done quite a bit of that recently. Amazing how easily we fall back into the wilderness of the Israelites. God does something miraculous and in five minutes it becomes yesterday's news. It boggles my mind and breaks God's heart, of that I am sure.

This morning I was reminded of the verse that led me to Christ. As I pushed play on my CD player this morning the song "Mercy Came Running" played. For those of you that don't know, that is 'my song.' The day I came to Christ I played that song to remind me of the fact that salvation is nothing I earned. It is nothing I pursued. God pursued me. Part of the song goes as follows:

"Once there was a broken heart, way too human from the start. All the years left it torn apart, hopeless and afraid. Walls I never meant to build, left this prisoner unfulfilled. Freedom called but even still, it seemed so far away. I was bound by the chains from the wages of my sin, and just when I felt like giving in mercy came a runnin'...Sometimes I, still feel so far. So far from where I really should be. He gently calls to my heart, just to remind me. Mercy came a runnin like a prisoner set free, past all my failures to the point of my need. When the sin that I had carried was all I could see, and when I could not reach mercy, mercy came a runnin' to me."

The verse: Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. "

Before I ever knew Him. Before I ever sought Him. Before I ever even was able to love Him, He loved me. If that was then, how much more is that grace afforded to me now as His child? Even now, it is nothing I can do. Nothing I can do could ever repay. Even now, I fall...I look forward to the day when I am truly free, unable to break His heart anymore. For now, I battle with this body of sin, wrapped in His love.