There, But For the Grace of God, Go I…

5 11 2009

There, But For the Grace of God, Go I…

Thursday, November 5 at 3:12pm

Psalm 73:28…”But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

The great joy and exultation I have felt since my return to the Lord has buoyed me and the past year and a half has felt like a time of preparation, almost like a second infancy of sorts; where I’ve learned to walk, and talk, and been weaned from the milk and onto the meat of the Word. I have had the blessings of wonderful Christian friends, new and old, who have held my hands and guided me, and helped me to see where to place my feet as I stumbled in my first steps. Then, I began to see just a tiny portion of the Design, and began to write, and began to learn boldness in the Spirit, to be one of those whose voices would cry out, and, again, I felt blessed beyond belief. I have had such a time of joy and happiness!!!! I thank the Lord for having given me this time of peace and grace, undeserving as I might have been, for I shall treasure it forever!

Ah, but we can’t live on the mountain-top, as I have often said, can we? Oh, it’s pretty, and you get to see some incredible vistas, but nothing of substance grows on the mountain top; nothing of lasting or needful use; and we must once more go down into the valley where lies food and water, warmth and all of the comings and goings and vicissitudes of life. So, I came down off the “mountain of preparation”.

Wow. It was quite a revelation, to say the least! So much has happened to me recently, around me, with friends and family, that I feel like I’ve been caught up in a massive whirlwind, a maelstrom boiling and screaming around me. But, no matter what the situation is, no matter how painful, how difficult, He is there for m to run to and He will comfort me and help me, to give me strength that I may …soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31b (NIV)

It’s been amazing to me that, as I’ve drawn closer to God, how Satan has really stepped up his efforts to pull and tear me away. The father of a friend of mine said something along the lines of, “…when Satan starts to battle you THAT hard, you know you’re doing something right for the Lord”. Well, I’m hanging onto that, tooth and nail, because it certainly feels like I’m doing battle, and, you know what? That is as it should be!! We ARE in a battle! Why else would scripture speak of the “armor of God” and of all the other battle references we have throughout scripture?

The life I have lived has not been the best, I freely admit and confess. I’ve done a lot of things, participated in a lot of things, that were very definitely not of the Lord and very much against the Lord in many cases for many years. But, like Paul, Christ took mercy, even on me, a grievous sinner, and forgave me my sin.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:12-17(NIV)

This was written for me! For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 (NIV, para) I am no better than anyone else!!!! The ONLY thing that sets me apart from anyone is that I cried out to the Lord from the depths of my sin and He forgave me and drew me to Himself, and it is in Him that I rest my trust and in Him Whom I place my faith, and give my worship.

None of us is perfect, even as “born-again” Christians. We are still trapped inside of these fleshly bodies, still subject to the desires and willfulness of the “old man”. And yet, we have recourse, in Him Who is perfected unto eternity, the Perfect Sacrifice given for us that we, too, may share in the inheritance of the eternal Kingdom of God.

How great a gift! How wonderful a prospect! I use all the exclamation points this computer could possibly produce and STILL not express my exultation and joy in that! He forgave me, a sinner. I know, now, why it is that so many identify with Paul and what he speaks of when he talks about how God lifted him from his persecution of the early Christians and re-made him one of the greatest teachers of the new church, and, through him, took the message of God’s salvation out into the wide world; because it was for ALL of us, not just the Jews, but the Gentiles, the tribesmen living in isolation in the jungles of South America, the idolaters living in Indonesia, very nation, every culture, every people and even right there in the heart of Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures. The message that the gift of salvation is available to EVERYONE is what we, his disciples, are charged to spread to “all the nations”.

I don’t know how many people read what I write, exactly. That isn’t even of importance to me. What is important is that I am obeying what the Lord has given to me – to all believers -to do: to spread His word, to tell others of the great mercy he showed to me, and to show others the way to that mercy. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less.

A day is coming, and we know not when that is; despite what all that the speculators, “experts” and pundits may say on television and the Internet and in books and other publications; when the Lord will return and take us home to be with Him for all eternity. That is the hope of every believer, to know that one day we will be with out Lord forever. My own soul longs to fly and be with Him each day, already my thoughts are overwhelmed with those of spending eternity worshiping my Lord with joy and love.

It is for those reasons that I write as I do, and why I write I write. Not so that any glory come to me for it, for it isn’t me that ought or need be exalted. I am as nothing, I am but dust, raised and given the breath of life by the love and mercy of my Creator, God Almighty. I write to fulfill what my Lord has commanded, and to share with others the living water that gave me the gift of life everlasting with my Lord and God.

As it says in Revelation 22:17 &20 “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life…He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.(NIV)

Honor and glory to be to God Almighty and may the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.

~H

image26

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."


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