broken.

We are so broken, God.  We are so broken, each one of us.  And You are the only One who can fix us.

Jesus said:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind,

to set the oppressed free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19, NIV)

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Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Halloween–pfft.

Zombies are rinky dink.  Getting actually raised from the dead–that’s the real deal.

Does the Spirit of the one who brought Jesus back to life live in you? Then the one who brought Christ back to life will also make your mortal bodies alive by his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:11, GW)

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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(with)

With Jesus, I’m the most blessed person on earth.

But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:16, NLT)

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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(without)

Without Jesus, I’m the most wretched person on earth.

But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:16, NLT)

Published in: on October 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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Weight

The final story of my life is not the weight of the sin I’ve done but the weight of the forgiveness You have carried to me.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4, NIV)

Published in: on October 15, 2013 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Your Love

Your love is One-of-a-kind and the world won’t see it from anywhere or anyone else if they don’t see it from You.

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:5, NIV)

Published in: on October 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pulled under

Christ’s grace is like that one last big wave.

My heart doesn’t see it coming; can’t resist it.

What has held so firm to legalism, so doggedly to joyless living, is at last carried away in the roil of a final wave I never saw coming.

It’s a violent crest, and it fights harder for me than I can.

I go under.

No matter how hard, how meaninglessly hard I try to swim against it, I am under the current.

Once again, I find the rigid lovelessness inside me melt like wax on a flame.  Once again, I find my fears give way to a resting trust in the ocean above and beneath me.

And I am carried away once more.

. . reminded at last that it is only He who can drown me in His love . . not I . .

. . that He is not not working hard to beach me on the sand . .

. . but rather that He has fought excruciatingly hard against the whirlpools of my misunderstandings and the current of my failures . .

And that, at last, I can rest, I can really rest, and let the tide of His mercy carry me out . .

. . without struggling to swim towards Him – choking on mouthfuls of grace – terrified He will leave me behind if only He gets the chance.

Oh, to drown in the love of Jesus Christ.  To glimpse the treasures buried deep within the waters of His peace.  To chance to see the unearthly beauties of a secret grace under the surface of what I have struggled so hard to stay above . .

Under the crimson sea of His blood, there is real rest . . delight . . peace . . and a world in which I already have God’s favor.

How can I possibly allow myself to drown in such reckless love, when I am such a wretch that I would choke on the very grace that keeps me far from the shore of my sins?

But how can I possibly resist, when the ocean that carries me to Heaven’s shores is the very blood of God?

But unfathomably, audaciously, resist I would, and that is why He sends His last big wave to catch me off guard.

The grace of Christ proves too much for me–even me in my most abased soul–to conquer.

I am too far under to swim up to the surface.

And, truly, this is why I am a Christian.

Over on the shore of sin, take a walk right by the coastline, and you will find a shell from a far-away land washed up on the shore.  The waves gently touch it, nudging it toward you.

Within this shell whispers the music of Heaven.

This shell has a name.  Hear: we call it John 3:16.

Pick up the mysterious shell of John 3:16, hold it close to your ear, and you will hear this breath-snatching, unforgettable melody within.  It is the melody of how to drown in God’s peace–musical notes far more beautiful than I could ever capture in any song I could write here.  I am just one carried in the Wave.

This is music written by the Wave Himself, music so mission-critical to Him that He would trust the music to no one’s mouth but His own.  He Himself spoke the words within this shell.  If you listen, you will hear Him calling to you from Heaven’s shore.

Sand Creative Commons

But He is not only over there . . on an infinitely far-away Shore you can never reach no matter how good a swimmer you think you are.

He is also over here . . He is the Wave who will drown your finest efforts of swimming and bring you to His Perfect Lands and, best of all, carry you to Himself.

Listen to the song He’s singing to you.

Open your heart and surrender to the Wave.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus, John 3:16

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Wave photograph by Kelly Cookson, profile on http://www.flickr.com/photos/mscaprikell/with/11433860/

Sea shell photograph by Karunakar Rayker, profile on http://www.flickr.com/photos/krayker/with/2118533122/

Shore photograph by Romain Muller, profile on http://www.flickr.com/photos/romainmuller/with/6581917647/

Photographs are under Creative Commons License.

God’s Word from the New Living Translation.

God without gods

There is not room in your heart for both God and gods, and God will not pretend otherwise.

Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”

“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,

‘You must worship the Lord your God

and serve only him.’” (Matthew 4:8-10, NLT)

Published in: on October 2, 2013 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Idolatry & Irreverence

Idolatry always leads to irreverence.

“Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.” (An angel, Revelation 19:10c, NLT)

Published in: on October 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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