“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Lord, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, etc., etc., etc...

Betania—“Dad, why do you leave your phone off?”
Me—“My phone died. I need to charge my battery.”
Betania—“I charge my battery every night.”
Me—“I didn’t know I could do that.”

It looked like I was being irresponsible, but, really it isn’t like it seems. I was being responsible (in my ignorance.) But I was misinformed about modern cell phone batteries. Therefore, I had some needless thing running in the back of my mind; and it nagged at me constantly.

I had been trained on electronic gadgets and batteries way, way back in the 80’s when rechargeable batteries had the potential for developing a “memory.” This meant that if you recharged a battery before it was fully discharged, say, one-half discharged of voltage, then from then on the most you could ever charge it was one-half, no matter how much you had discharged it and no matter how long you charged it. So, if a battery had been fully discharged after it had such a memory had developed, it could never hold more than half its full charge, and thus, half its useable length of time before dying and needing a recharge.

So, back then when battery technology was old, it took some extra planning when using battery powered devices. But today batteries can be recharged anytime. It doesn’t hurt a battery that is ½, ¼, or ¾ discharged to put it on the charger.

This relieves me of the extra stress I have of wondering how I can recharge my cell phone if it wants to die during the work day. I will simply plug in the recharger every night before going to bed, and the phone will never die. If only I had known this a long time ago. How much less thought would have been necessary concerning the phone when I needed to focus on the day’s work!

Likewise, many of us immature Christians trip and stumble often because we think we need to be extra careful to not offend God and lose His acceptance. The fear of that weighs on us and causes us to lose sight of His acceptance! The fear of such a loss as His love and care also disturbs the day’s accomplishments, so that we can’t fully focus on the tasks at hand, so that we aren’t able to be as productive as we should be. Shouldn’t the Christian be perfect, like Christ was perfect, even as a common worker?

But is God’s acceptance so tentative and flighty that we can turn Him off to us as quickly as we fear? Isn’t His love infinitely deeper than ours?

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. 31:3).

“For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.” (Zech. 2:8).

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:9).

“And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord : and I will turn away your captivity.” (Jer. 29:13,14).

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 8:12).

No, if we’ve faced His law in all its fearfulness, and wrestled with Him over it; if our faith has survived an encounter with the infinite God enough to lay hold onto His promise to be merciful; then we are Israel, and may lay claim to God’s promise that He has accepted us. We are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to “the promise.”

This was Christ’s keynote speech when He warned Satan that He was re-claiming a world of sinners and their planet, “And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk. 4:17-19).

So, let’s go on in the path of life, fully unafraid that our Savior and our God might be like us with our quick fuse. Let’s remember that Their mercy and love, Their tender pity and grace are infinitely deeper and fuller and longer suffering than anything a creature could every come up with, much less, self-centered sinners that we all are. The acceptance by God is a hard thing to lose. Even after 300 years of constant departure and determination to lose their heavenly Husband, He unburdens Himself in infinite sorrow and frustration with one last overture to get their attention, “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? Mine heart is turned within me, My repentings are kindled together.” (Heb. 11:8).

If we desire a deepening friendship with God, let’s never think He will ever abandon us because we have done “the worst sin ever.”

“There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. And do not forget the words of Christ, “The Father Himself loveth you.” John 16:27. He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ. Pray more fervently; believe more fully. As we come to distrust our own power, let us trust the power of our Redeemer, and we shall praise Him who is the health of our countenance.” Steps to Christ, p. 64.

“Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10).

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for” “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Ecc. 9:10;Rom. 8:1).

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide. No fears alarm, no foes afright, a shelter in the time of storm. Mighty Rock...

“All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee.” (Ps. 145:10).


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