Friday, January 29, 2010

For You, Lord, are...ready to forgive...

For You, Lord,
are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy
to all those who call upon You.
Psalm 86:5

Lord, how many times have I needed your forgiveness? How many times has my heart gone astray? So numerous have been my transgressions and yet I can see You...looking at me...smiling...without a single thought of those sins in your eyes. Without a moment of comprehension of those reprehensible things I have done in my past.

How can I still see them? Why is it so hard for me to not look beyond who I once was?

If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

My sweet Savior. You forgive, forgave, and are forgiving. You cleansed, clean, and are cleaning. You were, are and will always be faithful and just. It is to You, for You and by You that I confess my sins...that I am cleansed from all unrighteousness...that I may stand before you someday and you will open your arms up to me.

You forgave me. You will forgive me. Even now, you are forgiving me. And you see me as clean, pure, lovely. I don't deserve this. I don't understand this...but Your word says it is true. It says that You cast my sins as far as the east is from the west...You blot them out and remember them no more. Jesus, what do I do with this information? Father, how do I account for this in my life? My Lord, Savior, and can I take this forgiveness and show those around me Your Love through it? Through what You have done for me?

Then Peter came to Him and said,
"Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
Up to seven times?"
Jesus said to him,
"I do not say to you, up to seven times,
but up to seventy times seven.

Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
"But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
"So My heavenly Father also
will do to you if each of you,
from his heart,
does not forgive his brother his trespasses."
Matt 18:21-35

Lord, I am that servant, huh? So quick to beg your forgiveness and so quick to rejoice at the new life You so freely offer me...but so fast to turn and become that futile and greedy human again. So willing to accept your gift but not reciprocate it. I don't have to understand it. I don't have to know why You ask these things of me. I don't even have to "feel" it.

But I know that I have to be obedient.

I know Truth.

I know You and You have forgiven me so much.

And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors...
For if you forgive men their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Matt 6:12, 14-15

Ok, Lord. You've already done Your part. Will you do mine now, too? "My whole life is crucified, it's no longer I...." I'm never going to be ready to step into this. Me, myself...will never be any better than that selfish servant...

So, Lord, will you continue to write my script?...and will You make sure to write this part out--soon? I'm ready for it, Lord. I'm ready to see what You want to make of it. How you want to place me in Your Story.

Make it a good one. Make this scene beautiful. Make people smile. Make people cry. This is about You. It's not about me. It's never supposed to be about me. Its supposed to be about You.

And Your forgiveness.

"The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands." Psalm 138:8

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Small...Insignificant...and perfectly wonderful.

"The LORD [is] far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous." Prov. 15:29

Today, I am thankful for the little things.

I needed to get some stuff printed and the printer decided it hated me.
I fumed, I threatened, I almost kicked it...then I prayed.
I pressed a simple button. It worked.

I needed to figured out how to make a certain document work and it needed to be finished by today.
I was confused, I was scared I wouldnt hit the deadline, I was terrified I was going to fail...then I prayed.
I googled "how to..." and the first link gave me my answer. 15 minutes later, the error sign went away.

I was given a stack of papers that needed to be printed in a certain way and I only had enough to NOT make mistakes.
The list didnt make sense, the directions didnt make sense, the papers all looked the same. I freaked out...then I prayed.
I read the "fine print" (aka...the really bold letters on the top that tell you how to decode everything else)...and everything got printed. With no mistakes.

Lord, thank you for answering the silliest of prayers. More than that, thank you for sending your Spirit to prompt us to deny our flesh that we may come to you with the silliest of prayers. Even greater than that, Lord, thank you for showing me that no prayer uttered is silly.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Psalm 16:11

"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

During Christmas time the question was asked: "What verse has stood out to you over this year? What verse do you think the Lord has used in your life?"

My answer was Psalm 16:11. It's a verse that the Lord brought me to during a period of time that He also revealed to me how gripped my life was with fear. It is a verse that He brought me to when I needed to understand the difference between the Lord's fear and the fear of things around me. 2 Tim 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Fear...Love. Love? That is what I need to be seeking? That is what the Lord gives? Where do I find that? Lord, how do I conquer this fear in my life?

I was taken to 1 John 4:18 which says "...perfect love casts out fear..." and I believe it. The ONLY place we can find perfect love is in the Lord. The only place we can find comfort is in the Lord and the only place fear is in perfect love. That brought me to Psalm 16:11. Where, Lord can I seek this? How can I know perfect love? HIS PRESENCE. It was such a beautiful realization. I be in His presence. I desired His fullness of joy. I asked Him and waiting on what His fullness of joy looked like. I waited. I asked. I entreated. I enjoyed Him in circumstance: This, Lord? Is this your joy? Is this was dwelling in your presence looks like?

Well, when I was asked that question during Christmas time, the answer as to why this verse stood out to me was so different than what I had planned on saying. It struck me...because It wasnt anything I had associated with the verse before.

I told them that the fullness of joy...being in His beyond circumstance. That despite what situation I am in, despite what circumstance the Lord puts in front of me, I should still be in His presence and in His fullness of joy. His joy is beyond circumstance and I needed to learn what it looked like to see those situations THROUGH Him, and not Him through the situations.

I look back now and see how the Lord is using my very words (or, i should say, the Spirits words through me) to encourage me and show me that He is still there, His joy is still full, and His pleasures are still abundant despite the storms and despite the circumstances. Sometimes I dont want to believe it but then i realize that I spoke it, the Spirit confirmed it...and is His words...and His words are Truth and for that...i will and can believe them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I will not fear...

"I called on the LORD in distress;
The LORD answered me
and set me in a broad place.
The LORD is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
It is better to trust in the LORD
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the LORD
Than to put confidence in princes."
Psalm 118:5-9

Confidence: belief in one's powers or abilities, assurance (
Trust: (1) a person on whom one relies; (2) reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing


You alone are my only
Help me to trust in You.
You have set me in a broad place.
You have place people around me
Who have reached out to hold me up
In Your strength.
Thank you, Lord.
...For hearing my prayers.
...For answering my cries.
...For loving this wretched me.