Saturday, August 22, 2015

I give you all the credit, God

Psalm 30The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

30 I give you all the credit, God
    you got me out of that mess,
    you didn't let my foes gloat.

2-3 God, my God, I yelled for help
    and you put me together.
God, you pulled me out of the grave,
    gave me another chance at life
    when I was down-and-out.

4-5 All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God!
    Thank him to his face!
He gets angry once in a while, but across
    a lifetime there is only love.
The nights of crying your eyes out
    give way to days of laughter.

6-7 When things were going great
    I crowed, "I've got it made.
I'm God's favorite.
    He made me king of the mountain."
Then you looked the other way
    and I fell to pieces.

8-10 I called out to you, God;
    I laid my case before you:
"Can you sell me for a profit when I'm dead?
    auction me off at a cemetery yard sale?
When I'm 'dust to dust' my songs
    and stories of you won't sell.
So listen! and be kind!
    Help me out of this!"

11-12 You did it: you changed wild lament
    into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
    and decked me with wildflowers.
I'm about to burst with song;
    I can't keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
    I can't thank you enough.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

No need for the false purity... His love is enough

One of the things that lead us to the path of false purity as christians is our attempt to earn God's love. We think we have to be in a particular way to be in God's good book. We appear holier than thou. We do all the good when others are watching [like they are the ones who will appraise us before God] but our hearts are filled with filthy intentions and values- strife/bitterness, hatred, jealousy, anger. We molest others with our gossip and fault-finding tongue. We play the favor-game [help only people who can return the favor/who we can benefit from]. Then we judge others who are struggling with their faith, for not being good-enough christians like us.  We forget that God is God who sees all the hidden things men cannot see. We forget that God created us and He is all-knowing.

There have been many times in the past when, like many young christians, I thought that I have to be PERFECT to earn God's love. The thought of Him just loving me, despite being born in iniquity is sometimes overwhelming. You know, the thought of Him loving me without me earning it does not make sense. Each time I fall short of certain standards, thanks to Mr. Flesh, I get very hard on myself. I feel like hiding from God, forgetting that He is omnipresent.

Yet I feel and hear Him tug gently at me, saying: it is okay... no need for the false purity my love is just enough.

God sent His only begotten son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Not just the sins of the people in the generation of St. Peter or St. John. He died for the whole world, including our unborn children, in order to reconcile us with Himself. This means, we need to stop trying to redeem ourselves by playing the goody-two-shoes with God.

Our righteousness [especially when we try to earn it] before God is compared to a filthy rag-- it was compared to a woman's menstrual rag [yup, you know how that stinks]. We don't need the false purity. What we need to do is to consciously embrace the love and grace that God has made available to us. It is through the sufficiency of this grace that we are able to grow in faith. Of course, we are not to keep falling and falling into sin because Jesus is interceding on our behalf. The grace is to empower us to live above sin and trump the baby-christian lifestyle, while helping others up, while lighting the lamp for others to see the light.

This morning, a new song came to me-- it is a new love song to God. It is not enough to say thank you to God for opening my eyes. My inadequacies are no disqualification for who God has called me to be. Today, I choose to embrace His love and grace, in all its fullness.

God is God all by Himself, yet He has called me by name--unto a higher ground. I hope you share the same testimony?


I thank you Lord
for loving me just the way I am 
I thank you for loving me
despite who I am 

Lord I thank you
Lord I thank you
Lord I thank you
Lord I thank you [x2]. 

You love me I cannot say why
Lord you love me I cannot say why. 

Lord I thank you
Lord I thank you
Lord I thank you
Lord I thank you [x2].

I thank you for loving me despite who I am
Lord I thank you for loving me despite who I am [x2]

Lord I thank you
Lord I thank you
Lord I thank you

Lord I thank you [x2].