Most of the world’s great souls have been lonely. Loneliness seems to be one price the saint must pay for his saintliness.
In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of man’s creation), that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him; and while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.
Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.
Again, Abraham had Sarah and Lot, as well as many servants and herdsmen, but who can read his story and the apostolic comment upon it without sensing instantly that he was a man “whose soul was alike a star and dwelt apart”? As far as we know not one word did God ever speak to him in the company of men. Face down he communed with his God, and the innate dignity of the man forbade that he assume this posture in the presence of others. How sweet and solemn was the scene that night of the sacrifice when he saw the lamps of fire moving between the pieces of offering. There, alone with a horror of great darkness upon him, he heard the voice of God and knew that he was a man marked for divine favor.
Moses also was a man apart. While yet attached to the court of Pharaoh he took long walks alone, and during one of these walks while far removed from the crowds he saw an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting and came to the rescue of his countryman. After the resultant break with Egypt he dwelt in almost complete seclusion in the desert. There, while he watched his sheep alone, the wonder of the burning bush appeared to him, and later on the peak of Sinai he crouched alone to gaze in fascinated awe at the Presence, partly hidden, partly disclosed, within the cloud and fire.
The prophets of pre-Christian times differed widely from each other, but one mark they bore in common was their enforced loneliness. They loved their people and gloried in the religion of the fathers, but their loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their zeal for the welfare of the nation of Israel drove them away from the crowd and into long periods of heaviness. “I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children,” cried one and unwittingly spoke for all the rest.
Most revealing of all is the sight of that One of whom Moses and all the prophets did write, treading His lonely way to the cross. His deep loneliness was unrelieved by the presence of the multitudes.
‘Tis midnight, and on Olive’s brow
The star is dimmed that lately shone;
‘Tis midnight; in the garden now,
The suffering Savior prays alone.
‘Tis midnight, and from all removed
The Savior wrestles lone with fears;
E’en the disciple whom He loved
Heeds not his Master’s grief and tears.
- William B. Tappan
He died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw. There are some things too sacred for any eye but God’s to look upon. The curiosity, the clamor, the well-meant but blundering effort to help can only hinder the waiting soul and make unlikely if not impossible the communication of the secret message of God to the worshiping heart.
Sometimes we react by a kind of religious reflex and repeat dutifully the proper words and phrases even though they fail to express our real feelings and lack the authenticity of personal experience. Right now is such a time. A certain conventional loyalty may lead some who hear this unfamiliar truth expressed for the first time to say brightly, “Oh, I am never lonely. Christ said, `I will never leave you nor forsake you,’ and `Lo, I am with you alway.’ How can I be lonely when Jesus is with me?”
Now I do not want to reflect on the sincerity of any Christian soul, but this stock testimony is too neat to be real. It is obviously what the speaker thinks should be true rather than what he has proved to be true by the test of experience. This cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society. The sense of companionship which he mistakenly attributes to the presence of Christ may and probably does arise from the presence of friendly people. Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company. Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart. Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross. “They all forsook Him, and fled.”
The pain of loneliness arises from the constitution of our nature. God made us for each other. The desire for human companionship is completely natural and right. The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share inner experiences, he is forced to walk alone. The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.
The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in the regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find. But he should not expect things to be otherwise. After all he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart. He walks with God in the garden of his own soul – and who but God can walk there with him? He is of another spirit from the multitudes that tread the courts of the Lord’s house. He has seen that of which they have only heard, and he walks among them somewhat as Zacharias walked after his return from the altar when the people whispered, “He has seen a vision.”
The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Savior glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and overserious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else. He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd – that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life’s summum bonum.
Two things remain to be said. One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his griefs to God alone.
The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. Just the opposite is true. His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the brokenhearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. Because he is detached from the world, he is all the more able to help it. Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. “God will not suffer you to lose anything by it,” he told them. “You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you.” This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.
The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. In their effort to achieve restful “adjustment” to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are. And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.
The Narrow Way is the way to salvation and life. The Narrow Way is an ever narrowing way that gets narrower and narrower as we go. It’s a path not for wussies. It’s a path not for the faint hearted. It’s a path for slaves, dedicated to the service of Christ and Christ alone.
However, the ever Narrowing Way is riddled with escape hatches placed there for those who are not truly saved. You see, only the truly saved will last the whole way. Those who are pseudo Christians will only last while the going’s good. Then as the path gets narrower, the pseudo Christian starts feeling the stress and strain. A clump of coal feels no pain while it sits undisturbed. But when the forces of nature with its unrelenting pressure start to squeeze and compact that lump of coal, that’s when the lump feels the pressure. That’s when it wishes it could abort and return to its former life. But alas, the clump of coal has a destiny, and that destiny will see it through to its glorious end as a diamond.
In the same way, the Christian has a similar destiny. God sees a diamond in him. But in order to realize this destiny, God must squeeze and crush the Christian until the work is done.
If we persevere to the end, through submission, through surrenderedness, through dependance upon the Holy Spirit, we shall be saved. The kingdom of God has no place for the proud. In order for you or I to be saved, we must be so only through the work of Christ on the cross that continues in us until THAT DAY. This ever narrowing way squeezes unto the mold of Christ alone. We cannot enter into life eternal if we think we can ride upon someone’s coat-tails. If we think we can model ourselves after the latest evangelist, whomever he or she might be, and obtain life, we are sorely mistaken. Only the model of Christ ensures salvation. We must walk His steps, live His life and die His death. How can we enter His rest, His salvation, His heaven if we follow a man-made pattern? Sorry, doesn’t work. Didn’t work for Confucius, didn’t work for Mohammed, won ‘t work for you.
Jesus made some amazing and potentially preposterous claims. He said, “I AM The WAY, The TRUTH and the LIFE.” (John 14. 6) He did not say, I am one of the ways, or a version of the truth or a path to life…He was very concise and straight forward with His claims. He also said “…that before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8. 58) This is a clear statement verifying and establishing His claim to godhood. How can you, a professing Christian hope to find salvation without recognizing the DOOR to that salvation? Jesus said that He was THAT door (John 10. 7-9). No man can be saved unless he, buy the power of the Holy Spirit enter that door (John 1. 12) and receive power to become the sons of God.
Now what happens to a man when he enters that door and is saved? He becomes a new creature (2 Corinthians 5.17). He becomes a brand new species of person. Alive, awake, immortal. His life changes, his ways change, his desires change. His relationship with Christ and sin changes. His old ways suddenly look different. The mask of subtlety is removed and he sees his sin for what it is. Disgusting, stinky rotten death. Why would anyone embrace a rotten corpse? This is exactly what the new Christian does if he does not turn his back on his old life and ways. This is why a new Christian is different and regularly gets ostracized by his peers, family and those around him. It’s a hard life being a Christian. It’s fraught with trials and tribulations. It’s a life of self-denial and self sacrifice, knowing that once on this journey there will be only two ultimate decisions: Abort or death.
That Narrow Way is contrasted with the Broad Way for a reason. The Broad Way is easy, wide and this road lacks one thing: Submission. Picture a river. The world and those hypocritical church-goers lay back on their rubber rafts and allow the flow of the river to take them where it wants them to go. The flow of water is the world system. Where they will end up is hell. However tell that to Mr. Jones who is busy relaxing, soaking up the glorious sunshine while the river does all the work. Suddenly, the group starts snickering and pointing. There’s one of them again. “Fools!” They all yell. “Stop fighting the current! Relax and let the water do the work.”
Who are they ridiculing and yelling at? Biblically saved slaves of Christ. You see, it’s our station in life to always go against the flow of society. That’s what makes us stand out and puts us at eternal enmity with the world. We have and always will be in opposition with the status-quo. It’s in our nature as Christians to go against the flow of man and his ways.
It’s hard fighting the flow. It’s tiring, it’s unpopular…it’s costly. How do we reconcile our decision to always be in the world’s cross-hairs? This is not our home. We are pilgrims, passing through, waiting for God to call us home. Do pilgrims put down roots? Do pilgrims make a strange land their home when they know they will be shortly leaving that land? Of course not. We would find it funny to see a band of Gypsies with their wagons and tents, attempting to build homes for themselves along the side of the road. One might ask, “What are you guys doing? I thought you never settled down?” Pilgrims have a destination in their hearts. Whether it be another country or it be a sense of wanderlust, they are always on the move. Christians are the same. We must be constantly of the mindset where we know that God could command us to move to another country. He might command us to change jobs. He might command us to move to an Islamic country to die for Him to set ablaze the fires of revival. The main thing is we just don’t know and we can’t live life and act like we do.
There are no short cuts with God and He will definitely never be a means to anyone’s ends. You can’t make Him do anything He doesn’t wish to. His ways are inscrutable and higher than our highest intellect. His sovereignty encompasses His Godhood. Without sovereignty, He is not God. He gives us our breath, our heart beat, our very existence. The entire course of human history from the moment He said, “Let there be light”, to the moment when it all just stops, He will be in control. Every breath, every life, every eternal destiny. A short cut is mainly devised by those who are either lazy or lacking in courage and stamina. Short cuts usually mean a person breaking a law, or doing something that is illegal. A man who is trained in a race has no need to take a short cut. It’s always the man who is ill-prepared for the contest that must resort in cutting off some distance in order to justify his incompetence.
There is a story that I read some time ago where a man was given a cross to drag through his life. Over mountains, through streams and mud, over fences he struggled to drag this massive cross. Over time he wearied of his burden and sought out someone to shorten his cross to make it more manageable (short cut). For some time, his journey was easier, but over time he wearied again, and so he got his cross shortened yet again and then again until he was able to easily carry it with him. At the end of his life, he stood at a valley overlooking a beautiful world called Heaven. He was told that the only way for him to cross over was to lay his cross down and walk across on it. He then realized the horror of his foolishness. He realized that his cross was too short now and he could never cross over to heaven. His cross was easy in this life, but because it was too short, it was unable to prepare him for the next world. This is the destiny of many church-goers who have sought out the easy life, the prosperous life, the successful life. They think in making their lives easy, they can be of better service to God, but in their folly they don’t realize that even Christ said through Paul we would have much tribulation and would enter heaven through hardships (Acts 14.22).
Hardships?! Do we hear these words coming out of the mouth of Creflo Dollar or Kenneth Copeland? Do we hear these words coming from the typical modern-day church pulpit? No. Why? Because it’s unpopular. No one wants to have their parade rained on. No one wants to be told that they will suffer loss. No one wants to leave church with a heavy heart.
The life of the Christian has the potential of any sort of loss and suffering God decides to accomplish His goals in your life and in the world. Be rest assured, Christianity is not for wimps. When a bunch of Muslims gang rape and behead a little Christian woman, the real warrior will be the woman. She will suffer and die for her Saviour, and no one will take that from her. When persecution comes, and it will…those who have been living the lie, will fall aside and the true Christians will rise up and shine bright for their Saviour.
The ever Narrowing Way will crush us and God will succeed in molding us into the likeness of Christ. Will you submit to His crushing?
We were driving yesterday, getting out and just relaxing while we drove in the back roads. Friday was supposed to be my day off, but my van broke down and after spending all day at the mechanic’s shop and spending close to $800, the day, naturally was shot.
We were thankful to God that we had enough cushion to pay for these repairs for at one point in time, this repair bill would have sunk us. God provides faithfully without fail.
We were talking about one thing or the other and suddenly the whole reality of God’s mercy and grace hit me as I finished singing a song about casting our crowns at His feet.
God saved me. God saved my wife.
God purposed in His heart out of His supreme sovereignty to save me. In my mind, He could have just as easily by-passed me and saved someone else. He saved me and destined me to heaven rather than hell. He made me a vessel of honour and life and not one of dishonour and damnation.
Why? I asked my wife. Why me?
My wife, in her usual wisdom and candid ways, said, “You don’t know why He picked you. In your finite mind, you THINK there was no other reason, but perhaps there was.”
True. God picked Peter, Saul, John Newton…and me. I don’t consider myself in their league by any means, but just to prove that God uses people who looked damned, and saved them for His work. They were wired and destined for a certain purpose and at the precise moment, broken, saved and used by God to bring His Gospel to the world.
Gos is amazing and awesome in the grandest sense. He loved me and my wife even when we were at enmity with Him. Even when we were willingly rebelling against Him. He saved us.
My eyes welled up in emotion again (happens almost every day) and I just drove in silence for a time, just reveling in this beautiful reality that had been made fresh and new in my heart. It rained yesterday, but the country side was beautiful. The grass, trees, horses all seemed to echo the gladness in my heart.
You who are saved, spend some time just thinking about God today. Think about His greatness and love. Mull over His grace and mercy. He saved you and relieved you of that awful burden of sin and damnation that bowed you to the ground. You O Christian are saved. You are set free. You are loved.
Let this assurance be a spring to you of life when the world gets you down and pulls you away from your Master’s side. He loves you.
It’s full of information which truthfully, should be watched a few times to digest it all. It’s good and enlightening.
To give up everything to Him. To surrender your life, your family and your eternity to His purposes and to leave your entire existence at His disposal.
What did YOU think salvation meant? Saying a silly prayer and signing a membership card?
Proverbs 4:14-19 concerns avoiding the path of the wicked.
Proverbs 4:14-19 (ESV)
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15 Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.
This passage gives us several methods of avoiding the wicked path. We are to avoid it at all costs. We aren’t to go up to the edge and peer over. Nor are we to walk along just slightly off the beaten path. Nor are we to take “shortcuts” utilizing the path of the wicked along our walk.
Avoiding the Path of the Wicked…to read more, click HERE
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
What Christ is to the Church, what the Church is to Christ, can never be really known till time gives place to eternity, faith to sight, and hope to enjoyment. Nor even then, however beyond all present conception the powers and faculties of the glorified souls and bodies of the saints may be expanded, however conformed to the glorious image of Christ, or however ravished with the discoveries of his glory and the sight of him as he is in one unclouded day,—no, not even then, will the utmost stretch of creature love, or highest refinement of creature intellect, wholly embrace or fully comprehend that love of Christ, which, as in time so in eternity, “passeth knowledge,” as being in itself essentially incomprehensible, because infinite and divine.
Who can calculate the amount of light and heat that dwell in, and are given forth by the sun that shines so gloriously in the noonday sky? We see, we feel, we enjoy its bright beams; but who can number the millions of millions of rays that it casts forth upon all the surface of the earth, diffusing light, heat, and fertility to every part? If the creature be so great, glorious and incomprehensible, how much more great, glorious and incomprehensible must be its divine Creator!
The Scripture testimony of the saints in glory is that “when Christ shall appear, they shall be like him, for they shall see him as he is;” that they shall then see the Lord “face to face, and know even as also they are known;” that their “vile body shall be fashioned like unto his glorious body;” that they shall be “conformed to his image,” and “be satisfied when they awake with his likeness;” that they shall be “before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple;” that “their sun shall no more go down, for the Lord shall be their everlasting light;” that they shall have “an exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” and shall “shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever.”
But, with all this unspeakable bliss and glory, there must be in infinite Deity unfathomable depths which no creature, however highly exalted, can ever sound; heights which no finite, dependent being can ever scan. God became man, but man never can become God. He fully knows us, but we never can fully know him, for even in eternity, as in time, it may be said to the creature, “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” But if, as we believe, eternity itself can never fully or entirely reveal the heights and depths of the love of a Triune God, how little can be known of it in a time state! and yet that little is the only balm for all sorrow, the only foundation of solid rest and peace.
J.C. Philpot – 1802-1869
Reports of Christian persecution by Muslims around the world include (but are not limited to) the following accounts. They are listed by form of persecution, and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:
Egypt: Once again, soon after Friday prayers, a throng of Muslims in Fayoum province destroyed a Coptic church. The reason cited this time was that the church is “an unlawful neighbor to the Muslims who live adjacent to it and must therefore be moved.” According to AINA, “The mob climbed to the church dome and started demolishing it and setting it on fire. The dome collapsed into the burning church and caused great damage.
Muslims used bricks from the dome and the holy cross and hurled it at the altar inside the church, causing part of it to be demolished; all the icons of saints were destroyed. Muslims tried to assault Father Domadios and threw stones at him, but he was saved by a Muslim family who brought him away from the village in their car.” Local Christian families were reported as staying indoors for fear of being assaulted by the Muslims.
And, once again, although state security was present throughout this entire proceeding, it did nothing to prevent it. None of the perpetrators was arrested. Two days later, hundreds of Copts demonstrated, demanding a halt to the ongoing attacks on their churches.
In response, the church was attacked again, by Muslims hurling more Molotov cocktails and stones while shouting “We do not want the church.” Some Muslims climbed atop the church again to destroy completely the remains of the wooden dome.
Indonesia: Four churches were firebombed with Molotov cocktails in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Two were attacked on a Sunday morning in South Sulawesi. Another two churches were attacked a few days later. All the churches suffered various degrees of fire damage. According to Barnabas Fund, the same region was earlier “ravaged in a bloody anti-Christian campaign by Islamic extremists between 1997 and 2001.
Hundreds of churches and thousands of homes were destroyed; according to some estimates 30,000 Christians were killed and about half a million driven out in what amounted to ethnic cleansing…. The beheading of three girls as they made their way [to] their Christian school in Central Sulawesi in 2005 was among the most egregious.” Elsewhere, in the village of Mekargalih, some 50 members of the Islamic Defenders Front descended upon a Pentecostal church, scaling its gates, vandalizing the building, and assaulting the church’s minister, including strangling him with his own necktie.
The reason cited for this assault was that the church was operating without a permit. Two days later, the only person arrested and currently serving a three month prison sentence, was the minister, for continuing to hold services without a valid permit. The church, which has been running for 26 years, has made repeated attempts, at significant financial cost, to obtain the required permit but has been obstructed by local authorities.
This was the third violent attack against the church by the Islamic party in the last two years. According to the minister’s wife, who has also been threatened and harassed, this latest attack has “traumatized” the 400-strong congregation; many Christians are now too afraid to attend services.
Libya: A Coptic Christian church located in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by armed Muslim militants. Initial reports indicate that at least one priest, Fr. Paul Isaac, was injured, as well as his assistant. This was the second church to be attacked in two months. Earlier, on Sunday, December 30, an explosion had rocked a Coptic Christian church near the western city of Misrata, where a group of U.S. backed rebels hold a major checkpoint. The explosion killed two people and wounded two others, all Egyptians.
Zanzibar: Arsonists set the Evangelical Church of Siloam aflame on the island, populated 99% by Muslims. The church was under construction following a previous attack in January 2012. The current attack follows a string of other attacks on church leaders and Christian property across the country.
Two days earlier, a Catholic priest was shot dead on his way to church for Sunday worship. Two Muslim youths at the church entrance shot him in the head. A message signed by “Muslim Renewal” later appeared saying, “We thank our young men, trained in Somalia, for killing an infidel. Many more will die. We will burn homes and churches. We have not finished: at Easter, be prepared for disaster.”
A few days before the slaying of the Catholic priest, an Assemblies of God pastor was beheaded by Muslims on the Tanzanian mainland. And on Christmas Day, gunmen shot and seriously wounded another Catholic priest as he was returning home from church.
Apostates, Evangelists, Murder and Slaughter
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2013/April19/195.html#oIyw16CXO9qBb3Hv.99
“…if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” – Charles Spurgeon, The Wailing of Risca (sermon #349, December 9, 1860 see: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0349.htm)
Thanks to Agnus Dei for finding this quote…it’s a gem.
HT: I’ll Be Honest
I hail You my Master. I thank You for Your sacrifice. I thank You for dying for me. Thank You for forgiving me.
The horror and the beauty of the cross knows no equal. It crushed You, yet it glorified You by lifting You up.
I will remember You and live to thank You for Your love.
Christ on the cross: Stood in the place of His people
Christ on the cross: Died for His people
Christ on the cross: Suffered for His people
Christ on the cross: Was counted a curse and sin for His people
Christ on the cross: Paid the debts of His People
Christ on the cross: Made restitution for His people
Christ on the cross: Became the guarantee of His people
Christ on the cross: Became the representative of His people
In this way Christ obtained His people’s freedom. Let us understand this clearly, and then we will see what a mighty privilege it is to be made free by Christ. This is freedom which, above all others is worth having.
I sit here in tears.
I am listening to the below hymn with a heart filled with gratitude and appreciation for my wonderful Saviour. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the sinless, perfect Man.
I broke all of His commandments with my pride, rebellion and arrogance. I was guilty of hell. I was guilty of God’s wrath. It was MY CROSS! It was MY THORNS! It was MY PUNISHMENT!
But He stepped in and took it all…FOR ME!
When I read where Jesus was at the crossroads of His life, where He faced the decision of what to do. He fell on His face before His Father. He was scared and stressed. He had been in perfect fellowship with Him for all eternity…now that union was being threatened by MY SIN. That relationship would be severed on the cross when Christ, sullied, polluted and marred by MY SIN would cry out, “Where are You Dad?! I don’t feel You! I don’t see You! Why have You left Me?!”
Ugh…my remorse rises as I think upon this. To have that kind of effect, to know that I caused this damage churns my stomach.
The Passover is especially beautiful to me this year with my wife being spared eternal judgment and damnation just about a month ago. To be able to walk hand in hand into eternity is a prayer answered big time. To know that Jesus Christ died for my wife and God decided in His sovereignty to save her as well. My love for my Saviour grows.
On a solid Rock I stand, sanctified, declared righteous and saved from the eternal fires of God’s wrath.
Thank You dear Saviour for taking that road. Thank You for that beautiful “Nevertheless”. Thank You for sweating those drops of blood. Thank You for not turning me away in my filth.