Day 60: this broken road

Faithful. Who among us can declare that they are faithful in ALL things? What does it mean to be faithful?

FAITHFUL.

We may give ourselves props for being faithful in certain areas, but where do we fall short of being faithful? Where does my heart and yours grow tired of believing or remaining loyal? What causes us to grow tired and full of doubt? What causes us to be tossed about in our faith? What are believing in? Who are we believing in?

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:14

We can be thrown off course. We could allow ourselves to be tossed about. We can take our eyes off of Jesus. We can sink instead of walk.

 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.  James 1: 12-18

We ALL fall short of the glory of God. Jesus is the only One who has been tempted in every way and yet remained  sinless. We sin. We doubt the goodness of God. It has been that way since the fall of man. We doubt His goodness and His love for us. We may begin to think He is mad at us or holding out on us or we have to somehow earn His blessings. We don’t understand and can’t see the big picture,  so at times, we are tempted to believe lies about God and about ourselves.

May we choose to believe God today. May we choose to keep our eyes on Jesus. May my heart and yours be in remembrance of all He has done for us, even though none of us deserves it. “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all He created”. What an honor! There is nothing greater we could ever hope for. The invitation is open.  Real LIFE is waiting for you. FAITH is how you believe.  Jesus is calling you.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

 

Walk By Faith

by Jeremy Camp

Would I believe you when you would say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day
Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me
Help me to rid my endless fears
You’ve been so faithful for all my years
With one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do
Well I’m broken- but I still see Your face
Well You’ve spoken- pouring Your words of grace

I will walk, I will walk, I will walk by faith
I will, I will, I will walk by faith

Well hallelujah, hallelu…….

Day 37: Chapter 4/Innocent Blood

Salvation, real and true, comes from receiving the blood Jesus shed for us on the cross. His blood has the power to forgive. He is the only One who saves.

Do you know what it looks like when we try to save ourselves? Do you want to?

It looks like this:

Here I am, a young woman starting out  and faced with really NO CHOICE. Sure, you may say I had one and looking back, I definitely did, but I could not see it. There wasn’t even a hint of thinking that if I had this child it would be OKAY. No. Everything was terribly wrong and it was all about me. Everything was about me. It was about protecting myself and my future (with all it’s big plans?!). A child? Well, it’s not even a child yet. Just a clump of cells. So, it didn’t matter anyway. Better to not just save myself, and also to SAVE this “thing” from ever becoming a child so that it doesn’t have to live with me in the HELL I perceived all around me.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

I had to get this over with, before too many weeks went by and I was REALLY carrying a child (I say this with a broken heart). How do you get an abortion? You look in the phone book and you pick a place far away where no one will see you. You charge it on your credit card (which isn’t the smartest thing to do). You see, this is a shameful matter. It’s legal, but it really isn’t accepted. I think deep down, everyone knows what it is. It is murder made legal. The rationale can go on and on. NONE OF THE REASONS ARE GOOD REASONS.

I schedule my abortion. I go, alone if I remember correctly. I know my boyfriend did accompany me once. Yes once. I have to go two times. The first time I go, the doctor did not show up and the appointment was cancelled. In retrospect, this was a chance to make the right choice, but all I saw was another inconvenience. This was hard enough for me because I had a lot of sneaking around to do. Now I had to do it again! I never once saw this as an opportunity to change my mind. A chance to show and receive mercy. I had blinded eyes….but now, I see.

I re-schedule and I decide that I will watch the procedure as it takes place. That is the brave thing to do. It doesn’t hurt as they insert the suction and I watch as the very child God blessed me with is removed from my body. All I can see is red through a long tube. I know these are just cells, not a baby at all. Nope. I had to see for myself and I was right.

I WAS WRONG! TERRIBLY WRONG!

I am relieved. It is over. I am free and can get on with my life. SAFE! No one knows and all is well. Not only that, but I believe this with all my heart: How noble of me to abort quickly, before this was an actual child?! I am so proud of this decision. And even happier that everything went smoothly. It is finished.

IT IS NOT FINISHED.

With eyes finally opened years later, I deeply understand what I have done. I have blood on my hands. Innocent blood. I have to repent of this sin. What would a court do to me if my little girl had been born and I murdered her? Would it be any different? It wouldn’t. Yet we make it out to be different somehow.

When you take a life at any stage, it is taking a life. The life God created. The life Jesus died for. Jesus died for my child that she may live. Jesus died for you and He died for me. For LIFE! We are appalled at the murderers, especially the one’s who take the lives of children. But what about women who abort? What about men who force women to abort? Or governments that force women to abort? Why do we think this is okay?

God sent His only begotten Son Jesus to die for my sins and yours. We all sin and fall short one way or another. For some, they must pay for what they have done because of the laws of the land. For others, we get away free because of the laws of the land. But the laws of God, they come with consequences as well. The wages of sin is death. And we deserve every bit of it. Yet Christ died for us that we would not receive the penalty of our sinfulness. GRACE. It is truly amazing. And it is only in HIM that we can truly SEE!

And years later, I do see, and in my heart of heart’s I know that the life I took was the life of a precious little girl….

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:21

Day 12: If you got it, flaunt it?

Driving home and I recount the events of the day. I am filled with a grateful heart. A heart. The form of a heart appeared to me in the  dark clouds as I left my job and I smiled knowing it was just for me. I took it in. God did that to remind me who He is, who I am, and how much He loves me.

I remember how I was once very lost. I subscribed to the ideology of the world and I did not call the sin in my life, SIN. I was just living my life and empowered  by the freedom to do what I wanted to do. “SIN?! How dare you say that to me? As if? Call it what you want.” Any opposition to my sinfulness was simply ignorant and uptight. “Sheesh! Don’t you know who I am? Footloose and fancy free, and you and your moral code will not stop me!  That’s just how I am. Freedom baby! I’ve got the power!!”.

Then I met the LORD Jesus Christ. Oh yes, He is real and He is alive. 

So, here is the problem. Sin. I made a lot of choices that were sinful. Not only that, but being born into a fallen world is being born with a sin nature. Sin is a problem. A lifestyle founded in sin is a problem.  It separates us from our Father in Heaven. It is not His best for us and He can’t accept it in us. It simply leads to death. The complete opposite of LIFE.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

I am troubled today by people who fight for the right to be sinful and flaunt it. It troubles me because not only are they being sinful, but I am now being asked to accept it. It is in my face and spoken of openly, and I, by saying nothing, may appear to accept it. If I speak my heart, I am deemed hateful and judgmental. This is a problem for me. I dislike being in this position. I turn my eyes to Jesus.

I remember Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. She was clearly caught up in sin.  She was a sinner. I was a sinner. I relate. He addresses the maniacal mob ready to release the wrath of judgement. He writes something in the sand and proclaims, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  Go ahead. Anybody…..Anybody……??? They drop their weapons and walk away. They were judging in their self-righteousness. I have judged in my self-righteousness. I relate.

 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the groupand said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?”They were using this question as a trap,in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stoneat her.”Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:1-11

 

Now here is where it get’s more interesting to me. Jesus turns to the woman and says, “Where are your accusers?” (level playing ground here….we are ALL sinners….they have no right to judge you or to tell you what to do). But now she is alone with Jesus. The Son of God, the Son of Man. God Himself in the flesh. He is definitely NOT a sinner!! He loves us and He is also the giver of the LAW! He calls sin, by name, SIN!

With true love for this woman, He does not say, “Your accusers are gone. I understand you feel drawn to adultery. You like it. You always have. It is a part of you. I made you. I get it. You are right and they are wrong. Keep flaunting your sin and sinful nature. I got your back.”

“NO!!! He does not say this!!!! He says, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

“Go now and leave your life of sin”.  

When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, He forgives our sins as far as the east is from the west. It is not easy to look at the sin in our lives. When our accusers are more than we can bear, He forgives us and tells us to sin no more. Oh, how we need this precious Savior to forgive us again and again.  When we don’t confess and repent,  and when we defend the very sin in our lives Jesus died to free us from, we are in rebellion against God. Plain and simple.

May our hearts, yours and mine, be open to receive correction from our Lord. May we recognize and confess our sins to the One who cares and has the power to forgive us. May we turn away from our old sinful nature and put on our new nature in Christ Jesus.

Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent–the LORD detests them both. Proverbs 17:15