I took a can of spam today
because I was hungry
But I held the can of spam in my hand
and I couldnt
I asked my dad, who was sleeping on the couch, to open the can of spam for me. He did not understand why I could not.
Then I realised
I have an irrational fear of opening tin cans
Nothing can I boast in,
My life is scarred with sin.
My works are filthy rags,
No merit can I bring.
Yet mercy filled Christ’s heart,
Love took him to the tree.
It’s grace alone which saves me;
Christ’s blood that sets me free.
"But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands.
"Over time I realised when we love God, we naturally run to Him - frequently and zealously. Jesus didn’t command that we have a regular time with him each day. Rather, he told us to
"love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.”
He called this the
"first and greatest commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)
The results are intimate prayer and study of his Word.
Our motivation changes from guilt to love.”
- Francis Chan, Crazy Love
To put it another way, God didn’t send his Son to die on our behalf so that we could simply go back to living the same old destructive lifestyle. His overall purpose was to set apart a group of people who would be ‘his people’, who would live his way, who would be free from damaging behaviour of their past and would lead new lives. In another of his letters, Paul expresses this idea very clearly:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearance of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:11-14)
…God does not set us apart as his special people to live in holiness and just leave us to it. In his great kindness, he also works within us to change us, to drive and motivate us, to prompt and enable us to obey him, to give us the power we need to turn away from the past and begin to lead a new life.
Changing the wrong attitudes and behaviours that come so naturally to us is not easy. It takes time. It takes effort. In fact, it takes more that we, in our own power, can muster. The Bible makes it very clear that the new life of the Christian is not a bed of roses. It is a struggle to get rid of the destructive habits of our former way of life, and to adopt God’s way of living.
- Tony Payne & Phillip D Jensen
In this life I will stand
Through my joy and my pain
Knowing there’s a greater day
There’s a hope that never fails
When Your name is lifted high
And forever praises rise
For the glory of Your Name
I’m believing for the day
When the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven rise to you alone
No weeping, no hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now
You hold me now
No darkness, no sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now,
You hold me now
(Source: wavesofu, via )
Weak Hands and Feeble Knees - Spurgeon
I love to share what my favourite place in Europe was -
"Switzerland - because of the Alps, it was so beautiful. I never imagined myself standing at the peak of a mountain in all my life."
The Swiss Alps were truly beautiful, and I had a wonderful time in Europe. But I have to say, God has a gracious way of rebuking me, as Spurgeon writes -
"Strenghten ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees."—Isaiah 35:3.
"The Christians of this age seem to me to be content with themselves, though there is infinite reason for the reverse. When I sit down and read the biographies of saints who have gone to heaven, I am astonished at myself, and I can only weep to think how far I am behind these men, and then how much further I must be behind my divine Master. Surely the examples of eminent saints should spur us onward. If Henry Martin could unreservedly devote his life and energies to Christ’s service, why may not we? If Martin Luther with holy boldness could face the danger, why should not we? If Calvin with clear and eagle eye could read the doctrines of the gospel amid the mists of error, why should not we? If men of more modern times have been able to endure opprobrium and disgrace for Christ’s sake, or if they in private have been able to reach to the seventh heaven of communion with God, and have lived on earth as if they were in paradise, why should not we? There is no reason why the least saint in God’s family should not outrun the greatest. Why look upon the saints of olden time as if they were so far above us that we can never equal them? Oh, dream not so! What Abraham was you may be. What the mightiest saint of that former life was, that ought you to be. You should never rest satisfied until you labour to surpass them all; yea, not even them, for you have not yet attained to the perfection which is in Christ. I know this age is one which is always satisfied if it gets barely enough to carry it to heaven. Where is that holy ambition which ought to stir the Christian soul to noble deeds? But few of us have felt it. We are drivelling dwarfs, content with the small height to which we have attained, forgetful of the steeps which tower above our heads. Up! Christian, up! The mount of holiness may be steep to climb, but, man, the hill of God is a high hill, even as the hill of Bashan. Up! up! for it is only on its summit that the calm air of heaven can be breathed, and the mists of earth entirely swept away. But weak hands and feeble knees, I know, in this age, are the reasons why so few Christians attain to any eminence in the ways and works of God."
God’s creation is magnificent. I was in awe sitting on top of Mount Pilatus looking out towards the peaks of the Alps borders. But mountains should be a reminder of the enormous and sovereign plan God has in bringing the lost to Him through the sacrifice of his only Son. And for those who are saved - the enormous privilege and great challenge of taking part in his divine plan that is higher and wider than any mountain range this earth has seen.
Oh, man, if thou wouldst grow in grace, if thou wouldst comprehend with all saints what are the heights and depths, and know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, look well to thy knees that they be strong, look well to thy hands that they hang not down.