Monday, November 23, 2009

I am Undone

God has been showing me the depths of my depravity lately. The words of Isaiah come to mind when He saw the Lord on His throne, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the KIng, the Lord of hosts." (Is. 6:5)

Bullinger in the Companion Bible says that this is figure of speech called ecphonesis,which is an "outburst of words,prompted by emotion." About the word "undone", he says: "The essence of true conviction is a concern for what I AM, not for what I have done or not done."

Why did Jesus come down here for us? Did we deserve Him to come? I only know about myself. Romans 3:10 says "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, no, not one..."This verse and the following ones give me a sense of understanding about the human condition. Why do I look to people for help when the Word of God makes clear that leaning upon the flesh for help is like leaning on a sharp stick.

Rom. 3: 12 says"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one." The word for unprofitable means worthless.

By myself I am worthless. There was not one shred of goodness in me that caused Christ to come down from His glory in heaven. Yet He valued us. He placed our needs higher than His own and humbled Himself more than any other man ever in human history. (Phil. 2:5-11) It is for this reason that we bow in awe before Him.

As Thanksgiving day approaches, I give thanks to the Lord that even though there was not one thing to commend Him to save me, He gladly bore all my sin and even though I was undone before Him. For me and all others who have believed on Him that He states about us now that: "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us."

Thank you Jesus for this above all else this Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Be Content My Soul

As the season of "gimme" approaches, I need to remind myself that the Lord is all I really need. I am so tempted to want so many things for myself, but the Scripture reminds me " Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5) I look around me and anticipate others getting fancy things and am tempted to be jealous.
When I truly think about it, I have been given so much already. I have a pastor who pours his soul out in teaching the Word of God, I have wonderful Bibles in abundance, I have wonderful doctrinal books, beautiful Christian music, many wonderful Christian friends. Most of all though, I have the Lord Jesus who died for me on Calvary, who has promised to supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)
There are others in this world who have so little and yet are grateful. I think of the pastors in Vietnam who are literally on the run, yet so zealous to share their faith, the refugees in Darfur who just would be grateful for clean water to drink, the children who will be delighted with a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child, the list goes on....
Father, work in me the desire not to receive for myself this season but to pour my life out for others. I encourage any who reads this to find a charity to share with this season. There are so many worthy ones: Voice of the Martyrs, Gospel for Asia, Operation Christmas Child, Persecution Project are some of my favorites.
Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:42: "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."

Monday, November 9, 2009

" In Christ Jesus"

What an amazing amount of hope is found in these 3 little words. I am in the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of this Universe, who took on flesh and humbled Himself more than any other man, who has been exalted to the utmost at God's right hand at the seat of utmost honor and glory.(Phil. 2:9-11) And I am in Him. "But of Him you are IN CHRIST JESUS, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption..."(I Cor 1:30)
Think about it. We are all nothings. according to Paul in I Cor. 3:7.("So then he who plants is anything, nor he that waters, but God who gives the increase.") Now that is humbling, but also freeing. In spite of any accomplishments in this life, without Christ I am a nothing. Yet Christ valued me, and the entire world so much that He voluntarily became the object on which God poured out all His wrath, and turn His face away from, so much that Jesus cried out "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? (Matt. 27: 46) I think we will never be able in all eternity to comprehend the depths of Christ's condescension for us sinners, whom He has made to be righteous in His sight. "For He made Him who knew no sin to BE SIN for US, that we might become the righteousness of God IN HIM". II Cor. 5:21
You know, when I look at myself, I am hopeless, for I see one who has an incurable wound.(Jer. 30:12) It is only when I see myself "in Christ" that I have hope, strength to face tomorrow, to face the seemingly insurmountable challenges that this world may throw my way. Thank you Lord, that I am "in Christ" and no one can remove me from His precious hand.(John 10:28)