Friday, December 5, 2014

Product of grace

I have been overseas for a month and half-ish now... And I have seen God moving more than ever. Here, in this place and with these people and also within me. I was asked to read a poem during a worship morning we had planned and out of that request came this... And it pretty accurately displays how reliant I have needed to be on God. Which both a fantastic thing to learn and painful lesson to come to terms with. So continue to pray! God is at work.
Constantly having to kneel before You

I am coming to a place of dependence
Dependent on Your faithfulness
Dependent on Your presence
Dependent on Your mercy
I am not worthy to be used by such skilled hands
Hands that carved out oceans
Hands that formed nations
Hands scarred on my behalf
What is man that You would be mindful of him?
Who am I that You would consider me?
Doomed to fail on my own
You give power in my weakness
On my own I was found unable
But by Your side I am made invincible
Who am I?
Simply a product of grace

Oh and what grace it was
You remember
That grace that brought you out of yourself
Out of your mind is more like how it seemed
That God would call you His own
That you would rely on Him in all things
Your heart no longer beating with pride
Every breath seeming to say, "He still redeems"
Every day a struggle to die to self

The old self desires to creep
The lies crawl back into the recesses of your mind
Reminding you of your inadequacies
Deserving to be passed by rather than picked up
Overwhelmed. Lonely. And dark.
The walls you built for safety now hold in pain
But there is One Who still stands at the door and knocks
He still waits patiently
He stills holds out His nail pierced hands and gives grace

Because the inadequacies are real
You and I have no power to change
In and of myself I can keep an appearance 
But much like the nursery rhyme
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Could never pick me up and put me back together again
Because though well intentioned
Their abilities lack
Because the only One who can fix such brokenness
Is the King Himself
So all the King's ministers and all His good servants
Brought the needy before Him
Their place to point to the able One

So go ahead and breathe
Because it's His place to redeem
Your place isn't Saviour, nor Healer, nor King
But servant bent low 
Crying "trust me!
I was as you
Seemingly broken in two
Feeling that there was nothing I could do
When He swept in
And He wiped away all my sin
His sweet grace He extends"

So welcome you've made it
It's this place of dependence
Where weakness is made strength
And power is perfected by His never ending grace

Monday, December 1, 2014

Spiritual Warfare

(So the topic of that week was spiritual warfare and this is the sermon I wrote on it. It may not seem like what you initially think of when you hear the words "spiritual warfare" but it definitely plays a part.)

I call out to the lost and seemingly forgotten. I am speaking to you, one who feels rejected and alone. I follow the God Who sees you where you are, the God Who cares for you. He made you so that He could have a relationship with you. He is great and all-powerful, yet He is filled with love towards you and has mercy. He does not desire to hold your wrongs against you nor is His desire to cast shame upon you. Jesus took all shame upon Himself and died in your place and rose from the dead that you may be filled with honor and be right with the Father God.

Do you hear that inner whisper? The one that says you are unworthy. The one that says you are not wanted. He lies and prowls around you like a lion in wait to attack. That comes from one who, in the eyes of God, has little power. His name is Satan and his words seem true, but another name for him is the father of lies, the deceiver, and though disguised as an angel of light there is no truth in him. This enemy has spoken lies over me for many years. He attacks saying that I am worthless. He tells me that maybe if I do enough good then I could get favor from God. He says that no person, let alone God, could ever love me. Then I remember one night I sat and above the lies rang a note of something I had never heard. This note penetrated and said, “I want you for Myself”.

(Psalm 142) I plead for mercy to the Lord. I cry out to Him. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me. No one cares. But as I cry He exclaims, “Look to Me. I am your Refuge. I will bring you out of this prison. Though the thoughts, the lies, and the memories are too strong for you I have power over it all. I see where you stand simply look down you’re in the palm of My hand.” He heard my cry for help.

Though I felt low and rejected, He saw me. Though the lies from the enemy ceaselessly attack, He remains stronger. The Lord knows me. He knows all about me. The Lord is with me. He never leaves me. The Lord is not confined in power, location, or time. He is sovereign over all. He has complete authority and dominion. The enemy is not to be feared. He is finite. He can not know all. He doesn’t have all authority. He is limited, while God is limitless. The perfect love of Christ casts out all fear that I have of any lie being true. When the liar says I am worthless, the Lord cries out and tells me I have purpose. His desire is for me. His desire is for you. So the choice is yours. Believe the lies of a finite accuser or walk in the freedom given to you by the one who calls out, “Child, come to Me”.