Thursday, March 4, 2010
For me, I tried to show others and treat others and do to/for others what I thought God expected of me. After all, He gave His Son. What could a wretch like me give or say or do to reflect a tiny snip-it of my appreciation and gratitude? How could I thank Him for my very salvation?
Do you ever have these same thoughts?
I have shown mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, gentleness and forgiveness (Col. 3:12-13). It is true that some it has been painful, yet liberating. Some it has been stretching yet strengthening. Some of it has been really dirty work, yet cleansing. So for a little over five years, I continued along this path of reading God's Word and trying to do unto others...
Somewhere along the road, I ran smack-dab into a detour. There was a new route. A different path. Join me as I share this journey.
"Apply My Words and Truth to your very own self" flashed one warning sign. "Danger ahead if you don't apply Colossians 3:12-13 to your very own self," flashed another. All signs were nailed to trees. With really long, gnarly-looking spikes.
(I step on the new trail and hung both my head and hands down way low)Me? Oh, but that is really hard. Do You know what I have done?
+ Yes, daughter, I do.
(Open eyes and wrinkle brow)Me? Isn't that selfish to spend so much time thinking on my own self?
+ Your heart matters to Me, so therefore, it must matter to you too, my daughter. Have you read Psalm 51? Pay attention to lines 10-16.
(After reading, I look upward now and point to myself in wonder)Oh Lord, how do I do this thing You ask of me?
+ Humbly, daughter. Do it with true humility and with your utmost brokenness. Continue reading Psalm 51, line 17, please.
(I drop to the ground, tears making mud of the dirt)Father, I am here on my face. My heart is bleeding, my mind is howling, my tears are cascading down. Look! I am purged and clean. I am washed and whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7).
+ Hallelujah! daughter of mine! Indeed I hear your heart's joy and gladness because you are broken, yet rejoicing (Psalm 51:8).
(On my knees, face up to sky, and arms reaching even higher)Thank you, Father! I am a new woman. I desire truth in my inward parts. And in my hidden part, You will make me to know wisdom (Psalm 51:6).
+ Daughter, yes, as Your Father I can only clothe you in my righteous and enduring Love. It is pure. And now that you are a new woman, put on the character suit from Colossians 3:12-13. How does it fit now? See, it only fits proper when it is worn close to you. but with Love as the outermost garment. Love is what holds it all together.
(Standing again and walking as a new woman, forgiven and loved by the God she loves)Oh Lord, it all does fit much, much better now! Woohoo, would You just look at me?! I feel so good. I am gonna share this with every wounded person I meet!
Whether or not your route is straight and smooth or rough and bumpy, make sure you are clothed in the proper garments for the journey. And do remember that layering is good--as long as God's Love is on the top, covering all of you.
Remember friends, you cannot do, nor can you give to others that which you haven't done or given to your very own self. And I reckon one of the very best things you can do to show God (and others) your appreciation for His gift of salvation and forgiveness, is to apply His Word to you. Heal your hearts and renew your minds, in His Love.
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another,
if anyone has a complaint against another;
even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
~ Col. 3:12-13
Let us humbly pray:
Father God, here we are again, humbly coming before Your throne. Please continue to shower us with Your tender mercy and bathe us in Your righteous and cleansing Love. Speak to each one here today with a loudness that we cannot ignore. Fill our hearts and minds with Your healing and renewing Truth. And please wrap each of us in that utmost important outer layer of love. In Jesus' name, amen.