A Call to Pray

Instead of my usual Thursday devotional post, today I am asking you to join me in prayer.

This Saturday, I speak at a women’s conference and I’ve been praying for hard hearts to become soft. I am praying the Spirit moves those lost in darkness into the light. I am praying for the deceived to be enlightened, for the shallow to dig deep, for the Spirit to move mightily. I am praying for repentant hearts, for teachable spirits, for an eagerness to know God better. I pray that the authority of God’s word is accepted as the right starting point. I pray that I will fade into the background and for God to be centerstage.

Would you join me in prayer?

Pray with me for for the woman who once had a moment of sincere conviction, who walked to the front of the church, repeated phrases fed to her, raised her hand or stood up during a service only to wake the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that defeated because nothing felt different. Pray that she begins to understand the next steps required of her, that she will understand what it means to count the cost, to repent, pick up her cross, and follow Jesus.

Pray with me for the woman who is born again but has developed apathy toward the Lord. Pray that she wakes up and strengthens what life remains because where there is life there is hope. Pray for renewed minds and renewed passion.

Pray with me for the women alive and passionately pursuing the Lord. Pray their hearts are encouraged and challenged to dig deeper into the Word because we can study God all day every day for the rest of our lives and still only scratch the surface of who He is.

Just pray.

For them.

For me.

For the Lord to be glorified and His name lifted high.

I speak twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.

Nail-Pierced Tires

He propped those screws right up against the tire. Three times, they punctured. Three times, we limped our way to the mechanic for a patch. Three times, he saw the damage, the inconvenience, the interruption to our day, but never connected his action to the events until the mechanic handed over the screw.

The brother encourages him to tell, because “it is always better to tell,” instinctively knowing that confession is good for the soul.

He scrounged up all the courage his little frame could muster and spoke the hard-honest truth. It was his fault.

My heart swelled at his courage, his decision to speak Slide1and believe what we have been repeating for years.

Our family…

…says what we’re sorry for…

…never stays angry…

forgives.

With trembling lips, he waited to see if our mantra was true. Fearful eyes understood what we didn’t need to say. This was big—bigger than anything he could fix on his own. Worse still, he had no excuse or reason. Equal measures of boredom and curiosity set the plan into motion. Forgiveness, should he receive it, was undeserved, unmerited, and unearned.

Undeserved. He punctured those tires as much as my sin punctured the hands and feet of my Lord. We are both stained with sin.

Unmerited. Grace is the unmerited favour of God toward me. Grace is the best response to his hard-honest confession. He might not deserve it, but one thing I know for sure is that I certainly don’t, yet here I am, drenched in God’s grace.

Unearned. Even with all the coins in his piggy bank, he couldn’t pay for those three patches. It had to be done for him. And even with all of humanity’s good works stacked from bottom to top, the price of sin is still more. It has to be paid for us, for me.

Together we stand as recipients of undeserved, unmerited and unearned forgiveness. Praise the Lord!

*from the archives

The reminder that we all need

This is for the one buckling under bad news. This is for the one who tugs her sleeves over the track marks of her past. This is for all of us limping barefoot down the broken and narrow road. This is for me. This is for you.

The Lord is everlasting to everlasting, the first and the last, the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, who calls, adopts, brings to repentance, and clothes the filthy and unclean in robes of righteousness.

You invite the wretched to come. You take all that is true in the enemy’s taunts and place it upon Jesus. In the greatest exchange known to mankind, You take my sin and You give me Christ. I can’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, but you do it anyway. You are for me. Your plans are good for me, even when this busted world makes the opposite seem true. Your Word promises that beauty will rise from the ashes of disappointment and heartache.

The Gospel for Every Day

The gospel truth is life-changing not only in that first moment of salvation, but in every moment that follows. The gospel truth matters today because I need You today just as much as I needed You yesterday and just as much as I will need You tomorrow. The gospel is good news for the guilty, good news in the mundane, and good news for the shamed. It is good news for every day.

The gospel truth declares me clean, holy, righteous, and able to stand before You, Lord, because Jesus makes it possible. I approach Your throne with confidence knowing You hear my prayers, have gone before me and walk beside me even now.

Enough

You are good even when life is not. And when the shame of my sin, the weight of my guilt, the hugeness of my needs overwhelm me, You remind me that you are enough. You are more than able to cover my sin, remove my shame and meet every need perfectly. I praise You, Lord. In all the earth there is none like You.

The end of the story

When I don’t know how this trial ends I will remember how this story ends. You are victorious. Nothing can steal victory from You and from all who believe in You. And I belong to You. I am cupped in the palm of Your hand and no one can steal me from You. Thank you, Lord!

I am

I lift dirty hands and yield a wretched heart. My righteousness shrivels into filthy rags. My heart is full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and maliciousness. I am a gossip, a slanderer, a hater of God, insolent, haughty, and an inventor of evil. I am disobedient, foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. I am a truth suppressor without excuse and with a darkened heart[i]. I am dust, nothing, apart from God. This is who I am.

Until I meet the great I AM

The creator and sustainer of life comes to me. The redeemer, the one who parts the waters and turns water into wine, the one who causes the blind to see opens my eyes. The rock of my salvation turns my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. He walks on water. He heals diseases. He has authority over darkness and evil and raises the dead to life. He is unlimited in power and unequaled in majesty. He is my refuge, my hope, and my deliverer. He is the one who multiples fish and loaves, who the wind and waves obey, and who knows hunger, weariness, and temptation yet remains without sin. He is my Saviour.

Fully knowing who I am, He imputes the righteousness of Christ upon me. The GREAT I AM no longer sees my sin. It is gathered in the wind and blown away. God sees his beloved Son standing in my place.

Praise the Lord!

 

[i] https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2010/08/27/what-are-we-apart-fro-christ/

He makes all things new

I’m spending today before my Lord in quiet, in worship, and in His Word. As my mom prepares to go into surgery the Lord takes me to Revelation 21 and I am in awe of His unending mercy toward all who call upon His name.

I dwelt on the new heaven and the new earth, the holy city prepared as a bride, where God dwells with man, and God wipes every tear from our eyes. Death will be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain—for they have passed away.

A voice from the throne declares, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Here, there is no need for the moon or the sun for the glory of God gives light and its lamp is the Lamb.

All this awaits if your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.

As the heavy decay of fallen life increases with each rotation of the earth, the blessed truth of Revelation 21 breathes fresh hope in Jesus. There will be no more tears in hospital waiting rooms or funeral homes. Loved ones will no loner pass away because death itself will pass away. All things will be new for those whose name is written in the Lamb’s book of life because God says they will.

No matter how today ends, this truth remains: God is making all things new. With a heart full of thankfulness, I praise the Lord!

 

*adapted from the archives

Everlasting to Everlasting

My heart must praise the LORD! All my inmost being shouts His praises because I remember His mercy toward me.

He has forgiven my sins, healed my disease, redeemed my life, revealed Himself, and crowned me with love and compassion. He wraps me in His goodness and

in His presence is perfect peace.

He delivers the oppressed and promises justice. He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love because He remembers that

I am dust.

He accepts Christ’s payment for my sins and removes the stain of my offence against Him.

His love is great for those who fear Him.

Life is short, flourishing like a flower until the wind blows it away.

But from

everlasting to everlasting

the LORD’s love is with me.

For that, I praise His name.

 

*Inspired from Psalm 103