Finding Hope (A Poem)

Finding salvation and comfort…is that even possible?
In a world that seems so wrought with pain and sadness,
these half-timbered, dimly lit dwellings
plastered with the scabs of hurts and slings of words
how can hope spawn from such a place?
These tall escarpments seem too far,
and we, with reaches far too limited
how can hope ever stoop, low and bending
to such a place as this?

Yet, when the babe, cherubic and glorious
came to this fallen shambles of a place
we now, with arms extended
broken and needy
can embrace this light
beaming and radiant.

Hope?  Don’t speak of such a thing,
live it, experience it, vivid and streaked
with Theophonic glory…speak not
of falsities and half promises of this word!
Instead, with hearts extended
grooved and bending
no longer a barren land but
but rich, empirical
blazing in His glory!

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Have You Forgotten???

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Psalm 103:2-6  Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

Do you have trouble remembering what God has done for you?  Are you lacking in your confidence that He is actually there for you?  Sometimes it’s beneficial to read scripture passages such as Psalm 103 to bring to mind once again in great detail what the Lord has done for all of us.  Look at these verse above once more…it says right at the beginning “forget not all his benefits.”   The psalmist stresses the need to never forget the things that God has done for us, and then he goes on to list them for us, just in case we’ve indeed forgotten.

What Are the Benefits of God?

1.  He forgives ALL your sins!

Not just some of your sins, but all of your sins!  Think of it, what God offers to each and everyone one of us is complete and total absolution for our sins.  The slate is literally wiped clean!  When the slate is wiped clean, we are provided freedom from sin and death.  This first benefit is epic in that we can be brought back into a right relationship with the Father.  No longer do we have to be bound by the shackles of sin, but instead the binds of bondage are taken from us…we are free indeed!

2. He Heals all your diseases:

Don’t misunderstand here, perhaps we may yet have to endure actual physical health issues or struggles, but ultimate we will one day be complete healed and given new heavenly bodies.  But God does in fact still heal His people here on earth.  Miracles do still take place and He can provide this blessing of healing to those He deems in need of it…but the problem arises for us when we consider the question, ‘what if He doesn’t choose to heal  me?’  When we submit our lives to God we take on a vital component of the Lord’s prayer in action in our lives when we pray, ‘Thy will be done.’

3. (He)… redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion

Because God forgive ALL of our sin we have been saved from eternal punishment and instead have been given the right to be called sons and daughters of God!  We have been grafted into the family of God because of Jesus Christ!  He stands before us with nail scared hands and wraps His arms around us and showers us with His love!  Isn’t that awesome to think about?  His love and compassion escorts us into the family and we are able to sit before the Father of all creation because of Jesus and what He’s done for us!

4. (He) “satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s

Does God provide for you?  Is He not the Jehovah Jireh in your life?   God have given us all that we need, not all that we want.  He provides us with the things that are vital to our lives, but be careful that you don’t mistake wants for needs.  God will always give to his children that which we ask for in His name, not ours.  Make sure the things we ask for aren’t for any selfish intent or prideful purpose, but rather humbly ask for things which God will grant to benefit his children living His kingdom out here on earth right now!  He does satisfy our needs and He will sustain us and renew us within all our energies and motivations.

5.  The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 

Be assured that those who are oppressed, those who are serving Him through difficult circumstances and facing trials and persecution will one day find justice from those who have wronged them.  This isn’t a vindictive statement but a holy truth.  God is Lord of all including those who are unrighteous and those who oppress His people.  Everyone will one day have to stand before God and take account for their actions here on earth.  I know that God will bring His pure and true justice upon us all.  I also know that God still works through the oppressed and impacts this world for His glory regardless if man and their kingdoms oppose His message.  His will always prevails despite the attempts of the enemy to discourage and dismantle His cause.  Know that despite their trials, and even ours that we serve a God who doesn’t fail even if we do.  If we are faithful to Him and do what He asks of us, He will provide the victory even if we do not get to see it fulfilled in our life time.

Have you forgotten?  Do you lack understanding of what it is exactly that God has done for us?  Read this passage again and be encouraged!  Understand the God is on your side and wants you to know that He prevails in and through all things!  Don’t forget these awesome facts and bring them to mind whenever you feel discouraged or downhearted.  May the Lord remind you in your times of trouble that you matter to Him and also what He provides to you still today!

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Worship…not just reserved for Sundays

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This song has been running through my head all night and all of yesterday.  We sang this song on Sunday, but it has just stuck with me.  For me, music speaks…for me not a day goes by that I don’t find myself breaking out in some sort of song.  It’s just my temperament I guess.

But singing songs of praise isn’t the only form of worship to God is it?  Music is a very easy conduit that brings us into worship though doesn’t it?  It can transform a humble chapel into the very throne room of Heaven, and connect with in ways with the Savior.  Worship is so much more than just the songs we sing though.  Mere words cannot express who God is, and how we are called upon to bring Him glory.  But that doesn’t mean we ever stop…after all the creatures before God in the heaven are singing His praises never ending (Rev 4:8).

Our worship is all about God and what He has done for us.  If it becomes mere performance and we lose the emphasis of authentic praise then we ought to re-evaluate our intentions in His sanctuary.  When our songs become anything less than praises to Him, they become empty words that only edify our old selfish spirits.  That may sound harsh, but that is the reality of things.

Worship isn’t just for Sundays:

Truth be told, we come on Sundays to get reconnected to God, but we shouldn’t  unplug ourselves from Him as soon as we shake the Pastor’s hand and exit the building.  In fact His praises should be evident in all that we do, through-out our week!  Worship takes on other forms in the work place and on our drive to work.  How we relate to others around us can be evidence of our Worship to Him.  How we respond when others attack us or cause us difficulties is also further evidence of that same worship of Him.

Why Worship in every aspect of our lives?

Because if we believe in a living and active God who created everything and wants to be apart of our lives then shouldn’t we also invite Him into our work week and into our homes? When we do so, we begin to see the full spectrum of the kind of worship that is required of us.  Don’t just hang up your worship with your Sunday suit and tie, only to sit there until the next Sunday morning.  Take His praises with you every day!  He wants that kind of love relationship with you!  He deserves so much more than just an hour a week!

Worship…is not just reserved for Sundays…worship is reserved for everyday!

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