A beautiful reality. A few days ago I was listening to "the flag-waver special" on my favorite station, and they played God Bless America. Great song. And I was brought back to my childhood, when I sang God Bless My Underwear. And I wept. What an ungodly fool I was! I now, by grace, KNOW and LOVE this God, and I belong to Him for eternity. He has ONLY been good to me! (I weep now as I write.) And there I was, so lost, taking His beautiful name IN VAIN. I deserve hell. I deserve separation from God. Yet He had mercy on me, and forgave me my foolish ungodliness. He won't hold the one guiltless who takes His name in vain, it says in the Ten Commandments. Christ, my love, the Fairest of the fair, took my punishment.
What does one do with SUCH love, such forgiveness? Does one continue in the same transgression, trusting there will be forgiveness still? As Paul says, God forbid! "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be FEARED."
If the forgiveness we believe we have leads us to continue in sin and being perfectly content in that position, we do not have that forgiveness! Christ's forgiveness produces not only cleansing, but holiness. Only God can help us to have a right view of ourselves, and a right view of Him who is Holy. Only a new birth can give us such a heart to desire such things for our lives. May we walk before the Lord and be pleasing to Him. May He guard our mouths and our hearts--how desperately I need Him to!
Thank you, Lord, for forgiveness, for being CLEAN before you. How did I LIVE before this? I DIDN'T. I was worse than a walking dead person--I was actively wicked, and lived my life contrary to God.
But what about the person who says, "THAT wasn't me; I've always been a good and a nice person"? One preacher said, "When God saved me, He reached down BELOW the murderer, the child molester, the adulterer, the thief--He reached down to me in MY SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS." The GREATEST commandment is to love the Lord our God with all we have; if we do not do that, we are the GREATEST sinner, no matter how much we try to be and look good and proper. We ALL lived our lives contrary to God before we came to know Him--NO man seeks after God. God doesn't see as Man sees: He looks on the heart.
How can you LIVE without Him? How can you teach your children right from wrong when they start asking? What example will you give them? Where can you go for help when there is no help? May God show us our desperate need of Himself!
I thank the Lord for showing me--a proud, stupid, foolish, ungodly punk (this is NOT an exaggerated description!)--His grace and His forgiveness. Glory to God!
Friday, February 02, 2007
Posted by Emmie, aka Vivian at Friday, February 02, 2007