Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed."
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I am a disciple of
Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down,
back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present
makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking,
small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,
chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position,
promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by
presence, lean by faith, love by patience,
lift by prayer, and labor by power. My pace
is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my
road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few,
my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought,
compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back,
diluted, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the
presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy,
ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander
in the maze of mediocrity.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until
Heaven returns, give until I drop, preach until all know,
and work until He comes. And when He comes to get
His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colors will be clear.

The preceding was said to have been found written on a scrap of paper by an African Christian pastor who was murdered the next day. Like Paul, he may have said,

2Ti 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
As the new year bursts upon us, let us, too, submit and commit ourselves to Jesus Christ that we might be able to preach, pray, or die at a moment's notice, unashamed, and with the peace that comes from knowing that our sins have preceded us to the throne of grace and been blotted out by the blood of Jesus.

Remain faithful,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Asked God

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, No.
It is not for ME to take away,
But for YOU to give it up.

rose bud II courtesy of Flickr artist ceanandjen

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
It isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings;
Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
And brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own! ,
But I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life,
So that you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...Ahhhh;
Finally, you have the idea.

1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

We spend our entire lives trying to shield ourselves from suffering, but God allows a measure of suffering that we might be perfected. Would you give God permission to make you perfect?

Lord God, give me the grace, the stretching and the growth that You intend for the experiences and circumstances that You have allowed in my life that I might be more fully fitted for the work You have for me to do.

Remain faithful,