Thursday, March 31, 2011

Reason #4 - He Does Not Condemn Me

How many times in my life have I sat down to have a quiet time with the Lord, and I almost couldn't even bring myself to pray because I felt guilty and condemned?

Guilty because of something I had done wrong, or messed up - no matter how big or little. And condemned because I know that God is perfect and sinless, and how could He understand my constant and never ending faults??

How many times have I heard a small voice whisper in my head: "Don't even bother talking to God this time. You've messed up one too many times. You've committed that sin one too many times. How can you even call yourself a Christian?"

Is that God? Are these thoughts - these feelings - from Him?

Romans chapter 8 vs 33-34 asks this same question: "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" In other words - "who is going to accuse the children of God?" And you know what is interesting? - the author of Romans (Paul) never gives us the answer to that question. But one thing he does make sure to give us - and that is Who does not accuse us.

"It is God that justifieth"

Not condemns. Not accuses. Not points the finger. But He justifies.

The passage continues:

"Who is he that condemneth?" Again, Paul answers this question by telling us who does NOT condemn. "It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who...also maketh intercession for us."

Christ, Who has shed His blood for no reason other than perfect love for His wayward children, is risen from the dead - not to condemn those He has died for, but to make intercession for them. He is fighting against the accusations that are hurled at us!

Of course, I know in my head that Satan is "the accuser of the brethren." I know that Christ makes intercession for us. I know He loves us. But do I really know it and believe it with all my heart? And then let that realization affect my attitude and my approach toward my Father?
It is never God that stands between me and a close, intimate relationship with Him.
I will close with a paraphrase of one of my favorite stories in the Gospels...

A woman is brought to Jesus by a group of big shot, swaggering, hypocrite Pharisees. "Master," they begin, (though it's interesting to note how very much Christ was NOT their master) "Master, here is a woman we have caught in the very act of adultery."

"Moses told us that a woman like this is to be stoned. But what do you have to say about it?"

Then they sat back and waited. Doubtless, they assumed they had really caught Jesus this time. Doubtless, they were impressed with their clever thinking. How was the "Master" going to wriggle out of this one?

But to their surprise, He didn't say anything at all. Instead, He stooped down and wrote in the dust.

"Master," they pressed, "what do you think?! Should she be stoned as the law commands?"

Then standing up straight, He looked each one in the eye and said "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone."

And He stooped again, and wrote once more in the dust. Oh, what I would give to know what He wrote!!

And one by one, each Pharisee, so righteous on the outside, and so sinful within, slipped away in shame.

Jesus straightened, and looked at the woman. "Where are your accusers?" He asked. "Does no one condemn you?"

"No, Lord," she replied.

Then the words of the Master rang out as a trumpet call upon her ears:

"And neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more."

I love my Lord because He does not condemn me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Reason #3 - He is My Portion

Psalm 16:5 - "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; thou (God) maintainest my lot."

Psalm 73:25-26 - "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

I have often wondered what it means to say that God is my portion. It's all over the Psalms, and in other Old Testament books as well. What is God talking about?

Just recently, I read in Psalm 17:14 - "Deliver me from men of the world, which have their portion in this life." Changing out the word "portion" for "inheritance", I immediately had a "light bulb" moment! (which fyi can be rare in the world of Kate! :) )

When my grandpa died, each of his children got a part of his possessions. This was their portion. The Hebrew word for portion means allotment. It's what they have saved up for themselves when everything is said and done. It's their inheritance.

For the non-Christian or the carnal Christian, their portion is whatever cheap earthly treasures they can gather around them during the few days on earth we call a lifetime.

For me, as a Christian seeking the Lord, what is my portion? And here is what gave me goosebumps...
It's God.

Yes, heaven is our portion, and yes, joy and peace and contentment all are as well. But it's even bigger than that. Everything that God is - everything that He encompasses - is our inheritance. God Himself is our portion!

Have you ever read in the Old Testament, (many times in Leviticus and Deuteronomy) how God gave special "portions" (rewards) to each of the tribes of Israel? It usually entailed a large piece of land that they could call their own. But then God would always say:

"but Levi doesn't get____ (what the others tribes received)...because I the Lord am their inheritance." (paraphrased)

And I hate to admit this, but I always thought "No fair for them!! I bet they were bummed about that!"

Now God is showing me...NO WAY!!! To have the Lord Himself as my inheritance - what better thing?? It's incredible to think about! And what's even more incredible is that what God promised to the royal priesthood - He promises now to us as His children!

He is our inheritance - all we want, and all we need.

I love the Lord because He is my portion.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reason #2 - He Has Sent Me On My Way in Peace

There aren't near as many stories about women in the Bible as there are about men, but I think it makes these stories all the more precious to us as daughters of the King. One that I have been thinking about a lot lately is the story of the sinner who anointed Jesus' feet with perfume and then wiped His feet with her hair. (Luke 7:36-50). As she kissed His feet over and over again in the expression of ultimate humility, those around her despised her in their hearts.

She was a sinner. Everyone knew that. Perhaps it was that her reputation had proceeded her. Perhaps something about her outward appearance made this fact obvious to others. Whatever the case, it apparently didn't take a genius to figure it out. This woman was low.

And that Jesus would let her even touch Him! Even breathe the same air with Him! "This is no prophet," the others mocked. "He can't possibly know."

But He knew.

And what did He say to her? "Go in peace."

What is peace? The word brings to mind rest, quietness, stillness, absolute trust. One culture, when translating the Bible into their own language, chose to use the following phrase to communicate the meaning of peace.

A heart that sits.

I wrote a poem that I hope will express the awe that grows in my heart when I read this story. I love my Lord because He has sent me on my way in peace.

"Go In Peace"

Broken, weary, tired, and worn
Utterly alone
Despised, rejected, full of fear
The lowest she has known

Weeping at the feet of Christ
A woman pleaded to be made whole
Knowing her tears couldn't wash away
The stains upon her soul

How could she speak,
What could she say?
But no words were needed
For the Truth, the Light, the Way.

He knew.

Every vile word
Every evil deed
Every lustful motive

He knew.

And to the sinner, the Sinless declared:

Go in peace
Though the chains of sin are strong
Go in peace
I have loosed them all in all
Broken you came, now healed you leave
You are whole - you are loved
Go in peace.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Reason #1 - He First Loved Me

We all have sung the song since preschool -

"Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so..."

And we know it by heart and could most likely sing it in our sleep, right?

I have a question to pose. As often as we hear the little phrase "Jesus Loves Me", do you we believe it?

Do I believe it?

Do I believe that the Creator of the Universe, Who orchestrates every movement of our galaxy, Who is Lord over every angel and creature - knows me by my name? Knows every one of my thoughts? And that He cares?

How would it change my life, if every decision I made, I weighed it on the scales with the fact that GOD LOVES ME? That He DIED for me?

I love many people dearly. Would I die for them?

And yet God gave His life for me.

This is no cheap, frivolous, junior high "squirrly" love. This is a deep, awesome, indescribable commitment and resolve to save His lost children. The Greek definition describes a fond affection and attachment. For you. For me.

And the most incredible thing to me is that I was no little angel when He first loved me. I wasn't doing great things for His kingdom. He didn't need me. In fact, every person who isn't living for God is doing damage to His kingdom. I was doing damage to His kingdom. And He reached out His arms to me, and asked if He could love me as His child.

"Picture a giant dump truck full of love. There you are behind it. God lifts the bed, until the love starts to slide. Slowly at first, then down, down, down.
Until you are
Hidden -
Buried -
Covered -
In His love."

-Max Lucado

This is the picture of the sinner, of the lost, of the hopeless, and of the sanctified.

I love Him, because He first loved me.

John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son."
1 John 3:1 - "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."
Romans 5:8 - "But God commendeth His great love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Friday, March 4, 2011


This is my first post for 100 Reasons Why I Love My Lord!

"Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul." ~ Ps 66:16