Saturday, April 7, 2012

Reflections on Resurrection Day

This whole week - the Passion week of Jesus Christ - I have been praying.

Oh Lord, give me new eyes to see the cross of Christ with a completely different perspective.
Give me a new heart - an undying passion for the cross of Christ.

I've always appreciated Christ's death on the cross, you know - "Thanks a bunch God, that was really nice of you."

Really nice?

I wonder if God sees our distracted thanks around Easter time as a slap in the face? How is it that over any given Easter week, we are likely to think more about our new dress and what is for dinner on Sunday than we are to remember the Son Who saved us?

Here is the Father, Who gave His only precious Son to endure unbelievable torture, so He could save the soldiers who spit in His face, and the Romans who scourged Him, and you and me, who nailed His torn body to the cross.

Here is Christ, sweating great drops of blood because He knew the agony to come. Pouring out His blood, laying down His life - He Who could have destroyed His tormenters with a word -

Instead, He died for them.


He willingly laid down His life.

And we say "thanks"?

I guess I've never thought of it this way. Where is my passion for the cross of Christ? Where is my zealous gratefulness - fervent song of praise - for His gift of love? Why do I not weep tears of undying thankfulness for His gift?

How could a child saved from eternal destruction smile, nod, shake hands, and turn to the next phone call or shopping trip?

I have a desire stirring within me to view the crucifixion of Jesus Christ my Lord through new eyes - the eyes of one who has never before seen such a picture. I could have told you at 3 years old that Jesus loved me, and He died on the cross for me. Somehow, the story has grown cold. I say this with shame and sorrow. But it is the truth.

This will be a different year, by the Lord's strength! I will comprehend the full price my Savior paid. I will see the whip cutting, tearing, ripping His flesh. I will hear His cries, watch the nails driven into the hands that formed me. I will see His blood spill onto the jagged edges of a cruel cross. I will weep with His disciples, marvel with the centurion, and worship with the thief who was saved. I will see the agony, not as a happy child's tale, but as God's unfathomable plan to save the hostile world He loved.

I will praise the Lamb Who was slain, yet Who rose again, Who defied death and darkness and sin and hell, and danced victory over my soul.

And for this gift of salvation, I joyfully give back what little I have to offer:

My life.
My all.

Because when we see the cross through these eyes, we have no other choice. And we do it with joy.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Reason #28 - He Is the Only Way

"Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God." ~ Peter's response in John 6:68-69

Jesus had asked a question of His disciples, a question that has haunted me over these past few weeks. All together, many followers had deserted Christ. They had turned their backs and walked away. He turns to the twelve - the men He had poured His life in to, and asks,

"Will ye also go away?"

That was it. Just 5 simple words. Nothing convincing. Just a simple question.

Can you hear the loneliness and desire wrapped up in these words? Oh, I know that my Lord understands my heart...because He's been there a thousand times over. He knows! He knows and He cares.

Does He ask the same question today? I believe that He does. I believe that He looks down on the vast majority of Christians today - toying with the Savior Who bled love and died for them - Who became sin that we might know Love Himself - and He whispers the question to all Who might hear,

"Will ye also go away?"

Oh, may I never lose the sound of this question in my ears. May I know the desire in His voice, that He wants me. He wants me. And He asks me to stay.

May my response be always and forever the answer of Peter.

"Lord, we have nowhere else to go. There is no one else to turn to."

Almost, it was as if he just didn't have another option.

Two mornings ago, I wrote in my journal after reading this passage,

This morning, I have cried as the devil hurls fiery darts of lies into my soul - thick and fast, and I convince myself - "All this desire to passionately love and serve the Lord - all this effort - it's all been a sorry joke. I'm not cut out for this. I just can't do it. How disgusted my Lord must be with me.

I. Give. Up."

Yet, in my spirit, I run up against this verse - "To whom shall I go?"
If I do indeed give up, "Where else can I turn?" And the answer, I know deep in my soul is,


There is no one else.

I have set my passion in Him. And though I fall, though Satan drags me down to the very bottom, though for a time I hurl myself away from the Father in despair, I am incapable of choosing a new god. Once we have truly chosen our God in Christ, as the disciples did, there is no turning back. We have tasted the Christ. We have found the words of eternal life.

There is no where else -
No One else -
No thing else.

All is Christ. Christ is all.

He stands with open arms, asking me a simple, longing question - "Will you also go away?"

And I stand again - thankful to remember that my incredible weakness is actually my strength. For when I am weak, then - and only then - am I strong.

To whom shall I go? Only to Christ."

I love my Lord, because He is the only Way.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reason #27 - He Gives A New Heart

Of all the verses that I have prayed over my life, Ezekiel 36:26 wins the grand prize for the number of times I pray it every day.

"Lord, change my heart."
"Give me a new heart, Lord Jesus."
"Oh Lord, give me Your heart."

There have been times in my life when I literally prayed this verse dozens of times a day. This past week, it has been on my mind almost continually.

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."

Hear God's promise to us! To me. To you.

I can think of fewer things more exciting than the fact that the Lord will give us a new heart, and a new spirit! And not just any heart and spirit, but His!

I have longed to know that Christ could say of me, "Here is a woman after my own heart." He said it of David. If only David could have been my best buddy! Too bad I couldn't have been Jonathan. :) I wish so much that I could meet David, to walk with him, to know his heart. Because to know his heart would have been to know God's heart.

No I can't meet him face to face. But I can see glimpses of his life and of his character. As I have studied David's life in the Scriptures these past couple days, I have seen a normal man. I have not seen an angel. I have seen emotions like anger, fear, mistrust. I have seen doubt and discouragement. I have seen sin too, far worse (in the world's eyes, anyway) than anything I've ever done.

Yet I've also seen unleashed passion. Deep brokenness and humility. Unshakeable faith.

I've seen a man who loved the Lord.

And I've come to the startling, thrilling, relieving, passionate conclusion - and my heart wells up with thankfulness as I write this -

To be a man or woman after God's own heart is not to be a man or woman of perfection.

It is to be a man or woman of love and passion for the Lord God, above and beyond anything else in life.

Not by my own might or power. Heaven knows - and I've learned the hard way - I don't have any of that!! But it comes through something as simple as a gift. The gift of the heart of God.

He longs to give it. And I long to receive it.

I love my Lord, because He gives me a new heart. His heart.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reason #26 - There Are Just Too Many!!! :)

Dear Sir - my Lord and my God, my Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the King of kings, and Lord and lords, my Life, and my All:

I am here to inform you that I have spent the last few days unable to decide which "reason" to post about next on my blog. There are simply too many. I have come to the awesome conclusion that if I spent the rest of my life posting a new "reason" every day, I would even then be unable to exhaust the possibilities. At first, I must admit, this was a bit disconcerting to me, seeing that the title of this blog is "100 Reasons Why I Love My Lord," and not "100 Trillion Reasons Why I Love My Lord." However, after a bit more thought, my heart was unexpectedly filled with joy, because I am ever so thankful to know a God Who is vaster and deeper and greater than any little blog that tries to paint His picture.

With all this being said, I would still like to post my "reasons" every once in a while, because I have very few other ways of saying what is on my heart to say at this moment:

Thank you.

With all my heart.

Thank you.

Sincerely, your adoring daughter,