On Fire for All Things Christ

Archive for September, 2010

Only Grace

I went to visit a friend’s church in Merced, California a few Sundays ago, and the worship team played this song, Only Grace, by Matthew West. I’ve heard this song many times on Christian radio, but there was something different about it when I saw the words up on screen at the service, especially the first few verses. Immediately, the first thing that came to my mind was an old friend that I hope knows I’ve forgiven him. Despite what happened in the past, I want him to know not to feel guilt, not to feel shame, I’m not pointing fingers or playing blame, I only want to be an extension of grace.

There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame
What happened yesterday…has disappeared
The dirt has washed away
And now it’s clear

There’s only grace
There’s only love
There’s only mercy and believe me it’s enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there’s nothing left now
There’s only grace

You’re starting over now
Under the sun
You’re stepping forward now
A new life has begun
Your new life has begun

An’ there’s only grace
There’s only love
There’s only mercy and believe me…it’s enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there’s nothing left now
There’s only grace…

And if you should fall again
Get back up, get back up
Reach out and take my hand
Get back up, get back up
Get back up again
Ohh…get…back…up…again…

There’s only grace…
There’s only love…
There’s only mercy and believe me it’s enough…it’s enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there’s nothing left now
There’s only…there’s only…grace…

There’s only mercy and believe me it’s enough…it’s enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there’s nothing left now
There’s only…grace……
So get back up…get back up again…
Get back up again.

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I Know, That I Know, That I Know, That I Know, That I Know

I haven’t been posting many songs lately, but this one has been on my heart and my mind all week, so I want to share it with you. I love My Redeemer Lives by Nicole C. Mullen.

This song is extra special to me this week for several reasons, three to be exact.

  1. I heard it at Monday night Bible Study where we all fell to our knees in worship to Jesus. A time when we were still before Him, in awe of His marvelous presence in our lives. How marvelous You are, Jesus! (Just earlier, a sister-in-Christ had shared her amazing testimony of two angels revealing to her that day the calling that the Lord has placed on her life.)
  2. This song reminded me of an illustration I wrote for my ministry class, about a friend’s revelation of Christ.
  3. The words “You will know, that you know, that you know” were prophesied to me about a matter that is on my heart that I’ve been seeking an answer from God about. I will know, that I know, that I know, just as I know that I know that I know my redeemer lives!!!

Praise the Lord, below is a video and the amazing lyrics to My Redeemer Lives.

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide till evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Chorus:
Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

Ye-e-eah
The very same God
That spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know, my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I-I-I know
My Redeemer

He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives
Forever I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sins
Was the precious life He gave
And now He’s alive and
There’s an empty
Grave!

And I know
My Redeemer lives
He lives
I know
My Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I-I-I know my Redeemer

I know
My Redeemer lives
*I know my Redeemer lives*

*I know, That I know, that I know, that I know, that I know
He lives

*my redeemer lives*
*Because He lives I can face tomorrow
He lives
*I know, I know*
He lives
*I spoke with Him this morning!*
He lives
*The tomb is empty*
He lives
*He Lives! I’m going to tell everybody!!*

The Christ

In class a few weeks ago, someone raised the question, Why is Jesus called Christ? Our professor replied, Christ is a title, the Greek word for Messiah. That’s why sometimes we hear, Jesus the Christ, or Jesus the Messiah. Messiah means anointed.

In other words, Christ is not His last name. He is not Mr. Christ.

I found this wonderful source about the meaning of Christ with reference to scripture, so I wanted to share it with you. Be blessed my beloved in learning and growing in the knowledge and Word of God!

Jesus Saves

Matthew 1:21
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus*, for He will save His people from their sins.”

*Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the LORD saves.

JESUS SAVES. I have had this bold statement on the back windshield of my car for a few months now. I love it because when I drive around the city, it’s like spreading a word of hope to all who see it and read it. It is a moving advertisement that glorifies the grace and power of our loving God. (Not to mention it gives me more accountability to be Christ-like in my driving.)

Maybe seeing this statement in passing reminds someone to pray for a friend. Maybe it brings conviction to mind. Maybe it sparks a conversation about gods. Maybe it makes someone think, does God really exist or do I believe in God? Maybe it raises the question, what does “Jesus saves” really mean to me?

I haven’t been approached much about it, but just recently I had been wondering if our world really knows what this phrase actually means. I wondered… have I not been approached because others are embarrassed to ask what it means, or because they think they will be ridiculed for not knowing? Maybe others think I will bombard them with condemning words.

So, what does “Jesus saves” really mean? First of all, who is Jesus? What is being saved? Why should someone care about Jesus or that He saves? Why is saving necessary? How does saving happen? What is the role of Jesus in saving?

I’d love to hear your insights!!

Two Praises

One of my dear friends just sent me a text message:

God is so good! Guess who is the new bank teller at Wells Fargo?
One day you told me, “Milly, I see you working as a bank teller.”
Thank you!!

I write this as a reminder to myself and to others to reiterate the truth that God IS indeed good, He listens to our prayers and He is so faithful!! Earlier this year my friend was looking for a job and she was applying at every place that would accept her application. One day in the car, I told her, “Milly, none of these places you are applying are right for you. I see you working at a bank.” And, we prayed about it. Sure enough, God brought it to life today. It brings me such excitement to confess those words!! All praise and glory to our King. Congratulations my dear Milly!!

Now, I too have a praise report for today… these past weeks I have been super excited about some new things God is bringing my way. But with my excitement also came anxiety. With these new things just around the corner, I started to worry if I would be able to make time for everything. I had been so anxious that I hadn’t been able to sleep or even eat much for the past few days. Yesterday, a good friend called me and I spoke to her about how I was feeling. She listened, and then we prayed. In our prayers we mentioned the scripture in Matthew 6 … if God takes care of the birds in the air, how much more will He take care of us. It was then just a matter of hours that I started to feel relaxed, and last night, I slept great. I love going to sleep and waking up with whispers in my head repeating, “Thank You Jesus!” I’ve been at peace all day today, and I keep looking to His promises with excitement, and no worry.

One-on-One

There’s something beautiful about the uneven exchange that God has given us. The exchange of life for death. The exchange of the blood of Christ for my sins. My story below is not as deep as these, but it touches my heart in almost the same way.

The thought of “exchange” came to my mind for some time as I was experiencing the loss of a close friend and the many things we shared in. In my grief I thought about the things I missed most about my friend and I asked God, “Who will I share revelations and daily testimonies with? Who will I go to church with? Who will I share worship music with? What ministry will I sink my roots into without my friend? How will I continue to serve You and your people? And then, the final question that left me in utter despair, “Who will show me the love that my friend so effortlessly seemed to give me?”

With that question, the Holy Spirit spoke to me saying, “Your friend will no longer show you that love, but I will.” At first I thought… what? Did I hear that right? Then, my reaction to His words shocked me, I was not content with that answer from Him. I was not prepared for God to remove my friend out of my life and to have that love be substituted. I felt horrible. Horrible to face that my friend would no longer be there, and now horrible that I was rejecting the Father’s response to my pain. In not wanting to accept my circumstances, I was telling God that I didn’t want His love.

Other questions started to arise… How could I possibly reject the Father’s love? Did I not learn that in truth, no love can compare to His? Was my reaction matching my break in faith? Was I thinking of God in ambiguous ways? How will God show me the same love that my friend showed me? What’s making me want to reach out toward my friend instead of God?

Reflecting back, I know God was revealing something inside of me that needed to be brought out to the open. For the past two years, I had the comfort, support and love of my friend to lean on, and now God had taken that away so that I could walk by faith in the source of true comfort, support and love… Him. My Heavenly Father wanted one-on-one with me and to my surprise, I wasn’t having it. I wanted my friend back instead. And in my rebellion, the enemy partied all around me, telling me all sorts of lies about myself, my friend and even God. I was struggling with God’s will. I was going through a sort of Jacob experience.

God wanted me to seek Him in my trials. He wanted my attention. He wanted me to reach to Him through the midst. He wanted me to draw closer to Him. He wanted me to talk to Him. He wanted me to trust Him. He wanted me to know that His love would catch me and that He would see me through. He knew I needed Him through this tough time in order for me to press on past the emotions and feelings of heart break.

For months I prayed longer and more fiercely than ever before. I praised Him in ways I’d never praised Him before. I wrote Him letters daily about the piercing pain I was in (as if He didn’t know already.) I read my Bible with an intensity to see what God wanted to reveal to me. I surrounded myself with sermon messages and isolated myself from almost everyone I knew as God was morphing me to a liquid state. And now, having gone through such internal suffering and heartache, I lift my hands and voice in thanks to Him for getting me through this experience. An experience that grew my desire and love for Christ to a deeper and more personal level than ever.

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