How many souls take residence in Heaven? I could not tell you, but if it be more than one, than I can tell you I am certain the number is already far too many. We are told, “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:14) You see, “There is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:3b)
We must understand this, that the Father is so rich in Mercy, the fact that one person would be granted salvation, is already too many! The disciples understood this and Jesus declared it Himself to be impossible, with man, but with God, all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26).
Never think more highly of yourself than you ought. We deserved no such salvation and the fact that God would permit more than one soul into His Kingdom is not just Grace, but it is a Miracle! One that displays His Great Power and Lovingkindness to creatures that would slay their own Messiah.
Thank you Father that those who are saved, are truly many, not few!
Keep her from His Word today and you will make her go astray,
Bind her with the present things and she will keep her mind off Thee.
Show her the joy of gaining fame and she will forsake His Name,
Lead her to question His plan and you will have her in your hand.
Blind her with vanity and she will lose sight of eternity,
Capture her with wicked thoughts and her body will turn to rot.
Make her trust her own strength and quickly she will go her way,
Convince her that she knows best and she will have a growing cyst.
If none of these are you able, then do the first and she will be unstable.
If she forget His Word to read, then there will be no “abide in Me.”
Often times I hear people use the following phrase when describing the Christian faith, “O you know, I’ve always got that to fall back on.” Now, this of course makes me wonder what they are really planning to fall back on. Is it the idea of Christianity? Do they speak of falling back on forgiveness? Perhaps, they reference the prodigal son?
When I hear someone use this phrase often times it carries the meaning of security. In other words, what they are really saying is that what they are currently pursuing is a risk, something that may or may not succeed. Thus, they have something definite or secure to fall back on, i.e. a healthy retirement fund, a steady job, a great family, a loving wife.
Is Christianity to be the back up plan? Is it something you just simply “fall back on” when your pursuit of the world fails you completely?
I look to myself today and examine to see if I have used grace as a security to pursue risky things, or, what they really are, sinful things. Lord, is Your relationship my fall back or my drive? Does Grace lead me to sin or keep me from it?
Please keep me from this kind of talk and thinking. This world is not to be pursued, but You, O Lord are worthy of all things! Grant me Grace that it might lead me on!
In Your Perfect Name,
Shakespeare’s famous Sonnet XXIX, however unaware I am of Shakespeare’s actual intention and meaning in the sonnet, it is dear to me for reasons of my own interpretation. What do I mean? The sonnet begins, “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I alone beweep my outcast state…” He is dealing with a focus on self. If you continue reading, you will quickly gather a mood of discontentment with the ways things are for him and this of course leads the pathetic chap to look on the prosperity of others. He sees the wealthy, the talented, the good-looking, and this, to no surprise, leads to coveting. But, as with all sonnets we have 8 lines problem and 6 lines solution (note: the solution is always much shorter than the problem, because of God’s grace He permits a simple solution to the “complex” problems of man). And just what is Mr. Shakespeare’s solution to his discontented state? “Haply I think on thee…” Now, herein lies my earlier remark, I am unsure of Shakespeare’s intention with such a solution, he might have had some love interest in mind, but to this problem of self consumption, what prescription need be filled? The focus on another. And who else is there that deserves our forever gaze than the God, of whom in likeness, there is no other? And this returns me to His Holy Word.
The Psalmist of Psalm 73 deals with a similar issue. ” (verse 3) For I was envious of the arrogant, As I saw the prosperity of the wicked… (verse 16) When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight (verse 17) Until I came into the sanctuary of God…(verse 28) But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.”
The nearness and gaze upon Jesus Christ is our only hope for defeating the dangers and disappointments of self consumption. I am not talented enough, I am not good enough, to have been His, as Moses writes to His people Israel, ” The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers… (Deuteronomy 7:7-8a)” He loves us, because He loves us. And God, so rightly, is focused with Himself, because He is the Perfect and Self-Sufficient God of all. We would do well to imitate His example and always be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49).
And so, when in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes…
I haply think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
I would not trade my place with the wealthiest, the most talented, or the very fortunate, for, John 3:30, “”He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Thank you Father that You are all I need, and that Your Goodness is my joy when I have no goodness of my own.
In Christ Alone,
Here is a scholarship I found from Logos Bible software. It is very simple to apply and they offer a scholarship for Seminary and Bible college students alike. Read below for more details! Thanks for the support, if you happen to complete it, please bless me by using my name (Rebecca Allen). Thank you!
Currently in Exodus right now and thankful for so many things, one of those being that the Lord included Moses account! Here is a verse that jumped out at me today (all because of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, of course).
The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Exodus 19: 20ESV
What a picture this is of the whole Bible, is it not? God coming down and calling His creation up! Only in His Infinte Perfection, He comes down never to diminish what He is, namely, the Perfect Perfect. But as He came down to the mountain, the Perfect God came down to the Cross and died so that when He calls imperfect man to Himself, we can have a way to reach. Let us never think we would have ever made it otherwise and let us never think He had to save us.
Something Perfect must demand Perfect and Justice served was not what we were given on the Cross. So here I am the sinner, left with only one thing to say:
All Hail the Power of Jesus Name! Let Angels Prostate Fall! Bring forth the Royal Diadems and Crown Him Lord of All!
may He keep seasoning…
A dear friend of mine wrote this poem for a class assignment. John Piper would approve its theme. Wanted to share it, it is most definitely seasoned! Hope it blesses you as it did me!
My life began with a struggle forever apart of me
But my health didn’t change who I wanted to be
Lived almost like normal for years on end
But life is not always as we intend
We grow older and face change
Years of being lost
Emotions thrown around and tossed
Mistakes I cant take back
Knowledge I need and lack
So young and naïve
Years pass and I grow older I find myself in a new place
New problems are thrown at me to face
My heart thumping faster and faster and faster
Fear consuming me during this disaster
Thinking to myself when will this end
Facing the fact this will always be a part of me
Finally opening my eyes to fully see
Finding what I needed all along
You guide my life and keep me strong
Why didn’t I realize this all along
I know you will never let me go
Through the darkest days I have known
You are always in control
You protect my body and soul
I can rest inside everything is alright
Finally seeing the beauty in Gods grace
With the Lord I find myself in a safer place
Realizing what life is truly about
I want to know you Lord I cannot live without
Life is a beautiful miracle and I shall live for you