Because they believed

He was just a man, but he believed. He’d gone to ask Jesus to heal his daughter; she died before he could return.
But when Jesus told him to only believe, Jarius did. And his daughter was made whole.

The closest she could get was just the hem of His garment. The crowds pressed, seemed not to notice. Her courage nearly gone, she touched His hem.
And because she believed she was made whole.

The lepers. They asked for healing. They risked all, despised and rejected by their countrymen. Why wouldn’t this person reject them, too? But He didn’t. He told them to go show themselves to the priests. But what good would that do? They’d doubtless been before, hoping vainly that they’d been healed.
But they didn’t question. They went.
And in the obeying, in the believing, they were made whole.

The list goes on. The one who cried, “Lord, if You say only the word my servant will be healed.” The thief on the cross who dared to hope in a dying man.

And, going back several hundred years, we have the serpent lifted high. The multitude, dying from snake bites, bidden to look on the snake lifted high on a cross and be healed.
And so it was. Those who believed looked, and they were healed.
And yet, this was just a type. Type met anti-type that day on Calvary where the true Savior hung on a bloodstained cross.

He, too, bids us look and live. A life given gives life to me. A life, broken, heals all wounds.

Oh Lord, You set each spirit free,
Who dares accept Your love.
Your cross stands tall through every age,

For all to look and live.

And when I look You haste to come,
To mend each broken piece.

For sin has shattered, wounded, torn;
But You have set me free.

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Upheld by His Love

I sit at 34,000 feet and wonder…. Wonder how it is this heavier-than-air, vibrating metal object can fly. And all I can conclude is that it is a marvel greater than my understanding.

Flight is a miracle.

When a heart lets go and flies free.
When one chooses to say “Yes” to God.

Disobedience, fear, distrust? They keep us anchored down.

To abandon all, to trust God, yeah it’s scary sometimes.
But only in abandon is there freedom. Only in trusting Him can we fly.

I fly with wings of metal and fiberglass; upheld in air.
This heart flies on wings of trust, belief; upheld securely by His love.

He doesn’t let us crash. Oh, I could choose to alright, and sometimes (read: all too often) I do. But as long as my life is in His keeping I can rest securely in His love.

He my refuge. He the one who fights for me. And, always, underneath me are His everlasting arms.*

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*Deut 33:27

God so loved

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I wonder why He came. I wonder why He left the glories of Heaven for this sin-darkened world.

But I don’t wonder long. I know why He came.

He came because He loves me (you, us).
He came because He wants to dwell with me. Forever.

Mankind has been taken hostage by sin.
Sin demands death. There can be no other way.
The death—rightly mine.

God so loved.
He made a plan for my redemption. A man must die, and only one Man could pay the price sin required.
And so, Christ came to die.

The implications are amazing.
If He had sinned just once we’d still be captives to sin.

But God so loved that He gave His only Son.
He didn’t sell Him to the world, He gave His Son.
And Christ became a willing sacrifice.

He paid the ransom for me.
Ransom’s goal is reunion.

And because He paid an infinite price….
Because He gave His life.
I know He wants a reunion with me.
And He’s paid all.

Because of this, I can live with Him. Forever.

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Life is nothing without Jesus.

It isn’t beautiful.
It isn’t worthwhile.
It isn’t joyful.

Without Christ, all is dark. All is sad and drear and colorless.

But Jesus….

He transforms everything.
He fills my days with grace.
He surrounds each hour with His presence.
His love fills and surrounds.
He gives my heart a song.

He is love, His service is life, and in His presence is everlasting joy.
He can turn ashes into beauty and pain into joy.

My heart longs for more of Him.
More of His grace, more of His love, more of His forgiveness and compassion.
I long to know Him more.

But not just to know Him:
To love Him, serve Him, follow Him, live for Him.

He gave His life for me.
He left His throne in Heaven. The majestic King of Kings stooped down to be a servant. He washed the filthy feet of His disciples, He associated with the outcasts and sinners.
Despised and rejected by man. Loved by few and hated by many.

Still He came.
Still He gave [everything].

He died for me. And because He died, because He conquered sin forever, because He lives….

I, too, can live.

God On Trial

“God on trial.”

Just those words were enough to make me pause. God on trial? Unthinkable. Unimaginable. How can God be tried? My mind refuses to wrap itself around these words.

And yet, they’re true.

For Jesus, fully God yet fully man, stood before the Sanhedrin; before Herod; before Pilate. He stood there on trial.
Arraigned before the universe He stood to face His accusers. Found innocent by Pilate, yet condemned to die on Calvary. The One who cannot lie, cannot sin, cannot blaspheme; bearing the sins of the world on His shoulders and in His heart.

It’s been weeks since I first read those words in the midst of proofreading the YD magazines that are currently in the hands of people across the world.

I still can’t wrap my mind around those words. Something about God being on trial is mind-boggling.

I don’t pretend to understand it. But this I know….

Because God was willing to take on humanity. Because He was willing to be on trial, to be falsely accused, reviled, persecuted, and slandered (all things I shrink from)…. Because of this I can be, I am,

Reedemed, ransomed, forgiven.

——

Pictures of life

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GYC 2012/13

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YD dock (promise of spring)

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This. Is. Life. (Memorizing Scripture changes me)

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First time on skis. Loved it. Will go again (and hopefully not injure myself again). I loved my skiing lesson too… (Photo Credit: Jessica)

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Snowshoeing with friends.

Salvation

Salvation.

The word invades my brain. Remains. Digs deep.

“God is my salvation….”

“He also is become my salvation….”

“Draw water out of the wells of salvation….”

Suddenly, all stills.

Salvation?

Yes… for captive Israel has been reclaimed. The remnant has been gathered together.

They have been saved out of their affliction, their distress, their condemnation.

And they rejoice.

I’d be rejoicing, too.

I am rejoicing.

For God still saves; He still redeems.

He is salvation.

(Thoughts on Isaiah 12)

Chained by Righteousness

Isaiah 11:5

“And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

Girdled. Chained. Manacled. Shackled.

By righteousness, by faithfulness.

I daily fight chains, and shackles of darkness…. but,

This is no slavery. This is willing bondage.

To choose to be controlled, chained, shackled?

Why bondage?

Freedom is not be free of control, of restraint, of rules.

It is not to just do whatever you want.

It is to choose to be guided, restrained, manacled.

It is to choose to obey the rules, the guidelines, set in place for our good.

It is to choose to be in bondage.

In bondage to God. Not as a slave, but as a willing servant.

Where He rules and you serve.

Where bondage is light. Brings light.

For obedience is freedom.

And living righteously and faithfully….

Well, it matters.

For only the faithfully righteous will enter Heaven.

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