Tag Archives: Cross

Comprehending His Power Is My Power

We are just about to finish up my first full year of Bible Study Fellowship, and as a group leader, in the study of Matthew. The experience has been richer than I could have ever imagined. I am so blessed to have been invited to be a group leader even though I had very little BSF experience.

The final two lessons cover the second half of Matthew 27 and Matthew 28, Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The lessons coincided with Holy Week and Easter, and what an amazing blessing that was! I’ve heard the Holy Week and Easter stories many times. I’ve attended Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter church services for years. And yet this year, going deeper into those stories through the BSF study, I saw a great truth that I had never seen before in quite the way I did this year.

Throughout this year the Lord has been speaking to me through this study about how in His humanity He faced the same temptations and trials that I do. He resisted the temptations and overcame the trials with the same tools I have at my disposal: prayer, scripture, and the Holy Spirit. But it wasn’t until we got to the crucifixion and resurrection that it really sunk in.

As Jesus faced the cross in the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed earnestly, to the point of sweating blood, for the strength to see His mission through. When I face difficult trials, I can do the same. I have direct access to the Father in prayer because of what Jesus did for me.

But more importantly, I have the power of the Holy Spirit living in me. After His resurrection, Jesus said to His disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. . . . And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18, 20. The authority He had, and still has, was sufficient to allow Him to lay down His life on the cross for our sake, and to take it up again at the resurrection and thereby defeat death, our greatest foe. Now that’s power! And He will always be with me so that I have that power at my disposal when I face temptations and trials.

If Jesus can overcome death by the power that enabled His resurrection, then by that same power overcoming sin is well within the realm of possibility for me. His power over death is my power over sin.

I feel like Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus and for all believers has been answered in me:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21.

I’ve known for a long time that I have the power of the Holy Spirit living in me, but somehow the enormity of that power that raised Christ from the dead never quite hit me like it has in the past two weeks. This power will not only convict me of my sin and lead me to repentance, but when exerted in the authority of Christ it can and will enable me to overcome the temptation to sin that I face on a daily basis. I am a conqueror of sin because Christ lives in me and His power is my power!

As if to reinforce this message, just this week I bought the new Mercy Me CD titled “Welcome to the New.” There is a great song on this CD titled “Flawless.” It starts like this:

There’s got to be more
Than going back and forth
From doing right to doing wrong
‘Cause we were taught that’s who we are
Come on get in line right behind me
You along with everybody
Thinking there’s worth in what you do.

Then Like a hero who takes the stage when
We’re on the edge of our seats saying it’s too late
Well let me introduce you to amazing grace

And then the chorus reminds me that:

No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made,
The cross has made you flawless.

No matter what they say
Or what you think you are
The day you called His name
He made you flawless.

In the eyes of God I am flawless because He sees Christ’s perfection when He looks at me. Knowing that, and knowing the power He provides, I don’t have to go back and forth from doing right to doing wrong because that’s no longer who I am. If I embrace His amazing grace and His resurrection power, each day He changes me and enables me to be more of who He’s called me to be.

And here’s the video of Mercy Me singing this awesome song. I hope it blesses you as much as it has me, and encourages you to hold tightly to His grace and power, because the cross has made you flawless, too.

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Music

The Cross – A Cinquain

I’ve been struggling to post very often lately, and starting this week I’m taking on another responsibility as a Bible study small group leader. It occurred to me that I could embrace my love of short-form poetry and thereby continue to post with some regularity. And so here is a cinquain for today.

The Cross

The cross
around my neck
Instrument of mercy
The solution to my dismay
My hope

5 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry, Service

It Is Finished – An Elfje

Black
the sky
when He died
redeemed my lost soul.
Atonement.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Irony – An Elfje

Rugged
the cross
instrument of death
brought me eternal life
irony

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Which Thief? – A Poem

Two thieves were crucified
beside Jesus one dark day
One thief mocked
One thief believed

Which one would I be?

If I was crucified
right by His side
would I mock and jeer?

Which thief would I be?

If my fate was tied
to His upon a cross
would I trust and believe?

Which thief would I be?

Which thief would you be?
Where would you spend eternity?

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Upon the Cross – A Ghazal in Two Versions

Last Thursday at dVerse Poets Pub‘s Form For All Samuel Peralta taught us about the ghazal form of poetry. I wrote one for linking up there on Thursday and I liked the form so much I decided to write another. This one has 6 couplets, so it’s still not the ghazal sonnet that Samuel wrote about and gave an example of. My first version also has no set meter, but I decided to do a second version cutting it to have 8 syllables per line, trying for some semblance of meter. I suspect my meter still isn’t perfect, though, as I have a hard time with this concept. I can count syllables, but I know there is more to meter than that. The idea of stressed and non-stressed syllables simply escapes me.

I also didn’t end these with my name in the last line. Anyway, I would be interested to know which version readers think works better and why.

Upon the Cross – Version 1

Bloody and bruised, ringed by thorns
I gaze up to Your lovely face upon the cross

Forgiveness for mockers and spear wielder
to all the same Your grace upon the cross

There I should be, my punishment
Your mercy took my place upon the cross

Running, running fast to the finish line
but You already won the race upon the cross

I’m always two strides behind the lead
but You, for me, kept the pace upon the cross

My guilt and shame by love replaced
so that now there is no trace upon the cross

 

Upon the Cross – Version 2

Bloody and bruised, brow ringed by thorns
Your lovely face upon the cross

Forgiveness for the mockers
to all Your grace upon the cross

There I should be, my punishment
You took my place upon the cross

Running fast to the finish line
You won the race upon the cross

Always two strides behind the lead
but You keep pace upon the cross

My guilt and shame by love replaced
there is no trace upon the cross

 

13 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

My Beautiful – A Ghazal

The Form for All lesson over at dVerse Poets Pub today is on the ghazal and Samuel Peralta’s ghazal sonnet. I immediately found it to be a very interesting poetry form and decided to try writing one. Mine is not a sonnet because it is more than 14 lines, and I didn’t pay any attention to meter. The refrain I settled on is “my Beautiful,” which refers both to the fact that Jesus is my Beautiful Savior and that I am His Beautiful child (since my first name is Spanish for beautiful).

My Beautiful

In my lost and wandering youth
my soul did flee my Beautiful

During numberless crazy times
I saw only me, my Beautiful

In the darkness of past days
I could nary see my Beautiful

Take this cup of grief from me
I echo Your adamant plea, my Beautiful

With joy I did learn of Your sacrifice
on the cursed tree, my Beautiful

I knew in my heart of hearts
Your grace is the key, my Beautiful

Alive and found by My love
Your soul set free my Beautiful

My greatest desire for all my days
is to glorify thee, my Beautiful

In Your strong and lovely voice
You call me Linda Lee, my Beautiful

20 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

The Cross – A Poem

Last night I was checking out my newsfeed on Facebook. I was inspired by the status update of a friend who has been posting a thankfulness post every day for November. What she said she was thankful for was the cross. She wrote: “I am grateful that I am not on the cross…though I deserved it, Jesus took my place. I can’t grasp WHY He loves me that much, but I am VERY thankful to Him for paying the price for me!” I’m thankful for the cross, too.

12/2/11 Update: Linked at dVerse Poets Pub for FormForAll – Poetic Devices: Image, Symbol, Metaphor, Allegory.

The Cross

Love bled and
died   for   you
for me, for all
You   ask   me
why  He   died
why   would
this   King   of
kings, &  Lord
of  lords  love

I don’t know   –    I don’t understand a love so deep and so wide
Jesus laid down His life, the most holy life worth so much more
more than all the jewels  and gold  and treasure  in all the world
It should have been me on that cross;  It should have been you

But why does
not matter to
what  is  most
important for
you   and   me
Redemption
Mercy    Grace
the   character
of   our  God
is      Love
He    couldn’t
do  anything
less   than   lay
down   His
holy life to
reconcile
us with Him

16 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

The Way, the Truth, and the Life – A Poem

My favorite verse in all of the Bible is John 14:6. Jesus has just told the disciples that He will be going back to Heaven to prepare a place for them and they know where He is going, and Thomas replies that they don’t know the way. “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.'” I love this verse because it is so comforting to know that Jesus clearly showed us how to be in relationship with God now and for eternity. I am so thankful for all of the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels, especially in John. I am thankful that I don’t have to doubt or wonder whether Jesus has prepared a place for me in His Father’s house.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

Your way to the cross
Made the Way for us
To return to You
Being forgiven
Redeemed and restored

Your truth on the cross
Showed the Truth of Your love
For all us sinners
Even the thief
Who was promised Paradise

Your life given on the cross
Gave eternal Life to all
When You took it up again
At the resurrection
If only we believe

We come to the Father
Only through You
You are the Way
Your Way is the Truth
Your Truth gives us Life
The Father welcomes all
Who come in Your name

17 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

Christ Is All – My Tuesday Three

Here it is Tuesday morning, and I woke up with no post scheduled and no idea what I was going to write about for My Tuesday Three. I began to lament ever having started this Tuesday theme because it would have been easier to just write a short post this morning, or to have written something short yesterday and scheduled it. It’s been a crazy week, between our cat dying, my birthday on Sunday, and movie plans with friends yesterday, I just never found the time to identify My Tuesday Three and figure out how they could be related.

So this morning, after my son and husband left, I decided that instead of trying to write something first thing, I would shower and spend some time in prayer first. As I prayed, I asked God to help me with my post today because I had nothing on my own. His answer? “They are in your blogroll.” After my prayer time, I went to my blogroll and here are the posts I was led to.

The first post I want to showcase is titled “No Other God Can Deliver” by Ben over at Justified Freely. I’ve been reading Ben’s blog for quite some time, and I love his simple format. He begins with a Bible passage and then includes a short 3 – 5 paragraph observation on the passage. This particular post is part of his series going through the book of Daniel, and is based on the outcome of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were thrown into the fiery furnace at the order of King Nebuchadnezzar, but emerge unharmed. The passage Ben focused on in this post is Daniel 3: 28-30, where the King orders that no one speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego “because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.”

He found that zeal because he had seen something beyond the realm of possibility.  He had seen God deliver and deliver completely. . . .  It was one thing for them to come out of the fire alive.  It was another thing for them to come out of the fire with no evidence that they had ever been in the fire!

As I read this, I was reminded of how God will see us on judgment day, as if we had never been through the fire, because we will be clothed in Christ’s robe of Righteousness, washed clean of all our sin.

The second post I want to showcase is titled “All His Benefits (Part Two)” by Theresa Moore over at Moore to Ponder. In this post, she shares about the writings of one of her favorite Christian theologians, C. H. Mackintosh, and provides a link to read more of his writings.

He wrote a wonderful piece titled “Forgiveness of sins: What is it?” In this writing he very effectively explores that subject and presents it under three heads: First, the ground on which God forgives sins; secondly, the extent to which He forgives sins; and, thirdly, the style which He forgives sins.

The passage Theresa chose to share from Mackintosh is absolutely wonderful. It clearly and logically makes the argument that Jesus died for all our sins, past, present, and future. Once we are saved by His grace, we cannot lose that salvation simply because we sin yet again, because Jesus is there to forgive that sin as well. In the passage Theresa quotes, Mackintosh answers the concern that our future sin is not yet forgiven:

But I can imagine my reader exclaiming “What! do you mean to say that my future sins were all atoned for?” To this I reply, that all our sins were future when Christ bore them on the cursed tree. The sins of all believers, for the last eighteen centuries, were future when Christ died for them.

The third post I want to showcase is titled “Why would I be nervous when it’s all for God . . .?” by Rea over at bended spoon. Rea has a wonderfully whimsical way of writing and her wonder at how awesome our God is always shows through. In this post, she encourages us to trust in God to be faithful to bless us when what we do is all for Him. She encourages us that there is no reason to be nervous when He is at the center of what we do for others. 

If you feel that what you are giving is a big portion that eats your budget, know that the seed could grow into tree that will bear fruits and more seeds and more trees… The blessing will come around to you more than treefold — really fruitful!

So what ties these posts together? It is that Christ is all. Christ, the fourth Man in the fire, was all that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego needed to be delivered unscathed from the fiery furnace that took the lives of those who were ordered to throw them into it. Christ, who died on the cross, is all we need for the forgiveness of our sins – past, present, and future – so that we may stand pure and unscathed before God at judgment. Christ is all we need to provide us with the courage to not be nervous when all we do is for Him.

Christ was also all that was necessary to bring these three wonderful bloggers into my life so that I might be encouraged by them, and that I might in turn share their offerings with you so that you might be encouraged, too. So that for you, Christ might be all.

10 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, postaday2011