Tag Archives: Judgment

Before the Throne – A Poem

This morning as I was listening to music on my iPod the song Trust in Jesus came on and I started to think about standing before God’s judgment throne. Paul confirmed what is written all throughout the Old Testament, that everyone, even Christians, will face God’s judgment.

For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’”

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:11-12 (NIV).

It occurred to me that as much as I appreciate what Jesus has done for me now, it will only be as I face the judgment throne of God that I will be able to fully appreciate the magnitude of His grace. Just as Solomon did, “I thought in my heart, ‘God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed.’” Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NIV). Perhaps it is to fulfill His promise to bring us great joy and blessing that God will reveal, at the end of our days, how much He truly loves us. Only by revealing our great need for His redemption can He make us understand.

Before the Throne

I stand before the throne of God
He opens His book to my list of sins
His messenger begins to read
my transgressions, one by one

In my mind I begin to prepare
my defense, my justification for each sin
I think I am ready to answer
to show that I deserve mercy

The list goes on and on and on
Will it ever end?
My justifications begin to fade
My heart grows weak with shame

How can I stand before His throne
the judgment throne of the Almighty
I tremble in fear of His wrath, His righteous judgment
I know it will destroy me, I cannot stand

I fall to my knees before His throne

I bow my head knowing His judgment is true
Realizing I have no defense
I have broken every commandment, every law
without a single justification

Suddenly before the throne
between me and God’s final judgment
Stands the One who came to save me
His mercy and grace pour over me

I remember with great joy
that while I was yet a sinner
He loved me, He redeemed my soul
I trusted in Him and He is faithful to forgive

Before the throne of judgment and grace
I lift my voice in praise and adoration
Finally understanding completely
What His great love has accomplished

1/8/13: Shared this for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub today.

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Random Quotes – My Tuesday Three

Today, for My Tuesday Three, I just want to share three random quotes gleaned from CrossQuotes.org, the sister site of Broken Believers. I have no time or energy for commentary, but am choosing to let the wisdom of these three authors stand on their own merits.

“Remember that if you are a child of God, you will never be happy in sin. You are spoiled for the world, the flesh, and the devil. When you were regenerated there was put into you a vital principle, which can never be content to dwell in the dead world. You will have to come back, if indeed you belong to the family.”    Charles Spurgeon

“One of the most subtle burdens God ever puts on us as saints is this burden of discernment concerning other souls. He reveals things in order that we may take the burden of these souls before Him and form the mind of Christ about them. It is not that we bring God into touch with our minds, but that we rouse ourselves until God is able to convey His mind to us about the one for whom we intercede.”  Oswald Chambers

“Why should I ever resist any delay or disappointment, any affliction or oppression or humiliation – when I know God will use it in my life to make me like Jesus and to prepare me for heaven?”   Kay Arthur

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Trust, Sun, and Friendship – My Tuesday Three

Okay, I just couldn’t leave yesterday as my only post about the Third Day concert I went to on Saturday. It was so much fun and I had an awesome time, and so I decided for My Tuesday Three to share three great things about the concert.

The first great thing I want to share is that Third Day sang one of my favorite songs and I got it on video. Here’s my video of “Trust in Jesus” posted on YouTube.

I love how Mac Powell starts this song when he says, “This is a little ditty about the end times and judgment day.” He was kind of making a joke, but also being very serious. We will all face judgment before the throne of God. When we do, we have two choices. First, we can stand before Him on our own merits and say, “Okay, God, I’ve tried my best and I think I’ve done pretty good. I went to church, I didn’t steal or murder anyone, and I tried to be nice to everyone I met.” Second, we can say, “I trust in Jesus, because I know I’ve sinned and not all of my good deeds could ever make up for what I’ve done.” I’ve decided I’ll go with the latter option, and this song is a wonderful reminder of the choice I have made.

What are you going to do when your time has come
And your life is done and there’s nothing you can stand on
What will you have to say at the judgment throne
I already know the only thing that I can say I

There’s nothing I can do on my own to find forgiveness
It’s by His grace alone I trust in Jesus
Trust in Jesu

The second great thing I want to share is that the weather was awesome! It was a beautiful sunny day and 90°, which would have been too hot if not for some shade. But this being the Pacific Northwest, it could just as easily have been drizzling rain even in August. I personally love hot weather so it was just perfect for me. Mac commented that it seemed cool to the band compared to Atlanta, Georgia, where they are from. We were able to find shade to watch most of the show before Third Day, and by the time they came on stage the sun was starting to go behind some trees. It was a perfect!

So you might be wondering who else is part of this “we” I’ve mentioned. Well, that brings me to the third great thing about this concert. I bought my tickets over a month ago not having any idea who was going to go with me. Several times I posted on Facebook that I was looking for someone to go with me, but no one replied that they could. I had asked several people in the week or so leading up to the concert, but everyone had other plans already. My son said he would go with me if I couldn’t find anyone else, but he was just being nice and didn’t really want to go because he is not a big fan of concerts. (If I didn’t KNOW he was my son, I might wonder at this point, because I love concerts!)

On Saturday morning I had a meeting at church that I had to go to, and I still hadn’t found anyone to go to the concert with me. It started at noon, but I knew Third Day wouldn’t be on until after 5:00 so I figured there was still time. When I got home from my meeting I made a few more calls. I finally got a call back from my friend A, and she said she would love to go and that she just had a couple of things she had to do first.

We finally headed out about 3:30 and arrived at the venue by 4:00. We had lawn chairs because it was an outdoor event with seating on the grass. At one point A asked me if I thought it would be okay if she sat during Third Day’s performance because she has trouble standing for long periods of time. I said I thought that would be fine. In the end, though, she was having so much fun and enjoying the show that she stood up through the whole thing (except the one song where Mac told us all to sit).

As we were leaving the concert, my friend A said that this concert was such a blessing to her and that God had some relevant messages for her in the music. Knowing I had been God’s instrument for her blessing was a great blessing to me, too. On the drive home we both were just beaming with God’s love and hope. I was so happy that God had arranged for her to be the one to accompany me. It reminded me that even when I don’t know what He has planned, it’s going to be something wonderful.

So that’s it for My Tuesday Three. It was a concert of trusting in Jesus, sun shining down, and the blessing of friendship. Who could ask for more?

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Trust in Jesus

It was Sunday evening and I still had not written my Music Monday post. Last week was so busy with my trip to Austin I just didn’t have time. The week ahead promises to be very busy as well, though probably not as crazy as last week.

One thing I am looking forward to this week is seeing my favorite Christian band Third Day in concert again. They are playing at Fish Fest in Gresham, Oregon this coming Saturday. I have two tickets and I think my son is going to go with me.

In anticipation of the concert I decided to post a video of one of my favorite songs on their most recent CD. The name of the song is “Trust in Jesus.” I hope you like it.

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He Is All That Matters – A Poem

This poem was inspired by a comment to my poem last Thursday. I just started with a quote from the comment as the title. So how does this really fit into the Thankful Thursday theme, you ask? Well, I am thankful for the inspiration from a commenter and fellow blogger last week. I am thankful that although I have much in this world to be thankful for, if I lost all my material possessions today, and even if the world came to an end today, I would still have Jesus and He is all that really matters in the end.

He Is All That Matters

Blessings are given
All is forgiven
But He is all that matters

Friends betray
And move far away
Still He is all that matters

Homes we construct
Business we conduct
But He is all that matters

Houses upturn
Church buildings burn
Still He is all that matters

Careers are planned
Desires expand
But He is all that matters

Jobs are lost
We can’t pay the cost
Still He is all that matters

Weddings are celebrated
Children are dedicated
But He is all that matters

Children die
Spouses lie
Still He is all that matters

The trumpet sounds
Joy abounds
Then He restores all that matters

And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. Matthew 24:30-31 (NLT).

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Minor Prophet with a Major Message

I’m slowly making my way through my Bible-in-a-year schedule. Thanks to vacation I am now a month behind. Now I need a relaxing vacation on a beach somewhere so I can get caught up!

Anyway, I am in the middle of Amos. I know I’ve read this book before because I did a Bible-in-a-year schedule once before (took me 2 1/2 years last time). But it’s not one of those go-to books that I’ve read multiple times, like John or Psalms or Ephesians or James. But something at the very beginning of this small book of a minor prophet most people have never heard of spoke to me.

Amos 1:1 says: “The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa.” Amos was a prophet not because he was a great king like Solomon or a wise man in the service of the king like Daniel, but because he spoke a truth given to him by God. He was a mere shepherd, one of many. But he listened to God and he wrote down for the people of Israel the warning that God had given to him to share.

It couldn’t have been easy for Amos, a lowly shepherd, to prophecy such things regarding the judgment that was to come upon Israel’s neighbors, and then upon Israel itself. He must have wondered who would even listen to him? Who would heed this terrible warning of God’s wrath and judgment to come for those who turned away from Him?

Amos is almost nine chapters of destruction and judgment. But then, in the final verses of Chapter 9, God restores Israel from the remnant that has been true to Him.

 11 “In that day I will restore
       David’s fallen tent.
       I will repair its broken places,
       restore its ruins,
       and build it as it used to be,

 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
       and all the nations that bear my name,”
       declares the LORD, who will do these things.

* * * * *

15 “I will plant Israel in their own land,
       never again to be uprooted
       from the land I have given them,”
       says the LORD your God.

There are those like Amos among us even today, calling those who have strayed to come back to God, just as Amos called the Israelites who had strayed to be part of His remnant. They are not always learned men and pastors. Sometimes they are ordinary people, just as Amos was an ordinary shepherd.

Do we hear them? Do we even try to listen? Do those who have turned their backs on God heed the warning of the judgment that will overcome them if they do not return to the remnant that is safe is Christ Jesus?

Many like to think of Jesus as only a great moral teacher who talked of only love. But Jesus, the Good Shepherd, also warned of the coming judgment.

The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. Matthew 12:41-42.

Jesus was talking to the Pharisees when He said this, but He could just as well have been talking to us today. I pray for ears to hear the warning and heed the call of God.

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Do Not Judge

This post has been wandering around in my head for several weeks. This morning I told a friend that I had been arguing with God about posting it, and she replied, “You know better than that, just let Him write it.” This is a difficult one because sin is a difficult topic for many. Even among Christians there seems a desire to avoid the topic altogether and focus on God’s love. But the Bible says much about sin and how we are to deal with it as a Christian community, so I’m done arguing. I only hope I have written what He wants me to write.

Do Not Judge, But Correct 

Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1. This directive from Jesus is often used as a reason to not call certain behavior sin even if the Bible says it is sin. But is that really what Jesus meant? Didn’t He also tell the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more? John 8:11.

There are other places in scripture where Christians are called to correct their Christian brothers and sisters if they see that they are sinning. In Luke 17:3, Jesus said to His disciples, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2. In Revelation, Jesus says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.”

The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about discipline or correction leading to life. “He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” Proverbs 10:17. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1. “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.” Proverbs 13:18. “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” Proverbs 19:18. There are 20 verses in Proverbs dealing with discipline and correction of another or oneself being a blessing.

The other day I was searching on www.Biblegateway.com for the verse about God being the gatekeeper of our mouth in response to a comment/question on my post about taming the tongue. I found that verse in Psalm 141:3. As I read the rest of that Psalm I came across this verse: “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it.” Psalm 141:5. What this verse says to me is that it is a blessing to me for one of my Christian brothers or sisters to tell me when I have missed the mark. “It is a kindness” for another to set me straight when I sin because it will bring me closer to God. I don’t want my own sin minimized or ignored by my fellow Christians. I want them to correct me when I’m wrong.

Based on the whole of scripture, I don’t believe that when Jesus said “Do not judge” He meant that we should never rebuke or correct our fellow Christians. So what then did He mean? Being trained in the law, it helps me to think of this scripture in terms of the legal process. A legal case usually begins with the lawyers who counsel their clients regarding what the law is. When a lawyer tells his client that certain behavior is in violation of the law, in breach of a contract, or in violation of some duty the client owes to others, he is not judging the client. He is simply counseling him in what is right and what is wrong. At a trial, there are witnesses who testify to the facts of what happened and what the client or others have done. But the witnesses are not judging the client, they are merely stating what they know to be true.

Judgment does not come until the end of the trial. It is the pronouncement by the judge or jury that the client is guilty (in a criminal case) or liable (in a civil case). It is the final determination. For all of us the final judgment comes when we die and stand before the judgment seat of God. It is the final decision by God whether we will be judged innocent by the blood of Christ and enter Heaven, or be judged guilty on our own merits and suffer the punishment of Hell. The right of final judgment belongs to God and Him alone. I believe it is this final judgment that Jesus admonishes His disciples to not do.

It is proper to correct a fellow Christian, for this does not amount to judgment. But it is not proper to state that another will surely go to Hell because of their sin. We are all sinners saved by Grace, and have no right or authority to judge the final fate of another. If the fact that a person has sinned is sufficient to seal their judgment, then we are all lost. But thanks be to God, we have been found and saved by His Grace. Let us help each other by rebuking and correcting each other so that we might grow in our faith and understanding of God’s holy and perfect love.

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