The Faithful

I met a young man the other day

Who’s heart was big and his mind bigger

But the world had crushed him

His lack of comradeship  bruised him

And all the sorrows he’d faced

That had in the end made him so bitter

Had blinded him to his need

Helped him believe in a lie

.

It’s the lie we so willingly believe

As sinners we are never to blame

It’s always the family that never listens

My unappreciative job

It’s the fact that no one notices me

Or my personality

And so I’m never offered love

That’s why I am the way I am

And you can’t blame me

Until my life changes I’ll be miserable

If only

If only

If only

.

My heart bled for this young man

Who thought the answer was to get a wife

He was so lonely, so hurting

So blinded by the lie

But I knew the truth

I knew what he needed

He needed to confess his sins to Jesus

And let God take the reins

Let God take over

Let God take care of him

He needed the LORD

.

But did I speak?

Did I say a word of truth?

No, I was too afraid

I was afraid of how silly it would sound

I was afraid of what others might think

And how could I pretend to know

What God wanted to do?

But I knew it, I knew

God wanted me to speak

And when the opportunity left

When he walked away

I felt the shame fill me

I am not part of the faithful

.

So now I pray for him, this young man

And pray that the next Child will not be afraid

Will not be selfish and keep the truth away

Will not keep away the joy found in the LORD that day

I pray that God will forgive me

Will help me to be faithful to Him

For He forgives

And He is Faithful

And He is my Father

And I want to share Him with others

Let them know this joy of the LORD

I want to share Him

I hope you do too

.

LORD God in Your mercy

Bring this son of yours home

LORD God in Your mercy

Teach me the way of the Faithful

~

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”~ John 3

26“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.b 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 10

“11Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,

we will also live with him;

12if we endure,

we will also reign with him.

If we disown him,

he will also disown us;

13if we are faithless,

he remains faithful,

for he cannot disown himself.” ~2 Timothy 2

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Proverbs:Boast In God

“5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. 8This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” ~Proverbs 3

Where is wisdom?

Where is honor?

Is your heart of gold?

Where is boasting?

Where are praises due?

Could it be you?

Could it be you?

.

Lift up

Lift up

Your eyes to the Heavens!

Lift up

Lift up

Your heart to the hills!

Raise your voice

To your God

Your Creator!

Lift it high

.

The fear of the Lord

Is wisdom

The honor of the Lord

Is His own

Your heart is made of gold

The strength of the Lord

Is where I will boast

The praises of the Lord

Are due Him

Are due Him

.

Lift it up

Lift it up

His ways will keep you from evil!

Lift it up

Lift it up

His ways will give you strength!

Raise your voice

To your God

Your Creator!

Lift it high

Lift up

Lift up

Your heart to the hills!

Lift up

Lift up

Your eyes to the sky

~

Jeremiah 9

‘23This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.’

2 Corinthians 10

“16so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 18For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”

Job 28:28

“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”

Isaiah 66:14

“Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad, And your bones will flourish like the new grass; And the hand of the LORD will be made known to His servants, But He will be indignant toward His enemies.”

Meditation: Self Examination

I used to take everything so literally. Granted, that made me extra sensitive to the words of other people, and that wasn’t necessarily good. But one thing I wish I took more seriously as I used to is the bible. To read its words and meditate on it, to pray the Lord with complete confidence as a child speaks to its parents. And to take to heart everything written it as if the Lord were speaking directly to me, which He is. When in Deuteronomy He says to completely destroy the enemy so that your heart will not be turned away from worshipping Him, that I would take seriously those words, examine my heart for the sins that have overcome me, see the things that have helped to make me fall, and to completely scourge them from my life. But the trouble is that I’m ‘too adult’ to act on those ‘childish’ thoughts, I love my ways too much. So I’ll keep feeling horrible for a moment of pleasure, I’ll keep repenting for a lifetime so that I can be clean enough to go rolling in the mud once more. Is this who I am? Is this who I want to be?

Is it you?

16However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17Completely destroya them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God. ~Deuteronomy 20

Titus 3:5
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

4After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. 5It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people. ~Deuteronomy 9

Food For Thought: Examination

“Turn to Him so He can… send you wonderful times of refreshment from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19

I saw this posted on facebook today, a picture of one of those calendars with encouraging quotes from scripture. But something didn’t sit right with me when I read it. It’s not that the statement isn’t true; we need to turn to God, and in His presence is many blessings. However, why are there dots so close to the beginning? It makes it sound like the reason we turn to Him is so that we will receive good things. The use of dots in a scripture verse should always make you pause, because maybe it isn’t saying something quite right. And so I looked up the verse in the ESV bible.

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,” is what Acts 3:19 says fully. Doesn’t sound much like what was posted, does it? Looking at the context, I see that this is Peter’s second sermon to the Jews, telling them about Jesus. That is the point of this; to repent of their sins, not to have wonderful lives. This is from verse 17 through 21.

“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

Yes, there are times of refreshing in His presence when we turn to Him, but we must never forget the center of salvation: Christ. It is by Christ that we can come into God’s presence, it is by Him our sins are blotted out forever, it is by Him that we are free. And God provided Him for us.

So, please take everything you read and hear with a grain of salt. Examine what is taught you, especially when Scripture is involved. Repentance from sin is important, God’s presence is important, and Christ is important. Let’s not forget or cut any of that out.

Have a good weekend!

Food For Thought: Repentance

“1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?” ~Genesis 3

God’s perfect creation now crumbles. I don’t know where the serpent came from or how it became wicked, that much God has not disclosed to us, but it was there to deceive mankind. It spoke with Eve, not Adam, although it was obvious that he was there. The serpent asks Eve if it was true that God had commanded they not eat from any tree in the garden. Eve quickly defends God, saying they could eat from any tree except for the tree in the middle. And she adds something that is not mentioned beforehand—they weren’t even allowed to touch it. I’ve heard some people say that Adam had to relate to her the commandment after she was created but he added that to make absolutely sure she wouldn’t go near it. This explanation has never made sense to me, because 1. In chapter one of Genesis, God gives the commission to be fruitful and to subdue the earth to both the man and woman and He also tells them that He’s given them all the plants for food. Granted, when it says that He forbids the eating of the tree of good and evil, it only mentions that Adam is there, but if He gives the commission to both of them then why wouldn’t He mention the tree being forbidden to both of them as well? But the real reason that I don’t agree with this explanation is 2. It is wrong to add to the words of God. In Deuteronomy 4:2 it says, “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from I, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.”

Why Eve adds to it here I don’t claim to know, but I think perhaps it was because she was trying to defend God. She was trying to make it absolutely clear what He had said so much that she bent the truth a little. I know I’ve done that, felt like someone was attacking something someone said but they didn’t have all the information, and so I try to defend what was said as forcefully as I can, perhaps over exaggerating to do so. Or perhaps it was a sign of her already doubting because of the odd question put to her. In any case, the serpent is quick to reply with both blatant lies and half truths. The lies are, ‘you will not die,’ and ‘you will be like God.’ They certainly would die because God told them they would. And they were already ‘like God’—He’d created them in His image. The half truths are, ‘your eyes will be opened’, ‘knowing good and evil.’ This last one is a half truth because firstly, they already knew what was good and secondly, not only would they know evil but they would become a slave to it. It isn’t the recognizing evil that is sinful, but the committing of it. I think that if God had given them permission, they would not have become slaves to wickedness, but because they committed the sin they did. They had a choice of two masters, obedience or sinfulness, and they chose a side. Both of them did.

When their eyes are opened the first thing they become aware of is their nakedness. At first glance, it might be interpreted that being naked is evil and that’s what their eyes were opened to for the first time. But, if being naked had been wicked then God would not have made them that way. Instead what they saw was their sin and how much it was exposed to both God and to one another. Their remedy is that they attempt to cover themselves. The intimacy they once shared with one another has been marred; they no longer trust one another like they used to. And the joy they once had at hearing God walking in the garden turns to fear and they hide from Him. As God speaks with them we get a sense of God’s gentleness and how He is giving them every opportunity to repent, but neither of them does. Instead they point the finger at one another, at the serpent, at even God, but never admitting their own wrong. And so God curses them and the earth. But even then His love shines through because He gives Eve the promise that one day one of her children will bring salvation to the world.

As we read the rest of the bible, we see that these themes keep reoccurring; command, doubt, sin, shame. But the people that repent and trust again in the Lord are His, like King David or Jonah. And then we learn in the New Testament of Jesus fulfilling that promise to Eve. He breaks the power of sin and death for all who repent and proclaim Jesus as Lord over their lives. How wonderful it is to know that we no longer have to be a slave to the wicked master, but can instead choose to obey God! And that ought to make us all the more long for the day of His return, when all things are made new and sin no longer is in the world.

So be encouraged. You don’t have to be a slave to sin, but even if we do sin we have Jesus interceding on our behalf in the throne room of grace.

Have a blessed week!

~

“5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” ~1 John 1 &2

Sermon on the Mount: Prayer in Secret

5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” ~Matthew 6

Prayer,

Righteous one,

Pray for me

Pray that

The Son

Might be gracious

To me

And I’ll run

To His Place

And I’ll fall

On my face

Oh pray,

Righteous one

For me.

.

Prayer,

Righteous one,

I know your prayer

Is the only one

The LORD on high

Will listen to

For you’re too good

To be ignored

You are too good

For this world,

Oh righteous one

Pray for me.

As you stand there

In the wide open place

Pray for me.

.

Thank God that

I don’t have to be

Known as

The ‘righteous one’

To be heard by Him

Thank God that

I can stay

Right here

And He’ll know

What I say

I know I’m not

Good in any way

I never was til

He entered me

And I cry out now

And say “Forgive me!”

He’s forgiven me.

He has forgiven me.

.

So I’ll hide in my closet;

Righteous one on the street.

My reward is in Heaven;

Righteous one, yours you’ve already found.

I’ll praise the LORD;

Righteous one you’re so adored!

And I’ll be forgiven ever more;

Oh righteous one, what is it all for?

.

The LORD weighed them

On His scales

The tax collector

And the Pharisee,

The sinner

And the righteous one.

The LORD heard their prayers

He weighed them in His hands

He dropped the righteous one

For there was no righteousness to be had.

He lifted up

And washed clean in love

The sinner,

Tax collector,

For this one had made Him glad

There was righteousness to be had.

.

So pray in secret.

So pray to the LORD.

So pray for forgiveness.

Pray in humbleness.

Pray to the Righteous One,

Jesus Christ His Son

For there is no one righteous,

No not one,

Without the Son.

So pray.

“2All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” ~Proverbs 16

“9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” ~Luke 18

“…12those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth; 13those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful…” ~Proverbs 30

“15To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” ~Titus 1

Sermon on the Mount: Inward Thoughts

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” ~Matthew 5

If I could

I’m sure I would

Throw that first stone

Swing it away

Wish you away

Cast you into the shadows

But when I am faced

With the ugliness

Entombed in these white walls of mine

I must embrace

The truth that I

I deserve that stone

And so much more

In the eyes of my Lord

.

God doesn’t look on the outside

He looks within

What thoughts we keep hidden

He sees the motives

And they alone can be sin

He desires holiness

In the inward places

Hatred is murder

Lust is adultery

No matter how you dress it

.

What is making me fall?

What am I using to indulge my sin?

No matter how precious

No matter how close

Cut it off

Throw it away

What worth is it

In comparison to the soul?

Be dead to sin

Alive to Christ

The Holy Spirit is here

To help make you whole

Sacrifice

Sacrifice

No one said it would be easy

Sacrifice

Sacrifice

Only through God

Can I be free

.

And I know that

He made a promise

And it is already fulfilled

In His eyes

He will make me clean

He will make me new

He will take me away someday

As His precious bride

And He has sealed this promise

With His blood

With His life

And still living now

And it will be realized

When He returns

.

So remember this, His child

The war is real

But so is our LORD

Yearn for the holy life

Completed in Christ

There is life and death

Yearning for your soul

But Christ has won!

The victory is here!

And it will be completed

On that final day

Do not fret

Do not fear

And above do not

Cast that first stone

~

Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

“2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” ~ John 8

25“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” ~Matthew 23

Romans 8:5-6

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. “

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Romans 12:1-2

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of Go

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sorry this was so late, but it’s here now.  Life can be a little unpredictable sometimes 🙂 Hope you have a good week!

d, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Sermon on the Mount: Mercy

7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” ~Matthew 5

We are all the same

We are all to blame

Sin is swirling all around us

Full of blackened hearts

But God sent His Son

To die on the tree

Rose up on the third day

To forgive you and me

.

And when you’re to blame

I want to fill you with shame

Point out the wrong within you

Your blackened heart

But God sent His Son

To die on the tree

If I can’t forgive you

He won’t forgive me

.

God’s always the same

He took away the shame

There’s no favoritism for any of us

He washed our hearts clean

God sent His Son

The Spirit to make us free

We can now walk in His footsteps

Have mercy

~

8If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”a you are doing right. 9But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”b also said, “You shall not murder.”c If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” ~James 2

James 3:17
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Luke 6:37
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

One of my favorite bands singing about mercy

Holy God: My Calling

My Calling:

Love
Purified by truth.
Love
Purified by obedience.
Love
One another deeply.
Love
From the heart.

Be gone
From me.
Be gone
Ignorance from me.
Be gone
From me
Be gone.
Wickedness is no longer my master.

Grace
Is the hope to cling to.
Grace
Given through Christ.
Grace
Is the power to which we cling.
Grace
Is the promise given.

Be gone
From me malice.
Be gone
Hypocrisy and envy.
Be gone
Deceit and slander.
Be gone
From me forever.

Be Holy;
Be self controlled and active.
Be Holy;
Do not conform.
Be Holy;
Live in reverent fear.
Be Holy
For God is Holy.

(For it is written,
“Be Holy as I am Holy”
And so shall it ever be
Forbid it, LORD, forbid it
That Your people reject it
Let it never be)

~

“13Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

And this is the word that was preached to you.”
“1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” ~ 1 Peter 1 and 2

My Cry for Mercy

It seems strange
To cry for mercy
Mercy– something
That I certainly
Never deserve
But still I cry
I beg the Lord
Every day
For mercy
For myself
Because of my sin
My sins are so many
Marring the image
God has placed in me
God is molding me to be
Yes, my sin has marred it
And what I deserve
Is to be abandoned
Left to myself
Left to destruction

But the Lord
Is good in every way
He cannot stand
To look on sin
Yet He sent His Son
He sent You, my Lord Jesus
To become this wickedness
And to die on the cross
And rise righteous
On the third day
Now I am clean, though not perfect
Now I am Yours, Lord
And with confidence I come
I come before Your throne
And I cry out
I cry out for mercy
And I know
I know with certainty
You hear me
And You will answer me
Because You are my Father
My Savior
My Strength

I cry
I cry out for mercy, Lord
I cry out for mercy
For those I know
Who near to my side
I see their pain
I see their distress
And I am grieved for them
Lord, I cry for mercy
I cry for them, Lord
And not only I
But Your Son
Interceding on their behalf
And not only Jesus
But Your Spirit prays for them
You are praying for them
And for this I find comfort

I cry
I cry for mercy, Lord
I cry for mercy
For those lost
And unknowing of You
Who do not hear
Who do not understand
Who are following the path
The wicked path of destruction
Blindly going towards the fire pit
Who will speak?
Who will tell them?
Will they listen?
Oh Lord
Have mercy on them
Have mercy on the one
Who carries the message
So very faithfully
Have mercy, Lord

Lord, have mercy
But not as I will
As You will
As it is in heaven
Amen

~

“1Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.

2I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.
3He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.” ~Psalm 57

“14“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” ~Psalm 91

“1The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’ ”a

8First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”

17Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”

18And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

19Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”d and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”e 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37For,

“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”

38And,

“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”

39But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” ~Hebrews 10