While driving to my office yesterday morning, I saw these power poles, but these are not new. I’ve driven this road for 3 1/2 years and they have always been there, but something different happened yesterday. As pole after pole went by, I no longer saw a power pole, but rather, I noticed a cross. ~ I saw Jesus ~ I was humbled as a sinner. ~ I contemplated his death for me. ~ I experienced God’s grace. ~ I heard God’s forgiveness announced.
All of this through a series of power poles that I have seen hundreds and hundreds of times. God is amazing like that – taking everyday things and people to remind you of His grace. And so, as I continued contemplating this picture and morning experience, the following poem got written. To God be the glory!
The cross of Christ is all around me, reminding me of Your grace. Suffered, died and now lives forever, that I may not be disgraced.
Thank you, Father, for these simple signs, reminding me of Your love. For through Jesus Christ my Lord and King, I will live with You above.
My family and I went to Cape Disappointment recently – a beautiful Washington State Park situated where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. While at North Head Lighthouse in the park, I stood at the fence and stared at the vastness of the ocean. What a humbling sight. I wish my kiddos weren’t so antsy to leave so I could have gazed at this scene longer. How they weren’t amazing by this is beyond me. And so I started taking pictures (not that any picture(s) could do the ocean justice). While gazing for the short time I had, the following poem started to take shape. I just love how God works in awe-filled moments like this.
I stared at the ocean and stood there in awe, With my gaze fixed upon what I was seeing. The scene was vast and very overwhelming, But then a great thing happened that was freeing.
My thoughts started to drift and wander towards You, And in the blink of an eye Your grace appeared. I pondered the scene that was set before me, And now it’s Your love that’s in my brain so seared.
For I am a sinner undeserving of You. A lost soul that ought to be left with the dead. But that’s not my ending for You came to save. Jesus my Savior took Your wrath in my stead.
And now I have hope that there is more to this life. A full Life with You at Your Great Banquet feast. So much in this life has left me in despair. Now since I’m in Your love my fear has now ceased.
And so I thank You my God for this vast scene, For showing me that Your grace is more vast yet. Your faithfulness is great and so amazing. This moment is something that I won’t forget.
God’s forgiveness of our sins is amazing when you consider what we deserve. We deserve death and condemnation, but through faith in Christ there is forgiveness. Wow! But to go about one’s life, refusing to forgive others means you really don’t understand God’s forgiveness of your own sins. That’s why clear, consistent and frequent Gospel proclamations are so necessary, lest we forget what God has really done through Jesus Christ. With that, I present the following poem. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…
The command is given The sign is clear Do not do this and do not go amiss.
But yet I disobey I just ignore I disregard the command I discard.
And now I deserve wrath from God my Lord I’ve disobeyed For it’s God I’ve betrayed.
Punishment is certain for my trespass I deserve it for that I must admit.
Oh God, please forgive me in Jesus name for my trespass would Your wrath please surpass.
Your grace is amazing Your love complete my soul You’ve spared even though I have erred.
So now may I forgive and show much grace as You have done to show how You have won.
Oh God You’re amazing Me a sinner Jesus my King Oh God, what a nice ring.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 ESV
One of the things that I am trying to teach my children is to be honest when they do something wrong. Too often, when confronted with their sin, my children are adamant in their denial. I didn’t do it. Even though it is obvious that they are guilty. I reassure them that I am not mad but rather I just want them to be honest. I reaffirm my love for them and say that there is nothing they can do that will change that. I remind them that I will always forgive them even though there may be consequences. But for a child, the fear of punishment is strong and thus their adamant denials and failed attempts to cover up their own sins.
But isn’t this a commentary for the Christian?
There may be sins in your life that you are afraid to admit. There may be sins that you are afraid to even voice in your own head when praying to God. You may bury the sin deep in your memory, hoping that time will heal and the wrong will be mended. Or…you may even deny that a sin is a sin, attempt to justify the sin or try to divert God’s attention to “worse sinners”. But daddy he broke your ________.
The fact of the matter is that we can not hide our sins, we can not deny our nature, and we can not divert God’s attention. God knows our sin, but God is a God is grace. His love is not diminished because of your sin. God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, don’t be afraid of your sin, but confess your sin and know the forgiveness of your loving heavenly Father. Don’t deny who you are and don’t deny who God is. You are a sinner, but God is a God of grace. Let Him heal you and love on you.
Psalm 103:10 (ESV) ~ He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
Just think about that above verse.
Go ahead and think about it. I’ll wait…
[cue Jeopardy theme]
Did you think about it? Are you blown away by it? Did you get goosebumps?
God the almighty. God the Creator. God the holy, holy, holy One. This God does not deal with you according to your sins. He does not give to you as you deserve. You sin and thus deserve death. You sin and thus deserve condemnation. You sin and thus deserve hell. God does not repay you according to your sins because someone already paid the price…
Jesus took the full wrath of God and thus received what you deserved for your sins. He suffered He was crucified He died He was buried But…Jesus rose victorious FOR YOU and thus, through faith in Jesus, you receive what you do not deserve.
Holy communion liturgy based on my preaching text ~ Philippians 3:12-16
It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, King of all creation. Through Jesus Christ You pressed on to make us Your own; though we are sinful. You continue to press on in pursuing Your sheep as we stray. You press on in Your forgiveness of us though we rebel. Oh God, may we press on to know You better and better; drawing closer that we may have deeper intimacy with You. And so, because of Your amazing grace; Your relentless pressing on, we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…