Wednesday, 9 October 2013

abundance available

We are dry, we die
without You.
/Thirst at its worst,
hunger pangs pierce like fangs
reeling with a feeling of emptiness/
We are weak,
we seek You.
We are dUSt,
we must

You are actually not far from each one of us.

Whining more and pining for more
Leaking and seeking more and more
Wasting, not tasting more and more
Taking not making more, more, and more.
Presuming, consuming...
resuming this cycle of puffed up poverty.
We swallow more, 
only to find ourselves more hollow. 

Void of vita/mins
Lacking life
Full on the frivolous
Empty on essentials
Stuffed with the superficial
Starved for sustenance
Deprived by decision 
Shrinking, but thinking more will fill!

So we are
Bloated with blogs
Wanting for the Word
Fat with facts
Thin on theology
Addicted to answers
Neglecting nutrients
Satisfied with a small snack
Oblivious to the Omni-One
Grabbing on the go
Devoid of digestion
Consuming copies
Overlooking the Original
Anemic, bulimic spiritually
In a chronic condition
With the Cure within reach

You are actually not far from each one of us.

Enough with this not enough!
Awake O appetite for the living God!

You are actually not far from each one of us.

We find You full -
with love better than life,
with grace to end our strife,
with power for every hour,
with joy to replace fear,
drawing near -
we to You, You to us.

You are actually not far from each one of us.

Now I see,
the problem was me
all along
there was a story and a song.

You are actually not far from each one of us.

I was malnourished,
because of slack, not because of lack.
The fact is that
You call all the while - 
Your Word spread to be read
before us like a feast
open to the greatest and the least
not to waste, but to taste 
and see that You are good.

"Come!" You say,
to the banquet of bounty
and be filled,
be filled with the water that Jesus gives,
and thirst no more,
find and mind
what you've been looking for.

Whether you wither
or well up
depends on the decision
about tHis invitation.

My soul shall be satisfied 
as with marrow and fatness,
and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

God of all hope,
You are
God of all grace,
You are

Jesus, You said that whoever believes in You,
rivers of living water will flow from them.
So choose, don't refuse Him,
Love, don't abuse Him.

We empty ourselves,
You fill us...
to overflow for others.
We die to sin
and begin
to really breathe.
We abide,
You grow us
to give.
You grant us
to live.

In You, we live and move and have our very being. 

Monday, 9 September 2013

God Above Us // God Among Us

It's exciting to trace words through Scripture to get a big picture. Connect the dots with the idea of garments and fringes. These meditations were inspired by Chapter 2 - "God Incomprehensible" of A.W. Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy.

"The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty."

Our God is so high above us! He spread out the skies, and has been painting them since, with His perfect pallet of colours. He churned up the sea, and has been keeping it in His boundaries since its first wave. He spoke the planets into motion, and has been ordering them in orbit over the years. He invented Earth's watering system, and has been reigning ever since. “Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?” 

We bow low before God on high.

We bow low before God Who came low.

Emmanuel, God with us! He, Who made the sky, came under the sky. He, Who filled the sea, stilled the sea with just a word. The Eternal One stooped to tHis planet to put things back into order. He, Who spoke everything into existence and upholds the world with His Word, spoke not a word before His accusers and was held up on a cross. He exchanged His crown of gold glory for a crown of thorny suffering. And the King, Whose hem filled the temple, Who is holy, holy, holy - walked among us. And a woman who was incurabely sick believed that if she just touched the fringe of the garment of Lord Jesus, she would be cured. And she was cured. He was wholly able to do the impossible.

We fall at His feet and lift our eyes.

And He did not only walk among us and do impossible things, He died for us, to take away our sins. We who realize that we too are incurably sick with sin can be healed. "And by His wounds we are healed!" He laid down His life to rescue and restore our's. And they gambled for His garments and He was laid in a tomb. "We who were once far are brought close through the blood of Christ." And then three days later, according to the Scriptures, He was raised that we might be raised with Him. Those filthy rags of our self-righteousness have been replaced with the garments of His salvation!

And He ascended and is seated back on His throne. So, let our worship rise too, because "His Name is exalted above every name!"  Let us praise His majesty for His meekness. "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!"

Psalm 93:1; Job 26; Isaiah 6; Mark 5:25-29; Isaiah 53; Matthew 27:35; Ephesians 2:13; Philippians 2; Isaiah 61:10; Psalm 103

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Lord said, "Come!" and then "Go!"

O let this guilt and gloom now go.
On the cross, His great love He did show.
"God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
Romans 5:8

O let His glory and grace be shared,
Jesus came and bled, so much He cared.
"He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Let despair and doubt depart,
He's risen and enthroned, take heart!
"Take heart; I have overcome the world," Jesus said. 
John 16:33

O let this fear and fuss now cease,
For God is the God of perfect peace,
"peace that passeth all understanding." 
Philippians 4:7

O let His peace and power be felt
With the Spirit we are indwelt.
"May you know 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." Ephesians 1:19-20

O let this joy and hope now rise,
For our God is holy, wholly wise.
"You believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." 
1 Peter 1:8 

O let His praise be sweetly sung
His righteousness always on my tongue.
"My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long." Psalm 35:28

O let our love and light be bright,
For with Him He has made us right.
"Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin." 1 Corinthians 1:30

Jesus came and said, "Come to Me. I am the way, the truth and the life." So I came and come to Him daily. He also said, "Go!" Go share the Gospel in word and action. So I go, for He is with me, in me, for me.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Where do we/should we/could we live?

Dear you,

If you share a traveller's heart, you will understand that this is both a wonderful and wearisome thing. A full-of-wonder thing because we want to live and learn the delightful diversity that the God of the nations has created. We want to celebrate His genuine genius in the sights to see, sounds to hear, aromas to smell, flavours to taste, people to meet. Variety beckons, curiosity calls, interest ignites. We crave the next adventure. Yet a wearisome thing because we are easily haunted and daunted by a restlessness. There is always somewhere new to go and someone new to meet. Being present at many places, yet feeling absent in many spaces. The possibilities sometimes seem too many, and a sense of feeling settled is now craved. We are all over the place, both geographically and mentally.

And so, like with all of life's funny feelings, we need to go to God's Word which is our compass. He points us to the True North whether we be north, east, south, or west. He reminds His blood-bought children that we are on a journey heavenward. And just that - a journey with a destination. Wherever we are, wherever we go, whoever we enjoy meeting, however we are doing, are we conscious that wherever we roam, we are really heading Home? This feeling of restlessness is a very real one and can dominate us if we do not overcome it with the truth - that this earth is not our true home and actually "the Most High is our shelter." We cannot seek in a place what can only be found in the Person of our Lord - contentment.

We must live the reality, not the dream. The reality is that here on earth "we have no lasting city, but we seek the City to come" which is beyond and better than all our dreams, because we will be in the everlasting splendour of the kind King.

Though it is natural to get lost in the charm of travel, we must hear the words of the Lord Jesus. "Seek Him first and His Kingdom!" The Gospel is what keeps us going, both geographically and mentally. Let's not forget that it is because the Lord Jesus left His glorious heaven for our grim earth that we might even have the hope of living in Him now and with Him later. May we hum the old hymn - "Oh there are ten thousand charms" in the Saviour!

When my heart feels hopelessly homesick for different places on this planet, I recall to mind that "He is our dwelling place in all generations" and therefore I have hope. He spoke that to a group of wandering, wondering Israelites and still speaks it to us all now, because His Word is living and active. "In HIM we live and move and have our being." Regardless of our street address for the time being, the question is - do we live in Him? Do we love Him because He first loved us, and do we love others along the way? Is His Word a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path? Are we follow His ways of faithfulness and truth? Do we wander for Him? "By faith, he went out, not knowing whither he went." Are we filled with wonder in His presence? Do we "declare His glory among the nations"? And so we can be all over the place geographically, yet settled in purpose because of His Holy Spirit in us.

Cheers to all the many God-given adventures that await you and me, if the Lord wills. Whether they be near or far, let us realize that He is always very near. Let's keep in mind our present citizenship in heaven which is also our final destination, and invite family, friends and strangers along the way to come with us by coming to Jesus. And He said, "Come unto Me."

Grace and peace to you,
from a fellow wayfarer

P.S. Scripture references in order - Psalm 47:8; Psalm 91:1; Hebrews 13:14; Matthew 6:33; Psalm 90:1; Acts 17:28; 1 John 4:19; Matthew 22:36-39; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 25:10; Hebrews 11:8; Psalm 96:3; James 4:15; Psalm 139:8-10; Philippians 3:20; Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 55:1

Sunday, 24 February 2013

grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace grace upon grace upon grace upon grace

Do you know the song "Amazing Grace"? That old hymn penned by John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-saint-and-servant. That grand anthem that has been sung for hundreds of years by people worldwide. It's a great song, isn't it? It's sung at weddings and funerals and reunions and church services. However, I fear that we don't live like it is true at times.

In the book Holy, Holy, Holy, R. C. Sproul tells the story of his second year in teaching. He had been assigned to teach a class on Old Testament Introduction to 250 college freshmen. As part of the coursework, Dr. Sproul required three small papers due on the 30th of September, October and November. Twenty five students missed the deadline in September, but he showed some leniency. Next month some 50 students missed the deadline, and he graciously gave them three more days to turn in their papers. By this stage Dr. Sproul was one of the most popular professors on campus. When November came around, 150 students crossed the deadline, and R.C. started handing out failing grades. One student called Fitzgerald cried foul, and protested that what the professor was doing was not fair. Sproul reminded him if it was justice he sought he could give him an “F” for his tardiness in October as well. Reflecting on the whole semester, R. C. Sproul said this: “These students had grown accustomed to my grace. In September they were amazed by grace, in October they were surprised by grace, but by November they were demanding grace. They had forgotten that grace is not an inalienable right or an entitlement you deserve.” (Philip De Courcy's Truth Matters #66)

Can't we all relate to those students in that story? My hand is raised.

I find myself like those students sometimes: ungrateful, apathetic, demanding. I forget that everything is grace in the first place. The very fact that I’m alive is God’s grace.

I forget what grace is. That it is God’s unmerited kindness to me. He doesn’t only rescue His enemies (which is marvelous mercy); He then provides a feast of fellowship with Him forever. Grace: undeserved yet unreserved goodness from God. I forget who I am. That is a puny, rebellious, needy creature. Most serious of all, I forget Who grace comes from. That is God. God! Who is eternal and holy and high and wonderful and all-powerful. God Who needs nothing and gives everything. He is Light everlasting, never slumbering, never failing, always reigning... the everlasting Rock of ages.

And so this amnesia, this human dilemma of forgetting God's grace in every place, what does it look like? It looks like apathy in my life. This forgetfulness of His grace looks like ingratitude in my life. This oblivion to His grace looks like a sense of entitlement in my life. This ignorance of His grace looks like boredom in my life. Perhaps being occasionally amused or emotionally moved by the thought of “Amazing Grace, so sweet the sound” but then going on to abuse it. 

This is a slow, slippery slope that we need to fight against, lest we fall into what Paul observes in his letter to the Christians in Rome - "Although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

So why am I sharing all of this – because we need to put the "AMAZING" back into "GRACE"! God deserves it and we need it.

So as I thought about God’s grace, a few things came to mind…

First of all – In His Word, we see Him called “the God of ALL grace.” “FULL of grace.” That means He is full in Himself. “There is no one like Him.” He is always pouring out. Pouring out "grace upon grace."

Paul’s testimony is our own - The grace of our Lord was POURED out on me ABUNDANTLY, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 1:14

Secondly, who are we? We are in constant need… of food, of sleep, of strength, of help. We are nothing and can do nothing without Him. We are but recipients of “GRACE upon GRACE.”

An image that came to mind was us standing at the bottom of Victoria Falls in Zambia with a cup in hand. “Since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes – His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen.” Surely, His eternal power is on great display at this African wonder of the world!

Did you know? Victoria Falls is approximately 5577 feet wide and varies in height from 262- 304 feet and when all dimensions are taken into account along with flow rate it is considered to be the biggest curtain of water in the world. Around mid-April is when peak flood waters occur. Roughly 625 million litres of water flow over the edge per minute. This huge volume of water produces a spray that rises up to 1650 feet into the air. Because of the spray of Victoria Falls the Rain Forest at Victoria Falls is the only place in the world where it rains 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Info

God’s grace is like that. Falling relentlessly! More than enough. Tons and tons. Never ceasing. Always pouring. Will we wake up to the wonder of it? Will we realize that we are soaked? Completely drenched in His grace! Will we stop living on empty and run to His falls of “grace upon grace” that He might “overflow our cup.”

Ah, I love the language of Scripture – “He overfloweth my cup!” For the Christian, the cup is neither half-full or half-empty, but overflowing. Because our God is full of grace!

It’s time to stand in awe again. Just like how we would be in amazement at the bottom of Victoria Falls. Our God is much, much greater! Even this metaphor is too weak, because our God is so, so strong! He has never, does never, and will never run out of grace for us.

He is FULL of all kinds of grace…

Saving GRACE – Ephesians 2:8-9
Strengthening GRACE – 2 Timothy 2:1
Serving GRACE - Romans 12:3-8
Singing GRACE – Colossians 3:16
Sufficient GRACE – 2 Corinthians 12:9
(Philip De Courcy's Truth Matters #66)

It's always time to sing “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound." Heaven forbid, this old song ever gets old. "I will sing a new song to You, O God!" Psalm 144:9