Saturday, December 25, 2010

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.


O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

I read these lyrics...and sing this song. And I weep. So often become numb to what we sing. Not just Sunday after Sunday, but Christmas after Christmas. We know these songs by heart, but read these lyrics... They are passionate. Desperate. Full of angst. Full of longing for their Savior. The Israelites faced trial. They saw persecution. They knew desperation. Over and over, they turned their backs to the Lord, and over and over, He called them back. They fled to the Promised Land, only to be led to wonder in the wilderness because of their sin. The "originals" never saw the Promised Land. Moses never saw the Promised Land. There is a silence for 400 years that these people waited for Jesus...O Come, O Come Emmanuel...

That silence was broken by the beautiful and reconciling cry of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in that lowly stable in Bethlehem.

He has come! He was brought us up from the grave...He has taken us from death and guilt and sin and shame. He has come...He humbled Himself and came as a baby. He lived life as a human does so that He would be our sympathetic High Priest. He came and He won. He releases the bonds of death and removes His children from the tyranny of satan. He has come...

I can't help but want to cry all over again "O Come, O Come Emmanuel!" Oh, Jesus come...come back and once for all, defeat death. Oh, Jesus come. Come back and free Your people forgive! Remove death and suffering, sadness and weeping...destroy darkness and once for all, cast satan and evil away forever. Come Jesus! O Come Emmanuel! Come and rescue us, once for all.

I yearn for that day.

As we celebrate Christmas, I pray I pray I pray we don't forget the magnitude of what Jesus did. He rescued the unrescuable. He saved the unsavable. He loves the unlovable. Nothing in us could have ever done this...He had to come because we could NOT enter heaven or stand before the holiness of God without His propiation, His blood...our atonement.
Oh, praise God!

O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I do not account my life of any value...

Paul is saying goodbye to the church of Ephesus in Acts 20 - encouraging and exhorting them, warning them, sharing his last bit of Holy Spirit driven knowledge. I couldn't get over verses 22-25::

"And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again."

Bam. Sit on that for a little bit...

Paul knowlingly was going into a situation that he knew would ultimately lead to his death. (to live is Christ and to die is gain! Phil. 1:21) He was constrained, controlled by the Holy Spirit- obedient and ready and willing to go and do what was called of him, because JESUS WAS WORTH IT! He was told that in every city - everywhere he went - persecution awaited him. In light of this truth, He boldly declared that he did NOT account his life of any value or precious to himself. His goal was the glory of God.

Is yours? Is mine?

We are so quick to shy away from "persecution" - we play with the fire of infidelity and impurity because we don't want to look abnormal or ultra religious to our peers. We accept and participate bullying, gossip, slander, impure speech, hate, bitterness because we care more about what people think about us than obeying Jesus Christ. We don't want to be "radical" (which is obedience...)  for the sake of the cross because we may lose popularity, or friendships, or status. How are we so quick to forget how radical Jesus was for our sake? We are so afraid of not being "liked" or "accepted" that we can't stand up for our faith. Why?

This dude left the people he loved, the church he shepherded - knowing he would NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN - to go be persecuted, hated, and eventually killed for his First Love, Jesus Christ. Pauls life, his comfort, his earthly desires...he counted them as NOTHING, as rubbish (Philippians 3) compared to knowing Jesus Christ. He was not precious to himself because Jesus was his ultimate, his prize, his joy, his fulfillment, his satisfaction, his desire...

Oh Jesus, may I, may we, say the same for You. Remind us that You are our First Love and YOU ARE BETTER.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I refuse to waste my life.

Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8

We look at this and we're like "wow, thats radical." It's not. It's obedience and it's something every single follower of Jesus Christ is called to. We are commanded to view our lives as loss without knowing Jesus. Because knowing Jesus surpasses EVERYTHING, we are told to view all that we gain as rubbish, as trash...because He is so much greater.

Because Your steadfast love is BETTER THAN LIFE, my lips will praise You. Psalm 63:3

Is Jesus better than life to you? Do people even know that you love Him?

Are you wasting your life?

Is Jesus your ultimate, or are you obsessed with the reality or idea of success, status, popularity, marriage, love, children, money, safety, comfort?
Who are you living your life for?
What are you known by?
Are you known by your tongue and how it hurts and abuses people?
Are you known by your quick wit and sexual banter?
Are you known by your external beauty?
Are you known by the fact that you can "get" any guy or girl you want?
Are you known by your job? Your success?
Are you known by your ability to manipulate for your own advantage?

Are you known by your talents?
Are you known by your love for others, but to a flaw? Have your friendships, families, relationships, marriages become your idol? Where you forget Who gave them to you and Who can take them away?


Are you wasting your life?

Lecrae's song "Don't Waste Your Life" tears me up, line by line.

We created for Him
Outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him
Jesus comes and raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
He made us so we could bless Him and to the world we confess Him

Your money, your singleness, marriage, talent, and time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
That's why it's Christ in my rhymes
That's why it's Christ all the time
My whole world is built around him He's the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
He's too true ta chase that ice.

Jesus came to GIVE US LIFE and give us life abundantly! (John 10:10)

Seek Jesus. Respond to His pursuit of you. Submit to Him. Obey Him.
HE IS YOUR LIFE.
Don't waste your life on fleeting, temporary things of this world, that will only rot away and destroy. Seek Jesus. Use your life for Him...where it's eternal, forever, beautiful.

Outside of Jesus, we are nothing. Our lives are but a vapor here on earth; here in the morning, gone in the morning. How are you spending that small portion of your time here on earth?

Are you wasting your life?

Are you living for Jesus so people are left to want Him?
If you were to die tomorrow, what would you leave behind?
How would people say your life looked like?
What would be said about Jesus?
Will you stand before Jesus and say "I have fought the good figh. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Will He tell you "well done, My good and faithful servant..."?

Don't waste your life.
Make it about HIM.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jesus is our Rescuer.

I bought The Jesus Storybook Bible for my kiddos this past year, and as Caiti and I were reading it this afternoon I was just blown away by the truth revealed to me. Although I've read it over and over again with them, I didn't "get" this until today. As adults, we so often overdo everything, including our faith. We get so caught up in debates and apologetics (which is so good and necessary in light of this:) that we oftentimes forget the simple truth of the gospel.

We're messed up, we need Jesus, He chose to love us, and He is coming to rescue us.

It's beautiful. In this is the childlike faith in Jesus that we ought to aspire to have. It's the faith without doubting that James talks about. It's the simple faith of knowing and believing Jesus is who He says He is, He has done what He said He would, and He will do what He's told us He will do. It's trusting in His name despite what everything and everyone is saying around us. Following is an excerpt in the kids' Bible:

"There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves His children and comes to rescue them. Even though He knew He would suffer, God had a plan - a magnificent dream. One day, He would get His children back. One day, He would make the world their perfect home again. And one day, He would wipe away ever tear from their eyes. You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love His children - with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love."

Do we really understand the weight of this? How beautiful it is? Even as I type this I'm crying. We exert SO much energy towards things of this world that WILL FAIL US. They're temporary and they'll vanish. Even the good things Jesus gives us - they fail us. They weren't created for us to worship, but were created as an outlet to worship our King. We pour out our hearts, give our bodies, lose our souls to this world- for what? For nothing. We are a broken, fractured world and we need Jesus. Every last one of us need Jesus, the "religious" and the "too far gone." We all need Jesus, and outside of Him, we are ALL too far gone. There is nothing in any of us that has made it possible for us to be forgiven, to experience grace, to understand love, to be rescued.

Yet...

He loves us. He loves us with a Never Stopping love. It doesn't end. We throw our love out to friendships, relationships, money, materials, working out, external beauty, talents...but what happens? It ends. It eventually ends and we're left with nothing. But Jesus? His love? It's Never Stopping. It's forever. NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM HIS LOVE! Romans 8:3-39.

He loves us. He loves us with a Never Giving Up love. It doesn't falter or fade. Earthly relationships? They do give up on you! You fail and you make mistakes too, and because of our brokenness and our sinfulness, we want to give up. We do give up. Even thinking of giving up is giving up! Jesus doesn't even THINK about giving up. His love for you has NO bounds. No limits. It never wavers or shakes. It is unshakable and unchangeable. It never ends. In spite of everything you are He adores you. He died and bled for you.

He loves us. He loves us with an Unbreaking love. His covenant with us is eternal and forever. The Holy Spirit sealed the deal and Jesus' blood paid our ransom so that we are forever, eternally, united with Him. It will never be broken. Ever. Ever ever ever ever. THAT is the love we have. It's incredible. It's incomprehensible!

He loves us. He loves us with an Always and Forever love. He is our Alpha and Omega, our beginning and end. He is our Husband. Our Great High Priest. Our Savior. He is our Redeemer. Our Atonement. Our Ransom. He is our Forgiver. Our Grace Giver. Our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is our Messiah. Our great God and King. Our Justifier. Our Rescuer.


You're a mess. We all are.
You need Jesus. We all do.
Jesus loves you. He has chosen and adopted His sons and daughters. He died and rose again for you. HE LOVES YOU.



Jesus is coming to rescue us.



"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

"No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship Him. They will see His face (AWESOME!!), and His name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." Revelation 22:3-5

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" Revelation 22:20

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Words of Life

I'm over how flippantly we talk to each other.
I'm over the disrespect, the sarcasm, the mean jokes, the crude humor, the harsh language, the cutting tone of voice.
I'm over it.
I'm over us saying we love each other, then denying that a minute later because of our speech.
I'm over us sharing Jesus with our mouths, then using the same mouths to utter profanity. Do we really think we can walk in this every day and think Jesus doesn't see? Do we really think it somehow escapes Him? Do you really think you can get away with it? Do we really think we don't need to repent, seek forgiveness, and experience incredible beautiful grace?


Ephesians 4 always kicks me in the booty.vs. 17-18: This I say and testify in the Lord, that you must NO LONGER walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alientated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
vs. 27: Give NO opporunity to the devil!!
vs. 29-32: Let NO corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building others up, as it fits the occassion, that it may give grace to those who hear. DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption! Let ALL bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. BE KIND to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
You don't think when you gossip about each other, speak rudely to each other, make fun of each other...you don't think you aren't giving a foothold to the devil? You don't think you're giving him an opportunity? You don't think you're completely missing building a sister up? My roomate, Emily, said something to me tonight that just stuck out to me. She said "the world is going to tear us down already...why would we want to do its job for it?" Why? Why do we want to tear each other down, gossip, spread rumors, speak rudely, accept those who speak rudely, be awful to each other, accept sexual talk...why would we want to do this when its everywhere around us?


What about Matthew 5:13-16?You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden! Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light in the house. In the same way, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE OTHERS, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
If you profess to know Jesus Christ, He has CHOSEN YOU to represent Him. Are you taking this seriously? Are you living your life as a city set upon a hill, so that His light shines through you to the world. Can people tell you love Jesus by what comes out of your mouth? Proverbs says it's that which comes out of your mouth that defiles you. What is coming out of your mouth? Is it edifying and life-giving, or is it condescending and life-sucking? How are you characterized?
This is an on-going issue.


Check out James 3. If this chapter doesn't convict you then something isnt right. vs. 5-12 says,
The tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, THIS MUST NOT BE SO! Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.


What fruit are you yielding?
What are you known for?



So, I say it again. I'm over it. I'm over it in my life. I'm over it in yours. I'm over us being lazy and ambivalent and pretending like this isn't an issue. I'M OVER IT. We cannot keep speaking so boldly about Jesus and using our mouths the way we use them.


How incredible and beautiful is it that Jesus has chosen us to represent Him.
How amazing is it that He gave us mouths and voices and speech.
How humbling is it that He continues to use us and be faithful to us when we're faithless!
How awesome is it that we can use those mouths to HONOR HIM!
We can use our mouths to GIVE LIFE. That we can use to them UPLIFT EACH OTHER when life is hard. Life is hard. Let's stick together in this; let's fight togther for Jesus. Let's represent His grace and love and kindness. Let's walk in obedience. Let's love others as He has loved us. Let's represent the body of Christ in a unity and peace and grace and love He calls us to.


1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.


Let's do this.

Shattered Dreams

My dreams have been shattered, and I have been left wanting nothing other than Jesus.

A friend recommended the book Shattered Dreams (Larry Crabb) to me - I couldn't wait to get it in the mail so I began reading it online. Within the first two pages I was weeping. Finally...finally my thoughts and feelings were articulated and written down on pages that I could read and read and read again. Pages full of Scripture and truth that has already pointed me, over and over, to the face of Christ.

Deep within me has always been the innate desire to love and be loved. I'm sure everyone can relate to that. We desire and seek acceptance in some form or another; whether it's in older role models because our parents never showed us love, friendships of the same sex because they never had that companionship, co-workers because we think we're failures, or the opposite sex because we've never been desired in an earthly way. The last one is, and always has been, my struggle. Since I was a young girl, all I've ever dreamed of and desired is to be a wife and mom. You can ask my mom, I "nursed" my babies as mom nursed my little brother, I played "house" for hours thoroughly entertained, I "married" a few of my little boy friends when I was 4, 5, 6 years old, I planned my entire wedding and childrens names and physical features by the age of 10. In one sentance, I have always been "in love with love." That is typical for a girl, more common than not...but a little difference for me that's more of a minority, it's never been "fulfilled." I never had that sweet 16 first kiss, the jitters because of that special date with that special guy, the unknowns of a relationship, the mystery of emotion/feeling/love. The older I got the more it became an "issue" that I hated talking about, or if I did talk about it I left it emotionless. But, as I search the depths of my heart, I am crushed. I've realized over the past year is that my earthly dreams have been completely shattered by the sovereign and righteous hands of my Jesus.
"What He's doing while we suffer is leading us into the depths of our being, into the center of our soul where we feel our strongest passions. It's there that we discover our desire for God. We begin to feel a desire to know Him that not only survives all our pain, but actually thrives in it until that desire becomes more intense than our desire for all the good things we still want. Through the pain of shattered lower dreams, we wake up to the realization that we want an encounter with God more than we want the blessings of this life. And that begins a revolution in our lives." (page 4)

I have placed so much of my identity and affirmation in man. I have believed I was ugly and undesireable because one guy didn't find me attractive, I have considered myself unworthy and unpursuable because one guy chose another girl over me, I have fallen prey to self-deprication and self-loathing because I couldn't get the attention of one guy...all the while Jesus has been there saying "you are all beautiful, My love, there is no flaw in you." (Song of Solomon 4:8) He has told me that "...the imperishable beautiful of a gentle and quiet spirit is, in God's sight, very precious." (1 Peter 3:4) He has whispered in my ear "Your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name." (Isaiah 54:5) He has valiantly declared "Neither death nor life, nor angels nore rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from MY LOVE, in Christ Jesus, our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39)

C.S. Lewis said once, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that I was made for another world."

I was made to be HIS. I am a sojourner. This world is simply a fleeting moment in time for me to proudly boast in my Jesus, my Lover, until I am eternally united with Him. I am NOT here to be fulfilled and find my satisfaction in a man, children, a stable income, a good house, comfort...It's all about Jesus.

In his writings Confessions, St. Augustine says this, "How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!...You drove them from me, You who are the True, the Sovereign Joy. You drove them from me and took their place, You who are sweeter than all pleasure."

Jesus has shattered my dreams, whether for the moment or for my time here on earth I do not know, but He has shattered them so that all I'm left with is HIM...and I am satisfied. As I lay in bed and weep I feel His arms circling me and telling me:

"I loved you before you ever loved Me."
"I am enough. I am enough. I am enough."
"I AM BETTER"

He is better my friends. He is so much better. In Christ is found a full and complete satisfaction/a joy that is indescribable...look at Scripture. Joy in Jesus surpasses all physical, emotional, and mental pain, persucution, suffering...His joy is supernatural and absolutely beautiful. It is by Him bringing me to the depths of my heart and disecting my idols and shattering my ideas and way of thinking that I have come to see this. It is really truly all about Jesus.

Rich or poor, God, I want You more than anything that glitters in this world
Be my all, all consuming fire.
You can have all my hands can hold; my heart, mind, strength, and soul
Be my all, all consuming fire...
We have all we need in You.

I have tasted You, Jesus, and I want no other...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lover

Lover, You woo me
You make me Your own. Who I am is Yours
My heart cannot resist you. I am Yours
I am Yours alone
You know my thoughts, You feel my fears
In spite of these, You love me, You want me still
Passionate pursuit and adoration are bestowed upon me
Joy and contentment flow freely from a heart in awe of You
Lover, You complete me
I would be nothing without You
Left alone, I am tossing in my bed, desperate, shaking, hopeless
Tears fall down, leaving rust stained traces upon my face
But You, You are my Lover
I am not alone
You know my tossing, You count my tears (Psalm 56:8)
You lay with me. You embrace me. Your arms encircle my shaking
Your strength erases my fears
You love overwhelms my inefficiencies, vulnerability, doubts, struggles, insecurities
Lover, You give me hope
You answer my questions with peace
Understanding and compassion flow from You
Lover, You "get" me
You know me when all others leave me, hate me, forsake me, mock me, abuse me, trash me, desert me
You, You stay right there with me
Lover, You own me
I am Yours. I am Yours
YOU ARE MINE
I boast of You. I boast in You. I boast of who You are and who You have made me to be
Lover, You are beautiful
You are the very essence of pure, raw, authentic beauty
You leave me speechless
My heart races thinking of You and hearing Your name
You are beautiful
Lover, You love me
When I abandon You, when I whore myself out, You love me
When I spit on You, reject You, mock You, deny You, dishonor You, leave You
You love me still
Lover, YOU LOVE ME. Who am I to have You?
YOU LOVE ME. This does not add up!
YOU LOVE ME. Lover, I cry to You!
Teach me to love You, Lover, as You love me
Lover, I love You
I LOVE YOU, LOVER
I LOVE YOU
I LOVE YOU
I LOVE YOU

Friday, January 15, 2010

Perfectly Lonely

John Mayer is one of my favorite artists. Ever. His smooth voice mixed with his intriguing lyrics have made him a favorite of mine for years now. And, of course, there is no disappointment in his newest album, Battle Studies. As I was listening to him this afternoon his song "Perfectly Lonely" grabbed me and I couldn't help but dissect his lyrics in light of Scripture. The song talks about heartbreaks, in and out of relationships, and finally just remaining single. He says to this "nothing to do, no one but me...and that's all I need."
When his friends question how he's doing he says again:
"nothing to do, no one but me, a simple little kind of free.
nothing to do, no one but me, is it really hard to see why I'm perfectly lonely?"

 The chorus goes like this:

I'm perfectly lonely
I'm perfectly lonely
I'm perfectly lonely, yeah
'Cause I don't belong to anyone, nobody belongs to me.

I was just blown away by how opposite this is for a believer. Life is about ups and downs; heartbreaks and joys; sufferings and deep contentment; there is life and death, compassion and abuse, fear, rejection, hope...

For an unbeliever, its just like this song says "no one but me, and that's all I need." We live in a culture that is all about self-preservation and self-exaltation. We seek to please ourselves and ourselves above all others. We seek to be involved in things or be around people who can help us or further our own gain. Whether we want to admit it or not, we believe the world revolves around ourselves. We live in a sinful world that is broken, but instead of addressing the brokenness, we go the opposite direction in our pride by saying, "I'm fine." - "I don't need anybody." - "I've got this" believing we are our own rock and support, believing we rule our world and we make ourselves our own gods- when in reality...it's Jesus who we need. It's Jesus who is our Rock. Our Strength. Our Support. Our Hope. The one and only Ruler and King and Authority - our God.

For a believer, Our lives are marked by the blood poured out on the cross of Calvary. We realize that nothing about this life is about us or our own "happiness" but is entirely, 100% about the King Eternal. We know our own depravity and need for a Savior. We know our calling as ambassadors (Ephesians 6:19-20) and ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 15). We are marked by our sanctification and the temporariness of this life. We are marked by Jesus' Christ ultimate suffering that became our atonement, our hope for the life to come. WE NEED JESUS. The book of Psalms are FULL of His promises to us, as His children, when we turn to Him. When we need Him.

We need Him:
to save: Psalm 69 (He is our Savior!)
to listen: Psalm 142:1-2 (He is our Refuge!)
in weakness: Psalm 6 (He is our Deliverer!)
when the enemy attacks: Psalm 73 (He is our Strength!)
when people betray us: Psalm 27 (He removes fear! He takes us in!)
to love us: Psalm 33 (He loves STEADFASTLY, forever)
to cleanse us, make us pure: Psalm 51 (He REMOVES our sin!)
to praise: Psalm 138 (He fills us with joy!)

WE NEED HIM AND APART FROM HIM WE ARE NOTHING.


Working with youth I see the phrase "I don't belong to anyone, nobody belongs to me" come alive. Because of the broken world we live in, there IS abuse. There's rejection. There's parents who desert their families. Best friends betray. Spouses cheat. We lie and steal and abandon. Of course we're immediately going to say "I don't belong to anyone..." I can't tell you how often I've thought that! But it is so so so far from the truth.

If you are believer, your salvation began with a sense of belonging. God the Father ADOPTED YOU! That means He CHOSE you - He chose to bring you into His family. He chose to have you share in His inheritance. He chose to allow you to partake in His sufferings so that you are made more like Him. He chooses to discipline you as if you were His own son (or daughter.) He CHOSE to have you belong to His family.

WE BELONG TO JESUS. And nothing or no one will EVER SEPARATE YOU FROM HIM.

Romans 8:39 says, "I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, no things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Pretty sure that covers everything. Do you get that? Do we understand that? Jesus loves us so deeply and so intimately (in spite of knowing EVERYTHING about us - psalm 139 - yet promises us that He will never leave us and His love will never waver. ever.)

John 10:27-30 says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will NEVER perish, and no one will ever snatch them our of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is GREATER THAN ALL, and no one is able to snatch them our of the Father's hand. I and the Father are ONE."

Can there be any greater promise? We belong to Jesus and in that union, He belongs to us and is in us. No longer do we have to be "perfectly lonely."

We have Jesus. And He is all we need.

But you are a CHOSEN race, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, and people for HIS own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light! 1 Peter 2:9