Friday, November 30, 2007

The Account Has Been Settled!

Well, I learned something in my heart this morning that my head has professed to know for years. It's all about faith...

I was reading in Romans 4 when the illustration Paul was using started to come alive in my heart. Verse 3 says, "For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed in (trusted in) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God.)" Now if you had eavesdropped on the conversation the Lord and I had just had, you would have heard me confessing that I made some choices yesterday I wish I had made differently. They weren't "right living" choices. I asked the Lord to enable me to live today differently. I believed He was willing and able to do it. I was trusting Him to help me choose the most important things. Then it started to truly register...

It's not my right living that makes deposits into my account with God. Nor do my wrong choices make withdrawals or cause my account balance to fall. Somehow, somewhere along the line, I started living with a desperate passion to get "it" right and a gnawing fear of getting it if I could somehow earn more love (or credit) with the Lord. Verse 8 says, "Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him." When by faith, I accepted Christ as my Lord - my Savior - He credited my account with a never-ending balance of His righteousness. He SETTLED THE ACCOUNT! Then He closed the books! My Lord will take no account of my sin ever again! For Jesus "was betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure our justification (our acquittal), (making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God)." (verse 25)

I can't tell you how freeing it is to have this Truth resonate in every fibre of my being! I made some wrong choices yesterday but you know what? He still loves me! The balance in His account of love for me reads just the same! I'm rich! He loves me with such an incredibly rich love! I desire to make better choices today but guess what - He's God! My best living is still worthless currency! He chose to underwrite my account and I choose to let Him! What kind of interest is there on an account like this? Romans 5:1 tells us that this account of faith yields peace! Romans 5:2 says we can rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God!

Friends, I have a new perspective on experiencing and enjoying the glory of God! His generosity knows no limits! His love far surpasses mere knowledge! You have to experience it! It's more than you can ask for! It's greater than all you could hope or dare to dream of! (see Ephesians 3:14-21) So I ask you...

Have you let Him settle your account?

(quotations taken from the Amplified Bible)

Friday, November 2, 2007

My Daddy's Watch

The Lord never ceases to amaze me! He is interested in our lives and has a plan for us right down to the smallest detail. He reminded me of this recently...

I was visiting my sister in Texas and we were getting ready to go to church. I put on the "finishing touches" and reached for my dress watch to wear. The choice was between that watch and my Dad's old, everyday watch that had been on his arm for years. I prefer my Dad's. It means a lot to me since he passed away a little over two years ago. But since it's big and obviously for a man, I elected to wear the smaller, more feminine watch. While picking it up, I felt the Lord say, "take your Daddy with you." The phrasing struck me as a little odd but since there was no time to analyze my thoughts, I simply put that watch down and strapped on my Dad's. No one knew me here. What difference did it make if I wore a man's watch?

We joined the other women from Becky's Sunday School class as they visited around breakfast tables. One young woman caught our attention. She was having a difficult time. I learned that her father had recently passed away. I recognized the lost look in her eyes. I remember, all too well, the desperate ache in the pit of my stomach and those days when you seem to have to remind yourself to breathe.

My heart ached for her. I wanted to let her know that I understood how she felt, but how do you initiate that conversation? What do you say to a complete stranger? Do you just walk up to her and say "I understand?" What if she doesn't want to talk about it? I wrestled with what to do for the majority of the morning. Finally, I felt that I just had to approach her. It had helped me to know that someone else understood how I felt - to know that someone understood what I couldn't explain.

I walked up to her. She was wearing a man's green athletic jacket. I reached out my arm and pointed to my watch. "It belonged to my Dad," I said. "He passed away two years ago." I'm not even sure if I told her my name. Her arms flew around me and she began to sob. I cried too. She explained that the jacket she was wearing had belonged to her father and she had lost him two short months ago. We clung to each other for awhile. It was as if we knew each other. We didn't, but the Lord knew both of us.

Our Sovereign God knew that the only introduction I would need to help a hurting stranger was an old, worn, man's watch. The Lord had a plan and it mattered what I wore on my arm that day. Not only was it the beginning of a friendship but it was a profound lesson for me - The Lord cares about the "little" things - because nothing is little to God.