Tag Archives: Galatians 2:20

The Darkest Days of My Life

That’s quite a statement! What would make someone say that?  I can’t share my particular difficulties right now, but I do know that there’s not much else that Satan could throw my way that would be more difficult!

As I walked down our dirt road, my mind was in a whirl and my heart was heavy as I poured out my grief to God. Then these words came to my heart:

‘My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.’

When I returned home, I looked up the hymn and found this article:

A Protestant Episcopal Bi­shop of Mi­chi­gan once re­lat­ed the fol­low­ing in­ci­dent to a large au­di­ence in one of the Rev. E. P. Ham­mond’s meet­ings in St. Lou­is. “A young, tal­ent­ed and ten­der-heart­ed ac­tress was pass­ing along the street of a large ci­ty. See­ing a pale, sick girl ly­ing up­on a couch just with­in the half-open door of a beau­ti­ful dwell­ing, she en­tered, with the thought that by her vi­va­ci­ty and plea­sant con­ver­sa­tion she might cheer the young in­va­lid. The sick girl was a de­vot­ed Christ­ian, and her words, her pa­tience, her sub­mis­sion and hea­ven-lit coun­te­nance, so dem­on­strat­ed the spir­it of her re­li­gion that the ac­tress was led to give some ear­nest thought to the claims of Christ­i­an­i­ty, and was tho­rough­ly con­vert­ed, and be­came a true fol­low­er of Christ. She told her fa­ther, the lead­er of the the­a­ter troupe, of her con­ver­sion, and of her de­sire to aban­don the stage, stat­ing that she could not live a con­sis­tent Christ­ian life and fol­low the life of an ac­tress. Her fa­ther was as­ton­ished be­yond mea­sure, and told his daugh­ter that their liv­ing would be lost to them and their bu­si­ness ru­ined, if she per­sist­ed in her re­so­lu­tion. Lov­ing her fa­ther dear­ly, she was shak­en some­what in her pur­pose, and par­tial­ly con­sent­ed to fill the pub­lished en­gage­ment to be met in a few days. She was the star of the troupe, and a gen­er­al fa­vo­rite. Ev­ery prep­a­ra­tion was made for the play in which she was to ap­pear. The ev­en­ing came and the fa­ther re­joiced that he had won back his daugh­ter, and that their liv­ing was not to be lost. The hour ar­rived; a large au­di­ence had as­sem­bled. The cur­tain rose, and the young ac­tress stepped for­ward firm­ly amid the ap­plause of the mul­ti­tude. But an un­wont­ed light beamed from her beau­ti­ful face. Amid the breath­less si­lence of the au­di­ence, she re­peat­ed:

‘My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.’

This was all. Through Christ she had con­quered and, leav­ing the au­di­ence in tears, she re­tired from the stage, ne­ver to ap­pear up­on it again. Through her in­flu­ence her fa­ther was con­vert­ed, and through their unit­ed evan­gel­is­tic la­bors ma­ny were led to God.”

http://cyberhymnal.org

What a wonderful story! I went on to sing the rest of the verses, and my thoughts wove their way through the verses:

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
Why would you love ME?
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
So much pain and humility! My problems are NOTHING!
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
Woo Hoo! Where’s my hanky!
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Yes, this life IS worth living!  Yes, EVERY battle is for HIS glory! Yes, every promise IS true. I praise HIS precious name—the only name worth living and dying for.  The only name that can make the darkest day shine brightly!!

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,
to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Isaiah 61:3

The Dream of Death

ID-10069943Last night was another one of those nights when I dream that I died.  It seems to be a reoccurring dream, and not one that I enjoy!  It’s not that I’m afraid of dying, I can say that I’m 100% sure that I’m going to heaven.  You may say, “Wow!  How can you be so sure?”  In this day of easy believism, and a Christianity that wears too many odd faces, one truth is still as sure as the God Who gave it to us: Jesus Saves!  I stand on the rock of His promise: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved. Romans 10:13

I admit, at rare times, I do have doubts.  Yes, I remember the night that I read a tract alone in my bedroom.  I remember ticking off the statements: 1. Do you know that you are a sinner? No problem there! 2. Do you know that the wages of sin is death and separation from God? Yes. 3. Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for you, to take away your sins? Yes.  Have you ever asked Him to be your Savior? …That one stopped me.  I hadn’t, but I did that night.

Now, based on the Word of God, I am a born-again believer.  You may notice that I rarely use the term Christian in my blogs.  Many claim to be Christian, as opposed to being Muslim, but that is not true Christianity.  We are not born into God’s family because our parents were Christians or because they took us to church, or because we were baptized or took communion.  John 1: 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

I would say that most born-again believers doubt their salvation at one time or anothe. Questions like:  Did I say the right words?  Did I really mean it?  Did I believe enough? I…I…I…Do you see that all these questions concern what I did, not what Jesus promised.  I DID what He required and that settles it, but there’s more.  When I doubt my salvation, I first talk to God about it.  He reminds that He meant what HE said.  Then I do a life check: 1. Do I love to read God’s Word? Yes. Do I love to be in His house whenever the doors are open? Yes.  Do I love telling others about Him? Yes.  Does God answer my prayers?  Does He give me peace in my heart?  These are all outward fruit of the Spirit of God dwelling in me. And then I sigh a big sigh of relief. Yes!  I’m going to heaven when I die!  I asked and He came!  Praise the Lord.

Are the dreams still scary?  Yes, not because I’m afraid to die, but because I want to live!  This morning I laid in bed and just thanked God for giving me one more day!  He didn’t have to, and as much as I want to see Him face to face, as much as I want the trials of this life to be over, as much I’m ready to REST, I more ready to live!

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;

yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

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Bear Attack!

ID-1008340So… it’s a beautiful morning and I’m doing the usual 2000 video cutting-edge aerobics when I look out the window and decide to take Pepper for a walk instead.  Good choice, because I not only get good exercise, I also fill my lungs with fresh crisp twenty-four degree country air!  AND I get to talk to God – it’s always better out there in His creation.

I’m on my way back, jogging a bit, when I think I hear something behind me.  My worst possible nightmare is now a reality.  Loping in my path just thirty feet back is a black bear!  I hurry my pace, but there’s no way I can outrun it!  How often have I played this scenario in my mind before?  What will Pepper do?  Will Tom find my mangled body?

My legs are jelly, when I stop, plant my feet. Turn around, and scream at the top of my lungs (much like the father on “The Croods”J) I wave my arms and act crazy; and to my amazement, the beast stops, looks, and turns off the road into the woods.  Now I’m really ready to fall apart, but thankfully I’m only a hundred yards from the house.  I’m going to make it!!

Yes, this is a made up scenario; but ever since I read about a man walking his dog our west somewhere and getting attacked by a black bear, I’ve been wary of walking our dirt road.  It’s very deserted: only the two other neighbors’ houses in eye-view from ours, and then one other house at the dead end and a hunting cabin – not much civilization.  We often see bears around our house, although we’ve only seen them once when walking this road.  It COULD happen, but it didn’t.

So where’s the connection?  I had been praying about several “impossible” situations that are in our church, reminding God that He is the God of the impossible, when HE reminded me of some impossible situations in my own life.  Would I prove God and work to change those impossible life habits?  Doing so would be a good thing! It stopped me short, and I thought of the bear.

What is stalking you, ready to attack and destroy you if it could?  Right away we think of something awful like drugs or an extramarital affair; however, most of us aren’t stalked by big Papa bears.  Maybe you’re laying out of church for whatever the reason.  Perhaps you’ve dropped the habit of daily Bible reading, or you never find the time to pray.  Is it the TV programs you watch or the books you read or the internet sights you frequent that are stalking you?  Let me tell you – those yearling bears can take the life out of you just as quickly as a full-grown male!  They are deadly, and so are the habits I’ve just mentioned.  They are not only stalking us, but they are sapping us of our strength, lulling us to sleep.

Can you imagine talking to someone who has a bear chewing on his arm?  You say, “What’s that bear doing?”

“Oh, I know.  I really need to get rid of him.  I’ll get around to it someday.”

But someday never comes because you are dead!  Our bad habits are keeping us from the Spirit-filled life that God has planned for each of His dear children.

Years ago, my husband-pastor said this after a counseling session: “I wish I could take that person, who is making wrong choices, and have him talk to the guy I talked to last week that’s just twenty years down the road, reaping the consequences of the same bad choices!”

Make a choice.  Plant your feet squarely on God’s Word and determine to change!  You don’t have to scream and act crazy, but you do need to storm the Throne of God and ask for help!  And watch the bears run!!!

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;

yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” 

Galatians 2:20

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