Tag Archives: God

“As Long as You are Glorified”

30 Jul

I found this song on a great blog called worshipmatters the other day. Bob Kaufflin is a great blogger and has lots of interesting things to say. His church started to sing this song recently because it reminds the church how we must praise God in the good times and bad. The song “As Long as You are Glorified” reminds us of the Lord’s right and duty to receive all glory in all situations of all His disciples’ lives.

Click here to listen to the song or right click to download the song.

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night

So quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart
Quiet my restless heart in You

by Mark Altrogge.

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Jesus, Thank You

23 Jun

Sovereign Grace Music and Bob Kauflin have once again moved me with one of their songs. “Jesus, Thank You” was recorded live at Next 2009 conference in Baltimore, same as my other favorite, “All I Have is Christ”.

This song hits home on so many different levels. It’s an outpour of what our hearts feel every day. There are so many moments in my life when I just think about the cross and Jesus in agony for our wretched lives. How on earth could the Son of God have died for all my sins,past, present and future? It makes zero sense, but it really happened. God really did send His son and Jesus really did have those nails pierce His palms. Jesus really did hang on that cross for hours. Jesus really did forgive those who mocked Him and Jesus really did die for all sins of those who embrace His sacrifice.

This song brings our confusion of the cross together with what our response should be. The verses show how mysterious and amazing Jesus’ death was; God crushing His very own Son so that His former enemies could be transformed into His friends. Then we respond with the chorus, “Jesus, Thank You”. Such a simple way to express our feelings, but also the most efficient way, but the song isn’t over just yet. In the bridge, we come to God with more than just words expressing our thanks. We come and we say, “Because of what You did for me, I want to live for You.” We need to want to live for Him. If we just say, “Thank You” but we don’t follow up with a testimony of what He did for us in our lives, than those words are useless.

Listen to it and sing it in your heart. He died. We are confused as to why, but He did die. Jesus, thank You. I want to live for You now. Isn’t that the least I can do? Live for You who died for me? Help me to live for You.

The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me

Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You

By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end

Lover of my soul
I want to live for You

Lyrics by Pat Sczebel, recorded by Bob Kauflin and Reilly at Next 2009 conference.

God Wants Your Heart

16 Jun

It’s been a long while since my last post. If you look just below, the last post was on May 2nd, and we are now June 16th. In that one month, many things have happened and God has, in His own mysterious unique fashion, revealed a fragment of His glorious self.

I’ll try to show what He has shown me in the next few posts, starting with this one.

There’s a story in the Old Testament of a man named Amaziah. Amaziah became king at twenty-five years old after his father Joash died. His story starts out in 2 Chronicles 25.

2 Chronicles 25:1-2, “Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not with a whole heart.

Stop right there. Let those last words prey on you, haunt you, impact you, seek your teeth well into that last phrase, “yet not with a whole heart.” He was king and he did what was right, but his heart was somewhere else. To do something without a whole heart means the heart wants to do something else. To follow God without a whole heart is an insult to His majestic name. Remember that.

If we continue reading, we read that Amaziah was preparing for battle. He called 100,000 men from Ephraim to help him out, but a man of God told him not to fight with them. So Amaziah sent those 100,000 men back to their city and they were all angry with him. Amaziah the king then went down to Seir and fought with his own men and won the battle. Meanwhile, the men who he sent back raided Judah, Amaziah’s kingdom.

Colossians 3:23

Colossians 3:23

This all leads up to one catastrophic error by Amaziah, we read it in verses 14-16.

2 Chronicles 25:14-16, “After Amaziah came from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them. Therefore the LORD was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people from your hand?” But as he was speaking, the king said to him, “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be struck down?” So the prophet stopped, but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”

Amaziah, known as a king who did right in the eyes of the Lord, took idols of a foreign city and worshiped them. He ignored the fact that God gave Seir into his hands. He did what he wanted to do in that moment, he cast everything spiritual and godly aside and worshiped idols.

Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men[…]”

Remember Amaziah’s flaw? He didn’t do what God wanted him to do with all his heart.

Don’t you notice that when you don’t pray as much or read God’s word as much, you lose sight of what’s important in the eternal? You start thinking about the present, the moment, you desire whatever will make you happy right then and there. That’s what happened to Amaziah. He didn’t serve God with all his heart, and because of that he fell into his own momentary indulgence.

God doesn’t want your thoughts, God doesn’t want your intentions, God doesn’t want your words, God doesn’t even want your actions. All that is useless to Him unless you give Him something more.

God wants your heart. He wants you to serve him with a full heart, meaning you love to serve Him and you’d rather do nothing else. Our utmost joy must come from serving Him. When that happens, He is happy with us and He is glorified.

Are you like Amaziah? Are you just going through the motions, not caring about how much of your heart is actually devoted to God? Are you thinking that your thoughts and intentions are enough? God wants your heart and He wants you to follow Him whole-heartedly. He won’t settle for half. He loves you and He deserves more than that.

Nothing Spectacular

18 Apr

I didn’t get much sleep last night. I woke up feeling like I could have profited from a few more hours of shut-eye. I got up and started to head for the bathroom to brush my teeth, passing by all the items in my room: my stereo, my desk with those dreaded textbooks, my lamp that gives me light to study early in the morning, my library that holds only about 5% of my own books and finally my closet full of clothes, most of which I don’t wear.

I got to the bathroom drawer with my toothbrush and toothpaste: Colgate plus whitening. I never was a fan of Crest. I opened the faucet and let the clean water run for a few seconds to get the coldest water possible. I hate brushing with warm water. The clean water hit my brush, giving it the perfect moisture for the toothpaste which was about to follow.

After brushing, I walked to the kitchen, picked a clean bowl, some milk and some cereal. I don’t know why but I never think of brushing my teeth after eating breakfast. During the week, I’m so rushed to get to school on time that I brush really fast and then take my breakfast and eat it on the go. I guess I developed a habit of eating after brushing and not the usual opposite.

Nothing spectacular happened this morning. No unusual dream, no revelation and no realization. Just an ordinary morning. Probably just as ordinary as any other morning of any other fortunate person.

Why do I say “fortunate”? Well, Meat Phearady.

She wakes up in a wooden house. She doesn’t have a desk, a stereo, a library full of books, a closet full of clothes. She wakes and doesn’t care about brushing her teeth. She probably doesn’t even know what Colgate and Crest are. She wakes up, does her morning chores, goes to work with her mother and her younger sister from 6am to 6pm to earn enough money so that they don’t starve. Her house is above garbage and filth. She’s probably never seen clean water before.

Oh ya, she’s 11 years old. She worries about having enough money to eat and stay alive. As a friend of mine said the other night, 11-year-olds here in Canada and the US worry most about what picture to put up on Facebook.

I participated in the 30 hour famine. I didn’t eat for 30 hours to get a feeling of what children like Phearady go through every single day. As a youth, we looked at the bible together to see what God says about the poor. I stumbled across this verse.

Isiah 41:17 – “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is non, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”

Despite what it seems, God has not forgotten them. He has not forgotten Phearady. She is His creation. If God hasn’t forgotten her, should we?

When, and if, God gives you breath tomorrow morning (He may choose not to), remember Phearady. Remember those less fortunate. Don’t take things for granted. Be like God and remember them.

Forgiven Mocking Forgiver

4 Apr

We often take this time of year to remember Jesus Christ on the cross dying for us, for our sins. We think of the pain of the whips piercing his flesh, the crown of thorns pressed on his brow and the torturous walk up to Calvary. Then we remember how nails pierced his palms and his feet and how he stayed on that cross for hours upon hours and we mourn at the cross as Jesus’ mother did.

But we often forget one important aspect.

Stuart Townend says it perfectly in the second verse of his modern hymn How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.

“Behold the Man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers.”

We are no better than the soldiers who spat on Jesus 2,000 years ago. We mocked him at the cross and we mock Him when we sin, when we take the cross for granted. We are ashamed at our mocking voice, but in His awesome grace, he says to God to forgive us while we mock Him.

That’s the beauty of the cross: we are forgiven while we mock the one who forgives us.

The Falsehood in Tiger Woods’ Speech

20 Feb

As you may or may not know, Tiger Woods gave a speech this week on national television regarding his unfaithfulness to his wife. In the speech, he apologizes to his wife, family, friends and fans for his bad behavior. Being a fan of his golfing skills, I’m very glad that he chose to do this. I believe that he was very sincere and that he truly is sorry for having disappointed so many people.

There was one aspect of his speech that I did not like.  Ten minutes into his speech (one minute into the video below), he mentions the reason why he cheated on his wife.

Tiger Woods: “People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist and I actively practice my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.”

Tiger Woods doesn’t realize that his problem is inside his heart. He didn’t sin because he was craving for something outside himself, but because his heart was craving for something other than God. Tiger’s heart has not tasted the joy of God’s salvation and he fell into the same trap King David did (Psalm 51). The difference between King David and Tiger Woods is that David realized the true reason why he sinned: a lack of God’s joy in his heart.

Buddhism teaches meditation and unity and harmony inside our souls, but what Tiger doesn’t understand is that no matter how nice he is inside, his heart is still stained black with sin. That will never change until he craves forgiveness of sin from the almighty God who loves despite his mistakes.

Tiger has a serious craving for sexual sin and this problem will not go away with therapy or meditation, but only by the cherishing of the joy of God’s salvation. I pray that he gets this right one day.

His Banqueting Table

6 Feb

My mind was so preoccupied last night that I couldn’t sleep. I was trying to imagine what it will be like in paradise with our Lord Jesus Christ. I was trying, but of course,  I failed. My earthly human mind cannot grasp the exceeding joy we will feel in Hi presence when He comes back to earth.

One of my favorite verses in the bible is Psalm 16:11, “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forever.” For all eternity we will feel joy. No more strife, no more pain, no more confusion, no more stress, no more sorrow, no more hunger, no more thirst, no more discouragement, no more… (I can go on and on), but most of all, no more enemy.

I was trying to imagine what it will be like to sit next to Jesus, the one with holes in His hands where the nails pierced His flesh, and eat at His banqueting table. To talk with Him, to laugh with Him, to have fellowship with Him, to play with Him. Just the thought blows my mind and I can’t help but smile.

But for now, we are on this earth for a reason. We must spread the gospel to those who have not heard it so that we might see them sitting next to Jesus one day. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate reward? To know that you, with His help and by His grace, literally lead a lost soul to Jesus?

I end with words from the apostle Paul.

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” Philippians 1:21-24

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