“Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” (Isaiah 29:16)

Who am I to question how God created me, to say that he doesn’t understand? God is my MAKER. He is the potter, I’m the clay. God, mold me in the way that you desire, help me to trust that the way you have made me and the way you continue to sanctify me is for my good and for your glory. Help me to be content in how you grow me and in diferent circumstances in life where the ugliness of my heart is being chipped away, knowing that I will one day be glorified in a new, heavenly body.

Israel was a rebellious people; they were unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord. Yet:

“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, In returning (repentance) and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be strength.” (Isaiah 30:15a)

“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 30:18)

Lord you are truly gracious when your children come in humility and brokenness before you and come to you in repentance. You will not turn your face away to your children who cry out to the Lord, and you will tell them the way to walk in holiness. Lord, help me to defile my carved idols that I worship rather than you. Help me to regard them as unclean. Be gone!

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be thou my vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art
High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all
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a message of hope for a rebellious people

I’ve been so self-centered, so blinded and numb to my sin, filling my mind with temporary entertainment and pleasures of the world rather than the things of God, slowly hardening my heart over time. And I was becoming more and more okay with it. There was less of a struggle, less resistance, less of a fight over my sin.

I finally read my Bible for the first time in several weeks. I was reading Micah and God really gave me a wake up call to the reality of my sin against a holy, just God who judges his people.

Micah talks about how Israel has rebelled against God for over 500 years, full of injustice, bribery, and depriving the poor of their land. Micah talks about how God has removed his protection over Israel and will seek vengeance and wrath on the nations that do not obey. BUT he also talks about the hope and restoration we have that a future king will be born to rule over the land and restore peace on the earth (pointing to JESUS). A new Jerusalem will be established.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

This is what God requires of his people. This is what God requires of me. And yet how much I have failed to do so, to walk with the Lord and to seek to obey him and love him with all my heart, soul, and mind.

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.” Micah 7:18-20

There is NO ONE like our God. Even when we fail him time and time again, he passes over our iniquities and shows compassion, steadfast love, and faithfulness. Our sin makes us deserving of death and God’s eternal wrath. Yet through CHRIST and his death on the cross, God’s wrath has been justified, we are seen as righteous before God because of CHRIST’S righteousness, and we are redeemed as His people … he casts our sins into the depths of the sea. And because of that we are able to enter into the presence of the Lord … because we have been saved.

Oh what a sweet, sweet gift that is. And how easily I squander it and take grace for granted.

God, help me to HATE my sin, help me to fight laziness and apathy, and to fight for JOY in Christ, to fight for HOLINESS because You are holy.

You are worthy to be praised. I am but dust. Humble my heart, help me to cut off sin and to be filled with righteousness, to be filled with the Spirit and the things of God, by your grace alone.

 

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“You either treasure Jesus above all, or you’re not saved. If you don’t value Jesus above everything else, you don’t have saving faith.

– John Piper

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In Christ alone my hope is found

Really encouraged and challenged by the sermon today at LBCLA. It’s really good being back at the church, hearing Pastor John’s preaching, and fellowshipping with the body. Today’s sermon was on Matthew 11:28-30, where it says:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Pastor John was reminding the body that NOTHING in this world can satisfy, and he was sharing about how hard life can be and how the weight of sin can just be so overwhelming that we really have nothing else to hold onto except Christ. I honestly am so thankful and appreciative of his honesty and transparency about his struggles and hardships because it really does make everything he preaches so much more real … it’s not just him spitting theology at us and saying we should do this or that, but he’s going through real world struggles and still he chooses to hope in JESUS because that’s all we have. I am so thankful for Pastor John’s ministry. He lives a very difficult life, yet he continues to point the congregation to Christ. This is an example of living out a life of genuine faith.

It reminds me of what I’ve been struggling with personally about putting my hope in other people, or even the idea of marriage/dating, etc. I can see how it really does consume my thoughts sometimes and when I have certain expectations or hopes that aren’t fulfilled, I’m shattered. Yet we aren’t meant to hope in people or objects or temporary things in this world that are fleeting. Everything in this life will fade away, but GOD remains faithful and steadfast in his love towards us. I’m meant to fix my eyes on Christ because only he can truly satisfy.

Lord Jesus, would you remind me to not look to man or worldly things for joy but to hope in YOU alone. Thank you for my salvation, thank you for dying for my sins and redeeming me so that I can enjoy you forever. Thank you that THIS is my hope – not in the possibility of getting married, not in receiving love from other people, not in living a picturesque life, not in material things. CHRIST is sufficient. CHRIST is enough. CHRIST alone satisfies my soul’s greatest need.  Thank you Jesus.

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Fix My Eyes

When my heart is weary, when my soul is weak
When it seems I can’t traverse the trail before me
I survey the glory of your agony
And I find the will to fight for what’s before me
Cause you ran the race enduring for your glory
I fix my eyes on you, the founder and the finisher of our faith
I fix my eyes on you, the solace in your suffering is my strength
As I fight to follow, you’re my righteous guide
And you train me to delight in all that’s holy
Heal my broken body, cure my crooked stride
Throw off every weight and sin that clings so closely
I will run the race enduring for your glory
You help me breathe, you’re the only life I need
You died for me, you’re the only life I need
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I asked the Lord that I might grow

I asked the Lord that I might grow 
In faith and love and ev’ry grace, 
Might more of His salvation know, 
And seek more earnestly His face. 

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray, 
And He, I trust, has answered prayer, 
But it has been in such a way 
As almost drove me to despair. 

I hoped that in some favored hour 
At once He’d answer my request 
And, by His love’s constraining pow’r, 
Subdue my sins and give me rest. 

Instead of this, He made me feel 
The hidden evils of my heart 
And let the angry pow’rs of hell 
Assault my soul in ev’ry part. 

Yea, more with His own hand He seemed 
Intent to aggravate my woe, 
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, 
Humbled my heart and laid me low. 

“Lord, why is this,” I trembling cried; 
“Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?” 
“’Tis in this way,” the Lord replied, 
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.” 

“These inward trials I employ 
From self and pride to set thee free 
And break thy schemes of earthly joy 
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.” 

 

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