The Precious Blood

As we enter Holy Week, the week in which we remember Christ's final days on this earth, His triumphal entry into Jerusalem upon a colt, the last teachings to His disciples, the betrayal, the whippings, His sacrificial death and His glorious resurrection...the words of the Puritans relay His magnificence far more than I could ever try. Hallejuiah, He is risen!

Love, Wendy

 

 

From Valley of Vision

Blessed Lord Jesus, Before Thy cross I kneel and see

the cross

the heinousness of my sin, my iniquity that caused Thee to be 'made a curse' the evil that excites the severity of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by crown of thorns

the crown of thorns the pierced hands and feet, the bruised body, the dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God, its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.

Infinite must be the evil and guilt that demands such a price.

Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper, born in my birth, alive in my life, strong in my character, dominating my faculties, following me as a shadow, intermingling with my every thought, my chain that holds me captive in the empire of my soul.

chains

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light, the air supply breath, the earth bear my tread, its fruits nourish me, its creatures subserve my ends?

Yet Thy compassions yearn over me, Thy heart hastens to my rescue, Thy love endured my curse, Thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.

prisoner freed

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths of humiliation, bathed in Thy blood, tender of conscience, triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.

empty-tomb

Is This Real Life?

A couple of years ago there was the most stinkin' cute video circulating out there in youtube land.  Little David, after returning from a dental surgery and loopy on pain medication, asks his video-filming father, "Is this real life?" Good question, little one.  With social media and other masks that we can live behind, it can be difficult to determine what is real and what is a carefully-crafted image.

Are you ever tempted to look a certain way to people...or is that just me?  Maybe we want to seem 'in the know' or completely cool.  Maybe it's a need to seem like we have it all together, but on the inside we know we are falling apart.  Usually we have to work pretty hard at keeping up whatever likeness we're desiring.  It can become fatiguing.

I encourage you, though, to give up that fight.  It's a worthless battle that is taking your eyes off the real fight (against sin and the evil one).  If you are struggling with keeping up a fragile veneer, talk with someone.  Humble yourself and ask a godly friend to listen while you confess.  Maybe you don't feel forgiven for those sins from yesterday, or from decades ago?  Share this with a trusted person who can direct you to the truth of God's Word.  And, then believe it.  In my experience, it is when I'm feeling alone with myself that I fall deeper into sin or I think I have to manage the mask all the more.  Satan has us where he wants us when we think we can't be helped, can't be forgiven.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 1: 7

Living a life openly before the Lord and others is key to having unity with others.  How can we be truly unified if we're so busy keeping our sins hidden from one another?  As we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of those sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  There is great freedom in this!

Christ has come to give us life and to give it abundantly.  Be honest with yourself, be honest with someone who can help you, and be honest with God.  That is real life!

Love, Wendy

 

 

 

 

Re: flect-Ing on Jesus as the Gate

I have been reading news of the horrendous treatment Christians living in North Korea are receiving. This is not new within the borders of North Korea, but as people who once persecuted step forward we learn more of life under Kim Jong-un.  

One statement that struck me was from a ex-military guard at the political camps. He said that those men and women who walk through the gates are never meant to be released; they are sentenced for a life of hard labor until they die of exhaustion, malnutrition, disease, abuse, or execution.

 

Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture."

John 10:7-9

Jesus is the gate, and those who walk through Him are given eternal life. In this earthly life, we will have trials and persecutions. Yet through Jesus, our Gate, we have peace with God, joy by the Spirit, and ultimately Heaven through the Son.  How different this gate is than those in the North Korean prisons.

 

Kim Jong-un demands that the people of North Korea believe that he is the one who controls their destiny. In America, we are told that there are many gates through which a person may be saved:  through the gates of Islam or Buddha, man-made rules or even through self-effort. But this is not true. Salvation comes though one gate: Jesus Christ.

 

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.  Matthew 7:13-14.

 

The narrow path must be a walk of repentance that leads to faith in the One who died for us. A narrow path is always hard to walk. Weeds and growth along the way try to overtake that path, and rocks and grooves don’t allow for sure footing. But do not become disheartened.

 

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.

John 16:33

 

This Easter, consider the path you walk. Is it one of ease or difficulty?  The path that Jesus walked to Calvary was one of rejection, self-denial and death, so too will be the path of His disciples, but it was also the path that led to victory.

Love, Cheryl