Category Archives: Theology

Life Is Broken – But God

Life is not all cut and dry. It is not all neat. Things don’t happen like they should. This is not an exception, it is the rule. We are all broken. Everything is broken. Life is not like I thought it would be as a kid. As a kid I had the belief that life was very predictable, certain, and neat. That if you did the right things and worked hard enough, things would turn out just as you planned them and you would be happy. Real life is NOT like that. It is not a formula. Life is messy, confusing, seemingly random, and broken. But the good news is that there is a God who is using this broken life in such a way that, when we look back on it from heaven, we will say “I’m glad it happened that way!” Only then will we realize fully what God was up to.

I think that this is the best of all possible worlds.

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Just When You Think That All Is Lost – poem

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Just when you think that all is lost,
God’s grace prevails again.
He intervenes despite the cost,
All for your soul to win.
For you for whom He gave His Son
To suffer in your place.
For you with whom He fought and won
To lift your lowly face.
And now He shows you everything
You thought you may have missed.
Good things prevail despite the pain,
The pain is but a mist.
The pain we feel was met before,
It is no new found thing.
This pain our silent Savior bore
That we may shout and sing.
That we, the ones who caused it all,
The ones who are to blame!
That we, the wretched of the fall
Would know no sin or shame!
What kind of God would do all this?
What kind of God is He?
Why leave a place of perfect bliss
To die upon a tree?
He is a God who cares for us,
Who left his throne above.
He is a God of selflessness,
He is a God of love!

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It Is Quite A Mystery (poem)

It is quite a mystery
Why He bled and died for me.
Why from heav’n to earth He came,
All to take my sin and shame.

And not only did He take
My sin and die for my sake,
But He also made me be
Righteous before God, as He.

Now He as I, and I, He.
This is the great mystery.
One with Him forevermore,
Makes me wonder why? What for?

Why would He give up so much
To become a filthy wretch?
And why give me all for free,
All the stuff of royalty?

What He says is pretty clear,
If you have the ears to hear.
Love for us is why He came;
To the glory of His name.

For greater love hath no man,
Than He who came by the plan
Of the Father, and who gave
His life for my soul to save.

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Come To Me My Savior Said (poem)

Come to me, my Savior said

Lift your eyes and lift your head

What you think needs help or care

It won’t last, don’t waste a prayer

 

But what about this thing right here

This, He says, is it – draw near

This is the thing that matters most

Forget your lot, your mind, your boast

 

My Glory, son, matters most of all

In this pursuit you’ll find your call

Perhaps your lot may fall in line

But only here will you be mine

 

And so it goes, the toil of life

So much confusion, so often strife

But in the end, it matters not

Forget your self, your life, your lot

 

There’s another story being told

Of Creator God, the One of old

Of time and space, the universe

Of a garden rich, but then a curse

 

Of an evil world, destroyed in wrath

Of a remnant saved, a glorious bath

Of a man called out, by faith traveled west

Of a family through whom all will be blessed

 

Of bondage and slavery, captive then free

Of law from the mountain, of sorrow and glee

Of a king who ruled, mighty and just

Of wisdom and wealth, of fairness and trust

 

Of a man born lowly, in a dirty cattle stall

Of a servant by choice, the Lord of all

Of Satan and demons, temptation and strife

Of water and blood, of beauty and life

 

Of the Spirit Himself, here now with us

Of grace and mercy, of One who is just

Of a people called out to reflect His glory

Of a God who saves, this is the story

 

So in this life, whenever you get down

Consider His glory to remove your frown

Not that your problems will just go away

But by pondering Him, they lose their great sway

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Psalm 60 – For Vain Is The Salvation of Man

Psalm 60: 6-12

God has spoken in his holiness:

“With exultation I will divide up Shechem and portion out the Vale of Succoth.Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter.Moab is my washbasin; upon Edom I cast my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go forth, O God, with our armies.
Oh, grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the salvation of man!
With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.

It’s interesting that David could write this 3,000 years ago and that it meant a very real thing to him then, while it also speaks about Christ and the reality we find ourselves in today. David was saying that he needed God to work, because their armies could not do it. He was saying “If we try to save ourselves, it won’t work. We can’t save ourselves, but God, you can!” God had promised the land, and victory, but David was not seeing it. What David did was appeal to God’s promises, and then came away confident in what God would do.

I think it’s neat, also, that we can see something else going on here – something about spiritual salvation which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  And so in this way, he was writing about Christ.  Jesus said “For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.”  I think the wide gate and easy way was the “salvation of man” mentioned by David in Psalm 60. David knew that the salvation of man did not work – it is only vanity, and leads to destruction. That is why he called out for God to work. He knew that his army’s best efforts would not win anything unless God was the one who did it.

Jesus continues, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  This makes you wonder what that gate is, and what that way is. And we know Jesus also said “I AM the gate” and “I AM the way.” Jesus made a clear distinction between the way of the world – the broad, easy way that many will use and find destruction in, and the way of God – that narrow way which leads to life, which is Jesus himself.  In effect He’s saying that the “salvation of man” is vain. It is the wide gate. The easy way. But He is the salvation of God.

Fast forward 2000 years. I think it’s pretty easy to see, today, the truth of what David wrote. “Vain is the salvation of man.” What is the salvation of man in 2013 America? What do we think brings life? What is our way of salvation?  What is the wide gate?  What do we hope in apart from God?  Self, success, pleasure, power, money, sex and fame.  And when people get all this and think it will fulfill them, make them happy, and give them peace – does it?  No.  They are still empty inside after all that stuff passes right through the God shaped hole in their heart.  That hole so large only God can fill it.

Even Christians, to whom the salvation of God has been revealed, we still struggle with rejecting the salvation of man. It’s in front of our faces all the time, and the sin inside us still is drawn to it at times. When we sin we stop trusting God and take a grasp at the salvation of man, thinking it will satisfy.  We get tired of not being able to walk by sight and grasp at things we can see, but every time we do, they don’t fulfill.  We must come again to the place of faith in God and realize His way is the way of life.  We must remember what God has promised, and place our confidence in Him.  And what is that, if not an act of God’s grace itself?  For we know we could never have that faith if left to ourselves.  Left up to us, not only would we not have had faith in the first place, but at our first abandon into sin, we would never return. But He always brings us back. He always goes out to find his lost sheep, and we know his voice. He loves us beyond what we can understand.

So we, like David, know that God must save or no saving will happen.  We know that the way of the world is not the true Way.  We know it ends in destruction.  We know, but we often forget!  We know, but need help to remember. For we know we can’t do it ourselves, for “vain is the salvation of man.”

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