My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Archive for November, 2009

Amazing Love…

habakkuk2_14I have been thinking about some things that I was taught this weekend and mulling them over in my head.  There was much that I learned from this conference but one thing has been bouncing around in my head for hours and hours and is now ready to come out.

The gist of the teaching was that most things in the church tend to be “Me” centered.  This is talking about and dwelling on solely what God did for me.  Jesus died for me, Jesus thought about me while on the cross.  And both of those things are true.  However, that isn’t the whole picture.   The other side of the equation is that Jesus died to bring glory to God.  I guess what has really made me think is the idea that one is more important than the other.

Before we were saved, we were shaking our fist and telling God to “Leave me alone.”  I literally was doing that.  And let me be clear here, so were you.  You may not have been physically shaking your fist or audibly saying the words but emotionally, intellectually, and in your heart, you were saying the same thing.

Jesus and the cross changed all that.  He drew me to Him and He saved me.  The Bible tells us that we love God because He first loved us.  And that love saved us.

So, where is the glory of God in there?  The Glory of God is in Jesus’ obedience to the Father in going to the cross; it is in the death of death, and the final defeat of sin.  But it is also in our salvation and sanctification.

While I agree that you can’t look at the cross and think about ONLY your salvation, you can’t forget it either.

I think part of the difficulty is in how you think about God and your salvation.  If you are more free will in your belief, your salvation originates with you.  You alone make the choice to accept Jesus.  It is your decision.  Because of this I think some need to get to where the glory of God is revealed and that is why there is this dichotomy between the glory of God and our salvation in regards to the cross.

If you are more reformed in your belief, your salvation originates totally with God.  He calls you and then you respond.    The drawing of the sinner to God, the call, and the salvation all bring glory to God because they are all about God glorifying Himself by saving us.

Therefore, I think in our worship we need to sing songs about both the glory of God and Jesus’ dying on the cross for us.  I don’t think you can divorce one from the other without losing God’s greatest glory.

And that’s why I can sing one of my favorite hymns and know it is not about me, it never was.  It’s about Him!

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

I’m Back…

Yes, I am back and in one piece.  Not much the worse for 2+ days of flights both way.  Our trip was amazing and God showed me much through my time in Indonesia.

I am currently working on finishing up my journal and then I will write a nice, long blog post (or two) about the trip.

Until then, the trip in pictures!

 

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View from the plane!

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Bella & I on the 14 hour flight to Tokyo

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Indonesia Street Market

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Yummy!

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The Orphanage

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Bella loved the chickens!

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Here Comes the Rain

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Bella and the kids (Dito & Deno)

 

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Helping to Prepare Dinner

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The Kids enjoying the new toys

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Bubbles!!!

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B.I.N.G.O.

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Checking out the Jungle

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The Human Knot

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Bella & Juni (our translator)

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The Whole Gang!

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View from the Hotel Room we stayed in on our last night

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At the Airport...the long trek home

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Singapore

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Jordan & Bella sleeping (as usual) on another long layover