Tag Archives: sinner

A Tall Order

Father, today may I be a vessel used of You. All that I do and say, all that I have had a hand in, may it all be used by You to lift You up so others can see You more clearly. As John, the Baptist said of Your Son, “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30 May this be my proclamation today.

1 Timothy 2:1 (<<click here)

I am called to pray, Lord, for all people”. This, obviously, is an all-inclusive statement and that is how it must be. As I think about the width of it, “all” includes a lot of people who don’t think like I do. It includes, literally millions who don’t think like You do! But You, very clearly call me to “ask [You] to help them.” You call me to “intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” That is one tall order! And the thing is that it is way more than people just not thinking like You do. They oppose You! Many deny Your very existence! But You called us to pray for them, to ask that You help them, to intercede on their behalf, to be thankful for them! Yes…that is a tall order but how can I do anything less. All I have to do is to look at our relationship – Yours and mine. Have I done anything to deserve Your love? No… Am I worthy in and of myself, to be accepted by You? No… The only thing that enables this sinner to stand in Your presence is that fact that I have accepted Your love and forgiveness – grace has been extended and gratefully accepted. (Thank You, Lord…)

Lord, help me to pray, and intercede and thank You for those who are not a part of Your family…yet!  And help me do it one person at a time, each and every day!

August 28th, 2015, Fri, 6:49 am

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”

This is a Throwback Thursday post from June 17, 2015. It is my very first blog post. Two people viewed it. Hey, you have to start somewhere! 

Father, thank You for Your concern in regards to my spiritual well being and development. Increase my eagerness to join with You each day.

Ephesians 1:1-14

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”

It’s wonderful to see this amazing statement, which I have often proclaimed, firmly set in Your Word. To know that You loved us from eternity past should fill us with great peace and eradicate any doubt as to whose we are.

Help this to be foundational in how I think of myself and how I think of all others, even those that “Christians”* tend to reject. Father, help me to see people through the lens of Your perspective.

April 19th, Sun, 6:45 am

*A little expounding on my use of this term in this way might be helpful. So called “followers of Christ” have gotten a nasty reputation in latter years. Far too often we are haters and that’s not just a label others have put on us – many who bear the name of Christ are haters. If “sinners” don’t agree with us and they take a stand for what they believe, we don’t love them, pray for them or try to live lives before them that draw them to Christ. Instead, we blast them, berate them and out-and-out condemn them! In the Old Testament and the New, we are told over and over again, “Love your neighbor as yourself…” Read the Gospels and you will not find one example of Christ condemning a “sinner”, he loves them, forgives them and commands them to “go and sin no more” but, in no way, shape or form, does he hate them. On the other hand, He does condemn the spiritual leaders of His day. They were two-faced (hypocrites) and self-serving. They had the Law and they knew the Law but chose not to obey. I for one am grateful that he does not condemn sinners  for I wholeheartedly agree with Paul when he wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.” Father, help us all to see people through the lens of Your perspective.

For Such a Worm as I

Father, as I come before You this morning, my thoughts leading up to this time, my thoughts during this time and even today’s Puritan prayer reading, all are focusing on the same area – my unworthiness and Your mercy and grace.

Some 30 years ago, when I was serving on staff in one of my first churches a friend of mine expressed his offense at the text of a favorite hymn, by Isaac Watts, “At the Cross.” The first verse reads,

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

He took offense at the word “worm”. He felt that that was too much, that because of what You had done for us, Lord, that we shouldn’t think of ourselves in that terminology – it was too debasing. Many must have agreed with him for in most “modern” hymnals the phrase “For such a worm as I” has been replaced with “For sinners such as I.”

Way back then it bothered me and I think it does more so today. Lord Jesus, I realized who I am in You. I am not who I once was – I have been gloriously changed! I have been reborn! And as the psalmist proclaims “You have removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 I love that verse! If I place my finger on a globe and go north, eventually I will be going south. BUT… if I trace my finger across the equator heading east – I will never go west. The two never meet. That is how far You have removed our sins from us! Thank You, Lord!

But no matter where I stand now (and again only because of YOU) it does not change who I was when I started! Yes, I was a sinner but too often we want to sweeten that by saying “I am a sinner saved by grace.” And most assuredly that is true. All praise to You, Lord, for your grace and mercy but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I am a sinner and until I am welcomed into Your eternal presence that’s what I am – a sinner.

I think part of the issue is that by rejecting the “worms” we make ourselves feel better about ourselves. But for me at least it helps to keep my humility at a healthy level. I am totally dependent upon You, Lord, for my salvation. Left to my own ways, I am nothing. I am the lowest of the low. Lord, thank You for lifting me up out of the pit of despair. Thank You for giving of Yourself – for sacrificing Yourself “for such a worm as I.” You “came down to my level, When I couldn’t get up to Yours.”  May I ever be humbly grateful, Amen

Sept 10th, Sat, 5:18 am

A Tall Order

Father, today may I be a vessel used of You. All that I do and say, all that I have had a hand in, may it all be used by You to lift You up so others can see You more clearly. As John the Baptist said of Your Son, “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30 May this be my proclamation today.

1 Timothy 2:1 (<<click here)

I am called to pray, Lord, for all people”. This, obviously, is an all-inclusive statement and that is how it must be. As I think about the width of it, “all” includes a lot of people who don’t think like I do. It includes, literally millions who don’t think like You do! But You, very clearly call me to “ask [You] to help them.” You call me to “intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” That is one tall order! And the thing is that it is way more than people just not thinking like You do. They oppose You! Many deny Your very existence! But You called us to pray for them, to ask that You help them, to intercede on their behalf, to be thankful for them! Yes…that is a tall order but how can I do anything less. All I have to do is to look at our relationship – Yours and mine. Have I done anything to deserve Your love? No… Am I worthy in and of myself, to be accepted by You? No… The only thing that enables this sinner to stand in Your presence is that fact that I have accepted Your love and forgiveness – grace has been extended and gratefully accepted. (Thank You, Lord…)

Lord, help me to pray, and intercede and thank You for those who are not a part of Your family…yet!  And help me do it one person at a time, each and every day!

August 28th, Fri, 6:49 am

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”

Father, thank You for Your concern in regards to my spiritual well being and development. Increase my eagerness to join with You each day.

Ephesians 1:1-14

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”

It’s wonderful to see this amazing statement, which I have often proclaimed, firmly set in Your Word. To know that You loved us from eternity past should fill us with great peace and eradicate any doubt as to whose we are.

Help this to be foundational in how I think of myself and how I think of all others, even those that “Christians”* tend to reject. Father, help me to see people through the lens of Your perspective.

April 19th, Sun, 6:45am

*A little expounding on my use of this term in this way might be helpful. So called “followers of Christ” have gotten a nasty reputation in latter years. Far too often we are haters and that’s not just a label others have put on us – many who bear the name of Christ are haters. If “sinners” don’t agree with us and they take a stand for what they believe, we don’t love them, pray for them or try to live lives before them that draw them to Christ. Instead we blast them, berate them and out-and-out condemn them! In the Old Testament and the New we are told over and over again, “Love your neighbor as yourself…” Read the Gospels and you will not find one example of Christ condemning a “sinner”, he loves them, forgives them and commands them to “go and sin no more” but, in no way, shape or form, does he hate them. On the other hand He does condemn the spiritual leaders of His day. They were two-faced (hypocrites) and self-serving. They had the Law and they knew the Law but chose not to obey. I for one am grateful that he does not condemn sinners  for I wholeheartedly agree with Paul when he wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.” Father, help us all to see people through the lens of Your perspective.