Visits From A Man Named Nobody 30

Visits From A Man Named Nobody 30

PT 1 // PT 2 // PT 3 // PT 4 // PT 5 // PT 6 // PT 7 // PT 8 // PT 9 // PT 10 // PT 11 // PT 12 // PT 13 // PT 14 // PT 15 // PT 16 // PT 17 // PT 18 // PT 19 // PT 20 // PT 21 // PT 22 // PT 23 // PT 24 // PT 25 // PT 26 // PT 27 // PT 28 // PT 29 //

“I’m Bill Tayro,” Bill said. “I’m courting Paul’s mother, and he’s told me you’ve been speaking with him.”

“I’ve been trying to save his soul,” Mr. Dorny said. 

“Evangelism exists to lead people to Christ, who is the only one who can save anyone,” Bill said. 

Mr. Dorny smiled, but it didn’t have any warmth. It was a picturesque definition of condescension. “What would an adulterous man know about salvation?” 

Paul felt his body tense, but Bill’s hand fell onto his shoulder. Paul looked at the man, who had a truly contemplative face.

“You’re accusing me of adultery?” Bill said it like a question, but he didn’t sound defensive or angry.

“You’ve confessed already,” Mr. Dorny said. “You’re dating a woman, doing who knows what with her.”

“She’s divorced,” Bill said. How did he keep that calm?

“Divorce is a sin,” Mr. Dorny said. “To have relations or even look at a person’s wife in lust is a sin.”

“I’m not sure your comment aligns well with Matthew Chapter 5 clearly enough,” Bill said. “Would you like to open the word together and look more closely?”

Wait. Paul thought. Did he seriously just offer to open the Bible and read it together?

“I’ve no interest in debating scripture with a clear unbeliever,” Mr. Dorney said.

“But you’ll use half-truths to harass a child to a point to where he’s afraid to even walk by your house?” Bill asked. 

Mr. Dorney’s eyebrows furrowed. “I’d have anyone not of Christ fear my presence.”

“I thought you said you were trying to save him?” Bill asked.

“I am.” Mr. Dorney’s tone grew louder.

“Have you tried sharing the gospel?” Bill asked. 

“No unrepentant sinner is ready for the gospel!” Mr. Dorney had started shouting.

“Why are you angry?” Bill asked. “If your goal is to evangelize to this young man, simply offer him the complete gospel.”

“He won’t even admit his sin!” Mr. Dorny stabbed a finger in Paul’s direction. 

Paul again tried to step forward, but Bill gently pulled his shoulder back. 

“What you’re doing is harassing a young boy,” Bill said. “You’re countenance is fallen, Geneses 4:6. You’re not acting with kindness, patience, or love, Colossians 3:12-13. Neither are you treating this outsider with graciousness seasoned with salt, Colossians 4:6.”

“You dare quote scripture to me!” Mr. Dorny shouted. Now he seemed ready to hit someone.

“Are you unwilling to discuss scripture?” Bill asked. “How is it you intend to help any souls find Christ if you’re only willing to use his word to condemn?”

Through the whole exchange, Bill never wavered. He wore the same smile that was gentle, not condescending. His tone was patient and kind. 

Paul hadn’t seen anyone use or understand the Bible this way, no one except …

Paul looked at Bill. Could he be? That didn’t make sense. Bill didn’t even know Paul’s mom when Paul was a kid. But they spoke so similarly. 

“You false teacher!” Mr. Dorney said. “You’ll be put to death for your sin!”

“I’m not certain whether or not you’ve just threatened my well being.” Bill sounded like he was reading a particularly complex book. “But you’re quoting Deuteronomy 18:20 as if you know I’m speaking against one of God’s commandments. I don’t believe you’ve tested my spirit in accordance to 1 John 4:1-6. If you had, you would have remembered that I began this conversation acknowledging that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6. He came in the flesh from God, and only those who come to him can find salvation.”

Mr. Dorny’s face turned red. “You blasphemer!”

“I think I’ve heard enough shouting.” The more Mr. Dorney shouted, the stronger Bill looked just keeping his tone and posture under control. “I’m not of the opinion you are worried about anything other than passing judgement, which isn’t anything like evangelism. So here’s how this is going to go. I’ve approached you personally in accordance with Matthew 18:15. Paul has witnessed this exchange. You’ve refused to repent. You’ve shown no desire to be reconciled to a brother.”

“You’re no brother of mine!” Mr. Dorney said. He sounded like he was trying not to laugh or shout, so the sound came out like some strange sort of cough. 

“Very well,” Bill said. “But I truly pray you search the scripture and reflect on this exchange. I pray that your eyes will be opened, and you’ll see you’re acting far more like Saul the oppressor rather than Paul the evangelist.”

It was weird for Paul to hear his name so many times and know that Bill was talking about an apostle who supposedly lived thousands of years ago.

Bill stepped behind him to put a second hand on both Paul’s shoulders. “This young man will be using this road to get home. You will not harass or approach him. If you do, the police will be notified. More importantly, I hope you’ll leave this young man to walk the path God has chosen. He’s a child, one of those to whom belong the Kingdom of Heaven, Matthew 19:14.”

Mr. Dorney sneered. “Fine! Go enjoy your flesh and adultery. You’ll burn in Hell, and I’ll be happy to see it.”

“Would you be Lazarus standing with  Abraham? I’d be far more concerned about the plank in my eye.” Bill turned and started to walk back to the house. 

Mr. Dorney shouted a lot more as they walked away, but Bill didn’t appear to pay any attention.

Musings on Christianity 2

Musings on Christianity 2

What Does It Mean To Be A Christian

Growing up, I was exposed to people who would block my path on the street.  “Do you know you’re going to hell?” the representative would ask.

“But I’m saved? I believe that Christ died for me,” I replied.

“So what church do you go to?” he asked.

“I don’t go to a church,” I replied. The last church I went to told my mom to forgive her child-molesting husband and maintain the marriage.  Their exact words were, “Get over it and keep your marriage.”  So I had some issues with church.  That memory played in my mind as I answered the representative.

“If you don’t go to church, you’re not saved.”

What?

I’ve seen pictures of protesters at a Soldier’s funeral. The protesters held signs that read something like, “God killed your son because he was a … ” they used a derogatory f-word implying the Soldier was homosexual. There was no evidence available regarding the Soldier’s actual sexual orientation.

What?

Is that what Christianity is? Is that how Christians should act?

I’ve seen protests, and honestly believe peaceable protest is a critical freedom for our country. But listening to the comments and reading the signs caused me to wonder, “is that what Christianity is about?”

This was a huge stumbling block for me to my faith. Regrettably, that was a very common thing in my home town. That was the norm. So, from my point of view, that was what Christianity was.  But is it really? What does the Bible say about how Christians should work?

For my part, I want to start with the obvious. The name Christian is derived from the name Christ. So a Christian is most simply put one who acts like Christ and/or believes in Christ. The book of Acts called early Christians followers of The Way. What way? The book of John has that answer: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6).

So again, the simplest answer is those who follow Christ. So what does it mean to follow Christ.  How should Christians act? A further look into scripture provides a few (what I call) checklists. One who claims to be a Christian should be one who tries to embody these traits.

From Matthew, the Beatitudes: 

Be poor in spirit.

Be mournful of your sin.

Be meek.

Hunger and thirst for righteousness (in yourself).

Be merciful (that’s not the same as tolerant).

Be pure in heart.

Be a peacemaker (the best peace you can make is through evangelism. Make peace between God and his children).

Be encouraged when you are persecuted and reviled for Christ’s sake.

Now that last one sometimes encourages people to do the things like I spoke about above, but this section isn’t about evangelism or spiritual warfare (both are interesting topics, but not the one we’re discussing today).

The idea here though is you should strive to embody all of these traits. But there are more we can see.

Romans 12 offers more guidance:

Don’t be transformed by the world. Be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

Think with sober judgment.

Let love be genuine.

Abhor what is evil.

Hold fast to what is good. (Jesus summed these last two up well above by the phrase pure of heart.)

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Be fervent in spirit.

Be patient in tribulation.

Be constant in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Paul continues to support Christ’s Beatitudes with some phrases:

Bless those who persecute you. Do not curse them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice.

Weep with those who weep.

Live in harmony with one another (in this context, Paul is talking to other Christians. I’m not stating we should be at animosity with others, but the hermeneutics demand I explain that point.)

More traits from Romans 12:

Do not be haughty.

Do not be wise in your own sight.

Repay no one evil for evil.

Never avenge yourselves.

This wonderful segment concludes with one of my favorite verses. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

We must also look at the very commandments God gave to Moses. Some people will honestly argue, “That’s the Old Testament.”  There is an honest belief to some who think the New Testament overrules the old. We’re certainly under a new covenant. We’re not judged by the law. That’s a good thing too because we’d all be doomed. However, the New Testament doesn’t in any way negate the old. Jesus taught us this. “Do you think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

We therefore must acknowledge that a Christian must strive to obey these commandments, first given to us in Exodus chapter 20:

You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me. 

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

In Matthew 5, Jesus even goes on to expand those commandments. Once more, he doesn’t dissolve them. Instead, he revealed how deeply those commandments apply.  He expands on adultery and murder. 

Anyone who angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder in the eyes of the LORD. (Matthew 5:22)

Anyone who looks lustfully at another woman is guilty of adultery. (Matthew 5: 28)

If you’re like me, you may be wondering, “How on earth could ANYONE do, or avoid doing, all of these things?” In point of fact, I got angry today (as I typed this).

No one is perfect. Remember that new covenant we are under? We are saved not by the law,  indeed all the law does is condemn us. We are saved by grace. (Romans 3:24)

Now, if you’re like me, you probably then think, “Oh, so I can sin all I want because Christ died on the cross for my sins.” Nope again! Paul asks that question and then answers it in his own beautiful debate-style of writing. “By no means!” (Romans 6:2)

So, looking at this scripture as a whole, we learn that Christians follow Christ. They believe he died on the cross and was raised. They then turn from their sin (repent) and follow him (sanctification).  God knows our sinful flesh is incapable of following that law perfectly, so his grace, and the blood of his only son Jesus Christ, saves us (grace). 

So we are left to hold true to the faith that saves us and strive to bear fruit and be sanctified. Our salvation grants us the Holy Spirit, who instructs us so we are better able to follow the commands above and reflect those traits above.

For our panel: How can we apply these concepts to our daily lives? Would you care to expand on any of these concepts? What aspects of being a Christian did I leave out? How can one best pursue a life that reflects these things?

Thanks for reading,

V/R
Matt

Musings on Christianity 1

Musings on Christianity 1

Musings on Christianity

Introduction

In this project, we seek to better understand Christianity. We also seek to apply Biblical principles to life issues. In this blog series, the goal is for this to be an online panel in which I pose questions and offer an introduction. These introductions will be my interpretation and application of scripture. As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t even attended seminary. I’m not a pastor. I’m just a man studying the word of God and working to apply it to his life. My sincere hope is that the elders of my church, Hope Bible Church in Columbia, Maryland, will contribute to the discussion. I also hope that other pastors around the world will join in intelligent, loving discussion of these topics.

We seek to operate in truth and love, which is an essential combination. If any should feel compelled to comment, I humbly request that you support your opinion with scripturally based supporting comments. You are more than willing to add personal application, but we seek a historical, grammatical hermeneutics based discussion which will help Christians, or people who are curious about the faith, gain wisdom on how to approach topics of faith and life. For consistency, please use the ESV. I’m not claiming it to be better than other versions of the Bible. It’s just the version that I as moderator am currently using, and I believe strongly that consistency is essential in any academic discussion. You are more than welcome to then include other translations of the Bible to add further clarification, but I’d appreciate it if we begin with on version and then branch out.

Please be advised that your comments are subject to being included in this book. By placing a comment you consent and permit me to include your comment in the final version which will be sold.

I will be the editor and compiler of this book. As such, I retain the right to include or omit any comments. My hope is the elders of Hope Bible Church will review and edit the project for hermeneutical accuracy.

The inspiration for this blog series is a combination of the concept from the book Right Thinking In a World Gone Wrong by John MacAurthur and several thoughts, discussions, and questions I hope to understand better as I grow in the faith.

The end goal is to produce a published book which will provide readers with answers to questions and scripturally-grounded mindsets to apply to life’s issues and situations.

We sincerely hope this series of 52 weekly discussions (or at least I hope there will be discussions) will provide comfort and wisdom through the only source equipped to help man face the world in which we live.

 


 

 

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People

If we’re going to confront questions about faith or Christianity, let’s just start right off the bat with one of the biggest, if not the biggest, questions.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

This questions has a major fallacy that must be addressed:

There are no good people.

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, adultery coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23)

“The Lord looks down from haven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:2-3)

A point of pride for man is the desire to proclaim himself good, when that’s just not the truth of it. I’m not good, and neither are you. If we declare ourselves good, we do so only in comparison with man. We can certainly look upon man and pridefully declare ourselves better than one and less than another, but then we make man that standard by which we measure ourselves, and this is the improper standard. We can surely look to one another on our journey, but the foremost standard by which we should always evaluate ourselves is God himself, and compared to a perfect, holy God, we fall so very short. (The last part is paraphrased from Romans 3:23.)

Some read scripture like this and feel compelled to turn away. Who wants to be called a bad person? Who wants to be condemned? But this is less an accusation or inherent condemnation than it is a simple fact of our own, broken, human condition. I am not good, and neither are you. I’m not claiming to be the worst human, I’m just not pretending to be anywhere near the same level as God. Neither am I declaring you, reader, the worst human ever. However, if we are human, we are not good.

So what is this question really asking? It’s asking why bad things happen to people regardless of their level of evil. You may add to this question the sub topic of why do evil people thrive while the good suffer?

This isn’t always true. Personally, I’ve had some wonderful things happen in my life. I’ve also seen my share of tragedy. But isn’t it hard to see people we love suffer? Isn’t it infuriating to see someone who’s wronged you receive rewards you seek? I know it bothers me, but should it?

First, let’s not forget that humanity suffers. The richest man alive with the most children has suffered in some way. The most wretched person, homeless and starving, is still alive or was still given life. If we focus on our suffering, we forget or even cast aside any blessings we’ve received. We’re like children who are well-fed, housed, and genuinely loved by our Father who forget it all and declare our parents horrible because we didn’t receive our most recent desire, or we’ve just come upon some misfortune.

“For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)

What do we do when someone who’s transgressed against us receives rewards and we don’t? Sure, it stinks to feel passed over, but this world isn’t the reward. The greatest reward is to be in the presence of God in His kingdom. Does this mean I don’t want a promotion or to sell more books? Of course not, but  I hope to be very careful before I start looking to others who have worldly things.

“be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.” (Psalm 37:2)

A parable I seek when I need comfort as I suffer and others who I arrogantly declare are more evil than I am receive wealth and happiness, is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).

People will receive on this earth, and people will lose things on this earth. However, I’m a bit wary of hoarding worldly things. This doesn’t mean I didn’t work to be debt free or I’m not working to ensure I have a three-month emergency fund. However, if God appeared to you and gave you a choice: All the money and joy you desire on Earth at the cost of eternity afterward, or all the pain and misery you fear at the reward of joy and glory for eternity afterward, which would you choose?

Then consider this: As bad as things have gotten, have you never had one moment of joy or pleasure? If not, then I offer my genuine prayer for comfort and peace to you. Yes, bad things happen, but they happen to all people. No person is good. If we focus on the rewards of eternity, we can find comfort.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

For our panel: Must people suffer? What about children? What does suffering do for us? How does suffering help us if it does? What scripture can we seek to find comfort or gain understanding?

Thank you for reading,

Matt

Sonnets For My Savior 53

Sonnets For My Savior 53

What A Warrior Knows

Only those who have fought know War’s horror.
Only those who have seen pain realize the cost.
They know to resist opening War’s door.
They’ve seen enough, and remember what they’ve lost.

Those who have faced War then
seek to make peace whatever situation they’re in.
Blessed are those men,
for they are God’s children.

But War is a result, not the foe.
The enemy of peace is sin.
Unrighteousness is the source from which these conflicts flow,
and righteousness the source of peace within.

War is glorious only to those who have never gone through it.
Blessed are those who value peace, and diligently pursue it.

 


 

What A Wonderful Day

Bless this wonderful day;
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
For this is the Day the LORD has made;
May I glorify His name all the way through it.

May I spend it in love and honesty.
May I live in peace and happiness.
May I live in patience and humility.
May I live righteously, so my life will bear His witness.

For the Lord allowed me to sleep and wake.
He brought the sun down and raised it up.
Please help me draw nearer with every step I take.
Help me to take up my cross and drink from His cup.

For this is the day the Lord has given to me.
Work through Your humble servant to bring Your will to be.

 


 

Orient On God

Fix your eyes on Him.
Ensure each step moves in His direction.
Endeavor to do only the things that please Him.
Doing so demonstrates your devotion.

You fall short of His glory,
so there are times when you will stray.
However, Jesus Christ, provides the righteousness that is mandatory.
Repent and trust in Christ, for He is the only way.

Keep God’s word on your mind.
Let your heart delight in His will.
Do this, and you will find
that your heart’s desires will be filled.

In any situation, be it optimistic or grim,
the solution is always to orient on Him.

 


 

For Those Who Sinned

Whom would you die for?
Would it be a friend or a loved one?
To whom would you give your life and more?
What would you give to see their lives won?

Would you refuse an enemy?
Would you let them die so that you might live?
Could you sacrifice yourself for the guilty?
Is there even anything you’d be willing to give?

But Christ died for us
even when we were in our sins.
Christ paid the price for us
so that we might be cleansed from within.

What man wouldn’t die for those who love him?
But Christ gave Himself up so sinners could be reconciled through Him.

 


 

I Have; I Need

You have provided me with food and drink.
You have blessed me with things of plenty.
You’ve given me more than I can even think,
but please, Lord, work in me pore purity.

I have such a loving family.
You’ve given me a job I love, which provides money.
I’m humbled, Lord, for you’ve blessed me greatly,
but please, Lord, fill my heart with even more purity.

I won’t pretend I don’t appreciate worldly things.
I have more than I deserve.
But if I crave more, let it be the blessing that purity brings.
For there is nothing greater than to be in your presence and serve.

For blessed are those whose hearts are pure.
For they shall see You, and in Your presence be secure.

 


 

I Believe

I believe in the loving God.
I believe in the just God.
I believe in the righteous God.
I believe in the holy God. 

I believe in the God who rejects sin.
I believe in the God who sent his son to pay the price for my sin.
I believe in the God who forgives those who repent of their sin.
I believe in the God who provides the way to resist sin.

I have faith in Jesus, who died so we may see God.
I have faith in Jesus, who is the only way to God.
I have faith in Jesus, who died to satisfy the wrath of God.
I have faith in Jesus, who advocates for us with God.

I believe in God, who knows all things.
I believe in God, who made all things.

 


 

Forever and Ever

Forever and ever, Lord, let the people praise your name.
Forever and ever, Lord, let your will be done.
Forever and ever, Lord, may your son Christ reign.
Forever and ever, Lord,  to you, let the people run.

Forever and ever, Lord, let the peoples worship You.
Forever and ever, Lord, let them offer up music and songs.
Forever and ever, Lord, let the people’s actions please You.
Forever and ever, Lord, let the peoples do right and never wrong.

Forever and ever, Lord, let Your Spirit dwell in us.
Forever and ever, Lord, let Your commands be obeyed.
Forever and ever, Lord, may You smile upon us.
Forever and ever, Lord, may You bring back any who have strayed.

Forever and ever, You are the one God of men.
Forever and ever, A-men.

 


 

This is the 53rd week of sonnets, which means I’ve written more than 365. I started this project as a way to continue to honor and praise God after I’d finished my testimony.  I enjoyed this labor. It truly challenged me and forced me to grow. My hope is to have this published at some point (obviously it’s already published, but I mean as a poetry book).

My nest testimonial, Christian project will begin next week. It’s called Musings on Christianity. The goal of that project will be a sort of on line panel in which I provide an area of discussion. My hope is pastors from my church and others will provide strong Biblical insight and information on the topics presented.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these poems. Thank you so much for reading,

Matt

 

Sonnets For My Savior 49

Sonnets For My Savior 49

Why I Need Him

I can’t do enough on my own.
I dive into the mud every time You wash me.
There is nothing good in my flesh or bone.
This is why your sacrifice is the key.

Born into an imperfect body,
I could never claim or attain perfection.
However, the flawless grace You embody
is what gives me justification.

By myself, wrath is all I deserve.
By Your side, forgiveness is what I will receive.
I am alone, if my self is all I serve.
I gain life if in You I trust and believe.

His righteousness is the cloak I wear.
Alone, all of my deeds done without Christ wouldn’t receive a single care.

 


 

My Desperate Need

They pile up on me;
another comes even as I cast the first out.
I’m drowning in a filthy sea;
I can’t find any pure water in this drought.

Like skittering insects they crawl over my skin.
Sin seeps out of every pour.
I realize there is no way I can win.
For every sin I avoid, I commit a hundred more.

Indeed I do do everything I hate.
I fail to do that in which I would take delight.
My sin piles up on me, and I can’t bear the weight.
There is no part in me that is right.

Only Christ can take it all way,
which is why I seek him each and ever day.


 

The Distance

The sun is closer to the moon.
A flower’s petals are closer to the top of a tree.
Midnight is closer to noon
than your glory is to me.

A deep sea fish is closer to a vulture in flight.
The street is closer to the top of a tower
than my ability is to your might
or my strength is to your power.

Filthy rags are cleaner than I am
when compared to your holiness.
The worst criminal is more blameless than I am
when compared to your righteousness.

But you still sent Christ to die and pay my price
so that I might be saved and worship you in paradise.

 


 

Wonderful Gifts

A wife who loves and respects me.
Sons who listen to and obey me.
A roof to offer shelter to me.
Food and water to sustain me.

Family and friends who love me.
A job I enjoy through which, You provide for me.
Brothers and sisters in Christ who offer fellowship to me.
A church home to educate me.

Your Holy Word to feed me.
Your mighty power to protect me.
Your Grace to forgive me.
Your Glorious Son, who bled and died for me.

All these good gifts, You have given me,
but the greatest is the last, for it is what set my soul free.

 


 

My Safety

My sprit is secure, Lord, in your mighty hands.
My body is safe, Lord, for it is where you live.
Where others build on soft sands,
my home is built on the foundation you give.

You are my shelter, and with You, I am secure.
I fear nothing, for You are with me.
No matter what happens, I can be sure,
You will never leave or forsake me.

Creator of nature and man,
my trust is in Your sovereign plan.
The things I fear I can’t do, with You, I know I can.
You walk with me no matter how far my journey may span.

Whatever trials or threats come to me,
I can be brave, for You are my safety.

 


 

The Low Door

The door to Heaven is low.
One must crawl to enter.
To the humble one, God’s blessings flow.
The door won’t permit those who feel like the world’s center.

The haughty and prideful don’t understand.
They can’t compare to God’s righteousness.
They think they can earn inheritance of the land.
They are blinded by their foolishness.

Only God is truly good.
All fall short of His perfection.
None who would justify themselves to God could.
The only path to life everlasting is confession.

The high door leads to destruction.
But the humble who enter the low door will find salvation.

 


 

All I Need

I do not pretend I don’t desire more.
There is much I’d like to see.
But I have already received so much that I’ve asked for.
I don’t know how much happier I could be.

The Israelites were taken from Egypt and set free,
but they grumbled and complained so quickly after.
Their hardened hearts had a brief time of glee,
but they demanded and rebelled thereafter.

I pray that won’t be the course I take.
For I seek to remember what I’ve been given.
The LORD God filled my heart, which was empty with ache.
With him to provide, I need not be so driven.

Dear God protect me from a heart of greed.
Let me remember always that I already have all that I need.

Sonnets for My Savior 12

Sonnets for My Savior 12

Why Do We Suffer Part I

Some ask why we suffer?

The challenge is to claim no good God would allow such.

Why do men hurt one another?

Why would He let pain fall on any who worship Him so much?

The noise grows louder when those who praise Him face pain.

They ask who would follow a God who allows His followers to come to ruin.

The temptation is to turn from Him and curse His name.

The desire is to turn from Him and rely on what lies within.

They do not know or remember the trials of Job.

They don’t know or remember that Jesus told them they would face resistance.

They want only a God who gives and blesses, but they do not know

that God is sovereign, and sometimes He tests us to se if we’ll go the distance.

It is easy to worship when one has blessing on top of blessing,

but it takes true faith to remember to praise Him even in our suffering.


 

Why Do We Suffer Part II

How easy is it to sing praise when one is happy?

How easy is it to forget to praise when one is sated?

One proves faith by keeping it while unhappy.

One is blessed even if it seems his end is fated.

We don’t crave the cups we must drink,

nor do we eagerly await the cross we must bear.

But neither can we fail to think

that when times are hard that God is still there.

We endure because today’s suffering doesn’t compare to tomorrow’s glory.

We endure because that’s what suffering brings.

The grace He provides is promissory,

of the blessings He’ll give in the next life for which we’re aching.

We suffer, and there are many reasons,

but blessed are those who honor God in good or bad seasons.


 

Let Us Be Grateful

You led the Israelites out of Egypt with your powerful miracles.

Yet soon after, they rebelled.

They foolishly thought lack of food and water were sufficient obstacles

to the God who held apart the Red Sea no matter how it swelled.

You granted Your people their portions,

Yet they fell away even after you sent your Judges.

You worked through Samuel, Eli, Abdon, and Sampson to execute your actions,

but time after time they turned away, forgetting their pledges.

They had, yet they wanted more.

They made demands even after you freed them from slavery.

Let us learn from those who came before,

and not become ungrateful, turning to acts that are unsavory.

Let us be grateful to you always!

May we keep you with us all of our days!


 

Our Cross

You carried Your cross for our sins;

let us carry ours to glorify you.

Your yoke is easy, and light is your burden,

so we seek to follow you.

We must deny ourselves our desires

and take up our crosses.

Of your gospel, let us be testifiers.

Let us praise you no matter what transpires.

We offer our lives for your sake;

we submit to your example.

When you come again, let us be awake

let the fuel for our lamps be ample.

For there is no profit worth our souls,

so let following you be our only goal.


 

Our Rock

Let us build our homes on the rock.

This foundation will protect us in the storm.

Great are the words you’ve given Your flock.

Let us hear them and conform.

You are the pillar of our lives.

With you as our foundation, we can stand.

We wait in hope of the day Your Son arrives,

so we can live with him in his Holy, remade land.

Let us stand firm with You.

Let us be always guarded by Your armor.

Let us be diligent in all that we do,

to make sure our efforts show you honor.

Protect us from the winds, and don’t let us fall.

For you, mighty God, are the rock of all.


 

Your Grace

Your grace is the only reason for our forgiveness.

Your grace is sufficient for all our needs.

Your grace is truly limitless.

Your grace guards us when temptation calls us to shameful deeds.

Your grace is how we receive mercy.

Your grace is given to the humble.

Your grace aids us in the midst of controversy.

Your grace abounds when those who love you with all their heart stumble.

Your grace delivers us from the dominion of sin.

Your grace toward us is never in vain.

Your grace through Your Son has made us heirs with Him.

Your grace comforts us when we are in pain.

Your grace makes it possible for us to live.

Your grace is such a great gift for you to give.


 

The Way, The Truth, and The Life

He is the only path to see our Father.

He is the example to follow.

Only He could pay for our sins, no other.

He intercedes on our behalf because our words and deeds are hollow.

He gave of his body for us.

His blood was poured out for many.

He endured our punishment for us.

He gave for us more than any.

His lessons guide those who follow his truth.

His lessons teach any who can hear.

His lessons are for any adult or any youth.

His blessings are great when one keeps him near.

He is our Savior who gives life after death.

Let as pray, follow, and serve him with every action, and every step, and every breath.

Testimony: Sonnets for My Savior 2

Testimony: Sonnets for My Savior 2

Six Days

With words He took nothing and created everything;

six days, and all that was done was good.

The day, the night, earth and seas did His power bring,

six days, He worked and all was made as it should.

Vegetation and plants He made, which all yielded seeds

six days, which can be measured by the stars He also made.

Then He created the fish and birds and animals of all breeds;

six days, He spoke, and His work shall never fade.

Then He made man in His own likeness,

and gave Him dominion over all other creations.

six days He worked, and all was flawless,

six days He created with nothing but His orations.

He gave man and woman blessings of faithfulness.

Six days he worked, and He needed nothing more than declarations.


 

The Lessons From The Master

He promised the poor his kingship;

He said those who mourn will always be comforted.

He offered the earth to the meek of his fellowship;

Let our hearts and his lessons never be parted.

Those who hunger for righteousness shall be filled.

Those who offer mercy will receive it.

Praise our Lord Christ, through whom the prophecies will fulfilled,

To you, dear Jesus, and your teachings do we, your servants, commit.

He took the things said to those of old,

and clarified them so we may know

the truth and context of what was told.

With Him we learn and hope and grow.

Let us follow his teachings and commands.

Let us follow him, every woman, child, and man.


 

The Glory

To Him who saved the Israelites from the Pharaoh of Egypt,

to Him goes the glory always.

He is perfect and mighty; to Him goes the praise;

For He raised His son from Death, now empty is the crypt.

To Him who delivered Jerusalem in fulfillment of an oath,

To Him goes the glory forever.

His love and mercy always endure, come whatever.

For he is the God of jews and gentiles both.

To him who gave us the profits, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Moses,

God of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham,

He who judges and has mercy, He who curses and blesses,

He who granted Salvation, His son was the lamb,

the glory goes to Him who sees humanity through its distresses.

To Him goes the glory, He who calls himself I AM.


 

Redemption

What a glorious thing I’ve been given

from the God-man incarnate from above.

It matters not how much I’ve striven,

Only His grace, which was given from love.

Even though I am undeserving,

He paid the price for my transgressions.

His care for me is ever unswerving;

All I can give back are my confessions.

He is my Savior for what he’s done;

His substitution is my redemption.

His blood and sacrifice my soul have won;

His death the key to my adoption.

I accept you, my Savior, in my heart,

With that and repentance my new life and sanctification start.


  

The Armor

Let us clear away our hypocrisy that we may fight free;

let righteousness cover our hearts, Lord, so temptation can’t get in.

Let your good news grant our feet certainty, so we won’t slip by a single degree;

Let us trust in you, and let that trust cover our bodies and keep us from the darts of sin.

Let us always remember we are saved, let doubt never enter our minds;

Help us to train, oh Lord, to study your word like a blade master trains with his sword.

Help make your word a part of us, for we know that he who seeks finds;

Let us recall the right verses when we face temptation; then victory over sin will be our reward.

Let us wear your armor, Lord, and never remove it;

Let us be guarded by you always and never let down our guard.

We pray to be alert, Our Father, lest to our own natures we submit.

We pray to be alert, Our Father, lest our walk with you be jarred.

Let us stand with you always and trust in your grace.

Let us wear your armor, Lord, and let us walk in the faith.


 

Willing

We are able, Lord, we are able;

They spoke to him to gain his favor.

They wanted the left and right seats of his table,
but they did not understand our Savior.

They did not understand the true cost

of service and submission.

He was about to die for the Lost,

and they would suffer on his commission.

They did indeed find the glory they sought,

but not before paying the price.

The value of service is what the master taught,

and they learned so well through his sacrifice.

Now we are asked if we are willing;

let us be so for all the days we are living.


 

Rule Us

Let us humble ourselves to your mighty hand;

let us strive first to be righteous.

To seek to do or accomplish for ourselves is erroneous,

for you exalt, in due time, those who do as you demand.


Let us trust in you with all our hearts

and think first of how to glorify you.

For without your will, there is not point in what we do

We seek your kingdom and scripture to be our ramparts,

Our own works count for nothing beside your great plan.

The true blessing is to submit and trust in your grace.

Let us do so, oh Lord, and bring you to smile.

For we know disobedience is where our sin began,

and it was obedience of your son on earth that this original sin is erased

because our own understanding is not worthwhile.