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Grace is on a Family Tree

My friend loves Jesus.

That sounds commonplace, doesn’t it?

It becomes less pedestrian when I tell you that his Mom died a drug addict and his father was a devout atheist. My friend was gloriously saved at the age of 10 at a Vacation Bible School event and never looked back. This. Makes. No. Sense. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree but this apple fell off the tree rolled down the hill, was picked up by a pilot and flew across the ocean! (Figuratively speaking, of course.) And believe me, I don’t have enough white space here to chronicle the entire sordid tale. His story is a monument to the fact that God can save anybody He wants to save, no matter how messed up the family tree.

The New Testament begins with a family tree that had a number of ugly branches. Matthew 1 tells us that in Jesus’ lineage are a number shady characters including a prostitute, daughter of incest, an adulterer, a lying brother, lots of cautionary tales and ultimately an scandalous unwed pregnancy. It’s almost like God wanted to say from the start that this Gospel is all about grace and not about our upbringing. God isn’t as interested in your family history. He’s interested in what happens next. And when it comes to transformation, what happens next is glorious. He flips the script with grace. It’s His specialty. Never count yourself or your family out because of what happened yesterday. It’s an insult to the power of God when you do.


 

It’s not about Legalism

 

We are a savage tribe. Often hiding behind our rules to make us as a sort of spiritual hall pass. We live in a world where poverty is the dominant issue and we, the rich Christian nations, are more concerned about sports, tax breaks, and oil prices. In a larger sense our prayers are feeble attempt to affirm our existence rather than to exert the power of God in the world around us.

For instance, the key word throughout the book of Leviticus is not legalism. It’s not obeying the rules. Hands down, it’s holiness. Legalism is box-checking, and barely getting by. Holiness is a statement of relationship where we say, “Lord, I am so in love with you that I want to become like you! I want to run as fast as I can into your presence and I will remove all obstacles to get into relationship with You. I want to take what would seem absurd and obtuse to the world and hold it up to Your presence. We no longer burn the fat of animals. We don’t remove the kidneys and livers of goats in worship. (Thanks be to God!) But we are called to do things much more radical: To present our bodies, the very life we live, as living sacrifices. We are called to perform gratuitous acts of grace. It has been estimated that there are between 500 and 600 Levitical laws in the Torah. Jesus narrowed it down to two. Love God with everything you’ve got and love others as much as you love yourself. (Jesus laws are fewer but much more difficult to keep.)

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have appointed it to you to make atonement on the altar for your lives, since it is the lifeblood that makes atonement.
Leviticus 17:11 HCSB

 

God from the very beginning has been about the business of redemption. Even in the complicated and labyrinthine book of Leviticus we see glimpses of the redeeming grace. We see instructions of sacrifice that ultimately down the path to the Sacrifice of Christ for our sins. All the instructions on sacrifice with elaborate details point to the cross of Jesus Christ.

Christ followers have to relentlessly ask if we are just checking off boxes, justifying our existence or truly falling in love with God. Is that what my life is about? Is that what the Church is about? Far too often it is not. Often the church doesn’t have time to deal with the pain of the world because we are too busy trading pain with each other. There is so much power playing in our religious organizations. It’s sick. We make rules about who can do what in the church. We (including me) are so easily distracted away from the great Commission and we forget that we are called to share Christ not America with the rest of the world.

This love of Christ and our walk to the cross is not complicated but it is hard. We need the wisdom of Forrest Gump: “I’m not a smart man but i know what love is.”

Amen, Forrest. Amen…

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be awestruck by the grace of Christ. No, it only takes a believer.

It doesn’t take a physician to tell you that life is distinctly tied to the blood that flows through the body of a man.

And it doesn’t take a theologian to say, “Jesus loves me. This I know.”

It’s all there in Leviticus Life, grace, blood and forgiveness.

Lord Jesus, God’s only Son, I cease my self-congratulatory posture when I stop and think of all You are and evermore will be. I am amazed by Your power. I’m overwhelmed that I’m a part of this rich panorama of life. My soul craves to know how I fit into your story. I shutter to think of the times I denied your presence through my self-centered actions. I have often shuffled sideways to avoid You without realizing the absurdity of my actions. Hold me in your hands because it’s true. I am weak but You are strong.

 

A Shepherd’s Portrait

Actor #1: “The Lord is my shepherd,” David writes.

Actor #2: But what kind of shepherd is God? Through the years we have asked this question.

Actor #1: The deceiver has painted many portraits of God as shepherd. Perhaps you have one hidden away in the gallery of your psyche. Here are a few:

Actor #2: Imposter #1—

Actor #1: The dictator is my shepherd I shall not want. He leadeth me with his booming voice—

Actor #2: “You foolish creation! How dare you wander away from the flock. You are in trouble, big time! You hear me? Big time! Have I not told you time and time again to be good or else! And wipe that smile off your face. Grow up! Take your vitamins. Stand up straight. You’ll never measure up. What? Now you’re crying! Oh great . . . that’s just great. Stop crying before I give you something to cry about. I can’t believe how insolent you are. You are driving me crazy!”

Actor #1: After this long litany of complaints He grabs you by your wool sweater collar and his eyes bug out.

Actor #2: “You ought to be grateful that I didn’t kick you into the next century. I’m going to count to ten and if you don’t get back into the fold you are history!! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9- BOOM!”

Actor #1: Lost Relationships

Actor #2: Boom!

Actor #1: Failure

Actor #2: Boom!

Actor #1: Financial problems

Actor #2: Boom!

Actor #1: Depression

Both: Boom!

Actor #2: Imposter #2- The preoccupied one is my shepherd I shall notwant. He leadeth me as soon as He gets off hold.

Actor #1: “Greetings woolen ones!”

Actor #2: “Hi! This is Joe Lamb?” you say. But then you realize its not really him.

Actor #1: “You’ve reached the shepherd voice messaging system. Thank you for calling. Sorry I’m not in right now. I’m either listening to someone else’s bleating or in a meeting. Please feel free to use our automated information system.

If you have a financial need Press 1.

If you are ill press 2.

If you would like to make a request on someone’s behalf press 3.

If you wish to report any mad cows press 4,

If you are calling about being attacked by wolves press 5.

And if you are lost please hold and someone will be with you shortly.

Due to the fact that this is a heavy calling period, actual ‘on hold time’ is four to five days. Response time may vary. We are sorry for the inconvenience. For quicker response visit our web site at:

Actor #2: WWW.Lost sheep @ wilderness/lambscape.http/baabaa.Blacksheep/hoofbeat//rod-staffcomfort.com

Actor #1: Imposter #3—The “all knowing cynical one” is my shepherd, I shall not want, his pout and rolling eyes they doubt me.

Actor #2: I knew this would happen. I really did. I can’t trust you, can I? You could be like the others. But noooooooooo! You got lost again. Hmmmm. What a shame. Yes shame. Shame on you! Shame, shame, shame, shame. Now am I going to have to put you in the corner of the pin.

Actor #1: Imposter #4— The judge is my shepherd I shall not want.

Actor #2: He leads me into sheep qualification trails

Actor #1: “Oh . . . you again. Yeah, sure I’ll be your shepherd. Are you ready to try again? Remember all you need to do is jump through these three hoops. Then I’ll be your shepherd. If my sheep dog can do it, you can too.”

Actor #2: “But my left front leg is broken and I’m not that fast,” you explain.

Actor #1: “Oh that’s too bad. You’d make a great member of the flock if you would stop making excuses and set aside your personal problems. I run a tight ship and if it is too hot, well then by golly, get out of the kitchen!”

Actor #2: And there are many other shepherds.

Actor #1: But there is only one Good Shepherd.

Actor #2: He’s not the ogre waiting for us to forget to floss so He can swat us with his golden fly swatter.

Actor #1: He’s not a passive god who sits around drumming his fingers on the throne, watching CNN for the latest on world-sized problems while yawning at our infinitesimal requests.

All: That’s not who God is.

Actor #2: The Good Shepherd is walking through the wilderness at nightfall.

Actor #1: His hands are calloused and wounded from caring for His sheep.

Actor #2: He calls out to His lost sheep.

Actor #1: But not a generic, “Hey-sheep-here-I-am call.”

Actor #2: He calls each by name.

Actor #1: As as He does, He weeps because He knows their pain.

Actor #2: He’s not a shepherd who screams,

Actor #1: or shames,

Actor #2: or kicks us back to the fold.

Actor #1: He calls us.

Actor #2: He finds us.

Actor #1: And He picks us up and carries us back home.

Actor #2: That is who God is,

Both: the Good Shepherd.

The Romance of the Ages

He: It’s a strange and timeless story.

She: A love story.

He: The story of Hosea and his wife.

She: And her name?

He: The story is a whole lot better if you don’t have to say the name.


She: But her name is important.

He: I know but—

She: Her name was Gomer.

He: If there is a lesson to be learned from this story, it’s don’t name your daughter “Gomer.”


She: No. There is a much greater lesson to be learned. Gomer was a prostitute.

He: Hosea was a preacher.

She: Not exactly the kind of match that you’d find on The Bachelor.

He: But reality television wasn’t around. God was the matchmaker.

She: And Hosea loved Gomer.

He: Have you seen my wife, Gomer? (speaking to an unseen person) Where?

She: And he would search, but he never found her—until he looked in the red-light district of the Northern Kingdom. Despite her lying—

He: despite her adultery—

Both: Hosea loved Gomer.

She: Despite her cruelty—

He: despite her sin—

Both: Hosea loved Gomer.

She: Why don’t you just leave me alone? I’m not good enough for you. I can’t live my life as a prophet’s wife. Stop rescuing me, Hosea!

He: I love you.

She: Listen to me! I don’t care. You pull me out of bars, and I’m going to return to them sooner or later. Love isn’t strong enough to hold me. I’m not the woman you dreamed I could be. Am I?

He: No. Not now.

She: You’re a dreamer.

He: You’re my wife.

She: I’m not your wife! I quit. I give up! Can’t you hear me?

He: I hear you, but—

She: Then leave—

He: I love—

She: me alone!

He: you. I love you!

She: Do you have any pride! Do you have any self-respect?

He: I have love!

She: That wasn’t the question. You’re ruining my business! Your love is humiliating.

He: I know it is. But it is also strong.

She: Hosea was a romantic in the purest form. Every fiber of his being was love. Every breath, every thought, every moment was consumed by a God-given love for his wife. Like a mad man to the world, he kept searching for this unrequited love.

He: No one—

She: not Shakespeare,

He: Browning,

She: or McCartney and Lennon

He: could write a song like Hosea lived.

She: This romance was a nightmare.

Both: Hosea was a failure. Hosea loved Gomer.

He: At the apex of this romantic catastrophe we find Hosea once again searching the inner city for his wife. And off in the distance he sees her. Captured by the pimps of that age who had her on the auction block. She was an ugly sight.


She: Bruised,

He: beaten,

She: naked,

He: humiliated,

She: destroyed—

He: she had nothing.

She: Hosea went back to their house and gathered all his possessions. His money, his food, everything of value.

He: And as the bidding began, he ran to the auction block. And the auctioneer began—

She: Who’ll give me five shekels for this woman.

He: Five!

She: Do I hear seven? Seven it is! Do I hear 10?

He: Ten!

She: Ten. Do I hear twelve? Twelve it is! Do I hear fifteen? Fifteen it is! Fifteen . . . Going once! Going twice . . .

He: I’ll give everything I have!

Both: Silence . . .

She: The crowd parted as Hosea gave his money and every ounce of food he had. He covered her trembling, humiliated body. He picked her up, this beaten woman who had been caged and chained like an animal. He picked her up and carried her home.

He: Paid in full.

She: A relentless romantic.

He: Solid as a rock.

She: God-like.

He: With a God kind of love.

She: Unheard of before this time.

He: Before the time when God looked down upon the auction block of the cosmos and saw you and me.

She: An ugly sight.

He: Bruised,

She: beaten,

He: naked,

She: humiliated,

He: destroyed.

Both: Chained and captured like an animal.

She: We had nothing.

He: And before the bidding began,

She: the earth quaked as God shouted,

He: “I’ll give everything I have!”

She: And the hammer fell

He: and ransom was laid down.

Both: Paid in full!

She: The romance of the ages!

He: The romantic—

She: Who gave birth to other romantics—

He: who loved regardless of circumstance—

She: despite lying,

He: despite adultery,

She: despite cruelty,

He: despite sin.

She: Hosea so loved.

He: God so loved.

She: Wives,

He: husbands,

She: you are invited to partake in the romance of the ages,

He: to enter into the very center of Christ’s love.

She: Totally loved.

He: Totally forgiven.

She: Totally freed to love each other

He: as Christ loved us.

Both: The romance of the ages.

She: God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into this wicked world to bring to us eternal life through His death.

He: In this act we see what real love is.

She: Dear friends, since God loved us as much as that, we surely ought to love each other too.

He: Therefore—

Both: go and love likewise.

 

© Matt Tullos

Amazing Grace

Use these monologues in between singing the verses of “Amazing Grace! How Sweet the Sound,” No. 330, The Baptist Hymnal, 1991. Costumes are not necessary. This could be done as a reading.

Soldier: I looked at Him as He died on that hill. The passion, the sorrow, the love in His eyes consumed me. My comrades hurled insults and cast lots for His clothes—the only possessions of His young life. I executed Pilate’s judgments for years, but never like this. Amazing, the strength and power this man displayed, and now, so willingly, He laid it all down. I saw His works, His healing power. Now I’m forced to expedite the will of a wicked ruler. I stand before the King of creation. Surely this man is the Son of God!

Criminal: I looked over at Him as I gasped for air. I had no right to address Him. I deserved death; this man had done nothing wrong. I knew my time would soon come to an end. I turned my head to look at Him, and I found Him looking at me. He smiled. A man, who had been beat- en beyond human recognition, looked at me and smiled, as if He knew the end was near. I called out to Him and asked Him to do what seemed unthinkable: “‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom.’” He smiled through the torment of the dying day. “‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’” Moments later I saw Him once more. Not as a dying, tortured victim, but the ruling Lord of creation. And what’s more amazing, He reached out and brought me home.

John the Beloved: His eyes were fixed upon me just before He drew His last breath. Why could I not see what was happening at that moment? I heard Him say, “‘It is finished.’” A term that a merchant would use to close a sale. Now I understand. Isaiah’s words came rushing in: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities.” I understood at that moment why He did it. That’s why He didn’t resist the scourging and the nails. It was for me.

Scripture: Luke 23:42-43John 19:30Isaiah 53:5

Letting God Out of the Box

I’m always amazed how the church as a whole
is so quick to throw rocks at the sheep in the fold.
We question each other’s theology,
spar over worship philosophy.
We’ve got more fusses than one tongue can tell
while outside the world is going to hell.
We are driven by creeds, and motions, and clocks,
haven’t we learned not to put God in a box?
Would Jesus approve of our political labels
or would He come in and start busting up tables?
Does He tire of us telling Him what He should do,
what gender must teach, what strategy’s true?
Is the Bible the life source or inflexible judge?
Is the church a haven for sinners or a group with a grudge?
Do we think we can settle for boycotts and strife
instead of seeking the lost and giving dead people life?
What were we thinking when in front of the press?
we majored on minors choosing to curse and not bless.
I have to tell you from my point of view
I keep wondering what in the world Jesus would do.
Would He have us disputing which method is best,
or making transformation be our holy quest?
After all that’s what this journey’s about,
not who has more sheep or who has more clout.
I despise the reports of our ugly catfights.
I’m appalled by the task of reading sinners their rights.
When you preach condemnation, consider this fact,
they don’t know Jesus. How’d you expect them to act?
And please understand, I’m not where I should be.
When i’m pointing at you, I’m pointing at me.
There are times when i haven’t lived up to His Name,
when i’ve only the man in the mirror to blame.
But now is the time to reject the mask,
to heed the call, and get back to the task,
to burn the political, decaying façade
for an all out pursuit of our passionate God.
Let’s spend our time living meaningful lives
giving mercy to sinners not dangerous lies.
Let’s bear the cross and drop the rocks,
proclaim the good news and let God out of the box.

 

My Journey

I don’t know your journey. But as for me, I needed radical salvation. I needed a Warrior that could battle through the jungles of flesh. I needed a Savior who would run through the firestorms of catastrophic thoughts. One who would withstand the galloping wildebeests of my vain ambition. One who would swim the channels of my stormy seas and into the cavernous passages of ancient strongholds and shame. I needed one to climb over the perilous heights of my doubts. I needed that kind of hero. In you, he may have found a much gentler passage. But mine was and is a profound redemption. And right now He is fighting for a million others as He fought for me—Our hearts… His prize…

The Love of God

His love is perfect.
It never fails me.
His love knows no limit, no barrier, no faltering weakness
His love is for me.
Wrapped in grace and tied together in time.
Hidden, a treasure worth more than any riches on earth.
Promised before my birth.
It consumes me
His love is every bit of what I need today.
It redeems my yesterday
My confidence for tomorrow
His love is infinitely abundant
It floods my world with hope.
It brings laughter when I should be paralyzed in fear
And when I weep He collects every tear.
His love is near.
So intimately connected, this love is.
Even in days that I feel rejected
Emotions neglected
His love assures me I am accepted.
My course is corrected
His love will carry me through
His vow is sacred
His word is true.
His love is all I need.
He makes all things new.

Our Tags: Ephesians 1

In the Facebook world, tags are huge.  People can find you, click and tag you as being you!

“Hey there’s Philip.  I know him but nobody’s tagged him!  Oh the dismay of a person who’s not tagged in a picture! And so we grab the mouse we click and we tag him in the photo.  Long before Facebook, the Internet, or even the keyboard- no, much further than that, God tagged us. His tag changes everything. Before we became connected with God (not through Facebook) but through life itself, the air we breathe, the things that we did, we were tagged. Long before there were oceans and orangutans, there was a God who had your face in his imagination. He knew this day before he created you. Before you had one strand of DNA, before your parents met, before the earth was formed, God wanted you and he made a plan to redeemed you.  Today, let’s take a look at three of the many tags God placed upon our lives as believers.

1.  We are tagged as adopted.

 5 He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.

Adoption is a rich word. It’s rich because it means that God does not stand beside us supporting us. It does not mean that God in some way simply sponsored us. No. The God of the universe reached out and over and into his creation and placed his hand upon us He adopted us has sons and daughters. What an amazing treasure! He didn’t employ us. He didn’t simply support us. He didn’t watch us from a distance. The divine author of the universe did not only come to us and rub shoulders with us but he chose us! He said “you’re my family.” He said “I’ll be your father.” He said, “there isn’t a price that I wouldn’t pay for your redemption. Because you’re my child.” It’s a kind and wonderful concept that God chose us but it’s even more exciting when we realize that he adopted us his family.

 We are a part of an everlasting g family.

 

2.  We are tagged as Redeemed

 

7 We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him 10 for the administration[d] of the days of fulfillment[e]—to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.

As unbelievable as it may seem, we are redeemed. God calls us redeemed. He has purchased us and He has forgiven us.

Verse 7 makes it very clear that the redemption isn’t something that we have accomplished in our own good works. The exact opposite is true. The redemption that we receive in the core of our being does not come from us but rather from the blood of Jesus. He has forgiven our trespasses and He is given us life. This is the deep nature of the redeemed.

In verse 8 we read the word lavished. In other words, this is not some teaspoon redemption. It is not a redemption that is microscopic in any way. This is a full-on, wide-open redemption. God holds nothing back from us.

This kind of redemption is hard for us to wrap our brains around because we live in a capitalistic society. In our society:

We earn.

We invest.

We are judged by results.  

We realize that this redemption has nothing to do with us. We are not the focus of the work that caused our salvation. Why? The answer is clear. We are redeemed because God found pleasure in doing so.

 We are freed by an everlasting sacrifice.

How did we fall into this amazing family? Paul is clear.  It all has to do with Jesus.  I once heard a professor say that Jesus Christ is the lead actor on the human stage. I love the way that sounds. And the “human stage” adds a certain crowning preeminence to the Person of Jesus. But the metaphor falls short. It isn’t high enough. It is much too limiting to say that Jesus is the protagonist or to say His name is listed on the program above but near to St. Paul, Martin Luther (and King Jr. too), and a score of bit actors like us. Paul makes a point of lifting Jesus up higher than that. To use the theatre metaphor, Jesus is the playwright, executive producer, director, owner, and founder of our story. He is over everything.

Brennan Manning wrote it like this: “Our longing to know who we really are—which is the source of all our discontent—will never be satisfied until we confront and accept our solitude. There we discover that the truth of our belovedness is really true. Our identity rests in God’s relentless tenderness for us revealed in Jesus Christ.”

3.  We are tagged as ­Heirs.

11 We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in the Messiah might bring praise to His glory.

13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.

Not only were we redeemed and adopted. God went a step further. He tagged us as heirs.  He proclaimed that we would be the recipients of an incredible inheritance that was given to us through Christ Jesus.

We are blessed with an everlasting inheritance.

When we are a part of God’s family we are adopted. We are recipients of an eternal inheritance.

Oh, to live in the love that sent a sinless Savior to a dying world to claim us as yours!

Jim Elliot described it like this:

He is no fool if he should choose to give the things he cannot keep to buy what He could never lose.

 Isaac Watts said it this way:

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

Paul writes in the letter to Philippians:

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

The Message Bible puts it this way:

I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself.

Phil. 3:10-11

Is there any finite ecstasy, happiness, any exhilaration with an expiration date that could compare to eternal adventure with someone so awesome that he created the hammerhead shark and the hummingbird? Could there be any thing greater than to know him intimately?

John the beloved said:

Behold what manner of love the father has given unto us that we are called the sons (and daughters) of God.

Again Isaac Watts:

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

If only we could make this our obsession—

Not for our own glory, not that we can stand before heretics and say, “I told you so.” Not because we are good- far be it from us to think that we in ourselves deserve the title “good.” Our righteousness is nothing.

May we have such a hunger for God, such a desire to enter into his chambers, such a hope to see the holy smoke and fire, to be baptized into the extraordinary and exiled from the typical. May we not miss the bliss of God’s pleasure and the breeze stirs by the wings of angels.

May we want to know Him. And what devastates every smallish notion of God, what vaporizes the current of my finite mind is that this God who created everything. The one who crowned Kilimanjaro with snow and taught each cardinal to fly is on a quest for my heart. And it’s an all or nothing proposition. Do you want to know him? Do you want to know Christ? Do you want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead?

Do you want to know Christ this who has loved you before there was you?

Conclude with the reflection song by Casting Crowns:  “Who am I?”

Prayer:

Father, I thank you that you have given us a different way to live our lives. We realize that the battle for our lives is really a battle for identity.  We often see ourselves as insufficient, cursed and unsatisfactory. We know that’s not the way you see us. You see us wrapped in your righteousness. Prepared for your purpose.  Eternally important and deeply loved How can this be? Is your love, grace and freedom really that strong? Strong enough to know us, claim us, redeem us and empower us?

 

Who are we that you would care for us like that? Who are we that you would choose us? Who are we that you would place your holy hands on us? Enter into our story and make it a part of Your story?

 

Lord, outside of You we are a vanishing vapor, a fleeting flower… here today, gone tomorrow. But in your words you say that we are valuable. We are chosen

 

We are Yours forever. We are set apart. We are being transformed. Help us to live with that perspective. Help us, as difficult as it seems some days.

He is I AM

He is I AM
I AM your strength
I AM your warrior
I AM your advocate
I AM your provider
I AM your comfort
I AM your bread
I AM your escape
I AM your companion
I AM your compass
I AM your ransom
I AM your future
I AM your purpose
I AM your truth
I AM your ambassador
I AM your covering
I AM your refreshment
I AM your physician
I AM your peace
I AM your strength
I AM your portion
I AM your joy
I AM your hero
I AM your heart mender
I AM your glory
I AM your good
I AM the friend of sinners
I AM the beginning and end
I AM ENOUGH
you are ACCEPTED
you are FORGIVEN
you are PARDONED
you are WELCOMED
you are CHERISHED
you are PURSUED
you are COMPLETE
you are LOVED
you are CHOSEN
you are RESCUED
you are ADOPTED
you are MARKED
you are COVERED
you are made RIGHTEOUS
you are REDEEMED.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31