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I Saw You

(A Prayer of Benediction for the Lord’s Supper or Easter Celebration) 
Lord, I want to ask for Your forgiveness. Tonight my eyes were opened as we sang the words to those hymns that I’ve sung thousands of times. For the first time in my life I was struck by the vastness of Your grace and love for me, and it pierced my heart. I looked at my hands that have so many times brought You shame as I have clinched them in anger. As I have pointed the finger of blame at the innocent, as I have held forbidden fruit—these hands were never pierced. And yet the loving hands that fed and healed and served, those perfect hands of grace were pierced for me.

As we prayed I touched my forehead, I remembered my moments of rage when I accused and fussed and frowned. But my brow was never pierced. And yet Your brow was pierced by thorns. Your wounded head was bleeding. You shed Your blood for me.

Lord, I know that I’ve heard the story a thousand times. I believed it. And it was true. But tonight . . . it was as if for the first time I looked You in the eyes and I felt the holiness of worshiping a God who died. A God who gave His own life for me.

My feet have never felt the gnawing pain that You endured on the cross that day.

My shoulders have never carried the burden of the world in the shape of a cross.

I have never been stripped of everything to die a sinner’s death.

My back never scourged . . .

My face never spit upon . . .

Oh Lord, the agony, the humiliation, the torment—the love.

How could it be?

How could You love me that much?

Tonight, as we took the bread and drank from the cup, I felt the holy presence of Your love.

Thank You, Lord. I don’t understand Your love. I probably never will. But I want You to know that tonight I saw You, and I will never be the same again.

Neediness

He is fathering me
even in the days I cannot see
Through every trial I face.
He is there even in my disgrace.
Every lonely, broken place.
I am held together bone by bone
and I do not walk alone.
How my neediness has grown.
In my aging days I have come to see
how completely dependent I must be.

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

Jesus is the Author

…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

 

Jesus writes a book. Though many debate the genre, it is a love story from cover to cover. Christ is at the center. No other personality shines brighter that the Hero of the Gospel. Often the bride is unfaithful, choosing other personalities and recreations but His voice has never been stronger as He calls out to anyone who is weary of all the noise and chaos.

Grace- the subtext.

Selfishness and fear- the crises

The Fall- the setting

The Spirit- our wise sage.

The Climax- He is coming soon.

Why this story?  Joy

What is the price of such a novel? The blood of the Son.

Some Say…

Some say God has a home
for the strong ones only
And yet he has a place
for the lost and lonely
Some say their popularity
will send them to his throne
And yet His heart’s pursuing
those who walk alone
Some say that God draws near
to those who win acclaim
But He’s drawn to every faiure
who feels the weight of shame
Some measure out thier lives
by all that they achieve
But his eye is on the hurting,
struggling to believe
Self-made men are many,
their trophies we behold
But He redeems the heartaches
of stories never told.