Quick Read, The Cross, video

Sola Gratia: will you testify?

 

 

Tonight I shared this message at my work place during a monthly celebration of the guests in our recovery program. Last month, after the celebration I typed up this message and had the idea to play this music video in the background to illustrate my main points. I know that God has messages in me, I just have to step up and out to share them. The following is my message I shared.

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****I thought I had a unique way of thinking about God and Jesus for some time, then Justus came out with this video and it brought it to a whole other level.

I have a vision of the court room. I’m/we’re the defendant sitting on the right side. The county attorney is on the left. The judge is in front of us on his bench.

Many of you know this scene and what it feels like. Your life is in someone else’s hands. You’re not sure what the outcome will be. Hoping you got a “good” judge. Hoping your attorney has done the best for you. A lot is on the line.

Maybe it was a very public high profile case. Maybe it was your first time facing a judge. Your family might have your back or they deserted you already. No one can bail you out and your friends are nowhere to be found. You’re having to stand on your own and face the consequences.

Many people know of God the Father as a Judge. He will judge us all on Judgement Day. But most leave it as that. God is a judge. God judges me. It doesn’t matter what I do, we’re all doomed. So what’s the point?

In my career, I’ve been an unofficial and official advocate. I’ve gone to court with people to offer support and encouragement. That’s what an advocate does. The Holy Spirit is our advocate. The bible calls him our Advocate in John 14:26. The Holy Spirit is on your right side holding you up when you’re not strong enough.

But on your left, you have the greatest attorney ever, Jesus.

In fact, if you see it the way I’ve come to see it – its that God tipped the scales of justice in favor of us by sending us Jesus. We’ve sinned against God so we can’t go to Heaven but He gave us Jesus so that we can go to Heaven to be with Him.

Can you imagine going to court tomorrow, and your attorney is the judge’s son? Wouldn’t you feel pretty good? I know that God the Father has the same heart for you that Jesus his son does. God the Judge has the same heart for you that Jesus the attorney does.

Jesus approaches the Judge in the court of heaven, as Satan the Accuser (that’s in the bible too) approaches the Judge and accuses you of all the things you’ve done. He tells God you’re a liar, an adultery, fornicator, thief, idolater, murderer etc. He hates you. Jesus stands before the
Father,
I know this man. I know this woman. This is my Friend
my brother
This is my sister
She loves me. He loves me. I can vouch for him. I know her heart. She’s clean. He’s repented. I’ve cleansed them.

Knowing that your attorney is the judge’ son, do you see how the Accuser has nothing on you? At best all he can do is accuse. If you give your life to Christ, and follow Christ and let the Holy Spirit dwell on the inside of you— you will be washed CLEAN. The Accuser will have no case against you. He will not have any evidence. God the Father didn’t have to send someone to take our charge, to take our punishment. But HE LOVED US SO MUCH HE STILL WANTED US EVEN AFTER ALL WE”VE DONE TO GRIEVE HIM. DESPITE THE SORROW HE FEELS TIME AFTER TIME BECAUSE WE BECOME HIS FOES. HE STILL WANTS US. HE DOESN’T WANT TO LISTEN TO THE ACCUSER. SO WHY DO WE LISTEN TO HIM? When Christ let out, “It is finished.” That’s what he meant. The accuser is finished. Shame is finished. Self Harm is finished. Self hate is finished. He took all of that. He took our sins to the Cross but also the pain, the infliction, the wounds of the heart and mind.

All of this stuff already happened. These are facts and truth. All we have to do is RECEIVE this Truth. Do you now why Jesus came? Most will say to save us, that’s part of it. But in his own words to Pilate, the regional leader of the Roman empire, just before Jesus was sentenced to a crucifixion, Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king. Jesus tells him, “ …in FACT, the reason I was born and came into this world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:37

Jesus-before-Pilate

He came to testify ( def: give evidence as a witness in a court of law, serve as proof of something existing, something being the case) to the truth.
Will you stand with Jesus and testify to the Truth? Will you stop listening to the lies of the Accuser?

–Prayer:

Jesus, I want to receive you as Truth, please show me how. I want to reject the Accuser’s lies, please show me how. Your will not mine. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Quick Read, Uncategorized

All the Songs I Like are Sad and What Does that Mean?

Last night I confessed to a friend that all my favorite love songs are sad. It was a very lighthearted conversation and of course I sprinkle everything I say with self-deprecating humor. But it is true. We were talking about possible wedding songs for our future weddings. If you look at my Pinterest wedding board you’d see I have every little detail already planned out except for the wedding song. I love music and listen to music almost 24 hours per day. You’d think I would have the perfect wedding song picked out but I don’t.

I explained to my friend that all the love songs that were about relationships before never worked out.

To try to label a song perfect for a wedding I have yet to have seems impossible.

All I have to pull from is past pain. Past heartbreaks that shattered me in the moment. I have years that stand out because of songs like, “I Need You Now,” by Lady Antebellum. For years I would have to turn the radio station because listening to it would take me too far back. It’s a great song for the precise emotion that arises in a lot of us. But its sad.

How about “Stay” by Rihanna? Longing for someone to stay knowing they won’t. Sam Smith has “Stay with Me,” similar themes, same sadness.

If you’re looking for an upbeat sad song try, “Sweet Nothing,” by Calvin Harris ft. Florence from Florence and the Machine. The beat is so heavy you might forget that you’re sad. Not really.

Another good one, “Come Over,” by Kenny Chesney. Dysfunctional and sad. A lot like “I Need You Now.”

Feeling regretful? “All Back” by Chris Brown is my recommendation.

Mariah Carey has always been foundational in my love of heartbreak songs: Heart Breaker- fun but sad. H.A.T.E.U., Love Takes Time, Breakdown, Bringing on the Heartbreak (original Def Leppard), there’s a lot more but I’ll stop.

Maybe something more edgy? “The Bleeding” by Five Finger Death Punch will do it.

I even like sad songs in Spanish, “El Perdedor,” by Aventura.

All the songs I really love are Sad.

What does that say about me?

I guess it says I have a tendency to choose sadness over the other options. Options such as Joy and Hope.

It also says that I haven’t had a relationship last or survive the heartbreak. My relationship resume doesn’t look good. There’s lots of gaps, many short term stints and the descriptions sound sketchy.

One Day… someone will come along and perhaps, just perhaps they will stay and the love will be real.

And I won’t want to love sad songs anymore.

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