INTRODUCTION

At the end of May I started to reflect upon  my life, and the things I have done in my past before I became a Christian that fill me with regret and are a continual reminder to me that I am a sinner saved by grace,  even though I know God has forgiven and changed me.  I was so moved with gratitude at the thought of how God decided to choose me, when I see so many other people He has not yet chosen to reveal Himself to.  The title of this poem sums up the overwhelming feelings I had, as the thoughts for this poem came together.  More to come when time allows…

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT UPON

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7)

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:15,16)

“Or do you show contempt for the richness of His kindness , tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?  But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgement will be revealed.  God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life.  But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.  There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew then to the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew then for the Gentile.  For God does not show favoritism.”  (Romans 2:4-11)

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.  Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so He condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit, have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by Him we cry,  “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”            (Romans 7:14-8:17)

“The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit–a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God.” (Isaiah 54:6)

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)

“But He said to me,  “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.  It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-31)

“This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”  declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:23)

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified in me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

SO UNDESERVING… SO GRATEFUL

What was it that You saw in me

That made You choose to set me free

So undeserving of the love You showed

So unable to pay the debt to sin I owed

No strength to stand against temptation

Always feeling the weight of condemnation

Attempting to do good to earn Your approval

Always failing in my attempt to find guilt’s removal

Bound by fear that caused me to lie

Creating false reasons to escape rejection, I did try

Using sinful humor to find acceptance and a friend

Sinking deeper into guilt, seeking pleasures without end

It was not because of a righteousness I had of my own

It was not because of the kindness to others I had shown

If it was because of my weakness, then for that I give You praise

My heart cries out in thankfulness, my voice in thanks I raise

If it was because I was unloved and rejected, then it was worth the pain

To now know Your love and acceptance, Your forgiveness and joy was mine to gain

If it was just because of Your grace, that You chose to save a wretch like me

Then I will boast in Christ alone, who has the power to set us free

I will never forget that glorious day

When I was reading Your Word, and in my mind You did say

Those amazing words that set me free

From sin and fear, when Your truth I did see

You gave me courage to face my fears

Hope and trust to stop many of my tears

Strength in the areas where I find myself weak

Wisdom, when Your truth to the lost I do speak

Grace to make me desire to be pleasing in your sight

Peace when I focus on Your power and Your might

Men’s words and ‘religions’ are just traps and a snare

They keep us in bondage, when Your truth is not known to share

Your mercy extended, Christ’s blood now covers me

So grateful to You I will always be

Copyright©2010 Mary K. Dalke/LivingForHisGlory/Living4HisGlory All rights reserved. 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Exerpts or links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary K. Dalke and Living4HisGlory with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Picture obtained from Photobucket – 12-1-1 Sunset in West Bay, Wales England, UK  Picture by Tbolen photos.  Scripture added by Mary K. Dalke on Photobucket.

Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible , New International Version® Copyright©1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of  Zondervan.

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