Tag Archive: Roman Catholicism


Many of us attempt to earn God’s forgiveness and think that if we are basically a ‘good person,’ that when the time comes for us to stand before God, He will accept us if we just try and make sure the good outweighs the bad we have done in life.  But most of us lose sight of the fact that God is completely Holy and that His standard is perfection. 

So, how many of us can say we are perfect?  None of us…if we’re completely honest.  God gave us the commandments to show us what sin is, and also to make us realize just how impossible it is for us to be able to obey them all.  So if God’s standard is perfection and if all of us fall way short of that standard, then we are lost and without hope.

That is why God, who is rich in mercy, sent His One and Only Son; He lived a perfect, sinless life that none of us could ever live,  to become the perfect and acceptable sacrifice for our sins.  Jesus willingly allowed God His Father to pour the entire amount of His wrath that we deserve upon Himself, and He died in our place.  And in return, if we choose to place our trust in this free gift of His grace, paid with the life blood of Jesus–who was God in the flesh–He will completely forgive us of our sins.  That is what’s known as ‘The Great Exchange’…our sins were placed upon the sinless spotless Lamb of God, and in return we are then covered with the righteousness of Jesus. 

Sadly, however, many religions have evolved over time, because instead of accepting this free but costly gift, many people came up with rules and rituals in an attempt to earn God’s forgiveness.  I was one of many trapped in one of these religions.  I was bound by fear and never knew what Jesus really accomplished when He died and rose from the dead.  (More to come).

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.  He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.  The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God!”  (Hebrews 9:11-14)

“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.  Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.  Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world.  But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”  (Hebrews 9:24-28)

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”     (1 Peter 3:18)

“For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.  But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.  Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.”  (Galatians 3:21-24)

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God –not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”                     (Ephesians 2:8-10)

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  (1 John 4:10)

“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.”  (Titus 3:4,5)

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD will never count against him.”  (Romans 4:7,8)

ONCE

He died once for all, when He shed His blood for you and me

Once for all, so from sin’s power we’d be set free

Taking all God’s hatred for the sin we love that only leads to death

Jesus hung in our stead upon the cross until He took His final breath

Pain beyond our comprehension He endured on our behalf

Our sin demanded justice, so Jesus chose to endure God’s wrath

No other sacrifice is needed, for our debt to sin He paid in full

And the perfect sacrifice of the Son of God was enough to break sin’s overwhelming pull

Still many reject the love He expressed, when He died on Mount Calvary

Some choose instead to continue in open rebellion and hidden sin, refusing His grace that would

set them free

Others depend on good works and their own righteous deeds, and hope the good will outweigh

the bad they have done

And some so horrified by sins they’ve committed, can’t seem to accept God’s forgiveness paid with

the blood of His One and Only Son

But this fact is clear, so solid and true

That Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay for all sin and shame for me and you

Our sins have been atoned for, heaven’s gates are opened wide

So don’t cling to your religion, false doctrine, sin, or pride

Turn from sin, place your trust fully in Him

For only by trusting in His one perfect sacrifice you can know you will one day enter in

Copyright©2012 Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this and any material on Living4HisGlory’s Blog without expressed permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Exerpts and links to information may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary K. Dalke and Living4HisGlory’s Blog, as well as the author of any of the information at any of the links posted, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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

(Edited 4-15-14 by adding another verse of Scripture, ‘blockquoting’ the Scriptures, as well as changing the ink color of Scriptures.  Lord willing, will be adding more thoughts to the introduction when time allows.

 Easter Poem 2010  NO GREATER LOVE

Easter Poem 2011  IT IS FINISHED 

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INTRODUCTION

It is finished.”  Never have words been spoken that seem so simple, yet have so much depth and power in their meaning as it relates to the gospel message.  When we come to understand what Jesus actually meant when He said them, these words can bring so much joy to all of us who have never really heard the “good news” of the gospel, and also to those of us who have tried all our lives to find peace with God and acceptance by Him through our own efforts, good works, and religious practices.

At times I reflect back to when I was a child, and remember how before every Easter I would try so hard to be good, to show my love for God and my love and appreciation to Jesus for dying on the cross for our sins.  Being raised   Catholic, we were told to abstain from eating meat on Fridays during ‘Lent,’ the observance of the 40 days before Easter, and I also gave up eating candy; the ultimate sacrifice for a child.  I remember during those 40 days, it seemed that no matter how hard I tried to be good, I ended up being worse than I was at any other time of the year!  I would fight more with my sisters and brothers, and say hurtful things to them that made me feel horrible inside.  I ended up feeling that I could never please God, and felt more distant from Him when I realized just how sinful I was as I attempted by my own efforts to earn His forgiveness, love, and acceptance.  Looking back now, I realize that’s how God wanted me to feel, and how He wants all of us to feel; He wants us all to come to the point of realizing we are sinners in need of a Savior, and that ‘all our righteous acts are as filthy rags’ to Him.  (Isaiah 64:6)

And in 1980, in the midst of all the rejection and heartache I felt during all I was going through in my marriage, I remember the joy I felt when I began to read the Bible, as God began to open up my understanding to the gospel.  I read verses like: 

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  (Hebrews 8:12)

  “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”  (Hebrews 10:17)  

As I sought God and questioned all I had learned against the truth of His Word, God opened my eyes to understand that Jesus paid my debt in full upon the cross for all my sin and failure, and all that I did that filled me with guilt and shame.  The truth of His Word filled me with a joy and peace I had never known before!  The fear I had of death for many years soon left me, and I rested in the assurance that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay the penalty for my sins –just as His Word says.  (In the near future, I will be posting my whole testimony, hoping that God will use it to reveal His truth to those of you who do not yet realize you can have the assurance of sins forgiven and know where you will spend eternity). 

“It is finished.”  …My first Bible study teacher shared with us that those words that Jesus spoke comes from the Greek word ‘tetelestai.’  The literal translation of the word means,  “Paid in full.”  In that time period, all would understand what Jesus was actually saying, because when someone owed a debt, a bill would be written, and when it was paid in full the word, ‘tetelestai’ would be stamped on the receipt.  Clearly Jesus was making it known that He had given His life in place of ours and had paid our debt to sin in full.  What an amazing God we have that He chose to pay such a high price to redeem us!

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as He who has called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”   Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.  For you know that is was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (1 Peter 1:14-20)

Thank you very much for stopping by and taking time out of your busy day to read some of my poems and posts.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

 

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT UPON

1 {To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.} My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28 For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.

29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.”

(SOURCE https://biblehub.com/kjv/psalms/22.htm)

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:18,19)

“Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14,15)

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

“The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life — only to take it up again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord.” (John 10:17,18)

“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.” (Romans 8:3)

“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)

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9,10)

“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights as sons.” (Galatians 4:4)

“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.  He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.  He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.  Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.  But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed and afflicted, yet did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:2-7)

“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Hebrews 12:3,4)

“Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:18,19)

“For it is grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18)

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-15)

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:20,21)

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

“But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law with His commandments and regulations.  His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.” (Ephesians 2:13-16)

“In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12)

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation–if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.  This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” (Colossians 1:15-23)

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.  After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.  So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs.  For to which of the angels did God ever say,  “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father” ?  Or again,  “I will be His Father, and He will be My Son” ?  And again, when God brings His firstborn into the world, He says,  “Let all God’s angels worship Him.”  In speaking of the angels He says,  “He makes His angels winds, His servants flames of fire.”  But about the Son He says,  “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of Your kingdom.”  (Hebrews 1:1-8)

“…it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.  Therefore when Christ came into the world He said:  “Sacrifice and offerings You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me; with burnt offerings, and sin offerings You were not pleased.  Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about Me in the scroll–I have come to do Your will, O God.’  First He said,  ‘ Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not desire, nor were You pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made).  Then He said,  “Here I am, I have come to do Your will.”  He sets aside the first to establish the second.  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  Day after day every priest stands and performs His religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices which can never take away sins.  But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God.  Since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool, because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.  The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this.  First He says:  “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord.  I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”  Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”  And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins.” (Hebrews 10:4-18)

“I will make an everlasting covenant covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and will inspire them to fear Me, so that they will never turn away from Me.”  (Jeremiah 32:40)

“…from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father–to Him be glory and power for ever and ever!  Amen.” (Revelation 1:5,6)

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled,  “Jesus said,  “I am thirsty.”  A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.  When He has received the drink, Jesus said,  “It is finished.”  With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:28-30)

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD will never count against him.” (Romans 4:7,8)

“Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)


APRIL 14, 2019 – IMPORTANT UPDATE!

DUE TO THE FACT THAT I WAS TAUGHT ERROR REGARDING WHAT JESUS MEANT BY HIS  WORDS, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME,” AND BECAUSE I RECENTLY LEARNED ABOUT THE HERETICAL TEACHING THAT SAYS ‘JESUS DIED SPIRITUALLY ON THE CROSS,’ AND AFTER READING AND LISTENING TO THE BIBLICAL TEACHINGS OF JIM FLOYD AND PASTOR TYLER LEIGEB WHO HAVE EXPOSED THESE HERETICAL TEACHINGS, I HAD TO REWRITE MY POEM BELOW WITH NEW VERSES IN ORDER TO MAKE IT BIBLICALLY SOUND. WHEN TIME ALLOWS, PLEASE CONSIDER READING THE FOLLOWING POST THAT I RECENTLY WROTE REGARDING THIS HERETICAL ‘JESUS DIED SPIRITUALLY’ TEACHING SO THAT YOU WILL NOT BE LED ASTRAY BY THOSE WHO TEACH THIS:

HOW DISCERNING ARE YOU? REFUTING THE HERETICAL TEACHING THAT ‘JESUS DIED SPIRITUALLY’

IT IS FINISHED

 

“It is finished.” Three simple words Jesus uttered before He took His final

breath

Yet those words were filled with such truth and power, for He had paid our

debt to sin in full by His death

The sinless Son of God, our Sacrificial Lamb, bore it all that Passover day

The day the Father placed all our sin and guilt upon His Son, but He never

turned away

Jesus endured the excruciating pain of crucifixion as He hung in our place

on Mount Calvary

In fulfillment of Psalm 22 He cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou

forsaken me?”

Jesus Christ was obedient unto death, God’s full wrath and just demands He

did satisfy

God’s will through Jesus was accomplished, “It is finished,” was Jesus Christ’s

triumphant final cry

The curtain in the temple from top to bottom was torn in two

To show complete atonement was made by His blood shed for me and you

God accepted Christ’s death, His willing sacrifice, a demonstration of His love

for us all

No matter what we’ve done, we can come to God the Father through Jesus

Christ, His Son, and receive complete forgiveness if upon His name we call

Before His throne we can now enter in, finding grace and mercy in our daily

and desperate times of need

Salvation, rest, peace, and joy you will find, trusting not in your good works

but in the finished work of Christ, believe and receive this gospel truth, with

you I do plead

Copyright©Mary K Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory All rights reserved.

 

(Original version)

“It is finished,”  Three simple words Jesus uttered, before He took His final

breath

Yet those words were filled with such truth and power, for He had paid our

debt to sin in full by His death

The sinless Son of God, our Sacrificial Lamb, bore it all that Passover day

The day the Father placed all our sin and guilt upon His Son and had to turn

His eyes away

Jesus felt forsaken by God His Father, but God’s wrath for our sins He did

satisfy

God’s will through Jesus was accomplished, “It is finished,” was Christ’s

triumphant final cry

The curtain in the temple from top to bottom was torn in two

To show complete atonement was made by His blood shed for me and you

God accepted Christ’s death, His willing sacrifice, a demonstration of His love

for us all

No matter what we’ve done, if it brings true sorrow to our hearts, forgiveness

we will find, if upon His name we call

Turning from our sin, before His throne we can now enter in, finding grace

and mercy in our daily and desperate times of need

Complete forgiveness and peace you will find, trusting in the finished work

of Christ, if you come in brokenness and for His mercy you do plead

Copyright© Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory All rights reserved.

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

Picture obtained from Photobucket – ‘Jesus’

Updated 4-11-14 Blockquoted and changed color of Scriptures, and corrected a few typing errors.

Updated 10/14/15 Enlarged the print of this post for easier reading.

Updated 4/14/19 Wrote new version (in black print) of this poem to make it Biblically accurate.

 

 

 

 INTRODUCTION

Since I was a young child, I had a deep love for Jesus, and a desire to know Him.  As much as I appreciate the fact that I learned about God in the Catholic religion, I was never really taught about what Jesus’ death accomplished for us, when He willingly laid His life down.  (John 10:18)  Instead, I was taught about the frightening consequences for my sins; I was told that when we die, we would go to a place called ‘Purgatory,’ where we would burn in fire until we were punished enough for our sins, and then we would be allowed to go to heaven.  Telling that to a child of only seven years old, can be a very frightening thing to hear!  Because of the terrifying images this produced in my mind night after night, I had an extremely difficult time falling asleep, and became terrified at the thought of death.

I remember so clearly, the day I made my ‘First Holy Communion,” as it is referred to.  My heart was filled with joy at thoughts of ‘receiving Jesus into my heart’ went through my mind, as I walked down the aisle with the other children.

Frequently I would have my hands folded in prayer and a smile on my face in the pictures of me as a child.  My mom or dad would take pictures of me and my sisters and brothers, on a Sunday morning after church, and my desire to know and please Him, showed through a  heart  that was filled with love.  I also dealt with a lot of fear as a child, but these kept my thoughts focused on God, and I would talk to Him in my mind to get me through the things I faced.

My desire had always been to try and please God. I remember when my sisters would play a song on the radio, one of them would turn up the songs with a message I heard  as wrong.  She loved to annoy me and enjoyed watching me cover my ears and hearing me  yell to try and drown out the words, as I would run away.

I remember every year when Easter was approaching, it was then I tried my very best to please God in every way.  Unknown to me at the time that being good in our own strength is impossible, I couldn’t figure out why whenever I tried the hardest to be good, it was then I became the worst!  After many years  passed, I  remembered those moments when I read Romans 7:15-25:

“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!”

That’s where I was spiritually for much of my young life.  Even though I had a desire to please God, it was humanly impossible to do so.

As I approached my teens, my desire for acceptance and approval by others became more important to me than trying to please God.  I realized that telling ‘dirty jokes’ and causing disturbances in class would make kids laugh, and I would then receive a lot of attention.   I remember deep down inside, I knew I was doing wrong, and I would even find myself saying at times:

“God, I’m sorry.  But everyone likes me when I’m like this.”

As time passed, I searched for love and acceptance in relationships.  I was tired of all the guys whom I would meet who seemed to only have one thing on their minds, and was determined to find one who would love me for who I was, and treat me with respect.

I met someone when I was at the very young age of 16 going on 17.  His life had been very hard, and I cared about him very much.  Time passed, and we become engaged on the day of my Senior prom.   The date was set for us to be married on the day after I turned just 19.  I really thought he  loved me, but his actions towards me later proved otherwise.  A month before we married, something happened that caused me to seriously consider calling off the wedding.  He seemed to be sorry, for what he had chosen to do, and expressed his devastation at the thought of not having me in his life if I were to call it off, so I made the choice to forgive him.

I remember on the day of the wedding, as the photographer took a certain picture of me,  I said a prayer to God, telling Him that I was determined to do everything I could to  make this man whom I was soon to marry, happy and assured of my love for him.

Without going into detail, his behavior showed me he did not love me.  No matter what I did or what I said, his desires were for his friends and his other activities which did not include me.  I was left with the thought that if my own husband didn’t love me, then I must not be worthy of being loved.  I had tried everything I could to make him happy, and make him desire me and want to spend time with me, but continually ended up just feeling like a crumpled piece of paper tossed into a corner; rejected and no longer wanted anymore.

I went into a deep depression, and cried out to God.  I went to ‘confession,’  trying to find my way back to feeling somewhat deeply connected with God.  Ironically, it was my husband who was to bring me something that would begin an amazing healing and transformation to my mind and my life.  He brought me home a Catholic New Testament Bible.  As I began to read it,  I became confused with what I had learned as a young child about ‘Purgatory,’ and with the wonderful things I was now reading in God’s Word.  I read:

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  (Hebrews 8:12) 

As I read this, I remember hope rising in my heart, and I silently cried out to God for an answer, and said:

“God, if Your Word says you will not only forgive our sins but also forget them, then why do I have to burn in Purgatory for sins You say You will not only forgive but also forget?” 

I didn’t hear an audible voice, and I really wasn’t even expecting an answer, but in my mind, I clearly heard these words:

“Are you going to believe the Word of God…or the word of man?” 

It was at this point that my heart was filled with an indescribable joy that permeated my whole being!  I realized at that precise moment, that Jesus had paid the complete pricefor the guilt of my sins, and took the punishment I deserved for my sins upon Himself, when He died in my place — and yours — as He hung on the cross!

I realized that I was forgiven and free of not only sin and guilt, but also the fear of death, and found this verse one day:

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”  (Hebrews2:15)  

From that point on, as I daily spent time in His Word, I chose only to believe what God’s Word said, and I let go of the things that I had learned growing up as a child, if it did not agree with what God’s Word said.  One day doubt and confusion  tried to enter my mind, about the assurance of heaven I now held in my heart, and I also wondered if God really heard my prayers as I cried out to Him.   God showed me these verses that silenced and removed those types of thoughts:

“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears usAnd if we know that He hears uswhatever we askwe know that we have what we asked of Him.”  (1 John 5:11-15)

God began a deep healing in my mind and heart, and I started to realize that my worth as a person did not come from what my husband or others had said about me, or how anyone treated me, but rather it comes from what God says about me in His Word.

Shortly after I became a Christian, my husband chose to leave me.  I waited and prayed for many years, believing he would repent and return home, but he chose to divorce me.  Even though I never really felt loved in my marriage, I learned what it means to truly forgive, and to love in spite of not being loved in return.   In the midst of the painful circumstances, God chose to reveal His love and truth to me in amazing ways through His Word.   I received the love and acceptance of Someone who promised He would ‘never leave or forsake me,’  (Hebrews 13:5) and I came to understand and see His amazing grace, strength, and mercy in my life, as well as His faithfulness to me.

I pray many will be able to relate to my search for truth and love, and that if you do not know Jesus as Savior from your sins, and Lord of your life, you will consider reading the Bible, and searching for the truth yourself.  If you will seek Him with all your heart, even though life, at times,  will still be filled with hurt and sorrow, you will find a love that will never disappoint you, and the truth that will set you free.

“You will seek Me and find me when you seek  Me with all your heart.”  (Jeremiah 29:13)

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

UPDATED POST 5-31-16 — Enlarged type size for easier reading.

 eastercrosswallpaper

FORGIVEN AND FREE

 

Hands folded in prayer as I walked down the aisle

Feeling closer to Jesus, caused me to smile

Hair lovingly formed into curls by my mom’s gentle hands

Secured with pins to neatly hold any loose strands

Dressed in white ruffles, and a crown on my head

I was told today I’d receive Jesus in this round piece of bread

As time passed and temptations grew

I was filled with confusion that caused me to wonder

Because of a clearer realization of my sinfulness

This thought I began to ponder…

If Jesus was now in me, how could it be

That I was seeing so much more evil coming from inside of me

Years of sleepless nights, tormented by the story

Of spending an undetermined amount of time after death, burning in the fires

of ‘Purgatory’

Years pass, fears subside

Will someone choose me for his bride

He is handsome, calm, and very charming

Didn’t sense anything alarming

He was caring and thoughtful, this I thought I did see

Two years dating, now in less than a month,  his bride I would be

With tears in his eyes, and sorrow in his voice

He stood before me one night, and confessed a sinful choice

I chose to forgive him, but there would be regrets and revelations tomorrow

For even though he appeared to be sincere

His actions would show, his heart held no true sorrow

Heart calling out in prayer as I walked down the aisle

Commitment blended with hurt, mistrust and doubt, prevented a

heart-felt smile

Dressed in white organza and a crown on my head

I was told he’d love me forever on the day we did wed

Crying out for love when no love could be found

My heart shattered to pieces without making a sound

When all attempts to reach him failed, I shut down inside

Depression, in its darkness, without hope I did hide

Looking for peace where no peace can be found

My heart continued to cry for truth without uttering a sound

God heard my desperate, silent cry, and a Bible I was given

His love expressed to me through His death on the cross

Gave me peace, and the assurance of my eternity in heaven

I came to realize Jesus died for my sins in my place

So God’s judgment and wrath I would not have to face

In His Word I found the truth, the truth that set me free

His promise of forgiveness, joy, real peace, hope, and love, for today

and throughout eternity

 

Written in August 2009 by Mary K. Dalke/LivingForHisGlory/Living4HisGlory

Copyright © 2009 Mary K. Dalke /LivingForHisGlory/Living4HisGlory All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Eastercrosswallpaper Obtained From Photobucket

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