I’m a Link in this Chain – Lord Break Me!

Just yesterday my teen age son decided to deep clean his room.  With the help of a friend they took everything and donated it.  When I got home I asked him what he had done with some key things of value.  His response punched the wind out of me.

Some of the toys my son got rid off were rare and valuable.  Because they were discontinued shortly after I started buying them for him, I had to search and search for the rare pieces and pay a premium.  It was worth it because he enjoyed playing with them and I imagined my son passing them along to his son like I did with my toys to him.

As a boy I had some German toys that were difficult to get because there were limited importers.  They were of the highest quality and also because of rarity they were expensive.  They were construction/building toys combined with modular electronics and photo optics; they even had hydraulic modules, although I only dreamed about someday playing with them.  There was absolutely nothing like them; it was like having a miniature engineering play set.  Due to availability and expense it took years to get the modest number of modules I had.  These were my most coveted toys.  I saved them for my son and when I deemed he was old enough I brought them out so he could play with them.

I was devastated to learn that he donated the most coveted toys of my youth.  I was shocked by the substantial financial loss of these irreplaceable treasures.  There was no undo, I knew there was no recovery; the first person who opened up the case would certainly recognize the uniqueness, quality and value and hide them away.  I was overwhelmed with emotions: I was hurting, I was angry, the loss eclipsed my ability to concentrate on anything else however, the call to love my son was breaking through.  It took a sense of urgency to allow the Holy Spirit to work within me to forgive.  I knew I couldn’t go to sleep without my son hearing me say, “Son, I love you, I forgive you”.

On my face, before the Lord, I prayed and asked for the ability to let go and forgive.  The war within me was real, how could my son and these things be on the same level?  I gave these things to the Lord along with asking that they would be the first of the many things I wrongfully hold on to.  I asked that this would be like the breaching of a dam.  Grace and love to let go entered into my heart; willingly I forgave my son.

Without hurt and anger blinding me, I began asking questions.  The answers, following the impact of this experience, are still working over my heart.  How could my son give away something so important?  The answer is as simple as the implications of it is profound.  Simply, these things were of no importance to my son or he wouldn’t have cast them aside.  I had failed to communicate to my son their value, significance and importance.  How did this happen?  I never played with him…

My Prayer:  Oh God, please forgive me!  My heart is breaking as I’m sure my son’s heart is left wanting.  Search me and show me how I could let this happen.1  Please heal my son from my sin of omission; fill the void with your love.  As it is only possible for you, please love my son through me and soften his heart to receive.  Thank you God, that my son isn’t attached to things, please create a strong bond of love between us.

Lord, I’m a link in this chain, please break me!2

God, I know there is much more at stake than this, which has just scratched the surface and foreshadows much deeper things.3  4  I admit not only have I not taught my children to play but I have not taught them to worship you.5  My failures are too much to bear, I lay them at your feet.6  Please heal my children from the effects of my sin; my sins of commission and omission have left them hurting and wanting.  God, because of who you are, please have mercy on my children and I.  Are you not the God of mercy?

God, I’m still reeling from this vast revelation; I don’t know how to put into words the things that the Holy Spirit is revealing to me.  I’m a link in this chain that was passed along from my father and his father etc.7  Thank you for breaking me, please let this stop with me, heal my children, change me, close the divide between my children and I.  Please, are you not the author of reconciliation?  I know I made this mess however, is it not possible for you to restore what has been lost, in fact, can you not make it even better since you’re able to make all things work for our good?8  Do you not reign over the impossible?9  God, I need impossible, I need you.  Amen

“We do not really believe in God unless we believe He is God of the impossible.” David Wilkerson

Why Hell?

Where can someone who continually rejects God spend an eternity away from Him, a place with no reminders, especially a lingering smell of Him?

If you dislike someone, they are the last person you want around, in fact you probably don’t even want things that remind you of them around.  Could it be the same when someone rejects God; is that why there are people who get upset at the mention of his name?

When I was in my mid 20’s I lived with my brother in a less than desirable part of town.  On morning he woke be up asking where I parked my car, I replied, “Right out front, why?”  He said, “It’s not there” and I responded with, “Well, someone must have stolen it” and I went back to sleep.  It had been stolen, the window glass confirmed it however, I had to stand in the place where my car was parked for the reality to sink in.  Less than a week later I got a call from the Police to tell me they recovered my car.  Of course all my stuff was gone and it was clear by the things left in the car, that the person was using my car as a daily driver.  After I paid for the impound, I gave all the thief’s belongings to the police and drove my car home.  The problem was, it wasn’t my car anymore, it smelled like the person who had been driving it; every time I got into the car I was reminded of the thief who stole it.  The smell lingered for a long time however, once it faded so did the memory.  I was glad the smell was gone so I could get on with my life.

Perhaps hell is simply a place without God.  Perhaps hell is such a place that there is not a smell or even the smallest reminder of God.  Would a loving God send someone who rejects Him to such a place or does God love so much that He honors our choice, even if we choose to exclude Him?

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.10

 

Imagine a place with absolutely no patience, fully lacking in kindness and teaming with envious, boastful, proud people.  Imagine everyone in this place is like a powder keg, ready and waiting to explode in uncontrolled anger; people filled with rage, who could care less about anyone in their blast zone, in fact, the greater the blast zone the better!  In this place, everyone’s mistakes would be the topic of discussion such that people never forget, in fact, there would be great delight in reminding others how evil they are.  In such a place, evil would be elevated to the point that everyone is trying to out do everyone else; there is no room for truth in such a place, people would revel in the evil they wish they had done and strive to do even more.  In such a place, that lacks all protection, there would be absolutely no one to trust, all hope would be lost, people would easily give into evil, spawning eternal failure.  Of course, there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth in such a place because the comforter has been barred from entering through rejection.  Those confined to such a place would loathe the fact that they were created in the image of God, perhaps they would willingly stoke the fire, trying to somehow burn away the eternal reminder of a loving creator.  What would you call such a place, if not “Hell”?

Does God love so much that He honors our choice, even if we choose to exclude Him?

 

“The wicked in this world were often called to come to Christ for life and rest, but they turned from his calls; and justly are those sentenced to depart from Christ, who would not come to him.  Condemned sinners will in vain offer excuses.  The punishment of the wicked will be an everlasting punishment; their state cannot be altered.  So life and death, good and evil, the blessing and the curse, are set before us, so that we may choose our way, and as our way is so shall our end be.” Matthew Henry

Rumen

Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace – 1

If we deserved mercy, we wouldn’t need it.

“Today we are forgiven not for any other reason but because Jesus kept the covenant conditions; we have access to God and forgiveness of sins through Jesus.  Every time Satan seeks to condemn us for our sins or accuse us of our failures, we have only to remember the blood of Christ.  Our salvation was never based upon our goodness or our works; the foundation of our faith rests on what Jesus Christ won for us in His covenant with the Father.”  Francis Frangipane

“For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”2  

Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.2

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.3 

My Prayer: Lord, rescue me from the torment of the enemy.  Free me from bondage; hear my cry for freedom.  I am not requesting this from you because I am righteous, but because you are very compassionate.  Let me live in the fullness that was secured on the cross by Christ Jesus, my Savior!  I know you sent him for this very purpose, give me the grace to fully embrace my cross daily.  Renew my strength, fill me with vigor and a passion for more of you!  Amen.

Click here for part 2