Sunday, September 30, 2012

Alienated or Reconciled?

(I'm happy to be participating in the Colossians Bible study this fall! Here's just a bit of what I'm getting from this wonderful study. Check out their blog for more information or to join in on future studies!)

Alienated.  Not a pretty word. Images of a solitary confinement and concentration camps flood my mind as I ponder the meaning of this chilling word.

Alienated. That’s what I was once… before Christ.

“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 physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” Colossians 1:21-22 NIV (emphasis added)

But now… those two little words in the middle of the passage change everything. They erase the alienation and reconcile me to God. Through Christ’s death, my account has been cleared! Reconciled! The debt has been paid!

Because of what Jesus has done, three things have happened:

1.     I am now holy in God’s sight.

2.     I am “without blemish” – clean, pure, whiter than snow.

3.     I am free from accusation.

Matthew Henry’s commentary says it best: “There was such value in the blood of Christ that, on account of Christ’s shedding it, God was willing to deal with men upon new terms to bring them under a covenant of grace.”

Ever heard the old hymn “There’s Power in the Blood”? When we were kids, my brother and I used to joke around in church and make a muscle every time we sang the word “power.” But it’s no joke, friends. There is such POWER in the blood that I am free from accusation! I am clean! When God looks at my account, He sees a reconciled balance. The debt has been paid by the precious blood of Jesus!  

I don’t know about you, but when I truly meditate on this truth, it brings me to my knees and causes me to praise God for all He has done on my behalf. Have you placed your trust Jesus alone for salvation?

Would you be free from your burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood.
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Grasp

Sometimes we writers just need a good kick in the pants. Or at least I do. And God sent me just what I needed today. My good friend and writing buddy, Christa, encouraged me to participate in the "Five Minute Friday" exercise on Lisa-Jo Baker's blog, Tales from a Gypsy Mama.

So I decided to take the challenge. A little difficult for me since my inner editor wants to change, tweak and agonize over every word. But that's usually my problem, and it keeps me from writing.

Here are the rules: (if you are a writer or want to be one, you should try this!)

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the chosen word of the day – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link to Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

So here's my attempt at Five Minute Friday:


I reach out my hand to stop it, grasping at thin air. Time cannot be held by any mere mortal. It swiftly slides through my fingers and before long, the minutes disappear. I will never have them back again, those moments I was distracted, disillusioned or just plain wasteful.

Grasping at time is a fruitless effort. Moments cannot be contained or held captive. That’s why I’ve always loved the verse: “Teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom.”

If I were to number the rest of my days – assuming I will live to the ripe old age of 80 – and write each number on a piece of paper and place it in a jar, it would probably surprise me how small the jar would have to be to contain the time I had left. Taking those pieces out one by one would be an even greater reminder of the brevity of my life. Maybe I’ll do that…someday…

Can anyone grasp how little time we actually have here on earth? Oh, if only we could. It would likely change our lives drastically. Teach me, Father, not to grasp at time in desperation, but to wisely number my days and use them for Your glory.
Five Minute Friday