Friday, June 12, 2009

From Self and Pride To Set You Free

I Asked the Lord, That I Might Grow

(John Newton)

I asked the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know;
And seek more earnestly His face.

Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair!

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He'd answer my request;
And by His love's constraining power,
Subdue my sins--and give me rest!

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part!

Yes more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe!
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds--and laid me low!

"Lord, why is this!" I trembling cried,
"Will you pursue your worm to death?"
"This is the way," the Lord replied,
"I answer prayer for grace and faith."

"These inward trials I employ,
From self and pride to set you free;
And break your schemes of earthly joy,
That you may seek your all in Me!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Look at How Sweet and Peaceful She Looks When She is Asleep!

In the book, Feminine Appeal, Carolyn Mahaney describes how God's grace conquers our sins in our family life.

I recently saw a Family Circus cartoon that showed three children leaning on the edge of their parent's bed, watching them while they slept. The caption underneath was one child's remark: "They look so sweet and peaceful when they are asleep. You wonder how they could ever yell at us during the day."

Do you ever wonder if this scenario is taking place in your home? Do you ever have a sneaking suspicion that your husband or children sometimes watch you sleep and marvel at how kind and peaceful you appear compared to when you are awake?

While we should all aggresively seek to remove the hindrances of anger, bitterness, and judging, we will likely fail at times to be kind. On the heels of our failure can come a fear that we have caused irreparable damage to our family relationships.

Yet this fear leaves God out of the picture. Although it is true we have the potential to inflict harm on family members, the grace of God can still bring forth good, even out of our sin. No situation created by our sin is so horrible that God can't redeem it for good--both for us and for our families...

When we are unkind to our husbands or children, we should not make excuses for ourselves. We must confess our sin to God and humbly ask our family members for their forgiveness. However, let us find hope in God's grace, which covers the offense of our sin and work it for good!

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.