February 21, 2011

I’ve Got The Victory in Jesus! “Victory” by Yolanda Adams – Lyrics

Posted in Hymns / Songs / Lyrics, Poetry tagged , , , at 9:52 pm by Sarah Bosse

[Chorus]
I’ve got, got the victory
I’ve got the sweet, sweet victory in Jesus,
Yes I do!
He is our mighty conquerer,
In Him I will trust, all my battles He’ll fight.
I’ve got, got the victory
I’ve got the sweet, sweet victory in Jesus.
For me He died but He rose on the third day
That’s why I have true victory everyday!

[Verse 1]
Truly I’ve been through the storm and rain.
I know everything about heartache and pain.
But God carried me through it all
Without His protection I’d surely fall.
I’ve been broke without a dime to my name.
But all my bills got paid ‘cause I called on Jesus name.
You can’t tell me that God isnt real ’cause I’ve got the victory and that’s why I’m still here.

[Chorus]

[Verse 2]
I’m not worried about material things I dont have
I just rest cause I’m sure in my Savior’s care
Because I know my blessing is on the way
I can’t see it right now but I stand by faith.
I’ve fought many, many battles in His name
I held up the blood-stained banner and proclaimed
That Jesus is the truth and the light:
Believe me when I say He will make it all right!

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
Yeah I got the victory yeah
I got the victory yeah yeah yeah
[And if you have the victory sing it with me]
Yeah I got the victory yeah I got the victory
Yeah yeah yeah
[I’ve got the victory Sing it with me]

[Chorus out]

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May 29, 2010

Humbling Love and Conviction

Posted in Devotionals, Prayer Request, Stories tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:33 pm by Sarah Bosse

Last week, I sinned a doozie. I lost my patience with a particular person, rolled my eyes, argued, huffed and puffed, raised my voice, and came very close to slamming a door. In short, it was not pretty. Worse was the fact that this person wasn’t a Christian, (wasn’t even a person in my family) and therefore I did terrible damage to the Gospel and this person’s view of Christians in general. You would be right in shaking your head as you read this, for it was an awful sight. Worse still is the fact that what showed on the outside (my facial expressions, tone of voice, huffing and puffing, and general demeanor) was restrained compared to the anger, frustration and agitation I felt on the inside. Indeed, if I had blown up as seriously on the outside as I was blowing up on the inside, the situation would have been far worse.

But oh, it does get worse. Yes, much much worse. Because I felt justified in my reaction towards this person and used the situation and this person’s response to me as my basis of justification for my anger and blow-up. Two days passed. I still had the event in my mind and was still somewhat angry, though mildly convicted that I did something wrong. I was still generally unwilling to consider my responsibility in what happened. It took a loving Christian friend coming to me and simply saying, “You know, you offended that person and didn’t do the Gospel any service through your behavior” to finally bring the Holy Spirit’s conviction to my heart and cause me to truly pause and consider God in the midst of that event, my feelings, my actions, and my desire to just sweep it under the rug and call it “good”.

Whether I wanted to acknowledge it or not, the Holy Spirit – God Himself – was there with me while I was blowing up at this person. He was watching and knowing. God the Father knew what I was doing, what I was thinking. And now that I think about God being there, I can imagine Jesus on the cross in that room, bleeding for me while I raised my voice in argument against this other person. Yes, on Calvary He bled for that sin….for those MANY sins that occurred in those few moments and for the many sins of omission (unwillingness to repent, to ask for forgiveness, to recognize and turn from my sins, to turn to God rather than to self-justification, ignoring the imploring of the Holy Spirit who calls me to holiness…) that occurred afterwards. He was there. And where was I at that moment? Living in my old flesh, not giving one thought to His presence, His precious blood, His grace and mercy that saved me, and the fact that “my” life is NOT my own, but belongs to Him who called me out to be part of a people for Himself and His bride.

The Holy Spirit drew me to the Word. Love was His theme. Love was God’s theme when He sent His Son to die for me, and love must be my theme to the God who is worthy of all praise. Moreover, love must be my theme to all men, a reflection of the Gospel living in and through me. Oh Lord, help me to live this call!

1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Without love, I can do nothing good. Okay, so what is real love then?

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.

Ouch. Rewind. Was I patient with this person? Definitely NOT. Was I kind? No. Was I arrogant or rude? Both. Did I insist on my own way? Yes, I love being “right”. Was I irritable or resentful? Entirely to the core. Was I bearing with this person and believing the best about this person and this person’s motives? No. Was I enduring? Hardly. Well, that sure did hit the nail on the head, didn’t it?!

God also calls me to live at peace with everyone, as much as it is my responsibility to do so. Their responsibility is their own, over which I have no control. But my responsibility is to take care of the portion that God has given me, over which to exercise self-control…and trust you me; that is MORE THAN enough.

Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” That’s simple enough to understand, whether I want to understand it or not.

And yet it’s more than just living peaceably that the Bible calls us to.

Romans 12:9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Romans 13:7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law….12 So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in…quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

I do not want others to fall in the same ways I have fallen to sin. My actions last week were a disgrace to the Gospel of God. Yet there is hope even for a sinner such as me, and there is hope for all who are chosen of God and born of God. We are no longer slaves to sin because our happy bondage is now to Christ.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And how does this all apply back to the topic of loving others?

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

By the Power, that is, God, which raised Christ Jesus from the dead, we also are raised to newness of life in Christ. That same Power is living in those who belong to Christ, and through Him we are able to obey His commands with joy. The fruit of our union with Christ will be evident:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Love is requiring humility in my heart that, apart from God, is nonexistent. Jesus’s love for us was the ultimate example of humility. The fragments of humility required of me in love to others, especially in this situation where I’ve grievously sinned, don’t require an atom of condescension on my part. What I mean is…I’m just a human. Other people are humans. I must be humble towards them and put their needs above my own, considering them more important than myself. But in physical terms, we’re on the same playing field – we’re all human and sinners deserving the wrath of a Holy God. When I compare my responsibility to humility to Jesus’s task, my part becomes “no big whoop”. Jesus was GOD. He humbled HIMself to man, and not just in little ways (such as not arguing), but in keeping his heart’s thoughts pure towards others who REVILED Him, beat Him, said that He was NOT God and that He was blaspheming, and schemed countless times to stone Him to death, and finally did beat Him to unrecognizability, and then hung Him on a shoddy-built cross with a vandalizing sign nailed above His sacred head. I did that. I beat my Savior with my sin. And yet He never once hated me or wished me ill. He had only LOVE in His pure heart towards me. Wow. That’s a thought! And that is GRACE – AMAZING GRACE.

And this coming week, when I have the first opportunity to see the person whom I greatly offended, I will have the opportunity to humble myself first before God (for though I’ve already done this, it is a continual and moment-by-moment process in my heart), and then before the person I’ve hurt. I am grieved until that time, and I believe it is in God’s providence that I have several days to meditate on His Word and listen to His Holy Spirit before I am able to speak with this person again and make known my repentance. And the next step for me now is to pray that He will also give me the humility to ask this person to please “tell me if you ever see me acting in a way that is unloving, not patient, unkind, arrogant, rude, insisting, restful, or irritable.” Hopefully by asking for her input, my heart will further be on guard against sinful desires in the future; as being convicted by one who is not a Believer should be something that breaks my very heart. Help me to live for you, Lord, and to deny myself!

Why am I writing about this? First, because I am grateful for the Holy Spirit’s work of conviction in my heart. Even when my heart is so hardened towards His Spirit and my God-given conscience is broken or purposely ignored, He comes in and brings light to my darkness. This is a grace, friends! He doesn’t leave me in my sin and filth and shame, but exposes it so that I may grow in Christ-likeness. Oh, what grace! And there is still more grace to be shown. While I, even His child (!), am sinning and rebelling, He sees me not as a damnable sinner, but as a Saved, Forgiven, Justified, child who wears the Righteousness of Christ Jesus.

When I feel like my sin has distanced me from His loving gaze and when I feel the tangling chords of guilt wrap around me and avert my eyes from my Bible and heaven, I have His promises to stand on….and HIS GRACE! And the more I see His unfathomable grace for what it truly is (especially in contrast to my sin), the more I am amazed by Grace and desire to walk in a way that is honoring to the God and Gospel that has saved me.

Writing can also be a means of “speaking the truth to myself”. It’s a way to organize so many different swirling and otherwise disorganized thoughts into a more cohesive package that I can refer back to as needed. I would greatly appreciate your prayers as God seeks to grow me in love. Praise be to God, for His love endures forever (1 Corinthians 13:8)!